Meteorologist Davis Nolan is no fair-weather fisherman.
“I go every chance I get,” says the jovial Nolan, long-time weatherman on Nashville’s WKRN Channel 2, known for his weekend “Fishing Funtacular.”
The segment features photos of Middle Tennessee fishermen with their catches.
“There are lots of fishermen in this area, and the ‘picture board’ is popular,” Nolan says. “I receive over 500 photos, spring through fall. About half of them are of kids, which are especially great.”
Davis can identify with the beaming youngsters:
“I grew up in New Orleans, and as a kid I spent summers with my grandparents on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” he says. “That’s where I started fishing. I’d stand on a jetty and catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder. I was hooked on it.”
After graduating from Florida State with a degree in metrology, Nolan launched a career that in 1981 brought him to Nashville and WKRN. He recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with the station.
“I love the area and the people,” says Nolan, who settled near Old Hickory Lake and — — naturally – started fishing.
“Jimmy Holt was my biggest influence,” says Nolan, referring to the late Tennessean fishing writer and host of the Woods & Waters TV show. “I met Jimmy at a fishing tournament that invited some media folks, including me and Bill Hall (a late Channel 4 weatherman who also hosted a popular fishing show).
“Jimmy taught me how to fish local waters,” Nolan says. “Most of my fishing had been in the Gulf. Jimmy showed me how to fish freshwater.”
Nolan not only learned about tackle and techniques from Holt, Jimmy gave him the idea for his Fishing Funtacular photo gallery. A highlight of Holt’s outdoors show was a “picture board” displaying anglers with their catches.
“It was popular on Jimmy’s show,” Nolan says, “and I figured it would be equally popular on mine. And it has been.”
Nolan uses the same sign-off for his show as did Holt, reminding fishermen to “be sure and wear that life jacket.”
When he’s not studying weather systems for his forecasts or on Channel 2 special assignments, Nolan spends much of his time boating and sailing with wife Ami and daughter Amanda, a student at Vanderbilt – while finding time to wet a line.
“I fish mostly Old Hickory and Percy Priest,” Nolan says. “Crappie are my favorite. I’ve caught two two-pounders.”
Nolan’s biggest catch is a 10-pound Old Hickory largemouth, Well, approximately.
“I didn’t have a camera or scale with me,” he says. “My buddy wanted to take the fish to the dock and weigh it, but our boat had no live-well and it would have died. So I released it. I’ll never know exactly what it weighed, but I’ve seen a mounted 10-pounder, and mine was at least that big.”
Even without a photo, the weatherman with the sunny outlook has the memory of his lunker. That’s the best picture board of all.