THE JAMES GANG HAD A BLAST AT THE 2018 WISCONSIN FISHING EXPO.....
CEO & LURE DESIGNER ALEX JAMES PROUDLY DISPLAYS HIS IKE FOUNDATION PLEDGE AS HE BEGINS HIS BOOTH SETUP FEBRUARY 23
What a fun weekend we had at the Alliant Energy Center! We attended our second trade show ever, and fortunately this one is 100% fishing related. We really appreciate the people at Bast-Durbin for stressing that when choosing which vendors were allowed in the building. It really made the weekend a lot of fun talking fishing with everyone. Attendance was thought to have been up about 11% from previous years, which would put it well over 20,000 people. I know we personally sold lures to people from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and even South America! He did buy our musky lures to try for peacock bass down there too. Remember to email us your fish catch pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them on this fishing report/blog every few weeks during the open water or prime ice fishing season!
Madison Wisconsin was rocking this past weekend!!
Click below to watch the Alex Fishing Show in Madison!!
PETE MAINA, KEITH COMBS, & SETH FIEDER ALL HUNG OUT WITH ALEX AT THE EXPO!!
We were excited to see some professional anglers at the show, and we weren't surprised to find that they were all awesome people, much like the majority of the professional fishing world that we had met in the past. Keith Combs, a superstar angler from Texas, has met us a few times prior when he was pretty new to the Bassmaster Elites, but in the last few years he has been the most dominant "big bass" angler on the tour. Keith has won the Toyota Texas Bass Classic THREE TIMES, and has been one consistently nasty angler on the Texas lakes with giant largemouth. Keith told us he caught twin 14 lb largemouths already! He almost won the Bassmaster AOY last year and came up a little short on Mille Lacs, but stressed out the eventual winner Brandon Palaniuk as much as he could in 2017. Keith has always been friendly to myself, Alex, and our buddy Doc Gilles, and it was nice chatting with him about the Classic coming up in March and his fun he has fishing on Sam Rayburn Lake. Best of luck Keith, thank you for spending time with us, you WILL be a Classic champ very soon!
It was our first time meeting professional musky angler Pete Maina. I always found him funny watching him fishing on TV wearing his goofy ski mask with his rock star hair hanging out of the ear holes. He is a great guy, very friendly, he signed one of our Musky Lovertail 2 weedless inline spinners, and he even took one for himself that we offered him to try out. I think that he will be impressed. We gave him the heads up on the healthy population of muskies where we fished an MLF tournament and hopes he goes to check it out, maybe even film a show there. You can watch Pete on the John Gillespie Waters & Woods show all the time, as well as The Next Bite show with Keith & the Parsons boys, walleye experts. Thank you Pete for being classy and kind!
This goofball doesn't need any introduction to the fishing world, as he did a pretty fine job himself in the past two years. When the talk on ESPN2 and in the bass fishing world has been steady about Kevin VanDam & Mike Iaconelli for the past 15 years, all of a sudden Seth Fieder has been the guy that they can't stop talking about. Out of nowhere our local boy (Bloomington, MN) qualified into the Bassmasters by doing extremely well in the Bass Opens in his first 2 season attempts. Then after struggling most of his first season, he gave everyone but Ott DeFoe a huge beating in LaCrosse, WI, then the next tournament he destroyed everyone on Mille Lacs, weighing in 3 five fish limits over 76 pounds! All monster smallmouths! After his momentum built and he found his groove, he had an outstanding year last year, consistently fishing well all over the place, and wound up in the top finishers for Angler Of the Year standings. He qualified for his first ever Bassmaster Classic and will be going for the world championship in a few weeks. We have never met Seth before, so we didn't know what to expect of him. Within a few minutes, I figured out he is just like Iaconelli, a hilarious goofball that fits right in with us. We chatted a bit at his Daiwa booth, when I mentioned Alex's Lovertail 2 lure. Seth was so cool he actually asked to come hang out at our booth for quite a while and look at them personally. He chose his favorite color of Alex's lures, and hung out a long time telling fishing stories, talking about what its like fishing the Bassmaster Elites trail, and a lot about fishing his home areas in Minnesota. He is a super cool guy. He took time to take pictures with all of us, took our card, and even though he is very booked this summer, was kind enough to take one of our brochures to compete in our Major League Fishing tournament in Rice Lake in June. Now chances are this rock star probably can't make it, but the gesture was appreciated and maybe we will see a surprise RSVP. Any craft is allowed, so maybe he and Cade Laufenburg can show up in belly boats or a rowboat together as a team! Thank you for being cool, Seth, best of luck in the classic, keep representing the Cutlass Supreme driving rock star mullet heads of 1985 with that cool mustache and rack up some trophies this year!
TRAVEL, LODGING, SETUP, 3 DAYS OF EXPO, TEAR DOWN.....
