The Gear on Your Back

You’ve packed your rod and reel for that fishing trip, but do you have apparel engineered for a day on the water?
 
Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with the family. But if you’re brand new to the sport, where do you begin? What kind of rod or reel is best for me? What kind of lures should I look for? What kind of safety concerns should I be aware of?
 
To make things a little easier, let’s start with the basics: the rod and reel. As the sport of fishing progresses, so do the advances in equipment, and that means a plethora of choices. To make things easy, fishing tackle companies make combo kits, which include a rod and reel sold together. This means you can match your child’s age with a set instead of having to match separate pieces.
 
“Combos take the guesswork out and pair the correct rod and reel for you,” explained Ken Staudinger of Pure Fishing. “For example, Shakespeare Crusader combo comes with a rod, reel and line, making it less stressful to get the family geared up and enjoy more time fishing.”
 
With the rod and reel out of the way, next it might be a good idea to find the right lures and hooks. Are you fishing off a dock or pier in shallower water? Then keep your eyes peeled for some floating or shallow-water lures. The package will tell you what type of water it’s best for. Fishing on Lake Michigan in some deeper water? Then a diver might be best for you.
 
For the little ones who might not make it a full day of fishing but still want to pull some lunkers out of the water, artificial bait products can be incredibly effective. While they don’t quite replace live baits, they’re another option that kids like.
 
“Artificial bait alternatives such as Berkley Gulp! Alive small jars can be intriguing to kids,” Staudinger explained. “However, live bait like worms, minnows and crickets might be the most exciting thing to a child until they can reel in their first fish.”
 
The most important consideration when getting the family out on the lake is safety. Fishing requires a lot of sharp objects, so mom or dad needs to be extra careful when their children are handling hooks and lures.
 
“It is very easy to hook someone during a cast if you are not paying attention,” Staudinger said. “The Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook system is an excellent and safe setup for children as it hides the hook point in the bobber when casting.”
 
Having the right essentials is key in making sure you and your family make the most of what the lake has to offer. With combo kit options and lures from Pure Fishing, it’s never been easier to get outdoors with the entire family.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Family Fishing Fundamentals

Tips and tricks for amateur anglers.
 
Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with the family. But if you’re brand new to the sport, where do you begin? What kind of rod or reel is best for me? What kind of lures should I look for? What kind of safety concerns should I be aware of?
 
To make things a little easier, let’s start with the basics: the rod and reel. As the sport of fishing progresses, so do the advances in equipment, and that means a plethora of choices. To make things easy, fishing tackle companies make combo kits, which include a rod and reel sold together. This means you can match your child’s age with a set instead of having to match separate pieces.
 
“Combos take the guesswork out and pair the correct rod and reel for you,” explained Ken Staudinger of Pure Fishing. “For example, Shakespeare Crusader combo comes with a rod, reel and line, making it less stressful to get the family geared up and enjoy more time fishing.”
 
With the rod and reel out of the way, next it might be a good idea to find the right lures and hooks. Are you fishing off a dock or pier in shallower water? Then keep your eyes peeled for some floating or shallow-water lures. The package will tell you what type of water it’s best for. Fishing on Lake Michigan in some deeper water? Then a diver might be best for you.
 
For the little ones who might not make it a full day of fishing but still want to pull some lunkers out of the water, artificial bait products can be incredibly effective. While they don’t quite replace live baits, they’re another option that kids like.
 
“Artificial bait alternatives such as Berkley Gulp! Alive small jars can be intriguing to kids,” Staudinger explained. “However, live bait like worms, minnows and crickets might be the most exciting thing to a child until they can reel in their first fish.”
 
The most important consideration when getting the family out on the lake is safety. Fishing requires a lot of sharp objects, so mom or dad needs to be extra careful when their children are handling hooks and lures.
 
“It is very easy to hook someone during a cast if you are not paying attention,” Staudinger said. “The Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook system is an excellent and safe setup for children as it hides the hook point in the bobber when casting.”
 
Having the right essentials is key in making sure you and your family make the most of what the lake has to offer. With combo kit options and lures from Pure Fishing, it’s never been easier to get outdoors with the entire family.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail program at www.dunhamsrewards.com

Pan Perfect

Kids and panfish just seem to go together.
 
