Sport Fish Michigan Sponsors Hook n’ Look TV Series

Sport Fish Michigan is proud to be a sponsor of Hook n’ Look, starring Kim Stricker, which airs on the Outdoor Channel. Much more than a fishing show, Hook n’ Look offers viewers a unique perspective on angling – a view from under the water! Both Kim and his son, Danny, are experienced divers and they combine their diving and angling skills to provide viewers with unparalleled information gained by experiencing fishing from both above and below the water.

Ben Wolfe, owner of Sport Fish Michigan said, "Education is a big part of what Captains and Guides offer to anglers, and understanding the underwater landscape is critical to success. This is a key premise of the Hook N’ Look program, and a partnership between Sport Fish Michigan and Hook N’ Look makes sense. Kim’s love of his home state of Michigan only furthers this partnership. Through the Hook N’ Look show, he often showcases the beauty and pristine nature that Michigan’s waters have to offer."

"Sport Fish Michigan has a very similar goal: we aim to heighten each angler’s experience through a keen understanding of not only the pieces of the puzzle happening above the water, but understanding what is happening below the water, as well. Sport Fish Michigan’s Captains and Guides have years of experience on the water, and with our partnership with Hook N’ Look, we are excited to promote the world-class fishing that Michigan has to offer on waters that Kim (and Danny) have spent countless hours on filming their outstanding show."

Visit the Hook n’ Look website.


Hook N’ Look

What a difference a couple of weeks can make! 3 weeks ago, I was thrilled to film a tv show, Hook N’ Look over the course of 3 days with Kim and Danny Stricker. The weather was crappy—heavy winds all 3 days, and rain for two of them. Perfect for showing off raingear, but difficult to film in, considering the high-definition cameras and sensitive microphones. Sure, the fish are already wet, and we’re in a boat designed for water, but wow was it uncomfortable. Thank goodness we were also highlighting my coffee company, Deep Blue Coffee. Few things can warm up a chilly and wet day on the water than a great cup of hot coffee!

Filming a spinnerbait show, showcasing the Strike King tour grade painted blade spinnerbaits, we needed wind to help promote a hot bass bite. Well, we got wind—a little too much of it, however. We were able to connect on a few, and got a few more to chase and bump the spinnerbait, but overall, it was not a great bite to really show off this technique. As a full time guide, this was a little puzzling. The fish were shallow; there was the right water temperature zone; there was wind to help promote a shallow spinnerbait bite; and there were baitfish present. All signs that there should have been a phenomenal spinnerbait bite.

The fish, however, don’t always seem to follow our human best laid plans. And very often, in very frustrating fashion, they do their own thing. Given the seemingly perfect conditions for this kind of bite, it became very apparent that we would have to grind it out, taking an overly persistent mindset. Having confidence in an area was key for our shoot. I knew from years of experience where the fish were. Just getting them to bite on what we wanted them to bite on, for the sake of a spinnerbait show was the issue. Sure we probably could have gotten more bites using other baits or techniques, but if you’re going to film a spinnerbait show—you have to throw a spinnerbait! Not having confidence in the areas we were fishing could have led us all over northern Michigan’s prime smallmouth water, but at the end of the day—if you know the fish are there—don’t leave fish to find fish. Just fish, and make it happen.

In all, filming with Hook N’ Look was a great experience. Kim, Danny and my friend Capt. Kyle Buck (who was driving my Ranger Z-520 as the camera boat) all shared a lot of laughs, caught some fish, filmed a show, and drank A LOT of Deep Blue Coffee Company’s coffee. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Kim Stricker and Captain Ben filming for Hook N’ Look.

Kim catches a fall smallmouth on a Strike King spinnerbait

Captain Ben and Kim Stricker throwing Strike King painted blade KVD spinnerbaits for fall smallmouth in the Traverse City area


“Hook N’ Look”

It was a distinct pleasure to have Traverse City Bass Guide Service film a television show this past week. Conditions were extremely tough, but we figured out a way to make something work. Kim Stricker and his son, Danny, came up to film for their show “Hook N’ Look” with me at Traverse City Bass. I’ve known Kim for a couple years, and we chatted for a while earlier this year at the East Bay boat launch in Traverse City. At the time, we discussed possibly filming a fall show, highlighting the aggressive nature of fall smallies by doing a spinnerbait show highlighting the Tour Grade spinnerbaits made by Strike King.

It was truly wonderful to welcome my friend back up to northern Michigan to film for his show. We had already delayed the shoot by several days due to bad weather, and unfortunately this time, it looked as if we were going to have to just shut up and fish (and film).

Naturally, all of the best planning in the world can’t account for Mother Nature’s ultimate decisions. Cold, windy, rainy conditions meant we were going to be filming in cold, windy, rainy, rough weather. I was pumped—I knew there would be some fish up in the mid shallows, and with the wind, this was going to be perfect for a Strike King spinnerbait show.

A few days prior, I contacted one of my other Sport Fish Michigan Captains to operate my own bass boat, which would function as the camera chase boat. Captain Kyle Buck drove up from Muskegon to be my camera boat driver. There were a couple of closer choices that I could have used within my network of Sport Fish Michigan network of Captains and Guides, but Kyle has a long history with foot-controlled trolling motors, and operating bass boats. Prior to becoming a licensed Captain, Kyle fished nationally in bass tournaments.

Originally scheduled for a 2 day shoot, yet hoping to accomplish everything in 1 day, we all met for breakfast on day one and talked strategy, weather, and shot the breeze for a while, letting the sun get up to warm things a bit. It was a chilly 37 degrees when we met that morning. Again, the best laid plans are sometimes ignored by Mother Nature. Our 2-day shoot turned into a 3-day shoot, as we fought the weather tooth and nail, trying to get the shots and video needed.

Having great outdoor gear is important, and for a time like this, it’s just as crucial. Not wanting to look like a total marshmallow or the Michelin Man, I opted for my Simms Fishing Products long underwear underneath regular clothes and my Simms Pro Dry bibs and parka. And naturally, I wore my Traverse City Bass hooded sweatshirt for good luck!

Kim and Danny Stricker setting up a shot to highlight Deep Blue Coffee Company’s coffee prior to launching our boats.

Danny Stricker about to jump into the water to film the underwater portions of Hook N’ Look.

Battling the wind and the waves in the Traverse City area trying to film the underwater segments for Hook N’ Look, which airs on the Outdoor Channel.