All posts by Mark Williams

Rod and Reel care

This product could more apply be called Reel magic. I find it to be an essential can to have on the shelf for Rod and Reel care.

Real magic is very effective in addressing line memory. One of the most aggravating things to happen while fishing is not being able to throw your bait where you want  due to your line keeping it’s spool memory when you cast. This is especially true when your reel has been stored for awhile or subjected to temperature changes. You have two choices to address this, purchase more line or spray your line and spool down with Real magic. You will instantly see increased performance in your cast.Rod and Reel care

For saltwater fishing, Real magic is a must. Make sure your spray down everything on your reel and each rod eyelet before you go fishing. Taking this extra step will add years to the life of your fishing gear. I make sure to put a coat on other items as well such as my portable bait aerator, both inside and out.

  • Real magic also provides protection against U.V.
  • Prevents Corrosion
  • Is odorless when dry
  • Improves casting distance
  • Reduces icing
  • Prevents spinner baits from sticking
  • Softens and extends line life
  • General all purpose lubricant, non-sticky, non-staining

I promise you won’t be disappointed with REAL Magic and will be quite impressed with its performance.




Best Gun Cleaner Lubricant

My favorite gun cleaning lubricant by far is Ballistol Sportsman’s Oil. I believe it to be the best gun cleaner lubricant on the market, especially considering it’s versatility.

Best Gun Cleaner Lubricant
Best Gun Cleaner Lubricant

One of my favorite things in life is to purchase old military guns, at a good price, that need a little TLC.  A couple years back, I was at a gun shop that specialized in curios and relic guns. I noticed how all their guns had a nice look to them and asked how they did it. They pointed to a bottle of Ballistol Sportsman’s Oil.

They informed me that they used it for everything, wood stocks, parts, slings, and inside/outside the barrels. I purchased a bottle and couldn’t wait to get home.  After pulling out my old Lee-Enfield and coating everything down with Ballistol, I was amazed. I had considered re-staining the stock but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So glad I didn’t as after Ballistol it looked great.

Ballistol’s versatility is quite impressive as well. It is great for cleaning your gun after firing corrosive ammo or in black powder weapons. Ballistol emulsifies with water, is mildly alkaline and neutralizes acids. Here are the mix ratios depending on your applications:

Clean Black Powder Residue – 50% Ballistol, 50% Water

Cleaning corrosive ammo residue – 10% Ballistol, 90% Water

Clean after smokeless/modern ammo – Pure Ballistol

Most other applications – Pure Ballistol

Ballistol is also great for treating leather, I used it on all my leather slings.  Applications include boots, shoes, gloves, holsters, slings & saddles. It protects leather against water and keeps it soft and pliable.

Ballistol has an interesting history which explains it’s versatility. Around the turn of the 20th century, the imperial German army was in need of a universal oil, which was not only suitable for maintaining the metal parts of guns but also for the upkeep and preservation of wooden stocks and leather gear. Chemist, Dr. Helmut Klever, developed Ballistol as the solution. The name comes from combining the technical term ballistics and the Latin word for oil oleum. It was used by the German army from 1905 to 1945.

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Freshwater Bank Fishing Tips

I had a great afternoon fishing in a small canal along the Potomac river and thought I would write this Freshwater Bank Fishing Tips post. The mosquitoes were a bit much, but I had a solution for them here that has never let me down.  Didn’t mind spraying the dry powder on my hot sweaty skin at all. Here is my first stop along the trail.

I took a bait caster and spinning reel with me this trip as I have been curious if there are catfish in the canal. This kind of forced me to slow down a bit while fishing with the rubber worm on the bait caster to give time to try out a live worm on the bottom with the spinning reel. I relearned something I really already knew, it takes a long time to fish a spot thoroughly. Several times I caught a bass on this trip right before I was ready to pull up and move to another spot. I think sitting down helped a bit too, lowers your profile so the fish can’t see you.

The above video answered the question on the catfish, they are in there. I swear that catfish was MUCH bigger than he appears on the video, at least twice as big as the largest bass I caught.  Even the man that was walking by that you can hear in the background would agree. Think I might go back one night with my catfish rig and give it a try. Click here for what I believe to be the best priced rod and reel for catfish. It can handle the big ones.

I tried several different rubber worms during this trip and only one produced. I have read and tried so many reviews of other rubber worms and rigs but always fall back to my favorite to start catching bass. Maybe I’m not doing something right with the others, all I know is my favorite always works. Check out my Bass Worm Fishing post here for hooks, worms and how to tie a Palomar knot.

My camcorder battery died on me after the above video and I had to take a still pic for my last bass included below. I caught several other fish on this trip that I just couldn’t record due to technical difficulties. It was a great day and I fished til the end. During my 1 mile walk back to my truck, in the dark, I was great-full this trip was in Maryland versus Florida. There aren’t many snakes to worry about in Maryland, occasional copper head and rare timber rattler. I didn’t have a flashlight either, had I been in Florida I would have taken precautions. Check this post out if you want to see why and how.
Freshwater Bank fishing tips

















Thanks so much for taking a look at my Freshwater Bank fishing tips post. Please click the Affordable Hunting and Fishing logo below for a fine selection of quality products. God bless y’all.


Best Hunting Crossbow Reviews

So many options and choices out there for purchasing a crossbow for this years hunting season. You have researched till you have a headache. Well I did the work for you, check out the three best options depending on your price range.

Best Hunting Crossbow Reviews
SA Sports Fever $127
Barnett Jackal crossbow
Barnett Jackal $262




Barnett brotherhood crossbow
Barnett Brotherhood $408


I have compiled a complete pros and cons in this Best Hunting Crossbow Reviews post.  All three options are an excellent product for the price and have been selected from numerous competitors. Once you decide, please order below. You will find the reviews following the Amazon links.


SA Sports Fever Crossbow

SA Sports Fever Crossbow


  • Incredible price and least expensive of the three options
  • Kit includes scope, sling, four target bolts, cocking rope, and quick attach/release quiver
  • Lightweight, much lighter than more expensive/powerful crossbows
  • Reviews reflect surprising accuracy up to 25 yards
  • Well-constructed and sturdy
  • Performed beyond expectations in customer reviews


  • Recommend using the included bolts for target practice only
  • Reviews reflect the trigger lacks in smoothness
  • Low budget scope
  • Some reports of assembly difficulty

Barnett Jackal Crossbow

Barnett Jackal Crossbow


  • Package includes quick-detach quiver, bolts, and premium red dot sight
  • Shoots at 315 feet per second with 150-pound draw weight
  • Easy assembly
  • 5 year warranty
  • Customer reviews reflect accuracy up to 50 yards


  • Does not include cocking rope, a must have
  • Some reports of string issues
  • Small number of reported safety sticking issues (may be operator errors)
  • Recommend using the included bolts for target practice only

Barnett Outdoors Brotherhood

Barnett brotherhood crossbow


  • Solid crossbow
  • Easy assembly
  • Good balance between the weight and over all feel
  • 5 star rating for accuracy
  • Quiet release
  • Finger Reminders and Pass-through Fore grip
  • Package includes bolts, scope and quiver
  • Reviews reflect comparison to much more expensive crossbows


  • Does not include cocking rope, a must have
  • Small number of reviews reflect scope quality issues

Please click on the below Affordable Hunting and Fishing logo for other fine products and accessories.


Creek Fishing Videos

I had a great fishing trip up a small creek near the Monocacy Creek Fishing VideosAqueduct in Dickerson, MD and thought I would capture it in these Creek Fishing Videos .

DSCN1038The creek was a very short walk from the Aqueduct parking lot. Just head left down the trail and it is the first creek you come to.

Once you reach the creek you will notice it flows from under a bridge to your right and there is nothing but woods to your left. Look close and you will see a small game trail through the woods to your left. This trail will bring you out to where this picture was taken.  Also, you really don’t see the bridge from the hiking trail, it looks like the creek is just flowing from under the ground.


The following video was taken under the bridge I’m standing on.

These videos were taken just a short walk up the creek.

It was a great time and man how beautiful. Fishing under the bridge was my favorite. The Aqueduct was built sometime between 1829 and 1833 so the bridge I was under would be the same age.

Hope you don’t mind but I had something on my mind all day so I took advantage of having the recorder out and being in such a wonderful place to record it. Off topic a bit from fishing but the setting was perfect. I noticed a major error in the grammar, fecal matter, is what I meant to say. Shame you can edit video recordings.

