Letters to Santa - Family and Friends

More thoughtful letters from Santa's Wonderland, now on their way to the North Pole!


Thank you for helping all the kids have a wonderful Christmas! I would like for all the world to have a blessed day. And a ukelele and a computer.



I like the presents you have gave me a lot of year. Thank you. I like that you have gave children happiness in their hearts. I been good this year.



I really want an iPhone for Christmas and my mom to win the lottery. I love Christmas, it's my favorite holiday. I enjoy taking a picture with you.



All I want for Christmas is to be with my family.



I want a 4-wheeler. I want to spend Christmas with my family. I love you!



Please bring my baby brother a gun and fishing pole for him to hunt with dad when he gets bigger.




Last, but not least:

I want everyone to stop bulling each other. I also want you to give yourself a big pat on the back. You are doing an amazing thing by furthering these kids' imagination. You are a wonderful person!



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Learning to Nymph Fish

As my three-fly setup drifted across stream, I mended the line, freeing my flies from the pull of the current, and I watched the end of my leader approach the big, underwater boulder, behind which, I was sure there was a monster trout waiting.  I thought back…to my introduction to nymph fishing…to the day I met an old man who was fishing nymphs, and catching fish after fish…that was forty years ago, at least…and I was trying to catch trout on a dry fly, on a cold November morning…

An old man taught me to nymph fish.  I remember that the leader setup that he used, though new to me then, was traditional, borrowed from a time decades before that day.  The old timer fished a “cast” of three flies at once, and all three were size 8.  This “two dropper setup” was old school, even back then, but since the river we were fishing was a stone fly river, the size 8s were good stone fly imitations.  He would cast across and slightly upstream, quickly and skillfully mending his line, and watching for what he described as a “twitch” that would indicate a bite, or “take”, as his flies moved down stream, drifting with the current. 

The old man hooked up frequently.  When I tried this technique, I could neither see nor feel the twitch.  I became frustrated as he continued to catch trout, and I continued, to stumble along, fishless.  I slowed down, and tried to figure out what I was doing wrong.  We stopped, for lunch, and I voiced my frustrations.  “Patience is a virtue”, I was told, “Rome, was not built in a day”, I was told.  

As we sat down with our lunch, at the edge of the stream, our waders on, feet in the water, the old man reached over and grabbed a hand full of watercress, shook the stream water off, and put it on his ham sandwich.  How cool was that!  I now know that he was risking giardia, by not rinsing off his greenery in fresh water, but, at that time, I thought it was great that he could add to his lunch in such a manner!

After lunch we parted, and I secretly followed him upstream, stopping as he stopped, watching each of his casts, concentrating each time his line drifted downstream, watching him hook up and land several fish.  Suddenly it dawned on me that he may not have seen each take.  He might have been keying on spots where the fish should be, and just lifting his rod when his flies drifted over each fishy-looking spot.  If a fish had eaten one of the flies, he set the hook.  Could it be that simple?  

I stepped out from behind a tree near the bank.  “Aha!” I said to the startled old timer.  I explained to him what I thought he was doing.  “Guilty as charged,” he responded.  Trout have traditional holding lies that match up with the features of each segment of a stream.  Each part of a stream offers different feeding and resting areas, and an angler who knows where these areas are, can follow the old man’s example, and hook up with trout all day long!

This technique works very well, and it makes the angler using it look like an expert.  Now, there must be an understanding of where the trout are, and the rigging must be correct, but if all is right, this is a very efficient way to catch trout in a stream.  I’ve adopted this method, and it is a delightful way to fish a stream!

Steve Fritz

Bass Pro Shops

White River Outpost

Tracker Boat Sales





Table Rock & Bull Shoals Fishing Report - December, 2014

The suspended jerk bait bite is working now!  Black bass, suspended in the water column at a depth that offers both comfortable temperature and oxygen level, will attack a lure that looks like a shad in distress.  Present the imitation above the suspended bass, and employ a jerk and wait retrieve.  The longer the wait, between jerk retrieves, the better, as this allow the fish to react and attack.   Most suspended jerk baits are made to be cranked down to a certain level in the water column, usually 2-12 ft., depending on the bait. 

