Fishermen, families enjoy boat show at Expo
Thursday, 31 January 2013 by Elissa Thompson
Families and fishermen all had something in common this past weekend as they attended the Central Texas Marine Dealers Boat Show; they were looking for the perfect boat.
The show took place in the Bell County Expo Center and offered events for all ages. A fun zone for the kids which included a tank stocked with catfish, kid's bumper boats and bubble rides.
For the adults there were a seminar and a fishing tournament. The 13th annual Tuffman Championship Tournament began at daybreak Saturday morning and was over at 3 p.m. when the fishermen drove from Lake Belton to the Expo dome to weigh in their catches. The grand prize consisted of $10,000 in cash with other prizes.
"It's a place where people can get probably the best deals of the year on a new boat...We bring all these deals together in one place so that people don't have to drive all over the countryside with today's gas prices and find a dealer, but they're all here, come to one place, and see them all at one time," said Jim Reed, director of the boat show.
Six dealers throughout Central Texas including Waco, Temple, Austin, and Marble Falls were present as well as numerous accessory booths around the show.
"The big goal of the show is to introduce the new boating models and get the season started off with boating. We know that in Texas, unlike up north, it may be chilly and damp today, but tomorrow 90 degrees and sunshine. So we can boat throughout the year," Reed said.
Tommy Tidwell, a Crappie fish expert and guide, was the seminar speaker this year as he has been for the past few years. He discussed techniques on how to catch crappie in Central Texas and allowed attendees to ask questions.
"Tommy is probably one of the premium Crappie fishermen in the state of Texas and really knows what he's talking about," Reed said of the seminar speaker.
"I've been a crappie guide since 1986 at Granger Lake. With that many years, you've got enough information to tell people," Tidwell said.
As for the crappie fish, they are the best kind of the freshwater fish to eat and there aren't a lot in the Central Texas area, mainly in the Northeast and East Texas area. But the key thing, Tidwell said, is to know where the fish are at on which day and what time of the day to catch them.
But what most don't know about Tidwell is that he is also a Physics and Biology teacher at East View High School in Georgetown.
"Most people don't even realize that I'm a school teacher too because I'm always taking people crappie fishing," Tidwell said.
For the women, there were a few accessory booths that might peak the ladies' interests like hats, clothes, jewelry and candles. Prizes from different businesses were raffled off to help promote the fishing industry.
The Heart of Texas Bass Anglers Club in Killeen was at the boat show raffling off a rod, reel and a gift card to Academy. It is one of the oldest bass clubs in Central Texas beginning in 1972. The club consists of mainly active or retired military, but it is open to everyone.
"We have monthly tournaments throughout the year and we fish in different lakes throughout the state. We meet on the first and third Monday of each month," said Agustine (Gus) Delarosa, current vice president of the Club.
Basically, the club was formed to get more people into bass fishing and to learn how to fish as well as supporting the community in different events.
The needs of families, avid fishermen, and anyone just looking, were definitely met this weekend. As Reed said, "there is something for everyone here." For more information on the Central Texas Boat Show, the website is www.centraltexasboatshow.com.