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Don't let sparkly new fishing gadgets distract from what's important

For What It's Worth
Lead Summary
Rick Peterson, general manager

About this time each year, fishing enthusiasts start to dream about getting out on the lake and hooking the big one.
Sure enough, this past week the Bass Pro Shop/Cabela’s Spring Fishing Classic catalog showed up. It’s not really a catalog, but it is 44 pages of all things fishing and fishing-related stuff.
To say I am an avid fisherman would be a gross overstatement. I fish maybe a couple times a year, and for the most part I haven’t purchased any new fishing equipment for five years, give or take a year or two.
If you don’t count the fishing licenses, about the only other purchase I’ve made was an aerated minnow box that I use more often as a beer cooler.
Thumbing through the Spring Fishing Classic pages, it would appear inflation has had its way with all things fishing. The number of rods and reels offered for sale within the pages is overwhelming, with prices to match. Some of the rod and reel combinations were priced north of $500.
Today’s fish must be fussy eaters because the buffet of artificial lures is sure to appeal to the finickiest of fish. A single lure can go for as much as $20 bucks. For $199.98 you can get yourself a backpack tackle box. – That’s the sale price, by the way.
You would think, with the new rod and reel along with your lures stored neatly in your backpack tackle box, you’re ready for the water. Oh no, my fishing friend, you need a boat and one of those electronic fish finders.
There is a Humminbird SOLIX 10 chirp Mega SI G3 fish finder … whatever the heck that is … priced at $2,399.99. And keep in mind their slogan: “You can shop with confidence because Bass Pro Shop will simply not be undersold.” That sounds like a fish story to me.
As far as the boat goes, a fishing buddy of mine was at the boat show in St. Cloud a couple of weeks ago and texted me a picture of a fishing boat with a sticker price of $104,000.
Of all the “must have” items in the catalog, here is one that won’t help you catch a fish. It costs less than the rod and reel, is cheaper than five lures … it’s the life jacket.
Have a safe fishing season, catch a big one or two, and wear your life jacket.

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