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 Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.