Next Big Thing – Episode 412

This is the first episode of the 2012 season and one of our most talked about in recent years. In this continuation of last year’s season finale, we continue our quest to find the lucky dude that’s going to be the next host of the Fish’n Canada Show.

As Angelo states in the program, “New Blood” was on the slate last season and two Ontario-born Hot Sticks were the participants—John Blanchard and Paul Castellano. Both active fishing guides and both of whom Fish’n Canada considers great friends. So who’s it going to be…?


“Man, did it snowball into a big deal,” says Angelo, speaking of last year’s finale. “I simply fired out the idea to Pete that maybe it was time we considered taking on a new body in the TV hosting department. And with a little coaxing and a mix of the right contenders, he was all in!”

In a nutshell, we put out a survey to the audience to find out who their favourite candidate was and after a see-saw battle for the top, the audience really couldn’t decide. It was pretty much a dead heat.

Pete and Ang were now left with making the decision on their own—not be the best place to be since they both love the personalities of Paul and John.

Of course decisions like this must be made during a proper meeting: business attire, catered lunch, etc., right?

Nope… Pete and Ang start their meeting on the deck of their Princecraft Boat in the middle of Mountain Lake on the Meaford Military Base, their favourite boardroom so far!


During their so-called “meeting”, Pete wonders about whether fast-tracking a new host is really a good idea. After all, he auditioned for ten years! Which makes Angelo think that rather than hire both, he may not hire either. It’s a tough decision any which way.

As the show goes on Pete and Ang discuss the fact that the most interesting thing Fish’n Canada decided to do was to offer a comment field in the online survey. It was interesting to see people nominate friends, family, or even themselves rather than Paul or John. The survey results started coming in as soon as it hit the internet, and they kept coming all year long. The results were too close to declare a winner, but it was cool to use the web to collect feedback from the audience. Pete and Angelo both agree they’ll definitely be using that tool again.


As the discussion continued, the boys started to reflect on the show’s history and pondered some other questions. Would the audience have picked Pete when he started? How have surveys worked in the past? Didn’t audiences hate former co-host Mike Miller? What happened to Reno? All these questions (and more) were considered while trying to make a decision.

“Personality is the most important factor when working with the team,” says Pete. “And both Paul and John have great personalities. Contrasting, but great.” This is one of the main reasons our hosts had such a hard time selecting one prospect over the other.

By the way, in case you are wondering, during Ang and Pete’s meeting, they put on a clinic on topwater Smallmouth Bass fishing and even tied into bonus Walleye to boot! Fishing/talking, talking/fishing, fishing/talking—it’s what they do best!


Popping baits are one of the most effective topwater lures around and the Pop R is still on the top of the heap. Whichever size popper you use, tie it to monofilament line (fluorocarbon sinks—not good). Braid would be a distant second choice.

We say distant because braid is so stretch free that an angler that only fishes occasionally might inadvertently pull the hooks away from or even out of some of the fish’s mouths. Use a 6’6″+ medium action rod on either a spinning or baitcasting outfit and give a 2-3 count from the time you see the strike to when you set the hook.


  • Black Angus Meats, Thornbury Ontario
  • Land Force Central Area Training Centre, Meaford Ontario