The holidays are over. That means it’s time to get back to work for most Bassmaster Elite Series pros, and it isn’t all about getting ready for the season. For the next month or so it’s about making the rounds at sport shows for our sponsors.
Sport shows are wonderful opportunities for bass anglers at all levels of our sport. You can get candid information about tackle and boats as well as take advantage of the many buying opportunities that are typically available.
In my opinion the information aspect is the most important.
For openers they’re an excellent opportunity to meet and talk fishing with anglers and industry professionals that you’d never have the opportunity to meet outside of the show gathering. You’d be surprised at how many techniques, tricks and theories I’ve had the privilege of learning about at these gatherings.
Don’t ever kid yourself. Recreational anglers and aspiring pros know how to bass fish. They’re good at what they do, and most of them will share information if you’re willing to do the same.
But I don’t just take information in. I give it out, too. On one level I do it during scheduled seminars. But on another level I do it in quiet, private conversations. Those times allow me to say things I wouldn’t want to say publicly.
For example: Some of the most asked questions I get involve products that I don’t make or that I don’t have a sponsor relationship with. I’m able to tell anglers the good and the bad about them without worrying about getting any backlash from anyone. It’s an opportunity for an angler to get brutally candid advice from someone who has used the products and knows where they’re strong and where they’re weak. And, I can assure you that I always tell it the way I see it.
Another thing that’s good about sport shows is that there’s often a lot of product being sold at a discount. They typically call them “show specials,” and in many cases they are special. These deals range from small bags of plastics to fully equipped, professional level bass boats. If you’ve had your eye on something, look around. You might be able to make a deal.
Along with reduced prices are the one-of-a-kind items. Most shows have tables or booths with handmade lures by a local craftsman — hard baits and plastics. These are lures you can’t get anywhere else. They’re not available on the national market.
Those one-of-a-kind items are limited to just the small guys, though. The bigger companies frequently follow the same path. Here at Missile Baits we’re going to sell unique items of clothing that are designed specifically for the 2018 sport show market. They’ll be sold at a steep discount and probably will never show up anywhere else. It’ll be a chance to get something very few other anglers have.
Think about it this way: A day at a sport show will give you fishing opportunities you can’t get anywhere else. If you haven’t attended one in the past, you should start this year.