Flexibility, sharpness, perfect balance, and made in the U.S.A.
Sure-fire handle grip, orange in color: It’s easy to find!
A lifetime guarantee promotes how good it is before purchase.
By Forrest Fisher
A newbie in my gear room would definitely notice that I like to collect knives. Each is handsome, and they can all cut bread, but they each have a purpose. Some of them are fixed-blade, some are folding knives, and there are specialty knives.
That’s where my new fillet knife set from the Knives of Alaska came in last week. While there are knives all over the room, the Knives of Alaska set stands out for good reason: these knives have a hunter-orange handle. You can’t use what you can’t find, and it seems like when I have tasty fish to clean, lots of them, I can never find my fillet knife. Problem solved! And the color thing also keeps it out of my sock drawer (my better half places things with destination unknown in my sock drawer).
Above that, these knives are not ordinary. A good fillet knife needs to be flexible and sharp, it needs to maintain sharpness, and it needs to fit right in your hand. While we are all different, we can’t be very good at the job without all these virtues. All that considered, lastly, my best fillet knives exhibit a balance between the blade and the handle to link and sync my brain to program how my wrist and hand work together. Of course, the best fillet knife for the job at hand also depends on the size of the fish, and that’s why having fillet knives of different sizes matters for good reason. Precise cutting is no accident.
The Coho Fillet Knife at 13 inches overall with an 8-1/2 inch blade. It’s 3 inches longer than its smaller fillet knife cousin, the Steelheader, which offers a 5-3/4 inch blade. Both knives are ground with an 18-20 degree blade bevel. Having the two-knife set allows for medium and larger-sized fish filleting with little effort. A nylon sheath is included. Both knives have a comfortable sure-grip and a layered polymer handle to assure a positive hand-hold. I especially like that. Click the picture below to visit the store.
On the technical side, these fillet knives are made from high-hardness steel (440C). That means they hold an edge because this blade material retains its hardness quality for a long time. I fish in freshwater and saltwater, so I need the sharpness retention quality to assure perfect fillets for the table. The high chromium content means high corrosion resistance. While this steel is hard and corrosion resistant, the manner in which Knives of Alaska manufactures these, provides the best of all worlds. In short, the balance of blade material properties makes it relatively easy to sharpen. How can you beat that? You can’t.
The Coho Knife is sold retail for under $100, while the Steelheader sells for under $90; the sheaths are extra. The two-knife set includes a sheath that will hold both knives, and it sells for $189.99.
Knives of Alaska has become well known for their durable construction, sharp blades, and ergonomic designs. They cater to the specific needs of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. If you value performance, durability, functionality, and affordability, do yourself a favor, and check them out. Click on the picture below.
The POMA Conference is a networking and friendship-making opportunity for Writers, Bloggers, YouTubers, Videographers, Website Contributors, Podcasters, Radio Show Hosts, Outdoor Industry Brands and Social Media Influencers who create and share stories, information, and content about the wonders of the outdoors and outdoor sports recreation. It’s a modern, changing world of outdoor communication, POMA has become a solitary leader in the new world of outdoor communication. Register Here.
At the annual business conference, seminars from talented communicators share tips, ideas and how-to information on how to do what you do to develop greater impact and reach. All this takes place at the Professional Outdoor Media Association business conference from June 12 – 15. The largest prize for attendance may be to network with representatives from Outdoor Brands and communicators from other regions of the country. Try new products, learn about new products and gather desirable information to share with readers, listeners and viewers. Check out the POMA Social Media Tool Kit.
If you are a communicator with many years in the business, or if you are just starting out, the POMA business conference is an event made for you. Make friends, and new contacts, and learn tips while you participate in a relaxed, enjoyable, effective business conference. Leave with helpful knowledge and new contacts that will help your purpose.
The Keynote Speaker this year is Col. Nick Nichols of Folds of Honor. Folds of Honor provides life-changing scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen or disabled U.S. service members and first responders. Toyota is a cornerstone ingredient and manufacturer for powered adventure in the form of flawless adventure vehicles and engines. Toyota is sponsoring the POMA Pinnacle Awards for best content creation among POMA members.
The POMA business conference is all about the POMA mission.
POMA Mission: To foster excellence in communications at all levels, help members build their businesses, connect media and industry, promote fair and honest communication of traditional outdoor sports and conservation stories, and mentor the next generation of traditional outdoor sports communicators.
Al’s “Age-Old” Goldfish Lures are proven irresistible to hungry fish.
Al’s Goldfish Spoons are Made-in-America! We need more of this.
Al’s Goldfish Spoon is a tested and true fish-killer lure since 1952.
Al’s Goldfish Spoon is available in multiple colors and 3/16 to 1-1/4 ounce sizes.
Al’s Goldfish Lures are affordable (great holiday gift).
By Dave Barus
Some of the best lures made for fishing were invented long ago and were made in America, too. In 1952, in a small town near Eliot, Maine, a prototype spoon lure known as Stuart’s Goldfish hit the angler market big time, selling nearly one-million lures a year way back then. Inventor Al Stuart renamed his flagship lure, Al’s Goldfish, and the company became Al’s Goldfish Lure Company in 1954. Along the way, other Al Stuart lures became angler-famous, including the “Forty-Niner” and the “Helgy.”
All of them are still Made-in-America! Present-day owners Jeff and Mandy DeBuigne are admittedly “fish-heads” and want to share some of the famous good fortunes of catching fish with their fishing followers and customers. They are celebrating the 70th anniversary of Al’s Goldfish Lure with a freebie contest open to everyone.
Al’s Goldfish Winter Promo Giveaway – To enter, simply go to Al’s Goldfish Lure Company Facebook page and click on the promotion or visit Al’s Goldfish Lure Company Giveaway. When prompted, fill in your name and email address, and you are entered. One entry per person. Do it today! All entries must be completed by midnight on December 15, 2022. When prompted to join the Outdoor News America mailing list, additional entries can be made. The lucky winner will be randomly drawn and notified via email. Many of Al’s Goldfish products and lures are included in the prize package.
Today the company still makes and markets the original Al’s Goldfish and much more. These include tried and tested fish-catching lures, ice-fishing jigs, Sebago trolling rigs, bottom jigging rigs, and accessories. Treble hook bonnets and other lure accessories were added to the company’s list of American-made products. In 2015 the line was expanded to include the Saltwater Goldfish series. For a complete look at Al’s Goldfish Lure Company’s entire line, visit https://www.alsgoldfish.com/ or call them at 413-543-1524.
The company’s American-Made core values will keep it strong and vital for this and the next generation of anglers. Mandy DeBuigne says, “We value Jesus for our blessings and the example of unconditional love. We value our veterans and active duty service members for our freedom and their sacrifice. We value our friends and customers of all backgrounds, races, orientations, and abilities – we don’t care what you look like, where you came from, what your gender is, who you love, or what you can/can’t do – what matters is: Do you like to fish? We are committed to making our products right here in the USA, which keeps Americans in our supply chain employed. And we value an honest sale. If your purchase fails beyond the normal wear and tear that happens to a product you are literally throwing as far away from yourself as it will go – to fish, let us know. We will make it right.”
Al’s Goldfish Lure Company PRIZE PACKAGE – Al’s Goldfish Lure Company has teamed up with Outdoor News America and Wolf Premium Oils to put an excellent fishing package together for anyone that likes to wet a line. This giveaway package includes Al’s ice jigs, a trolling rig, a bag of hook bonnets, Kenny Kieser’s Christmas Kit filled with Al’s top freshwater spoons, Al’s Goldfish top Saltwater Series Goldfish lures, Al’s Goldfish Limited Edition 70th Anniversary Buck fillet knife, and a bottle of Wolf Premium Oil. All combined, this “Al’s Goldfish Lure Company Winter Promo Giveaway” has a suggested retail value exceeding $250.
Here are some tools that I have found helpful and recommend that everyone review.
The tools mentioned below are reliable and of excellent quality.
If you are a first-time or veteran hunter, I hope this helps you decide on tools to consider for your hunting season.
By: Kristine Ostertag
Your alarm goes off, you step outside onto the frosty ground, feel the cool morning breeze on your face, and gaze up at the stars in the sky. The smell of fall is in the air, and you are gearing up to head out to your favorite deer stand. You start your trek into the woods, adrenaline pumping, surrounded by darkness and the sounds of animals in the distance. You tiptoe your way through the crunchy leaves, hoping not to bump anything, and FINALLY, you arrive at your stand. You climb the tree, get situated, knock an arrow, and sit in the peaceful silence of the woods, waiting for the sun to rise. You have been waiting for this moment all summer, and it’s finally here.
Every fall, millions of people head out into the woods to chase whitetails. You sit around telling stories, laughing and joking about the one that got away. A lot of work is involved in hunting, and having the right tools for hanging deer stands, clearing trails, and processing your harvest will make things a little less stressful. Here are some tools that I have found helpful and recommend everyone have.
Folding Limb Saw
Trying to trim brush and clear shooting lanes with a dull, cheap saw is very frustrating and usually ends with me swearing and throwing it. However, I prefer to work smarter, not harder, so I recommend the Smith’s Folding Limb Saw. It has an aggressive tooth pattern and comes with a built-in tooth sharpener. So you can sharpen it while out in the woods. In addition, it has an 8-inch blade that works fantastic for medium-sized branches and limbs. Smith’s Folding Limb SawMSRP: $21.99
Edgesport Gut Hook Combo Kit
After the adrenaline wears off and you’ve tracked down your deer, it’s time to get to work gutting your deer. The gut hook is designed to split the skin of the deer without cutting into the meat or nicking the guts, which usually leaves an unpleasant smell. Some people prefer not to use the gut hook and simply use the regular blade. I like this kit because it comes with a 4-inch folding lock blade knife and a sharpener. It also comes with a knife case that goes on your belt, so you always have it handy. It’s a great go-to hunting kit for any hunter. Having a knife with you is always essential when you are out in the woods or climbing mountains, as you never know when you might need one. Smith’s Edgesport Gut Hook Combo KitMSRP: $59.99
EdgeSport Field Dressing Kit + Jiffy PRO
If you want to make quick work of processing your deer, I highly suggest you invest in the Smith’s EdgeSport Field Dressing Kit+ Jiffy PRO. It comes with everything you will need. It comes with a skinning knife, two boning knives, and a sharpener. If you are anything like my family, we process multiple deer a season, and having reliable knives is vital. Skinning a deer can be daunting with a dull knife, but Smith’s skinning knife is designed to make this process easy. It is also not uncommon to sharpen your blade a couple of times during the skinning process, which is why you must have a sharpener nearby. Once your deer is quartered, you have to get the meat off the bone, which is where the boning knives are ideal. They are long, thin, flexible blades designed to run along the bone and around tight places. Stiff blades are not suitable for processing your game. Smith’s EdgeSport Field Dressing Kit + Jiffy PROMSRP: $84.99
Edge Stick Knife and Broadhead Sharpener
This is a fantastic tool to have with you when hunting in the backcountry or deep in the Northwoods. It sharpens knives and broadheads and has multiple sharpening surfaces for different needs. The carbide blades are used for quick sharpening, and the diamond stone is used for final edge honing. Diamond stone can be used with or without lubricant and does not wear down like a natural stone. You never want to be stuck miles from camp or lost in the woods without a sharp knife. Always go prepared! Smith’s Edge Stick Knife and Broadhead Sharpener MSRP: $24.99
You can purchase many tools, but these are some of my favorites. These tools are reliable and of excellent quality. I hope this helps you decide what you need for your hunting season.
Loomis unveils new Steelhead Rod offerings with IMX-PRO STEELHEAD Series.
Blending different modulus materials was one key to dynamic rod development.
Light in weight, sensitive, durable, affordable, warranty protection.
By Forrest Fisher
If you’re among the lucky ones chasing chrome in a Great Lakes or ocean-bound tributary stream, you already know that we anglers are only as good as our tools. Rod, reel and line are among these. Having the right rod in hand provides distinct advantages. At the ICAST 2022 new product show, G. Loomis introduced the IMX-PRO STEELHEAD rod. Loaded with technology and purpose, this new tool will enable anglers to maximize their effectiveness on the water with exacting standards.
Steelhead fishing isn’t a pastime for most steelhead anglers. It’s an obsession. Forged from experience, passion, and often a healthy pinch of optimism, hardened steelhead anglers in the Great Lakes Region often slog through extreme weather swings from autumn through winter and into spring, when the fish are in those tribs. As you might expect, no two steelhead streams fish the same, as each tributary can require a unique application of tactics, techniques, and specialized tackle to slide the odds of fish-catching into the angler’s favor. The rod is perhaps the most important tool in collecting steelhead-catching tools.
The new IMX-PRO STEELHEAD is a collection of cast, spin, float, and center-pin action options built to meet the exacting requirements of modern steelhead fishing. The Loomis technology exclusive multi-taper design yields a lightweight library of steelhead-specific rods with precisely-defined lengths, powers, and actions that strike the perfect balance between durability and performance. With MSRPs of $365 to $635, this rod series provides anglers with the specific tools needed to secure success on the water.
IMX-PRO STEELHEAD fishing rod features:
Fuji Alconite Guides
Premium Cork Handles
Fuji Reel Seats
Handcrafted in Woodland, Washington, USA
Limited Lifetime Warranty
About G. Loomis: We exist to heighten angler experience through creating tools that expand tactical opportunity, boost effectiveness, and enhance natural ability. We develop solutions for experienced hands designed to complement capability. We strive to expand what’s possible to achieve the unattainable. Our DNA is comprised of three equal parts: Technology, Innovation, and Design. Since 1982, we’ve contributed innovative materials and manufacturing technology to the angling community. Examples include early graphite construction, advanced guide trains, Multi-Taper Design and advanced resin systems. Visit https://www.gloomis.com/.
Hot Beach Day, 107 heat index…YOU NEED to chill with a cold beverage.
Avoid sunstroke and heat exhaustion by staying hydrated.
We found a lightweight carry-along friend to help ensure fun in the sun.
By Forrest Fisher
At 2 PM on July 2nd on a busy holiday weekend on a beach in Southwest Florida, the air temperature was 97 degrees, and the heat index was 107. That’s a hot day anywhere in the USA. The water in the Gulf of Mexico was crystal clear with a slightly bluish hue and a gentle surf, perfect for a treasure hunt walk. The goal is to find some unblemished sea shells and prehistoric shark teeth for which this beach is noted.
There were four of us, so two stayed back to sit on a blanket, hoping their twice-applied sunscreen would protect them but still allow a sun tan. Using a UV thermometer, the surface temperature of the sand measured 116 degrees. Ouch! Sandals were among the required beach gear. Finding a cold drink on a public beach at Stump Pass State Park (Florida) is impossible. No vendors are allowed, so you need to bring your own. A week before, we searched the web and found a hand-carry bag that allowed cellphones, wallets, and ice in one product gizmo. It is called the “Grizzly Carryall.”
This soft-sided product is 32 liters big in volume and is very light when empty: 1 pound-14 ounces! Some of our other hard-sided coolers in that size weigh as much as 20 pounds when empty. They work well, but they weigh so much when adding ice and beverages, even with wheels that do not work well on sand. We loaded up the Grizzly Carryall with 8 cans of pre-chilled 12-ounce Coca-Cola’s, 6 pre-chilled 16-ounce plastic bottles of water, 4 pre-chilled 12-ounce bottles of V8 vegetable juice, and one 24-ounce jar of Margarita’s. We also tossed in two 6” x 6” x 2” frozen blue ice packs and a 4-pack of unbreakable cups. The Carryall has side pockets for phones, wallets, and car keys, and a spare inside pocket for an extra set of socks, sunscreen, sunglasses, underwear – or whatever. All the compartments are sealable with durable zippers to open/close.
The chilled beverages stayed ice-cold for the three hours we enjoyed the sweltering beach – on the hot sand, with no umbrella and no shade. True test. Honestly, we were all amazed. The ice-cold drinks tasted so good when we needed them.
Also, the walk from the car to the beach with the Carryall is comfortable with a dual-locking handle strap above the main bag YKK zipper that brings tight closure to tote on your shoulder. It was still light, even with all those goodies on board. The Grizzly Carryall is leakproof, insulated, water-resistant, and handsome. The reflective, attractive, glacier blue outer cover helps maintain the chill inside, and the Carryall is guaranteed for life. Imagine that. It has a small retail price tag of $125 (we found it for $100) and a significant 32-liter volume with 4 YKK zipper pockets. One more time, it all weighs in at only 1 lb. – 14 oz. UNREAL. For physical size, it measures 14H x 18L x 8W in inches.
Have you been to the grocery store lately? I went with my wife the other day and was totally shocked. Usually, I don’t pay much attention to what she spends on groceries. Since it was just the two of us, I always figured it couldn’t cost too much. The grocery cart was not anywhere near full, and it was almost $200. It would have been a lot more, but they were out of some of the things she needed.
We would have also spent even more money than we did if I had been willing to pay $14 for a small bottle of pancake syrup that I used to like when it cost $8, or $12 for a box of granola bars I always took hunting and fishing with me when they cost $7. Those are only a few examples. Meat prices had gone up more than anything. The only thing I was looking for that had not increased in price was my favorite Guatemalan coffee beans that I grind myself and enjoy every morning. They had plenty of it, so I bought a bag, and I didn’t even need it. I told my wife to buy a bag or two every time she went grocery shopping as long as the price remained the same, and before they didn’t have any of it on the shelves anymore. She is more than willing to do that because she knows how cranky I get when I don’t have my coffee.
On the way home from the grocery store, I already had my coffee, but I was cranky anyway because of our grocery shopping experience. She just rolled her eyes and humored me as I went on about Washington politicians, government waste, supposed shortages, price gouging, disruptions in the global supply chain, adverse weather, rising fuel and energy prices, and a few other things I said about certain politicians that aren’t printable. I don’t know how some families make it. I don’t know how my wife made it listening to me go on about everything all the way home. I think she was glad we didn’t have to stop and get gas because that would have really set me off.
Since there weren’t that many groceries, it didn’t take very long for me to bring them into the house. I offered to help put them up, but she declined my help and told me to go cool off for a while. Well, that’s not exactly what she said but what she did say is not printable here either. I have a feeling she won’t want me to go grocery shopping with her again. I am also betting I will never know what she spends to feed us again. That is probably a good thing.
I went to my man cave, and she was glad I did. I was glad I did, too, because I was here, surrounded by my deer, duck, pheasant, turkey and fish mounts, that a brilliant idea came to me. To save my wife and me a lot of money, I needed to go hunting and fishing more! That way, I would bring home more fish and game to put in our freezer to help offset the cost of groceries. My kind of grocery shopping would be done outdoors in nature, rather than in a building surrounded by crowds of people pushing carts around and spending too much money.
I am retired and have accumulated a vast amount of the outdoor gear I would need. I reasoned that there really wouldn’t be much cost to do this kind of grocery shopping. The only cost would be a license and tags, plus gas to get where I was going. I could even stay out several days doing grocery shopping. My wife would really like that. I could just take my tent along and camp where I didn’t have to pay a fee. That would save on gas too.
As for food, I could bring the deer jerky and summer sausage I make for snacking. I could fry up fish from the freezer or some of what I caught for my meals. Grilling a deer steak would be really good too. I could also fry up potatoes since they aren’t costly. I could even boil up a pot of my Guatemalan coffee over a campfire. Isn’t this idea sounding good?
For my grocery shopping, I should be able to tag two deer and two turkey hunting. The turkeys won’t give us much meat, but they will be good in soups or cooked in my smoker or deep fryer. The deer I would skin and process myself to save money. It would mostly be made into venison burgers since my wife likes those. I enjoy the steaks, jerky and summer sausage. I like deer heart too. She definitely will not eat that.
As for more grocery shopping, there are ducks during the open season, and I should be able to bring home plenty. Maybe I can develop a good recipe for baked duck and wild rice she would like. I forgot about dove season. I might get her to try a grilled bacon-wrapped dove. Did I mention that I have to cook all the wild game at home because my wife won’t? That’s just another reason she will like this idea.
She likes to eat fish, so she will definitely approve of grocery shopping via fishing. This is where the meat could really pile up in the freezer and save us money. If I can catch my limit of several fish species every day while shopping, can you imagine how many fish I would have in the freezer even if I make sure I don’t go over my possession limits? I can fry them, bake them, grill them, can them, and smoke them. I can also go grabbing and gigging for sucker fish. I love fried suckers, and so does my wife.
When the frogging season is open, I could go fishing during the day and get a limit of frogs at night. I love frog legs. I could even catch crawdads and boil them up. They say fried snake tastes like chicken, so I might even try that too. I don’t think I will be able to get her to try any of that. While I’m doing all my grocery shopping out there, I can also gather wild mushrooms, berries and nuts. I’m telling you, my idea of grocery shopping could really work.
In the little time I would be home and not out grocery shopping, I would care for our garden. We would also have a good supply of tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables to go along with the fish and game and everything I bring home from my grocery shopping. This idea of mine is sounding better and better. Now all I need to do is convince my wife how much money I can save us with my kind of grocery shopping. Wish me luck on that.
Look for gravel on the bottom, shovel in, dig, lift, drop into a floating sifter, shake out the sand. Place your hand underneath the sifter and lift up slightly, look for the teeth. There they are!
Place the teeth into a collection jar, get on to the next shovel-full.
It’s not unusual to find several hundred shark teeth treasures in a single outing of just a few hours n the right spot. The right spot can be anywhere there is gravel on the bottom. Dig there. No teeth? Move on a few feet away, try again.
By Forrest Fisher
Buck called me in the afternoon. It was a Tuesday. He said, “Hey dude, I was thinking about taking my rig out of Arcadia and heading upriver for a shark tooth dig. Wanna go?” Of course, I said, “SURE! What time?!” He said, “Can you be at my house around 830ish? Then we’ll head out.” He added, “Just bring your big sifter and a shovel.” I said, “I’ll pack us some water and a sandwich for when we take a break; sound OK?” Buck replied, “Yea, that’s great.”
Buck was waiting at the door when I arrived, but I asked, “Can I see your teeth collection one more time?” He said, “Sure, come on in.” Inside his living room, there are two giant glass cases, each standing about 6-feet tall. Each has several glass shelves, and each shelf has several mounted picture-style frames of Megalodon shark teeth. Some are shiny, others are dull in color, some are black, others gray, others brownish. I could only simply say, “Wow, these are fantastic.” Buck said, “OK, let’s go.”
Buck is an 80-year-old man who thinks and acts like a 40-year old. Buck is a cancer survivor, doesn’t smoke or drink. Still, he occasionally shares colorful word expressions, especially when he is driving. He says, “Florida drivers just don’t follow the rules. No turn signals. No stopping at stop signs. No common sense, for the most part, they pass on the right! Speeding too, and the sheriffs must be blind or lazy. They let it all happen right in front of them. I’ve watched it. I make up new words when these things happen, so please forgive those moments.” He smiled. “Really bugs me when folks here don’t follow the traffic safety laws. I’m from New York near Albany, but I’ve been here more than 10 years now, and it is worse than ever.” I changed the subject and asked how far it was. He smiled again and said, “OK, I get it. Time for me to stop walloping new words. Sip your coffee.” No kidding, I was laughing so hard. This was honest fun.
Buck is a tough old guy that doesn’t shirk his responsibilities to get the job done, whatever it is. He welded up a trailer to hold his 14-foot shark tooth hunting boat, then equipped it with a homemade 4-stroke air-cooled engine from Harbor Freight and attached a custom-made 10-foot shaft and propeller. Buck added a steel guard for the propeller after the first time out a few years back, so the prop could move the boat over very shallow water at high speed. He said, “I prefer to stay in the boat until I get to where I’m going. Hey, I’m getting a little older and getting into the water in the shallow rapids. You know, there could be potholes in the phosphorous bottom around the river. I could twist an ankle – that would hamper my digging style.” Yea, he was grinning all the way. He likes the power of that homemade boat engine sounding loud enough to scare the gators on both banks into submission.
As we headed upriver, we waved to campers set up along the river on the west bank at Peace River Campground (https://peacerivercampground.com/). Just before that, we noticed one long gator that liked to sit in the sun on the eastern bank. He was there on the glistening, hot white sand, about 25 feet up the bank from the river. A beautiful critter. That gator just continued his sleeping lesson as we headed on by. Never even opened his eyes. “He’s tired,” said Buck. “Hope he stays up there, but no matter, we are going upriver another mile or so.” Then we came to an ancient railroad bridge, a trestle, with logs, all jammed along the structure’s base in several places. At relatively high speed, we skimmed over the tree branches with Buck throttling the motor down as we crossed the spot where the prop had to be lifted out of the water. It was a manual effort to do so, but Buck had no issue with it. He was grinning and talking to me at the same time. “Darn branches! No snakes to ward off, though. That’s good.” No fear in this guy.
In about 10 minutes, we slowed up and pulled over near the base of a large swamp oak that had fallen into the river. The bark was mostly worn off from the current, but the tree was more than 100 feet long. “You’ll like this spot. It has been a treasure finder place for me and my girlfriend.” Buck smiles and grins a lot for good reasons. He is an example of an age-old, golden-era American that is hard to find these days. He will address any issue just for a friendly talk based on what he understands about it. A fun guy. Someone who never stops learning from common sense and he builds on it with every hour of the day.
We moored the boat to shore and stepped into the river. It was about waist deep at the start but shallowed up as we moved back toward the middle of the river. I was using a square-ended shovel, he was using a sharp-nose shovel and a large, heavy sea flea rake that he bought at Bass Pro. He said, “I dig a few spots in the gravel bottom areas and sift each dig. Then, I rake that same area and hope to drag in anything that fell off or couldn’t fit onto the shovel blade. You know, that’s my method. I have found many, many Meg’s in this area here. I’m hoping you find one today.” I was still looking for my first Meg after 3-years of digging the Peace River and scouring the Gulf Coast beaches. I did not have a drag device, though. Next time.
Over the next 3-hours, we talked to about 10 kayakers paddling upstream and downstream. We were about two miles from the campsites mentioned earlier. We found new gravel areas in the spot where we had stopped and probed with our dig and sift gear. We watched one water snake cross the river, and off he went, wanted nothing to do with us people. Buck said, “That’s the way it is most of the time, with gators too, unless it is mating season. The critters leave us alone. We like it that way.”
There were no Megalodon teeth this time, but we brought back several hundred beautiful, sharp-edge shark teeth. Primarily Bull/Dusky shark teeth, though several Mako, Tiger and Snaggle-Tooth (Hemipristis) shark teeth fossils were in the treasure pile too. A good friend and shark tooth expert and his wife, Tim and Jeanie (https://www.ebay.com/usr/sharkartguy?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2559), have shared that most of the shark teeth in the Peace River originate from the Miocene era (5-25 million years ago). They are genuinely ancient fossils. One reason why going on these river adventures is so exciting. We are looking at history from so long ago. Tim says, “We retired in SWFL to golf and fish, which we did for the first six weeks. Then we discovered shark teeth on the beach. The first thing we did was sell the golf clubs and spend less time fishing so we could collect shark teeth. WE LOVE SHARK TEETH! There are a lot of us out there like Tim and Jeanie and Buck. Me too. Buck is not a guide, Tim neither, but they love to share the fun of shark tooth hunting with folks they meet wherever they are. I was lucky to meet both of these folks through casual circumstances. Tim will give away shark tooth necklaces to the kids looking for teeth in the surf on the beach. Quite a “hello traveler” gesture.
With his dig, sift, and drag method, Buck has done well.
A boat journey in any float craft will provide a beautiful experience, as giant cypress trees, colorful birds, and butterflies abound. The moments afloat are unforgettable.
That handsome 10-foot alligator was still in the same elevated sand spot as we neared the boat launch on our way back. Not more than 300 yards upstream, several dozen camper folks were sitting in the river, on the bottom of 1-foot deep water. They were sifting gravel in the river near the spot locals call the “cliffs” with tiny shovels. It is a shallow area where the water in the river drops about 2-feet from the upstream to the downstream side of the rapids. They said, “We’re doing great!” Happy shark tooth hunters are a good sign to try that spot next time.
Of course, anyone can hunt for shark teeth in the Peace River. Access is mostly near the boat launch areas (https://myfwc.com/boating/boat-ramps-access/). Besides Arcadia, there are several other boat launch access areas including Brownsville, Zolfo Springs, Wauchula and others.
For our efforts, I weighed our shark tooth finds to realize we had nearly 14 ounces of shark tooth treasure in the jar. Not bad for a 3-hour effort.
Catching fish is a lot about knowing how….there’s one source to check in the future if you are heading to Florida: Darcizzle Offshore TV.
Keeping and eating your catch requires training and a sharp knife: Check out the Darcizzle fillet knife from Smith Products in Arkansas.
Keeping the blade sharp is no easy task, until now. See about the “2-Step Tool” in the story.
By Forrest Fisher
Fish on! The Pompano are running! The Sheepshead are biting! Anglers everywhere share a common goal to catch fish when the fishing is hot. Putting fish on the line is pure passion for so many, me too. Except I did not know a thing about catching Pompano or Sheepshead. I’m new to Florida. When you need to learn, I do what everyone does today, I check YouTube.
Scanning the YouTube channel for “How-To-Catch,” you can type in pompano or sheepshead, or anything else. I hit the brakes when I watched a bright-eyed young lady in a bikini screaming “Fish On!” As she reeled in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean near Miami, another rod went off that was set in a beach rod holder. Excitement! 2-hook line sets, snag-wire weights, dropper loop knots, Fish-Bite baits, all were there. Great show. Her TV show is called Darcizzle Offshore and features Darcie Arahill and her boyfriend mentor, Brian, nicknamed Puddin’. They visit a variety of waterways using a multitude of tactics that always end up in their kitchen. Watching the videos allows the viewer to learn from top to bottom, start to finish. Of course, before the kitchen, there is a clean-the-fish job that needs to be completed. The next show featured sheepshead. Learning in the modern world can be simple.
With each show, Darcie demonstrates how to clean the catch. The eye-stopper for me on this recent show was the EASE with which she cleaned their recently caught sheepshead. The tasty sheepshead is no easy task to fillet. They offer tough, heavy scales and a structural, thick-boned rib cage. Darcie provides easy-to-watch videos that simplify the process. While she did not mention the name of the fillet knives she was using, it aired at the end of the show. I watched for it. Identified as the Darcizzle 6-inch and 8-inch curved-flex fillet knife, the knives come from Smith Consumer Products in Arkansas, USA. After Darcie quickly transformed the half-dozen tough-skinned sheepshead into delectable fillets, they moved to the kitchen at their house where Puddin’ shared how-to cooking secrets for the meal that followed.
There is nothing like a great knife that holds its edge. Every fisherman I know is always looking for another “best knife.” So, I had to do it. Did I need another knife? NO. But…yes, I got online and found the Darcizzle knife products at https://smithsproducts.com/knives-9. In a moment, an invisible force pushed my mouse pointer to “BUY.”
The 2-Step Tool: A few pages later, I also found the 2-Step Diamond Adjustable Knife Sharpener that features two diamond rods and two ceramic rods with 3-preset sharpening angles of 15, 20, and 25 degrees. The first time I have ever seen this idea. This is an uncommon kitchen gadget innovation in my eyes, and it fits in a pants pocket. Just switch the tab to match the factory angle on your knife blade, and achieve a razor-sharp edge in no time. Three or four strokes through the carbide sharpening slots will restore the edge on a very dull knife in seconds. Follow that with two or three strokes on the other side of the stone, where the matched angle ceramic rods provide a quick-touchup finish of the knife edge.
After having used the Smith Product Darcizzle knives for about 5 weeks now, the edge retention is great, they are corrosion resistant in saltwater use (3Cr13 Stainless!), the non-slip ergo-friendly handles keep you safe, and the slip-on sheath that has a locking sheath (it never falls off until you take it off) that allows this sharp tool to stay within easy reach when kept in your kitchen drawer.
Once or twice a day, my wife says, “Where’s my Darcizzle knife!?” OK, so I borrow it every now and then. The point is when my better half for the last 53 years likes a new knife that much, there is something special about it.
I learned more about catching Pompano and Sheepshead, cleaning each of these species, a surprising new knife product and how to keep it sharp – all in an hour or two of flipping through the Darcizzle Offshore Fishing channel on YouTube…and my wife loves me more.
Hard to lose with all that going on. Just saying…you might wanna try one of these new blades.
Cut wire, mono, braid easily…and will cut off hook shanks when required
High-Quality – priced under $45
Today’s fishermen are gearheads, no doubt about it. There are a myriad of specific rods, reels, lures, terminal tackle, and accessories to help them be successful in freshwater and saltwater, no matter the targeted species. Regardless, there are three tools all anglers should always have – pliers, scissors, and a hook remover. The Anglers’ Best Tool Kit conveniently combines all three, each of the highest quality designed to last a lifetime. All for under $45.
The scissors are razor sharp, with a non-slip handle and are perfect for trimming everything from line tag ends to jig skirts and more. The needle nose pliers are designed as a multi-purpose tool, ideal for everything from crimping to removing lure hooks of all sizes. To accommodate the different types of lines, the pliers are crafted with a special place to cut braided line. A non-slip handle provides a perfect grip at all times. The hook remover in this kit is an oft-overlooked tool that not only makes hook removal quick, safe, and simple, it also helps you remove the hook from fish without hurting the fish itself. It creates less wound and increases the chance of the fish survival rate in water almost significantly. Thus, a fishing hook removal tool helps you to save fish and enjoy the fun of angling at the same time. The Anglers’ Best Tool Kit is sold individually, suggested retail price – $44.99.
Best of all, every tool in the Anglers Best Tool Kit is designed to fit in the Lazy Joe, Anglers’ Best’s patented-designed tackle box and accessory holder that fits around your boat seat pedestal. It keeps your baits and accessories within reach without having to leave your seat or trolling motor. It saves valuable deck space and rotates around the pedestal for easy access to all your tools and accessories.
Tool storage is easy. The Lazy Joe pedestal tool and accessory holder comes standard with three Bait Boxes. Suggested retail price is $149.99. The weather resistant, angled body keeps the Lazy Joe out of your way while keeping your tools and accessories within reach.
For more information, visit www.anglersbest.com.About Anglers’ Best: Headquartered in Danville, Ala., Anglers’ Best is a designer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art fishing accessories. For additional information on Anglers’ Best write to: Anglers’ Best, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; Call: (833) BAS-SNET or visit www.anglersbest.com.
Partition by color, size, lure type – store up to 90 spoons or 50 crankbaits, or any combination
By Forrest Fisher
Ever ask yourself, what’s essential in a tackle box? Most fishermen don’t think about it. Most go to the store, search available inventory, then pick out what might work to carry their selection of lures. Anglers usually do not look for separation and organization, and easy access. Now they can get all that in one tackle box. Imagine a tackle box with lure separation, easy one-look fast access, and keeps lures dry even when it’s raining, or the waves are crashing over the sidewall? Not many boxes can do all that. When visiting the Niagara Falls Outdoor Show last year, I found a new tackle box aptly named “The SpoonCrank Box.” This durable box will organize all your lures with room for 50 crankbaits or 90 spoons, or any combination of these two quantities – or more if you double up on some spaces.
The box consolidates the usual wasted tackle box air space of many other tackle boxes with divider separation and wet-protection capability. Nobody needs rusty hooks. Water cannot get into this box with the rubber seal around the inner top cover. Walleye anglers use assorted stickbaits with lots of treble hooks. Bass anglers, too, use lots of crankbaits with multiple treble hooks. They’re all sticky sharp and can catch fingers or other lures easily. The separation dividers provide isolation from travel vibrations that can wear out a shiny lure finish. Spoons big and small, a favorite lure selection for salmon and trout trollers, are aptly and safely stored for easy access in this same box.
Done fishing? Close the cover; the lures are safe and ready for next time – tangle-free. That’s not all. The box’s top lid provides a hidden compartment for pliers, snippers, clippers, fluorocarbon leader reels, snap clamps, and various personal preference gear. In using the box for a while now, I also discovered one other option.
If I remove some of the vertical separation panels, there is enough space to add two or three small compartment boxes (jig heads, split shot, hooks, etc., and a fishing reel or two. Yep, still all in one package. Of course, I’ve got way too many lures to do that. The box was designed to safely provide lure transportation, protection and access for the focused angler. There is no other box that can safely carry and protect 90 lures in an
organized, easy-to-find and easy-to-remove fashion. The box is high quality, durable, handsome in outdoor marine green color, fully functional, and affordable. The SpoonCrank Box helped to make me, a sometimes messy angler, appear quite organized and systematic.
While I am not usually that way, I have been trying to that my whole life! Worried about security? The box is lockable. You could chain it to your trunk or the boat deck if that was needed. The box is available in two sizes. Visit www.spooncrankbox.com to review size options or to order one.
The bottom line is that you can be a more effective and successful angler when you can find the lure and color pattern you are looking for when you need it. No wasted time.
Get out fishing with a new organized focus! I like this box.
Shark Teeth Anyone?! Ancient fossils that share a story of evolution.
Take a good cooler for food and beverages – protect yourself and friends from dehydration.
Gear includes a 15” x 24” gravel sifter, shovel and shark tooth collection jar.
Wear sneakers or beach shoes, pack a cell phone, emergency toilet paper, venom-extraction kit – and tell someone where you will be for the day.
By Forrest Fisher
Ever take a river-bound shark tooth hunting trip? It’s a treasure hunt adventure, but unlike any other hike you might ever take. Why? Because it’s a challenging hike – over logs, through cattails and swamp grass, through slimy mud, it’s a swim, and it’s a dig. It’s a sweaty workout, but it’s authentic deep south fun!
