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New world fishing

4/8/2010

On Tuesday, April 6, Elite Series pro Kevin Short fished a watershed lake in central Arkansas live on Bassmaster.com.

If you had a chance to catch some of the Live Fishing Show that aired on ESPNOutdoors.com and Bassmaster.com on Tuesday, all I can say is "Thank You" for clicking on and viewing. Hope you learned something from being "in the boat" with me that will help you catch more fish your next time on the pond.

For those who missed it, you might be asking, "What could possibly be so great about watching K-Pink catch a couple of bass?"

The neat thing and truly unique aspect of the whole experience was the fact that you, the viewer, could watch over my shoulder, think of a question regarding what I was doing, and send that question through your keyboard and across the invisible airwaves to a laptop on the back deck of my BassCat.

Rob Russow (hereby dubbed R2) could read the question and I could answer your question all within a matter of a few seconds. Pretty dang sweet, that technology thing.

How does all that work? I have no freakin' clue. But work it did and it worked well, too. I was blown away when R2 told me we had received over 400 comments and questions throughout the course of the day. Absolutely amazing.

I talked so much on Tuesday that my throat was sore Tuesday night. Not sure that I've talked that much ever while fishing. It's pretty hard to concentrate on answering a serious question while I'm seriously trying to concentrate on whether that was another rock my Jewel football jig bumped up against or a bite from another 6 pounder.

Try it the next time you're out with a buddy. Have him ask you a serious question and work on giving him a serious answer, without putting a bunch of "er's" and "um's" in it like I did (gotta work on that), and see how well you do with it. Kind of tough.

I hope this is just the tip of the iceberg for live fishing over the internet. I'm not going to go all out on the limb and say that shows of this type could be the future of fishing edu-tainment, but shows of this type could just be the future of fishing edu-tainment.

Hell, I ain't scared. This could well be how we watch fishing in the near future. And what's wrong with that? The only thing better than what we saw Tuesday would be standing on the deck of the BassCat with me — and you were dang close to that. With the interactivity of the Q & A, this type of programming has the potential to be a monster; just a monster, I tell ya!

There are a few things technically that need to be ironed out. Hey, this is pretty groundbreaking stuff that we're doing here. Sure, we saw the Kyte cameras in action last year at Oneida, during the postseason, and then again during this year's Classic, but that's a different animal. Most of the Kyte clips are short, one way, we-shoot-you-watch bits.

We're not talking hour upon hour of streaming video here. Very cool, but very one sided. With the interaction from viewers that we saw Tuesday, we've leaped ahead by light years in outdoor programming. Light years.

No longer do we have to wonder how long it took to catch all those fish. What happens and when it happens during the day, is what you see. No retakes. No cuts. No editing. No staging. It is what it is and that's all it is. Want a "real" reality show? You watched the realest you can get on Tuesday. Period.

Was the show perfect? Not by a stretch. We need some hardware improvements in the form of wireless mics, which will most likely be resolved before you see the next one. We also need to be able to archive the shows for future viewing. After all, not everyone has the luxury of sitting around watching 5 or 6 hours of fishing; the boss might walk by or something.

That and the fact that not everyone who wants to watch sits in front of a computer all day long is another reason to have the shows available for viewing on demand.

My buddy Driller, who's a welder (go figure on the name), most likely would have watched every single minute, but he wasn't able to see a second of the show. He's a perfect example of the thousands of potential viewers not able to watch a live show during a work day. These are things that will come with time and probably a short amount of time, at that.

Will this make fishing shows on boob tube obsolete? I'm not going that far. I will say that the producers of taped shows need to take notice, though. Just might be a new kid in town. (Not me, the live thing.)

It's a brand new world out here.

For more info on Kevin Short or to contact Kevin, check out his Web site at www.kfshort.com.