I was a wee lad of eight and fishing with my dad for the first time on Lake Puckaway in southern Wisconsin. We’d been on the lake for two hours, and hadn’t seen a fish. I was thinking that fishing wasn’t for me. Then my bobber plunged under.
 
“Lift your rod,” dad said. I pulled it up and felt a tug and a wiggle. “Now reel it in, he urged.”
 
Hands trembling, I cranked my reel, and soon saw a bright gold flash, then a squirming yellow perch. My heart racing, I ma-neuvered my prize catch into the boat. Just like that perch, I was hooked.
 
I don’t think any of us could forget our first fish. And chances are, it was a panfish: a bluegill, sunfish, perch, crappie, bullhead or any of a number of small fish found in lakes and rivers.
 
Some varieties, like bluegills, sunfish and their close relatives are easy to catch because they hang out near shore, bite readily and aren’t fussy about bait. Bottom dwellers, like perch and bullheads can require more effort. All can provide many hours of fun.
 
The Rod and Reel
 
When angling for panfish, use ultra-light equipment for best enjoyment and sensitivity. Eric Guider, who supplies Shimano products for Dunham’s, says the Shimano AXULSA Ultra-light Spinning Reel combined with an FX 5½-foot Ultra-light Rod is perfect for panfish. It’s easier to feel fish bite with a short, light rod, and you-get more fight out of small fish when using light equipment.
 
Shakespeare offers a wide selection of tackle designed for both young and old when panfish are the goal. Their Kid’s Combos are great for wee ones, and Ugly Stik combos are ready for action. Pflueger Microcast and Trion combos are good choices as well. You’ll find all of them at Dunham’s.
 
Fishing With Live Bait
 
Some fishermen won’t angle with live bait and contend fish are more likely to swallow the hook because the meal is tasty. Some research suggests that’s not true. And when fishing with children, live bait can be a plus, because it gets results.
 
A worm looks tasty to most little fish, although crappies and rock bass in some waters prefer minnows. In general, it’s best to use bait that’s native to the area, since it’s probably a staple of your prey’s diet.
 
A baited hook hanging from a bobber is usually the best way to catch bluegills, sunfish or crappie. Use a small bobber that won’t spook fish, and a number 6 hook a couple of feet below the bobber. If the fish are less than hand sized, a number 8 hook might be better.
 
Scott Ingram of Lindy Fishing Tackle suggests rigging a Thill Premium Slip Float on your line below a bobber stop. When you need to change depth, you can move the stop up or down, and a slip bobber lessens the chance of spooking fish when casting. It works great with both live and artificial bait.
 
A bottom rig – a split-shot sinker, swivel and hook – dragged along the lake bottom often attracts perch and bullheads. Angling for these guys with a bobber works too if you gauge the depth of the water and fish near the bottom.
 
Fishing With Artificial Bait
 
Some fishermen prefer to go after panfish with artificial bait. And some have no choice, since live-bait fishing isn’t allowed on certain waterways.
 
Jim Burrows of Pure Fishing believes the right kind of artificial bait can be as effective as live bait and points out that artificial bait won’t die. He even uses them when he takes his grandchildren fishing.
 
Because fish are unpredictable critters that can go into a funk at the slightest change in weather, it’s good to have a variety of artificial baits on hand when you’re angling for panfish. Matt Jensen of Rapala says any of their ultra-light series of hard baits is a good choice. If crappie or sunfish are lurking, he suggests you try Blue Fox Vibrax baits. They’re proven performers.
 
There are many ways to catch panfish, and your Dunham’s sales consultant can help you choose gear that’s best for you and your family. I can’t wait to get out to some of the local lakes with my granddaughter again this summer, and she’s as anxious as I am. Landing game fish is a thrill, but introducing a youngster to the joys of fishing is equally rewarding.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Attracting Wildlife

Hunting is a waiting game. But that wait can be lessened by attracting animals to your position. A variety of food and mineral products will do just that.
 
