It’s finally time to kick off the 2023 boating season! While you get ready to splash the boat, you can take in the Bay Bridge Boat Show at the Bay Bridge Marina in Stevensville, Maryland, April 14-16. In addition to the familiar large selection of new and pre-owned powerboats, services and gear on display, the show includes a new roster of live entertainment—plus free daily seminars and activities.
Sponsored by Queen Anne’s County, the outdoor stage welcomes speakers from the Annapolis School of Seamanship, Chesapeake Bay Magazine and FishTalk Magazine, Friday, April 14. Industry experts from each organization will dive into the fundamentals of boating, including the best spots to dock and dine on the Chesapeake Bay with CBM’s John Stefancik.
Local boating personality, Captain Boomies, will host an early happy hour conversation to kick off the social events, which culminate with the Dave Tieff Band and a local-inspired party featuring food trucks and adult beverage stations. On Friday, guests can purchase a discounted “happy hour” ticket for a 4 pm or later entry to the show.
Day two of the show will include a rolling schedule of new fishing-focused events that encourage catching and eating invasive species:
- 12:20-12:30 pm: David Sikorski of the Coastal Conservation Association Maryland (CCA Maryland) leads an invasive species-themed session with an overview of the efforts underway in Maryland, including CCA’s Great Chesapeake Invasives Count.
- 12:30-1:30 pm: Steven Kambouris and Butch Huber give their advice on how best to chase snakeheads in Maryland, including a brief history and biology of this new gamefish.
- 1:30-3 pm: Andrew Tsui, the founder of the Ike Jime Federation will conduct a live demonstration of his approach to preparing blue catfish for the kitchen according to a traditional Japanese harvesting technique. Then Kurt Peter of Chesapeake Chef Service and Chef David Murray from Chesapeake Culinary Center will share more blue catfish recipes you can replicate at home.
- 3-3:30 pm: Sikorski and friends return to the stage to lead a discussion on invasive species and host an audience Q&A.
- 4:30-7 pm: The main stage wraps up with an ’80s-themed dance party featuring Weird Science. This event is free (with boat show ticket purchase) and open to the public.
Throughout the show, guests are invited to visit CCA Maryland’s booth to learn how to catch and cook blue catfish, gain insights on important issues and opportunities facing recreational fishing in the region, and help build reef balls for the Chesapeake Bay. Orchard Point Oysters will also serve up their freshly shucked oysters at the booth from 2-6 pm. Next door will be Fish and Hunt Maryland who will be ready to share their tips on the best places to hunt and fish, hook up with top charters, and find unique experiences only available in Maryland. Kids in tow can even learn a thing or two with Take Me Fishing’s free fishing handouts and a stop by Phillip Wharf Environmental Center’s Fishmobile. Equipped with 13 tanks and two touch tanks, this moving aquarium features live animals that live in and around the Chesapeake Bay.
PropTalk’s Demo Dock and BoatU.S. Foundation On-Water Training both return, providing show guests with hands-on experiences straight from the docks. The free seminars hosted by Chesapeake Bay Magazine and Annapolis School of Seamanship will also highlight a variety of how-to and where-to-go topics taught by professional captains and experts.
Sure to work up an appetite, guests can refuel throughout the three-day show at the food court where a variety of food truck options, beer stations, and stocked bars are available.
Tickets are available in advance on the Annapolis Boat Shows website. Admission is $20 per person ($18 ahead of time), and children 12 and under are free. For more information, tickets and a full seminar schedule visit AnnapolisBoatShows.com.