The Emporia radio host was referring to the father-and-son duo of Tate and Kyle Herrman, who along with Tate’s other son, Nick, helped man a booth featuring an array of bass fishing products. Nick and Kyle both fish competitively on the Kansas BASS Nation youth circuit. Tate, the 2018 Flint Hills Bass Association Boater of the Year, presented seminars on bass fishing alongside Washburn angler Thomas Heinen and did fishing demonstrations at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Mobile Aquarium.
The 3,200-gallon tank featured just about every freshwater sportfish in Kansas — the notable exclusion of crappie slightly irking Kansas Crappie Club founder Joe Bragg, another presenter at the show — and was a big draw as everyone seemed to enjoy seeing the big fish.
Everyone, that is, except for the rainbow trout, three of which began the day in the tank on Thursday morning and two of which remained by Thursday night, cautiously resting near the surface in case one of the big bass came too close again and they had to make a quick getaway.
The show offered some great deals on fishing equipment, for sure, with Vanmar Sporting Goods and Don and Tom’s Bait offering sales on a wide variety of tackle and gear.
Professional crappie angler Todd Huckabee, a legend within the crappie fishing community, jovially greeted customers as they walked into the Vanmar area and perused through the marked-down items. Thomas Weipert, the “Mushroom King,”offered up his famous Morel Mushroom Soup Mix and a wide variety of dried mushrooms for sale, as well.
“There’s some great deals out here,” Huckabee said. “We just need some people to come out here and talk to us. That’s what we’re here for. All of us pros that are out here, we love to talk to people and answer questions.”
Huckabee gave seminars all three days on crappie fishing and the way advancements in technology have changed how anglers pursue the gamefish.
“I can tell there are a lot of people interested in crappie fishing here, it’s just a lot of ’em are a little shy and don’t want to come up and talk,” Huckabee said. “All I can tell everybody is come up and talk to us. That’s what we’re here for.”
Catfishing icon Danny King talked directly with customers who were interested in purchasing some of his punch bait, many picking his mind for catfishing secrets.
Attendance was noticeably sparse during the opening night, which took place on a Thursday for the first time this year under the new management of GS Media and Events.
Those who attended, however, were treated to a great time and a chance to interact one-on-one with some of the top fishing talents in the sport. The audience gradually swelled as the weekend went on, crescendoing on Saturday with a solid crowd.
• A mountain lion carcass reportedly was found by a group of upland bird hunters in north-central Kansas. Read more about it on CJOnline or in Saturday’s issue of The Topeka Capital-Journal on Page A14.
• A bill in the Kansas Senate would substantially increase the maximum limits on what the KDWPT can charge for hunting and fishing permits and licenses, clearing the way for possible future increases should it be signed into law. Read about it in Monday’s paper or on CJOnline.com.
• Crappie Masters pro angler Todd Huckabee discusses winter-time crappie tactics, technology and the evolution of the fishing industry in next week’s Outdoors section.
• A young bass angler’s mother creates, sells snacks made for outdoors enthusiasts. Read more here.