Chicago outdoors: Show season & opening day

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Show season began Thursday and my original plan was to begin hitting shows today.

But the weather and family stuff put the stop to that; all the same, it is opening day or opening week with three shows.

This year, the All-Canada Show opened things on Thursday, hence the photo above, at Pheasant Run in St. Charles. The one change this year there is more local emphasis on seminars, including Spence Petros, Walt Matan, Mark O’Neill, Ken Kuhnle and Jim Crowley.


My plan for today had been to hit the Chicago Muskie Show, which opens today and runs through Sunday at Harper College in Palatine, but I need to put it off until Saturday.

The big change this year is the first focus on kids.

Kids get a free lure from Tackle Industries, there’s a special kids area, Kids Casting Clinic (11:30 a.m. Saturday, pool side), and Jacob Stankowski on “Muskie Fishing: A Kids View” (1:30 p.m. Sunday).

My Wednesday column was on Stankowski and I look forward to seeing him in action. Plus a friend’s son receives an honor Saturday for being a young guy who caught multiple big muskies, so I am happy to go Saturday.


The Hammond Outdoor Sports Show is Saturday and Sunday at Jean Shepherd Community Center in Hammond, Ind. I plan to hit it Sunday.

This is a show which retains its local focus intensely, as shown by its list of presenters: Chae Dolsen, Mike Mlandenik, Mike Echterling, Pat Renwick, Dave Kolb, Capt. Ralph Steiger, Mike Starcevich, Gretchen Steele and Capt. Mike Orr.

It should be a fun, but busy, weekend. Hope to see some or many of you.


Jan. 16-20: Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show, McCormick Place North (Dates are right, it runs through Martin Luther King Day)

Jan. 22-26: Chicago Outdoor Sports Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont Jan. 24-26: Chicagoland Gun Show, co-located with the Chicago Outdoor Sport Show

Jan. 23-26: Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, Schaumburg Convention Center

Jan. 23-26: Strictly Sail Chicago, Navy Pier

Jan. 24-26: Illinois Fish & Feather Expo, Interstate Center, Bloomington

[ADD] Jan. 24-26: Outdoor Sports, Lake & Cabin Show, Coliseum, Fort Wayne

Feb. 8-9: Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show, Tinley Park High School

Feb. 9: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School

Feb. 12-16: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont

Feb. 14-16: Our World-Underwater, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont

Feb. 14-23: Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds

Feb. 14-16: Bedford Sales Open House, Morris

Feb. 14-16: Rockford Boat, Vacation and Fishing Show, Indoor Sports Center

Feb. 20-23: Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo, Indiana State Fairgrounds

Feb. 21-23: Illinois Deer & Turkey Expo, Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield

Feb. 21-23: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center

Feb. 27-March 2: Northern Illinois Boat Show, Lake County Fair Grounds, Grayslake,

Feb. 22: Chicago Maritime Festival, Chicago History Museum

March 21-23: Rockford RV, Camping & Travel Show, Indoor Sports Center

March 1: Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet, River Park Moose Lodge, River Grove

(ADD) March 1: Illinois Smallmouth Alliance’s Bronzeback Blowout,, Elmhurst American Legion

March 1-2: Elmwood All Outdoors Show, Elmwood High School and Grade School

March 5-9: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin Exposition Center, West Allis, Wis.

March 7-9: Canoecopia, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

March 8: Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School

April 25-26: Midwest Decoy Collector’s Show, Pheasant Run, St. Charles

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