If you want to know more about Florida fishing from expert charter captains, there will be a pair of fantastic seminars coming to Bradenton next weekend.
On Friday and Saturday, the Florida Fishing College and Outdoor Expo will be held at the Manatee Civic Center in Palmetto.
Admission and parking are free.
Each day will feature the same captains: Hank Williams, Rick Grassett, Terry Frankford, Art Weaver and Rachel Nobbe.
Fortunately, I have fished with each, so I can vouch for their fishing expertise.
Williams, an offshore fishing specialist, has twice guided me to massive catching of grouper and snapper aboard the Wet Willy. Williams always is coming up with ways to save on fuel and innovative ideas on marking spots and catching fish.
Grassett is simply one of the best artificial fishermen in the state.
Grassett fished in Sarasota Bay and is a phenomenal fly-fisherman. I once fished with Grassett in poor conditions with low water temperatures, and I recall he still managed to pop a snook, of all species, skipping a D.O.A. shrimp under a dock.
At last year’s fishing college, Grassett put together an extremely helpful seminar with slideshows that showed, for example, precisely which pot holes or grass edges he was talking about.
Frankford also fishes primarily in Sarasota Bay, and the one time I fished with him, Frankford battled a 34-inch redfish to the boat, caught just off a dock piling.
Weaver, meanwhile, guided one of the more interesting trips I’ve been on. I can’t even count how many different species we caught — shark, redfish, snook, trout and numerous other oddball species that make Florida fishing so unique.
Nobbe was the one who hit a mangrove island in Terra Ceia and put us on 11 snook in one hour. Nobbe is an inshore specialist.
Not bad for free.
On Saturday, for a $55 ticket, George Poveromo of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing on ESPN2 will put on another great seminar at Manatee Community College Neel Auditorium, the Saltwater Sportsman National Series’ West Coast Florida edition.
Poveromo will be joined by Capt. Ted Lund, editor of Saltwater Sportsman; Capts. Allan Engel and T.J. Stewart, premier Bradenton guides; Dr. Mitchell Roffer, the nation’s leading authority on locating surface temperature breaks and ocean-circulation features that hold fish; Capt. Jimmy Price from North Carolina, who specializes in trophy-size flounder and speckled trout; Capt. “R.T.” Trosset, a legendary Key West light-tackle guide and IGFA World Record holder; Capt. Rick Featherstone, a noted southwest Florida guide specializing in tarpon, permit, cobia, king mackerel, grouper and snapper; and Capt. Jeff Hagaman, a backwater and nearshore guide from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor.
The ticket includes a 2009 comprehensive textbook, a one-year subscription or extension to Saltwater Sportsman Magazine, one Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecast Analysis (offshore tuna, dolphin and marlin) and more.
For more information, visit www.nationalseminar- series.com.
To order tickets by phone with a major credit card, call 1-800-448-7360.
Nick Walter, outdoors writer, can be reached at 745-7013.