Size matters.

Most of the time.

In the case of the sixth annual Wildwood Fishing & Boating Expo being held this weekend at the Wildwoods Convention Center, it’s relative.

Billed as the “Biggest Little Expo in New Jersey”, the two day event has mushroomed into an 80,000 square foot fishing and boating experience. Last year, 4,000 went through the turnstiles in what show times was all of 13 hours. This year, with more vendors (75 taking in excess of 100 booths) and now a bump to 10 boat dealers (65-70 boats on display), the lines to enter will be, well, long.

No worries, though. Entry fees are beyond reasonable for an event of this kind ($10 adult; $3 youngsters 6-13; 5 and under no charge) and, wonder of wonders, parking is free (read: no meters), and there’s lots ‘n loads of it.

G. Vessels
G. Vessels

Says show owner/promoter Gerry Vessels, being a hardcore angler and no stranger to runs offshore, “I envisioned this as an event that appeals to beginner to expert fishermen and boaters with an emphasis on quality family time. Yeah, there were growing pains, and the back-to-back COVID  cancellations, but it’s all come together. We’re sold out, and that tells me the exhibitors and the show goers are happy with what we’ve been doing here.”

Sure, there are bigger boat and fishing shows on the calendar, but this first of the year kickoff expo fills a niche that covers the waterfront in a tight ‘n tidy format. Looking for a boat? From the back bays to the canyons, they’re here. Manufacture incentives and programs are in place. So are custom rods and reels, all sorts of tackle, marine electronics, apparel, nautical art, charter and party boat services...and more.

G. Vessels
G. Vessels

Certainly worth the price of admission is the lineup of free seminars hosted by some of the best at their specialties. Topics include Boating Do’s and Don’ts (NJ State Police); Slow Pitch Jigging (Capt. Steve Spagnuola); Tournament Strategies (Aaron Hoffman/South Jersey Tournaments); Chunkin’ and Jiggin’ Tuna (Capt. Geno Lindor); Jigging Jersey Fluke (Jenni Ackerman/The Fisherman Magazine).

Oh...and besides the deals galore, there will be Yeti 65 ($360 value; winners need not be present) given away both Saturday and Sunday.

Food, and refreshments (including the adult kind) will be available.

Show hours are 9am-5pm Saturday, and 9am-2pm Sunday. Just in time to get home or to the watering hole for the Eagles game.

Vessels thought of everything.

G. Vessels
G. Vessels

For more information, visit

See you there…

You can hear the interview about this year’s Wildwood Fishing & Boating Expo with Gerry Vessels on the December 30 podcast of Rack & Fin Radio with Tom P.

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