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By Don Iovino
Western Staff Writer

September 8, 2008

I just received my new Ranger Z-19 which is rigged with the two-inch ball mount (ram mounts). I recommend that you opt for the two-inch ball model, especially when using Lowrance X27, X28, X38 and X113 models. These units are very heavy and in rough water they move around way too much, which is hard on the units as well as your boat. The two-inch ball models will hold these heavier units very well, even in rough water.

Good news: Navionics new platinum cards will now work in your Lowrance units as long as they have the 2.3 update. With this new platinum card you will get an aerial photo overlay of the land and the coastal areas surrounding many ports and marinas. The Navionics card will also get 2D and 3D synchronization for salt water. You can also get additional wrecks data for new wrecks, and also US inland waterways.

More good news: the LBS-1 Lowrance broadband sounder digital sounder optimizer compatibility will give all the information on the Navionics display unit. There is a software feature available; just call Navionics and they will send you the complete updated information for the Platinum card, along with the display unit software update addendum Pub 988-015-57A.

Call Navionics for more information at 800-848-5896 or 508-291-6000. Navionics also has great Hot Premium maps in high definition and they are waterproof. It includes 90 fishing way points and a decimal minute grid for improved position accuracy.

I’m leaving for the upcoming FLW National Guard Series event on the Columbia River September 10th. I’ve fished this river five times in tournaments and I’ve been jinxed so far - either hit a rock, the engine battery went dead, or wind kept me off my fish. I love fishing the Columbia for smallmouth. It’s a great fishery when the wind is not blowing. When it does the waves stir up. Even the young guns think twice about getting beat up, and an old Bass Pro wants to hide!

Speaking of dead batteries, with all the new electronics and keyboard switches these days, Ranger has come out with a 15AM battery instead of the 10AM and a special quick start switch if the battery goes bad. Problems with batteries usually happen when you’ve been fishing a spot for 3-5 hours with aerators running, along with the keyboard and electronics powered on.

Owner came out with a new wacky hook and it is the best wacky hook that I’ve used. If you are a wacky fisherman, you need to try the new model #5172 hooks. They also have a new weighted twist-lock for swimbaits, like Basstrix.

On the soapbox for a minute here, I want to urge you all to support American made products - companies like Yamamoto, Basstrix, Ardent Reels, and Huddleston need our support. These companies are 100% all-American.

Personal Notes
I still have the 225 Mercury Pro XS for sale with a 5-year warranty. The price is so low I do not want to list it. Call me if you’re interested. Also, if you have any old ABU reels from the 60’s or 70’s let me know - I will trade for tackle. Call me at 818-848-6180 about either of those items or if you have any electronic questions or other problems I may be able to help you with.

It’s been a while since my last column, but I have been really involved in dealing with Darlene’s cancer. This year has been difficult for my family, but life goes on. I know I moved around quite a bit, but I wanted to give you as much as information as possible. God Bless and please say a prayer for my wife Darlene.