VIRGINIA — Way back when TNN was a cable channel on the dial there used to be a boatload of outdoors shows available to those of us that like to hit the lakes and woods.
Every Sunday after All Star Wrestling and right before the NASCAR Winston Cup race, I would watch guys like Bill Dance, Al Lindner and Roland Martin do their thing on the lake on my television screen.
Then on Monday I’d run out and buy whatever jigs or lures or fishing rods they were shilling in hopes of catching big walleyes and bass like them.
I also secretly wanted to be them – fishing for a living or at least on TV.
Of course back then getting on TV or even making a video that anyone could or would watch wasn’t very easy.
Flash-forward to today and making videos on the lake is as easy as pulling out a phone or a Go Pro, hitting record and then uploading to YouTube.
A lot of people are doing it but only a hand-full of them are entertaining enough to watch.
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon one such bunch of young dudes doing their thing right in our back yard and man what hoot it was.
I spent 20 minutes watching local students Jared Dahl, Connor Croft (Crofty as he is known to his friends), Noah Erickson and Garrett Ulman, reel in walleye after walleye on frozen Red Lake and it was so cool I started searching for an ice house ten minutes later.
The boys call their project “Lured In Outdoors.” They’ve got their own YouTube channel and in less than a month have posted four videos, which have had nearly 2,000 views while hooking 77 followers.
The four friends, all of which are studying to be engineers, had been kicking around the idea of having their own fishing show for a while but never really knew where to start.
It wasn’t until they attended a Fishing Careers Workshop in Brainerd in October that they realized that if they really wanted to chase the dream of creating content, they had to commit to getting on the water and doing it.
They studied other fishing YouTube channels and TV shows for a long time and thought it would be cool to share what they have learned throughout their years of fishing, while also providing some laugh for others to enjoy.
The goal is to share their passion for the outdoors and fishing while providing entertaining and educational content to those who strive to learn more about the outdoors.
And while they want to have fun with it and have something to look back on in the future, they hope to grow to a level on YouTube to where Lured In Outdoors becomes a brand people in the outdoor community recognize.
There will be some summer fishing content when that season rolls around and maybe some hunting and other outdoors activities if the opportunity arises.
The four videos online now (Lured In Outdoors on YouTube) includes the Red Lake trip, a perch mission, a lesson on catching suspended crappies on the ice, and a random trip to a random lake where the boys have no idea what they are fishing for but find success anyway.
The best part of the adventure so far, for Crofty, has been “Being about to document all the crazy things that have happened during our adventures,” he said. “The hardest part for us is actually setting down our fishing rods and picking up the camera. I think this can be applied to all of us. We are all so addicted that is can be tough not fishing while on the ice.”
Erickson agreed with his sentiments but added he really enjoys the technical part of it all.
“The best part for me has been rewatching all of the footage we have taken when I edit a video and laughing until I tear up. What we say is so much funnier watching it on my computer screen,” he said.
For Ulman, watching the videos always gives him a good laugh.
“My favorite part is having these videos to look back on and remember all the great times we had, and I am looking forward to making many more,” Dahl said.
So far, the boys say, friends, family, and viewers have been very supportive. Beside the positive reactions they’ve also received some great advice for future improvements and since they are always looking to improve they take it all into consideration.
“We all have been blessed with family and friends that are very supportive of us chasing our dreams, and we can’t thank them enough,” Dahl added.
While YouTube is the primary platform, Lured In Outdoors is also using Instagram (@luredinoutdoors) and Facebook (Lured In Outdoors).
Check them out. You won’t be disappointed.