Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fish Will Appear +1.5 to +2.50 times bigger with your C-MATES on!




Picture courtesy of Costa

Costa sunglasses new C-MATES Sunglasses with readers will help you see the small stuff. It has been incredible for me tying on a drop shot hook to reading my detailed Insight Genesis maps on my Lowrance units. These new sunglasses no longer have a visible line around the front of the bifocal area. You can also now get them in the superior 580 technology lenses you’ve come to expect from Costa sunglasses. Many of the new styles are available and they have just added a third power range of +2.00 that fits in nicely between the +1.50 and the +2.50.

If you’re like most of the mature outdoorsmen, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced a time or two when it would have helped if you had been wearing a pair of reading glasses, and even better if they’d been sunglasses. There are a number of activities that these glasses can enhance you outdoor experience with.  Think how much easier or more pleasant these activities could be with reader and sunglasses together. Now imagine having a quality pair of sunglasses that will also allow you to tie a hook, or be able to read the numbers from your GPS device without switching from sunglasses to your reading glasses. Welcome to Costa C-Mates which will allow you to do just that!

If you were wearing quality sunglasses that protected your eyes from the sun and glare the C-Mates will allow you to read and see better. Now you can enjoy your time on the water a bit more, especially if you’re into fishing or any other sport involving the water. Quality sunglasses help to not strain your vision when the glare of the sun hits the water. With Costa C-Mates not only would you be protected from the sun, but you’d also be able to read the small print information printed on packaging on your favorite lure boxes. Hunters could see the site pin better without eye discomfort while bow hunting.

 Picture courtesy of Costa

When I started wearing Costa Del Mar’s C-mates it took me a little bit to getting used to them.  Once you get used to wearing them you can enjoy their full potential even more. It does take a bit of time to get used to just using your eyes to glace down, instead of our normal tendency to tilt our entire head in a different direction to see something small. Now with the C-Mates on you just use your eyes to look through the reading part of the lens. While driving with the glasses on all you have to do is look forward; rarely have I realized that the reading element is even there.

These sunglasses are the most ideal way to enhance your outdoor experience without having to find a pair of reading glasses while in the outdoors. So the next time you are fishing while wearing your Costa C-Mates the only line you will see is the one you tie to your hook!

Each pair of Costa Del Mar Sunglasses features 100% protection from UV A, B, and C rays, 100% polarization, water-repellent coating, and anti-reflective coating. Mirrored lenses are made of top-quality optical glass. Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.


About the author:
Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and a retired Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) (www.operationonevoice.org)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What is a waypoint and how do I save it to an SD Card on my Lowrance units…


Waypoints are saved positions inside of your GPS or in your Fishfinder/GPS unit. They allow you to return to that position with any GPS, which means no more wet pieces of paper, forgotten landmarks or a big oak tree that fell over in a storm. I have found many uses of waypoints besides getting back to my big fish spot, or the boat launch and even my favorite deer stand.


Your waypoints are the most important functions of a fish finder or handheld GPS unit.  If you have never saved a waypoint or track from your GPS onto an SD card, now is the time to learn. We will go through the steps of saving a file from your Lowrance units to a SD Card for future usage or storage.


How to Export Waypoints, Routes & Trails HDS Gen 1 or Gen 2 Keypad

1.            Insert your SD card into the HDS Chartplotter

2.            Press the Pages key on the keypad

3.            Select the Utilities Page

4.            Select Files

5.            In the Files screen Select Waypoints, Routes & Trails.

6.            Press Enter on the keypad

7.            Select Export

8.            Under File Format, select User data file version 4

9.            Highlight Export, then press Enter on the keypad

10.         The Select Destination Folder screen will pop up

11.         Highlight memory card and press Enter on the keypad



How to Export Waypoints, Routes & Trails Elite HDI/CHIRP

1.            Put a Micro SD card into the front of the Elite unit 

2.            From a Chart screen, press the Menu key

3.            Select Waypoints, Routes & Trails (WRT), press Enter

4.            In the WRT screen, press Menu key

5.            On the pop up screen select Save to Card, press the Enter key

6.            Create a file name if desired

7.            Select Version 3.0

8.            Select Save



How to Export Waypoints, Routes & Trails Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch/Gen3

Step 1- Make sure your SD card is inserted into your HDS chartplotter and press PAGES

Step 2- Tap Files

Step 3 - Tap Waypoints, Routes, and Trails database

Step 4 - Tap Export...

Step 5 - From Export Waypoints, Routes, and Trails set File formats to User data file version 4

Step 6 - Tap Export

Step 7- Select Memory card and tap OK

Step 8 - Assign a name (i.e. – waypointsandtrails) and tap Enter

Step 9 - The file is now created.



