Fishing Lines: A celebrity is a must, but I don't want Jordanon my river

My final cast, it seems, is just around the corner. I've been through John Bailey's new book, '50 Fish to Catch Before You Die', and I'm missing just four from his list. If the golden dorado trip comes off nextyear, and I take up a place ona forthcoming Nile perch expedition, that just leaves Amur pike and huchen.

To be fair, not everything on his roll call is an exotic that swims only in remote parts of Siberia. John is catholic in his tastes and includes eels, mackerel and even sticklebacks. My inventory might add a few, lose a few, but it's a bit like naming your favourite three records – plenty of scope for endless discussion. Interestingly, he has excluded more than half those I have suggested for a new television programme on extreme fishing.

Goliath tigerfish, as I mentioned last week, are only for those with a death wish (maybe it should be my final species). Mekong stingrays are as big as your front room but otherwise unexciting. But I'd put in a pitch for giant lake trout and alligator gar to be included.

I first saw the former in a backwoods store in Saskatche-wan. We had stopped for some provisions, and mounted on the wall was a trout. Except it was way bigger than you could conceive, weighing 85lb.

I gawked at it, and asked the store owner if it was a fake. "No," he said. "And it's not really a really big one either. Go up to Great Bear Lake, in Northwest Territories. The Indians catch them over 120lb. There's a bay where the pike won't go because the trout eat them."

I never found out if that was true, though it's a great story. I did, however, dabble in the nearly as large Great Slave Lake (300 miles long, and in places 2,000ft deep) and caught "tiddlers" up to 25lb.

As our plane landed, a wolf trotted across the runway. The first evening, we watched five bald eagles fishing, and found tracks of a grizzly. The state's capital, Yellowknife (supposedly the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights) had a population of under 20,000.

Alligator gar, at least the very big ones (over 300lb) live in the good ol' boy states of the US. They look like something out of 'Swimming with Dinosaurs'. Fishing in swampland with a one-eyed, tobacco-chewing redneck called Bubba, and fishing for prehistoric crocodiles: that's gotta be extreme fishing.

Either sounds a winner. But the bad news is that even an extreme fishing programme requires A Celebrity. You might cynically think that anyone who's been on television once will do, but finding a big enough name to pull in viewers, one who won't demand Dom Perignon for breakfast and who won't run screaming to his or her agent at the sight of a gecko is harder to find than a 300lb alligator gar.

Furthermore, the Celebrity will have to know which end to hold a fishing rod. I wouldn't mind going with Ian Botham, Dean Macey or Chris Tarrant. They'd be on the list of 50 people I'd like to fish with before I die. But if the commissioning editor chooses Jordan, Jade Goody or Russell Brand, they're going to have to call the programme 'I'm A Nobody: Get Me Out Of Here'.

'50 Fish to Catch Before You Die', by John Bailey (Carlton, £20)

Suggested Topics
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015