Have you ever seen a reality show based on the life on the road of a professional tournament angler?
"Keep it Reel Fishing" documented professional anglers Robert Cardenas and Justin Schneider throughout their journey on the 2014 tournament trail. The five-part series captures their most exciting moments on the Cabela's National Walleye Tour.
Cardenas and Schneider began their professional fishing career as co-anglers in the Anglers Insight Marketing Pro-Am series. They later teamed up to take their fishing to the next level at the Cabela's National Walleye Tour, which has the biggest cash prize on the walleye tournament trail. The anglers had a successful first season, with three top-ten finishes. They wanted to share their experience with other anglers, so they created the reality TV show "Keep it Reel Fishing."
The On-Tour Perspective
I recently had a chance to ask Cardenas and Schneider a few questions about their 2014 season, as well as their experience filming this behind-the-scenes look at the professional walleye tour.
"We get the question constantly from friends, family, and fishermen, 'What do you do for 10 days at a tournament?' Justin and I sat down and tried to figure out a way we could share our experiences so everyone, not just anglers, could understand what goes on during tour events," Cardenas said. "We came up with 'Keep It Reel Fishing.'"
From my own experience fishing tournaments all season, I know there are highs and lows. I asked Cardenas about that aspect of their season.
"My biggest high of 2014 was being asked to participate in a 'Make A Wish' for a young boy from Michigan," Cardenas mentioned. "He loves to fish and hunt and chose to have his 'Make A Wish' at the Cabela's in Green Bay. He wanted to shop with a couple of Professional Anglers. I was also able to get him and his family out to Woodland Resort on Devils Lake for some ice fishing this winter. My second high was making the final cut day and fishing as one of the top ten anglers for the Cabela's National Walleye Tour Championship."
With every high there is a low, and for these anglers, the low was definitely being away from home for several days at a time. Both men have very young children, which makes the professional angling business much more difficult. Many times a year, they are asked to travel far away from their support system to pursue their passion. However, today's technology, including FaceTime, has made this a tolerable experience.
I asked Cardenas if making this reality show was a distraction to their tournament fishing.
"If you have ever dealt with anything to do with filming and editing you would know it is a daunting task," Cardenas said. "We knew going into this we would have to hire a production company, SIRNA Productions, to edit all this down as we both have families we like to spend quality time with while we are home! This also allowed us to get the videos out soon after each event".
He also said:
I feel more prepared on pre-fish days as it forces you to be more organized and in return makes me mentally stronger. On tournament days, we just let the cameras roll and not worry about the angles or shots we are getting. Our main goal is to beat the field and finish number one!
Another season of "Keep it Reel Fishing"
"We will be shooting season two starting in May and have a new promo coming out soon. We are excited to take things to another level this year with more quality and more content," said Schnieder.
The guys at "Keep it Reel" are just of a few of the professional walleye anglers to keep an eye on this year. If you have not had a chance to watch them in action, check out their website and follow them on Facebook for up-to-date footage and tournament updates.
What will the 2015 tournament trail bring for these two anglers? I'm sure it will be full of laughs and memories. They will catch plenty of walleye, and a good time will be had by all while they are "Keeping it Reel!"
All images via Keep It Reel Fishing