There is something to be said for trusting one day of your life in sweltering Florida sunshine with a heat index of 109F, crossing a river with too much gear in hand, only to discover one special, sweet surprise. The beverages and food are ice cream cold in the cooler, and you learn that your GRIZZLY cooler is so durable and dry that you can drag it in the water – or use it as a float to take you safely downstream! It has an elastomeric seal to seal the exterior from the interior in a groove around the cover. Nothing outside gets in (including river water), and the cool ice stays inside, mostly un-melted, as we discovered.
When I ordered the Grizzly 15, I looked for something not too big, but large enough to hold supplies stable and chilled for a one or two-day trip for two people, and light enough when fully loaded to be an easy carry. The Grizzly 15 is the perfect answer. At 12-pounds unloaded, it is lightweight and yet has a rugged, padded, adjustable shoulder strap that is actually comfortable. The rubber-like latches assure compartment integrity, and I found that the cover will not unsnap if you drop the cooler along the way on rocks or anything else. I liked that since I dropped the cooler about three times on our slippery hike through swamps and down the Peace River in Southwest Florida. We went in search of ancient fossilized shark teeth treasure.
The worst part of the trip was discovering my wide-rimmed shovel weighed more than the cooler. The best part of the trip was finding out that the cooler would float high and dry when fully loaded for a day-long adventure. It made walking down the river easy! In bright orange color, it was also a potential life-saving color beacon. So on our short trip to this never-never land of Florida jungle with critters among us (a few snakes and gators), we found lunchtime security with our Grizzly.
As we made our way in and out, we carried two gravel sifters, two shovels, a dry bag with our wallets, cell phones, a sidearm, a backpack, our cooler, shark teeth collection jars, a venom extraction kit, sunscreen, emergency toilet paper, a knife/plier tool, and we each had a Florida fossil collection permit from the Florida Program of Vertebrate Paleontology. Visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/vertpaleo/home or call 353-273-1821 to obtain such a permit ($5 fee).
We collected over 1,500 shark teeth during our one-day trip. The teeth gods looked were favorable upon us! Finding where to dig for teeth involves walking the river and searching out the bottom with your feet for an area that offers a sand-gravel mix. A few shovel scoops and a quick sift will reveal if we should spend more or less time at that spot. It’s fun, it’s a workout, and it’s always an adventure. Tim Snyder is an expert at shark tooth hunting; he runs a business entitled Shark Art by Clark. You can find him on eBay or Etsy with prices so low that it amazes me (about $5 for 30 teeth, which can include a shark tooth necklace!). Snyder says, “All of my teeth for sale are real fossilized shark teeth. They mostly come from the Miocene Epoch (5 million to about 25 million years ago), and orders can include teeth from Hammerhead, Lemon, Tiger, Whaler sharks. Whaler sharks include Bull, Reef, Dusky, Black Tip and Whitetip sharks. Whaler shark teeth are difficult to identify as their teeth are very similar, but most people just call them Bull shark teeth. They’re all pretty cool looking.”
Better yet, the cooler is made in the USA, and if it ever does break, it carries a lifetime warranty.
We thought that was pretty cool, too. Find them online at www.grizzlycoolers.com. We had filled it with six water bottles, four beers, two sandwiches, and two bags of chips—no dehydration or starvation in the day plan.
We also carry a Sawyer Extractor Kit in the event we need it for a bee sting, wasp encounter, snake bite, spider bite, or the rest.
The kits are small in size, affordable (around $15), and can be used with one hand; no razor blade is needed.
A story about fun times from way back when I was a kid and nothing was complicated, nothing was new – and people were people through and through.
By Larry Whiteley
Grabbin’ suckers is age-old fun, nothing complicated, nothing new. Just ask the folks from Nixa, MO. It goes back to a time when families lived from the land. They raised pigs, fattened and butchered them. They milked a few cows by hand and drank the milk, and they kept plenty of chickens for their eggs. When they wanted fried chicken for Sunday dinner, they would just grab one, cut off its head, pluck the feathers, then fry it up on the old wood stove in lard made from the pig,
They always looked forward to April and May when sucker fish would school together in great numbers on the shallow shoals of local streams and rivers to spawn. Fish from the sucker family include yellow suckers, white suckers, blue suckers, and redhorse. They were a special treat to the hard-working local families, and they caught them any way they could.
In later years both farmers and city folk started using fishing rods with 20 to 30-pound test lines, heavy sinkers, and big treble hooks. A small white cloth was attached above the hooks, so they always knew where they were in the water. When they saw a sucker swim past the white marker, they would jerk hard and hope the hooks sunk into the fish.
Fishermen would stand on the gravel bars or elevate themselves on trees, rocks, and even ladders to better see the fish in the water. Some even used stable flat bottom boats. Polarized sunglasses became popular because they could better see the fish. There was no limit on the number of suckers you could keep back then.
Suckers are delicious, but they are filled with tiny, thread-like bones. The fish were scaled and fileted, leaving the skin attached, to prepare for eating. Cuts were then made through the filet about 1/8 inch apart to cut the tiny bones into small pieces. The filets were then covered in a flour and cornmeal mixture, making sure to get the mix down between the cuts. Then, on to be deep-fried at 325 to 350 degrees for some of the best eating you could ever experience. Some locals canned or pickled sucker filet chunks to enjoy all year long.
Grabbin’ suckers was so popular and was such a longstanding local tradition, the local town folk suggested they have a special weekend to celebrate this fish and the fishermen. The first “Nixa Sucker Days” was held in May 1957. Businesses closed, and so did the school. Main Street was lined with booths and games. Fishermen in their boats and floats of all kinds came parading down the street. There was musical entertainment, awards for the biggest sucker, a Sucker Day Queen was crowned, and, of course, fried suckers were served along with all the fixins. You could even have a bowl of ‘sucker soup’.
I was an 11-year old Nixa boy at the time, and I loved it. I wanted to be a sucker grabber, too, someday. My uncle was Rex Harp, who won many of the awards for biggest sucker fish. He was considered “King of the Sucker Grabbers” and always took his vacation when the suckers started their spawning runs.
When I was older, I worked to save money to buy everything I would need to be a sucker-grabber. By then, I was married with kids and my weekends were spent grabbin’ with friends. We enjoyed it because there was always plenty of action compared to regular fishing and having to wait and hope a fish took your bait.
When my sons got older, I started taking them. We have some great memories of sucker grabbin’ together. By then, suckers were a 20-fish limit per day, instead of all you could catch. I fried a lot of suckers back then. The egg sac found in female suckers was a special treat when fried up, just like I did the suckers.
For many years we went as a family to Nixa Sucker Days. It was an excellent time to see old friends and family, have fun, enjoy music, and eat suckers. Sucker Days was always on the local news and was even featured one year on the national news.
As my sons and grandkids got older, we fished more for crappie, walleye and bass in the spring, as well as going turkey hunting. The desire to go sucker grabbin’ faded.
There doesn’t seem to be as many folks sucker grabbin’ anymore. Nixa Sucker Days has changed too. Most of the old-timers are gone. This year the event will celebrate its’ 63rd year. It is now known as the Nixa Sucker Days Music, Arts, and Craft Festival. Visitors can still get a chance to taste real fried suckers, they say, along with other fried fish. There’s even a parade and music, but it’s mainly an arts and crafts festival now and not like the good ole’ days.
I have fond memories of grabbin’ suckers with friends and family. I remember great times spent at the old Sucker Days. My grabbin’ rods are stored in the barn, and grabbin’ suckers is back on my bucket list. I keep telling myself I am going to go one more time. I am getting old. I need to do it while I still can.
A few years ago, I was in Minnesota for an outdoor writer’s conference. During an interview with the local Visitors Bureau, I asked what fish species were in that area. They gave me a sheet showing and talking about all of them. They wanted to talk about the walleye, pike, crappie, and yellow perch. I wanted to talk about the fish that was at the bottom of the list – suckers.
I asked them if people actually fished for them. They said, “No way! It’s a trash fish. Nobody eats them. They sometimes catch them when fishing for other species and just throw them out for the eagles to eat or take them home and grind them up for fertilizer for their gardens.”
I smiled and said, “Let me tell you a story about grabbin’ suckers and a special day a town has every year in their honor.” I even told them I would be willing to come back and teach them how to fish for them, show them how to cook them, and pass out samples to the locals. I told them it could start a whole new fishing industry for them. They had no idea what they were missing. I’m still waiting for their call.
Author Note: Be sure to check your local rules and regulations before trying this where you live.
Gotta love the new durable camo coverage and protected metal-part finish on the new Winchester firearms in this modern world.
The Winchester® Super X4 Hybrid Hunter Woodland features a classic Woodland camouflage paired with a Cerakote Flat Dark Earth finish on the receiver and barrel. The is combination is an functional eye-catching performer. Rain or shine, fast cycling is never an issue with the proven Active Valve Gas System. Adding an extra level of durability is the chrome-plated chamber and bore.
This model includes 3 Invector-Plus choke tubes – including a choke wrench, TRUGLO® fiber-optic sight, reversible safety button, larger opening in trigger guard, and larger bolt handle and bolt release with a Nickel Teflon coating on carrier and bolt release button, .
To learn more about the features and specs, as well as access downloadable hi-res images, please visit:
ACTION – 12 gauge – 3 1/2″ and 3″ chamber; 20 gauge – 3″ chamber; Gas operated with Active Valve system;
STOCK – Composite; Woodland camouflage finish with an Inflex® recoil pad
FEATURES – Three Invector-Plus™ choke tubes (F,M,IC); TRUGLO® fiber-optic sight; New Inflex® Technology recoil pad; Length of pull spacers; New larger bolt handle, bolt release and reversible safety button; New larger opening in trigger guard; Sling swivel studs
MSRP is $1079.99. For more information on Winchester Firearms, please visit winchesterguns.com.
This new Browning shotgun has a number of features that elevate it above run-of-the-mill deer hunting shotguns. For 2021, the evolutionary new Maxus II sets its sights on whitetails with a Rifled Deer model.
The Maxus II is a fast-handling autoloading shotgun designed for hunting deer with a fully rifled barrel for accurate use with slugs.
A 22″ long, thick-walled rifled barrel includes an attached, cantilever Weaver-style sight rail that makes attaching optics and cleaning the shotgun without affecting zero a snap. Always important to accurate shooting, the Maxus II Rifled Deer features the precision Lightning Trigger that offers a lighter, crisper pull with less overtravel than other designs. Hard-hitting 12-gauge, 3″ slug ammunition is ably cycled by the proven reliable Power Drive Gas System.
The Maxus II Rifled Deer also includes a new stock design with a straight heel buttstock that allows for customizing the length of pull by either adding spacers or trimming the stock down. The 1 ½” thick Inflex recoil pad features directional deflection and is coupled with the new SoftFlex™ cheekpad, both of which are designed to soften recoil against your shoulder and face. Rubber over-molded panels on the pistol grip and forearm improve grip and feel. Enhanced operational features include an enlarged trigger guard that is ramped for fast loading, oversized bolt handle and release that are easier to use and a traditional threaded magazine cap. The raised rib sight picture and flat point of impact puts shooters on target faster and more consistently. To learn more about the features and specs and to access downloadable hi res images please visit:
Doug Minor just embarked on his latest fishing adventure. Although this is a business adventure, it is very much about fishing. It took some talking to get Doug, who led Strike King lures through 37 years of innovation and growth, to consider coming out of retirement just weeks after retiring. But American Baitworks, a new and innovative tackle and lure-manufacturing business, was doing the talking. After every call with American Baitworks, Doug said he came away with a smile on his face.
Doug was honored for the opportunity to join the team. Their commitment to providing the angler with excellent products of superior quality at a fair price is exactly what Doug Minor believes in. As an angler, Doug knows that understanding lure performance provides an advantage in helping to create new fish-catching lures. As a business manager, Doug knows that combining manufacturing quality control with fish-catching passion is a philosophy that creates satisfied customers.
An angler from a very young age, and after many years in the outdoor industries, Doug says, “The most important thing about every product is that it delivers consistent performance.” As anglers, we have all experienced that on occasion, when one crankbait out of 5 or 6 of the same lures will catch more fish, they all should be the same. Doug and American Baitworks aim for the manufacturing of their lure products to consistent standards.
For Doug, fishing and hunting are everything. He was blessed to have a father that introduced him to those outdoor sports at an early age. Doug remembers being taught how to skull a small Alumacraft boat from the front seat.
Paddle in one hand, never disturbing the water and rod in the other. Dad also instilled in Doug a love of waterfowling at an early age. So early that Doug sat in the waterfowl blind in diapers! Doug said his Dad’s philosophy was “no baby sitter no problem,” a change of diapers and Doug went to the blind with Dad.
A passion for fishing and hunting served Doug well when it came to his work in guiding lure makers.
It is essential to design and develop new lures that work. Many companies put more physical movement into a lure that includes life-like images with more color, but fail to spend the time to thoroughly field test the product before releasing the product for sales. According to Doug, the action is the most critical part of a lure. And that does not mean just more movement that the angler sees. Bass are ambush predators and the action that the bass responds to is what is essential.
An angler only sees the action from above; a fish sees the action differently. Lots of field testing is needed to make a quality product with the type of action that interests the fish.
Take one of the American Baitworks lures the NetBaits – Paca Craw. Doug knew, like so many bass anglers, that the Paca Craw is an excellent weighted hook and jig trailer that outperforms many similar types of baits. The first time Doug looked at the Paca Craw in the technical test tank, not just an angler view from the surface, he was amazed at the action and knew why it was so effective.
Another passion for Doug is serving the angler well. Doug got his first tackle job in a small hardware store in Dixon, TN. His knowledge of fishing and hunting prompted the store owner to task Doug with setting up a fishing tackle department and then expanding to hunting and firearms. They were the only store in the area that took guns on trade, so Doug learned a lot from trading and how to treat all customers fairly. After his 37 years at Strike King, we asked Doug what his fondest memory was. Doug said, “The team spirit. No one was the star, and there were no heroes. We were a group, a team working all together to create great products and great service collectively.”
We asked Doug, “What got him to come out of retirement and join American Baitworks?” Doug said, “The consistent striving for excellence in product performance and quality by the American Baitworks team, and selling it at a fair price. All on the team are committed to superior lure performance with consistent quality lure to lure.” Most anglers have had the experience of a soft plastic that comes out of the bag with a bend or twist that is not part of the lure. Doug says, “The customer paid for a bag of lures, and every lure should be consistent and perform the same. The customer deserves that.” Doug added, “The commitment to quality is so great at American Baitworks that if one toe on a soft plastic lure is not working right, we will not sell it until we fix it. Then we know it will catch fish.”
We asked, “Why did American Baitworks acquire ScumFrog and SnagProof who have the oldest of surface frog lures on the market?” Doug answered, “There are many frog bait lures available, but none have exceeded the fishing-catching performance of these original designs.
These frog baits caught so many fish when they first came out, and they still do. They represent pure perfection in frog lure-making, they have great action. The action is the most important factor to a fish and these frogs deliver that. We manufacture each of these great baits in a new Trophy Series now, to a consistent performance quality that delivers performance and value for the angler.”
Anglers can expect new lures from American Baitworks soon; they are in development. As soon as they are thoroughly field-tested, and we know they deliver fishing catching performance, we will be offering them to anglers at a fair price. What’s next? The Freedom Tackle Mischief Minnow will be available soon. Michael Tamburro designed it, the Einstein of evolutionary and competent lure designers, urging perfection with every wiggle, waggle, sound, movement, and fish-attracting feature.
Each of the American Baitworks brands is managed with quality by skilled people that share a passion for fishing.
Doug said, “The new NetBaits Flex Worm is a finesse bait made with injection molding that is second to none. It has tantalizing action, and the quality of manufacture, bait-to-bait, is perfect. That’s one of our goals.”
Doug shares, “It took me a while to get used to the weekly American Baitworks staff meetings. Instead of jumping right into business, each person starts talking about the fishing trip last weekend. Things like they caught a 4-pound smallmouth and were so excited. After that, I realized it is the embedded fishing passion that drives this company to make fish-catching products at the highest measurable quality levels and sell them for a fair price. Maybe good for an angler to know the best part. We offer great lures with great action that catch fish, and they are made in the USA whenever possible.”
Waterproof and fog-proof, tough aluminum eyecup tubes
Lightweight and compact, custom-molded hard case
Lifetime Warranty from German Precision Optics (GPO)
GPO USA PASSION™ 8×42 ED Binocular Wins Best Birding Binocular Award – Best Binoculars Reviews (BBR) has awarded the GPO PASSION 8×42 ED binocular with its 2020 Best Birding Binocular. Now in its tenth year, BBR awards the very best binoculars they have fully tested and reviewed in the past 12 months in a range of categories.
BBR website publisher commented about the quality of the GPO 8×42 binocular: “For just about all uses, but especially important for birding, an image that is of excellent quality and true to life is a critical feature. This is because it not only ensures you can fully appreciate the beauty of the birds in all their glory but sometimes, tiny differences in plumage colorations can make the difference when trying to positively identify one sub-species from another.
“As most birders will know, having a wide field of view is another extremely important feature as it enables you to more easily find and then follow your subjects, this is especially true of the small faster-moving ones at closer ranges! At 426ft wide at 1,000 yards, these GPO binoculars have an extremely wide view that ranks up there with the very widest 8×42 binoculars currently on the market and which is why I would certainly describe them as being a wide angle binocular.
“As with the predecessor, another reason I chose these over the other contenders is down to them having an excellent build quality level and with it a performance that was well above what I would expect to find in just about every area.
“Indeed I would go as far as to say that these GPO binoculars have no major weaknesses, which makes them a very versatile instrument that will not only stand out in most types of birding but also many other areas and thus I feel they rank up there with the best binoculars for 2020 overall.”
To be eligible for a BBR Award and be considered one of the best binoculars for 2020, it has to have been fully reviewed and tested by BBR. According to the website, BBR reviews are written after thoroughly researched, used and then tested and compared to other binoculars in its class.
About GPO USA: German Precision Optics was founded on the premise that design, engineering and quality management is 100 percent controlled in Germany to its strictest standards, yet products can be produced at some of the largest production facilities worldwide. This unique corporate structure allows GPO to offer the highest quality products with better features at a significantly better price. The company is 100-percent confident that all its products will not only function perfectly but also exceed all expectations. Therefore, GPO USA has created an industry-leading Spectacular Lifetime Warranty™. With outstanding professional service, GPO USA will take care of its products before, during and after the purchase at no charge— EVER. Founded in 2016, GPO has its U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Va. For more information on GPO USA, visit www.gpo-usa.com or call 844-MY-BINOS (844-692-4667).
The product is proudly made in the USA and gives one percent of all sales to conservation. The company also offers veterans a 15 percent discount on all products.
You see the Buck, the Elk, the Moose…but your bow is somehow unreachable. Now, a proven solution.
Reduce FROM a the game of CHANCE…TO a game of CHOICE.
Mount on your hip, on your treestand, on your backpack while hiking in. The Intuitive design makes bow retrieval fast and easy in any situation.
One of the big hassles of hunting with a compound bow is figuring out how to securely and safely pack and carry it afield, yet keep it handy enough that you can immediately spring into action should an unforeseen opportunity arise. The solution is simple: Bow Spider — the quickest and easiest bow retrieval system on the market. Whether you are a backpack hunter, spend your time up a tree, or need both hands free when crossing a field while carrying decoys, blinds, and other accessories, Bow Spider is the answer you’ve been looking for.
The concept is simple and revolves around a lightweight, roundish bow holder that comes with a sturdy belt and long bolts, allowing for multiple ways to secure your bow. Use the belt to attach your bow to your pack, hip, truck headrest, blind, or tree. Bow Spider can also be easily attached to a binocular harness or backpack. In fact, it can be mounted to any sturdy ﬂat surface for secure and easy storage – even a wall.
Here’s how it works. An aluminum arm attaches to the bow’s riser, and slides into a slot on the lightweight, injection-molded receiver, which can be worn on the included belt or attached via long bolts to other objects. The bow is held securely in place via a gravity-locking system, yet slides out with minimal effort. You have to either pull it out or turn it upside down to get the bow out. With Bow Spider, you can:
Mount on Your Hip: Use the straps provided to mount the Bow Spider to your side using a belt or on your pack frame belt. Or you can attach it to your pack frame waist band. Both of these options provide for easy access while hiking or exploring for game as well as during professional archery shooting competitions.
Mount in Your Tree Stand: Use the Bow Spider to secure your bow when hunting from a tree stand for quick, quiet access. Carry it up securely on your back and cinch to the tree! This eliminates the need for a pull rope to pull your bow up after you are already in the tree stand. Once in the tree stand utilize the provided strap to attach the Bow Spider to the tree for quick access.
Use on Your Pack: You can choose either to temporarily or permanently mount Bow Spider to your pack. By using the provided straps it can be mounted temporarily. For a permanent or semi-permanent mount you can use the provided bolts. This is a true game changer for those long backcountry hikes.
Safe Storage for Home or Travel: Use the provided strap to affix the Bow Spider to your seat while driving. You can also screw the Bow Spider to the wall for long term storage in your home.
The Bow Spider is available in green, tan, or black, and has a MSRP of $84.95. To see how it works, check out this short YouTube video quick access: Click Here
When every second counts, quickly swing your bow into action thanks to the amazing new Bow Spider. For more information, and to order visit www.bowspider.com.
About Recreational Archery Development LLC (RAD, LLC): Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Kinnear, WY – RAD, LLC is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative products for the outdoor industry, including the Bow Spider brand of products. Bow Spider’s intuitive design makes bow retrieval fast and easy in any situation. The product is proudly made in the USA and gives one percent of all sales to conservation. The company also offers veterans a 15 percent discount on all products. (To take advantage of this offer, orders need to be called in directly to the company at (307) 438-9290.) For additional information on RAD, LLC and the Bow Spider brand of products write to: RAD, LLC, PO Box 171, Kinnear, WY 82516; call (307) 438-9290; email email@example.com; visit www.bowspider.com.
Significant Gifts for that one Significant Other, Outdoors Mom’s are special
Colorful 3-season and 4-season quilts, comfy outdoor footwear, bacteria-safe cutting board, a unique Wok w/ burner system
By Jason Houser
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and significant others and children are not always the best at picking out gifts. Flowers die and chocolate is gone way too soon. This year get her something she can use and will last for years to come.
Cutting Boards and More
Mothers are great cooks (most mothers). Instead of letting her use the same old cutting board that is an eyesore, get her a cutting board that will last a lifetime and looks good in the kitchen. John Boos & Co. located in Effingham, Illinois, has been manufacturing cutting boards since the late 1800s. These boards can be found in kitchens across the country and on the sets of your favorite cooking show.
Cutting boards should last and that is exactly what a properly cared for cutting board from John Boos will do. It is not just cutting boards though. John Boos offers a wide selection of butcher blocks, countertops, worktables, and stainless-steel products.
If you can think of a need for it when it comes to this type of product, John Boos has probably already thought of it. Whether it is a block designed for cutting fresh herbs, holding your I-pad or your fresh loaf of homemade bread and everything in between, you will find it at John Boos.
If a durable and attractive board isn’t enough for you, then consider this. A scientific study conducted by Dr. Dean Cliver, Ph.D. has proved that maple cutting boards inhibit bacteria growth, while plastic boards have been scientifically proven to harbor bacteria inside the cut grooves. Also, wood cutting boards are known to be easier on your expensive knife blades.
Durable WOK with BIG KAHUNA Burner
Who doesn’t like cooking with woks? Eastman Outdoors is home to the best wok and outdoor burner on the market. Ideal for stir-frying, deep-frying, boiling, steaming, braising and simmering, this deep wok + powerful burner combination delivers versatile cooking, to decks, patios, backyards and campsites alike.
This outdoor wok kit is complete with accessories for styles of cooking. The 22-inch stainless-steel wok is 50% deeper than most traditional woks, allowing your favorite cook room to make your plenty of your favorite foods.
The propane burner has adjustable legs (18″ to 26″) making it perfect for not only the Wok, but the top surface flips to accept skillets and small pots but also tall pots.
Included in the kit are a stainless-steel wok spoon, spatula, 12-inch AccuZone (TM) thermometer, and an instructional DVD with recipes.
Every lady needs a good pair of boots. I bought my wife a pair of Vaprtrek from Irish Setter Boots. We recently returned from a turkey hunt in southern Illinois. To say that good footwear was important in the uneven terrain is an understatement.
I can only guess how many miles we walked on the days it took for us to scout and to fill our turkey tags. And, it was no walk in the park either. On this hunt, we both chose to wear the Irish Setter Vaprtrek. Walking over uneven terrain, crossing small streams, and experiencing mild temperatures, these boots were perfect.
Normally, we like to break our boots in before trekking through the wood’s miles from another pair of boots. Not doing so is only asking for sore feet and blisters. After trying these boots on for the first time, my wife felt comfortable enough to wear them hunting the very next day. These waterproof boots proved their weight in gold as we were on our feet all day long, day after day.
So, how does Irish Setter explain the Vaprtrek? VaprTrek™ boots were designed with the athletic hunter in mind.
Whether your deer hunting, scouting, searching for sheds or chasing that spring gobbler, you’ll appreciate how light yet rugged these technically advanced, high-performance boots are. Their innovative RPM™ sole, ScentBan™ scent control, and sleek profile combine to meet the demands of the most active hunters.
These are not your grandma’s quilts. Quilts by Zenbivy are manufactured with the outdoorsman and woman in mind.
If you’re better half enjoys camping, she will enjoy one of these quilts. Unlike a sleeping bag that has a zipper to deal with when laid flat, these quilts do not have the extra weight to contend with. And, many people would rather not sleep in a sleeping bag that constricts their movement. It is much easier to cover up with a comfortable quilt for a good night’s rest.
Available in a variety of colors, it will not be a problem to find one just right for her. With three temperature ratings to choose from, there is one for every season. The 40º version is just as soft, just as light and just as packable as their 25º down quilt, but is built for warmer nights and tighter budgets. Built for 3-Season use, the 25 Degree down Light Quilt is one of the softest, most durable, lightweight quilts you can find. The buttery-soft 20º fabrication sets the 10º down Light Quilt apart from its more “purist” 10º competitors. Built for the widest range of temperatures, it’s a true 4-season ultra-light quilt.
The quilt is great, but be sure to check out the pillow, mattress and dry sack from Zenbivy to complete your sleeping comfort. These might not be the traditional Mother’s Day gifts many think of, but I am sure she would enjoy them for years to come.
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly…Identify the “right” (best) ammo brand for your firearm before hunting
Federal Champion .22LR 40-Grain Ammo
CCI Hollow-Point .22LR 40-Grain Ammo
Winchester .22LR 40-Grain Ammo
By Collin Voss
I am not wise in this field, but I experienced this first hand and have enough facts that can end an ongoing debate in the firearm world. Does .22 Caliber LR rimfire ammunition matter?
My immediate answer would be yes, but that would not settle this case. I recently became a full-time adult member (I turned 18) at West Falls Conservation Society in West Falls, New York. My whole life I had been a junior member – it is where I grew up and a big reason why I have a welded relationship with the great outdoors.
One of the benefits of being a member of this organization is the private rifle range. Last July, the summer of 2019, I had used my privilege to open that big red gate with my key to the range! With me, was my guest and very good friend Alex. Alex had his Savage MKII .22 caliber bolt-action rifle with iron sights and I had mine, a .22 caliber Rossi single-shot, break-action, youth rifle with a 3-9x32mm Bushnell Sportsman riflescope.
I had sighted my rifle in once a few years ago, except I received a bit of help from my Grandfather. Knowing the rifle had not been shot in so long, I purchased Federal Champion .22LR 40-Grain ammunition. Packaged in 50 count boxes, I bought four.
Federal Champion .22LR 40-Grain Ammo
We set up our targets 50 yards out. Mine was on the left and Alex was on the right. Before shooting we both went over the range rules posted on the back wall and our own firearm safety precautions. Which were basic and included keeping the barrel pointed downrange, always have the safety switch on (if there is one) and the action open when handing the rifle to one another, both of us would go to check targets with the rifle in hand, and most importantly ALWAYS treat the rifle as if it were loaded and live.
It’s Time to Shoot
Alex begins shooting and I begin the sighting process. I grab three sandbags from the range cabinet and stack them in a pyramid-like shape, the bottom two are parallel with one another and the third sandbag lays across the bottom two in a perpendicular manner. I used this setup as a rifle rest to eliminate any human movement and achieve the greatest accuracy possible. The most proper way to sight in a rifle is to use a gun vise, which I do not have available to use, so the sandbags were my next best thing.
Officially, to start the sight-in process, I rest my rifle on the sandbags, put the crosshairs directly over the center of the target, slowly let out my breath, and gently squeeze the trigger. To my amazement, I hit the target, but not where I was aiming. To tell whether it was my scope or my excitement of taking the shot, the bullet hole was two inches to the right and 3 inches low. Hmmm, I thought. To see if it was me or the ammo or something else, I decided to take 5 more shots identical to the first. Immediately there was a grouping of 6 holes on the light cream-colored target, all within an inch of each other – perfect.
This let me know that my rifle was shooting straight and I needed to adjust my scope. I unscrewed the elevation and windage adjustment caps. I gave 10 clicks counterclockwise on the elevation adjustment (up) and 7 clicks clockwise on the windage adjustment (left). I took my next three shots at the target and to my surprise, they had all hit the bullseye.
To clarify my observations of the target sighting and gun and ammo, I took 10 more shots. – all in the bullseye. I was thrilled! First time ever sighting in a rifle on my own and I did it perfectly? I couldn’t believe my own eyes. From there it was a great day of target practice.
CCI Hollow-Point, 22LR 40-Grain Ammo
It was now March of 2020, I had no more Federal Champion .22LR 40-grain ammunition. Instead of taking the long drive to Cabelas, on the way to West Falls, I stopped in at The Valley Gun Shop in West Falls, NY. I had never been here, but I thought it was time to say hello, introduce myself, and to check it out. The gentlemen who owns the shop only carried CCI hollow-point 40-grain ammunition for .22 caliber rifles. I decided to purchase those and see how they shot. I figured they would probably not shoot the same as the Federal ammunition, but wanted to try them and compare anyway.
As I took my first 3 shots on the target. They all shot to the left 2-inches and 1- inch high, creating a nice small group. I concluded to compensate for the change rather than adjust my scope due to how nicely it was sighted in with the federal ammunition. 100 rounds and 2 trips to the range later, I was out of ammunition once again. I acquired some Winchester .22 LR 40-grain ammo, four boxes.
Winchester 22LR 40-Grain Ammo
The Winchester .22LR 40-Grain ammo was simply not consistent for the first 100 rounds fired. I then cleaned my rifle hoping that removing the usual spent powder and metal fragments the other two ammo types would provide a better bore for the bullet to travel through. Again my first 15 shots were inconsistent, as much as 3-inches high, low, left, or right. All over the place.
Now, on the 16th shot after the barrel had been cleaned, to my disbelief, I see nothing more than a hole in the dead center of the target. I thought my luck had changed with this ammunition, but that was not the case. I would have to say every 2 to 3 shots, I would have one round that would shoot straight at 50 yards. What surprised me was that at 100 yards these bullets were landing exactly where I wanted them to with very little pattern change. The only difference I had to adjust for was aiming about 3 inches above the target to hit the bullseye. Hard to analyze.
Best Ammo (for my Rossi)
Testing the ammo types was educational and fun. While these ammo brands might perform differently in other rifle brands, I would have to conclude from live-fire testing that for my break-action, single-shot Rossi, the best (most accurate and repeatable) ammo out of these three brands was the Federal .22LR 40-Grain. Not only does the gun powder smell fresh (hard to describe), the crisp sound of the shot was consistent and the ammo performed consistently. Above that, I never had a misfire in those 200 Federal rounds fired.
Before going hunting with any brand of ammo, make sure you test it and know what it does in your firearm.
Hindsight and Future Thoughts
It was especially enjoyable to use the range as a regular member and share it with a friend. In summary, think I’m ready for squirrel season!
This easy-to-use tool makes anyone look like they know what they are doing when it comes to sharpening.
I’ve had lots of knife sharpeners in my life, but thanks to my new Work Sharp…I don’t need them anymore
It has 4 different sharpening angles depending on the type of knife and 5 flexible belts from extra-coarse to extra-fine
By Larry Whiteley
My favorite TV show of all-time is “Home Improvement” from the 1990s. Thankfully, through re-runs, I still get to enjoy it almost every night. My wife just loves it when I do the Tim “The Tool Man” grunt (not really). My oldest son Daron also loves the show. He likes to say he is like Tim’s sidekick, Al, because he knows tools and how to use them. Then he says, “Dad is Tim because he is an accident waiting to happen.”
I recently got a new tool that Tim would love and so will my son if I let him use it. It’s a Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife and Tool Sharpener. Like most men, I have a lot of knives and of course, just like Tim, lots of tools. I have also had lots of knife sharpeners in my life, and still do, but thanks to my new Work Sharp, I don’t need them anymore. This probably isn’t a surprise, but I wasn’t very good at sharpening knives with them anyway.
It took me a little while to figure out how to use it, but unlike Tim would do, I read the instruction book and watched videos before I even attempted to sharpen a knife. It has 4 different sharpening angles depending on the type of knife and comes with 5 flexible belts from extra-coarse to extra-fine depending on the dullness of the knife.
The cool thing about this amazing machine is that you just plug it in and you can sharpen a lot more than knives.
So far, with easy adjustments for speed and blade angle, I have sharpened all my hunting knives, fish filet knives, pocket knives, clip knives and kitchen knives, even serrated knives, sharper than they ever were. Then I sharpened my wife’s scissors, my pruning shears, and even my lawnmower blades. If I can do that, anyone can do that. Al, I mean…my son, will be proud of me. I can’t wait to tell my neighbor Wilson about it.
Go to www.worksharptools.com and check it out. You can order more belts and accessories like a blade grinding attachment which gives you, like Tim would say, “More Power” to do even more.
Avoid mistakes by watching, listening and adapting.
Calls, gentle yelps, clucks, but don’t over-call if the birds are quiet.
Read on to learn WHEN TO USE a decoy. The birds will always show you what they want.
By Josh Lantz
Most turkey hunters believe the opening days of the spring turkey-hunting season offer the best chances at taking a bird. It’s probably true. Gobblers that haven’t been hunted in months can up the odds for success, but an abundance of weather-related variables can easily turn what should be prime turkey-killing days into disappointing outings that often leave less-experienced hunters scratching their heads. As with most confusing situations in life, observation, listening and patience can be the keys to success.
If the opening day arrives on the heels of typical spring weather, hunters can usually expect toms to be fired up for breeding but frustrated by hens that aren’t quite ready. These are ideal conditions for the turkey hunter, as toms will be close to the hens and establishing dominance. These are birds that can be expected to respond favorably to effective calling – especially the less-dominant toms. More on that later.
A portable ground blind can be very helpful during the early season for a variety of reasons and a lightweight model is worth carrying. There’s a lot less vegetation at the start of the season, and turkeys are often less vocal, too. Silent birds can be on top of you before you know it. A blind can conceal your movement when repositioning your gun towards that old tom that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Of course, a ground blind also provides welcomed comfort and protection from spring’s unpredictable weather.
If the early season is particularly cold, don’t be surprised when the birds don’t crank up the way you want them to. Adapt by heading straight to spots you’ve observed with the greatest signs of turkey activity. Use a couple of decoys and try a little calling, but don’t be surprised or too concerned if they don’t gobble. Have patience. Pack a lunch and hunt all day if your state allows it.
Deciding how much or how little to call can only be learned through experience and is a critical consideration during the early season. Toms are sorting out their pecking order during the pre-breeding period, so aggressive calling can work well, but don’t overdo it. Many hunters have a tendency to keep hammering away, especially when turkeys aren’t gobbling, but stop and realize that isn’t always what turkeys want to hear. There’s a reason the birds aren’t making a racket, so why are you?
Start with three or four soft yelps and build up gradually. Wait a minute, then apply a little more pressure. Repeat the process a couple more times, getting louder and extending the sequence each time. Finally, scream ten to 12 notes at them while throwing in some feeding calls and cuts. Hopefully, you’ll get a response, but don’t be surprised if you don’t. You’ve played your cards, so sit tight, be quiet and listen carefully for at least 20 minutes to give any silent but otherwise interested toms time to enter your window. If a gobbler answers, return call by softly yelping or purring just enough to let him know where you’re at. Alternatively, try rustling some leaves with your hand to simulate scratching and feeding but do it in a careful way that minimizes motion. If you are in an area with a lot of turkey sign, be patient and stay put, especially if there’s some other hunting pressure in the area. Have confidence in your setup and focus on managing your own little corner of the turkey woods. If there’s little to no pressure, consider making a small move, but take time to think about where you’re headed and how you’ll get there before getting up.
A lot of turkey hunters employ the proven jake/hen combo decoy setup during the early season. Emphasis on proven. But don’t overlook the power of a single strutter decoy under the proper conditions. As previously mentioned, we’re often hunting a lot of subordinate, “satellite” toms early in the season. If your scouting reveals groups of two or three Toms traveling and feeding together, that’s the time to hunt with a single strutter decoy, preferably one with a real tail fan that moves in the breeze. It’s a small detail that helps put birds at ease and can make a big difference in closing the deal. Don’t second-guess your decoy decision until you have a reason to. You’ll know if your decision to use a strutter was a good one as soon as it attracts a tom’s attention and you have the opportunity to view his reaction. It’s simple: kill him if he runs in, go back to your jake and hen decoy if he walks away.
What you wear in the spring turkey woods makes a difference, too, and most turkey hunters don’t give enough consideration to scent control. I know, it’s their eyes we’re worried about, not their noses, right? True, but working a gobbler in on a string only to have the perfect setup foiled by a whitetail doe staring, snorting and stomping at you will quickly change your perspective. It happens to everyone sooner or later, so recognize the reality of the situation and adapt.
