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Fishing for Wintertime Bargains

When you can’t fish, shop

Winter will probably continue to sweep its foulness down on us, at least for the next two months. That means we probably won’t be getting out for much leg stretching. One good thing about this time of year is that there are fishing tackle bargains, and many of them are on the Internet.
    I’ve found a number of sites with good deals on quality tackle. But be warned: Shopping on a foul-weather day can become addictive.
    It is difficult to get a bargain on moderate-priced fishing rods online because of shipping charges ($20 or more). On the other hand, used (but like new) reels are a definite possibility at less than half the going retail price, even less if you don‘t mind a bit of boat rash. Hooks, clones of Kastmasters, Hopkins, Stingsilvers and similar metal baits, blade lures and lure components are also sold here at very low prices.
    eBay is easy to use and my experience over the years has been uniformly excellent.
    If you’re shopping to replenish your fishing lures, Outlet Bait and Tackle (www.overstock.com/bait) features closeouts and discontinued models at a fraction of the usual price. Discounts of 75 percent and more are not uncommon.
    Maul Sales (www.maulsales.com) is another deep-discount tackle store with bargains galore. Its search engine is a bit tedious, but not many places can match its prices for name-brand lures.
    Vimage Outdoors (www.vimageoutdoors.com) is one of my favorites in the fish-fooler department. Winter is the prime time to surf this site as manufacturers clean out their inventories in preparation for the springtime season.
    Several tackle sites celebrate Presidents Day and Valentines Day with generous promotional prices. Tackle Warehouse (www.tacklewarehouse.com) is a good one. While not a deep-discount operation, it has excellent inventory, some closeouts and generally low prices that get even lower during cold weather.
    Tackle Direct (www.tackledirect.com) and Bass Tackle Depot (www.basstackledepot.com) also specialize in the latest equipment at excellent prices that are often even cheaper this time of year.

Saltwater Fishing Expo
    On January 18 at the Frederick County Fairgrounds, the Frederick Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association hosts its Fifth Annual Saltwater Fishing Expo with presentations by local angling luminaries as well as booths offering every kind of tackle you could imagine, plus a fair amount of what you couldn’t. 301-252-0233; http://mssafrederick.com.