Attended the ICAST trade show in Las Vegas for the first time in five years last week. Since I've been away from the conventional game for quite a while, I figured I'd offer up a few generalized observations that really struck me:
One other item of note, while I think of it - I sat in on a press conference with a company called Hydrowave, an electronics outfit launched earlier this year at the Bassmaster Classic. During that launch, angler Kevin VanDam used one of the company's sound-generating devices, and he went on to win that very tournament. Hydrowave is now offering an inshore saltwater product, and VanDam was on-hand discussing its merits. I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with the ethics of machines that mimic distressed baitfish sounds into the water, but it seems like a remarkable technology that obviously has some merit. Let's put it this way: VanDam's comments were pretty convincing from the freshwater side of things. It will be interesting to check it out.
And, finally, speaking of famous bass fishermen, I managed to spend a little time at the show with Bill Dance and Shaw Grigsby, whom I watched religiously on television as a kid. It's always great to meet folks who, in one way or another, had an influence on you when you were younger, and, for that matter, it was quite a thrill to have met Ernest Hemingway's middle son, Patrick Hemingway, who attended ICAST with his wife while introducing a new line of Ernest Hemingway glasses from Ono.
I talked with Patrick about an old picture book I have in my library, simply called "Ernest." It's a very rare book, but Patrick knew it well, and we discussed some of the old photos from its pages that have been engrained for years in my mind - Patrick recalled all of them (he was even in a few of them!) and then spun some incredibly good tales.
Now, it's off to the wilds of Alaska in two weeks to film an episode of Sport Fishing Television with Dean Travis Clarke. It's been an amazing month, and with a little luck, I'll be able to spin a few good tales for you!
Till then, good fishing from your angling friend,
Senior Editor, Sport Fishing
Photo: Mike with Ernest Hemingway's middle son, Patrick Hemingway