Always something to see
New products join traditional favorites at Schaumburg show
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).