Saltwater Fishing Podcast
Miles Burghoff is a College Bass Fishing Champion, traveling professional Bass Fisherman and cohost of Sweetwater Television Show. I have worked with Miles for several years and enjoy talking with him. I have been a guest on Sweetwater as I took the boys fishing for big Redfish in Venice, LA and have fished with both Joey and Miles.
Miles and I sat down for a discussion on his move back from California, the challenges of making a television fishing show, mutual friends and strategies for sponsorship.
Miles Burghoff is an accomplished tournament bass fisherman and co-host of Sweetwater Fishing TV with Joey Nania. While Sweetwater is primarily a bass fishing show, they also tackle all kinds of freshwater fish. Tom Rowland met Burghoff because he was recommended to Rowland as a potential host for a freshwater fishing show.
+ Relevant Links
http://sweetwaterfishingtv.com/ http://www.waypointtv.com/ http://www.saltwaterexperience.com/ http://intothebluefishing.com/ https://lewishowes.com/sogpodcast/ https://upandvanished.com/listen2/ https://serialpodcast.org/ http://podcasts.joerogan.net/ http://jimharshawjr.com/podcast/ https://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/ http://jockopodcast.com/
+ People Mentioned
Tom Rowland Miles Burghoff Joey Nania Rich Tudor Steve Rodger Scott Walker Louis Wellen Bob Bagby John Kushernick Shaw Grigsby Kevin VanDam
When Tom Rowland and Rich Tudor were tasked with finding potential hosts for a freshwater fishing show, Miles Burghoff’s name quickly came up. Since starting Sweetwater Fishing TV, Rowland and Burghoff have become good fishing buddies and even better friends.
Today’s talk really focuses on what the world of sponsorship looks like, since that is one of the main subjects people ask both of these pros about. They discuss how they both got started in the industry, things they have done to create a larger audience, and the value of networking and staying humble.
Listen in to learn the ins and outs of sponsorships, the best podcasts to get you through your next road trip, and why Burghoff’s nick name is “Sonor”. HINT: It has to do with the hit television series, MAS*H!
Tom Rowland: I'm Tom Rowland. This is the Tom Rowland Podcast. [music] Tom: Hey, everybody. This is Tom Rowland. Today's show features a good friend of mine, Miles Burghoff. Miles Burghoff is the co-host of Sweetwater Television with Joey Nania. These guys travel all over the place and fish for mostly freshwater fish with some salt water. Miles and I have a good conversation about how we got started. What the world of sponsorship looks like? How does somebody get into this world? What are the most common questions that people are asking both of us?
A little bit of advice both given to us by mentors that have really played a big part in the success that we've both had in the fishing world and in the sponsorship world. Just understanding that world and seeing what it is that as an angler. We're trying to accomplish to best serve the sponsor; a lot of people don't quite understand that. Luckily, we both had some good mentors that it helped us out along the way so that knowledge is shared.
As well as what Miles does on the road, what he listens to? How a bass fisherman travels around the country, is it lonely? You bet. Is it sometimes boring? Probably, very often. This conversation is not boring. Miles is a good conversationalist, he likes to laugh and have a good time. I learned a few things from this. We will get to that right after this. This episode is brought to you by Waypoint TV. Waypoint TV is an online platform, where you can get your favorite hunting and fishing shows for free on any device at any time.
You can literally go there and find the device that you want. There's either an app or you can download the app onto your smart TV or to your Apple TV. You can get it on your phone, your tablet, Android, Apple, doesn't matter this is available all over the place. The inventory of shows that they have is really getting to be impressive. Short films and some of the best salt water, fresh water, fly fishing, you name it, it's on there plus hunting and it's free. Go to waypointtv.com, check it out. Download the app, do whatever you need to to get it on your favorite device and start watching your shows.
Quit DVRing them, quit staying home on Saturday morning. Actually, go fishing on Saturday morning, that's a noble idea. You could actually go fishing instead of sitting home watching your fishing shows. Then you can watch a fishing show when you're going to work, in the uber, on the subway, wherever you're going, these things are available to you. Check out waypointtv.com and find out how you want to watch your favorite outdoor shows. Then start the engine, [unintelligible 00:03:01] way. Today's episode with Miles Burghoff starts now, everybody, meet Miles Burghoff.
Tonight I'm sitting here at my house with one of my friends. This guy and I have been working together for a few years. He is a tournament bass fisherman and an all-around good guy that came into my life because we started a new project. A lot of people know that we do saltwater experience; some people know that we also produce a show called Into the Blue. Even a smaller group of people might know that we also- my company also does a show called Sweetwater. Sweetwater is a bass fishing show primarily, but a freshwater show that tackles all different kinds of fish.
Last year, I think they fish for pike and muskie and smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappy, anything, trout, it's a freshwater show. Saltwater Experience is the show that I'm on with Rich. We fish in Florida primarily, in shallow flats for redfish permit, tarpon bonefish, sharks, those kind of fish. There's an offshore offshoot of that show called Into the Blue, with Steve Roger and Scott Walker. They fish offshore for the fish that they like to catch; sailfish, tuna, dolphin, all kinds of stuff, offshore. Then we also serve another part of the market with the fresh water show.
I was tasked a few years ago- I guess is four years ago now, this is a project that we wanted to tackle. Rich and I talked about it, we thought about, "Okay. What is a show that we should do?" We thought a freshwater show would be excellent. I was tasked with finding, we're creating a list. Coming up with a list of people that might be good hosts for the show.
I thought about one guy immediately that I had spent a weekend with traveling. Young guy, full of excitement and energy. Just on fire for the sport. On fire for fishing. His name was Joey Nania. Joey and I had traveled all around Mobile, Alabama over to Louisiana to do these Bass Pro Shop seminars. I got to spend a lot of time in the car with him. I was very impressed with Joey, so Joey was on on the list. I looked around, met with quite a few other bass fishermen.
Talked to one of my friends, Louis Wellen, who was a mentor of mine from Oakley. Louis was my first sponsor that really took an interest in me, in developing me as someone who could know anything about sponsorship. Louis was very, very patient with me and really I learned a ton about sponsorship. What companies are looking for? How I can be of a good servant and do a good job for a sponsor? When Louis tells me that he knows somebody that might want to talk to, I'm listening. Louis tells me, he gives me one name. He says, "Miles Burghoff". He says, "Miles is your guy. That's it. That's your guy".
When I heard that, I was like, "Okay. Well, if you're telling me that this guy is my guy, then I'm going to check it out". I went and made a phone call to Miles. Miles was excited about the opportunity. I went fishing with him. I was equally as impressed with Miles. It's fun to have Miles here. He drove the big hook wrapped truck right up into my driveway. We went out to dinner tonight and Miles is in the house tonight. Miles Burghoff.
Miles Burghoff: It's good to be here.
Tom: All right. Long introduction to how we got started working together, but that's really how it went down.
Miles: You're making me blush, man. That's actually hearing it from you, the story about Louis. I have the utmost respect for Louis. I was working with the Oakley Big Bass tour, that's how I got to know Louis. I got to know some of the guys like Quantum and I guess there were another maybe you talk to.
Tom: Bob Bagby and John Kushnerick, both.
Miles: Yes. Louis, to have his seal of approval, that's a big deal.
Tom: Louis to me, you have a few people in your life that come into your life at a certain time and really teach you something.
Tom: During the Great Outdoor Games, I went fishing in New York. Of all places, I'm trout fishing in New York. I look over at this guy that I'm fishing with and he's got these glasses on. I said, "What kind of glasses are those? He said, "These are Oakleys." They're the Frogskin, I don't know if you remember the Frogskin.
Miles: I know the Frogskin.
Tom: It was their first pair of four eyes glasses. They look like Vuarnets. They were [crosstalk] a different style, not really a fishing style. I was like, "Really? Let me see those". I put them on and I was like, "Man, I'm calling him when I get back". I didn't have any sort of sunglass sponsor and I really liked the Oakley glasses. I called them and Louis was my guy, that's who I got in touch with.
