Could West Chester be the nation’s ultimate fishing town? How about Coatesville, Kennett Square, Phoenixville, or maybe little Eagle, gateway to Marsh Creek Lake, or perhaps some other Chester County community?
That’s a question being posed by former Phillies great Mike Schmidt in his quest to identify “Ultimate Fishing Town USA,” a nationwide contest sponsored by the World Fishing Network (WFN) in which the winning community will receive $25,000 and be featured on a special 30 minute broadcast on WFN. The network has enlisted Schmidt, baseball hall of famer and avid angler, to solicit nominations from folks all across America who feel that they fish in or near the ultimate fishing town.
Schmidt would seem the perfect spokesman for this promotion. While folks here in the Philadelphia area are well aware of his baseball heroics including a World Series title and his 548 home runs during a storied 18-year career with the Phillies, what they may not know is that the retired third-baseman has a serious passion for fishing.
These days Schmidt not only competes in tournaments, he also hosts an annual three-day fishing fund raiser that runs from his home in Jupiter, FL, to Old Bahamas Bay — The Bahama Winners Circle Invitational. Now in its 12th year, the event has raised one and a half million dollars to date.
“When I played baseball I certainly enjoyed being on the road, but there was nothing like my home ballpark,” said Schmidt. “Similarly, I love to fish all over the world, but my Ultimate Fishing Town is Jupiter. It offers beautiful weather, it’s the sailfish capital of the world, and it’s just 55 miles from the Bahamas.”
Schmidt is currently appearing in promotional spots and conducting a media tour to encourage anglers to nominate and vote for their Ultimate Fishing Town.