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Easy Snack Ideas for Your Next Fishing Trip

01/21/2019

Homemade Trail Mix SnackWe all know the feeling: you’ve been out on the water for hours, with the warm sun or cold wind beating down on you and plenty of fish to catch, but you’re starting to get hungry! A fishing trip, especially for beginners, can be a tough thing to pack for at first.

Thankfully, there are plenty of snacks that you can bring along on a fishing trip that are hassle-free and delicious.

Here are a few snack ideas to keep in mind:

Simple Sandwiches

This should be an obvious one. Making a cold cut sandwich or a PB&J is the easiest thing to bring along in a plastic Ziploc bag. You can keep it simple, with turkey and cheese; make it more protein-packed, with peanut or almond butter; or go gourmet with some more toppings. Just make sure whatever you’re packing can withstand the test of time and bring a small cooler along if necessary.

Chips and Pretzels

We love these snacks because you can easily take them anywhere and they come in a secure, sealed bag of their own. (Or get smaller, individual bags if you’re going out with the family!) Chips and pretzels are a perfect snack for being out on the water because they are filling and pack a lot of long-lasting flavor. A crunchy snack is a must but be prepared to share! 

Trail Mix and Granola Bars

Think of a fishing expedition like a hike—what would you bring out on a long walk to sustain your energy and keep you full? Probably something along the lines of trail mix, granola bars, or other protein snacks that are specifically designed to satisfy your hunger. You can even get creative and make your own trail mix to fit your taste.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and use your next fishing trip as an opportunity to experiment with different snacks and meals.

Remember to visit Slater’s Jigs before heading out on your next trip. We are proud to be your one stop crappie fishing shop with world famous fishing poles, reels, and jigs.

Safety Tips for Winter Fishing

01/16/2019

Man Ice Fishing in WinterMany people consider the winter to be the off-season for fishing. And while, yes, less people fish in the winter, that doesn’t mean it’s not an opportune time to hit the open water.

If you are considering fishing this winter, consider these safety tips to ensure that you avoid potential danger.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Dress Appropriately

This one is a no-brainer. If you’re going out to fish in the winter, you must keep in mind that you’ll likely be out there for hours in cold temperatures. That means that your clothing better match the occasion. Make sure you dress in layers and stay dry. The minute you let the cold in, it won’t get out which could make or break your fishing experience.

Bring Someone with You

While we understand that fishing is often enjoyed in solitude, fishing in the winter is a different story. You face different threats of cold and ice in those winter months, and so having a companion is often recommended for anyone going out regardless of experience. That way, in case anything happens, you’ll be better prepared.

Have a Life Jacket on Hand

This one is very important. A life jacket should be essential if you’re planning to fish in the winter, due to any accidents or emergencies. Even if you don’t think you could ever possibly fall into the ice-cold water, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, it’ll keep you a little warmer too!

Don’t Push Yourself

And finally, a word of advice: know your limit. If you’re experiencing pain from the cold, or it’s getting dark out, pack up your things for the day. You don’t want to overextend yourself and enter a situation you might regret later.

If you’re planning on doing some fishing this winter, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind and enjoy yourself. Don’t forget, Slater’s Jigs is your one stop crappie fishing shop.

Impress Your Guests With This Sautéed Crappie Recipe

03/07/2018

One of our favorite things about crappie is that it can be prepared in a number of different ways with great results. Although deep frying is probably the most common way to cook crappie, it can also be sautéed in a frying pan to create a healthy, mouth-watering meal. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this great recipe for sautéed crappie with butter sauce courtesy of the folks over at the Sporting Chef.

Start by gathering your ingredients (this recipe makes 4 servings).

  • 8 3-ounce crappie fillets, skin removed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon for fresh juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

First, combine the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix well, and then dust the fish with this flour mixture. Next, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add your fish to the skillet and brown on one side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then, flip the fish and cook for another 2 minutes.

At this point, you can remove the fish and set it aside in your oven to keep it warm. Add the wine and lemon juice to the skillet, and stir to loosen any remaining fish bits in the pan. Reduce until there are just a few tablespoons of liquid left in the pan, and then add your basil and the rest of your chilled butter. Stir until the butter is melted, and remove from heat.

Finally, drizzle the butter sauce over your crappie fillets and serve! The Sporting Chef also suggests serving the fish with a side of avocado and tomato slices to round out the culinary experience. It’s a great-tasting meal that’s deceptively easy to make. Experiment with your own variations and let us know what you think!

Kentucky Man Pulls 50 Pound Catfish out of Floodwater

02/27/2018

This week, a powerful storm system is sweeping across the country, bringing heavy rains, tornadoes and flooding to a number of states in the South and Midwest. While many residents in these areas are evacuating their homes and trying to save their belongings from water damage, at least one man in Kentucky is making the most of the foul weather.

