SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If you’re eager to see ice on the lakes and have fishing on the brain, there’s an event this weekend at the Sioux Falls Convention Center designed specifically for you.
Vendors are setting up shop for the second largest ice fishing show in the nation, the Dakota Angler Ice Institute.
“We have over 130 vendors, 30 of which are brand new this year to the Ice Institute, so this is the biggest show that we’ve ever had here in Sioux Falls,” Dakota Angler owner Todd Heitkamp said.
Todd Heitkamp owns Dakota Angler, while the Ice Institute is in its 15th year.
“An opportunity to buy the latest and greatest in ice fishing equipment, but then also teach them how to use it and that’s how it got its name, the Ice Institute,” Heitkamp said.
“Acme does a wide array of fishing lures for ice fishing,” Acme Tackle Company’s Jeremy Young said.
Jeremy Young is with Acme Tackle Company in Wisconsin. He’s attending the show for the first time, and hopes to reel in some business.
“Ice fishing companies had an extraordinary year after COVID and since then it’s kind of slowed off a little bit, so we’re ready for an uptick, especially in ice fishing,” Young said.
The event features items big and small, and nine seminars featuring a long list of expert speakers.
“We call them the Ice Institute professors because those are the ones who are going to teach you how to use it and these guys are the industry’s finest,” Heitkamp said.
And anglers are ready to put those new skills to the test.
“People are like ‘let’s get going’ and they hear people were out ice fishing in northern South Dakota this past weekend, now that ice is gone, but there’s a lot of people that have the itch out there and hopefully they’re going to come out here and scratch it,” Heitkamp said.
The Dakota Angler Ice Institute runs through Sunday at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.