In less than two weeks, the Second Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo will be here. Set for Jan. 23-25 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, will be focusing on education as a huge attraction platform. There will be over 120 educational seminars for kids, women, adults of all levels of experience and more. While there will be over 100 seminars on all aspects of fishing, there will also be seminars on nature photography, hunting, kayaking, ladies shooting, kids fishing/outdoors and more. Check out the website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com for a list of seminars and exhibitors.
Right now, there are nearly 100 different exhibitor booths for the entire show; an extra 60-plus tables on Sunday as part of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association's Marketplace - a show within a show. Admission is just $8 for adults; free for kids 10 and under. All of this is included with the price of admission. There will also be a host of kid's activities including a fishing pond and an air rifle shooting trailer. It's a perfect remedy for a case of cabin fever! To find out more information, visit the website or call the Conference and Event Center at 716-278-2100.
Here's just a few of the amazing attractions (not in any order of ranking) that are designed to get people out of the house and into the Conference Center:
- Charlie Alsheimer - On Jan. 23 of the Expo, Alsheimer will be giving two quality seminars free for attendees - one on Creative Nature Photography and a second on Ultimate Deer Hunting. Alsheimer is a legend in the outdoor world and his insight into whitetail deer is both extremely knowledgeable and thought provoking. If you are a deer hunter and you've never heard Charlie speak, you owe it to yourself to sit in on his seminar. If you own a camera and want to take better pictures outside, there isn't anyone better with the outdoors as a subject.
- Matt Straw - If you are into fishing, Matt Straw will be someone you'll want to spend some time with. He's around all three days giving seminars and his expertise on angling is phenomenal. He's written for every major angling publication in the country, including In Fisherman, Great Lakes Anglers, Salmon-Trout-Steelheader and more. And he's one of more than 50 speakers for the entire Expo with over 100 seminars on fishing alone with the Greater Niagara Fishing Academy.
- Gerry Rightmyer and Steve Schicker - Co-hosts of Forever Wild Outdoors Adrenaline Adventures that appears on the Sportsman Channel and they are a welcome addition to the show this year, offering seminars and will promote the TV show at their booth - a couple of Western NY guys making good. Stop in to seen Gerry's impressive Kansas buck that he took in 2006, currently ranked in the top 25 all-time. Steve is a five time NY State Turkey Calling Champion.
- Ponds and Pellets - Niagara River Anglers kids fishing pond and the Niagara County Federation's air rifle range, some great hands-on fun for the next generation of outdoors enthusiasts. The NRAA pond will give youngsters the opportunity to catch a fish; the Federation's indoor range will teach safe gun handling with pellet guns and give them a chance to shoot at targets.
- Fishing Electronics Know-How - Lowrance Electronics Pro-Staffer Lance Valentine will be giving some expert instruction on the use of marine electronics. And if you actually own a Lowrance HDS Unit, bring it to the show and receive a free update from Valentine at his booth. You are guaranteed to learn something new when you listen to Valentine on using this important fishing tool.
- Ice Fishing Focus - Ice fishing is getting a slow start this year and it's a great time to get in tune with hard water angling - whether you are a beginner learning more on how to get started or an expert learning to expand your ice fishing knowledge. There's plenty of stuff for the kids, too, in the way of ice fishing activities. Scott Brauer will have a huge display of ice fishing gear and Mike Smith from the Clam Corp. will be on hand to answer ice fishing questions, too. Tim Thomas from the NY State Pro-Am Ice Tournaments and Winter Classic will be offering information on his new fishing competitions.
- Winning Outdoor Photo Exhibit from the Pros - The Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) will be showcasing their winning photos of the 2014 Excellence in Craft Contests with a travelling exhibit that appears around the country. This is the only appearance in New York State. And if you want to learn how to take better photos outdoors, attend the Charlie Alsheimer seminar on Friday afternoon at 3 pm - he's one of the best in the business!
- Craig Robbins and Oakridge Outdoors - Craig Robbins and his merry band of pro staffers will be talking turkey, goose and deer at their exhibitor booth and on stage to share their outdoor knowledge to show goers. Robbins and company manufactures game calls and hosts a TV show that appears on Wilderness Outdoors TV.
- LOTSA Lake Ontario Marketplace - Many diehard anglers come into town just for this event, offering over 60 tables of new and used equipment, manufacturers, charter captains, derbies and tournaments - free with admission into the main expo. It's a show within a show and it can help to expand your knowledge or get you started. Become a member of LOTSA for just $10 and take advantage of their excellent education seminars throughout the year. Proceeds are earmarked for the club's pen rearing project in Olcott. There's also the club's popular Salmon School on Saturday the 24th. Three expert speakers with a full day of instruction. There are still a couple of openings left and the deadline for registering is Jan. 18. The website to sign up has been altered due to a technical issue. Head to http://www.lotsa1.org/index.html or give Joe Yaeger a call at 545-7742.
- Cabela's Showcase - The opening of the new Cabela's store in Cheektowaga was exciting last August and they came on board with the show as a partner right away. They will be bringing in some heavy equipment like tractors, ATVs and other gear to show off some things that sportsmen and women didn't realize they had. In addition they will be sharing some of their mounts throughout the Expo. It will be a nice baptism into the Western New York show scene.
- Float Your Boat - The Expo is a great way to do your homework as far as finding a new boat for 2015. Two boat dealers will be there - Brobeil Marine from Buffalo and Anchor Marine from Grand Island - to show off some water craft and answer questions for people interested in purchasing a boat.
- Kayaking, To Paddle or Pedal? - Paths, Peaks and Paddles will offer up a bunch of their kayaks in the Expo, including giving people the option of paddling or pedaling as far as self propulsion. There will be several seminars by local experts on fishing out of kayaks, an up and coming craze around the country.
At the top of all this is the Greater Niagara Region Fishing Academy, anglers of all ages and levels of experience should take advantage of the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo's huge commitment to Fishing education, focusing on the Great Lakes angling experience in our backyard. This unique "Fishing Academy" will consist of over 100 fishing-related seminars put on by over 50 local and regional experts who fish the World Class angling waters in Western New York and Southern Ontario - starting with the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The seminars (held in the state-of-the-art Conference and Event Center of Niagara Falls, a perfect facility for the Academy) will cover such topics as Great Lakes salmon, walleye, bass, trout, musky, steelhead, perch and carp; methods include trolling, drifting, ice fishing, tributary fishing, fly fishing, kayaking fishing; other topics focus on boat rigging and marine electronics. Best of all, the "Fishing Academy" is free with admission to the show! In addition to local experts, some big name headliners will key in on applications pertinent to our waters, such as Matt Straw with In-Fisherman and marine electronics expert Lance Valentine with Walleye 101. Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis. The schedule and details for all of the Seminars are posted online.