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Archive for July, 2014


Treasures Await

Find Yours with Metal Detectors
 
Perhaps it’s the allure of finding valuable metals, coins, jewelry and historical artifacts like we see on TV. Maybe it’s related to the rise in gold prices. Whatever the reason, metal detectors are once again quite popular and a favorite family activity, especially between grandparents and grandkids.
 
The most popular brand of metal detectors found at Dunham’s Sports is the Bounty Hunter line, including the Tracker IV model. It can detect coins that are seven inches deep in the ground and features three modes of operation and two-tone audio discrimination. The Tracker IV model can detect all types of metal or you can set it for a desired type. The sensitivity level control lets you determine how sensitive the detection should be and at what ground depth you wish to search.
 
For those who take their metal detecting more seriously, there’s the Bounty Hunter Discovery 1100. It also detects coins up to seven inches deep in the ground and features a three-segment LCD display, three-tone audio discrimination and a seven-inch open-frame, waterproof search coil for searching in shallow waters.
 
Newly available at Dunham’s Sports is the New Master Edition Metal Detector Kit from Barska. It features three operation modes to distinguish between various metals, such as identifying whether the item being picked up by the detector is gold or aluminum.
 
“You can ask the New Master Edition Metal Detector to disregard nails and other non-valuable items and focus on the more valuable stuff,” Ryan Hills of Barska said.
 
The New Master Edition Metal Detector also features an auto tune, which lets you tune your detector quickly for accuracy, a stem that can be adjusted from 13 inches to 19 inches (to accommodate the user’s height and reach) and an adjustable arm rest for greater comfort.
 
“If you’re going camping, metal detecting is something nice to do while you’re out in the woods. Metal detectors fold down pretty small, so they’re easy to transport,” Hills added.
 
All of the metal detectors found at Dunham’s Sports carry limited manufacturers’ warranties and all are equipped to be used with available headphones that are not limited to metal detecting. The Bounty Hunter headphones, for example, deliver true stereo sound, swivel ear cups and padded earphones for optimal comfort. In addition to enabling you to enjoy your metal detecting excursion in private, these headphones can be used to listen to your favorite music, since they feature both ¼-inch and -inch plugs.
 
Care for your metal detector is minimal: Wipe down the head and replace the batteries when needed and you’re all set for hours of treasure hunting. Good luck!
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Comfy, Cozy and A Snap To Set Up

Camping Is More Enjoyable with Today’s Tents
 
We’ve all seen the comedy routine: a couple pulls to a campsite and attempts to unfold and assemble a tent. Hours later, the tent is up, but it resembles nothing like it’s supposed to: poles are askew and the flap is on top of the tent. Sure, it’s an exaggeration; that’s what makes it funny. There is, however, a kernel of truth in the scene. Recognizing this, tent manufacturers have made set up and tear down foolproof and a snap.
 
Set Up Is A Breeze
 
“We offer instant and pop-up tents,” said Coleman’s Sharon Scott. “They feature easy, fast and intuitive setup. In fact, the two- and four-person pop-up tents can typically be set up in only 10 seconds.” As Scott explained, other Coleman two- and four-person tents can typically be assembled in 10 minutes.
 
Another line of tents that can be assembled quickly and easily is the Portal Speed Up series from Westfield Outdoors.
 
“Our Speed Up products provide quick and convenient setup/take down – two minutes or less. They also deliver superior usable space, thanks to straighter walls and larger eaves. This new frame system is applied to dome and cabin tents of all sizes,” said Michael Bryant of Westfield Outdoors.
 
Frame poles are pre-attached to the proper spots on the tents, so setup is a breeze. Simply unfold the tent, extend the leg poles, attach the rainfly and stake it down. As Bryant explained, it typically takes more time to stake down than to pitch the tent.
 
Cozy and Dry in Inclement Weather
 
Yet another great feature of today’s camping tents is their ability to stay dry when the weather is not.
 
“Coleman tents feature our proprietary Weather Tec™ System to protect campers from the elements,” Scott said. Weather Tec incorporates a unique method of welding the floor corners to reduce the risk of leaking from the floor. Coleman also inverts the seams, so the stitching is on the inside of the tent, reducing exposure to external moisture and reducing the risk of snags on loose branches, etc. The tent’s rainflies are seam-taped at the factory to prevent leaks along the stitch lines.
 
