Mike McKinnis

Mike McKinnis is the executive producer for the Spanish Fly. That sounds kind of stiff and formal, but Mike is really the bigger part of the history of Spanish Fly. After Jerry McKinnis came to the Keys to shoot the very first show, he turned the project over to his son, Mike.

Basically, Mike was handed a bunch of tapes and told to "do something with this". One of the very first shows was about sharks.When it came time to do the underwater part of the shoot, I stripped down to my "skivvies" not knowing that the cameras were still rolling. Mike put that part into the show. His whole concept was to show fishing as fishing really is. In other words, put the things into the show that go wrong in a fishing day, as well as the things that go well. It was his vision to create a reality-based fishing show.

Mike is also one of those guys that is good at a lot of things. He produces, edits, directs, shoots camera, fishes and occasionally-he  even runs camera boats. Once we had a camera boat driver that just could not get the boat in position. The camera guys were grumbling, everyone was unhappy. Mike took over running the boat and not only got the shots we needed, but also got some really neat and unusual angles for the camera guys. The point of that story is that it takes someone who can look past the immediate scene and be thinking about the many different angles, elements and story line that to do a show. I think that it is the guys like that who can multi-task, that end up being able to see the whole picture rather than just a part of it.

Mike is also the producer for many other shows that include Bassmasters, Redfish Cup, STIHL Timber Sports and other outdoor programming.

I was once in his office at JM Associates while he was working on editing a show. He was looking through 50 field tapes to find the best parts, a time consuming and difficult job needing a focused mind. In the hour that I was there, he received and answered 15 phone calls. At least 7 different people walked in his office to ask questions or seek advice. He was interrupted at least 20 times via the inter office intercom by editors and producers working on other projects.... I don't know how he does it.


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