Bass After Dark: the podcast

I’m sure many of you subscribe to various podcasts related to bass fishing. I do, as well. They’re popular and, in many cases, very informative.

While some are educational, others are geared more for entertainment. Among them are those that thrive on controversy — hoping to stir the pot to increase their viewership, and with that a revenue stream.

Whatever their theme or objectives might be, any podcast requires an audience to survive. And that will come down to the quality of its content. In a market that’s quickly becoming saturated, that content better be good.

New to the stage is Bass After Dark — a debate-style podcast that focuses on a wide range of topics relative to the sport, but with a different approach.

Instead of random dialog, the discussion is limited to just one question, to which a panel of three guests respond. Those panelists are carefully selected by the show hosts for their familiarity or insider perspective on the topic.

I recently got the opportunity to be a part of Bass After Dark, and it was fun. But before I share the details of what went down, let me tell you about the guys who put this unique program together.

The brain trust

The show’s concept was the genius of Ken Duke — a former Senior Editor at B.A.S.S. Publications, and former editor of Fishing Tackle Retailer. Now aligned with Fish Insider, Duke shared his idea for Bass After Dark with longtime friends and associates, Nathan Benson and Brian Stockl — both of whom are industry figures in their own right.

Benson and Duke were early contributors to in the early 2000s. Benson also served with Duke at Fishing Tackle Retailer and is now the digital editor of Fish Insider and the producer/engineer of Bass After Dark.

As for Brian Stockl, you’d recognize him from Ike Live and The Bass University. Better known as “Brian the Carpenter,” he served an integral role in making both ventures the successes they are today.

Together, the three share a certain chemistry that makes this podcast stand alone. Duke and Stockl are the show’s front men, while Benson works more behind the scenes. The Bass After Dark format is fresh and insightful, and almost no subject is off limits … so long as it pertains to bass fishing.

Gears in motion

Again, the format for each episode consists of a single topic — a question, actually. Duke and Stockl pose that question to the three guests — none of whom know the identities of their counterparts until the show goes live. “And that,” according to Duke, “is when things start to happen!”

In the first episode, they asked the question: “Who should be on bass fishing’s Mount Rushmore?” And, as you could imagine, that resulted in a spirited debate lasting more than an hour … in which a number of prominent personalities were considered.

The show I appear in posed the question: “Is pro bass fishing a good career choice or a pipe dream?” It, too, sparked considerable back and forth, with each guest sharing his or her perspective on the subject. There were a few shots fired, but rather than revealing those details or the identities of the other panelists, I invite you to watch and decide for yourself who had the better viewpoint.

The show’s sidebar

Another key element of the show is what they term, “The B.A.D. Top 10,” which is basically an injection of light humor, usually at someone or some entity’s expense.

Week 1 was a satirical probe into “Rules MLF did NOT adopt for 2024.” And, as you can imagine, there was plenty to work with there. Essentially, they poked fun at some of the issues Major League Fishing is experiencing and nothing was off the table.

Again, rather than giving away the details, I invite you to visit their Facebook page or … better yet, watch the entire show on their YouTube channel. It’s free and well worth your time. Live shows air on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET. So watch!

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