MEREDITH — People who have been living and fishing on Meredith Bay the past two weeks have been witness to a secretive filming project that may bring winter life on Lake Winnipesaukee to television screens, a la “Ice Road Truckers.”
The National Geographic Channel confirmed Friday that it has had film crews among the bob houses on the bay’s ice, filming a fall television reality show about ice fishing that is tentatively called “Ice Holes.”
Locals in their bob houses have been used as extras, and have signed release forms. The television show producers took advantage of last week’s Arctic-like weather conditions, several anglers said.
“They’ve had a big tent on the ice and they’ve been shooting every morning,” said Derek Taylor of Meredith. “They’ve had actors doing the ice fishing, and they had a few of us involved too.”
Not many non-ice dwellers noticed.
“They seemed to want to keep it quiet, and they did a good job of that,” Taylor said.
Stephanie Montgomery, a communications officer with National Geographic Channels, said more information would be available in a month or so.
“We can confirm we have just begun production on ‘Ice Holes’ (a working title, Montgomery said) but have not announced the show yet and it is not scheduled to air until much later this year,” she said.
Chris Albert, another spokesman for National Geographic Channel, confirmed Friday that the show is a reality show being filmed on Meredith Bay and on Sebago Lake in Maine. He would not elaborate.
Albert would not say if National Geographic crews will be back on Meredith Bay anytime soon. He told the Portland Press Herald of Portland, Maine, that his network’s crews will be filming at the Sebago Lake Ice Fishing Derby on Feb. 15-16.
Several local ice fishing enthusiasts on Meredith Bay Saturday said that as the network crews left town Thursday morning, they said they would be back for the Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby on Feb. 8-9.
“They say they’re coming back for the derby,” said Bob Myshrall of Center Harbor, who was fishing on the bay Saturday.