Save the dates for the New Wisconsin Fishing Expo

If you have any reports, news or photos to share, send them to

Don’t miss any of Don’s blogs, outdoor news , stories, or reports from Illinois Outdoors. Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

New Outdoor Show

Spawned from the Madison Fishing Expo, the Wisconsin Fishing Expo, brings new vendors, speakers and attractions to the Expo Hall at the Alliant Energy Center!  Show dates are February 26 to 28, 2016.

I’ll be attending the Wisconsin Fishing Expo (WFE) but not representing my TV show, Illinois Outdoors, but rather by helping one of my show sponsors, the Wildcat Lodge from Boulder Junction Wisconsin.

The WFE was spawned from the Madison Fishing Expo and will have all the things anglers have come to expect from a great outdoor show, and bring a variety of new vendors, speakers, and attractions.

There’s no question that anglers can be confident that they will see all the nonprofit fishing groups and “staples” they have come to expect from the years’ past, but there are exciting new things for people to enjoy.

Manufacturers are back on board which will give anglers access to all the latest in outdoors gear for 2016. New   exhibitors will include Berkley, Fenwick, Trilene, Stren, Shakespeare, Gamakatsu, Ray Marine, Garmin, Carrot Stix, and many other vendors that have been absent in years’ past.

“We know that consumers love the Factory Booths because they show consumers, hands on, what they can expect to see new on the shelves for 2016,” said Dan Durbin, one of the owners of the WFE. “These factories will not only provide access to the gear, but also give great deals for the gear, through the Independent Tackle Dealers who are selling the products at the show itself. It gives people a TRUE reason to come to WFE to grab these offers.”

The Speaker line up offers world class speakers from Speaker Room Sponsors Hard and Soft Fishing and Frabill/Plano.  Joe Bucher, John Gillespie, Tommy Kemos, Pete Maina, Rob Manthei, Eric Haataja, Marianne Husky, Pat Kalmerton, “Bro” Brosdahl, Bill Schultz will all be there.  Greg Karch will also give “101 Seminars” for the kids and  parents who are new to fishing and that will include free rod and reel combos and other gifts while supplies last.

“The Madison Fishing Expo had great seminar speakers of course,” said. Jeff Bast, one of the WFE owners. “But we wanted to give people a taste of some speakers that have never before spoke at the Expo. From bass, to salmon, to panfish, to walleye, there’s something for everyone.”

Also new is “Muskie Friday,” for Esox anglers who want all things muskie. Friday will have three total muskie seminars including a new Round Table Format giving people access to their muskie heroes like never before! Anglers who attend these seminars will have access to free gear at the seminars and can also sign up for their local Chapter of Muskies Inc.

Another new feature is a live performance Saturday at 5:00 p.m. from Hall of Fame Angler, Joe Bucher, and his band, the Top Raiders! It’s a cool “night club” blues concert that everyone will enjoy! As a bonus, anglers who attend Muskie Night will be given a FREE ticket to the Expo the next day if they show up at noon or later- this gives them time to shop for deals from all the muskie vendors before Bucher performs!

There will be other bands playing throughout the Expo thanks to Visit Eau Claire.   They’re bringing in bands, improv groups, and even a Photo Booth for the kids and adults to have pictures taken to remember this great family activity.

Also new will be tagged fish at the trout pond, so along with a nice trout to bring home, they have a chance at a tagged fish that will award them FREE prizes if they are lucky enough to catch one.

There will be a new Rock Climbing Wall, sure to please adventurous kids, and don’t forget about a chance to win an awesome fishing Kayak from Rutabaga.

“This year we’re going to blow people away with all the new features of the Expo,” said Kristen Monroe, one of the Show Coordinators. “People will walk away energized about fishing for the year.”

It doesn’t matter if a person is new to fishing or an advanced angler- there is something for everyone at the Wisconsin Fishing Expo.

For more information go to

Leave a comment