Much can be learned from TV fishing shows
By: John Martino
TV is something I rarely see. Mainly because I don’t have time and when there is I would rather be fishing, hunting or doing something productive. But then it happened.
Last Saturday’s outdoor plans were scrapped due to something minimal like driving rain, gale force winds and temperatures barely eclipsing the freezing mark. Later that afternoon I found my backside parked firmly in the recliner with remote in hand.
For the next three hours I watched rod-bending, line-stretching, heart pounding action. When it was all over I felt like a new person. I had learned about finesse presentations, the newest gadgets and what life was like on the professional tournament trail. I also found out it takes roughly 16 hours of filming to make one 20 minute show, after you remove paid advertisements. So it’s only natural when the guy finally catches a fish he comes unhinged, saying the same thing over and over. “Now that’s a pig! What a hog! He’s a toad!” Heck and all this time I thought it was a fish.
I also learned there is almost nothing you can’t say on fishing shows. These are actual quotes but I will not reveal who said them to protect the guilty. “If a fish hits right at the boat you are too close to the structure.” “If you are not catching anything it pays to move.” “The Bassmaster Classic is extremely hard to win, but easy to lose.” Or my favorite “Fishing is a great activity when you are catching fish.” Seriously?
Probably the biggest thing learned is that taking the time to watch an afternoon’s worth of fish TV is that it can actually help navigate through the journeys of life itself. Every six minutes there were cures for male pattern baldness, diet supplements to help with that beach body; after all summer is just around the corner. There is also a little blue pill available that can remedy a certain type of male dysfunction.
Another thing I noticed is that so many of today’s fishing show hosts like to kiss their fish. I am not sure who actually started this but it seems to have become an epidemic. I watched anglers smooch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappies. One angler prepared to lock lips with a hefty walleye before realizing its maw was filled with razor sharp teeth at which time he gave it a short peck on top of the head.
From a conservation standpoint, kissing a fish can’t be healthy for it. Who knows where some of these guys’ lips have been. It has to be hurting catch and release survival rates. I mean after all, how strong would your will to live be after the last thing you saw was an extreme close-up of Jimmy Houston’s lips?
One of my favorite moments of the afternoon came when a guest angler and show host were banging huge smallmouth bass off a rocky point on an Alabama river. “Do you think the current sweeping around this out-cropping has anything to do with this phenomenal action?” the guest asked the seasoned pro. “I’m sure it does,” was his very thought out, analytical reply.
I can’t wait for next Saturday!