Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Sportsman Expo drew crowd to civic center

February 13, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Thousands of fishing and hunting enthusiasts had a difficult choice to make this weekend. Enjoy the awesome weather out on the water or in the woods, or come to the Lee Civic Center for the 24th annual Florida Sportsman Expo, the biggest outdoors expo in the state.

Those who went to the expo learned an awful lot in the two days it was here. There were dozens of seminars that required some people to come for a second day, as well as great deals on gear, boats and more.

The event is put on by Florida Sportsman Magazine, which annually holds it as an extension of its publication. This event is for the serious anglers, or someone who really wants to learn.

Article Photos

Fly fishermen participate in the Flytying Throwdown at the 24th annual Florida Sportsman Expo at the Lee Civic Center on Saturday.


"We come here to bring the manufacturers, fishers and anglers together and we've had a good day," said Michael Conner, event coordinator. "This is a reflection of the magazine with where-to and how-to fishing, with 30 seminars a day. People come where for an education and they buy a ticket and sit in on seminars all day."

There were six stages, with many seminars going on at the same time, depending on what your interest was. Inshore, offshore, hunting, kayaking, angler on foot and fly fishing.

For the fly fishermen, there was even a contest, the Flytying Throwdown, where competitors had 25 minutes to create a lure using certain materials and a "secret ingredient" that had to be incorporated.

There was also a Bait, Rigs and Tackle Academy, where anglers got hands-on instruction from the staff of Florida Sportsman such as Rick Ryals.

There were also 65 exhibitors showing tackle, accessories, boats, kayaks, marine art and more.

Greg Prompovitch, of Red Rum International, a tropical lifestyle apparel brand available statewide, said this show is a way to spread the tropical lifestyle.

"We would love to spread the lifestyle brand around the country because we know how many people visit South Florida and love the lifestyle, but only get to live it a week at a time," Prompovitch said.

For the kids, they learned how to cast a flyrod in the casting pond set up in the back of the building. They also got a free tackle pack if they came early enough.

For the adults, it was a way to find out more about the outdoor lifestyle.

"It's a great event. I think it's interesting. We've attended a few of the seminars," said Jean Oakley, from Englewood, who came with her husband, Greg. "We do all the outdoors stuff. We like fishing in the boat and out in the salt water."



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web