BELTON — The annual Central Texas Boat Show kicks off the fishing season and brings outdoor enthusiasts together under one roof.
Rick Smith, Central Texas Marine Dealer Association president and owner of Marine Outlet in Temple, said this year’s show is “very unique” in that it offers a variety of watercraft from $400 and higher.
“There’s something for every price range,” he said. “We added kayaks this year, more tackle dealers. We have fishing pros to answer any questions, seminars — there’s a wide assortment of items all under one roof.”
Smith said the event is also what kicks off the season.
“It brings the outdoor lifestyle to the Central Texas Community in one venue rather than people having to drive all around to find something,” he said. “Also, after the holidays and the cold weather, it kicks off the season for most of us. This is where we meet the majority of our prospects who will buy from us when they’re ready.”
Bruce and Rachel Carter attended boat shows in other areas across the state, but this was the first year they stopped by the Bell County Expo Center for the Central Texas Boat Show.
“I have a boat, but I like to see what is new on the market and we get to see a lot of really nice boats,” Bruce Carter said. “This is a really nice.”
Hugh and Craig Sullivan attend the boat show annually.
“I always enjoy seeing what’s new, but I’m always amazed at how much the prices (of boats) jump each year,” Hugh Sullivan said. “It’s nice to see what’s out there.”
Joe and Kellye Shotwell are veterans of the boat show.
“We’ve been coming here for many years,” Joe Shotwell said. “I just like to look at boats. I’ve always had boats, and I like to see the new models and the way they’re built.”
The boat show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 Loop 121, in Belton.
The Tuffman Championship weigh-in is today, where one angler will be dubbed the best fisherman in Central Texas after competitors put their skills to the test on Belton and Stillhouse Hollow lakes over the weekend.