Why knives make the best Christmas gifts

Knives make great Christmas gifts.

Palm Desert, CA (November 20, 2023) – Choosing the perfect knife to give as a holiday gift can be overwhelming. There are many choices; fortunately, finding a reliable EDC knife that suits your lifestyle is easier than ever. When a knife is given as a gift, it also gives the ability to carve another gift. It offers a way to help make a fire, slice cheese, cut twine, clean a fish, and much more.
Consider the following when searching for a good Christmas EDC knife. It should be lightweight and compact for convenient carrying. It should be durable, able to withstand frequent use, and capable of cutting through various materials. Safety should be a factor; fixed-blade knives have no moving parts compared to folding knives, which take some practice and skill to master. Bear Forest Knives has the solution! 

On Three EDC
Stocking stuffers are usually small, useful items that are a precursor to the more significant Christmas gift—in this case, it may be better. With an overall length of 6.5 inches, the On Three EDC knife utilizes a handy 2.75-inch blade made of 52100 carbon steel. The handle is 3.5 inches long, offering a small knife a secure grip. An everyday carry (EDC) knife is an unassuming cutting tool designed for a vast array of situations and applications. They’re intended to carry daily and conveniently like items in your pocket, bag, or pouch. An EDC knife should be carried the same as your phone, flashlight, pen, sunglasses, or keys.
Make your Christmas gift a good one with a knife that will last a lifetime and be passed down. Bear Forest Knives are true American adventure tools built to last!
Bear Forest Knives- On Three EDC
Overall Length: 6.5 inchesBlade Length: 2.75 inchesThickness: .125 inchesSteel: 52100 Carbon SteelGrind: Full FlatFinish: Rock Tumbled Acid WashHandles: Green Hornet Micarta, Wheat Coarse Canvas Micarta, Black Canvas Micarta, Natural Linen Micarta, Stabilized Dogwood (Salyer Property)Sheath: KydexDesigner: Jason SalyerMade in the USAMSRP: $159.99
About Bear Forest Knives:Bear Forest Knives shares an abiding love for the great outdoors, the freedom and fresh air, and the chance to connect with nature in all its glorious forms. Bear Forest Knives was created to enhance all adventures and interactions in the wild, standing at the ready for whatever the day or night, climate, or conditions may bring. Bear Forest Knives are purpose-built for these moments and the daily life that happens in between.For more information, please visit: https://www.bearforestknives.com/

Kayaker missing on Lake Jocassee

According to Oconee County (SC) Emergency Services, a kayaker that went missing on Oct. 7, 2023 is still unaccounted for as of Oct. 9. The man was kayaking to a remote camping spot with a female companion when both of their kayaks were overtaken by waves and capsized on Lake Jocassee.

The female kayaker was found and hospitalized for hypothermia shortly after the mishap. She is expected to make a full recovery. According to SCDNR officials, neither of the kayakers were wearing life jackets.

Rescue crews have used sonar technology to search for the man, and have found some of his belongings. But he is still missing.

Lake Jocassee is a popular lake, located in South Carolina’s upstate region. It is known as a lake that can turn from calm to rough without warning.

Click here for an update to this story.

Mackenzie’s Fisherman Hand Scrub

Got smelly hands? Mackenzie’s Fisherman Hand Scrub has the cure!

Was a time when I kept a tube of toothpaste at my fish-cleaning station. But it wasn’t for brushing my teeth. I used it to rub thoroughly into my hands after I’d washed them, attempting to cover the fish smell that even soap couldn’t get rid of.

But you won’t find toothpaste there any longer. Or bars of soap for that matter. Mackenzie’s Fisherman Hand Scrub is what I use now, and it’s pretty much a miracle product in my estimation.

Once I’m done cleaning fish, sealing up the fillets and tossing out the bones and such, I run a little warm water, squirt a dab of Mackenzie’s on the palm of one hand, then rub it and scrub it in with the other hand.

