The TV weatherman predicted 3 to 5 inches of snow for the evening -- not the most exciting news for a fair-weather fisherman. I wandered down to the pier to check out my charter boat, the Catherine M.

The sleek lines of the 37-foot Robbins were completely hidden by two lengths of blue tarp, draped over a jerry-rigged frame and held down by water-filled plastic jugs. Catherine M sat quietly at the pier. She was winterized by a professional this year. Will Hild, of Hild's Marine Service, takes the time to do the job right when our schedules won't permit.

Satisfied that Catherine M was ready for winter, I returned to the house and leafed through the mail. About mid-way through a pile of advertisements and bills, I came across Al Tourney's first announcement of the 1991 Chesapeake Sportfishing Show. The show season has begun!

The Chesapeake Sportfishing Show is always held the first weekend in January in Annapolis; this year it's Jan. 4 to 6. It has shifted between the National Guard Armory and another building on Riva Road during the past 14 years. Neither facility is large enough for the show, but there isn't anything bigger in the area, and Al does not want to move the show from the Annapolis area.

As usual, the 1991 Chesapeake Sportfishing Show is well balanced between ocean, bay, and freshwater fishing interests. A wide variety of retailers will be on hand with show specials of tackle, outdoor clothing and many more items that will help you dispose of those holiday dollars from Santa.

Historically, Anglers Sport Center brings a good cross-section of tackle, outdoor clothing and lures. Clyde's Sport Shop zeros in on rods and reels, probably specializing again this year in Shakespeare and Browning tackle. Susie's Custom Rods in Columbia, Pa., brings a little bit of everything and usually offers several hard-to-find items such as rigging monofilament for tying your own fishing rigs. South Shore Tackle always displays beautiful custom rods. And Palm Beach Rods offers a wide range of rods and reels for your selection.

In addition to the retail tackle folks, there will be a multitude of charter captains and guides available to serve you. The areas they cover include Ocean City, Lake Ontario, New York's Salmon River, Alaska's Aniak River, the Upper Chesapeake Bay, Solomons Island, Crisfield and the Cape Charles area of Virginia. If you were one of the many who did not get a rockfish charter because of the shortened season, the show offers a good opportunity to book early.

Bass fishing guides such as Ken Penrod, Ken Wilson and Glen Peacock will be on hand for those interested in the tidal portion of the Potomac River, while fly rodder Mark Kovach will be available for those interested in the fresh-water portion of the river.

Also on hand will be representatives from Fisherman Magazine, the best weekly fishing periodical available with local fishing information.

Newport Lures will have its usual booth, and if you had a hard time finding bucktails for rockfish last year, you may wish to stock up. Others participating in the show are: Chesapeake Terminal Tackle, Free State Fly Fishers, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, representatives from the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, Sea School for Captains License, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfisherman's Association, the Assateague Mobile Sportfishing Association, Stripers Unlimited, Fair Chase Taxidermy and Atom Manufacturing Co., maker of Atom Lures. That's a well-rounded group.

The show opens Jan. 4 and runs through Sunday afternoon. Show hours have not yet been released; neither has the list of seminars available at the show. Stay tuned.

Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena.

His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.

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