With more than 400,000 licensed anglers living within an hour’s drive of Suburban Collection Showplace, the Ultimate Fishing Show – Detroit drops anchor in the middle of America’s largest freshwater fishing market. Anglers attend the annual show to find the season’s best value on fishing boats and angling gear and to book fishing adventures from the dozens of professional guides, charter boat captains, lodges and outfitters. The finest boat dealers specializing in fishing boats are bringing more than 200 new fishing boats, complete with motors and trailers and fully tricked out for immediate angling action. They will unveil the state’s most complete assortment of fishing boats representing 40 brands at the new year’s best prices.

UFD offers four acres of boats, tackle, gear, and specialized fishing equipment – a smorgasbord for buyers seeking new product selection and value. Frank’s Great Outdoors, Lakeside Fishing Shop, KD Outdoors and other key Michigan retailers are among the 150 tackle exhibitors. Anglers can choose from the plethora of brand names as well as customized, specialized gear that includes cutting-edge electronics, fishing-boat accessories, and the newest offerings in downriggers, outriggers, rods, reels, nets, lines, lures and other gear.

Because of its sheer size, the show attracts representatives from major manufacturers such as Berkley, Fenwick, Lowrance, Okuma, Shimano, Offshore Tackle, Bert’s Custom Tackle and others.

Many guides, outfitters, lodges, charter fishing captains and other destination vendors have reserved space again this year. The “Outfitters Expo” is a popular show within the show that offers fishing and family vacations throughout Michigan, the Great Lakes, Canada and beyond. Patrons can compare costs and services by speaking directly to lodge owners, fishing guides and even bush plane pilots.

Fishing celebrities highlight seminar lineup

Two of the biggest names in bass fishing, Michigan native Mark Zona, and Alabama pro Gerald Swindle will make special appearances at the 2014 Ultimate Fishing Show – Detroit (UFD), Jan. 9-12 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Their appearances highlight a star-studded list of seminar speakers who will appear at Michigan’s biggest fishing show, in Michigan’s biggest fishing market.

Zona is well known as a passionate and opinionated angler and expert on bass tournament fishing. He made a reputation for himself in the industry with a rod and reel, and now hosts his own show on the Outdoor Channel – Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show. He has appeared as a host on several ESPN Outdoors shows. Zona entertains and inspires fans with his high-powered seminars and will make a special appearance at UFD on Thursday, Jan. 9.

Swindle, a native of Locust Fork, Alabama, is bass fishing’s funniest man, but beyond the constant supply of humorous quips that drip with his fast-talking southern drawl is a top-flight professional gifted with fishing talent. Swindle is a former Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year winner and a qualifier for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, slated for February 21-23 on Lake Guntersville, in Birmingham, Alabama.

More than 100 additional free fishing seminars by some of the top anglers in the country are scheduled during the four-day event. Marianne Huskey, the first female ever to win the AIM walleye Angler of the Year; Mark Martin, “The Original Champ” of the Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) Championship; Mark Romanack, host of the popular TV series Fishing 411; and Hall-of-Fame muskie guide Bob Brunner are some of the other big names scheduled to appear.

“Once again, the Ultimate Fishing Show – Detroit will bring some of the biggest names in the professional fishing industry to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi,” says UFD show manager Ben Nielsen. “We’ve got Mark Zona, Mark Romanack and Mark Martin leading the strong contingent of Michigan natives who will appear at the show. We’ve also stepped outside the state to present such nationally-acclaimed talent as Gerald Swindle and Marianne Huskey to give us an unrivalled lineup of seminar speakers.”

With hundreds of exhibitors bringing the latest tackle, gear, fishing boats and accessories to town; dozens of outfitters and guides; direct-factory exhibits staffed with designers, technicians and other manufacturers’ experts as well as specialty bait vendors from across the country, this truly is the Ultimate Fishing Show.

The fact that ice fishing season often doesn’t get started until sometime in January here in southern Michigan hasn’t been overlooked. This year’s Ultimate Fishing Show – Detroit will feature more ice fishing gear than any other show in Michigan.

Manufacturer representatives from Clam, Shappell, Otter Outdoors, Frabill, Eskimo, Normark, Marcum, Strikemaster, and many more have committed to attend. Multiple retailers, including Frank’s Great Outdoors, will be present at UFD with truckloads of ice fishing tackle and gear. Daily seminars will be given by some of the best ice anglers in the business. Members of the North American Ice Fishing Circuit and Anglers Point Marine Ice Fishing Series will appear at
UFD as well as the new Saginaw Bay Guide Service.

Weekend Ultimate clinics are scheduled for bass, walleye and salmon. These two-hour-long clinics are seminars on steroids packed with insider information on the newest techniques and top places to fish. Taught by the industry’s top professionals, the seminars are limited to 100 attendees each and charge a nominal fee, which is returned via sponsor goody bags. Sign up early at the show and receive a free pass for the Saturday or Sunday super clinic.

