Portland shark fishing boat captain launches own TV show

If you read this space often, you’ll recognize the name Capt. Jim Harkins.

Capt. Jim Harkins and First Mate Andy Beasley of Portland-based Atlantic Adventures pin down a still-thrashing 9-foot blue shark reeled in by Brunswick native Chris Wegner on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 16, 2012, about 40 miles off the coast of Maine. (BDN photo by Seth Koenig)

I first spoke to Harkins last summer when writing about great white sharks off the coast of Maine, and I rode on his deep sea fishing charter boat several weeks later for the first day of a South Portland charity tournament. Since then, I’ve tried to keep readers updated on Capt. Jim’s adventures, such as when he was picked as one of a handful of subject matter experts by hunting and fishing equipment retailer Cabela’s.

Now Harkins is taking his act to television, launching a 10-episode series in southern Maine on TimeWarner Cable’s Channel 9.

Harkins said the first episode — bits and pieces of which I saw him filming when I went out on his boat in August — will air Sunday night at 8 p.m. Reruns of the show will appear on the following Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

The air time for these types of regional cable shows are often paid for by the producers, with underwriters or advertisers picking up the tab and — if they’re successful enough — providing a small profit. The initial episodes can also be used as a showcase for consideration by larger cable networks, which we’ve seen in the past bite on reality shows about deep sea fishing — think “Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel and “Wicked Tuna” on National Geographic’s channel.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.