Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Fishing 'Off the Hook' way

(Published April 1, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“I’m obsessed with learning and experiencing things,” said “Off the Hook: Extreme Catches” host Eric Young in a recent teleconference to promote the Animal Planet show.

The professional wrestler and outdoor adventurer described himself as an “amateur fisherman,” but that isn’t stopping him from actively pursuing the activity. He enthused: “I’m passionate about it; I love to learn about it. I’ve been that way my whole life and this show has really opened that up for me. I’ve camped, canoed and kayaked all over North America and this fishing show opens up all kinds of new adventures for me!”

Aspiring fishermen or anglers can learn about resourcefulness and discipline by watching “Off the Hook,” Young added. “I think the No. 1 thing is just [learning] to be patient. The fish are the ones that are usually in control. You’ve got to put your time in to catch fish… There are a lot of factors that go into it like weather, wind, sun and all that stuff, so just be patient and try as many different styles of fishing as you can. [And in] every episode that we’ve done, we’ve tried a different style. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of fishing!”

The host described “Off The Hook” as a program that shows people a variety of lesser-known but “fun” techniques, including catching sharks with herring-filled pantyhose. While doing the show, Young learned the difference between breeds of sharks and their disparate “personalities.”

“I learned that each fish is completely different,” he said. “A black-tip shark is methodical and plotting; a blue shark is very, very relaxed and laid-back. But a mako shark is super aggressive, and you can just tell by the way they swim in the water. When you see it coming up the chum line, it’s looking at you, it’s hungry and it’s ready to take something out. It’s a very interesting thing!”

Having fished in numerous locations, Young has discovered common traits among seasoned fishermen from different areas: “We’ve traveled all over North America and the one thing I definitely notice everywhere we go, fishermen are some of the most tenacious people I’ve met in my life. They just will not give up. They work hard. They’re up at 3 in the morning; they go to bed late… they’re tireless workers but they’re all kind-hearted people. The small communities that we’re in are often very close-knit families, everyone knows everyone, and everyone’s really friendly.”

The fishing expedition brought him and the show’s crew to North Carolina, California, and Florida, among other places. Young revealed that his wrestling background helped prepare him for the 12-part series.

“It’s made me very comfortable in front of a camera,” he said. “Pro wrestling is a world where you don’t get second chances, it’s often live or you have one take to do what you’re doing so it’s helped me that way. Also, you have to be durable and tough; a lot of these fishing styles are very, very physical and very tough on your body… I consider myself a pretty durable person and it’s a good thing because the show would be very difficult to do for somebody who couldn’t handle a beating!”

“Off the Hook: Extreme Catches” airs Mondays, 9 p.m., on Animal Planet.

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