Fall Catfishing Rigs & Baits

     As Fall time comes around the waters cool and the bite picks back up after the heat of summer.  With summer being one of the most common and often times most effective time to catch lots of catfish.  But the fall is also an amazing time to go fishing for these freshwater giants.  It can also be a opportune time to catch a personal record cat.  With winter getting closer and closer everyday, the water temps are starting to drop.  Catfish like most other fish often gorge themselves right before the freeze of winter.  

     The catfish itself is a very warm watered fish.  Usually preferring water with the temperatures in the range of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  They are a opportunistic omnivores - feeding on all kinds of baits, and a wide variety of animal and plant materials.  Often times you will find them on or next to the bottom of the lake.  They are predominately a bottom dwelling fish, but they will still feed and take baits near the surface.  They have numerous taste buds all over their body, the most being on the whiskers of the catfish.  Its almost like a giant tongue swimming through the water, that is why we often try to get the smelly stuff to fish with.  Often times the more it smells the better it works. 

    We offer a wide variety of different dip baits here at our store. The dip bait hooks themselves have a treble hook and a rubber plastic on it that hold the dip and its smell while its in the water, and it gives the fish something to put into its mouth and eat.  Dip baits work great, they almost work like a chum bait drawing the catfish into you.  Working more effectively in ponds or lakes.    Another easy yet very effective way to catch catfish is to use shrimp. They are similar in smell to crawdads as they are both crustaceans. The Shrimp will hold on the hook well and they do a good job at holding smells and scents that i can spray on, anywhere from garlic or a blood spray or dip.  Probably the best all around hook to be using on a cat fishing rig would be the circle hook, which is a hook that when is pulled on works its way into the corner of the fishes mouth and insures the same strong hook set every time. Its a strong hook that sets its self by the fisherman just reeling the line and keeping tight pressure on the fish.  NOT a quick jerk like most other common J-Hook type hooks.  The circle hooks come in a variety of sizes and make sure the ones you have for cat fishing, have the bait keepers on the shank of the circle hook.  Having them will help out a-lot for keeping the bait on the hook at all times.  No matter if you are in a boat or on the shore cat fishing a simple slip rig is probably the most effective way to catch them.  It allows the catfish not to feel any pressure on the line and give him any reason to drop the bait. The slip rigs looks like this.  I often find myself using this rig near 70% of the time when i catfish.  It works very well with the circle hooks.  You can find all the weights and terminal tackle on our Basspro website.  The different things that you will need will be leader line, swivels, glass bead(to protect your knots from your weight), and of course hooks you don't have to only use circle hooks on these rigs they would work great with the standard J-Hook. 

       When it comes to the right gear, as in the rod and reel. Personally i prefer to use a bait-caster reel it is must easier to cast those larger weights with some precision.  One of the best ones on the market are going to be the Abu-Garcia Ambassadeur C4,  then pair with a medium heavy to heavy action rod.  You want something that is going to be a bit longer, to help you out in handling and directing those bigger fish and help you get farther casts.  If you are not looking to spend that much money on a quality  fishing reel,  We always have our different combos that are specially designed for cat fishing, which would work well and get the job done.  You can look at a few of the ones that we carry a very popular one would our Bill Dance line of combos.  They have larger reels and rods to handle bigger line and ultimately bigger fish. Lastly would be the line, most popular would be the braided line you can get 80lb braid that had the same thickness as 20lb mono.  So you can get a line that is 4 times as strong and a fourth the thickness than a similar mono line.  Braid works great for your mainline.  The line Is amazingly strong and is almost impossible to break. The best leader material to use would 100% fluorocarbon line, for the fact it has great abrasion resistance.  Often times you will find yourself fishing around rocks, trees, brush you name it.  It can all rub and wear down mono and braided lines to the point were they get weak and break.  There is more information on different types of fishing lines and there properties on this link right here Choosing the Right Fishing Line.


Sierra Trout Fishing

Sierra Trout Fishing:

Best Gear at Bass Pro Shops

As the weather continues to heat up and almost all the snow has melted anglers are still reporting that the trout bite is still on in the Sierras. We want to hear from our customers, what are their top choices for rods, reels, line and tackle to catch that trophy trout in the Sierras? Is Shimano the king of spinning reels or does brands such as Pflueger, Daiwa, Abu Garcia or our Bass Pro Shops Spinning Reels outperform them?

When it comes to rods do our customers prefer an ultra light, light or medium light rod and what length? Is the St Croix Trout Series Rod, Bass Pro Shops Microlite or Fenwick River Tech Rod the best choices? Also the battle of 2lb vs. 4lb line you tell us why you should choose one or the other and why you choose monofilament or fluorocarbon? Finally is there any other better choice than the Thomas Buoyant Spoons to catch that trophy trout? Please share your stories about your experiences shopping at Bass Pro Shops Rancho Cucamonga and post some pictures of your trophy catch with gear you bought from us!

There are so many things you should know, but remember getting out there and having fun should always be number ONE!



Goin' Cattin'

Big Catfish are waiting!  Mr. James Wiggins and his fishing partner, Bill Hart of 15 years from Cookeville Texas, have living proof!  They mainly fish Lake Tawakoni with excellent results with these monster cats!  They have only been fishing Tawakoni for the past 3 years, but state that other lakes such as lake Texarkana, Bob Sandlin and lake Cypress also have their share of these monsters!

James has a 22' Lowes aluminum boat set up just for catching catfish.  They have 14 Driftmaster pole holders surrounding the boat with plenty of room to land the big ones.  He preferred Bass Pro Shop Catmaxx 7'6" rods suited with Abu Garcia 6500 and 7000 Level wind bait cast reels.  He states that you need this type of set-up to catch the monsters, smaller rods and reels sometimes fall short when trying to land the bigger ones.  He also prefers 80 lb. pro braided line with a 9/0 double trouble circle hooks.  The Santine Cooper rig is the set up to catch the bigger ones because of its ability to not hang up easily.  He says that he can drag this rig across brush without hanging, this is very important.

All species of catfish are in our lakes, but they prefer to catch blue catfish because they grow to be the biggest.  James and Bill only do this for fun and are very conservation-minded by releasing all they catch.  The blue catfish takes 7 years of growth before they become fertile.  James states that we must throw the fish back to conserve our resources and keep the bigger fertile catfish in the lake.

To catch these bruiser catfish, they like to drift, but will tie up on occasions when they locate a big school.  With many fish coming from 15-25 ft. of water, James says that when you catch fish that deep that it is a must to release the pressure from their swim bladders.  They do this by inserting a piece of tube down their throats to release this pressure so the fish can swim back to the bottom of the lake.  After water temperatures get to 70-78 degrees, they find the fish go shallow to spawn.  To locate these fish, electronics are important.  You must have a plan before going to the lake, and always stay with your plan.  This will help you learn how to find the fish quicker and be more consistent in catching.

The bait they use is cut shad.  Cast nets are the best way to catch the shad.  For the beginner, the smaller radius nets 4' monofilament are the easiest to throw and manage.  There is some practice needed to learn how to throw a perfect circle with the net to achieve the maximum catching ability  of the net.  When the shad are caught, they are cut into pieces to fish with, the head portion being the best choice.  Also, use your favorite fish attractant.  This will enhance the bait.  Then it's just a matter of holding on to one of these monsters, which is a suitable challenge for any angler.


