Phil Friedman was born in Torrance, California in 1958. From his earliest remembrances, fishing was his most favored pastime. Even today, he can still vividly recall his 1/2 day trips out of Redondo Beach on that location's fabled charter boats. By the time he had turned twelve he was a regular on them, volunteering to help the captain and the crew clean up after the conclusion of the day's adventures. He even distinctly remembered when the skipper offered him a deal he couldn't refuse: if he helped scrub the boat when it returned to port he could fish for free. His weekends-at-sea also enabled him to catch enough fish to sell them for a handsome profit, as well. He eventually became a regular deckhand on board the Redondo Special and then moved on to many other sport fishing boats like the Searcher, Grande, Toronado, and the Qualifier 105. He later captained the commercial fishing vessel Thunderfish out of Redondo Beach focusing on catching rockfish on Tanner Banks.
In 1985 he came up with plan to further capitalize on his love affair with his piscine adventures.He offered a daily service called 976-TUNA to the fishing community of call-in reports about what was biting, where the catch was best, and tips on how to ensure success. He recalled for us that the service cost the caller $2.00 per connection and he got to keep $1.50 for each tidbit of information that he provided. He was getting at best a handful of calls a day until his parents were shocked to see that number shoot up into (first) the hundreds and then (shortly thereafter) the thousands. Apparently, an outdoor fishing reporter by the name of Earl Grusky wrote an article in the Los Angeles Times, about Phil's daily informational service and the business began booming beyond the youngster's wildest dreams.
Fast forward to just a few years ago to read about Phil's exploits on behalf of the less fortunate amongst us in Rosarito:
Phii's television and radio shows featured world class athletes (like the Los Angeles Lakers' great stars,Brian Shaw, Flynn Robinson, Keith Erickson, and Luke Walton (and outdoorsmen like Patty & Tery Flynn). Rock and roll legend Ted Nugent and captain Paul Watson from Whale Wars used to spar on Phils radio show regularly. Phil has interviewed Jeannie Buss, Rex Linn, Henry Winkler to name a few more celebrities.
“I have been so blessed in my life,” said Friedman. “I am beyond lucky.”
Here are just a few of the things that Friedman has done in his life.
•Has taken over 100,000 inner city children fishing.
•Volunteered two years of his time teaching English in Mexico and Costa Rica with the Franciscan Fathers.
•Hosted the first Spanish language outdoors radio show in Los Angeles.
•Was awarded the Hero in Education award by the California Lottery during a Los Angeles Lakers game.
•Phil has been a newspaper writer, radio show host and voice over actor for decades.
•He has taught in Mexico, Costa Rica, China and the United States.
•He spoke with Kareem Abdul Jabar, Keith Erickson and other Los Angeles Lakers at the Flynn Robinson Memorial.
•Put on a special basketball camp with some Los Angeles Laker players for 300 children at the Rosarito Beach Hotel
•Took over 100 kids for local orphanages in Ensenada on their first sport fishing trip on the Ensenada Clipper with world champion Los Angeles Laker, Flynn Robinson.
•In 2020, he celebrated 8 years of sobriety from alcoholism.
Then, three years ago, Phil was looking for a new challenge. That took him to Kunshan, China where he is a teacher at the prestigious Kunshan International School. He teaches English, Spanish, Public Speaking, Science and Reading. He says one of the best things he has ever done in his life was to play Santa Claus to 2000 kids in China.
While in China, Phil also started walking and walking and walking. He came up with the idea of walking around China and other parts of the world to stay healthy and positive and share with others all about his extraordinary adventures. In the process, he lost over 160-pounds. You can follow him on Instagram at Walkwithphil.
What's next for this extraordinary human being? Stay tuned, we'll be among the first to know and we promise to share all of the details with you as soon as we do!!!