Mad Fish Blog 6: Don't get fooled again?

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    Mad Fish Blog 6, posted June 20, 2006:

    Sometimes things aren't always as they appear to be.

    Ever been tricked before? Ever been made a fool of? Ever wonder, "Hey, what just happened there, man?"

    Yeah, that just happened to me. Recently I was at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. I was there with my wife, Angela, and producer of "Beat Charlie Moore" and good friend Doug Orr. And, yes, my phone rang right before the start of the Pearl Jam concert.

    And, oh, by the way, Doug Orr … well, know that he's a complete Pearl jam freak. I mean this kid loves Pearl Jam.

    So the last thing that I want to do is get a call from Blue Dolphin and bail on the event. So after I got the Blue Dolphin call, I was informed that I would be fishing for bass with the owner of Lunker City Fishing Specialties, Herb Reed.

    This is where the ever-been-tricked-before part comes into play. Herb issued the challenge through Blue Dolphin and told Blue Dolphin that is was for bass. So I showed up on Rhode Island with all of my freshwater bass gear, only to find out that Herb meant saltwater bass. It completely freaked me out.

    I was like, "Herb, that was a good move man."

    OK, so we're down the dock. Here's the deal. Herb put together two tackle boxes. Each tackle box had identical lures. They were made up of Slug-Gos and Salt Shakers, and, of course, the No. 1 striper bait in the world, the Fin-S-Fish.

    So now we know what we're using now for baits.

    Herb called upon Jim White from the White Ghost Guide Service out of Rhode Island. Here's another twist: Jim was gonna fish with Herb and they were a team, and I was gonna fish with Justin White, Jim's son.

    OK, the stage is set and we're off. Let me just tell you something. The fishing was, how do I say … awesome.

    It was truly one of the most fun days I've had on the water in a long time, partly because I was so excited to be fishing for striped bass and also the fishing was that good.

    It was set up to be a six-hour team tournament. Basically, from the first stop, it was nonstop the entire day. Have you ever taken the new Slug-Go and thrown it tight to shore near a bunch of rocks and, all of a sudden, splash, an 8-pound striped bass in three feet of water?

    That, my friend, is fun.

    Of course, true to form, Herb was talking up a big game and I had about 9 million one-liners. But, at the end of the day, we caught a ton of bass and we all had a great time taping this episode.

    Before I say goodbye, some fishing advice from the Mad Fisherman:

    If you're even remotely thinking about attempting to get catch one of these beautiful striped bass and you are not going to use any of Herb's baits, then basically you're nuts.

    And if you're looking for a real good color to catch striped bass, the black and/or white Slug-Go was the lure that was hot, hot, hot on this episode.

    Remember, too, if you're planning on fishing, who cares how many, who cares how big, just enjoy the sport because it's fun.

    Until next time, I'm the Mad Fisherman — Charlie Moore.

    Mad Fish Blog 5, posted June 9, 2006:

    So you wanna host 30 episodes of TV in a 12-month period, do ya?!

    Sounds great. Most people would jump at that opportunity; but, unfortunately, you've gotta give up a lot, as well.

    I remember a time when I used to be able to fish 15 bass tournaments a season. Now because of my ridiculous schedule, I can barely get two to three tournaments a year. Of course, Season II of "Beat Charlie Moore" was like fishing 12 bass tournaments in itself. Yeah, let me bring it up again — I was 12 and 0.

    Anyway, back to the bass tournament thing. After 30 episodes this season, personal appearances, and a bunch of blah, blah, blah, blah I only get to pick two to three bass tournaments a year.

    That being said, the 30th Annual Ocean State Bassmaster Tournament was held in May. I said to myself, "Man, wouldn't this be cool for a TV show? Challenge 160 other guys that have no clue that I'm even coming."

    I mean it's a bass tournament, so these guys are going to be ready to go. And sure, they might have an idea that maybe I'll be there to fish, but to actually issue a "Beat Charlie Moore" challenge, well that'll be really cool.

    I called my producer Doug Orr and ran the idea by him. Doug was like, "It's a good idea. If you don't win, what are you gonna do for the bass fisherman?" I told Doug, "If I lose, I will lay out an extra $300 for first place, $250 for second and $150 for third, and an extra $250 for lunker."

    Now that the stage was set, I needed my partner. Well, fishing buddy.

    Anyway, watch the show. You'll get my take on the phrase "fishing partner." But really, I fish tournaments, again two to three a season, and I have for the past four to five years with Joel St. Germain from Rhode Island. Joel's the only person to ever make the Classic not only once but twice from Rhode Island. Sounds good, but who knows if that will actually help us win.

    I called Joel once I got the OK from Doug, and Joel was freakin' out. He thought it was a great idea and people at home would really enjoy this style show. However, he did say that he was not going to help pay if we lose. I was like, "Man, that's weak."

