Mike Jackson: 2 basic needs most anglers need to carry

My lesson learned the hard way came to me in less than 20 seconds.

Two friends and I shared a big boat on a northern Wisconsin lake, supposedly a red-hot spot for giant muskies.

It was late night with a full moon's brilliance shining through the tall spruce trees. The scene was right out of the faded pages of some ancient national outdoor magazine.

The breeze was cool and slight, just enough to keep the mosquitoes away while our faces and hands could appreciate the respite from a normal suicide flight of attack bugs.

All three of us hoisted our cumbersome, heavy rods into the air and made long casts to weed line edges. And then the carelessness suddenly took over.

I inadvertently hit my friend's rod in a mid cast, causing lures and lines to come crashing down. The next thing I realized was a biting hurt in my casting hand where my friend's giant lure with all of its huge treble hooks embedded itself deep into the flesh.

I've always had a very low tolerance for pain and I admit this screw-up scored a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being the most painful.

Ben made matters worse by pulling on the lines not realizing I was impaled. My yelling didn't help the situation.

Five minutes later I gingerly opened the jumbo first aid kit and searched for the topical pain reliever. Having applied enough goop to the hook insertion spot I then went ahead and cut the barbs off the lure. I was able to bring the treble hooks slightly up and then visible and history.

Neosporin has always been my favorite antibiotic and that's what I used to ward off an infection.

The moral of this tale is for all outdoors-oriented people. Always carry an aid kit on every trip.

My jumbo kit even has a scalpel, Zylocain, surgical bandages, stitching thread and surgical needles.

I've used all of those elements at one time or another on fishing and hunting trips.

I've even had to perform some minor surgery on an acquaintance when he split his eyebrow open by getting too close to his rifle scope when he fired at a caribou.

The other major tool is the best polarizing sunglasses you can afford.

Not only will you be able to spot cruising fish but your eyes will escape the harmful effects of the sun's rays engulfing your entire head. Also buy the widest hat you can find that comes with a huge brim.

Some of my acquaintances have made a second career of laughing at me and my precautions.

They're the same ones in the cabin at night trying to soothe their eyes and hands from a day in the sun.

• Catch Mike Jackson Outdoors 7 to 9 a.m. Sundays on WCGO AM-1590 or stream live at

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