Sean from 603Bass has taken an interesting path to being a YouTube angler switching from a focus on gaming to fishing. And I am so glad he did. His videos are fantastic. They are real and honest. So, I was super excited when Sean agreed to talk about his channel and bass fishing the 603 with us here at Dock Talk 365. Keep reading to get to know Sean and his work at 603Bass.
When did you start your YouTube channel 603Bass?
I started my current YouTube channel back in August 2016, but I first started uploading fishing videos to my old gaming channel in May 2016. I started it because I used to be heavy into the gaming scene on YouTube and elsewhere, but shortly after the release of Battlefield 4, I really started to lose interest on the whole culture and scene. That industry as a whole, and the fan base more than anything, is pretty broken. I decided to step away from what was a pretty large and successful gaming channel at the time to relax a bit, enjoy some more free time to do whatever, and see how I felt after awhile.
The desire to do anything with the gaming scene completely left me, but I still had that itch for creating things. I had just recently purchased my first GoPro at about this same time, so I decided to make a couple of fishing videos to scratch that creative itch I couldn’t shake. I had a lot of fun making the first few videos, although they were short and didn’t involve much, but I decided to keep at it and see if I could continue to improve. I just really enjoyed doing it and growing with it, so I stuck to it.
That’s half of what I really love about doing all of this. It allows me to make something and be creative in any way that I want. When I first started out, I just wanted to make videos that looked fun, and keep the presentation simple. It eventually evolved into what it is now, being informative and entertaining….at least I hope it is…which is the other half of what I love about all of this.
I love the honesty of your YouTube videos. One of your videos basically starts out with you missing on a fish and you say “I have no idea what I am doing.” We have all been there. But what makes it important for you to be honest on your videos?
Honesty and integrity go hand in hand in my eyes, and I’ve always lived my life with those traits guiding me. It became that much more important to me during the years I had my gaming channel, because it quickly became clear just how lacking those traits are with most channels, especially the bigger ones that are just starting to make decent money. Sadly, the YouTube fishing scene is exactly the same. There are far too many channels out there that operate without any sense of honesty, integrity, decency, or basic morals. These are all extremely important traits to me, and that’s why being honest in all of my videos is important. I do the best that I can to lead by example.
There’s that whole other side of fishing that far too many people don’t like to show for whatever reasons. I have my guesses as to why, but only they know for certain why they do that. It’s a little dishonest to your viewers, and to yourself, to only focus on your successes. There’s just as much to learn from our failures.
Then there’s a plus side to showing it if you’re a content creator, because there are a ton of awesome and helpful people out there watching your videos. I have had a few instances myself personally where someone watched one of my videos where I struggled, and offered some incredible advice on what I could have done differently to find success in that specific situation. I feel that failures get people thinking more about what could have been done differently in those situations, and as a result, helps them out in becoming a better angler. I know it helps me out, however marginally, so I hope it does the same for my viewers.
I saw you got a message from Gene Jensen. How cool was that?
That was insanely awesome. He was one of the first fishing channels I subscribed to, and still am subscribed to. I’ve found and forgotten or unsubscribed from a lot of other fishing channels over the years, but his channel has been one of the few that I’ve happily stuck with since I first found it. I’m very happy with where I’m at with my channel for overall quality and level of detail. I would like to make some improvements with it still, and I’ll get there eventually once I can scrounge up enough money for some recording equipment improvements. But still, to have someone like Gene give his time to watch one of my videos, and give me that kind of feedback, that was just freaking amazing. It brought me from feeling great, to feeling incredible.
Beyond that, every comment I get is incredibly rewarding, especially the ones where someone says they tried something I suggested and it worked for them. As well as when someone randomly pops up with a comment somewhere saying they love my logo, or they bought one of my t-shirts. It’s awesome when people go out of their way to compliment you on something you’ve worked hard on to create. That kind of random, positive recognition feels amazing.
Where is the channel headed? What’s next?