Also working now is the Alabama rig, on which many anglers have caught more than one fish on a single cast!!!  Ask a fishing associate about this rig, how to fish it, and how to rig it.  Take a rig home, and try it out on the lake.  You will not be sorry you did.  These rigs make excellent stocking stuffers!!!


Spinner baits are working now.  Try a1/2oz. double willow blade spinner bait, especially on any windy or rainy day.  Natural shad colors are working well. 


There is a jig bite now.  Crawfish spend most of their time on the bottom.  A crawfish imitation needs to move slowly, from behind one rock, to the next rock.  Right now, bass are from 4-35ft. deep, either in the backs of coves, or off or next to, main lake and secondary points.  Try a 1/4 to 5/8oz. round head jig, brown or green pumpkin in color, and add a trailer, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, or cinnamon purple.  Add scent to your jigs.



Try a drop shot rig.  Ask a fishing associate how to rig for this drop shot bite, and ask what the current best bait is.  This technique works well, on suspended fish!  You can also fish this drop shot rig like a finesse Carolina rig, by casting it out and retrieving it the same way you would a Carolina rig.      


 Do not pass up any main lake point that looks good to you, during this time of the year, since fish congregate on and around these points, looking for shad and crawfish. 


Slow fishing, employing a finesse Caroline rig, jig and trailer, tube, square billed crank bait, or other bait which will work in the medium depth of a deeper cove flat or secondary flat, will pay off.


Black bass can be harder to find during this transition time of the year.  Keep looking, though, and you can find a group of hungry fish! 


                          They are out there waiting for you!!!


                               Good Luck and Good Fishing!



Letters to Santa - From the Heart

Our Letters to Santa continue!


I think I want a trip to the North Pole and more Monster High stuff and for everybody at the North Pole to have a Merry Christmas and a trip to Mexico and a pontoon and a Elf on the Shelf!




I've been good. I would like anything but girl stuff.




Do you have a brother or sister and how old are you? Also, what does your wife look like and one last thing is Rudolph real or not and is Rudolph a boy or girl? Do you know the tooth fairy? Is Jack Frost real?




Why is the North Pole so cold? I would like a monkey for Christmas, please. Am I on the good list?




Thank you for seeing me at Bass Pro. We had a long chat. Since you haven't see Frozen, you should. It is a good movie.




Last, but not least:

You are the nicest. Who has more Christmas spirit than you? You are the best Santa ever and nicest Santa ever.



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Wall Art - A Great Gift Idea for Any Age

A great gift idea for someone is a beautiful piece of art for their walls.  You can go classic with fish, deer, elk, and ducks.  You can also get modern, yet rustic.  I am a firm believer that anything can work when you like something well enough. 

The Big Sky Carvers Shadow Box Art is very modern, but with a lodge and rustic feel to it.  You can pick from bear, wolf, moose, elk, or a series of three bears.  Very unique it would fit in a camp or traditional home.

















The Holy Shed Antler Cross gives you a chance to show your faith in a natural and unique way.

















If you want a cross with a bold look, take a glimpse at the Big Sky Carvers Faux Wall Cross. 













New to Bass Pro Shops this year, IMAX has come out with a realistic rustic and modern looking antlers.  The McDaniel Aluminum Antlers or the Marshall Aluminum Antlers give your home a daring and naturalistic look.


































Two pictures that are perfect for the fisherman or hunter is the Live to Hunt Box Art or Live to Fish Box Art.  Both pictures will fit in any home regardless of the style.















If classic is your style, take a  look at all the beautiful wall art we have.  Just one of the artists we carry are from Northern Promotions.  They have attractive outdoor pictures of cardinals, deer, ducks and more . Each picture is framed with a rich mat.







So stop on by or shop from the comfort of your own home.  I bet you will find the right picture for that person you have been looking for, as well as treat yourself .


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator



Outdoor Cooking Primer - Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings

This is another one of those recipes I've had tucked away (originally from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food). PERFECT for a Sunday afternoon football feed, or after a day outdoors, or feeding tired, cold hunters because it has some zest to it!

The nice thing about this is you can do so much of it ahead of time, like chopping the veggies. The only difficult part is cutting the boneless skinless chicken thighs and that's not even really that hard...just slimy!

It does have two can or bottles of pilsner or a light lager...I just used a couple of light beers that were in the fridge. I also used a quart jar of home-canned tomatoes...always better!

