Crossover products are as helpful on the water is in the woods

Thanksgiving has passed, so even for many hardcore tournament anglers, now is the time to get in the woods as well as on the waters.
It also means that ‘shopping season’ is here again. Be sure and  get something nice for your wife and kids, your parents, the mailman, et al, but treat yourself right too. Big savings can be had on some cool gear. Some items provide utility far beyond the hunting woods or the fishing hole.

Fishing wise, take advantage of the topwater bite as shad should be up in the creeks, bluegills around the banks and bass close behind – or out ahead, lying in ambush. The shiners in our local pond are bigger than my foot. it takes a big bass to eat such bait. We’ve got ’em.

photo by Vance McCullough
photo by Vance McCullough

As for our deer herd, Florida is not known for producing trophy bucks. There are a few nice specimens in North Florida. They are seldom seen during daylight hours, except at the peak of the rut.

photo by Vance McCullough
photo by Vance McCullough
The wilds of the Deep South include boot-sucking swamps and expansive palmetto flats studded with thick thorn vines and guarded by venomous snakes and clouds of incessant mosquitoes. Hunting here guarantees the opportunity to fail miserably, and to be miserable while failing.
For this reason, a couple of items have become indispensable in my mind. The Thermacell is an outstanding invention for mosquito control. It flat out works. I recommend it for the boat or the tree stand. Who needs to be swatting mosquitoes when a big flippin’ fish bites beneath a mat? And you won’t see many animals in the woods if your arm is waving like a windshield wiper.
Indeed, there is a lot of crossover between products that help hunters and fishermen alike. While mosquitoes are bad news, snakes can be downright dangerous and, on rare occasions, deadly. My boy and I wear snake-proof boots and chaps in the woods. The cordura clothing also sheds briars like they aren’t even there. Such duds are well suited for wading through backwater areas where we often fish on foot, though they seldom find their way onto a boat.
One item found in many a boat or backpack is a revolver with rat shot or, my favorite, the Taurus Judge with bird shot. The Judge is one of those pistols that can chamber .45 caliber ammo or .410 shotgun shells. I have been fishing with my dad when a cottonmouth nearly 6 feet in length came directly to the boat. It had a head as big as my fist and no amount of commotion or paddle-slapping could deter it from approaching us. When Dad cranked the outboard the snake finally retreated back into the tall flooded grass from whence it had come. What if the motor didn’t crank? What if we didn’t have one? The Judge would have had to adjudicate.
On another trip it was a pair of vermin that walk about on two legs who approached as Dad prepared to launch a boat in a remote location. They found out quick they had picked a hard target to rob.
In any case, it’s best to be prepared and Florida law provides for the carry of personal protection when hunting or fishing. Whether you carry a Judge in a holster in the wilds or need to conceal a .380 for everyday business, I have been using and can now recommend Nexbelt.
Nexbelt is infinitely adjustable and incredibly sturdy. Both of these attributes made it handy after I gorged myself at Thanksgiving dinner with the family the other day. And I’ve gotten so many compliments – from ladies, none the less – on my belt’s rugged handsomeness.
The rep at Nexbelt was hesitant to say that it would hold up the more-than-two-pound package that is a fully loaded Taurus Judge, but I can say that I have had no worries even when I carried the judge tucked inside the belt without a holster. It is now my everyday belt. I’ve even worn it to church.
If you carry fishing accessories, multi-tools, or tools of any kind, Nexbelt provides a sturdy hold. By the way, I clip the aforementioned Thermacell on mine too. My son and I use mountain bikes to access remote areas and the belt has held everything nice and tight.
Whether you enjoy hunting, fishing, or if you’re just into bird-watching, if you go outside in the South a Thermacell and a Nexbelt will improve your experience. Be your own Santa and reward yourself. You’ve been good this year, right?