Sportshow doesn’t disappoint

April 1, 2011

Faith Outdoors

I cruised over to the Northwest Sportshow this afternoon to squeeze in an hour or two of walking the aisles gawking at the dozens of booths.

It was a tight fit in my schedule and I was worried I would be too rushed to enjoy it. But, that wasn’t the case. Though I didn’t have the five or six hours to take in the show that I normally do, I made the most of my brief excursion.

Real fish

My first target destination was the Berkley fish tank, a new exhibit this year. There are multiple species of fish in the tank, and there are experts on hand to do product demos. When I got there, a walleye pro was showing off some of Berkley’s walleye baits. I’m more interested in their bass offerings, so I didn’t hang around long.

Summer planning

Before I even left the Berkley area, I ran into someone I got to know about 20 years ago — Tim Lesmeister. He’s an avid hunter and fisherman who writes a regular column for Outdoor News. I ran into him last year at the show and e-mailed him about smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Mille Lacs. We tried it once, and my son, Joe, caught a 19 1/2-incher about an hour after we started. Turns out Tim fishes them quite a bit, and he offered to take me out to try it. He assured me during our conversation that we were going to hit Mille Lacs for smallies this summer.

I plan on holding him to that promise.

Christ-centered hunting and fishing

Probably the most enjoyable conversation I had was with a guy named Pete Hein who works with an organization called Team Flatline Outdoors. It helps people enjoy the outdoors, especially youth, the elderly and the disadvantaged. Pete is a committed Christian who boldly proclaims his faith. We got to talk about that, and about our mutual enjoyment of the outdoors.

We agreed that we should get together again. He is located north of the Twin Cities, and I wouldn’t mind traveling to his area to have lunch, or maybe get on the water to chase walleyes or bass.

The chat with Pete was worth the whole trip. I met him at a booth that featured Full Throttle Fishing, which is a faith-based fishing tournament series. Also at the booth were representatives from the Minnesota Fishing Challenge, a fishing tournament that benefits the faith-based Minnesota Teen Challenge.

It’s nice to see these types of things at the show. Makes it all the more worthwhile. With Saturday and Sunday left, now’s the time to make your trip to the Northwest Sportshow. I’ll be sure to carve out more time for my visit next year!

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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