Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sugar is Sweet, but an Old Salt is Sweeter

Jim Baugh
edited by
Donna Bozza

It is no secret I love the feel of the tug on a fishing line. 

Whether it’s freshwater or saltwater as long as I am on it, in it, or near it, I’m smiling. Filming so many adventures on the water over the last 25 years has been amazing. Yet, it’s not my favorite thing about producing Jim Baugh Outdoors TV.

It is certainly a blast to set the GPS on uncharted territory, but the real treat is the folks we meet. We have filmed with a vastly diverse group of people over the years but the one common denominator is their true enthusiasm for promoting outdoor recreation. It doubled the fun of filming as we hit the beach, fished, biked, canoed, got into whitewater rafting and even snow skiing with an inspiring assortment of sportsmen/women.

We are currently wrapping up the filming for our 25th Anniversary Specials. Just hit homeport after exploring a brand new area for Jim Baugh Outdoors –Talbot County, Maryland.

It was great fun, along with one heck of a surprise.

On our first day in Talbot County, we headed to Tilghman Island where we checked into Harrison’s Chesapeake House. We found comfortable accommodations and a whole lot more. Their stellar location right on the Choptank River provides a country-cooking restaurant that never seems to close, two bars including an outside crab picking bar, and charter fishing tours. Am I in heaven?
Captain Buddy
"He's our man"
Sitting down to the “Chesapeake House’s Surf and Turf,” that would be delicious crab cakes and killer fried chicken –we heard tell of the infamous “Captain Buddy.” Looked like we might even get to meet him the next morning when we hit the Chesapeake Bay to find those Rockfish.

Up before the rooster crowed, while enjoying fresh coffee and eggs, a seasoned gentleman came up to me.

“Good morning, I’m Captain Buddy,” he said shaking my hand. “You must be Jim.”

I took a long look at him, thinking he sure looked familiar. But this was my first trip to Tilghman Island and Talbot County. Then it hit me. I couldn't believe it!

“Captain Buddy!” I said. “Yes, I’m Jim Baugh and you may not remember but we featured you on our show almost 25 years ago when we were featuring fishing out of Baltimore, Maryland.”

He kept looking at me; obviously, he has met many fishing groupies in his day.

“Captain Buddy, we went out on your head boat and caught a boat load of Rockfish,” I continued. “My son Ben was with me and at that time he was only five years old. It is such an honor to have you on our show today and so fitting because we are filming our 25th Anniversary Series –and you’re here!”

Captain Buddy shook his head and said, “My, you have got a GOOD memory!”

We laughed and headed to his boat to go out fishing with three generations of Harrisons, his son Captain Chuck and his grandson Bo. Of course, in these waters we limited out on Rockfish pretty darn quick.

While I was on the boat with Captain Buddy, we talked about everything; the days that he fished out of Baltimore where he had a hotel and of course his extraordinary life on Tilghman Island. He gave me interesting insights about the successful Harrison’s restaurant, a family operation. I shared my Jim’s BBQ tales and how much I learned hauling pork butt and running my own smokehouse for two years.
Sara and Captain Buddy

We both agreed that the restaurant business is among the hardest work there is especially when you are also running a charter business and a hotel. Captain Buddy has done it all and done it well with his own Tilghman Island “je ne sais quoi”. You gotta respect that.

A true blessing that we got an encore with this legendary captain for our 25th Anniversary! What an unforgettable character.
Jim Baugh with a couple of Rocks

If you want to go fishing, Talbot County, MD is hard to beat. Give Harrison’s a try, it has everything you could need and offers very reasonable packages that include fishing, meals, and accommodations.

A big shout out to the Captain and everyone at Harrison’s for making our stay so memorable!


People, people who meet people… we’re the luckiest people in the world!

I always enjoy working with the tourism staff of the areas we feature. For the most part, we have the same goal, promoting the outdoor activities and attractions in their neck of the woods.

It’s the nature of the business that folks who work in this field are consummate “people persons.” Always entertaining, they have energy that makes a Jack Terrier look comatose, and a pick-up full of professionalism.

The results? Their successful Destination Marketing Organizations and happily by default, great JBO TV.  

After a quarter of a century producing JBO I can say with no fingers crossed, its never been a bore or a bad time working with tourism industry folks including captains and guides.

Normally I would not single out any DMO folks since all have been gems. Yet, there was a special thrill for both Donna and me when it came to meeting the tourism director for Talbot County, Maryland, Cassandra Vanhooser.
Donna and Cassandra
You will recognize her name if you ever picked up a Southern Living Magazine. That’s because her byline graced its pages for 15 years.

As writers, we admired her past vocation as the consummate travel writer/editor of Southern byways in the ultimate glossy extolling the only side of the Mason-Dixon Line worth a hoot.

Cassandra waxed poetically about hollows and coastal havens including our own, VA’s Eastern Shore. With a twist of her wordsmith wit she paid homage to the seemingly ordinary places and people and spotlighted them for the life celebrating -hootenannies they were.

If I weren’t already a Southerner, I’d get my passport stamped right quick after reading this Tennessee gal’s yarns.

Cassandra puts that same creative fire into promoting Talbot County. If you want to keep up hold on tight –she is the Mario Andretti of mini-vans!

Upon arrival, though technically we weren’t scheduled to start shooting until the next morning, we filmed right up until the sun sunk below the Chesapeake Bay. I finally convinced Cassandra there wasn’t even enough sun light to cover an orange soda can.

But while we filmed out of two cars, (I rode with Ms. Andretti as Donna bravely attempted to follow in George our VW Bug) I loved asking Cassandra a million and one questions about her many travels and her work as tourism director.

She first discovered Talbot County on assignment. Since Tennessee gals see no reason to waste breath BS-ing, we believe that this is indeed her favorite place on the planet. Certainly, after several days of working with Cassandra it was evident where her heart is. These are lucky folks to have her at the helm.

Setting aside the Yankee thang, Donna felt a kinship with Cassandra. Both have been/are professional writers and interestingly both share being tourism directors of tiny staffed but awesome DMOs.

Donna was the first director of tourism for Virginia’s Eastern Shore back in 2005. She had a blast comparing notes with Cassandra. We both did. Working together there was a salty-fun synergy.

It inspired me to scribble this down today, a salute to all the incredibly talented, hardworking, and generous people who make the places we film on Jim Baugh Outdoors TV the places you list on your Coastal Bucket List. Though, most you never see in front of the camera, it’s their dedication that makes us look good.

Included in our thanks –our long time sponsors –Suzuki Marine and Carolina Skiff, along with the various tourism agencies that sponsored us over the years. Because of them, we have been able to take you, our viewer friends along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been highlighting the best in recreational fishing, and outdoor and indoor excitement.

Here’s to 25 more years of seeing the places and meeting the faces that inspires us on JBO TV.

Thank YOU for following us!

** Posting soon Donna Bozza’s travel log on Talbot County MD. Savor St. Michaels –Oxford –Tilghman Island –Easton. See it here, on our social media hotspots, and of course Coastin’ with Donna Bozza.


Jim Baugh
author of HOOKED

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