WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- "I was just a little kid and I spent my summers here," said Gerard Vessels. "Got salt in my veins at a young age and there was no turning back."
Vessels, a Wildwood firefighter, thought there was a void in his community for fishing and boating fans.
"We have some big tournaments and everything else in town and in Cape May, but here, I felt our community, it was lacking something," he said. "And several years ago, I came forward and put a little plan together and it morphed into what we have today."
This weekend, the Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo celebrates its 5th event in seven years, having survived a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Families of all ages can explore the boats on display, purchase tackle and fishing rods, and even learn safety lessons from the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau.
"We got 70 different vendors offering all your marine services," said Vessels. "Insurance, purchase fishing tackle, everything under the sun, we have in one roof, one location."
The Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo continues at the Wildwood Convention Center on Sunday, January 8, 2023, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Tickets cost $7 for adults, $3 for ages 6-13, and are free for kids under 5 years old.
Next year, the expo is expected to return on January 6 and 7, 2024.
To learn more, visit their website.