Flippity Floppity

It is that time of year again, time for flip flops and sandals.  Several different types and brands are now out for your needs.  Men, women, and kids we have all sizes.  Check out some of these brands.

Natural Reflections

Enjoy a fun look and great comfort from a lightweight sandal with the Rainforest Sling from Natural Reflections. The Rainforest's uniquely styled synthetic upper provides the foot-hugging comfort of a stretch fit design. Combined with the sandal's comfort footbed, this easy-wearing slip on keeps your feet in comfort all day long.  Also comes in four different colors.

 

RedHead

We took everything we know about all-out comfort and put it into one sandal. Under the supple suede leather footbed lies a billowy, super-soft cushion -- like slipping your feet into a bed of cotton. Ultra lightweight stitch-to-sole construction with full grain quality leather uppers provide long lasting toughness without the leadfooted feeling. Hook'n'loop closures deliver a custom fit that's unmatched.

 

Sanuk

This is not a shoe. It's a sandal.
Featuring a shoe upper on a sandal bottom, Sidewalk Surfers™ combine the year-round style and protection of a shoe with the natural comfort of a sandal. We like the call this Barefoot-Un-Technology™. This sandal-shoe hybrid allows your foot to bend and flex the way nature designed you to walk. The loose upper allows your foot to spread so it can absorb shock naturally. This strengthens the small muscles which support your arch and encourages you to walk correctly. Sorry if there are no springs, coils, pumps, or air-bags, but after walking naturally you won't want to wear anything else.

 

Reef

 

Have you ever been strolling around looking for a bottle opener?  Well this pair of flip flops has got you covered.  Enjoy the airy comfort of a classic beach sandal with modern comfort technology in the Reef® Fanning Sandal for Men. The Fanning combines a water friendly synthetic nubuck upper with a compression molded EVA midsole with anatomical arch support, surrounding your foot with easy-wearing comfort. Reef's Icon Herringbone non-marking rubber outsole delivers sure wet-dry traction over various surfaces. The Fanning also features Reef's built-in church key in the outsole so you always have a bottle opener with you.

 

Cobian

This awesome pair of flip flops is the Sawman Signature Sandals from Cobian.  This has Cobain’s clear bottom featuring a U.S. serviceman graphic underlay featuring the signature of Former SEAL and counter terrorism expert Craig Sawyer.  The toe post is reinforced with Kevlar and is guaranteed not to break.  Also a good water shoe as it has great drainage in the footbed.  A portion of the sale also goes to OPERATION HAWKEYE.  To learn more about OPERATION HAWKEYE visit www.ophawkeye.com

 

 

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Keeping your Dogs safe in the Winter

Keeping your dogs safe this time of year is important.  Remember that many dogs feel the cold as much as their owners do. Keeping your dog warm during the winter months is important to keeping their health in tip top shape.

You need to understand your breed.  Some adapt well to the extreme cold such as huskies, yet a doberman or low hair dogs dont have the thick winter coat to protect them.  Giving your dog the appropriate shelter is important.  If you have a outside dog make sure his/her shelter and bedding is suitable.  Make sure there is plenty of insulation against the cold.  The roof of the outside shelter should have  a sloped roof and plenty of insulation to guard against the cold.  Bring outdoor dogs inside if the cold spell becomes exceptionally cold and long.

Even inside make sure your pets bed is away from drafts and keep a extra blanket or old clothing around the bed keeping it warm.

Using canine clothing is a option for certain dogs in the winter time.  If you see your dog shivering then he is cold.  Bass Pro has a variety of dog vests to look at.  One in particular is the Ruffwear Quinzee Insulated Dog JacketThis jacket is weather resistant and has a sewn in carry bag.  Very easy to remove with 2 sheltered buckles. 

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If you enjoy taking long walks during the winter, consider getting your pet booties.  Your pets paws get irritated from the salt outside.  You may need to take some time getting your pet used to the booties it is not a natural feeling to have them on.  The Bark N Boots Grip Tex Dog Boots protect against bad weather and have air mesh uppers for a imporved fit.  They have reflective trim for night walking and have good traction and flexibility.  Also look into the Bark N Boot Liners for extra protection.  They enhance the comfort of the boot and wick moisture and insulate great in the cold.

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Last but not least take shorter walks when the cold is severe.  You want to keep exercising but play tug of war or hiding toys inside with your pet.  When walking outside with your dog it is best to keep your dog leashed.  With snowplows or ice on the lake your dog may wander and you want him/her to be safe.

 

 

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

 

 

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Making Sense of Sleeping Bag Ratings

Anyone who has shopped for a sleeping bag has become probably all-too-familiar with the temperature ratings of sleeping bags. Unfortunately, as many people have come to discover, the ratings used on most sleeping bags isn't always right. The reasons for this are many and are explored on this page.

What Temperature Ratings Mean

 
 
 

A sleeping bag temperature rating is at the end of the day, the "best guess" of the manufacturer as to how warm the bag will be for the "average person." They arrive at this number basically by giving bags to testers or employees, who then test the bags in various conditions or in an "ice box."

 

However, the "average person" is generally a rare person. You see, the reason a temperature rating will NEVER be fully accurate is because people sleep at differing body temperatures. If you are what is known as a "cold sleeper" - you are going to need a significantly warmer bag then someone who is a "hot sleeper" is.

Now, what are hot and cold sleepers? Best way to describe it is to use sleeping at home in your bed as an example in a house that is around 65 degrees or so.

  • Hot Sleeper - You are someone who sleeps most of the night with few if any sheets on. You may put the sheets on initially, but as the night goes on, the sheets seem to magically lighten up or disappear entirely. Additionally, your body itself will give off a LOT of body heat. If you have a bedtime partner and they complain about how warm you make the bed, then you are probably a hot sleeper.
  • Cold Sleeper - You are a cold sleeper if, when you go to bed, you sleep with and wake up with every single blanket piled on top of you - and often still aren't entirely as warm as you would like to be. What this means is that you have a slow nighttime metabolism - hence very little body heat being generated. Which is why you need all the blankets.

Sleep Temperature & The Bag You Buy

Once you determine whether you are a "hot sleeper", a "cold sleeper" or somewhere in between, you can now have a better grasp of what temperature rating to get in a sleeping bag.

Now, this is a rough rule of thumb here. This is nothing scientific - just my own experiences. But, I do believe it is a good gage to follow.

 

Hot Sleepers - Assume the bags temperature rating is probably fully accurate for you.

Cold Sleepers - Assume the bags temperature rating is at LEAST 10 degrees warmer than advertised. Thus, a bag that is rated to 20 degrees will likely only work for a "cold sleeper" down to 30 degrees or so. And 10 degrees may NOT even be enough, either, depending on other factors.

All Others - If you fall somewhere between "hot" and "cold", I would assume the bags temperature rating is at least 5 degrees warmer then advertised.


Other Factors That Effect The Temperature Rating

Getting the right bag to match your sleeping temperature, however, is only half the battle. You see, when the manufacturers come up with the ratings, they make several reasonable assumptions. These are:

 
 
 

Sleeping Pad is Used - A sleeping pad is mandatory. Without a sleeping pad, you are in essence sleeping on the cold ground. No matter how "hot" you sleep or how great your bag is, you'll still be cold. Moreover, the assumption is made you are sleeping on at least a midweight sleeping pad (R Factor of 5 or greater), which provides for substantially greater insulating abilities than a lightweight pad does.

Use of a Hood - If the bag comes with a hood (and most 3-season bags do), the rating assumes the hood is used and drawn up relatively tightly over the user. Remember, about 40-50% of your body heat escapes from the top of your head. If you have little or no hair up "on top", use of a hood (a good fleece hat also works) is crucial to get near the temperature rating of a bag. Even if you have a full head of hair, a hat or use of the hood is STILL needed to truly achieve the bags temperature rating.

Bag is Fully Zipped Up - This seems like common sense. But, all ratings assume you zip the bag up to the very top - not leaving it down a bit like many campers do in order to have a "bit more room" in the bag.

Tight Fit of the Bag Around User - This is another thing people forget about. When buying a bag, buy a bag designed for your height. If you are 5'10, do NOT get a bag that fits people up to 6'6. The reason is because a pocket of cold air will form at the end of the bag, keeping your feet (and thus you) cold all night long.

No Clothes! - Yes, that's right. Temperature ratings assume you sleep in the "buff", or at least in your undies. The reason is because sleeping with clothes on, and in particular cotton clothes, can actually make you colder! The cotton, in combination with the bags insulation, will make you sweat. The cotton will then absorb the water into your clothes - making you wet ALL NIGHT LONG! This will make you cold right along with it. By not sleeping with a shirt or pants on (or using fleece if you do), you can closer achieve the temperature rating. And NEVER sleep in cotton clothes.


Conclusion

 
 
 

In summary, I believe it is ALWAYS better to buy a bag that will provide you with at LEAST an extra 15 - 20 degrees of temperature rating. Doing so will allow you to use the bag in a wider variety of temperatures and also allows you to keep the bag partially unzipped or sleep partially clothed if you want to. Additionally, a warmer rated bag is really crucial if you use a lightweight and thin sleeping pad.

Remember, you can always "open up" a bag that is a bit too warm your environment to stay comfortable. But if you have a bag that is a "bit too cool" you are going to have a VERY long night! So it is always better to buy a bag that is a bit too warm than a bit too cold!

Thus, for general three season use, I suggest getting a bag rated down to a minimum of 20 degrees, preferably 15.

For four season use, don't chance around. Get a bag down to -40 degrees. -20 degrees sounds warm until that arctic blast comes through.

 

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What is Thinsulate Insulation?

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Thinsulate Insulation is not your typical insulation. 3M manufactures products, such as boots, pants, jackets, gloves, and hats with Thinsulate Insulation. The microfibers that Thinsulate is constructed from traps air molecules between you and the cold air outside. Thinsulate traps the cold air molecules inside a smaller space, allowing for better insulation.

Thinsulate is lightweight that many manufacturers utilize in many products including footwear for work, hunting and hiking. The microfibers in the insulation are lightweight. This keeps the insulation from weighing the shoes down but keeps your feet warm at the same time. Thinsulate is available in different weights, depending on the insulation required. The weights start at 200 grams for less insulation and continue up to 1000 grams for extremely cold conditions.

200 to 400 grams: Thinsulate with a rating of 200 grams has a temperature rating of 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and is advised for work boots, hunting boots, hiking boots, snowboarding boots and alpine ski boots in cool weather. Boots with 400 gram Thinsulate have a temperature rating of 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for cold weather.

