Fishing with Widespread Panic

Fishing with Widespread Panic: New Show Blends Music and Marine Adventure
JamBase Gets On the Boat Before Charleston, SC Shows

Words & Images by: Dave Vann

John Bell :: 10.23 :: Charleston, SC
"This ain't your father's fishing show," says Captain Adam Paul, executive producer and creator of GillznFinz TV, the country's hottest and most innovative fishing show to come along in years. In fact, GillznFinz isn't really a fishing show at all. The show focuses on the adventures of Paul and his team and gives the viewer a chance to experience the coastal lifestyle and go on vacation from the comfort of their own home. With an amazing lineup of bands (including Umphrey's McGee and now Widespread Panic), incredible locations (Kona, Cabo, Bahamas, Colorado, The Keys and of course Charleston, SC) and amazing restaurants, Paul may have created the perfect show for anyone who enjoys escaping the realities of everyday life.

I was lucky enough to get invited to go out for the recent taping for GillznFinz TV in October just outside of Charleston. John Bell, Jimmy Herring and Todd Nance from Widespread Panic agreed to come out for a day of boating, fishing and laughter on their day off before the two Widespread Panic shows in Charleston.

We went out on the 57-foot Carolina boat "The Adamada" with three smaller boats with the film crew in tow. Originally, we were supposed to go about 60 miles out for some deep sea fishing for sailfish. However, the weather was not cooperating and 15 foot swells were looming. So at the last minute we modified the plan and went fishing for redfish on the beautiful coastline just outside of Charleston. The water was still choppy but that didn't stop the good times.

Todd Nance catches a Redfish :: 10.23 :: Charleston, SC
On the way back to shore we enjoyed some downtime with the band, and even got to enjoy an acoustic performance of Widespread Panic's "Three Candles" with JB and Jimmy on The Adamada. The GillznFinz show with Widespread Panic airs in 60 markets nationwide and will be featured on the World Fishing Networks HD on Dish Network and Untamed Sports TV in February 2009. For more details and exact airdates and times, go to www.gillznfinz.com.

Based in Charleston, SC the GillznFinz crew wanted to create an image of fisherman that may not fit the typical stereotype. "We are not two guys in a boat kissing fish," says Paul. "We drink, we have fun, we have ADD, we cuss, we yell, we tell jokes, we drink – wait I said that already - well you get the point." The concept is simple. Show the viewer what goes on while the cameras aren't usually rolling, catch some big fish, have a renowned chef cook them up and throw in some killer live music to tie it all together.

"If the show was just about me," says Paul, "it would get boring real quick. What we've done is create a show where you get to meet the best fishermen in the world and learn from them as we travel on some epic adventures. But, fishing isn't just about being in a boat and reeling in some lines. It's about that feeling you get when you hear an incredible tune, taste something amazing or see one of Mother Nature's marvels. I think we were able to capture that feeling and translate it to anyone that watches."

Jimmy Herring on The Adamada :: 10.23 :: Charleston, SC
To do this, Paul has formed relationships with some of the top touring bands in the country. Throughout the 30-minute show, live music is playing and the viewer is overloaded with amazing images of the band onstage. The audience gets to meet the band as they share stories from the road or even try to make a correlation between fishing and music. The viewer is treated and introduced to a new band each week. Sometimes the bands even come along to fish.

"What can I say, I love music, and any fisherman who says music doesn't make the fish bite is full of it. It is just a natural fit and gives the viewer a chance to learn some new tunes or sing along to some of the favorites," says Paul. "You know we really are all the same - fishermen, rock stars and chefs - we love the ultimate experience, plus we are all equipment junkies!"

GillznFinz started in 2007 as a social networking website, where fisherman could log on and share tips, pictures, videos and stories. Paul wanted to provide content to the site so he started GillznFinz TV and made short humorous videos. The creativity caught the eye of Steven Pruett, a longtime TV producer, who decided to help Paul take the show national through syndication. In just six weeks GillznFinz became the top show on the World Fishing Network and pulls in incredible ratings on local affiliates throughout the country. This first season one of the featured anglers is Jordon McCullough, a beautiful 19-year-old female, who on the show became the youngest person to ever complete to the Royal Billfish Grand Slam – catching all nine species of billfish in a lifetime.

The entire GillznFinz crew also had the opportunity to enjoy the Charleston SC shows, which were great. The setlists and a full photo gallery are on the next page. Special thanks to Parker Williams for his help with this article.

Fishing with Widespread Panic - October 23, 2008

Continue reading for photo galleries of the Charleston, SC Panic shows...


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