As the new year starts, it must be time for the Kansas City Sportshow and a trip to a Missouri lake for several Iowa anglers who work the show and have done so for many years. As usual, either before or during the Sportshow, snow is on the ground.
Tom Nelson and Fred Anderson, Des Moines, Iowa, have found good fishing in one of the Missouri big impoundments for more than 20 years prior to the Sportshow and usually catch their largest bass of the entire year.
They have fished Truman, Stockton, Table Rock, Taneycomo, Lake of the Ozarks and Bull Shoals in the past and last year, the pair of Iowa anglers hit Table Rock and both caught several bass over 5 pounds. They even fished at Jacomo last year before the show and caught several big bass.
Anderson said, "Back when Dave Perkin's dad ran the Sportshow, he introduced me to some people who had a booth representing the Branson area and told me how you can catch big bass in January on Table Rock.
"I tried it after the show and caught my largest bass ever, a 9-pounder. Ever since that trip, I haven't missed a year hitting a Missouri lake after the Sportshow and several times I have fished both before and after the show."
Nelson has only joined Anderson the past three winters fishing Missouri lakes, but he is hooked; especially after catching bass, crappie and trout at Bull Shoals two years ago.
"It was the best fishing trip of the year. I was surprised at the size and number of fish we caught. Fishing out of Beaver Creek, we caught crappie up to a pound and a half, bass over 5 pounds and several rainbow trout in the 2- to 3-pound range. We even caught several white bass and walleye. It was a blast, I'm really looking forward to trying it again to start off 2010, We are used to the cold and snow so no matter what the weather, we will be fishing." he said.
Like most everything else, the Kansas City Sportshow has changed over the years. When it first started more than 50 years ago, it was housed in Municipal Auditorium and there was a really big production.
Booths closed for a show inside the auditorium that included everything from high wire acts to a contest involving retriever dogs in a large pool and many demonstrations of outdoor gear. One of the highlights was the awarding of the Farmer/Sportsman trophy to a person that had done something to improve outdoor recreation in their area.
Anderson said, "Although the Sportshow has a good following, it isn't the same. I guess people have places like Bass Pro and Cabela's to check out their gear and can do it year-round. However, I know that as long as I can make it, I'll be there and then head for a Missouri lake to catch some big fish."
The 2010 version of the Sportshow opens Thursday and runs thru Sunday with the usual travel, hunting and fishing booths and seminars, including one by Dion Hibdon, who along with his father, Guido, have won many bass tournaments across the country. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m until the closing of the show on Sunday at 5 p.m.
After that, you can bet there will be several Iowa anglers packed and ready to go fishing in one of Missouri's big impoundments in search of lunkers.