With prime angling months drawing close, many outdoor enthusiasts took to the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island on Thursday for the wide selection of new fishing and hunting gear.
The 2013 Outdoor Show, hosted by the Quad City Conservation Alliance, offers about 130 vendors with the spirit of the outdoors through Sunday afternoon. Boats, fishing seminars, food and family entertainment highlight the show.
Rob Groene, of Cambridge, said he enjoyed coming to the outdoor show as a kid and now can bring his daughter.They would leave the show with new fishing rods -- one free through a vendor's promotion.
"It's a social event, seeing all the people I fish with," Mr. Groene said. His daughter had a good time checking out the trout pond and minnow races, he added.
QCCA President Richard Miller said the group has had a lot of success with past shows, a staple of the QCCA since 1984.
"People come from quite a distance to come out here to the shows," Mr. Miller said. He added he's received positive reaction from the children's area where kids can safely learn about fish and archery.
"It's our way of trying to expose the younger generation to the outdoors." he said.
Tom Laake, of Bettendorf, the former president of the Quad-Cities Bass Club, said he attends the show every year to take advantage of the deals on new equipment. He added that, as a fisherman, he felt privileged to live so close to the Mississippi River.
"Whatever you want to fish for is out there," he said.
Shirley Rylander, of East Moline, browsed clothes and looked at the many fishing exhibits. She said she likes to fish for leisure at her favorite spot along Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline.
"I go fishing just to be fishing," she said.
Doug Anderson, of Galva, said he's visited the show every year for the past 10 years. He reflected fondly on a fishing trip, booked at an earlier show, where he caught his first lake trout. This year he was more interested in viewing the displays and buying new fishing gear.
While fishing dominates the show, Scott Miedema, of Walcott, said he also found exhibits more in line with his own interests.
"We're just looking at the new hunting stuff," he said, adding this was his first year to attend the show. He said he was impressed with the selection of hunting gear and gave a soaring review of a Rockford venison vendor. He said he'd gladly return next year if his work allows.
If you go:
The Outdoor Show at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island, continues noon to 8 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $7 for those 17 and older, $1 for children 6 to 16 years old and free for children younger than 6.
Today is Monday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2013. There are 22 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: All last week were favored with the most delightful Indian summer weather. The mercury ranged from 40 to 65 degrees and the ice is entirely gone out of the river. 1888 — 125 years ago: W.D. Reimers was given charge of the Weyerhaeuser-Denkmann mill in Davenport. 1913 — 100 years ago: Eight hundred or more tons of earth in six landslides, covered 38th Street for a distance of 200 feet near 7th Avenue and destroyed much property. 1938 — 75 years ago: Patrolman Joseph H. Schnelder, of Moline, has been awarded four medals for proficiency in marksmanship. He is the crack pistol shot of the Rock Island district. 1963 — 50 years ago: For the 83rd year, George Frederic Handel's "Messiah" was performed at Augustana College ushering in the spiritual aspect of the Christmas season. 1988 — 25 years ago: A water main break Thursday night, the fourth this week, affected 35 homes near the 2200 block of 39th Street, Rock Island, city officials said today.