    However, he did say that he would throw me one Okuma reel and a bunch of rattletraps. Joel was like, 'Deal, or No Deal?" I said, "Done."

    Joel came to my house the night before the big tournament. We sat down with Doug, Ryan and my entire family and discussed tournament strategies for the next day.

    Joel and I both agreed that the rattletrap and the tube bait would be the two baits that would catch the most fish. With the recent floods here in the northeast, we were concerned that the fish would be completely mixed up. I never go into a tournament thinking I can't catch some quality fish on the Lunker City Fleck Spinnerbait.

    We arrived at the ramp and I issued the challenge to 80 other teams. All of the guys were excited that Joel and I were there with an ESPN crew. A lot of good fishermen were at this event. And make no mistake, you know who you are fishing against. There are certain guys that Joel and I knew will always come in with a good sack of fish.

    The day started out very slow. The shallow water bite was gone. Not sure if it was because of the water level or what the deal was. We decided to go to a few weed patches and decided to scrape a limit of 10 fish.

    Joel started things off by putting the first 4 fish in the boat. I was kind of tired, so I took a nap. And I'm definitely a 4th quarter player.

    Towards the end of the day, I came alive. And as it turns out, we brought in 10 fish. Joel brought in 5 and I brought in 5. Just like we had thought the night before.

    I really made a push with the rattletrap for the last hour of the tournament. Both Joel and I were very upset that we did not get a big fish.

    I will say that the toughest part of doing the show was to issue a challenge from Joel and me to 160 other guys, and we also gave up a lot of our day to film this episode, stopping for takes, making sure the crew got all that they needed.

    At one point during the day while we were filming, my manager brought out two reporters from newspapers to do a story on my two shows. I turned to Joel and said, "Do they think this is a fake tournament?"

    We have to do one thing, and that is WIN.

    I want to thank all of the fine fishermen that fished this event. I want to thank the Ocean State Bassmaster for hosting us. I wish could explain a little bit more about the outcome, but you'll have to watch the show.

    If there is one tip that Joel and I can give you from doing this show and bass tournament it is: Sometimes if you stick with one or two lures the entire day in the same area, you will catch your limit. It seems to be a decision every bass fisherman has to make — should I leave my fish to find some fish. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

    In this tournament it was a good decision that Joel and I stayed and caught a limit of fish.

    Until next time, I'm the Mad Fisherman — Charlie Moore.

    Mad Fish Blog 4, posted May 8, 2006:

    I got the call from Blue Dolphin. I found out that I was heading to Texas. I was told to pack my golf bag and my fishing tackle, because this challenge was going to be unique.

    Drew Bledsoe, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, and Ben Crane, professional PGA golfer, were going to take me on in a really different kind of challenge. We were going to golf and then fish and then golf. Huh!

    The biggest challenge to me not ever seeing the golf course before was how I was going to catch fish on a pond that I have never seen in my life? What lures should I bring?

    As I started to pack, I realized that most small ponds that I fish, I like to throw Mepps ¼-ounce, in-line spinners. I absolutely love throwing these lures, especially during the springtime months.

    I also packed 4½-inch white Lunker City Sluggos.

    A lot of people want to know why the Mad Fisherman throws white Sluggos. I love the visibility of this bait, to be able to see the white lure and then it's gone. I wait a couple of seconds and then I set the hook.

    These baits are also great for shoreline fishing. Certain baits aren't that great: open hooks, crankbaits, even jerkbaits.

    Again we are fishing very differently here. We are on a golf course with shallow ponds that may consist of weeds and wood.

    Ok, now I have my custom Texas tackle bag all ready to go to kick Drew Bledsoe's butt. Now it's time to dig out my Ben Hogans out of the closet.

    All right, let's take a timeout here and talk about my golf game. I DON'T HAVE ONE. Any questions?

    But someone who does is my producer, Doug Orr. Doug is a die-hard golfer. So the day before our big showdown in Texas, I tried to get a lesson from my buddy Doug.

    Yeah, that didn't work, either. Bottom line is that I knew I was going to lose the golf and that I needed to win the fishing. A lot of people don't realize that some of the best fishing in the country is in these small golf ponds.

    Back here in New England, I have caught some of my biggest fish out of golf ponds. So, all in all, I am really excited to go to Texas to take on Drew and Ben.

    And before I bug out to my next challenge, here is a little tip. Small golf ponds are a great place to take a whole bunch of the neighborhood kids out for a few hours of fishing and fun. Just watch out for the incoming golf balls … especially with people like me teeing off.

    I hope you enjoy this episode with Drew and I. We had a lot of fun making it. Drew is a great guy and I wish him and Ben a bunch of success for the upcoming season.

