This winter seems to be intent on making up for the two mild winters we had been blessed with and there are just some day it’s better to be inside and warm. On those winter days when the wind is howling and the seas cresting, there are a couple of things fishermen can do to help them prepare for the warmer weather and hungry fish of spring. One is cleaning and servicing their equipment and having it in top condition and ready to go, while the other is preparing their mind by learning a few new tactics for catching fish and tips on doing it easier and more efficiently.
I’m not aware of a person, store or manufacturer that offers instruction on rod and reel maintenance, but wish there was. You might have to resort to YouTube videos for this. However, there are numerous options across N.C. (and certainly other states also) for learning new and productive tactics for catching your favorite fish, plus tips on how to do it more efficiently.
Several boat shows, fishing expos, outdoor expos, seminars and schools were held in January, but there is one and sometimes several every week during February and early March. February boat shows begin with the Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show on February 1-4. The Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department Saltwater Fishing School is the first instructional event, with a school on February 3, followed by another on February 10. These events continue through the month ending with the Central Carolina Boat and Fishing Expo in Greensboro, which combines a boat show with fresh and saltwater fishing seminars that are included in the admission fee.
Fishermen can take advantage of the variety of schools and seminars to learn new tactics and techniques for catching their favorite fish. The faculty at most schools include knowledgeable local fishermen and guides. Sometimes they add successful touring professional fishermen and maybe even anglers from television shows. The bottom line is there is an abundance of fishing knowledge that can be gained by aspiring fishermen in a short time.
These schools and seminars are opportunities to shortcut the learning curve. The instructors are all successful fishermen who offer insight into their methods, plus numerous inside tips to fine tune rigs, lures and presentations.
One participant at a recent school said he had attended this event for 8 previous years and would also attend several others this February. He said even listening to the same fishermen would usually get several new tips each year. They change their presentations slightly or mention a new way to rig a bait or locate a good potential fishing spot. Besides, it’s a good “Guys Day Out” and definitely beats shoveling snow, raking leaves, trimming trees or any of the other chores on his Honey-do List.
Check out the February shows, seminars and schools for yourself. The odds are you will find something interesting. There are also several fishery meetings it could be informative and interesting to attend. Best of all though is you may even be introduced to a way to catch that final fish on your limit once the weather warms in a few months.
February 6-8: Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission, Westin, Arlington, VA, www.asmfc.org.
February 13-15: Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting, Hilton Garden Inn, Raleigh, www.mafmc.org.
February 15-16: N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, Hilton Riverside, Wilmington, www.ncdmf.net.
Schools, Seminars, Shows, Tournaments and Other Events
February 1-4: Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow.
February 3 and 10: Oak Island Saltwater Fishing Schools, Oak Island Recreation Center, Oak Island, (same school with two dates), http://oakisland.recdesk.com.
February 3: Beginner Flyfishing Seminar, John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, Fayetteville, www.ncwildlife.org/learning, www.facebook.com/jepfec/?fref=ts.
February 8: Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Meeting, John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, Fayetteville, www.ncwildlife.org/learning,www.facebook.com/jepfec/?fref=ts.
February 8-11: Mid Atlantic Boat Show, Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, www.ncboatshows.com.
February 10 and 11: Fisherman’s Post Fishing Schools, Coastline Convention Center, Wilmington, www.fishermanspost.com.
February 17: Intermediate level Flyfishing Seminar, John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, Fayetteville, www.ncwildlife.org/learning, www.facebook.com/jepfec/?fref=ts.
February 17: Inshore Institute, Pamlico County Community College, Grantsboro, www.neuseriverfishing.com.
February 22: Fly Tying Forum, John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, Fayetteville, www.ncwildlife.org/learning, www.facebook.com/jepfec/?fref=ts.
February 23: Intro to Kayak Fishing Part 1 (Safety and Rigging), John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, Fayetteville, www.ncwildlife.org/learning,www.facebook.com/jepfec/?fref=ts.
February 23-25: Central Carolina Boat and Fishing Expo, Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center, Greensboro, www.ncboatshows.com.
February 23-25: Eastern NC Boat Sale, Greenville Convention Center, Greenville, www.encboatsale.com.
February 24: Fisherman’s Post Fishing School, Crystal Coast Convention Center, Morehead City, www.fishermanspost.com.
February 24: Team Mack Attack 3rd Annual Dogfish Tournament, Seaview Pier, North Topsail Beach, www.facebook.com/TeamMackAttack88.
February 24 and 25: International Custom Rod Building Exposition, MC Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, www.icrbe.com.
March 2-4: Dixie Deer Classic, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, www.dixiedeerclassic.org.
March 3: Marabou Madness V, John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, Fayetteville, www.ncwildlife.org/learning, www.facebook.com/jepfec/?fref=ts.
March 10: Triangle Saltwater Anglers Fishing School, Quality Inn and Suites, Winston-Salem, www.triadsaltwateranglers.com.