600-800 grams:  A Thinsulate material having a rating of 600 grams should be worn in very cold conditions at an estimated 15 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In extremely cold weather, individuals with light activity should select Thinsulate products of 800 grams, having a temperature rating of approximately 20 below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

1,000 grams: Thinsulate products with a rating of 1,000 grams should also be used in extremely cold weather conditions, at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

Thinsulate is breathable. It is ideal to use in items such as bedding, coats, hats and gloves due to its small fibers. The material keeps you insulated from the cold while keeping the sweat away from your skin at the same time.

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Thinsulate is also moisture-resistant, machine washable, and dry cleanable. Due to the fibers absorbing less than 1 percent of their weight when submerged in water, they are ideal to be worn in wet conditions or washable.

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First Hunt of the Year!

By: Jerry Costabile

With the changing leaves and the waterfowl migration starting, I finally got out on my first hunt of the season.

I really needed to get out and watch the sunrise, get the smell of fall in my nose and put the everyday stress on the shelf, even if it was for a single morning. Sadie, my Yellow Lab, has been giving me that look for weeks. It’s that “If you don’t get me out hunting soon, we are going to have problems” look. So with my son Jake, home from college, and a morning off, it was ON!

We went and purchased our license’s, got the gear ready, decoys out of the garage and the dog crate into the truck. As I loaded the crate, I heard a noise inside the open back door of the house, there was Sadie standing at the top of the stairs. I think I heard her say, “It’s about time!” She has a sixth sense when it comes to knowing I am getting the hunting stuff ready, I have never been able to get ready without her knowing it!

So after I got the truck loaded and the dog calmed down, it was time for a good meal and off to bed, 5:00am comes early! When the alarm went off and I finally woke up, I realized that I had been dreaming of the hunt that was coming up in a few hours. Guess I am still a young hunter at heart!

With Jake up and me half awake, we made our way down stairs to the basement to the man cave. This is the room that contains all of the necessities to survive as an outdoorsman. Camo and blaze orange color scheme makes it a beautiful room. The air freshener is a combination of WD-40, Rem Oil, and a hint of natural earth scent from my bow hunting clothes. Truly a room only I can appreciate.

After getting dressed in my waterfowl camouflage and ready to walk out the door, I picked up Sadie’s camo collar and she knew it was finally time as she sprinted past me to the back door and jumped up and down until I opened it. Without missing a beat, she ran right to the back of the truck and waited for me to open the tailgate so she could get into her crate. We have worked on a way to get her into the crate without running anyone over, “Sadie sit!” I open the door to her crate looked at her and she is shaking uncontrollably. “Kennel! I said” with one leap she was in the crate and ready to go hunting!

After a quick stop at the gas station for coffee, we had about a 15 minute drive to the recently cut soybean field that has been holding geese a few days ago. In the darkness of the early morning, I pulled off of the paved road onto the two track road that the farmer uses to get his equipment in and out of the fields. With recent rains, the road that is usually dry and easy to navigate has become muddy and the pot holes deep. I guess my truck will have a new color tone added free of charge! As we approached the spot in the field that I wanted to hunt, I swung the trucks headlights into the field to have light to set the decoys.

Before I could get out of the truck, I heard a whimper from the back. Sadie was ready to come unglued! I let her out and she ran as fast as she could out into the field and ran in circles until we got the decoys out and set.

Using the new Wisconsin DNR shooting time App. on my phone, I was able to determine that shooting time was 6:34am. With about a half an hour to wait, Jake and I set up our natural blind, and enjoyed my coffee and watched as the sky showed just a hint of daylight on the eastern horizon. 6:34am and we are loaded and watching the marsh behind us, there has to be ducks that roosted for the night out there.

As that thought entered my head, Jake grabbed my arm and said, “Dad, ducks!” We both got down behind the tall marsh grass and waited for our chance. The first ducks which were teal, went to our right out of gun range. But the next flock lifted and were headed right at us! When they got within range, I hollered “Take’em Jake!” With a flurry of three shots each, two wood ducks were down. Not the best average, .333 if you are a baseball fan, but for the first hunt not bad.

After getting Sadie back to where I could send her out to retrieve the first duck, she made a leap into the water and stayed on line to recover the woodie without any problem. The second duck turned out to be a little more difficult, it sailed to the far side of the field before hitting the ground. Jake took Sadie and headed in the direction of the duck and Sadie was up for the challenge. After a walk of about two hundred yards, Sadie headed into the cover on the field edge and returned proudly with the drake wood duck.

It was now getting time for the geese to start flying and we were watching and listening for the honks of the Canadian goose. It was about 8:00am when the first geese flew over head, and I started my best effort to call them into our decoy spread. But that flock like the next three or four flocks didn’t like what they saw. After a few adjustments, we had the decoys looking like they should bring in the next birds.

We finally had three geese coming in from the southeast and they look interested in joining our decoys for breakfast! As I called, and the birds got closer, I could feel Sadie start shivering with excitement. The big wings of the geese locked up and just as they started to put the landing gear down, I shouted to take’em. Well our batting average didn’t get any better, but we did have one of the three down. Sadie raced out to the big honker and found the right location on the bird and made a perfect retrieve. When she retrieves a bird she take sole ownership of it, why not she deserves it.

The morning ended with that, and we packed up the gear and headed home. I pulled into the driveway and Sadie knew she was home and would get her breakfast and that I would reward her with a couple of treats. When I left for work about an hour later, she was asleep and probably dreaming of the next hunt. Just like I will.


First Hunt!

 

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Tell Your Own Tall Tale

There is a lost art out there which involves an entertaining and often oral account of a real or fictitious occurrence. This is commonly known as telling a tall tale. For those up to date on their jargon, they will say it’s spinning a yarn. Either way it is a staple of American heritage which unfortunately is disappearing.

Growing up I remember listening to the stories of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry and Johnny Appleseed. My absolute favorite tall tale was about Davy Crockett, a legend in his lifetime. I would sit in front of the TV with my very own coon-skin cap and help Davy defend The Alamo. (Yeah, I’m kind of an old soul.)

One night I was in a group study area and a fellow student had to write a tall tale. When he uttered “What the heck is that?” he was quickly answered with a slap to the face. After the stinging went down I slapped him again… this time with truth! With my explanation and the help of a site devoted to folk stories and such, he was expediting his own exaggeration for the class.

Now, just like I try to always help with my blogs I am going to give you the tools to spin your own yarn. But you have to provide the thread and materials! This will work just like an ad-lib so get the whole group involved and be ready to “talk the hind leg off a donkey” in a fun fashion.

Now this tall tale will be Western themed, so brainstorm accordingly! You’ll want to fill everything out before going through the story.

1. Hero’s name

2. Friendly critter

3. Friendly critter’s name

4. Predator #1

5. Predator #2

6. Fake town name

7. Verb in the past form

8. Name of a river

9. Imaginary creature

10. Action verb in the past form #1

11. Action verb in the past form #2

12. Action verb in the past form #3

13. Title of royalty

14. Least favorite place to visit

15. Imaginary creature #2

*Action verb = something like kicked or punched

The Tale of _#1_and the   #9’s_

Our story begins a long, long time ago… way before last Wednesday. This was a time when the land was wild, the animals were plenty and personal hygiene was not that important. In fact, the animals were so plenty that a small town named ___#6___ had too many around! You see one day the town was torn up by ___#4’s____ and ___#5’s___ . These two critters were fighting like cats and dogs! Luckily for the town of __#6___ there was a __#2___ watching over everything. But this wasn’t your typical __#2___ this was __#3__ the __#2__  . And they was friends with none other than ___#1___ !

Well, __#3__ the __#2__ quickly got up and headed off to find ___#1___ . A few hours later __#3__  found __#1__ , but it was bad timing. __#1__ was busy moving mountains and creating canyons with just their mind! Not one to be snuck up on, __#1__ smelled __#3__ the __#2__ and knew it was their friend.

“Now I know the head honcho of this here tale said that we are in a time when personal hygiene was not that important, but dang you need to wash your tail!” said __#1__ .

“I’m sorry __#1__ but I’m here for an issue far more severe than my tail. It’s the town of __#6__ ! There’s a whole mess of __#4’s__ and __#5’s__ and their tearing up the place, “ urged __#3__ the __#2__ .

__#4’s__ and __#5’s__ in ___#6___ ?! That’s way out of their range! They should know better… Let’s go __#3__!” declared __#1__. They grabbed __#3__ the __#2__ by that stinky tail and quickly covered the same ground it took __#3__ the __#2__ a few hours to cross with just sixteen strides of __#1’s__ mighty gait.

Sure enough __#1__ and __#3__ were at the town of __#6__ , where the townspeople were fleeing for their lives. I tell you what, them __#4’s__ and __#5’s__ were making a mighty mean mess of things. When the townspeople saw __#1__ they knew they were safe. __#1__ just gave a grizzly stare and stomped their boot once. That was enough to make them __#4’s__ and __#5’s__ stop what they was doing.

“What’s the meaning of all this?! Ya’ll know you’re supposed to stay outta these nice folks ways.” Said __#1__ .

One of the __#4’s__ and  one of the __#5’s__ approached __#1__ . “We’re sorry about all the trouble __#1__, but we got pushed this way! There’s some new critter that’s meaner than a tongue-twisted sidewinder!” said the __#5__ .

“That’s true there __#1__. I aint never seen another critter like it before. They have beady eyes and red fangs!” said the __#4__.

“Hmm…” pondered __#1__ . “Tell ya what, I’ll go see just what these here desert demons are. Ya’ll sit tight. Shouldn’t take too long. Have some soap ready for __#3’s__ tail when we get back.” __#1__ once again grabbed __#3__ , this time by the ear and __#7__ . When they stopped, __#1__ realized they had __#7__ too much and were clear across the __#8__ . This time __#1__ __#7__ a little less and was right smack dab in the middle of the __#4’s__ and __#5’s__ original range. It didn’t take __#1__ too long to realize what the desert demons were. It was __#9’s__!!!

Now some think that __#9’s__ are cute and cuddly critters, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Let’s just say it wasn’t only Gila monsters and rattlesnakes that had venom out here!

When the __#9’s__ saw __#1__ and __#3__ the __#2__ they went on the attack! Obviously these __#9’s__ didn’t know who they was messing with. __#1__  grabbed one and __#10__ it. __#1__ then snagged two of the __#9’s__ and __#11__ them at the same time! Even __#3__ the __#2__ was holding their own in the fight. That stinky tail proved more dangerous than __#3__ thought and a couple __#9’s__ were knocked out from just the smell!