This is a true scrub, with particles embedded into soap, so as you rub it in, it doesn’t just clean; it deep cleans. And that’s what you need after cleaning piles of slimy, smelly fish. You might call it a harsh scrub, but it’s only harsh where it needs to be. And it leaves your hands not only clean, but also feeling refreshed and invigorated.

That comes from its ingredients, like coconut husks, pumice, lemon essential oils, coconut oil and red palm oil. It’s all a part of the perfect combination needed to give your hands a deep clean, while also keeping those hands moisturized, smooth and fresh.

It’s a great gift for yourself, or for anyone you know who loves to fish or do any type of outdoor chores. Bonus tip: if you hire a charter guide, he’ll never forget who gifted him some Mackenzie’s Fisherman Hand Scrub.

Click here to order some hand scrub and check out all the other fine products at fishermanhandscrub.com.

BOTE Inflatable Rackham Aero with Apex Drive

The inflatable BOTE Rackham Aero with Apex Drive is a stable watercraft that’s a joy to fish from.

Today’s inflatable watercraft are highly durable and super stable. Gone are the days of fearing a blowout on the water, just like the days of feeling “bouncy” when the watercraft is fully inflated.

The Inflatable Bote Rackham Aero with Apex Drive stands at the forefront of modern stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) innovation, embodying a harmonious blend of cutting-edge technology, portability, and high-performance capabilities. This remarkable inflatable SUP model redefines the paddling experience, offering a seamless fusion of convenience and excitement.

Inflatable Versatility: The Rackham Aero with Apex Drive features a robust inflatable design crafted from rugged military-grade PVC material. Utilizing advanced drop-stitch construction, this board achieves a remarkably sturdy and stable platform on the water, ensuring a secure footing for paddlers. Its inflatable nature allows for effortless deflation and storage, making it a supremely portable option for both local adventures and distant explorations.

Apex Drive Propulsion System: The pinnacle of innovation lies in the Apex Drive propulsion system. This groundbreaking technology integrates an electric motor directly into the board’s framework. Positioned at the stern, the Apex Drive system empowers paddlers with adjustable speed and directional controls, all conveniently managed through a wireless remote. This feature revolutionizes the SUP experience, offering an exhilarating alternative to conventional paddling and broadening the accessibility of the sport to paddlers of diverse skill levels.

Unparalleled Performance: The Apex Drive system doesn’t merely elevate speed; it amplifies maneuverability as well. Paddlers can gracefully navigate diverse water conditions, from calm lakes to meandering rivers, all with enhanced precision and ease. The wireless remote ensures real-time adjustments, catering to individual preferences and creating an immersive and personalized aquatic adventure.

Adaptability for Activities: The Rackham Aero’s design versatility caters to an array of waterborne pursuits. With its spacious deck area, the board accommodates gear, catering to fishing enthusiasts and explorers who wish to carry equipment. Its reliable stability and responsiveness lend themselves to touring, fishing, leisurely paddling, and more, encapsulating the essence of SUP versatility.

Eco-Conscious Engineering: The integration of the Apex Drive system is a testament to the board’s eco-conscious approach. This technology minimizes the impact on aquatic ecosystems and contributes to the growing movement of sustainable water recreation.

In summation, the Inflatable Bote Rackham Aero with Apex Drive transcends the boundaries of traditional stand-up paddleboarding. Its inflatable design marries convenience with durability, allowing adventurers to seize opportunities on any water body. The revolutionary Apex Drive propulsion system redefines paddling dynamics, infusing excitement and accessibility into the sport. With its inventive features, adaptable performance, and dedication to responsible recreation, the Rackham Aero with Apex Drive epitomizes the future of stand-up paddleboarding, inviting paddlers to embark on a journey of thrilling aquatic exploration.

Crispy bluegill delight

This crispy bluegill recipe is top notch!

This is my unbeatable recipe for fried bluegill. This dish takes me back to lazy summer days by the lake (and the Wateree River, a severely underrated bluegill fishery), and I’m excited to share it with you. The key here is keeping some of the larger bluegills you catch, because you want to filet them for this dish. This makes them easy for anyone to eat, and the resemblance to chicken fingers will appeal even to folks who may shy away from eating fish. No bones in this recipe! So grab your fishing rod, catch some fresh bluegill, and let’s get cooking.


  • Freshly caught bluegill fillets
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil, for frying


1. The Catch of the Day: The key to mouthwatering fried bluegill starts with the freshest catch. Head to your favorite fishing spot and reel in some plump bluegill. Clean and fillet the fish, removing any bones but keeping the skin for extra flavor.

2. Seasoned Cornmeal Coating: In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix it up – this is where the magic begins!

3. Dippin’ and Coatin’: Heat up a generous amount of canola oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. You want it hot enough to sizzle but not smoking. While the oil is heating, pat the bluegill fillets dry with paper towels. Dip each fillet into the seasoned cornmeal mixture, ensuring a nice, even coating on both sides.

4. Dive into Deliciousness: Carefully place the coated bluegill fillets into the hot oil. Fry them for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Make sure to keep an eye on them – you want that perfect crunch without overcooking.

5. Patience and Paper Towels: Once your bluegill fillets are golden and crispy, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Let them rest for a moment – although resisting that temptation might be a challenge!

6. Dive In, Flavor Explosion! The moment you’ve been waiting for: it’s time to indulge. Grab a fork and bite into the crunchy coating to reveal the tender, flaky bluegill inside. The blend of spices and the satisfying crunch will transport you straight to the lake.

7. Savor the Moment: Serve your fried bluegill with your choice of sides – think fresh lemon wedges, coleslaw, or a zesty tartar sauce. Don’t forget to share this delicious dish with friends and family – they’ll be begging for your secret recipe!

My fried bluegill recipe is more than just food; it’s a taste of nostalgia and a celebration of the great outdoors. So whether you’re reminiscing about summers by the lake or just craving a crispy, flavorful meal, give this recipe a try. It’s a delicious adventure you won’t want to miss!

And hey, if you catch some shellcrackers or any other kind of panfish, don’t throw them back! They fry up (and taste) just as good as bluegills!

Wateree River fatal boat crash looks Murdaugh-esque

A fatal boat crash on the Wateree River has similarities to the Paul Murdaugh boat crash in Beaufort, SC.

A fatal boat crash on the Wateree River this past May has some similarities to the boat crash that killed Mallory Beach when Paul Murdaugh, son of disgraced attorney and convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh, was driving. The similarities? Drunken underage boat driver, a relative with some political power in the area, the sale of alcohol to a minor, and an attempt at a coverup.

That’s what is alleged by the parents of 15-year-old Chase Newman, who died at the scene of the May 5, 2023 crash on the Wateree River. They have filed a lawsuit against several parties. The crash involved a group of friends in two separate boats, which collided near Pine Tree Creek.

Zachary Cameron was driving the boat Newman was in when the collision occurred. One of the first officials on the scene was David West, the Kershaw County Coroner, who is also the granddad of Cameron.

Newman’s parents have alleged that Cameron was drunk, and that West intervened with law enforcement officials who arrived later, telling them that he had checked for alcohol, and that none was involved. He also allegedly advised the boat parties to get rid of any evidence of alcohol in both boats.

Aside from suing Cameron, Newman’s parents are also suing Trent Mathis, the driver of the boat that crashed into the boat Newman was riding in. Five convenience stores are also targets of the lawsuit for selling alcohol to Cameron, who was younger than 21.

No one was arrested at the scene, in large part due to West’s position as coroner, and in the way he inserted himself into the investigation and convinced law enforcement that his grandson had done no wrong, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also states that in the weeks following the crash, Cameron “discussed how drunk he was on the night Newman lost his life.”

Don’t cry for SENSATION, Big Rock Fans

Plenty of controversy abounds after SENSATION’s DQ from the 2023 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, including the boat’s owner declaring an official protest and securing the services of a law firm to take matters to court if his protest doesn’t result in overturning the DQ.