We hope these tips will help you in catching a big catfish and maybe a fish of a lifetime.  Always wear your life jacket and practice safety at all times.  If we practice safety in front of our children, our children will learn how to be safe and enjoy the great sport of fishing for the rest of their lifetimes!


New Fishing Products for 2014

Now is the time when the new 2014 arrivals are showing up in the store. The new items are reels like the Shimano Stradic CL4+,new Penn Conflicts, and new Offshore Angler reels to name a few. Also new rods are in stock like Seeker, Castaway, Abu Garcia and more but don't forget the current favorites like the Carbonlites. Also hitting shelves are new lures both salt and freshwater like the new baitball from Live Target and new frogs from Spro. The new items in the store are worth coming to take a look at in order to stay up on your fishing game.

Shimano Stradic Cl4+


The New Bait Ball by Live Target


Bait Ball by Live Target



-Garrett Farmer


Winter Trout Basics

Not only am I new to Bass Pro, I am also new to fishing. I know it’s funny, but I have sought out my fellow colleagues to help me learn some basics. As it being December, I asked what the best fishing for this time of year would be and the vote was TROUT!! After gathering countless hours of information and spending time in the store and searching for products, below is what I came up with to share with those of you who are new to trout fishing as myself or for a light read on the expertise from us here at the best store ever!!


When choosing a reel for trout fishing, a spinning reel is the best place to start. Find a reel that is small and lightweight with at least a 2-6 pound test line. Below is the Abu Garcia® Revo® SX Spinning Reel. This style offers 4 different models with various specs. The SX10 has great basics for light trout fishing in the winter. It has a max drag of 9 pounds and has a line capacity of 4lb/110yds or a braid capacity of 6lb/125yds.

                                            Abu Garcia Reel




Depending on where you are fishing, ultra-light to medium-light rods are used for lakes. The ideal length is 7-8’ long. If you are fishing in rivers and streams, an ultra-light to light rod is recommended and the ideal length is 5-6’. Below is an Ugly Stik® Rod that is measured a light weight and is 5’6”. It has a full handle and breaks down into 2 sections. The lure rating for this rod is 1/8-1/4 oz. Ultimately, it depends on where you are fishing and what time of year as that will dictate what you should use. 


                                           Ugly Stik Light Rod


A great line to use when fishing for trout would be fluorocarbon. This line has less elasticity than monofilament and has low buoyancy. This is great for trout because they have superb eyesight and can detect the slightest filament in the water. A line that works well is the Berkley Vanish Transition Line. It is called a transition line because it virtually vanishes underwater and has transitioning coloration above water so you can see your line.

                                                       Berkley Vanish Transition Line



A great dough bait to use is Berkley’s Garlic PowerBait. Any dough bait is used on a treble hook because the hooks hold more and it stays on longer. The garlic smell of the bait also helps attract the fish. When using treble hooks, an ideal size is anywhere from 12-16 for single and treble hooks. Also see an earlier blog on other good baits for trout. Other baits such as spinners and jerk baits are common to use. Spinners are designed to mimic bait fish. They give off flash and vibration to attract the trout. Rooster Tail® Trout Trophy Pac is a great item to have. Jerk baits are also used for mimicry. The one shown below has two treble hooks and there are many different kinds but this is great basic bait.

                                                   Garlic PowerBait


                                      Rooster Tail Trout Pac


                                                      Jerk Bait




Here are two ways to rig your line to attract trout. The first is an egg sinker. Egg sinkers allow the line to free flow out in the water. The other is a split shot sinker which remains at the point of attachment. If you are unsure of the location of the fish, using an egg sinker is best. This allows for a more natural flow. If you know exactly where you want your bait to be sitting, the split shot sinker is your best bet. Split shot is more precise for catching fish and is easier to remove from your line. Below are the diagrams for the sinkers in use.

                                              Sinker Diagram


                                        Split Shot Sinker                                                   Egg Sinker

                                  Split Shot Weight                           Egg Sinker.JPG

And our very own Cole Garrett with a nice rainbow trout!

Cole with Rainbow


Happy fishing!!



Ice Fishing 2013 - Rods

We continue to take a look at what's new in ice fishing this year. Our Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Leads, both avid ice fishermen, say there are a number of new reels and combos in the store for the ice angler.

Jason Mitchell Meat Stick

Clam's Jason Mitchell Elite Series Meat Sticks - New in stock at our store, the Jason Mitchell Meat Stick is Jamie Renshaw's rod of choice.

"The sanded tip is soft, making it a very sensitive bite sensor. It bends right into the backbone."

Our other Fishing Lead Chris Grocholski says they are excellent for walleyes, too!

"They have a super sensitive tip, with an extra fast action, but also have a strong backbone to fight larger fish like walleyes or bass.  The rod comes in two models - a 24” great for fishing inside your shack or, my personal choice, the 28”, which I feel gives you better leverage when fighting fish." 

Also new to the mix are the Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Rods. The reliability of the #1 rod in the U.S. now comes made for ice fishing!  The graphite/fiberglass rod , features Ugly Tuff guides, a 1-piece stainless steel hood, and Ugly Stik's famous clear tip.

There are a number of new combos, too, including the Abu Garcia Veritas and the Ugly Stick GX2 Ice Fishing Combo.

“I really like the Frabill quick tip combos - with the combination of a sensitive rod and smooth reel they are a perfect match,”  says Grocholski.

Clam Lady Ice Buster

Ice fishing combos - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaLadies, listen up! More prevalent this year are the items to appeal to you! The Clam Lady Ice Buster Series Spinning Rod and Reel combos feature a pink rod and is pre-spooled with 4 lb. Ice Line. The lower-end Apache combo comes in a multitude of bright colors. 

For beginners, the Panfish Popper is a good starting combo. It comes with line on it, a couple of jigs, and a spin bobber. Renshaw still uses a couple of these, too.



Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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Watch for our upcoming Ice Fishing Q and A on Facebook!


Salmon Fishing in the River

Well as you know the salmon are running and many people are landing some monsters. Well if your wondering how they are doing it I'm here to help. Now when fishing for salmon in the river there are multiple methods but, I am going to explain three simple ways to land a nice fish. The three ways I am going to explain are trolling, jigging and casting from shore.

Trolling is great for you guys who have a boat because it covers a lot of water. Now your typical setup that many anglers use for trolling is a dropper rig. A dropper rig can be set up using either a three way swivel or a spreader. When using a three way swivel you will want to tie your main line to one end of your swivel, a lure leader to another and a weight leader to the last one. Keep in mind when wondering how long your leaders should be always remember that you will need a two to one ratio. In other words your leader with your lure must be twice the length of your leader with your weight. A great lure to use while trolling is a Warden's Flash Glo trolling lure. An even better lure to use is the new Shasta Tackle Scorpion Salmon Spinner. These spinners do not bend due to its nickel titanium shaft. Many colors are working but the blue and silver are the way to go at the moment. Depending on the current the weight you want to use is a 2 to 3 ounce cannonball. Also depending on the current the speed that you will be trolling will be between 2 to 3 miles per hour.


Another method that is working well at the moment is jigging. Jigging is also done off a boat and is quite simple. All that needs to be done is tie your main line to a lure, such as a Gibbs Minnow and jig it off the bottom. Depending on the current, you can use a 1 to 3 ounce minnow.

Last but not least for you anglers who do not own a boat, you can cast a larger inline spinner. A great spinner to use is a Vibrax Blue Fox #5. This is also quite simple, just cast these bad boys out as far as possible and reel in.


