By Steve Weisman
By mid-November, ice fishermen are chomping at the bit hoping for that first real cold snap to put enough ice on the lakes to begin the ice fishing season. That’s why Thane and Tanya Johnson, owners of Kabele’s Trading Post in Spirit Lake have put their annual “Shop with the Pros 2014” event on Saturday, November 15.
What better way to kick off the ice fishing season than with a day set aside just for ice fishing, a day to meet the pros, to listen to five different seminars, to browse and look at all the latest ice fishing equipment under one roof!
“This will be our third annual Shop with the Pros event,” said Tanya. “The day has grown each year with over 400 people in attendance last year. We hope for that and even more this year.”
Thane agreed. “It is a busy, fun day for us. We like to think that this day also benefits the community. Ice fishing continues to grow partially because you can get into the sport and not spend a lot of money to do so.”
Hours for the day are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with five seminars interspersed throughout the day.
I will start the seminars at 9:30 with a “Trip Down Memory Lane,” looking at how much ice fishing has changed and evolved over the past 60 years. I’ll also look into the crystal ball and share what ice fishing looks like around here.
At 10 a.m., Reid Miller with 13 Fishing will share information on the new in-line ice reels and how they are effectively eliminating lure spin.
Next up will be Chip Leer, who is the driving force behind Fishing the WildSide, an outdoor sports marketing and communications company. Leer is also a pro staffer with Ice Force. Leer will share a wide range of information at two different presentations: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Noon will be break time with Thul’s West River meats offering a catered meal for $5.
Following Leer’s second seminar, the next seminar will be conducted by Ted Takasaki at 2 p.m. Takasaki will share his incredible journey as a walleye legend. He will also discuss the new Skinzit, a fish cleaning skinner and deboner that is revolutionizing fish cleaning. The Skinzit was invented by former Arnolds Park residents Perry and Erik Parks, sons of long time bait shop owner (White Oaks Bait Shop) John Parks.
Finally at 3 p.m., John Grovesnor (JTG Expeditions), local guide and pro staffer with Ice Force will discuss stealth tactics for clear water ice fishing.
A Chance to visit
Tanya also noted, “We have people come from 4-5 hours away to be part of this day. So, Thane and I have worked really hard to put together this line-up of speakers. This day is also a chance to visit with the speakers and just plain talk ice fishing. Also on hand will be Trevor Fey with Ice Force, Dan Houg with Cold Snap outdoors and Matt Pasma with Striker Ice. So, we have representatives from many of the top manufacturers in the ice fishing industry. We will also have J & K Snowmobiles from Estherville on hand with Arctic Cat equipment.”
“We are excited to be able to offer a wide range of instant rebates and discounts on a lot of our ice fishing products,” noted Thane. “We will have lots of giveaways and drawings.” Promotions include free travel covers, sweatshirts, auger blades, ice rod bag…and on and on. Stop in at Kabele’s to see the entire list or find Kabele’s (www.kabeles.com) on the Internet or Facebook to see the list of all the deals.
Sponsors for the 2014 Shop with the Pros day include CLAM, 13 Fishing, Custom jigs & Spins, No. 8 Tackle, Ice Force and Berkley.