Swimbait Universe Gatherings Announced – Wired2Fish

The Swimbait Universe team has announced that the fourth annual The Gathering, the largest bait-focused event east of the Mississippi River, will be held in late September at Rockahock Campground in Virginia, on the banks of the Chickahominy River. The weekend’s showcase event will be a consumer-focused trade show on Saturday the 24th. There will also be a swimbait only tournament on Sunday the 25th. Based on past precedents, the group expects swimbait fanatics swimbait and many of the major players in this subculture are starting to arrive mid-week to socialize and fish.

“When we started this in 2019, we didn’t know what to expect, but it has exceeded our plans and continues to grow every year,” said Wayne Campbell, Swimbait Universe administrator and event organizer. “Not just our number of visitors, but also the number and scope of our exhibitors, and the distance from which they are willing to travel.”

Indeed, the Universe expects to have at least 25 swim bait companies and affiliated entities, such as rod builders, at this year’s gathering. They will include reputable small scale makers such as Pizz Swimbaits, Lanciotti Lures, Reckless Rodents, Phoney Frogs and of course Mike Bucca’s Bull Shad. This is an opportunity to not only get lures that are usually hard to buy, but also items that may be unique. Last year, attendees began queuing at 6 a.m. in the rain to check out some of their most coveted items, and while the shopping was fierce, no one left empty-handed or completely disappointed.

“Some people have compared it to a mini-ICAST of swimbaits,” said fellow Swimbait Universe admin Chad Meenan. “Whether you’re a big bait enthusiast or just want to see what it’s all about, this event is for you, and it’s really convenient for anyone on the East Coast.” It’s a chance to meet people you may only know on social media and get a better understanding of how and why big bait can be deadly. The social aspect is as important as the buying opportunities.

For those unable to attend this event, Swimbait Universe has already announced plans for a similar gathering in Lake Fork in April 2023.

Exhibitor space is still available for both events.

For more information, visit the Swimbait Universe Facebook page.


Sara H. Byrd