The New England Saltwater Fishing Show was a big hit this weekend with happy exhibitors boasting of record attendance and sales. Special guests, the captain's from the National Geographic Network program "Wicked Tuna", drew big crowds as they were on hand to greet attendees. Over 300 exhibitors displayed everything fishing… from lures, rods, reels, clothing, boats, support services and much more.
Show attendees and participants raved about the caliber of the show exhibits and educational content at the seminars. Angler and seminar presenter Bob Oberg said, "It's hard enough to run an event as well as this was run… (never mind improve it)… it is hard to imagine a better fishing show anywhere." I participated in the show and agree with Bob. From my 'No Fluke Charters' booth located across from the main seminar room I could see and hear most seminar sessions and felt all sessions (including the one I held on 'Fluke Experts') were well attended with serious anglers ready to learn and ready to fish this spring.
Here are some exhibitors that caught my attention at the show.
Antique Lures by Marty McGovern of Whitman, MA who collects antique lures had them on display at the show. Marty has collected over 4,000 lures in the past 25 years including some of the most unique and beautifully hand painted wooden lures I have ever seen. "This is my collection of the 800 Giant Jointed Pike made by Creek Chub of Garrett, Indiana." said Marty as he pointed to over fifty lures of this type on display. They date from the 1940's to the 1970's and were originally made for musky fishing, however, saltwater anglers fishing Cape Cod adopted them as a favorite striped bass lure. Another charmer was a 1940's Whaling City Wooden spoon make for striped bass. The lure was manufactured by a company from Fall River, MA that was nowhere to be found in city records when Marty researched them a town hall. Marty said, "Just look at these lures they are beautiful, the blending of colors is spectacular. This is my addiction." Marty is always looking for old lures and tackle and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.706.3538.
Bucko's Tackle Service of Fall River, MA experienced brisk sales throughout the show. Mike Bucko said, "We sold a lot of high ticket items Friday… Saturday and Sunday traffic was outstanding. Customers were buying all types of products… rods, reels and everything else." I bought a couple of rods and reels too. Bucko's Tackle Service specializes in reel repair and reconditioning. I checked their website at press time and the average reel repair time (based on their workload) was 22 days and sooner by customer request. Mike Bucko and his staff (Sam was particularly helpful to me) can be reached at 1.800.287.9416 or visit their website at www.buckosparts.com.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management was at the show with a law enforcement booth and a booth selling saltwater fishing lionesses. Nancy Scarduzio from DEM marine biology was helping out issuing saltwater fishing licenses. Nancy said, "We have been selling a lot of licenses and haven't stopped since I got here shortly after the show opened." I checked in a couple of times at the DEM booth and fishing licenses remained strong throughout the three day show. Visit DEM's website to get a fishing licenses on line at www.dem.ri.gov. It took me about four minutes.
Al Gag's Custom Lures. Al's line of lures has landed big fish for fresh and saltwater anglers since 1978. Al said, "I first started making Shad Dots for myself and use to paint the lures with finger nail polish. I then started to make buck tails and was the first to put BBs in lures to make them rattle when swimming." Today, the Whip-It Eel is Al's premier lure. The lure is made of PVC rubber built horizontally for fish attraction and optimum lure action. The lure action is lifelike and perfect for casting from beach or boat and trolling. Sizes range from 4" to 10" and come in multiple colors, are made with the finest alloys and use Mustard Ultra Point hooks. For more information and a complete list of bait and tackle shops that carry the lures visit www.algagscustomlures.com.
Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, RI had a great fishing show experience too. Owner Al Conti said Saturday, "This was one of our best days ever at the show. Business has been non-stop with customers buying everything. We stared to run low on product. We sold eight jigging rigs so far this morning… and the big hit of the day has been our 50% off table." Snug Harbor Marina sells all types of fishing gear, tackle, bait and in season … fresh fish, landed at their dock by local rod and reel fishermen (they have lobsters too). Contact Snug Harbor Marina at 783-7766 or visit them at www.snugharbormarina.com.
Five Rhody Fly Rodders tell all… their favorite fishing spots
Five Rhody Fly Rodders will related their favorite and most successful saltwater fishing places in Rhode Island at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 19 at the Riverside Sportsman's Club, East Providence. Come and listen to the round-table seminar on where to fish, what to fish, how to fish and when to fish. Ron Montecalvo will talk on fishing the East Bay side of RI including Jack's Island and the Sepowet marsh area, the Bristol Narrows, Colt State park, and 100 acre cove in Barrington; Gene Matterson will share his experiences in upper Narragansett Bay, from Warwick Light and Green Island to Goddard Park; Gene Rapa and Ed Lombardo will give up their secret spots on the Narrow River, including access points, flies to use, when to and where to use them and how to utilize the changing tides; and Ray Bondorew will point out all the wonderful (sometimes tricky) fishing spots, from Narragansett Beach down to Pt. Judith.
Come join us on Tuesday, March 19th at 6:30 p.m. for some fly tying, then at 7:30 p.m. for the presentations. The general public is invited to attend. From Providence take Rt. 195 to Exit 7.
Bear right on the ramp & follow Rt. 114 South (Wampanoag Trail) for 2 miles. Look for WPRO Studios on left, then take first U-turn back to Rt. 114 North. Continue north and turn at the Riverside Sportsman's Club sign on right at One Mohawk Drive, East Providence.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain's master license, a charter fishing license, and is a member of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association board. Visit Captain Dave's No Fluke Charters website at www.noflukefishing.com, his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him fishing news and photos at email@example.com.