Making The Big Haul

Tim Adams of ‘Bottom Feeders' still hard at work on day job

Making The Big Haul
Tim Adams takes a call while making a big haul. (Courtesy Tim Adams)

Tim Adams’ cell phone rings, then goes to voicemail.

It’s understandable he didn’t answer – he was up to his chest in ice-cold water surrounded by 200,000 pounds of fish.

But before a voicemail can be completed, Adams is calling back this strange number.

“Yeah, seining right now,” he tells the caller. “Five below zero, standing in a pair of waders, eight guys and one lady stacking net. A couple hundred thousand pounds of fish in the net.”


After talking for a few moments, he asks if the caller can get back with him later that night. “We’re going to murder them. Lots of them.”


Adams, 36, works near his home in Wabasha, Minn., plying the nearby Mississippi River and the Land of 10,000 Lakes. He catches what most consider trash fish, the bottom feeders. The buffalo, carp and white carp he nets go for pennies on the pound, but he sells them by the truckload.

Adams, one of the three subjects of Outdoor Channel's new series ‘Bottom Feeders,’ said the show is like “Any other reality show, like those alligator guys -- the life and struggle of a commercial fisherman landing carp.”

With only several episodes of the season aired, Adams has had some old acquaintences call, but his day-to-day life hasn’t changed much.


“I’m still working my day job,” he said. “The biggest change is people that I know or haven’t seen for a long time are saying, ‘Yea, I saw ya on TV.’

“But I don’t think it’s been out there long enough where I can walk into a gas station in a strange town and somebody recognizes me.”

Adams, who runs the local fish market and also fishes on a walleye tournament tour, said being on the show was a “neat experience,” but he never imagined something like this would happen.


“Nope, I never saw myself being on some TV show. Who would?”

Adams, who’s called The Middleman on the show, along with The Scrapper, Mike Johnson, and the Big Operator, Jedd Monsoor, can be seen Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Back to Adams’ haul. He matter of factly calls it a “normal winter day. Go out of the ice, cut a hole, and find fish.”

On this day, he’s brought in a real bonanza from a 15,000-acre, iced-over lake southwest of the Twin Cities. He and crew rolled their trucks and a tractor out onto the 2-foot thick ice. With a big auger and chainsaws, they cut a 4-foot-by-8-foot hole to deploy the nets with the use of submersibles, and a 15x20-foot hole to haul out the penned fish.

“You normally don’t catch a couple hundred thousand pounds, but today was a good day,” Adams said. “We have an automatic dipper that will dip them out of the water through the ice and run them across the sorting table. Buffalo over here, and carp over there.

“Tomorrow we’ll empty out that bag and know what we got for fish.”

His early estimates are 100,000 pounds of buffalo, 30,000 pounds of carp and 70,000 pounds of white carp. He says one semi is on the way then another the next day, in all the catch will require four or five tractor trailers.

“We got a couple different buyers and they’ll come pick them up,” he said. “One out of New York City, they’ll come and pick up the live buffalo. And we send the rest to Schafer (Fisheries) for his markets.”

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing. Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing.

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip. Other Freshwater

240 Pounds! Massive Alligator Gar Taken on Father's Day

Lynn Burkhead - June 22, 2020

Bow fisherman arrows fish of a lifetime on South Texas trip.

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Fishing

Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee

Larry Larsen - April 28, 2020

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more...

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever seen. Whitetail

The Story Behind Brewster's World-Record Buck

Lynn Burkhead - October 17, 2019

How a humble Virginia hunter bagged the biggest non-typical whitetail a bowhunter has ever...

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season. Whitetail

Oklahoma's Big Archery Bucks of 2018

Kelly Bostian

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now