Jerry's Tips

A plastic 35mm film canister makes an excellent weatherproof place to store your boat registration. Drill a hole in the bottom of the canister and use a stainless-steel screw and washer to permanently attach it to the boat in a hidden place, such as underneath the bow deck. Store your registration inside the canister where it will be available when you are checked by authorities.

The secret to training dogs to follow hand signals is to start short. Begin by tossing a dummy just a few feet to one side, then directing the dog to it with a hand signal. Now, pitch it short to the other side. Soon you will be able to mix short throws and steer the dog with appropriate hand signals to the right, left, and back. Gradually increase the distance each time the dog succeeds.

An accurate fish-measuring trough makes it possible to sort out slot-size fish quickly and harmlessly. Using 1X6-inch boards, construct a V-shaped trough with a wooden stop at one end. Butt a yardstick against the stop and fasten it to the inside of the trough. Use an indelible felt-tipped pen to mark minimum and maximum slot sizes for various fish species on the inner wall.

In the spring, smallmouth bass become very protective of the bright spots on the bottom that mark their nesting sites. Hook a dark-colored plastic worm through the head, cast it to a bright spot, and let it sink to the bottom. Then just leave it lying there. The bass will become irritated by the worm's presence and will pick the worm up by the head to carry it away.

Logging skidder trails tell you the way out of the woods. Skidder trails originate at log landings on traveled roads. As the skidders progress into the woods, they make a trail with spurs that fork off to the right and left. The forks make Y shapes, the bottom leg of which always points back toward the landing. Follow the skidder road in the direction indicated by the leg.