17th Annual Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show – Day 4 December 6, 2009

Aimee & I rolled out slow on this fine morn – it just felt like the kind of day you ease into. After all it was Sunday. Those devoted to the “religion” known as ice fishing were at the doors at 10 am, ready to check out all that was new in the industry, learn new techniques and run into their fellow parishioners.

We chose this day to walk around and check out what was being offered by our fellow show attendees, and make acquaintances with industry leaders and pro’s. We were amazed at the ingenuity, inventiveness, and usefulness of some of the products on hand at the show. We were well received by some of the established names in the business, and the pro’s were more than happy to spend time with us.

Gary Talarico/LureSecure | Ted Takasaki/Lindy

As Gary strolled the show floor, he took a few moments to introduce LureSecure Tackle Pouches and Lure Wraps to a few of the pro’s in attendance. Here he is trading fishing secrets with Ted Takasaki of Lindy Lures. Ted does a great job of representing Lindy and was definitely a presence at the show, demonstrating Lindy’s newest lures (like the Darter) and chatting it up with the masses.

Gary also spent a few minutes with one of the most well known pro’s in the business, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, who was holding court at the Frabill area. Gary & Bro discussed LureSecures and the ice fishing industry for a short spell. It’s nice to be in an industry where the leaders in the sport are so accessible to the masses, and interested and willing to help them become better at the sport.

Action Trackchair

It never ceases to amaze me the innovation showcased in this industry, and this year was no exception. Tracked vehicles were big at this year’s show. Models from Arctic Cat, Polaris, and Kubota were being shown, just to name a few. Of these “vehicles” some of the most interesting were those from Action Trackchairs. These chairs are aimed at “helping the disabled to be enabled” and were obviously built for maximum mobility, durability and comfort. For some, vehicles like the Action Trackchair are the key to getting out in the field, deep into the woods or out & about in the winter.

In the area of fishing gear, I was most impressed with the Dry Hands Minnow Bucket, Illuminator lures from Herrick Tackle Corp, the Cobra Ice Rod system from Fish-A-Way LLC and the Ice Hole Warmer from Fishing Innovations.

Dry Hands Minnow Bucket

I’ve discussed the Dry Hands Minnow Bucket earlier, so suffice it to say it’s a unique method of dispensing minnows as you need them.

Illuminator

The Illuminators contain a water activated, micro-sized LED in a jig head covered in glow paint. If fish can’t find these lures, they’re blind.

Cobra Ice Rod

The Cobra Ice Rod combines interchangeable rods in various actions, all in a format that keeps your tackle off the ice, out of the water and prevents it from disappearing down your auger hole.

The Hole Warmer

Although I initially stopped by the Fishing Innovations booth for a picture to send to a friend, as I studied the Ice Hole Warmer I realized it was a great idea. It prevents your auger hole from icing over and comes in a compact package. Clearing slush buildup out of your holes is now a thing of the past.

Another unique product who’s time has come is The Biffy Bag, made my LEDO Environmental, LLC. Imagine, a compact, Personal Disposable Toilet System that provides the perfect solution to answering the call of nature without soiling the environment. It provides an odor-proof containment system, wiping materials and is partially biodegradable. The best part is, you don’t need a bucket, commode and any other equipment to use The Biffy Bag. It’s totally sanitary and convenient, thus keeping you hunting, fishing and outdoors longer, without contributing negatively to the environment.

These are just a few of the innovations I spotted at the show. There were so many useful, advanced and avant garde ideas I could go on for pages. One thing is for sure, the show and the products shown there were well-received by those who attended. It’s my understanding the show enjoyed record attendance. I know we did well, and the rumors on the show floor were some ice shelters, ice augers, rods, reels, lures and accessories had sold out. It just goes to show that in an economy where budgets are tight, people will still spend money on activities that require minimal investment, yet provide long-term, cost-effective leisure time with friends and family.

The show ended at 5 pm, which meant it was time for all attendees to tear down their booths, pack up it up and head for home. If you’ve ever worked a trade show, or anything like this, you know this part of the process can be bedlam. Doesn’t matter the show or the venue, there’s always tired souls, confusion aplenty and lots to do in very little time. To make the most of our time, Gary and the girls tore down and packed up the LureSecure booth, while Mongo and I grabbed the trailer and headed back to the River Centre.

Once there, however, we found ourselves amidst an unusual tangle of traffic. Just to make things interesting, there was the Jingle Ball, which was then to be followed by a Brad Paisley concert in the adjoining Xcel Energy Center. Young girls were running here and there after being dropped off by their parents, their parents were trying to get close to the auditorium (or get the hell out of there) and those of us from the Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show were trying to make our way into the loading dock area. You get the picture, it wasn’t pretty.

We finally got the trailer into position at the loading dock and packed it up in record time. We tucked the trailer away for the night and headed back to our rooms to relax. Another great meal and plenty of laughs were enjoyed at the Great Waters Brewery Co. that night. Then we tucked ourselves in for a good night’s rest. And we needed it, for the long trip home was ahead of us the next day.

All in all, the 17th Annual Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show in St. Paul, Minnesota was a great show. Our product launch for LureSecure Lure Wraps went well, we had a great time, and we got there and back safe and sound. I have no idea how long I slept the day after getting home.

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