Steve Pennaz, host of the TV show Lake Commandos shared a memorable story about turning a child’s Batman action figure into a functional Batman fishing lure. The story seems almost too good to be real – but he assured us that it’s not. Listen to the whole story, directly from Steve…
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Batman Fishing Lure Interview
Fishing in Minnesota caught up with professional angler Steve Pennaz to chat about the infamous Batman lure that has been featured on a few “Bizarre Fishing Lure” shows. Steve opens up about how he decided to use the Batman lure and how it managed to catch him fish! The full interview is below.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: We’re doing this story about the one time you took a Batman action figure fishing with you.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: You put away your regular equipment and busted out the action figures. I am willing to bet there are a lot of people that would like to hear that story.
STEVE: You know what’s funny is back in the 90s when we were airing North American outdoors television show we were on ESPN. They asked for a lot of adventures, so I spent a lot of time in the Canadian wilderness. We’d fly to these remote camps, spend three or four days, jump on our flight and fly to another lake, and on this one particular trip an outfitter, Wayne Gangler, had opened up a new fishery on a body of water that hadn’t been fished in like 15 years. Steven’s Nickle was the name of the place, and he had built a single small cabin on it and asked us to come up and try out the lake.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: Where was this in Canada?
STEVE: It was in Northern Manitoba, and it was called Stevens Nickle and I will never forget this. The produces Larry Slattan and I, and met a camp manager up there, and the funny thing is Larry is a big guy he’s like 6’4”, and I am not going to guess his weight, just say it’s north of 250.
STEVE: And a lot of these small airplanes just don’t have a lot of room for a guy that big, and Larry sits down at the seat next to me and he jumps back up and I said, “What’s the matter? I thought I sat on or pen or a pan or something,” and he pulled out this little Batman action figure between the cushions of the seat.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: It was already in the plane with you?
STEVE: It was in the plane. Some poor kid lost his toy. I mean that’s what the bottom line was.
STEVE: Larry didn’t have a place to put it, and we were taking off, so he just throws it in his briefcase because he had no place to put it. Well, a day later he opens up his briefcase, and here’s the Batman action figure, but now we’re 200 miles from the nearest town. We’re in this little lodge, and whatever, Batman became our little theme song for the trip.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: Did you sing it to each other?
STEVE: Yeah, yeah. That’s a catchy tune. Well, the funny thing is back then the lodge didn’t have anything in there. There was no television, no VCRs, no nothing, so at night we’d play three man cribbage and Larry is a great cribbage player, but he’s not great when you’re playing three guys and he got knocked out. Well, he was looking for something to kill time and he looked over at Batman, and asked for my tackle box, and the next thing I know, Batman has a kevlar leader around his neck.
STEVE: And he’s got a treble hook sticking out between his legs, and it was a big joke then about Batman and the new bat lure. Well, the next day we got out fishing and there were lake trout ten feet thick on this lake. I mean, it was an incredible fishery. It probably still is, it was just an amazing fishery to be able to fish it for the first time in 15 years. Well, as a joke I threw Batman in the boat. And as a further joke when Larry and the camp manager went in to film a Shore Lunch scene for a video they were working on, I took Batman out fishing and I dropped him down on a six ounce snap weight, troll about 15 feet, and noticed that he didn’t have any action, so I played with his legs and moved his legs one way, his arms next way, and pretty soon he’s down there spinning about like a Johnson Silver Minnow. He looked pretty darn good.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: How did you go about fishing with it?
STEVE: I dropped him down on a six-ounce weight. Got him down into about 50 feet of water and I trolled about 20 feet, and I had a fish grab Batman, so I left him hooked. I raced back to shore laughing the whole way and said, “Larry, you can’t believe what we just hooked.” Held up the trout and he about fell down laughing, so as a joke we went out right after lunch and did this again on camera, to be honest with you, we had to do it twice just to get it to happen quickly enough, but we caught a fish on camera, on Batman. We aired it on North American Outdoors, and the outfitter said that the day it aired was the weekend of the Chicago Sport Show, and the next day he had 50 guys at his booth wanting to book a trip to the lake where Batman was fishing.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: He wasn’t selling the Batman lure there in the booth was he?
STEVE: No, what’s so funny, but shocked me was, as a joke I was looking for this stuff the other day and the AP Wire picked up the story about Batman. I didn’t realize at the time, and since then ESPN has done two specials on bizarre lures, one of them that was featured was Batman. . .
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: So whatever became of that lure?
STEVE: He’s still sitting in my office. I love looking at that thing. He’s still strong. The fact that it was a Stren kevlar line that Larry used to build, and it’s still as strong as ever. I think we could take him out and fish with him today if we had to.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: Absolutely we should do it.
STEVE: But you know there are days when you get out fishing and you can’t catch a fish on the best possible lures, and then there’s other days you could throw out the kitchen sink. Well, this is the time we threw out the kitchen sink and Batman actually worked.
FISHING IN MINNESOTA: That’s an awesome story Steve. Thanks.
For more information on Steve Pennaz and his Lake Commandos TV show, follow him on Twitter at Lake Commandos, or “like” the Lake Commandos Facebook page.