MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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December 7, 2012

COLUMN: Santa’s got lots of options for the anglers among you

— With the 43rd Bassmaster Classic set to take place in February 2013 (provided the Mayan calendar’s wrong) on Grand Lake of the Cherokees located in the northeastern corner of our state,  it’s never to early to think fishing especially if we have another mild winter. Now’s the time to be throwing out the gift hints and see if anyone takes the bait.

Inventors and tackle companies never cease to amaze me with what they can devise. Some are practical, some semi-practical, some catch the angler’s fancy but not much else and some should be outlawed and as a matter of fact have been in some bass tournaments.

A contraption called the Alabama Rig burst onto the scene when FLW pro Paul Elias used it to win $100,000 on Lake Guntersville located where else — the state of Alabama. The rig, also known as the umbrella rig, has up to five jig heads tipped  with a swim bait. It resembles a school of shad and it’s not uncommon to catch two or three fish on one cast.

One item that any fisherman likes to find in his stocking or under the tree is a gift card to his favorite outdoor store. Some innovated tackle for the spring of 2013 were introduced at the 2012 ICAST, the  International Convention of  Allied Sportfishing Trades show.

Yum tackle company introduced the Double Up which utilizes some of the Alabama Rig properties except it’s light weight and features two-arms and allows you to fish two topwaters, jerkbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits or spinnerbaits. The Double-Up costs around $4 and can be viewed by going to lurenet.com.

Another item revealed is the XPOD JR by Megabass. It’s a  smaller version of the original XPOD, a 3-inch topwater plug you can work in many different ways, thanks to the seven-position bill that features an innovative, adjustable lip and a one-knocker system. You can walk the dog, chug on the surface, or make it a shallow sub-surface swimbait. The price is a little steep, somewhere in the neighborhood of $30. For information, contact megabass. com.

An item for the hot weather next summer is the Columbia Omni-Freeze Zero shirt. The shirt has a cooling agent in small blue rings that press against your skin and get colder when perspiration hits them. The shirt retails for around $130 and will be sold by columbia.com.

For the serious fisherman that leaves no stump unturned, there’s the Hydrowave, an electronic feeding stimulator on reactive senses of bass and other predatory fish. Hydrowave incorporates both Lateral Reactive Technology (LRT) and Vibration Reactive Technology (VRT) to elicit predatory feeding responses.

The system is shock-resistant with a waterproof design and six proven pre-programmed sounds. The top unit mounts in your boat and the sound broadcaster mounts to your trolling motor. The package retails a little less than $400. Oh — the company owner? Bass fishing phenom and multi-time Bassmaster Elite Series champion Kevin VanDam.

Aqua-Vu handheld Micro Underwater Camera gives you a fish’s-eye color view of the underwater world. It comes in a compact package that fits in your hand or slips in your pocket. The unit has a 3 1/2-inch screen, color camera, auto-sensing infrared lights, cable with integrated cable management system and a rechargeable lithium ion battery and retails for around $300.

Granted, most of the items listed above are a little out of my price range but, hey, I guess you never get too old to believe in Santa and all those elves.

John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at jkilgoreoutdoors@yahoo.com.

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