Not a clue! What I’m doing now is pretty much what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future. I would love to get out fishing more often so that I could do two videos a week, but with a 1 year old, 5 year old, and a beyond full time career, I don’t have the time to fish more than once a week. Some weeks I can, but that’s not very often. But I’m happy with where I’m at, I’m getting everything done that I need/want to, and no one and nothing is getting left behind as a result. Except for maybe the yard work…
For what’s next, the main focus is increasing video recording quality, and also expanding my filming capabilities when I can, but that largely depends on the growth of my Patreon page and the community support. It’s doing pretty well so far given how small my channel is!
I would like to get a better primary camera to further increase the overall video quality. I’d also like to add an external microphone just for that so the surrounding ambient audio is better, and it can better pick up audio from whoever else is on the boat with me. That would allow me to move my GoPro I’m using as my current primary camera to a fixed secondary position, so multiple viewing angles would be in every video. Then eventually add a 3rd camera I could use specifically for supporting footage, whether that be some basic b-roll, or underwater footage to better show what it is I’m describing for structure, etc.
I want to be able to show more of me and what I’m doing to better help with the informative aspect of everything that I do, while doing so with the highest video quality possible. I’m not a huge fan of constant video cuts and an overabundance of b-roll or just random footage. It’s good when used minimally, and that’s my intention.
Lets talk about your fishing a bit. What are you 5 favorite bodies of water in the 603 to fish for bass?
#1 – Squam Lake. By far, my favorite lake in the state. The boat launch is in great shape and easy enough for any experienced boat owner, but is just bad enough that it keeps most of the weekend pleasure boaters off of the lake, limiting the amount of boat traffic. You can go there and easily bust a 15+ pound 5 bass limit of either all largemouth, or all smallmouth, and 20+ pounds isn’t out of the question either.
It has a huge variety of structure to fish. But above all else, the scenery on and surrounding the lake is breathtaking for me. You’re knocking on the door of being in the White Mountain National Forest, so looking north all you see are the mountains. The water is really clean and clear, with visibility of about 20 feet deep on a good day. I haven’t had a bad day up there once yet. I’ve been skunked a couple of times, but it never matters. The scenery is so amazing, it just sets the soul right, and it definitely is enough for me to make up for a fishless day.
#2 – Newfound Lake. There can’t be many other lakes in this state that have harder fighting smallmouth than Newfound. I’m not saying there isn’t, but I have yet to experience a pond or lake with stronger fighting smallies. Plus, being well west of I-93 and with very little commercial offerings, restaurants, retail, etc, it’s relatively quiet out there for pleasure boater traffic. I have had a ton of great days of fishing out there, including a 1st and 2nd place finish in 2017 for the NH Bass Nation and Last Cast Club Double Down Tournament.
#3 – Otter Lake, Greenfield. Almost purely for nostalgia reasons at this point. This was the first pond my Dad and I fished when we moved to NH in 1993, and I have fished it at least 10 times every year since then. I know it better than any other body of water in this State. It used to be a phenomenal fishery for both quality & quantity of largemouth and smallmouth. Unfortunately, ice fishing took a heavy toll on the place over the years, and the quality hasn’t been the same in a long time. But if you want to just get out for a quick trip and guarantee yourself a handful of 1-2 pounders, than this place is hard to beat.
#4 – Halfmoon Pond, Hancock. I like this place a lot because the quality is decent, but you can at least go there and catch a ton of bass as well. It’s primarily a grass and weed filled pond, so I get to bust out all of my heavy duty gear and haul fish out of the thick stuff, which is always fun. Plus, it’s unique. There’s a cool spillway that the Army Corps of Engineers created many years ago, and where it dumps out, you get a decent look down into a valley before you get to see some large hills off in the distance. This place and Otter are basically my confidence boosting lakes/ponds when I’ve had a few trips that I’ve struggled in. Sadly, yet another place that was once excellent for quality sized fish, but has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of big fish over the last 5 to 10 years. A worrying trend…
#5 – Powder Mill Pond, Hancok/Greenfield. Cool spot with good quality fishing, fairly varied structure, beautiful scenery, and has earned me some money in a few tournaments as well. It’s wicked stained, shallow, weed choked waters. It requires heavy gear and a bit of daring in order to get your boat all the way to the back. But the fishing is pretty good so it’s usually worth the effort.
