Why are fish so smart?
Because they spend a lot of time in schools.
Corny, I know. But it probably wouldn't hurt most fishermen to spend some time in the classroom. And there are a couple of big-time learning opportunities coming up in January, a time when most fishermen are looking for something to do that involves fishing.
The Haddrell's Point Fishing Expo 2020 will take place January 18-19 at Omar Shrine Temple in Mount Pleasant while the Saltwater Sportsman National Fishing Seminar Tour hosted by George Poveromo will make a stop Jan. 18 at the Conference Center at Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach.
If you really want to improve your fishing skills put one, or both, on your January calendar. Here's a look at the two events:
• Haddrell's Point Fishing Expo 2020 continues to expand its horizons as it celebrates its fifth year. It started out as the Shallow Water Fishing Expo with a focus on inshore fishing, featuring D.O.A. Fishing Lures founder Mark Nichols and C.A. Richardson, host of the Flats Class television show. Freshwater fishing was added to the 2018 show with professional bass fisherman Brian Latimer of Belton, who would go on to win an FLW Pro Circuit title a couple of months later, joining the cast of instructors for the seminars that will take place throughout the two-day event.
"We are always looking at ways to improve, and this year we're trying to draw in some of the offshore fishing crowd," said Michael Able Jr. of Haddrell's Point Tackle. "We have Jack Tullius with Black Bart Lures coming in."
Able said he still is working on a list of seminar instructors but Richardson and Ed Zyak of D.O.A. Fishing Lures have both committed.
The event also will feature a number of local instructors, and Able said two would appeal to younger outdoorsmen. Tia Clark of Casual Crabbing, who takes people on expeditions to catch blue crabs and teaches them the intricacies of the sport, will be participating and Able said she will have things for kids to do.
Another instructor is teenager Rowland Von See, who has done junior angler seminars for Haddrell's Point.
Able said the show offers anglers an opportunity to look at what's new in the industry, including rods and reels, lures, clothing and boats, and many of the manufacturers will offer special show prices.
A seminar schedule and list of instructors will be posted within the next couple of weeks, he said. Tickets are $5 for the Expo which lasts from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day.
• The Saltwater Sportsman National Fishing Seminar Tour is celebrating its 33rd year, said Poveromo, host of George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing on the Discovery Channel.
Last year's visit was a sellout so Poveromo advises those interested to not wait until the last minute to purchase tickets. The seminar runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and the cost is $55. Attendees also will be invited to the After Seminar Party at Bass Pro Shops in Myrtle Beach. Call 800-448-7360 or register online at nationalseminarseries.com.
"I'm still as excited as I was the first or second year of doing the seminar," Poveromo said in a phone interview.
The instructors are a mixture of national and local fishing experts. Poveromo's co-host is "Crazy" Alberto Knie, a legendary shallow water and land-based specialist on catching trophy redfish, trout, flounder and tarpon.
Charleston-area speakers include: Capt. Robert Olsen of Knot@Work Fishing Charters, bottom-fishing expert Capt. Paul Godbout and Capt. John Fuss of Holy City Fishing Charters. Other instructors include: Capt. Chris Regan of Myrtle Beach; Capt. Chris Ossmann of North Myrtle Beach; Capt. Ned Campbell of Murrells Inlet; Capt. Jot Owens and Capt. David Wicker, both from North Carolina; and Capt. Debbie Hanson and Capt. Alan Wenzel, both from Florida.
Poveromo said fishermen from different areas often use different tactics and techniques to target their quarry, and the exchange of the tactics and techniques is beneficial for all.
"You will walk away with three, four, sometimes five different ways to catch different species of fish," he said, adding that when your tried and true techniques doesn't work you can try something you learned from a fisherman from a different locale.