Ohio’s annual boat and sports show season gets underway this month.

Busy sport show weekend on tap

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show

Ohio’s popular winter sports show season gets underway this month peaking with a busy four-event extended weekend Thursday through Monday, Jan. 17 to 21.

The annual outdoor expo action actually started Jan. 11 in Columbus, with the Ohio RV & Boat Show at the Ohio Expo center January 11 to13, an event that continues Jan. 16 through 20. Visit ohiorvandboatshow.com for details.

The five-day Cleveland Boat Show at the airport IX Center in Cleveland opens its doors at noon on Thursday, Jan. 17. Ohio’s largest and longest-running boat show, the Cleveland event has a huge selection of watercraft and related vendors and activities. The show’s popular fishing area offers angling seminars on the Hawg Trough, including my kids fishing program on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as hands-on programs presented at the Ohio Sea Grant stage by area fishing experts and biologists. Show hours are Thursday and Friday noon to 9, Saturday 10 to 9, Sunday 10 to 6, and Monday, Martin Luther King Day and Kids Day at the show, from 10 to 5. Visit clevelandboatshow.com for more information.

The busy sport show weekend also gets underway Thursday Jan. 17 some 70 miles to the south of Cleveland in Mt. Hope when the Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show gets underway at the event center there. This is a well-attended hunting, trapping and fishing expo with a strong Amish attendance that has grown to be one of the largest combination hunting and fishing shows in the Midwest. The event features few boats, but lots of vendors and ongoing seminars on Ohio hunting and fishing subjects, the latter atop the 5,000 gallon Hawg Trough demonstration fishing tank. I’ll be there Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading the Kids Fishing Fun! program, along with several Ohio fishing experts sharing tips on catching panfish, catfish, bass, walleye, sauger and ice fishing. A separate stage offers non-stop hunting and trapping programs. Hours are Thursday 2 to 9, Friday 9 to 9 and Saturday 9 to 5 — note that the show does not convene on Sunday, and visit ohiosportsmanshow.com for details.

A smaller, single day show of special interest to fly fishermen, the North Coast Fly Fishers, a Fly Fishers International charter club based on the east side of Cleveland, holds its 17th annual Northern Ohio Fly Fishing Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Days Inn & Suites, 4742 Brecksville Road, in Richfield, Ohio. The Expo will feature four seminar series (Masters, Fishing Locations, Fly Tying, and Getting Started), fly tying demonstrations by celebrity and club tiers, many vendors, and non-profit organizations related to the sport of fly fishing. The featured speaker this year is George Daniel, author of the highly regarded books “Strip-Set” on fishing streamer flies and “Dynamic Nymphing” on fishing nymphs. Located in Northeast Ohio near interstate highways I-77 and I-80, the Expo offers interesting activities for the whole family, from those thinking about trying the sport to highly experienced fly fishers. Help is even available to assist scouts working on their fly fishing merit badge. Visit ncff.net for more information.

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