Center Harbor resident featured in ice fishing TV show
Center Harbor — Center Harbor resident Alex Plummer has been an avid ice fisher for much of his life, but he never thought he would end up being the star of a National Geographic television show.
Plummer is now on a program called “Ice Holes,” which spotlights him and several other fishermen through a reality television series.
“I’m still pretty shocked about it,” Plummer said. “But it’s awesome. I couldn’t be happier about how all this has turned out.”
The show features Plummer and four other fishermen by the names of Wob, Todd, Wade and Joshua as they brave the frigid temperatures, play pranks on each other, do tricks on snowboards and snowmobiles and, of course, catch some fish.
Plummer explained that he was essentially recruited off of Meredith Bay by Steve Marsel, the show’s executive producer, after he spoke with Plummer about his times fishing on the lake. Plummer told him a wide array of funny stories about times he had been with family and friends on the ice. He explained that there is plenty of downtime on the ice when the fish weren’t biting, which for him meant doing wacky things on dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Marsel saw the hilarity in this, Plummer said, but initially he had plans to make the show more of a fishing documentary, rather than a reality television program.
“You know, we’re out there fishing, but there’s so much more to it than just fishing,” Plummer said. “He was intrigued. He saw me jumping over stuff on my snowboard and doing crazy things.”
Plummer explained that Marsel was the one with the vision, and that he had spent several winters putting it together and devising the right way for the show to work. The idea evolved into a reality show about what fishermen do on the ice, as well as what goes on when they aren’t actually catching fish. Plummer said that Marsel made a “sizzle,” which is like a commercial for a reality television show, to show to production companies. It was purchased by Loud TV/Leftfield Pictures, who then created their own “sizzle,” and National Geographic was interested. He explained that National Geographic wanted the show to be more educational, but that the show has plenty of goofy antics that will bring laughs as well as show the fun side of fishing.
“I thought it was going to be all serious at first, but then they said they wanted real life,” Plummer said. “Sometimes you just have days where you don’t catch anything, so you’ve got to do things for entertainment. That’s when we just let loose on the ice and have a really good time.”
Plummer said that the show will depict the fun, quirky side of an ice fisherman like himself, but it is also informational. He recalled a few years back thinking that everyone knew what a bobhouse was. This, he said, was not the case, as he had several people ask what they were and if they were for snowmobilers to keep warm.
“It was interesting that some people were so confused about it,” Plummer said. “This will answer some questions.”
Four of the episodes for the show were shot in Meredith Bay, with another being shot down the road on Lake Wicwas. They also headed up to Moosehead Lake and Sebago Lake in Maine. Plummer said that they took part in a fishing derby at Sebago, and he jumped into the freezing cold water for a polar plunge to benefit cancer research. They also took a trip to Minnesota, where he caught a fish with a spear for the first time.
“It is a little controversial because you can’t release a speared fish, but I just went after the bigger ones,” Plummer said. “I thought it was pretty awesome, though. I had never done that before.”
Plummer said that while he didn’t know Wob and Todd, who were from Wentworth, or Joshua, whom he described as a “stereotypical New Yorker,” his fishing partner throughout the show was Wade, and he had fished with him for about seven years. He said that in the show, Wob and Todd were teammates, he and Wade were on a team, and Joshua tended to be by himself. Plummer said that it was fun to play little gags on people, notably Joshua. Joshua was a fan of remote control helicopters, and in one episode, they stole a helicopter to get revenge on him for running over their buckets with an all-terrain vehicle.
“We stole the helicopter to get back at him,” Plummer said. “It was perfect because we buzzed him with it and made him lose a fish.”
Another fun time on the ice that Plummer recalled was the time where he jumped over a bobhouse on his snowboard. He said that there wasn’t much snow on the ice, so he had some buddies from the Gunstock Park crew come and make him a jump. He got pulled into the ramp that was created by a snowmobile and launched, much to the delight of a posse of friends that he brought along to watch. This, he said, will be premiering on one of tonight’s episodes.
“There’s plenty of fishing, but there’s a lot of stuff going on in between,” Plummer said. “It shows a lot of the funny drama and stupid things that happens between us fishermen, so it’s a show that is for everyone, not just people who love ice fishing, like me.”
“Ice Holes” is on the National Geographic Channel on Friday nights at 10 p.m. There were a total of eight episodes filmed, and each Friday, there are two half-hour shows back-to-back. Plummer said that he has heard that the ratings have been excellent, and while he hasn’t gotten any word of whether he will have the chance to do another show, he said that he would be all for it.
“I guess only the future will tell me of where this is all going,” Plummer said. “But if anyone asked me, I’d absolutely say yes. I’d definitely do it again.”
Tune into National Geographic Channel at 10 p.m. tonight for back-to-back episodes of Plummer and his crew fishing and goofing around on the ice.