WESTPORT — The annual Westport Fishing Expo returns to the Westport Christian Church Family Life Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 1.

The opportunity to spin the “one that got away” yarn will come around again in a swap meet enjoyable for all. Booth spaces are still available to anyone with something fish-related to share, sell, or talk about, and are priced at $10 each.

Westport’s Mike Bartlett, founder of the popular event, welcomes fishers young and old, saying if someone wanted to get a booth and tell fish stories all day he’d be more than happy to have them participate in the event. Vendors interested in participating should call 812-591-3807.

According to Bartlett, all proceeds collected from booth fees will be used to purchase prizes for the annual Westport Youth Fishing Derby, scheduled yearly for May.

The Fishing Derby is co-sponsored by Bartlett and the Westport Kiwanis Club, and is free to all local children.

According to Bartlett, the Derby is always a popular event and brings in almost 75 local children, each leaving with at least one prize.

The child with the biggest fish at the Derby wins a rod and reel, and the one with the most fish takes home a trophy.

“I have always enjoyed fishing, and I think the Derby really inspires that love in children,” said Bartlett.

Previous events have attracted the likes of Champion Fisher and Bassmaster Terry McWilliams.

“That was a big draw for us died-in-the-wool fishermen, but this year will be just an opportunity to share stories and shop for lures and everything fishing,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett promised lots of things for sale or trade, instruction on lure-making, and “a whole lot of fish stories going on about the one that got away.” There will also be sandwiches, chili and pies available for purchase.

According to Bartlett, whether one has old or unused fishing gear to unload, tips on the best places to find a certain kind of fish, or simply years of experience to share, the Westport Fishing Expo is the perfect place to be.

“It will be a fun day for anyone who likes fishing,” Bartlett said.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email

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