WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Oh, ‘show’ me the way to spring

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Oh, ‘show’ me the way to spring


Hey kids, what time is it?

Or maybe, with all of this crazy weather we have been having, I should ask what time of the year is it?

Well, for many sportsmen it is the outdoor sports show time of the year, and this year we have a bunch of them going on. I will try and keep you posted on them.

First off is “New Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show” at the Mohegan Sun Earth Expo & Convention Center in Uncasville. This one is a spin-off of the “Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show” that is held annually at the CT Convention Center in Hartford. That show will still be held in March.

The one at Mohegan Sun will be held Friday, Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 16. Hours are 1-7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The featured celebrity at this event will be Roland Martin, the famous fisherman on NBC Sports.

“Fishing will be the highlight of the new show and will have a wide variety of outdoor elements that will include ATVs, rock climbing, rafting, kayaking, hunting, zip lining, biking, and more,” according to Kristie Gonsalves, president of Northeast Expos.

The show will also feature Dennis Zambrotta, editor of Surfcaster’s Journal.

Expect this show to be a great family event aimed at fishermen and anyone who would like to learn more about the fun of fishing and other outdoor adventures.

Seminars by Roland Martin and Dennis Zembrotta are free. Martin is the featured seminar speaker on Saturday only and Zambrotta on Sunday only.

There will be over 100 booths selling the latest fishing, hunting and outdoor equipment and fishing boats. You can also meet and schedule fishing trips, hunting trips and other outdoor types of adventures.

I am told that some of the demonstrations will include fly casting atop a 5,000-gallon Hawg Trough Fish Tank. Also, I have noticed that many local fishermen have been using kayaks to do some of their fishing, and this show will feature kayak fishing lessons by Three Belles Outfitters and 247 Lures.

There will also be wildlife shows with bobcats, owls, porcupines, skunks, alligators and snakes put on by Animal Family Zoo & Rescue Center.

Another big hands-on attraction is the Blackhawk Fishing virtual fighting chair simulator with Greg Dubrule. This gives even the most amateur fisherman a chance to see what it would be like to have a huge fighting fish on the other end of a fishing line. Believe me when I tell you this is a fun event.

But that’s not all. On all three days of the New Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show, professional fisherman and master lure designer Bobby Uhrig will be there along with Mike Laptew, a.k.a. the Diving Fisherman.

You can also see Joe Diorio, a saltwater fishing guide, and meet and talk with custom lure maker Al Gag. I have known Al Gag for a number of years now and it is always a pleasure to meet and talk fishing with him. If you get a chance, ask him about some of the striper fishing he does in the Connecticut River.

Managing editor of Fisherman magazine Toby Lapinski will also be on hand, as will captain Greg Dubrule of the Blackhawk Fishing charter boat.

And with the Connecticut fishing season coming soon, you will not want to miss talking to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to find out what the newest rules and regulations, plus have a chance to view their large tank of live species of Connecticut fish.

Admission to the New Connecticut Fishing & Outdoor Show is $12 for adults. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free. Parking is also free.


Remember me telling you about all of the open water we had during the warm spell and seeing anglers both in boats and shore fishing?

Well, according to local fisherman Marty Loos, you should have tried Black Pond. Marty says that he and a couple of other trout fishermen limited out on some nice trout at Black Pond using Power Bait.

Can’t say I didn’t tell ya.

And this brings up a good point: What if we do not have any ice fishing this year? I know it does not sound possible, but with the way the last couple of winters have gone and the crazy weather we are now experiencing, who knows?

Of course, now that I have said that we might have ice until April. But in case we don’t, there are some alternatives depending on the different bodies of water. I do know of some diehard open-water fishermen who only need what appears to be a warm day to get out and try their luck.

Many of the rivers and lakes here in Connecticut allow trout fishing until the last day in February. After that, on some you cannot fish. Others, like Hanover Pond, you can fish year round. Any and all trout caught after February and before the April Opening Day have to be returned to the water unharmed.

This excludes the Quinnipiac River that feeds Hanover Pond from Red Bridge up to Cheshire Road. All fishing in the Quinnipiac River above Cheshire Road is hook and release only!

Over the years I have seen some poor sports (they are not sportsmen) try and misinterpret the Connecticut Angler’s Guide, especially when it comes to the varied restrictions found on the Quinnipiac River. They should know that ignorance is no excuse and if they choose to violate the law there will be consequences.

Got ice? Who knows what lies ahead? If we do get ice, remember that every day the sun is now getting higher and the days longer, and this can mean weak ice. There is no fish worth dying for.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving our great country.