“Our tents have to pass a number of tests, including our rain room testing where we dump over 30 gallons of water on a tent in about 10 minutes time. If more than a tablespoon of water makes its way into the tent, it’s back to the drawing board,” Scott added.
 
Keeping occupants warm and dry is just as important in Westfield Outdoor tents. It begins with a separate rainfly, which allows maximum ventilation and protection from rain and the elements. All Westfield Products also go through a rigorous quality control process throughout the entire manufacturing process. Additionally all fabrics are coated with water-resistant coatings, taped rainfly seams and welded tub floor seams.
 
“To ensure our products exceed the campers’ expectations, we test each style of tent with campers in a variety of camping environments,” Bryant added.
 
Choosing The Right Tent
 
Dunham’s Sports offers a wealth of tents from Coleman and Westfield Outdoors. Choosing the one that’s right for you requires a little homework on your part.
 
“Make a checklist of those features you cannot live without and those features that would be nice to have but are not necessities. Consider how frequently and in what type of weather you’ll be camping. To be truly comfortable in a tent, cut the rated occupancy by two people. In other words, two people will be comfortable in a four-person tent. Finally, remember how much room you have in your vehicle: the bigger the tent, the more space it will take up in the car,” Scott advised.
 
“The first thing to consider when choosing a tent is the type of camping a customer anticipates,” Bryant added. “If backpacking, weight is of utmost concern. The lightest tent that will accommodate your camping party will be the best choice. If you’re camping at a site that’s accessible by your vehicle, campers can focus on space, comfort and ease of setup.”
 
Easy Maintenance
 
No matter the size of the tent or type of camping you’ll be doing, you can rest assured that today’s tents require minimal maintenance, maximizing fun time.
 
“Typical maintenance of a tent is really limited to reasonable care and cleaning. If a tent is rinsed to remove any surface dirt, dust or leaves, there should be no further cleaning needed. Of course, be sure to dry the tent before storing it to avoid mildew,” Bryant said.
 
“Pack the tent dry and clean and store it in a cool, dry place. At the campsite, don’t set up under low-hanging branches or near fires. Follow these simple guidelines to get years of worry-free enjoyment,” Scott added.
 
For more camping information, including associated equipment, please visit the companies’ websites or consult with a knowledgeable Dunham’s Sports camping consultant. Enjoy our nation’s great outdoors!
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Herding Cats

Catfish are fun to catch, remain active in summer’s heat, and make a great meal.
 
When I was only about four feet tall or so, my dad and I caught a mess of bullhead catfish on barbecued chicken – leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. I’ve also caught bullheads and other varieties of catfish on worms, grubs, chicken livers, dip bait and cheese. The common element that seems to characterize can’t-miss catfish bait is odor. While catfish can’t see well, they have an excellent sense of smell and the barbels near the mouth, which resemble a cat’s whiskers and give the species its common name, enable catfish to taste and smell food. That makes them easy to catch. And because they like warm water, they can provide a lot of summer fishing fun.
 
Bullhead Catfish
 
Bullheads are the smallest member of the catfish family found in our lakes and rivers, and they’re also the most common. There are several varieties of bullhead and most are around 10-inches long when fully grown. But they’re fun to catch, putting up a fairly good fight, and they are excellent table fare, fried with a cornmeal crust or blackened. You can catch them in the shallows of most lakes feeding near the bottom all summer long. I’ve caught a mess of them at noon on a hot day, when other fish just weren’t interested.
 
Channel Catfish
 
Channel cats aren’t much bigger than bullheads and are also quite abundant. Like bullheads, they’ll eat almost anything, but natural baits seem best. Small panfish cut into 1-inch pieces work well as do minnows or nightcrawlers. Fresh or frozen shrimp are said to work well. Dunham’s has a selection of baits that are sure to attract the channel cats. Berkley Powerbait chunks in liver, blood or fish scent are irresistible to any variety of catfish. Dip bait is among the most popular for catfish angling, particularly in summer months. Dunham’s carries Uncle Josh dip bits in rotten shad and liver. Also available are tube baits in the same delectable rotten shad and liver flavors.
 
