Pensacola resident Brant Preacher wanted to debunk an old fishing superstition that bananas are bad luck on boats.
So while filming a video for his YouTube channel, he placed a piece of banana on his hook with the hopes of catching a fish.
“Any time people would come on the boat, all the captains would be like ‘No bananas. No bananas. It’s bad luck,'” Preacher said. “So I was like, ‘You know, I’m going to try to catch a fish using a banana.’ And I caught a giant red snapper using a banana as bait and so that was like a really cool thing to do.”
Now Preacher’s YouTube channel, which he started in 2015 while he had a fishing charter company, has more than 120,000 subscribers, has published about 450 videos and recently won a Silver Play Button award from YouTube.
“It’s really fascinating. It’s like becoming such a viable profession nowadays. And I never thought it would be,” Preacher said. “Now people are using it to generate tons of business. People are using for an ad platform. It’s an entertainment platform and I use for all of the above.”
Preacher started his AnglerUp with Brant channel as a way to film his charter customers and post videos. It started to take off with viewers and provided enough supplemental income for him that by 2019, he quit his charter business to become a full-time content creator.
Nowadays, Preacher does a lot of land-based fishing and fishing travel videos for his channel. He tries to produce three videos per week, which he says are more entertainment for viewers than how-tos.
His latest video, which was about using catfish as bait, was uploaded Tuesday and already has more than 45,000 views.
“When I’m filming, I make it like that viewer is standing next to me, fishing right next to me or just coming along on the adventure with me. And that’s what I’m thinking when I’m filming,” Preacher said.
For Pensacola area residents, Preacher said he now particularly enjoys land-based fishing, particularity in Fort Pickens where he can catch bull redsfish off the beach.
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Matthew Isbell, who lives in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and has also started a YouTube fishing channel, has collaborated with Preacher multiple times. He said how Preacher relates to viewers is part of what makes his channel so popular.
“He documents his journey very well when he’s out on a fishing trip so what I like about it is you feel like you’re there with him fishing and it’s just realistic. It’s not a show,” Isbell said. “You feel like you’re hanging out with your buddy.”
Isbell said one of Preacher’s funnier videos was early on when he was trying to show how easy it is to catch schooling redfish and used a Rice Krispie Treat as bait.
But jokes aside, Isbell said he has a lot of respect for Brant and his work.
“Even though he’s a professional fisherman, the struggles that you’re going to have fishing apply to everybody. You’re going to have bad days. You’re going to have struggles. But he shows all that and still catches a lot of fish,” Isbell said.
Madison Arnold can be reached at [email protected] and 850-435-8522.