If you are wondering what rods and reels to use, here are a few things to note. For a rod i recommend an 8'6" MH Browning Six Rivers Salmon/Steelhead rod. If you are a baitcaster kind of guy or are looking for a good trolling reel I recommend an Abu Garcia C4 6500 model. For our spinning reel anglers an Okuma Trio 55S is a great reels to use. A great line for both of these reels would be some 20lb PLine CXX. Good luck

Travis Gonsalves


Manteca Store 49








Crank to New Depths with a Strike King 10XD

     It’s the time of year again when spring has run out and the heat of summer is bearing down on us.  The heat makes most of us want to sit inside and cool off in the air-conditioning for the better part of the day.  Bass are starting to get the same idea as the water heats up past 80 degrees.  Shallow fish are still being caught and there is early morning and late evening topwater bites as well.  Luckily, as the sun gets hotter and the fish move deeper, there is a tool to get you down to the depths the fish feel comfortable at.  Before now we have been able to get maybe 20 feet out of a crankbait on light line and a very long cast.  The new Strike King 10XD allows you to easily fish 25 feet and beyond.

                                         Here you can see the size difference of the 10XD and the 6XD, which had been one of the largest and deepest diving bats untill the 10XD came out.

     One thing immediately noticeable when you see the 10XD is its size.  Compared to a standard 6XD, it is huge!  The 6XD weighs in at 1 ounce while the 10XD completely doubles its size at 2 ounces.  In addition, the lip is about twice as wide on the 10XD.  The weight and bill changes many of the aspects of this bait, including giving it the ability to dive deep.  Along with that comes more drag in the water.  Standard cranking equipment probably won’t do the job with this monster of the deep.  You will have to have something with a lot more backbone than a standard cranking rod.  I would recommend a large flipping stick.  Something in the 7’6”-7’10’ range in a heavy action should suffice.  Check out the Bass Pro Shops Carbon Light, the Bass Pro Extreme, and the Duckett Fishing Micro Magic rod.   Also critical will be a reel beefy enough to handle the added drag.  You should look at a reel with a 5.1- 6.1 gear ratio to give you the extra power you need for hammering this bait through the depths.  Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier, Johnny Morris Signature Series, and Abu Garcia Revo reels would all make excellent choices for this technique. 

     Most deep cranking is done with lightweight 10-12 pound test fluorocarbon.  To throw the 10XD, you will need at least 14 pound fluorocarbon.  Don’t count out braid either.  Braid has very good castability, no stretch, and is super sensitive.  Braid may also save you a lure if you were to get hung up really deep.  Considering the depth that the 10XD is fished, I don’t believe fish will be able to readily see the braid and they should bite just as well as with fluorocarbon.  If you are concerned they may see it, consider using a heavy fluorocarbon leader with 17-20 pound test.  Attach your leader using a Modified Albright knot.  It is slender, easy to tie and a super strong way to attach fluorocarbon to braid.

     Never head to the lake in the summer without a lure knocker.  Anytime you fish deep, especially with a crankbait, a lure knocker is going to save you a ton of money.  It’s not a matter of if you’ll get hung up, it’s really a matter of when you get hung.  In my experience the Bass Pro Shops E-Z Lure Retriever is about 90% effective at getting your bait back.  To make it easier to use, I fill an old round reel with the nylon line that comes with the retriever.  Then I find an old broken rod to attach the reel to (if you don’t have one ask a buddy) and cut it down right above the first eye.  Run the line through the eye and attach your lure retriever to the line and you have a compact, neat, quick and easy to use lure retriever at your disposal.

     Summertime is a great time to catch a lot of big bass, so get out of the A/C and give it a shot.  With the tools outlined above, you should be able to have a successful trip and may catch the bag of a lifetime if you find a sweet spot with the 10XD.  Good luck and be safe on the water!


-Brian Eickholtz                                              


Fishing Tips from the 'Nati: Get You Some Big Bass This Spring

eric 2

Here’s proof that those big lunkers are out there this spring waiting for you to get out there and find them. Eric from our Fishing Department caught these 4 lb and 5 lb large mouth in a local lake this past week. He was using a quarter ounce Netbait green pumpkin jig with a Paca Chunk trailer on a Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite Rod with a Abu Garcia Revolution SX Reel.

Netbait jig

Temperatures were in the mid fifties, sunny day, and he caught these big fellas in only about 3 feet of water !!! Get out there and get you some, and if you do let us know and we will post them on our Facebook page !! Good luck and go get ‘em !!

Eric 1


Warmer weather means more Fishing!

Last month, I featured a blog about camping http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-leeds-al/look-whats-in-camping posted on February 15th. This month, I will move into our fishing department. Now, for those of you who have not been to visit our store, fishing is the department to see! It covers the whole back half of the downstairs area of the store. It is one of the largest departments with a lot of product to see. I will try to highlight a few.

fishing poleBass Pro Shop's fishing department carries a vast variety of rods, reels, and combos to choose from. Your reel selection includes types such as baitcasting, spinning, spincasting, and saltwater fishing reels. We also offer center pin & mooching reels, as well as, line counter reels. You will find great name brands in our department such as Shimano, Abu Garcia, Quantum, Zebco, Browning, and Shakespeare. You can partner these reels with rods such as casting rods, spinning rods, and saltwater fishing rods. If you are looking for combos, Bass Pro Shops fishing department carries baitcasting, ice fishing, saltwater, spin casting, and spinning combos. You'll find a great selection including Johnny Morris' signature series and the Johnny Morris' CarbonLite series.



Our fishing department has one of the largest selections of lures available to the public. Our lure selection includes soft baits, hard bits, buzzbait, and spinner baits. We also have saltwater lures, for those offshore fishers. If you are looking for a specific bass jig, catfish, and carp bait, we have what you are looking for. The fishing department offers lure kits, panfish baits, and spoons. These lures are available in a variety of name brands from practically A to Z. A few of the more known brands that we carry include: Strike King, Zoom, Rapala, Yum, Berkley (including Berkely Gulp!, and Gulp Alive!) and Booyah. If there is a specific lure you are looking for, look no further because our Bass Pro Shops fishing department is sure to have it.


fishing holder

Bass Pro Shops fishing department also carries an array of fishing accessories. We have a variety of rod and reel accessories that include rod racks (available in vertical, horizontal, wall mounting, or floor styles), rod socks, reel oil, even an emergency rod tip repair kit, just to name a few. We also carry a wide variety of fillet knives and accessories. These accessories include folding processing tables, knife sharpeners, fish scalers, fish skinners, and fillet boards. Don't forget to check out the selection of tools, pliers, and gaffs. We have everything that you need to have a successful fishing trip. Make sure you pick up your maps, charts, nets, and lights, while you are here. 


fishing hooks

Once you have decided on your rod/reel set up, you must stock up on the terminal tackle for your tackle box. Our fishing department has more tackle than one person can imagine. We offer a nice selection of fishing lines, leaders, fishing hooks, floats, and sinkers. Our terminal tackle also includes jig heads, fish attractants, tackle rigs and components. Our terminal tackle is available in a variety of sizes and colors, depending on your fishing needs. Make sure you fill your tackle box up with a little bit of all of it. You never know if your fishing excursions will be daytime or night., or if they will be short-lived or all-nighters. It never hurts to have extra supplies for those fishing trips.  


fly fishing

For those who are fans of fly fishing, we didn't forget about you! Bass Pro Shops has their very own White River Fly Shop located just inside the fishing department within the store. We carry name brands from A to Z when it comes to the types of fly rods we have available. Some of those brands include White River Fly Shop, World Wide Sportsman, and Orvis. There truly are too many to mention. We have a multitude of fly lines, leaders, and tippets to choose from in our fly shop. Our accessories include maps, DVDs, tackle boxes, and flies. We have an endless selection of flies to choose from. Whether you are fishing for bass, panfish, pike/muskie, salmon/steelhead, saltwater/inshore, saltwater/offshore, or trout, our Whiter River Fly Shop is sure to have exactly what you need.


