As a writer, I can’t help but be amused by the ongoing abuse of the word “extreme” in our modern outdoor lexicon. I’ve seen it applied to everything from simply fly fishing in the snow to car camping, yet in this one case – where someone dives out of a helicopter to wrestle a Marlin – it might actually apply.
Then again, so does the phrase “extremely stupid.”
Some time ago I posted a note about this video clip – where “Extreme Angler” Matt Watson leaps from a helicopter onto a marlin – and my thought was that it was simply a fabricated spoof. Then came this from a Today Show interview with the helicopter fisherman in question:
It didn’t sound easy, but Watson had no idea how difficult it would actually prove to be. He told Lauer it took 11 months and a number of failed attempts before he and his film crew finally got everything right.
The challenge wasn’t just tackling the fish; Watson also wanted clear shots of the dive from the helicopter, and underwater shots of him wrestling the marlin. That meant boats and divers and the helicopter â€” and then getting a marlin to cooperate by staying close to the surface, where Watson could grab it.
You can read the rest of the interview here, but the short version is all part of an “Extreme Angling” show, where the host will also catch marlin from paddle boards and jet skis.
It’s the kind of show people would tune into because maybe – just maybe – we’d get to see somebody gored (the aquatic equivalent of NASCAR), but in truth, my interest in helicopter fishing is pretty limited. The PR stunt/media event isn’t exactly new – and plenty of no-talent “celebrities have raised it to an art form the last decade – but to see stunts invading fishing in a never-ending quest for noteriety and bigger ratings… well, I’ll pass.
Read the interview, and you’ll realize the above video clip is deceptive at best; Watson didn’t simply fly around looking for a Marlin, and if you’re not feeling a little manipulated yet, then ask yourself why not?