    Oh, wait, I can't leave yet. I have to tell you one more thing. Ben Crane actually thinks that he is a professional bass fisherman, not a pro golfer. This guy absolutely loves to fish, and I think out of all of the people who were trying to beat me on this episode, that award goes to Ben.

    Until next time, I'm Charlie Moore, The Mad Fisherman. FORE!

    Mad Fish Blog 3, posted April 10, 2006:

    Before I talk about my next big challenge, I want to address a little bit about what "Beat Charlie Moore" means to me.

    First of all, I grew up with a fishing pole in one hand and a football and a baseball in the other. Fishing and sports were always a big part of my life.

    Believe me, I ripped up Boston Harbor as a kid, catching flounder, blue fish, cod and striped bass.

    But I also grew up with the hopes of becoming an actor or a TV star. Bottom line is that I love to fish, but I love to entertain even more.

    There are a lot of fishing shows that need to be very informative or catch big fish in order for the show to be considered a success. "Beat Charlie Moore" is all about showing people how fun the outdoors can be.

    People don't want to watch TV and be bored. People want to watch TV and be entertained. The show really isn't about anything other than that.

    Now like I said, don't get me wrong, I LOVE to fish; I'm a psycho fisherman. But I also have a responsibility to create one of the most unique outdoor shows ever. And, remember, fishing is all about the experience and having fun. And, believe me, no one has more fun than I do.

    OK, guess what? We're going to Florida. I know, I know … Florida. But it's not the Sunshine State, really. It's the sportsman state.

    Florida is awesome. Yep, Blue Dolphin called and I'm heading to Florida. The challenger: Lamarr Cox. And this is not going to be no ordinary challenge, folks.

    I'm heading to Melbourne, Fla., and we're gonna go bass fishing, air-boat driving and frog gigging. Now I have been fishing in the Melbourne area before, but Lamarr's taking us into the swamp. I'm talking the swamp.

    And we're staying out all night long … because Lamarr says that he wants to grab him a gator. Bottom line is that I might be a little bit out of my element.

    So while standing at the ramp as Lamarr launches his beautiful air boat, I turn to my executive producer and editor, Doug Orr, and I asked him to please give me Blue Dolphin's phone number. Then Doug told me that he doesn't even know who Blue Dolphin is.

    I said, "Well, all right, but this is going to be one of the most unique 'Beat Charlie Moore' episodes ever."

    We took off on the air boat. I have never been on an air boat before, and I have to tell you it was a complete rush. Not too far from the ramp, we started to see tons of wildlife, oh, and 9 million gators. I felt like I was filming for a Discovery document.

    We soon got to our spot and, of course, true to form, fishing was slow. It was a hot, hot calm day; not real good fishing conditions, but we caught a few bass.

    Lamarr decided to take us to a little cabin that he had in the woods for several years. He took off in the air boat. Ryan Moore, my cameraman, and Rusty were trailing in the airboat behind us. That's the last time I saw them.

    About 15 minutes later, I received a panic call on my cell phone. Ryan and Rusty had run up on a mud bar, and there were about four or five huge gators all around the boat. We went back and rescued them. It was very, very funny.

    So back to the cabin in the woods, which was an old hunting and fishing lodge, Lamarr cooked up some bluegill and hush puppies. We ate, talked, smoked cigars and headed out for a night of frog gigging. Did I mention that this was a really weird trip?

    Anyway, frog gigging is something that I do not do much of in Boston, but it sure was a lot of fun. Once we had a bucketful of frogs, we started to skin them up. Frog legs anyone?! They were goooood!!

    OK, it's about 1 o'clock in the morning, it's getting cold, we've caught some bass, we've cooked some food, gigged up some frogs and spent the entire day with a whole bunch of gators. All in all, NOT your typical day on "Beat Charlie Moore."

    It was a great experience for what seemed like two days in the swamp with Lamarr. The whole crew really enjoyed this challenge, which was basically called "Surviving Lamarr's Tour."

    Well, I guess you'll have to see if I did survive. But I can tell you one thing: I had a whole lot of fun filming this episode of "Beat Charlie Moore."

    — Charlie Moore

    Mad Fish Blog 2, posted March 10, 2006:

    Blue Dolphin calls, always at the last minute, and I have to drop everything and head off to my new challenge.

    A lot of fans ask me who Blue Dolphin is and if this part of the show is real. For the most part, reality television is really not that real at all; but believe it or not there are a lot of times that I do not know where I am going until Blue Dolphin calls and, no, I don't know who Blue Dolphin really is.

    That being said, I got a call recently to head to White Springs, Fla. My challenger this week — the "Z" man. Yes, that's right … Mark Zona. You know, the second funniest guy on ESPN2 (and formerly co-host of "Loudmouth Bass").

