After spending three days cruising through the aisles of the fishing tackle industry trade show last week in Las Vegas, I’ve done two things.
First, I’ve soaked my feet in salts; and second, I’ve come back with the latest news about next year’s tackle selection, which will be appearing on store shelves by Christmas.
The latest development in lure technology to emerge from the trade show this year is significant industry research and development of natural-food-source and biodegradable lures that break down and disappear from the environment when the lure is lost to snags or fish.
These natural, non-plastic soft bait products were debuted by several companies, led by Pure Fishing’s new Berkley Gulp! product line, which won Best of Show honors in the soft bait category. Gulp! is designed to break down and disappear from the environment within 90 days if left in water.
Kanji International displayed prototypes of what the company believes to be the first biodegradable hard bait, a lipped minnow jerkbait that, if left in water, will dissolve over a period of time. Several other companies are currently busy researching and developing biodegradable or food-source product materials but haven’t reached the point of openly presenting new products. There is a certain ecological appeal in the concept of biodegradable lures, and most lure companies are investigating the feasibility of such technology.
The Senko by Yamamoto Custom Baits continues to be an influential force in soft baits. Its popularity has been driving new sales of Senkolike soft baits for many of the industry’s manufacturers. This year, a majority of soft bait companies have unveiled competing versions of this type of lure.
Circle hooks continue to be popular and are smart from a conservation standpoint. The hook not only improves the strike-to-catch, but there is less chance of harming a fish that is to be released with a circle hook.
Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, the Coconino National Forest will restrict camping to developed campgrounds only. A developed Forest Service campground has established campfire rings or grills, parking spots and tables. Campfires and charcoal grills will still be allowed in developed campgrounds with site hosts. Restrictions to dispersed camping include any overnight occupancy, including recreational vehicles and camp trailers, in undeveloped areas.
Restricting dispersed camping (camping away from developed campgrounds) is in response to the Coconino National Forest’s worsening fire danger.
One exception to the dispersed camping restrictions will be the area south and east of Highway 87 along the Mogollon Rim on the Coconino National Forest. That area of the forest has received enough moisture over the last
four days to alleviate some of the fire danger. Although dispersed camping will be allowed there, all previous campfire, smoking and offroad driving restrictions will still be in effect in that area.
To answer specific questions about camping and smoking restrictions, the Coconino National Forest will staff a phone line from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. You can call toll free (877) 864-6985 or (928) 527-3512 during those hours. After those hours, you will get a recording. Updated information on all restrictions in the Southwest is also available online at www.fs.fed.us/r3/fire.
Campers wanting to stay in the Coconino National Forest’s developed campgrounds should come early or make reservations in sites that accept them. To reserve a campsite, call toll free (877) 444-6777.
The National Forest will still be open for such activities as hiking, biking and fishing.