Fishing ExpoFor the average fisherman, winter can be a frustrating game of watching the clock until spring rolls back around. Most take advantage of the spare time by restocking their tackle boxes, replacing damaged or old equipment, or sampling some of the newest products available. However, there is another part of the offseason that should have every angler bursting with anticipation: fishing expos.

Outdoor shows, normally held at expo centers or arenas, are a great way for anglers to immerse themselves in the fishing atmosphere. In many instances, there are professional anglers present to provide lectures and demonstrations on various tackle and tactics. These demonstrations are great learning experiences, as they illustrate the skills and techniques that have helped such professionals reach success on the water. They also take the time to sign autographs and pose for pictures with all their fans, young and old.

You can also engage in fun competitions with your fellow anglers at many fishing expos. Often there are games such as casting or trivia contests, and even scavenger hunts for children, to boost the spirits of restless outdoorsmen and help cure them of cabin fever. The prizes range from free product samples to discount coupons at your local retailer. Speaking of samples, these expos are filled to the walls with stands, booths, and vestibules where many vendors offer complementary lures and the like.

More often than not, fishing expos are perfect opportunities for local and small businesses, specializing in fishing services such as guide services or bait retail to obtain some exposure to the public. This is a great chance for anglers to support their local specialists and pay tribute to those unsung businesses who sometimes struggle to earn a living by sharing their love for the outdoors with others of the same mindset.

I urge every angler whose eyes shoot from their tackle to the window over and over again to check out the paper or search the internet for outdoors expos in their area. These shows are riddled with so many chances to meet professionals, sample new products, win prizes, and show support for local businesses. We all show camaraderie and friendship on the water, so then continue to do so by immersing yourself among your fellow anglers this offseason. I promise, after taking one step inside a fishing expo and witnessing all that it has to offer, it’ll seem like you never left the lake in the first place.

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