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Behind the scenes at the fish tank
Barry Featheringill

 

When you attend a fishing show one of the major attractions is the fish tank used by anglers to do a short presentation. I recently had the opportunity to meet up with a long time friend Dave Stewart at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show to get a view of some what it’s like to be up there on the ‘hawg trough’ stage.

Dave is professional bass guide on Kentucky and Barkley lakes and is widely recognized through out the Midwest . He has been hauling the ‘hawg trough’ to show all across the country for the last five years during the winter months when his guide business is slow. This year he only did three show; Lexington , KY ; Worcester , MA ; and Indianapolis , IN. In the past he has normally be on the road going to at least five shows.

When I met up with Dave at the show he was busy cleaning the lexan panels in preparation for the days show. Before the show opens he arrives early to get set up for the day. This includes checking on the fish and getting the sound system checked out. He then checks the pumps, which are two Jacuzzi pumps that circulate and filter the water.

The day I was there four different anglers made seminar presentations on the stage atop the hawg trough. Each angler did an thirty minute presentation and then answered questions along with some autograph signing. Those making presentations were Mike Delvisco on bass fishing, Roy Yepez on South American exotics, and Chris Walker on Indiana stream fishing and of course Dave Stewart.

It is really a different look from up on top of the hawg trough. With the aeration system going you cannot see the fish like you can from out in front. The person doing a presentation has to feel the fish and in order to not injure the fish the hook points are taken off the lures. The fish are the responsibility of each individual show. They may come from the state Department of Natural Resources or a private hatchery. 

Dave said that when pulling the trailer people really like to pull along side to look. The trailer is mounted on three axles and weighs in the neighborhood of 12,000 pounds with out any water in it. The tank hold 5000 gallons  of water and  requires regular changes depending on the length of the show.

Dave Stewart is one of the most recognized bass guides in the Midwest . You can check out his fishing reports for Kentucky Lake weekly here on FutureBass.com.

Dave works with both the novice and the experienced angler to get them on fish regardless of whether tournament prep or just pleasure fishing.


During Dave’s seminar he got a young man from the audience up on the tank with him to catch his first bass. This was a thrilling experience for Bryan Webb from Indianapolis .  Since the demonstrators take the hook point off their lures for this first time bass angler the hook was left on and you can see just how proud he was of his nice catch.

At the end of the show Dave had to drain the tank and get the fish back to Jones Fish and Lake Management’ of Cincinnati, Ohio (http://www.jonesfish.com/) who provided the fish for this show. Then the hawg trough was off to another show.