By Wayne Kruse Special to The Herald
Say hey to Cabela’s.
New guy on the block. Big guy on the block. Set to have it’s special opening in a week.
An enormous number of outdoor gear choices, the likes of which we’ve never seen around here in one place. Particularly strong in clothing and hunting items; about an acre of plugs, spoons, spinners and jigs; new fishing-oriented boats and engine maintenance; kids toys and outdoor video games. And dogs, and game processing, and fly rods, and animal mounts from chipmunks through otters and turkeys, to deer, sheep and elk, to “the black death,” cape buffalo.
Prices? Some are saying “outdoors WalMart;” the company says best prices for best goods. Individual anglers I’ve talked to said that while they certainly intend to see the place, they probably will continue to purchase their everyday fishing gear from John’s, Ted’s, Hook Line &Sinker, Holiday Sports and other established small retailers.
Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sport Center in Lynnwood said he expects a minimal impact.
“We’ll survive,” he said, “on the strength of a core of loyal customers, and the ability to move a lot more quickly to address changes in the fishery or in regulations. I don’t think Cabela’s has proven it can service sportsmen in our area as well as local retailers.”
Has Cabela’s regionalized inventory and hired personnel specifically for north Puget Sound? To a degree.
The Lacey store created a credibility problem by stocking tackle for dorado and tarpon, but Tulalip store manager Kevin Weeks, a Seattle native and steelhead fisherman, said that won’t happen again. Tackle manager Rod Reider went through the Lacey experience, and has been a guide in Everett and Alaska, Weeks said.
Some local sportsmen have not yet embraced the Cabela’s concept wholeheartedly. They are waiting to see how involved the retailer will be in the local scene.
Will Cabela’s host kids’ trout derbies? Will it support salmon net pen projects? Will it get involved with the Lions Club’s efforts to enhance the fishing experience for the blind?
In short, will Cabela’s do what’s necessary to support the lifestyle local sportsmen embrace, like the marinas and smaller tackle shops have done?
Time will tell.
But regardless, go see the Tulalip store. It’s a huge, incredible experience which will blow the whole family away.
Walk through the main door and look up to see two mounted orcas chasing a school of chinook. Check out the super buys at the bargain cave. Show the kids the two big aquariums set in the wall of the “mountain,” one with coldwater fish species and the other with warm. See a one-of-a-kind display of custom, classic and antique firearms at the unique Gun Library. Pick up a smoked wild boar sandwich at the Eagle’s Nest Deli. You can even try a new bow at the indoor archery range.
I guarantee you won’t see it all in a day.
Cabela’s special opening
(April 19, 20, 21 and 22)
Location: The new Tulalip store is in Quil Ceda Village, west side of I-5 at Exit 202, north of Marysville. Overflow parking and shuttle available. More information here.
Store hours: April 19 — late opening at 11 a.m. April 20-21 — 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 22 — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
All four days: Beretta Mobile Showroom, 40-plus firearms, knives, ammo, clothing and accessories. Enter for a chance to win a 3-day fishing trip for two to Ketchikan, valued at over $5,000, plus travel voucher, plus spending money. Enter for a chance to win a complete Coleman package valued at $1,500.
Giveaways to first 100 visitors, 18 or older: April 20 — Three-piece stainless BBQ tool set valued at $40; April 21 — Cabelas flashlight valued at $15; April 22 — Cabela’s gift card valued between $5 and $20.
April 19 activities: 11 a.m. — 3 p.m., Outdoor Expert Cameron Hanes; Under Armour Arsenal athlete; 11 a.m. — 1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m., CJ Buck, President of Buck Knives.
April 20 activities: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., “All Things Turkey” by the National Wild Turkey Federation; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Kids Casting with Puget Sound Anglers; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife “TIPS” trailer (how to turn in poachers), and the Cerulean Bear Dogs; noon to 4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., CJ Buck, President of Buck Knives.