That’s when __#1__ saw the __#13__ of the __#9’s__ .  This __#13__ was six times larger than all the other __#9’s__ and a hundred times more ornery!  __#1__ knew to end this, that the __#13__ needed to be __#12__ in the rear. Which __#1__ did without breaking a sweat. The __#13__ of the __#9’s__ was defeated and surrendered to the mighty __#1__.

Now __#1__ knew that if the __#9’s__ were left free to go, they’d be back. So __#1__ snagged them all up and tied them all together by their tails. “I’m gonna throw you as far as I can and wherever you land, is your new home! Don’t make me do this again.’ Stated __#1__. And sure enough those __#9’s__ were sent sailing through the air for miles and miles. And it was done with excellent form, of course.

__#1__ then made a Ye-ka-ka-ka of the bald eagle and massive one swooped down and snagged __#1__ and __#3__. This eagle dropped them off at the town of __#6__ where the townspeople were busy putting things back together as the __#4’s__ and __#5’s__ were already headed home. After numerous appreciations  and a baker dozens of marriage proposals, __#1__ and __#3__ the __#2__ started off into the sunset. It was bed time anyways. So good ol’ __#1__ decided to make a little place to sleep. That place is now known as the Grand Canyon. Took good ol’ __#1__ a full seven minutes to make.

Now whatever happened to all them __#9’s__? Well, I’ll tell ya. Those __#9’s__ landed and started making a home of their new location. Over time they slowly became human, like you and me. This is why many people don’t believe in __#9’s__. But I’ll tell ya. Them critters aint changed a single bit! The place they now call home is dirty, dangerous and smells worse than __#3__ the __#2’s__ tail did. That place is called __#14__.

Now go on and git. Ya’ll heard enough for one day. You’ll have to come back another time to hear what happened when a pack of __#15’s__ decided to try and drink the mighty Rio Grande! Which was __#1’s__ favorite watering hole.

 

There you go. Print off a copy and take it with you on your next trip outdoors. You’ll have a lot of fun being creative and silly. Which is always half the fun of telling tall tales. Marinos that are madder than a wet hen!  Giddy-up!

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Kayaks and more

Imagine it’s the weekend or holidays and you are finally at the lake, but you are still tense and are awake way too early. Quietly you get out of bed (or your sleeping bag) and head outside. Standing in the stillness you inhale the fresh air and take in the mist that rises over the glass-like water. It’s cool but light as the sun starts to make it’s journey in the sky.  The only sounds are the birds and water gently lapping against the shore. The serenity of the moment begins to work on all the muscles that you’ve been holding tense all week (or all month.. all year).  You feel all tension slipping away. As your soul begins to recharge you head to the beach where your kayak waits patiently. Once your pfd is donned. the kayak is carefully placed into the water. There is a slight wobble as you climb in.  Grasping your paddle in both hands you head off. Destination relaxation. As you paddle around the lake you see the world through new eyes as  your soul is filled with peace.

Does that sound idyllic?

Maybe it’s time to start looking into adding kayaking as a new addition to your life. Kayaks are not only great exercise but they allow you to go to different lakes or rivers. You don’t need a cottage or a weekend at a campground. Just pack a lunch and snacks, a few little essentials and just head to a local lake for a couple hours of stress relief.

We have kept our inventory focused on the popular Ascend kayaks this summer but we also have the tandem Twin Heron by Old Town,  the modular Apollo (can be solo or tandem depending on whether you go with two or three segments) by Point 65 or the Stealth 9 by Malibu, All Ascend kayaks are made of high density polyethylene, which is a very tough plastic. The Ascend Kayaks are a little wider then other kayaks which allows for more stability and comfort.

The first model is a budget friendly basic beginner level kayak called the A10. At 9’10”  long,  28.5” wide and weighing only 44 pounds  this kayak will suit most people.  It comes in red or blue with a removable steel framed mesh seat and storage area with a bungee support that will hold a 36 quart cooler.

Second in line is the D10. This kayak has the same dimensions as the A10 but has added features; foot braces, a removable steel frame padded seat, cushioned thigh pads and covered stern-well that will hold a 36 quart cooler. The colour choices are red/black or purple/black.

The D10T was introduced this year, a sit on kayak with a custom designed hull for great stability (you can even stand on it!!!) foot braces, adjustable padded seat and loads of storage space. It is 10’ long, 34” wide and only 52 pounds. It  comes in red/black or titanium grey.

Next we have the D12. Stretching out a full 12 feet, this 74 pound kayak has a specialized hull design for speed, better load carrying, easy paddling and good handling in rougher waters. It comes with foot braces, two storage areas (including a dry well), 5” deck plate storage hatch for small items like your wallet, fishing license, cell-phone and keys)  and bungee system to keep all your gear with you. Colour choices are blue/black or red/black.

If you are an angler you will love the next four models in the Ascend line.

The FS10 is one of our most popular kayaks. It’s 10’2” length is perfect for most anglers. The wide cockpit allows for greater movement and stability. There are two flush rod mount holders and a fully adjustable rod tender (I don’t fish but the guys in the fishing department assure me this is a good thing to have). There are also two 4” cleats for anchoring a fish bucket or stringer. Dual bungee paddle keepers and a comfortable seat make this kayak a great choice for anglers who want to go to those tucked away places. It comes in camouflage or titanium Then we have the FS12. This 12 foot beauty is full of great features; integrated rod storage tube, full tackle rod tender on the starboard side and two rod holders behind the seat. It also has an adjustable anchor system, foot braces, cushioned thigh pads, 5” deck plate storage hatch, two big storage areas (one covered one dry) and a very comfortable seat.  You can chose from desert storm or camouflage.

Another option is the FS12T sit on kayak. This 68 pound kayak has an ultra stable hull for maximum comfort, stability and manoeuvrability. It has a moulded five position foot rest and padded seat for comfort. There are also two flush rod mount rod holders, full tackle rod tender, two storage areas and a catch all tray with two colour choices; sand or olive.

Finally we have the last in our Ascend line, a behemoth at 12 feet 8 inches in length; The FS128T. This kayak is a sit on like none we have had before. Available in camouflage or desert storm, this kayak is made to sit or stand  fish on with a tunnel hull design and solid casting platform. It also has a removable swivel seat, lots of storage, adjustable foot braces,  flush rod mounts and a rod tender.

If you prefer to have company when you meander around the lake you might want to look at canoes instead. The Old Town canoes start with the 3 person 14’ 6” Saranac then move into the 14’ Rockport and Rogue River. We also have a 16’ Saranac and 15’4” Rogue River square back.

If you think kayaking or canoeing sounds like it might be a good fit for you, visit our Vaughan store and check out our selection (the majority of boats are outside but we do have one of each Ascend model inside). If you have any questions about kayaking, canoeing or camping in general please see one of the camping associates.

Happy Paddling!

Melanie

Team Lead

Camping Department

Bass Pro Shops

Vaughan, Ontario

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Keeping Bait Alive

Nothing is more frustrating that paying for bait, and then having them die within hours.  Here at Bass Pro shops we understand just how frustrating that can be. The better condition as well as the fresher the meal the larger chance of getting that large fish to bite.  Many anglers talk about hooks, lures and line but overlook the condition of live bait.  This is why we carry a large variety of bait systems that will work for your need as well as your wallet.

 

The Bass Pro Shops Aerator is affordable and comes with 2 speeds.  This aerator will run for 30 hours on 1 "D" cell battery.  Heavy duty and water resistant this aerator will not break your wallet.

bps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frabill makes the Aqualife Bait Station.  With all electric components sealed in a upper watertight compartment this station is exactly what you want for being near the water.  The station has a removable foam liner which insulates the bait and a micro bubble oxygen diffuser.   To top it all off this station is waterproof and has a built in light that illuminates the interior. 

aqua

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frabill Crawler Can is great for nightcrawlers and leeches.  The system has a dual compartment where you can store ice in one side and bait in another.  The insulated foam liner will hold 2 to 3 dozen worms.  Perfect for a hot summer night.

 

 

crawler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need something a little larger?  Well look no further than the  Frabill Habitat II which will hold up to 8 dozen worms.  Insulated with extra thick foam it will keep the bedding nice and cool.  Molded aeration holes provide fresh air circulation ,and the bedding will keep them healthy until you are ready to use them.

hab II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, don't forget to keep your bait healthy.  It will be less costly and it will be a great pay off when you keep getting all those fish.

 

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

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Look What's in Camping!

Last month, I gave you a little bit of information about our gifts department. I hope that you read and enjoyed "It's All About the Gift"  (http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-leeds-al/its-all-about-the-gift) published on January 16th. This month I would like to focus on our camping department.

Bass Pro Shops camping department has it all! Whether you are gearing up for a camping trip, planning an outdoor barbeque, processing your own meat, or simply looking to accessorize your vehicle, our camping department can help you with any task. If you haven't had a chance to take a stroll though our camping department, let me tell you what all you are missing! You are missing hundreds of items featuring various name brands at bargain prices. Now, in order to see them all, you will have to come into the store and stroll isle after isle, but, I will try to highlight what I can (until you can make the trip)!

Tent

Our camping department has a vast selection of your basic camping needs. We feature a variety of tents to fit your needs including cabin tents, backpacking tents, and dome tents. Whether you're looking for a tent to fit just one person or a whole family, I am sure we have one that is sure to be the right size. We carry great name brands such as Boulder Creek, Ascend, Coleman, http://www.coleman.com/Products/11000/tents and (of course) Bass Pro Shops.  We also carry all of your tent accessory needs including, but not limited to, extra stakes, tent fans, tent lights, and replacement poles. In order to sleep in your tent, you must make a decision about a sleeping bag. Come check out our hugh selection of sleeping bags from Ascend, Bass Pro Shops, Coleman, Redhead, and North Face. If a sleeping bag is not in the cards for you, we have other alternatives including cots, sleeping pads, and air beds.            http://www.basspro.com/Brand-Boulder-Creek/Camping-Tents/_/N-1z0vai1Z1z0ux88

 

   First aid kit               

After the decision of what type of tent and sleeping bag suites your needs, don't forget about all of the other camping accessories. We offer a variety of toilets and showers. (Which my daughter believes are the absolute must-haves for camping!) We also have various sunblocks, repellents including ThermaCell, water treatments, vacuum bottles, and heaters.You definitely do not want to leave home without a map and a compass. Our camping department has a variety of maps available for you! One thing I know is a must have on my check list, when we go camping, is a first aid kit. Our camping department has an assortment of first aid kits to fit your needs.

yeti

 

Coolers are also a must have for the camping trip. We offer a variety of sizes and name brands of coolers, including the indestructible Yeti! Camping stoves, camping cookware, camping tableware, and flashlights should round out your list of supplies. We have a vast selection to choose from including our extensive collection of Lodge cast iron cookware. If you are in to the simple side of meals, check out our freeze dried meals. They are lightweight and easy to pack.

