Big Coast Sportsfishing hooks audience

A Kingfisher offshore boat, produced by Vernon’s Harbercraft, heads towards Barkley Sound off Vancouver Island’s west coast. - Photos Submitted
A Kingfisher offshore boat, produced by Vernon’s Harbercraft, heads towards Barkley Sound off Vancouver Island’s west coast.
— image credit: Photos Submitted

Bites, camera, action.

Those three words pretty much sum up Tim Milne’s Big Coast Sportfishing television program.

Milne, who lives in Vernon, will head to Port Alberni on Vancouver Island to start shooting Season 5 of the popular fishing program May 1. The 13 new episodes of Big Coast will air this fall on Global, World Fishing Network HD, CHEKTV, CKPG, CFJC and CHAT.

Filmed in one of the world’s most remote and pristine marine ecosystems using 16x9 cinematic high definition cameras, the show’s production quality is what separates it from others says Milne, who has 15 years of writing, sports, film and outdoor adventure production experience to draw from.

“All of the fishing shows out there are done purely by fisherman, they’re not done by professional production people,” said Milne. “We’re both. We came from a production background well before we got into fishing.”

Milne, who co-hosts the show with friend Brian Savard, quickly realized he would need a vessel capable of handling the rugged offshore conditions. He found an ideal sponsor in Vernon’s Harbercraft, who furnished him with a 27-foot, all-welded aluminum Kingfisher offshore model. They are also supported by Islander Precision Reels and Yamaha engines.

“Once we started fishing offshore we needed a boat sponsor and Harbercraft has been making the best offshore coastal boats for years,” said Milne, noting the relationship has become mutually beneficial.

“They needed some TV production, some high def and B-roll production for promotional stuff and it was a great fit that way. They’re such a quality brand and we’ve got the high-end production for their corporate work.”

Mark Delaney, Harbercraft’s director of marketing, agrees the show has helped the company gain a wider audience.

“We’re trying to bring the coastal experience into people’s homes and ultimately increase sales that way,” he said.

“We have something pretty unique on the west coast as far as the pristine environment we ply our trade in. It’s a great experience to be able to bring it all to you in HD. It’s a great tool for us to share the lifestyle that we all love here at the company.”

Milne and Harbercraft will once again team up next weekend at the 50th annual Vancouver International Boat Show, which runs Wednesday to Sunday at B.C. Place.Harbercraft will be wrapping a 25-footer with the TV show’s logos and sponsors, and Milne will be on hand to meet visitors and hand out some loot.

“By far the biggest (boat show) of the year. Nothing else is even really close to it,” said Milne, who grew up snagging bass and lake trout in North Bay, Ont.

Milne earned his journalism degree at Ryserson University in Toronto. A self-professed ski bum, he actually took a few years off from the show to coach the Canadian snowboard team in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

He operates his Ridelounge HD Productions studio in Whistler, but plans to establish a new editing suite in Vernon so he can cut back on travel and spend more time with his family. He coaches his twin sons, Jonathan and Zachary, six, on the Vernon Black Widows Novice hockey team.

“I taught them to be ski bums and they picked hockey,” he laughed.

Every June, Big Coast launches north and follows the southward migration of ocean-strong chinook and coho salmon, with the prime fishing happening in July and August.

Milne says filming the show is a lot like shooting back country skiing, where so many variables have to come into alignment to capture the perfect shot. On occasion, he admits the fish just aren’t there.

“There’s a lot of grey, rainy days and you see a lot of water, trees and rocks that look the same until the sunshine cracks. The sunny days, when they come, make up for all the grey ones,” he said.

“It’s almost impossible because you’re trying to time that (ideal shot) for when the fish are there and there’s just so many different variables.

“It’s still fishing in the end. No matter how good you are, there are good days and bad days. Every year we’re putting more and more time in on the water just to get those really good days because you don’t hit them that often.”


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