A great variety of effective scent-control clothing options are available today. Two to consider are ScentLok’s Savanna Aero line and Blocker Outdoors’ Shield Series Angatec line. Both feature multiple pieces and come in a variety of popular and effective camo patterns. And don’t forget the facemask and headcover; a large percentage of your metabolic odor comes from your hair, mouth and face, so failing to cover these areas defeats the purpose of having a scent-control regimen. For added comfort and more scent control, consider a base layer like the Shield Series Koretec Base from Blocker Outdoors or BaseSlayers AMP garments from ScentLok. Regardless of whether or not you use scent-control apparel, you can further reduce your odor signature in the field by keeping your turkey-hunting clothes deodorized between hunts with an ozone storage bag like the OZ Chamber 8K Combo.
The most successful turkey hunters avoid mistakes by watching, listening and adapting their strategies accordingly – throughout the course of a single hunt and over the changing conditions and circumstances of an entire season. Still, everyone makes mistakes. The key is racking up enough experience to realize errors right away and make immediate adjustments.
Have faith and confidence in your observations and adjustments; the birds will always show you what they want.
This 12-gauge camo shotgun ships with 6 interchangeable choke tubes, including an extra-full version.
Picatinny rail mount option for optic addition is included.
QD swivels are attached at front and back
Whether the shot is longer-range or considerably closer, the CZ Reaper Magnum over-and-under offers choke tube options to fill your turkey tag. Outfit one barrel of this 12-gauge turkey gun with a tight choke, the other with a more open variation, then you’re good for that big tom at nearly any distance by merely flipping the barrel selector switch on the Reaper Magnum.
You can even match your shells to the chokes you have selected. For example, fit one barrel with an extra full choke and load it with a magnum turkey load for that 45-yard shot, and a less powerful shell with a more open choke in the other barrel when a bird suddenly pops up at 18 feet. Try that with a semi-automatic or pump shotgun!
The 3.5-inch chambers of the Reaper Magnum allow the use of nearly any 12-gauge turkey shells, while the automatic ejectors vigorously pop out the empties. The shotgun’s 26-inch barrels makes this O/U very maneuverable in the field, whether hunting from a blind or sitting with your back against a tree trunk. Prefer an optic for your turkey hunting? A Picatinny rail mount is included just above the chamber on the rear of the barrels, making any optic an easy addition.
The CZ Reaper Magnum’s sturdy polymer stock can take all that Mother Nature has to offer, and the Realtree Xtra® Green Camo finish will hide this shotgun from those sharp-eyed turkeys. QD swivels are attached at the front and back, and the shotgun ships with six (6) extended, interchangeable choke tubes, including an extra-full version.
Big critter on the ground, 4-miles from the road, you know what that means: skin, section, quarter, debone…you need the right tools BEFORE DARK.
At Hunt Camp back home, help all your buddies, field dress their big game prize QUICKLY, sharp cutting tools do the trick and make it easy
These Outdoor Edge tools are light, sharp, protected in their sheath, smart design, simple to use.
Preparing for a hunt means making certain you have all the right equipment. Outdoor Edge makes that easy with its new lightweight and compact JaegerPair™ fixed blade combination set. Weighing in at only 8.5 oz. this big-game field dressing combo with a fixed blade drop-point and a gutting knife is an absolute necessity for every hunting pack.
The 3.9-inch drop-point skinning knife in the JaegerPair is the true workhorse for skinning and de-boning. The unique design of this blade allows you to sweep through the skinning job and get through the thick layers with ease while the downward angle-point assists in preventing any accidental slices through the hide. The 3.7-inch blunt-tipped gutting knife in the JaegerPair cuts underneath the skin to provide a seamless, effortless cut without piercing vital organs. The two-knife combination makes big-game field-dressing a breeze.
Both knives feature precisely heat-treated 420J2 stainless steel blades that are resistant to rust and are hand-finished shaving sharp and ensure excellent edge retention. The full tang on both knives adds to the cutting strength and reliability and allows for increased force leverage with the handle if needed. Perfectly balanced, the knives feature blaze-orange handles with an antlered texture molded into the rubberized TPR handle for a comfortable fit in your hand and a secure, non-slip grip even if you find yourself field dressing an animal in inclement weather.
The JaegerPair comes complete with a black nylon belt sheath to keep this quality knife pair within reach at all times. It will be available this Spring at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.outdooredge.com for a suggested retail of $33.95.
About Outdoor Edge: Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Denver, Outdoor Edge is a leading designer and manufacturer of knives and tools. Today, Outdoor Edge continues to innovate and develop state-of-the-art products for outdoor enthusiasts, game processors, survivalists, handymen and others who require the very best knives and tools available for leisure, work, and everyday-carry needs. The company prides itself in offering a variety of products that undergo extensive field-testing in harsh, rugged environments resulting in durable, long-lasting products that come with a lifetime guarantee. For additional information on Outdoor Edge and its full line of products write to Outdoor Edge, 5000 Osage Street, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80221; call toll-free 800-477-3343; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.outdooredge.com.
See a custom rod-building catalog, simplify choices
Order, sort the parts, prepare the parts, follow the instructions, get it done, and SEE BELOW
By Bob Holzhei
Building a custom fishing rod is much easier and more affordable than many fishermen think! I’m not a rod-builder, but I met a friend that has become a real custom rod building expert, his name is Tom Marks. He says, “I’m still just learning how to do a lot of the details, but I’m a good learner and I’ve put several dozen rods together over the last few years, my friends seem to like them. It’s more a hobby than anything else, it’s certainly not a job for me (yet).” He has taught me how to do what you do to accomplish what might be nearly impossible for me alone. Tom invited me to watch and do, as he went along.
First, you decide the type of rod you want. To keep things simple, I chose between just two rod types: casting rod or spinning rod? After that, will it be a lightweight, medium-weight, heavy-weight, fast action, slow action? How long? Length is a big factor based on your physical size. The number of pieces? The most sensitive rods are always one-piece, but two-piece rods fit so much better in the trunk! You can decide all these rod details on your own, they are all questions you need to answer.
I chose a custom spinning rod and then enjoyed working and (mostly) watching Tom build my fishing rod.
STEPS IN ROD BUILDING:
Select the rod blank and components. Order a kit or talk to a custom rod-builder like Tom.
Tom says, “First, I find and mark the rod spline with a permanent marker. The spline is the backbone of the rod and is located where the internal “heavy section” inside the internal circumference of the rod blank is located, it is actually the strong backbone part of the rod. The spline is the reference plane for where the guides will go, on one side of the spline or directly opposite of the spline. More on that later.
The backbone allows the guides to be placed to provide the greatest rod strength for the blank itself, so the rod will not break when a big fish is on the line. This improves the balance and performance of the rod, also ensuring straighter casts.”
When building a spinning rod, the spline is marked (it runs the entire length of the blank) and the guides are placed opposite the spline. On a casting rod, the guides are placed on top of the rod blank spline.
“There’s nothing like catching a fish with a custom-made rod,” smiled Marks.
The Simple 6-Step How-To:
Select the rod kit and order it to meet your needs as mentioned earlier. Or see a humble custom rod builder like Tom Marks and ask him questions, then he can design a kit for you and build exactly what you want.
The physical components need to be prepared. This includes adjusting the rod grip to fit the blank. It might mean using some special tools to ream the internal diameter of the grip as necessary to fit the rod blank, no matter if it’s cork or carbon fiber. The grip will be held in place on the blank using epoxy glue later. The rod blank is then measured and marked to determine the location for the grip, real seat, and rod guides.
The grip (handle of the rod) is dry-fitted to the blank by attaching the reel seat and aligning the combination with the spline, and when this all looks right, epoxy is used to permanently fasten to the blank.
The top side of each guide foot is sanded to allow a smooth transition for the thread winding to track onto the foot. The guides are then aligned on the rod blank to the marked, spline-oriented, locations from earlier. The guides are attached temporarily using rubber bands cut from silicone tubing (some builders use masking tape for this step). The thread of your color choice is then used to wrap and hold the guides to their designated place. Again, the guides need to be straight and all in-line on the blank. Before the epoxy is applied, the guides can be moved ever so slightly to assure they are perfectly in line. Tom uses the recommended placement of guides from “Mud Hole,” an online supply company of custom rod building kits.
A light coat of epoxy glue is placed on the thread wrap and allowed to cure for 24 hours while slowly rotating the blank to assure no runs occur from the epoxy. Marks will use two to three coats of thread wrap epoxy to assure the wraps and guide feet are sealed and impervious to the external environment.
Lastly, the tip-top is glued in place with hot melt glue.
The rod-build is done.
“The rod is now complete and decorative items can be added including special extra wraps, marbling, decals or really special things such as rattlesnake skin,” added Marks.
“The reasons the custom rods are better than those purchased off the rack is because the rod is crafted to your chosen specifications, your color choice, special highlights with a preference for action, length and all that. Extra care is taken in the building process,” concluded Marks.
Other advantages of a custom-built rod become obvious when you use that rod. Accuracy in casting, heightened sensitivity, best overall performance, including matched balance for rod weight and reel weight, and simple enjoyment.
A wide variety of options are available when designing your custom rod; I selected a rattlesnake skin handle for my custom rod. “I use a power-winder to turn the blank and place the thread on for each guide, though it’s a time-consuming process. It takes from 6-7 hours to place the components (precision alignment), add the handle glue, sand and place the guides, add the thread wraps, tip-top and epoxy coat the final product,” stated Marks.
Discovering a new hobby is an added benefit for the fisherman who wishes to expand his knowledge of fishing and gain a new appreciation for the various learning opportunities that fishing can offer as a recreational sport.
Prices of a custom fishing rod kit can range from $50 and go up to several hundred, depending on the quality of the rod blank, quality and type of guides, and personalized artwork. Turnkey rod kits can be purchased from Mud Hole direct. The finished custom rod is a function of time and materials…and skill. Every builder values his time, and time has a value. If it takes 2 hours or 10 hours, you add that on at the end. Do it yourself? Yes, you can save a lot of money, but it just might not be the same.
Tom Marks is a retired engineer and a discussion with him can help you decide what type of rod, type of action and all the rest, might be best for you. Tom receives satisfaction from designing and making custom fishing rods for others. “I like to see everyone happy with the finished rod. For many, it’s a once-in-lifetime thing, their custom fishing rod is what they’ve been dreaming about,” says Marks.
To review the many rod kit choices or for a free catalog,visit www.mudhole.com or call 1-866-790-7637. They also offer free advice and rod-building classes. To visit Tom Marks, drop me a line (email@example.com) and I’ll put you in contact.
Learn about different turkey call materials that offer different turkey sounds
Soundboard, plating surface, striker – all offer options in tone choice
Learning the sound variations and practicing tone undulations with your own call, it’s the MOST FUN and will help you learn the turkey calling ropes
By Jason Houser
Turkey calls are at the top of the list to be a successful turkey hunter. Walk through the doors of the NWTF convention, and you will see more people selling turkey calls than just about anything else.
A fun and inexpensive project during the off-season is to make a pot call all your own. To make things even better would be to make your own pot call and then kill a turkey with it. Several companies sell turkey call kits, but I recently bought a kit from Brookside Game Calls that included a walnut pot, glass soundboard, slate playing surface, striker, and directions. This is a fun project you can do at home.
The materials needed are easily obtained and include:
Fine Grit sandpaper for sanding the call. I used 150 grit with excellent results.
Brookside recommends GOOP, but I used Loctite with excellent results. It is essential to make sure the glue you use is waterproof.
Oil-based polyurethane to protect the call.
Nylon Style Clamp.
When I received the call kit, the pot had some rough surfaces. We used 150 grit sandpaper until the edges were smooth.
To protect the surface, I applied a fine layer of oil-based polyurethane that I wiped on with a rag. You could also use the polyurethane from a spray can. I finished the shafts of the strikers in the same manner, but the tip end was left unfinished for better sound.
After the pot was dry, we applied a thin layer of glue to the center of the call. Center the soundboard on the soundboard standoff, then clamp the soundboard into place and allow it to dry.
Once the soundboard is dry, it is time to apply the top of your call. This can be done by either applying a bead of glue to the underside of the playing surface or apply a thin bead of glue to the rim of the call where the playing surface will sit. I chose to apply glue to the rim of the call, and it worked well.
With the playing surface of the call in place, use your clamps and allow the glue to dry for about 12 hours.
Now that you have made your very own turkey call, the only thing left to do is practice with the call until you can make realistic turkey sounds and then go hunt.
Brookside Game Calls has many kit choices to choose from. Even though I purchased a kit that had everything needed to make a call, you can purchase products separately to make the call you like. There are a variety of woods to choose from for pre-cut pots and soundboards, including all the well-accepted materials and playing surfaces such as glass, slate, aluminum, and crystal.
There are also many different kinds of wood for striker pegs and tops to choose from to complete your pot call. Another option is to purchase a kit to make a box call. It is just as fun and simple to make.
We created a happy oriole colony around our home by providing grape jelly feeders
Abandoned (used) oriole nests are never used again by the orioles
The nests proved to be surprisingly easy to “harvest”
By Mike Schoonveld
How often have you watched a scene in an old western movie where a good guy is about to be strung up by an evil sheriff? The hero comes along, often on horseback, pulls out his six-shooter or Winchester and fires a shot which blasts through the sturdy rope, saving the good guy’s life.
Similar scenes occurred often enough, so the crew from the Mythbusters TV show decided to see if it was even possible. Could Clint Eastwood have really pulled off this stunt with a single bullet?
Of course not. I’m not dissing “the man with no name’s” shooting ability, but the Mythbusters, not surprisingly, couldn’t sever a thick hemp rope without hitting it with several bullets.
When I spotted the basket-like nests made by Baltimore orioles in the leafless treetops of two of the maple trees in my yard, I wanted them. Each nest was about 30 feet off the ground, nowhere near the trunks where I could climb the tree or even erect an extension ladder. Short of hiring a bucket truck to elevate a worker high enough to snip them free, the only thing I could think of to remove the nests was to shoot them down.
Then I thought of the Mythbuster’s episode I’d watched. How many shots with .22 bullets would it take to gun down the nest? I was pretty sure, as the Mythbuster stars proved with the rope, it would take several hits to completely cut through the narrow branch. The shooter or shooters wouldn’t have the advantage of being able to shoot from a rest and even a slight breeze would up the difficulty, as the wind would make the twig a moving target. I bought 1000 cartridges.
In the past several years an oriole colony has been “created” around our country home by putting out oriole feeders at our bird-feeding station. It started when we spotted a Baltimore oriole trying to suck a bit of the sugar-water “nectar” we’d poured into our hummingbird feeder. I’d heard orioles were attracted to oranges, so I fastened orange halves on the bird feeder stand where the oriole could find it.
It did, but two things happened quickly. First, the oriole quickly ate the fruit part of the orange and in a day or two, what was left looked pretty much like a weathered orange peel. The oriole moved back to fighting the hummers for the sugar-water.
A quick check and click or two on my Amazon Prime account had an oriole feeder heading my way. “Instead of sugar water,” said the instructions, “fill the food receptacle on the feeder with grape jelly.”
I don’t know what the attraction to grape jelly is for orioles. Most bird feeders just make a ready and steady supply of naturally available foods the birds would otherwise have to hunt to find. I don’t know of a natural supply of grape jelly.
The oriole quickly figured out the new feeder and was a happy bird. It soon became even happier when a female oriole showed up and both of the birds enjoyed regular visits to the jelly bonanza. By late June, their fledglings joined the parents for another few weeks, before they disappeared to wherever they migrate to in fall.
The next spring (late April) they were back. Were they from the same family? I can’t say, but there were more of them and even more the following year. (We now have three oriole feeders and buy bulk, generic grape jelly to keep them all happy.)
Orioles don’t reuse their unique nests so removing them from our tree wouldn’t disappoint our birds, but my wife thought she could use them decoratively in our house. When my son, son-in-law, and daughter were home for Christmas, I pulled out three .22 rifles and we all headed to our country farm.
Disclaimer: My house is in the country, I have one neighbor a quarter-mile away and no others within .22 rifle range. We assessed where our spent bullets would go before firing any of the guns. First, we sighted in the rifles to make sure they were zeroed perfectly at 30 feet – about the height of the nests. That took about a dozen rounds. Each rifle was fully-loaded, but before any of the magazines were emptied, my son hit the supporting twig and down came the nest. Just luck?
We moved to the second nest, reloaded and began firing. In less than a minute that nest dropped to the ground, as well. Total ammo used? Forty-eight bullets! Move over, Clint Eastwood.
The 1st Boot Question is always: Are they comfortable?
Then, depending on where you plan to hunt: Will the boots keep me warm if it’s cold outdoors?
Last, and very important: Are the boots durable, waterproof, and breathable?
By Jason Houser
There are a lot of things that can make or break a hunt.
Some hunters think of shot placement, the guide service proficiency, weather factors and more.
Many do not take into consideration the boots they are wearing on their hunting feet. The boots can mean everything.
For the past few months, I have been wearing the Hunter GTX® EVO Extreme from LOWA. These boots have been on my feet while Aoudad (Barbary sheep) hunting in Texas, chasing Coyotes in Missouri, Whitetail Deer in Illinois, and a lot of points in between. That’s a lot of footsteps to challenge my comfort.
Usually, I like to break my boots in before leaving the house on a hunt or outdoor excursion. Not doing so is only asking for sore feet and blisters. After trying these boots on for the first time, I felt comfortable enough to wear them hunting the next day going after my first bear ever.
These boots received a lot of use and abuse on a recent black bear hunt, deep in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. These leather boots proved their weight in gold, as I have covered a lot of miles in them.
So, how do the folks at LOWA explain the Hunter GTX® EVO Extreme boot? “The Hunter GTX Evo Extreme is designed for hunters who are chasing big game in extremely rugged, above-tree-line terrain. With an extra-high shaft for superb ankle support and a high wall rubber rand for protection against abrasion, the EVO Extreme provides outstanding performance, warmth, and comfort in tough fall and winter conditions. It is compatible with strap-on crampons and snow spikes. They are durable, waterproof, and breathable.”
As a hunter, trapper, hiker, and ice fisherman that spends more time outdoors than indoors, I understand the need to be comfortable.
To me, being comfortable begins with your feet. Once my feet get cold, develop blisters or other sores, like most everyone else, I am done. I never experienced any of these problems from the first time I put them on.
Too many boots are built to last a season and be done. I can tell you that I feel comfortable that these EVO Extremes will be around for a few hunting seasons. They are constructed of the best leathers I have seen and the strong soles on the boots are made for tough terrain. And, just in case the soles wear out, LOWA can put new ones on. With minimal seams, there are fewer places for the leather to come apart than what you find on many brands of boots. Lacing up is a breeze with sturdy eyelets and the patented LOWA X-lacing holds the tongue firmly in place.
The hunt finally came to success with a beautiful black bear appeared out of the dense forest. It was a bear that I had watched many times on trail camera photos. The bear leaving the protection and cover of the forest proved to be a fatal mistake.
Lining up the crosshairs of the Sightmark crossbow scope, I settled for a 30-yard shot and squeezed the trigger of the Carbon Express. With a thud, the bear took a direct hit and died almost instantly.
A lot of things went into making this hunt a success. Scouting, quality bear habitat, and a lot of luck, usually are what hunters consider when it comes to being a successful hunter. But, first and foremost, you need to protect your feet or you will not be on them long enough to get a shot off.
By Karen Lutto
Your delicious roasted turkey will be the centerpiece on the family table at Christmas dinner. To ensure a beautifully tender, moist and flavorful turkey this holiday, here is one easy recipe using flavor from Hi Mountain Seasonings for a “Bourbon-Glazed Holiday Turkey”. This is a true treat for the big holiday family dinner AND later, as leftovers.
1 Hi Mountain Seasonings Game Bird and Poultry Brine
1 Turkey Brine Bag
1 Cup Bourbon
1 Stick of Butter
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
2 Cups of Water
The first step is to brine the turkey for 24 hours. Take one pouch of the brine seasoning and mix with one gallon of water in a non-metallic bowl. Add six cups of ice to the mixed brine. Place the brine bag in a large pot. Place the turkey in the brining bag breast side down. Pour the brine mixture in the bag with the turkey. Place turkey in the refrigerator to brine. When the brining is complete, remove the turkey and rinse it well with fresh cold water. Pat dry. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan. Preheat oven to 450º. Place turkey in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. While the turkey is roasting, in a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, bourbon, and butter. Heat until melted. After 30 minutes at 450º, reduce the temperature to 325º. Brush turkey with glaze. This should be repeated every 15 minutes until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165º at which time the turkey should be removed from the oven and set to rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving.
Grace your table this Christmas with a Hi Mountain Seasonings Bourbon Glazed Holiday turkey and your family, friends, and taste buds…will thank you. The Hi Mountain Seasonings Game Bird & Poultry Brine is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.himtnjerky.com for a suggested retail price of $8.49. The company also offers three fish brine kits and a Brown Sugar brine for poultry. Each kit contains two packets of mix and easy to follow instructions. The entire line of Hi Mountain products, cooking tips, instructional videos, and recipes are also available at www.himtnjerky.com. Hi Mountain products also can be found at high-end sporting-goods stores, farm-and-ranch stores, and many local grocery stores.
Christmas is almost here! If you’re still shopping for a gift for someone who loves to get out and enjoy all kinds of activities in our great outdoors, here are some items that my family and I personally use and highly recommend as Christmas gifts.
Binoculars are invaluable for anyone who gets out and enjoys our great outdoors. I don’t go anywhere without them and even have a binocular holder mounted in my truck, so they are handy whenever I need them.
For the past four months, the binocular that has been with me everywhere I go is German Precision Optics (GPO) Passion 10×42 HD binocular. I am very pleased with how clear and easy to focus they are compared to those binoculars I have used that sell for much more.
They also have what they call their Spectacular Lifetime Warranty™ and will take care of their products at no charge to you, ever. They are headquartered in Richmond, VA and you can find out more about all their products by going to www.gpo-usa.com.
Another idea is a really good boot that they can use for every kind of outdoor activity. To me, personally, there are none better than LOWA. They have been 100% handcrafted in Europe since 1923 and I am impressed with their quality.
I wear their Renegade GTX® Mid and their Zephyr GTX Hi TF®, and both are by far the most comfortable, lightweight, and durable of any boots I have ever owned and I’ve owned a bunch of boots. They’ve also got a new men’s leather boot called the Nabucco Evo GTX that you might want to check out. It’s a rugged cold weather model that’s great for everyday use, on the hiking trail, camping adventures, and in the woods or fields after a deer or turkey. MSRP on this boot is $260 and that’s a great buy considering the quality you get with LOWA boots. Go to www.lowaboots.com to see their selection of boots for yourself.
While you are on their site, read about their social commitment, how they treat their employees, what they do for the environment and nature protection as well as the non-profit groups they support. If you are like me and finding out what else a company is doing besides manufacturing and selling products is important to you, then you are going to like what you read about LOWA.
HUNTER SAFETY SYSTEMS
If the person on your list is a deer hunter and you want to show them how much you care about them, this is a gift that will make sure they are around to enjoy many more Christmas days for years to come.
Get them a Hunter Safety Systems tree stand harness, which will cost you from $60 to $140 and a Lifeline for every tree stand they have.
The Lifeline starts at $39.95. That is a small price to pay to ensure they come back home after every deer hunt.
Their gift to you then can be a promise that they will always use them when getting into and out of a tree stand.
Trail cameras are an important tool for every serious hunter. There are hundreds to choose from on the market but we did our research and went with Cuddeback and we are sure glad we did.
We use their CuddeLink system, which is a proprietary wireless mesh network. It allows from 1 to 15 cameras to communicate with each other and transmits images from remote cameras to a home image collection camera. It has been invaluable to us this deer season in helping us to know where deer are moving through and for inventorying bucks. They can also work as a security system around the hunting cabin or house. Go to https://www.cuddeback.com/cuddelink
and learn how it works.
This is the one gift that no matter if you or your friends hunt, fish, hike, camp or anything else outdoors, they can use this and they will love it. It is the most useful app they might ever own. My grandson used it on a couple of our new hunting properties this year and it helped him figure everything out. This app can also be used for a lot more than hunting.
The onX Hunt App is a mapping application to download onto an iPhone, iPad or Android device and this app turns the phone into a handheld GPS unit that works with or without cell service. Their Elite Membership is $99.99 a year and covers the entire nation. It includes access to onX’s proprietary basemaps, property lines, landowner information, GPS Mapping Tools (Waypoints, tracking, line distances, area measures, and more), Wind and Weather, Offline Map capabilities, Sharing capabilities and many additional Layers. You can also get it for one state only at $29.99 a year. They will also get a 7-day free trial and they have a great customer service department that is very helpful.
I would bet that the outdoor enthusiast on your gift list has lots of knives, but if they are like me, they can always use another one and especially one like this.
As outdoor folks, you know this, we are always needing a good sharp knife, and they don’t get much sharper than this one.
Here’s a true story for you from this year’s deer season. I had shot a deer with my crossbow during archery season and was preparing to field dress it. I dug through my pack and found a bone saw but had neglected to make sure my other field dressing knives were in there. As I dug deeper, I found a small Outdoor Edge RazorLite EDC clip pocket knife that truthfully I had never used much. It was as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel and I was able to field dress that deer and another deer during firearms season faster and cleaner than any knife I had ever used. I am now a believer in and have ordered their RazorPro™ Saw Combo that will always be in my pack. Outdoor Edge’s Razor-Lite Series of knives are the sharpest, strongest replacement razor-blade knives available, with safe and easy blade changes at the push of a button. Outdoor Edge has a lot of other great knives and tools and you can browse their entire selection at www.outdooredge.com.
New gear today talks to us in new ways that make finding fish and trying to catch them more fun
You can connect your phone, your radio, your drone…to your sonar
Installation is easy, it’s all pictorial…even I could do it
By Mike Schoonveld
As the people point to the sonar unit on my boat, I’m often asked, “Can you see fish on that?” My pat answer is, “Yes, but if I had to see a fish on the screen to catch it, I’d be in trouble. And, if I could catch every fish showing on the screen, we’d fill the boat.” You might have to read that twice.
I stand by that statement, but when I get better at using my Raymarine AXIOM Multi-Function Display (MFD), I may have to change my answer. It will certainly mark more fish in the average trip than will fit in my boat, but it comes much closer to giving me (or any fisherman) the ability to “see a fish and catch a fish.”
The AXIOM is called an MFD because it is more than just a sonar, chart or GPS. Think of it as a computer monitor capable of showing screens associated with whatever program the computer is running. You can call up displays from other Raymarine devices, such as radar or autopilot. It will interface with some phone apps, Sirius Radio, weather channels, and with a wifi connection (such as your cell phone’s mobile hotspot), you can even watch Netflix or connect to other entertainment.
You can use it to control your drone! Gearheads may want to connect the MFD to their motor’s computer to monitor engine performance on the display.
I’ll run through a few of the features as well. If you like technical jargon like “quad-four processor” and other exacting specs, go to http://www.raymarine.com. The website lists enough details, techno-words, and numbers with Greek letters attached to keep any tech-geek happy and most fisherman confused.
For instance, the AXIOM has CHIRP technology in the main sonar. I don’t understand all I know about CHIRP, and I understand more than I need. I do understand when in use, the sonar picture on the screen is better. I see more fish, things on the bottom and other details.
It has two other “real-time” sonar modes which, depending on where and how you fish, may be all-important or of little importance to you. The way I picture SIDEVISION is turning a sonar transducer 90 degrees, so instead of viewing straight down, it sends and receives pings and echos to the side (or both sides) of the boat. It will show nearby reefs, bridge pilings, rocks on the bottom, and the fish lurking near these things.
It’s harder to explain DOWNVISION. It’s similar to the regular sonar, except it’s a sort of HD version. Even with CHIRP, as you motor across a sunken tree, a sunken boat, or a pile of rubble, each will look like “something” lying on the bottom. With DOWNVISION, the something looks like a tree, boat or rock pile.
Mr. Cool of the four sonar modes is the 3-D vision. The computer brain in the AXIOM uses the information gathered from the sidevision and downvision sonar returns to create a computer-generated three-dimensional picture on the screen showing the underwater world you just passed. You’ll see the bottom of the channel, the sunken boat on the bottom, fish suspended above the wreck along with the bridge piling the boat hit to cause it to sink.
The unit comes with a Navionics charting chip, so when you switch the unit to charting mode, you can set waypoints and use the GPS to navigate to them and back. I’m sure it will do other things I’ve yet to discover. There are multiple choices of overlays to customize the screens to personal needs.
One of the first things I noticed, different from all the other sonar/chart/GPS units I’ve previously used: I don’t have to take off my polarized glasses or tilt my head to a specific angle to look at the screen and be able to see it! Not only will it see the fish better, but I can also see the screen better! In my mind, that’s the most underrated selling point of the Axiom.
It’s expensive, but expect many years of use from the unit just as it comes out of the box. Add that Raymarine offers free software and operating system upgrades, so the Axiom you buy today will be nearly similar in power and features to the models they sell three, four, or more years from now.
I’m not a trained professional marine electronics installer, but I easily installed my MFD, the transducer, and connected it to the boat’s wiring system. Believing a picture is worth a thousand words as the installation guide is mostly pictorial, the wires and connections are color-coded, and anyone capable of changing the batteries in a flashlight will have few problems installing their Axiom.
The above picture shows the Mr. Cool 3D picture on my 9-inch version. Notice the boat motoring to the upper left and the fish (in blue); I’d passed trailing behind the boat. It comes in both seven, nine and 12-inch screens depending on your available space, desire or pricepoint.
The latest versions are all touch-screen, no knobs.
Like it or not, winter weather is coming and for bass anglers in the know, that’s a good thing. The fish, all species really, stock up on protein and feed heavily right before the coldest weather arrives. One of my best friends, Russ Johnson, now a 90-year old student of precision speed trolling, offers key advice to catch the biggest fall bass. When the water temp hit the low 50s, he would dust off the frost on his boat and head for the lake with crankbaits that were perfectly tuned. His method? Speed troll them over sharp dropoffs to intimidate bass into striking, and it wasn’t just a strike, it was a SLAM-BAM-GOTCHA. A mega-strike. Big fish hit like that. It seems they wanna stop the boat and head the other way.
Running four lines, two on each side of the boat, one trailing 120 feet back, the other 145 feet back, and using lures that were designed to be crankbait hardware, he would achieve diving depths of 2.5X their rated profile. Lures that were advertised as “dives to 12 feet” would hit bottom in 30 feet or so. The new braided lines with their thin diameter make his method even more effective. The precision manufacture of LIVETARGET lures seem to gain even more than 2.5X when perfectly balanced and trolled. This makes the LIVETARGET lure even more effective for fall bass like no other method I know, but also makes them a “best lure choice” for daytime fall walleye that are also on the binge feed.
Johnson knew that fall weather can spread the bass out in many waterways, but in the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Erie, he would focus on structure dominant points to find schools of bass segregated by size. Some schools were comprised of 2-pounders, then 4-pounders, and so on. One day we caught limits of bass whoppers that all exceeded 5 pounds. These were smallmouth bass. While doing a video with In-Fisherman TV, Ron Lindner had shared with us that bass are domiciled to their home range on shoals and underwater structure, so we always released these big fish to live and spawn another day. Some of our whoppers some went over 6-pounds. His favorite fall-time lure color? Tennessee Craw red or orange.
Johnson can get lures like the LIVETARGET Magnum Shad Baitball Crankbait, the 3-1/2 inch model, to hit bottom in 42 feet! He is a master lure tuner. I did not mention his trolling speed, but he is trolling quite fast, in fact beyond your imagination if you are a troller. That detail will remain his secret, but it one other reason why the lure tuning has to be perfect. Most folks fishing the Seneca Shoal area near Hamburg, NY in eastern basin Lake Erie think he is leaving the area. It’s that fast.
Other expert anglers know other methods that work well in fall too. Noted professional angler Stephen Browning, a seasoned veteran of the FLW Tour, MLF, and the Bassmaster Elite Series, has amassed similar knowledge of late-season bass behavior that can up any angler’s game right now. Aside from decades of experience on tournament trails, Browning’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Management hasn’t hurt his ability to pick apart various waters and he has advice to share.
The first tip? Cover lots of water. And for Browning, that means crankbaits.
“For me, fall is all about chunk and winding and covering water, whether that’s main lake stuff or hitting the back of pockets, coves, and creeks. Crankbaits are definitely key in fall and into early winter,” says Browning.
For Browning, the biggest factor for finding fall bass to crank is water temperature. “I’m trying to search out water temperatures that are 70 degrees or less, because experience proves that’s the point at which fish get fired up for a super fall bite.”
Winning in the Wind
Secondly, he’s monitoring the wind. “Besides cooler water, I’m looking for spots where the wind is blowing a little bit. There’s still a lot of fish out on the main lake and not necessarily deep into the pockets. So, I’m going to look at the wind—see where it’s hitting the banks the best. Bass will utilize the wind to kind of break things up. You can burn down a pea gravel bank or a chunk rock bank and still have the ability to catch fish. And they aren’t always target oriented. In my opinion, they don’t like to hold tight to cover when the wind’s blowing, because it’s going to beat them around. So, I think they do more roaming in the wind—if it’s windy I’m going to chunk and wind,” says Browning.
For such windy scenarios and main lake fishing, Browning turns to the LIVETARGET Rainbow Smelt suspending jerkbait—specifically the RS91S, which is 3-5/8 inches long and dives three to four feet, typically in the (201) Silver/Blue pattern, although Browning has been experimenting with the host of new colors LIVETARGET now offers in this highly effective bait.
“It’s kind of a shallower-diving jerkbait, which I utilize for cranking points, rock outcrops, rip-rap, etc. when the wind is blowing. When fishing it, I’m looking for a little bit of visibility… not a lot of stain. I fish it a lot in main lake and main creek areas using the wind and water clarity as kind of a one-two punch. It’s definitely a go-to bait for these situations,” offers Browning.
Another bait Browning utilizes for windy main lake and main creek scenarios is the LIVETARGET HFC (Hunt-For-Center) Craw. “It has a very aggressive action and deflects off of cover, so I can utilize it on steeper rocky banks and really cover a lot of water. In terms of color, it depends on the water clarity and temperature. If the water is stained, a lot of times I’ll use LIVETARGET’s Red (362) or Copper Root Beer (361). The latter has a really nice copper hue to it and kind of a whitish-style belly.
When the water temperature plummets into the 50s, Browning also reaches for the LIVETARGET HFC (Hunt-For-Center) Craw, especially in the Red (362) and Copper Root Beer (361) colors. “The HFC has an aggressive action but is not overpowering. It was designed to randomly dart left and right, mimicking a fleeing craw. In late fall when the water gets really cold it can be a fantastic bait for target fishing for the resident fish that live in the very back ends of creeks and pockets.”
Water Clarity and Target Cranking
Browning’s advice for those days when there isn’t much wind is to monitor water clarity. “On calmer days water clarity is a big factor. I’m going to go and try to find some stained water someplace within the fishery. The biggest thing about stained water is fish don’t tend to roam as much on you, and they’re going to be more target related—an outcrop of rocks, a laydown, a series of stumps, etc. that will give those fish a place to ambush their prey.”
On those calmer days, Browning will vacate the main lake and main creek areas he fishes when windy and concentrate on the back third of pockets where they have a tendency to flatten out. There, he looks for isolated cover.
“I’m looking for that isolated stump, maybe a log, lay-downs, isolated grass patches, or a lot of times people will put out crappie stakes. Especially when the water’s low, bass will utilize crappie stakes. One of the baits I like for target fishing in the back of pockets is the LIVETARGET David Walker Signature Tennessee Craw. I’ll crank it on 12- or 14-pound fluorocarbon and only get it down to six feet so I can bang it around, which is key to getting good target bites. I’ll make multiple casts to the isolated cover from various angles giving the fish the most opportunities to ambush my presentation. That’s really key—working cover from multiple angles and making sure you spend ample time on each spot,” offers Browning.
When target fishing, Browning is also a fan of the shallow-diving LIVETARGET Sunfish Crankbait—specifically the BG57M (bluegill pattern) and PS57M (pumpkinseed pattern). “The Sunfish Crankbait has a rounded bill, so it has a nice, tight wiggle to it. For me, especially when the water temperature gets cooler, it becomes another go-to bait for target fishing. I think it kind of gets overlooked by anglers who tend to concentrate on shad patterns, but bluegills are a major forage source in fall and year ‘round that bass will really home in on.”
Water clarity dictates whether Browning will choose the Pumpkinseed or Bluegill pattern, as well as the choice between LIVETARGET’s available matte and gloss finishes. “I use the Bluegill if the water is a bit clearer and the brighter Pumpkinseed in stained water. I like using the gloss finish if the sky is cloudy and the matte finish if it’s sunny. So, you’ve got two different colors and two different finishes for a variety of fishing situations.”
In terms of equipment for cranking the LIVETARGET HFC (Hunt-For-Center) Craw, David Walker Tennessee Craw, or Sunfish Crankbait, he sticks to the same set-up of a St. Croix 7’4” medium-heavy, moderate action Legend Glass rod, a Lew’s Custom Pro baitcasting reel with 8:1 gear ratio and either 12- or 14-pound Gamma Fluorocarbon line. “If I’m concentrating on shallow areas, I’m going to use the heavier line – but if I need the bait to get down six feet or more, I’m going to use the 12-pound line,” Browning adds.
When targeting the backs of pockets and creeks with grass, Browning urges anglers not to overlook the efficacy of employing a chunk-and-wind topwater routine.
