Thursday kicked off the Progressive Miami International Boat Show in Miami Beach, FL, and the team was on the ground checking out not only all of the cool new boats, gear, and electronics, but the latest fishing innovations and inventions as well. So what’s the latest and greatest in fin-finding and catching technology at the show? Read on to see what piqued our piscatorial interest on opening day.

An image of a Big Game Room direction sticker.

It's easy! Follow the marlins to the Big Game Room for anything and everything to do with angling. Photo by Gary Reich

You might think of elephants, lions, and wildebeest when you think of big game, but at the Miami International Boat Show, the Big Game Room means fish, and you can think of it as the proverbial “Candy Store” for anglers. And it’s easy to find, too. Just follow the directions by the marlin bill “This Way to the Big Game Room” stickers that are strategically placed all over the show. If you can’t find the tackle you’re looking for in the Big Game Room, it likely isn’t made.

When I checked in, the helpful pros at Florida Sportsman were teaching people how to rig everything from ballyhoo to soft plastics at its Baits, Rigs, and Tackle Room. Others were flexing their muscles at the Chairfighting Challenge by tangling with a virtual marlin or two. I think I even saw Dave Marciano from National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna poking around; members of the Wicked Tuna cast will be on hand Saturday for an onstage presentation. Ooh, and make sure you poke into the Marlin Bar and Lounge where you can enjoy adult beverages and tell tall tales about the big ones.

A photo of the Scout 195 Sportfish boat.

Check out the Scout 195 Sportfish at the Sea Isle Marina display during the Miami International Boat Show. It's a compact and feature-filled fishing machine. Photo courtesy of Scout Boats

Tackle and gear are great, but fine fishing machines—from Jon boats to 90-foot sport fish yachts—are what get most fishermen salivating at the Miami show. And this year is no exception. For those of you with a few bucks to blow, head on over to Sea Isle Marina to see an incredible 70-foot Buddy Davis sportfish that cruises at 28 knots and sucks up 2200 gallons of fuel at fill-up time. Too rich for your blood? I took out and really enjoyed a more affordable choice, a Scout Sportfish 195 (and you can, too). I also really liked Skeeter’s SX2250, which had more gear and fish storage than just about any boat I’ve ever seen. You can also take this boat out, too, if you’re interested.

The Miami International Boat Show runs through Monday. If you can’t make it to the show, be sure to check back in at frequently. We’ll be sharing all the cool things we found at the show.