Heading to the Boat Show

Wintertime is Miami Boat Show time down in south Florida, and I'm heading down for my 19th show this coming Wednesday. I've got lots of activities planned, including the Jeff Burton Jarrett Bay 44 launch party on Thursday night, a Marlin U seminar on Friday and a TV shoot on Saturday afternoon in the Yamaha booth. Boat show numbers are trending up, and I'm excited to see how this year's show will stack up. We've already seen some good signs indicating that the marine business is slowly starting to recover, and according to a press release I just received today, Mark Allen of the Strictly Jersey Boat Show says that the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported a 114 percent increase in attendance at the 2011 Atlantic City Boat Show over last year (Trade Only Today, 2/10/11). I'm hopeful that the cold weather up north will drive a lot of folks south to spend some time in the Florida sunshine and to look for a new boat. I also look forward to seeing a lot of my offshore buddies up in the Big Game Room. Marlin has a booth up there, and when I'm not out strolling the docks or attending press conferences, I'm usually in the Big Game Room somewhere, chatting with the real pros of our sport. There's really no other comparable sport that allows you to schmooze with the pros like sport fishing. How cool would it be to spend $30 on a ticket to hang out with Aaron Rogers, Jeff Burton or any of your other favorite sports heroes? A ticket to the boat show and a visit to the Big Game Room put you in direct contact with all the fellows you read about in Marlin - it's truly a great opportunity when you stop and think about it. Please come by and say hello - I'm always eager to talk to Marlin readers, especially if you have some good ideas about how we can make our magazine better. If you can't make it, I want to hear your ideas anyway; e-mail me at dave.ferrell@bonniercorp.com. You can also post comments on Marlin's Facebook page. But while I welcome the electronic correspondence, trust me, you'll have a lot more fun at the show! See ya down there!