Ice fishing gaining popularity
The Camping World-sponsored St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show is being called a great success by the show's manager.
"The response from both exhibitors and attendees was overwhelming," said Vilma Fraguada. "Show attendees were excited about the upcoming ice fishing season and that really showed. Several exhibitors reported record-breaking sales at the show and many had to make several trips to restock merchandise over the weekend."
Fraguada reports a 22 percent increase in attendance over last year's show. And, with 160 exhibitors, it had the most displays in the show's 17-year history, possibly indicating the increasing popularity of ice fishing as a fun and affordable family activity for the winter months.
Although the current economic climate has been a challenge for the recreation industry as a whole, ice fishing has remained popular, as it is a low-cost alternative to many other winter recreation activities.
Expenditures in the ice fishing equipment category in 2006 jumped 27 percent from 2001. This increase in spending can be attributed to the avid anglers willing to spend more on the latest equipment as well as a rise in the number of ice fishing product manufacturers.