The first thing he said to me, he said, "I'll be happy to talk to you, but fishing really and on TV? Too much, is it?". I said, "Actually, it is and actually, I just was in this thing called The ESPN Great Outdoor Games. It was in on ABC and it was on ESPN and it was in front of 17 million people and I happen to win." He was like, "Really? I didn't know that it was on TV that much." He goes, "Here's what you need to do. You need to just send me an email on everything that you're doing." I said, "You just want to send an email on everything I'm doing?" He said, "Yes. You just go ahead and just write down whatever you're doing and send me an email." Louis became my journal. I mean, these emails to Louis became-- I don't know why I felt so open about doing this with him, but he assured me. He's like, "Look, man, I want to know everything you're doing and if we have any future together, you need to tell me everything that you're doing." I was like, "Okay." I'd do a radio interview. I come home and I'm like, "Louis, did a radio interview today talked about this and this and this. It was on this radio station of Florida Keys. This one I did one with the ESPN and then this and this."
I'm writing down all the stuff and over the years, I look back on those days and him telling me, "Well, that's great that you did that, but it really didn't help me at all. This over here that you did and you didn't think was helping anything, this free seminar that you did. Now, that is really good. You need to keep doing more things like that." What happened with my time with Louis is that he really taught me that you can go and do anything that you want to, but if you don't tell your sponsors about it, it really has no benefit to them. That's something that Louis taught me a lot doing.
At the time, when I first met him, I was a real grin and I still I am. We are all learning, but Louis automatically just struck me as somebody like, "I need to listen to this guy and he's actually listening to me. He sees and hire up on the at the Oakley staff." He started telling me about the same things that you're talking about. I wish I utilized that communication more, I see that was a mistake, I have kind of a perfectionist. That can be one of your biggest struggles with a lot of different things that you do.
Whether it's social media content or just anything you do for sponsors because I would be like, "I did this little seminar, there was only 20 people there." I don't think Louis wants to know about that. Over the time, I regret not communicating more with them about the little things. He was willing to listen and he was willing to give me advice based on my progress.
Tom: Yes. I think in sponsorship, it's important to let everyone know what you're doing. Today, it's easier than ever with social media. If you're doing a seminar with 20 people, there's nothing to be ashamed of.
Miles: No, there's not.
Tom: About doing the seminar with 20 people.
Miles: Absolutely not.
Tom: There are a lot of guys that don't do a seminar with 20 people in their entire career. There's certainly nothing to be ashamed of. In some seminars, you've going to have 20 people and some seminars, you're going to have 200 people. Some of the ones that you're going to have two or three people show up, those are actually the most important because those guys are going to go on and say, "Hey, I was at this random sports show and you see that guy on TV right there? I was at sports show and I sat there and talked to him for 45 minutes about nuts and he just sat there and talked to me."
That what a lot of people will remember and you can actually turn my fishing career around. You can turn whatever, around or you can just be a decent guy and spend a little time with somebody, answer a few questions. Those are the things that sponsors often are very, very interested in. Louis also gave me a piece of advice. I think it was Louis, maybe it was Shaw Grigsby. I don't know. Both of those guys at the same time. Sorry to get Louis and Shaw Grigsby confused.
Miles: [laughs] Mixed up?
Tom: Right. At the time, both of them were equally as influential on my fishing career that you are worth your audience. You are worth the size of your audience and that's something that always stuck with me. Back then, it was before the internet, it was before social media or anything like that. Certainly, before websites even that I just said, "Okay, well, if I need to increase my audience, I need more customers on the boat. I need to write articles, I need to take photographs. I need to do free seminars, I need to do paid seminars. I need to do tournaments, I need to do all of these things."
Every one of those things was a way of creating a larger audience. Today, there's even more ways to create a larger audience. Some people are really super good at it, some people are not as good at it. Today, there's more and more ways. Each of them is important and influential to a sponsorship. I learned a lot about Louis or I learned a lot from Louis even at another thing, maybe we may get into it later.
Fishing with Louis, I learned a lesson about myself, 15 years after this event had happened. I learned a lesson about myself that brought a lot of things very clear. I'll tell you about that another time, but very interesting, good times back then. Miles, tell us about where do you come from? How do you end up sitting on this couch right here talking to us?
Miles: Man, what a story?
Tom: Talking to me.
Miles: It's amazing how life works. If you really want something, how it happens, as long as you just keep yourself in it, keep the pressure on and it just develops. It's not exactly the plan that you wanted to be because it's unpredictable, but in the end, it's exactly where you want to be. Essentially, when I was-- To start the very beginning. We're up down in the Florida Keys, that's where I learned how to love the fish.
Tom: Florida Keys? Miles: Yes, at Marathon. Tom: Very cool. Miles: We did some saltwater fishing down there. Yes, I love to down there.
Tom: Now, wait. Why were you in the Florida Keys? What brought your family to the Florida Keys?
Miles: My dad bought a house down there. He just liked to live in Florida and so we moved down there. Tom: Your dad is retired at this point?
Miles: He is retired. That was way after the show. If for the listeners they don't know, my dad played Radar on MASH. My nickname is Sonar. That's why--
Tom: That's Radar and Sonar. Love it. [laughs]
Miles: Yes, Sonar, Radar. After MASH, he wanted to retire down there. We moved down there, then end up being his end location. It sure did give me a start in fishing. I absolutely just-- I was ate up with it, man. Then after that, we actually have a house in Connecticut so we go up there, that was on a freshwater lake. I remember catching my very first bass. It's a beautiful thing, man. At least, I think it was my first bass.
When you're little, you may have caught some more, but there's one that really just stuck with me, it was a smallmouth bass. I had this little lure that they used to sell at this tackle shop called Nicholas Foreign Goods. It was essentially this plastic lure that had a little hole strings. When you cast it out, this little legs would clap together on the surface.
Miles: Yes. No, really. It was awesome. I got a kick out of that. I remember casting that thing out there and the thing went to work. It was shaking its legs and then all of a sudden, there's just giant explosion. When you're a kid it's just anything is big. It ended up being like a three-pound smallmouth of bass, it was the coolest thing. Ever since then, I threw all the dorado, all the wahoo, and stuff there. I was catching with my dad offshore in the Keys. I was like, "I want to go the tournament bass." At that time, it was just bass fishing. Then I learned the tournaments.
I've been tournament fishing since high school and decided to move back to Florida, go to school on Florida. I picked the school based on its proximity of the lakes that I want to fish. I had it my mind that I was going to achieve my dream of becoming a professional fisherman. I moved into a trailer during that whole eight-year period, so I can keep my overhead low, stay close to the lakes that I wanted to fish and have focus. I didn't want to be out, partying all the time which would have been nice.
I had some lonely periods, but it worked out longer. It was the best experience and just the simple act of continuing to put that pressure on and stay out there and continue to network with people. I go to the bass master class. I'd wear the best clothes that I could possibly afford because I knew that I'd stand out against all these other guys that are going to these trade shows and they're just wearing sneakers and stuff. I knew that I'll look just different than the other guys that were approaching me, young guys. I just kept on going these shows, I get to meet people.
I started building relationships. It wasn't like I was sending these applications out for sponsorships. It just organically happened because they saw that I was there. I was raw on the work, I knew the hassle, I was trying hard. Then sooner or later, I got a call from a guy named Mark Jones. Him and a guy named Keith Odom, they run the Oakley Big Bass Tour which is now the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Tour. They had got my name from somebody else. They wanted me to host their show and I did it for two years. That's where I met Louis. Then Louis got me in touch with you. It just comes full circle.
It's a beautiful thing because you work so hard all these years to get someplace and it's not exactly where you think you're going to be. I actually thought that I didn't want to have my own fishing show. I was just like, "I just want to focus on tournaments." I don't want to have my focus split up between several different things. I want to go tournament fishing, that's it. Then all of a sudden, I get these opportunities and I find out something in myself that I'm just like, "I really enjoy this." It's really cool how it works.