 

Canoe

If your camping trip takes you into an area of rugged terrain, try picking up a couple of trekking poles to help you make the climb. If you do plan on taking a long hike while you are camping, don't forget to check out the backpacks that are available in our camping department. If your walk leads you to search for treasure, don't forget to take a metal detector with you. Regardless of whether you are taking a short trip or long one, don't forget to get a camel back to help you with your hydration. If you find that hiking is not on your list of things to do, maybe you would be interested to know that we sell a variety of canoes and kayaks.

Grill

 

Did you know that our camping department is more than just camping supplies? We also offer a large variety of grills. Yes, I realize that the two are connected but, you don't have to go camping to use a grill and you don't have to own a grill just to go camping. Our grill selection includes names such as Brinkman, Browning, Char-griller, Coleman, and Masterbuilt. We have grills that are made for propane, charcoal, or both. We sell flavored wood chips and lump charcoal, along with marinades and seasonings. We offer fryers, as well. We have deep fryers, fish fryers, and turkey fryers for all your wild game cooking needs.

 

dehydrator

Along with our selection of grills and fryers, we have all your essential needs to process your own meat. We carry meat grinders, meat slicers, wild game processing kits, food savers, and dehydrators. We have all of your processing needs including sleeves for sausage and seasoning mixes. Once the meat is processed, you can freeze it using one our our food savers or get it ready to fry by using a breader.

 

truck

 

Last, but certainly not least, our camping department offers a variety of accessories for your vehicle. From floor mats to seat covers, we have the vehicle accessory that you are looking for. We carry steering wheel covers, key chains and air fresheners from names brands like RedHead, Browning, and Bone Collector. Don't forget to check out our decals, license plate frames, and car covers. We also have deer alert sets for your vehicle. While you are here, check out our GPS selection in the marine department.

Well, I hope that the next time you are in the store, you will check out our camping department. Until next month.... Enjoy the outdoors!

 

http://www.lovetheoutdoors.com/camping/checklists.htm

http://www.coleman.com/checklists/

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EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT, GREAT PLAINS AND NORTHEAST!

Wow, with the great mild February weather we have been experiencing in the Destin area, now is the best time to clean up those yards and outdoor living areas before Spring gets underway.  The songbirds have already started their chirping and mating calls, so it's time to clean out those old bird houses or add some new ones.  Seed and suet feeders should be cleaned and restocked with fresh food.  Don't forget to scrub that hummingbird feeder before setting it out once warmer weather and the hummingbirds return.

It's also a great time, while the weather is mild and not too hot, to clean up those flower beds and planting areas.  While you are at it, add a generous amount of compost and peat to the existing soil.  Now is a great time to build a compost bin and put that lawn waste you will generate this year to good use.  Plan on planting a variety of nectar bearing flowers that will attract not only many species of birds, but will benefit your yard and garden with the presence of pollinating bees.

Bass Pro Shops Gift Department carries a large assortment of home and garden items that can turn your backyard into an attractive showcase.  From blue bird houses to seed feeders, suet frames, and hummingbird supplies, to the brackets that hold them, Bass Pro Shops has what you need.  We even carry a variety of birdseeds and hummingbird nectar and birding books to get you started and keep it interesting.

Another neat item to consider is one of Bass Pro Shops' weather stations,  Several models have exterior mounted thermometers, hygrometers (relative humidity), anemometers (wind speed and direction), and rain gauges that send the information to a central display inside your home.  Weather stations from Bass Pro Shops are a fun and educational way to keep up with the changing weather trends where you live.

So, take advantage of the mild weather we are having.  Air out those sleeping bags, re-spool those reels, wash that kayak or boat, clean that grill or smoker, and get those yards ready to be a showcase once spring growth begins.

Gary Feduccia

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Catching South Carolina stripers, Alabama stlye

What would cause a man to get out of bed at 3:30am on a January morning when the air temp is 28 degrees? What would cause a person to get up at that insane hour on their day off…the fish must be biting!

My friends were discussing that the stripers were starting to move up in the river on Lake Murray. So a friend and I met up around 4 am and headed south with visions of hooking up with some quality stripers. After a couple of hours of driving and swapping fish tales we arrived at our destination(to remain unknown as we fisherman cant share all our secrets.)

We were the 6th boat to launch that morning and we were ready to go at day break, however mother nature had another idea. As we were idling out of the no wake zone we ran into a wall of fog that was thick. It was so thick that we couldn’t see past a cast length in front of the boat. As hard as it was not to plow through and use our gps to get out to the honey hole, common sense prevailed as we waited out the fog.

wall of fog

 

Once we were able to get moving we made a quick run up in the river and it wasn’t long before we saw the birds chasing some bait and it soon after it was on. For those of you who don't know, when the birds go for bait fish in the water, this means that the stripers are usually the cause of this phenomenon. As the striper chase up the bait fish the birds take advantage. So when you see birds feeding there is a good chance some fish is pushing that bait to the surface.

Our bait of choice was the Alabama rig. I am not a huge fan of the rig, however there are times and applications when it is hard to beat. I was throwing 2 different rig combinations over the day and caught fish on both presentations. I was throwing a Bass Pro Shop deadly five on 50 lb power pro. I teamed that up with a Bass Pro Shop Pro Qualifier reel and a 7 ft heavy carbon light rod.

BPS Deadly 5power pro

 

pro qualifiercarbonlight

 

 

It didn’t take long find out that the fishing was gonna be tough. Several boats were chasing birds while others were drifting with minnows and corks, but no one was hooking up…including us.

After getting over the early frustration and disappointment we began to notice small pockets of bait fish popping near the banks. So far that morning we had been fishing the creek channels like everyone else. When things are rough its always a good idea to change things up. We eased our way into the shallows and began to chunk our A - rigs toward the bank. On my first cast to the skinny water I hooked up with a nice Lake Murray striper. If you have never thrown the Rig on braid and hooked up with a striper, let me warn you that it can be..AWESOME…

It almost ripped the rod from my hands when it hammered my KVD swim’n caffeine shad.

Swim'n Caffeine KVD Strike King

 

To make a long story short we landed that fish and over the next couple of hours several more stripers were tamed.

When we went back to the ramp several boats were leaving the lake early, most of them said they were leaving because they hadn’t caught any stripers. We were leaving because we had reached our limit.

limit reached limit reached 2

Bragging at the Ramp!

On the way home we talked about the choices we made and the attention to detail that allowed us make a simple adjustment that turned our day from a disappointment to a success.

As Jimmy V use to say ..”never give up”… when your day on the water is not going as planned, just clear your head, look around and use your experiences to help you figure out a game plan to change your day.

Good luck, tight lines and God Bless!

Until next time, Eric Winter

 

 

 

 

 

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Peeler Crab and such...

We headed out with catching on all of our minds.  As soon as we loaded up with live baits of all sizes we made our way to the back side of the snapper banks sometimes referred to as the Grand Banks.  I haven’t been out to this area since they closed “red snapper.”  However, with Sunday September 23, 2012 being one of those red snapper keeping days I decided to make the run. 

On the ride to the south east we talked, we ate sandwiches, and made bets on whom might be able to brag about catching the biggest fish.  It was pre-decided that Captain Triple Trouble would jig and Captain Bob would use live bait while fishing right on the bottom. Captain Frank was to use both squid and live bait.  I was (Captain Judy) going to try something a little different, which was peeler crabs.  Bob and Diane Lowery have a commercial crabbing business in Savannah, Georgia.  This is one husband and wife duo that knows where the crabs walk at all times of the year.   Over the years I have learned a lot about the whereabouts of blue crab from them.  For instance:  I do know that during the cold months blue crabs travel the deepest part of the channel.  So if you want to catch them that is where you will have to look. Believe me you best bet is to call Bob and Diane if you want blue crabs for any event!!

Peeler Crab

Peeler crab that has shed it shell

 I took my peeler crab, stuck a circle hook all the way through the crab’s body.  I placed the hook at the point end of the crab, because this is the area where there isn’t any vital parts and dropped it to the bottom.  My leader was a standard Carolina rig style, which is 8 ounce egg threaded on to main line then 8 mm plastic ball and then I tied on a 100 pound test snap swivel.  As far as my leader:  I tied about three feet of 100 pound test monofilament to a 9/0 circle hook and then to 100 pound test swivel.  When using crabs as bait it’s suggested to use a shorter leader.  Please know that it’s is always best to use a much longer leader when targeting grouper! Types of live bait used also determined the length of leader used.  When using a bottom hugging such as a sand perch or rock bass I suggest using a leader as long as 30 feet.  I know this sounds crazy.  However, it’s not.  A large fish will loose interest before it follows the leader to the end of the line. The longer length offers bait more free swimming freedom.  Heck, I have even known the baits to swim right inside of the ledge where the grouper is holding.  Shorter leader such as 6 to 12 feet are good to use when using live bait such as ruby red lips, pin fish, cigar minnows, and Spanish sardines. The bottom line here about baits is simple “longer leaders for bait with larger air bladders and shorter leaders for those that don’t. 

How a fishing line is formed! Here’s your sign, Fish Here!

Trolling Time

Trolling Time has arrived!!

For those the want to do a little trolling the edge is slowing forming.  My definition of the Gulf Stream ledge:  When the western cooler waters meet the warmer Gulf Stream waters a wall is formed.  The western waters move east and west having a slight shift to the south.  The Gulf Stream water moves to the north at quite a steady clip, which boils down to about 3.8 knots and more.  When water moving east meets water moving north an edge is formed.  The edge brings on the attentions of small fish, which in turn provides the prefect target rich environment for the larger fish.  When the western waters start to move to the west depending on certain conditions the stream is sometimes shifted inshore a bit. 

To locate a serious edge keep an eye on your temperature gauge.  Back in the old days there were no temperature gauges.  We used our talented eyes to make the call.  The darker blue the water the warmer is seems to be.  When two different water temperatures meets on the surface a line is formed.  Sargasso weed, flotsam, jetsam, all colors and types of jelly fish some times show us fishermen the way. 

Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site http://www.fishinglanier.com/contact.html for all the details!  For more details go http://stores.ebay.com/Fishy-Racer http://www.youtube.com/fishyracer www.cafepress.com/grapefruitshop

http://fishinglanier.com/

Little Miss Judy Believe It or Not!

