Ultimate Sport Show Grand Rapids

March 7-10, 2024


The following information is from the 2024 Sport Show.
The 2025 Show information will be available soon.

Mark Zona

Mark will be at the Show for a special Thursday ONLY appearance!

Mark is well-known as a passionate and opinionated angler and expert analyst when it comes to tournament bass fishing. It’s no surprise that he earned his reputation in the industry with a rod and reel in his hand. Along with having his own show on the Outdoor Channel – ZONA’S Awesome Fishing Show! – Zona has appeared as a host on several ESPN Outdoors shows including The World’s Greatest Fishing Show, The Bassmaster Elite Series Show, Bass Insider, College Smash-Mouth Bass, Loudmouth Bass, The Greatest Angler Debate, and BassCenter.

Mark Romanack

Mark Romanack, “the Outdoors Guy” is a life-long outdoorsman and one of the nation’s most active members of the outdoor media. A graduate of Northern Michigan University with a B.S. Degree in Conservation, Romanack has spent his entire career working to help others better understand and appreciate the outdoors. Romanackʼs outdoor career started in 1981 as an Environmental Educator. While working as a naturalist, he began to write outdoor articles. This part-time hobby grew into a full-fledged career with writing and photography credits in over 30 different local, regional and national magazines. Currently Romanack writes frequently, In-Fisherman, Gun Dog, Wildfowl, Delta Waterfowl, Nationʼs Best Sports, Cabelaʼs Outfitter Journal, Waterfowl Retriever, Fur-Fish-Game, Woods-N-Water News, Michigan Out of Doors, and publishes a weekly outdoor blog on Facebook. He has published 11 different books on fishing, including the widely popular Precision Trolling series, authored more than 3,000 feature articles and columns, sold hundreds of magazine covers and countless support photographs. In 2007 Romanack plunged into the TV world by hosting and field producing a TV series called Fishing 411, which is broadcast nationwide on the World Fishing Network. Romanack also hosts an outdoor radio broadcast on WTCM radio in Northern Michigan.

Mark Martin

There is no denying walleye are finicky fish and fishing pro Mark Martin is no stranger to teaching others on how to catch them. Martin has been giving seminars on the subject since his first tournament win in 1991, during the first-ever Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) Championship, which coined him the title “The Original Champ.” A life-long resident of Michigan, Martin is currently an instructor with the Fishing Vacation / Schools as well a tournament pro with Anglers Insight Marketing (AIM). Not to be missed, Martin will be giving seminars on catching walleye using modern-day open-water techniques, and, giving up his secrets to catching these most fickle of fish through the ice.

Capt. Lance Valentine

As founder of Lance Valentine’s Walleye 101 and the “Fishing Education Center,” Lance has helped countless anglers catch more fish through seminars, workshops and educational charters. Over 20 years of walleye fishing experience has gained Lance the knowledge needed to become known as an expert on marine electronics. Catching more fish of all species begins with the ability to locate them and stay where they are, and Lance’s seminars will teach all you need to master your electronics.

Capt. Wayne Carpenter

Capt. Wayne has dedicated fifteen years of effort to bringing in fishing information and bait technology to anglers. The research done over that period resulted in the development of the Combat Fishing Weekly Newsletter, No Secrets On Lake St. Clair volumes 1 and 2 books, No Secrets On Lake St. Clair DVD, Marked Maps Series 1 and 2, and multiple web-sites. Wayne has also developed a full line of tournament quality baits by Xtreme Bass Tackle. He has been recognized as the foremost bass fishing expert on Lake St. Clair through his participation in Michigan’s major fishing shows, TV and radio appearances and nationally known product development.

Joe Thomas

Joe is an angler, author and entertainer. From competing at the highest levels of professional bass fishing to authoring the definitive account of life as a pro angler, to hosting today’s most popular television series focusing on bass fishing, there is a common thread that runs through Joe Thomas’ life. Joe grew up in southwestern Ohio with dreams of becoming a bass pro and continued on with a 30-year career that has made an impact on the sport.

Capt. Jake Romanack

Jake is both one of the youngest and most experienced charter captains on the Great Lakes. The son of outdoor writer and TV host Mark Romanack, Jake has been fishing since he was old enough to hold up a rod/reel combo. He spent three years acting as a first mate on a dozen different charter boats before he stepped up an got his own “captains” license. Captain Jake specializes in educational charters, seminars, YouTube videos and co-hosting TV productions as part of the family business Fishing 411 Productions.

Capt. Matt Firestein

Captain Matt “Catfish” owns and operates Whopper Stopper Muskie Charters and Guide Service on Lake St. Clair. He has fished muskies and has been successful from East of Montreal to Winnipeg. He specializes in casting, jigging and trolling big muskies on Lake St. Clair and has a unique outlook on tactics that will help any angler in the pursuit of giant fish.

