2015 Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic Attractions
Captain Wild Bill from the Discovery Channel's hit show, Deadliest Catch
Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski's motto is "hard work and honesty," though he has been known to use unconventional methods (that partly explain the nickname "Wild") to keep his crew going strong.
While he has a potentially intimidating reputation, Wild Bill can back up his words with the skills to get the job done. He has extensive experience as a naval engineer, boat electrician, and commercial fisherman. He is keenly aware of the risk inherent in his profession, one widely recognized as the world's most dangerous job.
After graduating from Norwin High School in 1975, Bill joined the Navy and moved to the West Coast. When his military service ended four years later, the big money earned by Alaska's king-crab fisherman lured him to the Bering Sea. There, he spent the next 20 years, working his way up the ladder to captain. In 2005, he semi-retired to run sportsfishing tours out of Costa Rica and Mexico.
Discovery Channel producers first approached Bill to join "Deadliest Catch" early in the television showʼs run, but he declined. When interest in high-end fishing expeditions began to slow due to the economy, Bill decided to take Discovery up on their offer and return to crab fishing on the Bering Sea.
In 2010 (the show's 6th season) he broke into the tight-knit circle of "Deadliest Catch" captains. Two years later, Bill brought his son, Zack Larson, on board his ship as greenhorn. Zack continues to work alongside his father as an engineer on the F/V Cape Caution.
Bill is originally from Irwin, Pennsylvania, outside of Pittsburgh. In the off-season, he and his wife, Karen Gillis, make their home in Sonora, San Carlos, Mexico. Bill enjoys sportsfishing, travel, horseback riding, NASCAR, and golf. He supports nonprofit projects including Wounded Warriors and breast cancer charities and has a passion for teaching the next generation to fish. In addition to his son Zack, Bill has a younger son, Jake Wichrowski, and a daughter, Delia Wichrowski.
Ron & Amy Shirley from the hit show Lizard Lick Towing
One of the hottest shows on television, Lizard Lick Towing, premiered the second half of its fourth season on May 26, 2014 on truTV. That means fans are getting exactly what they've been demanding – more Ron and Amy Shirley.
Ron and Amy started their NC business, Lizard Lick Towing and Recovery, in the spring of 1998 with a single truck, but now have a fleet of 20 trucks and covers nine counties. The Lizard Lick Towing crew first appeared on the show All Worked Up on truTV in 2009. After proving to be one of the more popular reoccurring segments, Lizard Lick Towing was given their own reality show. The show first premiered on February 7, 2011 and featured the intense reactions to the company's repossessions, complete with the dynamic and entertaining personalities of Ron, Amy, and their friend/co-worker Bobby Brantley. It quickly became a fan favorite. The Season 3 premiere in January of 2013 had 2.9 million viewers tune in; marking a 30% increase in viewers from the season 2 to season 3 premieres.
The show chronicles the day-to-day running of the business, which is never short on controversy, drama, or "Ronisms," the off-the-cuff witty phrases that spill out of Ron's mouth. While he runs the daily operations of the business and goes on repo runs, Amy manages the office, dealing with irate owners who want their property back. She's not just a businesswoman though, Amy's resume includes being a world champion power lifter, martial artist, licensed mortician, and mother to four children. In other words, she's a force to be reckoned with. Ron, a pastor at The Eastern Chapter of Dirt Church, uses the show as a platform to share his faith, and the dynamic duo are very open about their Christian beliefs, truly walking the walk on and off camera.
Lizard Lick Towing ranks among basic cable's top five programs in its time slot with total viewers and key adults. While a regular season in television is typically 13 episodes, Lizard Lick Towing was picked up for 26 episodes in season four. Also proving their staying power, the network has asked Ron and Amy to film a "special," which aired earlier this year.
When Ron and Amy aren’t filming for their television show or making appearances on behalf of their corporate sponsors, they are traveling the country doing autograph signings, speaking engagements, meet-and-greets with fans, and charity events.
Red Arrow TV with host Kip Campbell
Red Arrow host, Kip Campbell, grew up near the banks of the James River in Central Virginia and spent his days bow hunting, fishing, and playing sports at Fork Union Military Academy. Kip knew early on he wanted to work with a weapon in his hand, so the military, law enforcement, or pro-hunter were the only jobs that would be acceptable in his mind. The last option seemed pretty far fetched, seeing as how he didn't come from a "big buck" part of the country and he had no tie in with any hunting companies.
After college, Kip and his partner formed Shotfish Productions Inc. in 2003 and started filming what would be the first pilot episode of Red Arrow. The show has come a long way since its conception. Red Arrow originated on Sportsman Channel in 2007 airing its first four seasons and then moved to Outdoor Channel in 2012. Currently the show is airing its sixth season and the fan base is growing exponentially. While on Sportsman Channel, Red Arrow received three Sportsman Channel Award nominations and took home awards for Best Combination Show and Top Outdoor Producer. This past January, Red Arrow received three Outdoor Channel Golden Moose Award nominations, including Best Commercial Production, Best Comedy Clip, and a Fan Favorite nomination for Best New Series. Red Arrow is also proud to have close friend and fellow bowhunter, Zac Brown, of the Zac Brown Band, as a part of the show. Not only does Zac make appearances on occasion, he supplies the show with original music from the artists on his record label, Southern Ground Artists.
Although today the Red Arrow crew hunts all over the world, Kip still lives in the small town of Fork Union, VA and frequently hunts some of the same ground he hunted as a kid. He wants to see Red Arrow become bigger, better, and more entertaining each year. More importantly, he wants Red Arrow viewers to understand just what hunting and living the country means to everyone involved with Red Arrow TV.
Keith Johnson and his Bass Tub
Keith is the owner/operator of Bass Tubs by Hurt Promotions. The Bass Tub is a 4,000 gallon mobile aquarium that travels in the country performing at over 25 sports, fishing, boat hunting and outdoor expos.
Keith is perched on top of a mounted boat on the end of the Bass Tub. You are able to see the fish swimming and chasing the lures. Each fishing demonstration will include a variety of baits and presentations, and be packed full of professional angler tips and tactics.
Keith has bass fished professionally for most of this adult life. He has 7 wins and 48 top tens to his credit in B.A.S.S. Opens, the FLW Tour and FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart BFLs, Triton Team Trail, Ranger Team Trail, Fishers of Men Team Trail, Angler's Choice Team Trail and many other regional tournaments.
Keith currently lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with his wife of 20 years Jennifer. They have 7 children, 4 grandchildren and a dog.
Marty Fischer is one of America's best-known outdoor personalities. A graduate of Georgia Southern College, he is seen on national cable and satellite television by millions of outdoor enthusiasts and is read by more than a million outdoorsmen each month. He is a Host/Executive Producer of the highly acclaimed series TNT Outdoor Explosion currently delivered to more than 40 million American households on the Pursuit Channel (Direct TV 608 and Dish Network 393) and to more than two billion households worldwide live streaming on the Internet.
Marty is a five-time competitor in the World Duck Calling Championship in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and was a four-time finalist in that event. He is a three-time Georgia State Duck Calling Champion, a Great Lakes Calumet Regional Duck Calling Champion and a Southeastern Regional Duck Calling Champion. He is an avid whitetail hunter who has taken big game, turkeys and birds in more than 30 states and 11 different countries on four continents. Additionally he has owned two field champion Labrador retrievers, including the first chocolate Labrador in history to earn two Master Hunting Retriever titles.