Fishing license sales are trending upward nationally according to the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and fishing boat sales are said to be leading the industry out of its recession according to Foresight Research and the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association.
The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) is seeing this reality at its Spring Boating Expo which is 30% larger than last year. Fishing boat exhibitors Rose Marine and Prop & Sail/Anglers Marine are both new to the show this year – not having exhibited in 2010. Another fishing exhibitor, Freeway Sports, has a space four times bigger than last year and many other dealers are including fishing boats in their mix. “Dealers take more space when more people are buying boats,” said MBIA’s Nicki Polan. “And they typically show the boats that are selling best.” Sunsport Marine which typically brings in “go fast” boats has half its display dedicated to center-console fishing boats.”
Another growth segment is kayaking. New exhibitor and Michigan retailer Summit Sports is making its debut in the Spring Boating Expo bringing more than 35 kayaks into the show realizing the number of kayaking enthusiasts in Michigan continues to grow. “Can you fish from a kayak? – You bet!” said Polan.
The Discover Boating Center at the Spring Boating Expo is designed to help people determine which boat is best for their needs. “More consumers are inquiring about fishing boats and locations than in the past,” said Polan. “We have experts on-hand who can help them chose the right boat for the type of fishing they want to do.”
Michigan typically has two Free Fishing Weekends each year - one in February and one in June. The next Free Fishing Weekend is June 11 – 12, 2011.
Hundreds of new 2011, 2010 and 2009 model boats for fishing, cruising, skiing and wakeboarding will be featured at the 19th annual Spring Boating Expo, March 17 – 20, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich. In addition to boats, the latest boating engines, motors, accessories, services, clothing and gear will be for sale by nearly 100 boating businesses.
The Spring Boating Expo cruises into the newly named Suburban Collection Showplace (formerly Rock Financial Showplace), March 17 - 20. Admission to the boat show is $10 for adults, children 12 and under are free with an adult. Save $2 – buy your tickets online at www.springboatingexpo.net. Hours are Thursday & Friday: 2PM - 9PM; Saturday: 11AM - 9PM; and Sunday 11AM - 6PM. Parking: Paved, $5 on-site. For Information on promotions and schedules call: 1.800.932.2628 or visit www.springboatingexpo.net.