Ice Fishing expo comes to Blaine this weekend

The second annual Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo, presented by Clam Outdoors will offer anglers a lot at the National Sports Center’s Schwan Center, Nov. 1-3.

Highlights of this weekend’s show:

• The Hard Water Expo will boast probably the largest selection of wheelhouses of any show in the U.S. (The NSC’s ample parking and outdoor space makes this possible.) Customers who purchase a wheelhouse will have plenty of time to get it set up before there is ice on the lakes.

• With 56 different exhibitors, the Hard Water Expo is sold out of vendor space. Here is a link to the list of exhibitors:

• This year’s Expo will utilize both the Sport Expo Center (18,000 square feet), which was used last year, and expand into the adjacent Schwan Center, adding 15,200 square feet of expo space.

• “Last year we had an attendance of about 6,000,” said Expo Director Greg Savino. “With good weather, and the forecast is positive, we are optimistic we will exceed that number.”

• Savino mentioned the strong lineup of professional fishing experts who will be attending the Expo, with full attendance by the members of the Ice Team and the Ice Force.

• Savino added: “We take pride in presenting a top quality educational program, and this year’s Expo certainly exceeds the strong start we got last year.”

Here is the seminar schedule, presented by the Ice Team. All the seminars will be held in the Grand Hall of Schwan Center:

Friday, November 1:

4 p.m., Jason Mitchell: “Trophy Walleye Tactics.”

5 p.m., Dave Genz: “The Ice Fishing System.”

6 p.m., Ice Team Panel Discussion.

Saturday, November 2:

11 a.m., Jeff Anderson, “The Triggering Factor.”

12 noon, Dave Genz: “The Ice Fishing System.”

1 p.m., Ice Team Panel Discussion.

3 p.m., Jason Mitchell: “Trophy Walleye Tactics.”

4 p.m., Jason Durham: “Hyper-Speed Panfish.”

Sunday, November 3:

10:30 a.m., Jason Durham: “Hyper-Speed Panfish.”

11:30 a.m., Jason Mitchell: “Trophy Walleye Tactics.”

12:30 p.m., Ice Team Panel Discussion.

1:30 p.m., Dave Genz: “The Ice Fishing System.”

2:30 p.m., Jeff Anderson, “The Triggering Factor.”

In addition to the experts presenting seminars, several other fishing celebrities will be appearing at vendor booths during the weekend: Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, Brad Hawthorne, James Holst, Tony Roach, Bryan “Beef” Sathre.

In addition to the huge selection of wheelhouses on display, another notable attraction this year will be an appearance by Arctic Cat’s new line of its most popular factory snowmobiles and ATV’s for 2014, which will be on display in the Grand Hall of the Schwan Center. On Sunday, a beer garden with a big screen television will be set up for attendees to watch the Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys game.

The NSC will be producing three upcoming outdoor shows. Following  the Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo will be the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo, February 21-23, 2014,  and the Minnesota Deer Classic, March 7-9, 2014.  All the outdoor expos will be held at the Schwan Center on the NSC campus (NSC Schwan Center, 1750 105th Ave NE, Blaine, MN 55449).

Hours: Friday, November 1, 2 – 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, November 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission: Adults, $10/day; Students, $7/day. 11 and under admitted free. Unlimited free parking.

Unique things to look for at the Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo:

• Kids’ programs. Special youth activities, including a fish pond, which will be provided by Midwest Extreme Outdoors. “We have a commitment to help fishing grow in the future,” said Savino. “Right now, the number of kids fishing is declining. To turn that around, we need to get more kids involved in fishing.” and Fishing for Life will team up to provide a great way to get usable equipment into the hands of kids. Attendees are invited to drop off old rods and reels at the booth at the Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo. Those making a donation will receive a $5 off coupon for any ice fishing combo at the booth. Fishing for Life will then take the old rods and reels and refurbish them for kids who want to fish.

Among the quality educational seminars to be offered include:

• Jeff Anderson, a successful tournament angler, has been featured on several television shows including In-Fisherman, Jason Mitchell Outdoors, and Keyes Outdoors television programs.

• Jason Durham has been a fishing guide in the Park Rapids, Minn. area for over 20 years. He started Go Fish! Guide Service Inc. at the age of 15 and has been educating anglers through seminars, writing, television, radio and hands-on experience ever since.

• Dave Genz, ice fishing innovator, inventor, and the leader of the movement that modernized ice fishing.

• Jason Mitchell earned a reputation as a reknowned ice fishing guide for Devils Lakes Perch Patrol Guide Service on North Dakota’s Devils Lake, often spending over a hundred days on the ice each winter.

Celebrity appearances by:

• Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, a multispecies angler best known for his influence on the sport of ice fishing. Several popular ice fishing products are based on his ideas. Appearing at the Frabil booth.

• Brad Hawthorne, legendary Lake Mille Lacs fishing guide. Appearing at the Rapala booth.

• James Holst, whose dynamic multimedia-machine In-Depth Outdoors (IDO) attracts thousands of viewers and users, through the In-Depth Outdoors website and television show. Appearing at the Rapala booth.

• Tom Neustrom, a well-known Minnesota fishing guide with 33 years of experience. Appearing at the Rapala Booth.

• Tony Roach, a professional walleye angler, who has guided on a wide variety of lakes including Mille Lacs, Winnibigoshish, Lake of the Woods, and many more. Appearing at the Rapala booth.

• Bryan “Beef” Sathre, owner and founder of Fathead Guide Service and Promotion, when Beef isn’t wetting a line, chances are pretty good he’s teaching others how to fish. Lakes that Beef regularly fishes and guides on include Lake Bemidji, Cass Lake, Leech Lake, the Mississippi Chain and a host of smaller lakes he’s chooses to keep secret. Appearing at the Rapala booth.

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