You Just Can’t Script That
  |  First Published: October 2011

I’ve got to admit I’ve had moments in the last couple of years where I’ve been pretty jaded about making fishing TV.

The fishing part of it never gets old, and the new challenges keep me springing out of bed for a day on the sea to roll some tape. However the tedious, often frustrating work in between filming excursions can be tiresome.

The most frustrating part is when the writers for American produced shows send me scripts that ultimately put words in my mouth. These writers are not anglers, they never go fishing and definitely weren’t there with me when I conquered a fishing challenge. However they seem to think they can tell me what I was thinking, how I felt and what it was like to be there.

For example, I was asked to describe a sea trout as having ‘flesh tearing jaws’, and when I got a little cut on my finger from being bitten by a snapper I was to describe it as a ‘gory flesh wound’. As you can imagine there has been a few tense stand-offs between me and the American writers.

Fortunately The ITM Fishing Show is a bit different. It works like this: we get an idea for a show, write out a list of shots we need to put it together then we then go out and film it. The shot list requires us to catch fish and in doing so you get to see how we go about it. But there are always things that happen that you just can’t script, and this stuff is the gold. Here are just a few unexpected events that were just too good to be true.

One of my favourite memories was when it was just me and the cameraman fighting the fish of my dreams in my dinghy. All of sudden a boat arrives just as I get the fish up and someone leaps onto my boat to help. That help is in the form of a young French woman, who has never wired a fish in her life, but that didn’t stop her having a go! You just can’t script that!

How about taking a good keen kiwi bloke out fishing. Like many, at the top of his fishing aspirations list was catching a marlin and catching a 20lb snapper. We head out in our 759 Stabicraft to try and fulfill his dreams, which without giving too much away, went very well. But I also hook a marlin on a spinning reel, get it to the boat in extra quick time and our newbie mate gets to grab the leader for the first time, and then gets dragged all around the cockpit. You just can’t script that!

Another fond memory was heading to a place I’ve never fished before, which I won’t give away. I had my dinghy, some tackle, some bait and some berley, but no local knowledge. The script was I would use my experience to try and track down a feed of snapper, which went really well, but we didn’t count on packs of kingfish and even Hapuku showing up in the shallows. It went so well we had time for an unplanned fish off the rocks in the afternoon, and I ended up practically hand feeding a big snapper before catching and releasing it. You just can’t script that!

The unscripted attacks from kingfish, marlin work ups just off the coast and sharks turning up to tax our catch is going to make this our best series yet. So tune in and let us know what you think. Visit our website or check out our facebook page and get a sneak peak at what is coming in this series. You’ll find it all at www.thefishingshow.co.nz or on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/TUFShow. Keep ‘em tight!

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