Not a lot of fishing but a lot of content coming your way in this one. Last week we had the Bassmasters Classic, and not only was that an adventure but I got to see a lot of new products as well. I've also got a new sponsor to introduce to you this week and you can find a snippet about my perch fishing on M-Live.
The new company I'll be working with is ClearH2O Tackle. I've known about the shop for awhile and had heard a lot of good things about the store, the owner, and where the shop was going. I was excited to have a chance to perch fish with the owner, Darrin Schaap, and get a rundown on ClearH2O. It's definitely going to be fun working together in the future. One thing I really like is Darrin and his staff are knowledgeable about all kinds of fishing. One thing over here on the west side is there are so many different species to fish for. So whether it's bass, salmon, trout, walleye, pike, panfish, ice fishing, or even hunting gear, they have up to date advice and products to get you out there. They also stock all the good stuff, and if they don't have something you want they can definitely get it. This also gives me a chance to work with a retailer that is going to be selling products from all the companies I represent. I'm looking forward to steering people to a local company that will feel an impact from any sales made verse sending guys to one of the big online retailers. The shop is located in Edwardsburg, Michigan but you can access the website via the hyperlink up above, also keep up to date with the ClearH2O Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ClearH2OTackle. You can also get a hold of them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 414-4131. I'd really appreciate if everyone would give ClearH2O a chance to earn your business. Just note not everything they carry is on the website so don't hesitate to get in touch with me or them about any questions. If they can get it, they will get it, and you'll like their prices!
On to the Bassmasters Classic, it was quite the adventure especially on the way down and back. Luckily, Amanda was able to go with me, otherwise it would have been a long lonely drive. Our adventure started on the Wednesday prior to event. We rented a car and unfortunately got stuck with a bright yellow Kia Soul, with OHIO plates. As if the bright yellow wasn't enough, I really felt everyone was judging me with the Ohio plates. Of course it wouldn't be a trip without some snow, the lakeshore was getting pounded so we headed inland and then south. Everything was good until a ways north of Kalamazoo, and then it was awful until Fort Wayne, Indiana. Our goal was to make it to Lexington Kentucky but with the slow going, we ended up north of Cincinnati for the night.
We got back on the road early the next morning, and were just crossing our fingers we would avoid any ice or freezing fog in the mountains. We did see -13 degrees in Kentucky, but other than being cold it was a pretty uneventful drive. We got settled in once we got there, and headed out to dinner with the FishSens crew. I was really looking forward to checking things out the next day. Amanda and I headed up to the expo early and got a chance to wander around a bit. They were filming Live for Bassmasters TV and we were surprised at how huge the show actually was. Unfortunately, FishSens was in the basement with another 20 or 30 booths. Very little signage was out directing people down there and while coverage was live upstairs, we watched the 2014 classic on repeat for the first 2 days until they finally fixed it on the last day.
However, even with all that we still had a pretty good show, there is A LOT of interest in the SondeCAM from the public and pro anglers alike. I got to see a few updates, like the WIFI module, that will stream SondeCAM footage directly to either an iphone or ipad (android version coming soon). Also we are changing the cord on the SondeCAM mini to be smaller and more flexible since it is so much lighter than the SondeCAM. I woke up Monday morning dreaming about talking about the SondeCam, so needless to say we introduced it to a lot of people!
A couple other FishSens side notes, there is now an app available for the iphone and ipad (android coming soon) that brings up the magazine. It's a really good way to keep up with the most recent articles like my last one about cameras and ice fishing.
I also took some time at the classic to check out some of the new stuff coming out. One of the most exciting things was a new series of rods by Dobyns. After several years of R & D, Dobyns finally announced the Fury series at the classic. I got to handle some of the prototypes and for a rod that retails for 110 dollars I was really impressed. I'll definitely have some in the boat this summer, so if you see me at a tournament come on over and check them out.
I also spent some time checking out the Minn Kota/Humminbird booth. There were quite a few things I was really impressed with. One of the coolest things was the Max-5 Talon. For guys that hunt out of boat blinds in areas of vast shallow water these are going to be the coolest thing for duck hunting. I also checked out some of the new electronics. Humminbirds new Helix series fishfinders feature a 5 inch horizontal screen , which makes them so much more effective at things like side imaging. They are also very affordable and have some awesome capabilities for such a small package. I also checked out the ONIX series. I knew very little about all the cool things it could do at the classic, but I recently attended an ONIX training and let's just say if you get into using any features on your electronics, you will be blown away with these units. The recent update also speeded them up quite a bit. FishSens and Humminbird have a little work to do but making the ONIX and SondeCAM compatible is soon to come. So that's what I'll be running on my boat this year, and I'm really looking forward to it.
I also checked out some of the new Lew's reels and got to meet the owner, Lynn Reeves. Be on the lookout for a lot of the Lew's LFS series baitcasters in boats this summer. I think you guys are going to like it.
The classic expo was definitely a show to see and I recommend everyone goes once if they get the chance. Greenville, SC hit 60 degrees when we began to head back to the snow and our drive was really smooth until we hit South Bend, IN. After that we were once again on an adventure all the way back in Muskegon. We rolled in at 3:30am, took a nap, and headed to work in the morning. It may have been white knuckle for awhile, but I was really thankful we made it home safe.
We had a lot of fun down there, and while I was working it was pretty cool just to be there. I'm really grateful FishSens invited me to work the booth down there. I never checked out the weigh in, and never will unless someday I get a chance to bring a bass across those scales, but I heard it is a pretty good show and that it was absolutely packed.
I feel like I'm missing a few important things here, but that's all I can think of for right now. I think we have a few weeks of ice fishing left in Muskegon, so if you need me that's where I'll be.