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Bright House Sports Show Spotlights Safety Harbor History

Secrets of the Bay
Glen Pla, a.k.a. the Average Angler, brings his Bright House Sports Network “Secrets of the Bay” series to Safety Harbor this week.

Safety Harbor is called the “Hidden Gem of Tampa Bay”, but those who live here know it as a town with a deep, rich history.

That history, coupled with the fact that the city has some fantastic fishing spots, led Bright House Sports Network to shoot an episode of its popular “Average Angler Adventures” show here recently.

The show’s ‘Secrets of the Bay’ series focuses on area history as well as fishing, and the second episode about Safety Harbor airs this Sunday evening on BHSN’s Channel 47 & 1147 at 7:00 p.m.

Glen Pla, the show’s producer, writer and star, said the city fit perfectly with the series’ theme.

“’Secrets of the Bay’ is not your typical fishing show,” Pla recently told Safety Harbor Connect. “With this series, we try to reveal secrets of a particular area’s past that are still present today.”

“Safety Harbor is an example of how we can show something concrete that is still there now that was there long ago,” he added. “It represents what our show is all about.”

Pla said he and his crew spent a few weeks in town last fall shooting the series, in which features the lifelong fisherman and onetime screenwriter reenacts scenes from the city’s past while exploring some of the area’s best fishing spots.

In addition to casting lines at Alligator Lake, the Safety Harbor Marina and Cooper’s Bayou, he said they show some of the significant historical cornerstones of the town.

“We visited the Tocobaga Indian burial mound at Philippe Park, and we went to the Safety Harbor Spa, where they let us lift the tile in the room downstairs to show the mineral springs underneath.”

“There’s so much history, just in that one clip,” he said of the springs unveiling. “We felt very fortunate, and we are very thankful to the officials at the Spa for allowing us to do that.”

1272452_568562379846756_318041415_oPla said of all the places in the Tampa Bay area he has explored over the years, Safety Harbor is definitely one of his favorites.

In fact, when they started doing the Secrets of the Bay series a couple of years ago, he had the Harbor pegged for the first episode.

“Safety Harbor was supposed to be the first in the series, but it was right around the time that the museum was undergoing renovations, so we held off,” he explained.

Once the museum reopened, the Average Angler met with its resident expert on Safety Harbor history, Scott Anderson, to help ensure the content would be factually and historically accurate.

“We had to find someone in the community who could provide us accurate info on the city’s history, and we relied on Scott for that,” Pla said.

Now that the two-part Safety Harbor series is finished (part one is available now on Bright House Network’s On Demand Channel 999), Pla said he and his team are looking forward to showcasing other hidden spots with historical significance in the Tampa Bay area.

But even after doing a double episode here, he wouldn’t rule out a return trip to the Harbor in the future.

“Safety Harbor will be back by the end of the series’ run in some capacity,” he said.

“It strikes a nice balance between past and present that is hard to find. It’s a cool place.”

The second Safety Harbor episode of the Secrets of the Bay series airs this Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. on Bright House Spots Network Channel 47 & 1147. 

To learn more about the Average Angler Adventures series, visit the show’s Facebook Page


    • Gisela, after tonight’s airing the show will be available on BHSN’s On Demand Channel 999, along with the first episode in the Safety Harbor Secrets of the Bay series. So you will be able to catch it at your convenience!

    • Bernadette, I have been told by station officials the program is set to air tonight at 7:00. Perhaps the guide is incorrect, which is known to happen on occasion!

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