Fishing for Life founder Tom Goodrich shares a powerful story of how God called him to build an organization that teaches fishing to the next generation after 22 years in the military.

With over 500 volunteers, they organize over 80 events a year to serve the youth, families, veterans & communities through fishing and outdoor programs.

Tom tells us how the military shaped his way of thinking and how his passion for fishing, love for the children & veterans, and obedience to God led him to where he is today.


Click below and listen to the Podcast about Fishing for Life with Tom Goodrich:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Fishing for Life Show Notes with Tom Goodrich

03:00 – Tom grew up in Brainerd Minnesota. Al and Ron Lindner are from Brainerd too – they founded In-Fisherman. Tom’s brother married Ron Lindner’s daughter when Tom was only 16. Ron taught Tom how to fish.

04:50 – Tom spent 22 years in the military. He decided to create an organization that engages kids to fishing and outdoor activities. They’ve been running for almost 18 years now and have expanded their programs.

08:30 – At 17 years old, Tom was getting into trouble and was given a choice by the court to either join the army or go to jail. This was around 1983 or 1984.

09:50 – Tom became a Non-Commission Officer in the army and started leading men in combat. Then spent the last 6 years in Special Operations.

14:25 – Tom is at an event as we speak called, CAST – Community And Sheriff’s Department Together

16:40 – They do 85 events a year


17:10 – They have 4 mobile trout ponds – Tom talks about how they set it up

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23:20 – I connected with Tom through Kris from LakeLady Rods. Tom explains the diversity of people that participates and volunteers in their program and how Jana Olson (the lucky girl who won the LakeLady giveaway) helps in the events.

30:55 – Tom tells the story of when a wealthy guy from New York donated 20 sets of brand new rods and reels

33:00 – They teach disabled kids how to fly fishing

37:40 – They have a program called, NextGEN Mentorship Program where they teach kids who have a military dads who either died or incapable because of the wars

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42:50 – They partnered with the group called, School of Fish

47:30 – They have an event called, Holes for Heroes where they fish on ice lakes.

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48:55 – Tom wrote 50 short stories about the military

50:00 – Tom tells us what it’s like to be in combat as a military and lead men

53:55 – Henry Winkler was on the podcast in episode 334. We chat about the TV show, Barry.

56:00 – You can connect with Tom at


You can find Fishing for Life on Instagram at @fishingforlife_official

Website at

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Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below