Thursday, May 23, 2024

To Fish or Not to Fish – By Bruce Callis


The Richmond Fishing Expo made its annual appearance at The Meadows in Doswell, Virginia this past January 16-18, 2015. For those that may have missed it, I hope you were out catching some big bass somewhere. As for me, I chose to not go fishing, especially since the ice made it very difficult. I made the right choice for sure, as I look forward to this great event. For me, it’s like being a kid in a candy store, so many great things to see, touch, and in this case, experience. I myself could only make it out one day this year, and wish I could have been there at least 2 days to get the full experience.

John Crews, Davy Hite, Jacob Powroznik, and John Hutchins were some of the pros giving presentations to the many anglers and families who attended. I know I couldn’t wait to hear from them and get some much needed tips and tricks that would help make my fishing better. And I was not disappointed at all. While they were able to give great presentations, I do wish that they were given more time to talk, as I felt they wanted to tell more, but always had to cut it short. But hopefully they will think about changing it from 30 minutes to at least 45 minutes for next year. There were 2 seminar classrooms offering both freshwater and saltwater discussions and the Oklahoma Bass Tank. I really wish the Meadows had a wing added onto the main building so that the classrooms could be held there and you could hear well. Either way, I will be back in 2016.
If you had your drool bib on, you could go over and check out all the new fishing boats they had on display. From johnboats to big open water rigs, you could find them all there. You could climb in and see how it would feel to be up on it. The kids were able to climb in and experience that same joy. The biggest thrill I had was watching kids up there pretending to fish. Oh yes, the next generation is alive and kicking.
With today’s Social Media use, it was also a great place to meet up with the friends we have online that we talk with, but have failed to meet or only get to meet at select events. I know I myself arrived looking for friends from online. I managed to find some of them, missed some, and some couldn’t make it Saturday. The hot spot was Jay’s Inferno Tackle Co booth for one group and the food court for another. Some, I knew the minute I saw them, others, they surprised me. It was good thing that many of them knew who I was from my fishing pics, guess those selfies paid off. But that is what makes this great event so special, we get to feed our passion and meet others that enjoy the same passion.
For the tackle junkies, there were plenty of great deals to be found. Tons of soft plastics, jigs, hard baits, line, reels and rods were everywhere. I personally found some must have products, and a few that I just had to have because of the deal. Along the way were great opportunities to check out the great places to go fish here in Virginia, talk boat safety, find out what the DGIF is doing here for us, and sample some great food. One of the highlights for me was the Reel American Heroes booth. It is a cause that is very important to me, giving back to those that have served this great country. I got to really check out the sweet reel that they developed to give the one wounded warrior with the use of only one hand or arm the ability to fish. Once they have the patents worked out, it is going to a great gift to them.
In talking with others, they really enjoyed themselves, but do wish it was bigger. They would love to have more manufactures there with a bigger variety of the newest baits. I know that is not always possible, but it is part of the wish list for attendees. And while they enjoy the location, a lot still wish they were back at the Richmond Raceway Complex, as there was more room. And some said they liked the current location a lot better, but just wanted more space. What was your experience like? What are your thoughts? Let me hear it!!HPIM0004

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