The News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo and Boat Show opens today and runs through Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Show manager Jim Scilligo said the show will feature continuous hands-on, how-to activities; presentations from a variety of outdoors experts; a shopping extravaganza with more than 150 vendors; and a boat show in a family friendly country fair atmosphere.
Captains Mike Anderson and Billy Nobles of the "Reel Animals" television and radio shows will host the expo. They will be at the event throughout open hours to meet and greet fans.
B.A.S.S. tournament veteran Chuck Devereaux will lead four seminars daily at the AAA Bass Tub Stage. In addition to general bass fishing tips, Devereaux will discuss which baits to use and how to use them to fish like a pro.
The Wear It Florida Safe Boating Stage and Chevrolet Main Stage will feature dozens of renowned anglers discussing topics ranging from saltwater fly fishing to fishing the flats. Where to go and what bait to use to land pompano, tarpon, trout and redfish are on the agenda. Captain "Red Ed" Brennan will do a session on scalloping.
The Thunder Marine Stage will feature sessions geared to boaters. Topics include boat detailing, understanding boat electronics and "Ladies at the Helm," boating instruction for women.
The Archery Shop Stage will feature sessions on bow fishing, gator hunting and new hunting product technologies. Mark Beck will have a session called "Tips on Archery from a World Class Shooter." As in past years, The Archery Shop exhibit will feature a range where shooters can "test drive" the newest bows, and where children can handle age-appropriate bows and arrows.
The World Fishing Network will present the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Fishing Derbies, conducted by "Get Reel," on Saturday and Sunday.
Volunteers will help participants bait their hooks, cast and reel in their catches on a small stocked lake behind the exhibit halls. There will be grand prizes for the largest fish caught over the weekend in this catch-and-release contest. All kids will receive goodie bags for participating.
The Devore Labradors Kennel is scheduled to return with demonstrations on pointing and retrieving, as well as a variety of dog training tips on all three days of the expo.
On Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., attendees will be able to try bow fishing at another lake behind the exhibit halls.
Hours of the expo are 1 to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission today is free. On Saturday and Sunday, tickets are $8 (free for ages 12 and younger).