The Fishing Club, a look back at the genesis of the show with David Vengerder

Discover the portrait of David Vengerder, former sports journalist, great fishing enthusiast and founder of the Fishing Club. David reveals his career, the genesis of the Fishing Club and his vision of fishing in France.

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Hello David. Before starting, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your background?

Hello and thank you for thinking of me!

I am 46 years old (soon), married, 2 children, and I come from the world of media, television more precisely. I was a journalist, editor-in-chief and presenter of sports programs, for the Canal + group in particular, on L'Equipe as well.

About ten years ago, I created a communication and production company, and, alongside my profession as a journalist, I produced a lot of content for big brands, mainly in the field of sport; Nike, Coca Cola, Lacoste… I also worked as a producer for other TV channels, like TF1 for example.

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Can you tell us where your passion for fishing comes from?

My father had two passions, soccer and fishing. On Saturday I was in the car to go with him to football, and on Sunday the same, when it was time to go fishing. The program was coarse fishing, but it had some raw rods and a few spoons, and soon I was drawn to it a lot more.

And then one day, while my father was buying his bloodworms at the retailer, I came across the Mister Twisters, and I think my fascination with lures started there, love at first sight with a small retailer in 91!

What techniques do you mainly practice at the water's edge?

All lure fishing! If I had the time, I would love to learn the fly, improve myself in fake ... But hey, I still have work on lure fishing, which is already vast, progressive, demanding.

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Do you have a favorite fish? If so, why this particular fish?

I fish for pike and bass more than other species, but it's mostly situational. In summer I look for aspes, and the violence of the attacks quickly makes me addicted. I could quickly become crazy about pikeperch, black bass too I think, and I dare not imagine the number of species in exo that could turn my brain! So no, no preference!

You are at the origin of the Fishing Club, a program launched a little over a year ago on Youtube, bringing together fishing experts to discuss different themes, trends or even problems related to recreational fishing. Could you tell us a little more about the concept?

The concept is simple, known and proven since the dawn of time in television, it's a good old talk show! This format is declined ad infinitum in TV on sport, politics, current events… And on fishing there was nothing. Afterwards, frankly, with Thomas Paulin (the director of the show, who runs the channel with me) we wondered if people were going to subscribe to a show of more than 30 minutes, in which there is no picture of fishing and fish, and obviously the answer is YES.

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Then, the principle of this show only works if the guests are good, relevant. An average subject can be partly caught up with eloquence, earthiness, anecdotes… Conversely, a good subject can generate lukewarm and soporific discussions with guests who are not in their place.

Could you tell us about the genesis of this project? Why did you create the Fishing Club? Was there a lack that you wanted to overcome through this medium?

Apart from the absence of a talk show format in the world of fishing in France, we made another observation. Media coverage of lure fishing in France is provided by two main sources; traditional media (print media, TV) and Youtubers.

For various reasons, the audience of the former has fragmented in recent years. The latter, on the other hand, are very dynamic, emerging, creative. But they are by definition hyper personalized, in any case they developed on people, more than on concepts. Neither of the two main sources can constitute a recurring forum for one of the most precious assets of our sector: our experts, our ambassadors, of whom we can nevertheless be extremely proud!

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Lure fishing in France has an elite (although I don't like that word in general), boys who have a monumental technical background, a knowledge of the environment and phenomenal fish, with in addition for some of the years of design and product development to their credit ...

And more, for the most part, they are guys who have ideas, and who know how to express them very well, in short, interesting guys! We really wanted to create the ideal channel to unleash this expertise, at a time when communication on social networks is confusing things a bit.

On the basis of these findings, I went to see Yannick Cordier (Ultimate Fishing) and Christophe Soares (Navicom), to submit my idea to them and ask them if they wanted to help me launch this channel. They were thrilled, and thanks to them, we were able to start the adventure. It is really the two engines that are the starting point. Voila, you know everything about the genesis of the project!

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The Fishing Club has become in less than two years an unmissable event for many fishermen, enthusiasts or amateurs, in particular thanks to the qualityé themes discussed between experts, always rich in lessons and sparking a lot of ink on social networks. How are these subjects chosen?

It makes me sincerely happy that you use the word "essential" even if it is surely a little exaggerated, there are a lot of people who manage to bypass the show 🙂

It is true that after only a few months (16 to be exact), the show federates a good audience and has a significant notoriety. And it's also true that the extensions on other social networks are pretty crazy.

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For the subjects, there is an editorial committee, I "put" things on the table, and it is corrected / improved / updated according to each other's ideas. All recurring guests and partners can give their opinions, submit themes to me, and in the end, I synthesize these recommendations and my convictions. But all this usually goes quite quickly, it's very fluid!

