My Christmas List

Outdoors with Forda Birds—By John Andreoni

It is December and everyone seems to be obsessed with spending a lot of money this year for Christmas presents. To get right into the spirit, I’ve decided this year to focus on myself for a change and send a request letter to Santa. I’ll skip the normal drivel that comes from people my age about having long lives, good health, and prosperity for their families and friends. I’ll even be more original than those who want peace on earth and good will toward men. This year, I’m out for stuff, expensive stuff that will make me stand out in the eyes of every outdoorsman in the country. Of course, I don’t want to be selfish, so I’ll just ask for a tricked-out bass boat and maybe a truck to pull it. I don’t think that’s being unrealistic since there are a lot of expensive rigs out there pulled by people who evidently can afford them.

In terms of requirements, I need something that will come close to matching the top recorded bass boat speed of over 115 mile per hour. I know the importance of getting to a prime fishing spot before a fellow competitor. The way I figure, a trip from the east side to the west side of Lake St. Marys should take no more than five minutes. I wouldn’t have to worry about wake restrictions because, going that fast, I doubt if I would leave one. I also want size, stability, and a top-drawer trailer. Since some manufacturers are reticent to give out prices to the common folks, like those of us who might want or need a tax cut, I’m going to put a suggested retail price tag of $100,000 on my perfect watercraft. Assuming Santa gets a decent deal at the bank, he’ll be paying about $850 a month for 15 years. Don’t worry Santa, I won’t be asking for anything else during the life of the loan. Besides, with a boat like that, I’ll be able to win a lot of tournaments and help you make the payments.

Of course, having a new boat does create a problem or two. It’s really tacky to pull a new boat with an old truck. Consequently, I’m also asking Santa for a 4-wheel drive pickup of his choice with a color scheme to match the boat. I won’t get testy, but I think a $60,000 vehicle should do the job. An if jolly, old, St. Nick comes through, it’s only going to cost him an additional $1100 dollars a month, assuming he can pull off a 60 month loan at 3.75 percent. As usual, I would gladly put a large percentage of my tournament winnings toward Santa’s monthly payments. By the way, I almost forgot. I’d like to have a pair of those electric blade anchors so I can shoot pontoons easier. That’s probably another $4500, but that’s just chump change. My kids can get those for me.

Santa knows I’m going to take this fishing business seriously in 2018 and beyond so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if I requested some new fishing gear to go along with the new boat. It’s not hard to throw a $1000 into a custom rod and reel. Depending on the fishing requirements, ten new combinations should do the trick. I probably need to update my bass baits since it’s common knowledge that fish will only respond to the newest of lure innovations. I remember the days when the price of a crank bait was under a dollar. Today, there are fishermen who might spend $20 dollars for a similar bait. A $20 dollar bait with special mojo might cost up to $100. If you live in an area that hold really big bass, the “Mother” might be your choice of baits at $400 bucks or so. Sounds pricey, but one bass fisherman once explained that four bills equals only four boat fill-ups. All in all, Santa, my Christmas list should run you about $200,000. I think you should consider it since I’ve been fairly good this year.

Time for a reality check. To be sure, there are a few fishermen out there who see nothing wrong with my Christmas list. They either have a lot of money, some powerhouse credit, or rich sponsors. Well, more power to you. The rest of us will stay within our means, for the most part. My 16.5 aluminum fishing boat will take me wherever I want to go. It’s especially comfortable for catfishing. It doesn’t go very fast, but it’s quick enough to dodge most of the faster boats. I do need a couple of new flipping sticks before the 2018 fishing season, and Mike Cambell at Spillway Bait and Tackle at Lake Loramie is making a few custom bass baits for me. I think I have enough crappie gear at the moment, so that would cover my Christmas list in the real world.

On the other hand, I wonder if Santa, or my wife, would consider getting me a sweet little Fabbri 20 gauge over-and-under shotgun I saw the other day. Since she handles the money, I bet she could scrape up an extra $200,000 to pay for it…or maybe not.