I was the guest on Saturday morning's Capt. Mel Show on Tampa AM radio station 970-WFLA. I guess I've been a guest on Mel's show a dozen times or more over the years.
I always enjoy it.
Host Mel Berman does a great job and his show is No. 1 in its time slot.
Back in the old days, I had to get up at 4 a.m. and drive to WFLA's Tampa studio. There's no drive involved now. Thanks to digital technology, Mel's guests can participate from the comfy confines of their homes.
Berman is a Tampa Bay icon. The former charter skipper has done a little bit of everything in his life. He was one of the first Top 40 disk jockies, spinning the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and many others at a time when it was more controversial than popular.
Berman, 81, and his wife, Ginny, moved to Tampa in 1969. That's when he bought a boat and began chartering. His clients caught their share of grouper, snapper, amberjack and other finny denizens.
I've fished with Berman on a number of occasions. His favorite outing is to cast for spotted seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish, bluefish and other species over deep grass flats until noon. Then, he likes to head to lunch.
I was surprised to find out that Berman has actually fished out of a kayak. He said he joined guide Neil Taylor for a morning of kayak fishing.
Next year, the Capt. Mel Show will be 25 years old. Berman said that everywhere he would go, people loved to talk about fishing. That spawned his show. But he had no idea he's still be behind the mic a quarter of a century later.
Unlike many newspapers, 970-WFLA realizes the popularity of Florida's No. 1 participatory sport. The ratings speak loud and clear. And Berman is tops in his time slot. That helps to sell a lot of advertising.