Issue time09:36:58 am, by Any Luc Email 34272 views
Categories: General, Hard Water





We were out in a small group, walking accross the ice on Clear Lake one cold January morning. While pulling our equipment to a new location for drilling, one of the fellas in the group mentioned how his hands were hurting cold. I offered my own warm gloves to him and he, at first,  said he could push on but on  my insistance he gave in and we made the switch. Yes, his gloves were cold inside and he soon asked what type of hand warmers I use, for the inside of my gloves were toasty warm. "None", was my reply. Fortuanately, my hands produced sufficient heat on their own and the insertion into my gloves of artificial handwarming was not necessary.

That isn't the case today.

I am older and my hands no longer have the warm blood circulation through them as they had in the past and my fingers get cold now. I have taken to the use of artificial heat sources to warm my gloves and mittens nowdays.

The Zippo Outdoor company in association with the North American Fishing Club, provided a Zipppo handwarmer and lighter kit to me for my testing and review.

I, and Mrs Luc, have made use of the Zippo liquid fuel hand warmer on many occasions throughout this cold season and I would like to tell you what I think.

The handwarmer, many of you know, is fashioned out of steel, which alone, makes for lifetime durability. I'm sure that those of you who use the Zippo warmers can attest to the warmers durability and longevity. The soft felt bag, which the unit is covered in when in use, has a cozy feel to it when warm and fends off scrathes to the metal surface.

Filling the unit with liquid fuel is more than a minor inconvenience though I must say. I'm sure people can do the job of filling the unit with fuel through the use of the provided filling container but I couldn't and the problem with that is not that I am incapable, I am capable but it can still be a little bit of a mess. Regardless of care taken, I still managed to get a bit of fuel onto the outside of the unit and of course, onto my fingers.

Once lit, the Zippo handwarmer worked like a charm, flawlessly and continually providing warmth for hours on end. That's all good and it did a great job of keeping Mrs. Luc's toes warm on many cold nights at home but what if we only want to use it for a short while? If I have filled the unit for hours of use, I have no way of shutting it down. It burns until the fuel is spent and then it goes out but not before the fuel is spent. Well, it's not like it is going to cause a problem but....

The hand warmer is sizable and tucking it into a pocket is how it is expected to be used. My hands don't spend a lot of time in my pockets when I'm holding a fishing rod with them and expectedly removing fish over and over as the day goes on. I'm drilling, scooping, moving and pulling the sled. I'm drilling and jigging and drinking tea and eating boiled peanuts and stuff.

My hands just don't spend any time in my pockets.

So how do I keep them warm? With convenient, non smelly, flexible disposable hand warmers tucked conveniently inside my gloves.

The Zippo is a good product and maybe quite suitable for spectator sports but not best suited for active ice fisherman.

Issue time04:22:07 pm, by Any Luc Email 33325 views
Categories: General




One of those little things that drive me up a wall is a dirty boat while on vacation.

It’s inevitable; it’s going to happen no matter how we try, the boat is going to turn into a wreck after just a few days of use and I had to find a way of doing something about it.

On my last trip, I had two other anglers in the boat with me and we had pine shavings all over the place and even had a tub of nightcrawlers get dumped on the carpet, dirt galore.


On this trip upcoming I will have the boat in the water for ten days straight. Oh boy.

I have a great shop vac but there is no way that is coming along.

I could ask the dock boy to vacuum it out for me I suppose but maybe..

I put my fingers to the walking and walked all over Google land to see if maybe there was a little vacuum of some sort that might give a little help here.

I found one; it’s called the Shark® Cordless Pet Perfect™ II Hand Vac - SV780.

I didn’t start out here, purchasing this particular cordless vacuum, with the thought of writing and telling you about it, I just wanted to start my boating mornings out on a clean platform somehow and that’s tough when away from home.

This 18 volt cordless had more than impressed people who were putting up reviews on it, so it is the one I chose to buy.

I found a nationwide household item shop, which had them on their shelves. Mrs. Luc handed me a 20% off coupon and the machine was soon purchased, packed and off we went.

A couple days later and my boat looked like this:

Think Is any cordless hand vac is going to clean this carpet?

 I wouldn’t think so….But Wait!

This cordless pickeruper has a large beater brush and it works; if it didn’t I wouldn’t be telling you about it.

The  beater brush is detachable and there are two additional attachments,

A crevice tool:


And a dusting brush:

I I put it to work and my first impression was nothing but all positive thoughts.

