While other boys his age were playing ball, George Poveromo spent his free time in a boat, saltwater fishing.
Poveromo, 55, a Miami native, feels fortunate to have turned his lifelong passion into a career by hosting the Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series since 1988. The one-day seminar, which takes place in eight cities from January through March, is coming back to Columbia for the first time since 1990. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St. Tickets are $55.
“The tour is the nation’s longest running saltwater educational seminar on recreational fishing tactics,” Poveromo said. “It is specifically geared toward fishing the S.C. coast.”
The seminar covers a variety of saltwater fishing styles, educating those attending n the key saltwater game fish in the state from in-shore, near-shore and off-shore.
The Columbia seminar will host some of South Carolina’s most talented fishermen, Poveromo said. Participants will be given Star Brite buckets filled with fishing line, boat wax and a fishing forecast book, among other things.
Poveromo said he expects between 500 and 700 people to attend. Sponsors of the tour also will be in attendance to showcase their products.
Though it may seem odd to have a saltwater fishing seminar inland – where freshwater fishing dominates – Poveromo said that there is a demand for saltwater fishing statewide.
“There are so many saltwater anglers in the greater Columbia area who are there because of business or family but travel to the coast specifically to fish. It made sense to bring it to Columbia,” said Poveromo, who also is the editor of Salt Water Sportsman magazine and producer and host of “George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing,” an NBC Sports Network TV series.
The Carolinas generated more than $2 billion in economic impact from saltwater fishing in 2011, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Fisheries Service, a federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the nation’s living marine resources and their habitat.
“The Carolinas are a substantial part of the saltwater fishing industry,” Poveromo said.