With the fishing somewhat limited in our region, this is the time of year that sportsmen turn to outdoor shows to dream about the upcoming season. Billed as the premier hunting, fishing and outdoor sport shows, the International Sportsmen's Expositions offer some of the best and most diversified of such shows. This is the 22nd year that they have been doing these shows.
They have shows throughout the western United States, two of which are in Northern California. The first two stops in the series begin in our state. The first will be on Jan. 8-11 in San Mateo and the second the following week on Jan. 15-18 in Sacramento.
The San Mateo show is traditionally the largest of the two, but organizers say that the Sacramento show should be larger this year as well.
The San Mateo show is located at the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 S. Delaware St. in San Mateo. The hours for the event are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Sacramento show will be located at Cal Expo, State Fairgrounds, 1600 Exposition Blvd., in Sacramento. This is an easy location to get in and out of and provides plenty of parking. The hours for the event are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
If you have never been to one of these events, there is truly so much to see that it could take days to cover it all. There are exhibitors showing off their products or travel destinations, seminars and events on hunting, fishing and everything else outdoors and competitions.
If you want to see the latest in new hunting, fishing or outdoor gear, the exhibitors will have it. If you want to learn about places to hunt or fish, the seminars and events will not only take you to such places, but tell you how to be successful on your outing.
In the market for a boat or motorhome? There are plenty of these to see and talk to the people who know the most about them. How about outdoor cooking? You bet, anything than you can possibly imagine about being in the outdoors is available.
For children there is a great youth fair area that includes the extremely popular kid's fishing pond. This generates a lot of excitement when kids can catch a fish. There is also a shooting area for soft pellet rifles and bows and a fly casting area, among other activities.
These shows are popular family events according to the ISE folks. The show will cost you $15 per adult per day, $7 per youth (13-17) and children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult at both locations. You will most likely have to pay for parking at these events as well. This can run you a bit more money so be sure and car pool with your fishing or hunting buddies.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.sportsexpos.com or at the event. In the past, sponsors such as Long's Drugs, have had discount coupons available so you can purchase tickets at a reduced rate. At this website, there is everything that you will need to know about each show, including lists of exhibitors, layout, seminars and events and which experts will be in attendance. You can even get driving directions.
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee fisherman who writes columns for the Bonanza as well as other area publications.