About the author:
Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and a retired Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their black lab, Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) (www.operationonevoice.org)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Fishing time is now….

There’s nothing wrong with giving new lures and products a try when you head out this spring. Spring time is when the Bass come out and start feeding after a long lethargic winter. This is the most exciting time of the year for many Bass anglers. But certain lures and equipment are odds-on winners. Here are some of my suggestions for this spring….




Picture courtesy of Costa











First, you might want to see the bass as they cruise in the warm water. My choice is the Costa Rooster style sunglasses. They give anglers an edge over their worthy opponents. The large-fit sunglasses include built-in side shields to block incoming glare, as well as vents to alleviate lens fogging. The temple tips provide open slots for a retainer cord. The frames are built of nearly indestructible co-injected molded nylon, with sturdy integral hinge technology. The hypoallergenic rubberized interior lining and nose pads keep the sunglasses comfortably in place all day, no matter how harsh the conditions. Rooster frame color options include blackout, tortoise, matte black, and white with a blue Costa logo. Suggested retail starts $169.


There are only a few basic bass lures you need in spring: soft plastic and crankbaits. These two basic lures can accommodate all the basic spring time patterns from shallow water to deep structure where the bass will be found from the pre spawn through post spawn in late spring.


Picture courtesy of Strike King Lures








The new Strike King KVD 1.5 Shallow is a shallow-running square bill crankbait that runs to 3 feet. It has the same body style as the original 1.5 – it's designed to hunt and deflect off cover, just run shallower. To say that the KVD line of crankbaits from Strike King has been successful in regards to fish catches and tournament wins would be an understatement. The only way to make this crankbait line better would be to add more to it. So for 2015, that’s exactly what they have done with the all new KVD 1.5 Shallow! It is designed to be versatile enough to wake just below the surface or crash into cover within the 3-foot depth range; the KVD 1.5 Shallow still maintains the action, quality, durability and affordability of its predecessors. The all-new KVD 1.5 Shallow weighs 7/16-oz and is available in 13 colors.



Picture courtesy of Strike King Lures










The all new Lucky Shad from Strike King has had many requests from fishermen for this style of hardbait for years, but Strike King Lures didn't want to release this bait until they got the action they wanted. Now, with some new technology breakthroughs in molding, they have achieved the action fishermen (and the fish!) want. This bait casts well, dives to 8 feet, chip-resistant painting, 3D eyes and black nickel hooks. The Strike King arsenal of crankbaits has become a mainstay in many boats and tackles boxes of anglers all over the world. In the process of doing so, they have refined certain baits and styles to accommodate a need, yet apply an improved design to them. The all-new Lucky Shad is born from that concept by being spawned from a traditionally popular profile, yet incorporating modern design techniques. This bait has the Strike King’s trademark quality; durability and the affordability are not lost on the ½-oz, 8-foot diving Lucky Shad. It is available in 11 colors.



Picture courtesy of Strike King Lures














The Strike King Blade Minnow is made from the perfect blend of plastic. The Blade Minnow is a minnow-shaped swimbait designed to be used as a bladed swim jig trailer, but it also works great on a weighted head hook or belly weighted hook. The jointed plastic body moves at the slowest of speeds, but also runs great at high speeds. What began as an exercise to design a great trailer transformed this design to a great all-around bait. The Blade Minnow is a swimbait-style bait that has some awesome action and a profile that fish can’t resist! It works great on a jighead or rigged weedless. It performs equally well around vegetation, wood or in open water. I continually find different ways to use it to catch fish. The Blade Minnow is 4.5” long and comes in 11 colors. “The segmented body and slender profile of the new Blade Minnow give it a very natural and lifelike swimming action that is pivotal for getting bites in clear water or from pressured fish," says Bassmaster Elite Series angler Chris Zaldain. "The design of the bait makes it swim great, cast great and hookup great when you get a bite. It’s a great addition to my tournament arsenal,” he says.


Picture courtesy of www.finsntales.com

I’ve been using Seaguar Smackdown Braided Line since December and I am totally impressed by its performance, line diameter, strength & durability. This braided line is perfectly round and is constructed from a combination of eight ultra-thin fibers.  Its round profile allows it to be reeled exceptionally smoothly and easily onto the spool of a spinning reel or baitcaster. What’s more, its high-density and micro-weave pattern enhances its tensile strength, knot strength, abrasion resistance, and sensitivity. It is embellish with a clear coating that prevents it from digging into the spool and aids casting. The 10-pound-test of Seaguar Smackdown Braided Green has the diameter on .005 inches, which is equivalent to two-pound-test monofilament line. And its 20-pound-test has the diameter of .007 inches and equal to the size of six-pound-test monofilament.