Do you have a subject that would have particularly marked you? If yes, why ?

I don't like la langue de bois, so I'll be blunt, even if it's the only negative feeling in a year and a half. The show on the Ali Express phenomenon generated 3 painful days, with totally disproportionate hatred in some comments.

We did not treat this theme well, myself the first, and yet we knew that it was going to generate virulent reactions. Whether we criticize the show, and the comments made there, that's fine with me, that's the rule. But there must be some measure, which has been exceeded very far. We received insults, threats, and the most virulent people did not comment at all on the show!

Personally, I am attached to respect in general. The person who wins the minimum wage but wants to drive in an Audi, by putting all his savings and borrowing over 15 years, because it is his pleasure, he should not be stigmatized. The one who earns a very good living but drives a Skoda, because he finds that the price of cars is indecent, well it's the same, we must respect his approach. And whoever thinks he has found Audi 3 times cheaper but absolutely identical, and quite free to buy them and drive with them.

A brand that sells its products at a totally outrageous price, disconnected from reality, would quickly file for bankruptcy. His offer would meet no demand. I think some have forgotten this setting. There is no thief, no theft, just a contract, the meeting of two free and enlightened consents. You just have to respect that, and whoever feels like he's escaping a big plot by buying on Ali Express, well that's cool for him! Respect too.

The Fishing Club is mainly debates but also mini-series such as "SURE", "WAYPOINT" or " ANGLERS ". Is there a common denominator behind these different projects that you are developing?

Yes, clearly the common denominator is to rely on the reference fishermen in France, in formats that seem complementary to us, and which will eventually form a real digital media whose outlines are quite precise in my mind. We are at the start of an exciting adventure.

With all these debates that you animate, what tendency (s) do you observe concerning recreational fishing in France? On its strengths, its weaknesses but also on its future?

Two big trends on fishing itself, beware this is only my opinion.

First, we are extremely divided. Despite considerable economic weight, we weigh nothing in influence. Otherwise professional freshwater fishermen would no longer exist, at least in environments that cannot withstand it.

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The Loire catfish rillettes is a shame, already sanitary, but also a snub for our authorities. Some fight with force and ingenuity on the ground, but they should be strongly supported with means, financial and material, of lobbying.

We can make the same observation at sea, with the winter carnage on seabass spawning grounds.

Second, there is a major identity crisis for the French fisherman. The recruitment process is planned to make him an associative activist, for whom the catch of a fish is almost secondary. Reality shows that, in the vast majority of cases, the fisherman takes his card for two reasons: to be in good standing and to catch fish.

If we admit that, definitively, and that we take it into account to take the right measures, we partly settle the first point (the division) and then, maybe the future may be brightened up.

And from a personal point of view, has the Fishing Club changed your way of fishing?dear d'tackle a job, a fish or a technique?

It is especially the sessions and the shootings with some of the experts that modify the approaches a little. You watch, you learn, you try to reproduce, and sometimes you get it!

What are the major projects in view for this year 2020 for the Fishing Club ?

We have a huge project that was postponed because of the health crisis. A hyper ambitious format, in several episodes, the first of which was to be shot at the end of April… It will be THE big thing of 2020.

Otherwise, there are 2 Waypoints in preparation, and some evolutions on the talk show, which will begin, if all goes well, its 3rd year next October.

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Do you have an anecdote to tell us during a shooting of the Fishing club?

There are already several quite striking ones. The last date of the beginning of the year. We were supposed to shoot a Waypoint with Arnaud Brière, on secret ponds in the 77.

We arrive, and the Marne which runs alongside the ponds is in total flood, it overflows and flows into the ponds, which turn brown, the water really rises, we are in a pit, we don't want to cancel the shoot, but we wonder if we are not going to end up with the cars underwater.

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In short, we discuss in a hurry, and there behind Arnaud, in a trickle of water 1 cm deep, while we are discussing, there is a pitcher that goes up to go from one pond to another, like a salmon, and it gets stuck under a fence! We unpin it, put it back in the water and suddenly we took it for a sign, we decided to go and shoot!

It is finally a terrible storm and a lightning (which will not fall far from the boat) which will force us to give up ...

A message to pass on to young people (and not so young) who would like to discover the world of fishing today?

Take the time, do your learning, spend as much time as possible at the water's edge, and if you are truly passionate, the results are bound to come. Fishing is a technical and demanding discipline.

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There is no miracle, you have to learn your scales, like a pianist or a tennis player, to master your technique, acquire the basics and know a little about the environments where you fish.

For those who will be diligent and observant, there will be magical moments to experience!

Useful links to learn more about David Vengerder and the Fishing Club:

Youtube channel

FC Facebook

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