Bites at Animal Planet


18 Jun

Meet JoAnn & Jeannie, the Handfishin' Hotties!


There are always great women behind great men.  And, it's no different for the guys of Hillbilly Handfishin'!  Enter Handfishin' Hotties, JoAnn and Jeannie!  Hear what it's like for them behind the scenes.

We would like to introduce ourselves.  We are JoAnn and Jeannie, the Handfishin' Hotties!  This name was given to us by one of our favorite guests (you know who you are!).  We are the other halves of the stars of Hillbilly Handfishin', Skipper and Jackson.  We are right there behind the scenes as well as on the scene of every moment.  We wouldn't miss it for the world!  We thought that we would bring you a little behind the scene action since the other is TOP SECRET - we wouldn’t to spill the good stuff yet! 

We also count on Heather and Christian to help with the whole outfit!


There is a lot that happens to make Hillbilly Handfishin’ happen.  This year three of our hometown fellas came back to help us and we are so grateful they did.  They are awesome!  Thanks Tyler, Chandler, and Ralph! 

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30 May

Catfish and Leeches and Snakes. Oh My!


Keith Hoffman is on Location for Hillbilly Handfishin' and Neck-High in Leeches, Snakes and Catfish  

hillbilly handfishin' crew

It's been two days since I last wrote about my dinner with the crew in Olive Garden but it feels like two years.   

In my imagination when I got my job working at Animal Planet I would be typing at a computer with puppies and kittens scampering across my desk while a bunny stapled my papers with its paws and birds sang around my head.  

Instead I've found myself in boiling hot sun in muddy creeks with snakes and leeches out for my blood.   

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26 May

It Takes a Village to Catch a Catfish


Keith Hoffman Prepares for Big Bugs, Catfish and Bucking Broncos from Hillbilly Handfishin' Shoot Location

It-takes-a-villageI arrived in Lawton, Oklahoma, today. 

It was a hot, sunny day — a far cry from the very rainy New York City morning I left.

I’m here for the kick off-episode of the first Hillbilly Handfishin’ of the season.     Although you only see Skipper and Jackson and their families guiding each week’s assortment of guest on television, there are a lot more people (around 20 at least) who make the show happen ... — camera operators, directors of photography, field directors (if the Skipper, Jackson and company want to go to a new fishing hole — someone has to help coordinate the move), people who pay the bills, organize the lunches, record the sound (hopefully without you seeing a microphone dangling above someone’s head during a crucial catch ).  And just to make it harder, this large crew has to learn to be so stealthily quiet that the Handfishers forget they are even there.

And that doesn’t even include all the people who cut the show down to an hour (actually about 42 minutes without commercials) once it is sent to the editors.

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