SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Fisherman Extraordinaire Capt. Eric Ciocher Inducted as Sports Journalist
By Steve Wilson // September 6, 2021
'the pursuit of fish is more than a sport or even a vocation – it is a philosophy of life'
WATCH: Ultimate Catch host and Space Coast Daily Outdoors Editor Capt. Eric Ciocher reeled in a monster 33-inch redfish recently in Grant, saying “the pursuit of fish is more than a sport or even a vocation – it is a philosophy of life.” (Ultimate Catch TV Video)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Ultimate Catch host and Space Coast Daily Outdoors Editor Capt. Eric Ciocher reeled in a monster 33-inch redfish recently in Grant, saying “the pursuit of fish is more than a sport or even a vocation – it is a philosophy of life.”
A 2021 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee in the Sports Journalist category, Ciocher’s love of fishing was a natural lead-in for his career as a multimedia Outdoors journalist.
Ultimate Catch is a fishing show with no boundaries and the Viera resident also produces the “Space Coast Daily Fishing Report,” which streams on Space Coast Daily TV.
He and is also an accomplished published outdoor writer for national and local fishing industry publications.
For the past 14 years, Ciocher has hosted and produced “Ultimate Catch,” a half-hour fishing show seen on the World Fishing Network.
The show has enabled Ciocher to hook fish from the Carolinas to Texas, and from the Bahamas to Baja, a dream that as a fishing-crazy kid in New Jersey Ciocher could not have imagined.
Each week, he joins some of the nation’s best anglers to fish in world-class fishing destinations.
Ciocher is an established professional fishing guide on Florida’s Space Coast and has numerous tournament wins in the saltwater arena.
“We fish Saltwater and Freshwater anywhere in search of the Ultimate Catch of that region,” said Ciocher. “Each episode is drag screaming and adrenaline-packed featuring a regional guest Captain or Professional Angler.”
Several times a week, someone asks the fisherman extraordinaire to name his favorite fish and Ciocher always has the identical succinct response: “The next one.”
His hesitancy to name a particular favorite is understandable, for all kinds of fish have been very, very good to the Captain, who has the enviable career of fishing around the world for a living.
With the help of Ciocher and his many fishing-savvy guests, Brevard anglers get the scoop on the hottest locations for the best catch.
“We have local pros and captains discussing in-shore, off-shore and freshwater fishing,” he said.
It’s hard for Ciocher to imagine a time when he did not fish. “I think I was three when I started,” he said.
His first 28 years were spent in New Jersey until he headed to the Space Coast and its more abundant outdoor opportunities and better fishing weather.
After a stint as a boat captain and professional fishing guide, with numerous tournament wins in the saltwater arena, in 2000 Ciocher began a career writing about the outdoors for local and national publications.
He was eventually asked to co-host a televised fishing show, which led to his current adrenaline-packed endeavor as an independent producer for the World Fishing Network.
“I go to different areas of the country and fish with the best captains and professional anglers, who teach me about the area,” said Ciocher, who also does commercials for sporting equipment manufacturers.
He had previously toyed with the movies as an extra; among his “film credits” is being part of two episodes of the 12-part HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon,” co-produced by Ron Howard and Tom Hanks, among others.
There is no tackle, from fly-fishing to spinning gear, that Ciocher hasn’t tried, because he has fished all types of bodies of water where fish can be found.
Among his career highs was a tarpon-seeking trip to Puerto Rico, where he was told he had broken the record for the most tarpon hooked in 72 hours.
Fishing in Brevard keeps him occupied in between taping of his shows, and he admits to admiring the tarpon and the snook he can find here.
Although red tide and pollution have caused disturbing fish kills locally, Ciocher sees brighter times ahead for the Space Coast waters.
“Fishing here has been pretty good lately, and I believe it’s on the upswing,” he said.
His globetrotting angling has provided Ciocher with an in-depth look at declining fish populations and has led him to support any measures that help restore bodies of water around the world.
“I’m a strong advocate for clean waterways on a global scale,” he said.
“Catching the next one means I’m alive and well. I enjoy every moment of fishing as if it were my last.”
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced the members of the Class of 2021.
For more than a century, athletes from Brevard County have been considered among the finest in America and their accomplishments are honored and immortalized by the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Plans are now in the works for the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s 11th induction ceremony, which will include compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The date and venue of the induction of the 2020 and 2021 Classes of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame will be announced later this month.
The 2020 induction ceremony event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SELECTED IN FOUR CATEGORIES
Nominees are chosen in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports. Special honorary recognition is also be bestowed upon individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2021:
■ PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Amber Torrealba, Skimboarding; Randy Pobst, Auto racing
■ COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lynisha Nelson, Basketball; Bryan Cook, Baseball; Steve Freeman, Soccer
■ PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Julie Wollrath, Cross Country; Kaira Simmons, Track & Field; Cameron Harris, Jr., Football
■ AMATEUR/RECREATION CATEGORY INDUCTEE: Alli Penovich, Free Diving
■ COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Lee Mace, Football; Jim Oler, Basketball
■ SPORTS OFFICIAL INDUCTEE: Klaus Stafe
■ SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEE: Capt. Eric Ciocher
■ SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEE: Charles Clemente
■ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE: Larry Garrison
■ SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE: Rusty Buchanan
■ CHALLENGER AWARD INDUCTEE: Jordan Episcopo
■ TEAM OF THE YEAR: Astronaut High School Bowling
■ LEGACY CHAMPIONS: Merritt Island Baseball, 1999-2000
■ SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Fred Gay
COMING SOON TO SPACE COAST DAILY: INDUCTEE PROFILES AND VIDEO TRIBUTES
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and has so far inducted more than 190 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
The main athletic building on the Melbourne Campus hosts the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, as portraits of the Hall of Famers are displayed on the wall in the building’s main hallway that runs parallel to the gym and outside the athletic department offices.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, Sports Editor Juan Rodriguez, Social Media Director Matt O’Hern, Assistant Editor Rhett Lighthall, Digital Producer Ron Lighthall, Production Director Brian Dillon, Sports Broadcaster Daryl Durand and Amateur Athletic Union President Rusty Buchanan.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event and the High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards are sponsored by Health First, Erdman Automotive, All Points, Clear Choice Health Care, Savings Safari, Friday Night Locker Room and Rock Paper Simple.
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS