A good crowd for highly-anticipated premiere of ‘American River Renegades’

Mississippi Mike
Members of the audience enjoy viewing the world premiere of “American River Renegades” during the premiere party at Old Man River in McGregor Monday night.

By Ted Pennekamp


The highly-anticipated new reality show featuring local commercial fisherman and entrepreneur Mississippi Mike Valley and his sidekick Brooks Niedziejko was quite a hit with the near capacity crowd at the world premiere of “American River Renegades” at Old Man River in McGregor Monday night. 

“I thought it went very well,” said Mike. “I was very happy.”

Not only was the show quite a hit, the fund-raising auction and raffles went over big as well, raising $2,025 for Operation Santa due to the generous purchases and donations by many of those in attendance. 

“I thought it was a very nice amount,” said Mike. “I would like to thank all of the patrons.”

The premiere party began at 6 p.m. and the show aired at 9 p.m. to applause and cheers from the audience when Mississippi Mike’s mug appeared on screen during the introduction of the main characters of “American River Renegades.” The viewing was great on the high definition, 70-inch, flat screen TV loaned for the occasion by rural Marquette resident Bobby Jones. 

Mike also said that he greatly appreciates the efforts of the ladies at Old Man River, Harold Waterman of Studio 91, and Mike’s daughter Crystal Priebe. 

In addition to Mike and Brooks, “American River Renegades” details the exploits of three other commercial fishing enterprises from throughout the United States. There’s PJ Simon, the Second Chief of Allakaket, along with PJ’s friend Doug, who fish and hunt in and near the beautiful Yukon River in Alaska. Kip Benoit and Big Ward Martin work in the sweltering backwaters and swamps of Louisiana, and Ricky and Christopher ply their trade on the Great Pee Dee River in South Carolina.

Each of these four distinct and scenic regions are, in effect, personalities in the show. Each region, along with the wildlife, culture and colorful characters embodied by Mike, Brooks and the other stars will hopefully become fan favorites for many years of “American River Renegades.” 

“American River Renegades” is scheduled to begin regular broadcasts on June 15 at 7 p.m. Central Time on Animal Planet.

“We are very much looking forward to the next five episodes to air,” said Mississippi Mike.

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