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Hilton Head man's creation could save fishermen some dough

Too often when something "new" is introduced to the market it is just a revamped copy of something already in use. However, every now and then a product comes along that actually has merit. This is the case with a new, locally developed product called JigSkinz.

JigSkinz is Courtland Babcock's creation, and from all the feedback, the Hilton Head Islander's innovation should prove revolutionary. From what others have stated, it provides endless lure modification and gives the angler choices not offered by prepackaged products off the shelf. Specifically designed to protect expensive fishing lures, the JigSkinz sleeves do this and more.

When was the last time you appraised your fishing tackle? I don't mean your rods and reels, but the products that make the connection between you and your quarry -- your lures, jigs, and assortment of artificials. Try making a claim with your insurance company and you will be surprised at how much you have invested over time. If you could save your hard-earned money by spending it more wisely, would you? Of course you would, and Babcock's product may be the answer.

Babcock, now seeded in the Lowcountry, began his fishing interest 30 years ago along the Jersey shore with his grandfather. Early adaptations to existing lures were not enough to satisfy his drive. In his search for the new and different, JigSkinz became his tool of change.

"JigSkinz will save fishermen money for sure, but they also catch fish," asserts Babcock.

One custom design of his product "Acid Flyer," attached to a jig, brought a 40-pound gag grouper alongside. He set a new South Carolina record for African pompano at 44.3 pounds on an earlier model. JigSkinz reportedly has proven effective for wahoo, stripers, tuna, redfish and many other game fish.

"To catch something of my own creation is awesome. The ability to change the color and pattern of lures at a moment's notice is a lot of fun," Babcock says.

So, if you want to protect your investment or make quick and easy changes without the hassle of paint and ineffective markers, give JigSkinz a look/see.

You can check out Babcock's product at

Fallen Members Tournament

The Bluffton Marine Rescue Squad 1B will be host the Fallen Members fishing tournament on Sept. 22. There will be a captains meeting from 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the MRS Hut, located at 38 Confederate Ave. in Bluffton. For more information, call 843-422-5881 or 843-816-0213.

Assisting NOAA

Red snapper carcasses will be collected at the Hilton Head Boathouse, North Island Charter Dock at the Chart House restaurant and at the Waddell Mariculture Center in Bluffton.

NOAA Fisheries and state partners from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida are looking to fishermen for help with red snapper data collection during the openings. Data collected will provide much needed information for the 2014 red snapper population assessment.

The recreational red snapper fishing season is currently open. It will close at 12:01 a.m. Monday, but reopens at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, and closes again at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 24. During the open recreational season, the bag limit is one fish per person per day and there is no minimum size limit for red snapper.

The commercial red snapper season will open Monday and close at 12:01 a.m. on Sept 24. During the open commercial season the trip limit is 50 pounds, gutted weight, and there is no minimum size limit.