Tim Andrus

Tim has a great passion for the outdoors and hunting, especially deer hunting. He will go anywhere for them. To date he has gone on 100 plus trips covering over 20 states and 5 Canadian provinces. What started as a hobby has turned into a part time job! Tim was placed on Realtree’s Pro Staff in 1996 and hasn’t looked back since. He has been featured on several outdoor related networks such as The Outdoor Channel and The Sportsman Channel. His appearance and resume includes Realtree Outdoors, Realtree Road Trips and the Realtree Monster Buck DVD series. He currently hosts two TV shows: Rush Outdoors (Regional) and World of Rush Outdoors on The Pursuit Channel.

Tim will be giving away some great prizes during his seminars!

Attend one of his TrailCam Saturday seminars for a chance to win a Covert Scouting Camera, along with batteries and SD card.

And if you attend his Getting Ready for Deer Season Now seminar on Sunday you’ll have the chance to win a Quaker Boy Turkey Call!

Dan Armitage

Dan is a popular freelance outdoor writer, speaker and syndicated radio show host whose fishing articles appear in Great Lakes Angler, Michigan Game & Fish, Outdoor Life, BoatUS Angler, Lakeland Boating, MidWest Outdoors, Pontoon & Deck Boat, The Outdoor Hub and Cabela’s Outfitter Journal. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Ohio State University, is a licensed US Coast Guard Captain and travels the nation leading fishing and boating programs at boat and sport shows.

Richard Holm

Richard is the owner of Sea Quest Lures in Portage, Indiana and is an avid fisherman with over 30 years of experience fishing the Great Lakes. Holm has done extensive research on lure colors and the effects of lighting at different depths.

Bill Mangan

Bill is the owner/operator of Mangan’s Cast a Fly. He is a Fly Fishers International Certified Fly Casting Instructor and Michigan DNR Certified/Insured Fly Fishing Guide. After retiring as a Lieutenant from Law Enforcement with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, he was able to pursue his passion of Fly Fishing full-time! Besides his own business he is also a Fly Casting Instructor and Guide Pro Staffer for Ausable River Outfitters in Mio. He is truly passionate in what he does, and loves to teach and bring people up in the sport of Fly-Fishing, especially the art of Fly Casting.

Jim Bedford

Jim is one of Michigan’s foremost authorities on fishing Michigan Rivers with spinners and other lures. The retired toxicologist spends over 1,000 hours a year fishing Michigan Rivers and has written three books on the subject. Jim’s most recent book “Spinner Magic!” has been a huge hit with Michigan anglers. Jim will discuss how to pick the best local water and target the most active fish.

Denny Geurink

A well known book author, video producer and published outdoor writer, Geurink’s seminars are a must see. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from a pro! Denny will be presenting educational and entertaining seminars on the subject of hunting turkeys in Michigan. He is one of the top Turkey hunting experts in the nation and will help you bag your next gobbler.

Tom Richardson

Tom hails from Carson City, the heart of Michigan’s big buck country, and has hunted the woods and fields for over 40 years calling in game animals since the age of 12. In his seminars, he’ll not only teach you how to become a natural part of and blend into your environment, but also the time tested techniques he uses to successfully call in game animals using totally outside the box calling techniques he’s developed and perfected over his many years in the woods.

Capt. Joel Piatek

A Lund and Mercury pro staffer, Joel has grown up on Lake St. Clair and has spent over 35 years fishing and hunting this world class lake system. From fishing to waterfowl hunting, he has dedicated a tremendous amount of time to fully understand the Lake St. Clair fishery as well as the waterfowl migration patterns. His passion for the outdoors has led him to operate Fish Headz Outfitter, a full-time charter fishing and waterfowl hunting operation on Lake St. Clair. Capt. Joel fully understands seasonal patterns of all fish species and knows what the hot bite is and where to find it. He will be presenting seminars on catching multi gamefish species of Lake St. Clair and waterfowl hunting best practices.

Will Schultz

More than 30 years ago, Michigan native, Will Schultz’s first muskie encounter started what would be best described as obsessive compulsive muskie disorder. This lead him to thousands of muskie encounters and more than 100 over 50″ in his boat. These days he gets as much enjoyment from helping others catch their first or largest muskie as he does from catching them himself. As a conservation leader in Michigan, Will has been deeply involved in muskie preservation, restoration and education as a member of MI-DNR committees as well as a past president of Muskies, Inc. Chapter 47.

Dave and Hunter Engel

The Engel family has been making a living fishing for four generations. For Captain’s Dave and Hunter it’s not just their passion, it’s their way of life. Dave and Hunter have an ideal father son relationship. Together they have a combined 64 years of charter and tournament fishing. With Captain Dave leading the way, they have won over 65 tournaments and hundreds of top 3 finishes, are the number one money winner of all time on Lake Michigan, and to have won tournaments in all four Great Lakes states, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Captain Hunter is well versed with today’s fishing technology and will show you how to get best out of your chart plotter’s, down riggers, and auto pilots. They will show you how to find the fish and land them, choose equipment and lures.

Together, Dave and Hunter have hosted many seminars demonstrating modern-day techniques and equipment. This year’s seminar will feature great footage from the back of their boat, their traditional hands on techniques, and information to catch salmon and trout in the ever changing Lake Michigan that is guaranteed to better your fishing experience.