Ang and I just returned from the UK where we attended a Carp fishing trade show and let me tell you, man was it impressive! It’s called The Big One and it does live up to its name. We were there to represent the province of Ontario and tell the rest of the world just how damned good our Carp fishing actually is.
The first thing that impressed us was it was only on a weekend… not a week-long. Saturday from 8:30 to 5 and Sunday from 9 – 4:30… the vendors and exhibitioners loved it! And if you think that’s just too little time, tell that to the 10,000+ that were there Saturday and to almost the same Sunday, who all pretty much shelled out the Quid for their many purchases.
This is very much a retail based show… kind of like the old days here in Ontario. People looking for specific product or a great deal… that’s what they wanted & that’s what they got!
What intrigued us the most was the detail involved in Carp fishing gear. Every flavor of Boilie and ground bait imaginable, hook links, catapults, alarms & indicators, baiting tools, PVA mesh tubes, keep nets, mats etc.
What surprised us the most was the amount of Britt’s that knew of or heard of how great our Ontario Carp population was. We actually met quite a few anglers that take annual trips over to Ontario and all of them raved about our Carp fishing.
The most popular spot is Long Sault on the St Lawrence River simply because of the smart business sense of great Carp experts who immigrated to this part of the world and cater to the European anglers. One in particular is Canadian Carp Club www.canadiancarpclub.on.ca.
Another is situated in the Kawartha Lakes www.lakeside-cottages.com/carp.html on Lake Katchewanooka again owned by enterprising Carp experts and pretty much sold out every season.
As far as we know, these are the only 2 areas that cater to Carp holidays for the Europeans and their businesses are doing well.
Getting back to The Big One, it really pumped Angelo and I up in that the British (and most European anglers) love the sport of Carp fishing and are willing to spend “lots” of money in the process. Hopefully that will equate to some tourism dollars as well.
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