04/05/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching
3. Quill Gordons - hatching
4. Hendricksons - could start any day now - nymphs are important
5. Little Black Caddis - hatching
6. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
7. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
8. Little Short-horned Sedges - should hatch randomly for 2-3 months
9. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Fishing Music

Today, 29 years ago, I started the very first ever syndicated series of television
shows on saltwater fishing. The first programs aired on a Pensacola, Florida
television station, Sundays at 12:00 noon. It was a weekly program that ran 52
weeks a year, not 13 or 26 weeks like most syndicated programs. At that time there
were no cable stations, only three networks. Prior to that Curt Gowdy did a few
saltwater programs fishing the flats on ABC's Wide World of Sports but there were
no programs running on saltwater fishing as such. Bill Dance, Roland Martin and
Jimmy Houston each had shows on bass fishing (and still do) but they did not do
saltwater fishing. I had been fishing the BASS circuit along with the three of them for
the past four years but I found myself saltwater fishing more than bass fishing. I
lived in Mobile, Alabama at the time. I stopped fishing the BASS tournaments in
1980 to do the saltwater TV series.

I believe the first program Roland did on saltwater fishing was done with me. I am
sure it was one of his first.  In 1986 we went sailfishing out of Palm Beach Florida on
the Glass Machine, a 63 foot yatch and crew I had done some video programs on
that a friend of mine let us use. It was the World's fastest sportfishing boat at the
time. We caught three sailfish and some hamerhead shark. Roland's ESPN
production company converted the TV show into a video after it was aired and sold
it for a few years after that.

It was not easy doing the weekly show. No one had done things like saltwater
bottom fishing or marlin fishing on TV before. The first two trips for the show were
made out of Dolphin Island bottom fishing for snapper. I knew I could catch a ton of
them fast and easy. We caught a huge catch of large red snapper alright, both
times, but they didn't manage to get the first inch of it on video. I used cameramen
from the TV station and both guys, one each for two different days got very sea
sick. The water was rough, about five foot seas, and they couldn't take it. i almost
gave the idea of doing the show up. The third trip I made was done using the third
cameraman. He handled it well. I finally got a show but it took three hard days of
work to get it. It was edited at the station with me calling the shots on scenes. I
eventually trained my own cameraman - a fisherman, named Tommy Powers. I
called the first shows "The Gulf Coat Angler".

Within 6 months, the show begin to air on four more TV stations in Florida. I got into
the central Florida market, the 7th largest ADI or coverage area of people viewing
TV in the nation. It aired at 7:00 PM Sunday nights. It received around 600,000
viewers a week. I soon covered the state of Florida and finally within two years
expanded to twenty-six stations or about half of the nations TV coverage. I moved
to central Florida at the end of the first year where I could be close to both the
Atlantic and Gulf Coast. It was hard work. I worked seven days a week shooting and
helping edit the show. I lived in a large Foretravel motor home. I got a new one
every three months. Foretravel sponsored my show and furnished the motor home
for me. I had boat companies on both coast that rigged different sizes of new boats
each year for me to use. Once I used them a few times they would sell them and rig
more. I had a huge number of advertisers but only a few national companies. Most
were large automobile, boat and sporting good store dealers. The economy was
very bad, about like it is now. Jimmy Carter was President and interest went to
about 20 percent in 1983 if I remember right. I still did very well and made good
money but I worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week. It was very difficult to
come up with 52 programs a year. I did the show for four years and in 1985, I
stopped in a heartbeat. I was tired of not being with my daughters as much as I
wanted too. I stopped the TV show and started making videos on saltwater fishing. I
have 46 of those now that are still selling fairly well. In 1985 less than half of the
households in the nation had VCRs. I still do the same thing now, except we call
them DVD.

After I had done about three or four TV shows, Steve, a man from Pensacola,
Florida who's last name I can not remember, wrote and sang this song for me to
have someone record and use on my show.  I never recorded it. I liked it like he did
it. I used his recording done on a cassette recorder.  Don't laugh too hard.





It didn't change the several years prior to that song being written in 1980 and 29
years later, " a fisherman's life is (still) a paradise and it is never gona change for
me".




Copyright 2009 James Marsh