Tom: That's funny. I want to talk about the sponsorship thing because one thing that I run into all the time and probably, I would say, of the top three subjects that I received messages on, emails or questions with where are this sports show or whatever, revolve around sponsorship, revolve around someone who wants to get to a certain place, feels like sponsorship is necessary, has no idea how to get there.
Sometimes, there's just not enough time to really put towards giving someone the information that they really need. I want to because it's good for that person, usually a kid. I want to because it's good for the industry, it's good for the sponsors that I work with. One thing that I run into a lot of times are individuals who feel as though they've caught some fish, they're pretty good, they may be won a tournament or two, and they deserve sponsorship.
Tom: Right, that's what I think. It's wrong. Dead wrong. Dead absolutely. Then it was a hard lesson for me to learn and it happened during the time that we were fishing in the Redfish Tournament. Our tournament experience starts in the Florida Keys where it's a different type of tournament. It's a guide who gets booked by a tournament. This tournament started as a way to fill in some slow time for the guides.
A September tournament is generally a very, very slow time. They started doing these tournaments that would bring anguish to the Keys, to have some fun, to fish in a tournament, and then the guide gets a little work. It also happens to be a charity event, which was a beautiful thing. Cystic Fibrosis, the Redbone Tournaments, raised huge amounts of money for Cystic Fibrosis, it was a wonderful thing. It also happens at a time where--
Tom: That's your sonar going off [laughs].
Miles: Yes, it is. I'll turn that off.
Tom: It actually sounds like sonar. It's by design. Anyway, these tournaments would happen at a time where it was really good for the guides. It injects money into the local economy. Basically, it is two guys fishing on the front of a boat, a guide on the back of the boat, skiff tournament supposedly. It's really designed to raise money for charity and give these guys an opportunity of fish, give the guide an opportunity to work. Well, just like any other type of a thing that starts that way, it becomes competitive very, very quickly. It's a reputation thing. You don't win money, but you win a reputation. If you are constantly the guy that is winning those things, you are going to end up getting a little bit more of an audience. This is before the internet when this is all happening like as was saying. It was an excellent way for your name to be at the top that scoreboard if you had anglers that could fish. That's one type of tournament.
Then we graduate to another type of tournament which is a professional caliber tournament, more like what you're used to fishing in, where you're fishing for money and you're moving around. That was in the Redfish Tournament. In these Redfish Tournaments, I learned my lesson about sponsorship in that, it was definitely not about how many tournaments you win. If you win tournaments, that is excellent. What is the most important is putting on an absolute positive impression for whoever it is that you represent.
That positive impression comes in a lot of different ways; the condition of your gear, how clean is your truck, are you driving like a madman down the road with all these sponsored people all over your car? Or are you being 100% professional? Are you saying hello to every little kid that you see? Are you waiting in line patiently at the boat ramp? Are you doing free seminars during the tournament? Are you doing them before the tournament or are you doing them after the tournament?
It became really, really obvious to me that an angler who never wins a tournament, but does a lot of free seminars or paid seminars, or writes articles, is way more valuable than a guy that wins a few tournaments here and there. I think that's a very tough thing to get across to someone who feels like, "Man, Kevin VanDam gets sponsored because he wins all these tournaments." True, but he's one of the hardest working guys, if not the hardest working guy in the bass industry, maybe even just fishing in general.
Believe it, I know Kevin. I don't know him very well, but I know him by reputation. I've run into him at many Quantum events where we're sponsored by a number of the same sponsors and we have run into one another. I'm always very impressed with his work ethic. That's what everyone always says about Kevin. What Kevin also will impress you with right away, he's a humble guy.
Miles: Really humble.
Tom: He is never going to walk past someone with his head held high and not have time for this guy. He's the most sponsored fisherman because he always has time for someone. Here's my perspective on the whole sponsor thing and I've learned the hard way like everybody else has. My perspective is that, as anglers, if you want to make a living as a professional angler, "You have to be in the mindset that your an ambassador, period."
You're not a tournament angler because nobody wants to pay you just take it to go fish tournaments. They're paying you to be an ambassador for the sport, get people excited about fishing, teach them how to fish. In turn, that's going to help the industry, people are going to buy our products and go fishing. That's exactly what you need to do and you do that through seminars, you do it through writing, just whatever it is. Nowadays, it is a social media, social media is the big thing. Getting people excited, you always want to have a positive attitude about everything that you do. Spend everything in a positive because you don't want to turn anybody off, you don't want to be negative about it, sponsors don't like that.
Miles: No, nobody likes that.
Tom: They're in this business to make money, it's business. There's nothing in the company handbook that says that they have to sponsor somebody, they could put their money somewhere else. The reason that the sponsorship is something that the companies do and they do put a substantial amount of budget towards is because anglers are the only real platform to get other anglers excited about fishing and bring more people into the sport and buy more products. Because I get the same question, with the limited success that I've had and it keeps on growing, I'm real humbled by it, I get a lot of questions about sponsorship.
First thing I tell somebody is, don't worry about it. Don't worry about sponsorship right now, focus on fishing because when you enjoy what you do, people are going to notice. Focus on fishing first, networking second, networking is huge. Staying professional and just meeting people, don't be soliciting for sponsorships all over the place because the most meaningful sponsorships, the most meaningful partnerships getting your own show-- With Joey, of course, you guys pressured me.
That all happen organically, I didn't send you guys the application for Sweetwater. It just happened because I realized that I just need to focus on my fishing and enjoying what I'm doing and providing a very positive atmosphere for the people around me. The reason that that something like that happens, in my opinion, is because you paid your dues and you had been paying your dues for many, many years so that when that opportunity does happen like flipping cards on a deck, when that card comes up, you're the first person anybody thinks about.
Obviously, there's some serendipity or some networking is excellent, you know Louis, I know Louis. I ask Louis, I'm thinking enough about this project that I start asking everybody I know, "Who do you recommend?" Well, I got your name from two different people. Obviously, you've been putting your work in and you weren't expecting anything, but that's what happened. It's because you were just doing it out of love for the sport, you're doing it because you’re trying to be a professional at this and your name comes up twice.
Then there's one more step that you actually have to- we have to get together. Then all of the things that I hear have to be consistent with what I see and that's exactly what happened. I'm really glad it did because I've enjoyed.
Miles: Me too.
Tom: Really enjoyed working with both you and Joey. We've created some pretty cool, I think, with Sweetwater.
Miles: I'm so happy that you gave me that, sent me that email because I remember when I was driving my wife to the bank, we're dropping off the rent. I saw your email, I'm like, "Tom Rowland?" I look you up on the internet because I'm not a saltwater guy, so I didn't know the great Tom Rowland. Then I flew back to Alabama and we met for the first time. I was pretty nervous taking you out fishing, we really sucked.
Miles: We didn’t catch much of anything. I'm glad that I made a good first impression.
Tom: It was good and that was great. What do you think the hardest thing about shooting a TV show is?
Miles: The hardest thing is by far leaving when the fish are biting because you catch as many fish as you need for the show and then you go do some post, some B-roll or something else, you do some tips or something. For example, we're just down at [unintelligible 00:29:56] the last year and filming a kayak episode. We got on the most amazing shallow water bass fishing bite. It was pretty amazing and then as soon as caught enough fish for the show the camera guy, our producer just said, “We’re done,” he's just like, “We’re good, let’s go in.” We’re like, “No.”
It’s so painful to leave a fish when they’re biting like that. That’s just how it goes, but that’s a good problem to have. It’s not always like that filming a show because you essentially on a regular fishing day, if you catch 10 fish on a filming day, you are only going to catch about 2, probably, I’d say.
Tom: Why is that?
Miles: Well, number one is--
Tom: I know why that is.
Miles: Yes. You know all too well. You're a saltwater guy, so you get all kinds of stuff by, when you throw a shrimp in the water and pretty much anything--
Miles: No, that's every time. Tom: Sometimes you're right. [laughter] Miles: No.
