December 19, 2014

Fishing program lured to Arenac County

By John Fischer|Staff writer
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STANDISH TOWNSHIP — This summer, Visual Films, which has produced over 100 titles since 2000, will shoot an episode of its program “1 Big Fish” at Eagle Bay Marina in Standish Township.

Dedicated to reeling in monster fish, the series is based around fishing education as well as entertainment, or “Edutainment” as a media kit for provided by Visual Films suggests. The program features top guides and tournament professionals, as well as “crafty old timers” to show you how to catch “the big ones,” the media kit says.

According to Joe Raymer, the series co-host/captain of Looney Tunes Charters of Standish, the program is aired on cable networks (Water Entertainment Network and The Sportsman Channel) throughout the state, reaching over 1 million viewers, as well as www.myoutdoorstv.com, a site of outdoors videos.

“The main purpose of the show is to really promote the area we’re fishing in,” Raymer said. “We have the episode sponsor come out with us (Raymer and co-host Don Sweet) and fish. We talk about all there is to do in the area so people can get an idea of what to expect when visiting.”

Raymer says sponsors are sought locally and promoted throughout the show in an effort to enhance tourism and educate the viewer on fishing in the featured area. He added that the show educates viewers on many topics relating to fishing and the community – lodging, boat launch facilities, tournament results, dining and more.

“We (Visual Films) want to tell viewers about the attractions in the area,” Raymer said.

He also says after the program airs it will be available on DVD, which the highlighted location can use as a promotional tool for tourism.

According to Arenac County District III Commissioner Joseph Sancimino, people from southern Michigan inquiring about fishing conditions in the county had contacted Floyd Bender, of the Standish Chamber of Commerce, who saw a possibility to lure the show to Standish and approached Sancimino. After a meeting on the subject, Sancimino says Bender made contact with the county’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) regarding the issue.

“The chamber of commerce has a small budget,” Sancimino said. “So that’s why we went to the EDC; and because they deal with tourism, they decided it was a good opportunity.”

He added fees to bring the program to the area will cost about $600 but the possibility of promoting Arenac County to a million viewers far outweighs that cost.

“Part of the program involves a three to five minute commercial where someone from the county talks about features in the area,” Sancimino said. “We’ll probably talk about the train depot and the casino; stuff like that.

“It’s a good deal and the county doesn’t need to pay for it.”

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