Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sportshow Extravaganza Coming to Minneapolis Convention Center


My dad with (another) huge muskie.

People who don’t know my family well probably think I’m exaggerating when I tell them my dad and brothers are obsessed with fishing, because obsessed is a pretty dramatic word. “Interested” in fishing sounds like a sometimes pastime, and saying they “enjoy” fishing is way too tame an adjective. They live, breathe, and eat fishing (all seasons, all weather, all types of fish). If that isn’t an obsession, I don’t know what is.

It's an annual tradition for them to fuel this passion at the Progressive Northwest Sportshow, held at the Minneapolis Convention Center this year from March 25-29.

The show is a giant indoor playground focusing on their favorite outdoor things: products and accessories for hunting, fishing, and boating, daily seminars (this year's topics range from “Hot New Walleye Tactics” to “In the Mindset of a Muskie”) and entertainment. This year the world-traveling Lumberjills will show off their logrolling, axe-throwing, chainsaw-carving, and crosscut-sawing skills. I love their tagline: "Chics with Axes."

Event organizers have made the show fun for kids, too. Kids can pick up an Adventure Trail map and follow it to stations throughout the show. (Maps are available in room 101G.) Adventure Trail stations include the Minnesota DNR "Hunter’s Laser Shot Gallery"—where laser games teach kids the importance of hunting safety, the Ducks Unlimited room, where kids can make a turkey call or participate in a coloring contest, a build-and-decorate-their-own -crankbait station in space 94 (donations from each crankbait kit will be given to Regions Hospital’s Burn Center), and the trout pond, where they can fish for free. Kids who visit every station and return their map to the Wild Turkey Room will receive a prize (while supplies last).

There’s a little something for the hunting crowd, the fishing crowd, the camping crowd, and the boating crowd: pros doing live casting demonstrations at the Fish Tank (see how Minnesota fish respond to various baits and casting techniques), do-it-yourself seminars on how to repair boats and motors, new innovations on the market like the world's first environmentally-friendly propane-powered outboard motor and latest sonar technology, state-of-the-art lures, fly casting and tying demonstrations, representatives from Ducks Unlimited on-hand to share the importance of wetlands and waterfowl conservation, representatives from the National Wild Turkey Federation available to answer turkey hunting questions and share their “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt” initiative to conserve and enhance upland wildlife habitat, and top-notch mariners from the Annapolis School of Seamanship “on deck” to lead courses on general boating safety, proper docking procedures, and more. You can buy a new rod and reel at the show, do valuable research to help narrow down a future boat or RV purchase (and see different RV layouts), even find your next vacation destination. 

One of those vacation destinations, Trapper’s Landing Lodge on Leech Lake in Walker, Minnesota, will be represented by passionate fishing guide Josh Bullivant, who is giving “Making Big Lakes Small” seminars on Thursday, March 26 at 3 and again at 7 p.m. Josh grew up hunting and fishing in Central Minnesota, has a graduate degree in natural resources management, and was a fishing guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness before moving to Trapper’s Landing. He’ll talk about how you can “downsize lakes” and make large bodies of water less intimidating, how he picks key spots on Leech Lake (and Mille Lacs, Red Lake, Vermilion, and Lake of the Woods), and how people can find success on the water, “no matter what fin they’re chasing.”  

Wednesday, March 25, 1 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, March 26, 1 to 9 p.m.
Friday, March 27, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at northwestsportshow.com or at the door and are $12 for adults, free for youth 15 and under with a paid adult, and $9 for those 62 and older on Senior Day, March 26.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. The fall festivals and events in Alexandria brighten up the first chilly months and give life to the city that lives on the lake during its summer.

Lantern Light Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture at Canterbury Park

Shakopee is the temporary home of dazzling lanterns illuminated in lights, Chinese performances, and a unique family-friendly experience.

Get Ready for a Sweat Fest

ALTR’s fitness classes in Minneapolis' North Loop are a high-octane thrill ride with a one-way ticket to shredded

Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: October

Help out mothers and children dealing with homelessness, fight against cancer, and contribute to a north Minneapolis bakery with the Cookie Cart.

Best Minnesota Town Last Call for Votes

Help one of these 10 cities advance to the finals for a chance to win a party in their town, $50,000 toward an advertising campaign, and an editorial feature in Minnesota Monthly magazine.

New Fall Drinks at Tattersall Harvestival

The NE Minneapolis distillery features four apple-based drinks to celebrate autumn

Small Press, Big Impact: Graywolf's 2nd Literary Salon

Graywolf invited writers Layli Long Soldier, Carmen Maria Machado, and Danez Smith to the stage to challenge the status quo

New Places to Shop and Eat at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP Airport's revamp just bumped it up to 6th best in North America—now with indoor food trucks, local brews, therapy dogs, and a golfing simulator

From Writer to Mid-Wife: St. Paul Writing Workshops Highlight Strength in Vulnerability This Month

Leading workshops through October, St. Paul author Ellen Sue Stern on the healing of writing

DNR Predicts Unusually Vibrant Fall Colors: Find the Best Spots

The MN DNR is predicting an especially colorful fall season due to ideal summer weather conditions. We found five spots around the state—including Lanesboro and Lake Superior—with great autumn views.

Duluth Indie Bookstore Celebrates Opening

Zenith Bookstore opens in the face of Amazon and free two-day shipping—because this Duluth retired couple knows that people love shopping small

What It Means to Light Up the St. Anthony Lock

A colorful light show fills the now-defunct lock with its own history

Save the Date for Unveiled Bridal Show September 17

Unveiled isn't just a bridal show, it's a fun and memorable experience.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags