In Honor Of Staff Sgt. John Reiners

I called my friend Jeff Wever of Dry Hands Minnow Buckets the other day to say hello and make plans for attending the Outdoorama show in Novi the last weekend of February. I could tell he was feeling down and asked what was bothering him. He sadly, but proudly, told me his nephew, 24 year old Army Ranger John Reiners, was serving his third tour in Afghanistan. His tour was almost over and his father was planning an ATV trip with his son when he came home this summer.
A suicide bomber on a motorcycle rode into his squad of five Army Rangers and Marines while on patrol and detonated a bomb, killing John and two of his mates and seriously wounding the other two. I welled up inside as my buddy filled me in with some of the details. I was saddened, but also felt another emotion as well – pride. I know the wife and young son he left are devastated, but also feeling pride. I never met John Reiners. I never even heard his name before my pal told me his melancholy tale. But I feel big pride in a big way.


We all must always be proud. Proud of our men and women fighting on the other side of the world to protect and preserve our country. Preserving our way of life. Preserving our respect for life. Protecting our families. If we weren’t fighting the enemy, who strives to wipe us off the face of the earth, in the Iraq/Afghanistan theater, blood would be spilling on our soil. Innocent American citizens would be wounded and dying in our towns and cities. Dying in our families neighborhoods.


We owe the soldiers and sailors who make huge sacrifices themselves, often making the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life. Sacrificing so we can live, laugh and love. So we can fish and hunt. So we can hit the trails by snowmobile or ATV. So we can hit the water in our boats. So I can go to the Outdoorama and not worry that some crazy jihadist is going to set off a bomb and ruin a lot of folks lives.


So be proud and shake the hand of every military person you meet. Pay for their meal. Buy them a beverage. Pay it forward. And pray for peace.


The show season is winding down. Make sure you check one out, grab your kids or a pal and head to a show. You’ll learn a lot, have some fun and be better off for it.


See you on the water, in the woods or at the show!




AnglerQuest & Team LureSecure offer their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. John Reiners. Please take a few moments to honor him by learning more about him ….

Army Staff Sgt. John Reiners Killed in Action
Lake Hamilton Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
Lake Hamilton Soldier John Reiners Dies in Afghanistan
Lake Hamilton Soldier Dies in Blast
Funeral Monday for Lake Hamilton Soldier Killed in Afganistan
Funeral Set for Lake Hamilton Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
John Reiners Funeral
Polk Soldier Slain in Afghanistan Is Laid to Rest



Up North With Gary Talarico – February 2010

Gary Fish Finder

I want an avatar, that mythical carbon copy of myself. It would be great. Just think how cool that would be. “Honey, what chores on my list will you be working on today?” would be answered with what females love to hear “what ever you want!”. While Gary Avatar slaves away cutting the grass, cleaning the basement or painting the sewing room, Gary Fish Finder could be out drowning some worms or makin’ noise with one of my guns. Gary Avatar could sit in when forced to share a meal with that guy, gal or couple that makes your jaw hurt from grinding the ‘ol molars. Gary Fish Finder could accomplish many things fun and then have Gary Avatar do the dirty work, like gutting the deer and huffing it out of the swamp. Having your own avatar would be a hoot.

February. What to do? Fishing is hit or miss this time of year. Go deep is my advice. That’s where the fish are. Coyote hunting can be a real challenge. Want to see more deer or flush more grouse? Go shoot a coyote. They are probably the hardest Midwest animal to bag. Wile E Coyote didn’t get that name from being slow on the uptake. What else?  Show season!  A “must attend” this weekend is Outdoorama in Novi. Stop by Booth 5651 and say “hi” if you get a chance.

See you on the water, out in the woods or at the show!


Gary Talarico is an Editor at Fish and Game Finder Magazine. His monthly column, “Up North”, can be enjoyed by picking up a copy of this great magazine at any store that offers fishing, hunting or outdoor products, or by downloading it from their website.

A Weekend Of Smiles At America’s Outdoor Fishing & Hunting Show

No matter where you looked this weekend you saw something consistent throughout the show. Regardless of age or gender, or what outdoor activity brought you to the show, or whether you were an exhibitor or attendee, you eventually ended up wearing one, if not many, of these. It didn’t matter the time of day, what you had on, what side of the table you were occupying or whether you were giving or appreciating a seminar. What was it that everyone had in common? Big, healthy, happy SMILES!

