Bell County Expo Center to host Central Texas Boat Show
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 by Rick Smith
While growing up in Houston, my dad and I spent countless hours walking the bank, slipping and sliding on the Jetties or wading in the surf trying to catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder along the Texas coast. I remember the early mornings looking longingly as the guides and fishermen with boats headed across the bay to their favorite spot. I've had a fondness for boats of all kinds ever since. There is just something about being on the water that lets everything relax. That has been over 50 years ago, but the memories hang around today like the early morning clouds over the bay.
I'll never forget my first experience in fresh water and my first Black Bass. It hit a frog pattern Jitterbug just below the rapids on the Frio River near Concan, Texas. It is near a big cypress tree with a pool of water where Neal's Camp stops for a wiener and marshmallow roast during the hayride. It weighed 4 1/2lbs on a Zebco Deliar. I was instantly hooked on bass fishing. Whether you like fishing or vacationing on the coast, on a lake or on a stream it seems that the good times and memories that are made are the most important part.
The best place to get a good idea of what you need to get started; besides a fishing buddy that is, will be at the Bell County Expo Center during the Central Texas Boat Show. Fishing, Skiing, Tubing, Cruising, Kayaking or Sailing is an adventure you can experience alone or together.
This weekend the Central Texas Marine Dealers and other sports oriented enthusiasts invite you to the Central Texas Boat Show. From small personal watercraft, bass boats, ski boats and cruisers to roomy party craft large enough for family and friends, you'll find just the right boat for your needs and budget during Central Texas largest boat show running for three big days at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton! Those who know will tell you that the deepest discounts and best boating prices are to be found at boat show time!
The Boat Show begins Jan. 6 and runs through Jan. 8 at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton! Be sure and check out the entire show in the huge Exhibition Hall. Show hours are Friday noon-9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bass Boats, Ski Boats, Party Boats, Pontoon Boats, Bay Boats, Deck Boats, and Personal Watercraft on display include Skeeter, Xpress, Sweetwater Pontoons, Larson Runabouts, Triumph Fishing Boats, G3 Fishing Boats, Hurricane Deck Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Chaparral, SeaArk, Nautic Star, Premier, Apex, Yamaha Sport Boats, Yamaha Waverunners, Glastron, Mercury, Volvo, Sea Ray Sport Boats, Bayliner Sport Boats and Cruisers, Nautiques by Correct Craft, Harris FloteBote Pontoon Boats, Sea Ray and Meridian Sport Yacht and Yachts, Kawasaki Personal Watercraft, Mercruiser, Cummins Mercruiser, Triton Boats, Ranger Boats, Legend boats,
Stingray Pleasure Boats, Alumacraft Fishing Boats, Cypress Cay Pontoon Boats and Buster Boats.
Marine Dealers participating in this year's show include Marine Outlet of Temple, Texas Boat World of Harker Heights, Marineland Boating Center of Waco, Yowell's Boat Yard of Waco, and Sail & Ski of Austin.
Adult tickets are just $6 each. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult. Parking is FREE!
Friday is Military Appreciation Day! Active Duty Military and their dependents will be admitted FREE by presenting their Active Duty Military I.D.
Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Scott & White Blood Mobile will be on hand. Anyone donating blood will receive a free pass for the boat show.
Seminars during the show include Crappie Expert Tommy Tidwell on Saturday from noon–1 p.m. Keith Combs, Professional Bass Fisherman and recent winner of the Toyota Bass Classic during a sudden-death fish-off on Lake Conroe, Texas will host a Seminar on Sunday from noon-1 p.m. Each seminar will provide information and secrets that can only be learned by spending countless hours on the water. The seminars are included with your show attendance.
Beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday some of Central Texas most experienced bass fisherman load their boats on the trailers at Stillhouse-Hollow Lake and head to the Bell County Expo Center to weigh their catch for the TuffMan Championship Bass Tournament. The official weigh-in starts at approximately 3:30 p.m. The TuffMan weigh-in is conducted under the Expo Dome! That means a great seat for everyone to watch. More than $20,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the top 5 teams. The winning team will receive $10,000.00 in cash! Legend Boats and Triton Boats contingency money could add even thousands more for the winners! This is the 12th Annual TuffMan series and includes 61 qualifying teams. Keith Combs, winner of the Toyota Bass Classic will be the Weigh Master.
Kids Catfishing will be available all three days of the show! Kids of all ages will enjoy trying their fishing skills on a tank full of Channel Catfish. It's like catching fish in a barrel; except this is a really big barrel and there will be some whopper size catfish waiting to take the bait!
Exhibits during the Central Texas Boat Show include Wooded Acres Tackle- Richland, Tight Line Tackle – Killeen, Lowrance Electronics, Wow Inflatable Water Toys, Humminbird Electronics, Minnkota Trolling Motors, Motorguide Trolling Motors, Tournament Saver Pro, Texell Credit Union – Temple, Developer Marketing and Management Company, Texan Lures – Temple, Holding the Line Guide Svc. – Killeen, Silver Spur Outfitters – Gatesville, Austin Canoe and Kayak – Austin, 3D resorts – Austin, Advanced Chiropractic – Temple, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers – Lakes Belton and Stillhouse, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary – Lake Belton, Texas Bass Couples Tournament Trail – Dallas, LINE-X of Harker Heights – Harker Heights, CenTex Bass Clubs – Killeen, Texas Partners Federal Credit Union, Silver Leaf Resorts – San Antonio, Bubba's Smoked Meats – New Braunfels, Scentsy Candles – Nolanville.
Fishing Tackle on Sale! It's worth the price of admission just to go through the thousands of fishing tackle items on sale during the show! This is your once a year opportunity to purchase formerly high priced artificial baits plus rods and reels at extremely discounted prices. Dig through bins and boxes and racks of fishing tackle, rods, reels, artificial lures like spinner baits, crank baits, lipless vibrating baits, and hundreds of pounds of soft plastic along with a great selection of knives! It's better than an after Christmas sale for fishermen and outdoorsmen. Come early for the best selection.
The Central Texas Boat Show is held at the Bell County Expo Center; located off Interstate 35 in Belton. Take Exit 292 North or South and look for the big dome on Loop 121 and come enjoy Central Texas largest boat show!
For more information, call Rick Smith, President of the Central Texas Marine Dealers Association at (254) 773-9931 or visit www.centraltexasboatshow.com.