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Time For Some Hotshots TV
I noticed these New England fishermen on Instagram and saw they are working on their own fishing TV show. In doing this interview, I soon realized that Carter and Tommy have a great vision for what they want to do with the show. While Hotshots is not out yet, I am sure this interview will get you excited for this new take on fishing television.
GFN: Hotshots Fishing is a new fishing show coming this fall. What can you tell us about what the show will be all about?
Each episode of our show will be centered around a particular body of water or a specific region. A lot of fishing shows will go spend a day out on the water and shoot whatever the day brings, but for us it is rarely a one-day affair. Sometimes Tommy and I will spend days and even weeks fishing an area until we get something that we feel is worthy of hanging our hat on. Sure, there will be plenty of average catches mixed in, but we really want to make sure we don’t leave until we get something that catches our viewers’ attention. We will have boat segments on every episode, but we are really shore fisherman by nature, which is another unique aspect of our show. We’re really just a couple guys trying to hit the water from all angles until we get what we’re looking for. We’ll pull in local fisherman and pros to help us out along the way and give us advice. And we can’t forget about the comedic aspect of the show. Tommy & I will be putting together some pretty funny stuff to help mix it up.
GFN: When and where will folks be able to watch the show?
Right now, we have some options with both FOX and MyRI TV in the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts markets but the level of sponsorship we’re able to obtain will determine which station we go with. We’ve been given the green light to start airing episodes whenever we’re ready, but quite frankly, we started filming very late in the season and we’re just trying to get an episode or two out before winter right now.
2017 will most likely bring the first “Full” season of Hotshots Fishing. Depending on the station we go with, our show will air on either Saturday or Sunday morning. It sounds cliché, but filming a show is turning out to be a lot harder than we initially thought. It’s not catching the fish that’s the tough part, its making sure you get all the right angles and audio because you really only get one chance to capture it.
Luckily, we’ve had some help from Tony over at GetBentTV, who’s probably saved us years on both the production and fishing learning curves. He’s really been a great resource to both Tommy and myself, and being able to pick his brain with fishing show questions has been a very valuable resource for us.
GFN: Your slogan is "Two Fisherman. Two Totally Different Styles. One Goal: Catch Big Fish." Lets start with who each of you are. How long have each of you been fishing and how did you get started in the sport?
Carter: Fishing has always been a part of my life, but I’ll be the first person to tell you that for most of it, I was just a casual fisherman at best. It wasn’t until recently that I really started taking it seriously, studying techniques, investing in equipment, and well…starting a fishing show. That being said, I’ve always chased that rush of catching a big fish, and have no shortage of tales about the “one that got away”.
Tommy: I’ve had a fascination for wildlife ever since I could remember. Growing up I’d try to catch anything that moved, without hesitation. I started fishing when I was 6 years old; I didn’t have a rod so I would tie some line around my finger with a small hook and a ball of bread for bait. I would only catch blue gills out of the brook near my house but those memories would make me lifetime angler. Like Carter, I’ve only recently become serious about fishing this past year. Our competitive nature has always pushed us to new depths and fishing is our latest and most intense rivalry!
GFN: Two totally different styles: please explain. How are your approaches to fishing different?
Carter: I think the funny part of all of this is that our fishing styles really aren’t so different from each other. The slogan is more about our personalities which is probably evident at first glance. Tommy is more of the free spirited wild fire guy and I’m a little more reserved and tactical in my approach. I’ve got the military haircut, and he’s got the lion’s mane. I’ve got the sleeves, and well…he doesn’t. The ironic part is that I arguably push the limits a little further when fishing whether it be walking out 25ft on a submerged log to get just the right angle on a cast or wading out neck deep into some murky water. Then again, Tommy’s been known to climb a few trees himself.
Tommy: Carter is on point with his explanation. We have distinct styles but we inevitably adopt a lot of our techniques from each other. This pushes us to think outside the pond and suggest different approaches so we can take credit for the big catch no matter who reels it in! Carter’s right, he likes to get at the hard to reach spots to find those hidden gems. He has the finesse to navigate the hang ups and coax the shy fish out of hiding. I like to fish more obvious structures that I know will produce. To me, fishing is a numbers game and I like to have the best odds.
GFN: You do have the united goal of catching big fish. For each of you, what is your most proud personal best? You can pick the species but what is the one fish you caught that you will tell the fish story with pride anytime you get the chance. And what is the story behind each of your picks?
