HARTFORD >> A 5,000-gallon fish tank with live fishing demonstrations, free seminars by fishing and hunting experts on many topics, the latest gear for purchase, no-cost appraisals of antique/collectible fishing lures and tackle, and hands-on activities for all ages will be found at the 2017 Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show, engineered by GMC. The 20th annual event will be held just in time for spring’s fishing and hunting season from Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2 at the Connecticut Convention Center at 100 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford.
The show’s 2017 Veterans Appreciation Day is Saturday, April 1 when the first 200 U.S. veterans or active military in line get free admission with a valid military or veteran association-issued ID.
“Connecticut’s only fishing & hunting show will be held in the spring, making it even more fun and useful for people gearing up for the start of the season’s outdoor fishing and hunting season,” said Kristie Gonsalves, President of North East Expos, which presents the Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show, in a written statement. “Designed as a great outing for the entire family, there will be hundreds of booths with the newest fishing, hunting and outdoor equipment for sale by some of the nation’s top manufacturers, including a variety of lines of fishing boats.”
“One of our new displays is an impressive 5,000-gallon Hawg Trough Fish Tank, the site of daily demonstrations of fishing and casting by professional anglers, including Connecticut’s own Paul Mueller, 2014 BASS Federation National Champion on Friday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.,” Gonsalves said. “People of all ages can attend 50 hours of seminars with national and regional experts (free entry with general admission), speak and schedule tours with charter boat captains, watch expert fly fishing casting and fly tying shows, see live pointing dogs and birds of prey, and enjoy lots of interactive activities.”
Experts who are speaking or hosting booths include: Alberto Knie (a/k/a “Crazy Alberto”) – a world-class extreme trophy game fish hunter and writer/fishing product designer who specializes in the art of Trophy Fishing and Conservation; John Ibbotson, COO of “The Best of the West” on the Pursuit Channel and Wild TV (Canada); whitetail hunters Dean and Shelli Vanier, Gerry Rightmyer & Steve Schicker, hosts of the Pursuit Channel’s “Forever Wild Outdoors Adrenaline Adventure”; international bow hunter Del DelMastro; Professional Angler and Bassmaster Mike DelVisco; Ralph Wilkins of National Geographic Channel’s “Wicked Tuna”; diving fisherman Mike Laptew; lure designer Al Gag; and Fishing Captains Brian Bacon, Greg Dubrule, TJ Karbowski, John Planeta, Mike Roy, Mel True, and Dave Brandt.
Daily hunting and pointing dog demonstrations on “training your dog to ‘point’” and “training your dog to ‘hunt shed antlers’” will be presented by Dusty W German Shorthaired Pointers of Palmerton, Penn., who will be featured on the upcoming premiere of “Wild Bout Huntin” on the Pursuit Channel. Attendees can meet the live eagles, owls and hawks of Talons! Birds of Prey, and take on the challenge of the Black Hawk II virtual fishing fighting chair.
Attendees can get free appraisals of their antique and collectible fishing lure and tackle by Lang’s Auction of Waterville, NY. Lang’s Auction is the world’s largest and most respected auction firm with auction price records in every category of fishing tackle, including the highest price ever paid for a single fishing lure of $101,200.
Returning favorites include the Catch & Release Trout Pond – catch a live, tagged fish and win a child’s rod and reel, an aisle with Fly-Tying experts demonstrating the intricate art of creating flies, an NRA Laser Shooting Range, a Sportsmen’s Outpost’s archery range, and a Kids’ Bass Casting Competition sponsored by the Connecticut Bass Federation. And, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs again is bringing its Mobile VetCenter Bus staffed by outreach representatives.
Fly-fishing casting demonstrators include Capt. Dave Brandt of Oneonta, NY; and Fred Wilson of Sandy Hook, Conn. Among the many fly-tiers demonstrating their craft are: Capt. Dave Brandt of Oneonta, NY; and Fred Wilson of Sandy Hook.
The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) will host a variety of booths, featuring mounted Connecticut fish and animals and a tank of live fish from Connecticut waters. Throughout the show, DEEP experts will provide consumer education on a range of topics, and will present the latest rules and regulations dealing with wildlife, fisheries, hunting and fishing for the coming season. The Hunter Safety Program will feature its ever popular Laser Shoot supervised by NRA Safety Instructors and statewide boating/safety access information will be available from Boating Safety Division staff. In addition, on Saturday, April 1 at 11 a.m., DEEP will hold its Annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony at the show.
Show hours are Friday, March 31 from 12 noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is Cash Only: $12 adults; $4 Children 5 to 12; and Free under age 5. Admission gets you into all seminars at no extra cost. Saturday, April 1 is Veterans Appreciation Day at the Show: Free admission for the first 200 U.S. veterans or active military in line with a valid military or veteran association-issued ID.
Event sponsors include: GMC, Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, The Fisherman Magazine, LeafFilter of Connecticut, Renewals by Anderson, VA Healthcare; Country 92-5 WWYZ, WFSB Channel 3, Bedard Enterprises, and North East Expos, Inc.
For more show information and to receive email updates about the show, visit www.fishinghuntingshow.com or call 860-844-8461.