Tom: [unintelligible 00:30:56] going on right now and there’s a lot of shrimp going in the water and [inaudible 00:31:00].
Miles: The first thing is there’s a lot of moving parts when you’re filming a show. We’ve got three camera guys and a photographer on most shoots. We’re trying to make sure that everybody’s got their camera rolling and the batteries aren’t dead. Sometimes the fish or school are on the surface and you can’t make a cast. You just can’t make a cast until all those cameras are up or at least the majority of them are.
That’s really tough because you’re essentially "wasting" a lot of time. It’s obvious that we’re producing some good shows, some good footage, but it is frustrating because it takes a long time, it’s a process. Over time, this is the third year, I’ve learned to tone down a little bit. Just be there and just be ready to go fishing when the cameras are up. You learn some patience.
Tom: Yes. You definitely learn patience. The bass fishing show is definitely different than the saltwater shows, but there’s also a tremendous amount of similarities there. We got into shooting Saltwater Experience immediately on the hills of having some success on the Redfish Tournaments, which is very similar to the bass fishing. Man, if fish are there, you better catch them because they’re probably not going to be there in just a minute or this guy’s going to pull in on you and catch them. Those are probably the winning fish.
It’s hurry, hurry, hurry, catch fish, go as fast as you can to get there. The second that you feel like this is not happening, out. You’re gone because otherwise, you are actually wasting time whereas the television show, man, we learn pretty quickly that it’s not about catching a lot of fish. It’s about covering one fish really well and if you go and get ahead of the camera boat and catch a world record, it does not matter and it does not count.
What we had to do was to-- All of a sudden it started making sense to us. When he said it doesn’t, when Hop, our producer, says, “If you go out away from us and you catch a world record, it doesn’t count.” That really hit home with me because I went, “Okay, that’s just like if we are in a Redfish Tournament and we catch one, that’s out--
Miles: Already inches.
Tom: Yes. The slot is 27 inches, if you catch one that is 28, it doesn’t matter if it weighs 15 pounds, it doesn’t count. We put it all into a tournament perspective of, “Okay look, the camera has to be there or there, but they have to give us the thumbs up and then we can catch them. When we do catch them with that thumb up, that means it counted.” That’s what we’re after. If we go real fast and we break all the cameras and beat up all the camera guys, then it doesn’t count. The idea is we’ve got to go real slow, we’ve got to get there, we’ve got to let the cameras get in the right positions and then we have to catch the fish.
Miles: I know that feeling so much now.
Tom: Yes. It’s harder, but it’s just something that you have to learn and it doesn’t come quickly. Even we’re 13 years into this and still, you see a tailor a little bit further down there, you immediately start after it. What we’ve learned though over time, is that if you are super patient this fish will allow you to do things that you never thought were possible. Some of those things have resulted in some of the best shows that we've ever filmed and obviously some of the best Sweetwater shows that have ever been filmed as well.
That is something like seeing a tailing fish or a school of fish in some way, shape or form. Realizing that the light is not good from where you are right now or where the camera guy is, and the camera guy says, "You know what would be great, is if we were on the other side of that fish."
Tom: You're like, "You can't do that." "Why?" "Well, You're going to scare them away." "We've already got enough fish for this show. Let's just try this." The fisherman sitting there going, "This is never ever going to work. I'm just going sit down and eat a sandwich, and you guys go around there. Then you tell me if the fish is there." They go way around, very slowly, and then they go, "Hey, he's still here doing the same thing." "What? Really?" Now, we've gotten the camera on the other side of the fish, and then we approach slowly, throw right into the sun. They're looking on the other side of the fish, looking down sun, perfect light, right at us.
Those are some of the best shows, the best shots we've ever gotten, and doing things. That's why I like to have a producer who is not necessarily a fisherman for that reason. He's looking for art. He's looking at the light and he's saying, "Look, man. We can shoot it like this, but it's going to look like every other fish didn't show up. You want this thing to be really great? We need to approach from the other side." "That's going to be really hard to do." "Well, I'm just telling you how to make a great show, man."
Tom: That's how the conversation goes around our shoot. Then we're like, "Okay. Well, you know what, we want to make a great show, so we're going to try this with all expectation that it's going to fail." You know what?
Miles: Sometimes it works [laughs].
Tom: Most of the times it works, actually. It's weird. We have the same experience on Sweetwater. It's like sometimes we question our professional quality. I think probably Payoti does because he's just like, "Why don't you just go over there and throw a frog?" I'm just like, "No, man. They're not going to hit a frog. They only hit a frog."
Miles: Yes, but maybe they will. If they will, it will be awesome.
Tom: Don't you find that-- I find that as a fishing guide, and as a television host, and as just a regular angler, and as a tournament fisherman, each one of these things has made me a better angler and a more complete angler because, first of all, in a tournament, you're operating with-
Miles: Time restrictions.
Tom: - restrictions. You're time-restricted. You are restricted on the type of tackle that you can use. You're restricted on whether or not you can use live bait in some tournaments. You're restricted on, "Can you put a triple hook rig on there?" I don't know, you're really restricted. There are rules. There are always rules. When you come around those rules and you are successful within those rules, you have done something that you might not have done on another day. If you were on a regular guide trip, maybe you would have used live bait. Or maybe you would have used an umbrella rig. That was legally within the law, but not in that tournament. Maybe, I don't know, there maybe a tournament where you can't fly fish, or you could fly fish, or you can't. A lot of times in the in the Keys, we'll have tournaments that chumming is allowed in one tournament, chumming is not allowed in another tournaments. Live bait is allowed in one tournament, it's not allowed in another tournament.
You get in that tournament and you have to just get in that frame of mind of, "Okay, we're fly fishing all day in this tournament. That's what we're doing." If you're successful in that, you're successful in ways that you might not have felt were possible in other ways. When you are on a guide trip, you are severely restricted sometimes by the skill level of your angler or the experience level of your angler, but then you get that person to catch a very, very difficult fish, and it's this feeling, this euphoric feeling of, "Wow, I overcame the situation and now we've been successful."
In the television world, it is, "Okay, now I am dragging around one if not two other boats. All of these people slam in hatches, cooler lids slamming, it's loud, and they're telling me that I can't fish the way that I need to fish to catch these fish. I'm going to do what they say, we're going to take their suggestions, and then we're still going to be successful." When those things happen, it just makes me sit back and, sometimes, mostly, it's a humbling situation going, "I really thought I knew about the situation, I really thought I knew what was going on here, but obviously, there are a lot of other ways to just get a catch."
Miles: It really does open up your eyes to a different-- The one thing that I think that I've taken away from filming Sweetwater is I think I'm a more intuitive angler because of it and I think that's so important. It seems because--
Tom: Intuitive, how?
Miles: Because we're so far behind the curve when it comes to the amount of time that were able to fish and how many casts we can get in--
Tom: You mean you don't always leave the docket at 4:00 AM? Miles: Yes. [laughs] We do, but the cameras don't get up until eight. Tom: We call it the crack a noon fishing team. Miles: Yes. Pretty much that's how it goes. What that forces you to do is you have to use your strengths and focus on your strengths. You can't just start doing some funky stuff that you that you read about in a magazine or a book somewhere. It's no time to really experiment. In many cases, you can, but what it forces you to do is it forces you to take out a lot of the science out of it, that sounds like it's counterintuitive. Really, fish are very instinctual. That's all they have, it's their instincts, that's what dictates their habits. Once you make things simple and focus on the simple tactics in your strengths, it seems to work out a whole lot better. If you watch Sweetwater, you notice that I throw a chatterbait a lot.
Tom: Yes that's your thing. Miles: Throwing chatterbaits, it is my thing because it works and I know it. I know how many different circumstances I can throw that thing in and catch fish and that's the thing is. I think that filming has made fishing more simple for me. I'm not making it more difficult which is so important. I take that from my tournament fishing. The worst tournaments I've had I've overthought it. I have ended up doing something that I'm not very comfortable with.
