Anyone who has ever been fishing knows there can be a tremendous amount of down time. Telling stories and spending time with friends and family on the water was always part of the joys of fishing for Ronnie Green, who’s been casting bait all his life.

After a successful career in the medical device industry and a lifelong love of bass fishing in particular, Green has taken his experiences to the television screen as the host of A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green on the World Fishing Network, showing that catching fish is more than surface deep.

It’s not just the fishing, which is phenomenal by the way — everything from bass to scallops in and around Florida — which makes Green’s show such a hit with viewers. It’s also the stories that people tell. It’s the depth the host takes in getting to know his guests. It’s about relating to people and understanding their point of view, and fishing is just the backdrop.

Green, who was raised in Texas the son of an “interventionalist” and “un-traditional” pastor, is a natural in the role. We spoke to the father, Marine Corps veteran and former All-American track star from his home in Tampa Bay, Florida. He said he’d watched a lot of fishing shows over the years, but there was something missing.

“At the end of the day there was some unbelievable fishing and great conversations about baits, but no one really got into the details of the story,” Green said. “Because anyone who’s ever been on the water knows that you’re going to talk with people about some things you wouldn’t imagine so that you’re like at some point, ‘How did we get into this?'”

Having completed the show’s third season with new episodes set to air in January, Green said the concept is working exceptionally well, what he calls “Oprah Winfrey deep.” Guests have revealed incredibly personal experiences such as the pain and trauma caused to a son witnessing his father kill his mother.

It helps people to realize that there is so much more to life than the daily grind and to take the time to spend some quality time with one another.

“Fishing somehow helps to break down barriers,” Green said. “Everyone can get excited about a fish. Sometimes that helps to break down the walls. Then before you know it we have some dialogue with some deep talks.”

Growing up in Texas it was Green’s great-grandmother who first opened his eyes to the power of fishing. She would take him fishing for bass and catfish at the age of three, he said.

“She was unbelievable. But she was very stoic and protective of her emotions,” he said. “But when I went fishing with her she would say and talk about things you would never expect, or you wouldn’t hear in a normal environment. So that’s where fishing and having a lot of great stories comes from. It’s where I learned about my family and a lot of things I didn’t know about history.”

Later as a father, fishing became a way to build stronger connections with his kids. At a time in their teenage years when all they wanted to do was go to the mall, Green said he used fishing as a way to glean information.

“They’re captive,” he said. “They can’t walk on water, so they are going to talk. You can get so bored out there you have no choice but to have a conversation.”

The fishing on Green’s show is pretty spectacular too. A world class bass fisherman, Green takes viewers to the freshwater lakes and saltwater environments of Florida and around the gulf, having recently shot an exciting episode fishing for shallow water grouper and another diving for sea scallops.

How Green landed a job as the television host of a weekly fishing show was somewhat happenstance. He had been speaking at sales conventions when a man who worked as a television producer recognized him from a local bass tournament.

“He said, ‘But you’re a good host,’ and I said, ‘I am?'”

So he sent him a demo tape and the rest is history. Finally to end our conversation, we asked Green what it was about fishing that he thought really opened people up.

“Honestly it’s not necessarily the fishing,” he said. “It’s the fresh air, the beauty of nature and the animals speaking to you. You don’t know they’re language but you know they are enjoying what they’re doing. On top of that you have the opportunity to detach from your electronics. It seems to me the more electronics we get in the world, the more outdoor environment we need to offset…

“It helps people to realize that there is so much more to life than the daily grind and to take the time to spend some quality time with one another. Whatever it is, just finding that outlet that gets you out of the norm so that you can enjoy your life.”

Catch A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green every Saturday morning 9:30 AM EST on World Fishing Network.

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