If there is one thing most Texas fisherman do not get excited about, it is fishing in the cold. Add rain or wind to that cold and about the only folks you will find on the lakes are a few crazy fishing guides.
Do not ask me how I know this!
So what is the next best thing to being on the water during the winter months? For many, it is enjoying the company of other anglers in an environment where they can trade notes with other fishermen, take in seminars about angling, see all the latest fishing gadgets and gear, plan the upcoming season’s adventures and more.
Enter the winter boat show.
Boat shows allow anglers to meet, at a single time and place, experts in the field of boating, fishing, kayaking, bowfishing, water skiing, wakeboarding and more. No matter your level of expertise, there are lessons to be learn from the years of experience represented at boat shows which allow you to walkaway more well-prepared for the season ahead.
With this in mind, I have researched a handful of worthwhile boat show stops you might consider making over the next 60 days or so. While these are all worthy destinations on their own accord, you should certainly avail yourself of the opportunity of attending these should travel on business or for pleasure find you already in the vicinity.
HOUSTON BOAT SHOW
The Houston boat show — officially named the Houston Boat, Sport, and Travel Show — is taking place for the 63rd year running, It began Friday in the NRG Center and continues through Jan. 14 The is the “granddaddy of them all” when it comes to Texas boat shows. In scale, diversity of topics and duration, no other Texas boat show comes close to this one. This show features the Gear, Guides, and Tackle Territory in which most of the fishing-related vendors can be found in one consolidated area. Admission is $12 for those 13 and older, $5 for those 6-12 and free for those 5 and under.
AUSTIN BOAT SHOW
The Austin Boat and Travel Trailer show will be held in the Austin Convention Center from Jan. 18-21. According to the organizer’s website, this event will showcase all local boat dealers with ski boats, fishing boats, yachts, bay boats, pontoons, wake sport boats and kayaks, as well as a large selection of RV dealers featuring travel trailers, toy haulers, teardrop trailers and fifth wheels. Adult admission is $10.
CENTRAL TEXAS BOAT SHOW
The most local of all the shows will be held in our own Bell County Expo Center on Jan. 26-28.
The Central Texas Boat Show enters its 42nd year this year. Once again this year, on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the top TuffMan bass tournament competitors will bring their fish in from both Belton and Stillhouse lakes for a live weigh-in. The team with the highest cumulative weight from the two-day tournament will pocket approximately $30,000 in money and prizes. Adult admission is $7.
I will be manning my Holding the Line Guide Service booth and would love to talk with you at this show.
DALLAS/FORT WORTH BOAT SHOW
The DFW Boat Expo will be held Feb. 2-4 and 8 -11 at the Dallas Market Hall on Stemmons Freeway. Adult admission is $12.
HOUSTON FISHING SHOW
Finally, of all these shows, the annual Houston Fishing Show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from Feb. 28 through March 4 is the most fishing-intensive. This show will feature an extensive variety of guest speakers covering all manner of angling from fresh to salt, from fly to gear, and from in-state to international.
If the cold is keeping you inside, and being inside is giving you cabin fever, take a road trip to a boat show and rub elbows with a community of like-minded fishing and boating enthusiasts this winter.
See you at the boat show!