After four decades of trying to learn everything about fish, outdoors writer Mike Holliday has come to a startling conclusion.
"They are pretty much just like humans," said Holliday, who lives in Stuart on Florida's east coast. "They care about three things: food, comfort and sex."
Holliday, a former lifeguard and fishing guide, came to this conclusion after traveling from Maine to Texas researching the Sportsman's Guide to Inshore Fishing.
The book, published by Florida Sportsman, the state's most popular outdoors magazine, should hit bookshelves this fall. Holliday and more than a dozen of the state's most knowledgeable on Florida's favorite sport are scheduled to be in Sarasota next weekend for the Shallow Water Fishing Expo.
"I'll be talking a lot about the book, which I think has something for everybody from beginner to expert," Holliday said. "I've tried to include practical information, such as how to fish an estuary or grass flat, so people will walk away with something they can use."
The fishing show at the Sarasota-Bradenton Convention Center also will feature boats, motors, rods, reels and every kind of artificial lure you can imagine.
But the seminars, from world-class anglers such as Bahamian Simon Bain, are always the Expo's biggest draw. Bain, famous for his two-handed casting, will talk about how to deal with wind.
Other scheduled speakers:
Miami's Greg Bowdish, a gung-ho fly-fishing kayaker.
Pat Ford, an angling author known for his fishing photography.
Paul Hawkins, a pioneer of flats fishing in Tampa Bay and columnist for Saltwater Angler Magazine.
Al Keller, one of the top guides in the 10,000 Islands/Everglades National Park and author of Outdoor Florida's "Fishing the Skinny" column.
Jim Lemke, another top Tampa Bay guide and host of the Inshore Angler Show on ESPN2.
D.C. Bienvenue, an accomplished inshore fisherman and owner of Sarasota's Sun Coast Kayak Fishing Tours.
Frank Catino, a light-tackle expert and Florida representative for Cortland line.
Rick Grasset, owner of SnookFinAddict Guide Service, specializing in Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
Lefty Kreh, former Times outdoor writer who retired from the Baltimore Sun and dean of fly-fishermen.
Chrystal Murray, queen of kayak anglers and editor for Onshore-Offshore Magazine.
Dave Murray, the man Kreh calls "one of the best casting instructors I know."
Kevin Shaw, inshore angler and driving force behind Stiffy Push Poles.
Dave Walker, St. Petersburg Times Captain's Corner writer and self-professed snook addict.
Jay Withers, a full-time guide known for "popping" for tarpon.
Mark Nichols, inventor of D.O.A. Lures and fan of all that is Texas.
Flip Pallot, world-famous fly-fishermen and host of Walker's Cay Chronicles.
Thom Smith, an avid angler and host of the Saturday morning show On the Water with Thom on WWPR-AM 1490.
Jon West, one of the Tampa Bay area's leading experts on tarpon and editor of Saltwater Angler magazine.
Alan Zaremba, an angler who has traveled the world in search of peacock bass.
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10; children under 14 free. For information go to www.castlow.com