Thursday, April 2, 2015

Northwest Sportshow

Sports Show Prize!
So everyone knows I'm a Sport show  junkie and the granddaddy of them all is the Minneapolis Northwest Sportshow which was held at the Convention Center last week.  Unlike some of the smaller shows like the St. Paul Ice Fishing Show, St. Paul Sports Show, St. Cloud Sports Show, the Minneapolis show pretty much has everything you need to see under 1 huge roof.  From boats and motors to vacation destinations, equipment manufacturers, lure manufactures, and the latest and greatest of inventions, I could spend days there.  This year I made it down last Wednesday evening then again on Sunday afternoon.  Wednesday was the first day of the show and a great time to visit as everyone is fresh and it's not so crowded.  My main goal was to visit 3 specific vendors and attend a seminar.  The vendors included Frankie's Live Bait and Marine (my boat dealer), the Lowrance Electronics booth and the Motorguide booth.  The new Motorguide will talk to my Lowrance Electronics with the right adaptor and significantly increase the options for using the trolling motor. The other purpose for Wednesday night was to attend Lowrance University, a 2 hour seminar on using the advanced HDS Gen 3 products.  I should have known better.  Having used the Lowrance HDS platforms for over 5 years my knowledge is probably more than the average user so I was looking for the next level of understanding.  Although the instructor was very good, most of the participants were at a basic level of understanding or for that matter, didn't even own any Lowrance HDS products.  Getting a few of my questions answered, I left 30 minutes early and met up with my 2 friends Mark and Lory, who rode down with me.  Although they were "showed out", I had barely scratched the surface but it was time to head over to Britt's Pub for a Guinness and some Fish and Chips.  On Sunday afternoon I went back down with my neighbor Tom Olson as he was interested in looking at what's new from the boat manufacturers.  This is a great time to go as there are deals to be had for sure.  I did find a nice landing net called a Stowmaster KVD (Kevin Van Dam) edition at a real good price.  It folds up nice and will fit in my storage space in the boat.  Besides buying a ticket to support one of my political organizations, PERM, I did manage to buy a metal laser cutout of a 30 inch walleye that now adorns my Salem Ice Castle.  It's pretty cool and I got it half price after the guy asked me what I'd give him for it.  There was a guys selling a special jig with at small spinner blade claiming they were hot on Lac Seul Lake in Canada..........Ok I bought 10.   Finally I was able to return the favor to my friends Ken and Judy Marlow from Soldotna, Alaska.  We have stayed with them in the past and each year I get to see them at the show. They always have a jar of canned smoked Red Salmon for me so this year I returned with a pound of Lundeen's Wild Rice and a 12 oz bottle of fresh maple syrup made from the sap of the neighborhood maple trees during the last few weeks.  We all walked away happy!

View from Twin Pines Resort, Mille Lacs
Although I haven't had a chance to get out fishing around home lately, it looks like ice out is going to happen early this year.  The winter wasn't that cold and we certainly didn't have the snow cover we have had in the last 2 years. Looking back to 2013, we still had substantial ice on the lakes on May 1st and last year wasn't any better. This year we have already hit the earliest 80 degree day ever and with the mild end to the winter and no snow, it's not going to be long. Looking at the ice pulling away from Twin Pines Resort Web Cam on the northwest side of Mille Lacs, I predict that it will all be gone in about 2 weeks.  This should bode well for Minnesota's fishing opener scheduled to open on May 9th.  In addition to the Minnesota opener I have also been invited back to Lac Seul Lake for the Canadian Fishing Opener. Last year was my first spring trip to Lac Seul and it was delayed by the late ice out conditions however this year it's looking like that won't be an issue.  There is still a lot of things to be done as April is a big transition month for me.  With the snow gone I will be able to get into the garden faster, the lawn needs a lot of work which means I need to figure out how to take off my lawn tractor cab and store it, take off the snowblower and chains, attach the mower and get it ready for warmer weather.  I hate to do all of this before April 15th but the long term forecast says I'll be safe.  With the warmer weather upon us I can turn on the water to the pole shed as my Salem needs a good cleaning along with the wheel bearings greased and the roof scrubbed clean.  Easter is this weekend, next weekend we have been invited to an appreciation dinner, the following weekend is Mom's 81st birthday, it doesn't leave a lot of time to get ready for opener.  Oh well!

No comments: