When Santa Calls, You Answer!
By Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz
Today was a day we will never forget at The Next Bite Headquarters. We were barely through our first pot of coffee when we received an urgent call from the North Pole. Santa wanted to know if we could help him choose the perfect gifts for some of the fishermen who had written him. Well, of course we were willing to offer suggestions! Only a fool would say “no” to Santa.
Within moments, a sleigh came to whisk us away. The North Pole was just like we had imagined as kids. Reindeer were playing, elves were busy working and everything just seemed magical.
We sat down at a table in Santa’s workshop, where an elf brought us a stack of letters. The first one was from Bill in Michigan. “Dear Santa, I like to troll for walleyes, but I have a challenge. Whenever I use large crank baits or weights 3oz. or larger with spinners, my planer boards seem to drag. Can you bring me something that will help in these situations?”
This was a no-brainer. We instructed the elves to wrap a set of the new Offshore Tackle OR-37 SST Pro Mag Planer Boards. These boards are larger than the other planer boards in the OST family and are designed to pull more weight out to the side than any other board on the market today. Not only will these boards help Bill while walleye fishing, they are designed to pull generous amounts of lead core, copper and weighted balls while salmon and trout fishing. They also work flawlessly while trolling oversized baits for musky.
The next letter was from Sandy in Wisconsin. “Dear Santa, I love going fishing and putting patterns together by matching my lures to the forage. One of my favorite baits is the #7 Berkley Flicker Minnow that hit the stores last year. You wouldn’t believe the fish I’ve caught on these! Is there any way your elves could make this bait in other sizes?”
Your wish is our command! The elves at Berkley have been working hard to bring two new sizes to the market! The Flicker Minnow is now available in a #5 and a #11! We think she will be especially excited to see the #5, as there is no other bait quite like it!
Jim from Minnesota was looking to spice up his fishing by learning something new. “Dear Santa, All my friends have started jigging ice-fishing lures for walleyes year-round. I’d like to give it a try this summer. Can you bring me some new baits?”
Sure can Jim! We sent the elves off to fill his stocking with Moonshine Shiver Minnows. This horizontal jigging minnow has a unique action unlike any others, swinging off to the side on the up-stroke and smoothly gliding back down nose first during the free-fall.
While they come in several sizes, we instructed the elves to select our go-to summertime sizes of #2’s and #3’s. Jim will want to find fish relating to structure to use this technique. The cadence he uses will be the key to his success. He will want to sweep the rod up three feet, almost to the point of snapping it up. This makes the lure dart to one side. He will then want to immediately drop the rod tip to give it slack and let the bait glide as he reels in the slack line. Then, he will want to repeat the cadence. Most bites will come on the drop when there is slack in the line, so as he goes to make his next pull, if he feels weight he will want to set the hook hard!
Larry from North Dakota was looking for some good eyewear. “Dear Santa, I’d like to ask you to bring me a new pair of polarized sunglasses. I kind of sat on my old pair last summer and the duct tape holding them together isn’t very stylish. Not that the fish care about style, but I take quite a bit of ribbing from my buddies about it. I know you have to work within a budget, so if you could find a pair that is high quality, but won’t break the bank, I’d be very grateful.”
Larry was in luck! The Strike King S11 sunglasses, which cost less than fifty dollars, would be perfect for him. Not only will these sunglasses dramatically improve his ability to see into the water, but they also have a hydrophobic coating that repels dust, oil and water. The coating also prevents water spots, making the lenses easier to clean. With 20 different lens and frame color combinations to choose from, the elves are sure to find a pair that will meet the style requirements of Larry’s friends.
As we were getting ready to leave, the big man in red appeared. He thanked us for our assistance and then asked for one more favor. It turns out that Santa is a fisherman. “During the off-season I spend a lot of time ice fishing, but my holes are always icing over. I’m also not as young as I used to be and years of landing in fireplaces have taken a toll on my knees. It is hard for me to get down on the ice to pull a fish up hand over hand. What would you fellas suggest?”
We told Santa he should check out the Hot Box from JT Outdoor Products. This heated aluminum box keeps holes open up to 20 degrees below zero! When paired up with the new 36″ JT Outdoors custom dead stick, Santa will be able to fight the walleyes standing up. This high-grade fiberglass dead stick has an integral Nitinol (an alloy blend of nickel and titanium) spring bobber that is virtually indestructible and kink resistant. When the fish grabs the bait, the spring bobber and rod loads the fish. When the fish begin to feel this tension, it reacts by trying to swim away, which in turn puts further load on the rod. As a result, the fish end up setting the hook themselves! The length and long bend of the rod will give Santa plenty of time to make his way to the hole and land the fish!
With our work at the North Pole complete, we said our goodbyes and boarded a sleigh that took us back to our office. As we sat at our desks, sipping our coffee from the second pot of the day, we were content in knowing that there will be several happy anglers on Christmas receiving presents that will help get them The Next Bite.