In case you missed the version at Novi's Suburban Showplace a few weeks ago, just head west on I-96 to see the Grand Rapids edition next month.
Marianne Huskey, the only woman ever to win “Angler of the Year” honors in a national fishing circuit, headlines an all-star lineup of seminar speakers at this year’s Ultimate Sports Show–Grand Rapids, March 21 to 24 at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.
After several years’ absence, returning is the popular Hawg Trough, a 5,000-gallon freshwater fish tank/seminar platform. A weekend Super Bass Clinic comes back for the second consecutive year; and a kids Fly Fishing Hour on Lake Ultimate makes its official debut. All the traditional fan favorites return including the Michigan Taxidermist Association’s annual competition, Big Buck Night–West, Ultimate Air Dogs with Milt Wilcox, Woodland Woodcarvers, special displays of antique fishing tackle, vintage boats, antique motors and more.
Michigan’s biggest outdoor sports show, which dates to 1946, fills four acres with the newest fishing boats and tackle, outdoor accessories, hunting gear, professional guides and outfitters, travel destinations, family entertainment and featured attractions.
“Ultimate Sport Show—Grand Rapids has a rich history of supporting Michigan’s great outdoors, and this year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever,” said Show Manager Ben Nielsen. “From kid’s activities and mushroom hunting to big game and wilderness canoeing, this show truly has something for every outdoors person. I can’t wait for it to begin.”
Huskey, who was born and raised in Michigan but now resides in Wisconsin, made professional fishing history last summer when she won the Anglers Insight Marketing (AIM) Pro Walleye Series “Angler of the Year” honors. That accolade goes to the angler pro—man or woman—who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, based on top finishes in each tournament.
Huskey, incidentally, is the only woman competitor. Last year, her seminars were standing-room only; patrons want to arrive early to hear her speak.
Several other walleye- and bass-fishing professionals will join Huskey in passing along tips and techniques that are sure to put more fish in the boat.
Charter boat captains Bill Bale, Jerry Lee, Chip Cartwright and Willis Kerridge along with Rich Holm, owner of Sea Crest Lures, will instruct show patrons on the finer points of catching Great Lakes salmon and steelhead. Muskies, perch, river fishing and fly fishing seminars are also on tap.
Fee-based Super Clinics on walleye, bass and salmon and steelhead fishing will be offered during the weekend. All other seminars, including fly-casting and fly-tying demonstrations, are free with admission.
With spring turkey season looming, hunters are sure to pick up tactical tips from nationally-renown turkey experts Denny Geurink, Seth McCullough and Greg Abbas.
Steve Francis, of Country Smoke House in Almont, Mich. will show attendees how to process a white-tailed deer from field dressing and skinning to butchering and packaging. Fred Abbas (Greg’s father), who ranks No. 1 all-time for trophy buck entries in the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan record book, will share the specialized tactics that have made him so successful in the whitetail woods.
Building food plots for wildlife and training and handling gun dogs are included, along with mushroom hunting seminars by expert Theresa Maybrier and wilderness canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area by new speaker Ramsey Dowgiallo.
2013 SPECIAL FEATURES
Back by popular demand, DeVos Place will be home to this huge indoor lake. With over 110,000 gallons of water, Lake Ultimate is the “stage” for seminar leaders to present “real time” demonstrations from rigged fishing boats.
Once on location, the Hawg Trough is filled with water and stocked with warmwater game species. Using a PA system, fishing experts provide seminars and demonstrations from this unique platform.
Big Buck Night-West
Big Buck Night-West begins at 7 p.m. Thursday and is presented by Michigan Out-of-Doors TV Show. Celebrity hosts Jimmy Gretzinger and Jenny Olson, along with special guest Tony Gates of WLAV-FM will interview the lucky Michigan hunters who bagged some of the largest white-tailed deer of the 2012 season. This one-night show will be filmed for airing on the upcoming television program and is a must see for every Michigan deer hunter.
Ultimate Air Dogs
Who says dogs can’t fly? West Michigan families have a big treat in store when the Ultimate Air Dogs Big Air Show comes to town. It, too, is free with admission. Sport show patrons may have seen this on ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games. Competitions are also seen on the Sporting Dog Challenge and the Super Retriever Series, both on ESPN2. Several champion leapers will be coming to DeVos Place for the event. For more information and to pre-register your own canine athlete, visit www.ultimateairdogs.net
The Ultimate Sports Show-Grand Rapids will also feature kayak and paddleboard demonstrations, fish-cleaning demonstrations, a rock climbing wall, a trout pond for the kids, a video fishing simulator, an ORV certification class (Saturday only), a turkey, and a turkey-hunting workshop.
The first 500 attendees on Thursday and Friday will receive a free, collectible Dardevle spoon from Eppinger Manufacturing Co. in Dearborn. The first 500 attendees on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free Quick Fillet Tool from Quick Fillet Productions in Plymouth.
The Ultimate Sports Show-Grand Rapids is at DeVos Place March 21 to 24. Show hours are 3 to 9:30 Thursday; 11 to 9:30 Friday; 10 to 9 Saturday and 10 to 5 Sunday.
Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 6 to 14 and children 5 and under will be admitted free.
Discount coupons are available in the Grand Rapids Press and at Wendy’s.