CARLSBAD—The lilt to her voice as she says “troot” and “aboot” says “Canada,” but there’s no doubt that Amanda Plewes is exactly where she belongs, kicking a Hobie kayak around Carlsbad Lagoon in pursuit of halibut. The host of Big City Fishing on the World Fishing Network is right at home in sunny Southern California, despite the fact that she’s 2,600 miles from the small town in Ontario where she grew up and first fished.
“Now that I’m here in and I see the size of the fish you can get – and it’s year around! – I’m like ‘Hooooooooly, I found a new paradise’,” Plewes says. “I’m blown away by the health of the fish here.”
No small compliment from an angler who’s fished some of the most diverse, productive waters of North America in the past three years. Plewes’ “Big City Fishing” resume reads like an excerpt from “100 Places You Must Fish Before You Die”: Lake Ontario for giant German browns; peacock bass in the Florida Everglades; the Niagara River for trophy smallmouth and Chinook; the pristine trout waters of Kamloops, British Columbia; the list goes on and on.
It’s “dreams come true” territory for the girl who huddled in her grandfather’s ice shack, pulling perch through the ice, and who obssessed over the “really big, nasty carp around the docks” at her small local lake. Plewes landed on television after a random contact via Facebook by an agent, inviting her to audition for a fishing show. She aced the audition, and soon found herself in front of the camera for the first season of “Big City Fishing,” a show that focuses on close-to-home fishing opportunities that exist in populated areas of North America.
“A lot of it is from the bank,” she says. “We try to teach the basics, and that you don’t need to go spend a lot of money to catch fish. We go buy the $30 rods at the store and give tips throughout the show how to rig. A lot of people who don’t have the money for a boat really relate to the show.”