“The LIVETARGET Commotion Shad is a hollow-body shad style topwater bait that has a Colorado blade on the back end. It’s a real player in the kind of broken-up grass you find way back in pocket flats. During the fall, adding this bait to the chunk-and-wind crankbait program can really pay off. It comes in a couple of sizes, but I like the 3-½ inch in Pearl Ghost (154) and Pearl Blue Shad (158). The spinner makes a gurgling sound when you retrieve it like you would a hollow body frog, and it’s great for working over grassy areas,” offers Browning.
For gear, Browning throws the Commotion Shad on a 7’6” medium-heavy, moderate action St. Croix Legend X with a Lew’s Tournament reel geared 8.3:1, and 50-pound Gamma Torque braided line.
While monitoring water temperature, wind conditions, water clarity, and the amount of visible sunlight are all huge factors for finding fall bass in main lakes and creeks as well as pockets and coves, Browning suggests anglers stay tuned to another of nature’s cues: bird behavior.
“Watch for the migration of shad, which have the tendency to move to the very back ends of the pockets in fall, but also know, as mentioned, that bass are feeding on bluegills and craws in lots of other locations. You can really eliminate a lot of water and fish more productively by keying in on bird behavior. They’re going to tell you where the baitfish are. Could be a Blue Heron sitting on the bank eating bluegills or picking around on crawfish, gulls, or all sorts of other birds either on the main lake or back farther in coves. Really pay attention to where the birds are. It’s definitely one of the small details that gets overlooked by a lot of anglers.”
Slime is a green tire repair product to keep you on the road
Slime is non-toxic, non-hazardous, free of carcinogens, and non-ozone depleting
Slime products make great gifts, they last for years in storage
By Larry Whiteley
Halloween’s not even here yet and Thanksgiving is still over a month away but when you walk into some big-box retailers the Christmas decorations are already out and have been for a while. Don’t wait until someone gives you a Christmas gift. Go buy yourself a gift that you could really use right now! You deserve it don’t you?
Between now and Christmas you’re going to be driving your vehicle a lot to go fall fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, trick or treating, Thanksgiving get-togethers, and even Christmas shopping. You are probably going to be using your lawnmower for a lot of fall clean-up around the house. If you are a farmer or rancher that tractor is going to get a lot of use. If you’re a deer hunter you’re also going to be using your ATV or UTV a lot. Does your utility trailer, boat trailer or your truck have a good spare? Did you know that one in three cars do not even have a spare?
If you have a flat, AAA or some other kind of road service will come to take care of it but they are not cheap. You can also call a good friend or family member or do-it-yourself but that can take a lot of time when you could be working or enjoying the great outdoors. Or, you could make sure you always have Slime Prevent and Repair Tire Sealant with you.
If you can say that you have never had a flat count yourself very lucky because odds are you will someday. As someone that has had numerous flats during my lifetime, I never go anywhere without having my Slime with me in my truck, boat, and ATV. I even keep some in my barn and garage in case I need it.
Slime has been in business for over 30 years. It is a bright green, thick liquid that coats the inside of a tire as it rotates. When your tire gets a puncture, the escaping air pulls the Slime tire sealant toward the hole, where physical particles and fibers build up and intertwine to form a long-lasting, flexible plug.
Slime tire sealant continuously seals for two years, stops slow leaks and includes non-corrosive properties to keep your wheels safe. It is also great for not only repairing but also preventing flat tires on almost everything you use.
Besides having several bottles of their sealant I also have several of their tire compressors, tire repair kits, and tire gauges. I have used them all and they are great products that last a long time.
I also can’t say enough about their customer service people. One of my Slime air compressors was several years old and the air tube had deteriorated and fell apart. I called customer service to see if I could buy a replacement and got a very nice lady who understood what I needed and sent me one at no charge. When I received it, it was the wrong one, so I called again and got the same lady who apologized and sent the one I needed. That ladies and gentlemen is great customer service!
Slime’s green color is not the only thing that is green about them. They are also dedicated to creating green products that are safe for the consumer, safe for the tire, and safe for the environment. Every year, 27 million scrap tires end up in landfills. Using their tire repair products to repair a flat enable a tire to be cleaned, professionally repaired and remain in use rather than tossed in a landfill.
Their sealant formulas are environmentally friendly and wash up easily with water. They are non-toxic, non-hazardous, free of carcinogens and non-ozone depleting. They even contain chunks of recycled rubber, further reducing tires in landfills.
Slime products may not be the gift you had in mind when you started reading this article. It may not be a gift you can use right now or you ever thought about giving as a Christmas present but it is a gift that will always be there when you or they need it and someday you or they will.
I am thinking about telling my wife I got her something for Christmas that is a beautiful color of green, is something she will love and is very valuable. You don’t suppose she will think she is getting an emerald ring or necklace do you?
For those nighttime fishing excursions or when you are rigging up early in the morning for a day on the water, the new Lure Lock LED Box is designed to help you easily see those small tackle items in the dark. In addition, for anglers that use glow-in-the-dark lures, the LED lights will charge the paint on them so they’ll be ready to entice finicky fish into biting.
The Lure Lock LED Box has a light strip down the center of the box that is safely placed underneath the Tak Logic Technology, protecting it from the elements. The three-way switch allows it to be in three modes: on, off and auto – allowing it to turn on automatically when the lid of the box is opened. The LED Box is powered by three batteries which are included and easy to replace.
“We launched the LED Light Up Box at ICAST,” said Lure Lock President John Skrabo. “We knew we had a very cool, innovative product heading into the most important trade show in the world,” he said. “But the real confirmation came when we sat down with our dealers and wrote orders for thousands of them.”
The LL3 version is in stock and ready to ship out of the Lure Lock headquarters in Wisconsin.
The LED box is made of the purest form of polypropylene and features durable hinges and latches. The patented Tak Logic Technology is scent-free, easy to clean and environmentally safe. It retails for $18.99 and can be found at your favorite local dealer and big boxes, including Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Scheel’s, Fleet Farm, Field & Stream, Tackle Warehouse, Tackle Direct, and more. Lure Lock products are also sold on Amazon and Lure Lock.com.
About Lure Lock – Lure Lock is owned by Tak Logic, LLC and is located in Ettrick, Wisconsin. Lure Lock tackle boxes feature a patented technology – all made in the USA. For more information, call 608-525-3636.
Hi-modulus sensitivity rod blanks from Scheel’s allowed for detecting the lightest of strikes
“Smart Boat” technics from Humminbird for total position control to target hotspots
By Forrest Fisher
Walleye fishing legend, Johnnie Candle, suggested that we look at mid-river shoals on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsin, and search the area with his new Humminbird sonar. We utilized the map to find such locations and he’s a walleye guy at heart, so we set up our rods accordingly.
In his Lund 21-foot, 10-inch fishing boat with a 350Hp Mercury Verado main-kicker, we arrived at our fishing destination in a few minutes. The ride was smooth as silk.
Using a very sensitive Scheel’s “One Limited” medium-action fishing rod, the 6-foot,9-inch version, rigged with a Scheel’s 2500 series reel and 10-pound test Ultra -8 Fireline, we tied on vertical vibrating baits (Sonar, ¼ oz), Strike King Swim Tail Shiner jigs (1/4 oz) and Berkley power minnows(1/16 oz jig head/2-inch tail) to catch five species of fish in the next two hours of peaceful fishing fun (https://www.scheels.com/p/scheels-outfitters-one-limited-edition-spinning-rod/3340-ONEB.html). True relaxing fun.
We released them all, including sauger, crappie, yellow perch, sheepshead, and largemouth bass. La Crosse, what a great place to fish! Mid-day, bright sun, clear sky, catching fish because we could find them with the right sonar and could sense their light bites with the right rod and line.
Yet, just a very short time ago, we had no clue what to fish for and where to go. We launched at the Black River Beach boat launch (https://www.explorelacrosse.com/), there was a $5 launch fee for non-residents. Look for the semi-hidden boat launch envelope station and be sure to use it, to avoid a $20 parking ticket. Don’t ask how I know.
Using the right gear makes for fun fishing in Wisconsin…and everywhere else.
The trailer test vehicle was the Sequoia Toyota Limited with 5.7L V8 gasoline engine, 4WD.
It handled my 5,000-pound boat flawlessly at the ramp and on the road.
While towing, the instant mileage readout varied from 9 to 14 mpg, depending on conditions and speed.
By Mike Schoonveld
For us guys with boats that sit on trailers between fishing excursions, the major “toy” between our boat and the lake is the vehicle to which the trailer connects. The size of the boat dictates what size of the tow vehicle is required, of course, but for most Great Lakes work, the vehicles need to be somewhat substantial.
The Toyota Sequoia that I used to tow my boat from my Indiana home to Kenosha, Wisconsin and then to Put-In-Bay, Ohio last May was substantial, whether I was hauling over gravel-packed two-tracks or six-lane expressways. The Sequoia Toyota for this test was the Limited model, fitted with a 5.7L V8 engine and 4WD, adequate to pull my boat from algae-coated boat ramps. Equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, this full-sized SUV ran through the “gears” effortlessly whether going uphill or down, on the highway, or in stop and go traffic on Chicago’s Fullerton Avenue heading for Diversey Harbor (long story why that trip was included).
As are most vehicles these days, the Sequoia is fully equipped with bells and whistles, lane change alarms, driving sensors to detect if you are driving unsafely or the guy in front of you is driving unsafely, Bluetooth connections – in short, more on-board “toys” and other features than I was able to figure out how to use during my trip. I wasn’t so much interested in the bells or whistles, I was more interested in how it handled my 5000-pound boat (and how my 5000-pound boat handled the vehicle) in real-life driving conditions. Rated to tow more than 7000 pounds, the Sequoia pulled my rig just fine.
I was also more interested in how it handled the gear and luggage I needed for extended trips away from home, especially when traveling with other anglers or a family group and our luggage. The coolers we hoped to fill with salmon and walleye fillets went in the boat. The rest of our duffle easily stored inside with a bit of short planning. The second-row bucket seats added some interior room since we could stow items between the seats as well as in the rear. Once the luggage was removed, a third-row seat folded out of the floor allowing our whole group of six to head for The Brat Stop in Kenosha for dinner.
All in all, the Sequoia is certainly a viable tow vehicle and any on-the-go Great Lakes angler should consider it when it’s time to upgrade. I certainly will. Rated 13 to 17 mpg on the mileage meter, it’s in the same league as other comparable brands and models.
If there was one item to pick at on the Sequoia I tested, it was the gas-gauge/gas tank capacity. For one, the tank capacity is 26 gallons. Pulling the boat, my instant mileage readout on the dash varied from 9 to 14 mpg depending on conditions and speed so about 10 to 12 actual. Not bad, but with that size tank, regular stops for gas is going to be required. (My regular tow vehicle gets the same mileage, but has a 42-gallon tank.)
On my trip to Ohio, I knew the next travel plaza was just ahead and a few miles before getting there, the low fuel warning light came on. We made it more than easily since the pump kicked off when 20 gallons were added. I’m sure once more familiar with the accuracy of the fuel level indicator, the smaller tank would be less disconcerting.
You can check out the Sequoia online (in various editions) at www.toyota.com.
Karen Lutto and I had barely shaken hands with the Yamaha outboard motor team when they gave us the Yamaha Marine “Hot Sheet” for their V- MAX/SHO 200Hp X-Shaft. As I looked over the motor specs, Product Education Manager, Ry Landry, provided even more “goodness details” for this newest member of the Yamaha outboard motor family. Dealer Communications Manager, Melissa Boudoux, suggested that we take a test drive – there was a test boat and motor at the AmericInn Hotel boat dock in La Crosse, WI. Having owned and managed an outdoor marine store for 19 years, I have driven thousands of boat and motor combinations, so I never lose interest in one more test drive if you know what I mean.
After the ride, Karen and I both agreed, “The V-MAX/SHO 200 X-Shaft needs some bragging!” This Yamaha 200Hp-V6 is a well-rounded motor package. Boat types from pontoons to Deep V’s to bass boats perform well with a 6-cylinder/200Hp engine, while 4-cylinder/200Hp motors are just not the same. The 4-cylinder engines might deliver 200 horsepower at wide-open throttle, but it takes a while, they do not have the mid-range torque of a V-6 either. Plenty of torque is what makes a motor fun to operate at cruising speeds, and from start to finish.
Here is what is notable about this new member of the Yamaha V MAX SHO family:
It is a 4-stroke and the 25-inch shaft length makes the motor a good fit for a wide range of boat types and hull sizes.
The 200 X-Shaft is naturally aspirated which means it makes 200 HP without needing a supercharger. No supercharger means fewer parts in the motor and that means higher reliability.
Operating cost matters, supercharged engines love to stop at the gas pump.
Yamaha’s decision to go with plasma-fused sleeveless makes for a compact and lightweight package, weighing in at only 555 lbs.
Most 4-stroke outboards have a smooth and quiet idle and this 200 was very quiet at idle, and also had a low noise level at wide-open throttle. This 200 also has Yamaha’s variable camshaft timing system which develops more power at midrange. Lots of good things here.
What stood out most? Instant acceleration. It’ll push you back in your seat throttle response.
We both thought it was a 2-Stroke! Pure out-of-the-hole power. With three passengers and running a 3-blade, 18 pitch prop, the 200 effortlessly pushed the Deep V hull to 57 mph and the rep added that the motor was strong enough to run a 19 pitch prop which would edge past 60mph. This is a lots-to-like motor.
For more information go to www.yamahaoutboards.com or stop by your local dealer for a test drive. Before you push the throttle down on the 200 X-Shaft, make sure your hat is on tight!
From Navionics: We believe details are important, especially while on the water. Let’s dive in and see how the latest app release can make your boating experience easy and fun.
Drop a marker with one tap.
Have you ever needed to quickly add a marker on your location while boating or fishing? Well, now you can. With one simple tap on the map, you’ll drop a marker on your current GPS location. It can’t be easier than that. Use it as a reminder for great fishing or boating areas you want to investigate more or visit again.
Get the most out of the feature with these expert tips:
– New markers will be named sequentially (Marker 1, Marker 2, etc.)
– The icon will be the same as your last added marker (the “pin” is the default icon)
– To change the maker name or icon simply tap the map > target the marker with cross-hair > tap “?” > make your edits.
If you’re having trouble automatically connecting your device, try adding it manually to the app. In the app, go to Menu > Connect a Device > Add Device and fill in the fields. Be aware that the app currently only supports devices streaming in NMEA 1803.
Get more space for your maps (only for Android).
Download all the maps you need without filling up your device. Plug in an SD card for additional memory. Go to Menu > Settings > Storage Location.
Get the new features:
If you already have our Boating app, simply update it to the latest version.
– For Apple® devices — on your mobile device, go to the App Store® > «Updates»
– For Android™ devices — on your device, go to Google Play > Menu > «My apps & games»
If you don’t have our Boating app\ yet, download it for free, and enjoy a trial of all our charts and features.
Every fisherman knows, or quickly learns, that retrieving your catch or baitfish from the Livewell can be a sticky and painful experience—that is until now. With the Angler’s Best Livewell Buddy, retrieving your catch or baitfish, even the elusive pinfish, is quick, easy and painless.
The Livewell Buddy is a flexible, floating net that allows the fish to move freely thru circulated water and easily fits in any standard Livewell, or it can easily be attached alongside a boat, canoe or kayak that is not equipped with a Livewell to store your catch or your bait fish. It also can be tethered to you when wade fishing. As you fish, simply drop your catch into the Livewell Buddy’s durable silicone net.
Retrieving your entire catch out of the Livewell Buddy is as simple as grabbing the floatation ring and lifting the Livewell Buddy out, along with your full bounty. There is no need to net or handle the fish, which eliminates the dreaded “fish splash” and “finning” injuries. For culling the smaller fish, the Livewell Buddy is a non-invasive alternative to conventional cull systems. After culling the smaller fish, simply drop the Livewell Buddy back into the water or your Livewell.
The new Livewell Buddy is ideal for freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, kayak or canoe fishing or anywhere else that fish need to be kept alive in the water. It can also double as a bait basket for larger baitfish or hard-to-catch bait fish. It only takes seconds to drop in a Livewell, and is ideal for everyone from the tournament fisherman to the weekend warrior. The Livewell Buddy’s floatation ring also allows it to be used in open water while bank fishing, surf fishing or wade fishing.
Headquartered in Danville, Ala., Angler’s Best is a designer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art fishing accessories. For additional information on Angler’s Best, write to: Angler’s Best , 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call 833-BASS-NET (833-227-7638); or visit www.anglersbest.com.
Outdoor Adventure Power in the dark is no mystery with this new, super-high capacity pocket power pack.
Why do we need a SMALL portable charger with BIG energy?
By Tyler Mahoney
As much as many of us would hate to admit, we all probably need a solution for a portable charger when we are out hunting and fishing. In between cell phones or GoPro’s, it seems there is always something that needs a charge.
Our outdoor excursions often times last for hours. Even if you’re not spending much time on your phone or other electronic devices out in the wild, sometimes the weather can cause the battery to die as well. Having a full charge becomes a safety factor these days, too. A dead phone isn’t going to help save you if you fall from a tree stand and can’t move to get help.
I happened across Nocqua pretty much by accident. My good friend, David Gray, attended the 2019 iCast and came across their booth. The company representative offered him the power bank for free just to try. David returned and knew that I have the opportunity to be out in the woods or on the water quite often. So, he gave it to me to put to the test.
I’m glad he did.
(Click picture below for short video)
My initial thoughts and feedback:
The Nocqua Adventure Gear Powerbank is extremely small and lightweight. This is extremely beneficial when it comes to how effective outdoorsmen can be while packing gear for their trips. Weight can add up in a hurry, so something thin and compact is very important.
While it is very small, it keeps charging for a long time. I’ve only had it 10 days, but have used it 5 times during that span to power my GoPro and my cell phone. Each usage was between 2-4 hours. I’ve only recharged it twice.
To me, that’s extremely impressive. I probably could have gotten away with only charging it once, but I’m one of those people that would rather be safe than sorry so I don’t miss out on any recording opportunities with a dead GoPro.
While my experience with it has been short, I am extremely impressed with its performance so far.
Have you ever seen a new outdoor product come out on the market and think to yourself, I wish I had thought of that? I sure have! Here are several innovative products that companies have developed to help make your outdoor adventures even better.
Lure Lock Tackle System
Lure Lock by TakLogic came up with a really innovative approach to protecting your favorite lures. It is 100% made in the USA and that gets a lot of bonus points with me. What makes it innovative is the proprietary gel that locks lures, hooks and terminal fishing tackle into place and keeps them from banging together or falling out which dulls hooks and chips paint. They come in small, medium, and large and with the option of how many compartments you want. My grandson Hunter fishes for the Kansas State University Bass Fishing Team and loves them. I use their retro kit that fits into my old tackle boxes and they work great!
Their Lure Locker is pretty innovative too and helps transport and store your boxes. They also offer a Lure Pad that you attach to your boat dash or any other place on your boat to hold your cell phone, lures and tackle to keep them from bouncing around all over the boat or bouncing out. I use one in my truck as well as my ATV, UTV and even riding lawnmower to hold my phone, keys and anything else I don’t want bouncing around and falling off.
After many years of deer hunting with family, I will be mostly hunting by myself this year. Grandkids are away at college and my son is busy working trying to pay for their education.
I love my deer hunting but a big question had to be answered if I was to continue. At 72 years old, if I get a deer, how am I going to load it in the back of my truck by myself? The answer came from an online search, a click on www.greatdayinc.com and reading about their innovative PowerLoader.
I attached the PowerLoader to the front of my ATV and hooked the cable to my winch. All I have to do now is pull up to the deer, lower the PowerLoader with my winch, roll the deer onto it, strap it down and then push the up button on my winch to raise the deer off the ground for transportation.
When I get to my truck I will drop the tailgate, pull up to the back of my truck, push the down button on my winch to lower the deer, undo the straps and roll it into the bed. My problem is solved as simple as that.
Hunting alone won’t be so bad now and I will have some great memories to keep me company. In the meantime, I am using it to move retaining wall blocks and lumber from my barn to the house. I love this thing and I do wish I had thought of it myself!
ElemiTick Insect Shield Camoflage Clothing
Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and flies are usually still active during early archery deer season. There are sprays you can use on your clothes and on your skin but you need to be really careful because the smell of most of these can be detected by the amazing sensitive nose of the white-tailed deer.
If you’re like me you don’t like having to spray down. This year I am going to be wearing Gamehide’s ElemiTick Insect Shield camouflage clothing that has odorless insect repellant embedded right in the clothing so I don’t have to worry about the smell.
It will keep ticks or chiggers from crawling all over me. I also won’t have to worry about my movement spooking deer either because I won’t be swatting at those stupid mosquitoes and flies. All have to do is put my hunting clothes on. Now, you’re probably thinking that after a while it has to wash out but you would be wrong. It is guaranteed to work for the lifetime of the clothing.
So if you don’t like being bugged during early fall hunting season, spring turkey season, or even camping and hiking for that matter, you have a decision to make – spray down or just put on your Gamehide ELemiTick Insect Shield hunting clothes. Now that’s a great innovation. Read all about it and their other great products at www.gamehide.com.
There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in the ladder stands in recent years, but there is now! I got a new ladder stand from a company called Primal and what it has other stands don’t is a patented grip jaw system that engages from the ground and secures the stand solidly to the tree before you leave the ground.
Their innovative truss stabilizer system allows the stand to be used in trees where other ladder stands can’t which will give me more options of trees to hang it in.
The innovative Standz Up Ladder Aid and Standz Up Ladder Hoist will make it easy for my son and me to set up, or we can raise it with our ATV.
They also came up with more innovation with their Descender Device with friction braking technology that hooks to your full-body harness so if you fall out of any treestand it provides an automatic, hands-free, controlled rate of descent that lets you down easy if you fall. And, it works with the safety harness you already have. It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 hunters who use treestands will be involved in a fall sometime in their life so this is a device all hunters should use.
I am really impressed with their innovation. You’re going to like their prices compared to other stands on the market too. Check out all their stands and accessories at www.primaltreestands.com.
You just never know who will come up with a new outdoor product that’s different than anything else being offered. It could be some fishermen sitting in a boat and has an idea that he thinks would work. It could be a hunter in a treestand waiting for a deer to come by and as he waits he wonders if something different wouldn’t be better. The person that comes up with the next great innovative product could even be you!
Berkley® Lights the Night with Illuminated Glowstik Fishing Rods
The new Berkley Glowstik rods boast a unique battery-powered technology that enables the rod to glow orange, so anglers can better see when fishing at night. The rods feature a fiberglass blank construction with an LED core, illuminating a lightweight fiber-optic cable running the length of the rod. The lighted fiber is powered by two AAA batteries that are strategically placed in the butt end of the rod to keep the rod balanced and comfortable to cast. The rod is a two-piece design for easy travel with stainless steel guides and Ti Oxide inserts and features a shrink tube handle for a solid grip.
Berkley® introduces its Glowstik rods and combos, an illuminated fishing rod designed to help anglers detect bites while fishing in low-light or dark conditions. Ideal for nighttime surf, pier, or bank fishing, this light-up rod combines proven Berkley rod performance with a new, unique benefit for those looking to fish after the sun goes down. “Fishing at night is exciting and some absolute monsters are caught in the dark,” said Mike Rice, director of brand development at Berkley. “The new Berkley Glowstik rods truly light up the night. Whether you’re on the bank, beach or bridge, we are giving anglers a way to watch for bites they may have previously missed and eliminate other clumsy lighting solutions they may have been forced to rely on in the past.” The Glowstik rods are available in spinning and casting options. The spinning rods are available in 8-foot, 9-foot, and 10-foot lengths. The casting rods are available in 9-foot and 10-foot lengths. The Glowstik combos are available in 8-foot, 9-foot and 10-foot spinning and a 10-foot conventional option. The combos feature the new rod paired with reels that have an all-graphite body and frame with an 18-pound max drag on the conventional reel and 20-pound max drag on the spinning reel. The combos are a two-piece design for easy travel and come pre-spooled with 20-pound Berkley Big Game mono line. The Glowstik rods range in price from $79.99 to $89.99, and the combos range in price from $99.99 to $109.99. The new Glowstik rods and combos will be available in retail stores starting August 2019. About Pure Fishing, Inc.:Pure Fishing, Inc. is a leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels with a portfolio of brands that includes Abu Garcia®, All Star®, Berkley®, Chub™, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, Hardy & Greys™, Hodgman®, Johnson™, Mitchell®, PENN®, Pflueger®, Sébile®, Shakespeare®, SpiderWire®, Stren®, Trilene® and Ugly Stik®. Additional information can be found atwww.purefishing.com.
Tak Logic Technology Gel has started to lock-up all those lost favorite lures in tackle boxes around the fishing world. Lure Lock continues to lead the tackle management industry with the introduction of its new 4-inch deep tackle box. The deeper 4-in-1 box offers a unique divider system, allowing anglers to customize their box from one to 24 compartments, or remove all the dividers altogether and use the two, one-inch trays for three levels of tackle organization. Anglers like this new tacky tackle box system.
“Since the launch of our original Lure Lock cases to the fishing world, we have been inundated with requests for a deeper box,” said John Skrabo, President of Tak Logic. He continued, “Several of our top pros, including Gerald Swindle, Matt Lee and Brent Ehrler provided valuable input during the design phase – the result is our innovative 4-in-1 box. There’s nothing like it on the market.”
Made of 100% Polypropylene for enhanced durability, the deep box from Lure Lock features patented Tak Logic Technology that is scent-free, easy to clean, and environmentally safe.
“We didn’t want to merely introduce another deep storage box like others already on the market,” said Skrabo, “Rather, we desired to once again change the tackle storage world with the introduction of our unique and innovative divider/tray system. Our 4-in-1 box created quite a buzz with its launch at ICAST.”
The Lure Lock 4” deep box will be available at retailer outlets and on-line next month.
Lure Lock boxes are offered in three sizes LL1, LL2 and LL3, and are available with and without the Tak Logic Technology liners. The innovative tackle boxes, along with the award-winning Lure Locker are available at Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Scheel’s, Mill’s Fleet Farm, Field & Stream, Tackle Warehouse, Tackle Direct, and at many other fine retailers. Lure Lock is also sold at www.lurelock.com.
About Lure Lock: Lure Lock is owned by Tak Logic, LLC and is located in Ettrick, Wisconsin. Lure Lock tackle boxes feature a patented technology – all made in the USA. For more information, call 608-525-3636.
No O-rings, plastic retainers, rubber bands or other things to lose on these broadheads
Same cost as other high-performance broadheads
100 and 125-grain sizes, with 2-inch and 2-1/4 inch cutting diameters, respectively
By Forrest Fisher
For decades, big game broadhead engineers have come up with quite a few evolutions for change to make a better broadhead. In doing so, I think I have tried them all, used them all from the stand, discovered their efficiencies and flaws – pro’s and con’s, and have always wondered why nobody has ever used magnets. Too heavy? Too costly? What?
I’ve used deployable blade broadheads for decades now because they fly straighter than most fixed blade varieties and I’m a simple guy. I don’t want to tune the blades to sync with my fletching’s for straighter flight. Time is not free for me or anybody. So as a result, I have boxes with all the forms of various retention devices to hold mechanical blades in place while the arrow is in flight. We all want greater accuracy. One look into my arrow box of goodness will show there have been elastomers (O-rings), plastic holding collars, tiny rubber bands, friction devices and more – all used as blade retainers for mechanical broadheads. While they are all functional, those items are potentially the same reason for blade deployment failure, either in flight or upon impact. The new Spectre Broadhead solves the problem using higher technology, through magnetism.
From Brookville, Pa., Spectre’s patent-pending magnetic-blade technology is revolutionary. The design holds the fold-up blades in their closed position throughout the arrow flight. Upon impact, the blades are guaranteed to open instantly for a failure-proof deployment, and with a 2-inch cutting diameter, the result is massive entry and exit wounds.
The Spectre Broadhead is designed to fly like a field point and it features a strong, aerodynamic, machined ferrule made from 7075 Aluminum with a hardened carbon-steel, four-face, chisel tip. This crushing combination provides extremely reliable penetration through hide, flesh, and bone.
The Spectre Broadhead has the thickest, strongest blades of any expandable broadhead on the market. The pair of 0.047-inch-thick, razor-sharp, swept-back blades are magnetized to hold together until the moment of impact when they reliably deploy to cut a path of destruction. The chisel tip and blades have a gold Cerakote (ceramic) finish for lubricity and wear resistance.
The new Spectre Broadhead is available in two versions:
100-grain with a 2-inch cutting diameter
125-grain version that boasts an impressive 2.25-inch cutting diameter.
Each three-pack of broadheads comes with a practice head and an extra set of sharp blades, ultimately providing four broadheads for the price of three. Spectre Broadheads have a suggested retail price of $44.99.
Spectre Broadheads are a Viper Archery Products brand. Located at 494 Service Center Rd. in Brookville, Pa., Viper Archery Products has been proudly manufacturing top-quality Made-In-America archery sights and accessories for 15 years. For more information on Viper Archery or Spectre Broadheads, visit www.viperarcheryproducts.com.
No matter where I travel with a fishing rod, catching fish on the surface is absolutely the most exciting. In some cases, it’s also the most effective. Not all surface lures work the same, but there is one lure that seems to always stand out when I ponder a view of my tackle box for that possible magic lure of the day – the Lucky 13. Made by Heddon Lures, one of the landmark imitation lure originators from the 1890’s, the Lucky 13 is somehow the right size – length is under 4 inches and weight is 5/8 pounce, makes the right sound when lightly chugged, and fishes like the right lure every time I put it is the water.
In freshwater, it will catch bass, musky, northern pike and just about every other fish, but I like it most for bass fishing along a summer weedbed.
In saltwater, the redfish will tear it up when cast and gently plopped, with a slight slurp, in along mangroves and on shallow water flats just after sunrise. The speckled trout slam it into oblivion too.
It may be those size 2 hooks tingling with a ping sound into the body of the lure from the plop-plop-slurp created when you gently chug it back every now and then, that sends out the infamous “eat me now” signal to feeding gamefish.
This lure is carried by many tackle shops and on-line stores. Google it for other color options.
On May 15 (2019), Major League Fishing provided special news that Zoom Bait Company will release the new Z-Swim 3.8, a ribbed swimbait that swims naturally, emulates a wide variety of baitfish and can be used from the surface down into the deepest lairs of wary bass. Savvy tournament anglers have utilized this style of lure in all types of water for several years, but the addition of a model featuring Zoom’s special touches will make it substantially more effective.
That means it has the best of both worlds – you’ll constantly be offering a tempting meal, but you won’t have to repeatedly adjust your rigging, taking up valuable time. That means more casts and more effective casts, throughout the day.
This new lure is responsive at both ultra-slow and ridiculously fast speeds and can be fished throughout the water column. It can be applied to a wide variety of techniques, too. It’s exceptional on a weighted swimbait hook or a jig head, providing enough action on its own, but it’s also deadly on the back on a vibrating jig or swim jig, or even on a castable umbrella rig. It’s an ultra-natural presentation that thumps, which means it can excel in gin clear and super-dirty water alike, along with every level of clarity in-between.
The Z-Swim is 3.8 inches long and will initially come in six proven colors to meet a wide variety of water colors and forage bases.
The Z-Swim 3.8 will soon be available at leading tackle stores and online retailers. If you can’t find it, ask for it.
Ultimate outdoor eating solution integrated into one package
By Bob Holzhei
Our four children, my wife and I, have camped throughout our lives. We started first with a 9 by 9 tent, then moved up to a pop-up camper, then a travel trailer, and finally we purchased a fifth wheel travel trailer with four slide outs. Thing is, maximizing space throughout the years was always a priority, after all, there’s no use packing things that may not get used. That is one reason why I wanted to share some of my experience with those of you just getting started. Where space and efficiency is important, products from GSI Outdoors have met the mission.
My compact 4-person outdoor cookware set includes a 3-liter pot, 2-liter pot, a 9-inch frypan and 2 straining lids. The Pinnacle Camper Set also includes four 14-ounce bowls, plates and mugs-complete with sip-it-lids to complete the package.
For my family, it’s our ultimate outdoor eating solution integrated into one package that easily fits into a backpack too. At under 4 pounds and a wonderful 9 by 9 by 6 compact size, the kids can go on side treks and weight and size are not a factor. I could not believe it either.
GSI Outdoors is in the business of making cookware and dining products that adapt the comforts of home to active outdoor lifestyles at the campsite, cabin and anywhere in between.
They continue to expand their designs, adding additional innovative lines of outdoor cookware, tableware and accessories. It works for us outdoor folks that share a passion to be outdoors and have the additional need “to be small and light.”
When well-built hardware brings people together in the outdoors, I thought you’d like to know about some of the best I have found. You can find their products in many outdoor outlets or go directly online to: https://gsioutdoors.com.
It is a short story, well-written with the passion and message that all fishermen will immediately understand.
Why Does Grandpa love to Fish will touch you. It will bring a tear to the eye of many Grandpa’s.
The story will make you smile on the outside and on the inside. You will want to read it more than once, it’s that good.
Grandpas will want to read it to their grandchildren. The Grandkids will say when are we going fishing Grandpa? The best music ever for the ears and the hearts of every Grandpa.
Back in the day, a TV commercial said, “Look up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s Superman!”
After my first read of author Curt Wilkinson’s book, “Why Does Grandpa Love to Fish,” I thought to myself – look, this is such a great book! No, it’s a great gift! No, it is a cherished family keepsake for every grandpa!
When Mr. Wilkinson asked me to share my opinion on this new title, I agreed out of politeness, but with some reservation. It is not easy to pen a really good fishing book, but his book is so much more than a fishing book, because fishing is so much more than just about fishing.
Curt wanted to know if I thought the book was good enough for stores to stock and if it would sell. My reservations went away with the first page. The book delivered so much more than I could ever have imagined. Yes Curt, this book will sell. Thank you for creating it!
The graphics drawn by Curt are very pleasing. The hard cover and printing are top quality. After I read the book I shared it with others, every comment was, “I love this book. “
I suggest placing a photo of the grandkids in the front of the book or even better, on the dedicated space at the end of the story reserved for a photo of Grandpa. Perhaps include a short message that Grandpa will understand.
Created and written by Curt Wilkinson in honor of his two Grandpa’s, the book sells for $14.95 and for every Grandpa that has taken his grandson’s and granddaughter’s fishing, a copy received from them will be worth a million smiles.
These Boots are made for walking - "My Happy Feet!"
My hunting boots go to church with Me
So comfy, I have to Look Down to see if I have them on
Life has changed, I have started singing in the Shower…some Boots!
By Larry Whiteley
I couldn’t begin to count how many different pairs of hiking and hunting boots I have had in my lifetime. Since I have been enjoying the great outdoors for a lot of years, it has to be a bunch though. Most have now gone on to that great boot camp in the sky, passed down to kids and grandkids or donated to clothing banks.
In an effort to cut down on the number of boots I still have I decided to try and find a good boot that would work for all the hiking I still like to do, as well as serve double duty as my deer/turkey hunting boots.
You may not remember the song “These Boots Are Made for Walking” from the 60s by Frank Sinatra’s daughter Nancy, but it became the #1 song in half the countries in the world.
This article doesn’t have anything to do with that song except that when I started writing, it I kept singing it in my head. You don’t want to hear me singing it out loud that’s for sure. I did sing it in the shower a few times, but that is – as my grandkids say – TMI (too much information).
So anyway, I got online and started doing research on boots and came across a company that I had never heard of called LOWA. They’ve been around a while as they were founded in 1923. I was looking for a boot made in the USA and these were 100% handcrafted in Europe. Always a but, right? But they were really a nice looking boot, so I did more research on them and became really impressed with the quality put into their boots. LOWA supports many non-profit organizations that work to make the outdoors more accessible to everyone, so that was a plus in their favor. They also support the U.S. Biathlon Team, so that was another plus. I also liked the way they treat their suppliers and employees, so they got one more plus for that.
Like the song, the boot I ended up getting is a #1 seller too and is made for walking as well as hiking, hunting and every other outdoor activity you might enjoy. LOWA’s Renegade GTX® Mid has been the company’s best-selling boot for over 20 years.
I have been wearing a pair of these since spring turkey season last year and I do mean almost every day since. They are very comfortable and I absolutely love them. They are the lightest boots I have ever worn weighing at a little over 2 pounds total, plus they give great support, they’re cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather, as well as having a GORE-TEX® lining to keep my feet dry.
My wife heard me going on so much about how I love my LOWA’s, she decided she wanted a pair too. She got the Ladies Renegade GTX® Mid, but of course, in ladies colors. She loves her LOWA’s too, but she refuses to sing the song.
I like mine so well I decided I wanted a pair of LOWA’s in a high top boot and settled on the Zephyr GTX Hi TF® boots, which has all the same great features as my other LOWA boot. They were exactly what I was looking for.
They also only weigh a little over 2 pounds per pair, so I have to check sometimes to make sure I have them on. If feet could smile, mine would be every time I put them on. They feel more like I am wearing a tennis shoe than a boot. They’re good looking too and because they are so comfortable I sometimes wear them to church and around town. So I guess I should call them my hiking/hunting/casual wear boots.
I could go on and on about both my LOWA boots and my wife’s, but why don’t you just go to www.lowaboots.com and check them out for yourself. You can order online or find a dealer near you. Your feet will sure be glad you did and if you love being out in the great outdoors, there’s nothing much better than having happy feet.
Hey, that reminds me of the popular movie “Happy Feet” about the dancing penguin. Great! Now I’m going to be going around dancing and singing “These Boots Are Made for Walking.”