It's too technical something that, say, Kevin VanDam he's really good at throwing deep-diving crankbaits. I'm not good at throwing deep-diving crankbaits, but that lake is known for winning with deep-diving crankbaits. If I try to do that, I'm competing against somebody else, not the fish, I just focus on my strengths. The show has really made me remember that because when I first started really doing well in tournaments, I started making a name for myself, that's what I was doing,
I was doing the things that I enjoyed to do the most and could do better than most anybody else. I wasn't venturing off into uncharted territory as far as techniques and fishing styles. I was focusing on what I enjoyed to do. The same thing with Sweetwater, I've tried being under the gun and try techniques that Joey likes to throw, like a drop shot or something like that. I can't throw a drop shot like Joey can and maybe Joey can't throw chatterbait like I can, so it's like you just got to fish your strengths and keep it simple. That's what I've taken away from filming Sweetwater and it has really helped me on the tournament trail.
Tom: Yes, well focusing on your strengths. The strengths really-- I don't know. The more I learn about fishing, the more I realize I really don't know much about fishing at all. I think that's the educational cycle. You get to a place where you feel like you really got this thing lit, man. You know it man, inside out. There are no tricks that you don't know and the next thing you know, something happens and you realize "Holy moly, I don't really know anything about this. I'm going to have to rethink everything."
As I've gotten a little bit older and certainly have more and more experience, I realized, man, I don't know that I'd know anything about fishing and there's a tremendous amount of different ways that you can get to the same result of catching a fish. You can do it from like you're saying like Joey does and what you do. You could never convince me that you two guys or guys like Scott Walker and Steve Roger or guys like me and Rich that, certainly, not you and Joey. I'm not an expert bass fisherman, but I've fished around you guys and fish with you guys enough to know both of you can handle the rod very well.
You would have a hard time convincing me that Joey can't throw a chatterbait like you or you can't throw a drop shot like him. To me what it boils down to, is you don't have the confidence in the drop shot like he does, he doesn't have the confidence in the chatterbait like you do, so you're going to fish it differently. Harder, stick with it longer and maybe "Okay. Well, it's not working. I'm going to slow down to get it deeper. I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that with it." Because you have the confidence.
Tom: It's not the rod skill, it's not-- Miles: No. It has nothing to do with technical skill. All it is, is the fact that very subtle differences in the presentation is what makes or breaks a pattern or a bite. When it comes to building upon your strengths, anybody can flip and pitch just as good as anybody else. At the pro circuit, everybody's pretty much on an even playing field as far as technical skill, but it's all the mental game. I've noticed a distinct difference in the way that I retrieve-- I'll use the chatter bait as an example, again. Retrieve a chatter bait, when I know I'm going to get a bite.
There's a distinct difference in-- I'm getting the bite because I know I'm going to get the bite. If I don't have confidence in it, I don't have the experience with how that bait feels, and what the fish are really focusing on, as far as the retrieve goes, then I'm probably not going to do very good with it.
Tom: Like I said, I think that a tremendous amount of that boils down to confidence, how long you're willing to stick with it. If you're willing to stick with it longer, you're learning those subtle things. You are saying, "I've been through this before. Five more pass, we'll see what happens." Whereas somebody else who doesn't have the confidence in it, it's a new lure to them, it's a new technique, it's a new way of fishing that lure, maybe they won't stick with it long enough to get that one bump to where, "Oh, if I slow it down a little bit, now I've got it."
It's the same thing in salt water. It's the same thing with different types of baits, it's the same thing with all of that, but it does boil down to the confidence. That's really so much of what fishing is. That is the one consistent thing that I have, that I keep going back to, is that I'd say that I learn one thing, and I realize I don't know anything. What I do know is that fishing is about confidence. It's about being confident in your gear, in your technique, in your surroundings, in the area, whatever. It's about that. If you have that confidence you can make some amazing things happen in some very poor conditions.
Miles: My experience with confidence, confidence is a funny thing, because I feel like sometimes confidence is misused, and it could be misused, and it can be a negative.
Tom: How do you misuse confidence? You stay with something, when it's obviously not working?
Miles: For instance, a lot of people say they have a confidence color, or a confidence bait. When you put confidence in a object like color, or the actual bait, you're limiting your potential. You have to have confidence in your ability to choose that bait, to choose that color. Once you have that confidence, it's much more broad, and it allows you to perform in different conditions. That's how you properly use confidence. When you put it in something like a certain little bait, that you've caught a lot of fish on, I've seen it time and time again the confidence baits that I used to have in the past would fail during the tournament, for whatever reason.
Tom: Yes, I could see that. I could see that in not only just the baits that you're using, and the techniques that you're using, but also-- One of the common things in the Florida Keys, were for guys to get on a milk run, where they fish this spot, and this spot, and this spot, and the fish is not good.
Miles: Fishing history. Tom: Fish is not good today. They never got outside of their milk run. They never experienced something different, and if they had, maybe they would have seen something different. All this stuff that you're talking about obviously comes from a tremendous amount of experience, in a lot of different lakes. You lived in California for a little while, now you're moving back to Florida. Where do you find your confidence area is? Where is the easiest place for you to fish?
Tom: Florida is the easiest one? Is that because of your college experience? You went to college in Orlando?
Miles: Yes, I went to UCF. It took me a long time to figure out Florida. I moved there specifically because, if you look at the tournament trail, the timers always start in Florida in January and February.
Tom: It's like Louisiana, for us, and the Red Fish tournament. That's the hotspot.
Miles: Yes. The tour pros either hate Florida, or they absolutely love it. Some of the biggest bombs that people have-- That's where the leaderboard really takes a hit, is Florida, generally. I was just like, "I need to figure that out," because having good momentum starting the year, it's really important. I need to go down there and learn Florida. I moved down there and I think the reason why I feel so comfortable in Florida-- I just got back from living in California for a few years. I got back to Florida and I jumped right back into it. I didn't miss a beat. I've enjoyed myself. I've caught a lot of fish and cashed quite a few checks so far. The reason for that is that I didn't go fishing with other people, when I first moved to Florida.
I didn't fish with my first person in Florida until the fourth year I was there. Literally did not go fishing with anybody for four years. I had a lot of really down days. A lot of them. A ton. I wasn't catching any big fish. I wasn't doing good in any tournaments. All of a sudden, because of all my experience -- My experience, not somebody on the back of the boat’s experience, or another person's experience, because I was that loner kid that didn't know anybody, I had these experiences. I could know the little intricacies of what was going on at that particular moment, which is really important, those little details.
That's why dock talk can be so dangerous, because how somebody else caught a fish, there's something very very small that they did to catch that fish. What I learned by just fishing by myself, is I learned how to trust my own instincts. Maybe I'm a little bit too holistic with my thought process in fishing, but I’m a big believer in instinctual angling. Going out there and just listening to your gut instinct, and just fishing that moment. You build an instinct over time. You're not born with it. You grow it over time, and you grow it by your own experiences, period. Nobody else's experience.
Tom: Don't you think when you're saying that to somebody that is getting started in this --
Miles: It’s frustrating building those experiences. Of course, it's frustrating. As you build a wider base, it's just like building a building. You can have a building that looks like a pyramid, that stand the test of time, wide base, and build up from there, or you can you can build a skyscraper that’s very very thin on the bottom. What I mean by that and it's the same thing in salt water is, you can either choose to build this instinct, like you're talking about, through a select few techniques, and a select few lakes, and a select few spots in salt water, or you can choose to build that instinct with a tremendous amount of techniques, skills, rods.
I know people that don't know how to fish with a spinning rod. I know few people that don't how to throw a fly rod. I know people that don't know how to throw a bait caster. All of them are tools to me, like a golf bag. I want to be an expert with every single one. I want to be able to look at a bass fisherman's tackle box and say, “Man, I can catch redfish on that. I can catch tarpon on that. I know how to fish this. Wow, I wonder what they do with that." If a bass will eat it, I'm sure I can find a fish that will eat it.
