This weekend I made my annual journey to the Toronto Sportsman Show, held at the Direct Energy Centre. I’ve been going for the last several years, and it’s a nice break in the middle of winter, allowing me to get excited about open water fishing. I went with my brother and a buddy, and we all go something out of it. I remember the first time I went, I thought it would be just a huge hall filled with great deals on everything outdoors, but I realized that this isn’t the case. I think with so many huge outdoor stores, such as SAIL and Bass Pro, that really, there are already permanent outdoor shows in those locations, who have regular sales throughout the year. No, the Sportsman Show for me is a chance to see all of the major fishing brands bring out their new product lines for the coming year, and provide a chance for you to speak to their pro-staff. For me, it’s this access to knowledge that keeps me coming back.
I was pleased to speak to several Rapala Pro Staff, one about the Scatter Rap series, as well as the new Storm Arashi baits, and to touch on the Storm Flat Sticks. I am a big believer in the Scatter Raps, but I think a few Arashis’ and Flatsticks my be in order. I spoke with another Rapala Rep regarding rod holders, and he was able to put in me in touch with a company called Scotty’s that sell the perfect solution for me, and they have a dealer right near me called Natural Sports. Another thing I enjoyed was watching a few of the education sessions hosted by Fish TV. The program was moderated by Fish TV host Ron James, and I saw a good session on working the whole water column by Italo Labignan, who is the host of Canadian Sport Fishing.
We also saw a session I enjoyed, though was cut short to my disappointment, by Jeremie Brooks, who is a member of the Rapala Pro Staff and also runs Trophy Takers Fishing Charters. Jeremie did a great session on Trolling, and gave me some real insight into the value of using Dipsy Divers and Planer Boards, so look for those being used on the new boat this year. Speaking of the new boat, stay tuned for my post on that topic :). The other thing I enjoy doing is checking out the various outfitters, keeping an eye out for the next destination. It was great to visit with Eric Lund of Esnagami Lodge, the first fly in trip I’ve ever been on, and a real benchmark to strive to. I also had a visit with Mel from Hearst Air, who I’ve been flying with for the past two year, and will gain this summer. I had a great chat with the operator of North To Adventure about his outpost options. All in all, it was a great day, I picked up a few goodies, had a good time hanging out with the guys, and got pretty excited for the fishing season which is not that far off! I open the season on May 10th, with is only 3 months away!