Neil Taylor has his own set of fishing rules

Neil Taylor has his own set of fishing rules

jlembo@bradenton.comJune 22, 2014 

PALMETTO -- Neil Taylor calls it his 6 To 10 Rule.

Six to 10 in the morning, a good time to be fishing. Six to 10 in the evening, another good time to be fishing.

He has a 200-Yard Rule, too.

"Instead of being way up inside Tampa Bay," he said, "I would start fishing within 200 yards of the gulf pass. Incoming tide way better than outgoing tide."

Taylor was sharing such tidbits Friday morning inside the lobby of the Bradenton Area Convention Center, home to the Onshore Offshore Boat Shore. Taylor was giving a 75-minute lesson entitled Kayak Fishing For Beginners, one of four classes taught per day as part of the Captain Joe Fishing School.

In other words, this boat show wasn't just about boats, though the main hall of the convention center will have plenty up until Sunday, the final day of the show. Gates open 10 a.m. Sunday and the events runs until 5. Admission is $5 - free for kids 12 and under - and half of Sunday's ticket revenues benefit Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee.

"The Captain Fishing School, what that's all about, really, is a chance to interact with anglers," said show promoter Joe Scilligo. "They can come in and hear from the experts,"

They can do more than just listen. Each of the four sessions per day runs 75 minutes and gives participants a chance to use their hands. Taylor, for example, taught those in his class how to rig lures. And during the shark fishing class, taught by Capts. Joe Hebert and Jeremy Heimes, people can get a chance to make their own shark rigs.

"They'll be tying knots, they'll be rigging lures," Scilligo said, "and what they get to practice on to use, they get to take home with them. And what's nice about it is it's included in the entrance fee."

This weekend mark the third stint for the re-established show, which returned to the area last summer and hosted a show in January, too. It's the first time hands-on classes were offered, however.

"What we're trying to do is expand it a little bit," Scilligo said. "Not everybody that comes in here fishes...A lot of people are coming here to buy boats for recreational purposes. But for the fishermen, and a lot of these boats are boats you would use for fishing, as much information as we can get to them, the better."

Other classes scheduled centered around cast net fishing and live bait fishing, as well as fishing with artificial lures.

Taylor, who runs Strike Three Kayak Fishing - he is a former baseball umpire, according to Strike Three's website - said the best way to clean reels is with bottled water.

"There's no minerals or anything in it," Taylor said. "You don't take them in the shower with you, you don't blast them with a hose..."

Scilligo said the convention center is a good place to host the show, especially in the summer, where people can get out of the hot weather and daily dose of thunderstorms.

"We feel pretty comfortable with the set up," he said. "It allows us to bring, obviously, a lot of different boats during the summer show. Now when we do the January show, we'll probably have this many boats out back, as well.

"It is a nice facility."

Scilligo, who has been promoting boat shows for about 10 years, said prodding from the community is what lead him to bring a show back to the convention center.

He hopes to keep doing it, too.

"It's a process to kind of figure out what folks want, what works, what hours work," Scilligo said. "We grew from the show in June to January … This is more for the local folks here in June. This is what we're trying to appeal to."

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