Swimbait Universe has announced that it will hold a Gathering at Lake Fork Marina & Motel on April 15. Following on the heels of four such annual events in Virginia, it expects the momentum to continue with a social event, a consumer-focused trade show and a swimbait-only tournament at one of the world’s greatest big-bass venues.
“Fork has always been a destination lake for bass anglers, with a certain mystique about it,” said Swimbait Universe moderator Wayne Campbell. “We are thrilled that Lake Fork Marina & Motel graciously agreed to serve as the host facility. When you think about Texas, you think about the big-bass hunters, guys like Lee Livesay and transplant Chris Zaldain, who have popularized big-bait culture and shown that what were previously thought of as niche baits are actually a viable tournament tool.”
Campbell added that many of the popular retailers who’ve traveled from near and far to Virginia plan to be at this gathering, too, but their ranks will be boosted by some who’ve either thought that Virginia was too far away, or were waiting to see how the event panned out. Each year The Gathering has attracted more attendees and more sellers of both swimbaits and swimbait-affiliated gear. Based on past precedent, the group expects swimbait fanatics and many of the major players in that subculture to start arriving mid-week for socializing and fishing. Lodging at the host site is full, but there are numerous other motels, cabins and other rentals in the vicinity.
“While it continues to grow, these events still have a community feel,” Campbell said. “The whole point is to get together with people who are of like minds or people who are curious about the big baits and the people who throw them. In order to further facilitate the socializing, F5 Custom Rods has generously agreed to host a crawfish boil on Friday night.”
While it’s not lost on this group that swimbaits don’t only produce giant bass, there’s a reasonable expectation that this could be the first official Swimbait Universe get-together that produces a double-digit bass in competition.
Saturday’s show hours will be 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This event will serve as a supplement to the annual Virginia Gathering, which will take place again this fall. Exhibitor space is still available for both events.
For additional information, go to the Swimbait Universe Facebook page.