St. Paul’s RiverCentre will open Thursday to the 46th annual Minnesota Sportsmen’s Show for fishing, hunting, boating, camping and family vacations.
Some 225 exhibitors of gear, resorts, boats, guiding, recreational vehicles and fly-in services will fill the hall over four days. Other exhibits, aimed at children, will include live ducks, foxes, cougars, wolves and a fishable trout pond. A kids fishing school will be hosted by Ron Schara, and three “magnificent’’ live bucks will be displayed.
This year’s schedule of hunting seminars will focus on big buck strategies as taught by Todd Amenrud and Jared Scheffler. On the fishing side, pros Joe Henry and Ted Takasaki will give instructions ranging from the secrets of float fishing to mastering walleye crawler harnesses.
The show, which annually draws upward of 30,000 attendees, opens at 2 p.m. Thursday and closes at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Fishing Up North
As ice conditions in Minnesota continue to improve under the statewide onset of frigid temperatures, DNR conservation officers in the northern tier of the state are reporting increased fishing activity with mixed results. The officers also are advising anglers and snowmobilers to remain cautious.
“More recreational vehicles and even a few cars are being used now,’’ conservation officer Anthony Bermel of Babbitt wrote this week in his report. “But be careful as ice depths continue to be wildly inconsistent.’’
Saturday on Birch Lake south of Ely, for example, ice thickness varied from 4 to 13 inches.
“Check ice depths for yourself and do not rely on rumors,’’ said officer Darin Fagerman of Grand Marais. “Just because a snowmobile track crosses a lake doesn’t mean it is safe to walk on.’’
Even as far north as Baudette, DNR officials were warning people of areas with as little as 4 inches of ice. But ice depths in many places have grown thick enough for resorts to open marked roads and trails equipped with fishing shelters.
Fishing reports from the Warroad and Baudette areas ranged from “fair’’ to “good,’’ with almost universal reports of increased activity.