Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

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Telling fish stories on LI

Fishing has been a part of Long Island life since its designers decided to shape it like a whale.

But it was not until this week that most inhabitants had access to WFN (World Fishing Network), now part of Cablevision’s iO Sports & Entertainment Pak. (Cablevision owns Newsday.)

This led a helpful public relations man to hook me up with one of its most popular hosts, Mariko Izumi, before the Nov. 7 season premiere of her series, “Hookin’ Up,’’ which is more wholesome than it sounds.

It’s a fishing-oriented travel and lifestyle program – a news release promised she had her “rod, reel and bikini’’ packed – that this season visits Alaska, Nicaragua, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

That’s New Brunswick, Canada, not New Jersey. Izumi lives near Toronto. What about Long Island?

“I haven’t done any fishing on Long Island yet, but it’s on my list,’’ she said, then added she has fished Central Park. “It wasn’t exactly crazy good bass fishing. But we had a lot of fun.’’

Izumi, 28, whose uncle Bob hosts a long-running fishing show, has noticed a “big time’’ increase in her visibility in the U.S. since the show began in 2008.

She recalled being on the Chattahoochee River in Georgia “when a random group kayaking through yelled, ‘Hey, Hookin’ Up! What’s up?’’’

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