One of the best things about being a freelance journalist in the marine industry is getting an email on a Thursday afternoon like this one: “Sorry for the late notice, but we're hoping you can join us next Wednesday in Ocean City, MD, to film a trailer for 'Got Bait?,' Lenny's fishing show.”

Now I don’t know about you, but spending two days on the water sounds infinitely better than being planted in front of a keyboard and monitor. So of course I said, “Yes!”

Gary and Paul filming GotBait

I backed up Paul Cronin with a second video camera, while chuckling at the boys' antics. Photo: Carol Cronin

So what the heck is “Got Bait?” anyway? It is a series of fishing shows hosted by senior editor (and heck of a good angler) Lenny Rudow, which you'll be able to check out right here at The premise of the first episode is “Flounder: Bait vs. Lures,” meaning two, two-person teams are pitted against one another to see which anglers catch the most flounder—those with minnows and squid, or those with soft jigs. Lenny’s sons, Max and Dave, make up “Team Bait” (and provide comic relief), while Lenny and his long-time fishing friend John Unkart make up “Team Lures.” Oh, and in case you didn’t know, flounder are a type of flatfish.

The whole crew met up early in West Ocean City, MD, at the public launch ramp, which gave us easy access to the fertile flounder grounds of Assawoman Bay (no, "Assawoman" is not a typo). Walter George and Capt. Mark Galasso of Annapolis Boat Sales provided a slick Everglades 243CC for the fishing teams, while Lenny’s long-time fishing pal John Unkart brought along his friend Capt. Fred, who provided not only himself for driving duty, but also his Carolina Skiff 24. The capable skiff would serve as a floating platform for the producer and videographer folks.

A photo of the Got Bait? crew getting miked up.

Lenny's sons Dave and Max prepare to get miked up by videographer Paul Cronin, as John Unkart looks on. Photo: Gary Reich

And let me tell you, the beginning of the day was c-o-l-d cold. As in mid-50s with a pelting, wind-driven drizzle cold. And yours truly packed only shorts. (Hey, it was 92 degrees when I left my home in Annapolis, MD.) The lucky folks on Team Bait and Team Lures stayed warm thanks to some of Grundens' excellent, fishing-grade Gage foul weather gear.

Despite the cold that morning, the teams managed to catch some fish and we captured some great footage. Some footage even included some cool underwater takes of a flounder changing color against a sandy bottom and Lenny's sons continually pranking him. Once the sun decided to come out, so did the fish, which made the angling action a bit more exciting. "Uncle" Lenny even treated the whole group to a fine seafood dinner, which went down great after a long day on the water.

A photo of the team fishing during the Got Bait? filiming day.

Cold was the name of the game filming the early segments for the first episode of GotBait? Photo: Gary Reich

I won’t spoil it for you by telling you much more, like who won, or what pranks Lenny's boys played on him. You’ll just have to stay tuned to and watch the first episode when it is is released. But if the first episode is any gauge as to how the rest of the episodes will turn out… well… you’re in for quite a treat. And maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get asked to play hooky again, too.

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