Hunter Safety System youth models also available in “Fistful of Dirt” Mossy Oak® Bottomland®
The Lil’ Treestalker harness is made to keep your youth hunter safe when you take the kids upstairs in a tree. The youth harness also features ElimiShield® Hunt Scent control technology, just like the adult models. ElimiShield utilizes a proprietary nanotechnology that kills over 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria at the cellular level and forms a bond with the treated article that lasts for more than 50 commercial washes. By treating the Lil’ Treestalker with the ElimiShield in the manufacturing process, the harness is forever protected from mildew and odors after being exposed to sweat and moisture, so it’s protected while it is packed away in storage during the off-season.
Hunter Safety System has partnered with Mossy Oak to offer its Lil’ Treestalker youth harness in the very popular Bottomland camouflage pattern. Although this “fistful of dirt” pattern isn’t new, it has been extremely popular since Toxey Haas introduced it more than 30 years ago. Featuring bark, sticks and leaves, Bottomland features a legendary outline-breaking ability that helps hunters become virtually invisible in treestand environments.
“Bottomland has been a favorite pattern of bowhunters for decades,” said Jerry Wydner, HSS owner and president. “Bottomland has proven to be very effective in the field. We listen to our customers and aim to please them with the very best, safest products in the patterns that they want.”
Comfortable standing or sitting, the Lil’ Treestalker is designed with smart fabrics to stay cool and dry all season and features soft touch binding to resist abrasion around the neck and arms. Weighing a mere 1.5 lbs., this harness will keep aspiring and/or smaller hunters safe and comfortable in the field.
Available at retailers nationwide or conveniently online at www.hssvest.com, the Lil’ Treestalker in Mossy Oak Bottomland retails for under $85.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Danville, Ala., Hunter Safety System is a leading designer/manufacturer of innovative deer hunting gear and hunting equipment for the serious hunter. The company has exclusive rights for use of ElimiShield in the hunting industry. For additional information, write to: The Hunter Safety System, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call toll-free 877-296-3528; or visit www.hssvest.com.
I have carried one of these to my deer woods for more than 50 years now. Today, there are more options to choose from, lightweight handles and more, but the reality of the device as a tool for sportsmen is unchanged. I cannot believe this is selling for less than $20 on sale right now.
The 110 Folding Hunter® is one of America’s favorite knives, this version, the 110 Folding Hunter® LT, will undoubtedly follow in suit. Weighing barely over 3 ounces, the LT is created with lightweight molded nylon, drastically reducing its weight while maintaining the same quality as the original Folding Hunter®. The clip point blade is finished with Buck’s advanced Edge2x blade technology for unbelievable sharpness and edge retention out of the box.
Closed Length: 4 7/8″ (12.4 cm), includes a black, polyester sheath and is made in the USA.
BLADE THICKNESS: 0.120″
BLADE LENGTH: 3 3/4″ (9.5 cm)
WEIGHT: 3.2 oz (90.7 g)
CARRY SYSTEM: Sheath
ORIGIN: Made in the USA
Buck 110 Features:
420HC STEEL – This is Buck’s standard blade material because it approaches the wear resistance of high carbon alloys while delivering the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels. Add the Buck Knife exclusive heat-treat process and you have a very user-friendly combination of superior corrosion resistance with excellent strength for wear resistance and durability. You also have a blade that is easy to resharpen. For best performance Buck hardens to a Rockwell hardness of Rc 58.
CLIP – The crescent tip makes the blade thinner with a sharper point. This shape provides good control for detail work and cutting in tight places. It is also well suited for intentional punctures like new holes in your belt, etc. While the point of the blade is effective for detail work, it’s not as strong as the thicker points on drop points and skinners.
Rod length, sensitivity, power, flex…all these factors matter
Setting the hook, it’s the best feeling with a rod you helped design
Rattlesnake skin and other custom handles personalize rods to the individual
By Bob Holzhei
“The sensitivity in any fishing rod can be determined by placing the tip of the rod against your throat while another person holds the other end of the rod. At that point, the person who has the tip of the rod against their throat begins to talk and at the other end, the vibration can be felt,” says expert angler and custom fishing rod-maker, Tom Marks, who vacations and fishes in Florida during the winter months.
Marks has been building custom rods for the past six years. “It usually takes me about 48 hours or three days to build a rod,” says Marks.
“I ask the perspective customer which type of rod they want me to build for them, whether it’s a spin casting rod, an all-purpose rod, and also ask if they are throwing crankbaits, need a worm rod, like to drop shot, if they are skipping docks, tossing jerk baits, Carolina rigs, need a bottom-bouncer for walleye, jig-flipping and pitching, or if they use a frog topwater bait or other top water bait. They’re all slightly different,” stated Marks.
“The purpose for which the rod will be used helps me decide on the power and speed of the rod. The power, which is how stiff the rod needs to be and the speed, which refers to how much flex is in the tip, both affect the style efficiency. Flex is the amount of bend in the upper 1/3 of the rod. The faster the rod, the more sensitive it will feel. For crankbaits, or moving baits which are trolled, a slower rod is sufficient because the strike or bite is much harder. The slower rod helps absorb some of the initial shock of the bite and also keeps the fish from throwing the hook,” added Marks.
Marks custom decorates his precision fishing rods according to customer wishes. Nylon and metallic threads can be used on the guide wraps, and many other variations. Marks also uses real rattlesnake skin on the handle and other decorative skins and wraps in the split grip and fore grip.
“I place a decorative thread band 12 inches from the front edge of the handle. Decorative work might include thread work cross-weaved with multiple colored threads or chevron patterns. Occasionally I marbleize the colors,” added Marks.
Marks began purchasing his rod building materials after he saw a Mudhole display at an outdoor show, located in Oviedo, Florida. Mudhole is a Rod Building and Tackle Crafting Company that can provide helpful process instructions and all the supplies for rod building. Visit www.mudhole.com or call 866-790-RODS.
Marks explained the steps in building a rod. “After the materials are ordered and arrive, I first take the order out of the package,” Marks replied while laughing. “First the spline in the rod is found, this is the backbone of the rod. I take the rod and put tension on it, while rolling the rod. The area of the spine will snap or hop. The spline is the heaviest part of the rod. The theory is the spline is found in one spot, it provides a keyway for guide location and better angler control later,” stated Marks.
Second, Marks determines what kind of rod he will make. The handle or grip is put on the rod. He reams out the handle to fit the blank. Then Pro-epoxy paste is put on to secure the handle.
Third, the guides are put on after measuring and marking the rod blank for the spacing between the guides. Mudhole provides suggestions on where to place the guides. Marks runs a line up and down the tip to insure the guides are lined up. He also uses a laser beam to insure the guides are correctly aligned. After the guide are mounted, protective clear epoxy is added.
Fourth, two additional coats of clear epoxy are put on and then 400 grit sandpaper removes any imperfections. Marks then field tests the rod to assure quality.
“If I catch a big fish while testing, I know that particular rod is a real good one,” kidded Marks with a grin.
“Building fishing rods is a great hobby and I never stop learning. I began fishing with my dad when I was 4 years old, and when I was 10, I really got into fishing and loved it. I learned from my father how to fish for walleye, since we lived within walking distance of Lake Erie near Derby, New York,” stated Marks.
I tagged along with Marks as he fished with the rod and learned as I watched his fishing strategy from a distance.
“The presentation is the key. The bite is what keeps me interested. When I set the hook – it’s a great feeling. There’s a rush of adrenaline! I could fish all day for the bite,” concluded Marks.
For more information: e-mail address – firstname.lastname@example.org; 716-997-6919.
Tail seems to have buoyancy, making the worm totally new
By Forrest Fisher
Ever noticed that fish everywhere become familiar with seeing the same lure over and over? What worked last year simply is not working this year. It’s frustrating, right?
Sometimes when a new lure hits the market…CHAZAM!
Not sure, but here is one new lure that does just that, the new Tri-Alive Nightcrawler from Mister Twister.
It’s a 6 ½-inch straight tail worm with a slender profile, soft feel for that “bite me and keep me” instinct attraction, and it seems when using these new worms, the tail-end floats a bit. That adds a flavor of newness and different action. This is especially intense for “used-to-it” fish, when using a stand-up style jig head (Shakey head).
You can hook it up as a regular Texas rig, Carolina rig, wacky rig or in any manner rig you think to try.
The worm has a different descent rate and when combined with the myriad assortment of colors offered, there is fish attraction.
The worm has a slight, but not overwhelming internal glisten, and it has a gentle gliding movement during the cast and drop . True even during steady retrieve motions – like when fished with a vibrating jig head, the Z-man head or Ricky Clunn head.
All tasty options for hungry bass.
When cast to the same spot repeatedly, the worm is enough to drive bass wacky. Wacky rig, wacky bass, it all comes together. The bass are intimidated, striking the worm just because.
It comes in 15 different three-layer color combinations with unique colors to offer fish something new to see and eat.
“All the colors in the Tri-Alive Nightcrawler lineup were custom made in combinations that have yet to be offered,” said General Manager of Mister Twister, Chuck Byrd. “The color contrast is a key to more fish whether in clear water or stained water.” Adding, “What really sets this product apart from all others, besides the new color contrast is the very soft plastic formulation. “Very soft means much more action, slower fall and a more natural gliding action in the water.”
“You know it’s a great worm when you can catch a four-pound, post-spawn bass in 10 feet of water with it,” says Twister Team Member Mike Cork. “Awesome new colors!” Super soft, yet durable.
Fish the 6 ½-inch Tri-Alive Nightcrawler, testers say, “It’s exceptional even for walleye harness rigs.”
They arrive vacuum-sealed for sanitation and easy packing, as they take up very little room in your pack.
Small Blood Red Game Bag measures 30 x 18 inches with a 5-inch side gusset and a 12-inch meat flap.
Large Blood Red Game Bag is 42 x 22 inches w/a 6-inch side gusset for large quarters and 14-inch top meat flap.
Koola Buck continues to provide the most innovative and trusted products to keep your game meat safe from the field to your freezer with the introduction of the new Blood Red Game Bags. The bags are available in two sizes: Large for elk or big game quarters and Small for deer or antelope quarters.
The new Koola Buck Blood Red Game Bags are constructed from strong yet breathable cotton/poly fabric blend and feature heavy duty 1.5-inch nylon cinch/carry straps that are sewn into the bag for easy handling of heavy weight and attaching securely to a backpack or pack frame. The wide side gussets and seamless bottom allow for 20-percent more storage than the average pillowcase-style game bag. As an added protection of the precious cargo, Koola Buck has designed these new game bags with a top-cover meat flap. This added flap completely covers the meat before pulling the bag’s locking drawstring, creating a physical barrier to block bugs, dirt and other contaminants.
The Large Blood Red Game Bag measures 42 inches long by 22 inches wide with a 6-inch gusset side for large quarters and a 14-inch top meat flap. The Small Blood Red Game Bag comes in at 30×18 inches with a 5-inch gusset and a 12-inch meat flap. Both bags are sold individually vacuum sealed for sanitation and easy packing. They take up very little room in your pack.
The new Blood Red Game bags can be found at select retailers nationwide or conveniently online at www.koolabuck.com for a suggested retail of $19.99 for the large and $16.99 for the small.
These new Blood Red Game Bags naturally hide stains and are strong, durable, washable and reusable. They will provide many seasons of dependable service. Use the Koola Buck Anti-Microbial spray on the bag or directly on the meat to reduce bacteria growth and to repel flies and other insects.
Headquartered in Brookville, Pa., Koola Buck is a leading designer and manufacturer of portable refrigeration systems, meat hooks, anti-microbial game bags, game-processing videos and the new Hide Ripper deer-skinning machine. For additional information on Koola Buck and its full line of products write to: Koola Buck, 494 Service Center Rd., Brookville, PA 15825; call (814) 849-9695; or visit www.koolabuck.com.
What to get that special someone for Valentines Day? One answer is right here
Not sure what to get that special someone for Valentines Day? The answer is at your finger tips. Just type www.himtnjerky.com into your browser, and a plethora of fabulous gifts ideas will appear, making it hard to choose just one or two.
It’s time to step out of the chocolate box and add a little spice—or a lot of spice—to this Valentine’s Day with a gift your loved one will seriously love. The options are endless, from ready-made jerky, to jerky kits, to rubs, to shakers, to dips, to marinades to sausage kits. Hi Mountain Seasonings has something for everyone. You can order a great gift or gift basket that will be embraced, enjoyed and remembered for a long time.
Be bold this year, and add some spice to February 14th with a little help from your friends at Hi Mountain Seasonings.
Hi Mountain’s entire line of products, cooking tips, instructional videos and recipes are also available at www.himtnjerky.com. Hi Mountain products also can be found at high-end sporting-goods stores, farm-and-ranch stores and many local grocery stores.
Located in the heart of Wyoming, Hi Mountain Seasonings was founded in 1991. It is the premier manufacturer of kits for homemade jerky and sausage. Hi Mountain Seasonings has successfully captured distinct, traditional Western flavors in its jerky cure & seasonings, Western-style seasonings, bacon cures and other products that make up the unique line of gourmet Western seasonings. For additional information, write: Hi Mountain Seasonings, 1000 College View Drive, Riverton, WY 82501; call toll-free 1-800-829-2285; or visit the company website at www.himtnjerky.com.
Get your tackle box organized with this easy and affordable “stick-to-it” lure container idea
Avoid a Tackle Disaster by Winning the “Lure Lock Effect” Sweepstakes
From Ettrick, Wisconsin, the Lure Lock folks wants you to avoid a tackle disaster by entering the Lure Lock Effect Sweepstakes where one lucky winner will walk away with a Lure Lock tackle box package valued at over $750. To enter, visit the Lure Lock website or Lure Lock’s social media pages before March 10th, 2019.
Interested anglers can enter the Lure Lock Effect Sweepstakes in three ways:
Visit, https://www.lurelock.com/pages/lure-lock-your-tackle-sweepstakes and fill out the registration form and upload a photo of their current “tackle disaster”
Share that “tackle disaster” photo on the Lure Lock Facebook page with the hashtags #tackledisaster and #lurelockeffect
Post a public post on Instagram showing a photo of their “tackle disaster” with the hashtags #tackledisaster and #lurelockeffect
Each method of entry gets an individual one entry, so a participant can enter up to three times.
“We are eager to see what kind of “tackle disasters” are out there” stated Jessica Kriesel, Lure Lock marketing coordinator. “We know anglers have a lot of tackle and are looking to get things organized before this next fishing season it will be exciting to see the before and after photos from our winner of the Lure Lock Effect.”
The Lure Lock Effect Sweepstakes winner will receive the following:
(2) Large Lure Lockers fully loaded, each with 5 Lure Lock Cases with Taklogic Gel
(2) Medium Lure Lockers fully loaded, each with 5 Lure Lock Cases with Taklogic Gel
(1) Small Lure Locker fully loaded, each with 5 Lure Lock Cases with Taklogic Gel
(5) Large Lure Lock Cases with Taklogic Gel
(4) Medium Lure Lock Cases with Taklogic Gel
(2) Small Lure Lock Cases with Taklogic Gel
Lure Lock Hat
Lure Lock Shirt
The Lure Lock boxes come in three sizes LL1, LL2 and LL3, and are available with and without the ElasTak gel. The innovative boxes, along with the award winning Lure Locker, are available at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Scheel’s, Mill’s Fleet Farm, Field & Stream, Tackle Warehouse, Tackle Direct, key independent sporting goods dealers, and at www.lurelock.com.
For full sweepstakes rules and details, please visit: https://www.lurelock.com/pages/lure-lock-your-tackle-sweepstakes .
About Lure Lock: Lure Lock is owned by Tak Logic, LLC and is located in Ettrick, Wisconsin. Lure Lock tackle boxes feature a patented gel material – all made in the USA. For more information, call 608-525-3636.
SHOT Show marks 10th straight year at Sands Expo Center
The 41st Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade ShowSM (SHOT Show®), owned and operated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), finished its four-day run in Las Vegas with many notable successes, including a new record for exhibitors in its Suppliers Showcase and an innovative Pop-Up Preview that proved to be a hit with buyers.
The show, which ran Jan. 22-25 at the Sands Expo Center, showcased products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes. More than 58,000 industry professionals attended with the number of exhibiting companies exceeding 2,400, a new record. Their booths covered more than 692,000 net square feet of exhibit space. The show was expected to pump approximately $90 million in non-gaming revenue into the Las Vegas economy.
The Supplier Showcase, which began two years ago, more than doubled in size to 540 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The growth of this section is expected to continue and is a major reason SHOT Show will expand to exhibit space at the MGM Grand Conference Center in 2020. The new one-day Pop-Up Preview gave visibility to more than 230 new exhibitors displaying clothing, footwear, camping and other hunting and outdoor gear.
At the NSSF State of the Industry presentation, NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti said that industry is too often negatively portrayed in the media and that its many programs that promote safety — such as Project ChildSafe and Operation Secure Store — are not sufficiently acknowledged for helping to stop firearms accidents, thefts and misuse. “We are resolved to not let our many good works go unnoticed or be wrongly credited to others, and we will not be defined by others,” Sanetti said.
Sanetti, who will retire at year’s end, was presented the NSSF Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award by NSSF Board of Governors Chairman Bob Scott and new NSSF President Joe Bartozzi.
The show, marking its 10th straight year at the Sands Expo Center, attracted attendees from 111 countries. Some 12.5 miles of aisles led to displays of firearms, ammunition, accessories, optics, knives, gun safes, apparel and law enforcement equipment, among other categories. More than 400 companies displayed products in the show’s New Product Center, sponsored by U.S. Concealed Carry Association. In a continuing effort to provide space for companies on the exhibitor waiting list, the NEXT Pavilion gave first-time vendors welcome visibility and potential new customers.
“This SHOT Show was marked by innovative strategies to provide opportunities to new exhibitors while maintaining the quality experience for longtime exhibitors,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The SHOT Show team works year-round to produce a high-quality show, and that effort again paid off.”
The show drew excellent reviews from exhibitors and attendees.
Daniel Defense’s Matt Allbritton was greatly pleased with the 2019 SHOT Show. “We are so excited about the release of our new Delta 5 bolt-action rifle, and we’ve had an incredible turnout here at our booth, with folks lining up to see the new rifle.”
Kevin Michalowski of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association said, “Traffic was very high at our booth, and we’re all very happy about that.”
At Head Down Firearms, maker of modern sporting rifles, Adam Williams said, “It’s our first year at SHOT Show, and it’s been an incredible experience. The booth traffic was consistent and especially heavy in the morning and late afternoon.”
Chris Tedford of True Velocity – makers of composite-cased ammunition – was pleased with this year’s turnout of buyers and said his booth was busy the entire show. “Being at SHOT has given us not only a good number of new customers, but has also presented us with some new business opportunities,” Tedford said.
SHOT Show, the largest trade show of its kind in the world, credentials approximately 2,400 members of the media.
The SHOT Show’s official opening on Tuesday was preceded by many events, including the 5th Annual NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic on Sunday in support of Honored American Veterans Afield, which works to aid the healing process of military veterans through hunting and other shooting sports activities. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised in support of this effort since the golf outing began in 2015.
Monday saw some of the SHOT Show’s most popular pre-show events — SHOT University, an education forum for retailers; Industry Day at the Range, an opportunity for media and buyers to experience hands-on testing of products; and the Executive Management Seminar, providing business information to executives and rising managers. Another special event at the show focused on industry’s firearms safety education program Project ChildSafe. The Women of the Gun event brought together women who are influential in helping the program promote its “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” message and included Olympic shooters, world champions, hunting TV show hosts and many others.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the 2019 SHOT Show, particularly how our new offerings like the Pop-Up Preview were received,” said NSSF President Joe Bartozzi. “We want all our attendees and sponsors to know that our dedication to listening to their feedback, innovating at SHOT Show and working hard to improve the show experience for everyone will continue.”
Preparations have already begun for next year’s 42nd SHOT Show, which is slated for January 21-24, 2020.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.
Multicoated Optics for Max Light Transmission in all conditions
Etched glass reticles, in red or green, are illuminated to deliver optimal shot placement
Easy-to-use Elevation and Windage Adjustments
Durable, Handsome, Affordable
By Larry Whitely
I was asked to do a review on the Sightmark Core TX 4-16×44 MR rifle scope, but I was a little hesitant since I definitely do not consider myself to be any kind of optics expert. I do however know someone that I feel is.
My son Daron does research and tests all kinds of outdoor products for our company, so he was more than happy to help his dad out in testing and reviewing this scope product. He loves doing this kind of thing, so he was smiling as he put it on one of his rifles and we took it to the range.
The other scopes he normally uses are fairly expensive models from some well-known companies. After looking through the Sightmark Scope, his first comment was, “Dad, this scope is clear as, or clearer, than my other scopes.” When he asked me how much it retailed for and I told him less than $300, he didn’t believe me until I showed him the MSRP in their catalog.
Here are some of his comments after putting the Sightmark Core TX 4-16×44 MR through some pretty extensive testing that made his Dad proud:
This scope is definitely worth more than what it sells for
The eye box is the perfect size and the eye relief is excellent
The lighted reticle is nice and performs very well in low light conditions
I really like the elevation and windage turrets
It has great looks that make it look like a lot more expensive scope
With practice I could shoot 500 to 700 yards easily with it.
He does say he recommends using their better scope rings. My optics expert son really liked the Sightmark Core TX 4-16×44 MR and says he would recommend it to anyone, including me, for long range tactical shooting as well as hunting.
The “MR” stands for Marksman Reticle.
In fact, after putting it through numerous rounds at the range, he liked it so well he left it on his rifle and took it deer hunting the following week. He said he needed to do more testing. Go figure.
Go to www.sightmark.com and check out all the other great scopes and shooting products they offer.
To learn just a bit more about these brand new affordable scopes, click the picture below to visit with Sightmark:
Help Youth Groups, Military Veterans, Conservation
Free Entry to Holiday Sportsman Show
Visit with Outdoor Vendors offering Giant Discount Options
By Forrest Fisher
We all have outdoor youth friends (4H) and most of us have met more than one disabled military hero, you know these groups need our support. A little can go a long way. Here is a special link to provide support for those in need and to find some timely outdoor holiday gifts too.
Visit the on-line Holiday Sportsman Show (it’s free), no spending is required, but you can purchase a $15 gift card package to receive an option for thousands of dollars in discounts to help our military heroes (F.I.S.H.), kids (4H and others) and outdoor conservation. That easy.
Explore outdoor halls you can navigate with your mouse, then go back again and again (for free) on your electronic communicator or computer. Visit vendors providing amazing discounts for the holidays. Gift buying and funding support made easy.
Take a peek, visit the show: Open through December 31, 2018.
Please purchase a $15 gift card package, you won’t be disappointed.
Winter’s arrival means a period of transition, not just for animals, but for plants as well. Understanding how plants go through this phase and what they need to better survive winter can be important. That’s why the folks at Chestnut Hill Outdoors do more than just sell you plants. In order to ensure you receive the maximum benefit from their products, they also provide sound advice and instruction on proper planting and care.
As hours of daylight wane and temperatures drop, plants cease growing and enter a state of dormancy, not unlike animals going into hibernation. Some people don’t realize this. “We’ve even had people ask why the leaves are falling off their trees,” said a spokesperson for Chestnut Hill Outdoors. It’s perfectly normal and you need not be alarmed, but it is a signal that it might be time to take some protective measures.
The Right Zone
First and foremost, you should choose plants that are specifically adapted for the climate in your area. One of the best tools for determining this is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. To ensure you pick the right plants for your region, Chestnut Hill Outdoors lists these zones for each of their products. They also check all orders to ensure plant species are appropriately suited to their destinations so you’ll know you have the right varieties when they arrive.
Insulate the Roots
Next, apply a layer of mulch on top of the soil around the tree. This will act as insulation, protecting the root systems of young plants and trees from the cold. During the following growing season it will also reduce weeds and help retain moisture. It’s best to use natural materials like wood chips, leaf/yard compost, sawdust or straw. Also, be sure not to pile mulch around the trunk as it could create a favorable microenvironment for rot or rodents.
Protection from Depredation
With herbaceous food becoming scarce, rabbits and small rodents turn their attention to alternate food sources and often use the protection of tall, matted grass, mulch or snow to gnaw the bark off trees. This can severely damage young trees, stunt growth next spring and in severe cases they can actually girdle and kill the tree.
Wrapping the trunk is helpful but a better option is Grow Tubes. These translucent plastic tubes act as mini-greenhouses, insulating and protecting young trees from temperature extremes as well as gnawing pests. During the growing season, they also help with weed control and moisture retention, which can be especially important in locations where there is less opportunity for care, such as forest or wildlife plantings, or where there are predation by deer, mice and other critters.
For more on selecting and protecting the right food plot and deer attractant plants, visit ChestnutHillOutdoors.com, or call (855) 386-7826.
Chestnut Hill is the best place for you to purchase your food plot and deer attractant plants because they offer a large selection, their plants are specifically bred to attract deer, and they offer customers different sized plants at different levels of growth.
For more information, please visit: WWW.CHESTNUTHILLOUTDOORS.COM.
The overwhelming popularity of the Outdoor Edge replaceable-blade folding knives—the Razor Pro, the RazorBlaze and the RazorLite EDC™—has led to the introduction of the RazorMax, the company’s first fixed-blade knife to also feature the patented RazorSafe replaceable blade system.
The Outdoor Edge RazorMax ascends to a new level by becoming first in the line to accept both 3.5-inch drop-point replacement blades as well as a new 5-inch boning/fillet blade, making it the complete solution for preparing big game, from start to finish. The new RazorMax allows you to field dress, skin, debone and process game into perfect cuts for the table—all with a single tool.
With two blade sizes available for the RazorMax that interchange quickly, safely and easily, the perfect blade for the job is just a button push away. The included blades are Japanese 420J2 stainless steel, heat treated and hand finished to a surgically sharp edge. The 3.5-inch general-purpose drop-point blade is a true workhorse for field-dressing and skinning. The 5-inch boning/fillet blade is designed for processing meat quickly and efficiently. Each blade locks securely into the RazorMax’s black-oxide coated blade holder, providing the strength and rigidity of a traditional knife to the 3.5-inch blade, while allowing ample flex for the 5-inch boning and fillet blade.
The thermoplastic rubber (TPR) grip on the RazorMax is molded with an alternating pattern of Outdoor Edge’s signature mountain range for a very positive nonslip grip with the ergonomically shaped handle that prevents tiring and cramping during extended periods of use.
The RazorMax is available with either a black or blaze orange handle and comes complete with a lightweight nylon belt sheath that features a removable pouch for storing spare blades.
It will be available in the second quarter of 2019 for a suggested retail price of $79.95
About Outdoor Edge:Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Denver, Outdoor Edge is a leading designer and manufacturer of knives and tools. Today, Outdoor Edge continues to innovate and develop state-of-the-art products for outdoor enthusiasts, game processors, survivalists, handymen and others who require the very best knives and tools available for leisure, work and everyday-carry needs. The company prides itself in offering a variety of products that undergo extensive field-testing in harsh, rugged environments resulting in durable, long-lasting products that come with a lifetime guarantee. For additional information on Outdoor Edge and its full line of products write to: Outdoor Edge, 5000 Osage Street, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80221; call toll-free 800-477-3343; email email@example.com; or visit www.outdooredge.com.
Holiday Sportsman Show is FREE, is Online, Is Open for Business
Cash in on Sales, No traffic, No Crowds
Sales Benefit to Military Veterans, Youth, Conservation
The much-anticipated Online Holiday Sportsman Show is officially open for business. Tour the virtual exhibit halls for fabulous savings from the comfort of your home. With exhibitors in a number of individually labeled halls, selecting the perfect gifts for outdoor enthusiasts on your list is easier than ever.
Open until Dec. 31, the Holiday Sportsman Show offers even greater sales to visitors of the show, https://holidaysportsmanshow.com, with the purchase of a $15 Fundraiser package with additional Savings and Discounts. This gift package directly benefits our youth and U.S. veterans, and it also opens the door to more than $5,000 of exclusive savings for a wide range of gifts and products.
The Holiday Sportsman Show is easy to navigate and has a wide selection of highly sought-after outdoor brands to choose from. Cash in on the sales without dealing with the lines, traffic, crowds and headaches of venturing out to the malls. Sit back, relax and have a stress-free holiday shopping experience at the Holiday Sportsman Show from now until Dec. 31.
About the Holiday Sportsman Show: The Online Holiday Sportsman Show is a property of Vexpo Marketing, L.L.C., based in Missouri. Vexpo Marketing develops digital products designed to serve outdoor activities and outdoor consumers, including businesses and organizations that provide goods and services for outdoor recreation. A project of special dedication has been to bring traditional sports shows to a digital platform to give consumers sports show experiences in the online world. Vexpo Marketing properties include the Holiday Sportsman Show, North American Sport Show, Share the Outdoors website, and the National Wildlife Art show, all in consideration that support of conservation, youth and veterans organizations through fund-raising efforts and philanthropy is a service of great importance.
For information on how to participate in the show, contact Brooke Droese at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at (816) 246-5626.
Hunter Safety in Treestands Require Getting There Safely
Portable Ladder Sticks for Climbing Trees
Easy Install and Easy Removal are a BIG PART of Hunter Safety
By Aaron McCaleb
Hunters typically have a lot of gear, so pay close attention to what they are taking into the field. Every tree-stand hunter has a few critical accessories. They have a safety harness that must be maintained to keep them strapped to the tree. This harness is a life saver and will catch them in the case of a fall. Additionally, they have to use something to reach their stands. They may use a full-sized ladder, screw-in steps or climbing sticks. Regardless, they have yet to experience the most packable and most stable climbing system available.
Understanding their needs makes the holiday season easy for hunters and hunting families. We are either finishing up our fall hunts or just getting started with late season deer hunts. It’s time to celebrate and enjoy harvest from the field that may never even hit the freezer.
Gift buying is easy because hunting season is fresh and we are always thinking about improving our gear and game. The only difficult decisions are figuring out what gear is ready for an upgrade.
Not only will they be safer on late season hunts, they will have a lighter load to carry into the field. Stacked Outdoors ladder sticks stack like red solo cups and only weigh 2.35 pounds per stick. The one piece polymer construction eliminates nuts, bolts and other moving parts that are prone to failure. If your friend, significant other or family members are spending any time in tree stands, the Stacked Outdoors climbing sticks will make the perfect gift this Christmas.
Stacked Outdoors has revolutionized the climbing stick market with a model that is more packable and more stable than any other option available. If you think your hunter has everything, they don’t have a set of Stacked ladder sticks. Grab a full set of 4 so they get up and down the tree easily and safely for many hunting seasons to come. They will be thrilled when they see a pair is waiting under the Christmas tree.
LADDER STICKS FEATURES
Longer tree straps than our competitors
Tree straps include large hand loop for easier grip and tightening
Bigger Surface Area with Aggressive Tread Design for your Boots
No Assembly or Moving Parts that can Fail or Break
Solid One-Piece Design
Stack together like red solo cups
Dual Strap Post Design for added Stability
Heavy Duty Polyester Straps
Shoulder Strap Included
LADDER STICKS SPECIFICATIONS
Weight: 2.35 lbs per stick and 9.4 lbs per set of 4 without straps
300 lb load capacity
Ladder Stick Length: 21″
Distance Between Steps: 17.25″
Introductory Pricing: Single Stick – $48.99 or Stack of 4 – $179.99
About Stacked Outdoors: After 20 years in a treestand, Stacked Outdoors founder Brad recognized a need for a more packable and safer set of climbing sticks. After a friend fell off of an inadequately designed ladderstick from an “industry leader” Brad set out to build a safer model. The result was not only a safer set of climbing sticks but a lightweight, more durable, more stable, and the most packable set of climbing sticks on the market. Stacked Outdoors has changed the ladder stick market completely. Use Stacked Outdoors ladder sticks if you want to be more mobile in the field and safer in the tree.
Kill Odor-Causing Compounds for Long-Lasting Odor Protection
Scent Control for Hunters’ Clothing and Gear
Hair, Body Wash and Laundry Scent Control Products
DANVILLE, Ala. (Nov. 6, 2018) — ElimiShield® HUNT Scent Elimination Spray, which bonds to all types of fabrics, rubber, metal and other surfaces to continually kill odor-causing compounds for long-lasting odor protection, is now available in a one-gallon bottle. The gallon bottle is ideal for refilling the spray bottle as well as for dipping gear rather than spraying. Whether it is a bow release, hunting clothes, a pack or other gear, completely submerging into the ElimiShield® HUNT solution is easy and ensures that everything is completely coated for optimal elimination of odor-causing bacteria and other elements.
ElimiShield® HUNT Scent Elimination Spray’s proprietary formula combines a unique “one-two-punch” approach to scent control for hunters’ clothing and gear. First, existing malodors are neutralized at the source. This action is rapid and thorough. Second, human body odor is controlled before it ever forms by mechanically killing odor-causing compounds via electrically charged, microscopic carbon molecules (Carbon 5150 Molecule) that pierce the membranes of odor-causing elements. This design is far superior to other products on the market that merely attempt to absorb human body odor after it has already formed. Once the ElimiShield® HUNT solution dries on a surface, it forms a long-lasting bond. Commonly used in hospitals and health clinics, ElimiShield brings a clinical approach to the hunting industry for odor control.
For the best results in staying completely undetectable in the field, ElimiShield recommends using all four HUNT products in the three-step odor elimination system developed specifically for hunters. Step A is personal hygiene, including Core Body Foam—the outdoor industry’s only FDA-compliant scent-elimination product—as well as a Hair & Body Wash. Step B is laundering hunting clothes with ElimiShield® HUNT Laundry Detergent. Step C is the Scent Elimination Spray.
The new ElimiShield® HUNT Scent Elimination one-gallon bottle is available from Amazon for a suggested retail price of $44.99. The 23-oz. bottle is also available from Amazon for a suggested retail price of $15.99. All ElimiShield products carry a money-back guarantee if the user is not completely satisfied.
About ElimiShield Scent Control Technology: The patented, proprietary, nanotechnology formula in ElimiShield HUNT products leave a microscopically abrasive shield that eliminates odor-causing particles on contact. This mechanism is far superior to other methods that either poison bacteria or attempt to absorb human odors after they form. In addition to the nanotechnology, certain ElimiShield products include bio-based ingredients to neutralize malodors that are encountered in the field, ensuring all surfaces remain scent-free. Hunter Safety System, the industry leader in treestand safety, is the exclusive distributor of ElimiShield HUNT products to the outdoor industry. For information on this line, contact Hunter Safety System, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call toll-free 877-296-3528; or visit www.ElimiShieldHunt.com.
Decoys, Calls and Dry Gear to Bring Home the Birds
Get a Waterfowl Shotgun that is Dependable
By Larry Whiteley
Waterfowl season is here or almost here depending on where you live. If you are addicted to waterfowl hunting like my family, here are some of the products my family and I use and depend on. You might want to go to your favorite outdoor store or hop online to check them out for yourself.
No matter how good you are at waterfowl calling, if your decoys are old and beat up they probably don’t look like the real thing and if waterfowl don’t feel comfortable with what they see they will probably flair off and not come within range.
The life-like detail and quality of Avian-X decoys is amazing. Because of the marine grade foam they use in their new Top Flight Foam Filled Fusion Mallard decoys we got for this year they are never going to leak even if I accidentally shot one. Yes, I will admit that has happened.
We also have their Topflight Pintails with weight forward swim keel design and they look so real they even fool me but so do all their other decoys. During teal season we used their teal decoys and had a great season. You don’t have to worry about chipping their decoys when you bang them around either and that’s a big bonus.
There are plenty of other species in lots of poses for you to choose from besides those we use. I guarantee that you are never going to regret using Avian-X decoys. www.avian-x.com
If you haven’t already done it, you need to clean your calls and inspect the reed. If you intend to buy new duck calls and haven’t done that yet either I highly suggest getting the best you can buy. The difference it will make in your success is worth the expense.
Our personal favorites are Zink Calls Power Hen PH-1 Open Water Single Reed especially for windy days, Zink’s Green Top Rocker because of its top end volume yet we can still do soft chatters, and their Nothing But Green Single Reed Acrylic call when we want to make sounds of multiple hens plus it has a huge range of tones but they have plenty of other calls for you to choose from.
Find a place outdoors where you can practice calling at normal volume levels and record yourself, comparing your calling to recordings of live ducks. When you practice, call as if you are working a flock of ducks and just ignore your wife and neighbors yelling at you. www.zinkcalls.com
Waterfowl season is nearly always cold, nasty and wet so you need a really good rain suit. We are kind of partial to Frogg Toggs so all the guys wear their Pilot II Guide rain suit during waterfowl season. We also wear their Co-PilotInsulated Puff Jacket zipped into the rain jacket to give us an extra layer of warmth during those duck days with cold rains, snow and sleet. My 18-year old waterfowl hunting granddaughter uses their women’s Pro Action rain suit.
All of us wear their Grand Refuge 2.0 camo chest waders except my granddaughter and she wears the Grand Refuge 2.0 Jr. Both have a liner system you can zip in and out according to weather conditions and lots of other great features.
When we are hunting and don’t need waders we wear their men’s and women’s lightweight Grand Prairie Mudd boots. www.froggtoggs.com
When I bought our waterfowl shotguns I wanted the best, most reliable guns I could get for us without spending a whole lot of money. It’s just pretty hard to beat Benelli and it’s nice to know they will still be downing waterfowl for many years to come as we pass them down from generation to generation.
We use the Super Black Eagle II semi automatic which has now been replaced by the Super Black Eagle III and the SuperNova pump. www.benelliusa.com
Comfortable, quality clothing and dependable equipment mixed in with a bunch of water and lots of waterfowl can make your hunting trips a lot more successful and enjoyable.
