Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi is hosting the Ultimate Fishing Show-Detroit, the nation’s biggest fishing show in the country’s largest freshwater fishing market. The event opens its doors today and runs until Jan. 12.
“With last year’s expansion at Suburban Collection Showplace we’ve now got seven full acres of fishing boats, fishing tackle, fishing gear, fishing vacations, fishing seminars, and factory-direct exhibits,” says Ben Nielsen, the show’s manager. “This show is perfect for anyone interested in fishing, from beginners to tournament pros.”
The Ultimate Fishing Show-Detroit has more than 250 different boats on display from 40 manufacturers.
“This is the place to buy your fishing boat,” Nielsen says. “If you want a boat in the spring you need to order it in the winter to ensure spring delivery.”
The show features seminars, free with show admission, every hour on five stages. Nearly every Michigan game fish species will be covered during the event’s four days.
Headlining this year’s seminar lineup are national bass fishing personalities and Michigan residents Kevin VanDam and Mark Zona. VanDam, a four-time Bassmaster Classic champ and seven time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, will make a special appearance today. Zona, host of “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” and a regular on several ESPN Outdoors shows, also will make an appearance on Jan. 10.
Joining these two celebrities in the seminar lineup are bass professionals Joe Thomas, Wayne Carpenter, and Gerry Gostenik along with nationally acclaimed walleye experts Mark Martin, Mark Romanack, and Lance Valentine, ice fishing specialist Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, and many other national and local fishing experts.
This year’s show features the largest ice fishing display in the state at the greatly expanded Ultimate Ice Fishing Village. Along with a shanty truckload sale, there will be a variety of augers, electronics, tackle, and gear for sale. Manufacturer exhibits from Clam, Otter, Ardisam (Eskimo), Frabill, Striker, and more will be on hand all four days of the show to answer questions and explain the features of their line of ice fishing equipment.
Other highlights of the show include fish cleaning demonstrations, a virtual fishing simulator, a stocked trout pond, fly casting and fly tying lessons, and a shore lunch fish fry.
Admission is free on opening day for patrons who bring six cans or boxes or four pounds of non-perishable 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 and area food banks.
Show hours are 1-9 p.m. today; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 14. Children under 5 are free. On-site parking is $5.
In other nautical news, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that retail unit sales of new powerboats held steady in 2019 at approximately 280,000 units, the second highest total since 2007. The group expects sales to be up as much as 2 percent in 2020.
Overall, Michigan was third in the nation with estimated total sales of new powerboats, engines, trailers, and accessories of $1.1 billion, up 10 percent from the previous year.