Special features galore

The Hawg Trough, a crowd-pleasing, mobile 5,000-gallon fish tank and seminar platform, returns to UFD. Once on location, the tank is stocked with fish native to the area, and angling experts provide seminars and demonstrations throughout the show. Audience participation by both seasoned anglers and freckle-faced kids keeps the crowd entertained throughout the day. An indoor lake? You bet. With more than 110,000 gallons of water, Lake Ultimate provides seminar leaders like superstars Mark Zona, Gerald Swindle, Marianne Huskey, Mark Martin, Lance Valentine and others an opportunity to present from their rigged fishing boats. By trolling and casting, they actually catch fish while instructing spectators on the intricacies of their sport. By trolling back and forth in front of the bleachers with their bow-mounted trolling motors, the seasoned pros are able to give unique seminars on the most innovative seminar platform of any fishing show in the world.

The Michigan Charter Boat Association will provide show patrons with an opportunity to experience simulated Great Lakes fishing with the Virtual Fishing Simulator. Participants hold a trolling rod in hand and watch a video as a salmon hits their lure. Then the fun begins as the participant attempts to land the salmon while the simulator fights back like a live fish. Michigan charter captains are on hand to coach your fish-playing technique. The computer grades your ability and the best scores win charter-fishing trips for the summer of 2014. There is a small fee to participate and all proceeds benefit the MCBA’s scholarship fund.

The Virtual Reality Simulator, offering show patrons the unique opportunity to enjoy the thrill of water skiing or wakeboarding – in January, without getting wet, returns this year. Experience the simulated thrill of throwing a back roll on a wakeboard or hitting a ski jump at 80 mph and flying 240 feet in the air.

UFD is appealing to anglers of all ages and persuasions

The show attracts anglers of all ages and levels of experience.The Trout Pond will have live rainbows for “kids” young and old to catch and some lucky anglers win prizes every day. The popular Step-Up Mini Clinics provide updates on current fishing hot spots, seasonal patterns, new techniques and how-to demonstrations.

The Michigan Fly Fishing Club and local fly fishing stores have teamed up to create a huge area devoted specifically to fly fishing. Show patrons of all ages and skill levels can participate in a free fly casting lessons, learn to tie a fly or catch a seminar by a local fly-fishing expert.

Lots of promotions and prizes

Patrons who attend the Ultimate Fishing Show–Detroit may register to win one of two amazing prizes to be given away by ShowSpan.

One lucky winner will walk away with a fishing trip for four to sunny Florida. The package, provided in part by Visit Florida, includes airfare, accommodations and a chartered billfish outing (sailfish, swordfish, marlin, etc.) on the Atlantic ocean. Show patrons may also register to win a 16-foot, side console StarWeld fishing boat by StarCraft, with an Evinrude motor and a trailer.

Michigan companies, Eppinger Manufacturing of Dearborn and Bass Stopper Lures of Hastings, are donating free fishing gear to Ultimate Fishing Show – Detroit attendees.

The first 500 attendees to the Ultimate Fishing Show on Thursday and Friday only will receive a free commemorative Dardevle fishing lure from Eppinger Mfg.

Eppinger is a fourth-generation, family-owned Michigan fishing lure manufacturer with a century-long history of producing the world-famous Dardevle spoon. These special lures bear the logo of the show and a special run of only 1,000 has been made just for this event. Make sure to attend early to secure this valuable collector’s item. Factory experts from Eppinger Mfg. will be at the show every day to answer questions.

The first 500 attendees to the show on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free Bass Stopper lure. UFD and Stopper Lure Company have teamed up to make this special offer possible. Every angler has room for a Bass Stopper Lure in his or her tackle box.

K & E Stopper Lures was founded in Hastings, Michigan in 1968 and has been producing quality fishing tackle ever since.

Admission and show hours

Admission is free on Thursday for patrons who bring 6 cans/boxes or 4 pounds of nonperishable food items to donate to the annual Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger food drive.

The food will be collected by volunteers from local conservation organizations and donated to the Red Cross & area food banks.

Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 14. There is no charge for children 5 and under.

Discount coupons are available at Wendy’s Restaurants and on-line at www.UltimateFishingShow.com.

Parking is $5 per entry parking rate for on-site parking.

Show hours are Thursday, 3 to 9:30; Friday, 11 to 9:30; Saturday, 10 to 9; Sunday, 10 to 5.

For more information, go to www.UltimateFishingShow.com or call 800-328-6550.

You can also follow late-breaking news and developments on Facebook at ULTIMATESPORTSHOWTOUR.

It’s the Ultimate Fishing Show – Detroit, and it comes only once each year. The 2014 dates again are January 9 to 12 at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

Logo courtesy Ultimate Fishing Show

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