In Bullitt County, Kentucky, constable Robert Watkins decided to throw on a pair of waders and do some fishing in his front yard. He and a friend rigged up a few limb lines in a nearby tree, checking in periodically for signs of activity. Soon enough, Watkins got what he was looking for—a monster catfish roaming the river’s floodwater.

Watkins estimates the catfish weighed about 55 or 60 pounds, but he didn’t get an exact measurement because the fish maxed out his 50-pound scale. Watkins released the catfish back into the water after it was caught, but not before his friend managed to get a few photos of him wrangling the enormous fish.

Perhaps the most remarkable part of the story is the fact that this catfish isn’t even the biggest one Watkins has pulled out of the Salt River in the past. Whenever the river rises, he and his friend typically find huge specimens such as this one. The largest catfish he ever caught reportedly weighed a whopping 95 pounds, but we don’t have the photographic evidence to back up this impressive fish tale.

Stay tuned for more updates from your source for jigs, reels and more—Slater’s Jig Shop.

How to Choose a New Pair of Fishing Waders

01/15/2018

How to Choose a New Pair of Fishing WadersAre you looking for the perfect pair of waders to add to your fishing arsenal? There are a few different types of waders that will be available to you, and it’s important to choose the right ones for your unique needs. Today we’ll take a moment to compare the most common types of fishing waders, and discuss the advantages of each one.

Hip waders

If you are a casual fisherman looking for an economical pair of waders, hip waders are probably your best option. This type of wader is ideal for use in shallow streams and other small bodies of water that aren’t very deep. They will provide you with coverage up to your hips, and while they won’t offer much in terms of warmth, they will do just enough to keep you dry while fishing.

Waist high waders

If you tend to spend a lot of time fishing in streams rather than casting from the shore, a pair of waist high waders might be a better option for you than hip waders. These waders offer some valuable additional coverage, but they’re not as cumbersome as chest high waders. They will also keep you cooler in warm weather since they only cover the lower half of your body.

Chest high waders

If you fish in rivers and other larger bodies of water and want as much coverage as you can possibly get, chest high waders are going to be the best option for you. These waders are also great options for late-season anglers who continue fishing in cold weather as well. Chest high waders tend to be a little more expensive than other waders that offer less coverage, but the investment can be well worth it.

For more helpful fishing gear suggestions, check out our earlier blog entry on tools to keep in your tackle box!

Don’t Make These Cold Weather Crappie Fishing Mistakes

12/04/2017

Some anglers may have already put their poles away for the winter, but if you really love crappie fishing, a little cold weather isn’t going to stop you. If you’re planning on doing some cold-weather crappie fishing this season, you should avoid making a few common mistakes to maximize your chances of success.

Expecting Quick Results

Once it starts to get cold outside, crappie metabolism slows down considerably. As a result, the fish make an effort to expend less energy. This means that you’re probably not going to catch crappie quickly in cold weather. This time of year, crappie fishing requires a little more patience than it does in the summer.

Using Large Bait

You might think you’re doing crappie a favor by offering them large bait, but because they eat less during the winter, you’ll probably have better luck with small bait. Keep this in mind when choosing bait, and consider using either a 1/32-ounce jig or smaller-sized minnows.

Casting Your Line in Deep Water

In the wintertime, crappie will often convene in deeper waters to hide out. When they’re ready to eat, however, they’ll typically head for shallow water in the middle of the day. If you’re having trouble catching fish in the morning, try fishing in shallow waters when the water warms up in the afternoon.

Need a few new lures for your next fishing expedition? You can find everything you need right here at Slater’s Jigs. Browse our inventory online or give us a call to learn more! 

Identifying the Difference Between Black and White Crappie

10/06/2017

If you love to fish and enjoy eating your catches, then you know crappies are bountiful and delicious. You can find them throughout North America all year round in lakes, rivers and ponds. You might have noticed that not all crappies look the same, but do you know the differences between white and black crappies? Here are a few easy ways to identify which is which.

Physical Differences

Though they are generally similar in size and appearance, black and white crappies do have some physical differences. Black crappies are covered in dark, seemingly random patterns, whereas white crappies have stripes and are lighter in color. The white crappie is much lighter overall, especially on its back. The white crappie’s dorsal fin is also set further back on its body, and it only has five or six visible spines, whereas the black crappie has seven or eight. White crappies also have slightly longer bodies.

Habitat

Both black and white crappies can both be found in most bodies of fresh water, but they have slightly different habitat preferences. Black crappies prefer water that is clear and cool, while white crappies prefer murkier waters. Black crappies also live among more aquatic vegetation than white crappies, though white crappies do like having the cover of a tree branch or root.

