ARANSAS PASS, Texas — Kayaks seem to be everywhere these days — sprouting from the roofs of SUVs and compact cars alike, dotting streams and lakes and bays across Texas. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, kayaking participation nationwide doubled between 1998 and 2004, with recreational and sit-on-top kayaking the fastest growing segment of the sport.

Find out what it’s all about at the first-ever “Everything Kayak! Expo,” Nov. 4–5 in Aransas Pass. The free event will be held at the Ransom Point Paddle Launch and surrounding community park on Johnson Ave. just off State Highway 361. Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Some classes, lessons and tours are fee-based and reservations are encouraged.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Director Larry McKinney, Ph.D., will offer two free seminars at the event on both Saturday and Sunday: “The State of Coastal Fisheries in Texas,” and “Seagrass in Texas, Fighting to Save It.”

A used gear market will offer some great deals on old or used equipment, and guest fly tiers Casey Smartt, fly fishing editor for Gulf Coast Connections magazine, and fly fishing industry experts John Carpenter and Harris Ashley will demonstrate how to tie some of their favorite patterns.

Paddling and safety lessons by American Canoe Association certified instructors come in two different styles: a one-hour introduction to paddling and a three-and-a-half hour class covering strokes, clothing, and deep water re-entry.

Fly casting lessons by Federation of Fly Fishers Master Caster Al Crise and Staci Trimble will be offered to everyone from beginners trying to figure out what the long rod is all about to experienced anglers who want to perfect that double-haul.

Two-hour, guided paddling tours will be offered both days in the afternoon.

All activities are limited in size and will be filled on a first-come first-served basis; reservations are recommended for all activities.

The Everything Kayak! Expo is sponsored by TPWD, the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, Jerry B’s Kayak Sales, Slowride Guide Services, Seaworthy Marine, the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce, the City of Aransas Pass, Saltwater Angler, TexasKayakFisherman .com, Microtel Inn & Suites, Neptune Motel, Cup Graphics, Custom Printing, All-Out and Trailer Trash.

For more information, or to make reservations for activities, please phone Slowride Guide Services at (361) 758-0463.

– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide