"Operation Iraqi Freedom Fishing Tour" 





WIESBADEN, GERMANY – The Yamamoto Bass Battalion is headed for Germany at the end of September for the “Operation Iraqi Freedom Fishing Tour”. Joining bass fishing legends Roland Martin  and Gary Yamamoto, will be Beverly Yamamoto, "The Singing Cherokee” Chief-George Braswell, and two-time Women's Bass Fishing Association's world champion Judy Wong. During their five-day tour they’ll perform at a number of military bases and at the Army Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany where close to 100 troops are recovering from wounds suffered during the war in Iraq.

Joining the Yamamoto Bass Battalion is Nashville’s "World's Greatest Fishing Band". Gary Shiebler is the founder and an avid fisherman. The band’s new fifty-song CD set, "Papa Was A Fishin' Man", is a collection of original songs devoted to fishing. The band hopes to brighten the spirit of the troops by performing, and RR Records is donating 1000 copies of their CD sets for the troops. The band knows many U.S. troops love country music and long to be back home at their favorite fishin' hole.



Tour sponsor Gary Yamamoto stated, “History is rich with examples of men and women who answered the call to duty in times of need, unselfishly defending the American way of life and the freedom it represents. All of us here at Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits believe we owe our armed services a debt of gratitude; we salute them all.

Gary Yamamoto - Athens, TX - Yamamoto fished all through his childhood, in rivers sluicing through the Hawaiian Islands where he was born, and the surrounding Pacific Ocean. He was 18 when he set foot on the mainland for the first time, enrolling in college to study electronics. But Gary put his education aside to enlist in the Air Force where he served as a Sergeant, X-Ray Technician from 1964-68 with an overseas tour in Thailand during the Viet Nam War. Today Gary competes on the BASS Pro Tour and FLW Tours and has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic twice.

Roland Martin - Clewiston, FL - Roland Martin’s legacy of longevity, consistency, and national tournament wins remains the standard by which all others are judged. Roland served as a 2nd Lieutenant/Artillery in the US Army from ’63 to ’65. Of the many fishing titles that Martin has earned, the most indicative of his dominance, and the least likely to be equaled, are his BASS Angler of the Year titles - all nine of them! In 2003 Roland made his 25th appearance in the prestigious BASS Masters Classic.

Beverly Yamamoto – Athens, TX-Mississippi native Beverly Yamamoto is an international bass fishing competitor, partnering with husband Gary Yamamoto. When not tossing a Senko in Spain or Mexico she splits her time between their Wagyu cattle operations (Yamamoto Custom Beef headquartered at the couple’s BK Ranch in Texas), duties as VP of Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits and Director of International Marketing. Beverly is justifiably proud of her father, World War Two veteran Herbert M. Sasaki, Lt. Colonel Mississippi National Guard, Ret. Sasaki was a member of the 442 Regimental Combat Team – for the size and length of service the most highly decorated unit in the history of the U.S. Army. The 442 received nine Presidential Citations for their actions in the European Theater of Operations during World War Two.

Judy Wong - Sugar Land, TX - Born in San Francisco, Judy Wong entered competitive bass fishing in 1977 on the Bass’n Gals circuit, took a break in the 80’s to raise her son, and returned to competition in 1989. Today she competes on the WBFA Tour, BASS Central Invitationals, and works as a full-time fishing guide. Judy won the WBFA World Championship back-to-back in 2001 and 2002, was Champion of the Beauty and the Bass Invitational Pro/Am in 2002, and narrowly missed a WBFA World Championship three-peat with a second place finish in 2003.

Chief-George Braswell – Salina, OK-Chief-George Braswell retired from the US Air Force with the permanent rank of Chief Master Sergeant, Telecommunications, ’65-’95. Since retiring the Chief has worked exclusively in the fishing industry and today he is National Field Promotions Director for Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, and logs tens of thousands of miles annually between promotions and shows. From his home base in Chimney Rock Holler (actually Salina, OK) the Chief also manages his music business, featuring his timeless country-gospel favorites as well as patriotic tunes. CD’s available through Free Spirit Productions – 918-434-6707

                    ( Program Outline for 26, 27, 28 September 2003 )


1.  Welcome Remarks by Emcee, Chief-George Braswell "The Singing Cherokee"
2.  Introduce "The World's Greatest Fishing Band"  (WGFB).  The WGFB will performs
     many hits from their CD "PaPa Was A Fishin' Man" ( 20 to 30 minute concert )
3.  Chief-George Braswell, "The Singing Cherokee"  will sing three songs in tribute to our
     freedom as American's and thanks to our Military Forces.
4.  Introduction of the Professional Fishermen:
     Gary Yamamoto, Judy Wong, and Roland Martin
5.  Gary Yamamoto will make his opening remarks about the fishing team and share his
     personal thoughts of America and our Freedom. ( Approximately 10 minutes.)
6.  Judy Wong will thank the military for helping keep us safe and free.  She will tell the
     people from her own experiences what America stands for.  As the two time back-to-
     back champion of women's bass fishing she will be able to share her thoughts that only in
     America can this happen.
7.  "Fishing Legend" Roland Martin will enlighten the troops with his wit and knowledge
     of fishing and life in these United States.  Roland has a great story of how he became
     an executive officer for a training company in the United States Army during the
     build up for the war in South East Aisia.  He was a personal fishing guide for the
     chief training officer, Colonel Honnecutt.  The Colonel recommended Roland for
     Officer Candidate School.  The rest is history, Roland Martin became an Officer in
     the United States Armed Forces.  After the Army, Roland became one of the all
     time greatest professional fishermen on the planet.
8.  Music with a message: The Worlds Greatest Fishing Band will perform special
     music especially for our military men and women including their new release;
     "A Soldiers Wish"
9.  Closing Remarks, and invite the Yamamoto Bass Battalion Chorus, the WGFB to
     help Chief-George sing Merle Haggards great patriotic song; "The Fightin' Side Of Me"
     to close the formal program.  ( This places all the guest on stage including special
     guest of the band and Jim Warren.)
10. This concludes the formal presentations.  Now, the meet and greet part of the program
      will be funtastic.  Gary Yamamoto has a special gift issue of his Inside Line magazine
     complete with photos of the Yamamoto Bass Battalion to autograph.  Roland Martin
     will autograph photos and have personal conversations with the troops.  The WGFB
     has gift sets of their CD's.  Judy Wong has programs to autograph from the Women's
     Bass Fishing Association.  We will all visit on a personal level with all the folks.......