World's Greatest Fishing Show: The Blog

We knew going into this shoot that conditions were going to be tough. It was mid-January and we were facing 39 to 40 degree water temps, air temp a bit lower and ice on the water… Ok we didn't expect the ice… but we knew we were in for a challenge. Frankly, I'm not sure why Davy Hite agreed to come along as our guest.

Before each shoot Z and I brainstorm about what direction the show could take. This is easy when we know we are in for phenomenal fishing. For example, anytime we go to Lake Erie we aren't stressed about catching smallmouth and we know we will have tons of content. This is awesome because it gives us more time to eat wings.

But for this shoot on Guntersville… I'll be honest we were worried if we would even get a show. Not because of the fishery, we know what type of fish that lake holds… No we just hit it during one of the coldest weeks in the last ten years. So Zona had a brilliant idea, let's show everyone exactly how long and what it really takes to make a fishing show… no matter how things turn out. Fishing TV unmasked if you will… that is if we were in the habit of wearing masks while we fish.

If you think about it though, WGFS is about as real as it gets all the time. You may have noticed that we do a very poor job of hiding the cameras that tape this show. Camera boats drift into shots and the cameraman on Z's boat is almost a third guest. We seem to break every traditional rule of TV production. Come to think of it, I hope my old college professors aren't watching.

It's not that we are bad at our job. We actually shoot this way by design. We learned early on that a spontaneous Mark Zona is a priceless commodity and there is only one way to capture it… roll tape all the time. There is no doubt that Z is a fine actor when he has to be, but there is nothing that can compare to his real and honest reactions to fish catches.

So on this show nothing is faked. Sure we miss a hook set on occasion (usually because Z continues to fish during tape or battery changes, so it's his fault) but why bother to shoot a fake hook set? Most everyone watching these days is savvy enough to call the bluff… and if you fake a hook set… what else will you fake?

Ironically this Guntersville show became about reality at that last minute. Perfect timing considering the crew came into the shoot with plans to have a little fun at Z and Davy's expense. You we told them we were shooting the fish catches in 3D. There is a fine line between faking and tricking… isn't there?