    Once I got the call and knew that I would be doing a show with Zona, I knew right away that it was going to be a combination of "Jimmy Houston Outdoors" and "Animal House," and leaning a little bit more toward "Animal House."

    At this point, I know of Mark by watching him on "Loudmouth Bass" with his partner in crime Jay Kumar. Early on in their season, Mark had three wishes of who he could fish with, I was No. 2 on his wish list.

    I figured Blue Dolphin would be setting this up somewhere, but the bottom line was that I was heading to the Sunshine State to fish against Zona and live out my version of "Animal House." Hmmm, sounds like a good show.

    We get to White Springs, Fla. We are all staying in a log cabin on the lake. I grab my tackle bag and Zona says, "Let me check out your lures."

    I opened up the bag and took out a big stash of poker chips. Zona's like, "Oh, man, you're on fire!" See that's Zona's go-to line. I followed it up with mine. "Yeah, that's money!"

    Anyway we sat down and had one heck of a poker game.

    Zona and I were excited about fishing the next day. We started to discuss strategies. Mark decided to make it a three-fish limit. In my head, I was thinking more like five. Oh, boy, I hope that didn't backfire for me.

    Anyway, we decided on three-fish limit, and this place that we were fishing is a hog factory. But Mark and I were really concerned about the 25-degree temperature swing.

    I was concerned about Mark opening up a small box that was shipped to him. I said, "Z, what's up with the box?" He replied, "Oh, just a little something that Marty Stone sent me. He told me that these lures would work well here."

    OK, so they did. I am a little upset that Marty didn't send the Mad Fisherman a few gifts of love. Oh, well.

    Fishing was awesome; although like we thought, it wasn't easy.

    Once the fishing was done, because of all the smack talk regarding Z's White Sox and my Red Sox, how were Z and I going to settle this? Well, how about a good old game of whiffle ball.

    Let's go over the lineup: Mark Zona and Bob Sylvester vs. Mad Fisherman and producer Doug Orr. Here are the rules: 3 innings, 2 outs an inning. They're up first.

    Let's just say that they had a long first half of the inning. We all quickly realized that the whiffle ball game was going to be a blood bath. Both Z and I wanted the whiffle ball game more than the fishing. After all, we are representing our hometown teams.

    As you know, I am not going to tell you who won the fishing challenge or the whiffle ball game, but my show isn't really about who wins or who loses. It's about the experience of spending time filming another episode of "Beat Charlie Moore."

    Between the poker, watching movies, catching bass, playing whiffle ball and telling fishing stories, at the end of the day it really doesn't get any better than this.

    Zona was a great guy. We lived out our version of ESPN2's "Animal House." But, you know, it's called "Beat Charlie Moore." Zona, I only have one more thing to say: "Rematch."

    — Charlie Moore

    Mad Fish Blog 1, posted Feb. 15, 2006:

    I have been reading Bassmaster magazine for many years. So, when the challenge came in from Blue Dolphin that James Hall, editor of Bassmaster, wanted a piece of me, I was off to Orlando, Fla., for the big showdown.

    After all, even if I lose and don't catch as many fish as James, I'm still in Florida, in the middle of January, in 75-degree weather, with the sun shining, with Angela and the kids, hanging out at one of the many Disney theme parks, staring at a Japanese steakhouse for dinner.

    There will be no losers on any show.

    Upon my arrival in Florida, I went to BASS headquarters and hooked up with James Hall. The people were a lot of fun, and it seemed that most of them really enjoy watching "Beat Charlie Moore."

    Who knows?! They could've been full of it, or just trying to be nice to me. But, either way, it's still a really good TV show.

    James took me around the office and introduced me to all of the fine folks. I proceeded to wrestle James down to the floor and wrap him up with duct tape, and then … well, wait a minute, you're going to have to watch the show to see what happens next.

    After the introduction at BASS, the next day we decided to fish a lake. What was the name of that lake? Um … anyway, it was a great lake. It had lots of fish in it.

    James told me that he could catch more fish than I could in an eight-hour period. If I was to catch more fish than him, of course, I wanted a full-page article on the Mad Fisherman in the March issue of Bassmaster magazine.

    Let's just say that you might want to look out for that article.

    Anyway, during the day of fishing, my producer, Doug Orr, would blow a whistle every 30 minutes. This would indicate that it was time for a trolling motor change. It's all about who gets the trolling motor.

    Before the show even started, I paid Doug $50, so I would have more time than James did.

    James was a ton of fun. It really was a pleasure spending a few days with him and meeting all the great staff at BASS.

    "Beat Charlie Moore" is the most fun outdoor show, period. This show will kick off Season 3 on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

    Check back for more Mad Fish Blog, as I am heading to Panama City and many other great destinations. Until then, have fun on and off the water.

    — Charlie Moore