While you are in Bass Pro Shops visiting the fishing department, don't forget to browse through the saltwater fishing area or check out the tackle boxes and bags. Maybe even stop by the reel counter and get some great fishing tips/advice from our knowledgeable associates. Once your fishing destination and equipment has been decided upon, don't leave without checking out the waders, sunglasses, and rain gear. These last few items will ensure a great fishing trip no matter what time of the year or what the weather may hold for you. Most of all... get out and get fishing!

catching fish


To check out these products and more, go to www.basspro.com










New Products at Bass Pro-Phil Piscitello

       This is an exciting time of the year at Bass Pro Shops. New products for the 2013 fishing season are arriving on a daily basis. If you are a bass, walleye, pike or musky fisherman there is a product for you. If your passion is panfish, trout or salmon there's new stuff for you too! If catfish or carp are your fish of choice Bass Pro has not forgot about you either.

       For the bass fisherman there are a lot of new soft plastics on the shelf. From Trigger-X there is the Slop Hog, Goo Bug, Big Moe, Flappin Bug, and Hodad just to name a few.  From Lake Fork Tackle, the Magic Shad now comes in a boot tail version. The Do-It mold company has a new punch skirt out called the Slip-It  Curly Tail Skirt. For drop shot fishing Gamakatsu has come out with the Octopus Swivel Shot Hook. This is a neat new concept and will make drop shot fishing more trouble free and highly productive. Owner Hooks has some newly designed Shaky Head Jigs on the market. Hart Tackle has a complete line of new spinnerbaits and buzz baits out that look really cool and well designed. The new X-2 Spinnerbait is a spinner blade on top of another spinner blade with 2 wire arms. This is a cool bait that you should check out. Rapala has a new bait called the BX Minnow. This is a floating minnow bait  with an extreme hard rolling action. Bass Pro Shops own BPS plastics including the Stik-O are out in a bunch of new colors.

       For the walleye fisherman there are a bunch of new crankbaits on the market. Rapala has a new #4 and #6 Shad Rap in the Original series out. There is a new size Deep Jointed Husky Jerk out also. Storm Lures also reintroduced from is the 3/8 oz. Rattle Tot. In the past this has been a very productive bait and a favorite among the top walleye pro's in the country. They are also availible in the new UV Brite colors. Storm also added the UV Brite colors on the other baits in their line-up. Lindy has expanded their line of River Rocker Crankbaits with some new colors. Berkley also has some new additions in their walleye line-up. The Flicker Shad is now availible in a larger #9 size. In their Gulp line they have a new Killer Crawler for Slow Death fishing. They have a new Spinner Crawler in their Gulp Alive line. This bait is designed to be put on a nightcrawler harness. The new Flicker Crawler Harnesses have ultra sharp hooks and cool colored blades. If you tie your own crawler harnesses Lindy has some new bead colors out including glow.

      For the pike and musky fisherman there are some new baits in the store. Bass Pro Shops is expanding their line of XPS Musky baits. Some new baits are the Deal N' Dog, the Thump N' Deal, the Wheel N' Deal Topwater, the Magnum Deal Sealer Bucktail, and the Demon Eye Minnowbait. Storm has a new Jointed Flatstick along with their straight and magnum models. Blue Fox has a new bucktail out called the Vibrax Super Boo. It comes with 2 colorodo blades and a marabou skirt in a variety of colors. Panther Martin also has a new muskie bucktail out with their in-line willow blade. It comes with a marabou skirt in several colors.

       The catfish line at Bass Pro has really expanded. Tackle Beacon Company has several catfish accessories availible including the Fish n Jug, Fish n Noodle,  trot lines and winders and lures for stink bait like the Stick Worm and Teardrop Lure. They also have stink bait availible in tube form to inject into their Teardrop Lure. Eagle Claw also has a complete tackle kit for catfishing.

       For panfish there are several new additions in the store including Z-Man Micro Chatterbaits,  Creme Minicrank Crankbaits,and Lindy Watsit Jigs in a new 1/32 oz. size. These small baits will also work for gamefish in tough bite conditions. There are also a bunch of new BPS kits availible. For panfish there is the 80 piece Crappie #1 Seller Kit, the 73 piece Tri-color Crappie Kit, the 117 peice Tutti-frutti Kit, the 106 peice Squirmin Grub Kit, the 67 peice Pro Baby Shad Kit, and the 104 peice Squimin Squirt Kit.  There are several kits for bass too including the 34 peice Shadee Shad Kit, the 26 peice Twitching Kit, the 57 peice Carolina Kit, the 46 peice Ribbontail Kit, the 47 peice drop Shot Kit, and the 38 peice Flippin Kit.

       Bass Pro has also introduced a new braided line this year, The XPS 8 Advanced Braid is 8 strands of super thin line that is super strong. The price is right also. The last thing that is exciting is the new line up of fishing reels. Abu Garcia has the new line of Revo's in stock. In baitcasters the S, SX, STX, Preimere, MGX, and Winch are all availble. The Revo S and SX spinning reels are also out. The Shimano Calcutta D baitcaster is out also. The Saros and Sahara spinning reels are slowly coming in.  The Symetre is expected in after the first of the year. New reels by Mitchell, Diawa, and Quantum will be arriving shortly. So come on out to Bass Pro and check out the great new fishing gear for 2013. Stop in and visit Santa's Winter Wonderland, and catch a free fishing workshop on saturday afternoon's at 2 p.m. at the Gurnee store.


The 2013 Models Are Here

The new Abu Garcia reels for 2013 are here at Bass Pro now.  And the star of the show is the Abu Garcia Revo SX.  Constructed from corrosion-resistant X2-Cräftic aluminum alloy, the Abu Garcia Revo SX Baitcaster offers light weight and increased durability. The Revo SX boasts stainless steel bearings plus an Infini II spool design for smooth casting with added distance. A Carbon Matrix drag system provides reelsmooth, consistent drag pressure across the entire drag range. The Revo SX Reel’s D2 Gear Design provides a more efficient gear system with improved gear durability. A MagTrax magnetic brake system gives consistent brake pressure throughout the cast. An Infini II spool design is used for extended castability and extreme loads. Other features include a compact bent handle and star for a more ergonomic grip. A titanium-coated line guide reduces friction and improves durability.   And you thought only new cars came out this early.

Bill Crosby

Fishing Manager

Denham Springs


The Power of Hybrid Stripers

     With Fall quickly approaching so is my anticipation of incredible fishing.  This summer was the best fishing for Hybrid stripers I have ever had.  I learned a lot and probably released 100 hybrids over 4 pounds with my biggest being 15.5!  I fish from a Bass Pro Shops Tracker Super Guide V16, which is an incredible boat for multi-species fishing.  It has a Minn Kota i-Pilot on the front which allows me to digitally anchor in one spot.  When the boat moves off my area the GPS brings me right back to that spot without me having to do a thing.  A critical advancement in boat positioning and a key to staying where you need to be and off of the fish you pursue.

