Florida Sportsman has announced the production of a new, nationally televised show premiering in the spring of 2019. Florida’s fishing opportunities are unlike any other region or state, seemingly endless in species to target and locations to launch from, but there’s a thread that ties them all together: water—clean, healthy water.
In each episode, host Benny Blanco and his expert guests will fish Florida’s spectacular back-country, nearshore and offshore waters. “The clear objective is to feature fantastic fishing throughout the state, but the underlying message that healthy water matters will be a common thread in every episode, from every corner of the state,” commented Florida Sportsman Publisher, Blair Wickstrom.
“I wasn’t interested in hosting just another fishing show,” said host Benny Blanco. “But, when given the opportunity to make a difference, to bring awareness to this critical issue which I’m so passionate about, plus showcase the best fishing in Florida, I had no choice.”
2018 is the final season for Reel Time Florida Sportsman. Wickstrom commented that the Reel Time TV show format was popular, but it was time for a change, and in keeping with the magazine’s decades old mix of featuring excellent how-to and where-to fishing sprinkled in with some hard-hitting advocacy, they’d have a timely winner. The southeast and southwest toxic algae blooms, the seagrass die-offs in Florida Bay and in Titusville, the degradation of many of the state’s springs and coral disease that continues to spread south along Florida’s southeast coral reef tract are just some of the issues that must be dealt with now.
“As soon as Benny told us what he was doing, we were in,” said Chris Peterson, President of Hell’s Bay Boatworks. Hunter Cole, of PENN reels, said, “If Florida Sportsman is behind it, count us in.” Power Pole was another sponsor quick to sign-on.
“We have to do all we can,” said Blanco. Echoing his sentiment, Wickstrom said, “Now is the time and it’s a logical extension of our advocacy involvement for five decades.”
Florida Sportsman Watermen will air on World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel and Fox Sports, Spring 2019.