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updated: 1/4/2012 10:50 PM

Mike Jackson on the outdoors and gimmicks

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I never claimed to be an expert, but rather a lucky individual that has been tutored by some of the best in the fishing and hunting areas of the outdoors.

My late father Irv was one of those "naturals," a person who also had a friend offering him advice and outdoors-related wisdom to his woods and water education.

My outdoor radio talk show serves as a conduit for me to pass along information I've managed to acquire in the 46 years I've hung out in this business. And over that four-plus-decade ride, a select group of individuals has usually caught the attention of a lot of folks who had been hungry for ways to improve their station in life and in the boat.

There are only a scant few manufacturers left that either crank out or import reels. The same holds for rods. The lure business is different in that some creative geniuses design lookalikes that claim to be the true-blue answer to the often-asked question: What is the best lure to use?

I am proud to say I went to Live Bait University, with headmaster Bill Binkelman in the front of the classroom. I graduated with honors and then did my advanced degree work at the feet of Ron Lindner and brother Al back in 1966. Along the way I was introduced to Minnesotan Babe Winkelman, who in his own right carried a 4.0 average while receiving accolades for his talent.

All of this is leading me to what I consider to be a major sore spot.

In the past you've heard me rail about outdoor television shows. In my opinion there are only a select few of these programs, mainly in the fishing venue, that warrant close inspection.

Winkelman provides hunters with the only decent project during the season. And in the Chicago area there are a few blokes who have tried to convince listeners that they are the pretenders to the throne.

I recently received several emails as well as telephone calls about a local character who stated on the air that 9-foot, 6-inch muskie rods weren't good to use. Really?

There was another maven in Nashville who claimed the best way to catch monster largemouth bass was by using a 12-inch plastic worm set up as a Carolina Rig. It's possible he's doing his fishing on a pay lake where the place is loaded with nothing but monsters.

When I fished Lake Fork in east Texas I encountered a local who went snake hunting for water moccasins. After killing several, he rigged one with big hooks and tossed it in to the water, which was populated by deadfall stumps. His claim to fame was his method was the best way to go for trophy bass. He refused to show me any pictures of the fish he said he caught with his special snake method.

On my radio program I only talk about products and techniques that have been proven and tested over a period of years. And in the muskie rod department I am having a 9 foot, 6-inch stick built for me so I can hurl those extra-heavy muskie baits into possible honey holes and hook a beast.

By the way, the big rod will arrive at my front door via Speedy Delivery Service.

• Contact Mike Jackson at, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM.

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