The Cure for Cabin Fever

by Free Speech on February 28, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

This is the time of the year when fishermen and women are getting sick and tired of winter with its snow and cold. The annual “cabin fever” has been setting in upon many of us by now. The ice fishing season is drawing to a close and besides the difficulty in finding active fish, there’s also poor and dangerous ice, and ice shanties have to be off the lakes this week. People are ready for the beginning of the open water season and that is why this is the outdoor sports and fishing show time of the year. Starting in January and continuing into April, there are fishing shows most every week in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. Fishermen are always looking for new tactics, techniques, and information and even if you don’t buy anything there are always seminars by the best people in the business and the public likes to see the “stars and pros” that they normally only see on television or on DVD’s talking their favorite activity of fishing!

The past weekend was the 26th year of the Madison Fishing Expo and by the size of the crowd on Saturday; you could see that people were hungry for something to get their minds off of winter and on to one of their warmer weather passions. Fishing is that passion and the Madison Fishing Expo provided about anything that an angler could want such as boats and motors, fishing resorts, guiding services, tackle and gear for any kind of fishing, new fishing innovations and products, and activities for the children. In times where the economy is not the greatest, people were spending $6.00 for parking and $8.00 for admission to the show. The Expo Committee has kept the daily admission charge at $8.00 which is cheap by most show standards and still allows children less than 12 years and any “wounded warriors” from the military in free.

The Madison Fishing Expo is a non-profit organization and all their profit monies go to fishing projects around southern Wisconsin. The number of projects that they fund or help fund is too long to mention. But, all the money goes to worthy causes for the general public, the disabled, children, and conservation projects that benefit the public. The Madison Fishing Expo knows that children are the key to the sport of fish and those children have to be introduced at a young age if they are going to continue fishing as adults and keep the sport vibrant and growing. Charlie Grimm, the President of the Yahara Fishing Club in Madison and an Expo Committee member, gave one of the many great seminars on, “Simple Fishing for the Whole Family… Getting Started.” The Expo also had youth activities including a trout pond, minnow races, face painting, balloon art, and kids casting at the show.

The higher ticket items like boats and motors and Canadian fishing trips are having a tougher time till the economy turns around, but people were buying new fishing equipment and gear. Though, it may not be a big item that someone buys, I think it makes people feel good to buy something may it only be a few jigs or a couple crankbaits. But, in talking to tackle manufactures like Russ Smith of Minocqua and the owner of a muskie bait manufacture, Smity Bait Company, was pleased with the show and the number of sales that he made and also the interest in his guiding business in Vilas and Oneida County. I also observed many booth buyers signing contracts and putting down deposits for next year Expo. So, there is optimism in the fishing industry.

This past weekend there was a big show at the Bass Pro Store in Gurnee, Illinois which is just south of Milwaukee. I know some guides who were at that show and they also said that there were good crowds and that people were buying new equipment and hungry for information on all kinds of fishing. I think “cabin fever” is a disease of the Midwest.

There still are many fishing and outdoor shows on the horizon with shows coming up in Eau Claire, Rockford, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. This coming Saturday, March 5, there is a great show that I’ve been involved with for over 20 years. The show is the 28th Annual Free fishing Sale and Seminars at the Wilderness Fish and Game store in Sauk City, Wisconsin. It’s very unusual for a show to last this long, but this is a free show that features very good prices, has an excellent supply of quality equipment, and great seminars from some of the fishing world’s top anglers. This is a one day only show with three seminars and many factory representatives showing and explaining their products and gear.

This coming Saturday, the seminars are by Tanner Wildes, a muskie expert and one of northern Wisconsin’s top guides at 10:00 am, Robert Blosser, a touring walleye professional, Angler of the Year on the AIM walleye circuit, and an expert on fishing his home waters of Lake Wisconsin at 12:00 pm, and Mike Keyes of Keyes Outdoors TV, an excellent muskie angler, and multi-species expert. These free seminars are something that you don’t want to miss and where else can you find such a great event that is all for free but, if you’re looking for anything in fishing I’m sure that the Wilderness Fish and Game store has it at a great price plus their staff knows fishing and what they sell. The Wisconsin River flows behind the Wilderness and Game store and if the weather is nice there will be fishing up at the Prairie du Sac Dam. Now, if that doesn’t get you in the fishing mood nothing will! I hope to see you there. www.garyengbergoutdoors.com

 

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