Pearling Expedition!

“Pearling Expedition”

My father would have said, “Only pick the oysters that are below the water line!”  Now can’t you just see me now wading around in my father old boots, which were cut from a pair of his waders, looking for the prefect oyster?  You know the one with the pear!!   Now for the rest of the story, “I never found a pearl and never thought to just stop looking!”

“Pearling Expedition”

My father was an avid hunter.  He loved to hunt and fish. I went with him everywhere on his adventures. One of his favorite things to do was to go to his so-called private oyster beds, pick out a few, and eat them right on the spot.  Heck, I even joined in on this one.  As a child and adult I have always loved raw oysters. When daddy and I would go on an oyster hunt it was always a lot of fun.  I loved playing in the mud and also I didn’t mind too much picking up the oysters.  My father’s secret place was located in Bull River.  It was a great spot for picking oysters. According to my father it was perfect, because even at the lowest tide stage his oyster beds were still right under the water.  My father always maintained that oysters that spent too much time out of the water during a tide change tasted differently. As a child I was always looking for that white pearl. As I got older and smarter I realized that daddy was only telling me that because it put a twist on the collecting.  In other words, it made me happy to help as long as a pearl might be had.  As you all know our oysters don’t usually produce pearls.  At the time I wasn’t privy to that information.  So therefore it was just an oyster hunt to daddy.  However for me it was what I considered a “pearling expedition.”  

We had to use proper footwear for the occasion. My father had these big black thick rubber boots of which he had cut off of his retired duck waders.  Back in the old days I don’t think rubber boots even came in children size.  So therefore I wore daddy’s old pair.  They were big but we found out that if I wore my shoes inside of his boots it wasn’t too bad.  As we headed out, we would pull the old wooden rowboat behind our big boat.      As we gathered the oysters we dumped them into the rowboat. When we were tired the oyster hunt came to an end and we went home.  Now that I think about it no matter what we were doing when daddy was tried we stopped and moved on.

Upon arriving home it was time to cook the oysters. We had to wash them.  Believe me there were no power washers during this day and time.  It was called “Judy Washer!”  So we sprayed them with water and then brush them to get them clean.  It definitely took longer to clean them than it did to cook them. According to my father there were three  types of cooked oysters.  There were the “warmers, semi steamed, and open ones.”

The first two had lots of juice, which is referred to “oyster liquor.” His favorite thing to do was to loosen the so-called oyster’s anchor, which was attached to the inside shell, lift the shell up, and pour it in the old mouth.  Occasionally you might see him add a few drops of hot sauce. There was only juice available in the first two stages of cooking.  I like them cooked in all stages, but the last was my favorite.  I didn’t have to bother with trying to get them open.  They were already popped open, easy to get unanchored, ready for dipping in cocktail sauce, and fit prefect on top of a saltine cracker.  I’m sorry that I can’t finish this story, because I’m leaving to go get me some oysters!  And since there is an “R” in this month they should be real good no matter how we cook them!!

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Fall Fishing Patterns

Ed Nelson

                                                                  By Ed Nelson

 

     Well it’s finally here, the second magical time of year. First, you waited all winter for the bass to spawn. What a blast that was, sight fishing for big females and males so aggressive they could be caught one cast after another. Then the dog days of summer with its crowded ramps, boating traffic, 100 degree heat index with unbearable humidity and the fish didn’t have it any easier. They had to endure 90+ degree water temps, unbelievable fishing pressure and near constant boating traffic. I don’t know about you but I’m glad it’s over.

 

    Now, I can probably guess what a lot of you are thinking; “It’s still in the 90’s”. As I’ve always said, look at it from the fish’s perspective. The outside air temps might still be in the 90’s but the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. If you couple that with much lower humidity, then the water is spending more time cooling off in the evening than it is heating up during the day. Add in the decrease in boating traffic and fishing pressure (tourists have gone home and hunting season has opened) and top it off with the bass moving shallow as the water cools and…..Presto…. I give you, Fall Fishing.

 

    Patterning fall bass is a matter of finding the bass (location pattern) and matching the hatch (presentation pattern). The location pattern will be based on water temperature and water level. Even though the bass are wanting to go shallow this time of year some impoundments start to drop the water level down to winter pool. If this happens then the bass will actually move deeper or stay in their summer holding areas till the water stabilizes and then start their fall migration shallow. The best location method for this time of year is to pick a direction. Start shallow and work progressively deeper or start with typical summer haunts and work your way shallow. I personally prefer to start with some map study and find areas where the fish will eventually end up. I like a good feeding flat with either deep water access near-by or even better a creek channel leading in that the bass will use as a highway. From there I look for the main lake point that the creek channel passes closest to on its way to the flat. That’s where I like to begin fishing. I will work the main lake point first then follow the “highway” to the flat paying careful attention to any key areas I might pass along the way like humps, creek channel junctions, rock piles, trees and any other cover or structure. This way, I’m following the bass along the path of their fall migration.

Topo Map

    Your presentation pattern can be as simple. If you remember during the spawn, we patterned our presentations towards nature’s egg-stealers. We used baits that mimicked Bluegill, Crawfish and Salamanders because bass that are protecting their beds tend to be extremely aggressive towards them. Well, in the fall it’s all about the shad. Shad are going to be the main forage this time of year. That’s not to say that a bass won’t hit a frog when they are in real shallow water or a crawfish especially after a cold front has them tight to the bottom or buried up in cover, but when they are active in the fall, its shad that are on the menu. Once again you need to match the hatch. Spinnerbaits, Buzz-baits, Crankbaits and Topwaters all produce this time of year. You have to let the bass tell you what they want on that particular day. Look at the type of area you are going to fish and choose the bait that best covers the depth of water and/or type of structure you are targeting.

Hoppys Lures Spinnerbait

      Spinnerbaits are an excellent lure choice this time of year. They can be fished at any depth and through any cover. They are an excellent shad imitation. The skirt color can be changed to match the hue of any baitfish. The blades flash like the shiny sides of a shad and they also displace water which creates a vibration that the bass can sense with its lateral line.  Presentation can be as simple as cast and retrieve. Some days they want it fished fast overhead and other days you have to slow-roll it down the contour of the lake bottom. I’ve even had some success hopping it or jigging it down main lake points. You just have to experiment with different retrieves and presentations.

Hoppys Lures BuzzBait

    Buzz-baits are another excellent choice this time of year. They make a lot of noise when reeled in and can draw bass out from their hiding places. They work well in shallow cover, in off colored water and even over deep water. They produce best in the morning and on overcast or windy days. With this bait your presentation truly is as simple as cast and retrieve. On hint, whenever you are throwing a Buzz-bait always have a follow-up bait rigged. My favorite is a soft plastic stick-bait, Texas-rigged weightless, in a color to match the Buzz-bait’s skirt color. When you miss a fish (which is common) immediately cast back at that spot with the follow-up bait and many times you can get that missed fish.

BPS Crankbaits

   Crankbaits are a true shad imitation. They look like shad, they swim like shad and bass eat them like they’re shad. Their greatest asset is that they swim at a controlled depth. This makes them great for thoroughly covering a specific depth of water. Unlike a spinnerbait that will continue to sink until you begin your retrieve, your crankbait will return to the same depth on each cast. This is great for working the edge of the creek channel or the top of a grass-line.  Also, carrying 2 big treble hooks makes them pretty efficient at hooking fish.

BPS Topwater

    Topwater baits are not only a highly effective method for catching bass this time of year but when the bite is on its by-far the most exciting. Seeing big fish explode on topwater is one of the great thrills in bass fishing. I choose the type of topwater bait I’m going to throw that day by the chop on the water. If it a calm day I’ll usually start out with a popper, for a little breeze I’ll go to a walking bait, and for a heavy breeze or if I’m trying to draw fish out of deep water I like a prop bait. I let the conditions dictate my choice of topwater baits. For those of you who have never tried topwater, there is one golden rule; don’t set the hook until you feel to fish. If you set the hook on the blow-up you’ll miss more fish than you’ll catch.

 

    Bass fishing in the fall is some of the best of the year. You’re not going to be hooking into the big egg-laden females of spring but the humidity is down, the crowds are gone, most of your buddies are in their tree-stands and the bass are more than willing to bite. They can sense that winter is around the corner and its time to fatten up. So get out there and enjoy some quality bass fishing or more importantly a relaxing day on the water.

 

For a more in-depth discussion of fall fishing patterns or any other bass fishing questions drop me a line on my blog at basspro.com or Bass Pro Shops Facebook page. You can contact me directly on Facebook at Hoppy’s Lures or YouTube at fyafishing and as always feel free to come visit me at Bass Pro Shop. Just ask for Ed.

 

Tight lines to all and to my bass fishing brethren “See you at the scales”

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Toy Shopping at Bass Pro Shops

Yes - It's that time of year already!  Time to start thinking about the perfect gift for that child, grandchild, niece or nephew.  Here at Bass Pro Shops we can help.  

Air Hunterz ZX Cross-Bow is a great alternative to darts.  The cross-bow shoots 50 feet and is made of foam so it won't harm any furniture.  Air Hunterz also has sling shots, guns and bows. 

How about the Bass Pro Shops Adventure Toy Sets?  We have a variety of toy sets to pick from.  The Nitro Bass Boat or the Girlz Sporting Dog Vet Set are popular. If those don't do it well we have many more adventure sets to pick from.

Now for your little fishing partner we have a wide assortment of giant stuffed fish.  Dolphins, Catfish, and Trout just to name a few.  We have puzzles and great games such as Horse-opoly,  Whitetail-opoly, Lab-opoly, and Fishin'-opoly board games.  Here is a great game to take in the car.  Its called Find It Camo/On a Scavenger Hunt,  this game is self contained and easy to transport.  You have to find 47 hidden objects buried in recycled plastic pellets.  Spin it - Shake it - Twist it to find your objects.  FUN FUN FUN!

Now on to a safe fun guns.  We have the Marshmallow Blaster that shoots mini marshmallows or if that is too messy try the good old fashioned pop gun for kids.  We have traditional or pink.  You can't go wrong.  What about your little bug enthusiast,  Backyard Safari has just the perfect thing.  Perfect for ages 5 and up Backyard Safari has binoculars, a cargo vest, net, lantern, compass, and last but not least a bug vacuum. Yes -  I said bug vacuum and it does work!  To top it all off the Insect  Lore Campfire Kids Log Cabin Tent - this pop up tent is great for the floor or on top of a bed.

How about a 53"x57" Black Bear Rug for your little one to cuddle on.  What a great Christmas picture that would make!

As you can see we are ready for you to start that Christmas Shopping.  So stop on by.

Robin Piedmonte-Events Coordinator

 

bug vacpop gunvetstuffed fish pillow

 

camo gamenitroblack bear rugtentcross bowmarshmallow

 

 

 

 

 

 

0 Comments »

What to wear fishing this HOT summer!

"What to Wear Fishing this HOT Summer”

By Tom Branch, Jr.

Fishing in the summer can be fantastic, unless you choose the wrong clothing. For summer time fishing, you should be wearing clothing that will protect you from the dangers of the sun and still be comfortable fishing. The technology involved in creating a quality of summer clothing is incredible today. It wasn't too long ago that when I went fishing during the summer, I put on a baseball cap, tennis shoes, tee-shirt and blue jean shorts.  Back in the day there just wasn't the clothing available to fish comfortably and protect your skin as there is today. Manufacturers like Columbia, Simms, World Wide Sportsman and Bass King have created some excellent choices for the summer angler. Their clothing looks stylish and protects your skin from the dangerous UV rays put out by the sun, and it keeps you cool. In this article, I will go over what you should be looking for in good summer clothing while you are outside on the water or fishing from the bank. At the end of the article you will find some of the items I wear on the water in the summertime.


Sun Screen
Let’s start out by protecting your skin first. I like to use a sweat proof quality sunscreen that will bond to my skin on contact and won't run down my eyes and sting. You need to find a sunscreen that doesn't leave a greasy residue which could adversely affect your grip. Look for a formula make up that is oil free, hypoallergenic and waterproof. A good sunscreen should soak into your skin very quickly. I still have not been able to find a fragrance-free sunscreen for my sensitive skin, especially on my face and neck. In the summer time, I reapply my sunscreen every few hours. Two small suggestions, keep baby wipes in your boat for wiping your hands off after applying your sunscreen. Lastly, purchase new sunscreen every year, sunscreen does go bad.

Base Layers
A thin t-shirt should form your base layer while fishing in the summer. Try a specially treated 100% polyester fabric with 50+ UPF rating.  There are fabrics available out there that wick away moisture. My favorites are the fabrics that are made to be water repellent and stain resistant with anti-odor properties that will battle the outdoor elements alongside you. As this is the layer that will be directly next to your skin, it is important that the material can allow moisture to escape from your body. If sweat can dry on your skin, it can quickly make you feel cold.

Bass Tech

Shirts
On top of this base layer, a top made from nylon will help to keep cool. Look for an ultra-quick-dry 100% nylon button up shirt that is light, breathable and has “Spills Technology” to ward off blood-and-guts stains. I chose the long-sleeve version because you can protect your arms and roll them out if needed. These style shirts are very cool to wear on the water. Many of them come with front/back ventilation that keeps air flowing even as the roll-up collar protects your neck from harsh UV rays. I prefer the muted grays and light blues instead of the bright color shirts. Remember when you are fishing shallow water you want to look like the sky. Light blues and grays blend the best, I call it sky camouflage. Many of the quality brand shirts now are offering an SPF factor to the shirt material. These shirts are quick drying and cool to wear in the hot weather.

Shorts
Long days on the water call for versatile clothes, and my preference are pants that have zip off legs like the convenient long pant style that convert to shorts. That way, I can have shorts on during the day and add the legs back on to the shorts if it gets cool on the return ride in the evening. Just like the shirt, listed above, remember to look at a stain resistance material. The short material has to have a minimum UPF 50+ sun protection. Wrinkle-resistant 100% nylon construction features allow these pants to travel in your luggage and still look good while on the water. My pants have to have plenty of pockets because I carry a lot of stuff on me when I am fishing. Now there are days when I just want to wear shorts and I leave the long pants on shore.

Shoes/Sandals
I have two shoes/sandals I wear when fishing in the summer, one is a flip flop and the other is a water shoe. Comfortable feet are a must when I am fishing. I want a lightweight sandal that has a soft foot bed. If you wear sandals, you want a flexible material, light weight and ventilated. The upper material should conform easily to your foot. If you want comfort on your feet, you must look forward to spending around $25. A quality product will also be UV-resistant, odor-resistant, slip-resistant and easy to clean. If I want to wear shoes fishing during the day, I wear a shoe that is made with waterproof materials. You want a shoe that will dry fast when it gets wet. My shoes have a drainage tunnel to remove water quickly from inside the shoe. That way, I am not sloshing around in my shoes, on the boat deck causing blisters on my feet. Try the shoes with elastic bungee lacing because you can pull them tight once they get wet and loose. Like any shoe on a boat, you want to have a non-slip and non-marking rubber outsole.

Crocs


Hats
A hard hat liner might sound a bit unconventional, but it will keep your neck, ears and head warm in cold weather. In the summer, I wear a wide-brimmed hat on the water. This will guard against sunburn, overheating and overexposure to the sun. The preferred head covering is a wide bream hat, not a cap. Although the popular and seen-everywhere ball caps help some, a hat with a full brim is made to protect the head, face, neck and ears. Make sure the hat is made with a breathable material so your scrap can breathe. Keep in mind that water reflects the sun. It intensifies the effect of the rays, and even brings them up from the water surface to your face that is under a hat.

Gloves
Lots of anglers don't like wearing gloves while fishing, as it can make casting the rod and reeling in catches much more tricky. If you go on fishing boat trips, you'll probably want a pair though to keep your hands warm on the journey, before the actual fishing starts. However, in the summer time, you need protection on your hands. A few years ago, I had the chance to talk to Shaw Grigsby, and he told me once you had a skin cancer cell removed from your hand you will wear gloves all the time. The pain from the surgery is very bad, and it is so simple to put on a pair of gloves to protect you from the dangerous sun rays. The best gloves have a built-in UPF sun protection.

Strike King Lures

Sunglasses
 This summer I am wearing the Costa Rockport sunglasses. They are their newest rimless sunglasses from Costa Del Mar. These sleek, sporty shades are unique with full eye coverage and lightweight fit, without compromising durability. The Rockport sunglasses offer thicker, wider temples to block light from entering from the sides. These glasses will make you forget they're on. I wear 100% polarized lens because they block yellow light from entering the eye which eliminates glare. I really like the Rockport sunglasses because they fit my face properly. If the sunglasses are correctly fitted, it will allow the lens to breathe around your eyes. More than anything, this will not allow the sunglasses not to fog up when air is passing between your lenses and the skin about the eyes. Remember what I say about good sunglasses; you get what you pay for and you must demand quality!

Costa Del Mar

Facemask
 The latest fishing crazy for summer time is the face covers or buff’s. Wearing one of these means you can wear it as a face mask to skip the sun screen in your face. No smelly stuff on your wonderful bait any more. The stretchy, seamless microfiber polyester buff’s fabric comes in different patterns and looks. The material is designed to wick moisture at the surface for lightweight and comfortable protection from sun and wind. These buff's may be worn comfortably as a neckerchief, scarf, headband or balaclava. They are perfect for fishing, hiking, paddling and many other outdoor activities. All of them machine wash, and you should allow them to air dry before the next usage. Another reason to wear this item is the bugs. My last trip out night fishing with all those tiny little gnats/bugs started buzzing around and getting in my face, nose and eyes I was covered with my buff. More than anything I really like all the different ways you can wear them!

Additional Extras
The number #1 most important thing we all should not go to the lake without is a good-quality life jacket. I must admit, I never go fishing or even just boating without wearing it; I love my family too much. Remember if you every fall in with all the above on, you must be able to swim. A live vest should be worn on top of everything else it is really hardly noticeable, and it could save your life.  I would recommend looking at the Mustang Survival Competition Inflatable PFD Vest; this vest cost $289. This type of life jacket inflates only under hydrostatic pressure. Just buy the automatic inflatable type vest, there is no substitute. The competition version of this vest is stylish. It features a secure zip closure that can withstand rigorous activity; heavy duty coated nylon for increased durability, and is very lightweight, comfortable, and compact. It will keep you on top of the water long enough to allow yourself to get back in the boat. Attach your kill switch to your life vest any time your gas motor is running.

Wearing the right clothes is essential for anglers, as it's inevitable that you're going to be spending large amounts of time sitting around in the sun. Even when you're actively fishing, there isn't that much physical movement involved, so you can't rely on this to keep you cool, in the summer. Please dress with protection and safety in mind!

 

What I use & wear:

  • Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

http://www.drugstore.com/coppertone-sport-sunscreen-lotion-spf-50/qxp44855

  • Bass King – BassTech Sun shirt

http://www.basskingclothing.com/shop/performance/bass-king-basstech-short-sleeve-

  • World Wide Sportsman Blue Water Amphibious Shoes for Men – Olive
  •  
  • Crocs™ Modi Flip Sandal for Men – Black
  •  
  • Hats
  •  
  • Gloves
  •  
  • Sunglasses - Costa Rockport
  •  
  • Facemask - Buff
  •  
  • Life Jacket - Mustang Survival Competition Inflatable PFD Vest with HIT
  •  

 

About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a freelance outdoor writer, a full time Lieutenant/Firefighter-Paramedic with over 27+ years of service with the Gwinnett County Fire Service in Georgia and a part owner of Wave Away, LLC.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 17 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

Follow him on www.facebook.com/tombranchjr  and http://twitter.com/tombranchjr

Blog: http://outonalimbwithtombranchjr.blogspot.com/

 

0 Comments »

"What to Wear Fishing this HOT Summer”

 

"What to Wear Fishing this HOT Summer”

By Tom Branch, Jr.

 

Fishing in the summer can be fantastic, unless you choose the wrong clothing. For summer time fishing, you should be wearing clothing that will protect you from the dangers of the sun and still be comfortable fishing. The technology involved in creating a quality of summer clothing is incredible today. It wasn't too long ago that when I went fishing during the summer, I put on a baseball cap, tennis shoes, tee-shirt and blue jean shorts.  Back in the day there just wasn't the clothing available to fish comfortably and protect your skin as there is today. Manufacturers like Columbia, Simms, World Wide Sportsman and Bass King have created some excellent choices for the summer angler. Their clothing looks stylish and protects your skin from the dangerous UV rays put out by the sun, and it keeps you cool. In this article, I will go over what you should be looking for in good summer clothing while you are outside on the water or fishing from the bank. At the end of the article you will find some of the items I wear on the water in the summertime.


Sun Screen
Let’s start out by protecting your skin first. I like to use a sweat proof quality sunscreen that will bond to my skin on contact and won't run down my eyes and sting. You need to find a sunscreen that doesn't leave a greasy residue which could adversely affect your grip. Look for a formula make up that is oil free, hypoallergenic and waterproof. A good sunscreen should soak into your skin very quickly. I still have not been able to find a fragrance-free sunscreen for my sensitive skin, especially on my face and neck. In the summer time, I reapply my sunscreen every few hours. Two small suggestions, keep baby wipes in your boat for wiping your hands off after applying your sunscreen. Lastly, purchase new sunscreen every year, sunscreen does go bad.

Base Layers
A thin t-shirt should form your base layer while fishing in the summer. Try a specially treated 100% polyester fabric with 50+ UPF rating.  There are fabrics available out there that wick away moisture. My favorites are the fabrics that are made to be water repellent and stain resistant with anti-odor properties that will battle the outdoor elements alongside you. As this is the layer that will be directly next to your skin, it is important that the material can allow moisture to escape from your body. If sweat can dry on your skin, it can quickly make you feel cold.

bass king (Picture courtesy Bass King clothing)
Shirts
On top of this base layer, a top made from nylon will help to keep cool. Look for an ultra-quick-dry 100% nylon button up shirt that is light, breathable and has “Spills Technology” to ward off blood-and-guts stains. I chose the long-sleeve version because you can protect your arms and roll them out if needed. These style shirts are very cool to wear on the water. Many of them come with front/back ventilation that keeps air flowing even as the roll-up collar protects your neck from harsh UV rays. I prefer the muted grays and light blues instead of the bright color shirts. Remember when you are fishing shallow water you want to look like the sky. Light blues and grays blend the best, I call it sky camouflage. Many of the quality brand shirts now are offering an SPF factor to the shirt material. These shirts are quick drying and cool to wear in the hot weather.

Shorts
Long days on the water call for versatile clothes, and my preference are pants that have zip off legs like the convenient long pant style that convert to shorts. That way, I can have shorts on during the day and add the legs back on to the shorts if it gets cool on the return ride in the evening. Just like the shirt, listed above, remember to look at a stain resistance material. The short material has to have a minimum UPF 50+ sun protection. Wrinkle-resistant 100% nylon construction features allow these pants to travel in your luggage and still look good while on the water. My pants have to have plenty of pockets because I carry a lot of stuff on me when I am fishing. Now there are days when I just want to wear shorts and I leave the long pants on shore.

Shoes/Sandals
I have two shoes/sandals I wear when fishing in the summer, one is a flip flop and the other is a water shoe. Comfortable feet are a must when I am fishing. I want a lightweight sandal that has a soft foot bed. If you wear sandals, you want a flexible material, light weight and ventilated. The upper material should conform easily to your foot. If you want comfort on your feet, you must look forward to spending around $25. A quality product will also be UV-resistant, odor-resistant, slip-resistant and easy to clean. If I want to wear shoes fishing during the day, I wear a shoe that is made with waterproof materials. You want a shoe that will dry fast when it gets wet. My shoes have a drainage tunnel to remove water quickly from inside the shoe. That way, I am not sloshing around in my shoes, on the boat deck causing blisters on my feet. Try the shoes with elastic bungee lacing because you can pull them tight once they get wet and loose. Like any shoe on a boat, you want to have a non-slip and non-marking rubber outsole.

crocs (Picture courtesy of Crocs)

 

Hats
A hard hat liner might sound a bit unconventional, but it will keep your neck, ears and head warm in cold weather. In the summer, I wear a wide-brimmed hat on the water. This will guard against sunburn, overheating and overexposure to the sun. The preferred head covering is a wide bream hat, not a cap. Although the popular and seen-everywhere ball caps help some, a hat with a full brim is made to protect the head, face, neck and ears. Make sure the hat is made with a breathable material so your scrap can breathe. Keep in mind that water reflects the sun. It intensifies the effect of the rays, and even brings them up from the water surface to your face that is under a hat.

Gloves
Lots of anglers don't like wearing gloves while fishing, as it can make casting the rod and reeling in catches much more tricky. If you go on fishing boat trips, you'll probably want a pair though to keep your hands warm on the journey, before the actual fishing starts. However, in the summer time, you need protection on your hands. A few years ago, I had the chance to talk to Shaw Grigsby, and he told me once you had a skin cancer cell removed from your hand you will wear gloves all the time. The pain from the surgery is very bad, and it is so simple to put on a pair of gloves to protect you from the dangerous sun rays. The best gloves have a built-in UPF sun protection.


shaw (Picture courtesy of Strike King Fishing Lures)

Sunglasses
 This summer I am wearing the Costa Rockport sunglasses. They are their newest rimless sunglasses from Costa Del Mar. These sleek, sporty shades are unique with full eye coverage and lightweight fit, without compromising durability. The Rockport sunglasses offer thicker, wider temples to block light from entering from the sides. These glasses will make you forget they're on. I wear 100% polarized lens because they block yellow light from entering the eye which eliminates glare. I really like the Rockport sunglasses because they fit my face properly. If the sunglasses are correctly fitted, it will allow the lens to breathe around your eyes. More than anything, this will not allow the sunglasses not to fog up when air is passing between your lenses and the skin about the eyes. Remember what I say about good sunglasses; you get what you pay for and you must demand quality!

rockport (Picture courtesy of Costa Sunglasses)

Facemask
 The latest fishing crazy for summer time is the face covers or buff’s. Wearing one of these means you can wear it as a face mask to skip the sun screen in your face. No smelly stuff on your wonderful bait any more. The stretchy, seamless microfiber polyester buff’s fabric comes in different patterns and looks. The material is designed to wick moisture at the surface for lightweight and comfortable protection from sun and wind. These buff's may be worn comfortably as a neckerchief, scarf, headband or balaclava. They are perfect for fishing, hiking, paddling and many other outdoor activities. All of them machine wash, and you should allow them to air dry before the next usage. Another reason to wear this item is the bugs. My last trip out night fishing with all those tiny little gnats/bugs started buzzing around and getting in my face, nose and eyes I was covered with my buff. More than anything I really like all the different ways you can wear them!

Additional Extras
The number #1 most important thing we all should not go to the lake without is a good-quality life jacket. I must admit, I never go fishing or even just boating without wearing it; I love my family too much. Remember if you every fall in with all the above on, you must be able to swim. A live vest should be worn on top of everything else it is really hardly noticeable, and it could save your life.  I would recommend looking at the Mustang Survival Competition Inflatable PFD Vest; this vest cost $289. This type of life jacket inflates only under hydrostatic pressure. Just buy the automatic inflatable type vest, there is no substitute. The competition version of this vest is stylish. It features a secure zip closure that can withstand rigorous activity; heavy duty coated nylon for increased durability, and is very lightweight, comfortable, and compact. It will keep you on top of the water long enough to allow yourself to get back in the boat. Attach your kill switch to your life vest any time your gas motor is running.

Wearing the right clothes is essential for anglers, as it's inevitable that you're going to be spending large amounts of time sitting around in the sun. Even when you're actively fishing, there isn't that much physical movement involved, so you can't rely on this to keep you cool, in the summer. Please dress with protection and safety in mind!

 

What I use & wear:

·  Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

http://www.drugstore.com/coppertone-sport-sunscreen-lotion-spf-50/qxp44855

·  Bass King – BassTech Sun shirt

http://www.basskingclothing.com/shop/performance/bass-king-basstech-short-sleeve-

·        World Wide Sportsman Nylon Angler Shirts for Men - Long Sleeve http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsmanreg;-Nylon-Angler-Shirts-for-Men--Long-Sleeve/product/10231400/233891?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT

·   World Wide Sportsman Blue Water Amphibious Shoes for Men – Olive

http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsman-Blue-Water-Amphibious-Shoes-for-Men-Olive/product/11092205011633/262879

·   Crocs™ Modi Flip Sandal for Men – Black

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002JCSXN8/ref=asc_df_B002JCSXN82013602/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B002JCSXN8&linkCode=asn&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=658671395238336150&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

·    Hats

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FISHING-SUMMER-HAT-LONG-NECK-FLAP-3-BRIM-GRAY-/310410081295?pt=US_Hats&hash=item4845e1f40f#ht_500wt_1180

·    Gloves

http://www.basspro.com/Glacier-Glove-Abaco-Sun-Gloves/product/10215364/229994

·    Sunglasses - Costa Rockport

https://www.costadelmar.com/shop/sunglasses/rockport

·   Facemask - Buff

http://www.basspro.com/Limited-Edition-Bass-Pro-Shopsreg;-Largemouth-Bass-Buffreg;/product/10225011/130591?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT#description

·  Life Jacket - Mustang Survival Competition Inflatable PFD Vest with HIT

http://www.basspro.com/Mustang-Survival-Competition-Inflatable-PFD-Vest-with-HIT&153;-Model-MD3183-BC/product/98131/119097

 

About the author: Tom Branch, Jr. is a prostaffer for Bass Pro Shops in Atlanta, GA, a freelance outdoor writer, a full time Lieutenant/Firefighter-Paramedic with over 27+ years of service with the Gwinnett County Fire Service in Georgia and a part owner of Wave Away, LLC.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 17 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

 

Follow him on www.facebook.com/tombranchjr  and http://twitter.com/tombranchjr

 

Blog: http://outonalimbwithtombranchjr.blogspot.com/

 

0 Comments »

A Nawlin's Hillbilly at Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar ViewBig Cedar Lodge

 

 

 

 

Located between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians is a smaller mountain range called the Ozarks. It may not be as extensive as some of the others, but it has amazing limestone outcroppings with beautiful hollows filled with streams, lakes and abundant wildlife.

 

Big Cedar Lodge 02

 

Recently, I was chosen to attend Bass Pro Hunting University at Big Cedar Lodge located close to Branson, Missouri on Table Rock Lake. What a great setting to gain extensive knowledge, not only of the products that I sell at Bass Pro Shop, but also the proper application of the products of my passions, guns and hunting.Landscape

 

The accommodations were incredible. We had two large king sized beds, cable TV, Jacuzzi tub, private balcony and plenty of room. The full housekeeping service included turn down service. There was no store bought mint on your pillow, but instead a gourmet hand baked ginger snap cookie made with real butter. How do I know this? I got the recipe! At Big Cedar Lodge, you are always given more than expected. Admittedly, we did not spend much time in our rooms, but boy were they nice! Each room featured rustic real wood beautifully carved features. The lodge also has private cabins available with coach service only a phone call away. They will bring you anywhere on the property and you don’t need a vehicle.

