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Another year of fishing has passed and a new year of fishing adventures and learning begins.

As many years as I have been fishing I still learn new skills each year. Every day I go fishing I learn something new – a new lure, a new location for a particular species of fish or a new presentation for an old lure.

I look forward to this time of year because the Sport and Fishing Shows are beginning and they provide a chance to see the newest in fishing tackle, marine equipment and seminars by some of the best and brightest anglers in the country.

I’ve already bought my tickets for my two favorite shows coming up in the next few weeks: the 2019 Chicagoland Fishing Expo Jan. 24-27 at the Schaumburg Convention Center and the Indianapolis Sport and Fishing Show Feb. 15-24 at the Indiana State Fair Grounds.

The Schaumburg show is easily the best in the area, a chance to see and try the newest equipment and hear about resorts from all over the Midwest and Canada.

The Indianapolis show is the largest sports fishing show in the Midwest and one of the few remaining shows where plastic baits can be purchased by weight rather than in small sealed plastic bags.

Parking and admission together are under $20. What a bargain.

At the seminars there is always great information and techniques to hear about and see demonstrated.

Every year someone will ask the top anglers the same question: “If you could use only one lure in your tackle box to fish with, what would it be?” 

The answer is almost always a single hook jig. It is a most versatile bait, which can be used to fish for every species of fish and with a multitude of add-ons like live bait, plastic creatures, feathers and/or hair.

No bait is more adaptable.

It’s my go-to lure for everything from bluegill to northern pike. Anyone who has not been using the jig might consider trying one this coming season.

Until next time…keep a tight line.