St. Isaac Jogues, Notre Dame & U of D

Doug Wagner Starts Up Membership Perks on his Musky YouTube Channel – Witnessing History in the Making?

It's been fascinating to see how much a single social media site such as YouTube has been changing and growing the sport of fishing... Some think anglers like Jon B and Michael Hsiao from the Googan Squad becoming millionaires and gaining major sponsorships was the peak result, really, you think that's it? We may be still just at the beginning!

I'm friends with a lot of Esox fishermen on Facebook, one angler showed he just subscribed to Doug Wagner's monthly membership service for musky fishing, could this end up doubling his charter revenue? Before jumping to conclusions, it's safe to say that some times membership service had fallen through for some influencers like Brittany Dawn that sold bogus meal scams, that suggested if you do this meal routine, you'll look like me.

The new biggest controversy is the Liver King, lol, this dude promised if you eat liver and follow every bit of his workout routine, he'd look like him. Those of us that know the bodybuilding, strongman, and fitness industry knew he was full of shit... However, some dudes coming up at a young age don't, so they're easily misled... A lot of people also have been critical of Mike O'Hearn or what some call Mike O'Tren, who I heard sold duck eggs for $700 a pop and suggested if you eat the eggs, you'll look like him. A lot of people act like this is something new, it's not, what Mike O'Hearn and Liver King have been doing is no different than what the Weider brothers did with supplements, magazines like Muscle & Fitness, it's just changed from magazines to YouTube videos.

I think it's a warning to be honest with your subscribers and fans... Having a good reputation for your business or charter is very important, as someone like Jesse Ventura found out, once that reputation is tarnished, really no way getting it back sometimes, another one comes to mind is Johnny Depp.

I think Doug took a big leap of faith doing this, takes a lot of responsibility to keep up with these anglers who will probably be asking for recommendations on fishing gear, fishing tips, and possibly even tips on hot spots, etc... If you don't meet their expectations, membership count could go down... People sometimes expect the world too... Hell, I had anglers messaging me about taking them out, hooking up, doing collaborations... I never charged anything... Eventually it became overwhelming and I had to put a stop to it, in the end, even though a collaboration can be a great way to turn up some really cool videos, you start catering to these sportsmen that aren't even paying for a service to be on board your boat and the end result is you spending too much time with them, rather than making your own videos focusing on tips, custom lures, lure modifications etc... Some subscribers have to realize that some of us that just fish and do standard YouTube thing are not Charters, even though we give out spectacular tips on spots, lures and lure modifications in our videos, we really don't owe any of you anything, many of us do enough as is. Not trying to sound be a prick, but I've had people show up at the marina I keep my boat at, along with other weird shit... It's quite obvious Ben Nowak has experienced some weird shit too. And I'm sure some of the bozos reading this will say, told ya so, told ya that your videos bring to much fishing pressure... Dude, whether you're YouTuber or a fishing charter running a business, anglers are going to be emailing you questions, following you to your spots as (JC Dropshot has mentioned his videos numerously with musky charters), goes with territory when you become more experienced angler. Once upon a time, believe it or not I had a veteran musky charter guide tell me that Jason Quintano was asking him for musky hot spots and tips when he first started, who might I add is now the leader of the lake for the biggest musky. We've all had our beginning... It just amazes me how some of these anglers act like they are the first or something to discover a spot, as Brian Schram put it... "I don't care HOW long you have been fishing Lake St Clair, there is NO spot that is your spot and I promise you somebody knew about it before you did." lol I'm sure 30-40 years from now, we'll all be dead, it'll be a new group of musky anglers acting the same fucking way.

I know personally of one YouTube angler that had to ditch Instagram because of the overwhelming message requests... Bottom line, it's time to start up your own channel, simple as that... The thing of it is, we just know that some are talented at editing videos like Jon B or Arcasting, a lot of fishermen want to be in their videos... Look, we've all started from the ground up, even James Cameron who was originally just a truck driver, don't be embarrassed if you have to go to the library to read a book on making movies like Cameron did, it's a start. They have plenty of online courses and in-person classes for using editing software like Premiere Pro, using digital cameras etc... But some of us, definitely seen a weird side of how demanding this industry can be, some of us have decided to go solo dolo for the most part.

And really, I'm not sure what Doug Wegner has promised with his membership, you'll have to read his guidelines, each Influencer has his own unique set of perks, but regardless, this an interesting change in the sport I think and I think it's awesome what Doug named his membership service, "Next Gen Muskies!"

I've been saying it for the longest, a lot of the Lake St. Clair musky charters that are still stuck in the mind set of just taking photos for their members, you're Dinosaurs man. People want video footage, some of these anglers are so worried about revealing land marks to their hot spots, they'll probably never do video footage. But then again, what about setting up a podcast like what I recently heard Jon Bondy is doing with YouTube Angler Big John? Here's what I'll say about this, even if you're not revealing hot spots and just revealing high profiled tips that could land you a musky at Lake St. Clair or the Detroit River, some musky anglers just aren't happy with these secrets being let out of the bag, let alone bringing out-of-staters to their home lake(even if it stimulates the fishing industry), I've been around the industry long enough to know. So while Big John thinks it will be a harmless podcast that will "be just for fun." lol I talked a little to Captain Wayne Carpenter about writing some books on smallmouth bass fishing tips "just for fun," even Kim Stricker on bring the Bassmaster tournaments up to Lake St. Clair "just for fun," the vibe I got from them fter talking to them was some angler frowned upon what they did, even though both grew the sport tremendously. Some don't like any attraction to the sport, they like it the way it is, so just a big heads up... I wish them best of the luck with the podcast, I will definitely be watching and hope they succeed just like Doug Wagner! It's great to see Jon Bondy finally open up an actual brick and mortar store, I wonder though, if he would of ever made it to the level he's at without technology such as the internet selling his lures through his online shop...? Just so amazed to see all these business flourishing and the sport growing, Indeed... And if you don't know by now, there's been other Esox podcasts that have become popular like Ugly Pike.

