Search This Blog

The Tradition of Boat, Sport and Fishing Shows

By Mark Romanack

Sport shows are a great place to gain invaluable fishing information.
Visit the page and check out the consumer shows our
team will be attending in 2016. Visit the booth, take in a seminar and
don’t forget to sign up for the Ultimate Walleye Dream Trip giveaway.
When I was breaking into the outdoor business some 30 something years ago, we didn’t have the internet, on-line shopping, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. What we did have were independently owned sport shops, boat dealers and some amazingly popular consumer sport, boat and fishing shows. The “outdoor shows” of the time attracted a healthy number of dealers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, skill levels and walks of life. 

Standing room only was the norm and the buzz these shows generated was something to behold. People would stand in line to get tickets for hours before the show opened. Now that’s enthusiasm for the outdoors!

We still have consumer outdoor shows, but the atmosphere is a little different. With mass merchants on every street corner and internet sales diluting the store front market place, the urgency to attend consumer shows has wained over the years. 

Other changes have also occurred in the outdoor market place. The age of private labeling is upon us and it appears that every mass merchant has come to the conclusion that selling their own “private label” brand is more profitable than selling the brands American outdoorsmen and women have come to trust.

Back in the day, it was competition between dealers at the shows that set up some amazing bargains. The “deals” offered at these shows were one of the primary reasons outdoorsmen and women flocked to these venues. The opportunity to buy the name brand items they coveted and save a buck in the process proved to be simply intoxicating. 

Thankfully the outdoor business still supports some tenacious independent dealers who are more interested in offering their customers name brands than simply maximizing profits. Here in Michigan places like Jay’s Sporting Goods, Frank’s Great Outdoors, D&R Sports Center are just a few of the family owned businesses that cater to the outdoor enthusiast. Ironically, it’s these independent dealers that drive the modern day sport shows. 

To compete with the mass merchants of our world, independent dealers are still attending sport shows, still offering their customers name brand merchandise and yes they cough up some amazing bargains to get folks in the doors.

Sport shows are a great opportunity to meet fishing educators, guides 
and charter captains and also to plan for future fishing adventures.
The entire Fishing 411 team will be attending four different consumer boat, sport and fishing shows this winter. Our 40X50 foot booth is designed to function as an epicenter for information. Product displays for the brands that support Fishing 411 are set up and manned with knowledgeable anglers prepared to answer questions on fishing, boating, marine electronics and safety equipment. 

This is where anglers can come and find product catalogs, sale fliers and get the latest insights on fishing. The Fishing 411 booth doesn’t sell tackle, boats, electronics or motors, but we do refer anglers to dealers in the shows that stock the brands we stand behind.  

Seminars are another big part of the Fishing 411 display. Daily multi-media educational clinics are conducted at each of these events. For a full listing of the consumer shows Fishing 411 will be attending and the seminar topics covered, visit Simply click on the “seminar” tab to view all the show venues, dates and seminar topics.

While you’re on the page don’t hesitate to view one of our on-line television broadcasts, check out the Kindle books for sale, browse the listing of “411” approved outfitters and fishing guides and take a virtual tour of the fishing boats we use and recommend.

In recent years Fishing 411 has also given away some amazing products and trips as an incentive to visit our consumer show booth.  In 2016 Fishing 411 will be giving away an all expenses paid walleye fishing adventure to Watson’s Kaby Lodge in Ontario’s Algoma Country. This three day dream fly-in fishing trip for the winner and a guest includes lodging, meals, boats, motors, gas, fishing tackle and round trip float plane services.

The winners will be the guests of the Fishing 411 film crew, Ontario’s Algoma Country Tourism, Watson’s Kaby Lodge and the Ultimate Sport Show Tour. To sign up simply visit the Fishing 411 booth at a consumer sport show this winter or visit Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare and Gaylord, Michigan for details.

Consumer sport, boat and fishing shows have changed over the years, but this tradition continues to flourish thanks to some independent dealers who understand the big picture. It’s our love of hunting, fishing, boating and the outdoors that keeps the tradition of outdoor shows alive and thriving. 

We invite everyone to attend these shows and stop in at the Fishing 411 display to say hello. Our whole team will be on hand to help make your next fishing trip the best one ever.