A new television show documenting the region’s landscapes and abundant fishing opportunities is looking to catch viewers’ attention.
‘Hooked Up’, which is hosted by “local celebrity angler” Anton Persico – is premiering tonight on Wairarapa TV.
Persico, a seasoned angler, will entertain and educate viewers with tips and tricks to fishing in local waters, and hopes other anglers will glean information and inspiration from the show to enhance their own fishing experiences.
Persico told the Times-Age he’ll be happy if the show inspires young people to get off the PlayStation and explore their regional backyard.
“Over the past few years, I have found myself getting more enjoyment capturing fish on film rather than rod and reel,” Persico said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I still like getting hooked up, but it’s really cool when you can capture an epic moment to share with others. With a little push from a close friend and approval from Toby Mills [from Wairarapa TV], I decided to go through with it. “
Over the past eight weeks, Persico said he has clocked up over 100km on foot through the Tararua Range with the star of episode one, James Rankin from Wairarapa Guided Fishing Tours.
“The funny thing is we got the shots we needed in the first 20km,” Persico said.
“We are both as crazy and keen as each other; we just kept trying to get something better than the day before.”
Each episode features a different fishing spot in Wairarapa, ranging from trout fishing in serene lakes to catching trophy-sized marlins in the open sea on the East and South Coast of Wairarapa.
There will be four episodes that screen once a month during December, January, February, and March – featuring footage captured the month before each episode goes to air.
“There’s a bit of pressure to catch and work around the weather. A fishing show is pretty boring if you’re not catching fish, so we will do our best,” he said.
Persico said he spent most of his teenage years catching trout with friends at Henley Lake or down the Ruamāhanga River.
“Heading out in the Tararuas with James was next level. At times, I was blown away by the scenery I was looking at and stoked at the quality of fishing it offered,” he said.
“There’s some really big angry fish up there – it’s awesome to see. I think we have captured it to share with everyone.”
Meanwhile, viewer engagement is encouraged via social media – the programme makers are eager to hear about their audiences’ fishing stories while also allowing time for questions from viewers.
The ‘Hooked Up’ creators are also open to suggestions about fishing locations in the region that the show can explore in future episodes.
“I’d like to give a special thanks to Hunting and Fishing Masterton, Mitre 10 Mega Masterton, and Fagan Motors for coming on board and backing the show,” Persico said.
Hooked Up, Wairarapa TV [Freeview 41] tonight at 7pm.