Messe Friedrichshafen
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Fish, Nymphs and Snakes in the Colorful Paradise of the Aqua-Fisch

The guest list of the Aqua-Fisch trade fair makes it sound like paradise. From March 8 to 10, 2019, the exhibition halls will be home to all manner of small, brightly colored fish, flora and fauna of every shade, nymphs and even snakes. Admirers of larger finned creatures and reptiles of every kind will also have plenty to see at the international trade fair for fishing, fly-fishing, and aquarium and terrarium-keeping in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Around 160 exhibitors in attendance will offer a wide range of products. Lots of activities to participate in, a fora for presentations, demonstrations and even a show kitchen will make for a lively atmosphere and offer visitors plenty of new ideas. On the Sunday of the fair, we'll find out who's best at tying nymphs, streamers and dry flies when the European Fly-Fishing Association (EFFA) announces the winners of the 2019 EFFA Open international competition.

For the 28th time already, this trade fair at Lake Constance will mark the start of the season, drawing fishers, fly-fishers, and aquarium and terrarium enthusiasts alike. "The Aqua-Fisch has established itself as a high-caliber gathering spot for the scene, which shows not least in the fact that the European association EFFA holds its award ceremony for its international competition in fly tying here," said managing director of the fair Klaus Wellmann and project manager Petra Rathgeber. Anyone looking for information on the latest equipment and products - or for the equipment itself - will find everything they need with the leading exhibitors. A program of presentations will supplement the comprehensive range of products on offer. In a single hall (A7), fishers and fly-fishers will be able to peruse the latest devices and equipment, accessories, boats, smokers and travel offers. Another hall (B5) will contain everything to delight the hearts of aquarium and terrarium enthusiasts. The East Foyer will have various areas for activities and showcases.

Pros to reveal the secrets of fishing and fly-fishing

The fishers' forum in the East Foyer is the place to be for visitors interested in finding out more about territories, fishing techniques or particular species of fish. A high-caliber list of speakers will take the stage to offer tips, including Enrico di Ventura, reigning world champion in fishing for predatory fish, who will give a talk entitled "Fishing Under Pressure - In Search of Fish". Stephan Gockel's talk promises to reveal the "secrets of a pro". This guide and fisher for predatory fish will give a presentation on finding the best spots, techniques, and assembly and choice of lure as well as the characteristics of various types of water bodies. In a presentation entitled "Fishing from the Heart: Sustainable Fishing for Predatory Fish", Jörg Strehlow will examine the topic of sustainability, which is of no small importance to fishing sports. The successful carp fisher Claudia Darga will give a talk comparing public and commercial lakes. At the fly-fishing pool in Hall A7, Hans Spinnler will demonstrate various casting techniques. Each day, Igor and Nadica Stancev will provide multiple demonstrations of the high art of fly-tying. Those interested in fly-tying can also attend workshops held by Markus Kunter.

Tryouts and audience participation: shows in the East Foyer

The East Foyer will be all about trying things out for yourself. Members of the EFFA as well as the youth division of the South Württemberg regional association will be giving casting demonstrations throughout the day. Interested visitors are welcome to actively participate. At the show pool of the state fishery association (LFV) of Baden-Württemberg, visitors will have the opportunity to examine the 2019 fish of the year, the Atlantic salmon. This species of fish - which is threatened by extinction - was chosen in order to draw attention to the need for protection, preservation, and restoration of rivers that it can navigate and the habitats that it needs to reproduce. Also in the East Foyer, there will be an exhibition of pictures from the Big Fish photo competition. Anyone is welcome to send their pictures of noteworthy fishing experiences of the past year to the following e-mail address: aqua-fisch@messe-fn.de. 

Cooking show: fish served fresh

A new item on the program is a cooking demonstration to be given by pro fisher and author Jörg Strehlow. Three times daily, fair visitors can get a taste of various somewhat more unusual but nevertheless local fish such as bream, carp, roach and goby. The recipes to be used are simple and the freshly prepared fish will be offered for tasting straight from the show kitchen.

A little piece of paradise: fish and reptile worlds at home

Hall B5 will play host to a little piece of paradise, with fascinating specimens from the fish and reptile worlds set among many other flora and fauna. They'll be available for purchase from numerous dealers and the fish market of the Multicolor Ailingen aquarium club. The Swiss team from Betta Helvetia will provide pointers on keeping fighting fish, and they'll also bring bettas to Friedrichshafen for sale and auction. The association of German aquaria and regional aquarium associations will also be in attendance. For aquarium enthusiasts, the fair will provide a forum for comparing notes and an overview of the latest trends and products. A forum presented in cooperation with the Dähne publishing house will present information on keeping all manner of fish species. The Guppyfreunde Deutschland ("German friends of guppies") will clarify the differences between line-bred and wild-type guppies.
Aquarium keepers looking for attention-grabbing ways to upgrade should visit the successful aquascaping experts Volker Jochum and Manuel Krauss to get ideas. Jochum, a multiple world champion in aquascaping, will show how beautiful aquatic landscapes can be created in just a few steps, and he'll furnish two aquaria live at the fair. Meanwhile, aquascaper Krauss, known for his reenactments of scenes from films, will give two live shows each day in which he'll design aquaria to be sold afterward. Lovers of snakes, frogs, lizards or spiders will find like-minded people to compare notes with and all manner of different terraria to admire.

Activities for kids

Various activities will take place with the aim of getting younger visitors interested in the dazzling underwater world and in fishing. A scavenger hunt will take kids all over the fairgrounds and have them answering questions all about fish. Children can have their first fishing experience with artificial fish in a small tank in the East Foyer, where there will also be a kids' cinema. The casting demonstration of the youth division of the regional association of South Württemberg/Hohenzollern will challenge our young guests to cast a lure attached to a rod as far and as accurately as possible. Kids can enter a drawing competition in advance of the fair by sending in drawings related to fish, fishing and aquaria. An exhibition at the Aqua-Fisch will showcase these artworks, with prizes to be awarded for the prettiest ones.

Opening hours and admission fees

The Aqua-Fisch 2019 will be open on Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Day tickets will cost 11 euros, with a reduced rate of 9 euros. Family tickets will be available for 26 euros.