Saturday Morn at America's Outdoor ShowAs we approached the Douglas E. Stephens Convention Center on Saturday, it was clear we were going to be busy – a sizable crowd had assembled and were standing in line waiting for the doors to open. There were a number of families in the crowd, and before the day was done, a number of little fishermen went home with one of 300 cane poles that were being given away. How many of us started fishing with a cane pole, a bobber, a hook and a bunch of worms? Ah the good ol’ days….

Americas's Outdoor Show - Great LayoutThe layout of the show proved excellent for handling the crowds. The aisles were spacious, and the layout reduced, if not eliminated, bottlenecks. The organizational scheme was helpful. As this show grows and loses some of its superfluous vendors, the unique layout will become even more useful. By next year the remnants of the previous management’s flea market atmosphere should be gone. This will make way for even more high quality outdoor exhibitors and vendors.

Gary Talarico & Babe Winkelman

Gary Talarico & Babe Winkelman

The seminars were very well attended throughout the weekend. Babe Winkelman and Mike Iaconelli shared a wealth of knowledge and experience in their seminars. Ike even conducted a “closed door session” with the high school fishing teams on Sunday. Jason Reynolds of Fish-N-Fetch kept large crowds entertained as he educated them in the Hawg Tank area. Jason has a unique exhibit, a 4,000 gallon mobile aquarium stocked with fish, where he teaches fishing techniques and expert dog handling.

Jason Reynolds of Fetch-N-Fish

Jason Reynolds of Fetch-N-Fish

Trout Pond - America's Outdoor ShowThe archery ranges and exhibitors were very active throughout the weekend, as was the trout pond and the numerous children’s activities. Opportunities to interact with wildlife and stewards of our great outdoors were everywhere. Among the things offered – you could see an owl or a hawk up close, handle a huge albino boa constrictor, or talk with numerous officials and experts. You could learn to tie flies, as well as how to cast them. The airsoft range was a big hit and was always busy. There was no way you could be bored at this show….unless you visited the boar exhibit. 🙂

We found ourselves uncontrollably drawn to the Grandt Industries booth, where vast numbers of their amazing, custom, American-made fishing rods were on display. The owner, Jim Grandt, and his crew of experts, were on hand to answer questions about their amazing fishing rods. This was also where fishing pro Rick LaPoint was hanging out when he wasn’t helping folks learn about the latest electronics.

Big Game - America's Outdoor ShowThere were a number of resorts and outfitters on hand, providing great info and helping folks plan memorable hunting, fishing and outdoor vacations. Whether you wanted to hunt & fish in Canada or right here at home, some of the finest guides and camps on both sides of the border were at the show. Maybe you enjoy big game hunting, or always wanted to go on a safari, people like Jim Gangler of Gangler’s Lodge & Outposts were answering questions and helping people plan their trips.

Two Bears Trading Company

Two Bears Trading Company

Personal highlights of the show….

  • Aimee found the beaver mittens she’d been searching years for at Two Bears Trading Company.
  • Mike at BaxMax introduced me to their wonderful products, making enjoyment of the show with a herniated disk possible.
  • Gary Talarico, president of LureSecure, provided the entire Moline High School Bass Fishing Team with LureSecure Lure Wraps, thus solving the problem of fishing hooks in the hallways.
  • Watching Jim Sugarman, the man in charge of the show, taking time with vendors, exhibitors and show patrons, personally making sure everyone was having a good time.
  • Being present at the trout pond when a very young man caught a fish on his cane pole.

LureSecure Lure Wraps

LureSecure Lure Wraps - The Pro's Choice

And that’s really what this show was all about – spending time with family and friends, having a few laughs, and sharing the products, services, information, knowledge and expertise necessary to help create a lifetime of memories in the great outdoors.

If you missed this year’s show, don’t worry! Next year’s show is January 26-30 at the same location. If you’re an Exhibitor and you’d like to be part of the action, you might want to contact Jim Sugarman sooner than later, because next year’s show is going to be bigger and better than this year.