You'll want to use a good sturdy pot with a tight lid or a nice enameled Dutch oven. Enjoy!

Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 1/2 lbs), cut into 1" pieces. (I used 8 thighs so it was extra meaty!)
Coarse salt and ground pepper (I used a course ground pepper blend and garlic powder)
1/2 bunch scallions, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 bottles pilsner or light-medium bodied lager (12 ounces each) (or two full-bodied but light beers)
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
1 to 2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with lid, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high. Season chicken with salt, pepper blend, and garlic powder, add to pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl. Then in the pot add 2 tbsp butter, scallions, bell pepper, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions and celery are soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in thyme and flour and season with salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Return chicken to pot and whisk in beer. Roughly tear the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pot along with the juices. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes. Season to taste with a little red-wine vinegar.

Reduce heat to a medium simmer and drop dough by rounded tablespoons on top of stew. Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, 7-10 minutes.

Cornmeal Dumpling Dough

2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, work in the butter until small crumbs form. Stir in buttermilk.


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Trout Season - Awesome Micro Lite Spinning Trout Rods

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Spinning Trout Rods -  Regional Parks, private lakes and local lakes are stocking trout so there's no better time to visit Bass Pro Shops and purchase this rod for the upcoming trout season. The Micro Lite Rod features a lightweight graphite blank with real solid carbon tip sections for incredible sensitivity and toughness. These rods range from 3’6” to 8’6”. Available in travel rods, also. The travel rods break down into three pieces and come with a free case.

Visit the following link for specific line ratings and specific actions of these rods. http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Micro-Lite-Graphite-Spinning-Rod/product/10204875/ Fillet Table With Accessories.

These tables feature a sink and a area to fillet your fish. Also these tables will also feature two fillet knives, a pair of gloves and a knife sharpener for free. These fillet tables will have limited quantities at our store. This is one buy that you do not want to miss. Visit Rancho Cucamonga’s Bass Pro Shops website for further information.


Rockin' and Reelin' It: Gold Cup Combo-style!  That’s right Rock Fish are in season and it’s time to come visit Bass Pro Shops and purchase the Gold Cup Combo. This combo features a Gold Cup Level Wind Reel that has 22lbs of Drag. With line capacity of 410 yards of 30lb test,  this reel can handle any of your bottom fishing needs. The rod is a one-piece solid glass bank and features both a roller stripper and roller tip to aid of letting pressure of your line as your fishing in deep water. The rod also features a gimball seat for those anglers who use a fighting belt. This combo is a great buy at $99.99.


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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Local Heroes and Santa

Santa's hours in Santa's Wonderland have been extended and he is now here on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m.!

The craft this weekend is the Santa Bobber ornament!



December 7-24 Santa's Wonderland Hours








Sunday, December 14 - Local Heroes Night!

It's a special night just for our local heroes and their families! Law enforcement, fire fighters, emergency personnel, military personnel, active duty, and veterans are invited to bring their families and join us from 7-10 p.m.!










Only a couple of weeks left to donate to the Warm Kids campaign! Bring your new item donations of hats, gloves/mittens, and boots to the store lobby. All donations are given to the Southeast Polk School District elementary counselors to distribute among the schools.

Help Keep our Kids Warm!


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Who Else Wants an Awesome Crazy Flying Rubber Chicken Game!?

Crazy Flying Rubber Chicken Game! FLICKIN CHICKEN! What is crazier than a game where you toss rubber chickens onto a target? This is a great game to have fun and just laugh with friends and family! Flickin Chicken is similar to golf. Flickin chicken allows you to toss 4 rubber chickens to land on a target disc. After 9 rounds, the LOWEST score wins! But be careful… the chicken bounce, roll, and flop! The Flickin Chicken game comes with 4 uniquely colored rubber chickens, target disc, and score keeper cards. This game is more 2 or more players and recommended for ages 6 and up. Flickin Chicken is a tailgate toss game great for outdoor parties, picnics, camping, or tailgating! This would be a perfect gift to give to friends or family for the holidays. Stop by Bass Pro Shops today and find out what it’s all about!

Available for sale in our gifts section and in Santa's Wonderland.

click the link to find out more.






Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Apple Bread Pudding

This wonderful bread pudding is sure to warm the bellies of hunters, kids playing out in the cold, or simply add more goodness to your holiday tables!  Here are a few things to note about the recipe:

  • I used a baguette and it was the perfect amount. Make it a day old at least.
  • I used Johngold apples and the toughest part of this recipe was shredding the apples on a grater without shredding my knuckles!
  • The recipe called for 1 cup fat-free egg product, but I went all out and used four eggs!
  • You can use low fat sweetened condensed milk, if you wish.

Slow Cooker Apple Bread Pudding

6 cups crusty bread, such as French bread or a baguette, cut into 1/2" pieces.
2 medium-sized tart apples, peeled, cored and shredded
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 cup fat-free plain yougurt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup apple juice

Coat the inside of a six-quart slow cooker with a non-stick spray. Add the bread pieces to the cooker. Distribute the shredded apple on top of the bread. Then sprinkle the raisins and chocolate chips over all of that.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, water, condensed milk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the slow cooker, pressing down with a spatula to make sure the bread gets completely moistened by the liquid.

Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on low or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Check the pudding after three hours and continue to cook for increments of 10-15 minutes until it's done.

Top the bread pudding with a yogurt sauce made by whisking the yogurt, sugar, apple juice, and remaining pumpkin pie spice.


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A Simple Guide to safe firearms class

Straight Shooters - So a few weeks ago I received an invite from Mike Duffy to try out an SGI - Defensive Pistol Craft I course. Mike is the founder and Chief Operations Officer of Solutions Group International (SGI).

Here's an excerpt taken from their website to help give an idea of who they are..."Solutions Group International (SGI) was created to provide Specialized Security Services, Law Enforcement & Military Tactical Training, Threat Matrix & Vulnerability Assessments, Leading-edge Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Applications, and Investigations to the Law Enforcement, Military, Entertainment & Film Industry, Security, Government, and Corporate Sectors worldwide."

Their website also gives you a list of their instructors and their qualifications. Reading through their bios, it's quick to see that they are simply the best-of-the-best. I was personally sold knowing that they primarily train Military and Law Enforcement agencies. The eight hour course was held at Prado Shooting Park in Chino on a private portion of the range known as Condor 2. The day started with introductions from the three man training team and an overview of what we were in store for. The instructor cadre consisted of George Holt (SGI President), Grant Reynolds, and Marty Higuera. Being an introductory class into Defensive Pistol shooting, we started with the basics. Even after all the shooting I've done, there's still something to learn and get refreshed on after all my time on the range. We started by reviewing the 4 rules of firearms safety, core marksmanship skills and techniques, proper reloading, stance, and a few other topics to ensure even a true beginner was up to speed with the basic knowledge needed for the day.

Now you may be thinking that you are an above average pistol shooter and this introductory class is below you; well think again. The SGI crew did a great job of tailoring their instruction to each student as the day progressed. They moved down the line during live fire drills giving each student tips based on their individual needs and skills. At no point did I feel like I was being held back by the other students who may have had a slower learning curve. I was being pushed to draw quicker and shoot faster. Grant said something like, "Push yourself to the breaking point where you fail to produce the results you're looking for." He's basically saying that if you only do what you're comfortable with, you will never get any better. Because of this, we constantly tried to shoot quicker and faster.

The live-fire portion of the day had many different drills incorporated into it. This included shooting from 3 yards from the hip when you don't have time for proper sight alignment, drawing and placing two center mass, failure to stop drills consisting of two center mass and one to the head, target transition drills, shooting from farther distances, shooting on the move and proper foot placement while moving, and multiple engagement drills. There was always something to keep you on your toes. The intensity the instructors brought kept a high level of motivation to the line and a feeling of not wanting to let them down. I had a great time and am looking forward to their next class in the series of the 6 Defensive Crafts courses they offer.

Mike and his crew run a top-of-the-line company and offer some amazing courses. I will definitely be coming back for a future pistol course and probably take some of their others as well. I encourage you to pull up their website and take a look at their list of courses and instructors.


The $225 course includes 300 rounds of ammo and a $25 Bass Pro Shops gift card. This is a really good price for the 8-hour course that includes 300 rounds of whatever ammo you want to shoot.




