My name is Alex Herrera, and I live in New Braunfels, Texas with my younger brother and parents. I am 16 years old and currently a Junior at Canyon High School. I am a member of the National Honor Society, CHS Marching Band and a Boy Scout in Troop 133.
I have been fishing since I was in Pre-School and have grown to love the sport. I am currently Vice President of the Guardians Bass Club, where my team and I, with the help of our sponsors, are able to attend fishing tournaments and continue to learn and grow our fishing skills.
My experience began in 2016 when I met a man who would quickly become my mentor, the founder and executive director of Fin Addict Angler Foundation, Oscar Castillo. Oscar invited me to volunteer at a free community fishing clinic that Fin Addict hosted. I had no idea what to expect, but when I arrived I met the Fin Addict “family” who welcomed me with open arms. I sat there with Oscar as he greeted every family that attended the event, and I was amazed to see how passionately Oscar spoke as he talked to every child and parent as though he had known them for years.
As I was down at the pond helping kids put bait on their hooks and watching as they fished, I realized that every fish caught was a new memory made. Most of these children came from low income households and many had never seen a fish or sat next to the water before that day. I saw so many smiling faces; I knew I had to go back and do it again.
I recall one little boy and his father asking me where they could find the closest store that sold fishing gear because they wanted to go fishing again that evening. The little boy had not caught anything all day, but I could see that it did not bother him at all. He just wanted to spend time with his dad on the water. I have not seen him since that day but I know that a drive like that does not die easily, and I know that he will continue to enjoy the outdoors and hopefully one day teach someone else as he has been taught.
I honestly do not know where I would be as an angler or as a person without Fin Addict and its wonderful volunteers.The Fin Addict Angler Foundation has been a huge stepping stone as Oscar introduced me to the Texas Brigades Program. I attended Coastal Brigades camp in 2017 where I received the highest honor as I was recognized as the top cadet. I attended Bass Brigades camp in 2018 receiving the top school award. I later returned to Coastal Brigades in 2018 as a student school leader where I helped lead my school to again receive the top school award. I plan to continue volunteering with the Fin Addict Angler Foundation and to continue to grow in leadership through the Texas Brigades.
I am passionate about fishing and wildlife conservation. My goal is to attend Texas A&M Galveston where I hope to major in Marine Fisheries Biology.