Dustin Wilks, a 36-year-old Raleigh native who lives at Rocky Mount, and Dave Wolak, 37, a Pennsylvania native living at Wake Forest, will co-produce and star in "Carolina's Perfect Cast" to be seen Saturdays at 9 a.m., starting in July on The Pursuit Channel.
"We both got burned out by being on the pro tours, all the travel and stuff and being away from our families so much," said Wilks, who finished second in the first BASS tournament he entered as a N.C. State University student and eventually banked more than a half-million dollars on that pro trail. "I've been fishing for bass for 25 years, the last 15 years as a pro."
Wolak is a veteran pro angler who has banked more than $1 million on the BASS Trail since 2002, including two victories and 13 top-10 finishes.
Wilks, who has written a semi-monthly bass-fishing column for North Carolina Sportsman for several years, said he and Wolak saw a need to get national exposure for the state's fishing venues.
"I think this state has the best fishing of all kinds of all the states I've been to," said Wilks, "but Dave and I won't restrict ourselves to bass fishing at big lakes. We'll fish rivers, lakes, streams and saltwater for whatever species we think might interest our viewers. We might do a segment on (mountain) trout or go to the coast for red drum.
"We've both watched fishing shows and saw a need to cover the Carolina area. Every time you'd turn on the TV, you'd see stuff from Texas and other parts of the country that's not very relatable to East Coast guys, especially North Carolina fishermen. We're going to places more realistic than Falcon Lake (Texas), where most people around here never will go."
Wolak, who grew up fishing streams and lakes in northeastern Pennsylvania, will bring a northern-based angler's perspective and tips to the show, Wilks said.
The 30-minute show, Wilks said, will be split into two segments, with each angler doing one segment.
First-year show stops include Falls Lake, Shearon Harris, Hyco, Gaston, Badin, Wylie, John H. Kerr "and a bunch of small lakes and creeks," Wilks said.
"We'll show a lot of cutting-edge fishing techniques, but we won't completely abandon tradition. We'll be fishing everything, from the smallest of ponds to the biggest of lakes and, at some point, saltwater, places accessible to our viewers.
"Because of our experience, I think we bring credibility to the show. People know we've been out there (and performed well on the pro circuits). I think our reputation also pretty much helped us get a time slot on The Pursuit Channel."
"Carolina's Perfect Cast" will re-air on Thursdays at 7:30 a.m.