Jim Morris
Jim Morris

Jim Morris has worked for newspapers, radio, television and various Websites for more than 47 years. He has been a writer, an editor, an editorial writer and a columnist. For 23 years, Morris worked for the Troy Daily News as sports editor, managing editor and executive editor. In 1994 he began working at the Dayton Daily News as an outdoor sports columnist and night sports desk editor. He retired from the DDN in January of 2010 and is now a freelance writer with his own Website for outdoors stories.


Here is your annual list of outdoor/boat shows within a day’s drive of the Dayton metropolitan area.

Someone is going to have to do some splainin’.

I want to know how a city the size of Fort Wayne, Ind. can support two boat/outdoor shows this year, while Dayton will have zip, zero, zilch?

But that’s the way it is.

Fort Wayne is a nice city with a good track record for supporting its shows. Dayton is also a nice city, but it doesn’t support outdoor or boat shows.

According to Google, greater Dayton has a population of more than 799,000, making it the fourth largest in Ohio and 63rd largest in the United States. At the same time, greater Fort Wayne is home to about 617,000. That’s second in Indiana and 76th largest in the U.S.

While Dayton will go with no show for the second straight year, you can get in your car and shed your cabin fever at numerous shows within a day’s drive – including Fort Wayne on Jan. 26-28 and February 15-18.

Why, you ask, does Dayton once again have no show? It’s complicated. For one thing, there has been a dark cloud over past Dayton shows. Not all, but many. Dayton used to have a good boat show back in the days of Hara Arena. And remember the Journal-Herald/Jim Robey Fishing Shows?

But some poor promotion and a general weakening of the shows turned Dayton into a boat show wasteland. The economy also gets some of the blame and I’m not sure when/if Dayton will ever have another outdoor show.

Daytonians will have to be satisfied with driving to other shows, such as the Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show at Duke Energy Center, starting Jan. 12. (NOTE: The Cincinnati-Dayton RV Super Show is scheduled for Dayton on Jan. 25-28 at the convention center.)

Below is a list of area boat shows for 2018:


5-14 (closed 8, 9): Ohio RV and Boat Show, Bricker Building, state fairgrouinds, Columbus (

10-14: Chicago Boat Show, McCormick Place – South

12-21 (closed 15,16): Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show at Duke Energy Center

11-14: Ultimate Fishing Show at Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Mich.

18-20: Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show at Mt. Hope Center, Millersburg

18-21: Mid America Boat Show, IX Center, Cleveland

19-21: Northeast Ohio Sportsman Show at Buckeye Event Center, Dalton

19-21: Ohio Musky Expo at Makoy Center, Hilliard

25-28: Cincinnati-Dayton RV Super Show at Dayton Convention Center

26-28: Fort Wayne Outdoor Sports, Lake & Cabin Show at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

26-28 Three Rivers Boat Show at Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.


3: Greater Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show at Oasis Center, Loveland

9-11: Columbus Fishing Expo at Ohio Expo Center (state fairgrounds)

15-18: Fort Wayne Boat Show & Sale at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

17-25: Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center

22-25: Indianapolis Deer & Turkey Expo at Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis

23-25: Columbus RV Show at Greater Columbus Convention Center


1-4: Outdoorarama, at Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Mich.

2-4: Indian Lake Boat Show at 3 dealers

3-4: West Virginia Fishing, Hunting and Outdoor Sports Show at Ruby Convention Center, Mylan Park, Morgantown, West Va.

16-18: Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo at Ohio Expo Center (state fairgrounds)

22-25: Chicago Sports Show at Alington Park

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