Spring is right around the corner. Many Great Lakes anglers are already preparing for the 2021 season. Due to COVID-19, the fishing shows our industry and our consumers have become accustomed to are not possible this year. In an effort to help our fellow manufacturers connect with anglers all over the world, Fish Hawk Electronics and the Great Lakes Fishing Podcast is launching the Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show.
Fish Hawk’s Trevor Sumption is a recent guest on the Great Lakes Fishing Podcast. He announced the plans for the Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show on the podcast. “For the first time in twenty-some years, I haven’t been gone all of January and most of February. Now coming into March, I measure that by when the Grand Rapids Sports Show is. It’s been kind of a different schedule this year. Obviously, a lot of us are home and doing that kind of thing. One of the things we miss about it is we have a lot of friends throughout the industry. Normally, we would be out talking to people. We’re not doing that this year.”
The Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show will be held on Saturday, March 6th from 9 AM Central until 5:30 PM Central. The show will be live-streamed on the Fish Hawk Electronics Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
The idea was inspired by a virtual ice fishing show Fish Hawk’s sister company, Catch Cover participated in back in December. “I honestly wasn’t expecting a whole lot. I thought, “are people really going to tune into this? Is this something people are going to watch?” I was almost blown away by the number of people who participated. We are adaptable. As companies and manufacturers, we’re adaptable. As consumers, we’re adaptable. The bottom line is, people just want information. They want knowledge. If there’s a silver lining to COVID, it’s that we’re finding different ways to get people that information.”
The Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show is simply an adaptation of the virtual ice fishing show Sumption participated in. “We thought if they can do it on the ice fishing side, why can’t we do it on the Great Lakes fishing side… We put the word out to our brothers in the industry and people were like “yes, let’s do something.” We’ve got around 20 different presenters lined up from different manufacturers and organizations specific to Great Lakes fishing.”
Sumption believes Fish Hawk Electronics is the perfect company to pull off a virtual show for the Great Lakes fishing community. “We’re kind of in a unique position because we don’t really butt heads with anyone competitively. There’s more to it than that. We know a lot of people in the space. When I say “space” I mean Great Lakes companies and other manufacturers that cater specifically to Great Lakes fishing. We know that’s a small community. It’s not really even a competitive thing. We know that even with direct competitors, everyone converses freely and gets along. That’s one of the unique things about this segment of the larger fishing industry.”
Great Lakes anglers aren’t your average fish chasers. It’s a group that is serious about the sport they enjoy. “Great Lakes fishing is really driven by people who are really passionate about what they do. With that being said, the reason to do it is it’s creating another way for those people to communicate with each other and participate as a fishing community… This is just another way to communicate with your peers and customers. We’re all getting used to these things. A year ago, none of us knew what Zoom was. Look where we are now. Going forward there are going to be a lot of meetings we did in person that we won’t do in person anymore.”
At some point, physical shows will return. Sumption says this idea isn’t intended to replace those shows but he hopes the Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show will supplement in-person shows when they return. “I’m not going to say it’s going to replace shows, I certainly hope it doesn’t. There’s always going to be a place for that but the time probably isn’t right now for those physical shows but that doesn’t mean we can’t communicate and stay in touch with each other as an industry and reach out to try to answer customer questions and stay in touch with people who ultimately sign our paychecks.”
The Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show is scheduled for Saturday, March 6th starting at 9AM Central. You can watch on the Fish Hawk Electronics Facebook and YouTube. Here’s a list of the participants confirmed for the show so far.
Dan Keating Books
Rapala Canada/Luhr Jensen
Lake Michigan Tournament Trail
Michigan Stinger Lures
Fish Hawk Electronics
To learn more about the Virtual Great Lakes Fishing Show, press the player below.