Go fishing for good fishing shows
Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), also known as Black Bass or Bigmouth, Centrarchidae. (De Agostini/Getty Images)

Well, so far, it has been an up and down winter, with ice as thick as 8 inches, and now all the lakes are open.

The holidays are over and everybody is in “outdoor show” mode. I couldn’t care less who wins the Super Bowl, and the Orioles still haven’t made any effort to bolster their sorry pitching staff, and probably won’t.


So, be all that as it is, let’s talk about fishing shows!

Personally, I have grown weary of all the bass fishing shows that feature high volumes of small fish or productions that are obviously geared to selling as many products as they can. Throw in the onslaught of boisterous, loud-mouthed TV hosts on several shows and the World Fishing Network, or WFN, leaves a little bit to be desired. Lately, I have enjoyed far greater productions like Fly Fusion, Fly Rod Chronicles and Sportfishing On The Fly that just seem to relate to my desire to get back to nature, running water and solitude.

With all that, I have recently checked out more and more YouTube channels, and believe me, there are a ton of folks out there making videos on fishing.

Realistically, one has to understand that in order to consistently produce YouTube vids one must have several things — time, equipment, other than a Go Pro camera, and money. Some of these are outrageous, hilarious and even informative.

Young, hip, angling savvy hosts who are quick on their feet and travel wide and far can actually make unscripted fishing trips come across as they truly are … spur-of-the-moment, a little reckless, spontaneous and funny.

Along their merry way, they somehow manage to catch some very impressive fish, and of many species. These are my favorites:


Yes, that is the word of the day from cool and confident host Jon B., who hosts this way popular YouTube channel. His fishing expeditions take him far and wide, to include episodes with folks like Mark Zona and expert guides on Lake Fork, Texas. He also plies the little ponds and streams and does some ice fishing. At 21 years old, he looks every bit of 17 and somehow got to do a plug for the Dollar Shave Club, despite having no facial hair to speak of.

He and his contacts fish all over. In one really cool show, he and some friends are fishing a small river in Texas where they cautiously negotiate foot travel around a rocky dam face to square off with largemouth, smallmouth and the rare Guadalupe bass of that region. In a river smaller than the Monocacy, they pull off the “triple” of these bass and score some very big fish as well. In another crazy installment, one of the crew jumps into the Chicago River in downtown Chicago to grab a beefy 15-pound freshwater drum amid a small crowd of on-lookers. That’s nuts!


Another insanely popular channel with a young, vibrant and excitable host who stumbles, falls, loses lures and sometimes catches big fish in the process. Sometimes, 1Rod and Jon B. hookup to do shows together. They went to the I-CAST convention in Florida together to get the scoop on all the latest tackle trends of the industry. Bored with the convention, they booked and somehow managed to talk their way past a security guard, gaining access to a gated, private community where a large pond held the promise of big bass.

Jon B. hooked a monster bass that buried itself in the shoreline vegetation. Without hesitation, 1Rod jumps in the water to chase down the lunker but all is for naught, as the big one got away. In another episode, 1Rod hooks up with a DC local and samples blue cat fishing from the nation’s capital shorelines in the middle of the winter. I have a pretty good idea as to where this was filmed. Several 20- to 30-pound blue cats later, 1Rod emerged tired, wet, cold and hungry, but very, very happy.


If there is any YouTube fishing show out there that is any more exciting and enjoyable than this one, well, then I’d like to know about it. Host Aaron Wiebe is another upbeat, high-octane college-aged fishing freak who surrounds himself with a group of angling experts from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the upper U.S. states. They claim the show is “part entertainment, part educational” and completely unscripted, and I believe it! Wiebe and his band of merry anglers do some crazy, crazy stuff!

On one episode, he just couldn’t get close enough to monster bedding bluegills without spooking them. So, he rigs up his flying drone and attaches a line to it with a small jig and hovers it directly over some bedding bulls, dropping baits down on the fish. Incredibly, he hooks, and sky-lifts some bruiser bluegills via the airways to his boat! That’s nuts!

Aarons Martens fishes in Bayou Segnette as an ESPN camerman captures the action during the first day of competition at the BassMasters Classic, Aug. 2, 2001, at Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, La.
Aarons Martens fishes in Bayou Segnette as an ESPN camerman captures the action during the first day of competition at the BassMasters Classic, Aug. 2, 2001, at Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, La. (RUSTY COSTANZA / AP)

In another show he is on his way to ice fish for crappies when he spots a dead deer along the way. Quickly, he hops out of the truck and cuts off a portion of bucktail from the animal. Once at the lake, he drills holes, sets up his tent (in minus-10 degree weather) and promptly sets up a tying vise to use the fresh bucktail to tie some hairjigs for the crappies.

Nothing fancy, just white bucktail on a 1/16th ounce head. In short order Wiebe then proceeds to hammer one 16-inch crappie after another with this seemingly crude lure. In a day and age when tackle and lure manufacturers are constantly trying to convince you and I that we can’t possibly succeed without their products, I found this episode extremely refreshing and amazing.


They catch giant lake trout through the ice, huge channel cats from the Red River and monster brook trout from Hudson Bay rivers.

Indeed, many of the YouTube productions are not polished, professional efforts. But then again, they aren’t supposed to be. Rather, many of them are more like the way you and I might fish, with successes and failures aplenty.

These young bucks are high-energy hosts with some stories to tell and adventures to film. Check ‘em out the next time you grow tired of the “same ‘ol, same ‘ol” footage of the big screen.