This year marked the first Fishing and Hunting Expo held at Westport Christian Church, spearheaded by Pastor Mike Bartlett.
“It was a huge success,” said Bartlett, who estimated attendance at approximately 200 people. “The Big Fish” in that rather sizable pond, however, was bass fishing expert Terry McWilliams.
In addition to McWilliams’ presentation, 11 vendors attended the expo to display their wares, including Bauwer’s Custom Baits (from Greencastle), Thrown-n-Thunder (which makes custom spinner baits), Buck Wild Bait Company (which makes custom plastic lures), and Ducks Unlimited (a nationally known organization which promotes outdoor sports).
“Each vendor brought their own unique array,” said Bartlett. “Many of the people that were here have customers outside of Indiana.” He continued to explain that the expo also gave the vendors an opportunity to make local contacts.
The fishing expo could potentially become a tradition, too.
“All of the vendors have agreed to return next year,” said Bartlett.
Pastor Bartlett said fishing has always been a part of his life. He grew up on a river and participated in competitive fishing until he entered the ministry.
Last year he began fishing competitively again, and decided he wanted to spread his faith through something “normal.”
Bartlett also became involved in the Fishers of Men, a nation-wide competition (http://www.fomntt.com) open to all ages.
Disciples Peter and John were fishermen, who were to become “fishers of men,” explained Bartlett.
“I like to think that maybe I’m fulfilling my call as well,” he said. “I’m just trying to promote Christian principles in our community, and make a positive impact in people’s lives.”
Next year’s expo is planned for the first Saturday of February.
Pastor Bartlett can be reached at 812-591-3807.
Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004