(TAMPA, Sept. 9, 2013) – For the 21st year, Florida Sportsman magazine will be hosting the extremely popular Florida Sportsman Expo at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa over the weekend of Sept. 14-15, 2013.
Visitors will be treated to a huge indoor three-ring circus of events for anglers, hunters and boaters. Each day brings fishing seminars from Tampa Bay’s best experts along with a 100-foot indoor cast pond, a kids’ casting pond and free prizes, hands-on rigging tables set up for 80 people at a time, free fly- and net-casting lessons, the newest lineup of tackle, gear and boats for 2014.
“It’s a great chance for everyone from beginners to experts to learn new tactics, pick up added skills and take advantage of show specials on boats, tackle, gear, gadgets and accessories,” says Expo Director Doug Kelly, who’s also a Florida Sportsman Contributing Editor. “It’s also a perfect opportunity to save big on Christmas presents for your favorite anglers and hunters.”
An added attraction each day is a free drawing for all attendees for a 42-inch flat screen TV donated by The Sportsman Channel. The World Fishing Network is offering a day of fishing to be filmed for an episode of Copout Outdoor Adventures – stop by their booth and nominate a person who gives back to society. Editors from Florida Sportsman will also be on hand to greet visitors along with many Tampa Bay TV, newspaper and radio personalities.
“Last year we had over 100 exhibitors and expect to have a jam-packed hall again this year with rows and rows of goodies,” Kelly says.
On display will be a super-charged swamp buggy, a fully rigged airboat, inshore and offshore boats of all sizes, and five seminar stages going on simultaneously. Featured speakers on just the Rhodan Inshore Stage and the Cortland Offshore Stage include PowerPoint presentations by outstanding authorities such as Capt. Mark Nichols, Capt. Gary Burch, Capt. Dave Pomerleau, Capt. Terry LaCoss, Capt. Jim Lemke, Capt. Sergio Atanes, Capt. Chris O’Neill, Capt. Jason Prieto, Capt. Lynn Zirkle, Capt. Billy Nobles and Jimbo Keith.
A partial list of the seminar topics to be covered include:
- How To Catch More & Bigger Grouper
- Targeting Smoker Kingfish
- Secrets of Slow-Trolling Live Baits
- New Techniques with GPS & Fish Finders
- Extreme Tactics for Monster Snook
- Sight Fishing for Bull Reds
- Targeting Inshore Snapper
- Best Plastic Lures for the Flats
- Best Live Baits for the Flats
- Top Methods to Fish Bridges & Piers
- The ABCs of Kayak Fishing
- Best Tactics for Pass Tarpon
- Tampa Bay’s Latest Hot Spots
A favorite show attraction is the Riggin’ it Right Academy sponsored by Fins Tackle. Groups of up to 80 anglers at a time take turns sitting at tables with all supplies and tackle while Florida Sportsman staff gives hands-on instruction on properly rigging the baits and lures that work best around Tampa Bay.
In only a few minutes you can learn how to effectively throw a cast net in the cast-net pit with Capt. Terry Sturgeon. Those interested in fly fishing will receive free casting and fly-tying instruction at a 100-foot indoor pond hosted by the Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club and the Suncoast Fly Fishing Club. Learn all that’s needed to get into kayak fishing with renowned authority Peter Hinck. Capt. Larry Finch discloses little-known tricks to better fish piers, bridges, jetties and beaches. Kids have their own events at a hookless spin-cast pond hosted by the Golden Triangle Fishing Club with free “can’t-lose” prizes provided by Zebco. There’s even a free kids’ face-painting booth by renowned artist Tony Ryals, the famed quadriplegic who paints using just his mouth.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will display exhibits of interest to boaters and hunters as well as the Florida Sportsman Grand Slam Tank, a 500-gallon mobile saltwater aquarium. Kids will be kept busy and win free prizes with the FWC’s “Fish ID” contest.
“Everything’s included in the admission price,” notes Kelly. "It's going to be a grand day on both Saturday and Sunday for everyone who loves the outdoors.”
Tickets at the Florida State Fairgrounds box office are $8 for adults and kids 12 and under with parents free. Show hours run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15. For a discount coupon and more details visit www.FloridaSportsman.com/Expo.