01/07/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
3.    Midges



Those That Know Me Asked For It, So All Of You, Know Me Or Not, Are
Going to Get It - Extreme, X Rated, Hard Core Fishing Tales

A Television Commercial Gone Bad
In the early years of my television fishing series in the early 1980s, I produced some
of my own TV commercials. With the exception of a few of Curt Goudy's ABC Wide
World of Sports programs, I was the first one ever to air television programs
featuring saltwater fishing. The weekly syndicated program series covered over half
of the nation's area and about two-thirds of the population including most all of the
coastal areas of the country. Coming up with TV commercial could be a fun part of
the work but could also be a pain in the neck, depending on the advertiser. Most of
my national sponsors had their own commercials but about half the commercials
were sold to local companies and businesses such as boat dealers, sporting good
stores, automobile dealers, etc.

One of my sponsors was a Bertram dealer that covered the Gulf Panhandle area.
This particular company was always willing to provide their 54 foot sportfishing yacht
and captain for fishing trips because they in essence got a 30 minute commercial
since their product was shown throughout the entire program. Getting boat
manufacturers or dealers to provide boats for me to use was never a problem;
however, getting money out of them for TV commercials was a different situation. In
most cases, I was able to get both the use of boats and paid for commercial time but
getting money out of the guy that owned this particular company was more like
trying to pull his teeth and make him like it.

One day, one of his yacht salesman called to say they wanted a new TV commercial
to use on my show and other TV advertising they did. That was his way of getting
me to do a free TV commercial. I was perfectly willing but thought I should be able to
have some fun at the same time. The salesman, who understood how it is dealing
with the man better than I did, was also willing to have some fun. Of course, we
could use the new million dollar boat for an offshore fishing trip. That story comes
tomorrow.

My first idea was to use a helicopter and shoot the demo boat leaving the marina
from the air. Later, we would shoot it going trough the pass which should of made
some good heavy seas shots that particular day. The same man owned the marina,
so there shouldn't have been a problem with that. Notice I said "shouldn't have been
a problem".  

I just so happened to be able to trade out some TV time for Marathon Oil Company
that had helicopters and pilots, so I didn't have the expense of renting one. I
directed the chopper telling the pilot what to do via VHF radio. To start the shoot, I
first had the boat start leaving the marina and the chopper coming in fairly close so
my cameraman to get some footage with the big boat among the other, much less
impressive boats in the marina. I forgot about one thing - small sailboats. The
powerful helicopter capsized three of them. It turned out to cause little damage with
only one threat of a law suit, not against yours truly, but the owner of the marina
which was same guy I was doing  the commercial for - my sponsor.

Now, I was very familiar with the damage a helicopter could do. About six years
before that, as a general contractor, I had built the largest single enclosed space or
room within a building in the state of Alabama. It was a hangar for crane helicopters
at the Birmingham airport for the Army. The building had a single ply built-up roof, a
new thing at the time, that had just been completed. One of the choppers got too
close to it so the Army could get some pictures of their new building and the updraft
of the powerful crane helicopter pulled the entire roof up off the deck and ruined it.
In that case, I got a half million dollar change order to fix it. I had some change left
over and that turned out okay for me. In the boat commercial case, the results
wasn't that good. Heck, the results wasn't good at all.

Well, at least the rest of the boat shoot turned out great. The shots of the boat
going out the pass with a strong North wind and an incoming tide made some
beautiful shots. I didn't ask for any commercial money from my sponsor that
particular month. I had started a war and didn't want to lose the battle.

You may think that's the end of this story but it isn't. Wait until you read tomorrow's
article.


Copyright 2010 James Marsh