TAKE FIVE: “I’ve Had People Fly in From Japan to Fish With Me!”

Captain Ben Chancey might very well qualify as Southwest Florida’s fishing ambassador to the world — that is, if you’ve ever heard of him.

Owner of Chew On This Charters of Cape Coral since 2002, Ben Chancey is a former high school teacher who admits to entering his profession for the free time it would afford him to fish — and that, as it turns out, was a very smart idea.

You see, Captain Chancey has parlayed Chew On This Charters into something of celebrity status among big fish aficionados through the power of broadcast and social media. From popular fishing shows on Fox Sports Florida and the Sportsman Channel more than 10 years ago, Chancey spotted an emerging opportunity in 2006 and became the first fisherman to take his stories to this social media thing called YouTube. He was their first fishing show partner, ranked as the top YouTube fishing show for more than 10 years and now has more than 120,000 followers who’ve viewed more than 140 million of his big fish videos. Chew on that.

  1. 30,000 social media followers, 120,000 YouTube subscribers and 140 million plus video views — are you a social media genius?

Not at all. My first video, I downloaded an edit program and it took me about eight months to learn. I have content that people like to see and social media is my outlet. When I first put the shows on broadcast channels they did well, but it was the timing of YouTube in 2006 that really put us through the roof.

  1. What makes your fishing videos so popular?

People love watching people catch big fish. My first show on Fox Sports, we used foot-long ladyfish as bait and caught giant snook and a small goliath grouper. The next two episodes we landed 500-pound goliath groupers right near the Sanibel Causeway. People started calling the network and asking that the show be replayed. When we produce a show, my thing is: I want big fish in your face, people love that. We got popular real fast.

  1. Can you make a lot of money being a hot YouTube series?

We present a new show every Wednesday at 4.30 pm and get a lot of viewers. With YouTube, you’re compensated by the number of clicks you generate for advertisers. We’ve been fortunate to have brands like Ford, Tide, new movies all advertise with us and have done okay. But our charter service in Cape Coral is still our bread and butter. I have three other great captains and we’re busy all the time.

  1. You’ve managed to create quite a bit of publicity for Chew On This Charters.

We have, whether it’s our shows or live interviews. I think we’ve been on more news outlets than any fishing show I know. We’ve been on ESPN with one of its top-ten ever fishing shows, CNN, Fox News, USA Today, CNN, Good Morning America twice and a lot I’m forgetting. My captains are all stars but I guess, yes, I’m the face of the show.

  1. Fishing with you must be a treat — who are your clients?

I get all kinds of different big fishing lovers. Everybody from local people here, to across the United States and even around the world. I’ve had people fly in from Japan and get interpreters to come fish with me.

ChewOnThis.TV | 239.470.4243

by John Sprecher

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