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Exciting things happening around Meridian

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
Aug. 16, 2002
How many times have you heard people complain about nothing to do in Meridian and the surrounding area? Well, if you are an outdoorsman there is plenty to do in our area. This past week we have seen a slight cooling of temperatures, which is a signal that fall is on the way. There is no shortage of things to do in the fall in Meridian and the surrounding woods and waters.
If you haven't heard by now, we have some of the best outdoor opportunities available anywhere in the country. Fishing, hunting, water skiing, canoeing, boating, camping, hiking and biking are just a few of the outdoor opportunities that abound in our area. Where else in the world can you live and be literally 15 minutes from experiencing outdoor opportunities like these? In my case, I can be on Okatibbee Reservoir in five minutes. I can also walk out my front or back door and be hunting in less than five minutes!
Outdoor Expo
Too hot to fish or plan that fall hunt, you might say. Although that is a matter of opinion, there is an alternative this weekend starting Friday afternoon. Outdoor enthusiasts will get the chance to view and buy new products, meet professional fishermen, and participate in a myriad of things inside, under cool air-conditioning. What better time to take a break from the hot summer weather while waiting for the coming green field planting and hunting seasons?
Children in our area have an abundance of opportunities that are not available to people in every part of the country. Although we do have fantastic sports programs for youth here, there is a relatively new challenge that millions of people participate in. Although fishing has been around for as long as we have been here, it is just in the past few years that it has developed into a competitive sport.
As a youngster, I would have liked to become a professional fisherman, but the money just wasn't there to support a family. With the birth and subsequent success of tournament organizations such as the Bass Angler's Sportsman's Society, there is now a viable professional bass fishing industry.
Top angler
Anglers such as Denny Brauer have experienced an explosion of the sport in both popularity and money. In fact, Brauer is currently the all time money winner on the B.A.S.S. tournament trail. His documented winnings are over $1.6 million. Young fishermen can now dream of becoming millionaires in their chosen sport. And what better place to start than East Mississippi.
We have a literal field-testing area in the surrounding waters. Area ponds, creeks, streams, rivers and lakes are abundant and located within minutes. From Okatibbee Lake to the north, to Bonita in the south, to the Tombigbee River to the east, there is no shortage of both public and private waters to fish.
There will be many local outdoorsmen on hand for The Meridian Star Outdoor Expo that have a wealth of knowledge about the outdoors and hunting and fishing in particular. Young anglers and adults alike shouldn't miss out on an opportunity to meet some of these outdoorsmen.
Fresh off another B.A.S.S. win, Denny Brauer will be at the show all three days conducting seminars and participating in the show. Denny has competed against some of the sport's all-time leading fishermen and has become perhaps the top fisherman of our lifetime as evidenced by his many tournament wins and all-time money winnings. Don't miss out on a chance to meet one of the good guys in professional fishing. And for those anglers just itching for a chance to compete, there will be a casting contest for kids of all ages with prizes and money on the line.
If you think you might want to become a professional fisherman one day, then there will never be a better chance to talk to an expert and also compete in a fishing event at the same time. Come on out and participate in the activities or you just might miss out on one of the best shows of the year!