Duluth Ice Fishing Show scheduled for December 10-12

The Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show is scheduled for December 10-12, with manufacturers and retailers showcasing and selling ice fishing and other winter outdoor gear and supplies. This includes everything from $ 1 jigs and $ 1,000 sonar fish finders to wheeled coolers of $ 10,000 (and more).

And while some equipment remains scarce due to lingering issues in the supply chain, especially importing products from Asia, promoters of the show say manufacturers are starting to see more deliveries coming in.

“The word is they expect to receive a lot more product right before the show starts. But a lot of them already have good supplies on hand, ” said Chris Navratil, vice president of Farmington, Minnesota-based Shamrock Productions, Inc., which owns the show.

The first big outdoor show in Duluth since February 2020, the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show, is scheduled for December 10-12, 2021 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Clint Austin / Dossier 2017 / Duluth News Tribune

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The Ice Fishing Show will be Shamrock’s first major production since Duluth Boat, Sports and Travel Show in February 2020. Since then, all of its major events have been scuttled by COVID-19. The company also produces the Arrowhead Home and Builders Show and a sports program in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Russ Francisco, Marine General sporting goods owner in Duluth, one of the ice fishing show’s largest retailers, said some supply issues persisted for outdoor gear. But he said most manufacturers made him sell products.

“If you had asked me three weeks ago, I would have said we would be (taking orders) for a lot of things. But we have received a lot of (mailings) in the last few weeks. … We will be in good shape for the show, ”Francisco said.

Some items just sell faster than they can be made, like the new Vexilar FLX-30 sonar flasher which costs close to $ 800.

“I never would have believed a few years ago that people would spend $ 800 to switch to a new flasher for ice fishing, but they are, and a lot of them,” he said.

Consider clothing, augers, shelters, wheeled fish shacks, sonar and other ice gear, and every year Minnesota people “spend more money on ice fishing than on ice fishing.” summer. That’s how important ice fishing is now, ”Francisco said.

Navratil said this year’s show again features ice fishing seminars as well as several fishing trends panel discussions hosted by Jarrid Houston, local guide and News Tribune fishing columnist.

READ THE CHRONICLES OF JARRID HOUSTON IN NORTHLAND OUTDOORS

Houston said rapid innovation in the ice fishing industry continues to stun the imagination, with new lures, new shelters, new rods, clothing, augers and electronics introduced every season. . Side scan sonar technology continues to deliver eerie images not only of what is below you, but from meters away in any direction. Broadband turn signals are also catching on quickly for anglers willing to spend the money.

While just a few years ago almost all anglers used gasoline-powered ice augers, with a few propane models, the trend is now clearly towards battery-powered electric augers with no fuel or fumes to deal with.

“The electric ice auger industry is booming, gas being a thing of the past. Most manufacturers are turning to lithium batteries, ”Houston noted. “I love my 40 volt Strikemaster. They are now making a smaller 24 volt system that weighs less than 15 pounds. “

Most battery powered units will provide more than enough power for more than enough holes for most ice fishing applications.

“Lighter, more compact and more durable is the new path for the modern ice fisherman for sure,” noted Houston.

Frozen Basin Fishing Pond is back at the Ice Fishing Show with tagged trout bringing lucky anglers $ 10,000 combined in prizes and gift certificates for dollars on items purchased from vendors at the show .

Navratil said this year’s show also includes vendors selling non-fishing and outdoor merchandise.

“There will be something for everyone in the family, even people who don’t fish,” she said.

Colorful fish lures, used for harpooning, on sale at the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show in 2018. After being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020, the show is back this year, scheduled for December 10-12 to Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.  Clint Austin / Dossier / Duluth News Tribune

Colorful fish lures, used for harpooning, on sale at the Arrowhead Ice Fishing and Winter Show in 2018. After being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020, the show is back this year, scheduled for December 10-12 to Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Clint Austin / Dossier / Duluth News Tribune

New to this year’s show is the Sea Lion Splash, a foster family of rescued and trained sea lions that perform several times a day.

There will be no COVID-19 masking requirement at DECC for this event.

“Masks are optional and we welcome all participants, masked or unmasked,” Navratil said.

Hours of operation are Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for youth ages 6 to 17. Children 5 and under are free. Parking at DECC is $ 5 for this event only. Tell the attendant you are attending the ice fishing show. (Parking for other DECC events is $ 10.) For more information, go to arrowheadiceshow.com.

The St. Paul’s Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show is also back with an in-person event this year from December 3-5 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, the environment and natural resources for the Duluth News Tribune. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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