     With that being said, my passion for Hybrid stripers started years ago but I have gotten more proficient at finding and fishing for them.  Hybrids are a cross between a pure striper and a white bass.  They don't grow no where as big as a pure striper but have incredible power, and are excellent table fare.  The are voracious feeders and are schooling fish.  usually when you find one, there are more there, and here are some suggestions to try to help you locate and to catch them.

     As with other game fish, find their food and you will find the fish.  So in the fall, I start looking for large schools of bait fish.  In the reservoirs I fish I'm looking for thread fin shad.  As well as visually looking for schools, I keep one eye on my Lowrance locator for suspended schools of bait.  Stripers will usually appear as an "arc" below or near those schools.  Lures such as Rapala DT 6, 10 and 14 lures are quite effective at searching for active fish.  These I use as searching tools to find exactly what depth the fish are more aggressive at.  Being "Hybrids" they feed effectively from the surface to the bottom and they can change from day to day and from hour to hour, so effective search lures are a must.  When the fish are crashing the surface for bait, I again turn to Rapala for top waters and use their Skitter Walk and Skitter Pop.  Both lures can be customized with a white feathered tail which for whatever reason seems to infuriate these fish into striking even more aggressively.

     Changes in bottom contour, or "Structure" differences are key to finding active fish.  try to locate ares that rise from the bottom like a ledge or point as the fish will wait off these ares for bait fish to come by.  These can be true "kill" zones for these fish and the top water explosions can be seen and heard as they corral bait fish to the surface and feed on them.

Lastly I use a 7 foot medium action Abu Garcia Veritas rod accompanied bt a WaveSpin spinning reel loaded with 30 pound Sufix Performance braid line.  The incredible strong and supple line on the WaveSpin gives me longer cast than any other reel I have ever used and allows me to stay off the fish yet still make precise presentations. 

Hybrids are some of the strongest fish that swim in fresh water.  Hooking up with them, will show you the power of the Hybrid Striper.


iCAST 2012 - Best In Shows And The Hottest Rig

The world’s largest sportsfishing trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportsfishing Trades, or iCAST for our more efficient readers, has wrapped up its 2012 show in Orlando.


This year more than 9,000 attendees and 3,000 buyers were in attendance as enthusiasts,  manufactures, resellers and more saw the latest and greatest sportfishing trends and technological advances, even before they hit the shelves for the general public to see.


New lures, reels, rods, boats and more are all on display, along with some of the best fishermen in the world giving advice on how and when to best use them.


The Alabama rig has emerged as a trending fishing rig, and that continued at iCAST 2012. FLW Magazine Managing Editor Curt Neidermier was quoted in the Lufkin Times saying, “The umbrella rig [also known as the Alabama rig] was the talk of most tackle companies...Most rod makers have added technique-specific umbrella rig rods, but consumers will also see new jigheads and swimbaits, along with variations on the umbrella rig itself for an array of situations - even topwater frog fishing.”


Bass Pro Shops has umbrella rigs with placements for anywhere from 2-5 lures. Be sure you’re not breaking your states maximum hook requirements though - you can use a 5 lure rig, but just make sure not all five have hooks on them if your local regulations don’t allow it.


Of course iCAST had plenty more to offer in terms of finding the best new gear. Check out the full list of Best In Show winners:


  • Overall Best of Show, Hobie Cat Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak
  • Best of Show - Apparel: Columbia Sportswear Airgill Chill Zero Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Best of Show - Boat:  Hobie Cat, Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
  • Best of Show - Boating Accessory: Power-Pole Drift Paddle
  • Best of Show - Combo: Pure Fishing, Inc., Penn Battle Combo
  • Best of Show - Electronics: Johnson Outdoors, Humminbird 360 Imaging
  • Best of Show - Eyewear: Costa DelMar, Costa 580 P Sunsrise Lenses
  • Best of Show - Fishing Accessory: American Premier Corporation, The Ultimate Line Winding System
  • Best of Show - FishSmart Tackle: The SeaQuilizer
  • Best of Show - Fly Fishing Accessory: Luna Sea, LLC - Master Guide Fly Rod “Cush It”
  • Best of Show - Fly Fishing Reel: Wright & McGill Sabalos Saltwater Fly Reel
  • Best of Show - Fly Fishing Rod:  G. Loomis – NRX Fly Rod
  • Best of Show - Freshwater Reel: Abu Garcia Revo
  • Best of Show - Freshwater Rod: St. Croix Rods,  Legend Xtreme Series
  • Best of Show - Giftware: 3D Picture Store, Inc. - Jigsaw
  • Best of Show - Kids’ Tackle: Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook Bobber Kit
  • Best of Show - Line: Berkley Trilene XL/XT
  • Best of Show - Hard Lure: Koppers Live Target Frog Popper
  • Best of Show - Soft Lure: Lunkerhunt Bento Baits
  • Best of Show - Saltwater Reel: Penn Spinfisher V
  • Best of Show - Saltwater Rod: St. Croix Rods, Legend Inshore
  • Best of Show - Tackle Management:  Magnetic Marine,  Gear Grabbar Lure Hangar Kit
  • Best of Show - Terminal Tackle - Berkley Gulp! Jig Heads


Check out the American Sportsfishing Association (ASA) for more information on upcoming trade shows and events in your neck of the woods. And stop into Bass Pro Shops to find the best fishing gear and pros that can help you maximize your chances at landing the big one on your next fishing trip.


Beat the Heat With Summer Trout Fishing

Fly Fishing

Summer time in Georgia usually means one thing---heat and lots of it.  Although we don’t get the super heat of our nation’s arid areas, it’s still plenty hot enough for me.  When it seems as if you’re on the verge of melting in the humidity as you fish local reservoirs and a boat ride sounds good just to cool off, think about a great alternative.  I’m not talking about kicking back in the living room as the AC blasts a steady climate of 72 degrees.  I’m talking about trout fishing in our north Georgia streams and rivers.  The Department of Natural Resources does a superb job in managing hundreds of miles of  very productive trout fisheries that are just a short drive away.  Imagine yourself on a wide river in the morning as wisps of fog unfurl along the water’s surface.  The telltale rings of rising trout are visible as you plan your next cast.  It seems like you’re on a legendary river in one of our great western states, but this is a typical scene on the Chattahoochee and Toccoa River tail race fisheries.  If you’re interested in catching a lot of trout, these are the places to be.  The waters from Lakes Blue Ridge and Lanier flow very cold below their respective dams.  They create optimum conditions to support trout.  Due to size and popularity, both rivers are heavily stocked throughout the summer months.  Access is easy on both, with the Chattahoochee getting an upper hand for an abundance of public land along the river.  I’ve fished quite a few trout streams in the Appalachians over the years and the Hooch is hard to beat for consistent quality fishing, whether you’re dunking a worm or casting tiny flies.  While I have not personally fished the Toccoa, some seasoned anglers claim the fishing is even better.  Both rivers are fishable as long as water from the upstream reservoirs is not being released.  For water release schedules phone (770)945-1466 for the Chattahoochee and (800)238-2264 (option 4 followed by option 23) for the Toccoa.  Of particular note is the Chattahoochee law that requires life vests to be worn by all persons on the river from Buford Dam to the  Georgia Highway 20 bridge (Yes, I do sound like the recorded message.) which is three miles downstream.  This is for a very good reason.  Know the release schedules and if you hear horns sound, get out of the water immediately.  Some of our streams are managed by special regulations.  For instance, on the Chattahoochee, anglers cannot use live baits below the Highway 20 bridge.  Get up to speed by picking up a copy of the regulations at a local tackle shop or visit www.gofishgeorgia.com

