Print and Go Back ESPN.com: TV [Print without images]

Thursday, January 1, 2009
World's Greatest Fishing Show: The Blog

By Randy White - Producer

World's Greatest Fishing Show
Airs each Saturday January thru March at 8:30 a.m.

Next to the birth of my daughter and my wedding day… and maybe winning my first fantasy football championship (sorry Dirty Frank), the day I found out World's Greatest Fishing Show was coming back for a third season ranks pretty high on the great day scale. To put it in producers terms… let's just say it felt as amazing as catching a show saving four pound smallmouth on Skiatook Lake. (Thanks Bob Cobb — Season 1, Show 6)

World's Greatest Fishing Show
Just one of the 1000's of smallmouth at 1000 Islands.
Truthfully, few things in life are as fun as producing this show. If you have been watching the first two seasons, I think you know what I mean. Who wouldn't enjoy spending a few days on the water with Mark Zona?

Of course all those great rock anthems can't be wrong… life on the road is not easy. Every place we fish we have to find a place to call home after we make the day's last cast and turn the page… so to speak. Many times we just find a comfy Holiday Inn or Best Western but anyone who fishes knows that sometimes the best waters have very few good options. That has been the case of many beds for the WGFS crew and the lodging for the 1000 Islands shoot tops the list of the top five unique to say the least World's Greatest hotels and motels.

5) Axton's Bass City - Lake Fork, TX: I had to include Bass City… really any fishing lodge on Lake Fork. When you look up fishing accommodations in the dictionary, Axtons is likely the first to come up… and yes, purely because it starts with an A.

World's Greatest Fishing Show
Makes you wonder if Logan Martin's spotted bass eat scorpion?
4) Rental house - Logan Martin. AL: The ideal setting for producing a show is having a private rental house. Plenty of room for gear, tackle and oh yeah… the scorpion killing kit! Zona's likes to walk around at night barefoot so you have to clear the floors of eight-legged poisonous carnivorous arthropods.

3a) James Hall's basement — Florida: OK we didn't actually stay in the editor of Bassmaster Magazine's basement… but how cool would that be? 3b) Mike Frenette's Lodge - Venice, LA: I will never forget pulling into Venice Marina in the middle of the night just looking for a bed. Even in the dark we could tell the place had a killer view… then it dawned on us that the real killer was going to be getting our 10 cases of gear weighing about 800 pounds up the 20 foot staircase. To make matters worse, the steps were steeper than Lloyd Christmas' learning curve.

World's Greatest Fishing Show
Sure it was difficult… but the food was great!
2) El Patio - Presque Isle Bay, PA: The exotic name alone was enough to entice us… but the recommendation from our guest Frank Scalish sold us on this establishment. Let me put it this way… many a starving tournament angler has stayed here, if you know what I mean. Plus, I think "Frank the tank" knew he could beat the entire crew at darts over at Choo Choos, the hotel bar.

1) PJ's - Clayton NY: When your local camera boat operator does a double take and says "You're staying where!" You know you're in for an interesting stay. Hey only the best for the host of the World's Greatest Fishing Show and his guest Bassmaster Elite Series Pro, Kevin Wirth. To see for yourself, check out Mark Zona's video tour of PJ's.

World's Greatest Fishing Show
Zona and Wirth already have plans to return.
Of course this show was not about PJ's. It was about the phenomenal smallmouth fishing that 1000 Islands offers and after you watch the show… you will understand why Zona would consider living at PJ's and catching those fish the rest of his life.