Alex, Kevin, and I all enjoyed our first "business trip" with our fishing lure builds. It was a great vacation from back in our home area, the weather was nice, and the area of Madison in which we were working our show had everything close by. Our dinners, our hotels, gas stations, everything was within a 3 mile radius. We were moving a lot from Thursday to Sunday but didn't use hardly any gas or take any time. Everything was RIGHT THERE. The Alliant Energy Center sets up as a great place to deal with as a vendor.
ALEX BEGINS OUR SETUP ON FRIDAY MORNING. HE DID A GREAT JOB & WORKED HARD!
HARD TO BELIEVE HOW THIS EMPTY BUILDING FILLED UP SO FAST!
ALEX IS BUSY STOCKING LURES. HE BROUGHT 584 OF HIS DESIGNS TO THE EXPO
BEING A LURE DESIGNER CAN GET YOU PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES WITH PRETTY GIRLS, SUCH AS THE ADORABLE MISS HAYLEE FROM SMALL CRAFT OUTFITTERS KAYAK GUIDING & SALES
OF COURSE WE HAD TO CHECK OUT SCO GUIDE TYLER THEIDE'S BOOTH. TYLER & HIS GOOD FRIEND CHANG LOR ARE KAYAK GUIDES IN WESTERN WISCONSIN & PREMIUM KAYAK DEALERS. THIS 11.5 LURE KAYAK IS A BLAST TO USE, AND NOW HAS A PEDAL-DRIVE AVAILABLE!! OF COURSE HE HAD THE MUST-HAVE JB'S FISH SAUCE FOR SALE!
TYLER & HAYLEE PREPARED FOR THE LONG WEEKEND & HEAVY TRAFFIC IN THE KAYAK CORRIDOR
EXHAUSTED BOYS GOT SOME REST, AND EVEN BLUE BUNNY MADE THE TRIP. HE HAD FUN TOO!
RIGHT BACK AT IT SATURDAY MORNING. FACEBOOK LIVE TO KICK OFF THE DAY, AND BY 10 AM THE EXPO WAS PACKED!
THE LOCAL CONSERVATION CLUBS, THE COUNTY, THE STATE, & BAST-DURBIN WORK TOGETHER EVERY YEAR TO DONATE TO CONSERVATION EFFORTS. THEY ALSO BROUGHT THIS COOL TANK IN FULL OF WISCONSIN NATIVE FISH. THOSE PERCH LOOKED SO TASTY!
VERY SPECIAL PICTURE THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET
MUCH-NEEDED NIGHT OUT FOR FOOD WITH SOME OUTSTANDING GUYS IN THE KAYAK BUSINESS! THESE GUYS WERE ALL VERY KIND TO US & A LOT OF FUN! THANK YOU FOR INVITING KEVIN & I! WE LOVED IT!
I WAS VERY SURPRISED & EXCITED TO SEE THAT THE UW-STOUT BOYS SHOWED UP. WE ARE SPONSORING THEM THIS SEASON & ARE PROUD THAT THESE GUYS ARE THROWING OUR LURES. WE MAY EVEN HAVE A NEW "BLUE DEVIL" COLOR TWIST DESIGNED PERSONALLY BY PRESIDENT ZACH HANSEN (RIGHT.) BRADLEY LORRIGAN (LEFT) IS THE TEAM'S TREASURER. GOOD LUCK IN 2018!
AND A GUY I WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO MEET WAS OUR SALES REP FOR OUR ACME/KALIN'S PRODUCTS, CHRIS WILSON. CHRIS IS A SUPER COOL GUY AND IS BEHIND A LOT OF THE MARKETING OF THEIR KILLER SOFT PLASTICS. THE KALIN'S SIZMIC SHAD IS DYNAMITE ON OUR LOVERTAIL 2. I LOVE THEM ON CHATTERBAIT-STYLE JIGS AS WELL. ALSO CHECK OUT THE KALIN'S 3" SCRUB TRAILER AND THEIR 4" SIZMIC TOAD. BOTH HAVE PADDLE FEET FOR KILLER VIBRATION.
ALEX MAKES WISCONSIN OUTDOOR NEWS WITH HIS BABY SQUID BAIT CATCH!
THANK YOU CUSTOMERS FOR GIVING OUR LURES A CHANCE! PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FISH CATCH PICTURES AND ANY CUSTOM COLOR LURE DESIGN ORDERS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE US TO MAKE FOR YOU!!
Jesse James is an avid fisherman that loves smallmouth bass fishing, loves spending time with his family, with other family-orientated people, and loves seeing children fish. A huge fan of BASSMASTER Elite Mike Iaconelli, like Mike, he is known to be a little strange, and obnoxious, but only to have fun and make people laugh.