The Saipan Fishermen Association and its community outreach program presented a wooden replica of its annual fishing derby winning trophy to Robert Arrington, host of the YouTube channel Deer Meat for Dinner, last Aug. 15 at the Minachom Atdao pavilion where Arrington also awarded the 36th Saipan International Fishing Tournament raffle winner with a $1,000 check.
SFA vice president Tony Scragg lauded Arrington’s work for showcasing and promoting the CNMI “in a way that has never been done before.”
The group gave Arrington a replica of the derby’s annual first-place trophy, a hand-carved trophy made of Micronesian wood. ““We chose the yellow fin tuna based on one of your videos,” Scragg told Arrington, referring to the trophy design.
Arrington recently donated $1,000 to the SFA’s Tasi to Table youth program, and $1,000 for the 36th fishing tournament raffle draw, which Greg Camacho won.
Arrington says that the trophy is the “coolest thing he’s ever gotten in his life.”
The SFA has handed out only two replicas of the trophy: one to Arrington, and one to the organizers of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.
Speaking after being presented with the wooden trophy, Arrington spoke about how he started out with his YouTube channel. “When I first started Deer Meat for Dinner in 2013, a company called Everglade Seasoning called me to their office, and I only had around 800 subscribers at that time, my videos got very little views less than 1,000 views per video, but Everglade thought I was doing a great job and wanted to sponsor my company.”
At the time, Arrington said, nobody was taking YouTube as a career, but Everglade Seasoning agreed to pay him $1,000 a month as long as he made two videos per month. Arrington saw the future and knew that it was going to be something big. Arrington said the money from Everglades helped him stay in business, pay his rent, and allowed him to pursue his career, and even if he now has over 500 million views, he hasn’t raised his rate with Everglades.
He credits the company for allowing him to donate $1,000 to the SFA’s youth group and another $1,000 to Camacho. “You guys have a very special land and although you may be really small on the map, you’re huge in my heart. I love this place and I appreciate the friendship, the hospitality and all the love that you showed me and my family and my crew. Thank you so much. I will be back,” said Arrington.