It’s Show Time!
It’s cold, too cold to fish! But not too cold to think about fishing and getting ready for Spring. After a decade of slow death, show promoters regrouped and went back to show basics. Fishing shows are making a comeback! For booth exhibitors, a good crowd is a must! The Richmond Fishing Show, January 17-19 at Meadow Event Park, Doswell VA, has rebounded and exceeded expectations over the past 6 years, bringing crowds and big name attractions. Anglers school to events with the tractor-trailer sized bass tanks where local and national pros demonstrate techniques and new products. Big box stores lack the total shopping experience as show attendees can sit up close and personal at seminars and even chat with speakers one-on-one. Exhibitors carry products and offer expert advice to assist anglers stocking their tackle boxes. Guides are booking trips, but also are willing to share their experiences. If they don’t share their secret spots, mapmaker George Martin with GMCO maps sells the best fishing maps: lakes, rivers and bay. He’s spent years in the map business and working with local guides and charters to mark the hot spots! Boat dealers will be wall to wall making deals. Check out great deals on Skeeter boats from Chesdin Boat Sales.
National Elite Series pro John Crews returns, picking up where he left off, presenting his Little John Series of crankbaits and varied lineup of Missile soft plastic baits available for sale at the show in Dave’s Tournament Tackle and Green Top booths. Crews will introduce his new MISSILE swimbait, the SHOCKWAVE! A unique new natural color is in store for the MISSILE pitching/flipping D-Bomb and Baby D-Bomb. Bourbon with black flake is a natural color and will be an in-between color match. All eyes will be on his newly released Baby Fat John, a shallow diving squarebill that “hunts”. After more than 20 prototypes, Crews says this could be his best creation ever! Look for John Crews in his booth with his 2014 Bass Cat EYRA boat.
One name tops the chart when talking crankbaits, FLW pro David Fritts will be hanging out in the Mare Marine booth as well as giving seminars and tank demonstrations. He’ll discuss structure fishing with crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and spoons. Fritts will also be unveiling a new soft plastic Berkley Havoc bait, fished a variety of ways from Texas to Carolina rigged. However Fritts has been tightlipped about his newly designed Berkley crankbaits but says prototypes for demonstration could be available at show time! The legendary cranker has revealed very little other than the material is not plastic or wood, but a new composite combining long-range castability, buoyancy control and livelier action. The result will be a smaller bodied crankbait that will probe deeper fish cover! Another product Fritt’s is proud of is the new LEW’s BB-1 cranking reel. Without infinite anti-reverse, this reel stands alone in the market as the top cranking reel, according to Fritts. Pair this LEW’s reel with his newly designed Speed Stick Pro Model cranking rods (90% fiberglass, 10% graphite) featuring a larger handle and newly positioned trigger for distance control and reduced hand fatigue! Fritts is also very excited about sharing information on the new Raymarine electronics that provide greater detail for reading deeper water.
Local Potomac River and Lake Anna expert guide, tournament angler and Woods & Waters pro team Captain John Hutchins will also present seminars focusing on turning tackle and technique weaknesses into strengths. Hutchins says line is key and correct use of GAMMA TORQUE braid; Copoly and EDGE fluorocarbon lines will cover differing conditions and presentations. He’ll also discuss using Humminbird Side Imaging electronics for probing deep Lake Anna or shallower Potomac River to locate spots and fish.
This year saltwater anglers will be treated to more booths, retailers and experts than ever before like Capt. Jimmy Price, Capt. Rick “Rodman” Bennet, Capt. Noah Lynk, Capt. Dave Tilley among others. The Bass Tub returns for live fish demos. The VA Federation will host the Reel Kids Casting State Finals. A trout/catfish pond provides youngsters with fishing thrills. Radio station K-95 is partnering with Catmagic Tackle for a custom Catfishing Rod outfit give-a-way. Greentop sponsoring a $2.00 off admission coupon available for pickup in the store. The Richmond Fishing Expo is setting new standards for the old fishing shows with the largest array of tackle, combined with some of the finest professional talent around, offering a weekend of fishing “OVERLOAD”.
Potomac River Bassing in January
It’s cold, but fish can still be caught! Find locations out of the current, with steep drops and watch for slight warm ups! Expect water temperatures in the 38-45 degree range.
On the warmest days at lower tides and with clear water, suspending Lucky Craft Bevy Shad cranks will present easy targets for slightly more active fish. A very slow crawl, twitch and stop on GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon 10-pound test line.
After that, it’s Silver Buddy time! This reliable classic shines in cold water! Use a medium heavy rod with a softer tip. 10 pound test GAMMA Edge here too! There are a few presentations: a standard burb and drop on semi slack line or a slight drag and stop. In both cases, allow the bait to sit on the bottom for a few seconds.
Once the depth is found with the Silver Buddy, other techniques will work too! With soft plastics, use 6-pound test EDGE on spinning gear for Mann’s Stingray Grubs and Hardnose 4 inch grubs on ¼ ounce ball head jigs cast in the same area, worked slowly and soaked in Garlic flavor Jack’s Juice to encourage fish to hold on.
Also try Mann’s Classic spinnerbaits with gold blades and white skirts slowly crawled through bottom cover.
Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, BoatUS “Ask the Expert”
Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com.
Written by: Steve Chaconas