Smell like the woods, Know Where You Are and Want To Go, Bring the Deer to You – Here’s How
Deer Down, Time for Venison Jerky – Here’s How
By Larry Whiteley
Deer hunting season is here if you are a bow or crossbow hunter and the firearms season will be here before you know it. I hope you are properly outfitted so you can enjoy your time and be successful in your pursuit of the white-tailed deer.
Here are some of the products my family and I use and depend on when deer hunting that you might like too. Don’t just take my word for it though. Go online or to your favorite outdoor store and check them out.
Most rainwear is not quiet and even slight movement’s causes sounds that can spook deer. The folks at Frogg Toggs solved that problem with their new Dead Silence rainwear. They took brushed camo material and made the quietest, driest, yet breathable jacket, bibs and hoodie I have ever owned in my 50 some years of hunting. I actually use it even when there is no chance of rain.
I really like all the pockets that help me put things I need where I can get to them. I don’t like being cold out in the deer woods so I just zip in their insulated Co-Pilot Puff Jacket and stay comfortably warm waiting for a deer to come by my secret hiding place. www.froggtoggs.com
I have been wearing their clothing and using their OZ Chamber Bag since archery season opened this year and I also spray exposed skin and equipment then re-spray everything once I am in the stand to keep myself scent free. I have not been busted and have had plenty of opportunities to take deer but it’s still early and I am being picky.
Just in case you didn’t know it, deer have 297 million scent receptors in their nose and they even have a scent gland in their mouth as well as 2 large scent processing areas in their brain. If you’re not doing everything you possibly can to eliminate your scent you will get busted no matter how good you are. www.ScentLok.com
I don’t know about you but the number one thing that causes me to squirm around and move too much in my stand or blind is my butt getting uncomfortable.
This year I’m using a cushion called Fat Boy made by Hunt Comfort that is made with Gel Core. I can’t explain how it works but I do know it does and that’s all I care about. My butt is very happy! I’m also using it in my office chair as I write this and in my truck for long trips. www.huntcomfort.com
HUNTER SAFETY SYSTEMS
According to statistics, nearly one out of every three hunters who hunt from an elevated stand will fall at some point during their hunting days. That scared me after I read that so I now use their Ultra-Lite Flex safety harness and their Lifeline that keeps me safe going up and down my stands.
I also will not allow any of my family members that hunt to ever get in a tree stand again without both of these lifesaving items. I hope for your sake and your loved one’s that you will do the same. www.huntersafetysystem.com
Bucks make scrapes in clearings or fairly open areas like old logging roads, power line cuts, field edges and edges of timber clearings. So, I make mock scrapes using their products for early season and right before the rut in these same areas but where they are in good range of my stand, blind or game camera.
I make the scrape by clearing out debris in about a 2 foot area under an overhanging tree branch about head high to a buck because they lick and chew branches at a scrape and won’t make the scrape without them. I then put a small amount of their product on the licking branch and the ground. If there is a place I really want to put a scrape but it doesn’t have a limb at the right height I just use their Vine and make my own. Believe me folks making your own scrapes really works in helping bring in the bucks. www.scrapefix.com
onX HUNT MAPS
I have this app downloaded on my smart phone, tablet and computer. Boy does it help with my deer hunting. It gives me maps for all fifty states, with detailed public and private boundaries, landowner names and even hunting districts. I can even put tracks to and from my stands. I can’t believe that even when my network is nonexistent, which is often, my GPS in my phone still works offline. You sure get a lot of helpful information with this app.
You can go online and sign up for a 7-day free trial to see if you agree with me. It is one useful tool to put in your deer hunting arsenal. www.onxmaps.com
When it comes to field dressing a deer I have their Swing Blade series of knives and I highly recommend them. I don’t know who came up with this idea but with a push of a button the Swing Blade changes from a drop point skinner to the best gutting tool I’ve ever used.
They have a jillion styles of knives to choose from and I really like those that come with replaceable blades so I don’t have to sharpen them. Plus if you process your own deer they’ve got everything you need for that too. www.outdooredge.com
HI MOUNTAIN SEASONINGS
If you eat a lot of venison like we do, these folks have a great selection of all kinds of seasonings for grilling your deer steaks and burgers, making deer fajitas and tacos, marinating your venison and more. I use a lot of their jerky and snack stick kits in several different flavors. My grandkids at college and their friends love it when I make up a big batch for them the deer we harvest.
If you don’t have the time to make your own jerky they are now also offering jerky bagged and ready to eat. www.himtnjerky.com
High Buoyancy adds to Retrieve Ease and Strike-Provoking Magic
The Odin “Frigg” is a half-ounce popper designed with a large cupped face to churn plenty of water and create the surface disturbance that attracts bass and other freshwater fish. With five hand-painted and signed lures to choose from—Blue Bird, Old Gold, Overcast, Silver Side and Tiger Side—there is one for every fish and fishing situation.
Designed primarily for freshwater fishing, Odin Lure Company’s new floating “Frigg ½ ounce Top-Water Walking Popper” features a built-in fish-attracting rattle chamber and a patented bait well. The rattle sound chamber is a fish-strike provoker, the bait well can be filled with Odin’s specially crafted fish attractant (called Fish Smack) to leave an irresistible scent trail for those feeding fish that are simply “hungry.”
This half-ounce floater lure was designed to be worked on the surface in the typical “walk-the-dog” retrieve. This side-to-side motion mimics an injured fish and triggers the natural feeding instinct of other fish. The lightness and buoyancy of this lure make it easy to work when wagging from side-to-side or dancing on the retrieve. The irresistible Fish Smack emitting from the Frigg Lure’s “laceration ports” and trailing the lure will provide extra incentive to strike, should you be sloppy in the retrieve or break your tempo. The scent will keep the fish’s attention as you regain your cadence. With the trifecta of sight, sound and scent, fish can’t resist the floating Frigg half-ounce Top-Water Walking Popper.
Like all Odin products, the Frigg half-ounce lure is proudly made in the USA. This lure comes equipped with two quality VCM treble hooks for a solid hook. Both hooks are securely attached with rustproof stainless steel split rings. All five half-ounce lures are currently available online at www.odinlures.com for a suggested retail price of $19.95 each. Freshwater Fish Smack is sold separately and is available in two flavors—Stormy Smelt and Rise-and-Shine—for a suggested retail of $12.95 each.
This line of Odin lures is also available in a freshwater Frigg 0.75 oz. Sinking Lipless Jerk Bait, saltwater Frigg 1.5 oz. Floating Top Water Popper and a saltwater Frigg 2.5 oz. Sinking Top-Water Popper. Additional Fish Smack flavors are available for saltwater fishing.
About Odin Lure Company – Initially began as the Oozzie Jig Company in 2012, is re-entering the fishing market this year with the new Odin name, new and larger US manufacturing facilities, new owners and a full lineup of new products. Headquartered in Hudson, New Hampshire, Odin Lure will offer a variety of U.S.-made saltwater and freshwater fishing lures. Initially, products will be sold exclusively online at www.odinlures.com. For additional information on Odin Lure Company, write Odin Lure Company, 71 Pine Road, Hudson, New Hampshire 03051 or call 603-718-1320.
Midsole support and solid heel fit helped heal my knee bones
Semi-automatic shoe-lacer, especially good for old guys
For hunting – they’re scent-free, waterproof and handsome to deer to stare at while I draw my bow
By Forrest fisher
In my short seven decades of hunting, hiking, fishing and camping, I have bought and tried virtually every boot ever made on the market. Most of them are pretty good and they work well for their intended purposes. Somehow without my knowing, time has passed and it seems I got old. First the back, then the knees, you know how things go when you wear out parts – especially in cold weather.
Then I had a chat with my long-time outdoor pal, Kim Emery, and she shared that there was this new boot that everyone was raving about for comfort. It was waterproof, you could get insulated or uninsulated, and if you wanted to save your back from bending over too far to tie the shoelaces, you could get them with the new, semi-automatic, wind-up shoe-lacer…push to lock, pull to release. Kim said, “You’re gonna like these Forrest.” When a trusted friend tells you that, they got ordered, they were on their way.
As soon as I received them, the shipping box wrapper lasted about 4 seconds until I reached the Irish Setter boot box. First off, they are handsome. Second, they were so lightweight. I felt myself hurrying to get my sneaker shoes off to slip into my new size 14 handsome boots. My heart was actually racing a bit, they looked so good. Would they fit? Would they work for me?
My wide foot slithered into them like a hot knife into warm butter. Wow, I thought, they feel really good. I stood up after figuring out the tighten-me-now shoe lace mechanism and there I was. I took a few careful steps. Then I hollered over to my better half, “Honey, come see these new boots! They’re amazing, they feel good, they help my knees, I can’t believe it!”
Smiling ear to ear, “I’m going hiking out back dear,” I was yelping. Underfoot and knee comfort like never before. Even my back felt good. I called Kim to share my surprise with this newfound hope for more time outdoors. Today, I wear them everywhere, every day – hunting, fishing, walking, shopping…everywhere. They are MY BOOTS. Good for uneven, even, rugged and un-rugged earth.
I researched them to learn more, because they are not only comfortable, they are warm and dry all day too. What are they made of? They are Irish Setter model 2890 boots and it turns out they use modern technology in putting these together, but without getting into the fancy names, they work. They even have odor elimination for smell-free feet when you hunt big game critters, like I’m doing today. I’ve had them a month and I’ve mistreated these like every other boot I have owned and they still look new. They don’t know what foot-dragging and toe-kicking abrasion means, they look brand new. AND, most of all, I can walk all day without looking to rest on my butt. That new shoe lace mechanism is called the BOA® lacing system. Only one word for these boots: LIFESAVERs! Irish Setter model 2890.
About Irish Setter: Based in Red Wing, MN, Irish Setter is a division of Red Wing Shoe Company that produces a full line of performance hunting boots and rugged outdoor casual footwear. Irish Setter continues to use leading technologies and the finest materials to offer customers the highest quality outdoor footwear. For more information about Irish Setter’s heritage, products and retailers, visit www.irishsetterboots.com.
For hunters that prefer the appearance and warmth of a wood stock, Winchester Repeating Arms® has introduced a new Sporter model to the XPR® bolt-action rifle line.
The new rifle features a close-grained Grade I walnut stock with crisp checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end for a classic look and feel. A flattened fore-end profile provides added stability when shooting from sandbags or a rest.
At the heart of any accurate rifle is the barrel and the XPR Sporter does not disappoint. The top-quality chromoly steel barrel is button rifled and thermally stress relieved. A target-style crown protects the rifling. The action is precision bedded to ensure the barrel is free-floating.
The XPR Sporter comes in 12 popular calibers from 243 Win. to 338 Win. Mag. — including the 6.5 Creedmoor round. Barrel lengths are 22″ for short action calibers, 24″ for short magnum and standard long action rounds and 26″ for magnum calibers.
The new Can-Am Outlander MAX 6×6 4DPS 450 ATV, complete with true six-wheel traction and an incomparable versatility, is built to haul gear and get the job done. Along with a few of its own functional features, like its clever rear platform, the six-wheeled vehicle was purpose-built to be every bit as capable as its larger displacement siblings, but also introduce the 6×6 segment to new customers. For 2019, it receives the 6×6 family’s enhanced wheelbase, Tri-Mode DPS and updated passenger seating amenities and styling, while at the same time retailing for less than $10,000 USD, making it truly an affordable workhorse.
– Rotax engine
A 38hp Rotax single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine offers great all-around performance to overcome tough chores and challenging terrain. Regardless of temperature or altitude, EFI ensures optimal performance from the engine at all times.
– CVT transmission with extra-low L gear
The CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) means no shifting is required. The system includes standard engine braking, P / R / N / H / and Extra Low. The CVT housing has 13 bolts to ensure a proper seal and also includes an integrated drain plug. The extra-low L gear provides unmatched comfort for low-speed riding and an exceptional and smooth traction when pulling heavy loads.
– Relocated air intakes
The engine’s air intake and CVT inlets have been positioned as high as possible on the Outlander MAX 6×6 DPS 450 to improve breathing while navigating wet and muddy conditions.
– Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)
The Tri-Mode DPS system features three modes (MIN, MED and MAX) allowing riders to select the desired amount of steering assist to adjust to the terrain requirements and to his riding style. All modes offer less assist at high speed to keep maximum steering feel to the rider and more assist at low speed to reduce steering effort.
– Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential
For situations that require optimal traction and as much contact with the terrain at hand, the Outlander MAX 6×6 offers both 4×6 and 6×6 with its Visco-Lok QE. In 4×6 mode, all four, rear wheels provide traction. Once 6×6 is selected, the system intelligently transfers power from the slipping front wheel to the opposing wheel with traction and is not hampered by speed or rev limiters. The system progressively and automatically locks and requires no additional buttons to push or levers to hold.
– Double Torsional Trailing arm Independent (TTI2) rear suspension
The Outlander 6×6 vehicles use an industry-exclusive, four-wheel independent rear suspension that eliminates scrub and camber changes. The wheels pivot up and down rather than in a butterfly motion. This ensures the vehicle moves only in the direction you point it and is designed to improve traction and optimize transfer of power to the ground. Offering a five-way preload adjustable shocks and 8.8-in. (22 cm) of suspension travel, it can soak up rough terrain while keeping the rider comfortable and focused on the trail.
– Quick-release sway bar
With its integrated Quick-Release Sway Bar, owners can adjust the amount of articulation from the rear TTI to improve the ride for both heavy loads or when unloaded.
– Double A-arm front suspension
The front double A-arm suspension supplies dive-control geometry for better cornering and vehicle-braking dynamics. The 9-in. (23 cm) suspension travel increases trail comfort and capabilities in rough terrain.
– 10.5-in. ground clearance
When combined with its impressive suspension travel, Visco-Lok QE and true 6×6 capabilities, the 10.5-in. (26.7 cm) ground clearance on the Outlander 6×6 makes conquering rugged terrain a snap.
– 214 mm disc brakes with twin-piston calipers
The 2019 Outlander 6×6 ATVs feature four outboard 214mm hydraulic disc brakes with twin-piston calipers, front and rear, for superior stopping power.
– Standard centre skid plate
The high-strength centre skidThe high-strength centre skid plate is made from proven materials and is designed for supreme protection and has the ability to slide over certain obstacles.
– 12-in., cast-aluminum wheels with centreless design
Centre-less 12-in (30.5 cm) cast-aluminum wheels offer a stylish, unique look and reduced weight but improved strength in strategic areas.
– 26-in. Carlisle ACT Radial tires
The 450 package includes the proven 26-in. (66 cm) ACT Radial tires for a smoother ride, increased durability and better shock absorption.
– 500-W Magneto
This package provides a 500-W magneto, enough to power accessories like a winch, extra lights or heated grips.
– 1,650-lbs. towing capacity
Fully equipped to move a load, the Outlander MAX 6×6 450 has a reinforced 2-in. (5 cm) receiver hitch and a 1,650-lbs. (750 kg) towing capacity that comes standard.
– Large 5.4-Gal. (20.5L) fuel tank
The Outlander 6×6 vehicles have a capacity of 5.4-Gal. (20.5 liters), which means one can ride longer and work harder.
– Front Steel racks with LinQ quick-attach accessory system and rear cargo platform with extenders
The Outlander MAX 6×6 450 ATV has front steel rack, offering the rider improved sight lines while driving without a loaded front rack and the ability to connect LinQ quick-attach accessories. The unique rear cargo platform is designed to be versatile and adaptable for hauling a wide variety of loads and includes added cargo extenders.
– 470-lbs. (163 kg) combined rack capacity
The Outlander ATVs are made to work, with 470-lb. (163 kg) combined rack capacity. They can tote up to 120-lbs. (54 kg) up front and another 350-lbs. (159 kg) on the rear cargo area.
A convenient, 2.9-Gal. (10.9 L) water-resistant rear storage compartment is located in front of the rear cargo area.
– 90-in. (228.6 cm) wheelbase
The 2019 Outlander MAX 6×6 450 gets the family’s longer wheelbase. The added 90 in. length allows the passenger to sit in front of the rear axle for improved handling and comfort. The stretched design also improves the ride and handling for single riders.
– Dynamic Passenger Comfort (DPC)
The Outlander MAX 6×6 ATVs have passenger-influenced ergonomics mimicking those found on the Outlander MAX models. DPC ergonomics means comfortable seating, cushioned ride and placing the passenger in an optimal riding position. The seating system allows for gradual bending of the backrest and pivoting to reduce kick back during acceleration / braking, as well as offering engineered enhancements like regressive flex and formed grooves for improved comfort.
– Passenger handholds
The angled rear passenger handle position allows for flex while riding and also reduces the overall impact to the passenger’s hands. The handles also allow for numerous hand positions to enhance the riding experience and comfort level for the passenger. For one-up use, the rear seat has integrated handles that don’t limit rear rack space or prohibit single-rider comfort.
– Passenger footrests
The Outlander MAX 6×6 features foot pegs with angles and depth that cater to the rear passenger. The footrests also have a third row of grips to improve lateral footing.
– Multi-function digital gauge
Tells the rider everything in one easy glance. Our easy-to-read multi-function gauge is equipped with a digital information center, including a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, gear position, hour meter, engine hour meter, temperature and engine lights, fuel gauge and clock.
– Radio Frequency (RF) Digitally Encoded Security System (D.E.S.S.)
D.E.S.S., an anti-theft device, includes both a performance key and regular key. Can-Am is the only manufacturer to offer a factory-installed anti-theft device as standard equipment.
– 70-W lighting
Equipped with dual 35-W front headlights, with selectable high and low beams, for superb visual clarity.
– Colors available
The Outlander 6×6 450 is available in green.
Can-Am, Rotax, DS 250, DS 90, Outlander, Renegade, Commander, Maverick, Maverick X3, Defender, D.E.S.S., LinQ, TTI, TTA, SST, Visco-Lok QE, DPS, XT, X and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
*According to manufacturer-reported data to the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (CARB)
My daughter was in a hurry to meet up with her family for a long overdue camping vacation. The kids were waiting in the van outside the house all prepped and ready to find some peace, quiet and campfire time. She had been up all night finishing up lesson plans for her school, she is a teacher, and was anxious about not forgetting anything for her family of 6. She said aloud, not looking at any list, “Check, check, check, and oh! I can’t forget the hiking jug. So, so important.” After that, she ran downstairs to the basement to bring back her water bottle.
“What’s that?” I was asking because I had not seen this purple-colored water bottle before. “Get a new water bottle?” She said, “Dad, I’m in hurry. Thanks for coming over to take care of the dog, the fish, the rabbit, the birds and the turtles, but I don’t have time to tell you about this one right now. I gotta go, everyone is outside and waiting for me. Just one thing dad, we never go out anywhere without this jug these days, it keeps things hot or cold for all day. It’s a life-saver, it’s a Microlite vacuum bottle. Bye dad, love you!”
With that, off she went, the van with mom and dad and four kids went off into the horizon of the outdoors for a few days. How she does it, I’ll never know. To be young, right?
Of course, I wasn’t going to settle for that too-simple answer of…“it’s a life-saver.” I wanted to know more. That’s me, a continuous researcher when it comes to finding better gear for the outdoors. I went online and Googled it. “Microlite Vacuum Bottle.” There it was, carried by GSI Outdoors (www.gsioutdoors.com). There are many sizes, but I noted she was carrying the larger size, that made it the 1000 ml model (33 ounces or about 1 qt.).
I read that the GSI Outdoors Microlite 1000 is a stainless steel insulated vacuum bottle with a twist top, unleakable if you follow instructions, and is the perfect bottle to keep hot coffee, hot tea or hot soup just the way you poured it in (hot) for about all day (18 hours). On the other end, for hiking, biking, working around the woods, watching for shooting stars in an all-nighter, or resting in your tree stand waiting for mister big – it’ll keep your water ice cold for as long as 32 hours. What impressed me too, was how small it was to be so keenly efficient. That’s how it is advertised too, smaller (thinner walls) and lighter (it only weighs 13 ounces!).
Gotta love space age stuff when we ordinary folks can benefit for a few dollars of our hard earned pay.
The Microlite vacuum bottles are made from specially treated stainless steel (18-8), they’re durable and unbreakable, won’t rust, making them totally cost-effective for my day outdoors. The bottle top was a secure screw-on (twist-on) top and I noted right away that it was available in nice earth tone colors that would work for an all-day backpack sit in the woods with my camera or bow.
Last, important to provide the forecast of life expectations for this $34 bottle, GSI Outdoors products like this are covered by a Lifetime Warranty against material and workmanship defects. You just call 1-800-704-4474 or email: email@example.com and you’re able to ask questions and get answers. That’s a good deal for something that will last a lifetime.
I ordered one through Amazon and I’m hoping it comes in before my daughter gets back.
I can see her smile right now. I’m going to ask her, “What’s unbreakable, unleakable, efficient, lightweight, affordable and colorful? This is a test.”
Giving back to teachers….fun too.
Life is entertaining when you get to watch the birds and the bees after feeding the dog, the fish and the turtles. You might know how that goes if you have kids and grandkids. If you do, you now know that perfect gift.
Without a set of wheels, a loaded kayak can be tough to transport a long ways to the water.
By Mike Pehanich
Getting a kayak from your vehicle to the water can sometimes be the toughest challenge of the day. Save time and energy for the fish by outfitting your kayak with a set of wheels!
One of the kayak angler’s most important accessories seldom reaches the water.
The kayak cart!
Wheeled kayak carts enable the angler to transport the craft from vehicle to remote launch areas with tackle and accessories already aboard.
Tire options enable the kayak owner to match cart selection to land surface. Carriage design will vary, too. Some carts are specifically made for kayaks while others double as transport devices for canoes and other small craft as well.
Some kayak manufacturers design or recommend specific carts to fit scupper holes in their kayaks. This style of cart generally simplifies mounting and transport.
Some carts require straps to secure the kayak during transport.
A cart functions as a fulcrum. If you select a cart designed for variable positioning, you may have to adjust cart location to the size, weight and locations of your load for best results. Positioning the cart near the center of the cumulative kayak mass is a safe and generally effective strategy.
Wheeling ‘em in
Airless wheels eliminate a major cart maintenance concern, but inflatable wheels offer advantage over soft terrain.
“The inflatable style wheels are great for soft mediums, especially sand and mud,” notes Kevin Nakada of Hobie. “They spread the kayak’s weight and load over a larger surface area. You may want some bounce to your wheels when you are hauling a loaded kayak over sand dunes.”
Hobie’s Trax 2-30 Plug-in Kayak Cart has pneumatic tires and small diameter rims that prevent pinching and valve damage under heavy loads. The cart has a 242-pound capacity. Tires can be deflated, too, for better performance on soft terrain.
Hobie’s standard cart is economical and efficient when hauling the kayak over a range of ground conditions. But hardcore kayakers concerned with durability and reliability over paved launch areas or hard, coarse gravel or rock terrain might opt for a tougher, more durable set of wheels. Hobie’s Heavy Duty Plug-in Cart fills the bill and offers a 225-pound load capacity, too.
“We also have a stowable fold-up style called the Hobie Fold and Stow Plug-in Cart,” says Nakada. “It’s compact, so you can take it on the water with you. It comes with a storage bag you can fit in your front hatch so you don’t have to walk your wheels all the way back to your vehicle if you’ve had a long haul to reach water.”
The Plug-in carts are all designed to fit the scupper holes of Hobie kayaks for quick and easy set-up and transport. Wheels are detachable on all models.
Some specialty manufacturers also make carts to fit kayak scuppers. Make sure any such cart choice adapts to your kayak before making the purchase.
Berkley Cane Walker has a weighted tail and is easy to cast.
New moderately priced line from Berkley includes walking baits, waking baits, poppers, ploppers and prop baits
Ten lure types in 16 size variants and 23 colors
Designed by Bassmaster Elite Angler Justin Lucas and Forrest Wood Cup Champ Scott Suggs
By Mike Pehanich
The new Berkley topwater line introduced at ICAST 2018 straddles the surface lure spectrum, from ploppers and poppers to walkers and wakers!
Pure Fishing has been the subject of sales and contraction rumors since Newell Brands completed purchase of its then-parent Jarden Corp. in spring of 2016. Much of the speculation focused on whether Newell would sell Pure Fishing intact or allow buyers to cherry pick from a stable of venerable tackle brands that includes Berkley, PowerBait, Abu Garcia, Gulp, Pflueger, Shakespeare, Penn, Stren, Fenwick and more.
A big flow of new products appeared highly unlikely, but such was not the case at ICAST 2018 last week, at least not for PF’s flagship Berkley brand. Pure Fishing paraded 1,100 new products for the coming season under the Berkley banner in Orlando.
Berkley is better known for fishing lines and its soft bait supply, a reputation that tends to shroud the success of products like the Flicker Shad and Flicker Minnow.
For the new topwater line, Berkley looked for fresh pro staff inspiration, recruiting Bassmaster Elite pro Justin Lucas for input on eight designs and Forrest Wood Cup champ and MLF/FLW pro Scott Suggs for the other two bait styles. The line includes 10 lure types in 16 size and design variants and 23 colors. All baits are equipped with sticky Fusion 19 hooks.
Bullet Pop 60, 70, 80 – Popper/chugger-style baits have been springboard lures for countless anglers. They compel focus on presentation and invite experimentation, often bringing the first touch of true artistry to a budding angler’s game. Justin Lucas may have had this thought in mind when he designed this trio of popping lures to facilitate popping, spitting and walking retrieves. With three Bullet Pop sizes ranging from 60 to 80 mm in length and 14 colors, there’s a Bullet Pop to match any hatch. Feathered treble hooks tail all three sizes.
Bullet Pop 70: 2-3/4 inches (70mm); 2/5 ounce (11 g)
Bullet Pop 80: 3-1/4 inches (80 mm); ½ ounce (15g)
Choppo 90, 120 – You can’t help but anticipate action from the Choppo from the first “plop” of its tail prop! Berkley’s entry into the “plopper” category generates a powerful fish-attracting chop as it churns the water, attracting bass, stripers, pike, musky and other husky predators. Try the smaller Choppo 90 for smallmouth bass and smaller game fish, as well as the usual suspects. Available in 10 colors.
Choppo 90: 3-2/7 inches (90 mm); ½ ounce (15 g)
Choppo 120: 4-5/7 inches (120 mm); 1 ounce (28 g)
J-Walker 100 – Justin Lucas made subtle changes to the original cigar-shaped walking bait design to welcome newcomers to the bait walking art. The J-Walker is weighted and fitted with rattles. Available in 14 colors.
HighJacker 100 – The “fishiest” of the walking baits in the series, the HighJacker’s hydrodynamic tail-weighted fish-shaped body casts long and produces tantalizing tail-down walking action, even when worked at a rapid cadence. Lucas counts it a key tool with schooling bass busting baitfish at the surface. Available in 10 colors.
Cane Walker 125 – Big fish like big mouthfuls, and large bass, stripers, hybrid stripers and toothy pike and musky are all likely to awaken to the commotion of the tail-weighted Cane Walker. With three sizes of weights confined to separate body cavity compartments, this “pencil” style walking bait delivers a distinctive rattle. Comes with feathered tail treble and in 12 colors.
Spin Rocket 110 – Prop bait aficionados may find a new love crush in the Spin Rocket. With its slim profile and flat back, the Spin Rocket draws strikes from a wider range of fish than conventional prop baits. Three Fusion 19 treble hooks promise a high hook-up ratio. Plastic propellers fore and aft generate the surface commotion.
Spin Rocket 110: 4-1/4 inches (100mm); ½ ounce (13 g)
Spin Bomb 60 – Count on this compact prop bait to count coup when predators are feasting on small forage. A conventional twitch-and-pause retrieve should get ‘er done. Comes with skirted tail treble. Watch the spray fly from this little bait.
Wake Bull 60, 70 –Crankbait-style wake baits were once well-kept secrets. No more! The Wake Bull’s spacious body cavity emits a deep one-knocker rattle that draws fish from a distance. A Scott Suggs creation.
Surge Shad 130, Jointed 130 – Berkley took special pride in presenting its Surge Shad duo. Scott Suggs, who no doubt spent a lot of hours tweaking ancestors of this long minnow-style waker, directed both high-riding wake bait designs. The bait’s patent-pending weight system helped deliver the “exaggerated wobbling action” he was after. The single-bodied Surge Shad, only entry in Berkley’s topwater line-up without rattles, is a stealth tool, ideal for calm conditions and spooky fish. The jointed model produces a more aggressive action and sports rattle attraction as well, making it a better choice in murky water and windy conditions. Both the Surge Shad and the Surge Shad Jointed models come in eight custom-paint finishes, all with FlashDisc attractors on the belly.
Deer can Scent us Humans from Far, Far Away. Reasons why are part of this story.
Modern Secret for Seeing More Deer
When to Use Cover Scent
Why Deer can Smell Us
By Larry Whiteley
My wife has what you might call a “sensitive nose”. She smells odors a lot of times and I don’t. When I get in her vehicle it smells like a rose garden or an ocean breeze because she has these little scent things clipped to her visor and air vents. If I ran into any of my hunting or fishing buddies after riding with her, they would probably smell me and look at me kind of weird.
When she rides in my truck, she can tell if I ate a bowl of beans the day before or if my friend that smokes cigars has been in the truck with me, or if I left a pair of dirty socks under the back seat.
She knows I don’t like my hunting/fishing/camping truck smelling like a flower so she bought me one of those little pine trees to hang from my rearview mirror. I would rather not smell anything than have fake smelling things in my truck, so I started searching the internet for a solution that would make us both happy.
During my search, I clicked on www.scentlok.com and learned about their OZ20 small ozone generator unit. It plugs into the dash of your car or truck and doesn’t cover up smells, it gets rid of them so you smell nothing. I ordered one, plugged it in and turned it on when I parked the truck for the night and the next morning turned it off and let it air out. No smells!
It’s as simple as that. Without going into all the technical reasons as to how this thing works, other than saying it destroys organic scent-containing molecules, I can tell you it definitely does. My wife is happy and that’s good because as the old saying goes, “When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
To make her even happier and so I don’t have to smell flowers or ocean breezes around the house, I also got ScentLok’s® OZ100 ozone generator unit for small rooms and OZ500 ozone generator for big rooms and just plug them into a wall outlet when we are leaving. We come back to a scent free house. She especially likes me to use the small unit in the bathroom after I have been in it. I can’t understand why!
While I was on ScentLok’s® website, I also read about their hunting clothing and accessories with their Carbon Alloy™technology that helps keep you free of scent in the deer woods. It also has NeverWet™ technology that repels water, mud, blood & other liquids. I ordered their full season Taktix jacket and pant combo with lots of pockets, and in my favorite camo pattern, True Timber Kanati. The jacket also has an NRA approved conceal carry chest pocket to carry my pistol. In this crazy world we live in you never know when you might need it, even in the deer woods.
After every 30 to 40 hours of hunting in them, I just need to reactivate the carbon by throwing them in the dryer. If they’re not muddy or bloody I don’t need to wash them. They will be stored in the ScentLok® OZ Chamber 8K Bag, which I also ordered, that includes the OZ500 generator and plug it in to keep them scent free for the next hunt.
Now even though I will be doing all this, I still need to make sure I am not wearing the clothing I hunt with while in my truck or on my ATV to where I park, and then on to my stand. I still need to use scent cover sprays on any clothing that is not ScentLok®. Also use the cover spray on my pack, gun, bow or any other equipment, plus the deer stand or blind. You better do the same if you don’t want to get busted by the amazing nose of a deer.
Deer have up to 297 million scent receptors in their nose. In comparison, dogs have 220 million and humans have just 5 million scent receptors. I think my wife has around 10 million at least. Not only do deer have a huge number of scent receptors in their nose, they also have a secondary scent gland called the vomer nasal organ that is located in their mouth.
Above that, deer also have 2 large scent-processing areas in their brains. These processing areas are 9 times larger than a human’s scent processing area. So a sniff test of yourself or your clothing is nothing compared to what a deer can do.
Us deer hunters need to remember that no matter how much scouting we have done or how many food plots we have planted. Our best chance of taking a deer this year is making no scents.
Chef Todd’s first Choppo bass could be an Illinois first!
Strip Pit Largemouth Bass LOVE ‘EM
Choppo Plopper Action is NEW and DEADLY
Designed by Bassmaster Elite angler Justin Lucas
The Berkley® Choppo, one of 10 lures introduced with Berkley’s new topwater line at ICAST 2018, played to smashing reviews from Illinois strip mine bass…and a prominent Peoria angler/chef.
By Mike Pehanich
The “Plopper” lure concept took the fishing world by storm a few years ago when River2Sea’s 2008 introduction, the Whopper Plopper, suddenly factored into big tournament and TV-host catches. The excitement it generated hasn’t dimmed yet.
Ploppers feature a thick single-arm propeller that produces a plopping gurgle that drives fish nuts and, better yet, draws them from a distance.
If there’s a downside to ploppers, it is price. Original River2Sea Whopper Ploppers generally cost from $12 to $22. That’s why tackle junkies with an ear to the rail got itchy with rumors that Berkley would enter the plopper category with their own iteration.
Berkley’s hardbait strategy has been relatively cautious, but quite successful to date. The simple formula is this: take a proven concept, let pro anglers modify and tweak it to proven performance, and then finally produce and market it at an angler-friendly price.
That marketing formula is in evidence again with the Choppo 90 and 120 – the two sizes of topwater lures filling the “plopper” niche in Berkley’s new 10-item topwater line that made its debut at ICAST 2018 (Orlando July 11-13). The Choppo will retail for $9.99 in both sizes.
Choppo Works the Pits
A coveted Choppo bait arrived at my door under cardboard cover in advance of ICAST 2018. Would it prove to be the real deal? I headed to central Illinois to test it on strip pit bass.
I consulted with Chef Todd Kent, multi-species angler and head chef at Jim’s Downtown Steakhouse in Peoria. For Choppo’s Illinois debut, he suggested Lake X, an unmanaged private lake accessible only with purloined map, secret handshake and promise of first-born grandchild, or in this case, agreement to let him fish the Choppo that day.
I opted for the latter.
“I’ll catch a bass on the Choppo within the first 15 minutes on the water,” Chef Todd predicted.
A weak cold front had pushed through the night before, but I took the bubble trail in the wake of Chef Todd’s first cast with the Choppo to be a good omen.
“I like it,” said the chef, a few casts into the day. “The propeller produces a little deeper ‘plop’ than R2Sea. It’s a little different.”
The strip pit featured a long, steep-sided, main lake with two narrow arms running perpendicular to the main lake. Deadfall and sunken timber provided cover shallow and deep. Algae mats sat in protected pockets between wood.
It seemed a prime topwater setting, so good, in fact, that we were surprised when our first 10 or so casts drew no response.
A washtub explosion ended the drought. Todd leaned back on the bite and his fish went airborne.
“Ten minutes,” he said as he hefted his fish, just a tad under three pounds. “I said I’d have a bass on the Choppo within 15 minutes. Amen.”
The chef let the thought simmer for a few casts. Then the prospect of fame – however fleeting, took hold.
“I’ll bet that was the first bass taken on a Choppo in Illinois,” he said. “Yeah. I’ll stake my claim to that,” I responded.
The worm bite we expected to flourish that morning never developed, but finesse jigs and flippin’ jigs with craw-style and beaver-style plastic trailers drew a flurry of action. A swim jig with swimbait produced nice fish as well.
But we missed the topwater bite and despite the bad omen of high cloudless skies, we pulled out the high-riders again at 11:00 A.M.
The Choppo went down in an angry spray within minutes. Another well-muscled bass hit it a few casts after that. The unexpected mid-day topwater bite was on. Choppo would prove to be the day’s MVP.
“I’m really impressed with this Choppo 120,” said Chef Todd, high praise from an angler with a healthy stockpile of the lure that pioneered the category. “It has a more defined plopper tail sound. The head design is a little narrower, and it has a nice side-to-side roll. The tail rides a little higher, too. And it has great hooks.”
Designed by Bassmaster Elite angler Justin Lucas, the Choppo 120 is just under 5-inches (120 mm) long. Weighing a full ounce, it casts a mile, allowing the angler to cover water quickly. Six weights in two belly chambers and a tapered nose deliver the tantalizing roll that helps convert tail-plopping fish attraction into hard strikes.
And, yes, it has extremely sharp Fusion 19 hooks.
The Choppo 90 is the 120’s little brother. Its smaller dimensions of 3-1/2 inches (90 mm) and ½ ounce weight, add to its versatility. It makes for an easier meal for a wider range of predators. Justin Lucas testifies to its effectiveness on smallmouth bass in particular.
Current colors are Sexy Back, Perfect Ghost, MF Shad, MF Frog, MF Bluegill, Maverick, Ghost White, Ghost Bluegill, Bone and Black Chrome.
Unlike many topwater lures, the Choppo does most of the work for you. Just cast and wind with rod tip raised to maintain a high-riding, waking movement. Vary your speed until you dial in the fish’s preference for the day.
You’ll likely be mesmerized by that plopping sound and tantalizing spray until the inevitable explosion awakens you from the spell!
Be Ready and Be Prepared for Undivided Outdoor Fun
The ONE THING I carry everywhere I go, maybe not what you Might Expect
Cold or Hot weather, How I stay Comfortable
By Larry Whiteley
We all want to know what the weather is going to be like if we have outdoor plans for the day. So we check our local forecast on TV, computer, smart phone or even smart watch and notice it’s going to be partly cloudy with a chance of rain.
But what does it mean when they say a chance of rain? Is it going to rain or not? Should you cancel your camping plans, hiking adventure or fishing trip?
Your local weatherman or lady will tell you that summer is the most challenging time of year for them to forecast what will happen. There is typically plenty of moisture and instability during summer that helps bring scattered showers and thunderstorms, particularly in the South and Midwest.