Animal are naturally attracted to food, so anything they want to eat will generally attract them.  Minerals, on the other hand, contribute to long-term animal health.  Calcium and salt help promote antler and bone growth in deer and elk, and a variety of minerals will contribute to the general health of animals (just like with human).
 
Knowing Where to Put Attractants…
 
While food and minerals will attract wildlife, knowing where to put them will improve effectiveness.  The key is to put the material where animals feel comfortable.  “The biggest mistake hunters usually make with attractants is to put them out in the open, where animals are going to be skittish,” says Tim Carnahan of Evolve Habitats.  “You want animals to feel protected, so choose places that have natural cover and where the animals will naturally gravitate.  You don’t want to just put them out in the middle of a field–the animals won’t feel safe.”
 
Some liquid gel products can be effectively spread over a decaying log or stump and will slowly soak into the wood, making the whole thing a treat that your deer will consume.  Reapply until the entire stump or log is consumed.  It can be used to create a lick on bare ground by just pouring over the site and letting it soak in.
 
…And when to Put Them Out
 
Feed can be put before or during the hunting season, while minerals tend to have a longer lasting effect.  Putting a mineral mix in the ground will bring animals back over and over.
 
Time release products mean you don’t have to keep going back to a site, which adds convenience.  Place one or two blocks of the attractant product in an established mineral site to provide months of attraction without having to return to the site.  To establish a new site, place one or two blocks in the middle of a bare spot, 4′ in diameter.  Rainfall will be needed to activate the site, allowing the minerals to fully leach into the ground.
 
Mineral supplements attracts deer by application, moisture will cause these minerals to keep reacting and attracting deer.  Bucks seeking minerals for overall health and rack development will drawn to site to lick, paw, mark and consume the minerals.
 
Bucks will want to protect the sire by rubbing, scraping and rolling in the mineral site to mark it as their own.  The buck’s action will naturally lead to the attraction of more deer.  Over time, a large deer wallow will be created as many deer develop the habit of frequenting the site to consume the beneficial minerals.
 
*Regulation vary from state to state ( and even from county-to-county) on feeding wildlife. Be sure to check with your appropriate government agency before developing your feeding plan.
 
-Deer Abby
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Don’t Let the Big One Get Away

You don’t have to talk about “the one that got away” after your next fishing trip. Today’s fishing gear makes it easier than ever to reel in that trophy bass.
 
Gone are the days of trolling along the shore, hoping to find the best fishing hole. Today’s fish finders guide you right to the perfect location. Anglers can find just the right model to meet any budget. Even basic models like the Humminbird® Fishin’ Buddy® provide sonar data and water temps. More sophisticated models from Humminbird and Lowrance® have full color displays showing water temperature, depths, shore contours, GPS and more. Fish finders like these are stand alone units that can be added to your current equipment.
 
Finding fish and getting them to bite are two different things. Fortunately, fishing gear tech has stepped up to the challenge of helping you snag the prize.
 
Today’s lures have all the appeal of live bait without the drawbacks. Simulating live bait is more critical than ever. Recent court rulings prohibit transporting fish into and out of lakes to prevent the spread of communicable diseases between fish. The result is that many anglers cannot bring their own minnows and other bait fish into the area.
 
Manufacturers like Berkley® and Rapala® have put their engineers to work in creating life-like lures. The Berkley® PowerBait® 4 Hollow Belly™ swim bait has been field tested and tweaked by the top Berkley Pro’s in order to give themselves a significant competitive advantage on tour. As if the PowerBait® scent and attractant weren’t competitive advantage enough all by itself, this Hollow Belly bait is loaded with other features as well that has made it the “choice of champions” when conditions call for a super swim bait. Unlike most other swim baits on the market, the body is truly hollow from nose to tail, and easily collapses around the hook when bit to insure a solid hookset. The Rapala lineup features lures that are hand-tuned and tested to recreate the swimming actions of a small fish that attracts larger fish.
 
The sophistication of today’s lures doesn’t stop with simulating live bait. Many lures have buoyancy ratings of floating, slow sinking and fast sinking. Getting the most out of your tackle box requires choosing a rate of fall suited for your fishing conditions.
 