Fall Apparel Must Haves

When the weather starts to change and the leaves begin to fall it is time for some more practical clothes for the new season. As the nights begin to get colder and the days become shorter finding something that is warm and fashionable is always a must. So here are some outfits for the family that will make this fall comfortable and fun!

For the guys, the fall wardrobe is wide open and just about anything that is warm and can stand up to the punishing weather changes is practical. For many guys a nice set of jeans and a flannel button up is the way to go for the fall. Something like the Ascend Denim Jeans for Men paired with the RedHead Fleece-Lined Flannel Shirt for Men, this combo is great for colder weather while still looking great during a night out on the town. The flannel shirt lets guys roll their sleeves during the warmer part of the day then during the colder night roll down the sleeves for a more comfortable evening. These jeans on the other hand are comfortable in almost any weather and in just about any conditions the fall season can throw at you.

RH Mens FleeceAscend Jeans

For the younger boys in the family something like the Bass Pro Shops Camo Cargo Pants for Boys with Carhartt Hunting is My Sport Fleece Hoodie for Boys. This combo keeps boys warm while holding up to the rough and tumble of outdoor play in the fall.

Boys Carhartt HoodieBoys Camo Pants

For the ladies in the fall anything that keeps the body warm and is comfortable enough to walk around the block in works well. So a nice set of jeans with a nice sweater and comfortable undershirt is comfortable and looks great. A good outfit would be the Natural Reflections Contrast Embroidery Slim Bootcut Jeans for Ladies paired with the Ascend Sweater Knit Hoodie for Ladies. The great thing about this outfit is that just about any kind of shoe or boot comfortably fits into a set like this. Just like the guys this light sweater allows the wearer to roll the sleeves during the day while it is warm and then in the evening to roll the sleeves down and button up the sweater for a warmer fit during the evening. Also the pair is comfortable in just about any weather and temperature fall can dish out on any given year. For the younger girls, the must haves are similar to the boys. These clothes need to be comfortable and tough to put up with a lot of running and climbing in the outdoors in the chilly air.

Ascend sweater hoodieNR Slim Bootcut Jeans

Another good option for the ladies would be Natural Reflections Flannel-Lined Jeans paired with Bass Pro Shops Applique Hoodie. This set will keep ladies comfortable and warm while still being able to keep up with everyone outdoors.

BPS HoodieFleece Lined Jeans

There are many different body types and body temperatures. Some people like to wear shorts and a t-shirt through the cold months of fall while others like to keep their heavy coat on all day and night. These are just some ideas on the types of different combinations of warm and rugged clothing that go well with the fall colors and are comfortable enough to wear on an outing without having to worry about the cold. Remember that sweaters for the ladies are always in and for the guys a little flannel can be warmer than a jacket on a chilly evening. As always happy hunting and good luck!

Check out this blog post from last year about apparel for cold weather! http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-springfield-mo/apparel-for-cold-weather


More Letters to Santa - Siblings

Brothers, sisters...Christmas is the time of year when we convince Santa how good we've really been because of, or in spite of, our interactions with those relatives!


Dear Santa:

My name is Leo and I love Christmas. I really like cars. It would be awesome if you made me one of your cars. I haven't been naughty at all this year. Me and my little brother Noah get along great and love toy cars and I wish you can make us one!

If you would please, get me a whole bunch of Ninja Turtle stuff. My brother Sam and I have been good Ninjas this year. We've been hard training, too.

My name is Devin. I will be good so you can come to my house and I will be nice to my two sisters.

My name is Skylar. I hope you can come to my house. I will try to be nice to my two sisters and be good.



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The Gift of Light

Do you know someone who loves the outdoors?  How about someone who has a lake house?  You want to get them something very special, but you want it to mean something for years to come.  Here at Bass Pro Shop we believe quality counts.  If you are going to spend your hard earned money, we want you to really love what you are buying.  Whether you,  or the person you are buying for lives on the water in the woods or in a city; the lodge look is popular and cozy.  Take a look at some of the interesting lamps we have here and see if one of them rings a bell for someone you think alot of at Christmas time.

New this year from IMAX is the Radburn Jute-Wrapped Wine Jug Lamp.  Neutral coloring, this lamp would look great in a kitchen, office, living room or den.






































