When we shot the pilot for our fishing series Got Bait? (The Hunt for Flounder) we encountered lots of surprises. In fact, it's fair to say that more unexpected things happened than those we could have predicted. So we decided to share some of the off-camera antics with you in Fishing: Behind the Scenes of Got Bait? 

Since then we've shot two more episodes, and believe you me, again we learned to expect the unexpected. If you've watched Got Bait? The Search for Stripers and Got Bait? Mahi-Mahi Madness, here's what you didn't see.

spot fish

The first surprise: spot fish were uncharacteristically hard to catch.

When we set out to film The Search for Stripers, we knew we'd be putting live spot up against jigs. And spot fishing can be a real pain in the you-know-what sometimes. You have to buy bloodworms, which cost an arm and a leg, then find a spot to catch your spot. And with limited filming time, we certainly didn't want to spend all day trying to catch bait. But when we ran out to the area we'd caught spot the weekend before the shoot... no spot. So we ran to another of our usual haunts... no spot. And we moved again. And again. And again.  No spot. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to search fruitlessly for six inch fish, while the bill for a camera crew racks up by the minute? Well, now you do.

Another thing you never saw in The Search for Stripers: twice the baits were inhaled by extremely large fish, which peeled line off the drag and fought like crazy—until the hook popped free. Now, I get frustrated any time I lose a big fish. But to have it happen twice? When filming?! C'mon, fish!

The biggest shocker from Mahi-Mahi Madness... well you did actually see that already. Remember those underwater shots of hordes of fish, swarming around our boat in a feeding frenzy? We certainly knew we were on good numbers of mahi and we had doubles, triples, and even a quadruple hook-up. But until we actually watched that underwater footage, we really had no idea just how many fish were down there: an obscene number.

Max dropping an eel down his brother's shirt was not planned. And we had no clue we'd run out of tags long before we ran out of fish. And heck no, we didn't expect that fish to change colors so rapidly that we'd be able to capture its jaw-dropping transition from silver to green to yellow on film. But when you see that dozens and dozens—maybe even hundreds—of fish were within a few feet of the boat's hull, you really learn to count your blessings. And, of course, to expect the unexpected.

Watch all the segments of Got Bait?

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.