Tony Romeo has been fishing since he was a boy. The Worcester, Massachusetts native liked fishing because it got him outdoors doing his own thing — and it gave him an excuse to get out of the house as a kid. Romeo got started chasing largemouth bass in a private pond, where he honed the skills and techniques he put to use hunting the rainbows, browns, and brookies that haunt the local streams.
John Field, also of Worcester, hadn’t fished much at all, spending most of his life in the bar business, even owning his own. But he loved being outdoors, spending as much time as he could out in nature. Then one day, he bought a Go Pro. And he got hooked on telling stories through video. He took classes, watched YouTube videos on how to, well… make YouTube videos. And he practiced.
One day, John was at the gym where Tony worked to subsidize his fishing habit, and they fell onto the topic of how much they loved the outdoors. Tony took John fishing, John brought his camera. And GetBent TV was born.
They now have a YouTube channel with nearly 10,000 subscribers and an Instagram account with north of 56,000 followers. And unlike most fishing pages on social media, the video isn’t all jumping marlins and trophy brown trout poking their noses into the camera.
A lot of it is John learning how to fish, or getting hung up in a tree, while Tony patiently shakes his head — or openly mocks him.
So, what is it about Get Bent TV that appeals to thousands of fans?
John says, “We get to be and act like ourselves on camera. People relate to us being ourselves.”
“Stepping outside is a blessing. Viewers really seem to like watching us just getting outside and enjoying nature,” Tony adds.
Another thing that probably appeals to their fans is that Tony and John aren’t hooked on one particular fish. They chase anything in the local waters — and they do it year round. Even through the ice.
When they’re ice reeling, they’re usually going after largemouth bass or lake trout. But with ice fishing, nothing is certain.
“You’ve got to take it one hole at a time and go out with low expectations.”
For Tony and John though, the point of dropping bait from a short rod into a little hole in the ice is not necessarily the fish.
“Hardwater fishing is more about the experience and the people than the fish.”
Because ice fishing can be a less than scientific endeavor, they choose to focus on what’s going on above the ice instead of worrying about what they’ll haul up from beneath it.
“You’ve just got to get outside and enjoy yourselves.”
This mantra leads them to invite guests who can add to the party.
“We’ve got one buddy who always brings a grill and another who has a four-wheeler. We like to invite those guys.”
You can’t say that John and Tony aren’t practical — even when it comes to fishing tips.
Per Tony, “You’ve just got to get out and do it. Find whatever equipment you can, even if it’s your grandfather’s 50-year old rod and reel, and get out there. Learn the gear and get to know the water. You can’t put on your pants until you put on your underwear.”
Thanks for briefing us, guys!