When fishing for catfish, it’s important that you fish just off the bottom of the lake or stream. That’s where the cats will be searching for food.
 
Monster Catfish
 
Catfish angling gets serious when you go after the blue and flathead catfish. These big boys can grow to over 100 pounds, and 25- to 50-pound specimens are reasonably common in a lot of the nation’s river systems and lakes. While they can be found in some smaller lakes, they’re most prevalent in the big lakes. Like other members of the catfish family, they like warm water, so they’re a good species to go after when other fish are lying low in the midsummer heat.
 
Like their smaller relatives, big cats will happily feast on a variety of live bait, including minnows, crawfish, worms, chicken livers, cut-up panfish or man-made stink baits. Again, the preserved baits and dip baits available at Dunham’s are a sure way to attract the big cats.
 
Trotline Angling
 
Many catfish anglers set trotlines at night to catch a mess of cats. The trotline is a long piece of sturdy fishing line with multiple hooks attached to secondary drop lines that branch off the main line. Each hook is baited with some nasty bit that the cats will love. One end is tied to a tree limb or some other sturdy spot on shore. The other line is weighted and dropped into the water. A float can be attached to the anchor end via a piece of line long enough to reach the surface with the anchor on the bottom. An empty plastic gallon-size milk or detergent bottle works well. On streams with trees on both sides, a trotline can be strung between two trees. When I was a teenager I watched some older anglers bait and set their trotlines in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. They were using massive hooks and baiting them with cottonseed cakes. They set the trotline at dusk and hauled in some mighty big blue cats in the morning.
 
Catfish Gear
 
Dunham’s can provide everything you need to put together a trotline, but most of us like to take our fish on rod and reel. Dunham’s offers a wide variety of heavy-duty rods and reels that are perfect for catfish angling. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik is a favorite of many cat fishermen.
 
Jim Burrows of Pure Fishing says the Shakespeare Ugly Stik rods and combos are tough enough to land the biggest cats, and Dunham’s has a wide selection of this gear. He also recommends loading your reel with Berkley Trilene Big Cat Monofilament line in 20 lb., 30 lb., and 40 lb. weight. Another good choice that you’ll find at Dunham’s is SpiderWire Stealth Braid line.
 
A great way to get your feet wet in catfish angling is with the South Bend Ready to Fish Catfish Combo. This all-you-need kit includes a rod and reel, along with a tackle box and some bait that is sure to make any cat sit up and take notice.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Where the Summer Bass Play

Those Lunker Bass Aren’t Taking Summer Off. They’re just vacationing in a different part of the lake.
 
It’s summer, and the world is taking it easy. The cicadas sing, dawn comes early, and the warm sun feels good on your skin. However, the bass that you hope to catch might not be as fond of summer as the rest of us.
 
Your big bass may be lollygagging in the deep water, lazily avoiding the warm shallows. The bass probably move into somewhat shallower water, say 10- to 20-feet deep to feed, but they’ll be scarce near shore. Unless of course, they’re hiding in the shade of some underwater weeds.
 
If you’re fishing a man-made lake with underwater structures, count on the bass to huddle near submerged trees or areas that have an uneven lake bottom, such as an underwater gully or creek bed. Fishing in the right place at the right time is key to success when it comes to angling for bass.
 
Fishing the Deep with Crankbaits
 
While knowing where to find the fish is important, having the correct equipment is also essential. If the bass are congregating in the deep, you’ll have to use bait intended for deep-water fishing. Today, that most often means deep-diving crankbaits. Matt Jensen of Rapala says the Rapala DT crankbait helped win the BassMaster Classic. “It dives to the specified depth and stays there,” he said. “The DT06 dives to six feet and stays there for the entire retrieve. It’s easy to target fish and be more consistent with a crank bait.”
 
Of course Rapala makes crankbaits that run much deeper. The DT Metal 20, for example, will run at 20 feet of depth and can be easily cast 150 feet, enabling a long retrieve in the target zone. As with any lure, you may have to try several different colors before you find a crankbait the fish hunger for.
 
