Gerald Almy

Gerald Almy

With hunting seasons winding down it’s time to take a look at some of the nearby outdoor shows for hunters, anglers, boaters and camping fans. The biggest show this winter in the Mid-Atlantic aimed at fishermen will take place just north of our state capital in mid-January called the Richmond Fishing Expo.

This event is held at the Farm Bureau Center at Meadow Event Park, 15 miles north of Richmond. Get to it by taking the Doswell, King’s Dominion Exit (98) off Interstate 95.

This year’s show hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan 20, 2019.

Boats are vital for many types of angling, and if you want to look over the newest models in all varieties of fishing craft, this is the place to do it. A large selection will be on display at this event, which is produced by North Carolina Boat Shows.

Every type of boat from kayaks to canoes, johnboats to offshore cruisers will be available to look at and step aboard. If you’re ready to buy, most of these boats will also be for sale at special show prices. Boat prices will range from less than $600 to $100,000-plus for ocean-going models.

Fishing tackle will be one of the highlights of the show. Over 100 vendors will display the latest rods, reels, lines, tackle boxes, and lures. Simply looking at all this angling gear is enough to draw many people to the show. All of these items will be available for sale as well at discounted prices.

A Reel Kids Casting Competition will be conducted for various age groups of youngsters. Those who can cast their lure on target with most consistency will win awards and go on to higher levels of national competition.

Young and old anglers alike can enjoy the Mountain Trout Pond, which will be filled with hundreds of healthy trout that you can try to catch with the bait and tackle provided by the show. You can either keep up to two trout to take home for dinner or release the fish you catch. These fish will range from 1/2 to 3 pounds.

Fishing experts and area guides will give presentations on a wide variety of topics, from crappies to striped bass, flounder to bluefish.

Bass pros John Crews, Chase Devereaux, Gerald Swindle, and Jonathon Van Dam will be at the event talking to visitors and giving seminars about the tactics they use on largemouths. These are some of the top professional anglers fishing the tournament tours today.

Chris McCotter, an expert angler who focuses on Lake Anna, will give several presentations at the show. He’ll talk about tricks for this nearby lake’s bass, crappies and stripers. I’ve had the pleasure to fish with Chris a number of times and can vouch for his deep knowledge of how to catch all of these species on Lake Anna.

Well-known outdoor writer Bruce Ingram will give a talk on smallmouth bass. He’s published many articles about both deer hunting and smallmouth bass and is well known throughout the state.

Captain Rick Bennett will give a talk on inshore light tackle fishing. He’ll cover red drum, black drum, flounder and trout, as well as Bonita, king mackerel and cobia.

Captain Jimmy Price will reveal his secrets on how to catch giant flounder along the East Coast. Other fishing experts include John Crews, Dave Tilley, Max King, Buster Seabolt, and Monk Wilson.

A feature you definitely don’t want to miss is tournament fishing pros giving tactic demonstrations using the Oklahoma Bass Tub with large bass swimming in it.

This is by no means a full run-down on the speakers or events, but clearly, there will be something for just about every type of angler at the Richmond Fishing Show this year. All told, the event covers 110,000 square feet, encompassing four separate buildings.

Visit richmondfishingexpo.com for more details or special lodging offerings. There are numerous motels very close to the show site. It’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from the Shenandoah Valley, just north of Richmond.

Award-winning outdoors writer Gerald Almy is a Maurertown resident.