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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Dear Santa: For Christmas, I'd like ...

Dear Santa: For Christmas, I'd like ...

In 13 days, sleigh bells will ring and that jolly old man in a red suit will be sliding down your ch

In 13 days, sleigh bells will ring and that jolly old man in a red suit will be sliding down your chimney with his bag of goodies.

If you’re like I am, you’ve already been dropping hints about some of the items you’d like to see under the tree on Christmas morning. To insure everyone in your household knows, I’ve found a list taped to the refrigerator is a daily reminder and works much better. Here’s my list that’s hanging for all to see. Check it out — there might be something on my list you’d also like.


As always, I’m asking for a very special gun, one I’ve wanted since it was introduced — the Crosman .177 caliber Nitro piston model MTR77NP rifle. This break-barrel action air gun that is styled to look like a modern sporting rifle, I believe, offers the most ideal economical way to squirrel hunt and/or plink. Squirrel season is open until the end of February. Don’t worry Mr. Claus about the NY SAFE Act — the MTR77NP only “looks” like an assault rifle.

This good-looking airgun has a pellet velocity of 1,000 feet per second, 1,200 with special alloy pellets and 18 foot pounds of energy, a two-stage trigger and comes with a 4x32 power scope. Manufacturers suggested retail price is $200.


Eight years ago, I bought my first WaveSpin spinning reel, designed by Doug Hannon, better known as “The Bass Professor.” Since then, I’ve added some of his other products to my collection, so it’s only fitting I add their new Legend 250 to my “working” collection.

The Legend is an all-freshwater reel of CNC-machined aluminum, weighs just 9.5 ounces, comes with 7-plus-1 extreme-duty steel bearings, an exclusive WaveSpin spool for longer tangle-free casts and a front drag system with 10 alternating discs for three times more tension.

I can honestly say I’ve never had any problems with any of the WaveSpin reels, and they’ve seen a lot of fishing time. MSRP is $140.

It’s against the fisherman rules to match a new reel with anything but a new rod, and I just happened to find one on the Bass Pro Shop website. It’s the six-foot, eight-inch medium XFAST Action Johnny Morris carbon lite spinning rod. It’s an 85 million modulus carbon fiber blank with stainless steel framed guides and rated for 4-12 pound test and 1⁄8- 1⁄2-ounce lures. It’s definitely the right combination for big bass and other game fish. MSRP is $80.

Aqua-Vu Micro II

What takes the most time when ice fishing? Finding the fish.

The new AQUA-VU Micro II can speed things up quite a bit. This complete underwater system, which is no bigger than a smart phone, has all the features needed to find them. Utilizing a

3.5-inch, LCD screen gives live color underwater video. The package is a camera the size of a bottle cap that includes IR lighting and 50 feet of cable wrapped around the integrated viewing screen.

A built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to eight hours of run time, and a battery charger are included. The Aqua-Vu Micro easily fits in your pocket or tackle box. And once that hard water turns soft, this unit can definitely help you find the bass and those hard to find schools of walleye. MSRP is $250.

Ion Ice Auger

Speaking of hard water, isn’t it time we add a power auger to our ice fishing equipment?

This unit has an onboard high-energy 40V MAX lithium-ion battery that drills up to 40 holes through two feet of ice on one charge. It weighs only 21 pounds for the six-inch model and 22 pounds for the eight-inch, both working with no noise, no fumes and no gas or oil needed. It features easy grip handles, large ergonomically positioned trigger, 12-inch auger extension that increases the auger length to 48 inches, and a steel auger. Other features include a “Spot On” centering ring that allows holes to be reopened, and a straight through blade design for a no-catch breakthrough with no jagged ice around the bottom rim of the hole. MSPR is $500 for the six-inch, $519 for the eight-inch.


Getting the drop on a big buck, turkey or flock of waterfowl requires stealth and concealment, so I want to start blinding my game targets. Insuring stealth and concealment required me to have an early meeting with Santa, so I already have my Ameristep 3D leafy tent chair blind.

This blind comes in Realtree Xtra camo pattern and 3D Edge ReLeaf mesh exterior with large front and side windows, is lightweight and one-piece and sets up and takes down in seconds, making it ideal when it’s time to move. Measuring 20 inches wide and 17 deep with a 16-inch seat back, it comes with a carrying case with shoulder strap. The one-man blind is $146, the larger, $199.

Note: I’ve already taken two coyotes using this chair blind set up in a hedgerow.

Chef’s Choice

Deer camp breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day, and here’s something very appropriate to start a hunter’s day off with — the Sportsman Classic WafflePro model 853 electric waffle maker. What makes this so special is that it makes two waffles with an imprinted deer head design in just two minutes. It features a superior non-stick, easy-release coating and consistent even-heating baking inside and out. An LED indicator light lets you know when the waffle maker is properly heated to temperature and ready to bake. Additionally, it has a convenient, easy to open, latching handle combined with a built-in cord storage compartment. MSRP is $50.

Stocking Stuffers

Fishermen all have their lure choices and those who follow my columns during bass fishing season know that my go-to bait is the BPS Stik-O-Worm, which I use 90 plus percent of the time I’m on the water. Honestly, they’re the best fish-catching lure I’ve ever used in my 60-plus years of fishing. This year, I want to find my stocking packed with their new 53⁄8- and six-inch Stik-O-Worms. They cast exceptionally well weightless, and float to the bottom slowly and tantalizingly. Add to that the addition of their 8UP scent and you have a fish getter. They sell for $5.29 for a package of 16 while similar baits sell 10 packs for $7.69.

Here’s a chance to learn some new techniques as well as some new spots to catch fish. Ask for a day with a local fishing guide. There’s no preparation other than getting your rods and reels ready, but don’t tie anything on, use the guide’s bait/lures. Most guides charge the same for one or two people, so make a little note right next to this that says: “Whoever gives me this gift can go with me.” To find a local guide, check with a good bait shop or two. They usually know who to call.

All wise outdoorsmen and women know that carrying a cell phone into the woods or on the water is a good idea. I know from experience, they can take a beating. To protect your phone, ask Santa for an Otis Technology SnowLizard SLXtreme iPhone 4/4S case. It’s rugged, waterproof, solar-powered and battery-boosting for an iPhone 4/4S. The in­tegrated 2000mAh battery extends the phone charge up to 1.5 times more. Also, it can safely go to six feet submerged to capture photos. It measures 5.71x2.92x1 inches, weighs .71 pounds and comes in four color choices. MSRP is $130.

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