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Bryan Anger the angler: Punter gets spearfishing 'Hard Knocks' cameo

Bucs punter Bryan Anger is seen entering the water to go spearfishing for lionfish in a scene from Tuesday's episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," chronicling the Bucs in training camp. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
Bucs punter Bryan Anger is seen entering the water to go spearfishing for lionfish in a scene from Tuesday's episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," chronicling the Bucs in training camp. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
Published Aug. 10, 2017

One cool scene that got only a few seconds of quickly edited screen time in Tuesday's "Hard Knocks" episode saw Bucs punter Bryan Anger going spearfishing as part of a montage of what players liked to do on an off day from training camp.

Anger, who set Bucs single-season records for punting average and net punting average last year, could be seen diving in and spearing a lionfish, then later clipping off its venomous spines.

"They left a lot out, but we had a good time though," said Anger, 28, who signed a five-year, $17-million extension late last year. "I have a neighbor who dives a lot, so we had a 32- and 33-foot boat out there, really calm seas. Just the ride out, we went out probably 30-40 miles. It was a really fun day."

Anger goes out "as often as possible" in the offseason, and enjoys going after lionfish, which have become a major problem in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Those are a super-invasive species. They wipe out a ton of the small reef fish, so they're really bad for the environment," Anger said. "I probably killed like 30 in that one dive. You try to wipe out as many as you can."

As an added incentive, they're also delicious, he said.

"They're really good to eat," he said. "I think Fresh Market or Whole Foods is selling them now. It's one of the best to eat. They have no natural predators, and their skin is really soft and the meat's really soft. It's a super, white, flaky meat. It's really good."

Anger said he did three dives with an NFL Films crew shooting, and the hobby could be another way to bond with new Bucs long-snapper Garrison Sanborn, who also has an interest.

"Garrison dives," he said. "He hasn't been in a while. He doesn't have all the stuff so he just has to rent, but he wants to get out. He needs a little refresher, but he'll go out soon."

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