Illinois hunting and fishing

Outdoorsman and professional wrestler Eric Young, right, laughs as he brings his Animal Planet show, “Off the Hook: Extreme Catches,” to the Peoria area to film an episode highlighting sport fishing and the battle against Asian carp in the Illinois River. Photo by Fred Zwicky.

Local carp hunters’ TV spot set to air

September 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM

PEORIA — The Animal Planet show that spent four days filming on and around the Illinois River last summer for a feature on the acrobatic insanity of everyone’s least favorite invasive fish, the Asian carp, will be shown Sunday.

“Off the Hook: Extreme Catches,” with host/professional wrestler Eric Young presents “Carpocalypse Now” at 8 p.m. Sunday. Greg Gephards, who owns Schooners on War Memorial Drive and had a role in the production of the program, is hosting a party for the occasion.

“We’ll have a couple of TVs on Sunday night and switch over from football when the program starts,” said Gebhards, who hosted an Asian carp fish fry in late July for friends and the crew of “Off the Hook” and hopes not to have been edited out of the final version. “I think it’s outstanding for Schooner’s to get this kind of national recognition.”

Here’s how the show pitches its product:

“Eric Young heads to Illinois to battle the millions of Asian carp that have taken over the region’s river systems. He meets the Peoria Carp Hunters and they’re extinguishing the invasive problem using samurai swords and tridents while on water skis.”

Nate Wallick, the man behind Carp Hunters, has only seen clips from the show but said he’s been told it’s the best “Off the Hook” so far. He had been working with the program arranging for a visit for a long time after the show’s producers saw the Carp Hunters hilarious videos on YouTube.

“We had a blast filming it, that’s for sure,” Wallick said.

Wallick has made firm plans but thinks he’ll attend the Schooner’s party. He has to go somewhere to see it.

“I don’t have a TV,” he said.

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow him on Twitter at @scotthilyard.