 Choose Bright and Dark Colors for Lures

Fly Fishing

 If you enjoy catching fish on light tackle, trout fishing is a perfect opportunity.  Although some anglers use ultralight rod and reel combos paired with six pound test, four pound string will yield more strikes.  Some avid anglers even use two pound test line.  Spinning tackle is superior in this application although some anglers opt for spincast or underspin outfits for ease of use.  If you’re getting beginners or youngsters into the sport, the latter options are very fine choices because they are easily mastered.  Ultralight rods in the four to five foot range are the norm.  There are some who prefer much longer rods and this includes me.  On larger waters they offer greater casting distance and line control.  I even use a seven foot ultralight model on mountain streams with tight quarters and have no trouble flicking a lure or live bait into a run that might hold a fish or two.  I also prefer a larger reel than most use for light line applications.  Very small reels typically have very small spool diameters.  This means the line has somewhat restricted flow during a cast.  Line flows more easily off a larger diameter spool.  I feel that the heavier reel weight balances the rod tip better as well.  We now have a few smaller reels that boast extra wide spools making them super for light line fishing.  Try an Extreme or Pro Qualifier reel paired with a Micro-Lite spinning rod for a fine set up.  When it comes to line, choose green colors.  This shade best blends in the water for nearly any angling situation.  Fluorocarbon lines have a more invisible light refraction index but can be tough to handle with lighter tackle.  Popular lure types include spinners and minnow shaped plugs.  When it comes to the former, you can’t go wrong with models from Mepps, Panther Martin, or Rooster Tail.  For the latter, look for the brands Rapala and Yo-Zuri.  The myriad of color choices among these categories can seem like a sojourn into Alice in Wonderland.  As a general rule of thumb for spinners, choose a few bright colors and a few darker earth tone and natural insect colors.  For the minnow plugs, the bright colors are fine choices along with brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout patterns.  Both lure types are very easy to effectively fish.  Simply cast quartering upstream and retrieve as they swing down with the current.

 Get Hooked on Fly Fishing 

If you really want to have some fun, I recommend fly fishing.  Fly fishing and trout streams were meant for each other.  Using the right techniques, you can often catch more than you would by tossing artificial lures.   Fly fishing has a vastly undeserved reputation as being difficult to master.  At the age of thirteen I self-taught myself how to cast a small popper using the manual that came with my Abu-Garcia fly reel.  This can only mean that anyone can do it.  It opened up a new and very exciting way to catch bluegill and small bass on local farm ponds.  Today’s instructional books and DVD recordings make it easier than ever to get started on the right foot.  A good outfit including line can be had for a very reasonable price.  Pick a floating line as it will serve well for presenting dry flies and weighted subsurface nymphs or streamers.  Fly outfits are classified by weight.  A four or five weight set up with an eight to eight and a half foot rod is a great all around choice for our area.  You’ll want to pick up a few leaders and some tippet material while you’re in the shop.  For our larger fisheries such as the Chattahoochee and Toccoa Rivers, weighted subsurface nymphs and streamers will produce the most fish day after day. The former often sport metallic bead heads for weight and are fished under strike indicators.  A bushy dry fly can make a fine strike indicator as well.  As a bonus, aggressive trout will often smash the surface fly.  To be effective, nymphs are fished with a drag free drift; that is to say they need to move with the same speed as the current versus ripping along at a faster pace.  A technique called “mending” during a drift adds more productive drag free time to the presentation.  Streamers are hugely fun to fish and work very well on larger waters.  Simply cast quartering upstream as you would a spinner or plug and retrieve with sharp tugs as the fly swings down and through its final downstream arc.  When on smaller streams, I’m nearly always fishing a dry fly.  There’s nothing quite like anticipating the surface strike as it drifts through a run and watching as a hungry trout slashes to take it.  It only gets better when you’ve constructed and tied that fly yourself.  As with the weighted nymphs, dries are most productive when cast mostly upstream and given drag free drifts.  If you’ve hesitated to wade in the fly fishing world, do a little research and you could become hooked. 

 Float Tubes Expand Your Reach


 It’s worth merit to discuss accessories and other things that will make your time on rivers and streams more enjoyable, efficient, and productive.  The first thing is a handy tool that includes precision line clippers and a device for tying a nail knot used for connecting leader to fly line.  On another front, a valid question is does one opt for waders or go without?  While angling on small streams you’ll seldom be in water above your knee or mid-thigh and the cool water along with shade is really nice on a hot summer day.  The two prominent large rivers mentioned herein are a different story.  Their waters are colder than mountain streams and waders are a must.  Sweat pants or fleece models worn underneath provide a welcome layer of insulation.  These days, most anglers wear lightweight and breathable stocking foot style waders.  These are designed to be worn with wading boots.  Boots will provide an extra measure of ankle support while negotiating across slippery rocks.  With thick socks worn to compensate for waders, wading boots make excellent choices for small streams as well.  Floating larger rivers provides yet another dimension to the angling experience.  The small investment of a float tube will actually contribute to safer wading and open up areas that are inaccessible to many.  On a larger scale, when paired with a friend or two and a downstream take out vehicle, a tube enables you to explore miles of water.  Remember that a float tube does not meet the qualification of a life vest.  Speaking of vests, a fishing vest is your wearable tackle box on these river and stream expeditions.  Multiple pockets make convenient storage for small boxes of flies, leaders, bug spray, water bottles, and your lunch of course.  And what could be finer than taking a lunch break while sitting on a rock and listening to the sound of moving water as you contemplate angling adventures that lie around the next bend?  In closing, I’m going to state that even in this age of the catch and release ethic, it’s morally okay to eat trout.  They’re delicious when breaded in seasoned flour and fried or cooked on the grill in foil with lemon, butter, and herbs.  I will keep trout from streams that are regularly stocked.  This use is one of the purposes for plentiful stockings in public areas.  If a fish’s color is exceptionally bright along with long fins, I release it.  This is typically a wild trout and should be preserved.  In closing, I hope you’ll take a relaxing break and give our abundant trout populations some attention this summer.  It’s a perfect way to cool off, unwind, and get back in touch with nature.  Until next month, take care and have a wonderful summer!



 RAPALA AND STORM LURES       As the weather quickly warms and bass move out to their summer areas, crank baits of all shapes and sizes can really come into play.  On rivers bass may move to main river areas just outside of current and in resevoirs, bass will take up main lake areas close to creek channels that are near or adjacent to spawning bays.  Rocky areas such as bridges and rip rap areas can always be a good place to search out active fish. 

     Main lake areas with large laydown trees can be good especially if those trees extend down into a channel.  Creek channel banks this time of year can be a good place to crank for bass as they may move shallow to feed around those down trees or weedy areas and have the security of deep water close by.

My crankbait set up depending on if I*m fishing clear or stained water consist of the following:

In stained water I rely on the Abu Garcia Veritas rod that is 7' with a medium action.  Spooled with Sufix Seige, fishing line in 14 pound test I explore confidence areas with the Rapala DT series.  The Rapala DT 6 is my number one crank bait, however, the DT 10 can be more productive this time of year in resevoirs.  In river systems, the DT 4 and DT 6 are deadly and cover active feeding areas quite efficently.

