When the weather turns wet, cold and miserable, the rugged outdoorsperson heads to the Sacramento Expo grounds for the annual Sportsmen’s Expo that is so huge that it can keep him or her occupied for the better part of a four-day weekend.
This year’s expo kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 18 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 21.
It features more than 600 exhibiting companies packed into five buildings and various outdoor spaces. It includes more than 200 free seminars in eight theaters and demonstration areas.
For 2018, new features have been added, including an archery contest, a new Wilderness Camp featuring all kinds of new gear and gadgets for campers, a new outdoor product showcase and adventure theater seminars.
There’s an off-road vehicle test track, and a giant weekend Youth Outdoor Fair, aquarium demonstration tank, kayak theater, sporting-dog arena, and fly-fishing theater.
Tickets are $16 for adults, active duty military and children 15 and under are free.
Expo hours are Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information go to sportsexpos.com.
From Sonoma Valley, head east to Interstate 80 to Sacramento, take the Capital City Freeway exit in West Sacramento (following the signs to Lake Tahoe). Continue on Capital City Freeway, through downtown Sacramento and make the turnoff to Reno. The Cal Expo exit is just northeast of the American River.
Fishing near Sonoma Valley is going to be tempered by weather and generally cold conditions. If the rains continue, sturgeon fishing could pick up in the Bay, particularly in the “sturgeon triangle” bounded by the Pump House, Buoy 5 and China Camp. In the meantime, there are still striped bass biting in the Bay. For the latest conditions and bait, contact Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, 415-456-0321. Keith can also book a spot on a Bay party boat for you.
Weather will also play a role in steelhead fishing on northeast rivers like the Trinity and Klamath. We need the rains to get the fish to come into the rivers and head upstream. If that happens, look for some good action in the north state.
January and February also ought to be good for steelhead on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. I suggest a call to Rachel and Jim Andras at Andras Outfitters to book at trip, 530-722-7992.
The rockfish and ling cod season is closed off the Sonoma Coast, but Capt. Rick Powers and Bodega Bay Sportsfishing is still taking anglers out for Dungeness crab, and probably will offer chances to catch sand dabs, which is a small but delicious flounder. Call Rick at 875-3344.