It won’t, nor should it. And it’s shameful that he’s even trying.

In case you’re not up to speed, here goes: The crew of the boat caught a big blue marlin. They brought it in to weigh. Tournament officials determined the marlin had been bitten by a shark during the fight. A rule in the tournament rule book, signed off on by the SENSATION and every other boat fishing the contest, states clearly in black and white that if a marlin is bitten by a shark or other sea creature during the fight, then it is disqualified.

So, pretty simple. Straight forward. No room for interpretation. Was it bitten by a shark or other sea creature during the fight? Yes. What does that mean, according to the rules of the tournament? That the fish is disqualified. Done deal. Sorry fellas, great fish, bad luck, thanks for playing and see you next year.

At this point, whether to entertain the crowd or to ensure SENSATION got a fair shake, the tournament weighed the fish anyway, then stated they’d release a decision about the winner in the morning. Many folks are saying this was a mistake, and that they shouldn’t have weighed it at all, since it was DQ’d anyway.

DQ announced next morning

But it was probably the right thing to do. During the night, the tournament consulted with fisheries biologists and the IGFA. Perhaps they just wanted to make sure that the two marks in question were bite marks, and not marks that were created by hoising the marlin into the boat. And this extra time would give SENSATION a chance to provide evidence that the marks occurred after the fight, and not during it. With several hours and all the evidence at hand, Big Rock released a statement Sunday morning confirming that SENSATION’s fish was disqualified.

So, even though all things pointed to a DQ Saturday night, Big Rock organizers decided to do a little more consulting, make sure they got it right, and again, give the boat’s crew a chance to provide evidence that those marks occurred after the fight, and not during. The crew offered no such evidence.

And in the end, the DQ was announced. 

Now, many Big Rock fans (fair weather ones at least), want to point to past winners, and how badly mutilated they were, and much more mutilated than SENSATION’s. What they’re failing to recognize, even when shown in black and white, spelled out clearly in the rule book, is that those mutilations occurred AFTER the fish were caught, tail-roped, and hoisted aboard, and during the ride in. In those cases the crew that caught the fish provided video evidence showing that the fish’s mutilation was a result of attempting to load it onto the boat, and of the wear and tear during the boat ride back to Morehead City.

Some folks say the 2019 winning fish even had shark bites on it. The win wasn’t protested, not even by the second-place boat of Rocky Hardison, who had more to lose (and lost it) than anyone when Top Dog brought in its massive fish.

Hardison’s words on the Top Dog’s fish, which video evidence shows was mutilated AFTER being boated, which doesn’t call for a DQ: 

“As for the comparison to Top Dog’s fish a few years ago, yes it was in worse condition but that damage was done after the fight was over. It knocked me to second place and cost me a lot of money. If I thought that it was any different, believe me, I would have protested it! Rules are rules and it’s pretty much black and white.” — Rocky Hardison

No sharks in the heart

It’s important to note that in the history of the Big Rock, more than once, captains have come in to hear the cheering of the crowds and the excitement of the emcee, only to calm that excitement quickly by stating, on their own, with no prompting from tournament officials, that no, we’re personally DQing our own fish, because if you look right here, you’ll see a fresh bite mark. Others have radioed from offshore, letting all know not to keep the scales open just for them, because their marlin was bitten during the fight. That’s integrity. That’s sportsmanship.

So what did the SENSATION’s boat owner have to say about the two obvious bite marks (that were confirmed as bite marks by multiple fisheries biologists)?

Something like “In our hearts, we never saw a shark.”

What? You never saw a shark? In your hearts? What does that even mean?

Okay, first, it doesn’t matter if you saw a shark, not with your eyes, not in your heart, not in your kidneys. Not seeing a shark (especially in your heart) doesn’t mean your fish wasn’t bitten by one.

And the odd statement sounds more like a cheating partner, trying to reconcile with the loved one they cheated on: “Baby, I mean, I did what I did. But in my heart, I wasn’t cheating.”

So, they didn’t see any sharks in their heart. Did they see the bite marks (in their heart or otherwise) once they got the fish onboard?

Ahhh, they thought it was just marks caused by them winching it onto the boat. Hmmm. Okay, wishful thinking. Let’s give ‘em the benefit of the doubt there. Otherwise, it would have been shameful for them to bring it in without alerting tournament officials to those marks.

6-hour fight wasn’t a 6-hour fight

Many Big Rock fans are stating the fish should count anyway, even if it was bitten by sharks, because the crew “fought it for 6 hours! And a fish can’t fight for 6 hours if those bites hurt it!”

Couple of problems here. First, who is to say a fish that fought for 6 hours couldn’t have fought for 8, or even broken free, had it not been bitten by a shark? But most importantly, those fans’ visions of the marlin running, jumping, diving deep, going from one side of the boat to the next, leaping high above the waves within sight of the boat, colors vibrant, muscles bulging, tail thrashing, the crew running about on the deck shouting words of encouragement, the angler on the rod allowing the fish to run, then making up line, letting it run again, gaining line back…well, this epic 6-hour battle never took place.


Turns out, according to interviews with the captain and crew members, the fish died and sank to the bottom in the first 45 minutes of the fight. The next 5+ hours, they cranked the fish straight up, trying to get help from the current when they could, carefully cranking while not straining their line too much, lest it break. 

And finally, after turning the reel handle for 5+ hours, the 600 pounds of dead weight was there at hand, ready to load.

In the face of these words, offered by the captain and crew themselves, the fair weather Big Rock fans say rubbish.

Emotional argument

“If the fish was dead, they could back right up to it and load it!” said one social media commenter. Oh boy, what a gem. Others said similar things “Dead on the seafloor? If so, it wouldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes to reel it right in.”

Well, some folks just don’t understand the dynamics of fishing for big gamefish, using line that is rated at much lower poundage than many of the fish you’ll catch, and how using the drag and the bend of the rod comes into play to tire the fish. And that tightening the drag means you can reel it right in quick, well, unless whatever is on your line weighs more than your line is rated for, in which case your line will simply pop.

Well, those folks just don’t know any better. And don’t know any better than to make comments on things they have no clue about. Plenty of folks like that in this world. Oh well, let ‘em speak. Just don’t take it too seriously or try too hard to argue with them. They just don’t get it and never will. Their whole argument is built on emotion anyway.

“Fish get bit by sharks all the time!” some argue. I don’t know how often big marlin get bit by sharks. Honestly, I don’t believe ones that grow to 600 pounds get bit by sharks on the regular, but I’m no expert at that. But it doesn’t matter. The rule book says plain and simply, if a marlin is bitten by a shark during the fight, it’s DQ’ed.

“But they were small bite marks, probably didn’t impact the marlin,” some are saying. That’s a crock, but even if it’s not, the rule book makes no allowances for how big a shark bite is. It states that if it’s bitten during the fight, DQ. Period.

“But this isn’t an IGFA tournament!” others say. It doesn’t matter. They reference the IGFA rule on shark bites in the tournament rules. Big Rock doesn’t have to follow every IGFA rule if they don’t want to. They can adopt certain rules from other organizations all they want, as long as they spell it out in their rule book. And they do. 

Shame on boat owner

Now, here’s the thing. For all those fair weather Big Rock fans, oh well, most just don’t understand the rules. Plenty of others see the rules but just don’t like that particular rule. Or they misunderstand the “mutilation” rule and refuse to acknowledge the part of the rule about WHEN the mutilation happens. Others want to argue the definition of the word. Doesn’t matter. The rules say if it happens DURING the fight, it’s a DQ.

But what is shameful, is a boat owner that knows the rules, and one who agreed to participate in the 2023 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, signing off on the rule book that all other boats signed off on, then turning around and preparing to sue the tournament after their fish was DQ’ed based on those very rules he signed off on. This freezes all prize money for the other competitors. Puts everything in limbo.