If you’re preparing to fish for crappies, Slater’s Jigs has everything you need! We provide world champion crappie fishing jigs, as well as a variety of high-quality crappie fishing gear and accessories. Browse our online store today!

Try These Handy Smartphone Apps on Your Next Fishing Trip

09/11/2017

Lake FishingSmartphones are the digital Swiss army knives of the modern era. These days, you can find useful smartphone apps to help you accomplish just about anything, and fishing is no exception. Today we’ll look at a few of our favorite fishing apps to try on your next expedition.

Marine & Lakes

You use GPS navigation when you’re driving around on land, so why not use it when you’re out on the water, too? This app will provide you with all the nautical maps you need when you’re on a boat. It can help you keep an eye on the tides, watch for changes in weather patterns and find nearby fishing holes. It’s a must-have for anyone fishing in unfamiliar locations.

Ultimate Angler

Let’s say you’re looking for a particular species of fish, but you don’t necessarily know where to find it or even how to reliably identify it. This app can tell you just about everything you ever wanted to know about a variety of different fish species. It breaks their identifying characteristics, what type of bait you should use, where they like to hang out underwater and much more. You will educate yourself about fish as you fish.

Animated Fishing Knots

Experienced anglers know that there’s a specialized knot for just about any occasion. Chances are, you only know how to tie a few of them. This app will change all that by showing you how to tie more than 50 of the most popular fishing knots. Improving your knowledge of knots can help you catch a greater variety of fish and increase your chances of success on the water.

All of these apps can help you fish, but when it comes right down to it, you’re going to need the right gear to start reeling in fish today. Browse our extensive selection of jigs, reels, rods and more online, or give us a call today at our toll-free number to learn more.

How to Catch and Release Responsibly

08/28/2017

Anglers who fish for sport rather than survival often prefer to put fish back into the water because it helps to improve future generations of fish, and makes for better overall fishing conditions in America’s waterways. But in order to catch and release responsibly, there are some steps you should to give fish the best possible chance of survival once you return them to the water.

Minimize the amount of handling that you have to do with fish.

When fishing catch and release, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time with the fish out of water and in your hands. This can damage a fish’s gills and ultimately put it in a precarious situation when it is eventually released. If possible, you should keep the fish in the water when you catch it and remove the hook from its mouth with a pair of pliers or other tool to minimize your contact with its gills.

Release fish as quickly as you can.

We live in a world where many people want to catch fish and then snap photos of them for social media. This might seem like a good idea, but the longer a fish is out of water, the less chance it has to survive once you release it. You should be especially mindful of this during the warmer months, as many cool-water fish will die faster than usual when you remove them from water for even a short period of time.

Keep fish out of the live well on your boat if you plan on releasing them.

There are some anglers who will catch a fish, put it into the live well on their boat, and then release it back into the water later. Unfortunately, this practice can reduce the fish’s chances of surviving pretty dramatically. If you aren’t planning on keeping a fish, you shouldn’t even bother placing it in your live well. Release it right away to give it a better chance of survival.

Need some new gear for your next fishing expedition? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our jig shop online, or give us a call today to learn more.

Essential Tools to Keep In Your Tackle Box

07/27/2017

Essential Tools to Keep In Your Tackle BoxAre you in the process of putting together a tackle box for your next fishing trip? If so, there are a handful of items that you’re going to want to make sure are tucked away inside. You will obviously need to bring along things like fishing line, lures, extra hooks and bobbers so that you’re ready to start fishing as soon as you reach your destination. But there are a few other tools you should have on hand, too.

Needle Nose Pliers

Getting a hook out of a fish’s mouth can be tricky if you don’t have a pair of needle nose pliers at your disposal. Hooks can often get stuck, and it will be nearly impossible to get them out without the right tools. There are also times when you might get a hook stuck in your clothing. With a good pair of needle nose pliers, you can take hooks out of just about anything in just a few seconds.

Line Cutter

If your hook gets caught at the bottom of a lake or tangled in a tree, you might be forced to cut your line. But fishing line is designed to be tough and difficult to cut without the proper tools. There are line cutters specifically designed to cut fishing line, but you can also usually get away with using a pair of nail clippers or a pocket knife. Just make sure you have something to cut your line in your tackle box at all times in case you need it.

First Aid Kit

Any time you’re out fishing in remote areas, you should have a simple first aid kit on hand for minor emergencies. This kit should include everything from Band-Aids and waterproof medical tape to Neosporin and a pain reliever. The last thing you want to do is cut your fishing trip short because of an injury, so always keep your trusty first aid kit by your side.


 

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