Do you love fishing?
Need some new lures, a fishing pole, or maybe even a big ticket item such as a boat?
The place for you to be this weekend is at the South Padre Island Convention Center for the first Fishing Days expo.
“We have had hunting expos, but this is the first time for a boat and fishing show like this,” said Convention Center Business Development Director Michael Flores.
South Padre Island Fishing Days is the Island’s official fishing & boat expo where there will be six local boat dealers, all-things fishing and much more.
There will be 30,000 square feet of the convention center filled with everything fishing as well as music and food.
It is expected to be a good time for the entire family.
Show producer, Harlingen’s Angie Juarez, with 26point2 Consulting Group LLC, said the idea for the show came up about six months ago.
They have been planning heavily for the past three months.
Initially, the idea was for a boat show. But Juarez, who also works on the All Valley Boat Show, suggested more of a fishing theme.
She said a boat show is a specific target niche and is focused. So, she suggested not limiting the show to just boats.
“You don’t want to push away the idea that all year you can fish,” she said. “This show is casting the net. We want everybody.”
Teamed with the city, the event has become a reality this fall.
And it has many people quite excited because it is for fishing and boaters.
“October is a great fishing month,” Flores said. “You can fish for different types of species every day of the month.”
Both agreed October was a good time to hold an event such as this.
“It’s the technical off-season for what people think of for fishing,” Juarez said. “We wanted to go off season for the island and what they think it is for fishing. But, you will see people here fishing all the time — whether or not it’s raining, cloudy or a hurricane is coming. That is the beauty of celebrating fishing on SPI.”
Flores said it is cooler in October and the weather can be better for fishing, with cloudy skies.
“This is just going to be a great weekend for a lot of folks to come out,” he said. “It is the kick start of all and kickoff of the sport fishing season.”
But, this isn’t just for competitive fishermen. It is for hobbyists as well as families and children.
“I love to see the kids come out and watch families grow into a sport like this,” Flores said.
There will be face painting and games for the kids.
There also will be great door prizes and plenty to do at the event.
Juarez said she hopes to reach at least 1,000 attendees, but she said as many as 2,000 to 4,000 could attend.
“It’s the first one and that will have an effect on how to do the show in the future,” she said. “If it works well, we can do it again.”
What she will watch for are the looks on the faces upon entering the Convention Center.
“My biggest joy is when you see people come through the door and they are interacting and having fun,” Juarez said. “There are times when you just watch the flow of people and when everyone is happy, that is good.”
By LISA SEISER Editor