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What's New for 2012?

The Long & Short of Jigs

Toppers and More - Be Part of the Family

Nilson's Has It All

 

 

What's New for 2012?

By Mike Frisch

Mike

Open-water fishing is rapidly approaching!

Every year at this time I get really excited as another open water fishing season gets closer by the day! Every offseason also sees a host of new lures and other “fishy” gadgets being introduced that need to be tested and I’m just the guy to do some of that testing, if the season ever gets here! Here is a look at some new items in the fishing tackle world that I either had a chance to sample late last year or am anxious to sample this coming season.
A hot trend in fishing lures is the addition of several “lifelike” lures that do a great job of mimicking some of the things that fish actually eat. The new Live-Forage Swimbaits are soft plastic minnows designed to look just like real minnows and other baitfish that bigger fish feed on. These baits come in several shiner patterns, perch, bluegill and other patterns that look just like the real thing. In fact, the first time I held one I almost thought I felt it wiggle in my hand! These baits will be dynamite for cast and retrieve fishing for walleyes, bass, panfish, and northern pike.
When it comes to crankbaits, Livetarget’s line of baits are also extremely realistic. Crankbaits in pumpkinseed, crawfish, bluegill, and perch are just some of the patterns available. These baits look just like the real thing and are also designed with rattle components for fish attracting sound and vibration and also have actions fish prefer. Additionally, the Livetarget Frog and Field Mouse are hollow-body baits that can be used to fish over the top of heavy cover for largemouth bass. Not only do they look like real frogs and mice but they are very soft and have sharp hooks which lead to more fish being hooked.
Lifelike lures are hot right now. The fishing rod market has also seen some awesome improvements recently as well. The trend is toward super light and very sensitive rods. Light rods are important to bass anglers who fish big baits because they allow for long fishing days without undue fatigue. Sensitivity is important to bass anglers and maybe even more important to walleye anglers. Last year, I had a chance to test some of the new Carbon X rods for both walleye and bass fishing. I was impressed with the light weight of these rods and with how sensitive they are. Carbon X rods were designed by David Gray an expert fisherman who relied on advice from some of the country’s top guides and tournament anglers. Not only that, but the rods are American made as well.
New lures and new rods can help anglers be more successful this season. Sonar technology is another area that just keeps getting better and better. Humminbird’s Side Imaging took the fishing world by storm a few years ago allowing anglers to “see” picture-like detail of cover off to the boat’s sides. Down Imaging, available on several new sonar models, now takes that technology and points it straight down to give snapshot like detail of what is below the boat. If there is one thing an angler can do to increase his or her fishing success, it is to update their sonar/GPS unit(s) if they haven’t done so recently. This new technology is amazing in what it shows and how easy it is to use as well.
New sonar technology, light and sensitive rods, and lifelike lures and baits are recent innovations that can help us be more successful anglers this coming year. Now if the ice would leave so we could just get out and use some of these advances. Good luck on the water this season!
Mike Frisch is a western Minnesota multi-species fishing guide and tournament angler. Check out his regular fishing reports at www.fishingtacklejunction.com

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The Long & Short of Jigs

By Dennis Foster

Spring is here and that means most of us will be using the venerable jig in order to bring a few of our glassy eyed friends up topside to give them a quick look at things from our perspective. Yes, most of you are fully aware of how effective jigs are and I would venture to say that there has been sufficient material written about this to overflow the Library of Congress. But, that does not mean that the subject has been exhausted. There are always subtle nuances and new things to consider for those who tend to fall into a rut.
I will touch on a couple of contrasting jig styles I feel you should be using. The most common ball type jigs come equipped with a medium length hook. As good as these are, I would implore you to go to either end of the spectrum. Very short jigs such as the JB Lures Smacker serve even better in the traditional role of using fathead minnows. Cinch the minnow tight to the jig by running the hook up through the mouth and out the top of the head. This is a very compact and tempting package that lends itself to vertical jigging, short distance pitching and moderate snap jigging without constantly losing your bait. The small profile also cuts current very well, so is great for river outings. Time honored and proven…short shanked jigs are often forgotten or overlooked.
Going with a more unique head design such as the stand up style Odd Ball jig from Bait Rigs can offer a decidedly different look and due to the hook design, lends itself very well to use with plastics and can even be very easily be fished in a weedless manner with the hook point just slightly exposed or even hidden. Giving us a higher profile bait that excels in distance casting and aggressive snap jigging scenarios with your chosen plastic body providing a seductive swimming motion and added attraction. And, we can always revert back to traditional vertical jigging as the standup capabilities always leave the hook riding in an upward position. As we have plenty of hook gap, a great option is using two minnows for a distinctive look that often seals the deal.
To properly deliver these jigs, a rod that is extremely light and sensitive is needed to get the most out of the system. If the rod is overly heavy, you will soon lose concentration as you tire of holding it all day and if you cannot detect the bites you are getting-you had just as well put the cheapest rod you can buy in a rod holder and hope the fish commit suicide. If you are the frugal kind and simply can’t justify having a complete lineup of premium rods, I would at the very least get at one that will serve your needs for this function and maybe even serve double duty as a livebait rod.
For this, my personal first choice recommendation would be to with technique specific rods such as St.Croix’s Jig-n-Rig in a LTWS66MLF Legend Series. Or, if you are looking to stay a bit more economical and still have a top flight rod, the Jig-n-Rig in a LTWS66MLF Eyecon Series is a great choice and most likely the best value out there today as is evidenced in the Eyecon being Field & Stream’s 2011 Best of the Best award winner for spinning rods.
An indisputable fact is that good jigs and great rods coupled with a no stretch braid will enhance your feel and easily double the number of fish you bring in.
Dennis Foster is a Pheasant Hunting/Fishing Guide and Outdoor Writer from Mellette, SD. He always has time to talk Hunting and Fishing and can be contacted via his website
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Toppers and More - Be Part of the Family

