Archived Story

Television show hits Lake Martin for striped bass adventure

Published 7:41pm Friday, August 1, 2014

By Savannah Harrison / Outlook Staff Writer

Bay Pines Marina in Jacksons’ Gap is the place to be today, starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending late in the evening.

The marina is playing host to a number of stars, including country band Sweet Tea, American Idol finalist Dexter Roberts and Larry Levine, the host of Cook’n It Wyld Style.

Levine and his crew began filming for an episode of the Destination America show on Friday.

“Basically, we hunt, we fish, we cook and we eat,” Levine said of the show’s premise.

And fishing is the thing that brought Levine to the Lake Martin area after the television show host called up his friend Johnathan Burton. Burton is the owner of Burton Advertising in Birmingham and holds the record for the largest striped bass caught in Lake Martin.

After telling his friend that he’d like to do a show in the Lake Martin area, Levine reached out to Captain David Hare of the Alex City Guide Service, who recommended the venue.

Friday night, Hare and Burton accompanied Levine on an overnight fishing trip.

“We’re only going after stripers,” said Levine. “This lake is supposed to have some of the biggest, and my friend (Burton) has already caught the lake record. He caught a 52-pounder out of that lake and, if we get somewhere even near that, I’ll be happy. But, if we don’t catch them, we don’t catch them. It’s real life.”

But the fishermen weren’t the only ones present on Friday night, as Roberts and Sweet Tea singers Kate Falcon, Savannah Coker and Victoria Camp, all of whom will be performing this afternoon, joined in for the long haul.

“Oh, we’re going to swing it,” said Camp, enthused by spending the night on the water.

Roberts, Coker and Camp are all passionate about fishing, with Roberts stating that he’s been fishing since he was very young.

All four musicians are from Alabama. Roberts, 23, is from Fayette, Alabama, and considers himself a country boy who loves hunting and fishing.

The trio that makes up Sweet Tea are all from different towns in the state.

Falcon, 15, live in Gadsen; Coker, 17, moved to Birmingham with her family six years ago and Camp, also 17, is from Tuscaloosa. Camp commented that Coker’s house functions as the band’s home base.

“This is gonna be a great event all weekend long,” said Hare. “Everyone just needs to come by Bay Pines, meet some country music stars, meet all the guides. And, please, ask questions. We’re here to get people involved with more guide fishing.”

With any luck, Levine will be preparing the fish caught last night, using his own recipe and spices, this afternoon. In an interview on Thursday, he said he was still playing with a couple of ideas but leaning toward a smoked, Jamaican flavor.

Alongside the catching and cooking, the striped bass adventure event will feature free performances by Sweet Tea and Dexter Roberts.

“I mean, we just want to give people some good, free country music to listen to,” Victoria said.

“Yeah, have fun and relax,” added Savannah.

In addition to Levine, Roberts, the girls of Sweet Tea, and Burton, Hare noted that a number of other individuals—such as Captain Jackson Dozier of TowBoatUS Lake Martin, Ashley Bushong of Bay Pines Marina and the ten guides tasked with parking and carrying people back and forth between the marina and the boats—helped make this event possible.