A wise man once said, "I never want to read another word about a fishing show or a boat show. They are idiotic."

Maybe. But it's almost January, and few of us have the gumption to embark on frigid, fruitless watery adventures for the next few months. So we feed our habit at the hows. It's harmless and inexpensive.

The first of the lot is next weekend-the second annual Chesapeake Sportfishing Show at the National Guard Armory in Annapolis. The cost is $2 for adults and 50 cents for children under 12. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Friday, 10-10 Saturday and 10-6 Sunday.

Among speakers: Pete Barrett, on sea trout fishing in Delaware Bay, and Marty Payne on bass fishing in Maryland. There will be the usual demonstrations and exhibits of tackle and incredible catches, etc.

Racing sailors have their vicarious midwinter blowout Jan. 20 at the fourth Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium at St. John's College, also in Annapolis.

It's an all-day affair with some impressive speakers, including moderator Olin Stephens II. Among the topics: "Selecting a Keel Appendage for a Cruising Yacht from a standard Keel Series" with Deborah W. Berman, and "A Microcomputer Beats to Windward" with Milton U. Clauser.

The program runs 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., including a cocktail party at the end. Admission is $25 for those preregistering early $30 later. For forms write Anne Hays, Box 718, Rt. 1, Chestertown, Md. 21620.

For fly fishermen, Potomac-Patuxent Chapter of Trout Unlimited plans a program at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 with presentations on Montgomery Country trout streams and the Pennsylvania limestone streams. It's free and open to the public. Place: Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton.

Chester Phelps, who started work at the Virginia Game Commission 40 years ago as its first game biologist, retired Wednesday from his post as executive director of the Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries. He said retirement would give him a chance to "balance my checkbook and relieve my wife of having to mow the lawn. And I want to go saltwater fishing without feeling guilty."

The National Capital Casting Club whose members would rather cast than fish, is starting an indoor casting program for the first time. They will be meeting winter Sundays at 10 a.m. at the gym in Robert E. Lee High School Springfield.

The casting club is a collection of nice folks who welcome newcomers.It's the least expensive club in town, with $3 yearly membership dues.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has announced fishing contest winners for the season at Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge Reservoirs.

Howard Steinwandel of Rockville caught the biggest fish last year, a 13-pound 3-ounce pike on April 9 at Triadelphia. Robert Ikeda of Silver Spring was second with a 12-pound 4-ouncer taken at Rocky Gorge Oct. 9

The biggest largemouth bass weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces and was taken April 15 by Peter Congeda of Columbia.John Ballerino of Seabrook landed a 6-pound 3-ounce largemouth April 8.

For smallmouth, Robert Stracener of Kensington took honors with a six-pounder April 18 at Triadelphia. Tony Early of Silver Spring landed a 41/2-pounder June 25 in the same lake.

The biggest crappie was taken in Triadelphia on May 13, a 21/4-pounder hooked by Robert Irvin Chissler of Gaithersburg. Edwin Gamble Jr. of Rockville had a 2-pound 2-ounce crappie four days later.