 Big Cedar Conference Center

All of you who have ever been in a Bass Pro Shop store know about the fantastic dioramas and taxidermy that they display. It is no less amazing at Big Cedar Lodge. Even the metal recycle bins are made to look like tree stumps. The convention center has two levels with tall, long corridors with massive chandeliers, lots of windows, and a gigantic stone fireplace in the lobby. Next to the stair well is a grove of two story tall cedar trees with a turkey roosting in it. Special touches are everywhere possible.Lodge Lobby

 

There are lots of outdoor activities available including biking, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding and photography. There is a fitness center, mini golf, a kids club and massages on the premises. Open air tram tours are available in nearby Dogwood Nature Park. A marina with restaurant and bar stays open late for that special unwinding time that some folks need after a long fun filled day. Again, coach service is available, even at night.

 

Any great occasion needs good food to go along with it. Well, there was no shortage of delicious gourmet food! Every meal had plenty to choose from meats, vegetables, salads, and of course those scrumptious deserts! There were usually two special deserts to choose from at each meal. It is rare to find a place using real wholesome ingredients. While we were there, several other groups had meetings along with ours. There was room enough for all of us, including a future bride doing a taste testing for her wedding cake. Even though Big Cedar Lodge is grand enough for a wedding (and I imagine the pictures would be incredible), it is intimate enough for a romantic getaway with those fantastically decorated rooms, large Jacuzzi tubs, and gourmet food. Big Cedar Lodge is a good fit for any occasion.

This place has it all.

 Big CedarBig Cedar 3

2 Comments »

Bed Fishing

Ahhhh springtime, temperatures are consistently warm, trees are in full bloom, and love is in the air.  Scratch that, love is in the water. From Banner Marsh to Spring lake and every strip mine in between, the fish have been smashing baits in the shallows for the past month because it’s spawning time.    It’s the time of year when you’re going down a nice stretch of bank and all the sudden you freeze because you realize your boat just rolled up on a big mamma bass sitting on a bed and you try desperately to cast to her but can’t seem to get her to bite.  There are times when an inexperienced angler can catch a spawning largemouth, but not every fish can be fooled that easily, so I am going to talk about some important keys to remember while bed fishing.

                 Being patient is the number one factor in sight fishing.  It might take one cast or one hundred casts to get that fish to bite.  While making your casts also understand that is important to keep as much distance between you and the fish as you can. It is much easier to catch fish that aren’t aware of your presence. Always keep the sun to your back to reduce glare and so you have optimum view of the water.  Moving quietly, keeping a low profile, and keeping sudden body movements to a minimum are also very important.  A bass’s eyes are on top of its head and they are very aware of things above them.

                As for actual boat control and technique there are also some things to think about.  Keep the trolling motor on a very low speed and avoid using it unnecessarily. Making a cast before the fish knows you’re there is one of the biggest keys to getting it to bite quickly.  If you spook a big female off a bed, leave the area, comeback later and make a long cast past the bed, then drag your bait into the bed.  Don’t fish too fast. Many anglers put the bait in the bed, shake it a few times, and pull it out. It might work sometimes but other times by doing that you can educate the fish because it just thinks the bait is just going to leave quickly so why mess with it. Keep it there as long as you can and stay persistent.

                Study the fish and be choosy. One of the most common questions people ask is “how much time do I spend on one fish”. There is no right answer, but what I found to be the most successful is to determine the “catchability” of the fish early. What I mean by this is if you cast to or approach a fish and it takes off quickly and does not come back immediately, chances are it’s going to be tough to catch. If the fish does not leave the bed when it sees you, chances are you can catch it. Oh yeah, don’t invest a lot of time when you see a male and female rubbing on one another because, well let’s face it,  they are doing the business and it doesn’t matter how much glitter you got on your bait, they aren’t buying it. Speaking of glitter and bait let’s get to the good stuff.  Keep a variety on the deck; you don’t have to go crazy. My favorite baits to go to battle with the spawners are Bass Pro Shops lizards, Bass Pro Shops Flippin TubesBass pro Shops tubes, and Strike King Rage craws.Strike King Craw If the water is stained I like to throw all white colors because I can see the bait and sometimes bright colors will trigger a bite. When the water is clear I like to stay with watermelon or green pumpkin colors.

                Tricking a big spawner into biting your lure will test your patience if not your nerves. If you practice these keys you will put a few more shadows of the shallows in your boat. Remember to put them back if you want to catch them again. Good luck on the water. 

Chad Fargher,  Bass Pro Shops Fishing Lead

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Kayaks

Imagine it’s the weekend or holidays and you are finally at the lake, but you are still tense and are awake way too early. Quietly you get out of bed (or your sleeping bag) and head outside. Standing in the stillness you inhale the fresh air and take in the mist that rises over the glass-like water. It’s cool but light as the sun starts to make it’s journey in the sky. The only sounds are the birds and water gently lapping against the shore. The serenity of the moment begins to work on all the muscles that you’ve been holding tense all week (or all month.. all year). You feel all tension slipping away. As your soul begins to recharge you head to the beach where your kayak waits patiently. Once your pfd is donned, the kayak is carefully placed into the water. There is a slight wobble as you climb in. Grasping your paddle in both hands you head off. Destination... relaxation. As you paddle around the lake you see the world through new eyes as your soul is filled with peace.

Does that sound idyllic?

Maybe it’s time to start looking into adding kayaking as a new addition to your life. Kayaks are not only great exercise but they allow you to go to different lakes or rivers. You don’t need a cottage or a weekend at a campground. Just pack a lunch and snacks, a few little essentials and just head to a local lake for a couple hours of stress relief.

At the Bass Pro Shops Vaughan location, we carry three different lines of Kayaks; Ascend, Old Town and Malibu (new this year). To keep things from getting too overwhelming I will focus on the Ascend line.

All Ascend kayaks are made of high density polyethylene, which is a very tough plastic. The Ascend Kayaks are a little wider then other kayaks which allows for more stability and comfort.

The first model is a budget friendly, basic beginner level kayak called the A10. At 9’10” long, 28.5” wide and weighing only 44 pounds this kayak will suit most people. It comes with a removable steel framed mesh seat and storage area with a bungee support that will hold a 36 quart cooler.

Second in line is the D10. This kayak has the same dimensions as the A10 but has added features; foot braces, a removable steel frame padded seat, cushioned thigh pads and covered stern-well that will hold a 36 quart cooler.

Next we have the D12. Stretching out a full 12 feet, this 74 pound kayak has a specialized hull design for speed, better load carrying, easy paddling and good handling in rougher waters. It comes with foot braces, two storage areas (including a dry well), 5” deck plate storage hatch for small items like your wallet, fishing license, cell-phone and keys, and bungee system to keep all your gear with you.

If you are an angler you will love the next three models in the Ascend line.

The FS10 is one of our most popular kayaks. It’s 10’2” length is perfect for most anglers. The wide cockpit allows for greater movement and stability. There are two flush rod mount holders and a fully adjustable rod tender (I don’t fish but the guys in the fishing department assure me this is a good thing to have). There are also two 4” cleats for anchoring a fish bucket or stringer. Dual bungee paddle keepers and a comfortable seat make this kayak a great choice for anglers who want to go to those tucked away places.

Next we have the FS12. This 12 foot beauty is full of great features; integrated rod storage tube, full tackle rod tender on the starboard side and two rod holders behind the seat. It also has an adjustable anchor system, foot braces, cushioned thigh pads, 5” deck plate storage hatch, two big storage areas (one covered one dry) and a very comfortable seat.

Finally, we have the only sit on kayak in the Ascend line; the FS12T. This 68 pound kayak has an ultra stable hull for maximum comfort, stability and maneuverability. It has a molded five position foot rest and padded seat for comfort. There are also two flush rod mount rod holders, full tackle rod tender, two storage areas and a catch all tray.

If you want to do a bit of research on all the kayaks we carry you can check out our US website www.basspro.com or the other two brands we are pleased to carry; Old Town and Malibu.

The models of Old Town we carry are; Endeavour, Excursion (the only tandem one we carry), Heron 9XT, Heron 11XT, Scrambler and Rush. At this time we only carry two models of the Malibu line; Stealth 9 and X13.

If you prefer to have company when you meander around the lake you might want to look at canoes instead. The Old Town canoes start with the 3 person 14’ 6” Saranac then move into the 14’ Rockport and Rogue River. We also have a 16’ Saranac and 15’4” Rogue River square back.

If you like even more company we have the 17’ aluminum Osagian by Osage.

If you think kayaking or canoeing sounds like it might be a good fit for you, visit our Vaughan store and check out our selection (the majority of boats are outside but we do have a few inside). If you have any questions about kayaking, canoeing or camping in general please see one of the camping associates.

Happy Paddling!

Melanie

Camping Department

Bass Pro Shops

Vaughan, Ontario

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Say Good Night To Foot Pain.....

 

 

REEF

 

 With the Reef Dream.....keep your feet in bed all day.  These flip flops are designed to say Good Night to foot pain and hello to comfortable feet.  A simple yet cute design makes these shoes even more perfect.  They are offered in a variety of colors, such as hot pink and black, charcoal and aqua, black and black, brown and brown, and white and brown.  They are designed for maximun comfort and have some A-W-E-S-O-M-E features, rubber sponge outsole for flezibility, PVC free, matress-inspired quilted foam footbed with anatomical arch support, and synthetic strap lined with soft padded satin. All these features alone make this the perfect shoe, but then you add in the super cute design, and versitiliy.....you can dress casual with a un buttoned plaid shirt, tank top or cami, and some shorts, jeans and a t-shirt or tank top, use the with a swimsuit cover and swimsuit, shower shoes for the ship or summer camp, or grab the less colorful black and black or brown and brown and throw them on with some slacks and look professional and cute with extra comfort all at the same time.

When these first came to us here at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, all I saw was flip flops.....which are my favorite type of shoes of all time, they are simple to slip on, show off your cute pedicured toes, and can be dressed up or dressed down, but after realizing they were Reefs I definitely needed a pair or two.  I couldn't decide between the black and black or the hot pink and black, but I went ahead and took my amazing fiancee's advice and got the black on black because they would match anything.  It wasn't five minutes after I got off work and to my jeep that I had them on.  Now, I have a lot of shoes but some get worn a lot more than others, especially with me having ankle issues and super high archs.....I HATE when my feet hurt, but these shoes were liek walking on air.  Needless to say when I returned to work I had to get the hot pink and black pair because once I find a super comfortable shoe that I love I have to snag a couple pairs.....because when my feet are happy, I'm happy but when my feet are sore then I'm not happy.

So swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let one of our awesome footwear associates help you find a pair of summer shoes that will make your feet say sweet dreams to foot pain.

 



 

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