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South Bend’s® Lunkerville Teams Up with Heroes on the Water

Overwhelming Viewer Response Inspires a New Episode for the 2017 Season

Northbrook, IL (May 8, 2017)South Bend’s Lunkerville, the award-winning TV series that “catches real people with real fish stories”, is proud to partner with Heroes on the Water (HOW) for another moving episode that shows just how important kayak fishing can be in helping military veterans relax and rehabilitate.  With Memorial Day upon us, HOW and South Bend, together with Carry The Load, a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore the true meaning of the holiday, hope to encourage everyone to honor and support our nation’s heroes every day.

This season’s episode has series host ‘Mike D’ traveling to Lake Denmark, New Jersey, to fish for pickerel in kayaks with war veteran Justin Vail from the New Jersey Chapter of Heroes on the Water.  The show will air Tuesday, May 9 at 10:30 PM ET on World Fishing Network (with four re-airs that week) and Sunday, May 13 at 6:30 AM ET on Destination America.  (Viewers, please check their local listings.)

“It means so much to me, personally, to revisit Heroes on the Water again this year,” says series host and creator, Michael de Avila, aka ‘Mike D’.  “It’s always an emotional and inspiring experience fishing with these guys and the response from viewers to the show we did last season was overwhelming.  HOW deserves all the recognition we can give them.”

“Heroes on the Water is an incredible resource for our nation’s veterans,” explains Scott Griffith, Vice President of Marketing for South Bend.  “They literally change the lives of those who have served our country, as this year’s episode dramatically illustrates.  Kayak fishing combines a positive and empowering physical experience together with the benefits of a peaceful natural setting — the emotional and spiritual results speak for themselves:  HOW has documented a 56% decrease in overall stress levels in participating veterans, as well as significant reductions in other combat-related symptoms like avoidance behavior and hyper-vigilance.”

The partnership with Heroes on the Water aligns with the South Bend brand’s core message: Fishing is an activity unlike any other because it combines an exciting sport with a tranquil natural setting to provide a backdrop for lifelong memories with friends and family.  It’s precisely this kind of experience that has proven to be so useful as part of a treatment regime that helps veterans and their families reconnect and transition to healthier lives.

About Heroes On The Water

Heroes On The Water is a 501(c)3 non-profit, founded in 2007 to fulfill a need to provide veterans and active-duty military and their families a way to reconnect and refuel. OUR MISSION IS to help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. 2017 is a milestone year for HOW as we celebrate a decade of heroes healing. For more information about Heroes on the Water, please visit

About South Bend Sporting Goods

South Bend, a Big Game International brand, has devoted more than a hundred years to creating products that let families and fishing enthusiasts experience the joy of fishing, at prices they can afford. Since 1906, South Bend has been a leader in the industry and is best known for offering quality products at an exceptional value to make fishing easy and fun for today’s active families and anglers of all ages and skill levels. All South Bend products are designed to reflect the singular heritage summed by the brand’s slogan: Quality Tackle Since 1906. Today, South Bend continues to offer a comprehensive line of fishing equipment and accessories that anglers and their families can trust and enjoy for many years. In 2012, South Bend entered into a multiyear partnership with “Lunkerville”, the award-winning television series that embodies the simple fun of fishing; a show where the featured guest is the expert — not the host. Since then, the South Bend brand and “South Bend’s Lunkerville” have shared a mission to get more people involved in fishing by demonstrating how easy, fun and affordable fishing really is. South Bend™ is a Big Game International brand. For more information about South Bend, please visit

About South Bend’s Lunkerville

When Indie film director Michael de Avila hooked his passion for story telling onto his love of fishing, he spawned an award-winning reality television show, “Lunkerville”. While other fishing shows rely on fast-paced competition and expert hosts, ‘Mike D’ casts his line at everyday, recreational anglers, traveling to their secret spots, sharing their special techniques and making them the expert stars of the day. Shot with a filmmaker’s eye and touch, every episode is treated as a short documentary film. In 2009, the series received a CINE Golden Eagle for documentary filmmaking; one of the most coveted awards in  television. In 2012, “Lunkerville” signed a multiyear agreement with its first title sponsor, the heritage fishing brand South Bend®, a leader in affordable fishing tackle that shares Mike D’s commitment to promoting fishing as fun, accessible and important.  The series, now in its 13th year of broadcast, first aired on The Sportsman Channel, where it won three consecutive years of viewer-voted awards for Favorite Fishing Show, and Favorite Fishing Show Host. Today, “South Bend’s Lunkerville” reaches over 150+ million households, broadcast on World Fishing Network (WFN) in Canada and the United States; on CBS Sports Network and Destination America throughout the United States; and regionally on Comcast SportsNet and Spectrum Sports. “South Bend’s Lunkerville” is a production of Rockville Pictures Inc. For more information, please visit