Picture courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

I have given you some of my choices for sunglasses, baits and fishing line; now you have to have a rod and reel to go catch them! My choice is the new Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combo. This is the lightest rod and reel I have ever used from Bass Pro Shops. This combo was built to be the most sensitive and the strongest rod and reel they have ever made. The Baitcasting reel sports such amazing benefits with their famous Dual Braking System. It weighs less than 6 ounces and has a computer molded carbon frame and powerlock instant anti-reverse. The rods all boast an immensely strong and incredibly lightweight graphite blank, with durable Pac Bay guides to further enhance weight reduction of the rod. Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Combos were developed to give tournament anglers a competitive edge. I urge anyone looking for a lightweight and affordable rod and reel combo that performs at peak levels and holds up to whatever wear and tear you can throw at it to visit your nearest Bass Pro Shops.

The key to any successful fishing trip during the spring lies in using the proper lures, equipment and techniques. Each angler must present the baits properly and use the weather conditions to your advantage. When you head to the lake, try some of these new products and your fishing success is bound to improve.


Thanks for reading…. Branch


About the author:
Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and a retired Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their black lab, Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) (www.operationonevoice.org)

Monday, March 2, 2015

"Mighty Casey's" bait of choice & when you can buy it…



 Photo Courtesy on Get A Limit Outdoors



Since last weekend everyone has heard the news about Casey Ashley winning the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the Bassmaster Classic, on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina. Did you know that the lure he used on the last day of the Classic, to help him catch the 20 pound bag of bass, has a story all of its own?

Casey fished three long days on Lake Hartwell and steadily caught fish every day on and off with a homemade ponyhead/horsehead/fishhead/jigheaded spinner rigged thing and a Pearl White color, Zoom Super Fluke Jr. His father, Danny, made him about 20 of the lead headed type baits before the tournament. So what’s so special about that particular ponyhead/horsehead/fishhead/jigheaded spinner rigged thing? The story of the bait goes all the way back to its invention in 1959.
This particular bait was invented back in 1959 by Mr. Bert Hall. The lure is called a “Road Runner”. Mr. Hall was motivated to create this horse-head style lure after battling scores of line snarls when he used a typical jig-spinner rig with a vertical presentation. He devised another way to attach a spinner to a jig and simultaneously fashioned a lure that inveigled fish in the waters of the Ozark Region. Mr. Hall and a fishing buddy started manufacturing the lures in Branson, MO. In 2004, the Hall family sold the company, Blakemore Lures to TTI Companies forming TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group. Who still to this day own and manufacture “Road Runners” fishing lures. The lure “Mighty Casey” won with has been produced for years and now is known as the “Randy’s Swimn’ Runner”.

Picture Courtesy of TTI Blakemore

The “Randy’s Swimn’ Runner” was introduced to the fishing market in July 2014 at the ICAST show. The bait combines the sound, vibration, and slower retrieve of the original “Road Runner” with a swimbait that is a deadly combination. The Road Runner head features 3-D eyes, hologram paint, premium hooks, and a chrome over brass willow blade that spins on a ball bearing swivel. The head’s special hook position allows the head to be “rocked” by modern swimbait designs. The bait comes in both quarter and three-eighths ounce sizes, making it easy to cast on either spinning or casting gear. The current colors available include: (Head and body color) Lemon Shad-Alewife, Newborn Shad-Opening Night, Copper Shad-Arkansas Shiner, Smoke’n Fire-Salt and Pepper Phantom, Lemon Shad-Chartreuse Shad, Chrome Blue-Albino Shad, Bluegill-Bluegill. The Bassmaster Classic winning bait is already in production and can be seen on the shelves of many local tackle stores.
I guess the biggest question about the Classic winning bait has been why has no one ever tried to produce a bait similar to the “Road Runner” since the patent ran out years ago.  That leads my article to the next step of explaining the 1990 Configuration Trademark that is held by TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group.

A conventional trademark such as names, words and logos, which are typically used on the product, labels and packaging, product configuration trademarks provide rights in the appearance of the product itself.  In 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court drew a distinction between product design and product packaging, pointing out that, in contrast to the packaging for a product, the design of the product itself usually does not identify the source of the product, but rather is the result of functional or aesthetic considerations. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a Configuration Trademark design of a product must be iconic enough to deserve its own Trademark Registration for its unique shape. A unique product shape can be protected through design patents for a limited peroid, but if the product design is non-functional and distinctive, the power of a product configuration trademark can last forever.   A few good examples would be the Coke® bottle shape or the Hershey divided chocolate candy bar. Now we all know the story of that famous winning lure from the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. It’s funny how each year the winning bait at the Bassmaster Classic affects sales for months. This year is going to be different because the “Road Runner” has affected sales for many years and will continue on that upward sales forecasts going into the future.