Carter: When it comes to fish tales, I always go back to the story of when I was a kid and I went fishing at a local pond a few miles down the road with my younger brother one summer. I was fishing a short neon green grub from a shallow peninsula with plenty of cover. I hadn’t caught anything there in maybe 4 trips but I was determined to pull something out. My patience paid off that day and I hooked a fish that gave me more fight than anything I’ve snagged to this day. I honestly thought my cheap little rod was going to snap on me but I somehow reeled it in after quite a battle. Turned out it was just a pickerel, but at the time, it was the biggest fish I’d ever seen in person. Honestly, I think that fish is the reason I’m addicted to the sport today. The rush of the fight, the uncertainty of whether I’d be able to haul it in, and the gratification of pulling that thing out of the water is something I’ve been chasing every day since. It was probably only two or three pounds and wouldn’t be anything I’d brag about now, but if you could’ve seen my brother and I jumping around, you’d have thought we just won the lottery.
Tommy: I caught my personal best last Sunday and we just released a teaser featuring the fish. It was high noon at a local pond and I was fishing a deep drop off between two downed trees that Carter landed a decent 3.5lber on a couple weeks before. We had a really slow day and I didn’t expect much with the temps rising. I cast my Texas rigged Yamasenko out and watched the line as I waited for it to reach the bottom. Within a few seconds I saw the line dragging across the water and I knew I had something. I immediately set the hook and could feel right away that it was no average fish. It was darting back and forth between the logs and I knew I had to let it tire itself out before I could pull her in. As she got closer she flipped out of the water in a frenzy trying to break free. She darted under the log and nearly pulled me in the water with her. After a minute she was spent and I pulled her in for a quick pic and weigh-in before releasing her.
GFN: You are from Massachusetts. What New England waters will you be fishing on the show?
Carter: You can be sure we will be fishing both the Wachusett and Quabbin Reservoirs by next season. These massive bodies of water provide some of the best fishing in New England but also present some real challenges and require you to really focus on what you’re doing. On top of that, we’ll be fishing a lot of ponds which is what we truly enjoy. Massachusetts has no shortage of them and that’s what we really grew up fishing.
We also plan on expanding outside of New England for next season as well, and I’m in the process of trying to book some fishing trips across the country. For example, we’d love to try and book an Everglades bass fishing trip for the spring.
GFN: From what I can see so far, the show is definitely going to have a comedy element to it. Fun on the water and good comedy comes from the relationship we have with our favorite fishing partners. What makes each of you a great fishing partner for the other?
Carter: Comedy is definitely going to be a heavy part of our show. We’ll be breaking up the seriousness of our excursions with set fishing comedy skits that keep things interesting to say the least.
Tommy and I have been friends since we were in Middle School so naturally, we get along really well. On top of that, we have always been bugging each other to start some kind of a show and fishing just happened to fit the bill for us. We are probably laughing at least 50% of the time we are out fishing. The fact that we are able to outlet some of that with our skits on the show I think will give the viewers some real insight into what it’s like to hang out with us for a day.
Tommy: I’ve known Carter for over 15 years now and one thing has been constant; we’re both clowns...he might say speak for yourself. We’ve always had like interests in sports and hobbies but very distinct personalities; it lends itself to a unique comedic chemistry. We’re both extremely creative and have a knack for entertaining and making people laugh. It’s been a long time coming and now we have the time and resources to make a product that will really captivate people’s imaginations.
GFN: In making the show, what have been your favorite moments so far?
Carter: Watching Tommy get his Personal Best fish on camera recently had to be one of the best moments for me as just a fan of fishing in general. I think I was probably yelling louder than he was when it happened. Aside from that, coming up with new comedy sketch ideas has to be the most fun. I mean Tom and I are usually dying in laughter before we even shoot the scene most of the time.
Tommy: Yeah I have to agree with Carter. We’ve been working hard through these tough summer months to find some screen worthy fish and it finally paid off with a personal best. We’ve faced a lot of criticism with the location we’ve been working and it feels good to be rewarded for following our instincts. Coming up with new skits and filming them is definitely a close second to catching big fish. We never have a bad day on the water when we can pull out the camera and make fools of ourselves.
Thanks so much Tommy and Carter. Wishing you both the best with your fishing and show. Can't wait for the first episode.