Ok, the forecast calls for lows in the 20's and highs in the 30's. Winds will be 15-25 mph. Unless you are really on a great pattern and catching lots of bass fish or you have a tournament to fish, chances are you'd rather stay in the warm confines of your home than be out on the water. I know I would. So what's a guy or gal to do? You can only wipe the boat down so many times.
All of your favorite reels have been respooled with new line. You have gone through all of your tackle, sharpened hooks, sorted and re-sorted all of your plastic worms, checked and re-checked the trolling motor, big engine, tilt, trim, trailer bearing, wheels.....you get the idea. You've covered every square inch of the bass boat and everything seems to be in good working order. You have the most excruciating case of cabin fever anyone has ever experienced. In fact, you may end up going completely insane if you don't get "a fishing fix", and soon.
Try finding a boat or tackle show in a major city close to you. Each year most major cities host a boat show at a large convention center. Manufacturers from all aspects of the boating industry will be there showing off their goods. You can see everything from 14' flat bottomed john boats to 45' Scarabs with twin 525 hp engines hanging off the back. Of course, I can usually be found around the bass boats, even though I enjoy the occasional stroll through the big boat showcases.
Tackle shows are not as common as the boat shows, but there are still some out there. Sometimes, the big outdoor super stores will have in - store shows with manufacturer's field staff and pro staff members on hand to answer questions and give tips on how to use a product successfully.
Both shows provide anglers the opportunity to see, in one place, the new products for the year. It is also a great place for the beginning fisherman to explore the world of fishing. You can look and shop for boats. Most dealers are ready and willing to sell you a boat right there on the spot. They have fax machines to send off credit applications and will get you approved within a matter of minutes, should you need financing.
The beginning fisherman and even we seasoned fishermen can usually find something that strikes our interest. You can book a guided fishing trip with one of the many guides on hand in the exhibit section. Many accessory manufacturers also exhibit at these shows. You can learn about the latest products on the market to help you catch more fish or simply make the task of taking care of your boat easier. At the super center outdoor shows and tackle shows, there are literally acres of fishing tackle on hand to view and purchase.
As a tournament angler, if I'm not working a show for one of my sponsors, I still enjoy going to boat and tackle shows to learn. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had at these shows. Like many of you, I'm always searching for that something special that can make my fishing experiences more enjoyable and more successful.
So the next time the winter weather won't allow you to head to your favorite lake for a day of fishing and you have the gut-wrenching craving for a "fishing fix", find a boat or tackle show to help subdue the craving. It is a great place to take your entire family, as well. There are plenty of things for everyone to enjoy. You can get your fix and spend some quality time with your family. It can be a great place for you to cultivate an interest in the outdoors with your children.
I will be working the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World spring show in Grapevine, Texas, March 2-5 for Bill Lewis Lures, the maker of the Rat-L-Trap. If you come to the show, please stop by for a visit.
Until next time, enjoy the Texas outdoors.