Massena Fishing Expo Friday-Sunday filled with vendors, seminars, games for kids, much more
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 5:42 pm

BY ELLEN NESBITT
North Country This Week

MASSENA – Locals have known for years that the St. Lawrence River Valley is an exceptional place to fish, and with more high-caliber fishing tournaments coming to the region, anglers from all over are finding that out as well.

This year’s season starts out with the Massena Fishing Expo beginning at 1-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at at the St. Lawrence Centre., NYS Hwy. 37. The expo continues 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Featured will be more than 70 vendors, at least a dozen seminars presented by professional anglers, a kids’ trout pond, archery range and other youth activities.

When the first Bassmasters tournament hit Waddington a few years ago, it was a big deal.

"I thought I would check out what this big event was happening in my backyard," said Waddington resident Arlene Stillwell. "It was great to see all the excitement. And I, no pun intended, got hooked."

Stillwell, is known as a Bassmaster superfan, despite the fact that she doesn’t fish herself.

She loves it when the bass boats roll into town.

She also expects that she will check out the Massena Fishing Expo this weekend, to meet some of her old friends.

During a recent tournament, Stillwell took over the SnapChat channel for the Bassmasters, and did a short clip of Fizzing Fish with Barbara Elliot, director of conservation for the B.A.S.S. Nation, who will be demonstrating the technique at the event.

The technique is a way to help bass to survive captivity and be able to be released back to the water.

And in addition to the demonstrations and vendors with fishing gear, tackle and boat displays, fishing pros and celebrities will be on hand as well, including Adrian Avena.

Avena is with MLF (Major League Fishing) and has won over six figures in prize money during his career.

“The anglers find the area wonderful and love that the people are so friendly and supportive,” Stillwell said. “It is like no other place they compete. They feel at home here, and say ‘you guys go out of your way here to say hello and support us.’”

There are many great stories to be shared between anglers, and the Expo is a great place to do that. Stillwell remembers pro angler Mark Davis during the first day of a weigh in in Waddington. He said he had hooked something big. “Ya’ll have northern alligators up here,” Stillwell related. Davis had hooked a muskie.

Admission to the expo is $12 and children younger than 12 are admitted free. Parking is free.

The schedule of seminars:

 

Friday, Feb. 14

• “Understanding the River Systems – Fishing Current” with MLF pro angler Adrian Avena, seminar stage, 3 p.m.

• “Smallmouth Crush – Targeting Trophy Smallmouth” with Travis Manson, seminar stage, 4 p.m.,.

• “Conservation – Protection of our Smallmouth Fisheries – Fizz Instruction” with Barb Elliott, seminar stage, 5 p.m.

• “How to Produce QUALITY Fishing Videos” with author and TV personality Jim Root, seminar stage, 6 p.m.

 

Saturday, Feb. 15

• “Muskie & Walleye Fishing in the North Country” with Captain Don Lucas, seminar stage, 11 a.m.

• “Smallmouth Crush – Tournament Preparation – Organize and have a SYSTEM!” with professional angler Travis Manson, seminar stage, noon.

• “Understanding the River Systems – Fishing Current” with MLF pro angler Adrian Avena, seminar stage, 1 p.m.

• “Conservation – Protection of our Smallmouth Fisheries – Fizz Instruction” with Barb Elliott, seminar stage, 2 p.m.

• “The North Country – It is all That” with NY DEC, seminar stage, 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15.

• “Swimbaits for Smallmouth” with author and TV personality Jim Root, seminar stage, 4 p.m.

• “An Introduction to Fishing Lake Ontario” with Captain Adam Deslande, seminar stage, 5 p.m

• “North Country is NOW on the Map -- 2020 What’s Coming!” with keynote speaker Don Meisner, seminar stage, 6 p.m.

 

Sunday, Feb. 16

• “Muskie & Walleye Fishing in the North Country” with Captain Don Lucas, seminar stage, 11 a.m.

• “Fish & Cooking Demonstration” with pro angler and chef Jimmy Kennedy, seminar stage, 12 p.m.

• “Understanding the River Systems and Tributaries for Success” with MLF pro angler Adrian Avena, seminar stage, 1 p.m.

• “Conservation – Protection of our Smallmouth Fisheries – Fizz Instruction” with Barb Elliott, seminar stage, 2 p.m.

• “National TV Personality – Reel Braggin’ Rights” with Jim Root, seminar stage, 3 p.m.

To learn more about the Expo see the special page dedicated to the event in this week’s North Country This Week, or visit https://massenafishingexpo.com.