Digest — May 2004
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
Beyond the Edge
|Part 2: The foursome got some video equipment, hired a couple of cameramen, and went fishing.|
“I thought, we fish, we freedive, and we explore local culture. We should do our own show,” Fischer says with confidence, adding, “and we just decided we would make a pilot.” Knowing he’d need a vessel with range, Fischer bought Go Fisch; her derated 550-hp Detroit Diesel 8V-92s provide her with a 1,500-mile range. Once he had the boat, Fischer went back into his pocket and funded the pilot. That’s confidence, especially considering Melissa, a former actress, was also the only one with TV experience. The foursome got some video equipment, hired a couple of cameramen, and went fishing. They didn’t just film 30 minutes of the back of an angler’s head while everyone watched a bent rod; they shot extensive underwater freediving and spearfishing segments, out-of-the-way landlubber spots, and excellent gourmet galley pieces, too.
With McBride’s and Traylor’s extensive knowledge of the “in-between” places and Fischer’s new take on the fishing-show format, the pilot must have made quite an impression, as restaurant giant Red Lobster signed on to sponsor a full-blown series. With a budget, the foursome lived aboard Go Fisch for two years, searching for angling adventure. The first season’s segments aired on the Outdoor Life Network, but were quickly picked up by ESPN2. It became obvious that viewers appreciated both the content and the crew’s chemistry.
Some segments show the anglers catching giant halibut and king salmon in front of jaw-dropping Alaskan landscapes, while others provide an underwater up-close view of freediving and spearfishing yellowtail, pargo (a.k.a. dogtooth snapper), dorado, and wahoo in the surreal blue Pacific off Mexico and Central America. And then there are the billfish battles that make you jump out of your chair like a last-minute touchdown on Super Bowl Sunday. Take, for instance, Melissa’s black marlin, which she almost caught on the Hannibal Banks off Panama. When the 100-pound mono on her 50-wide standup outfit started tearing off, she grabbed the rod and locked up. Melissa knew she was in for a ride. “It was a tough fight, and it took me to physical places I didn’t think I could go,” she recalls. “After almost two hours of fighting (later edited down to fit the half-hour time slot), I’d gotten almost all the line back.” But when the boat suffered an engine problem and couldn’t chase down the fish, the estimated 800-pound black marlin broke free. Yet even this lost-fish segment aired, further endearing the Go Fisch crew to its audience. After all, every angler has at least one “big fish that got away” story.
Having been up, down, and under the waters from Alaska to Panama, what’s next for the crew and show? Fischer was off to Ecuador the day after we spoke (he and Melissa now commute to Go Fisch about 12 days a month to film the show). Ultimately, Fischer says he would like to get a bigger boat—possibly a 100-footer—and do two years nonstop around the South Pacific, fishing and freediving where few, if any, anglers and divers have tread.
Sounds good to me. I wonder if they need a cabin boy.
Check www.offshoreadventures.tv or your local TV guide for air times.
This article originally appeared in the April 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.