The professionals at Bass Pro Shops’ The Next Bite are pleased to announce that they have been awarded "Best Overall Outdoor Fishing Program" in the 2011 Outdoors 360 Programming Excellence Awards. TNB's Pete Maina, who was also
up for the Best On-Air Talent Award, is humbled by the recognition. "We were up against some pretty stiff competition- names that I grew up with. This really means a lot to all of us at TNB." When asked about the secret to their success, Maina responded "Lots of people deserve the credit for this. Our team, our viewers, our sponsors--they're all part of the TNB family. It's funny, because when we first sat down 8 years ago, we discussed what we thought it would take to make a successful fishing show-- something that would be viewed as a trend-setter. We built the show around those ideas. Those elements are the same today as they were then-- entertainment and education wrapped around a unique format. Sponsors who believe in us. Viewers who can relate to us. And fish. Lots of fish."
TNB's unique personality is part of the appeal. Maina, whose looks would fit just as easily with a surfboard on Long Beach or thrashing a flying V on stage with many of his rockin musician friends, is viewed as a rebel of sorts within the fishing world. From authoring books like Muskies Suck to being a guest host on numerous other shows, Pete brings an edgy look and feel to everything he does. When asked if that is a departure from the public’s perception of what fishing personalities usually are, Maina's response is a simple "Who says fishing aint cool?".
If Maina is considered irreverent, then his two partners would be considered stalwarts to traditional fishing enthusiasts. Both Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz have been around the lake a few times, and are considered by many to be the top two Walleye professionals in the world. Winning a combined sixteen world titles including Championships and Angler-of-the-Year awards, and pioneering the AIM Walleye Tournament, their knowledge of the Midwest's top game fish is second to none. When they aren't on the tournament trail or teaching at a seminar, both Kavajecz and Parsons do their fair share of tube time- on their own show and as guests on others. "Fishing is the greatest sport in the world." Parsons says. "I've been blessed to be able to make a career out of my passion. Working with guys like Keith and Pete make it that much better. We have fun, we get to educate people so that their fishing experience is better, and we make a living doing it. Tell me what could be better?" Kavajecz agrees. "TNB is a unique show, and I'm lucky to be a part of it. As our experience grows, so does our knowledge. We just want to share as much of that as we can. It's pretty cool that we have that opportunity."
Bass Pro Shops’ The Next Bite can be seen on the Versus Network, a part of the NBC Sports Group, Tuesdays 1:00 pm ET (Noon Central) and Thursdays at 7:30 am ET (6:30 am Central)