An Interview with Capt Scott Walker of Into the Blue Television show
I first met Scott Walker on the dock at Hawks Cay. He was moving fast, talking to 5 different people at once and wearing a big smile. I liked him right away.
Later, I had the opportunity to go fishing with him on Saltwater Experience. Scott had been pioneering the daytime Swordfishing in the Florida Keys and we wanted to be the first TV show to catch one on film. Scott said..."No problem" and we left the dock that morning and went into the broad ocean. He stopped on his spot, got the tackle ready and instructed me to make a drop. It took my 8 lbs of lead about 12 minutes to get to the bottom, but once there, I had a bite within 2 minutes. My hook did not stick, but Rich dropped down next and caught a beautiful Swordfish on camera in HD on Versus Network. It was a great day!
Scott impressed me that day with his confidence, composure, and all around excellent attitude. He was fun to be around but commanded respect from everyone in a way that few can do...with a big smile on his face.
Since then, I have fished with Scott all over the place and have enjoyed every trip. I have watched him make a boat repair 100 miles offshore by pirating the drain tubing from a rod holder and remaining calm when no one else knew what to do. I have seen him fix an electrical problem with a fish hook, and I have also seen him with a fish hook all the way through his thumb. The constant through all of this is that Scott keeps smiling and keeps doing his thing. In case you didn't know...his thing is catching fish.
Here is a short interview I did with Scott recently. You can learn more about Scott by watching Into the Blue which airs on NBC Sports, Destination America, Sportsman Channel and Fox Florida. You can also visit intothebluefishing.com and see all the past episodes and rigging instruction.
Thank you Scott for many great years of friendship and fishing.
TR: Hey Scott! How is everything going?
SW: Everything is going great, Tom, thank you for asking.
TR: How did you get into fishing?
SW: That's an easy one, when I used to stay at the beach all summer with my aunt and uncle, my mother made me get a job. Luckily my uncle Fred Riffe owned a sweet fishing boat, the Huntress, and he hired me to take care of it during the week and to fish with him and my aunt Katie on the weekends.
TR: How did you start fishing professionally?
SW: My uncle Fred wanted to fish more and work less so he turned the Huntress into a charter boat. We started simply taking Bluefish trips near shore and as our skill level increased we ventured deeper and deeper offshore. Eventually targeting Tuna and Marlin off the Maryland coast. Once we got the taste for Marlin fishing we never looked back. We created a full time summer charter business in Ocean City Md. and then the Keys for the rest of the year as the winters in Maryland were too long to bear.
TR: Tell us about your tournament record. What win or finish are you the most proud of?
SW: I've been lucky enough to actually tournament fish now for over 25 years. I absolutely love the competition amongst my peers. It drives me everyday to be the best I can be and prepare myself to win every day. My proudest moment ever is definitely winning the World Sailfish Tournament in Key West. Every slip was full for the week with every team from all over the country trying to win it. As fate would have it, on the last day the conditions were perfect for sight fishing and we took full advantage of the day catching 9 sails which moved us from last to first. I will always remember that day.
TR: That is an awesome story. I bet that was exciting. You have lots of other stuff going on, like Into the Blue. Into the Blue is an awesome show. Fill us in on whats coming up this year:
SW: Into the Blue will be back in Louisiana again for 2015 starting in January. We went back to one of our favorite places to do battle with some amazing fish. We have a little Tuna, Marlin and Cobia action as well as a few new species to show everyone along with a bunch of new tips and techniques. We spent alot of time this year filming extra tips exclusively for the website. I get a lot of emails asking about knots and rigging so we just thought people would like to see how we do everything. We filmed pretty much all our rigging and will put it on the website. I hope it helps people get better. We will, as usual, also be showing off the best fishing the Fabulous Florida keys has to offer later in 2015.
TR: You have fished all over the place and caught just about everything, but is there one specie or a fish of a certain size that you would like to catch?
SW: Without a doubt I love to fish for white marlin. They never fail to get my blood running. I will chase them anywhere!
TR: On Into the Blue you actually get to be the angler while most of your other days are spent as the Capt. Which do you prefer?
SW: Answering that question is difficult, As an angler, I love dropping back to a Billfish on a beautiful day on the rip, but as a Captain I find it just as satisfying hunting for the perfect rip holding a marlin or tuna. The answer is both.
TR: People think that being on a TV show is easy. What do you find most challenging about hosting Into the Blue?
SW: Being on a TV show is easy. Having a successful fishing TV show isn't. So much goes into making the show happen that our fans don't see. Without our camera crew and producer and editors we don't have a show period. Me and Steve can catch fish... that is a fact, but getting them on film is entirely another matter. The fish don't know that we're filming them and they never read the memos.
TR: That's funny. I know it is not easy. Most of the species of fish that you target almost daily are some of the best eating fish on the planet. What is your favorite fish to eat and how do you prepare it?
SW: Running a charter boat everyday leaves me with a bunch of fresh fish to eat. So I eat more than my fair share. My favorite is seasonal, right now its Mutton snapper. Fileted with the skin on cooked on a hot grill, scales down right on the grill no foil. Brush melted butter and minced garlic on it until you can scoop the meat off the skin. Its amazing. In the spring it will be tuna and the summer will be Mahi, sucks to be me! This year me and Steve put some of our favorite ways to cook the different fish on the website. Most are simple ways, but I think simple is best.
TR: I know that the charter business, tournaments and the TV show occupy most of your time, but if you are not fishing, what do you like to do?
SW: When I'm not fishing, I'm planning my next fishing trip.
TR: You are known as a guy who has a really good time on the water. Do you get more serious come tournament time or are you always smiling?
SW: Whether I'm fishing a first timer or fishing for a million dollar calcutta, I'm always the same guy. Doing my job to the best of my abilities and trying to do better the next time.
TR: Well, you have done a good job of continual improvement. On another note, I get tons of correspondence from people both young and old who want to get into the fishing business. What is your advice? How does someone go about becoming a Mate or even a Captain?
SW: My advice for getting involved in the business is simple. Hang out around the charter docks be humble, curious and courteous. Just because someone does something differently than you doesn't mean its wrong, it's just different. There are more ways than one way to skin a cat. Eventually your gonna get a ride along and then its up to you.
TR: That is great advice! Thanks Scott…We will be seeing you on the dock and on TV.
SW: Thank you...Let's got fishing soon. If anyone has questions for me, I will check the comments here or they can send me a question directly by using the question form on the website.
TR: Thanks so much Scott! I look forward to fishing with you again soon.
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