This month, while winter has many fishermen indoors waiting for the weather to warm, a series of excellent fishing and outdoors shows are on the calendar -- and each offers opportunities to inspect and buy the latest gear or catch up on techniques for freshwater and saltwater species.
The schedule kicks off with the Bass Expo, Saltwater Fishing and Fly Fishing Show, Jan. 14-17 at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Expo organizer Bob Dobart continues to expand the area's most popular winter show on the saltwater and fly-fishing fronts. Again this year, he has lined up an impressive seminar series in addition to an expansive display of boat and tackle retailers and guide and charter services.
"When we put this together, we were looking for a strong blend of fishing expertise, a blend that would appeal to the widest range of fishermen," said Dobart, who won the angler of the year title this season on the Maryland Bass Federation tournament circuit. "If you look at the bay, the tidal waters and freshwater areas in the state, Maryland has excellent fishing in all of them.
"Over the years the show has been expanded to deal with all of them."
The highlight of the Expo often is the seminar series that is included in the price of admission. This year's speakers include: Bass fishing -- Billy Westmorland, Don Iovino, Woo Daves and Steve Daniel, all well-known national experts, and local and regional guides Bill Kramer, Ken Penrod, Butch Ward, Teddy Carr, Steve Folkee, Andy Andrezjewski and Richard Wader.
Fly-fishing -- Lefty Kreh, former outdoors editor of The Baltimore Sun and recognized as being among the world's best fly casters, heads a list of local and national experts who will give seminars, slide shows or casting demonstrations.
Other nationally known fly anglers scheduled to appear are Bob Clouser of Middletown, Pa., a specialist on smallmouth bass and creator of the Clouser Deep Minnow and many other effective patterns; Ed Jaworowski, a casting expert; Gary LaFontaine, former Fly Rod and Reel angler of the year; and Bob Popovics, one of the innovators of epoxy and silicone flies for inshore and offshore use.
But for area fishermen the strength of the fly-fishing seminars could well be a strong contingent of local experts, including Norm Bartlett, Sarah Gardner, Jim Guilford, Brian Horsley, Mark Kovac and Wally Vait. Among them there should be a fine base of knowledge, from which one might glean the best tips and techniques for trout, stripers and blues, weakfish and largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Salt water -- According to Dobart, this series of seminars will cover all species and techniques for species in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Speakers will include Bill Burton, former outdoors editor of The Evening Sun and currently with the Annapolis Capital; writers and expert anglers Gary Diamond, Keith Walters and Keith Kaufman; and a group of fine charter captains, including Ed Darwin (middle bay light tackle fishing), Eric Burnley (lower Chesapeake and Atlantic Ocean) and Sonney Forrest and Capt. Pete Ide (Chesapeake Bay).
The Fly Fishing Show comes to the University of Maryland in College Park Jan. 16-17, and anglers dedicated to fly-tying, casting, rod building, conservation and art can learn from the experts. Retailers also will be on hand selling rods, reels, flies, fishing trips and artwork.
The seminars included with basic admission include fishing for smallmouth bass (Harry Murray), nymphing (Jason Borger), great flies for the Northeast (Dick Talleur), casting demonstrations and saltwater adventures (Barry and Cathy Beck).
The show also will include special women-only events Saturday and Sunday, with a Women's Fly Fishing Forum and a casting class with Cathy Beck. A series of reserved special classes on casting, fly-tying and introductory fishing also are available for $60 (1-800-420-7582).
Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean anglers will have an opportunity to learn from the masters when the Salt Water Sportsman Magazine's National Seminar Series comes to College Park on Jan. 23.
Salt Water Sportsman senior editor George Poveromo and publisher-at-large Spider Andresen are the hosts of this six-hour seminar, which will cover all aspects of fishing for stripers and blues, Spanish mackerel, black drum, flounder, white marlin, tuna and sharks.
To teach the finer points of Chesapeake Bay fishing, the seminar has enlisted Maryland charter captains Henry Gootee (middle and lower bay), Ed Darwin (Poplar Island to Patapsco River), Ed O'Brien (middle bay) and Peter T. Dressler (light tackle specialist).
Ocean City experts Robby Paquette and Mark Sampson will teach sessions on billfish, tuna and sharks.
Also on the schedule are sessions on using water temperature and electronics to locate fish, how to get stubborn fish to bite, using live and artificial baits, tactics for small boats offshore, using planners and downriggers, kite fishing, chunking and chumming and where to catch fish in your area.
Shows at a glance
Jan. 14-17: Bass Expo, Saltwater Fishing and Fly Fishing Show, State Fairgrounds, Timonium. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission $7 for adults, $3 for ages 10 to 14 and free for those under 10. Call 410-838-8687.
Jan. 16-17: The Fly Fishing Show, Reckord Armory, University of Maryland, College Park. Show opens at 9 a.m. both days. Admission is $12 for adults or $20 for a two-day pass and $2 for those under 12. Call 800-420-7582.
Jan. 23: Salt Water Sportsman magazine national seminar series, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling 800-448-7360. Pub Date: 1/03/99