Boat Show or No?

A boat show can be a great source of information if you are in the market for a boat. For example I recently noticed that there is a power and sailboat show on December 3-6 in St. Petersburg. It will have a sailing clinic and “free children’s fishing lessons.” Unfortunately, it is in St. Petersburg, Florida and not our tiny St. Petersburg, Pennsylvania… which I guess makes more sense.

Another boat information option is to visit directly with boat dealers.

Local angler Joe Stefanacci recently was in the market for a second boat. The majority of his fishing is on a shallow, rocky stretch of the upper Allegheny River, chasing smallmouth bass. His center console, aluminum jet-boat outboard is perfect for these conditions. However Joe also is part of the catfish tournament team, Nite Shift. Most of his tournaments are held on bigger, deeper river areas where rocks are less of a concern than being able to race to your best flathead catfish holding structure.

To find a boat to fit his tournament needs, Joe first shopped online for many months monitoring for good deals on both used and new boats. Then, partially because there weren’t any boat shows in the area at the time, he began traveling to boat dealers to check out his list of potential purchases. He was patient and visited several, making sure to get the opinion of mechanics, as well as the sales staff.


His happy garage now has two boats in it. This new addition is a Fiberglas bass boat that can reach over 60 miles per hour and will help his catfish team be more efficient with time on the water. As with any boat there is a break in period. He altered the propeller size to optimize performance and is adding rod holders and loading it with safety equipment.

Once the registration is complete, I’m going to offer to help him “work out any kinks” with his catfish catching operation. The only thing better than owning two boats is having a buddy that owns two boats.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.