Reel Guppy Outdoors founder, Kevin Brannon saw a need for a free youth fishing program in his local community.Many kids would tell him they wished they had someone to take them fishing too, whenever he and his kids would pile into the car, fishing rods and tackle in tow.He himself had grown up with uncertainty, single parent household, low income, after his father passed away. Then it was foster homes and shelters, a modern-day Dickensian childhood.
With little other opportunity, yet living just a block from Port Hueneme Pier, he would spend hours there, fishing. Required to be ever resourceful, he would recover used fishing line and hooks. With a tin can as his fishing pole, and any leftover bait he could scrounge from the pier's cleaning tables, he was a modernday Huck Fin.
By age 9, he had worked his way aboard the local party-boats. As a "pin-head," he helped paying passengers with their fishing, untangling lines, sacking fish and such.
Out on the boats was a haven of safety and solitude, a place of security and certainty in his otherwise unstable childhood. This time imprinted a passion for fishing and the sea, an ethic valuing helping others.
He carries these values to this day, and they form the heart and soul of the Reel Guppy Outdoors program. Now, some 25 years later, Brannon produces a TV show he started while attending Oxnard College. Reel Anglers Fishing Show California currently televised in California produces the Reel Guppy Outdoor.
Brannon saw it as his purpose, sharing his connection with the ocean and outdoors with others, to foster in others the sense of belonging and purpose he found in fishing. With the promise of fun and adventure as bait, he fosters a sense of value in learning, self motivation, leadership and success in the young people he takes fishing. As a survivor of uncertain times, he wants to pass on the survival strategies that saved him.