Fishing icon lands Letterman stint

By TAMMY BUCKLEY - Sunday News | Sunday, 01 February 2009

A REEL MAN: Matt Watson of TV3's ITM Fishing Show with a marlin he caught on a hand line. Now US TV audiences want to grab a bite of his wild Kiwi fishing antics. Below, Mike fights a marlin from a jetski.

Kiwi fishing TV frontman Matt Watson's crazy antics have seen him reeled in for a star turn with legendary American talk show host David Letterman.

Matt, who hosts TV3's ITM Fishing Show, will appear on The Late Show which draws an international audience of millions live in the US on Thursday.
The Letterman show scouts contacted him in October after viewing videos of him performing such stunts as:
catching a marlin from a jetski
jumping from a helicopter onto a marlin
catching a marlin from a dinghy
hand-lining a great white shark (the last person to do so legally in NZ)
strapping fish to his body and swimming with mako sharks
catching a giant bluefin tuna on a hand line from a dinghy 100km out at sea
"I didn't really believe it when they got in touch," Matt told Sunday News.
"I even questioned the talent guy and said, `Why me? I produce a TV show from my garage down a gravel road' and he just said, `It's your video clips that are just getting circulated around and people think its really cool.' They said they'd been watching me for a while, mainly online, and they thought the things I'd done were really awesome and they'd love to have me as a guest."
Matt, 33, flies to the US tomorrow.
The show will also feature a "hot" A-List actress, whom he can't reveal.
"I'm not a polished media sort of a person but I am what I am and it's got me this far, so (Letterman will) ask the questions and I'll answer as best I can," he said.
The Letterman show is the start of a new wave of television activity that should catapult him to international fame.
A deal with the Discovery Channel and its affiliate Animal Planet will give him a worldwide audience.
He will also star in an as-yet-untitled series of one-hour episodes on fishing which will air later this year on both channels.
"It's really all about me versus a big dangerous fish of some sort. (It's) man versus wild sort of thing, although it's obviously a marine sort of theme."
Filming on the series, which will also have a conservation theme, begins in March and Matt is feeling both "scared" and "excited".