I gave a short seminar today at the Cannon Tackle distributor’s show in St. Cloud, Minnesota, as a special guest of PK Lures, which has a new spoon called the Panic. (A musky took the only one I had on the boat with Tony Roach last week.) It was like speaking to a room full of old friends. Over there was Ron Kiffmeyer representing  JB Lures. JB has great looking new photo-finish spoon called the Irresistable, and an awesome new ice-fishing spoon with a flicker blade called the Big Bad Bo (names like that make people like me want to write about the product). Bruce Mosher of Today’s Tackle showed me his Rod Rocker rod holder for ice fishing, and a new Fish Well with a floating rim for keeping fish alive while wading, canoeing, kayaking, ice fishing, boating—whatever. And his new Tackle Pouch for covering lures pinned to the hook keeper on ice rods keeps things very efficient on the ice.

And I ran into good friend Tony Puccio of Bait Rigs Tackle. Among other things (that will appear in various In-Fisherman Guides over the coming months), he showed me his new Slo-Poke LS.

“This looks pretty familiar,” I told him. “Do you know Chris Beeksma?” Turns out, Puccio and Beeksma are old friends, too. Look closely at one of my recent posts and you’ll see a Slo-Poke LS extending from the jaw of a nice largemouth Chris caught on my boat two days ago.  Beeksma, who likes to fish with casting gear and heavier line than I do, told me he loves this  new jig, but the name and company went in one ear and out the other. I was busy casting back to the spot where he caught that bass.

The LS has a Mustad Accu-Point hook—which has the most indestructible point on the market. Bait Rigs currently offers the jig in three sizes—1/8-, 1/4-, and 3/8-ounce. This is a great jig for swimming grubs, ring worms, soft swimbaits, lizards, and other plastics on 10- to 20-pound line. The beveled head allows a bait to rest with the tail just off bottom, hook up.

I always come away from these things with an armload of stuff to try, leaving a trail of promises to give feedback in my wake. I know I’m going to put the new Slo-Poke LS to work right away for smallmouths. The PK Panic is going to revolutionize vertical jigging for walleyes, and they have some yet-to-be-revealed-to-the-public options for crappies and muskies that, seriously—I need to be tied and gagged.

Sometimes, going to a show is better than fishing. Where else would I see so many great old friends under one roof?






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