Water-Related News

New Fishing Exhibit Opening at the History Center

The Polk County History Center’s new fishing exhibit is all about the bass, ‘bout the bass – no treble (hooks). The opening of Lores and Lures: Polk County’s Fishing History is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m., Aug. 13.

The new exhibit showcases the rich history of fishing in Polk and features artifacts on permanent loan by Mr. and Mrs. W.H. “Bill” Stuart, Jr. of Bartow. Over the years, Stuart has amassed an extensive collection of rare and unique fishing lures, antique rods, reels, tackle and early outboard motors.

Central Florida consistently ranks as one of the top freshwater fishing destinations in the world because of its abundant sunshine and pleasant climate. With more than 550 lakes, rivers and manmade reservoirs, Polk’s environment is rife with fishing lore. A Florida largemouth bass, caught in a Polk lake in 1986, currently holds the state record for weight at 17.27 pounds, as certified by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A replica of the world record for the largest bass is represented in the exhibit, caught by George W. Perry in Georgia’s Lake Montgomery in 1932, weighing in at 22 pounds, 4 ounces.

The History Center also is incorporating the newly expanded fishing exhibit into a permanent Polk tourism exhibit that will be featured at the opening ceremony.

About the Polk County History Center: The History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit www.polkhistorycenter.org or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.