One of the things that would help me to develop that instinct, and help me to do better in the tournaments, and as a fishing guide, is to embrace all of the techniques, to embrace all of the spots, to learn all of the Florida Keys. You know what? The only way to do that is to have the dry days. To go out with the fly rod, or go out with the bait caster, or the spinning rod, if you're not familiar with spin casting or whatever, the fairy rod, whatever, bass fishermen call it, and go out and try it. You've got to have the dry days. You've got to have those days where you're not catching anything and it's really frustrating. If you embrace all of those techniques, I feel like you're building a wider base.
You have more experience to draw from.
Tom: I agree.
Miles: When I was first learning, I was absorbing everything. I was taking all the magazines. I had a massive collection of magazines. My truck couldn't tow my trailer specifically because of my magazine collection. I actually had to leave it at one RV resort, so I could move it to another one. I slept with my magazines, pretty much. I had all these books and magazines.
Tom: What kind of magazines are these we’re talking about?
Miles: The Bassmaster. Fish porn. I absorbed all that. I learned a lot of different techniques, everything I could. If there was a new technique, I learned it. The thing that I also learned over time, that has really helped me is that, there are some techniques that I need to pick and choose. There are certain techniques that I'm beating a dead horse with. Personally, it's not my style. I'm a shallow water power fisherman, and I've learnt to really embrace that. I tell you what, I have way more checks when I do that, than when I don't.
Tom: That's interesting. I guess, if you were to see that that's your strength, and you were going to attack your weakness, then the way to do that which is something that you've already said that you did was, you were afraid of Florida, so you moved there. If you were to attack this weakness, the way to do it would be to move to a place, or to chose to fish a lake that didn't have the shallow water like you like to fish. You have to learn the deep water.
Miles: You can do that. I've tried doing that, and I'm going to be counter to -- everybody is different, as far as what they need to embrace. But my whole philosophy is that, in sports and in anything great, any type of art, or anything, you have to have a specific strength. There's nobody that is just the best at everything. You look at any sport, and the greatest in each sport -- it's not like Tom Brady is doing everything on that field, he's really strong at something. That's what a team is all about.
When it comes to fishing, it's the same exact thing. You look at somebody like Ken Mandem I'm not going to throw down with him with deep diving crank baits. You look at somebody like, I was going to say, like Aaron Martens with a dropshot, Skee Reece is good with dropshot, but Aaron Martens is really good with it. I'm not throwing down with that guy. But when it comes to shallow water power fishing I'm not competing against those guys, I'm competing against the fish. Because I am in my element. That is my playground, that's where I go to work. For me, that's been the whole key to my success. I had two years where I was doing terrible, and it was because I was trying to embrace those other techniques. What you've got to do, is you got to learn everything and then throw everything that you don't feel comfortable with out the window.
Tom: Bruce Lee said that.
Miles: Really, did he say that?
Tom: Yes there's a very famous Bruce Lee quote that says almost exactly that. To embrace everything.
Miles: The punch? I want to -- what did he say? "I believe in the guy that practices one punch a thousand times that" it was something to-- That's a really bad recall of the quote [laughs].
Tom: Well it was a different quote but it's something, "You shouldn't be afraid of the guy that knows 10,000 moves, but the guy who has practiced one move 10,000 times." It was certainly true in wrestling which is my domain, there. But in this, it was basically, learn as much as you possibly can, keep what is useful, throw away what's not. That was Bruce Lee's philosophy. Bruce Lee was really the father of modern day UFC fighting because at the time of Bruce Lee, he was a guy that was contrary to so much of what was going on in martial arts. You were either a taekwondo guy, or you were a judo guy, or you were -- all of these different things.
Bruce Lee was the first guy that said, "Look man there's something in judo that's really good. You can whip people's ass with that. Then, over here this has something that's really interesting. Western boxing is interesting for these reasons. I'm going to absorb what's useful, and I'm going to throw away everything else."
Miles: That's a really good point, and one thing that I need to mention when it comes to this whole topic is, the fact that I don't just fish shallow. Because I learned all these different techniques, I also learned how to fish in clear water, I learned techniques that I really felt confident in, and enjoy fishing in clear water, deep water and shallow water, in all different conditions. It's really important to not only have a strength, but also have a strength in each category. You can't be the best at everything. There's always going to be somebody that's better than you, and you need to make sure that you're not playing against somebody that's better than you at something, because that's just -- in fishing, I think a lot of people overlook that, but nobody's going to do something in a professional sport like football or baseball, they're not going to do something that somebody else that's standing right across from can do way better, and they know it. Why would you do that in fishing? Tom: You've got to find a way, and that's what you've done. When you're going, I always think about being a bass fisherman, and being a rodeo cowboy, or a professional wrestler as a similar deal. Here you are, in this one place, and tournament’s over, pack it up, move on. Same deal with a with a rodeo cowboy. They ride the rodeo, put their stuff they get in the truck, and they head to the next one. There's a lot of time spent between one venue, and the next. I always wonder, I’ve passed a lot of bass fisherman on the road and I always wonder. It seems like it a solitary existence. Some people have somebody else in the truck with them but not many, they're usually by themselves.
What do you do when you're doing that much driving?
Miles: I make a lot of phone calls, I listen a lot of music, and podcasts. As of recently, podcasts have taken over, until I run out of data on my phone, which happens within the first three days.
Tom: Of course I also listen to a ton of podcasts. What do you like?
Miles: School Of Greatness. That one's a really good one, there's a lot of really cool stories on that. I like some of the murder mysteries.
Tom: You have to turn me on to a couple of those. Miles: Like "Up and Vanished," really a good one. Tom: I don't know it. Miles: Serial was a good one. Serial was like the first one that was the catalyst for all these different murder mystery podcasts.
Tom: I loved Serial, and that really grabbed me. I was already a podcast listener, but more of conversational like what we're doing, just talk. Serial was this obviously incredibly well researched, unbelievably well produced thing. It was an art form, man, they took this story and they took some general conversation by the narrator, then they insert these little pieces of interviews, with a little bit of music here and there, to tell the story, that, in its own, was unbelievable. But the way they told it was beyond question, one of the greatest things to have listened to, ever.
Miles: Much better than TV, because TV is taking-- they just had to paint such an intricate picture.
Tom: The only thing that we could even begin to compare Serial to is The Making of a Murderer, on Netflix. They did a very good job, they did a very good job it was a similar kind of thing, where they tell a story through narration, then they bring in interviews, they bring in pieces of film, they bring in this and that, and tell the story that in its own if it was a Hollywood movie, you wouldn't believe it, because the truth is stranger than fiction. I love podcasts like that. I listen to a ton of podcasts. I like history ones, I'm a big fan of Joe Rogan’s podcast, Lewis Howes, I like some that are not well known at all, there was one that I actually was on called Wrestling with Success and then it changed to Success Through Failure. This guy, Jim Harshaw, he was a great collegiate wrestler and he tells the stories about how failure has really helped people to find their success, ultimately, and that it wouldn't be possible without failure, and therefore, you should embrace failure, right. That's what we're talking about-
Miles: Like it goes right back in.
Tom: -the fishing thing is that, you've got to embrace failure, you’ve got to go places and you've got to fish and do things that don't work, so that when it counts, you know that's probably not going to work.
Miles: You’ve got to know what you suck at.
Tom: I like that, I like to do a lot of driving, I drive to Key West a lot, around the state of Florida, and then, follow my children around, as they're doing their athletic events, whether it's wrestling or cheerleading or lacrosse. I'm all over the country too, and the podcast has really revolutionized what I do. I used to listen to a lot of audio books. I do a lot of running, and long exercise, and I've always listened to audiobooks. I wish I'd known this when I was in high school, because man, I'm not a good reader I'm just not. It's a paper book --
Miles: I fall asleep after the first the first page.
Tom: I do too, I fall asleep. What I've found is that, if I can be running and listening to something, my retention of that material it's not like a little bit better, it's like 10,000 times better. I can remember quotes, I can remember all this different stuff, if I'm doing some sort of moving, and I'm able to listen to this. Driving is very similar. If I'm driving, and I'm the only one in the car, that's a big thing. I need to be the only one there, so I can adjust the volume to where I want it, and it's usually booming. A podcast is booming really loud. I don't know, I just absorb it, I find that it makes the time pass, really quickly. Have you ever listened to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History?
Miles: No I haven’t a listened to that one.
Tom: If you're going to drive to California, you could make it probably just by stopping for gas, by listening to Dan Carlin's "Blueprint for Armageddon," oh man unbelievable. There's another guy, that's a guy, he is as good as -- well, it is but what he does is he tells stories about history that you already know, you studied in school, and it was boring. Then he finds a way to tell it in a way that it's captivating. He's like that, and he's turning out that kind of material, because he's as passionate about that as you and I are about fishing. He finds this way to connect with the audience, and finds this way to bring this story to life, like you've never heard it before.
You're listening to how World War I started, and you're like, "Well, I remember a little bit about World War I or World War II, Vietnam or any historical period of time." But, he just finds a way to just tell it such a way that's awesome. But, I'll to check out these mystery ones, because I really like that, like if they leave you hanging a little bit you’ve got to get out, and get some gas and you're like, "I can't wait to start a car up and get back in there."
Miles: I won't do another podcast that hasn't ended already. I need closure. I can't I wait for the next week. I am the quintessential millennial, when it comes to- Tom: You're a binger.
Miles: I need to know now, what happens next.
Tom: We wouldn’t just skip to the last step.
Miles: No but I mean, I can't wait for the next episode, because they always tease you at the end of those mysteries, they give you a little clip of a phone conversation, and it’s like, "Oh man, this is going to be big."
Tom: Then you've got to wait a week. But I also find that this new way of consuming stuff is -- binge watching on Netflix, or listening to the entire season of Serial in 13 hours straight is, I find that-- again, I retain the material better. If I have to wait a week, then even though they do a pretty nice job right at the beginning of catching you up to what happened to the last one, I still find that it's more enjoyable for me to just do quite a few, together. Then the other thing is, I find that even like Lewis Howes or Joe Rogan or somebody, I'll listen to two or three of their podcasts, and they're long, three hours long.
Then I'll give them a break, I'll put them down for a while, and I'll move on to something else, and then come back few weeks later, listen to four or five, three, four or five, whatever, and that keeps it fresh for me. I like to do that. On my phone, I've got tons, and see what else I got on here.
Miles: Ike Live was the one that got me interested in podcasts. I started listening to that, and oh dude, I was hooked those guys are a hoot, man.
Tom: Jocko Willink, do you know who he is?
Tom: Jocko Willink is a Navy Seal, and he wrote this book called Extreme Ownership probably the best gooks I have ever read. He has a podcast, there's now 64 episodes on my phone. That's one that I would highly recommend. Let's see me. I tried that social media marketing one that you told me about. It was okay to last me a little bit. Keep hammering, Cameron Hanes,
very good. I listen to a lot on what to eat, and working out stuff, Found my Fitness. How about radiolab?
Miles: I haven't listened to that one.
Tom: Man, those are good. As far as fishing, if you're into fly fishing, April Vokey, she does a fly fishing one, and she has some really good guests on that. Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, Art of Manliness, those keep me busy, for the most part. Radiolab is another one that is incredibly well done, very well produced, it's not just conversation is a well written stories. They tell it in a way that is really good, I like that. Do you think all bass fisherman are basically doing the same thing when they're traveling from place to place like that?
Miles: Yes pretty much. I would say I used to be really, like I planned my trip based on my music. That's a confusing way to put it,but I actually planned my music based on my trip, I'd know how I'd feel during a certain part of the trip, so I'd actually set out my CDs. As soon as it started getting dark, I put on Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd.
Tom: That would put me right to sleep.
Miles: Shine on you crazy Diamond right when the sun's going down is pretty awesome feeling.
Tom: Tell me, what is it at three o'clock in the morning, when you got to push through?
Miles: Led Zeppelin.
Tom: That's it?
Miles: Led Zeppelin and I start it with Ramble On. Actually-
Tom: That's not what I’d choose.
Miles: -I had a mix, but that's if I'd just wake up, if I have already been awake, and I've been driving during that time.
Tom: This is the time when you got to push through man, you're going to put the boat in at 5:00, probably 3:00 now.
Miles: Probably Tool.
Tom: You know what I go with? The Dd. Tenacious D.
Miles: I’m all that the Tenacious D, because it's one of the only albums I can sing to, from beginning to end, it just wakes me up.
Tom: You can sing your lungs out. It is always on my phone. Now phones are different, because you have like Spotify and stuff. The album, I've got on my phone right now.
Miles: I do, too.
Miles: Yes. The album is just the Tenacious D album. 21 songs, Kielbasa, One Note, Tribute, Wonderboy, a couple of ones that we might not sing. Explicitly wrote. Deal, Inward Singing, Kyle Quit the Band, The Road, Cock Pushups, Lee, Friendship Tests. Karate schnitzel, Rock your Socks, Drive Through, Double Team, City Hall, and you're there. All of a sudden, you're there.
Tom: That album is actually, I'm glad you brought that up because if I am really really tired, it usually goes. You’re playing right now?
Miles: Just a little bit, it's in the background. You won't even be able to tell. This will get you through, right here.
Tom: You can’t do the air drum. Miles: It only matters if it rocks. The main thing that we do is to rock your socks off.
Tom: Yes, you know what’s up, I don't wear socks, but another one that's on the same level for me, is Pink Floyd The Wall, Pink Floyd my favorite band but I have to honor it by playing it during certain times of the day, when I'm in that mood. I can't play during the daytime. It's got to be like nighttime or dark outside.
Miles: This is something that I've noticed about, well my friends, mostly. My friends consist of the most eclectic group of people that you would ever run into, if you were to line them all up against a wall. There is one thing that is consistent. The constant of my friends, they are passionate people. Sometimes they're creatives, sometimes they are exceptionally good at what they do. They might be a lawyer, they might be a doctor, they might be a fisherman, they might be whatever. With this group of people, I've got workout guys, I've got fishing guys, I've got
hunting guys, and then I've got people that, in my group of friends, that don't even know that I fish for a living. Then, a bunch of people who think I work out for a living.
Tom: At your house? There's no way that I would've taken fishing from this place.
Miles: Well no, you hadn’t seen that room.Then I have another room at another place, but the one thing that holds true, is each of these people has some wild ass idiosyncrasies that make us all really weird.
Tom: Like you're wanting to honor Pink Floyd by playing them at a certain time of the day, that's interesting. Do you find that other bass fishermen are as interested in their music?
Miles: Yes, everybody has got their own thing. I don’t know if there is--
Tom: Let me ask you this. This is something that I've thought should take off, but it hasn’t. How comes nobody listens to music on the boat?
Miles: I do on occasion, but I honestly can’t do it while I'm fishing, that much.
Tom: You guys are out there for 15 hours a day, can't you just put on some headphones, or what?
Miles: Jimmy Buffett. The headphones are a no no, because you can't hear your surroundings. You can’t hear a fish jump, or so on so forth. That's why, because you're taking those audible and visual cues from your surroundings, to help you build that puzzle, and with music, it takes away from that.
Tom: It's interesting. When I'm driving though, when I'm driving my boat from location to location, I crank that up.
Miles: It's interesting. I love music, I love listening to music. I will sometimes drive for hours at a time, in complete silence, just give it a break, or just thinking time or maybe you find yourself getting off the phone and you put the phone down, and the next thing you know you're like, “Wow, I just drove for two hours, it's been completely silent." That does happen but I almost always have a stereo in my boat, of some sort. Now it's really easy, you just get the speakers you've got the sonic cup thing, and you just plug in your iPod and next thing you know, you're listening to whatever you want, but you know when I listen to music?