Hope you enjoyed the post and look forward to hearing your comments. God bless and go fishing.


Best venison stew ever

Best venison stew ever
Best venison stew ever

Ah, hunting and football season are here! It has been a long year without either and its time to get back into the swing.

If you’re like me, the freezer has been depleted of venison and I’m ready for more. I can taste the Norwegian Reindeer Stew now. During my four year tour in Norway I fell in love with their traditional stew. They use Reindeer, Moose and Roe deer in their recipe so I thought why not Whitetail deer, and I was right!

The first time I had Norwegian Stew was at the Frognerseteren Restaurant in Oslo.Nowegian Restaurant It sits on top of a Mountain that overlooks Oslo and is where I fell in love with the best venison stew ever.

There are two primary ingredients that can be a challenge to find here in the US, but I promise you it is worth the effort. If you can’t find the Gjetost Cheese or Lingonberry Sauce I have included links to purchase them.

Gjetost CheeseLingonberry Sauce





Recipe (4 portions):


1lb of Vinson (cut into small pieces)

2 Tbsp butter

1 small Vidalia onion, halved and sliced thin

1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp mustard (french or dark)

1.5 Tbsp soy sauce

3 cups broth made from meat or bouillon or beef cubes

2 Tbsp flour (mixed in some of the broth)

2 cups sour cream

5 to 6 slices of Gjetost Cheese

8oz of diced mushrooms


Fry the meat with butter.

Fry onions and mushrooms. Add the meat, broth and flour mixture into the same deep pan with onions and mushrooms. Taste in the soy sauce and mustard.

Simmer at low temp for at least 15-20 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Stir in Gjetost Cheese and sour cream.

Taste with salt & Pepper. Serve with Lingonberry Sauce on the side. Goes very well with mashed potatoes or rice as well.


Fishing for the soul

Anyone that has developed a love for fishing knows what a wonderful reset of you’re brain, heart and soul it is.  Fishing for the soul is better than any medication you could take. I’m in the process of trying to sell a house, live off of a tight budget, involved in a recent auto accident (no one was hurt), and trying to help friends going through difficult times. It started to get stressful and I ran to what I knew I needed to do,  GO FISHING!!

You can click on the image above for a video of my trip. Only caught three fish, but to be honest it wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t caught a thing. I talked with God almost the entire time. It was a master reset, I walked back to my rental truck (my truck is in the body shop) with a new spring in my step. Come to find out my perceived problems weren’t an issue after all. The house hasn’t sold yet for a good reason, there is a purpose for me being here, just don’t know what it is yet. The accident is 100 percent covered by insurance, no biggie. The budget is what it is, I’m not hungry and the bills are getting paid. We all go through difficult times, God has placed me where I can help my friends, what a blessing.

And as if God was saying its all okay, I walked up on this fine feathered friend. Was able to watch and record him for quite some time. Sorry for the video quality, I’m still learning and don’t have a go-pro recorder. Thanks Uncle Larry and Aunt GG for the hand held recorder. Couldn’t have done this post without it.

So, if your stressed and you might not even know you are, stop what your doing. Grab a rod and reel and go to the closest body of water near you. Sit down and take your time, look around and see what the real world looks like. It’s not facebook, twitter, or the internet which accounts for some of my stress. We tend to live in an artificial bubble that our body and soul were not designed for. Take my advise and break out of the bubble as often as you can. God bless you and please let me know how fishing has helped you.



Skeeter Bug Spray

Skeeter Bug Spray

Best Skeeter Bug Spray

Don’t know about y’all, but I can’t stand mosquitoes and sand gnats, aka no see ums. I’ll start a fire when the temp is 90 degrees and sit in the smoke just to get some relief.  What really sucks is rubbing on repellent that has the consistency of peanut oil on your sandy, sweaty skin.

I’ve yet to find a product that holds up to my expectations, though in my experience, if it doesn’t have Deet is effectiveness is very limited. I’ve never had a reaction to Deet so if the bottle or can doesn’t indicate Deet as an ingredient I don’t buy it. Will let the rest of y’all test the natural stuff and tell me what may work.mosquito

With that said, my favorite Skeeter Bug Spray is OFF family care. Mostly because It goes on dry so you don’t get the greasy affect during application. It is as effective as any repellent I have ever used for the first hour. Guess the side affect of going on dry is it doesn’t last as long. That’s ok with me, I keep the can near by and once an hour application is worth not rubbing grease on.  Off family care has 15% Deet.