Web site: http://www.ttiblakemore.com/home/

Road Runner lures are protected under the Configuration Trademark #1577913. “Road Runner” is a registered trademark of TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group.


Thanks for reading…. Branch


About the Author:
Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer. He retired as a Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years and is sponsored by – Bass Pro Shops in Lawrenceville, GA, Lowrance, Wave Away, Seaguar, Strike King Lures & Costa Sunglasses. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) helping Special OPS soldiers & their families. (www.operationonevoice.org)


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro Shops in Lawrenceville, GA




The Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic will be here before you know it. It runs from February 6th thru Feb. 15th. You will have 10 days packed full of information, visits from the pros, family events and yes, I think there is a huge sale on the latest fishing gear.
 
If you need an upgrade on your current Rod and Reel, bring them in during our trade in days. The Rod and Reel Trade-In program is a great way for you to donate your gently used gear to area youth organizations while you get to save $$$ on that new rod and / reel you have your eye on.




On February 6th & 7th Professional Crappie Angler Ken Driscoll will be giving seminars on how to catch more crappie & specks all day.

Bassmaster University will kick off the event on Saturday, February 7th at the fish aquarium with Jason Williamson from the Bassmaster Elite Series having a seminar. And make sure you don’t miss Jason Williamson again on Sunday, February 8 at 2 pm. Also on Sunday at 3pm Bassmaster Elite Angler Andy Montgomery will be doing a seminar. Andy will also be back at the store on Monday February 9th at 7pm for another seminar. Don’t forget to come by and visit Saturday, February 7th at 1pm and Sunday February 8th at 4pm with TV/Radio personalities O’Neill Williams and his grandson, Travis Johnson.

On February 11th & 12th at 700pm up and coming Pro Angler & former NFL Player Kendall Newson will be giving a fishing seminar at the aquarium.

The weekend of February 14th & 15th a few local anglers and guides will be giving seminars on our local lakes and there will be a FREE kids fishing clinic. More information and times are available at the store.

Some of you might have some gear that you are looking to upgrade. Swing into Bass Pro Shops over the next two weeks and see what we have for you! Are you looking for a new fishing rod and reel? Are you looking for a performance fishing outfit at a competitive price? Fishing rod and reel combos from Bass Pro Shops offer excellent value when combining components to leave with a full outfit rather than a rod or reel separately. 

Here are a few of the top items that caught my eye in the big sales flyer for The Bass pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic. (Really HOT Deals are in RED)

  • ·        BPS Pro Qualifier Reel SALE $49.97/ Reg. 99.99
  • ·        Johnny Morris Carbon Lite Reel SALE - $99.97/ Reg. $129.99
  • ·        Johnny Morris Carbon Lite Rod SALE - $89.97/ Reg. $99.99
  • ·        Bass Pro Shops Kermy Frogs SALE - $3.97/ Reg. $6.29
  • ·        Strike King KVD plastics SALE $4.47/ Reg. $5.59
  • ·        Strike King KVD Swim Jig SALE $3.59/Reg. $4.59
  • ·        XPS Tungsten weights SALE $4.97/ Reg. $7.29
  • ·        Seaguar line – Kanzen & AbrazX – 20% off
  • ·        Bass Pro Shops XPS monofilament Buy 2 Get 1 FREE
  • ·        Bass Pro Shops 100% Fluorocarbon Buy 2 Get 1 FREE
  • ·        Bass Pro Shops XPS 8 braid Buy 2 Get 1 FREE
  • ·        Offshore Angler Boat Bag SALE $19.97/ Reg. $29.99
  • ·        Bass Pro Shops Utility Boxes Buy 2 get 1 FREE
  • ·        World Wide Sportsman Men’s Blue Water Chukka SALE $59.97/ Reg. 89.99
  • ·        World Wide Sportsman short sleeve Nylon Angler Shirts – Buy 1 Get 1 50% OFF
  • ·        Lowrance Elite 7 HDI SALE $449.99/ Reg. $699.99
  • ·        Lowrance Elite 5 HDI (FREE suncover & Lake Insight Maps)  SALE $299.99/ Reg. $399.99


I hope to see everyone at Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic in Lawrenceville, GA February 6-15th. Stop by and look me up! I would love to hear your latest, greatest fishing story. Make sure to have the kids bring us a picture of their big catch & we will hang it on the bragging board…. The Branch





About the author:
Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer and Prostaffer for Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Lawrenceville, GA. He retired as a Lieutenant/Paramedic/Firefighter with Gwinnett County Fire, GA after 29 years of service in 2013. He is currently a contracted employee with NAVICO/Lowrance working as the College Fishing Recruiter. He has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 20 years. He and his beautiful wife, Kim live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab Jake. They volunteer with Operation One Voice (501c3) (www.operationonevoice.org)