When I'm washing the boat, that's it. I don't listen to it when I'm fishing, I don't listen to it when I'm driving the boat, I don't listen to it any time at all, because when I'm driving the boat, I'm constantly listening for something to explode. I always think that at any second, something is just going to let loose and you know how it is. You're just driving along and you're like, “What is that noise?" It's just a different noise and you're like, “I’m 30 miles offshore, this is not good, what is that noise, should I turn around now?" and so then you're, “Oh, it's just a water bottle rolling around the floor." Or, "It's my client making this funny noise with his mouth." It's like, “Could you please stop that? You're make me super nervous."
I don't listen to music, because you miss all that stuff. You miss those opportunities where you’re hearing something that might happen to the boat, or just like you said, you see a fish jump, or hear something. I never have gotten into listening to it, but you got this whole pimp my boat thing, and you're looking at the trucks that a lot of the bass fishermen are driving, and a lot of the salt water guys are driving, too. You're thinking, “Man, that guy has probably got a rocking stereo on his boat." Which I'm sure some do, but I haven't seen anybody listening to music out there.
Tom: I actually, I don't listen to it as much and there was one turning point for me. I bought this boat it was actually Oakley big bass boat, and I bought it after when they were going to give it back to Nitro, and I was like, “I want it, so I'll buy it." The first tournament was on Okachobie, and I was super excited, because it had a really awesome Soney stereo system. Nice big old amp, and four speakers in it, so it got really loud. I'm making this run, I'm just amped up on life, I'm running thorough these little narrow boat trails, and stuff, on Ockachobie, get out to this wide open space down in the north shore area, and I'm rocking out to Alice and Chains.
I'm driving by all these guys. I probably drove by 20 guys, fishing this open water area. Then I set down, turn off the music and I realized how quiet it was, and how much of a ruckus I made. I felt like such an ass, doing that. I was just like, "All right." And ever since, I was just like, subconsciously you're just like, I'm out here for nature.
Tom: You'd still think there'd be that bad boy, the bass fisherman--
Miles: I was that bad boy that one time.
Tom: With Glen Plake mohawk, that just listens to music super loud.
Miles: They exist. They're usually at the club level, because they want to show off the big speakers. I don't know, I’m not saying anything against club level guys, but it's like -- I don't know, I don't see a whole lot of people really rocking out to it.
Tom: There's no place for it.
Miles: Sometimes I'll be at launch ramp in the morning, sometimes I'll be rocking some Tool pretty hardcore, when I get the launch ramp. I'm that guy, every once in awhile. Tom: Then you miss your turn. Somebody's going, “Hey man, it's your turn. Back in, back in. I guess you didn't hear me, I'm in, see you.”
Next thing you know, you're like, “Hey man, how come you just cut in front of me?” "I was yelling at you for 30 minutes, you were listening to Tool." [laughs]
Miles: It's a good excuse.
Tom: All right, you're here picking up a boat, right?
Miles: Yes. Brand new Phoenix 920 Pro XP. Really stocked about it. It's got a Yamaha on it, and I'm really excited about getting a Yamaha because I've been guiding in Alaska for 12 years, during the summers and we rely on Yamaha for our lives. Really, when you're fishing in those really rough conditions, you have to transition from one, part of the inside passage to the other in 10 foot waves, which doesn't sound like a lot, but they get pretty close together, they’re scary.
Tom: What size of the boat is that?
Miles: They’re like 23 footer.
Tom: How big are the waves?
Miles: They can range up to 15 feet. 13 footers is the biggest I've been in, but we've got tremendous tides, is a problem. They get really close together, it's nothing like rollers that you see out in open ocean. Really excited about fishing out of that boat.
Tom: Did you get a stereo on that thing?
Miles: Yes I’ve got the sonic hub.
Tom: Nice. Well, we're going to go pick that thing up tomorrow, and then, we'll check it out. Maybe we'll do another podcast on the new boat.
Miles: That would be sweet.
Tom: That's cool. Well, I think this has been good, to catch up. We touched on a lot of different things, sponsorship, getting started, weirdness, podcasts. It's a wild conversation. But you know what, that's really-- when I first started thinking about doing a podcast, I would have these conversations with my friends, fishing friends, workout friends, whatever. We're talking about all this crazy stuff, I’m thinking, man I think-
Miles: This should be recorded.
Tom: -people would like to know this stuff. Especially about sponsorship, people really want to know about that.
Miles: Is there anybody -- they should just fast forward to that. Tom: Then, forget all the stuff about Pink Floyd and Tenacious D. But if you don't know who Tenacious D is, do yourself a favor, check it out. It's Jack Black doing his finest work.
Miles: And Kyle Gas, you have to give Kyle Gas credit.
Tom: Well, I was going there, you got there too quickly. Kyle Gas, who is also known for being an elf, and many other things.
Miles: A man child.
Tom: He is a man child. You've met Kyle Gas, right?
Miles: Yes he actually pushed me in the face, because my wife and I were at the stage, and he pushed me away.
Tom: So that he could talk to your wife?
Miles: Yes he just joking, I guess, I don't know. [laughter] He was super cool after the show. We got to hang out with him, a little bit.
Tom: Did you see the movie where they get ready to write the greatest song in the world, and then they forget to push record? What would you say if I told you that I forgot to push record?
Miles: I don’t know.
Tom: "Always push record. Always push record." [laughter] Tom: Anyway, on that note, we're going to end this one. Miles Berghoff, tell us how to find you.
Miles: You can find me on all the social media platforms, or the majority of them. Facebook, Instagram, you can generally find me by typing in Miles Berghoff, or Miles Sonar Berghoff, on Instagram I'm Sonar Fishing, on Twitter. My website is sonarfishing.com, and of course the sweet water platforms. Same thing, we're on all the major platforms and then we're also on a really cool, other than the TV portion, you've have got the CBC sports channel, you also have Sunsports, down in Florida. We also are on something called Waypoint TV, which you guys know better than I do, because you guys have really embraced it, and that’s an online streaming platform for all fishing shows.
It’s so awesome and it’s like the Netflix of, Netflix is actually the wave point TV of movies.
Tom: That’s a good way to think of it.
Miles: You can go to Waypointtv.com, and check us out there. Tom: All right, I'm sure everybody will. All right, Miles, my friend, good talking with you, I’ll look forward to picking up your new book tomorrow, and checking that out, we are out. See you later.
Speaker 3: Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to the show. I hope you got something out of that, got just a little bit of news. We have started a weekly show that is designed to be up-to-the-minute videos of what’s happening this week, mostly in the Florida Keys, but also in other places that we fish, as well. We'll be putting that out every week. The best way to find that is to subscribe to the you-tube channel. YouTube/saltwaterexperience, search "saltwater experience" on YouTube, subscribe to that channel, and you'll get updates of when a new video is published.
I've also figured out how to put the podcasts on YouTube, finally, a lot of people like to put that window behind other things they're working on, and listen to the podcast while they are working. We now have that for you. There is a playlist called "podcast," there is a playlist called "weekly show." You can go and see all the new videos that we're putting up there. Started a new email address, specifically for this show, and that is email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Those emails come directly to me, I will see every single one of them.
If you have comments, suggestions, ways we can make the show better and particularly if you have suggestions of someone you would like to see me sit down with, in the hunting world, in the fishing world, in the outdoor sports world, or just a motivational inspirational character, or someone that can teach us all something. I'm very interested in your suggestions. That’s email@example.com. You can get podcasts on iTunes, Sticher, Spotify, SoundCloud. We are also publishing at on the blog. The weekly show will be published on the blog too, but the best way is to go to YouTube, subscribe there, and you'll get it immediately when it’s published.
Until next week, thanks for listening. We'll see you soon. [music] [END OF AUDIO [01:27:58]