The Shows Must Go On

Some sure signs of an impending spring are the fishing shows that begin this time of year. One of the most traditional and impressive is the Pasadena Sportfishing Association’s expo on February 15-16 featuring over 190 tables of all kinds of tackle, clothing, books and gear specifically tailored for fishing the Chesapeake.

This time-honored exhibition is held once again on the spacious grounds of Earleigh Heights Fire Hall and there is loads of parking available. There are booths inside and out for the wealth of fishing paraphernalia on offer.

If you’re planning to tangle with Mr. Rockfish or any of his best friends, Mr. Bluefish, Senor Spanny Max, the brutish drum brothers, red and black, cousin hardhead, Mr. Norfolk Spot, the blue and channel cats or any of the white and yellow perch that abound in area waters this is the place to begin.

It’s also the place to get the earliest and most “inside” information of what the coming year offers on our great estuary. Rubbing shoulders with some of the most dedicated anglers in the state can be a definite benefit of attending this annual ritual. It’s a good place to collect some contacts, learn where the fish are going to be and what they’re going to be eating.

You won’t find many of the Chesapeake-specific lures nor gear available at this show in sporting good stores—even locally—as a good portion are custom-made by local anglers and available in limited supply. Tidewater charter fishing guides will be on site to discuss booking opportunities in the coming season.

Entry fees are $5, with children 12 and under free. The show runs from 8am-2pm and it’s a good idea to arrive on time before all the good stuff is gone. Donations of fishing gear for children are encouraged; call Ted Peapos (410-439-3474).

The expo will also have some of the most delicious on-site grilled beef, fresh oysters and other hot foods cooked up by the local volunteer firefighters. An extravaganza that has been occurring every year since 1991, it is one sure way to begin preparing for another fantastic sporting year on the Tidewater. 

The last show in February is altogether a specialized experience for fly fishermen and women. If you want to behold the most artful of all the fishing techniques that target our local finny species this is the show to attend: the 20th Annual Lefty Kreh Tie Fest.

This event features seminars and demonstrations by some of the best and most famous fly tiers and anglers the world over. Expert light tackle guides from Alaska, Maryland’s Tangier Sound, Cape Cod, the Gunpowder River, Western Maryland and Pennsylvania plus the state of Virginia’s only tarpon guide for the Chesapeake will be in attendance explaining their services and booking trips.

This is one springtime show that shouldn’t be missed even if you’re merely curious about fly-fishing. There are continuous fly-tying demonstrations and seminars unavailable anywhere else in the world, truly a unique and valuable exhibition.

Outside, watch demos of lawn casting and rod techniques (bring you own tackle if you wish); inside the spacious showroom, see the newest fly rods, reels, lines, flies, hooks and tying materials. 

This year’s show is February 22-23 at the BWI Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, from 10am-4:30pm Saturday and 10am-2:30pm Sunday. Entry is $10, with kids 16 and under free. Good food and a variety of beverages are available on site.

Visit or call Tony Friedrich (202-744-5013) for details. Do not miss the opportunities accompanying this event. The new season is already upon us. 



The cold weather warriors are scoring some catch and release trophies as the big rockfish continue to pile into the Bay in pre-spawn activities. The warm water discharges from utilities located on the Patapsco, Calvert Cliffs, the Potomac and the Susquehanna Flats will concentrate the big fellows though rumors are rife that some nice fish are holding around the Bay Bridge and lounging around the mouths of some of the big tributaries. Dress warm and be ready for relentless effort for this exercise in dedication. The yellow perch run is now underway and if you want to get in on the action you mustn’t be discouraged by a few skunks; it’s definitely part of the game. You’ve got to shake off disappointment if you’re going to enjoy the triumphs of the early runs. 

 Keep in mind that the earliest successes are not spoken about until they are a couple of weeks old. Pickerel are still on the prowl; there are a lot of bigger fish this year (two footers) so be sure that your line is fresh—no one ever took a picture of a break off. 

White perch are waking from their wintertime stupor and are getting on the move. Be sure that your gear is ready. “The game is afoot (or afin)!” with apologies to Sherlock Holmes.