The things that cause rain development can be really hard to pinpoint in the summer. Rather than distinct warm and cold fronts, summer thunderstorms just sometimes flare up for many different reasons. Because of this, the warmer months are difficult for forecasters to provide a yes or no answer for rain where you are going to be.
If there’s a 30 percent chance of rain, that means there’s a 70 percent chance of dry weather where you’re going and you don’t know for sure it’s even going to happen. So you think those odds sound pretty good and are certainly not a reason to cancel any plans. Then, when the fishing, camping or hiking begins, so does the rain. You’re wet, your family and friends are wet, and no one is happy.
That’s exactly why, no matter what time of year it is, I always have rain gear with me. I keep my frogg toggs® Java Toadz™ lightweight rain suit rolled up into a stuff sack and under the seat of my truck. It is in easy reach just in case one of those pop-up showers hits just as I am ready to go into a meeting, church, or getting ready to go into my favorite outdoor store to do some important shopping.
It is also an important part of my gear no matter what kind of outdoor adventure I am going on. When I am packing to go camping I take it out of the truck and put it with all my camping gear. If I am going hiking it is always in my pack. I don’t go fishing without putting it in my tackle bag just so a little rain doesn’t stop me from catching fish. The fish don’t care if it’s raining and they don’t stop biting because of it. I just keep fishing in my rain suit unless, of course, it starts lightning and then I am off the water.
Since my Java Toadz™ is camo pattern, I even keep it with me in my game pouch when I am on early season dove hunts and all my other gear during the early teal season. During spring turkey hunts, it’s in my turkey vest. During deer season, it’s always in my hunting pack. To me, it is as essential as just about any outdoor gear I have. A pop-up shower or thunderstorm is not going to keep me from enjoying the great outdoors.
Now at the risk of sounding like a commercial for frogg toggs®, I have to tell you I also have their camo Pilot II™ Guide rain suit that I wear when fishing in early spring or fall, which is exactly when chances are best for rain most of the day.
On winter fishing trips and during waterfowl season, I wear their Co-Pilot™ Insulated Puff Jacket zipped into the Pilot II™ rain jacket to give me the extra layer of warmth during those cold rains, snow and sleet.
Frogg toggs® has just come out with a new rain suit for deer hunters called Dead Silence™. This suit is what all deer hunters want when out there waiting on that buck of a lifetime. I love deer hunting, so I didn’t hesitate to order one for this season. Besides being quiet and very waterproof, it has all kinds of hand warmer pockets, plus zippered pockets for valuables like your wallet, cell phone or radio, and other gear you need to keep safe and dry. The fabric breathes, so I won’t get too hot, but it also won’t let the cold air in. Plus, I can even zip in my Co-Pilot™ Puff Jacket that I also wear with my Pilot II™ rain jacket mentioned earlier.
No, I am not on the frogg toggs® Pro Staff and they don’t pay me for writing about them, but I do believe in their affordable, quality products designed for folks like you and me for any outdoor activity when there is a chance of rain. Go to their website at www.froggtoggs.com.
Where's the fish? LiveShare can help. It's a free online service that allows Humminbird users to download AutoChart Live mapping information from others.
RACINE, Wis., July 10, 2018 –TodayHumminbird®announces a new extension of its AutoChart® Live mapping capability – AutoChart LiveShare. LiveShare is a free online service that allows Humminbird users to download AutoChart Live mapping information from others and add it to their own map collection, as well as upload their own AutoChart Live sonar data to a global community. AutoChart LiveShare reinforces Humminbird’s commitment to providing enhanced mapping capabilities to anglers around the world.
Launched in 2015, AutoChart Live gives anglers the ability to map the depth, vegetation and changing bottom hardness of their favorite body of water. This data can be used to add details to existing LakeMaster® maps, or obtain information on bodies of water unavailable in the Humminbird LakeMaster collection. Until now, the only way anglers could share this valuable information was by physically copying the data from an AutoChart Zero Line Map Card. LiveShare changes this dramatically.
How it works is simple – Anglers go to the AutoChart LiveShare website – https://chartselect.humminbird.com/liveshare– and open a free account to gain access to the service. Choose to upload AutoChart Live map information from their Zero Line map card, or, select any available mapping data and move it to a Zero Line Map Card. This information can be used in AutoChart Live-compatible Humminbird fish finders, where anglers can target key depths or pair it with an i-Pilot® Link™-equipped Minn Kota® trolling motor to follow any depth contour line.
“AutoChart Live puts the power in anglers’ hands to map the depths of uncharted waters,” said Ray Schaffart, Humminbird brand manager. “Adding the capability to share this information with fellow anglers around the world creates a community that is the backbone to real-time map availability. It also makes our technology shareable among millions of Humminbird owners, whether they fish freshwater or saltwater.”
Anglers can easily create an AutoChart LiveShare account or, if they have a ChartSelect® account, they can sign in today. In order to utilize the LiveShare service, you must have a HELIX® 12, 10 or 9 model, a GPS-equipped HELIX 7/5 G2/G2N, or any SOLIX® or ONIX® model, along with an AutoChart Zero Line map card. For users that do not have a compatible unit, you can still participate by uploading Humminbird track files and viewing LiveShare information on the website.
For more information on Humminbird’s AutoChart LiveShare, visit Humminbird.com. About Humminbird:
JOHNSON OUTDOORS FISHING is comprised of the Minn Kota®, Cannon® and Humminbird® brands. Minn Kota® is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric trolling motors, as well as a complete line of shallow water anchors, battery chargers and marine accessories. Humminbird® is a leading global innovator and manufacturer of marine electronics products including fish finders, multifunction displays, autopilots, ice flashers, and premium cartography products. Cannon® is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories. Visit Humminbird at http://www.humminbird.com. JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that inspires more people to experience the awe of the great outdoors with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Fishing, Diving and Camping. Visit Johnson Outdoors at www.johnsonoutdoors.com.
It's all about visual surface distrubance, underwater sound waves and your reaction time!
By Forrest Fisher
Some of us white beard anglers of today grew up fishing surface frogs 60 years ago.
At first, we baited real frogs, but after we ran out, plastic frogs were invented in the late 50s and we learned how to use them fishing with short, deep-sea fishing rods and wide-spool, open-face fishing reels loaded with 40 pound test Gudebrod braided line tied direct.
Those old plastic frogs were so very basic and mostly were only hollow, air entrapping plastic caricatures of frogs that floated. They sank after a while. Today, the new “best frog” out there has a popping action and it is much more sophisticated, more durable and is killer-effective. Gotta love some things about the word “modern.”
Personally designed as a “Signature Series” product by LIVETARGET Pro Angler and TV personality, Scott Martin, the Hollow Body Frog Popper has become a personal favorite in my topwater tackle box.
The frog is new in that it has a narrow profile and cupped face that make this bait special when you walk it across the surface. Special in that the face creates a unique sound message below…”Hello, I’m food, c’mon, get me,” and it offers a different sort of visual splash attractant message to join with the sound message.
I tried several colors and up north, the frog colors worked best for me, especially in heavy, super-thick cover, though it is still a mystery how the fish can even see the bait in thick weeds. Toemayto or Towmahto it is not, it seems to matter.
Down south in Florida, summer time Florida bass yield to the white frog LiveBait color more than any other. Why? The difference between oatmeal and hominy grits is what I think. Very little, but it matters if you live down south.
The two-hook design is not unique, but what is unique are the extra strong forged hooks that embrace and provide stealth cover for the soft collapsible body of the frog. Their extreme sharpness provide deep and sure hook-up. The only thing between you and fish is your line and if you fish these in thick cover, check your line often, use a good, modern, braided line and a positive knot with a stiff rod that will allow you to haul the fish out of the thickest cover you might imagine.
The acid test? Here it is. Drop a 10-pound anchor in the thickest weeds you can find, then move your boat 30 feet away and see if you can rip that anchor up and out without breaking your line, your rod or the gears on your reel.
For line, I like 60-pound Gamma Torque, I simply cannot break it. Other brands work too, but I think you could tow a tree with Gamma and it is thinner than most others to allow longer casts. Visit: http://gammafishing.com/.
For the frog, one last thing: best of all, these new LiveTarget Popping Frogs are available in two sizes for working extra thick matt or thinner lily pad style cover.
Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Core INS Bib Liner Pants
No-Nonsense, Easy to Use
Comfortable, Essential, Affordable and Effective
By Mike Pehanich
To choose the right gear…if you’re an avid four-season outdoorsman, the hunt for foul weather outerwear is never-ending.
Hence we return to the sportsman’s eternal quest for reliable weather protection in a selection of relatively lightweight apparel that satisfies a range of temperatures and conditions – and fits in a single suitcase or travel bag!
In late winter, Hodgman released an ambitious 4-piece mix of outerwear that just might simplify the packing decisions of many outdoorsmen.
Hodgman designed its new H5 Storm Jacket and matching H5 Storm Bib to team as needed with the new Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Hodgman Core INS Bib Liner Pants.
The 3-layer V-Tech™ H5combination provides comfort and versatility as an effective shell layer in inclement cold and delivers free movement and breathability as temperatures rise.
The latter Core INSjacket and bib combination comprises an extremely lightweight quilt style Thinsulate layer designed to zip and snap into the Storm Jacket and Bibs.
The modular foursome offers sportsmen comfort through a wide range of temperatures and storm conditions and the option, too, of wearing each item separately.
My first run with the H5 Storm Jacket proved ideal for testing basic comfort and design features. I ice-fished on a day that began below the freezing mark but warmed to the lower 50s before day’s end. With the H5, I wore the Hodgman Core INS Jacket and the matching Hodgman Core INS Bib Liner Pants. (The H5 Storm Bib arrived later, so I substituted a bib of comparable thickness to the H5 Jacket during this initial trial.)
The H5/INS combination was ideal that winter morning. I lugged gear and cut and cleared ice holes without chill or sweat.
Hodgman H5 Technology and Design
My H5 Storm team still awaits the ultimate test of a brutal all-day rain. But simulated storm tests have given credence to Hodgman’s tech claims.
Will it keep you dry in a downpour without generating so much sweat that it negates the value of a “waterproof” outer layer altogether? Every protective garment has its tipping point, but Hodgman likes how it has tipped the odds in the wearer’s favor with the H5’s 3-layer V-Tech material and salient design features.
Hodgman states that its 3-layer V-Tech™ material employs “ultra-breathable vapor transfer technology with a hydrophilic membrane to pull moisture aware from the body.” The outcome is an outer layer with “breathability, abrasion resistance and waterproof protection.” Hodgman credits a “durable water repellant” (DWR) outer coating for one-way moisture passage – from the inside out. Simply put, sweat escapes to the external surface of the garments, but, like the rain, snow, and sleet trying to enter, it can’t seep back in.
Hodgman H5 Storm Jacket Features
Weather exposes the best and worst in outerwear. Flaws in design, material or manufacturing execution at pressure points, pockets, seams, zippers, and openings can create tiny leakage funnels. Hodgman’s design safeguards these junctures with fully taped seams, watertight cinch cuffs, and an adjustable dual draw-cord hem. The most critical design component is the 500-denier Cordura seat and sleeves.
Disclaimer: Our assessment of this new storm wear comes without the test of time and the effects of many wear and wash cycles on the garment.
The new Hodgman storm set provides some nice angler-friendly features that walk the line between functionality and amenity.
Face Shield Hood
Chief among these is the ventilated adjustable wire-brimmed hood and “easy stow” face and nose guard. The former facilitates air passage in the face of wind or 60 mph boat speeds without turning the hood into a ship sail; the latter provides effective face protection with a unique and secure design that permits unobstructed vision.
During a storm years ago, the zipper failed on what was then the most stormproof jacket in my outdoor wardrobe. The storm exposed that otherwise faithful garment’s – excuse the metaphor – “Achilles heel,” the absence of a back-up means of closure. My single-handed grip on my jacket was not up to the task of keeping me dry against a blinding sideways rain and desperate boat run to shelter.
The 3-layer V-Tech™ H5 combination provides comfort and versatility as an effective shell layer in inclement cold and delivers free movement and breathability as temperatures rise
Hodgman heads off such crises by adding a critical redundancy. The YKK Aqua Guard center front zip has a double rain guard, a series of effective loop-and-hook fasteners.
What’s a YKK zipper?
YKK stands for the company founded by Tadao Yoshida, Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha. Yoshida earned his fame creating customized zipper machines. YKK reportedly manufactures in excess of 7 billion zippers each year.
Hodgman designed its new H5 Storm Jacket and matching H5 Storm Bib to team as needed with the new Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Hodgman Core INS Bib Liner Pants.
Other features include low chest-positioned tool accessory D-rings for forceps, pliers, line clippers, etc.; a soft low profile anchor point for kill switch or small tools; a pair of YKK zip hand pockets that offer easy access to underlayers; two YKK Aqua Guard vertical zip chest pockets; and an inner security pocket.
In its H5 Bib, Hodgman aimed to reduce or eliminate water seepage to inner clothing and the skin when sitting on a wet carpet or boat seat or kneeling on wet ice. The bib incorporates a waterproof shell fabric with a 20k waterproof rating, selected to be effective in all-day rains. The 500 denier Cordura material used in the seat, knees and hem protects against leakage or absorption. The same hydrophilic laminate used for the jacket draws sweat away from the body.
What does a 20K waterproof rating mean?
In static-column waterproof testing, a one-inch tube filled with water stands vertically over the test material. The water’s height in millimeters when leakage begins determines the rating. A 20K rating indicates that the fabric can withstand a pressure of up to 20,000 mm before leaking.
I wear bibs most of the time in cold weather whether precipitation is in the forecast or not! (I’m a strong believer that keeping the lower back warm is critical to maintaining comfort when wind and a short column of mercury are in your forecast.) That’s why I place a premium on a bib that is easy to don, remove and wear all day.
I was impressed with the “articulated R.O.M. fit” that Hodgman boasts. In fact, I wore the bib at my desk and around home and office to test range of motion. I even did some high knee lifts and other calisthenics. Credit a tailored blend of breathable 3-layer waterproof/windproof V-Tech fabric and 500 denier Cordura material for seat, knees and hem for comfort and protection against the elements.
Two-way YKK leg zippers make access to pockets for phone, wallet, and car keys a breeze. These are particularly important features in this age of minute-by-minute photos, videos, text messages and business calls. The H-back elastic suspenders with Duraflex buckles are there for standard bib adjustment. But right and left draw-elastic waist adjustment straps secured by (“Super Grip”) hook-and-loop fasteners all but eliminate shoulder fatigue. Snap leg hems offer three adjustments.
A welcome feature in the Hodgman H5 Bib is its relief zipper. Ancient wisdom holds that when you’ve got to go, you gotta go! A bib that binds you like a straightjacket and takes more time than a mummy’s wrap to unpeel when the bladder is begging for mercy is hard to befriend. Thankfully, the way to relief is simple with the H5. No need to remove jacket, unhinge suspenders, and perform a balancing act on accordion legs when Nature calls. A series of quick zips and…hey, you’re good.
Both the H5 Jacket and Bibs are currently available in Digi Camo Charcoal color in six sizes ranging from Small to 3XL.
The latter Core INS jacket and bib combination comprises an extremely lightweight quilt style Thinsulate layer designed to zip and snap into the Storm Jacket and Bibs.
A note on Hodgman Core INS Jacket and Bib Liner Pant
The cold weather versatility of this outerwear combination comes to fruition with the addition of the Core INS Jacket and Bib Liner Pant to the basic H5 Storm Jacket and Bib combination. These lightweight quilted layers, which can also be worn separately, feature Thinsulate Platinum Insulation fibers that Hodgman claims “are up to 10x smaller than fibers of other synthetic insulations,” and deliver double the warmth. Tune in for a detailed review of these companion garments.
MSRP Hodgman Core INS Jacket: $129.99
MSRP Hodgman Core Bib Liner Pant ; $129.99
In its H5 literature, Hodgman invokes its “Grit Gear Commitment” – “Gear with grit and an iron clad development process that yields performance day after day for years to come and adds “…we don’t sell our gear until we’ve field tested it and beat it up to the point we’re absolutely sure that you can’t find a better protective garment.”
Hodgman gear is now being shipped to retailers across the nation and is also available online for ordering. To learn more about new Hodgman gear now available, please click to visit http://www.hodgman.com.
Like Coffee? Get Camping Much? You Might Need This.
Portable TOUGH Coffee Maker that Takes Any K-Cup.
My Search is Over!
By Larry Whiteley
A recent Harvard School of Public Health study showed 54% of Americans drink coffee and you can count me into that percentage.
I enjoy my coffee as I sit at my desk in the early morning hours writing articles and piloting radio shows. It helps keep my mind clear as I craft the words I need to write.
A thermos of coffee warms my hands while sitting in a treestand waiting for a deer to come by my hiding place or in a blind waiting to hear a booming gobble as the sun starts peeking over the hills.
Steam rises from my coffee as I sit in the boat, in the darkness, listening to the water lapping against the sides and watching the colorful morning sunrise reflecting in the water.
I sip coffee as I sit around the campfire by myself in the morning darkness, watching the flames dance, and listening to owl’s talking to each other.
I have always made my coffee at home and took it with me in a thermos or insulated mug on my outdoor adventures. Sometimes I just stop by the local convenience store, but they don’t always have the flavor of coffee I like. Besides, according to the same Harvard study I mentioned earlier, the average price for a brewed cup of coffee is a $1.38 and I’m kind of a frugal guy, but my wife says a better word is “cheap”.
I knew I couldn’t take my single-cup coffee maker with the fancy name “out there” because it would have broken in no time with water and coffee all over everything.
So, I have been searching for a coffee maker that I could take with me on fishing, hunting and camping trips where I was staying in an RV, cabin, lodge or motel. It’s been a long search for years, as I enjoy making my own coffee instead of the usual watered-down variety you get in some places.
In my search, I found out that most public and private campgrounds across America now have campsites with electrical hook-ups. So I can brew my favorite coffee even when I’m camping out if I could just find the right coffee maker.
To be able to travel with it, I knew I wanted it to be like the old saying goes “strong as an ox,” as well as impact-resistant, durable, spill-proof and portable, and if it had its own travel bag that would hold everything needed, that would be nice too. I also wanted to be able to use it on my kitchen cabinet at home or take it out to my workshop when I wanted. Ask for the sky! Why not?
During my continued search, I was surprised to come across a coffee maker called “OXX,” just like the saying, but with an extra “X”. I then did more research and found that in the wagon-based settlement of the American West before the railroad, a team of oxen were preferred over horses to plow fields, bust sod, remove boulders, stumps and other heavy tasks because they were stronger and tougher than horses.
The OXX COFFEEBOXX was designed for construction workers who needed something strong and tough enough to make coffee on their wild jobsites. A lot of construction workers also enjoy all the outdoors has to offer and they soon discovered, since it was tough enough for work, they could also use it for all their outdoor adventures. AND, it was everything I was searching for.
They also offer single cup “Workhorse Coffee” which is very good. I like the “Dark & Bold,” but I have tried the “All Day Smooth” and the “2X Caffeine,” and I like them too. But if you still have to have your own brand, any coffee pod will work in the OXX and they even have reusable pods for your favorite ground coffee.
Now if someone would just come up with a small, reasonably priced, portable power unit I could plug my OXX COFFEEBOXX in and brew my favorite cup of coffee when I am completely off the grid and deep in the wilderness, I would be one happy man.
Go to www.oxx.com and check out the “strong as an ox” OXX COFFEEBOXX.
Heavier, Smaller, More Dense Jigs offer Increased Sensitivity and are Environmentally Safe
By Dan Stefanich
The secret to catching fish through the ice is out and being embraced by open water anglers. For many years, Clam Pro Tackle has been helping ice anglers achieve success from enjoying the benefits of tungsten jigs in a vertical presentation. With CPT365, Clam Tackle innovators are giving all open water anglers a new deadly weapon for their arsenal – the Drop Tg (tungsten jig).
The evolution of Clam Pro Tackle continues in the form of the Drop Tg. This industry-first multi-species jig brings the many advantages of tungsten to open water anglers. Bass, walleye, pike and panfish anglers that use vertical tactics will quickly see its benefits.
Heavier and More Dense:
Drop Tg is heavier than lead for the same size.
Smaller profile but heavier offers better jig control and sensitivity.
Punches faster through weeds and cover
Plummets fast to deep water schools of fish
30% smaller in size than the same weight lead jig, offering a smaller profile for pressured or finicky fish
1.7x heavier density than lead- Denser tungsten shows up better on graphs and sonar
Vertical Position Retention
In deep water and current, Drop Tg jigs keeps line vertical to help keep contact with the bottom and detect more bites. The heavier Drop Tg also keeps curls and kinks out of the line for better bite detection, hook sets and increased hook-up ratios.
Lead absorbs impact. The harder Tungsten does not, instead transferring the energy of impact with a rock, sand, mud, wood structure, log or a bite on through to the line and ultimately to the angler. The result is more “feel” of your jig as you work it through cover, thus improving the bait presentation, felt bites and a higher hookup rate.
Makes More Noise
Lead absorbs sound. Harder tungsten makes more noise to attract fish when coming in contact with rocks, boulders and other structure. Similar to crayfish crawling on rocks or schooling minnow noise.
Tungsten is less resistant in the water, which is more efficient. Increased sensitivity is the primary benefit.
As a non-toxic hard metal, the Drop Tg is an environmentally safe jig. Being great stewards of the outdoors is critical, and many states have already banned use of lead jigs. Some say “lead is dead”, and it is certainly losing traction with conservation-minded anglers. As an eco-friendly jig, The Drop Tg is the new alternative to lead.
Cleaner Water and Pressured Fish
All of the lakes, rivers and waterways across the United States are getting cleaner by increased water conservation efforts as well as the spreading of invasive species like zebra mussels and rusty crayfish that clean the water. The smaller Drop Tg’s are more compact in size and are perfect for finesse jigging tactics in clean water. Works with pressured fish and helps during cold fronts.
Drop Tg Tungsten Jig:
Made with environmentally safe 99.7% Pure Tungsten.
Mustad Ultra Point, 2x Strong 90 degree Long Shank hook
Same weight as lead but with a smaller profile and higher sensitivity
Welded keeper securely holds soft plastics and live bait
Available in 1/16 oz., 1/8 oz., 3/16 oz., ¼, and 3/8 oz. sizes
“Anglers used to have find fish by time-consuming casting, drifting or trolling tactics. Now with more advanced electronics, they can ‘hunt’ and find the fish first, THEN fish for them,” explains John Crane, Clam Pro Tackle Developer. “Tournaments are being won by an angler that finds that one giant fish, groups of fish or baitfish, then vertically targets them. This ‘Vertical Drop System’ or VDS, is a new and evolving tactic — see ‘em, drop to ‘em, and catch ‘em, and Clam Pro Tackle is providing the tool to help it take off. Feel what you’ve been missing with the Drop Tg.”
DANVILLE, Ala. (April 23, 2018) – In recent years, the number of women spending time in tree stands and putting fresh meat on the table has continued to rise. In order to keep these women hunters safe, comfortable and looking their best, HSS now offers a Lady Hybrid Harness.
The Lady Hybrid’s streamlined cut is designed to be the most comfortable and most technologically advanced safety harness available. Built on the patented lightweight HSS harness system, which provides unparalleled strength and comfort when seated or standing, the Lady Hybrid upper features a lightweight, breathable mesh to keep the hunter cool during hot days. The lower features six pockets, including four storage pockets and two deep-well hand pockets. The Lady Hybrid also comes standard with an upper adjustable chest buckle for proper fitting.
Unique to new Hunter Safety System harnesses this year, the HSS Lady Hybrid features a convenient integrated USB port. Simply insert a compatible USB battery pack into the vest, and charge devices anywhere.
The new Lady Hybrid will include ElimiShield® Hunt Scent control technology. ElimiShield utilizes a proprietary nanotechnology that kills over 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria at the cellular level and forms a bond with the treated article that lasts for more than 50 commercial washes. By treating the harness with the ElimiShield in the manufacturing process, it will be protected from mildew and odors after being exposed to sweat and moisture while in use and then packed away in storage during the off-season.
Each Lady Hybrid comes with sound dampening buckles, deer drag, suspension relief strap and a Lineman’s Climbing Strap. This new lightweight ladies harness, weighing only 2.5lbs, will be available in limited quantities by mid-June. It is offered in S/M and M/L in Mossy Oak® Bottom Land® Classic and will retail for $119.95.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Danville, Ala., Hunter Safety System is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative deer hunting gear and hunting equipment for the serious hunter. The company has exclusive rights for use of ElimiShield in the hunting industry. For additional information, write to: The Hunter Safety System, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call toll-free 877-296-3528; or visit www.hssvest.com.
PLANO’S HARDWORKING WEEKEND SERIES OF SOFT TACKLE BAGS RECEIVES KEY UPGRADES FOR 2018
Plano, IL (April 10, 2018) – If fishing for a living is your dream, don’t let us or anyone else burst your bubble. But until that day rolls around, most of us need to work real jobs to pay for gas, groceries, gymnastics lessons…and our fishing gear. And because we just can’t fish whenever we want, the time we do get to spend on the water becomes that much more valuable.
That’s where Plano comes in; it’s the brand that’s helped anglers keep their valuable fishing tackle protected, organized and readily accessible for over 65 years. Plano protection means your gear lasts longer. Plano organization means you always know what you have and where to find it. Taken together, the result is maximum enjoyment extracted from each precious minute on the water.
For 2018, Plano’s popular Weekend Series includes three distinct, reimagined models that work as hard as you do. Weekend Series Tackle Cases, Weekend Series Softsider Tackle Bags and Weekend Series Speed Bags are each available in Plano’s popular 3500, 3600 and 3700 sizes to build or integrate seamlessly into any tackle management system. And they look better than ever in brand new, classy and clean tan or gray color schemes. In addition to standout new aesthetics, these bags feature upgraded, no-fail zipper pulls and tactical-inspired MOLLE exterior webbing for easy attachment of fishing tools or accessories. Best of all, these handsome and durable standout performers are available at great low prices that any working angler can afford.
The largest in Plano’s refreshed Weekend Series, Weekend Series Tackle Cases provide the greatest overall storage capacity and organizational capability. Available in staple 3500, 3600 and 3700 sizes, these soft tackle bags deliver maximum utility for any angler.
The Weekend Series Tackle Case’s spacious main compartment opens and closes securely via an easy-access zippered top. Inside, anglers will find ample room for up to four aptly sized Plano StowAway Utility Boxes – enough capacity for a load of favorite lures and terminal tackle. Two large, zippered side pockets and a generous front zippered pocket provide secure storage for bags of soft plastics, line spools and other essential gear, while an extra measure of welcomed storage for attractants, keys, maps, sunglasses and such comes courtesy of three mesh utility pockets – one on each end and one along the back. A built-in front tool holder and durable MOLLE webbing place pliers and other fishing tools within easy reach, while an adjustable, padded shoulder strap ensures easy transport to and from the truck, dock, garage or boat.
Plano’s Weekend Series Softsider Tackle Bags retain familiar Plano Softsider architecture in fishing-friendly 3500, 3600 and 3700 sizes, but have been updated with exciting new cosmetic choices and features. Available in the new, ultra-sharp tan or gray Weekend Series color schemes, these Softsider Tackle Bags can be matched to any other tackle storage product in the refreshed Weekend Series, allowing anglers to build a complete and unified tackle management system that looks as good as it performs, without busting their budget.
Constructed of tough, 600D Polyester, Weekend Series Softsider Tackle Bags employ a top, camera-bag-inspired flap design that’s secured by straps and easy-opening buckles instead of a trouble-prone zipper. This ensures longevity, as well as quick and easy access to the main compartment, even with wet, cold, or slime-covered hands.
Each Softsider comes with two properly sized Plano StowAway Utility Boxes to hold enough lures for any Saturday or Sunday on the water. They’ll hold up to three StowAways inside the main compartment, but anglers can remove one to create extra space for gear or supplies. Additional pockets round out the Softsider’s hardworking exterior, with large slip pockets for tools, line spools, water bottles and more on either end, plus a large pocket system on the front. MOLLE webbing along the Softsider’s face provides the perfect place to attach fishing tools, hand towels or other accessories. A reinforced top-carry handle and padded shoulder strap help the Softsider to easily go anywhere the fish are.
Plano Weekend Series Softsider Tackle Bags
Zipper-free trouble-free lid design for easy access
Easy-opening buckles for large hands
Available in attractive tan or gray color schemes
Available in 3500, 3600, or 3700 sizes
Includes two StowAway Utility Boxes in corresponding size
D-ring and multiple MOLLE attachment points for extra storage
Three exterior pockets
Reinforced top-carry handle and padded shoulder strap
Model Numbers, Colors, Exterior Dimensions & MSRPs
Throngs of anglers use venerable Plano StowAway Utility Boxes as the foundation for their tackle management systems, and some of them don’t always want or need to carry a full-featured tackle bag.
Enter the Plano Speed Bag: a no-nonsense nuts-and-bolts soft tackle case with the sole assignment of carrying and keeping three Plano StowAways, protected and at the ready.
Weekend Series Speed Bags are available in the familiar 3500, 3600 and 3700 sizes for easy integration to any tackle transport and storage system, and feature the attractive new tan or gray Weekend Series color schemes. Anglers can match them to their other Weekend Series bags and cases, or use the two available colors to code their Speed Bags by species or technique.
Constructed of durable 600D Polyester with a padded inner lining, lightweight Weekend Series Speed Bags open and close via a reinforced zipper with a new, failsafe and ergonomic loop pull. Up top, a strong, padded handle ensures comfortable and reliable carry. Empty Speed Bags can be folded down for easy storage in small spaces. Like the other bags and cases in Plano’s refreshed Weekend Series, Weekend Series Speed Bags feature MOLLE webbing along the front for quick and secure attachment of all manner of accessories.
Anglers seeking affordable tackle storage solutions that look great and work as hard as they do can call off the search. Plano’s upgraded Weekend Series Tackle Bags, Softsiders and Speed Bags possess exceptional organizational abilities, and they certainly aren’t afraid of late hours, early hours or weekend work.
The only remaining question is: When can you start? We suggest today.
WEST POINT, MS – Mossy Oak is excited to announce that Justin Boots is now offering America’s No. 1 Camo Pattern, Break-Up Country, on their newest boot made specifically for the hunter.
The 17-inch Shrublands Square Toe boot from the Justin Stampede™ Collection, designed for keeping your feet dry and protected in any conditions, is equipped with a full waterproof bootie construction and Justin’s Snake Guard technology. The Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo upper provides clever concealment. Inside, the Stampede Orthotic comfort insole delivers all-day comfort, while the Stampede Dual Density Rubber Outsole provides sure-footed traction in wet and muddy conditions. This boot is designed with a wide square toe and meets ASTM F2892-11 EH safety footwear standards.
“Justin Boots is excited to be launching our new Snake Boot with the Mossy Oak Team,” said Josh Lizotte, Vice President of Sales, Justin Work Boot Division. “Mossy Oak has been a leader in camouflage innovation for many years and we know this pattern on our Shrublands Stampede Snake Boot will be a sought-after item within the hunting community.”
“Justin Boots is a legendary brand we are proud to align ourselves with,” said Chris Paradise, Chief Sales Officer of Mossy Oak. “They are very well known in their category and rightfully so, given their ability to blend functionality, comfort and style in every product they offer.”
New Tackle Box Design is Innovative in one area where it is Hard TO BE NEW
Keeps Lures Protected, Keeps Hooks & Weights from Bouncing Around
Multiple Sizes, Durable, Shock Resistant….MADE IN THE USA!
Matt Lee is Young Talent on Bassmaster Elite Series Excited to Use Innovative Cases
ETTRICK, Wisconsin – Lure Lock and Bassmaster Elite Series Angler, Matt Lee, have agreed to terms on a multi-year partnership. Lee has been competing on the Bassmaster Elite Series for three years now, following his win at the 2012 Carhartt Bassmaster College Championship and competing in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
“The excitement in our office continues, with the addition of Matt Lee to our pro staff,” Jessica Kriesel, Lure Lock Marketing Coordinator. “Matt is one of the up and coming anglers on the Elite Series and is a genuine, hardworking individual, like all of us at Lure Lock and like the anglers we aim to do business with…the fit was a natural one.”
Matt will be relying on the full line of Lure Lock cases to keep his tackle organized and secured throughout his travels of the Bassmaster Elite Series, including the upcoming Bassmaster Classic.
HOW IT WORKS: The proprietary (non-toxic) gel holds and cradles fishing lures, hooks and terminal fishing tackle into a soft, safe environment, locking it into place while keeping the vibration and movement from dulling the hooks, barbs, paint, and even the overall effectiveness of the lure itself.
“Being a fishing tackle junkie, I’ve spent my fair share of time organizing tackle and looking for the best tackle storage solutions on the market,” stated Lee. “The Lure Lock cases are truly unique in their design and I’m extremely honored to be representing their brand and will gladly demonstrate the cases effectiveness to anyone, so be sure to ask if you see me.”
Lure Lock boxes come in three sizes LL1, LL2 and LL3 and are available in Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Tackle Warehouse and key independent sporting goods dealers at $15.99, $17.99 and $19.99. Lure Lock gel kits (for retro-fitting other boxes) range from $6.99 to $9.99, depending upon size.
For more information about Lure Lock products please visit http://www.lurelock.com, or contact Glenn Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org with media or marketing requests.
About Lure Lock: Lure Lock is owned by Tak Logic LLC, Ettrick, WI, 54627. Lure Lock tackle boxes feature a patented gel material all made in the USA. For more information, call 608-525-3636.
Where Spring Breakers meet Wave Breakers with Sunrise, Sunshine, Sea Shells & a Sunset Cruise
A spring break vacation doesn’t have to include spring breakers. If you’re looking for a getaway that’s more laid-back than party-central, there are plenty of beaches to consider – but there aren’t many as memorable as those found on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
With miles of white sand and inviting lighthouses, there’s no shortage of peaceful beach escapes along these islands’ coastlines. Just because these secluded islands boast uncrowded beaches doesn’t mean they’re shy about events and activities. Read on to discover how to create timeless memories in these coastal communities.
Make yourself at home
Forget all-night parties and opt in to warm, Gulf of Mexico waters, vivid wildlife and seaside charm. Quaint inns like the Beach Cottages of Sanibel offer cozy places to unwind, while properties like Captiva Island Inn offer stunning views of both Captiva Island beach and the bay, leaving you with plenty of options for beachfront dining, water sports, and more.
Discover a shelling state of mind
Shell collectors travel from all over the world to explore the world-renowned beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Thanks to their gently sloping shores, the north-flowing Gulf Stream rolls hundreds of species of shells onto their beaches every day. There’s no family scavenger hunt like a shell-hunting contest. One that ends with finding natural keepsakes you’ll treasure for years to come.
Let the water take you away
On Sanibel and Captiva Islands, the local marinas, resorts and outfitters offer a variety of cruises, kayaks, sailboats, paddleboats and more to get you safely on the water. Captiva Cruises shows you a Florida sunset the way it’s meant to be seen: On the water. If you’re looking to explore something more remote, book a day trip to Cabbage Key, Useppa Island,Boca Grande or Cayo Costa State Park.
Dive in to sea life
You will be amazed with the variety of wildlife surrounding these laid-back beaches. Cruise to an uninhabited island for a chance to see manatees, dolphins and other wildlife up close. Kayak through mangrove forests and find yourself immersed in the mangrove ecosystem. Let island time sink in as you surround yourself with wading birds, back bay waters, and a natural experience you are sure to remember.
The relaxed, quiet pace of life on Sanibel and Captiva Islands offers a unique charm. For more ways to experience Southwest Florida’s relaxed rhythms and beautiful shorelines, explore all our communities and find the getaway that’s right for your spring break vacation.
A new book about Adventure, Tragedy, Death, Life, Peace, Mystical Intervention, Joy, Leadership.
I couldn’t put it down. This book offers all that in just 122 pages! It’s in the running for the Pulitzer Prize this year.
“The Mountains Shall Depart” by Robert E. Holzheishares a secret tale about a young man named Luke, as he learns about the life and the outdoors on a farm in the 1940s.
Luke’s journey from childhood provides an intriguing trail where he discovers hard work ethic and uncompromising risk that lead to burden, panic and tragedy.
A spellbinding journey emerges for Luke that becomes mystical, when an Alaskan shaman helps Luke shed a tragedy he cannot erase from childhood. The new trail becomes a spiritual journey where Luke soon discovers new energy and a life-changing path that becomes a life-long journey to coach others in a new role.
Once you start reading the book, you realize that overcoming adversity, realizing new inspiration and linking to new goals is not about fiction. A story where the end is a new beginning.
The well-written book, 122 pages, is hard to put down. You can obtain a copy two ways:
Park Falls, WI (March 1, 2018) — America’s most maniacal rod engineers have struck again, answering the call for a spinning version of the immensely popular Legend Glass.
St. Croix’s Legend Glass rod series took home top freshwater rod honors at ICAST 2016 for blending classic fiberglass feel to modern, IPC® tooling technology and a body made of 100-percent, linear S-Glass material. For nearly two years, anglers have raved about the lightweight, sensitive feel of Legend Glass while St. Croix’s Wisconsin manufacturing facility kicked into overdrive to supply a feverish demand.
Crankbait anglers from coast-to-coast are fawning over Legend Glass, and as the spring fishing season gets underway, the new 7’ 2” medium-power, moderate action spinning model (LGS72MM) enters the fray as the number one contender to take midsized and small baits deeper, keeping them in the strike zone longer. The newest Legend Glass model is the perfect partner for windy days, or to deliver small and midsize baits to fish in multiple depth ranges.
“When you grip a Legend Glass rod, you immediately note its weight — uncharacteristically light for a glass rod,” says St. Croix Rods Promotions Manager Rich Belanger. “And once you set the hook, the rod protects lighter lines from hard running bass. And what really strikes you is the rod’s balance, forgiveness, and that familiar St. Croix feel-factor.”
