One boat, five fisheries, ten anglers, unlimited bad ideas. Check out MeatEater's first original fishing series.
In the first episode of Season 2, Steve introduces you to the new Das Boat—Dos Boat. After a bumpy start, Steve gets to South Haven, MI, where he recruits the help of local charter captain Grant Gulley. Steve, Grant, and a local fabricator put in 10 hours of work getting the boat ready to fish for lake trout in 100 feet of water. With good reason, Grant is somewhat skeptical about the 14 foot, 50-year-old boat’s ability to handle the big water of Lake Michigan. Luckily, the conditions are perfect allowing them to deep water troll for the native char better known as lake trout. Along the way, they discuss Jon Gary—Steve’s fishing mentor and the original captain of Dos Boat—the young anglers Jon influenced, the decline (and comeback) of the lake trout, and a whole lot more. They might even catch some fish.
Season 2 of MeatEater’s original fishing series, Das Boat, hits the water next week. Tune in on September 13th at 11am MT for another old boat, some good fish, and a few bad ideas. Watch new episodes, featuring faces you know and some you don’t, right here every Sunday. #fueledbynature
In the first episode, Steve purchases Das Boat out of a backyard in central Texas then takes it to a local fabricator and spends a day trying to make sure it’ll float. He and Texas fishing icon, JT Van Zandt chase redfish down on the coast, taking Das Boat into skinny saltwater it’s definitely never seen before. They end the day in JT’s kitchen cooking up a spread of blackened redfish tacos and sipping a little tequila. Along the way they discuss tribalism, the benefits of artificial lures vs. dead bait, the serviceability of redfish flesh, and the closest thing to a chicken thigh you can find on a fish.
After a successful trip on the Texas coast, JT and Steve send Das Boat up to Austin to do a little urban angling. In this episode, Austin based fishing guide Alvin Dedeaux and James Beard Award winning chef Jesse Griffiths test out Das Boat’s river capabilities on the Lower Colorado. They target Guadalupe bass on topwater lures and try to find a way to land a prehistoric gar. Along the way they discuss playing in club bands, fishing near cities, eating bass, and the secret berry that helped monks stay . . . monkly.
Das Boat rolls all the way over to the west coast of Florida to hook up with our very own conservation director, Ryan Callaghan and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge artist in residence Ed Anderson. Cal and Ed try to convert this old boat into a poling skiff and go looking for snook, tarpon, speckled trout, and redfish. Along the way they discuss the National Wildlife Refuge system, poop decks, the history of the duck stamp, Ding Darling, the queen mother of red tides, and learning to love rejection . . . from fish.
Lake Okeechobee—Florida’s inland sea of freshwater, grass, and largemouth bass. This week, Das Boat dives deep into Florida’s watery heart with a Candian and a Californian. The host of our own Anchored podcast, April Vokey, meets up with big bass expert Oliver Ngy and they try to figure out one of the most notoriously complex and rewarding bass fisheries in the country. Along the way, they discuss the iconography of Okeechobee, America’s obsession with bass, glitter boats, and the founders of Captains for Clean Water explain what’s being done about Florida’s water quality problems.
Returning to a favorite fishing spot from your past can be a questionable choice. What if it’s not as good as you remember? What if everybody and their sister started fishing your spots? What if you’re not as good as you remember? In this episode of Das Boat, Frank Smethurst and his old friend Mustache Rob circle back to some of their old favorite stomping grounds on the Savannah River in Augusta, Georgia. They catch some of the many native sport fish in this archetypical southern river, and set their sights on the east coast’s most sought after migratory game fish—stripers. Along the way, Das Boat gets a major upgrade, and they discuss the Georgia-South Carolina rivalry, southern roots, Bartram’s Bass, and the intertwined history of Augusta and the Savannah River. They'll set their sights on the highly sought after gamefish--stripers. They 'll discuss southern roots, rivalries, Bartram's Bass, and more.
Long river trips can take us deep into some wild places aboard a vessel that will carry far more than the basic necessities. In the season finale of Das Boat, Mustache Rob and Frank are back on the Savannah River in Georgia, headed more than 50 miles downstream into water that neither of them have ever seen before. It’s an exploratory mission, of sorts, though the Savannah is far from wilderness, and Rob and Frank’s journey is more National Lampoon than Heart of Darkness. At the terminus of their trip waits Wade Plantation and some heaping platefuls of southern hospitality. All Rob and Frank have to do is bring some catfish for the table and safely pilot Das Boat downstream.