Was a great day at the inaugural Canadian Ice Fishing Expo. Trevor and I made the two hour trek from Delhi, Ontario to Barrie, Ontario to spend the day with good friends Gord Trask and his son Jackson. When we arrived at the Barrie Molson Centre the admission line up was long! A good sign for the first day of a new show.
After entering the Barrie Molson Centre we worked our way to ice level where the show was held. The show filled quickly and although the show was small there was lots of energy in the air. This time of year Ice Anglers are itching to hit the hard water. Some unseasonably cold weather the last few days has definitely been fuelling that desire!
After checking out some of the vendors we hit the seminar area to check out a great seminar by friend, Wil Wegman. Wil delivered a great seminar to the audience about ice safety and gave us a bonus seminar on Splake and Brook Trout fishing. Definitely a bonus and was full of great tips!
We decided to head out for a bite to eat. This also involved a quick stop at the Cabela’s Canada store across the road. A great selection of ice gear as well. I was able to purchase a new two-piece ice chisel for checking ice conditions. A necessary tool living in the southern end of Ontario. Really happy to find the two piece version. Will easily store in my Clam Kenai Pro Shelter.
After our detour to Cabelas we headed back to the Barrie Centre to catch a few more seminars. We first heard Big Jim McLaughin talk about strategies for winter Sunfish and Crappie. Then we caught a great Q&A session with Wil Wegman and fellow Pure Fishing Ambassadors John Whyte and Bob Izumi. Of course this seminar was well attended.
After this great seminar we spent some time checking out some of the great deals in the show. Radioworld had a small booth but lots of great deals. I’ve been a big fan of Vexilar Flashers for ice fishing for years. My first flasher was an FL8 and a few years later I purchased an FL20. I’ve been really keen on the new Vexilar FLX series of Flashers, especially the FLX 28. This will be my next unit when I hand down my current unit to Trevor.
As well Garmin had a great booth highlighting many of the new incredible products. Including the new Panoptix Ice Bundle and inReach GPS. Many other great deals in the show on rods, reels, combos, lures, baits and ice shelters.
After drooling over the great ice fishing deals we headed over to the Sno Bear booth. If ice anglers have not seen these machines you need to check them out! Breathtaking! While we were there we took a few minutes to visit with Bob Izumi and grab an autograph for Jackson. Always great seeing Bob and talking fishing with friends. He is Canada’s most well known angler for a reason! On our way out we paid Tom Chopin and the good brothers of Nick and Mike Tamburro at the Freedom Tackle booth. They had a great display for demonstrating their various products for ice fishing. Jackson and Trevor loved the display and spent some serious time “testing” the many Freedom Tackle products on hand. What a day! Loved seeing so many great companies, industry insiders and ice anglers enjoying this first of its kind show in Ontario. Looking forward to many more Canadian Ice Fishing Expos in the coming years.