“Legend Glass spinning is going to be a game changer for folks that throw light crankbaits on light line, especially the thin profile baits that like to tumble when cast on rods that are too stiff,” says St. Croix’s Dan Johnston. “The blank bends down enough to protect very light fluorocarbon line with a light crankbait, which is something anglers have been looking for a while.”
“That linear S-Glass on the IPC mandrel made Legend Glass arguably the best fiberglass bass rod ever put on the market,” Johnston adds. “The fact that we just put it on a spinning rod is really exciting. It’s cool to be able to finally throw thin-profile lightweight cranks on light line.”
Now featuring five situation-specific models, St. Croix Legend Glass rods employ Fuji® K Series Concept Tangle Free guides with Alconite rings and polished frames — ideal for all line types. Fuji® DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods harmonize with super grade split-grip cork handles and Kigan hook-keepers. All Legend Glass rods boast 15-year transferable warranties backed by St. Croix Superstar Service. Retail for the new spinning version is $260.
Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) tooling technology
Super premium, 100% linear S-Glass
Fuji® K-Series tangle-free guides with Alconite® Rings and Corrosion Control™ (CC™) matte finish frames
Fuji® DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods
Split-grip/super-grade cork handle
Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
15-year transferrable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
Designed and handcrafted in Park Falls, U.S.A.
About St. Croix Rod: Now in its 70th year, Park Falls, Wisconsin based St. Croix Rod remains a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods with a heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite®, Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament®, Avid Series®, Premier®, Wild River®, Tidemaster®, Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph®, Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.
Knoxville, Tennessee (January 12, 2018) – SportDOG® Brand, an industry-leading manufacturer of electronic dog-training products and accessories, has expanded its line of e-collars with the unveiling of the new SportTrainer family. Designed with ease-of-use and durability in mind, the systems are DryTek® – waterproof and submersible to 25 feet and feature an easy-to-read OLED screen where you can view the selected dog, static stimulation level, and mode, as well as battery status, with just a glance. This, combined with large plus/minus buttons to quickly toggle between dogs and stim levels, makes them especially suited for multi-dog hunting situations.
The SportDOG Brand® SD-1275 ($239.95) gives you long-distance control of your dog – up to 3/4-mile range. With additional Add-A-Dog® Collar Receivers, the remote trainer can be expanded to control up to six dogs at once. Ten levels of static stimulation in low/medium/high stim ranges, as well as vibration and tone options in select modes, allow you to customize the remote trainer to fit any situation. The SD-1275’s Lithium-ion batteries charge in two hours and last 140-160 hours per charge. Also available in the SportTrainer family are the SD-575 ($189.95) featuring a 500-yard range and expandable to two dogs, and the SD-875 ($219.95) with a 1/2-mile range and expandable to three dogs.
The SportTrainer 875 and 1275 are currently available from select outdoor retailers and online. The SportTrainer 575 will be available in Q2 of 2018. The new SportTrainer family and current product offerings will be available to view during SHOT Show® in the SportDOG booth – #11349.
In addition, SportDOG will also showcase the below Solvit® by PetSafe® items:* Pup Step Plus stairs ($59.99) weigh only 5 pounds, support more than 120 pounds, and fold down for easy under-bed storage. Also available in extra-large size ($89.99) that supports more than 200 pounds.
Deluxe Telescoping Ramp ($149.99) allows dogs to access vehicles without stressing their joints. It’s adjustable from 39 inches to 72 inches, and can be used fully-extended for SUVs and pickups.
Premium Vehicle Seat Covers ($94.99 – $114.99) are made from 100% cotton twill with quilting and genuine leather accents. A waterproof membrane prevents seat damage from water, mud, and spills, and waterproof zippers prevent dirt, hair, and liquids from passing through the seatbelt slits. Available in bench, hammock, and bucket style, grey or green color, and regular or extra wide sizes.
Waterproof Vehicle Seat Covers ($39.99 – $49.99) are made from durable, 600d polyester material with a fully waterproof backing and are machine washable. Available in hammock, bench, bench extra-wide, bucket, and cargo liner options.
The Pet Travel Organizer Kit ($59.99) is large enough to hold five days of dry food for a medium-size dog, a full day’s supply of water, hunting accessories, food and water bowl, first aid supplies, medications, and more.
About SportDOG® Brand SportDOG® Brand is owned by Radio Systems Corporation, a manufacturer of electronic dog-training gear and accessories, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. SportDOG product lines include training e-collars, GPS tracking and training systems, bark control collars, containment systems, a launcher system, and other training aids.
*About Radio Systems Corporation & Solvit® by PetSafe® Radio Systems Corporation, an industry leader in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment, and lifestyle products through its PetSafe® Brand, Invisible Fence® Brand and SportDOG® Brand, acquired Solvit® Products in 2017. Solvit Products present a wide variety of travel and home items for your dog.
Phantom Lures Line Up of Baits Now Use Thru-Wire Technology
Ramsey, MN – Jan 17, 2018: Phantom Lures, widely known for its design and manufacture of high quality, proven baits will now be using Thru-Wire Technology in its lineup of baits. The strong, single wire design connects the tow point and hook hangers, making the Phantom Lures more durable and able to handle violent strikes.
The use of Thru-Wire construction will yield a more consistent build process and open doors to expanded fishing applications. By not relying on screw-in eyelets, the overall strength of the bait is increased, and the need to tune immediately after purchase is eliminated. This technology has proven to be very successful in the Phantom Lures’ Freak and HardHead baits, and will now be expanded into other popular baits.
“Adding thru-wire construction to several of our already effective muskie baits increases the strength and durability of the lure as a whole,” stated Product Manager Jeff Schulte. “In addition, it also provides anglers the added benefit of consistent performance by eliminating the need to further tune the bait. Our thru-wire design delivers superior cast after cast performance.”
The Thru-Wire Technology will be available in the following Phantom Lures:
• Softail Live Series
• Hardhead Live Series
Please note that Thru-Wire Technology will be immediately available in the 6” and 7.5” baits. The 4” models look to have a later release date. The Standard’s will be sold as a thru-wire bait once we sell out our current inventory of standards.
For more information about the full product lines from Phantom Lures, visit the Phantom Lures website or contact Jack Gavin at: email@example.com.
About Phantom Lures: Since 1996, Phantom Lures has built a strong and loyal reputation in the muskie fishing industry by making excellent, custom, quality baits that are used by first time fishermen, guides and tournament anglers. This reputation is now migrating to the walleye and bass world. Our tournament –winning baits produce actions that put trophy fish on your line, leaving you with great pictures and lifelong memories. For more information about Phantom Lures, visit PhantomLures.com or call 763.951.2902.
Vision Clarity, Eye Protection, Seeing All Things Better
About Sunglasses, Don’t Leave Home without These – Learn Why
My Old Eyes Have Been Opened! …By a Company that CARES.
By Larry Whiteley
I have owned a lot of sunglasses in my lifetime.
Most of them were inexpensive, made in China sunglasses that didn’t protect my eyes from harmful UV rays and sure didn’t help me see any better.
That all changed last year when my grandson who fishes on the Kansas State University Bass Fishing Team won a certificate for a free pair of Costa sunglasses in a tournament.
He kept telling me, “PaPaw you can’t believe how comfortable and how much better they are when it comes to seeing fish.”
He was right!
I would have never believed that a pair of Costa sunglasses could make such a difference in not only my ability to see fish, but everything outdoors has a totally different perspective when I look through them.
I like them so much I even got a camouflage, non-reflective pair to wear when I go hunting.
Costa makes it simple and easy to find the right pair of sunglasses that match your outdoor activities, whether it’s fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, boating, driving or anything else. Each lens color has a different purpose to keep specific spectrums of light out of your eyes and focus on certain conditions that will enhance your clarity and visibility. Made in both glass and polycarbonate, every lens is polarized and gives you 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection.
Best of all, they are made right here in the USA.
I could go on and on about Costa sunglasses, but instead I invite you to go to www.costadelmar.com. Click on this link, then go learn all about the different styles and find a retailer near you to go try them out for yourself.
My Costa’s are much more than the best quality sunglasses I have ever owned.
Costa is not a company that just cares about their bottom line. They care about our world’s environment and they are actively involved in doing something about it.
Through their Kick Plastic campaign, Costa is working with organizations to reduce the impact of plastic on our environment. Even Costa frames are made of a bio-based resin rather than petroleum-based plastics. Almost all plastic that has ever been produced is still around. We use millions of tons of plastic just once and then throw it away.
The equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute.
By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight).
Sadly, in today’s world, one in four ocean fish tested have plastic in them.
Costa is actively taking their Kick Plastic campaign across the country to educate people on what is happening to our environment. Costa is inviting all of us to challenge ourselves to Kick Plastic!
Costa is proud to be a long-term supporter of OCEARCH, an At-Sea Lab led by explorers and researchers who generate critical data and put science on the side of sharks.
You may not live near an ocean, but you should be concerned that 190 sharks are killed every minute.
Sharks are the lifeblood of our oceans, and they’re disappearing.
If the oceans lose their top predator, the entire ocean ecosystem is in trouble.
The Costa+OCEARCH Collection features new sunglasses and gear, inspired by the sharks that keep our oceans balanced. Your purchase of these products helps fund future OCEARCH expeditions and their mission to protect sharks. You can also help spread the message at #DONTFEARTHEFIN.
Costa sees sport fishing itself as conservation and is on a mission to protect the world’s waters by promoting sport fishing.
In the waters of the impoverished nation of Guyana’s unspoiled rain forest in South America, Costa found a place where sport fishing could preserve the country’s natural resources and culture.
Costa appreciated their efforts not to pillage their natural resources and was especially interested in the opportunity to bring in fly fishermen and give them a chance at catching the world’s largest freshwater fish, the Arapaima.
Arapaima grow up to ten feet long and can weigh over 800 pounds, they are known as living fossils.
Today fly fisherman all over the world are coming and helping tourism in Guyana to grow.
Because of this, schools are receiving more resources, the country’s infrastructure has improved and their natural resources have been protected.
Costa hopes this success will continue to grow throughout Guyana and spread to other countries.
Commercial overharvesting and other factors have all but wiped out the Bluefin Tuna population from the waters around Bimini and Cat Cay islands to off the coast of Florida.
Now, Costa through their Bluefin-on-the-Line program, along with the legendary Merritt family, is on a quest to revive an island, a sport, and a legacy by bringing back the Bluefin Tuna.
There are getting to be more companies like Costa who are giving back for conservation and our environment.
We need these companies, we need more of them and we need to support them by buying their products.
Browning Camping is proud to release the Refuge, a new sleeping bag that offers campsite comfort and versatility. The mummy-shaped bag, offers top-of-the-line features that Browning Camping’s customers expect. A center zipper can be zipped from the bottom for additional venting, and TechLoft Gold insulation ensures warmth (the Refuge comes in two temperature grades +15-degrees and -10-degrees). The durable separating zippers glide smoothly, and the outer fabric is nylon ripstop. What makes the Refuge stand out are the zippered armholes that allow venting, or the freedom to drink your warm beverage of choice without leaving the warmth of your sleeping bag.
Browning Camping takes the Browning motto of “The Best There Is” to heart, producing outdoor and camping gear of only the highest quality. This ensures that every item we manufacture is worthy of the world-famous and highly trusted Buckmark. Using only the highest quality fabrics, components and construction techniques, Browning Camping gear stands above the crowd in terms of quality outdoor products. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better air pad, tent, sleeping bag or camp chair on the market today. Backed by an industry-leading lifetime guarantee, Browning Camping gear truly is “The Best There Is.”
ALPS Brands is a proud licensee and distributor of Browning Camping.
About ALPS OutdoorZ, an ALPS Brands Company: Beginning in 1993 with the establishment of ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS Brands is a continuously growing and expanding group of companies dedicated to developing and manufacturing high quality, performance-driven outdoor products. Currently making up the ALPS Brands family of companies are ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS OutdoorZ, Delta Waterfowl Gear, Browning Camping and Cedar Ridge. Using the experience and knowledge gained from manufacturing high quality camping and backpacking gear under ALPS Mountaineering, ALPS Brands established ALPS OutdoorZ in 2007 with the mission of developing affordable, performance-driven hunting gear. Ten years after releasing their first group of hunting products, ALPS OutdoorZ has grown to offer packs, furniture, gun cases, sleeping bags and ground blinds. Brought together by a shared passion for wildlife and conservation, ALPS OutdoorZ is a proud sponsor and licensee of Delta Waterfowl, RMEF and NWTF products. ALPS OutdoorZ items are sold and distributed in the best camping, backpacking and outdoor dealers throughout the entire US and Canada. For more information, please visit: www.ALPSOUTDOORZ.COM.
1400 New Kids – FIND the OUTDOORS for the First Time
Parents of Kids – DISCOVER FISH and FUN of New York OUTDOORS
Kudo’s to TV Station Crew and Outdoor Sportsman Volunteers
By Joe McAdams – ECFSC Kids Fest Co-Chairman
This was the Erie County Federation’s 1st participation of the WNED-TV Kids Fest. I’ve attended this event with my grandson last year, so I had an idea of how the event worked and what to expect as an attendee.
The press release was sent out and we prepared to add another community event to our calendar. Unfortunately, we had no idea what to expect as a vendor.
Our platform consisted of standard Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs (ECFSC) banners and signage, Teach-Me-To-Fish posters supplied by Dave Barus, printed handouts for the Federation and an awesome supply of NYS fishing maps, fishing regulations and beginning fishing guides.
The crew consisted of President Jeff Jondle (event co-chair), Joe McAdams (event co-chair), Tom Fischer, George Rockey, Gary Melnyk, Hope Melnyk, and DEC biologist representative, Mike Todd.
Thanks to the assistance of the WNED studio crew members – we had our banner high on the wall. We went right to work setting up shop. This seasoned crew had everything ready to go in record time.
Our location in the TV studio – adjacent to the “Curious George and Friends” photo op and the “See Yourself on TV” green screen camera – gave us opportunity to present the Federation and all our programs to the interested parents.
Not knowing how many kids to expect and not having a large supply of prizes, we wanted to use a prize wheel to award drawing prizes. We brought 20 fishing poles, 100 mini-tackle boxes and over 200 Cabela’s braided wrist bands in hunter orange.
We couldn’t get a prize wheel, so we used a Plinko board with a 1-in-4 chance to win a top prize (fishing pole). Everyone else received a wrist band or mini tackle box. We expected our cache of over 300 prizes to easily last the day.
To say that we were WAY OFF is an understatement! Saturday’s pre-registered attendance was a little over 500, but an additional 400 kids purchased tickets at the door bringing the attendance to over 900 kids. This was amazing!
There was genuine interest in the Teach-Me-To-Fish program with many parents eager to attend this year’s events. I could not believe how many parents had never heard of ECFSC and Teach-Me-To-Fish. We had more face time with parents than any other Federation event!
DEC representative Mike Todd brought the popular fish identification display and a new event – the “fish pool”.
The fish pool consisted of numerous laminated color prints of various regional fish with a Velcro nose. Fishing poles equipped with a Velcro lined plug were used to make the catch. The water consisted of a blue tarp and nautical rope rigging to prevent those fishing from “falling in”.
The idea was to have the kids hook their fish, then take it to the identification chart behind the pool. This reinforced the fun of fishing with educational interaction. The fish pool was a huge success. Parents were taking pictures of their kids landing everything from Perch to Lake Trout! At times, the line to fish in the DEC Fish Pool stretched across the room.
After the first day, we exhausted our supply of prizes. We eliminated the mini-Plinko game and expanded the fish pond to account for the extra space. Sunday’s attendees would have been disappointed if it wasn’t for George Rockey. George came to the rescue with 200 stuffed emoji’s and 30 Frisbees to give away.
Sunday’s event was smaller and shorter in time with a schedule of 12-4. There were 300 pre-registered and another 180 walk-ins that brought the total kids to almost 500. The crowd was enthusiastic and parents snapped up anything that had information about Federation programs.
Hope and Gary Melnyk kept an eye on the prizes and managed to stretch them out until 2PM. Even without prizes, the kids still loved the fishing pond.
During this one event, we were able to reach more kids and engage more parents than the last 3 years of the “Teach-Me-To-Fish” program. More importantly, was that the majority of kids that attended this event were under the age of 6.
Our literature, fishing guides and maps weren’t taken by browsers strolling by, but were methodically acquired by young parents that were engaged by our Federation volunteers.
As a Director, former President, and longtime member of the Federation, I couldn’t be more proud of our all-volunteer team. They took this opportunity to educate and enlighten. To engage and provoke interest.
A special note of thanks for Mike Todd. This passionate New York State DEC biologist and educator does not get paid to support our events. He re-arranges his work schedule to cover the Federation sponsored events.
His fish pond was the hit of the show and had all of WNED-TV talking about what a great activity it was.
I can’t wait until next year…
About the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFS):The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Inc. is an all-volunteer, charitable, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the promotion of fish and wildlife conservation, education of outdoor participants and related outdoor recreation. This promotion is accomplished in several ways. We conduct or sponsor a variety of educational opportunities for young and old. Including, but not limited to: • Sponsoring youths to conservation education camps.• Scholarships for conservation related education.• Instructor Workshops • Sponsoring Outdoors Woman program candidates. We also sponsor many community service programs that include: • Hunters Helping the Hungry • Family Fishing Clinics • National Hunting & Fishing Day hands-on event for youth. ECFS programs Grow with the Community: We are actively involved with the community – acting as liaisons to state and local government agencies that affect New York State conservation laws and activities; attempting to improve the hunting and angling conditions for the sportsman – promoting the multiple use of our lands, forests and waters for recreational purposes for all the people. We sponsor legislation, participate in fish stocking in Lake Erie and tributaries, inland lakes and streams of Erie County. We assist the Conservation Department in pheasant stocking – and we are involved in the 4H pheasant stocking program. Visit us and keep track of our outdoor educational event programming throughout the entire year: www.eriectyfsc.org/
Worried about your kids or grandkids and their continuous attention to some sort of keypad? You know you are, so am I. They are growing up with something missing, but none of us know what to do.
While in Alaska recently, I had the pleasure to meet Richard Louv, a journalist, book author, radio, TV interview guest and fun-related speaker with a focus on bringing more kids and adults into the wonderful world of the outdoors.
Widely accepted as an authority on the outdoors, Louv created the expression “Nature Deficit Disorder,” as data provides evidence that both kids and adults spend less time in the outdoors than at any other me in our American history. Louv cited that this translates an increasing fear of the unknown in nature. Louv is the author of the book, Last Child in the Woods.
In this influential work, Louv cites barriers that impede people from identifying a path into nature. He told me one thing that I think all of us must not forget, “the more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need in nature.”
Louv explain details about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors. He directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard.
The latest edition reflects the enormous changes that have taken place since the book was originally published. It includes:
100 actions you can take to create change in your community, school, and family.
35 discussion points to inspire people of all ages to talk about the importance of nature in their lives.
A new progress report by the author about the growing Leave No Child Inside movement.
New and updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder has spurred a national dialogue among educators, health professionals, parents, developers and conservationists. This is a book that will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children.
Cover water with the all-new Mepps® Aglia® Flashabou. The new Mepps® Aglia® Flashabou combines the vibration and flash of a classic Mepps Aglia blade with a highly reflective, hand-tied flashabou tail for attractive, shimmering action in the water.
Mepps® Aglia® Flashabou spinners beam prisms of light to attract fish and are available in single and double blade configurations. The Double Blade Aglia® Flashabou produces more flash and loft over weeds and structure than the Aglia® Flashabou.
No other Flashabou style spinner offers the fish catching power and dependability like the Mepps® Aglia® Flashabou. View the Mepps Aglia Flashabou at mepps.com/products/lures or the Mepps Master Catalog. To receive a current Mepps Master Catalog, call 715.623.7556.
The Mepps® Aglia® spinner is the original French spinner. It is the World’s #1 Lure. The Mepps® Aglia® is extremely popular with fishermen world-wide because it will catch just about any freshwater fish and many species of saltwater fish.
Sheldons’, Inc. • 626 Center St., Antigo, WI 54409 • Phone: 800-237-9877
WILSONVILLE, OR (January 31, 2018) – Anchor Lights, Aerators, Bilge Pumps, Blowers, Cabin Lights, Courtesy Lights…does this sequence sound familiar? It’s the switch panel on your helm, and it’s just part of the A to Z listing of your boat’s electrical equipment. In addition to switches and alarms, indicator lights and gauges cover many portions of a boat’s helm and interior. Remembering what they all do, and making sure they are all in the correct positions can be challenging even for experienced captains.
Digital switching makes it easy and intuitive to control all of the interior and exterior lighting on this high-performance center console powerboat.
To solve this challenge Raymarine has partnered with Sweden-based Trigentic AB to bring their EmpirBus NXT Digital switching technology to the boating market. Trigentic’s systems have been used in hundreds of marine, automotive and industrial applications for over 10 years.
Why should you consider employing digital switching on your next boat or yacht? Quite simply, it makes monitoring and controlling your boat’s systems easy, intuitive, and logical. The EmpirBus NXT system allows you to easily create highly customized power distribution, control, monitoring and alarm management systems for any sized vessel.
Dom Wiseman of BoatAdvice.com.au recently looked at 2 different vessels equipped with Raymarine Digital Switching. Watch their video to see how this technology makes life onboard easier for owners of small and large boats alike.
Digitally-switched systems use logically presented soft switches, indicators and rich graphics to communicate vessel status.
Using digital switching, data from different systems on a vessel can be integrated and centralized, increasing the availability of important information. Status indicators and alarms can be consolidated onto virtual panels that allow you to monitor the entire vessel at a glance.
Digital switching systems offer many ways to interact. Custom pages with soft-switches, readouts, and status indicators can be programmed onto multifunction displays. Short-range, self-powered, wireless switches can be installed at key locations to toggle frequently-used circuits like lighting from multiple locations. Traditional push-button switches can be added where needed for control of specific items. Dedicated, weatherproof keypads can be tied in using NMEA2000 or SeaTalkng networking for convenient control in remote locations. Even remote switching via wireless networks, the internet, and GSM text messaging* is possible.
This luxury powerboat has digitally-controlled lighting, HVAC, power distribution, sun shades, tank levels, lights and much more.
Raymarine’s Digital Switching system is scalable for any-sized vessel, with near limitless capacity and opportunity for customization. Raymarine boat building partners are increasingly adopting Digital Switching systems on new boat models, giving new boat buyers simplified vessel automation control right at their helm station.
If you are boat builder or marine electronic and electrical integrator contact us to learn more about Raymarine Digital Switching solutions.
*GSM text messaging capabilities vary by country. Consult with a Raymarine Digital Switching Specialist for details.
About Raymarine: Raymarine, a world leader in marine electronics, develops and manufactures the most comprehensive range of electronic equipment for the recreational boating and light commercial marine markets. Designed for high performance and ease of use, the award-winning products are available through a global network of dealers and distributors. The Raymarine product lines include radar, autopilots, GPS, instruments, fishfinders, communications, and integrated systems. Raymarine is a division of FLIR Systems, a world leader in thermal imaging. For more information about Raymarine please go to www.raymarine.com.
Fredericksburg, Texas (January 2018) – Cimarron Firearms, recognized as the leader in quality and authenticity in Old West replica firearms, reveal their exclusive US Marshal 1873 Model carbine at the 2018 SHOT Show, in celebration of “The Gun that Won the West.”
Early in 2017, Cimarron received a request from an active US Marshal. He wanted a duty carbine that honored the US Marshal’s illustrious past but was also functional for today’s lawman. Over the past year, Cimarron worked tirelessly to develop a historic design on the Model 1873 carbine that was ready to serve in the name of law and order again.
Cimarron Firearms based the new 1873 US Marshal on an original 1873 Winchester presented to an active US Marshal in 1880 by his boss, Judge Isaac Parker, of the Indian Territory. The Cimarron is an accurate copy of the original Winchester 1873 carbine, with stock slightly shortened and the barrel cropped by two inches, making it easier for Marshals to carry in their vehicles. Built for the 44 Mag cartridge, the US Marshal 1873 carbine lever-action features the traditional saddle ring, ladder rear sight, sliding dust cover and the iconic semi-crescent steel carbine butt plate, all on a blue steel frame and barrel with US Marshal markings. The US Marshal 1873 has an MSRP of $1,402.70 and will be available end of the first quarter of 2018.
“The 1873 carbine was a very popular firearm used by those men deputized to preserve law and order in what was truly the Wild, Wild West.” Jamie Wayt, vice president of media for Cimarron Firearms, remarked. “To receive this request from an active US Marshall for a firearm that represents their history and service and to make it to be fully functional for today’s Marshals, was not only a challenge, but truly an honor.”
The US Marshals and their deputies have been instrumental as a civil authority in most of America’s major historical episodes over the
past 200 years. The US Marshals, created by the first Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789, fulfilled the function of authority under the Federal Government, and brought law and justice to an ever expanding western wilderness. As each territory was established, US Marshals were appointed as the voice of the law. Besides acting as lawmen, Marshals and their Deputies were also administrators, setting up courts, documenting cases and serving the communities in a civil capacity.
Judge Isaac Charles Parker, known as the “Hanging Judge” for trying more than 13,490 cases, and sentencing 160 people to death, of which 79 were eventually executed, respected the Marshal’s ability to track down fugitives and bring the lawless to justice. Between 1875 and 1889, Parker’s court held sway over the Indian Territory. Cimarron’s new 1873 US Marshal Model pays tribute to Parker’s action of ceremoniously giving a Model 1873 to a US Marshal for his service.
The original 1873 carbine was designed by Winchester® Repeating Arms Company and first offered in the powerful .44-40 cartridge. The gun became every deputy’s favorite side arm for its accuracy and its lever-action repeating assembly performance. Over 720,000 were produced, thus it became the most popular lever-action, long gun in America and was marketed by Winchester as “The Gun that Won the West.”
For more information on Cimarron Firearms and accessories, visit www.cimarron-firearms.com.
The 2018 Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Renegade and Wrangler.
From new teen drivers to an aging parent, the new Family Alerts feature provides peace of mind when they are out on the road. Vehicle owners can set boundary limits, monitor driving speed and pinpoint vehicle location at any time via the Uconnect Smartphone app:
Boundary Alert – Vehicle owners can create up to five geo-fence boundaries and will be alerted the moment their vehicle is driven either out of or in to a pre-set geographic boundary
Curfew Alert – Family Alerts help to enforce set curfew times. An alert will instantly let owners know when their vehicle is being driven outside of the curfew time assigned
Speed Alerts – Healthy driving habits can be practiced with the Speed Alert. Vehicle owners can set speed parameters and will receive a notification whenever their vehicle exceeds a set limit
Valet Alert – With Valet Alert, vehicle owners can hand over their keys with peace of mind. Owners will receive an alert the moment their vehicle is driven outside a 0.25-mile radius of a drop-off zone
The Family Alerts service requires a subscription to SiriusXM Guardian connected services and is available on 2018 model-year vehicles equipped with a Uconnect 4C NAV system. A radius can be set between 0.25 and five miles and alerts are sent as a message option via email or phone text.
Drive ‘n Save
Drive ‘n Save is a new benefit of Uconnect that allows owners of FCA US connected vehicles to save on auto insurance based on good driving habits, such as following smooth acceleration, braking cautiously and even limiting late-night driving.
Launching in 2018 on vehicles equipped with Uconnect Access or SiriusXM Guardian connected services, all owners have to do is sign up, enroll and then drive – Uconnect will take care of the rest by collecting information about how their vehicle is driven. With that data, a personalized driving score is created, informing owners of how they are driving and can be viewed via a VIN-specific account on Mopar.com. Drive ‘n Save will continually collect data for three months to ensure accuracy. The better the driving habits, the higher the driving score and based on the driving score alone, owners are able to receive discounts on auto insurance.
The score stays anonymous until drivers choose to start the conversation with insurance companies in their online account. Personal information recorded stays private and there is no risk of drivers’ rates going up. Drive ‘n Save has the ability to get drivers on the right track with friendly recommendations and helpful tips that can increase their driving score.
Online Search for Uconnect Navigation
Looking for a new restaurant that just opened? Online Search for Uconnect Navigation can help. Available for vehicles equipped with Uconnect navigation, Online Search goes beyond the built-in Point of Interest database and is enhanced with up-to-date search results pulled directly from the cloud using a built-in cellular connection.
Using the Point of Interest search box via the 8.4-inch touchscreen, Online Search helps consumers search for a larger variety of locations and helps navigate past destinations that may no longer be in operation.
Jeep Skill for Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo Dot Devices
First launched on the 2018 Jeep Cherokee, Jeep vehicles continue to enhance the owner connection with the integration of the Jeep skill for Amazon Alexa. Alexa is Amazon’s voice service and is behind devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show. Alexa provides a set of capabilities referred to as skills, which enable customers to make voice-activated requests.
Jeep skill responds to a multitude of voice commands via Alexa. The menu of commands can start the vehicle’s engine, lock and unlock doors, send navigation instructions to the vehicle, plus check fuel and tire pressure levels.
To initiate the Jeep skill for Amazon Alexa, owners must register with SiriusXM Guardian connected services, then search for and enable the Jeep skill in the skills store in the Alexa app. Once the customer’s SiriusXM Guardian and Amazon accounts are linked, customers can ask any Alexa device to open the Jeep skill.
Jeep skill for Amazon Alexa in Amazon Echo devices will be made available for the all-new Jeep Wrangler mid-2018 for users to explore.
Launched in 2003, Uconnect systems are FCA’s in-vehicle connectivity centers, designed to keep consumers connected, entertained and, most importantly, focused on the road. FCA vehicles offer Uconnect systems that provide drivers with a range of available communication, navigation, entertainment features and connected services. FCA continues to enrich the easy-to-use Uconnect systems’ features and services by delivering various vehicle enhancements via over-the-air software update capability. This over-the-air software update capability, deployed automatically via wireless cellular networks, enables product enhancements, security updates and improved compatibility with mobile devices to be applied at no cost to FCA US vehicle owners and without a service appointment.
An included trial of connected services also is available on properly equipped vehicles. These real-time services include a monthly vehicle health report; vehicle health alert; a smartphone app that enables owners to remotely lock, unlock or start their vehicle, locate their vehicle and more; and SOS Call and Assist Buttons on the rearview mirror that will connect vehicle owners to help at the push of a button.
Vehicle owners can access and control their Uconnect systems’ features and services by using advanced voice recognition technology, convenient steering wheel controls and intuitive touchscreens or traditional knobs and buttons, as well as by utilizing the Uconnect app and Vehicle Brand Owner Site to remotely deploy secure commands to the vehicle.
About Jeep Brand
Built on more than 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.
This isn’t one of those articles giving props to piles of mainstream, traditional ice fishing tackle. For that, you might simply step in to your local outdoor store and buy an ice auger, shelter or lure from any of the established brands. Or run a Google search on the aforementioned items; there’s no shortage of advice from which to form an opinion.
That said, try searching for alternative ice gear, or secret ice fishing tools or hardwater fishing hacks. Good luck.
Somewhat of a non-conformist himself, ice pro Brian “Bro” Brosdahl probably says it best: “Some of the most valuable ice gear I use every day sort of gets taken for granted,” asserts Bro, who routinely zigs when crowds zag.
“It’s like those key role players on a football team; the gear that really deserves credit for a great day on the ice mostly goes unacknowledged. Worse, some of these tools are totally ignored and unused by anglers. Truth is, there’s a whole bunch of pretty cool equipment you’ve probably never seen before that will absolutely enhance your time on hardwater. Some of it deserves the daily MVP award, though you might totally take it for granted.”
Wearable ice accessories greatly increase mobility, comfort and fishing efficiency.
#1 – WEAR YOUR UNDERWATER GLASSES
Hidden among haystacks of traditional ice gear is an alternative trend toward wearable tackle and gear storage, as opposed to stuff you’re forced to drag around like a third wheel. “I wouldn’t call it a trend exactly,” Bro interjects. “I mean, it’s mostly the tournament anglers on national circuits like the NAIFC who are literally wearing their underwater cameras and their tackle around their torsos.”
Couple winter’s back, NAIFC National Champs and three-peat Team of the Year winners Brandon Newby and Ryan Wilson helped the underwater camera inventors at Aqua-Vu design a wearable case compatible with its Micro viewing systems. “The motivation for designing the Micro-Mobile Pro-Vu Case,” says Newby, “was one of necessity, and of our need to find untouched fish. For us, a portable Aqua-Vu Micro camera lies at the heart of finding fish and structure—whether we’re prefishing a tournament or hitting new water.”
Designed to fit any size angler, the Pro-Vu Case sports dual adjustable straps, positioning the camera screen across the angler’s upper torso. The softcase itself features a large zippered camera compartment with a built-in protective cover, plus extra storage for a cell phone, keys and small tackle necessities. “We can drill holes, jig or rig lines and always keep the camera at the ready. The hands-free design of the case even lets us fish and underwater view at the same time. For us, it’s an absolute must-have piece of equipment.”
#2 – ACCESSORIZE YOUR ICE SUIT
Continuing the wearable tackle trend, Frabill offers a similar apparel accessory. “Don’t know about you, but I like to fish in stealth mode,” notes Bro. “Carrying a small, all-star selection of jigs, plastics and other necessities in a single wearable case is a luxury. The fact I can use it as a hand warmer—priceless. Probably not one in ten anglers knows what I’m talking about,” he laughs.
Fitted to be worm around the waist, Frabill’s Tackle Pack / Hand Muff is the only wearable tackle bag doubling as an easy-access hand warmer. “Fact is, a lot of us fish without gloves—especially during a frenzied bite,” notes Bro. “The Tackle Pack fits right across my food shelf (Bro-speak for love handles). Not only can I quickly access a fresh jig or plastic tail without getting up and digging into a pile of gear, but I can also throw a couple hand warmers inside the insulated hand muff for an instant warm up. Eliminates downtime. Definitely puts a bunch more fish on the ice for me, every day.
“We’ve long said our ice suits serve as our wearable shelters. I just take it one step further.”
A Panfish Toothpick safely extracts hooks without harming fish or damaging jigs.
#3 – PERFORM PANFISH DENTISTRY
Technically, the next nouveau tool can also be worn, or just as easily tossed into one of the four-dozen pockets sewn into your ice suit. A Panfish Toothpick is pretty much what it sounds like: a slick little device that safely, easily extracts a fish’s last meal from betwixt its bony jaws. The Toothpick pops free even those troublesome hooks lodged way back in the larynx. The name of the game is preserving your expensive premium hooks, tungsten jigs and other valuable lures. Performing the procedure with minimal stress on fish is a beautiful benefit.
“Grabbing an impaled jig with a forceps or pliers scratches and flakes lure paint and can bend or break your fine wire FISKAS Wolfram Jigs,” notes Jamie Olson, ace angler and proprietor of Your Bobber’s Down, Inc., an online retailer of elite-grade fishing tackle and hard-to-find accessories.
Both the Panfish Toothpick and new larger, T2 Toothpick feature a specialized V-slot. Apply quick direct pressure on the hook bend, backing the barb out and cleanly removing the lure. A ton of top-level anglers now use the Toothpick, says Olson, many of them having now removed pliers and hemostats from their lanyards altogether.
Despite the fact most ice fishers choose 25- to 30-inch ice sticks, huge advantages highlight both longer and much shorter rods. Case in point, St. Croix Rods’ 48-inch Legend Black ice rod, considered crazy tall for an ice wand. Among anglers who prefer to stand while fishing, to keep the rodtip close to the water surface for bite detection and to prevent line freeze, a longer rod can be an exceptionally valuable tool. Moreover, for flip-and-dip style shallow water fishing, an angler can simply keep a two- to four-foot length of line hanging from the rodtip, allowing for instant and rapid-fire fishing through multiple holes fast. Finally, a longer rod provides superior shock absorption, vital for battling large, fast-surging fish such as pike, lake trout and big walleyes.
Tournament ice anglers consider palm rods to be the single most sensitive ice tools in their arsenal.
At the other end of the spectrum are palm rods, curious 12- to 18-inch all-in-one rod/reel combos capable of fishing the tiniest lead or tungsten jigs with utmost finesse. Particularly for shallow water panfish, European-born palm rods serve as superior bite detectors, most of them, like the Jonttu Sport Special, armed with adjustable, super-responsive strike indicators. Top anglers consider a palm rod to be an extension of their fishing arm, spooled with wispy 1-, 2- and 3-pound test tied to jigs weighing under 1/64-ounce.
Staying with the scaled-down panfish theme, one of the biggest off-the-radar movements waiting in the wings are so-called through-head tungsten jigs. Another Eastern European contrivance, many of these elite designs lack a true line tie. Instead, they feature a small hole bored through the metal itself. A specialized, though simple, knot known as a snell or Marka knot secures these amazing jigs to your line, maintaining a perpetual horizontal posture—no repositioning of the knot required. Note: You can also use this knot with standard line-tie jigs for the same horizontal benefits. Finally, because the knot itself is recessed onto the hook shank, retying isn’t required nearly so often—and the snelled line itself can be used to secure soft plastic baits in place.
Alternative ice angling is little more than rethinking convention, taking the next step beyond “normal.” Time to embrace new or off-the-radar tools and techniques . . . before they become yesterday’s news.
Fishing Games for the Young…and the Elder Kids Too
Keep Warm in Chilly Weather, Clothes to Last Forever
By Larry Whiteley
I work with many outdoor companies throughout the year to test their products in the field and on the water. Here are some of those companies I have worked with, and will be working with again in 2018, that I am proud to recommend their products for Christmas gifts or a gift you give yourself.