One thing I have learned researching bug sprays is that Deet’s effectiveness kind of peaks at 10%. So the difference between 10 and 90% Deet is minimal.

OFF family care can leave a white powder on you cloths but if you’re like me, who cares? It doesn’t stain and most of the time you can just rub it off.

My final take is, Off family care is a Skeeter Bug Spray that works as well as anything else I have used and you don’t dread spraying it on. Actually, because I don’t mind applying it, I do so more often which makes it more effective.

Please let me know if you have found the repellent silver bullet. I will try it  and if it works better, I will replace my recommendation for Off family care in a heart beat.


Bass Worm Fishing

Bass Worm Fishing

Bass Worm Fishing

Like most of y’all, I learned how to catch bass on a rubber worm. The only bait I know of that is more versatile for catching bass is a live shiner minnow.   If your hungry for bass and the goal is to put some meat in the fryer you would be hard pressed to beat live bait, namely shiners.

Bass from favorite fishing spot

If however, you just want to hit the lake and have some fun, nothing beats bass fishing with a worm. The feel of the initial hit, watching him run with your line, and finally setting the hook. It is like nothing else in the fishing world to me.

The grape worm was the king when I was a kid, a tackle box that didn’t have a grape worm was akin to hunting with an unloaded gun. I didn’t think there would ever be another worm that could knock the grape worm off its perch. I WAS WRONG, a few years ago a friend introduced me to the Senko worm after he was catching three bass to my one. I was amazed and still am. On several occasions I have switched back to the old conventional worms while catching fish on the Senko and things shutdown. He also taught me a new way of rigging the worm as well as using an Offset Worm Hook vice the true turns I grew up on . The only variations I use now is whether to use a bullet weight or not. You can order the Senko worms and Offset hooks below, please continue reading for my favorite knot and rigging instructions.

You can’t go wrong using the Palomar knot for a worm rig. It is very strong and leaves a small knot for your worm to go over.


I realize the below instructions may be old news to most bass aficionados but just in case there are others like me that are stubborn about changing, give this a try.

DSCN1029 DSCN1031 DSCN1033 DSCN1034








Thanks for reading my post and please comment if you have a question or anything to add. Click on the link below for other fishing items. God bless.



Gator Population

Gator popluationAnyone that lives in Florida will tell you the Gator population in the state has taken off. They’re  everywhere, enjoying your family pet for dinner and making swimming a little eerie these days. If you want to get an appreciation for how many gator’s there actually are out there, go for a boat ride with a spotlight at night. You will be shocked by the number of orange eyes reflecting back at you. Though attacks are few and far between, gator encounters rarely end well. I personally witnessed the above gator swimming up to check out some kids that were throwing a net in the water at night.

Gator two

Fortunately there are folks the state can call on to address nuisance gators such as Judd pictured above who owns and operates Swamp Honky Outfitters. If you have never ridden along on a gator hunt you are missing out. Exciting doesn’t begin to describe it, check out the Swamp Honky Outfitters website and give Judd a call to see about scheduling a ride along or put in for a gator hunt lottery through the state and Judd will hook you up with a hunt.

Gator caught near Aligator Harbor
Gator caught near Alligator Harbor

I remember growing up you never heard of gators in saltwater, all you had to be concerned with were stingrays and sharks. Not so anymore, Mr. smiley has moved into saltwater and in large numbers. From what I hear they can’t tolerate saltwater indefinitely and must seek freshwater eventually. The gator above was removed from saltwater, gators that hang around saltwater tend to be a bit more aggressive as well.  Not sure why but something about their long term intolerance must explain why they get cantankerous.

20150705_194648 20150705_195219 Big gator

One thing I would like to add in this post is the importance of not feeding gators. Believe me, I think the shower adjusters have gone way overboard regarding feeding things like squirrels, deer and ducks. However, when it comes to gators just keep in mind that by feeding them you may just be responsible for someone getting maimed or killed in the future. Please don’t do it!!

Thanks for reading my Gator Population post and please drop me a comment. God bless and God save America.

P.S. check out the store by clicking on the below Affordable Hunting and Fishing logo.