Outdoors: Big week for area outdoors shows
By Dale Bowman Sun-Times Media January 23, 2014 6:12PM
Updated: February 25, 2014 6:37AM
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Even in a week with the sensory overload of two major outdoor shows in the Chicago suburbs, John Moy’s booth stands out.
His Lee’s Bait and Tackle booth (320-324) at the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center offers a chance to ogle (or buy) diverse items from the Japanese Domestic Market.
There’s such things as Deps Headlock Jig, a quad replacement from Decoy Hook for treble hooks and over-sized and pricey swimbaits from Gan Craft, designed specifically for the trophy largemouth-bass lakes in California. Those swimbaits include the California Rainbow ($118) and the soft launch of the Clear Lake Hitch ($71). Moy will also have a special baitcaster reel, designed solely for the Japanese market and able to cast extremely light lures.
It is a fascinating booth in the biggest fishing show the area has seen in years.
The show has an overwhelming lineup of star power — Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli, Mark Zona, Jim Saric and Joe Bucher, among many more — for its seminar lineup. LaPorte’s Jay Anglin fits right in that schedule. Go to sportshows.com/chicago/index.html.
Show notes: This is the biggest weekend for outdoor shows in the area.
The big traditional general outdoors show is the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Things I recommend include Two Bears Trading Co. for skunk hats, for the fashion conscious, and fur scraps, for fly tyers; the wooden row trolling boats from Winchester Boat Works; and Dan Basore’s Historical Fishing Display.
The Chicagoland Gun show (chicagolandgunshow.com), which is better organized and bigger, is co-located with the Chicago Outdoor Sport Show.
To the east, the Outdoor Sports, Lake & Cabin Show (SportsandCabinShow.com) is at the Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
Strictly Sail Chicago (strictlysailchicago.com) is at Navy Pier.
For extended outdoors coverage go to post-trib.com/sports
Fishing: There’s a double down on ice fishing derbies this week. Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said he will open at 4 a.m. both days to accommodate those going. A derby to raise funds for a launch on Loomis is Saturday at Rodgers-Lakewood Park in Valparaiso. Go to friendsoffishing.org. On Sunday, the Griffith chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America holds a pancake breakfast and ice-fishing derby. Call (219) 924-0650.
Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, which received about a tenth of the snow that overwhelmed Hammond, East Chicago and Griffith, is the top spot for ice fishing. The bass bite on tip-ups remains outstanding, bluegill decent.
Overall, between the bitter cold and the heavy snow, far fewer are trying. Ice builds past a foot in many spots.
Hunting: The third Canada goose season ends Wednesday. Not sure how many are around with everything locking up.
Bass Bash: Speaking of summer, and if we weren’t let me start, the second annual Bass Bash, a benefit for Warriors First Foundation, is June 28 out of Portage Marina with the weigh-in at the Bass Pro in Portage. Registration is $300 per team, with the top prize being $10,000 (based on a 150-team field). For more, go to LakeMichiganBigBassBash.com.
Hunter ed: A couple spots remain for the course tonight and Saturday at the Community Christian Reformed Church in Demotte. Some spots remain for the one at the Cabela’s in Hammond on Feb. 14-15. All hunter ed is registered online at register-ed.com/programs/indiana.