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Old 02-08-2006, 04:58 AM
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Some of the biggest names in fishing and hunting will share the spotlight with the rare and unusual in the animal world this week as the 30th anniversary edition of the Eastern Fishing and Outdoor Exposition unfolds at the DCU Center in Worcester.
The show opens at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and runs through Sunday. The exposition is presented by The Outdoor Channel and is sponsored by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Visit http://www.sportshows.com for complete details.
Kevin VanDam, currently the hottest professional bass fisherman in the world, will be on hand Friday to share his winning techniques. The 38-year-old Michigan bass pro won three consecutive Bass Angler Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) big money competitions this year, including the CITGO Bassmaster Classic Championship, the super bowl of professional bass fishing.
At just under $2 million in lifetime earnings, VanDam trails the all-time, and much older, top money winner by less than $35,000. He has been B.A.S.S. angler of the year three times and he also won the 2001 classic.
Charlie Moore, the Mad Fisherman and star of his own fishing shows on ESPN and NESN, will appear on Saturday and Sunday, while an impressive lineup of saltwater fishing experts will take the seminar stage throughout the expo. The Diving Fisherman Mike Laptew will share his knowledge and his dramatic underwater footage of trophy striped bass, and popular saltwater writers such as Frank Daignault, Charlie Soares, Dave Pickering, and Bob Sampson will share tips on how best to catch a variety of species.
The Benoit family of Vermont, considered the most successful deer-hunting family in North America, will top the list of headliners Saturday for whitetail super day. The Benoit family father Larry, and his three sons, Lanny, Lane and Shane each year never fail to take the biggest bucks in the region.
The Benoits will be joined in Saturday?s hunting seminar lineup by whitetail behaviorist and author Dick Bernier and turkey hunting and calling expert Joe Hall.
Brody, a 1,300-pound live Kodiak brown bear, will likely be the star of the animal show this weekend, followed closely by a life-sized display Forever Locked of two real bull moose whose antlers became hopelessly locked while they battled for supremacy.
Brody last appeared at the Expo seven years ago when he was a mere 700 pounds. The Kodiak, which is a subspecies of the Alaskan Brown Bear, can reach 1,500 pounds with a height of 8 feet and a shoulder span of 4 feet. Expo visitors will be able to learn about the Kodiaks habitat and lifestyle from Brodys handler Jeff Watson. Watson has had Brody since he was an 8-week-old cub.
An avid hunter stumbled upon the locked moose in October of 2003 in New Hampshires Gill State Forest. A New Hampshire state conservation officer photographed the scene and removed the moose heads, keeping the antlers locked. The educational exhibit on view at the expo was developed after funds were raised for the required taxidermy work and local hunters donated quality moose skins.
Joining Brody and the locked moose will be an extensive lineup of other types of wildlife such as birds of prey and alligators, pythons and African lizards.
Visit T&G Booth
Local fishing, fly-tying, and rod-building experts will join me at the Telegram & Gazette booth during the expo.
Expert rod builder and fly tier Michael Gilchrist will be at the booth throughout the show hours on Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. noon on Saturday and Sunday. A specialist in flashy saltwater flies, the Shrewsbury resident will represent the New England Fly Tyers, whose members have been regulars at the T&G booth for many years. Gilchrist, who has been repairing and building custom fishing rods for more than 20 years, has recently opened his own business Gilchrist Custom Rods.
Interested in competitive bass fishing? Join us from 1-3 p.m. Saturday for inside tips on how to get involved in local and regional tournaments.
Devin Demers, two-time Massachusetts B.A.S.S. Federation senior youth champion and Bassmaster World Champion qualifier, will be at the T&G booth to share his story. He will be joined by Jim Barry, longtime regional and national competitor and BASS federation youth director, and competitive angler David Forget of Tricounty Bassmasters. Barry is also president of A-1 Bassmasters and owner of Barry?s Bait & Tackle in Westboro.
The Cape Cod Canal is a big draw for area surfcasters, providing some of the most exciting striped bass fishing on the East coast. However, fishing the ditch can be extremely frustrating and sometimes downright dangerous.
Learn how to improve your odds in the Canal from 1 3:30 p.m. Sunday from members of the Worcester Surf Casting Club. Longtime Canal fishermen Ed Wall, club president, and Paul Rogers, Carl ?Barney? Larson, and Bob Larson will share tips from more than a collective century of fishing a place that really has no equal in the lore of striper fishing in this region.
If you stop by the T & G booth (#812) to visit us, you can enter a drawing to win a 15-foot Smoker Craft Resorter, complete with Mercury outboard and Karavan trailer, courtesy of Monadnock Boat Store and Smoker Craft. Additionally, anyone who subscribes to the newspaper during the show will be entered into a drawing to win one of several Shimano fishing reels to be given away.
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