FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show now open - Major League Fishing
FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show now open
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FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show now open

Boats, motors, tackle, seminars, giveaways and high-stakes weigh-ins highlight outdoor show
Image for FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show now open
The boat and outdoor show is booming with boats. Photo by Rob Newell.
August 11, 2004 • Rob Newell • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The smell of fresh fiberglass hangs in the air. An armada of sleek, shiny boats glistens in the showroom lights. Oodles of rods, reels and every kind of lure imaginable drape the aisles. Dozens of product reps whisper inside secrets about the latest innovations that can be used against the enemy. Espionage experts who have made a living stalking the adversary offer free advice on how to capture the quarry.

If one didn’t know better, they would think they had stepped into the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters for bass fishing.

However, this is the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show being held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in downtown Birmingham August 11-14.

If it has anything to do with a bass, you can find it here this week.

The aisles are lined with tackle.Whether you want to talk to bass pros, sit in on fishing seminars, put your hands on the new Ranger Z-Series Comanche boat, see the latest tackle innovations, hire a guide, fit yourself with a new tournament shirt, watch product demos, or just witness the awesome spectacle of one man winning a half-million dollars for catching bass, this is the place to be.

For starters, the show is filled with 140-plus exhibitors showing off everything from what bass eat to what fishermen eat.

Longtime tackle and lure companies such as Daiwa, Bagley’s, All-Star Rods, Shimano, Gambler, Mann’s Bait Company, Uncle Josh and others will be displaying their recent innovations in fishing equipment.

Want to get to your fish faster? The outdoor show is revving with horsepower.Also, a new generation of tackle companies such as Lucky Craft, Kinami, BassMedics, P-Line, Mimic Lures and Kistler rods are making a splash in the bass-fishing marketplace with cutting-edge products.

When you are ready to purchase tackle, two of Birmingham’s largest sporting goods outfitters, Mark’s Outdoors and Simmons Sporting Goods, have voluminous booths packed with tackle at special sale prices.

Want to fish in complete comfort? Not a problem. Dozens of bass boats from Ranger, Champion and Stratos are on display.

Even if your idea of a good time is just cruising the open water with your family, bay boats and cruisers from AquaSport, Wellcraft, Hydra-Sports and Four Winns are on hand.

The centerpiece of the show: the new Ranger Z Series to be unveiled Friday afternoon.The centerpiece on the show floor is a bass boat hidden by a black shroud: the Ranger Z-Series Comanche, to be unveiled at 5 p.m. Central time Friday just before the weigh-in.

Want to get to your fish faster? Not a problem, either. Both Evinrude and Yamaha have large displays of their latest outboards with plenty of representatives to help answer question about their products.

Seminars and appearances

Each day of the FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show will be punctuated with a series of fishing seminars by well-known pros such as Guido and Dion Hibdon, Randy Howell, Larry Nixon, Jay Yelas, Hank Parker and Mark Davis.

BASS Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle will be in the Mark’s Outdoors booth signing autographs and answering questions Friday and Saturday evening after the weigh-in.

In addition, Fujifilm will be providing a daily seminar on outdoor photography.

Saturday at noon, Forrest L. Wood, the legend who started Ranger Boats and was a guiding force in pioneering the tournament-fishing industry, will be on hand for a special seminar on the future of bass fishing.

For a complete list of times for seminars, see the schedule below.

Giveaways

When the show opens each day, FLW Outdoors will be giving away free fishing gear to kids 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult.

Need a hat? This show has any color or style you could possibly want.On Wednesday, children will receive a free hat and T-shirt. On Thursday, it’s free tackle kits. Friday will feature free tackle boxes. And on Saturday, rod and reel combos will be given away to youngsters.

Supplies are limited and the show openings vary, so check the show times below and get there early.

And what about the adults? Well, there is free stuff for the big boys, too.

On Friday, a drawing will be held for a free Ranger boat. And this is not any just any Ranger, either. FLW Outdoors will give away the first production-model Ranger Z-Series boat to one lucky winner.

Can you imagine being the first person to own one of these cutting-edge fishing machines?

Then on Saturday, the Birmingham News and Birmingham Post-Herald will sponsor a drawing for another Ranger, this one a Limited Edition NASCAR 521VX.

In addition, there will be plenty of samples given away by FLW Tour sponsors in the Family Fun Zone.

Speaking of the weigh-in stage, the centerpiece of each day’s activities will be the weigh-in of FLW Tour pros and co-anglers.

For real! Reels abound at the outdoor show.Make your plans now to attend the FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show.

Show times and locations

The FLW Tour Championship Boat and Outdoor Show and weigh-ins are being held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) in downtown Birmingham on Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the show hours are from 2-8 p.m.

On Friday, the show hours are from 12- 9 p.m.

On Saturday, the show hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Each day the weigh-in will begin at 5 p.m.

The unveiling of the Ranger Z-Series will be done before weigh-in Friday.

Seminar schedules

Wednesday, Aug. 11:

3 p.m. Guido Hibdon

3:30 p.m. Dion Hibdon

7 p.m. Outdoor Photography

Thursday, Aug. 12:

3 p.m. Outdoor Photography

3:30 p.m. Guido Hibdon

7 p.m. Dion Hibdon

Friday, Aug. 13:

1 p.m. Randy Howell

1:30 p.m. Guido Hibdon

2 p.m. Larry Nixon

3:30 p.m. Jay Yelas

7 p.m. Randy Howell

7:30 p.m. Outdoor Photography

Saturday, Aug. 14

10:45 a.m. Hook on Fishing, Not on Drugs seminar

12 p.m. Forrest L. Wood on the Future of Bass Fishing

1 p.m. Dion Hibdon

1:30 p.m. Outdoor Photography

2 p.m. Mark Davis

3:30 p.m. Hank Parker

BASS Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle is scheduled to be in the Mark’s Outdoors booth from 6:30-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.