The anticipation is starting to build in Alpena for the premier of the new season of Major League Fishing, which was filmed this summer in Northeast Michigan. The show, which is on the Outdoor Channel, showcases the 24 top bass fishermen showing off their skills on Hubbard Lake, Long Lake and Grand Lake.
The first episode airs Saturday at 3 p.m. and then reruns throughout the week before the next runs on Jan.11. The reality show is unique because the professional anglers did not know where they would be fishing until just before the boats were launched and didn't have the luxury of finding the hot lure or fishing hole in advance. There are also penalties that force the competitors to keep their bait out of the water while the others continue to cast.
Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau President Mary Beth Stutzman said the interest surrounding the show is growing locally as the premier draws near.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Alpena and the surrounding communities because our lakes that we love so much are going to be starring in this," Stutzman said. "This is a first for Alpena. People are comparing this to our role in the Die Hard 2 movie, but is a lot bigger, because Alpena wasn't really given a mention in it. For this Alpena and the lakes are the star characters."
She said there are local businesses that are going to be airing the show for people who want to watch, while others are making plans to have parties with friends and families to watch the show. Stutzman said there also will be snippets of Sasquatch from the Jack Link's Beef Jerky commercials, that will show him touring Alpena.
"If you don't get the channel, we have tried to take care of you. All of the Saturday episodes can be viewed at the Fletcher Street Brewery and Latitudes Tavern," Stutzman said. "People are making plans and are some people are so excited they can hardy stand it. they follow the blogs and Facebook pages of the show that promote the show and I think there is definitely a buzz about this around Alpena."
Stutzman said she has learned from other communities that have hosted the show that they experienced an increase in bass fishing enthusiasts after previous seasons concluded. She said even some of the pros have returned to Alpena to fish since they left in August.
"I know at least three of them have come back and did some filming for their individual television fishing shows," Stutzman said. "That unto itself was worth all of the effort we put into this. This is millions of dollars in advertising that we don't have to buy. We are getting it in kind for allowing them to come to our community. It was neat when they were hear this summer, but the big deal is now, watching our lakes and Alpena star to a national audience."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.