I got the chance to talk fishing with Kehde, Heinen and his parents, Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation youth director Richard Heflin, teen crappie enthusiast Parker Still and Larry Henderson, acting president of the North East Kansas Rock and Fossil Club. Still, who presented Friday with Heinen on the seminar stage about youth fishing, will join him on the Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation high school tournament trail this spring.
Next, I ran into Still’s fellow competitor on the Kansas Crappie Club circuit, Joe Bragg, and talked with him a bit. The event organizer, Phil Taunton, then introduced me to Kim Burnett, of Fishing’s Future, and outdoors writers Brent Frazee and Scott Irwin, where we talked about fishing and dove hunting. I got to hear a bit of a seminar by Tim Donges, of the Quality Deer Management Association, on the second stage, and then I did a little shopping.
At Don and Tom’s booth, I picked up a bag of Bubblegum Z-Man TRDs and some small ice jigs that I am going to try out on my new ice fishing pole. A separate booth had a large selection of overstocked hunting and fishing goods, and I got a great deal on both a rod and a reel there. I picked up a 7-foot Shakespeare Excursion rod, marked down from $30, for just $7, and also picked up a left-handed Abu Garcia Black Max baitcasting reel for $30. I’d been eyeing a new baitcaster for a while but wanted to get a left-handed one since I’m so used to fishing on spinning reels. It was my lucky day — and a nice early birthday gift for myself, as I turn 30 on Sunday. The guys there were very helpful and were willing to come down a bit on the prices, which were already pretty low to begin with. Definitely worth stopping in if you have a little extra money to spend this month.