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Fisherman Spots Giant Animal While Big Game Fishing
November 3, 2015
Twenty years ago, Joshua Jorgensen spent his time making doodles of sharks in his kindergarten class. He didn't expect his childhood obsession with sharks and big game fishing would eventually turn into a career.
“They’re strong and exciting,” Jorgensen told Yahoo News. “It’s a shark! They eat everything else. They’re the ultimate predator.”
Now, Jorgensen is the most popular fisherman on the Internet. His YouTube channel, BlacktipH (short for Blacktip Hunter) has accumulated over 73 million views. His videos cover a wide range of topic interests, including saltwater fishing guides and terrifying animal encounters while river fishing in Canada or gulf fishing in Florida.
Jorgensen hopes to redefine fishing entertainment by mixing his decades of experience on the water with an extreme sports attitude. He calls his channel's content "extreme fishing," and his videos have titles like "Monster Hammerhead Shark on the Beach" and "Extreme Beach Shark Fishing!"
Extreme fishing might be a hard concept for some to imagine, especially when the pastime of fishing has traditionally been associated with quiet and relaxation.
"Extreme fishing is taking [the normal definition of fishing] to the next level: catching a sailfish in a kayak or paddleboard or going and catching giant groupers with a hand line or rope," Jorgensen told MStars News. "You're making it more challenging for yourself and putting yourself in a situation that makes it more challenging to catch that fish."
In the same interview, Jorgensen joked about wanting to catch a great white shark while in a kayak. The fisherman's adventurous spirit has left him with a few injuries.
“I’ve been bit a few times,” Jorgensen told his hometown newspaper The Windsor Star. “You’ve got to be respectful and very careful.”
The biggest danger for novice extreme anglers? Fishing alone.
In an interview with MStar News, Jorgensen compared fishing with lifting heavy weights in a gym -- doing it without help is an invitation for injury. "I would never do it [again] by myself. You're asking to get killed."
Shark bites are a clear concern, but sometimes dangers are less obvious. In one video, Jorgensen is hit hard in the face with a fishing rod when his line snaps. He later received five stitches.
Jorgensen has been approached with offers to do a reality TV show, but he told Yahoo News that his main focus is his YouTube channel.
“They’re interested in creating drama and I hate that,” Jorgensen said. “I think there’s enough drama and adrenaline with sharks, you don’t need to create it artificially.”
Killing the animals, however, is not part of the excitement. Jorgensen told Yahoo News that he and his team always throw the fish they catch back into the water, although they'll often take photos of the animals as a sort of digital fishing trophy.
“They’re such important animals to the ecosystem; it’s important for them to be out there.”