Fourth annual Wild Indiana Outdoors in town Jan. 13-14

The fourth annual Wild Indiana Outdoor Expo is coming to the Kokomo Event and Conference Center Jan. 13-14, and coming back for its second year will be the highly-anticipated Bass University.

The two-day event will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event will be held at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center, 1500 N. Reed Road. Admission is $5 at the door with children of 12 years-old or younger admitted free of charge.

This year’s two-day schedule will feature 12 speakers on the main stage and six meet-and-greets. Special guests include Mike Iaconelli and Mark Zona.

“We are proud to announce this year’s special guest speakers include nationally-recognized professional tournament anglers Mark Zona and Mike Iaconelli,” said Aaron Hoschstedler, event organizer. “Both have earned distinction as two of the most well known, prominent anglers.”

In its second appearance at the Wild Indiana Outdoor Expo, the fishing program Bass University will offer seminars over the two-day experience. The comprehensive bass fishing program will include classroom instruction featuring a lineup of new professionals, fishing legends, and retirees of the bass fishing world.

In addition to Iaconelli and Zona will be Cliff Crochet, Bill Lowden, Scott Suggs, and John Crews.

The pros will present many seminars over two days. Each seminar is at least 45 minutes and covers cutting-edge bass fishing tactics, techniques, and tackle. All students will receive a loaded gift bag full of tackle and special offers from sponsors. Participants can register for the event by going to www.thebassuniversity.com.

In addition to the Bass University program, attendees can look forward to the first-ever kids live trout pond.

“We wanted to make this event outdoor friendly for the whole family. This year we incorporated a live trout pond for the kids. That way, at a young age, kids are introduced to the world of outdoors in a controlled environment alongside the help of a professional and their parents,” said Hoschstedler.

Alongside many hunting, fishing, and camping related specialists, exhibitors will be showing products and services for boating, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, campfire cooking, skydiving, and more.

Other vendors include people who offer custom-made knives, fabricated fishing rods, and artificial lures. In total the expo will have 100 exhibits.

 

Chalk Talk: Suggs on suspended fish

Scott Suggs

Editor's note: The following is the latest installment in a series of fishing tips presented by The Bass University. Check back each Friday for a new tip.)

While most bass anglers hate them, Arkansas pro Scott Suggs has at least a million reasons to love suspended bass. 

When he won the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita to claim bass fishing’s first seven-figure check, most of the field was telling him “how tough it was, how bad it stunk,” but Suggs quit practicing a week and a half before the event started and then dominated the tournament by slow-rolling a 3/4-ounce spinnerbait 25 feet deep over much deeper water.

While that event took place in the heart of the summer, one of his favorite times to chase suspenders, it’s not the only time that he targets them – by choice or by necessity. Winter is another time when fish may suspend, typically on main-lake channel swings and creek-channel swings. He’ll target them with a swimbait and a grub. As the season progresses toward the spawn, he’ll look for them on areas adjacent to spawning flats. He’ll stick with the swimbait, but also add a jerkbait to his arsenal. Read more

 

9th: Suggs Happy He Made It Forrest Wood Cup

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> Day 2: 5, 13-11 (10, 28-08) Suggs said the fishing was much tougher today, but he’s more than pleased to have made the final day. 

“Look at the leaders,” he said. “Most of them are all from this area and understand the area and know how things work. To come here and do what I did this week, I’m pleased with it.”

He said in order to make a big move up the leaderboard tomorrow, a lot of things would have to go his way. 

“I’m only on about four spots and there were big fish on them in pre-practice,” he said. “When I came back and saw some good fish, I thought it was the kind that would be what a person needed until I saw what they’re catching. 

“Those big ones would have to show up and I’d need a miracle day and they’d have to have a bad day.” Read more

 

Suggs traps for fourth

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Scott Suggs of Alexander, Ark., reeled his way to fourth place with a total of 68 pounds, 9 ounces.

Suggs was a part of the grass-trapping crew, winding a pair of lipless rattlers over eelgrass in the middle portion of the lake.

His preferred rattlers were a Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe in a rusty gold color and a Berkley Warpig in a special red craw color. He fished both on 12-pound-test Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

“I found several ditches running through those eelgrass flats that bottomed out in about 15 feet of water,” Suggs says. “Anywhere a ditch made a turn or a point was key. I would cast out and count the lure down to five and then start reeling it slowly, just ticking through that grass on the edges of the ditches in 5 to 7 feet.”

 

4th: Bonus Points for Suggs

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> Day 4: 5, 16-14 (20, 68-09) Since the 2017 schedule was released last summer, Suggs had been wondering how the seven-event lineup would impact the points-per-tournament average needed to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup.
After locking up his eighth career FLW Tour top-5 finish, he can set his mind back on a six-event schedule.

“With the seven events and not knowing how the points will shake out, I’m back on a six-event deal now and that’s an awesome feeling,” he said. “I know in six tournaments about what I’ll need to make the Cup. These were bonus points for me.
“Anytime you can get a top-10 finish, if you’re not excited, you don’t need to be out here. I’m tickled to death.”

Suggs continued to mine eelgrass flats today with a lipless crankbait, focusing on both inside and outside edges depending on the weather and wind.

“This morning, I jumped out and went to catching them, but then the wind got up and it when it did, it ripped all of the eelgrass up and destroyed some of my places,” he said. “I couldn’t get my bait down to them so I wish I would’ve had some cleaner areas to go to with a south wind.”

He caught more keepers (12) today than he had the other three days, but he didn’t feel he was around the big fish he needed to make a significant charge at the lead.

“I don’t think the area I was in was loaded with big fish yet,” he said. “There are still a lot of fish deep. I wasn’t on the big girls; I was on the 17-pound average fish. If I had do something over again, I would’ve spent more time around some of the bridges for something to run to on a day like today when you don’t have all the boats to fight with.” Read more

 

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