By Tim Leeds
Like to fish, hunt or just go boating? Even if you just like to shop, socialize, or eat, this weekend has the event for you.
Although Havre lost the bid for the state Walleye Convention to Billings this year, the festivities go on.
The Havre Boat Show, Gun Show and Fishing Thang will be held Jan. 14-16 at the Holiday Village Shopping Center. Food, socializing and professional advice will be available at the VFW Club Friday and Saturday night.
The event will display a variety of boats at the mall during the weekend. Firearms and accessories will be displayed during the gun show. Booths will display fishing, boating, and hunting merchandise for shoppers at the show. Seminars featuring professional fishermen from the PWT are offered from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Featured speaker Doc Johnson will conduct a seminar at 3 p.m. at the mall. The cost for this seminar is $3. Show organizer Don Groven said Johnson is a Pro Walleye Trail (PWT) member and a longtime reservoir fisherman with much interesting advice.
A Sloppy Joe Feed and seminar will be held at the VFW on Friday, Jan. 14. The feed starts at 6 p.m. and the seminar begins at 7 p.m. Featured speakers are Doug Allen and L. Rosschuck.
Allen, a professional fisherman who finished sixth in the PWT Western Region this year, has fished professionally for 15 years, and is one of the few pros to fish western reservoirs, Groven said.
Rosschuck is a Canadian fisherman who has appeared on TNN and InFisherman television programs, Groven said. Rosschuck is moving south to fish in the U.S. PWT circuit this year, he said.
A fund-raising dinner will be held Saturday night at the VFW. A no-host cocktail begins at 6:30 p.m., with a fish and barbecued baron of beef dinner at 7:30 p.m. There will be entertainment and a raffle after the dinner. The dinner costs $10, with proceeds going to the Lower Beavercreek Lake and Fort Peck Hatchery.
Groven said his group would like to see a dock installed at the lower lake. A hatchery at Fort Peck is also one of the group's goals. He couldn't say what improvements will be made until the amounts from the event are counted.
"We'll see if we make money on it," he said.
This is the first time in many years Havre hasn't been awarded the Walleye State Convention, Groven said. Billings has been working on winning the bid and hosting the tournament for at least two years, he said. The convention will be held in Billings on Feb. 4-5 this year. Show organizers decided Havre should have its own event.
"I didn't have any intention of doing this at first," Groven said. Mall merchants approached him to ask if there would still be a show or not after Havre lost the convention bid. Gun show organizer Duane Schlotfeldt also told him it helped to have fishing at the show.
The show is ready to go for this weekend, and Groven said Havre could host future State Walleye Conventions as well. If no one else wins the bid on future conventions, he said, Havre could very well bring it back to the Hi-Line.