Information age apparent at fishing trade show

Cricket - Macro


stead of putting together a fishing report for The Sun, I spent a couple of days last week in Orlando at ICAST, the annual showcase of fishing-related products for the coming year.

Always fun and interesting, this year’s show was large, busy and enthusiastic, featuring lots of improvements on old ideas and designs. Still, things seemed very different from the old industry trade shows that were presented up until 1998 by the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association (AFTMA). To say that the instant information era has altered things would be an understatement.

A crush of media doing live reports seemed to dominate what used to be a show for tackle dealers and buyers. A sign of the times, I suppose. We watched a vendor excuse himself from an interested store owner because someone walking by with a camera asked for an interview. Why spend time selling to one buyer when thousands of potential buyers might be reached? Understandable, I reckon. Still, I was left shaking my head at how fast things are changing. To this old-school fisherman, it’s impressive and disturbing at the same time.

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Suwannee River providing summer fishing favorite

Suwannee River at Boat Dock 023


might seem like a relatively small and isolated angling specialty, but the Suwannee River redbreasted sunfish claims a surprisingly large fan base among North Florida fishers.

Even though the river has been full of the ultralight tackle casters for more than a month now, the redbelly bite is still going strong.

Longtime river fishers, Jason, Ralph, and Russell O’Steen have taken their fair share.

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Local fishing spots holding strong during hot weather

fourthOften by Independence Day, most of this area’s best fishing opportunities have come and gone, leaving hot weather anglers to settle for bream or hope for good crops of scallops and St. John’s river-run shrimp.

But things are much better this summer.

Gulf or Atlantic Coast, ponds, lakes, or rivers … the North Florida angler presently has an uncommonly large list of good summertime choices.

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Bream remain most dependable freshwater option

Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

photo: wallygrom

ether they target redbellies, bluegills, or stumpknockers, freshwater fishers know that bream are their most dependable target through the summer. And as it should be, the bream fishing is good.

Ren Gallon and Gene Brooks fished Rodman Reservoir on Sunday in a steady wind that made their favorite bream-catching technique challenging.

Placing weightless grass shrimp precisely beside floating rafts of mixed vegetation isn’t easy when the wind is up. The floating hyacinth and water lettuce certainly is abundant on Rodman; upon launching at Kenwood Landing, the Gainesville men had to motor through a nearly solid pack of floating greenery.

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