Chicago Sun-Times

Al­ways some­thing to see

New prod­ucts join tra­di­tional fa­vorites at Schaum­burg show

- DALE BOW­MAN Info is at sportshows.com/ chicago. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ Bow­manOut­side. Footwear · Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Lake Erie · Erie · Chicago Metropolitan Area, Illinois · United States of America · Illinois · Russia · Socks · Hosiery · Schaumburg, IL · DeKalb, IL · DeKalb · Shabbona, IL

When Capt. Frank Kit­trick started out on Lake Erie some 25 years ago, he was like a lot of young guys. Riproar­ing came nat­u­rally.

An­other cap­tain told him he needed to slow down with a drift sock and gave him a cheap one. Kit­trick ripped through that and an­other.

With that, he vis­ited Jonas Miller, an Amish tarp maker near him out­side of Cleveland. Miller’s then- 12- year- old son, John, came up with a drift sock sturdy enough for Kit­trick.

Amish Out­fit­ters was born when other peo­ple be­gan ask­ing for such socks from Kit­trick. Amish Out­fit­ters ( Booth 514) de­buted at the Chicagolan­d Fish­ing, Travel & Out­door Expo on Thurs­day at the Schaum­burg Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. The big­gest fish­ing show in the Chicago area runs through Sun­day.

‘‘ It’s not just trolling bags any­more,’’ said Kit­trick, who runs Y- Knot Char­ters. ‘‘ They are very skilled.’’

Their lat­est hot item, among their 100- plus of­fer­ings, is a hitch bag.

Here are some other things new or of note I came across on the open­ing af­ter­noon at the Schaum­burg Show:

The SnowDog ma­chine, de­signed for ice or snow but us­able in just about any off- road sit­u­a­tion in the out­doors, also is mak­ing its de­but at the show ( Booth 233). The model at the show ( Com­pactB10ZE) weighs 265 pounds and is man­age­able by two peo­ple.

Josh Jenk­ins said it came to the United States last year and is dis­trib­uted from DeKalb, Illi­nois. It is built in Rus­sia and has been pop­u­lar in north­ern Europe for a decade. The SnowDog runs on reg­u­lar gaso­line in a four- stroke en­gine, and the var­i­ous mod­els are priced from $ 2,500 to $ 3,500.

At the other end, there are $ 5 show deals. The GunkStick from Mis­chief Fish­ing Tech­nolo­gies ( Booth 327) caught my eye as a way to deal with a prob­lem many of us have with cot­ton­wood fluff gunk­ing up our lives and fish­ing lines in sum­mer. Jared Lar­son came up with the rel­a­tively sim­ple gad­get to keep gunk off fish­ing line. The GunkStick is a show spe­cial at $ 5.

An­other $ 5 deal comes from Capt. John Man­ner­ino, who has stripped down um­brella rigs ( among other baits) at Rocky’s An­gling Pur­suits ( Booth 307). He said those um­brella rigs worked won­ders on crap­pie and white bass on Hei­decke Lake and the Illi­nois River.

Shab­bona Lake­side Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental ( Booth 306) has its just- re­leased Shab­bona Lake Fish­ing Map out in time for the show. It, too, is priced at $ 5.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the coolest crowd was packed around the Cast Crew ( Booth 422).

My fa­vorite booth, as in most years, re­mains Lee’s Global Tackle ( Booth 220). I can’t get my fill of that booth with its Ja­panese Do­mes­tic Mar­ket in­no­va­tions.

I can’t stop cer­tain tra­di­tions. I dropped by the Blue Bank Re­sort ( Booth 405), as al­ways, to see if they had mon­ster crap­pie from Reelfoot Lake on ice again. They did.

The live- birds prey at Wings and Talons ( Booth 720) drew the most in­ter­est among all ages. For kids, my money is on the fish sim­u­la­tor at Maple Bass­mas­ters ( Booth 04) and the gen­eral hub­bub at Chauncey’s Great Out­doors ( Booths 24- 27).

 ?? | DALE BOW­MAN/ FOR THE SUN- TIMES ?? The SnowDog ( above) and the GunkStick are two in­no­va­tive prod­ucts avail­able at the Chicagolan­d Fish­ing, Travel & Out­door Expo.
| DALE BOW­MAN/ FOR THE SUN- TIMES The SnowDog ( above) and the GunkStick are two in­no­va­tive prod­ucts avail­able at the Chicagolan­d Fish­ing, Travel & Out­door Expo.
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