Chances are, he doesn’t believe all that stuff the fair weather fans believe. Chances are, he’s just playing on their emotions, hoping to garner enough support that the Big Rock will see fit to overturn a longstanding rule that his team signed off on before the tournament even began, or at least offer a settlement.

And that is shameful. Shameful to him. Shameful to his boat. Shameful to his team. Shameful to his sponsors.


UPDATE: After all this, the protest has been dropped as of July 11, with SENSATION’s owner admitting that the tournament got it right all along.

NC angler catches pending world record bigscale pomfret

The folks at Chasin Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Beach, NC weighed in a bigscale pomfret that could become the new world record. It is about 6 pounds heavier than the current world record, a 20-pound, 10-ounce bigscale pomfret caught in 2004 out of St. Augustine, FL.

North Carolina anglers Jeremiah Elliot, Trever Burns, Chandler Butler and Zack Elliot were fishing outside of Beaufort Inlet when they called Chasin Tails on the evening of Friday, April 21, 2023. The men wanted to make sure the store’s weigh scales were open and in order.

With cell phone reception cutting in and out, the folks at Chasin Tails couldn’t hear the call well enough to know what kind of fish they were bringing in. 

“We really had no idea what they had, as it was hard to hear them over the phone,” they said.

The fish tipped the scales at 26.71 pounds. The species has a closely-related cousin, the Atlantic pomfret, and a fisheries biologist positively identified this catch as a bigscale on Monday, April 24. 

Because it’s not a fish commonly caught in North Carolina waters, the state does not currently list the bigscale pomfret in its record books. Chasin Tails is assisting the anglers in having this fish certified as North Carolina’s first state record for the species, and having it certified as the new world record.

New Orleans’ Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is March 25

The 74th Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is slated for March 25, 2023 in New Orleans.

The 74th Annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is scheduled for March 25, 2023 at New Orleans City Park.

The Big Bass Rodeo is the oldest freshwater rodeo in the United States, and features numerous divisions, including Adult, Junior, Kayak, Student, and Team. A Fishtival will take place the day of the event, featuring activities and entertainment throughout the morning, along with a visit from Robbie the Redfish and Parker the Raccoon.

If you’d like to get ready for the rodeo, the LDWF is offering two free bass fishing courses at the park on Feb. 25 and March 24. Courses will include bass behavior, proper handling of bass, and lure preparation and use. Click here for more info and to sign up.

North Carolina stocking F1 bass

The NCWRC is set to stock F1 bass into three North Carolina lakes, and the private sector is invited to help.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is gearing up to stock F1 bass into three of the state’s lakes. And for the first time ever, they will accept private funds to help finance the project.

The state is going full steam ahead, stocking even if no money is donated by the private sector. But for every dollar private citizens give, the federal government will triple it. F1 bass fingerlings currently cost about 50 cents apiece to stock. So one dollar from private funds would normally result in two fish being stocked.

But thanks to the government matching these funds at a 3-to-1 ratio, one dollar raised will result in eight fish being stocked. That’s a big deal!

It’s the perfect storm, in all the right ways, for the stocking program, said Marty Stone, a former professional bass angler who teamed up with two other bass fishing gurus to form the NC F1 Bass organization, which will help educate the public and funnel private funds to the NCWRC for the stocking program.

Stone and his partners have set the organization up as a 501(c)3, so all money donated will be tax deductible. And they’ve vowed that every dollar donated will go directly to NCWRC for the F1 stocking program.

So what is an F1 bass? It is the offspring of a Florida-strain bass and a norther-strain bass. This results in a fish with the exponential growth characteristics of a Florida-strain bass, coupled with the aggressive nature and extreme weather tolerance of a northern-strain bass. It’s the perfect fish to combat the influx of Alabama spotted bass that have been illegally introduced into many of North Carolina’s waters over the years.

The three lakes that will receive the first stockings of the F1 bass are Gaston, Jordan and Norman. These three lakes have three different water-quality ratings, which will help fisheries biologists gauge how well the F1 bass perform in varying conditions.

If you’d like more information on the program, click here to visit NCF1Bass.org.