When cranking, remember that reaction strikes are more common that feeding strikes simply because fish do not feed all the time.  Take advantage of that and run your lure into everything that you possibly can.

In clear water I rely on a 6'9 Abu Garcia Veritas rod spooled with Sufix Invisiline, which is a flourocarbon line ( mostly 8lb test) and small lures such as the Storm Sub wart for shallow water and the Rapala glass rap and Storm deep flat wart for deeper water.  The more natural look of these lures in clearer water has caught some big bass for me and have become staples in my arsenal.

As with any fishing situation, matching lures rods and reels are merely applying the proper tools to get the job done.  Time and experience on the water along with persistance and confidence with aid you in becoming a better angler.  The good thing is, when you need more tools for the job, Bass Pro Shops, is your one stop shop to get crankin!


Trout Fishing - Gear Essentials

By Mark Robertson

Trout season is quickly approaching and every angler is great with anticipation for the start of another season. It’s time to take an inventory of all your gear and head to Bass Pro Shops to stock up on all the essentials. Look for special buys and sales to get the best quality gear within your budget. Keep in mind as you make your purchases that lakes and streams become overpopulated with fisherman on the first few days. Having a variety of lures will increase your chances of catching trout in heavily fished areas. Let’s take a look at some necessities to help enhance your fishing experience.


If you’re in the need for a new rod and reel look for these key characteristics in your next purchase. First, a rod should be light and flexible for increased sensitivity to feel the slightest bites. This also helps to reduce the resistance a trout feels when taking a lure or bait, thereby increasing your chances of hooking a fish. An ultra-light rod is best suited for this purpose.

Rod Recommendation: Ugly Stik Spinning Rod

A spinning reel is the ideal choice for this setup, but a good spincast reel is great for beginners and can prove sufficient in most applications.

Reel Recommendation: Abu Garcia Cardinal 100i

A fishing combo gives the ease of having a complete setup and the benefit of a particular rod and reel paired for a specific purpose, such as trout or panfish.

Combo Recommendation: Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite


Line choice is another critical component to successful fishing. Knowing the area you’ll be fishing and the type of structure within it can help you make a better selection. Not all line are created equal nor do they excel at all properties to cover each fishing scenario. Some types of line are better suited to resist abrasion, while others may have better sensitivity or less memory. Monofilament and fluorocarbon line are the most commonly used. Monofilament is an economical choice trusted by many anglers while fluorocarbon is almost completely invisible which prevents spooking line-shy fish, such as trout. Fluorocarbon offers a little more sensitivity than monofilament capable of feeling light bites, but may be more susceptible to line memory. The typical line size should be 4 or 6 pound test.

Line Recommendation: Sufix Elite (Monofilament) and P-Line Floroclear (Fluorocarbon)


Choosing the right lure can be a daunting task: so many styles, colors and sizes. But just as important to selecting the best lure is using the correct presentation. Fishing for hatchery fish is a little different than fishing for wild trout. Hatchery fish are not as careful about lure and bait presentation and are less concerned with consuming particular bait. Hatchery fish allow for a fun experience for both experienced and novice fisherman.

Fishing for wild trout is a bit more challenging but more rewarding. Wild trout requires more study and research of the surrounding habitat, food sources and knowledge of differences in trout species.

Some popular lures are inline spinnerbaits such as the Worden's Rooster Tail, Mepp's Aglia or Blue Fox Vibrax. Each is an excellent choice in attracting skittish trout. A 1/16 or 1/8 lure covers the majority of your fishing situations.

Some popular bait choices are Berkley PowerBait Natural Scent and Berkley PowerBait Biodegradable.

Use a number of these lures and bait in a variety of colors to be more visually stimulating and to perform in different water situations. Not all trout are the same. What one lure may work for some may not work for others.

These are just a few basics to get you started and on your way to filling your stringer. This fishing season, enjoy the great outdoors and remember to be responsible and respectful.

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Out with the Old, in with the New!

As the days become longer

and temperatures begin to rise ( as if they ever really fell this year ), many angler's desire to vacate their homes and wet a line rises as well. Each year brings the opportunity for that special day on the water with a friend or family member and every eager angler believes the next cast could be the fish of a lifetime! The best way to be prepared for those opportunities is to possess the proper mindset and suitable fishing tackle for the job!

There is no better time and place each and every year to purchase that new rod and reel than during the Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro Shops! The prices during this spectacular sale and show are the best that will be seen all year at any retailer and the seminars and giveaways only add to the amazing ambience and excitement of this annual event!


2012 Spring Fishing Classic


The icing on this proverbial cake of fishing events is the ability to trade in a used reel towards the purchase of a brand new reel from a number of vendors including Abu Garcia, Bass Pro Shops, and Shimano! The make, model, and type of reel traded in is irrelevant as the trade value you receive is actually determined by the reel that you purchase. We only ask that the reel be in working order due to the face that we donate all of these reels to local youth organizations to support their outdoor education programs. Best of all, the discounts stack. If a reel is on sale or has a rebate, the trade coupon is deducted as well!

A couple of examples for the 2012 Spring Fishing Classic Reel Trade-in are listed below.

Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcast Reel

Regularly $129.99 | Sale Price $109.97 | Price with Trade $89.97!

Abu Garcia REVO SX Baitcast Reel

Regularly $169.99 | Price with Trade $139.99 | After $30.00 Rebate $109.99!

2012 Spring Fishing Classic Reel Trade-In February 24th-29th.

As if the reel trade-in isn't exciting enough, this year Bass Pro Shops has added a rod trade-in! The rod trade-in will work exactly as the reel trade-in does with identical requirements and savings. All vendors are participating in both trade-in events and with so much new technology on the market, now is the time to trade and save!

A couple of examples for the 2012 Spring Fishing Classic Rod Trade-in are listed below.

Johnny Morris Signature Series Rods

Regularly $139.99 | Sale Price $109.97 | Price with Trade $89.97!

Quantum KVD Signature Series Rods

Regularly $89.99 | Sale Price $79.97 | Price with Trade $64.97!

2012 Spring Fishing Classic Rod Trade-In March 2nd-6th.

This year's Spring Fishing Classic is stacking up to be the greatest of all time by anyone's standards and with two separate trade-in events, this will definitely be the ideal time to upgrade those rods and reels that have seen better days! We invite you to join us at your Local Bass Pro Shops during the 2012 Spring Fishing Classic February 24th through March 11th so that we can provide you with all of your fishing desires and needs!


Tight Lines,

Gary G. Garver

Fishing Team Lead

Kodak, TN


Bass Pro Shops' Spring Classic is Here

To say this is one of my favorite times of year, would be an understatement!  Bass Pro shops' Spring Classic starts this weekend.  All the Bass Pro stores including my home store here in Bolingbrook, Illinois will be loaded with sales and awesome seminars.  I am very excited this year because my new seminar, WEAPONS OF BASS DESTRUCTION is this weekend at the store.  Saturday February 25 and 26 at 12:00 noon  is the start time and if you have been to my seminars before, you ain't seen nothing yet!  if you have not, please plan on coming, I promise you will be informed as well as entertained!

You can also check out all the new Bass Pro items including new rods and reels like Johnny Morris signature series as well as one of the hottest rods on the market, the Abu Garcia Veritas.  Plenty of awesome fishing reels including my favorite, Doug hannon's waveSpin as well as some awesome baitcasting reels by Pflueger and  Abu Garcia.  From crank baits to swim baits and from plastic craws to lizards and every creature bait in between, bass Pro shops has more lures than you can shake an Ugly Stick at!

