Outside Chance


Family fun and a great way to learn

The Ultimate Sport Show in Grand Rapids is a great way to learn from some of the best. (Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Sport Show is March 14-17 at DeVos Place; for more information visit https://showspan.com/USG/home/dates-times-admission/#/select.) It’s also a great way to introduce a youngster to the outdoors via the exhibits and the hands on events for the youth. The sport show has something for the entire family and different days they offer discounts or gifts for the early visitors. Saturday they host the monster seminar clinics in addition to the full line up of their regular seminars.

Stopper Lures will be at the show and often they will have one of their pro staff folks presenting mini seminars in the giant lake created for just these types of events. A suggestion to share, carry paper or a recorder, ask plenty of questions at both the seminars and at the booths. Focus your questions to the style of fishing or hunting that you like. If you fish inland lakes the most then ask questions that would benefit your style best.

Some of the highlights for the family include: Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. No it’s not Superman - these “men of steel” are LUMBERJACKS. The
Show includes such events as axe throwing, chopping, log rolling, cross cut sawing, hot sawing and chainsaw carving. These century old skills were used in the logging camps of North America.

The Big Buck Night West is presented by Celebrity hosts Jimmy Gretzinger and Jenny Olson of Michigan Out of Doors. They will interview the talented Michigan hunters who have bagged some of the largest whitetail deer of the season.

Seating begins at 6:30pm, Thursday in the Ballroom Presented by Michigan Out-of-Doors TV Show. Special consideration is given to hunters who have amazing stories about their trophies.

The Michigan Taxidermists Association Display will be located on the 3rd floor “Grand Gallery Overlook” of DeVos Place.  If this year is your first time, come down and see why the first thing so many people say when they walk through the front door of the Sport Show is:  “Which way to the taxidermy?”  Most museums would love to have just a sample of this annual display, and it’s free to see with admission.

Another highlight of the show every year is the beautiful and impressive display of the Woodland Woodcarvers. These local artisans will display the results of their work, as well as demonstrate their considerable skills. Everything from the incredibly lifelike to the whimsically humorous.  Woodcarvings of every kind will be on display, and carvers will be happy to talk to you about their work.

Participants may climb this 25-foot wall utilizing the state of the art hydraulic billet system.  Test your skills with the ultimate in safety, located in the Grand Gallery.  There is a small fee for participation that goes to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Trout Pond is a favorite for the youngsters and is operated by “Northern Little League” as a fundraiser, you and your kids are invited to come and try your hand at one of the state’s best trout ponds.  Even if you come just to watch, you will see the highest catch percentage of any trout pond you have ever seen.  The Steel headers will clean, fillet and bag with ice your catch for you at their booth for free.  It only cost $5 to give it a try.

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s annual workshop returns to the Grand Rapids Sport Show again this year.  Calling, scouting, camouflage, positioning and choosing firearms and bows are all part of this comprehensive presentation on Saturday morning only.

Other popular seminars include walleye fishing from Mark Romanack and Marianne Husky. Tips on sonar and graph settings from Lance valentine, Bass fishing with Wayne Carpenter, fly fishing with Glen Blackwood, Jim Bedford on river steelhead using spinners. Seminars on perch fishing, dog training, salmon fishing and a host of other topics.

When I return home I go over my notes, decipher what I think will work best for me, what I can master and adapt to my lakes and then purchase the items that I want or need. I also laminate the tips, graph settings and other information so that I can use it on the water.