Having become one of the fastest growing social E-zines and communities on the web, it’s easy for EZ Angler to see the unique lives of anglers globally, their passion for fishing and their individual efforts to connect with the rest of the fishing world. Topwater Tony is one of those charismatic anglers in the social fishing community that stands out, – having made a mark in the social area by building a community of anglers and friendships – Addicted To Fishing or better known as the ATF. We had a chance to sit with Tony and find more about the man behind this social following.
First question, Topwater Tony, tell us the story behind your name.
Well I’m glad that you started with an easy one… I have always been a clever one in coming up with nicknames from back in the day of me playing in bands, but Topwater Tony obviously came from my love of catching bass on top-water and Tony comes from my middle name, which is Anthony
You have gained a significant social media following especially on Facebook. From the start, did you have a plan to develop a social media community and grow it into something bigger?
The web continues to surprise me and how it brings the world closer together and it is fantastic to see some of the fishing community accept me the way they have. It definitely shows the love of the sport and the camaraderie. I do not have any plans on growing it into something bigger; it grows slowly day-by-day on its own.
Tell us about the Addicted to Fishing (ATF) Facebook Group. When and how did the (ATF) come about and is it simply a social community or does extend to an actual community of anglers rallying around the brand, like a club?
ATF was started back in May 2012, kind of by accident and necessity. Me and some other guys in the group were part of another group. However, the owner of that group sort of went crazy and tried to end the group so I decided to quickly put together my own (ATF) to preserve the friendships that were already made.
From there, the ATF has quickly grown to over 2,000 fish crazy members. I guess you could call any gathering of people a club but it’s definitely a good feeling to be a part of a group like this.
Any plans to extend the ATF into a dedicated website?
You recently created the ATF Swapmeet on Facebook. This seems much more geared toward creating a forum for companies to showcase their offerings. What prompted this? Is this about keeping the ATF angler forum purely on catches by everyday anglers?
Exactly, I got tired of people putting ads about different products on ATF so the ATF Swapmeet was purely created to keep those ads off the main group. So far, it’s been going well and people have been keeping the two groups separate.
You have a series of videos promoting the ATF and various other interests. You are hosting these under the brand Sticky Hook Productions. Tell us a little about Sticky Hook productions and the channel you created.
Everything has to have a name right? Well Sticky Hooks Productions is just another clever name I came up with to brand what I do with my fishing video production on YouTube. I’ve also extended my videos to include my other hobbies such as car shows and just whatever I feel like videoing. I’m not the greatest at editing, but I do what I can with the limited equipment that I have.
Being a typical heterosexual male, I’m definitely a big fan of beautiful women. I’ve always been into photography and over the years I’ve done quite a few photo shoots of women with cars and individual shoots… that has carried over into my videos which puts a voice to the beautiful images that they provide.
Let’s talk fishing. What are you fishing for primarily in Dayton and what do Ohio waterways have to offer anglers?
The Ohio waterways have a lot to offer with many different species of fish. I’m pretty much set in my ways these days because I mainly fish for bass. On occasion, I will run into a musky or catfish, which is always a pleasant surprise because they put up a very nice fight as well.
How much time do you get to spend on the water?
This year I’ve been fishing on my days off, which is twice a week. On occasion, I’ll do a short trip either before or after work for a couple of hours at a local pond.
What is your first and second go-to lure?
I like fishing fast when the fish agree with me, so my first go-to lure is divided between walk-the-dog and buzzbait. My second go to lure is definitely the half-ounce Colorado bladed spinner.
Do you have a rod preference?
I’m a very simple fishermen when it comes to equipment. I’ve never been into real big name brands or anything really expensive. So I’ve stuck with the Bass Pro Shop’s extreme rods. Mine are the full cork handles and are telescoping. In addition, I prefer the 7 1/2 foot, medium-heavy action. I do have a spinning rod that is a 7 foot medium All-Star Rod with a vintage Garcia Mitchell 300 C but I’ll be going to a quantum energy spinning reel soon. And of course I have certain go-to reels I use as well which include two quantum energy 6.3 reels and two quantum PT 7.1 tours and a BPS Extreme 6.3 baitcaster.
What are you pushing on the water?
I have a 2004 Nitro NX882 150 Merc W/ twin Power-Poles, Boat stereo, and Boat L.E.D’s
Without a doubt that would be my ability to cast and my persistence. As you know, bass like to hide in some out-of-the-way places so having the ability to cast your bait into those spots to get a chance at those fish is critical. And to be persistent at fishing, it pays to spend as much time on the water and casting repetitively at certain spots. This will definitely pay-off in most cases.
What do you enjoy most about fishing?
The thing that I enjoy most about fishing is the time away from everything else in life. There is nothing like being on the water and the search and reward of catching fish.
What do you do for fun when you’re not fishing?
When I’m not fishing, my other hobbies are going to car shows, drag races, playing Ping-Pong, photography and I use to play bass guitar in bands but I’ve recently retired from that. Oh yeah, and going to movies is a big thing for me.
Of we have to ask, “Is catching the fish only half the fun?”
Yes, I would agree with that. To me it’s also about the chase and the hunt of the fish and the anticipation of the strike when you place your bait in that spot that you know has a hungry fish :).
Follow Topwater Tony on Social Media:
Listen to the ATF Theme Song Created by Tony:
-Interview by Brent Watters, EZ Angler Crew