When most people go to a fishing show, they pay good money to get into the show so that they can pay more for products than they would have online. So what's the purpose of going to a show, like the Ultimate Sports Show next weekend in Grand Rapids, MI? Here are three solid ideas to consider before attending a show:
1. Be strategic. Go to the show with the intent to look at a couple of products that you are considering investing in. I did this at the Novi show. I wanted to connect with Garmin and talk to pro and actually touch the units - seeing them in action is way better than looking at them online. That sold me on switching from Lowrance to Garmin! Two years ago I stopped at the Okuma booth and fell in love with their rods and reels. Now that's all I fish and guide with. Think through a couple of different products (rods, reels, electronics, resorts/vacations, guides, etc.) and spend time familiarizing yourself with them. Only buy something if it's a smoking hot deal. Most likely you can go home and order it and save money!
2. Go to learn. You can look at on the Ultimate Sports Shows at the different seminars that are offered. I plan on sitting in on Lance Valentine's seminar on the Detroit River. That river continues to plague me and I hope this is the spring I can shake its curse. Mark Martin, Mark Romanack, and Marianne Huskey will prove to be worth your time!
3. Build relationships. Over the last couple years, I have met a number of people that have become friends and have helped me as a fisherman. I met a charter captain who is open to receiving texts to give updated ice conditions. Last year I learned about Lance Valentine's new walleye tournament series and got to fish a tournament and further develop friendships with a bunch of solid guys.
If you end up at the show, come out and learn more about Okuma and Savage Gear. I will be at the booth on Friday and Saturday. Guide Andy Black will be there on Saturday. I'd love to meet you and talk with you about Okuma and Savage. If you've been thinking about booking a guide trip, we'd love to do that with you at the show as well!
With just a little intentionality, you can make attending the Sports Show this spring a way to improve your fishing skills and understanding. Hope to see you this upcoming weekend!