BASS EXPO '91 opens 2 p.m. today at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Billed as the largest bass fishing show in the Northeast,I know many local bass anglers who plan to spend the whole weekend at the show.
You would think they would get tired of plastic worms and crankbaits, but they say they spend most of the time talking to other members of bass fishing clubs and sitting through the seminars.
First, you have got to recognize that bass fishermen are a colorful lot. They make up bass fishing shirts and jackets with the name oftheir clubs, such as the Pasadena Pig 'N Jiggers or the Arundel BassBusters. Four or five of the club members pile in Harry's Suburban or Charlie's pickup and go to the show.
At the show, the club members cruise like a motorcycle gang at a sock hop. Pretty soon the Pasadena Pig 'N Jiggers, in their red and silver jackets, meet up with theCockeysville Crankbaiters who are wearing their silver and blue jackets.
"Hey," shouts one of the Jiggers, "didn't you guys have a tournament on the Marshyhope the first weekend in July?"
"Yea, didn'tI fish past you near the VFW? You had that red and silver Ranger?"
"That's right, took four nice fish off that first dead tree past the launch ramp."
And the conversations go on and on. If you can't go fishing, talking about it is the next best thing.
BASS EXPO '91 runs from 2 to 10 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children aged 10-14 and children under 10 are admitted free.
An excellent slate ofbass fishing seminars are scheduled all three days. ESPN's Jerry McKinnis and a whole host of national and regional pro bass fishermen will be there.
The show season has just begun. If you look hardenough, something is happening probably every weekend. I like medium-size shows that don't try to overpower you. I look at all the goodies to see what new product I can't live without.
For example, at last week's Annapolis' Chesapeake Sportfishing Show, Leggett Tackle displayed a 9/0 lead-head jig and plastic Mr. Twister-type grub. A neat looking lure that will take fish in both the Chesapeake and the ocean. Mark Leggett has dubbed this new creation as the "Jigasaurus" and any angler looking for large predator fish will need several. I know Ido.
I also enjoy the seminars. I've yet to sit through one where I have not picked up a new idea or two.
Some of the larger outdoorshows, in addition to BASS EXPO '91, that may be worth your attention include:
* The seventh annual International Auto Show begins tomorrow and runs through Monday at the Baltimore Convention Center and Festival Hall. If you are looking for a new tow vehicle for your trailer boat, stop in at the auto show and compare the features of the candidate vehicles when they are all under one roof.
* The Washington Boat Show at the Washington Convention Center, Jan. 16-21.
* TheDelaware Sportfishing Show at the Nur Temple in New Castle, Del., Jan. 25-27 is just over the state line and a good show for anglers who fish Delaware Bay.
* Chesapeake Bay Boat Show at the Baltimore Convention Center, Jan. 26-Feb. 3. It's an excellent boat show for people who purchase small to medium-size boats, as most people do.
Thisshould be enough to keep you busy for at least a week or two. I've got lots more for later. The shows run into April.
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.