YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – A new Midstate non-profit aims to provide free fishing for those who serve our country.

Dozens of fishers on 30 boats are catfishing from Saturday night until 7 a.m. on Sunday. It’s through a York County-based non-profit organization ‘Catfish for Heroes.’

“We started in June of last year, 2022. We do no costs catfish, rockfish, and other multi-species trips for veterans, first responders, and active-duty military,” said Catfish for Heroes founder and president Tyler Patterson.

This was the 2nd Annual benefit fishing tournament at the York Furnace boat launch, which raises money for the non-profit.

“It’s a really humbling feeling to see all these people come out here and support a good cause and help veterans,” said Patterson.

And it’s more than just getting together to fish.

“So, I’m a disabled vet myself. I’m also a first responder, so I spend a lot of time fishing and it helped me. It was very therapeutic,” said Patterson.

That inspired Patterson to launch this program, to help himself and other veterans.

“A lot of times veterans can relate with other veterans and it’s relaxing for them of everyday stressors that they may be facing. A lot of times veterans are forgotten about and put on the back burner in today’s society, and I just want to keep it alive that we can share that friendship that we had once in the military,” said veteran Dan Bishop.

Patterson says so far this year, they have done 35 fishing trips. Catfish for Heroes is in 10 states across the country.