Toppers and More

Staff Reports

Let’s face it, there are plenty of places you can go to buy accessories for you truck. However, there are not too many places where you can go and be treated like one of the family. Toppers and More is both of these and much, much more. Conveniently located in South St. Paul their company still operates with the same family values as it did when it was founded in 1949. That’s over sixty years of treating customers like sisters and brothers.
As the family at Toppers and More has grown, so has the incredible line of truck and SUV accessories. They carry toppers and tonneau covers from A.R.E., Unicover, Ranch, and APC. Along with bedliners, trailer hitches, stepbars the list of possibilities is nearly endless. Whether you’re looking for a trusted opinion or a tidy installation this is the place. The folks at Toppers and More have the expertise needed to get the job done right.
I recently spoke with a very excited Rod Lange at Toppers and More. The cause of the commotion was the addition of a full new line of ATVs, “A” meaning amphibious. You guessed it the full ARGO line-up is now available at Toppers and More. The capabilities of these amphibious recreational vehicles are astounding. The ARGO can go where traditional ATVs cannot and they can handle a serious amount of gear while doing it. The Argo line includes two 6x6 and seven different 8x8 models. With this wide variety of configurations and a full array of options, your Argo will fit the way you live outdoors.
The advantage becomes obvious as you cross streams and ponds with ease. Once the water gets deep the ARGO will gain buoyancy and continue on. The best part is that you and your gear stay completely dry. This is made possible because of water tight construction and a unique tire design. There is even an optional mounting kit that allows for a 5 hp outboard to be attached to your ARGO! This machine will get you into new fishing spots where no angler has ever dropped a line. If you hunt, the ARGO is available in Mossy Oak or Realtree Hardwoods. Full camo and ability to get anywhere make it the ultimate choice to get you through the season. In fact, there isn’t better vehicle made for the true outdoors person.
In addition to the Argo line, Toppers and More also carries CFMoto scooters, ATVs, and side by sides. They are a full service dealer for DreamShak, whether you hunt, ice fish, or camp, you owe it to yourself to check out the DreamShak. Toppers and More is the only place I know where you can go and rent one of these versatile shelters. Not only can the staff at Toppers and More get you the right tools to enjoy the outdoors, they can outfit your rig to get you there in style.

Visit Toppers and More online: www.toppersandmore.net

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Nilson's Has It All

See them online at http://www.nilsondirect.com/fishhouses

Staff Reports

Welcome to Nilson’s Hardware and Rent It.
Nestled into the backdrop of a small Minnesota community, there lays Swanville, MN.
It is a place where people are still treated with honesty and respect.
Thirty years ago, a business was built on family values and a love for retail.
Randy Nilson and his staff have been answering questions about which paint to use, where to find that electrical connector, and how to fish in a camper.
Not just another full service hardware store, Nilson’s carries the full line of Ice Castle fish houses. Randy Nilson was one of the original distributors for Ice Castle and the experience shows.
Whether you are looking for an entry level fish shack or you’re in the market for a luxury fish house, the guys at Nilson’s probably have it.
Ice Castle has been building fish houses since 1993 and has grown to become the largest manufacturer of portable fish houses in Minnesota. With an impressive list of standard features and an ever growing battery of options, you can have your dreams made into reality. Because they sell factory direct, there is no need to worry about getting a better deal.
As expected, Nilson’s Hardware and Rent It also carries other items for the serious outdoors person. They have it all. From Honda generators to South Bend fishing tackle and everything is conveniently located under one roof.
Nilson’s also carries Traeger Wood Pellet Grills and Smokers. This innovative line of grills and accessories uses wood pellets rather than charcoal or gas. The pellets are available in a variety of hardwoods that naturally compliment the flavor of what you put on the grill. The pellets come in convenient twenty pound bags and are safer and cleaner than traditional outdoor cooking fuels. The same self igniting Traeger grill has the ability to grill, smoke, and barbeque. It can even bake your food.
When you start a conversation with one of Nilson’s associates, it immediately feels as though your own neighbor is offering you trusted advice. Their good ethics extend beyond the usual sale and have generated a lot of repeat buyers and referral business.
Nilson’s would prefer building a good relationship with their customer rather than using pressure to get a sale.
So, if you are in the market for anything from paint to an Ice Castle, give Nilson’s a try. You won’t be disappointed.

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