It works.

That This is all ground in sand. It had been raining and my shoes were picking up a mess of sand and depositing every bit of it on my boat’s nice carpet, for a couple days.

This little vacuum cleaned my carpet.

See all that stuff that the beater brush doesn’t get?


The crevice tool gets it out, really.


I vacuumed before dinner one evening and the 18 volt battery became pretty drained before I was complete. I charged the unit during dinner, then went back out and completed the job in just a little while more of sucking-it-up.

It cleaned my carpet; deep cleaned and it will do the same for yours, I am sure.


Issue time09:45:18 am, by Any Luc Email 15066 views
Categories: General


I’m done with them!
What a bad idea that was to use mouse glue.
Oh my gosh how awful that stuff is.


Here, I thought I had it all figured out. Wouldn’t be no more crickets getting sucked off a my jigs no more oh no.
I’d just put a little-dab-a-do-ya on my jig and whallahh!
Uh huh.

First I had to get some a that stuff off a this card.


Thought I would just heat up the card with the hair dryer and let it ooze into a plastic tube.
That stuff doesn’t melt by means of a hair dryer. So I took myself a little stick and gummed some up.


That’s easy enough but how do you get it to separate from the stick and stay in the tube?
That wasn’t easy but I managed without getting any on me.
Thank you Jesus!


That wasn’t exactly easy but believe me; that was the easy part.

Once on the boat, I had to get some of that gunk out of the tube and onto a jig.
It’s like taffy! It doesn’t want to separate from itself; it just keeps on a keeping on getting more stretch and more stretch.
See that jig there? That’s what I stuck it on and that’s what I stuck the cricket onto, without piercing him at all.


It worked ok, he stuck good but so did my fingers when I touched the cricket to the jig.
Ho Crap Was That Bad!
Ya can’t get that stuff unstuck!
I was washing my fingers in the water and wiping them on a rally towel , wiping them on my pants, wiping them on the carpet. I couldn’t get rid of the stickum.
What a fix.

Ya know; the whole purpose of this experiment was to just try to keep a cricket on a hook. Those bluegills come along on a fly-by and without hesitation, they crank their head sideways as they blow by the presentation, they make a little schlook with their lips and off sucks the cricket. Those bluegills never even get close to a hook when they suck those crickets off and down their gullets.
It’s that easy for em.
My job was to get that cricket ....with hook...sucked in and down the gullet on the fly-by.
It worked!
I caught a nice gill on my very first cast of the day but that will be the last cast that ever gets any of that gookey stuff on it.
I ain’t getting within 6 feet of another open container of that junk.
The mice can have all of it and I’m putting the other 3 cards of that stuff up for sale in just a little bit.
I’m getting rid of all of it!
You can have it.

Issue time05:51:37 pm, by Any Luc Email 31663 views
Categories: General

Oh my gosh, that dreaded word… cricket.
Now that just opens up a whole can of worms, doesn’t it?

It’s that time of year. It’s late August and the prairie life in the prairie state is at its peak and grasshoppers abound all over our grasslands. Grasshoppers make for perfect panfish bait at this time of the season but we have an issue with grasshoppers; they aren’t exactly easy. Bait shops don’t generally have a lot of grasshoppers on hand to sell to you and me for our panfishing but many shops do keep crickets on hand for us.
So, there ya go! We got easy bluegill bait, right?
Not exactly, no … crickets aren’t the easiest, as you and I know, ya know?

Keeping crickets alive is an issue.
Don’t let them get too cold over night, or they're all dead.
Don’t let them get too hot under the sun’s heat during the day, or they're all dead again.

Keeping crickets contained is an issue.
I once stopped in at Henry’s while on my way out of the city, without a cricket cage in the truck. No problem, the sales boy said he would just bag em for me and staple the sack.
Mmm hmm…
It was a paper bag. There wasn’t a single cricket left in that paper bag by the time I arrived home with my bait.
They ate all kinds of holes through that paper sack and made all about making crickets music all throughout the truck.
Then it got to be all about the chase; it always seems to turn into a chase with crickets; ya know what I'm sayin.
That was an issue for sure.

There are these wire cages, cricket keeper cages. One type is a tube; another one is an open basket.
I have both and a couple of each. Too bad I didn’t have one along with me when I needed it.