New and unique are the words for the GuildMaster Wood Cylinder Lamp.  Distressed white finish, this lamp can decorate any room.




































Perfect for a office or lake house take a look at the Fishing Lure Table Lamp.  This lamp has a detailed base with fishing lure accents.



















New from IMAX is the Farland Green Glass with Jute Table Lamp.  The color green is beautiful and would be nice in a den, or bedroom.




































If the woods are calling you, take a look at the Big Sky Carvers Faux Antler Lamp.  This lamp has a hand hammered copper shade.  At the base are intertwined faux antlers.  Handsome and rustic!




















Cozy is a word I would describe the Autumn Light Table Lamp.  This lamp glows at the base at night.  It has a 4 way switch and a amber bronze finish.































Always a popular lamp, is the Boat Motor Table Lamp.  This whimsical lamp is a sure conversation starter.

















The Oil Lantern Table Lamp has a nightlight inside the lantern.  Made of resin and glass it gives a soothing atmosphere at night
























Two lamps in one describes the Hidden Path Twin Arm Table Lamp.  Metal and wood with a silver bronze finish.  The shade is metal and linen with a woodland trail look.  Handsome, yet chic.











Do you know someone with a country kitchen?  New this year from IMAX is the Lexington Mason Jar Pendant Light Set.  Green tinted bubble glass jars with a vintage style bulb.  These lights are unique, cute and worth looking in to.

















So consider looking at the lamps we have here at Bass Pro Shop.  Something different and unique yet beautiful, and not everyone has these.



Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator






Santa's Wonderland Hours Extended

In an effort to see as many children as possible, Santa has extended his hours during the day at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!


Starting Monday, Dec. 7, Santa is here from 10 a.m. -8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Remember, you must have a Bass Pass to see Santa. This free pass alleviates those long waits in line to see Santa. Once the wait in line hits 30 minutes, we start handing out Bass Passes. This pass holds a virtual spot in line for you, which allows you to enjoy Santa's Wonderland and shop until your designated time arrives. We ALWAYS use the Bass Pass on weekends.

Best advice? Come early and during the week to possible have shorter wait times. #santaswonderland

Free Crafts

Our ornament crafts continue! This week's craft is this adorable foam bird ornament on December 7, then our Santa bobber ornament Monday, Dec. 8-14.

Free crafts are available from noon-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 5-7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Craft hours remain the same through Dec. 23 and change on the 24th.

Free Games and Activities

The free games and activities are always available during store hours, including the remote controlled trucks, and foam shooting ranges, as well as the toy shop and great yummy goodies to buy!

For complete details and times visit www.basspro.com/santa


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Countdown to Christmas

We are counting down to Christmas this year at Bass Pro Shops!! Starting December 13, our Countdown to Christmas Giveaway will begin!

This year each store will give away one Xbox One bundle plus one additional Xbox controller on December 19 and December 24 for the First Place Prize. Additionally, one Grand Prize Winner will be selected from among all in-store and online entries each week as well. That lucky winner will be eligible to win a 2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6! Be sure to come in and enter both weeks to be eligible for prizes.

Good Luck to everyone!!


Letters to Santa 2014

Once again letters to Santa from children visiting Santa's Wonderland. We just borrowed them to look them over and then sent them on their way to the North Pole!  Enjoy!



Can I have an Elf on the Shelf to watch my brother, please. He needs one. I want a girl to come...




How are you? Is the weather cold? So have a great year!

Love, Sam

PS: Can you get me a snake book?



You are so thoughtful for giving us what we wanted instead of what we need. So I will give you the present instead. You are so nice to us so we should treat you with kindness. So, what kind of cookies? Let me guess - sugar cookies. Please write back.

Hope (the girl with the sister with the glasses and blond hair)



Dear Santa,

I want a dog that can help people that are blind.

Love, Ava

(We hope you get one, Ava!)


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Fishy Facts: Smallmouth Bass

You all remember that one younger kid on the playground, that no matter how hard they tried they could not get out of the shadow of their “big brother”? Yeah. Sometimes I wonder if that is how smallmouth bass feel when compared to largemouth bass. Think about it, largemouth bass has made modern fishing tournaments what it is. Look at any associate’s polo at your local Bass Pro Shops and that is definitely not a smallmouth embroidered on their shirt. So what’s the deal? Are they not as good as the largemouth? Does everyone expect the smallmouth to go to community college while the largemouth gets in on a full ride scholarship? Nay says I! The smallmouth bass is one of the most fun fish to catch and should be respected just as much as the largemouth bass. So that’s why this month it is the star of our Fishy Facts blog.

