Fishing is one the sports that has seemingly proven immune to COVID-19 restrictions. You’re (usually) out on your own, on the banks of some isolated waterfront, unconcerned about your own smell (therefore adhering to mass lockdown status), your social bubble is blowing bubbles under the surface, your only company the aquatic life around you.
It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s hard to deny the serenity fisherman feel with the freedom of time, and thrill of the pull on the line. Former footballer Jimmy Bullard is one such who has fallen, hook, line and sinker for the pastime, and has made a brand new podcast out of it.
Bullard - presumably socially distanced by a good two metres - has brought along some company, hooking a few pals to expand his permitted group past the groupers. Launching at the tail end of 2020, Off the Hook sees the cheeky chappie ex-Wigan, Hull City and Fulham man go down to the river to produce some in-depth interviews with the biggest names in the football world, whilst keeping an eye on the line of course.
Off The Hook brings together Jimmy's two great loves - football and fishing. Recorded on the bank of some of the UK's best fishing locations, the podcast guarantees laughs, insight and big fish!
The series is still in its infancy, but has kicked off with his Fulham chum Bobby Zamora reminiscing over their time together in west London with Roy Hodgson, their first training session with the England boys, battling against Premier League heavyweights Ricardo Carvalho & Jamie Carragher, all the time while Jimmy's on a quest to catch his biggest ever fish. This has been followed up with a chat with Spurs and Republic of Ireland legend Robbie Keane, who Jimmy has to take on as his angling apprentice, having never previously ventured down to the riverbanks before in his life!
Post-playing, Bullard has become a recognisable personality that has easily transferable from the pitch into media entertainment, with the presenting gig on Soccer AM and a stint in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! A podcast slot easily suits his jovial East End charms, his sense of enjoyment palpable across the airwaves. For the listener, it’s refreshingly down-to-earth, down by the river.
Off The Hook with Jimmy Bullard is currently available from Apple Podcasts.