Who was the first “TV Fisherman"?

It wasn’t Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, or even Ronnie. Graybeards will remember the legendary 1960’s show “Gadabout Gaddis, the Flying Fisherman”.

Roscoe Vernon “Gadabout” Gaddis had a radio fishing show in the 1930’s. In 1939, General Electric came to him and asked if he wanted to do a fishing show on a new experimental station in New York that broadcast something called “Television”.

That first show on W2XD as 15 minutes on Friday nights during the summer of 1939, TV being on just a few hours a day. During WW2, he toured USO’s and narrated his fishing travel films.

After the war, he bought a Cessna, and was the angling gospel to the first TV generation. For me, he was proof that fishing existed beyond the Santa Monica Pier.

His show “the Flying Fisherman” ran until the 1970’s brought showbiz and mega-stars to fishing. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 19, and always said “I’m the luckiest man alive”.

I caught a fish at the East Cape that looked exactly like a regular bonito, but it had big teeth. The pangero said it was a “white bonita” and was good to eat, what was it?

Chances are it was a “striped bonito”, sometimes seen in Asian fish markets as “oriental bonito”. They have several very prominent canine teeth, something like a barracuda. They also have snow-white meat like an albacore, and taste like albacore as well.

Standard fish textbooks say that striped bonito range from Baja down to Peru. It has been my experience that striped bonito are a little bit “greener” than our own California bonito.

There are also numerous reports of striped bonito in the Zihuatanejo area. Every now and then a SoCal landing will report catching an “Atlantic bonito”, these reports are almost certainly this species.

If you are in any of those areas and catch a “bonita”, check the mouth carefully. If it has larger teeth than you remember homegrown “boneheads” having, chances are you’ve got “the other white meat”.