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'Tis the season for outdoor shows. You can spend any leftover cash from Christmas (if you have any), check out the 2012 boats and chat with friends you haven’t seen since you both launched your boats last spring.

And Hook, Line & Sinker has word that a long-time favorite show in the Chicago area is canceled. 

First, save the second weekend in January for a trip to Chicago. Three outdoor shows are being held in various parts of the metro area.

The Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show is at McCormack Place in Chicago Jan. 12-16. Boats of all kinds are the primary draw. The latest model RVs are on display. Vendors sell gear and accessories for boating, fishing, RVs and more. Lodges and resorts are also represented.  Check out www.chicagoboatshow.com.

A long-time favorite show of mine is the Chicago Muskie Show. Go there if you’re into big toothy critters with fins. Dates are Jan. 13-15. Location is Harper College in Palatine. Vendors have anything you need to land big muskies. But the seminar lineup is the biggest magnet for me.

Speakers include some Hook, Line & Sinker consultants including Mike Hulbert; friend Jim Saric of Musky Hunter Magazine and television, who is being inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame; Steve Heiting of Musky Hunter; Joe Bucher; Lee Tauchen; and many others. Learn more at www.chicagomuskieshow.com.

The third of the trio of shows that weekend is the 2012 All-Canada Show. Read all about it in the cover story of the Pantagraph’s Life section on Jan. 8. Dates at the Pheasant Run Resort Mega Center are Jan. 12-15.

Resorts and guides from every province in Canada will be there, so it’s a great place to book your next trip up north. Visit www.allcanadashow.com.

Closer to home, Illinois Fish & Feather Expo will be Jan. 27-29 at the Interstate Center, Bloomington. The show will have tackle and boat dealers, representatives of resorts and fishing guides. Seminar speakers include area guides Steve Welch, Jerry Martoglio, Paul Center and Duane Serck, Jim Crowley and Keith Allen.

There’s no better place to pick up pointers on how and where to catch fish in the Twin City area. Check www.illinoisfishandfeather.com.

And the one that got away is the America’s Outdoor Show, the latest incarnation of a long line of outdoor shows held for many years in Rosemont. Hook, Line & Sinker heard the rumor of the show’s demise last week and the organizers confirmed the cancellation on their website recently.

They said “financial return over the last two years has been substandard.”  I remember attending that show several times over the years. The event shrunk from a 10-day extravaganza to a single weekend and now nothing. 

A word

No matter what your religion, these days in December are special days. I wish you and your families a boatload of happiness. 

Scott Richardson is Pantagraph outdoor editor. Contact him at (309) 820-3227 or email srichardson@pantagraph.com. Share stories and read past outdoor and fishing columns at www.pantagraph.com/blogs

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