Even colors are a big factor in selecting the right lure for the right day and the right water conditions. Pradco® lures cover the color spectrum with dark hues for dark days and light colors for light days. Picking the right color is just as important when selecting your fishing line. Manufacturers offer a variety of fishing line colors to blend in with the water so fish cannot detect the attachment to a lure.
 
Landing a trophy bass also requires having the right rod and reel. No two anglers are the same so one type of rod and reel won’t work for everyone.
 
Daiwa’s® D-Shock Rod/Reel Combo offers different lengths and actions to meet individual needs. The D-Shock combo features a bearing reel with aluminum spool. The rod is a fiberglass blank with cork grips. These features combine to make this the perfect choice for inland lake fishing.
 
Other manufacturers are introducing rods with adjustable lengths and high strength titanium. Pair one of these rods up with a new reel designed to reduce friction for further casting and you can stay on the water all day without getting tired or having to worry about your tackle handling the challenge of reeling in a bass.
 
The days of tying a string to a pole and hoping to catch a fish are gone . . . and with the latest technology, so are the days of talking about the one that got away.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.

Don’t Let the Big One Get Away

You don’t have to talk about “the one that got away” after your next fishing trip. Today’s fishing gear makes it easier than ever to reel in that trophy bass.

Gone are the days of trolling along the shore, hoping to find the best fishing hole. Today’s fish finders guide you right to the perfect location. Anglers can find just the right model to meet any budget. Even basic models like the Humminbird® Fishin’ Buddy® provide sonar data and water temps. More sophisticated models from Humminbird and Lowrance® have full color displays showing water temperature, depths, shore contours, GPS and more. Fish finders like these are stand alone units that can be added to your current equipment.

Finding fish and getting them to bite are two different things. Fortunately, fishing gear tech has stepped up to the challenge of helping you snag the prize.

Today’s lures have all the appeal of live bait without the drawbacks. Simulating live bait is more critical than ever. Recent court rulings prohibit transporting fish into and out of lakes to prevent the spread of communicable diseases between fish. The result is that many anglers cannot bring their own minnows and other bait fish into the area.

Manufacturers like Berkley® and Rapala® have put their engineers to work in creating life-like lures. The Berkley® PowerBait® 4 Hollow Belly™ swim bait has been field tested and tweaked by the top Berkley Pro’s in order to give themselves a significant competitive advantage on tour. As if the PowerBait® scent and attractant weren’t competitive advantage enough all by itself, this Hollow Belly bait is loaded with other features as well that has made it the “choice of champions” when conditions call for a super swim bait. Unlike most other swim baits on the market, the body is truly hollow from nose to tail, and easily collapses around the hook when bit to insure a solid hookset. The Rapala lineup features lures that are hand-tuned and tested to recreate the swimming actions of a small fish that attracts larger fish.

The sophistication of today’s lures doesn’t stop with simulating live bait. Many lures have buoyancy ratings of floating, slow sinking and fast sinking. Getting the most out of your tackle box requires choosing a rate of fall suited for your fishing conditions.

Even colors are a big factor in selecting the right lure for the right day and the right water conditions. Pradco® lures cover the color spectrum with dark hues for dark days and light colors for light days. Picking the right color is just as important when selecting your fishing line. Manufacturers offer a variety of fishing line colors to blend in with the water so fish cannot detect the attachment to a lure.

Landing a trophy bass also requires having the right rod and reel. No two anglers are the same so one type of rod and reel won’t work for everyone.

Okuma®’s Diemos Rod/Reel Combo offers different lengths and actions to meet individual needs. The Diemos combo features a four-bearing reel with aluminum spool. The rod is a carbon composite blank with cork grips and split butt design. These features combine to make this the perfect choice for inland lake fishing.

Other manufacturers are introducing rods with adjustable lengths and high strength titanium. Pair one of these rods up with a new reel designed to reduce friction for further casting and you can stay on the water all day without getting tired or having to worry about your tackle handling the challenge of reeling in a bass.

The days of tying a string to a pole and hoping to catch a fish are gone . . . and with the latest technology, so are the days of talking about the one that got away.

-Hook, Line & Sinker

*To receive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, sign up for Dunham’s Rewards.