HOUSTON FISHING SHOW PRESS RELEASE 2018 43rd HOUSTON FISHING SHOW STOKES FISHING FEVER
Forget the flu. Fishing Fever is raging across southeast Texas. The hopes of an early spring and the relief of dodging two major freeze kills are fanning the flames of this seasonal epidemic best treated by vigorous and repeated applications with the nearest rod and reel.
As a plus for coastal bays and inland lakes, the hard winter helped knock back excessive aquatic vegetation clogging many areas. Also worth note, massive storm runoffs last fall brought significant rises to rejuvenate the reservoirs and estuaries.
Overall, the fishing outlook is good - maybe great.
The 43rd annual Houston Fishing Show is well-timed to stoke this Fishing Fever. The angling extravaganza opens Wednesday, Feb. 28, and runs through Sunday, March 4, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. The show dates are about one week earlier than last year, to get a better jump on spring.
The Fishing Show, billed as the largest consumer exhibition of its type in the country, will fill the entire 200,000-square foot Exhibit Hall E (new venue this year) with more than 200 fishing-related booths and exhibits.
The perimeter of the big floor will be rimmed with specialized fishing boats, from blue-water rigs to center-console bay boats, bass boats, flats skiffs and aluminum hulls. Kayaks and paddleboards "tricked" for fishing will be on prominent display.
Thousands of new rods, reels, lures, lines and accessories will be on display, many backed by guides, pro-class anglers and factory representatives. On-going fresh and saltwater seminars will be conducted daily, and Saturday and Sunday will feature the free Kids' Clinic with various prizes up for grabs (for the complete daily seminar schedule, go to: www.houstonfishingshow.com).
Major tackle retailers in the Houston area will have large displays. Not the least of these is Fishing Tackle Unlimited, the largest tackle retailer in the nation, and a big part of the Fishing Show since its early years.
The big show typically boasts public unveilings of new items, and this year's extravaganza is no exception. Tackle from virtually all of the big-name manufacturers (as well as local entrepreneurs) will be on parade and review, some for the first time in the Houston market. Some exhibits will be offering "show special" prices on select items, making the event a great place to pick up an extra rod or reel. Or maybe two or three.
The brands of hard plugs and soft plastics are too numerous to mention, but the kaleidoscope of "killer baits" up and down the aisles runs the gamut of fresh and saltwater offerings significant to this region. Suffice to say, if it has hooks and it works on anything this side of a broadbill swordfish, the newest version almost certainly will be at the show.
And a pro who knows an awful lot about it will be able to "talk story" with you.
Not to be lost amid the "main stuff" are the many exhibits of polarized sunglasses, specialized clothing and footwear, wading gear, fishing tools, boating accessories, and other add-ons aimed at improving the hours on the water.
Fly fishing is well-established in Texas, due in no small part to the Houston-based Texas Fly Fishers. The club, founded during the 1980s, has monthly meetings and organizes various trip and events. TFF members will host a booth and offer fly tying demonstrations and tips on local fresh and salt destinations.
If it's learning a no-nonsense double haul or simply slapping a panfish popper over the lily pads, the club is a fine place to start.
As a nod to the new wave of young anglers and environmentalists, 17-year old Martin Dietz, United States Youth Fly Fishing team member, and 16-year old Spencer McNamara of the Texas Coastal Brigade will be in the booth (clinic scheduled for 12:45 Saturday).
Fly or plug or bait, a trip or two with a pro is great way to fine-tune for new fishing season. Dozens of Gulf Coast guides, both fresh and salt, will be manning booths and providing tips. Some are featuring discounted trips, making the show a solid launch pad for a productive outing. Being able to talk face-to-face when lining up a specialized charter is a big plus.
Houston is a major market for fishing travel, with non-stop flights to numerous far-flung angling destinations (Southwest Airlines out of Hobby and United Airlines out of Bush now competing for international business). Outfitters and lodges from Alaska to South America will be represented. Again, deals for package trips often are available.
Several regional fishing magazines will have booths at the show. They include Texas Fish & Game, Texas Saltwater Fishing, Texas Outdoor Journal, and Tide (Coastal Conservation Association's publication). The show is a good opportunity to meet some of the staff and writers that help bring the outdoors to life each month.
Visitors to the CCA booth also might consider joining the rich summer-long STAR Tournament. One of the truck/boat/motor packages for catching a CCA-tagged redfish will be on display.
Fortunately, the five-day run of Houston Fishing Show allows ample time for a return visit. Put another way, it might be difficult to cover the entire event during a single tour. It is easy to spend an hour in a single aisle, maybe even in a single booth, and lose track of time.
This is because the annual extravaganza is more than an exhibition of new tackle; it is a rendezvous of anglers, new and old, all ready for the coming of spring. And this year, once again, Fishing Fever is running high.
FISHING SHOW FACTS
WHAT: 43RD ANNUAL HOUSTON FISHING SHOW.
WHERE: GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER, EXHIBIT HALL E (NEW VENUE).
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28, THROUGH SUNDAY, MARCH 4.
SHOW HOURS: NOON TO 9 P.M., WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY; 10 A.M. TO 7 P.M., SATURDAY; 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M., SUNDAY.
ADMISSION: ADULTS _ $12; CHILDREN (AGES 6-12) _ $3.