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The Outdoor Sports and Fishing Show held in Indianapolis last weekend is easily one of the best shows in the Midwest and well worth the three-hour drive. The show takes over the entire Indiana State Fair grounds – four massive arenas, each dedicated to an aspect of outdoor sports: boats, resorts, fishing tackle and archery/hunting.

The new fishing boats for this coming year were pretty amazing. They are coming pre-rigged with some of the most sophisticated electronics and accessories. All the new fish locators now have HD screens and full-spectrum colors – very different from the early Lowrance Fish-L-Ktor that had a single color on an instant-read sonar or “flasher.” A modern version of that original is still in use today and some believe it is still more accurate than the new digital locators.

The show also had some really interesting kayaks and float boats for fishing small waters, built for a single fisherman with gear. They are so stable and light-weight one can even stand in them and cast with comfort.

This show is the kind of event to head to when planning vacation trips. Resorts from Canada to Florida and Texas were represented, but the best part was the number of resorts from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa where one can get away easily for a week of great fishing and outdoor time. Great fishing can be found within a few hours of Evanston, if one is willing to really look.

Another great area at the show was the fishing tackle. Representatives were there from most major tackle and electronic firms, showing off the newest innovations to catch fish(ermen). It is incredible to see every year that they actually made the previous year’s amazing electronics even better. But a fisherman can easily spend most of his time with the small tackle makers, the guys who make lures and plastic baits in their garages, basements or small rooms all over the country. It will be exciting this spring to try out some of their hand-poured plastic baits on some unsuspecting Lake Michigan smallmouth bass.

Now is a good time to go clean out some tackle boxes. Until next time keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.