There will be a variety of Ottawa County exhibitors and boat dealers at the 62nd annual Progressive Cleveland Boat Show at the I-X Center in Cleveland on Jan. 16-20. Sponsoring the inaugural Fishing Expo at this year’s show will be Fishermans Central, a tackle shop in the Akron area that will open its second store in Port Clinton in March 2020.
“The northern Ohio region is rich in fishing opportunities,” said President Michelle Burke of the host Lake Erie Marine Trades Association. “We have excellent smallmouth bass and the world’s best walleye fishery in Lake Erie. Our inland lakes are known for great largemouth bass, muskies and more. Moreover, there currently isn’t a good fishing show in northern Ohio.
“Now there will be,” Burke predicts.
LEMTA has signed a multi-year agreement with the International Exposition Center to produce the Fishing Expo in conjunction with the Cleveland Boat Show. To meet demands for both increased boat show space and to accommodate the new Fishing Expo, LEMTA is expanding the footprint for the combined events by more than 100,000 square feet.
One of Ohio’s largest and most popular fishing retailers, Fishermans Central has been named the combined show’s presenting sponsor.
“So, it’s fitting we rename the event,” Burke said. “It’s now officially the Progressive Cleveland Boat Show and Fishing Expo, presented by Fishermans Central.”
The Fishing Expo will include exhibits of fishing tackle and related equipment, fishing charters and resorts catering to anglers. In addition, Burke says the Expo will emphasize a variety of hands-on demos; virtual sport fishing simulators; a fly fishing lake; and a lineup of continuous seminars and clinics with angling pros atop a 5,000-gallon aquarium on wheels or in the Buckeye Sports Fishing Theater.