Hammond Outdoor Sports Show in its 29th year
BY DALE BOWMAN Post-Tribune correspondent January 24, 2013 11:38PM
Updated: January 25, 2013 6:58PM
There’s the local familiar feel to the Hammond Outdoor Sports Show this week.
In its 29th year, the show will again be at the Jean Shepherd Community Center.
Once again the seminars feature guys giving information on nearby waters.
Speakers are Chae Dolsen (Webster Lake muskie), Mike Norris (shore fishing for smallmouth bass), Pat Renwick and Mike Echterling of Region Bass Buzz on WJOB-AM (bass fishing in the region), David Kolb (walleye), Mike Starcevich (Lake Michigan perch), Capt. Russ Clark (St. Joseph River), Capt. Mike Orr (Lake Michigan salmon and trout) and the venerable Ed Mullady (Kankakee River fishing).
That’s guys talking about what they both know and love.
On the family side, there is a new 30-foot climbing wall by “Time to Play” for a $3 ticket. It will be back near the minnow races. There’s also a trout pond. Renwick and Echterling will give a kids fishing seminar at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Go to sportsshow.gohammond.com or call (219) 554-0155.
Ice events: The Winterfest Ice Fishing Derby is 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Pre-registration is at the LaPorte Parks office ($10 adults, $5 youth) before Saturday. Day of registration goes to $15 for adults and $7 for youth at Cummings Lodge. The Rotary is selling chili. The grand prize is Vexilar FL-12. Contact Mike Sutton at (219) 510-3193.
The Porter County Conservation Club Ice Fishing Derby is 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Cash prizes for largest bass, crappie, bluegill, redear, catfish or perch. Register at the clubhouse at 320 N. 150 W, Valparaiso. Contact (219) 779-7222, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ice fishing: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station summed conditions up perfectly, ``Some places have good solid ice, other places are just goofy. Some place still have open pockets.’’
In other words be cautious or know your area in this goofy period, but ice fishing is underway in earnest. Sleziak said he had customers before 5 a.m. Thursday.
Staff at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife reported 0-3 inches (geese had been keeping pockets open) Thursday morning, but a few are venturing out, especially on the north end. Be very cautious. But the weekend should be packed.
There was still some open water on Wednesday at Black Oak Bayou at LaSalle, but ice fishing is beginning.
Hunting: The third Canada goose season ended Wednesday. Property manager Ken Bisacchi said the best day at LaSalle FWA was the opener Saturday when 14 were bagged. Willow Slough had a fair third season and reported 98 geese for all seasons. . . . Hunting for raccoons ends Thursday, as does hunting for rabbits on DNR property.
Fishing: There’s consistent perch at 92nd and 95th in the river on Chicago’s Southeast Side, but it takes sorting for keepers. . . . There’s still a few steelhead in the streams, but conditions (low water and slick banks) are not ideal. . . . Staff at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond reported a few crappie in the corn channel of Wolf Lake and a few nice walleye. Ice if very iffy and tricky there.
Clubbing: Capt. Ralph Steiger speaks at the Salmon Unlimited of Indiana meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday at East Chicago Marina.
Showtime: The big news is the new major fishing show—the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo (sportshows.com/chicago/index.html) at the Schaumburg (Ill.) Convention Center. It is one of the most anticipated shows in recent years with nearly all manufacturers represented. . . . The Chicago Outdoor Sports Show (chicagosportsmenshow.com) is at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.