Check out all the new Tracker boats as well as Kayaks by Ascend and if that is not enough for you, the camping section is loaded up and wait till you see all the new clothing items from World Wide Sportsman.  After all of that, take the kids to the Islamorada Fish Company to see the salt water take and all the big tuna, marlin and sailfish mounts.  Its awesome!   Hope to see you at the Bolingbrook store this weekend.  remember that with Bass Pro Shops, your adventure starts here!


Everyone Loves New Fishing Stuff!

This time of year many new products are arriving each week at Bass Pro Shops.  All fisherman love new equipment as we try to find that one magic lure that is going to catch a trophy or out-fish our friends.  This year we have many new items already available for sale.  These new items also make great gifts for the fisherman on your Christmas list and you can be rest assured that they won’t already have it in their tackle box.

Here is a breakdown on some of the new products available now at Bass Pro Shops in the New York.


Shimano Chronarch E Series – The latest in the Chronarch baitcasting lineup from Shimano, it features 7 bearings and many different gear ratios.  It is available in left or right hand.  The price is $199.99, which is lower than the previous version of the Chronarch.

Abu Garcia Silver Max – This baitcasting reel will surprise you!  It is very smooth and good looking for a reel with a $59.99 price point.  Plus it has a flipping switch.

Abu Garcia Orra SX – The newest spinning reel from Abu Garcia.   The reel is very smooth and has a sealed drag, all at the $99.99 price

Pflueger President – When I first heard that the President was getting redesigned I thought, why change something that everyone liked so much?  The reel is the best selling spinning reel in almost every Bass Pro Shops in the country.  When it arrived a few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised.  Pflueger did not make any drastic changes to the design, but added a nice new spool that is braid ready.  All the features that made this reel popular are included in the new version and it’s even the same $59.99 price! The 2012 Shimano Stradic

Shimano Stradic – This has always been a personal favorite of mine for a spinning reel.  Shimano redesigned the Stradic for 2012 and it just arrived this past week.  When you see it you will notice they went back to the white colored reel, like the model that was discontinued four years ago.  The reel now has X-Ship, which makes for a smoother reel with less effort.

Okuma Trio – This reel is only available in a few Bass Pro Shops stores, and we have it here in the Finger Lakes.  It is a unique looking reel, and has an excellent drag system.  We have been selling them to customers looking for a good reel for a good price, who are heading Salmon and Steelhead fishing.



Temple Fork Gary Loomis Design - There is no one more famous for designing rods than Gary Loomis.  He has teamed up with TFO to offer a wide variety of rods for Bass fishing.  These are very technique specific rods in both spinning and casting.  The rods are only $99.99 and have lifetime warranty through Temple Fork.

Abu Garcia Veritas Micro Guide – The Veritas rods have been very popular in the past year.  They have a unique white design and are very light and sensitive for a great price of $99.99.  For 2012 Abu Garcia has introduced this same rod, but with new Micro Guides.  This makes the rods even lighter and they kept the price the same.  We have gotten in a handful of the lengths so far and are eagerly awaiting more.

G.Loomis GL2 – A redesign of an old favorite.  The new GL2 features a modern looking split grip design and now come in more technique specific tapers.  We have received both spinning and casting rods in various lengths and actions.

 St. Croix Rage – These rods have a very unique design. They are very light and well balanced. The butt section of the rod is a rubber materiel that reminds me of a golf grip. These rods stand out on the rack and will look great on the deck of your boat. We have both spinning and casting models in stock.
St. Croix Rage rods new handle


Soft BaitsNew Jackall Baits

Jackall Clone Fry and Super Cross Tail Shad– In our area drop shot fishing is a very popular way to fish for Smallmouth Bass.  The Jackall Cross Tail Shad has been an incredibly popular bait for this technique, and now Jackall has added some new baits. The Super Cross Tail Shad and Clone Fry are very realistic looking… so much so that I just had to include a picture of them.  They are available in a wide variety of great looking colors.

Booyah Pad Crasher – This is Booyah Baits first ever hollow body frog bait.  They come in popular Frog colors and are very soft.  They have a great price at $5.99.

Strike King KVD Sexy Frog – Strike King also introduced a new Frog bait recently.  The bait “walks the dog” nicely and comes in a variety of colors… including of course… Sexy Shad.

Zoom Z Hog – This is Zooms new creature style bait.  It is similar to a beaver bait and looks like it will be great for flipping and pitching next year.

Uncle Josh Meat Crawler - This new 7 inch worm is made from all natural ingredients, just like the Uncle Josh jig trailers, and is biodegradable.  It should work well wacky rigged on a weighted rig head.


Hard BaitsLive Target Crank Bait

Live Target Rattle Baits – As with all Live Target baits, this bait has a very realistic looking paint job.  They come in a variety of colors that mimic Bluegill and Sunfish.  I love everything this company has made and am excited to try out this new lipless crank bait.  They have also come out with new crank baits.

YoZuri Lures – Last week we received a whole new line up of YoZuri baits, including Pins Minnows, Crystal Minnows and Rattlin’ Vibe hard baits.  They come in some excellent looking colors and sizes. 

Lucky Craft RTO Crank Baits – This is the new line of cranks that are replacing the Rick Clunn series.  They are available now in square bill and deep diving models.  Some of the most popular colors from the RC line have been made into the RTO series, as well as many new colors added.

Storm Deep Rattlin Flat – This new lure is a deep diving crank bait with a skinny profile.  It is coming in Storm’s popular colors, many of which work great in the Finger Lakes region.

Rapala Rippin Rap – Rapala just introduced this line of lipless crank baits.  They are available with or without rattles. The silent version is a Bass Pro Shops exclusive lure.

Rapala Ultra Lite Minnow and Shad – Rapala has always been known for their minnow baits.  This new hard bait resembles small baitfish very well.  They are a sinking lure and come in many popular Rapala colors.  I can see these being very good for Smallmouth Bass, Crappie and Trout.


Salmon and Steelhead

Pautzke – This is a new line of curing products available at our store.  We currently carry Nectar, Fire Brine and BorX Fire.  The products are used for curing eggs once you catch a Salmon or Trout.  I have also used the Nectar to dye some of my flies for fly fishing.  We also now carry Pautzke eggs if you prefer not to cure your own.


Terminal Tackle

VMC Spinshot Hooks – When I first saw these hooks at the 2011 ICAST show I was impressed.  It’s a simple concept that I wish I thought of.  These hooks are designed for drop shot fishing.  The hook has a small barrel swivel built in to the eye of the hook, which will eliminate line twist.  We currently stock them in three sizes.

Power Pro Super Slick Braid – The latest braid from Power Pro improves on their best selling braid.  It is stronger, thinner and less noisy when casting.

Berkley Nanofil – This is the line everyone has been talking about!  It won the award for “Best in Show” for all new fishing products at the 2011 ICAST.  This line is designed to be used on a spinning rod.  It is super thin and strong and it casts a mile!  The first time I used this line I cast my bait 10 feet onto the shore.

Mark Kratz with a Brown Trout on 10/28/11
I love seeing all the new tackle as much as anyone.  More new products are coming in every week so be sure to stop in and check them out.  If you have any specific questions on any of these new products feel free to email me at mpkratz@basspro.com.  You can also give us a call at 315-258-2700. 

Mark Kratz
Sales Manager
Fishing, Marine and Tracker Boats
Bass Pro Shops
Finger Lakes, NY