Story by Tom Pagliaroli

It’s here.

The Big Kahuna.

Where the big boys display their fish-catching wares.

Where one will find anything and everything relating to saltwater fishing, from bay to bluewater, snapper blues to big-eye tuna.

And make a last-minute steal of a deal on a center console or walkaround, or a tricked-out fishing kayak.

The eagerly-awaited 2018 Saltwater Fishing Expo thunders in like a three-day rod ‘n reel tsunami tomorrow through Sunday at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center conveniently located at 97 Sunfield Avenue Edison, mere minutes off the Parkway, Turnpike and/or Route 287.

The free parking venue is within an easy drive of the 105.7 The Hawk listening area and draws thousands upon thousands of saltwater anglers of all stripes not only from the Garden State but Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New York and Connecticut.

It’s a no-brainer why the expo is so popular: most of the major companies in the fishing business will be presenting their products. If one wants to see what’s new in the saltwater sphere in 2018, this is indeed the place. In addition, smaller independent manufacturers of all sorts of inshore and offshore lures, rods, reels, fishing apparel, eyewear, and myriad other goodies, along with fishing clubs and angler rights organizations, fishing publications, charter services, guides, fishing lodges and more, will all be there.

Oh yeah…NOAA Fisheries will have a booth (138), and if you have a gripe about the consistently flawed data this federal agency utilizes to dictate the parameters regarding New Jersey’s recreational sportfishing bag limits and seasons on species such as fluke, sea bass and blackfish, well, this is locus to vent.

Of course, there is a full roster of seminars. There are 38 on the schedule (13 on Friday, 14 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday) and these will cover from the beaches to the canyons. A few snoozers, sure, but on the overall, a solid educational experience.

To be sure, plan on spending a better part of the day, as there is a lot to see and sample. Exhibitors you do not want to miss include the following (booth number in parenthesis): Penn (216), St. Croix Rods (451), Hobie Kayaks (739), The Fisherman Magazine (462), Daiwa (161), Bimini Bay Outfitters (251), Temple Fork Outfitters (705), Okuma (309), Fin-Nor/Van Staal/Quantum (456), Recreational Fishing Alliance (751), Accurate Fishing (206), Maui Jim Sunglasses (357), Savage Gear (309), STORMR (407) Jersey Coast Anglers Association (136), NJ Div. of Fish & Wildlife (323) Stren/Spiderwire (216), Parker Boats (1101), Bayliner Boats (1001) and Nautic Star Boats (1201).

And the list goes on.

Expo hours are noon-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for youngsters 5-11.

See you there!