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Using ice fishing tech to your advantage
 
After the boat’s pulled out of the lake, the dock disassembled for the year and the tackle box stored until April, a new fishing season fills in the winter void—the kind that uses tools like augers, shanties and tip-ups while requiring some slightly heavier clothing than in, say, July. Yes, it’s ice fishing season, and if you have to scratch that fishing itch, it’s a great way to land that lunker, but with some slightly modified equipment.
 
Aug-mented Reality
 
As you prepare to set up shop on the lake, the first step is to drill out the hole. Using either a manual or gas-powered ice auger, you can quickly and efficiently drill through even the thickest of lake ice.
 
“The Honda Strikemaster auger comes in 8-inch and 10-inch with a four stroke 35cc Honda motor. It’s super quiet, clean and reliable,” said Ged Strzynski of Rapala. “The Lithium Lazer uses a 50-volt lithium battery and is available in 8- and 10-inch Lazer blades and 8.25 and 10.25 chipper blades. It offers consistent speed and torque without reduced power as well as a 25:1 transmission with polymer gear casting for maximum efficiency.”
 
Gas-powered augers are an item where you really do get what you pay for. As you step up in size and price, you’re saving yourself time that could be spent pulling out a northern the size of a Pinto.
 
Take, for example, the Eskimo Ion augers. The Ion X is Ion’s highest-performance auger with features like a 5 amp-hour XC5 lithium ion battery, which is a 60 percent increase from previous Ion batteries, and a cast bottom, giving smoother drilling and breakthrough.
 
Take Shelter
 
Once you’ve got your holes drilled and strategy set, the next step is to set up shop by setting up a shanty. The various features and sizes can be a little overwhelming, but luckily with brands like Eskimo, it’s tough to make the wrong decision.
 
“The Eskimo Evo Ice Shelters are innovative new shelters that launched last season,” explained Tony Aloia of Eskimo. “They combine traditional flip-style shelters and roomy hub-style/pop-up shelters to allow maximum space with the portability and convenience of a sled-based shelter.”
 
In addition to the portability and convenience, the Evo shelters utilize IQ insulated fabric on the roof and rear panels. Black in color, they absorb and maintain more heat than competitive shelters.
 
Sonar Savvy
 
Now that your holes are drilled and you’ve got your shelter ready to rock, it’s time to use modern technology to the best of its abilities. Sonar isn’t just used for finding enemy ships in the Navy. The MarCum VX-1i flasher, using sonar technology among other features not found in flashers at its price point, has the ability to show you a number and depth of fish right below your feet.
 
“It has 2-inch target separations,” explained Strzynski, “meaning that if two fish are 2 inches apart, it will show up on the screen as two different fish. The unit also includes a split-screen bottom lock zoom, helping you pay closer attention to the bottom 5 feet, where most fish are located.”
 
Tools of the Trade
 
Once you’ve locked in on the fish you’ve been after all winter, it’s time to get a line in the water. That’s where Celsius Ice Fishing comes into play. When looking for a new combo kit, look no further than the Blizzard Flat Line Combo. With a classic cork handle, it also comes with aluminum oxide guides, a high-visibility orange tip and a graphite reel body with a nylon compression drag system. An additional handy feature of this set is the antifreeze lubrication so you can reel up as the temperatures go down.
 
Another solid option from Celsius is the Boiling Point Combo. Coming in 24-, 27- and 30-inch lengths, this set will give anglers a fiberglass blank, EVA No Flex handle for added strength, a Dynaflow stripper guide and 1BB graphite reel.
 
As far as the lure or jig to use, the brand leader is no doubt Rapala, who remains at the forefront of technology and innovation in ice fishing hardware. The Slab Rap is the next in the line of classic ice fishing jigs.
 
“Quick rod snaps make this lure search in wide, erratic directions, circling back to center after pause,” explained Strzynski. “Lift-drop motion creates subtle vibration on rise followed by evasive side-to-side motion on the fall. Weight-forward design enables a rocking action to trigger fish.”
 
Whether you’re a seasoned vet or brand new to the sport, Dunham’s has you covered from the moment you stick the auger in the ice until you’ve pulled up enough walleye for a Friday night fish fry. And thanks to leading brands like Eskimo, Rapala, Celsius, Strikemaster and MarCum, there’s no stopping anglers from making this winter the most successful one yet.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Have a Happy, Healthy Christmas

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Holiday gatherings, seasonal treats, and celebratory menus can wreak havoc a healthy nutrition regimen for even the most dedicated dieter. Last week we listed several pointers to avoid stress while preparing for your celebrations. Finally, it’s time enjoy the holiday! Remember, one meal or one day of celebration is not going to doom you to obesity when if you ‘fall off the wagon’ when you eat healthy foods and exercise the rest of the year. Allow yourself enough latitude to enjoy the day and get back to work the next day with these helpful hints.
 
• Eat breakfast! Skipping breakfast sets you up for overeating later in the day!
 
• Plan. If you’ve reached your tipping point and have decided to lose, target for a 1 pound loss during the next week. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 to 300 calories and burn off 200 to 300 calories a day for a weekly deficit of 3,500 calorie. Add an extra day to your exercise routine. Don’t have routine? Walk for fifteen minutes a day!
 
• Start a food diary. Research proves that keeping a food diary is a valuable weight loss technique. Start again to track what you’re eating and how much, it’s a real eye-opener!
 
• Control snacking. Drink a glass of water instead of reaching for the left over Christmas cookies, then wait about 10 minutes to see if you are really hungry. Thirst can be mistaken for hunger, if you’re still hungry, have a small, healthy snack.
 
