TAMPA, FL –Florida Sportsman Expo is returning to Tampa’s Florida State Fairgrounds on November 16-17. Attendees will find a wide array of exhibitors and manufacturers of fishing tackle, offshore and inshore fishing boats, kayaks, paddle boards, outdoor apparel, marine art and more.
Learning is always front and center at the Expo—there will be 25 informative seminars given by area captains and fishing experts per day on 5 sponsored seminar stages. The Offshore Fishing stage will be manned by Capt. Randy Rochelle (bottom fishing tactics), kingfish guru Dan Casey, Austin Collins will present slow-roll jigging tactics and Mark Goodson will teach you how to fish the entire water column offshore. Inshore anglers can grab a seat at the Action Craft Inshore stage to hear Capt. Ray Markham address responsible catch-and-release techniques, Capt. George Hastick will share secrets about catching the coveted inshore slam, Capt. Sergio Atanes talks snook fishing, and Capt. Travis Yaeckel will share his redfish secrets.
Kayakers can take in talks at the Tackle Shack Kayak Fishing Stage, delivered by big-game fishing kayaker Pam Wirth, Capt. Karen Doss on Tampa Bay reds and snook, and more. The Ankona Boats Fly Fishing Stage features Capt. Rick Grassett on tripletail, mackerel and albies, Walt Durkin on wading Tampa Bay, Leigh West on advanced fly casting, and more. Rounding up the Seminars is “Pompano Rich” Vidulich and David Hartwell, who team up on the Angler on Foot Stage to talk surf fishing and fishing from piers and bridges.
Anglers are encouraged to take a seat at our popular hands-on Rigging it Right Academy, sponsored by Hydroglow, for expert instruction on knot-tying, hook sharpening, bait and lure rigging, fish filleting and more.
Beginner and intermediate fly fishers can get hands-on instruction, too, on both fly casting at the indoor casting pond, and fly-tying by members of the Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club and Suncoast Fly Fishers. If you tie flies and want to show off your skills, be sure to register for the Florida Sportsman Expo Fly Tying Throwdown, held at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Register before 12:30 pm at the Fly Fishing Seminar Stage for a seat at the table to compete for a grand prize and bragging rights.
Attendees can take in all of these instructional features of the Expo at no additional coast. It’s a bargain for an $8 admission ticket. New this year is Fitzgerald Rod’s Strong Angler Competition. Attendees entering this “rod pull” contest will compete in two age divisions for Fitzgerald tackle prizes.
Exhibitor Fishing Nosara is holding a free drawing for a one-week stay at Casa Tranquilo in Costa Rica valued at $1,000. This trip includes a half-day fishing on the Adventurer. Stop by booth #21 to enter.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) hosts the Kid’s Fishing Derby three times on both Saturday and Sunday, on the Fairground’s stocked fishing pond. Three lucky winners will be awarded prizes in each Derby, and goodie bags are awarded to every kid taking part in FWC’s
Fish ID Scavenger Hunt.
Show hours are Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. And 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday. Tickets are the Fairgrounds box office are $8 for adults; kids under 12 get in free with an adult. Military and first responders with ID receive a 50 percent discount on admission.