TV host reels in KingFisher boat

Tim Milne takes his new KingFisher boat out for a spin at the Vernon Yacht Club. He is the host and producer of the Big Coast Sportsfishing TV show, which is entering its eighth season.— Tyler Lowey/Morning Star
Tim Milne takes his new KingFisher boat out for a spin at the Vernon Yacht Club. He is the host and producer of the Big Coast Sportsfishing TV show, which is entering its eighth season.— Tyler Lowey/Morning Star

With his new boat souped-up with state-of-the-art electronics, Tim Milne is ready to start filming his eighth season of Big Coast Sportsfishing.

“I never would have guessed that we would make it to eight seasons,” said Milne, who hosts and produces the show. “But why stop now?”

Milne and his crew fish the Inside Passage; Vancouver to Prince Rupert and out to the Pacific Ocean, while exploring every nook and cranny along the way.

“We try to push the boundaries each year by exploring different areas. It allows the show to keep evolving,” said Milne.

The Big Coast crew is able to stickhandle their way up the island thanks to their partnership with KingFisher Boats of Vernon.

“This boat is basically from the James Bond kit, minus the arms,” joked Milne.

Milne will be ripping around in the KingFisher Destination 2725 Offshore boat. It is 27-feet long and fresh off the assembly line.

Mark Delaney is the director of sales and marketing with KingFisher and has known Milne for five years.

“This new boat is easier for Tim and easier for us. This way he doesn’t have to install new gear each year,” said Delaney.

Once Milne’s boat left the Okanagan, it headed to home base in Port Alberni.

“It was so cool. I got to head into KingFisher each day and see my boat get built from the ground up,” said Milne.

KingFisher cranks out 50 to 100 boats similar to the Destination model each year and they are the No. 1 distributor in the west.

Filming is already underway for the latest season of Big Coast. Previous episodes run Sunday mornings on Sportsnet. The new season premiers at the beginning of December.

Milne’s boat is equipped with a pair of  Yamaha SHO motors, electronics by Raymarine and plenty of room for fish.

“We mostly fish for Chinook salmon, but we are going to go 50 to 60 kilometres off the coast this year and try to catch some albacore tuna,” said Milne.

“It’s something new and tuna fishing is really taking off out there.”

Some of the albacore they will reel in will weigh up to 50 pounds.

“This boat is perfect for the show. It can act as a sports car on the water, cruising at 60 miles per hour and it’s very manoeuvrable so we can fit in tight spaces and not worry about crashing into anything,” said Milne. “Where we take this boat, the navigation is trickier than the fishing. This technology is really going to help us out.”

Early mornings at Port Hardy are barely drivable. The fog is so thick that Milne can hardly see past his boat.

Milne and the boat have left Vernon for the filming season.

They normally film the show April to October, but were delayed waiting for the boat to finish.

Delaney fishes the Shuswap a few times and makes one trip out to the ocean each year, and is also a huge fan of the show.

“What Tim does is different from other shows. He is less focused on gear and different products used to catch fish and more focused on the West Coast lifestyle. He shows you the scenery, the salmon run and the people,” said Delaney.

“Tim has a winning formula. He’s fun, easy on the eyes, he goes to different areas, has great guests and you are guaranteed a great day fishing with him.”

Milne cut his teeth as a writer for The Hockey News after he attended Ryerson University in Toronto.

Milne previously filmed a heli-skiing and snowboarding show called Sacred Ride. Once he became too old to jump out of a helicopter, he landed on his fishing show.

“We shot a few episodes just as a lark up by Bella Coola with some friends, and it just so happened we were all fishermen. After that, the fishing show kind of just took off,” said Milne.

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