All-Star CAST On The River

Two years ago, “06880” reported on CAST for Kids.

The acronym stands for Catch A Special Thrill. The national non-profit enriches the lives of special needs kids through fishing. The organization provides them with their own rod and tackle box. Volunteer fishermen (and women) help show them the many joys of catch and release.

The Marcus family — Bonnie and Andrew, and sons Ben and Josh — have been involved from the start.

(From left): Bonnie, Andrew, Ben and Josh Marcus.

The other day, they opened their Saugatuck River home for the 3rd annual event.

Josh — a rising senior at Stamford’s Bi-Cultural Day School — spent the past year raising money with CAST for Kids. Funds paid for free rods, tackle boxes, t-shirts and awards for all participants.

He worked with the parents of local teenagers and children to coordinate the day. Josh made sure everyone was partnered with a “fishing buddy,” who taught them to hold a rod, what it feels like when a fish is on the line, and how to safely release the fish back into the water.

Bella with her catch.

A surprise “celebrity” traveled from Washington DC, to learn how to fish.

Jose Montano — a blind, wheelchair-bound teen with cerebral palsy — told his parents during the pandemic that when they could travel again, he wanted to go somewhere to learn to fish.

Jose: The CAST celebrity in Westport.

Jose’s mother found CAST for Kids online. They arrived in Westport the night before, so he could be ready early in the morning.

Jose was already known for his talented hands. He overcame his blindness by pursuing his passion for music, become a jazz piano sensation.

Everyone loved the day. (Including the fish, who were returned to the water.)

The Marcuses are already planning next year’s event. To volunteer, help sponsor, or spread the work, email

Happy fishing!

Dylan shows off his fish.

Sean, on the Saugatuck River.

2 responses to “All-Star CAST On The River

  1. Robbie Guimond

    Very cool….. The Marcus’s are a perfect example of westporters doing great things, River ambassadors if you will, providing access and learning experiences. Bravo!!

  2. I appreciated it when you shared that you won’t have to deal with a swallowed hook if you try fly fishing. My uncle just mentioned the other day that he is planning to take his sons on a fishing trip so they can learn how to catch a fish with the right method. I will suggest to him taking them for fly fishing with a reliable service.