Article: Show Coverage
The West's Largest Sportsmen's Expo Comes to San Mateo (Part 1-Overview)
Introduction: Every year the TackleTour team eagerly awaits the return of
the ISE show. For those who haven't been to the exposition before, it is an opportunity for
people not only to see the latest and greatest fishing, hunting, and boating
gear...but also a chance to really try it all out. Packed with demonstrations,
hands on workshops, and dealers selling products at reduced prices, makes the ISE
show an exciting event. (This is just a quick overview of the show, look for
part 2 of this article where we feature the best of show products)
Impressions: When you first enter the San Mateo Expo Center grounds you
are instantly overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and even the pleasant smell of barbecue.
Manufacturers, dealers, and guides gather from across the country to bring their
unique stories and wares to Bay Area sportsmen. While there is simply so much to see, TackleTour focused
most of our attention on the fishing expos.
The ISE show
featured 7 halls packed with the latest and greatest from hundreds of
manufacturers, dealers, and guides.
Hands on activities: This year the ISE did a great job of giving
attendees an opportunity to see and test the latest tackle personally. There
were indoor and outdoor fly fishing ranges where anglers could try rods before
buying them, and could even sign up for workshops to learn the basics, or
advanced techniques from pros. The amount of time and instruction the pros gave
to each attendee was commendable.
heck?! This houseboat is nicer then my house...
Watercraft: Featured in the same hall as the bass tackle were all the
latest boats, including bass boats, deep v-hulls, drift boats, pontoons, and
even a luxury houseboat....that was without a doubt nicer then my house. Anglers
were free to climb into all the boats, row the oars, or even cozy up next to a
You name the type of fishing and the location and chances are you can find a
guide that can take you there. This year the ISE show was packed with guides and
plenty of the most amazing pictures we have ever seen. One picture that really
stuck in our mind was a angler in the middle of the ocean on a float tube trying
to stay afloat while holding up the head of a sailfish! Sign me up for that
stands in front of the
huge ISE Demo Tank where viewers got a new perspective on lure presentation, and
actually got to see bass and trout strike lures!
Demonstrations: Indoor and outdoor arenas were a popular spot for
attendees to sit down and learn about new tackle and techniques from local
fishing pros. Key to these demonstrations was actually showing attendees the
lure presentation which was done via the very cool "ISE Demo Tank!" This huge
tank was stocked with small to full size trophy bass, trout, catfish, and even
one sturgeon! From the front of the tank pros could give in depth seminars about
lures and really show how they swim, and even better....how the fish react to
share their secret techniques for fishing various lures in nearby waters
For sale: Attendees have the
opportunity to purchase anything and everything related to fishing at the ISE
show. Top selling items at the show were rods, reels, and wildlife art. Two of
the largest local shops, Fisherman's Warehouse and Coyote Bait and Tackle came
out in full force and set up complete store environments! In addition smaller up
and coming manufactures of attractants, handmade lures, and flies all were
selling their wares. Deals can definitely be had at the show and we found some
rods and reels marked down 20-30% off MSRP.
Parents will be happy to discover that there is an entire hall devoted to
getting the next generation of anglers excited about our sport. The youth hall
featured a large catch and release trout pond. In this hall kids can learn about
fishing and really get involved, all without the distraction of any dealers
trying to sell anything.
Conclusion: The ISE show packs a complete range of activities and
products into a great exposition. More then any year before, the Expo allows
anglers more access to the tackle and the pros, making the entire experience
much more hands on and exciting. The opportunity to see all of latest tackle,
watch demonstrations, interact with pros, and even get some great food, is
definitely worth the 10 dollar entry fee. While we spent all of our time in the
fishing halls, attendees with other interests will be happy to find equally
packed halls focusing on hunting, camping, and even hunting dog training!
(Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article where we
highlight our picks for best of show products!)