-- Whether you want to improve your fishing
skills, tackle or artwork collection, the Shallow Water Fishing Expo has what
The second annual show opened Saturday at the Broward County Convention
Center. It continues today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and
free for children under 14.
The Expo is not a huge show, but it is a quality show. You can easily spend a
full day gleaning information from a host of seminar speakers and checking out
the latest in rods, reels, lines, boats, motors, push poles, kayaks, cast nets
and other fishing accessories.
Between the exhibitors and the seminar speakers, the show covers pretty much
everything from bonefish and tarpon to snook and redfish to largemouth and
High Roller Fishing Lure Company of Gainesville offers hand-made wooden lures
that catch largemouths, peacocks, snook, trout, redfish and jacks, among other
High Roller's lures are a throwback to the good old days of fishing, when all
plugs were made from wood. Now, the majority are made of plastic.
According to Rich Dixon, who makes and paints each High Roller by hand, wooden
lures are more buoyant and durable. Plus all the hardware is stainless steel.
"Step on a plastic lure that's hollow and you get a crunch -- you can
jump up and down on these without hurting them," said Dixon, who finishes
each lure with a two-part epoxy gel coat, which results in a sparkling shine.
"You can't get plastic that looks like this."
Most High Roller lures sell for about $10. If you don't make it to the Expo,
you can see all six models at the www.hroller.com
With lures like that, you want to be sure to tie good knots. At the Ande
Monofilament booth, you can pick up a free knot-tying book as well as the West
Palm Beach-based company's newsletter and catalog.
Alternative fishing lines made from Kevlar and fluorocarbon get lots of
publicity these days but, as Ande marketing director Bill Munro noted, it's
hard to beat good old monofilament.
"Over the last few years, we've seen a lot of different types of fishing
line and I think they all have found their niche," Munro said, adding
that of the 50-plus companies that sell line in this country, monofilament
accounts for the bulk of those sales. "Monofilament is durable, it's
consistent and the value is excellent."
Several artists are displaying their talents at the show. Among the most
unusual is Alisa Utamating of Sarasota, who uses actual fish to make colorful
impressions on rice paper, a Japanese art form known as Gyotaku.
Utamating's exhibit includes framed and unframed originals, signed limited
edition prints, and open prints of snook, tarpon, sailfish, redfish, dolphin
and hogfish. Especially interesting is an original she painted of a great
egret perched in the mangroves overlooking a Gyotaku impression of a snook in