Scott Ingram of Bomber Lure Co. tells us that their line of crankbaits includes a lot of choices for the bass fisherman. Bomber’s Fat Free Shad® crankbait has won millions of dollars in prize money and comes in both rattling and silent models. It even includes a new version that can dive to 19 feet and work those deep holes in the middle of the lake. Dunham’s stocks a wide variety of Bomber baits.
 
It Looks Like Dinner
 
When bass do migrate to shallow water, they usually head for the weed beds. Find a hole in the weed bed and drop your bait there. A bass could be lurking under those weeds, and it might fall head over heels for a nice, fat plastic worm – a long-time favorite for summer bass fishing. The Matzuo plastic worms you’ll find at Dunham’s come with a free pack of worm hooks.
 
Jim Burrows of purefishing wrote to remind us that Dunham’s carries a number of baits from the Berkley Gulp!® line of live-looking dinner entrees, including night crawlers, minnows, shrimp and more – all with a long history of success on Bass fishing waters. When choosing a worm to tempt a big bass, remember that it doesn’t have to be of the same hue as a real worm. A bright red plastic nightcrawler can look like the perfect meal to our fishy friends.
 
Rods and Reels
 
While bait is what attracts fish, a good rod and reel can help ensure you won’t lose the lunker after hooking it. Dunham’s offers some great rods and reels from all the top manufacturers. For big bass, a rod of 6- to 7-feet in length is ideal. The South Bend Shredder is a top choice of pro fishermen. With multi-layer construction, Shredder rods will bend but not break. Abu Garcia rods are also highly favored by bass fisherman. Dunham’s carries the Vengeance, Vendetta and Villain models from that maker, as well as Abu Garcia bait casting reels. And check out the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Rods as well. How can you go wrong with a rod called “Ugly Stik?”
 
If you’re new to bass fishing and just want to dip your bait in the water to see how it feels, you might want to look at the South Bend R2F Bass combo. It has everything you need to get started immediately, including rod, reel, and even a tackle box with some lures inside that are sure to tempt Mr. (or Mrs.) bass. Speaking of combos, you’ll also find some nice bait-casting combo outfits from Abu Garcia at Dunham’s. In other words, Dunham’s has a lot of gear from which to choose, and there are a lot of bass out there just waiting for you.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Get Out, Lie Down

 
The kids are getting out of school and the weather is getting hot. That can only mean one thing—summer!
 
This time of year is great for being outside and soaking up sunshine, no matter where you are. Hot summer weather also means lots of fun in any body of water—from the pool to the lake!
 
Water sports may be what you look forward to doing all week. There’s plenty of fun to be had water skiing, wakeboarding or tubing. But there may be another kind of water recreation on your mind this summer—relaxing! And relaxing is something that everyone in the family can participate in. Leisure time out on the water can be the perfect way to take in the summer sun.
 
If it’s leisurely time you’re in the mood for, Dunham’s has all the Nash Sports products you’ll need, including those with the Comfort Top.
 
“On the Dual Lounger and on the Aqua Plank, the Comfort Top surface makes the item super comfortable,” said Brian Zaletel of Nash Sports. “It is an edge-to-edge finish that is non-abrasive with a super soft feel.”
 
The Comfort Top items are growing in popularity, Zaletel said. The Comfort Top is available in the Aqua Plank and the Dual Lounger in addition to several towable models. With this material, you can relax in total comfort.
 
“The Comfort Top doesn’t get cold and crack. Doesn’t get hot in the sun,” Zaletel said about Comfort Top. “It is just a nice surface that works in all conditions.”
 
There are plenty of Nash Sports products available for Summer 2014. The Body Glove one-person Easy Rider River Float, Water Bug with matching floating cooler, and the Riviera Foam Floats are all great options! The Riviera floats come in a variety of colors. Any of the floats available are great for the pool, lake or river. Zaletel says if you’re headed to the lake, you might want to try the Comfort Top Aqua Plank which measures 6 feet by 12 feet. If you want even more room, the Aqua Planks have zippers to attach several floats together!
 
So get out this summer and relax on the water. Try one of the many Nash Sports products available at your local Dunham’s Sports. With all of the selections available enabling you to either rip up the waves or saw some Z’s, you can’t make a wrong choice for the summer.
“After a rough day this is the perfect way to unwind,” said Zaletel.
 
-Water baby
 
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