Which of these bodies of water would you recommend the most to an out of state bass angler who may be looking for a fishing vacation destination?
Otter Lake in Greenfield. It’s part of Greenfield State Park, so it has a lot going for it. There’s three clean(ish) sandy beaches, two for the public, and one for the campers, and both have easily accessible restrooms available very close to shore. There’s a small general store on the public beach side of the lake, so if you wanted to get a snack and you forgot to pack something, you could sneak over to get a quick, small snack there.
The boat launch was just recently rebuilt by Fish & Game, and they did an awesome job with it, including a dedicated turn around lane and ample parking. Plus, it’s overpopulated with bass, so you really anyone should be able to go out there and catch at least a handful on a senko. It’s easy to find and has the public beach if you wanted to bring the whole family along to make a day of it.
What lake were you on when you gave it the finger in a pic on Instagram?
Otter Lake, and utterly awful because I got skunked. Hahahaha, I explained multiple times how good this place is for being a confidence booster with how easy it is to catch a bunch of bass in it, and then this! Well, that would be why I had to give her the bird.
I honestly can’t recall the last time I went fishing at this lake and got skunked, but it would have been about 20 years ago at my best guess. The weather was nice, albeit with a high pressure system overhead, and there was a light chop, but the water temp was low and falling fast. I could not figure the fish out to save my life, and ended up going home with the skunk after about 4 hours. I’ve never been as disappointed in myself as I was that day.
What was the best day of bass fishing you had in 2017 in the 603?
This is awesome, because I can’t decide which of the two days I like better! We’ll call it 1a and 1b.
1a was in May on Newfound Lake. My friend and I were there for the prespawn, and we boated a little over 60 smallies total, with our best 5 going over 20 lbs That was anchored by my biggest of that day at 4 pounds 12 ounces. We caught almost every single fish on 5″ Keitech swimbaits on 3/8 oz or 1/2 oz football jigs up on flats in 4 to 8 feet of water. We were burning the baits back to the boat at really high speeds, and then it would feel like you hooked into a speeding truck driving away from you. Just non-stop action for hours. I had three go over 4 pounds, and my buddy caught his PB smallie at 4.5 pounds, and had two that were over 4 pounds as well.
1b was in November, on another lake I really enjoy. It was over 70 degrees out and a bit windy. You don’t get many warm days like that in November, so I took a half day from work to get out and enjoy it, and that proved to be a great decision. I only caught 6 bass, all largemouth, and my best 5 went 5-15, 5+, a 4+, a 3+, and a 2+. My apologies, I can’t recall their exact weights. And I dropped one that was easily over 4 pounds, maybe pushing 5. All in the span of 2 hours, in a spot about 30 feet wide by 100 feet long, all on swimbaits. It’s the first and only time I’ve caught multiple 5 pound bass in a single trip. I didn’t catch a ton of fish, but this was by far and large the best day I’ve ever had for quality sized bass.
Who are your sponsors/pro staff companies?
I’m currently on the Pro Staff for Rocky Ledge Tackle, Amphibia Eyegear and Dragon Custom Tackle. Jim, the owner at Rocky Ledge, makes phenomenal quality tackle. To sum up what he makes in one word: sturdy. Everything he makes is as stout as it gets, especially his spinnerbaits, which are second to none. I’ve only had to replace his spinnerbaits because I’ve broken them off. I caught countless bass and pickerel on them and they just never bent or showed any sign of wear. You can’t beat that level of quality. I also just joined Dragon Custom Tackle. They make a lot of custom baits from jigs to topwater.
I will freely admit that while I am on the Pro Staff with Amphibia, I don’t currently own anything from them. I really love the quality of their sunglasses from the two different pairs I was able to try on and use while fishing, and I love the fact that they float. That was was led me to pursue a Pro Staff position with them. But they still don’t have the exact lens/frame combination in stock that I want.