TAVERNIER -- There's a fishing affliction in the Upper Keys -- at least enough for a local tackle shop and a backcountry guide to begin their own cable television show called "Florida Keys Fishin' Affliction."
About three months ago, Dave and Chris Wiles, owners of Chris' Bait and Tackle Shop, and Capt. Troy Mell of Reel Mell-o began pursuing the idea after a marina customer mentioned having a similar show in Nashville.
After signing on sponsors, learning how to operate camera equipment and securing a spot on the air, the show has become a reality.
The first program will air at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, on WEYW Channel 19, with a rebroadcast set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The group has signed a one-year agreement with a one-year option to renew.
The broadcast can be viewed in the South Florida media market from Key West to Fort Lauderdale, reaching a potential 2.5 million viewers.
In the show, Dave Wiles is nicknamed "The Big Hammer" from his adventurous bout with a 12-foot hammerhead shark, while Mell goes by "The Big Easy" for his calmness and patience with inexperienced anglers.
Chris Wiles will be offering simple seafood recipes on the show.
"This isn't just a fishing show," Dave said.
Chris has hundreds of cookbooks and thousands of recipes. Even so, she is asking viewers to submit recipes that might be presented on air.
"It's pretty simple stuff," she said. "It's quick and easy dishes for people on the go."
Plans for the show include 52 different 30-minute episodes airing twice a week. Part of the show feature a reality theme, including video taken of tourists fishing, as long as they agree to it.
Dave said word of the new show is already luring interested sponsors from throughout the southeast.
"Most of what I'm doing all day long is answering the telephone," he said.
Each show will be taped about a week before air time. And realism will be key.
"If we go out and there's 20-knot winds and we aren't catching anything, then that's what's going to be on the show," Mell said.
After the show airs on cable, episodes will be uploaded to AT T U-verse and to YouTube. The show is also supported by local fishing guides including Capt. Skip Bradeen and Capt. Matt Bellinger.
For more information, visit www.floridakeysfishinaffliction.com or like them on Facebook.