I really like this scene from Moneyball where technology eventually changed the sport of baseball...

"first guy through the wall he always gets bloody always this is threatening not just a way of doing business buddy but in their minds is threatening the game but it's really what's threatening is their livelihood it's threatening their jobs, threatening the way that they do things, and every time that happens whether it's a government or way of doing business or whatever it is the people who are holding the reins have their hands on the switch they go batshit crazy I mean anybody who's not tearing their team down right now and rebuilding it using your model they're dinosaurs."

To be honest with you, even though I kind of warned Doug up above about how some of the influencers like Liver King and Brittany Dawn have kind of spoiled their reputations, I want him to be careful as he opens up his membership service not make the same mistakes they have, but I do think Doug has already hit a home run without realizing it, just like Billy Beane! I mean maybe he does realize it, how something like YouTube could double or triple his income down the road, never know where it may lead to... But I think seeing how well YouTube has expanded Michael Oliver's business Lost Jewellery Recovery, I think he's definitely on the right path!

I recently just started putting out new musky T-shirts and decals myself, remind you because of the new YouTube shelf, that now you can promote your merch underneath every video you make, as well as possibly your own custom musky lure from your shopify store if you want.

YouTube is changing so much, now, I think it's kind of turned into quantity not quality as I discussed this with Arcasting once. B-rolls were incredibly cool and kind of what separated Googans like Jon B from other anglers because his incredible editing skills, matching the perfect song with the right edits. I'm seeing channels succeed now with just doing lots of standard fishing vidoes, doing YouTube shorts, even just streaming, just being themselves and having fun, like old school anglers John and Dana Parker with their catfish streams. And one of the reasons I really didn't leave my streams and short videos up, is because the traditional videos mixed in with my regular videos which I didn't like, now that YouTube has separated them, I think that's pretty cool. As I discussed it with Arcasting once, I think once a niche is covered for certain keywords by a top YouTuber, really not much room to grow, but now that shorts and live streams have been released, definitely has give you different avenues to grow on the social media platform.

It's definitely an exciting time to be a YouTuber... As I was chatting with one of my subscribers from my channel at one of the local parks, while Youtube revenue is kind of low with Google Adsense Ads, that could change with Merch such as promoting your hats, shirts, and custom lures on the YouTube shelf, but also just doing it for the perks of receiving free items in the mail, then reviewing them. I received a free underwater drone Gladius Mini S in the mail with a $1,000 worth, not to mention like $500 worth of fishing lures, shirts, hats from French fishing company Suissex, which their bladed swimbait the Shad Spin Blade gave me ideas for other custom musky lures... That same new YouTuber said, yes, he too actually got contacted by a company to do a review on an underwater cam he recently received in the mail free.

Lately I've been shooting my mouth off about a lot of stuff, lol, I think a lot of businesses are weary of Influencers talking about controversial things, whether it could be Vaccine mandate, the lockdowns, lab leaks or whatever, so it's something to be very very careful about. As I made this bold statement already, I think we're already living in a Social Credit System whether we like it or not, people just don't realize it yet. You say the wrong thing on Facebook, you could easily get fired from your job. I remember when social media first arrived, I still had popular websites ranked in the top 10 results for certain keywords, little did I know how much this would change our culture, our jobs, actually take me out of business and not compete with them. Even though I got a quality forum on underwater drones, people still go to the Facebook groups post majority of their questions there... Ya know, is social media all for the common good, nope lol, as we're starting to see even social media can be misused and abused, but as some might say, what's pandora's box is open with some of this new technology, there's no turning back, I think some don't realize that.

As I stated once in a previous article, sometimes being Luddite from time to time, getting off this social media shit for awhile can be a very positive thing, as it's very overwhelming for the human mind to soak up so much information I think.

And getting back to what I said in the intro paragraph of this article, we may still be at the beginning. Imagine a world where you can make your own pond, river, or lake, customize it to your liking with your favorite species, fish for it all day long, people pay to watch you partake in the sport, they call this the Oasis lol just kidding... But if you think I'm nuts for suggesting this, it's already happening on Twitch with certain games like Fornite and gamers like Ninja, if there's a breakthrough in Virtual Reality technology, my suspicion that one of the first sport that may make a huge dive into this technology would be fishing and possibly hunting, after watching this trailer of this new trailer of Call of the Wild open world environment game... If a game could constantly replicate the feeling and rush you get of a musky following up your lure on the figure 8, what would you do if you could narrow a fish of 10,000 casts down to 50 casts, 20 casts, 10 casts... Something to think about!

Some already gave Call of the Wild bad reviews, it sucked, a lot of things they didn't like about the game, but being one of the first open world fishing games, there's always going to be room for improvement, with time, believe me things will change and most likely become addictive for a lot of us... lol And don't worry, nothing will change, us men will be fighting over honey holes and hot spots in the Oasis just like we do in the real world to compete to see who's the best, you can count on that...

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