CrappieNow 2016


Sure-Life Catch & Release & Better Bait             Keeping minnows and fish alive can be two difficult tasks. Sure-Life’s Better Bait has been around … Continue reading Products

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betterbaitSure-Life Catch & Release & Better Bait

            Keeping minnows and fish alive can be two difficult tasks. Sure-Life’s Better Bait has been around a long time so it has proven success at keeping minnows alive and active. President Tony Gergley says, “Our water conditioner is used by minnow farms, wholesalers on bait trucks and by bait shops. We sell it from 10 gram containers to 55 gallon drums.”

            Fishermen needing to keep fish in good condition need Catch and Release. This is another product with a long history but Gergley says the product has gone through several improvements over the years. “This product calms the fish. We use 55 products in our formula and the powder ingredient has much less inactive ingredients. We go above what other brands are doing. We add electrolytes, remove ammonia, and remove foam. Removing foam is critical since 90 percent of the oxygen comes from the surface of the water. We stimulate slime cells to protect and add anti-bacterial, fungicides and more.” Aprx Prices for 10-oz: Better Bait $17; Catch & Release $20.

Beyond Coastal Sun Care

            “Inactive ingredients can make up more than 80% of your sunscreen formula,” says Andrew Bergquiest with Beyond Coastal. “We use antioxidant rich, healthy ingredients and are always in the top three, out of 400, when rated each year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).”

            “For fishermen, we recommend a 30 SPF broad spectrum that protects against UVA and UVB rays. The 30 is fine with 97% protection. Going to a rating of 60 only gives one more percentage, 98%, protection. The quality of the product is the more important. Re-apply every three hours, wear a large hat and long sleeve shirt. The biggest mistake is not applying often enough.” Prices vary based upon choice of product and size.

Lew’s Speed Shooter

            “Our new rod is called the Speed Shooter,” says Mr. Crappie, Wally Marshall. “It comes in a 5.5-foot and 7.0-foot model. I personally like a longer rod when shooting because it allows me to stay back away from the dock a little and get more distance on the shots. Some people like a shorter pole so we offer a choice.”

            The rod had a very distinctive bright green color making it easy to pick out from the others. The IM-8 means a top quality blank and sensitivity. Marshall says the pole has a lot of backbone and a fast tip. “The stiffer design allows accurate and long shooting while the fast tip makes it very sensitive to the lightest bites. One of the best new features are the Airway guides. They remove the line slap and resistance giving a smoother action and longer casts.” Price $45-$50.

Aqua-Vu HD700i

            hd_700i_875x490The first totally digital HD underwater viewing system features 720p HD resolution and 100-feet of heavy-duty optical cable and 7-inch monitor.

            “With the new 700i I can see into darker and more turbid water than with any other camera,” says professional guide, “Bro” Brosdahl. “The HD gives the advantage of seeing further and clearer. It also has a reverse view called Live Strike that allows you to point it toward your lure and watch the fish come up and eat it.”

            “One of the most important features is a screen that is four-times brighter,” says Cory Schmidt with Traditions Media. “It’s easier to see the screen in all conditions. Along with more detail provided by HD and the bright screen, the fisherman gets a better look under the water. Little details add up like green weeds and fish color making it more interesting. Instead of seeing one-foot we can now see two or three-feet. It’s easy to set up and use.” Price $700.

Road Runner Glow Series

Barbed Glow Heads Chart Orange 641            There are hundreds of bait choices available to fishermen but few have the history and performance of Road Runner jigs. TTI-Blakemore’s T.J. Stallings says, “We are helping fishermen by providing what they want…more glow series than ever before. It’s what’s hot in crappie fishing. Crappie fishermen have continued experimenting and fishing with glow and have learned how important it is to catching fish. The 1/16- and 3/8-ounce have been some of our best sellers this year.”

            “It’s about being seen. Think about it, if shooting to the darkest places under a dock why not shoot something that can be seen. Glow makes a difference.”

             Stallings says the best glow paint balance between looks and effectiveness is a critical balance. “Glow paint by itself isn’t attractive. A fisherman must have confidence the bait looks good or he won’t use it so our first step is to make it look good. The second step is to maintain a good glow that the fish will see. We’ve done that.” He says matching the glow Road Runner head with an opaque color jig is ideal. Price for 1/16-oz 9-pack is $15.

Frabill Weigh-In Bag

  product-weigh bag          A good product for a weekend fisherman or tournament angler, the Frabill Weigh-In Bag offers some versatility. “The system has three components,” says representative, Josh Lantz. “One is the weigh bag itself, that is reinforced and self-standing. An 11 gallon capacity creates a heavy bag and this one can handle the weight. Another component is the mesh bag. The mesh bag goes into the weigh bag, filled with fish and lifted from the bag when ready to remove fish for weighing or cleaning. The bag is also good for storage of bulky items when not in use for fish. The third item is the aerator.”

            Lantz says the system not only works great for tournament fishermen but it can be the perfect solution as a portable livewell in a small boats, a kayak and even bank fishing. The aerator run 30+ hours on two D batteries. Price is $80.

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