Every now and then I try to check out what is new on the cable channels with fishing shows - like about every day. I am starting to notice a rather refreshing deviation from the standard issue bass fishing exploits and red fish shows that is welcoming. With the upsurge of the World Fishing Network cable channel, this variety of angling shows couldn't come at a better time. Although my tastes and passions for different species may well differ from yours, here is at least a partial list of what I have found to be good viewing as of late.
Fly Fishing Shows: Some may argue that the sport of fly-fishing is reserved for the rich, famous, elitists white collar crowd, and that you must be a rich man to pursue it. However, fly fishing for warm-water species in our region does not have to be that way. Sure - you can cough up the thousands that many think you need to enjoy the sport, or you can go 'budget' and catch a ton of fish anyhow.
New shows here would be New Fly Fisher, Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing, Sport Fishing on the Fly and In the Loop. These are well-done in both cinematography and educational content. Some are heavier on instruction than others, but all are pleasing to the eye and provide great entertainment. The places and fish caught are amazing. Well worth the view.
European Fishing Shows: Indeed, much of what is shown on these few programs are very foreign to our fishing and logic of the catch. But having gotten into the sport of Euro-style carp fishing, I can appreciate the exactness and thought that goes into catching fish like carp, barbel, bream, zander (a European walleye species) and the European yellow perch.
The 24-Hour Rod Race features ace British angler Matt Hayes as he is presented with a 24-hour time limit to achieve any number of challenges. In one episode, he had the option at a lake to target either a 20-pound northern pike, or try to catch a 3-pound European perch, a fish that looks much like our yellow perch. He chose to try for the perch, and caught several over three pounds by casting from the shore. In the mix was an astonishing 3 pound 12 ounce perch that was one of the most amazing fish I have ever seen. In yet another venue, he tried to capture seven different species in the time slot, coming up short, with just six total species. It's a cool show.
The "Session" is a program designed to show anglers how and what to use to target many species. British accents aside, these guys are stoned expert angler. One entry had a pair of anglers fishing for pike and zander, the Euro-walleye, with large cut baits on set lines and bite alarm systems. They banked numerous pike to 16 pounds and several zander in the 10 to 13 pound range. Crazy fishing.
There are even a few ice fishing and crappie fishing shows on WFN. But the one show that they haven't tried yet is the one I think could be a hit - one that caters exclusively to the panfisherman with bluegills, perch, white bass, crappie and others as the main course. Panfish Nation, anyone?