By: Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz
Like clockwork, the phone at The Next Bite office rings with a call from Santa about this time every year looking for gift advice. After the usual pleasantries, Santa got right down to business. He said there was a guy who had been extra good this past year that had just bought a Mercury powered Nitro Z21. Santa wanted to help him rig it.
“I can help with that,” said Keith. “Start with some PowrTran trim tabs. They are built to last in demanding conditions and will give him great fuel economy and boat control.”
“Ah….boat control. That’s something that can be an issue for a lot of guys. I may have found myself unintentionally parked on a sandbar once or twice,” Santa chuckled.
Keith just shook his head and went on to tell Santa how he controls the boat while trolling. “I keep the boat on course with a FOB that is worn around my neck so I can direct the PowrTran Python Kicker Steering System from anywhere in the boat! I also don’t have to use two throttles to control the trolling speed, because the Python works in conjunction with the iTroll, which can fine-tune trolling speeds to a 1/10th of a mile!”
“That sounds awesome,” said Santa. “I have another question though, what about trying to anchor? I know I have a heck of a time trying to get the boat positioned exactly where I want it. Not to mention I can’t toss out an anchor like I used to.”
Gary laughed, “Neither can I, big guy! That’s why I have a Power-Pole on the back of my boat.”
“A what? You are going to have to explain that one to me,” Santa replied.
Gary told him that the Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchor is the tall apparatus on the transom opposite of the kicker motor. With the push of a button, the device scissors out and down, driving a fiberglass rod into the bottom.
“The Power-Pole makes it easy to anchor, move and re-anchor when working a specific area. There is no commotion from tossing out a traditional anchor or running a trolling motor in shallow water,” he said. “You can also get a Drift Paddle, which attaches to the spike of the Power-Pole, which will help you achieve ultimate boat control while trolling. It is great for providing drag on windy days and helping to prevent surges in the lines when the waves hit the boat!”
“Well you’ve got me sold,” said Santa.
He then got back to picking the brains of Gary and Keith. “You guys know I’m always looking for good stocking stuffers. What should I load up on this year?”
“Well that’s easy,” said Keith. “The new Jointed Berkley Flicker Shads and Shallow Flicker Shads! The Jointed Flicker Shads are designed to work well in both cold and warm water. They have a great action whether they are being trolled at 1.2mph or 3mph! They also have some pretty cool color schemes.”
“Oh boy,” said Santa. “I’m going to have to get some of those for myself. I don’t know if I want to ask about the Shallow Flicker Shad, because I can already feel my wallet getting lighter!”
Keith grinned, “Well the Shallow Flicker Shad can be used both casting and trolling. They are great for casting over the top of weeds or brush that come near the surface. If the fish are up on a bank or a flat in a shallow lake, then trolling is the way to go with them!”
Santa chimed in, “Speaking of trolling, when I’m trolling for walleyes I always use my Precision Trolling Data app to get the bait where I need it to be. I love that app! All I have to do is choose the lure and the depth I want it to be at and the app tells me how much line to let out to get it there!”
Gary then changed the subject. “Please tell me you have finally traded in the red suit for something a little more practical and fashionable when you are fishing.”
“Are you trying to tell me something Gary?”
Gary laughed, “You bet! I’m trying to tell you that you need to get some Blackfish clothing! They make some sharp looking hats, gaiters, and shirts with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) to help protect you from the sun. They also have clothing made from Coolcore fabric to wick moisture away from your body. For rainy days they have waterproof, breathable jackets and bibs to keep you dry. This stuff is amazing!”
“Ok, but will it make me look about ten pounds thinner?”
“Well I can’t promise that, but I can tell you one more thing you won’t be able to live without- a pair of Strike King S11 polarized sunglasses! Not only will these sunglasses dramatically improve your 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. They cost less than $50 and there are over 20 different lens and frame color combinations to choose from.”
With Santa now having some practical fishing apparel knowledge, the conversation turned to ice fishing. He was looking for some gift ideas for anglers with a hard water addiction.
Keith had a couple recommendations, Clam shelters and JT Outdoors Hot Boxes and Snare Rods. He started with the shelters. “Almost all of the new Clam ice fishing shelters have 50 percent more insulation because they are now made with 900 Denier fabric to keep heat in and the cold out! This will allow you to stay warmer longer, giving you more time on the ice to catch fish!”
He then went on to tell Santa about the JT Hot Box and Snare Rods. “The Hot Box is a heated aluminum box that keeps holes open up to 20 degrees below zero! When paired the 36” JT Outdoors Snare Rod, hooking up on every bite is almost a sure thing! When the fish grabs the bait, the spring bobber and rod load the fish. When the fish begins 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!”
“Wow,” said Santa. “I bet I will make a lot of people happy if I put those under the tree!”
“You sure will,” replied Gary.
It was time for Santa to get to the shop, “Once again guys, I can’t thank you enough for the advice you give me every year! A lot of people are going to be able to get their Next Bite with these gift ideas!”