West Bloomfield fishing show resumes on national network

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West Bloomfield resident Mike McKinstry’s fishing show was picked up on a national network.

West Bloomfield resident and fishing show host Mike McKinstry, right, helped surprise White Lake resident Darius Kincannon with a free new kayak after his other sank.

Photo provided by Mike McKinstry

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WEST BLOOMFIELD – There have been many books and movies written about people who have chosen to deviate from the conventional path in favor of the pursuit of a dream.

In reality, sometimes this decision pays off and sometimes not.

In the case of West Bloomfield resident Mike McKinstry, his choice to take an unconventional path has been rewarded with a job he loves and many adventures.

McKinstry is in its fifth year of having its own fishing show.

He was in promotional marketing for over 10 years before deciding to try his luck making a living with a fishing rod, kayak and camera.

“Bassquatch Hunter TV” was launched on a streaming platform. However, things have improved even further for McKinstry since then.

“We were seen on a national cable network, Pursuit Channel,” he said. “Last season was our first season on the network, and we ended up ranking fifth on the network, drawing 1.9-2 million viewers in our sixth season, which was a pretty cool achievement. We are now in our second season on cable and we expect to reach 2.5 million viewers this year.

Getting this far hasn’t always been easy for McKinstry.

“Picture yourself on a roller coaster that has never been tested before, that no one has ever been on, and no one can tell you how to hang in there or what to expect around every curve,” he said. -he declares. “And then while you’re on the roller coaster, the roller coaster changes and evolves while you’re at it. That’s pretty much what it feels like. There are a lot of ups, downs, obstacles, and twists and turns, and most of them aren’t seen until it happens.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinstry traveled to various parts of the country to film his shows, but more recently he has been fishing closer to home, particularly in the areas of West Bloomfield, White Lake and Waterford.

Aside from kayaking fishing, McKinstry’s show also typically has an “adventure segment or other sport we feature,” as well as a charity or payout segment onward toward the end.

A recent charity event was not planned in advance. In March, McKinstry observed that a men’s kayak sank and rolled over near the shore of Cedar Island Lake in White Lake.

McKinstry, his cameraman and the man whose kayak sank pulled him out of the water.

The man’s kayak was in need of repair and McKinstry offered to fix it.

About four days later, McKinstry asked the man to meet him at Summit Sports Bloomfield Hills, where he learned that instead of a repaired kayak he was getting a new one, with Summit Sports covering half the cost and Seastream Kayaks each other, according to McKinstry. .

“We ended up buying him a really nice high end kayak from one of my sponsors,” McKinstry said. “We have a super nice kayak and a new life jacket. I surprised him with some fishing bait, a new rod and other stuff as well.

McKinstry said he and this man, White Lake resident Darius Kincannon, have become good friends.

“I (went) to meet him one day to get my kayak, and he surprised me with this brand new kayak,” Kincannon said. “I was blown away; I didn’t think so at all. I was in a bad mood (because) my son had broken my cane just before I arrived.… When I got there and saw this , I was blown away.

Regarding the fishing portion of the show, McKinstry said, “For the most part all we do is catch and release.”

McKinstry buys airtime for “Bassquatch Hunter TV” and obtains its income from sponsors.

He said sponsorship relationships are “90% of what I do. “

Sometimes seemingly good decisions can later end in regrets. But the passage of time hasn’t changed McKinstry’s take on his choice to quit his previous job and start a fishing show.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I gave up a lot of (of) security and comfort, but I gained memories and a lot more freedom. … The freedom that comes with self-employment is thwarted by all the struggles and sacrifices, but it’s one of those things where I can do what I love every day.

McKinstry said the decision he made made a “night and day” difference in his life.

“I am a different person,” he said. “I feel like I have a better understanding of who I am and what I want out of life. … I focus on what I (want) to do and what really excites me.

The Pursuit channel can be viewed by cable and satellite, on demand, and through a variety of streaming options.

For more information visit pursuitechannel.com.

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