See what’s coming as Florida Sportsman Expo returns to Lee Civic Center February 9th and 10th!
What is an Expo?
The Florida Sportsman Expo is a multi-outdoor-sports weekend exposition featuring hands-on, how-to seminars; events for kids; unique retail opportunities; and chances to mix and mingle with fellow outdoorsfolks.
Cost to get in is just $8 for adults; free for kids 12 and under with adult. Active military and first responders get 50 percent off. See the advertisement in this month’s issue for a $2 off coupon. Or, go to floridasportsman.com/expo to print a $1 off coupon.
The Expo coming to the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, second week of February, will offer 30 seminars per day on six different stages: Inshore, Offshore, Hunting, Fly Fishing, Kayak Fishing and Angler on Foot. Local guides and other experts will give inside tips—all with Q&A.
Captain Bobby Woodard will talk spring tarpon, Capt. Debbie Hanson will pinpoint the best “backcountry” winter bites, Capt. Barry “Cuda” Nichols will discuss offshore prospecting, Capt. Joe Harley gives advice on fly tackle for spring ’poons, Joe Mahler demonstrates fly line management, Jeff and Justin Stuller present on kayak fishing 101 and top spots to paddle for Ft. Myers winter action, and Capt. Larry Finch divulges ￼￼everything you need to know about fishing surf, bridges and piers. And there’ll be more. Among sponsors for the Seminar Stages: Action Craft (Inshore), Ankona (Fly Fishing), Arrowhead Archery (Hunting) Estero River Outfitters (Kayak).
Central to all the Expos is the Riggin’ it Right Academy, where every hour there’ll be hands-on tutorials on making basic and advanced rigs for everything from king mackerel to seatrout. TowBoat U.S. is sponsor for the Inshore and Offshore classrooms.
The Castnet Pit, sponsored by Moonlighter Fishing Products, is essentially a ninth, full-time seminar stage, where Expo attendees can try different types of nets and learn to master their throws.
Boat manufacturers and local dealers will offer models to explore—and hot deals to go with them. Same for tackle companies, hunting outfitters and more. A sample of early signups for the Fort Myers Expo included Gheenoe, Action Craft boats, Ankona skiffs, Gator Jim’s, Southeast Tackle Liquidators and Lee Fisher International with good show specials, Body Glove SUPs, Estero River Outfitters with Hobie and more, Nissan interactive Titan truck trailer and models on the floor, custom knives, Tsunami tackle.
The exhibitors also include conservation groups such as Calusa Waterkeeper, Angler Action, The Great Calusa Blueway and CCA.
Back by popular demand: Singer/songwriter Emily Ross, from Sarasota, was slated to perform both days.
Also back by popular demand, the Fly Tying Throwdown (a highlight at the Tampa Expo last October), scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9. Fly tyers will be given materials and tools and set period of time to craft a unique pattern for the judges, with grand prize by Umpqua. It starts at 1 p.m.—signup limited to the first 15 entries before noon Saturday.
Another (slightly) competitive activity: Kids’ fishing at the stocked lakes on the Civic Center grounds, and a kids’ fish ID scavenger hunt, sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Zebco tackle packs for kids while supplies last.
Gate opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, closing at 5 p.m. Sunday hours run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
￼￼￼See you there!
First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine February 2019