• Don’t skip meals. Research has shown that eating regular meals or snacks every 3 to 4 hours can keep you from overeating.
 
• Stay active. If you didn’t get any exercise today, relieve that belly bloat by going for a 10-minute walk after eating.
 
• Get enough sleep. Research shows there are links between inadequate sleep and obesity. A study from Case Western Reserve University of about 68,000 middle-age women found that those who slept 5 or fewer hours were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain, and 15% more likely to become obese, than those who slept an average of 7 hours.
 
• Eat slowly to make your meal last longer. Research shows the more chewing you do, the more nutrients your body absorbs. It takes 20 minutes for the body to register that it’s satisfied, slower eating will cut down on the second helpings!
 
Leave the guilt behind. It will only get in your way, and make it harder to get back on track!
 
Happy Holidays to you and all your loved ones!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Avoid The Holiday Blues

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The final week before Christmas can incur an amazing amount of stress. ’Do I have presents for everyone?,’ ‘I’m really looking forward to Jerry’s party, but I’m just so tired.’ ‘I haven’t made cookies yet!’ ‘I really miss my mom … or my dad … or my sister.’ The joy and companionship enjoyed this time of year is a true blessing, but it can come with a price. You can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays and enjoy them more than ever! You may even be able to spread a little more cheer!
 
• Be realistic. Set realistic expectations. We are barraged with ‘things’ we need for the ‘perfect’ holiday everywhere we go. Remember the true meaning of the holiday. Choose a few special traditions to continue and allow new ones into your lives. If you’re separated from loved ones during the holidays, celebrate together with videos and pictures. If you’re technically savvy, try opening your present together via Skype!
 
• Share the Peace on Earth. Set aside differences with family loved ones. Be patient and understanding if others are upset or distressed, or something doesn’t go as planned. The holidays may be even more stressful for those around you.
 
• Budget. Decide how much money you can afford to spend before you go shopping and stick to it! If times are difficult, give homemade gifts or baked goods. Donate to a friend or family member’s favorite charity in their name.
 
• Plan. Plan ahead for shopping, baking, and visiting. Make shopping lists for baking to avoid multiple last-minute trips to the store. If there are too many events for your schedule, plan on the important ones and take on the extra activities when you can enjoy them — and be enjoyable company!
 
• Pay attention to your health. Holidays can become a time of over-reaching self-indulgence. Get plenty of sleep and stay active…it will pay off in the long run.
 
• Take some time for yourself. Put aside a little time for rejuvenation … your loved ones will be thankful. Go for a long walk, relax with your favorite music or read that book you bought 2 weeks ago! After spending some time recharging yourself, you find yourself more productive — and lovable — than ever!
 
• Volunteer. Many charitable organizations are also suffering due to the economic downturn. Find a local charity, such as a soup kitchen or a shelter where you and your family can volunteer. Participate in a giving tree or an adopt-a-family program. Helping those who suffering may help you put your own struggles into perspective. Sharing the goodwill of the season is a good way to brighten the day for yourself and others.
 
• Accept your feelings. If you’re away from loved ones, or have recently lost someone close to you, it’s normal to feel sadness and grief, especially during the holidays. Take time to express your feelings. Look for community, religious or other social events.
 
Try a little planning and you’ll be amazed at how a little planning and positive thinking can help you find peace and joy during the holidays.
 
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Winter Toys To Get Kids Active And Excited

There is no shortage of outdoor playtime for children in the summer. The weather is warm, and daylight is long. But what about the winter with its sometimes harsh temperatures and early sunset? There are many products available this holiday season to help keep our children occupied, indoors or out.
 
Getting kids away from the computers, televisions and phones can certainly be a challenge nowadays. Interactive products such as those offered by Nerf are a great solution. These toys can keep children’s minds and bodies active while they explore the customizable blasters and sports equipment. Plus they’ll have fun socializing with friends or siblings.
 
And while Nerf toys are widely popular toy for young boys, girls enjoy their toys as well. A recent study conducted by Hasbro found that more than 50 percent of girls ages 6–12 in the study had gotten a Nerf blaster in the previous 12 months. The same is true for more than 80 percent of boys in that age range. Older kids are becoming more interested in Nerf as well, with its line of Rival toys aimed at teens.
 
You can find a wide array of Nerf products at Dunham’s Sports this season. For kids 14 and older, try the number one selling Nerf Rival Apollo VX700. The Rival blasters offer power and precision. The Apollo can unleash rounds at 100 feet per second. Kids can choose to be Red Team or Blue Team and go head-to-head.
 
Another always popular item is the Elite Retaliator Blaster. This customizable model is four blasters in one. And its components can be used with other blasters in the N-Strike line of Nerf toys.
 
Nerf Modulus Recon MKII blaster is a 4-in-1 customizable toy for kids 8 and older. The stock and barrel extensions allow kids to create four different versions of the dart shooter. The kit also includes a six-dart clip and six darts.
 
For the kids who enjoy traditional sports, there are Nerf products to try. A toy that can stand up to any season’s conditions is the Weather Blitz All Conditions Football. Whether your children like to play in the snow, rain or mud, this ball can handle it all. There is also the Nerf Sports Nerfoop Set for kids as young as 4. This hoop can be used inside and out and comes with a foam ball. Setting it up is as easy as hanging the backboard over a door or wall.
 
“The Nerfoop backboard and hoop are built for instant action whether you’re indoors or out! Challenge your friends, show off your skills, and make those hook shots and 3-pointers anywhere,” said Frank Kingsley from Hasbro.
 
Don’t fall into the winter routine of lounging on the couch every weekend. Head to Dunham’s to get a toy that will keep kids of all ages active and excited all season!
 
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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