Wire cages work well for containing and keeping. It’s the getting of those buggers outta there that’s the issue.
When I buy crickets I have to buy twice as many as I’m gonna need cause I lose one for every one I get when shaking a cricket out of the mouth of the neck of that tube.
Just when I’m about to pinch his little head as he sticks it out……he jumps!
Now I gotta chase him all over the floor of the boat, then into a corner where I got him…nope, he jumps up the side and then down under a seat…
It’s tough chasing those crickets.

The open baskets are nice until you stick your hand down in one and try to get bait out.
First ya have to give it a shake and pound the bottom on something just to get em all down and out from under that white collar thing.
Then, once you get your hand down in there. One always jumps on top of the back of my hand and out to freedom’s waitings for him.
Now I gotta chase him all over the floor of the boat, then into a corner where I got him…nope, he jumps up the side and then down under a seat…

Now that we caught him, we have to get it onto a hook and hopefully get him to stay on the hook, at least long enough to get him cast into the water. After that, it’s God’s business, for hopefully, he’ll quickly be a gonner and that’s what this is all about…. Keeping him on that hook long enough so as he can make his demise down the throat of a big ole mamma jamma hootchie momma bluegill.

So how do you do it?
Keep him on the hook that is.
Do ya;
Use a specific cricket hook?
Stab the hook into the cricket somewhere?
Slide the hook behind its thorax?

Do you;
T-bone the cricket onto the hook?
Down the chest armor and turn the hook into the abdomen?

I Super glued a few onto the cricket hook this past weekend.
That’s a pain, waiting for the glue to set.

There is a product, called Bait Stick that works well. It’s sticky as all get out and made just for the purpose of getting bait to stay on the hook and will even do so without piercing the cricket’s shell or body cavity, allowing the cricket some time to squirm and kick as it drowns but hopefully just long enough to draw attention from a hootchie momma.
Problem is, it is expensive, relatively speaking for just gooey stuff and not exactly available everywhere we go for stuff.

Some people take to making up their own gooey gooky stuff concoctions but I just thought of something and I wonder if it might work and be cheap at the same time.
How about mouse glue?
About a buck a card?
Scrape up a tube full for a buck's worth lifetime supply.
Think maybe?

Just a thought

Issue time10:31:20 pm, by Any Luc Email 19095 views
Categories: General


     Have you ever just sat at the boat launch on a 4th of July afternoon and observed the different methods by which boaters load their crafts onto their trailers and get them out of the water?

Oh what fun!

Honestly, I can’t imagine anything more entertaining.

Just don’t go with a full bladder.

     Well, for whatever reason, those images came to mind while giving some thought to tip-up fishing. We can see some pretty funny stuff out on the ice when the flags are a popping; people running, people falling, same folk sliding, yanking and jumping backwards with Mason in hand, tangling line all about themselves and then of course someone eventually yells out that …


     Have you ever been that fella?

Mm hmm, your buddies have been too.

So if I were to ask a seasoned tip up fisherman what his best advice might be for those of us who let's say, are less than seasoned;

what might he say?

“Keep your head.” He would say I would think.

Keep your head in the game and think about what is going on about your person upon the ice and think about what is going on under the ice.

     There is no need for any gymnastics when setting the hook on a pike, or any fish for that matter.

Think about what you will do, long before that spindle makes its first turn to trip.

Pay particular attention to the direction of the wind and how you will approach the tip up. Let the wind be your friend and set yourself in a position where the wind is pushing across your chest, not into your chest. This is important and I'll say why in a moment.

Once on your knees, if the spindle isn’t turning, turn it gently and give some free line before you lift the device. Don’t let that fish feel any tension on the line as you remove the tip up from the hole, lift and deliberately place it off to the side and away from any incoming piles of line.

     And Don’t You Set that hook yet!

Never set the hook until the fish is swimming away from the hole and when you do;

No Gymanastics!

Hold the line gently and let it slip through your hand as the fish swims away from the hole and then make your hook set accordingly, with control, with balance and good body position.

If you happen to have a sizable fish on the end of your line, that turns this into a game of give and take, your going to need to pay attention to what you are doing with that line as you retrieve it and make placement of the free line upon the ice. Don’t allow the line to tangle about your body or at your feet in tight loops. Toss the line to your side, letting the wind carry it away from your body and toss it in such a way as to be able to keep it tangle free throughout the battle. Doing so, will greatly up your odds of icing the fish and

keeping the naughty words off the ice.





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