St. Paul Ice Fishing Show Recap

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A big “thank you” to everyone who stopped by this past weekend in St. Paul to say hello at the big St. Paul Ice Fishing Show.  The show did not disappoint.  Just about everyone in the ice fishing industry was there rubbing elbows with attendees.

In addition to Lake of the Woods Tourism at the show, Lake of the Woods was represented nicely with Border View Lodge, Arnesen’s Rocky Point, Wigwam Resort, Sunset Lodge, Flag Island Resort and Twin Island Sleepers all having booths.

Once again there was a whole new lineup of fish houses, rods, reels, tackle and augers all geared towards ice angling.  Some observations from the show…

Electric augers are becoming very popular.  With the technology in batteries improving being driven by other industries, companies that manufacture electric ice augers are harnessing this same technology to make augers more reliable and last longer.

Tungsten.  This dense and heavy material is the rage when it comes to panfish baits.  Many ice anglers have retired or given away their traditional ice flies and gone exclusively to tungsten.

Ice rods.  In addition to the many good ice rod manufactures already out there, there are more and more customized ice fishing rod companies popping up.  To each angler’s opinion what is the best or how much to spend, the fact is, there are a lot of great ice rods out there.

Collapsible Fish houses.  When it comes to collapsible fish houses, so much to choose from.  Insulated or non insulated.  Flip over or pop up.  Door on the front or the side.  How is the sled molded or put together.  What color of fish house do you prefer?  So many good choices.  With that being said, lots of good houses on the market.

Wheel houses.  Again, the selection of wheel houses has expanded.  It used to be there were a few manufacturers.  Now, many.  Many of the fish houses are clearly being marketed for more than just ice fishing with awnings attached to the sides just like a camper.

Electronics.  Each year there are new offerings.  We saw lots of ice anglers carrying around their new purchases.  If you have used electronics for ice fishing, you realize how effective they can be and how much fun they are to use.  I carry around my older flasher for friends or relatives who maybe don’t have one.  It is hard to fish without one these days.

Nice people in the industry.  Had a chance to rekindle friendships and relationships within the industry.  For so many talented ice anglers who have a strong media following, there are sure a lot of good guys and gals in the ice fishing world.  Most of these folks are so approachable and are willing to share info to help others have a good time on the ice.  Very nice to see.

Each year, the St. Paul Ice Fishing Show has more to offer, much because of the hundreds of vendors bringing the latest and greatest ice fishing offerings all to one special venue.  The excitement level was high this past weekend and many are praying hard to the “Ice Gods” for good ice this year.  In looking at the 10 day forecast, it looks as if their prayers may be answered.

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