April 21 activities: 9 a.m. — noon, CJ Buck, President of Buck Knives; 10 a.m. — 5 p.m., R. Lee Ermey, “The Gunny” actor, for SOG Specialty Knives and Tools; 10 a.m. — 2 p.m., Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo, TV show hosts of “Archer’s Choice” and “The Choice”; 10 a.m. — 3 p.m., Bob Fromme, professional hunter and Limbsaver Pro Staff member, and Jim Burnworth, host of “Western Extreme, Adventures Abroad” and “Choose Your Weapon;” 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., “All Things Turkey,” the National Wild Turkey Federation;
10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Kids Casting, Puget Sound Anglers; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife “TIPS” trailer, and Cerulean Bear Dogs; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Marysville Fire Department; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Boating Safety with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., local chapter Ducks Unlimited; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Fun with the Wounded Warriors Project; 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Video Game Shootout with Safari Club International.
10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Fred and Michele Eichler. Fred hosts “Easton Bowhunting TV” and “Predator Nation” and owns of Fulldraw Outfitters. Michele hosts “Muzzy Bad to the Bone Bowhunting TV”.
10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Bill Saunders, an expert western Washington waterfowl hunter and owner of Bill Saunders Calls and Gear; Scott and Tiffany Naugen, Cabela’s Pro Staff; Jim and Jennifer Stahl, owners Northwest Fishing Guides; Gary Krein, north Sound salmon expert, owner/skipper All Star Charters; Nick Kester, All Star Charters skipper.
Family activities include All Things Turkey and calling clinic, a National Wild Turkey Federation interactive booth especially for youth; Kids Casting, with Puget Sound Anglers; Hanging with Birds of Prey, by the Sarvey Wildlife Center; the Marysville Fire Department’s aerial ladder truck; EMS card and boating safety with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Catch the the K9 KINGS, Flying Dog Show with J.D. Platt at noon, 3 and 6 p.m. The show features some 13 professional dogs, free giveaways and routines with daredevil dog agility, comic book superheroes, fastest Frisbee dog in the world and multiple Frisbee routines.
April 22 activities: Sunday’s schedule is the same as Saturday’s with Troy and Jacob Landry — TV’s Swamp People, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.,; and Skins and Skulls, presented by the Mule Deer Foundation, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Westport crab weekend
The annual Westport Dungeness Crab Festival runs April 21-22 featuring a crab feed and crab races, but more interestingly, a crab derby. The Westport Marina has been seeded with crab by local commercial fishermen, including one tagged crab worth $1,000. Derby tickets are $5, crab rings are available for rent or purchase at many outlets around the marina, members of the Crab Fishermen’s Association will be available to help first-timers and answer questions, and a local cannery will cook your catch while you wait, free.
Lake Tye Kids’ Fish-In
The Sky Valley Chapter, Trout Unlimited, presents its annual free kid’s trout fishing day on Sunday, April 29, at Lake Tye, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The lake is on the west side of Monroe, along Fryelands Boulevard, and the hugely popular event is open to youngsters 12 and under, with a lot of fun prizes to be awarded. Kids fish in a net pen at the south end of the lake, so fishing is easy for the $5,000 worth of rainbow trout stocked by area businesses, including a number of jumbos to over 10 pounds. Loaner tackle is available for those without, or bring your own, said coordinator Gary Bee.
Following the kid’s event, an adult derby runs from 2-5 p.m. with a prize of $250 for biggest fish, and a bonus prize of $500 for the specially-tagged rainbow. Entry fee for the adult derby is $10.
Contact Gary Bee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Jeff Shirley at 425-359-7756
Kids trout seminar
The Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club, with the Everett Parks Department, is putting on a kid’s trout fishing class, April 18, 6-8 p.m., at Silver Hall, Sullivan Park, on Silver Lake in south Everett. The class covers where to go, what to use, and how to use it to catch trout on lakes in Snohomish County. Register by calling 425-257-8300, Ext. 2. There is a small fee, but young people who attend will receive free fishing lures and equipment at the class.