The Minnesota Muskie Fishing Show and Expo held over the weekend at Concordia University's fieldhouse in St. Paul appeared every bit a success. The hall was jammed with exhibitors, and on Saturday, when I attended, plenty of big fish anglers were on hand to check out the many exhibits and attend seminars by experts.
A few observations:
• Larry Dahlberg had a booth and regularly was asked to pose for photos with fans of his TV show, "The Hunt for Big Fish.'' Onlookers were also interested in his lure-making expertise and kits, the latter of which give anglers the opportunity to make and modify lures in ways they think might better catch fish.
• Bob Schmitt (top photo) of Minnetonka, and his ingenious invention, the "Just Encase'' muskie tackle boxes, saw a lot of traffic at his booth. The tackle boxes are clear and are virtually unbreakable. They're also lockable and can even be custom-built to fit in an angler's boat. They're also super strong, block UV rays and help anglers rid themselves of the old bugaboo, rusty lures and hooks, when they fall to the bottom of metal boxes. Check them out at www.justencase.com
• I attended Josh Stevenson's "Tigers in the Metro'' seminar late Saturday afternoon and learned a lot. The owner of Blue Ribbon Bait and Tackle in Oakdale, Josh (photo above) recounted his days as a kid when he and his friends caught scores of muskies in the metro, many of them tigers — the fast-growing cross between a northern pike and a muskie. Josh also sang the praises of Buck Perry, the original spoonplugger, and the fishing concepts that he advocated. A couple of Josh's tiger tips ran counter to common wisdom. One was that tigers greater than, say, 42 inches can be a challenge to catch, and anglers might have the best luck looking deep for these, rather than shallow or on the surface. Also, concerning lure size, think smaller rather than larger, Josh said.