Cliff Van Kempen is an Ontario fisherman, who is providing an amazing resource to his fellow anglers with his One More Cast podcast. If you haven’t listened yet, just stop reading now and go visit www.OneMoreCastShow.com. After you listen to a sampling, make sure to come back here to learn about Cliff and what goes on “behind the scenes” on the show.
So what is your job at Fishbum Outfitters?
My role with Fishbum is two-fold: First is the business development side, where I work with other brands to expand our business. I’m not going to go too deep into the where’s and what’s of that part of my job, but suffice it to say it’s all about building relationships.
Secondly, I’m director of field staff. Like any other Pro Staff/Field Staff Director I spend most of my time recruiting new staff, and working with current team members on what to promote, and the best ways to do so. It’s been a very rewarding job, and I’ve developed some strong friendships out of this role.
What has been your career journey to get to the position you are in today?
To be honest, I’ve been in the Fishing Industry for less than a year. All of my experience has been in Technology. I’ve worked in eCommerce and Online Marketing for more than 15 years now, and believe it or not, the overlap is huge. The fishing industry, like many, runs on marketing and many of the same themes I’ve seen over my career repeat themselves in this industry. Online, you have affiliates or referral partners; these are very similar to the Field or Pro Staff you see working for the numerous fishing brands.
So yeah, it was a weird way to come into a seemingly unrelated industry, but my experience turns out to make a perfect fit.
When did you start One More Cast podcast? What have you enjoyed about doing a podcast?
The One More Cast Show was started back in April of 2016. We’re not quite at the one year mark yet, but we’re quickly approaching the end of our first season, and it’s been an amazing ride. From a very modest beginning interviewing guests I found through building relationships on Social Media, it has quickly snowballed into a well received show.
My favorite part has been the people I’ve “met”. I have had the opportunity to sit down and talk fishing with some of the folks that I’ve looked up to for some time; how many of us get the chance to do that? I daresay that some of these people I’d even call friends now, and there is no better reward than that.
I’ve been a huge fan of the work of Bob Izumi and Gord Pyzer since I was a kid; I’ve had the chance to speak at length with them both. I never imagined I’d have that chance. I’ve also had the chance to work with some of the folks I’ve come to admire in more recent years: Dave Mercer, Mark Melnyk, and Mike Brown have all taken the time to join me on the show, and help me move it forward.
So, in less than a year, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, virtually and personally, the bulk of my fishing idols.
What have been the most challenging aspects of doing a podcast?
My show is biographical, and that relies on people and their interesting stories. The hardest part of the show itself is first getting in touch with the guests I want to have on the show; the second hardest is scheduling a time to talk. I’m lucky that my schedule is fairly flexible, and I can accommodate my guests’ schedule most time; I’d hate to miss a good opportunity due to scheduling conflicts.
Editing is my least favorite activity; it’s tedious, and takes up so much time. It’s not that it’s hard; I have a program that makes it really quite easy to build the episodes, but it’s having to carefully listen to each show and remove or correct every “umm” or phone ringing, or whatever other issues cropped up during the chat.
What are your plans for the One More Cast podcast in 2017?
Well, we’re humming along nicely in 2017, continuing to bring new and exciting guests for our listeners. I’d mentioned how supportive some of our guests have been: well, some have even gone so far as to personally recommend the show to people they know. So, with each new guest, there’s a lot of opportunity to meet more people.
I don’t want to give too much away right now, but we’ve just had our first Bassmaster Elite Series Pro on the show, Brandon Palaniuk, and it was such a pleasure to chat with him. It’s no secret that we’ll have amazing guests like Bob Izumi, Dave Mercer, and Gary Parsons on the show this year; but I’ve got to hold back a few names. Rest assured, they’re all folks who do amazing work within our industry.
You obviously have had some great guests. Who is your dream guest and why would you love to have them on your show?
I’ve rambled on a lot about my guests already, and amazingly enough, I’ve actually already interviewed almost every person on my “heroes” list, or they’ve agreed in principle to join me on the show in the near future.
However, there is one tough nut I have yet to crack: Gerald Swindle.
That guy slays me. His quick wit and sense of humor are really appealing, and makes him a perfect “dream guest”. But to be honest, I’d be a little intimidated. A lot intimidated. I think I may have built up this larger than life image of the man in my head, and I’m just plain unsure if I can keep up with him in a conversation.
But, yeah, Gerald Swindle is the number one guy on my list to have on the show; again, that I haven’t already made contact with. There are so many wonderful folks and personalities out there working in the industry, and I’m super fortunate to have made connections with many of them.
So with everything you have going on, how do you find time to fish?
You ask a man in the industry, aside of pros, how much they fish, and they’ll all say the same thing: “The perfect way to stop yourself from fishing is to work in the fishing industry”. I don’t get 1/10th of the time on the water that I want or need, and I find that quite painful.
That said, I’m working on some projects that ultimately should force me to make time for fishing, and that pleases me a great deal.
What are your favorite waters to fish when you can?
To be honest, the water that is in front of me right now, is always my favorite. I will fish in a bucket of mud if there are fish in it. It doesn’t matter to me where, it just matters that I’m doing it. Now, I will tell you, I do have a favorite lake: Mazinaw Lake, here in Ontario, Canada. There is a provincial park called Bon Echo, and the lake is bordered by a massive cliff face along the Eastern shore; it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. My family has cottaged/lived up there since the 60’s, so it’s a very special place for me.
What were your top fishing moments of 2016?
Matt Rimmer, Owner of Fishbum Outfitters, and I got the chance to slip away from work and fish a private access lake for the Bass Season Opener. We must have caught every smallmouth and largemouth in the lake that day, and I think the smallest would have weighed over two pounds. It was one of those days you just dream of, and we really couldn’t do wrong.
That day really made my entire 2016 fishing season. Good friends and good fishing; it really doesn’t get better than that.
What other companies do you represent?
Currently, the only other company I’m working with is Dunamis Fishing Rods. Their owner, Josh, is a past guest and asked me to join their team. Naturally, I accepted, and I’m very happy to be working with them personally. We see a lot of good small businesses starting in this industry, and let’s face it, it’s hard to compete with the big players. Dunamis has the right mentality, and they are very customer-centric, which is something that appeals to me a great deal.
You see that kind of mentality in the big brands a lot of times; personally I’ve had some great experiences dealing with G Loomis and 13 Fishing. The mark of a great company is one that listens to their customers, and goes out of their way to ensure that they always do right by the folks who choose to spend their hard earned money with them.
Dunamis is that type of company, and they’re poised for growth. They are young, but they’re on the right path, and that is something I’m proud to be a part of.
Now go back and finish listening to the One More Cast Show. Cliff has fishing rock star guests and asks questions that are both entertaining and educational. I will be following to see who has upcoming and hoping that just one of these days it will be Mr. Gerald Swindle.