The smallmouth bass is a freshwater fish, considered a member of the sunfish family. Its true home is with the other black basses (including the largemouth). They are a prized sport-fish due to their strength and intriguing patterns. They can grow up to 27 inches and weight close to 12 pounds.

Because many anglers enjoy these fish, they have been stocked in non-native areas for game. Anglers have many nicknames for these fish including: smallmouth, smallie, bareback bass, brown bass, bronzeback, brownie and bronze bass. These fish are usually brown with red eyes, an upper jaw that extends to the middle of the eye and has dark vertical bands.

These fish prefer clearer waters than the largemouth live in. The kinds of water they live in can actually have an effect on their coloring or shape. In rivers they tend to be darker and more narrow while in sandy water areas these fish can be more yellow in color. They can stand cooler waters than the largemouth, but are more sensitive to changes. These fish can be affected easily by pollution and are a standard species monitored when checking the health of an ecosystem.

These fish are carnivorous and like to eat smaller fish, crayfish and insects. Fishing for smallmouth bass has a range of techniques. Almost anything can serve as a good lure, just keep it moving. Smallmouth bass tend to chase their prey rather than ambush them. But don’t retrieve your bait too quickly as it can tire the fish and turn them off. Fly-fishing for these feisty fish is growing in popularity and is quite fun.

Now just to clarify a statement at the beginning, smallmouth bass are sometimes allowed in the creel for professional tournaments. But they do not nearly get as much publicity from these kinds of events that the largemouth bass will.

While they are edible, think about if you really want to keep one. It is not that they are vulnerable as a species but always consider catch and release. As long as you got a picture with your prize, it might not need to end up on your dinner plate.

“Catch” ya later! Speaking of catch, look at what our very own Cole caught himself a while back!


Former Finned-Friends:


Northern Pike

Rainbow Trout

Largemouth Bass

Peacock Bass






Bull Shark



Instant Gun Rebate!!

Do you have a gun on your Christmas list?

On December 7-13, 2014 if you purchase an in-stock gun using your Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards Credit Card you are eligible to receive an instant rebate!!!

Rebate amount is based on the gun amount only not the transaction amount.

Gun Purchase Amount (pre-tax)                   Rebate Amount

              $200- $499.99                                             $25

              $500-$749.99                                              $50

              $750-$999.99                                              $75

              $1000 - UP                                                   $100


If you don’t have a Bass Pro Shops Master Card yet, now’s the time to visit with our amazing associates at the Credit Card stand.


Santa's Wonderland Hours Dec. 1-6

Cold days, shortened school days, ANY day is a fun day to come to Santa's Wonderland. As we near Christmas, a day during the week is especially good! Here is the lineup for December 1-6:


Santa is here from 3-8 p.m., this Monday through Friday (Dec. 1-5), then Saturday 10-8 and Sunday noon-5 p.m.

These hours will change starting December 7!
Visit www.basspro.com/santa for future times!

Remember, you must have a Bass Pass to see Santa. This free pass alleviates those long waits in line to see Santa. Once the wait in line hits 30 minutes, we start handing out Bass Passes. This pass holds a virtual spot in line for you, which allows you to enjoy Santa's Wonderland and shop until your designated time arrives. We ALWAYS use the Bass Pass on weekends.

Best advice? Come early in the season and during the week for shorter wait times. #santaswonderland

Free Crafts

Most of the crafts each week is an ornament for the kids to hand on the tree! The last three days (Dec. 22-24) will be decorating a large iced cookie! This week's craft is this adorable foam bird ornament!

Free crafts will be available from Monday, Dec. 1-Friday, Dec. 5 5-7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday, Noon-5 p.m. Craft hours remain the same through Dec. 23 and change on the 24th.

Free Games and Activities

The free games and activities are always available during store hours, including the remote controlled trucks, and foam shooting ranges, as well as the toy shop and great yummy goodies to buy!


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