Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com
There are more than 2.6 million hunters and anglers in Texas and the Lone Star State ranks first in spending on hunting and fishing, shelling out $6.6 billion a year.
Even in the down economy, one industry has given Texas a financial boost -- fishing and hunting.
This weekend Market Hall is hosting the 15th Annual Texas Fishing, Hunting and Outdoors show, which is in Dallas for the first time.
Inside Market Hall, you can shop for your next boat, learn a few hunting tricks, marvel at the live birds of prey, and see the latest technology in fishing.
Expert anglers fish out of a 4,000-gallon bass tank and give you a rare underwater view of how the fish react to different lures and techniques.
"It's the outdoors brought indoors," said Brian Hughes, a fishing guide. "It's their opportunity to come in and do something in that off-season to get ready for the coming seasons."
But fishing expert Wally Marshall -- a.k.a. Mr. Crappie -- will tell you it's still a good time to fish.
"Just the average Joe can go out there and catch a limit of crappie right now, like at Lake O' the Pines or Lake Ray Roberts, dead of winter, and you can catch some great crappie right now," Marshall said.
Kids can catch and release catfish out of a tank, and a small donation will earn them a trophy.
"People always want to have fun, maybe even more so in the down economy," Hughes said.
Texas tops the nation for the number of people who hunt and fish -- 2.6 million -- and the amount of money they spend on it -- $6.6 billion annually.
The show runs through Sunday and the first 250 children on Saturday and Sunday get a free fishing rod.