Billed as the largest in the country, a recent expo in St. Paul featured a slew of innovative ice fishing gadgets for the tech-savvy fisherman.
The 22nd annual St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show had one of its highest number of attendees in years, and featured some very advanced ice fishing gadgets.
From smart, innovative clothing to underwater cameras, the gadgets showcased at this expo illustrated how technology is changing the face of ice fishing as we know it.
Frabill's I-Series jackets and bibs were among the advanced clothing options many ice fishermen have today. Designed to mimic the vest-over-flannel fashion, these jackets and bibs go beyond aesthetic appeal. Many products feature interior patches with information about ice self-rescue techniques, as well as built-in ice picks, protective knee and elbow material, and an interior mesh drain.
Chris Munchow, marketing and promotions manager of Aqua-Vu, told reporters of his company's new line of underwater viewing tools, noting the products available have grown from one to five. Many of these ice fishing gadgets use rechargeable lithium ion batteries, and some even feature USB ports for more charging options. In addition, a few of these models can connect to a smartphone.
Also appealing to the tech-savvy ice fishing demographic were the MarCum, Vexilar and Deep Freeze products that come standard with smartphone compatibility. These new ice fishing gadgets allow users to connect to, and in some cases, control them via smartphone apps.
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Laurie Hallowell, the event's organizer, told reporters of the show's success.
"Product was flying out the door," she said.
Hallowell also stated that this year, the demographic of those attending event was different from previous years, as more woman and families attended. Manufactures are responding by making ice fishing gadgets and especially clothing geared to women.