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Outdoors adventures: Next January will be show time in the Sauk Valley

(Cat Matt/Shaw Media)
Last year's meeting of the minds at the Tinley Park Outdoors Show featured (left to right) Illinois Outdoor Television host Don Dzeidzina, Larry's Fishing Hole founder Larry Dozard, Matt "Catmatt" Jones and Hoss' Hawg Bait owner Russ Nash.

Thursday, gloomy Thursday it is here in the Rock River valley, as I chicken peck this article.

I find myself a little tired this morning after pulling ice removal duties at the local fishing ramp yesterday. I have learned that moving ice is much better than breaking ice and, if I want to fish in the winter, I better get used to both.

But when all was said and done, I saw some beautiful scenery and got to watch the local commercial guys remove some of the biggest gars I have ever peeped from the river.

So, it was a great day. Any day I hold a catfish in my hands is a great day.

You know, with outdoor show season in full swing, I thought I’d throw a few things at you all. First things first: What are your favorite things about your favorite shows?

I know we all go for different reasons. I ask for a reason, of course.

What If I told you that in January of 2014, you would be able to see and do all those things right here in the Rock River valley? That’s right. Right here, people. All you got to do is stay tuned for further information on the first full outdoor show to ever come to the area. It is going to be awesome.

For me, the best thing about outdoor shows is looking for great deals that always seem to be found.

You know that reel you always wanted but thought was a bit too pricy? It always seemed to pop up at a show somewhere for about half the price. Still amazes to this day at some of the great deals that can be had at outdoor shows.

I know for others, it is all about the entertainment: relaxing and taking in a seminar by a highly trained professional and good-natured old boy like say, yours truly. Or maybe Kevin VanDam is more your speed. Whatever. You get the point here, and you can’t blame a guy for trying, right?

Maybe it’s the kids’ attraction and games that trip your trigger. Over my years of speaking at shows, I have seen some pretty good ones.

In fact, the good old show right here at the Quad City area had one of the best games I ever saw. The minnow races there were classics. Yeah, the minnows didn’t always cooperate, but the kids always seemed to get a huge kick out of acting like they were in complete control of these little fishies. Some kids even claimed to be able to communicate with their minnows, which seems like cheating to me, but some kids take their minnow racing seriously.

I know at the Tinley Park show, the kids’ casting contest at their swimming pool is very, very popular.

Maybe you go to a show to book that trip of a lifetime. You’re that guy who has put off that perch charter to Lake Michigan his whole life, and now’s the time to go get it done.

Could be you been wanting forever and a day to chase Lake Erie walleyes and just ain’t done it yet?

Worse yet, maybe you’ve been living right here on one of the country’s best rivers, and you have never stepped foot on it or in it, whichever is technically correct. But you have never battled a Rock River catfish, and the time has come to change it.

Outdoor shows are the place to make it happen. You can talk to guides face-to-face, get to know them and see if they’re the person you want to gamble on.

Go Catfish!

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