Matt Watson is a fisherman, and like most fishermen he loves to share the stories of his biggest and best catches, yarn about the giant fish that got away or delve into the endless fishing theories on moon, tide, water temperature, baits, lures and hook sizes – just like the ocean, the bounds of fishing are endless.
But while of keen interest to anglers, such topics are a bore to many, including Matt’s wife Kaylene. She is so disinterested in fishing that when Matt returns from his adventures battling huge fish in far-flung destinations, she doesn’t even ask if he caught a fish, rather “What movies did you watch on the plane?”
Ironically, it was Kaylene’s disinterest in fishing (rather than Matt’s love of fishing) that kicked off the idea of a fishing show, which soon became The ITM Fishing Show – here’s how it happened…
For years Matt had tried to tell his wife about how cool his adventures were, but stories, photographs and numerous fishing magazine articles never got much more of a response than “oh good”. But the eureka moment came when Matt was watching some handy cam footage at home from a trip he’d just retuned from – Kaylene walked in and said “Holly sh*t look at the size of that fish! It’s huge. What is it?!!” The footage was of a leaping marlin, but that’s not important, what is significant is that Matt had discovered the way to communicate to people who aren’t into fishing just how cool it is – by showing them epic fishing action on film.
So with the seed planted, some weeks later Matt was sharing a beer (Lion Red to be precise) with a few mates in his shed, he listened as they groaned about fishing shows being boring – So without stopping to think (often the effect of beer) Matt blurted out “I reckon we could make a TV show.” While the fellas laughed off the suggestion, one of them, Kerren agreed.
And there it was - two guys in a shed with no TV experience, no funding, and no experience, but they had an idea and a passion for fishing. As luck would have it, just weeks later a ‘fishing video competition’ was announced on a tv sports show. So Matt penned a script, grabbed the handycam and assembled a crew to make a video to enter. This was the first thing Matt and Kerren ever made, filmed over the weekend and edited using two VHS video machines, and the masterpiece can be viewed via the link below - You’re about to get an appreciation of how rough these guys were in the beginning. (Check this out)
Well the video went down a treat with the judges, in fact it won. But it was far from good enough to pitch to a TV network. So with a long way to go, and funded by Matt’s mortgage, the pair set about teaching themselves how to film and edit. With no predetermined ‘rules’ for how TV should be made the footage was unique, both in terms of the content and the angles. A big part of it was the underwater footage, often filmed on underwater cameras designed and built in Matt’s shed, the homemade cameras proved perfect of getting up close to the action, floated out into chum trails or towed behind the boat. The amazing underwater action of fish attacking baits and lures had never been seen before, but the innovation of the homemade camera housings was mainly because Matt had run out of money and couldn’t afford a proper underwater camera or cameraman.
So after a lot of long nights cutting the footage on a home PC in the corner of the laundry, the pilot show was made…if it were a fairytale I would tell you a TV network took one look at it and gave them bucket loads of money. But the truth is that didn’t happen, it was just the start of a long road ahead, but it was a bona fide TV show and the start of many incredible adventures that have been captured on film and viewed by millions the world over.
To get in touch or find out more about The ITM Fishing Show or Matt Watson, simply ‘like’ The ITM Fishing Show’ and Matt Watson Extreme Fisherman on Facebook.