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Saltwater fishing expo brings out large crowd ahead of fishing season

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Mason Beach, 7, and his father Chris examine saltwater fishing rods at the 10th annual saltwater fishing expo Saturday at the Frederick Fairgrounds. The event is sponsored by the Frederick Saltwater Anglers.

By: CJ Fairfield

Hundreds of anglers took to the Frederick Fairgrounds on Saturday to attend the 10th annual Saltwater Fishing Expo.

The expo was perfect for the avid fisherman or anyone interested in learning more about the sport. Popular vendors sold bait and tackle, fishing-related art, crabbing supplies, sunglasses and t-shirts, fishing gear and boat accessories. There were also fishing seminars at the expo and boats on display outside.

The expo was organized by the Frederick Saltwater Anglers and, halfway through the eight-hour event, brought out about 1,200 people.

Chris Linetty, treasurer of the Frederick Saltwater Anglers, said the crowd is “on par” with the expo’s prior years, adding that it may have even attracted more people than years past.

The local organization puts on seven events throughout the year including rockfish, flounder and tuna tournaments and a crab feast.

First-time expo-goer, Todd Buchanan of Reading, PA, said he came to the expo to check out the different vendors and to attend the offshore fishing seminar by Captain Mark Hoos of Marli Sportfishing Charters in Ocean City.

Buchanan said he’s been fishing all of his life and goes offshore fishing off the Delaware coast to catch tuna and shark.

He said his favorite part about fishing is “being out on the water and just the fight of the fish,” adding that he bought some rod holders, which he plans to use for the upcoming fishing season.

Virginia resident, Eric Morrisett, was also attending the expo for the first time. He too checked out the deep sea fishing seminar that was held.

Although he’s from Virgina, he has been fishing out of Florida the last three years, as his son went to school there. He said he fished redfish, cobia and snook.

When asked what he loves about fishing, he simply said “everything.”

“It’s nice being out on the water away from everybody,” he said. “It’s nice solitude.”

Eric Kellner, owner of the fishing rod and reel company, The Rod Man, said he was impressed by the expo’s large crowd, even with the expected snow to hit the area.

It was his second time as a vendor at the expo and he said the event is a good reminder for people to go down in their basement and dust off their fishing gear or clean their boat for the rockfish season.

“People are antsy to get out and do something and see what’s new for the next year,” he said. “It’s good to get people the first of the year excited about the season.”

Kellner has been fishing for about 35 years and said rockfish is his favorite fish to catch because “they’re good eating, and they put up a fight.”

Frederick Saltwater Anglers meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Moose Lodge on Patrick Street in Frederick. The meeting is open to the public.

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