Things to do at the show

New features and attractions for 2021 coming soon! 2020 highlights shown below.
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The Hawg Trough

Check out our 5,000 gallon fish tank loaded with monster large mouth bass.  The nation’s top pros will be demonstrating the latest and the tried and true lures.  The BEST way to see how a lure acts in the water is to see it firsthand.  Let our pros show you how!

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Fishing Simulator

Grab the rod and hold on, because you're guaranteed to hook a big one at our realistic fishing simulator. Watch on a large screen TV as the fish you've just hooked jumps and dives while the pull on the line exactly simulates the action of the fish. Fun for anglers of all ages.

Fisherman's Boatyard

The Fisherman's Boatyard

See the very best in fishing boats and all at boat show pricing.  New models from Lund, Crestliner, G3, Ranger, Triton, Recon, Skeeter, Prince Craft, Sea Ark, Alumacraft, Bayliner, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Tracker, Nitro, Lowe, MirroCraft, PolarKraft, Smokercraft, and more!

Women in Fishin

New! Women in Fishing

Are you a female angler or interested in fishing either as a hobby or a career? The sport of fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors be it alone, with friends or family.  Regardless of age or physical ability, success can be achieved.  Join us Sunday January 26th at 9 am for a meet and greet with women who make the sport of fishing their career, followed by a Q & A panel discussion at 10 am in the 2nd floor seminar room.  Heather Hodson, Geri Meyer, Jen Ripple, Cheryl Smith, and Linda Leary are successful business owners, guides, and writers willing to share all the details on how to enjoy this great American past-time.  On the show floor you can book women exclusive fishing trips, buy clothing and gear for the sport and enjoy learning opportunities throughout the four days.  There is no additional fee to attend either session, or any of the seminars January 23 to 26.  All are included with purchase of your show ticket.

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Wings and Talons

Wings and Talons: Raptor Education, Stewardship and Conservation, is a 501(c)(3) non‐profit organization run by volunteers who dedicate their time and passion caring for non-releasable, injured or imprinted birds of prey.

As stewards of these magnificent animals, we offer educational programs with a focus on conservation, while allowing children and adults an opportunity to see and learn about their unique qualities up close.

The Wings and Talons booth will be filled with live raptors and trained Raptor Handlers, prepared to answer your questions. The birds currently in our care include: Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Eastern Screech Owl, Western Screech Owl, American Kestrel and two Red-tailed Hawks, each species possessing their own individual qualities.

 For more information: Visit the Wings and Talons website or email  info@WingsAndTalons.org

 

 

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Musky Madness Friday - Seminars and Tackle Giveaway

Sponsored by:

Musky Hunter Magazine

 

 

Polish your Musky Angling Skills! On Friday, January 24, join us for Musky seminars all day presented by some of the best Musky anglers around including Jim Saric and others to be announced soon. 

On Friday evening, join a question and answer forum hosted by Jim Saric that will include all of the musky pros. Two lucky forum attendees will walk away with a Musky tackle package valued at over $1,000 including a St. Croix Rod, Daiwa Reel,  Costa Sunglasses, J Braid Fishing Line and Joe Bucher Outdoor Lures. 

Supported by:

St Croix Rods   

 

 Costa

  Daiwa   

Joe Bucher Outdoors

J-Braid
 

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BASSMaster Casting Kids

The Casting Kids program is easy, fun and makes fishing an exciting pastime for kids. It also serves as a positive way for kids to spend their free time so they are less likely to come in contact with negative outlets. Open to young people in two age groups, 7-10 and 11-14, the goals of these competitions are to involve America's you in fishing and to foster in each participant an appreciation and concern for the outdoors.

Casting Kids competitions are similar to NFL Punt, Pass and Kick events, except the challenge is to "cast, pitch and flip." These are three very important skills everyone needs to know in order to catch fish. Scoring is based on a points system so the young angler with the most points wins.

Since its inception, Casting Kids has reached over one million children.

Through the Casting Kids program, B.A.S.S., Inc. honors its commitment and dedication to our nation's youth. At the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, Casting Kids will be presented by the Illinois BASS Federation Nation (IBFN) on Sunday, January 26. During the last hour of the competition, IBFN will be conducting the Illinois Casting Kids State Championship.

Feature - Family Day

Exclusive! Sunday is Family Day!

Children 11 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Exclusive!
Kid Scavenger Hunt
Hey kids, visit all the great Kid Fun activities on the show floor, have your checklist stamped and then visit the Grand Prize Giveaway booth in the lobby and get a free prize.

The first 100 kids 11 and younger entering the show floor on Sunday, January 26 will receive a Daiwa fishing rod & reel combo.*

Daiwa

*Must be accompanied by a paying adult

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Chauncey from Chauncey's Great Outdoors Radio Program

Chauncey from Chauncey’s Great Outdoors Radio Program heard on ESPN Radio AM 1000 will be at our show with an exciting area for kids and adults to learn more about the outdoors.

  • Check out the nature center with live animals and reptiles, outdoor games and more.  
  • Visit with Dan Basore, the nation’s expert on antique fishing lures, rods , reels and more. He will be exhibiting some of his collection for you to look at and learn. Bring in your old fishing gear for a free appraisal and learn about it’s history.  Dan will tell you how to take care of it, clean it and share ideas for displaying it in your home. So, learn the history of fishing in grandpas old tackle box and bring it to the show to Dan Basore’s Historical Fishing Display.  


  • So stop by and have fun with Chicago and the Midwest’s favorite outdoorsman Chauncey.

Chauncey
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Casting Pond

Our 50’ casting pond is an excellent area to try out one of the many new rods and reels on display with manufacturers and retailers, or to learn the quiet sport of fly fishing. Fly casting experts will be on hand teaching the basics of fly casting geared to the novice or first time fly caster, regardless of age. 

Visit one of the local retailers to test out a complete spinning or baitcasting outfit, or stop by one of the many manufacturer booths to compare and try their latest models. Each day will come with seminars by experienced fly casters on varied techniques targeting both warm and cold water species.

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Fly Tying....Sit and Tie with an Expert (Friday, Saturday and Sunday Only)

DRiFT will once again offer it's very successful Youth (of all ages) Fly Tying Program with all the materials and tools provided. Come and sit down with some of DRiFT's best instructors as they demonstrate their fly tying talents one-on-one. View the actual bugs that fish eat under a high-powered microscope at DRiFT's  entomology table. They have hundreds of aquatic insects in our collection and laboratory quality microscopes

Available Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.

Presented and staffed in association with:
DuPage Rivers Fly Tyers (DRIFT)

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The Travel Pavilion

Meet potential hosts and book your next fishing/hunting trip or family vacation at the Expo.  Over 100 fishing travel/family vacation destinations from Canada, the United States and beyond.  You can leave the Expo with all your travel plans confirmed.