Outdoors Xtras: A beastly backpack, muddy water and cajun cooking
Gear of the week
Gear name: Beast28
Gear type: Backpack
Product description: It doesn’t matter what type of gear it is you’re talking about. It’s only good if you actually use it. And let’s face it: Sometimes, if gear is too bulky or heavy, it gets left at home. That’s not the case here. The Beast28 is a lightweight backpack with some size to it, capable of holding 28 liters of stuff, that folds down tiny. That makes it perfect for carrying in your car or truck so it’s available for not only planned but also impromptu adventures. It’s made of ripstop, water-resistant nylon and features waist and sternum straps to make it comfortable to wear, even full. It has one big compartment that opens via the lid on top and a smaller stash pocket, as well as gear loops and daisy chains for attaching additional equipment. Compression straps keep everything secure.
Available options: This will accommodate most hydration bladders. It is stitched to allow access for routing bladder hoses.
Suggested retail price: $89.99.
Notable: Empty, this pack weighs just 1.14 pounds. It measures 13 by 20 inches.
Tip of the week
Rain can stain a normally clear waterway fairly quickly. You still can catch fish in those conditions, but you have to adapt. Generally speaking, in muddy water, fish dark-colored lures rather than lighter ones. Fish slow around structure in shallow water. Cast repeatedly to such places, perhaps with a lure that offers something in the way of sound, to catch fish that might be having a hard time locating your bait or lure visibly.
Recipe of the week
1 pound panfish fillets
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ cup milk
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
This is a recipe that’s easy to make — total time is less than 30 minutes — yet oh so good, especially if you catch a mess of bluegills or crappies.
Fillet and dry the fish to start.
Next, make an assembly line of sorts. Place ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish. Mix milk and egg in a small bowl. Finally, mix corn meal, remaining 1 cup of flour, onion, garlic, paprika, parsley, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper in a third dish.
Line those dishes and bowls up.
Roll each fillet in the flour, then dip it in milk/egg wash, then coat it with spice mix.
Cook the fish in hot oil at about 375 degrees until golden-brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels, then enjoy.