“I’m still Eric Young on the show,” Young said. “Maybe a cooler version of Eric Young I guess, but that is still part of my personality. It is really who I am. I’m a novice fisherman at best. So I’m kind of learning as I go. That part of the show is 100 percent real.”
Those who are familiar with the Canadian may know he enjoys activities such as playing hockey and riding motorcycles. However for the TNA star, fishing was an early hobby.
“Most of my fishing was done at a very young age,” Young said. “My mom said one of the first things my dad said to her right after I was born was, ‘Finally I’ve got my fishing partner.’ So a lot of time spent with my father was spent fishing, hunting, canoeing and stuff like that. As time went on, I got further and further away from it when I started in pro wrestling, and that consumed every second of every day up until this point.
“I’ve been out on a few charter boats. I love fishing. I always have but haven’t always had time for it. Now I have this cool show and am able to do all these amazing things, even stuff that regular fishermen don’t even know about. So it has been an amazing experience.”
Each week comes a new fish tale and exploit courtesy of Young, on his way to becoming the “MacGyver of fishing”.
“You see me doing different styles of fishing,” Young said. “Every episode is completely different. I’ve done catching sharks from a paddleboard and free-dive spear fishing. We just got done shooting one in Louisiana, scuba spear fishing on oil rigs. So there are all these amazing adventures that I’m going on.
“The constant theme for me is meeting these people. These men and women who dedicated their life to fishing, as for most of them, it’s their livelihood. It is what they do to make money, and you see how passionate they are about what they do and how they do it. They are just hard-working, tenacious people who are passionate about what they do. Being around that is contagious.”
TNA has been very supportive of Young as he juggles his commitments to the company with the project. He has appeared sporadically in recent weeks along with his onscreen wife ODB.
“My wrestling schedule has been really light,” Young said. “We used to tape the shows on Mondays and Tuesdays, so my fishing show schedule was based around that. This summer TNA and Spike TV decided to go live [Thursdays], so I’ve been kind of missing in action for the most part. They are proud of me and have been behind me the whole way. They want me to come back. They are biting at the bit and waiting for me to come back, and so am I. I miss wrestling, but this show has been amazing. I think people are really going to like it.”
Perhaps, instead of “Showtime,” his wrestling nickname can be “The Fisherman of TNA”?
He said: “I may have to bring back Shark Boy as my long lost brother or something. I’m not sure.”
“Off the Hook: Extreme Catches” premieres 9 p.m. EST Monday, July 30 on the Discovery Channel. Animal Planet will air new episodes 9 p.m. EST on Sunday beginning Aug. 19. For information, visit www.animal.discovery.com.
• Follow Eric Young on Twitter @ShowtimeEY.
• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN, http://twitter.com/#!/smFISHMAN, where I post links and information. Opinions expressed reflect no other entity. I can also be found tweeting incessantly during wrestling shows weekly.
• During its summer series, TNA Impact Wrestling airs lives 8 p.m. EST Thursdays on Spike TV.
• TNA’s Hardcore Justice pay-per-view is 8 p.m. EST Sunday, Aug. 12 at Universal Studios Orlando.
• Tickets are now on sale for TNA’s biggest show of the year, the Bound For Glory pay-per-view, to occur Sunday, Oct. 14 in Phoenix. Visit www.impactwrestling.com.