GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's a must-see event for West Michigan outdoorsmen. The 72nd Annual Ultimate Sport Show begins at Grand Rapids' DeVos Place Thursday, March 16.
It is the state's longest, oldest and largest outdoors show and it caters to men, women and children who love nature.
"We try to bring the outdoors inside. We have the boats. We have the fishing tackle. Everyone is itching to be outside. Next week is Spring," said Will Sprague, show manager.
The event runs through Sunday, March 19.
It features over four acres of new boats, hunting and fishing gear and outdoor accessories coupled with an all-star lineup of seminar speakers, family entertainment and featured attractions.
"There is something for everyone," said Sprague. "If you are a kid we have the Lumberjacks here. Flagpole is here. We have Airsoft. You have rock climbing and a trout pond. If you are an adult and you want to learn more about fishing, we have over 100 seminars."
The all-star seminar lineup include:
* Bass fishing expert Mark Zona will make a Thursday Only Special Appearance at the Ultimate Sport Show. Zona is one of bass fishing's brightest stars. He made a reputation for himself in the industry with a rod and reel, earning eight top-10 finishes in major tournaments. Zona moved into the broadcast booth and he now hosts his own show on the Outdoor Channel – Zona's Awesome Fishing Show and is a regular on several ESPN Outdoors shows including co-hosting The Bassmaster Elite Series Show. Bass fishing professionals Chris Noffsinger and Capt. Wayne Carpenter will be at the show all four days and will share the tactics and techniques they use to catch lunker largemouth and smallmouth bass.
* Walleye fishing experts including TV show host Mark Romanack, Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame inductee Mark Martin, Marianne Huskey, the only woman to win an Angler of the Year title in any professional fishing tournament series, and Walleye 101 founder Lance Valentine all will be providing tips and techniques to help you catch more.
* There also will be seminars on trout and salmon fishing, muskie and pike fishing, fly fishing, river fishing, fishing for kids, perch fishing, fishing in the Boundary Waters, and more.
* Ultimate Clinics on walleye, bass, and salmon and steelhead will be offered on Saturday and Fly-Casting and Fly-Tying demonstrations will take place throughout the show.
* Hunters can pick up tips on how to tag trophy whitetails from experts Fred Abbas, Tom Richardson, Tim Andrus and Jason Herbert. Steve Francis, of Country Smoke House in Almont, Mich., will show patrons how to process a white-tailed deer from field dressing and skinning to butchering and packaging. With spring turkey season right around the corner you won't want to miss seminars by turkey experts Denny Geurink and Seth McCullough, who will provide tips for bringing gobblers into shooting range.
* The topics of food plotting and dog training will also be covered on the seminar stages.
Sprauge says they've been able to keep the show, that's in it's seventh decade, fresh and exciting by offering the latest vendors and trends.
Highlights this year include:
Alaskan Timbermen Lumberjack Show
A new feature this year at the Ultimate Sport Show-Grand Rapids is the Alaskan Timbermen Lumberjack Show. The Alaskan Timbermen Team will be battling it out in the Olympics of the Forest at this year's show. Two top Alaskan Lumberjacks will be going head to head in competitions that include Chopping, Sawing, Axe Throwing, Chain Sawing, Tree Climbing and Log Rolling. These are some of the world's best timber athletes and have been featured on the Outdoor Channel. The action and stories provided by these men will captivate the crowds at the Ultimate Sport Show.
With over 110,000 gallons of water, Lake Ultimate provides the "ultimate" opportunity for seminar leaders to present from their rigged fishing boats while maneuvering across the water and fishing.
The Hawg Trough is a 5,000-gallon aquarium stocked with native fish that seminar presenters use to demonstrate techniques and allow show patrons to see first-hand how lures work and how the fish react.
Big Buck Night-West
Michigan Out-of-Doors TV Show's Big Buck Night-West begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, with seating beginning at 6:30 p.m. Celebrity hosts Jimmy Gretzinger and Jenny Olson will interview the lucky Michigan hunters who bagged some of the largest white-tailed deer of the 2016 season.
Fan favorites like the Trout Pond, Woodland Woodcarvers, Antique Fishing Tackle, Vintage Boats and Motors, Fish Cleaning Demonstrations and a Video Fishing Simulator return to the show. There also will be the popular Rock Wall for climbing, an ORV Certification Class (Saturday only), Turkey Calling Contests and a Turkey-Hunting Workshop.
The first 500 attendees on Thursday and Friday receive a free, collectible Dardevle spoon from Eppinger Manufacturing Co. in Dearborn. The first 250 attendees on Saturday and Sunday will receive a K&E Bass Stopper lure from Stopper Lures in Hastings.
The Ultimate Sport Show-Grand Rapids is at DeVos Place March 16 to 19. NEW show hours are 1 to 9 Thursday; 11 to 9 Friday; 10 to 8 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.
Visit www.UltimateSportShow.com for more information.
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