The second week of outdoors show season around Chicago is the biggest and busiest of the winter.
There's the big show--Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show--and three top-notch focus shows--All-Canada, Chicago Muskie Show and the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Spring Fever Outdoor Show.
Snow, blizzards or not, I plan to hit the Boat Show today, then All-Canada and the Chicago Muskie Show tomorrow. The Boat Show with the family on Saturday, then the Spring Fever Show on Sunday.
The Boat Show and All-Canada open today. This year the Boat Show is running on a different schedule, today through Monday.
The Boat Show is at McCormick Place North. Obviously, the big fancy boats are the dream draw. But I think pontoons are the more serious focus.
One of my highlights will be listening to pro kayaker Drew Gregory at 6 tonight on kayak fishing. He will also present again at 6 p.m. Friday.
When the family comes along, the RVs will be high on our list for must-sees.
The All-Canada Show is at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, as usual.
The big draw obviously is planning for your Canadian trip. Something different is a presentation on fly fishing for lakers by John Cleveland at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Chicago Muskie Show is at Harper College in Palatine, as usual.
There's a lot of good draws, as always. There's several things of note.
Larry Dahlberg hosts a bucktail-burning contest, pool side, at 5:30 p.m. Friday. I hope to make that in time. I love those big pool-side events.
Jim Saric (YouTube video above) has his Hall of Fame induction at 8:15 p.m. Friday.
There's a panel on ``Minnesota's Trophy Muskie Waters'' at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Spring Fever Outdoor Show is on a new weekend, Saturday and Sunday, and at a new place, Marquette Mall in Michigan City, Ind.
There's free parking and free entrance. There's plenty of local talent from Mike Schoonveld to Ed Mullady.
REMAINING 2012 CHICAGO-AREA OUTDOOR SHOWS
Jan. 20-22 Bedford Sales Open House, Morris, IL 815-942-1333
[ADDED] Jan. 21: ISA Fly Tying & Fishing Show, presented by the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance with DuPage Rivers Fly Tyers, Holy Family School, Bensenville, featuring Joe Cornwall and Dennis Potter
Jan. 26-29: Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Jan. 26-29: Strictly Sail Chicago, Navy Pier
Jan. 27-29: Illinois Fish & Feather Expo, Interstate Center, Bloomington
Jan. 28-29: Hammond Outdoor Sports Show, Jean Shepherd Community Center, Hammond, Ind.
Feb. 3-5: Great Outdoors Fishing, Hunting, Boat, and RV Expo, Best Western Timber Creek, Sandwich
Feb. 11-12: Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show, Tinley Park High School
Feb. 12: Henry Decoy Show, Henry-Senachwine High School
Feb. 15-19: Chicago RV & Camping Show, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
Feb. 17-26: Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Feb. 17-19: Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Feb. 17-19: Our World-Underwater, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont,
Feb. 17-19: Rockford Boat, Fishing and Vacation Expo, Indoor Sports Center, Rockford
Feb. 25: Chicago Maritime Festival, Chicago History Museum
March 3-4: Great Outdoors Expo, Woodstock North High School, Woodstock
March 3-4: Elmwood All Outdoors Show, Elmwood High School and Grade School
March 7-11: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, Wis.
March 9-11: Canoecopia, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
March 10: Indoor Fishing Flea Market, Rolling Meadows High School
March 16-18: Lake Home & Cabin Show, Schaumburg Convention Center
March 23-25: Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, Peoria Civic Center