Product Spotlight - Traeger Pellet Grill

About seven years ago, my husband came home with a unique smoker that was only being sold in a little mom and pop hardware store in a rural community. It was a Traeger wood-pellet grill. Many ribs, veggies, venison legs, chickens and turkeys later, our Traeger smoker is still helping us enjoy many smoked delights.

Traeger Texas Pro Pellet Grill

Bass Pro Shops has been selling the Traeger now for a few months. The beauty of the Traeger is it can be used as a grill, a smoker, a barbecue, or a wood-fueled oven. We use ours solely for smoking. We own an earlier model of Traeger, but the basics are the same. You load your pellets into the hopper on the side, turn it on and let the smoker work for you from there. The pellets are auger-fed into the burner.

Depending on what you are cooking, you may need to replenish the pellet supply. It is recommended that you use Traeger pellets, which come in a variety of species and are 100% hardwood. They are also approved by the National Cancer Institute because they produce less benzopyrene than other popular grilling systems.

The smoker has an EZ-Drain system, so grease drips out the side into a bucket, which is very easy to clean up. Important note: If you have a dog, you'll want to block off access to that bucket or they will have their nose in it!

We don't have the shelf in ours, but the new versions do have a removable grill shelf for more food!

There is no open flame, so you won't have grease flare-ups, nor do you have to worry about burning things from flames. There is a heat shield that diffuses the heat making it like a similar to how a convection oven works, then a steel drip tray above the diffuser...line that tray with foil for easy clean up.

The adjustable chimney cover allows you to control the smoke, too. Put the dial on smoke for 5 minutes until the smoke gets rolling, then bump the temp up to your desired cooking temp...use it as an oven or leave it low and slow. We love our Traeger...and look forward to many more smoked ribs, shoulders, and more on it!  In fact, it's time to get the turkey ready for tomorrow!

PS: Don't forget the cover!

________________

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A Few Tips for the Walleye Run

     As spring time approaches and all our ice is melting, anglers in northern Ohio have a great opportunity for some excellent walleye fishing.  In many of the Lake Erie tributaries, walleye will begin to migrate as the waters begin to warm up to spawn.  In particular in my area, the Maumee and Sandusky rivers are the primary areas that anglers target as the walleye move up these rivers to spawn.  There are many access areas to both of these rivers.  However, the key to catching these walleyes is location and understanding what to look for in these "key" areas.

     Rather than getting into lures, gear and setup, I would rather focus on some other important factors for catching these walleye.  When the walleye move into the river to stage for the spawn, they are going to look for gravel/rocky areas to spawn.  As they move into these areas (often times around riffles), the walleye will hold in deeper holes below the riffles until they are ready to spawn.   Accessing these areas often times requires a good set of chest waders.

     Another very important factor that many people overlook is the water level.  As the river changes levels very often this time of year, it is important to look at the river predictions to determine which areas you will be able to access, as well as which areas may be too shallow to fish due to receding water.  Remember that if you walk into the river early in the day and the water was just below the top of your waders, rising water may put you in a difficult position to return.  With the cold water temperatures and current, safety needs to be the #1 priority on your mind.

     Lastly, another key factor to keep in mind is with your lure presentation.  Walleye position themselves facing into the current.  When you are fishing in this current it is important to cast upstream at approximately a 45 degree angle and let the current sweep your rig downstream.  Lure weight is key.  You want to use a weight that consistently can bounce off the bottom, but not too heavy that your lure just drags on the bottom.  It is very important to get that bottom contact.  Getting the right sweep of your lure in the current may be the difference between catching walleye and not.   I want to wish everyone luck out there this year.  Hopefully, a few of these tips will help you determine some productive areas.   Lastly, be safe out there and have fun!
 
Kyle Weisenburger

Bass Pro Shops

Local Pro Staff

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Easter Bunny Arrives!

Make your special Easter memories this year with the Easter Bunny at Bass Pro Shops Altoona...and, as always, it all FREE!

Free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt!

Here's the complete lineup for this weekend and next:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Good Friday, April 3 - 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!

 

Free Crafts!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.:

  • Color an Easter basket magnet (while supplies last/crafts may vary)

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

     ________________________

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Hop in to see the Easter Bunny!

Families are invited to celebrate Easter at Bass Pro Shops in Rossford, Ohio! Starting on March 28 through Easter on April 5, Bass Pro Shops will be hosting various events for families to enjoy.

There will be a free 4X6 photo with the Easter Bunny. Photo packages can be purchased such as the Bunny package, Jelly Bean package and Spring Package. He will be here on the following dates and times:

•    Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29 and April 4-5   (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
•    Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2 (6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
•    Friday, April 3 (2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

 

They will be hosting crafts on the weekends (March 28 & 29, April 3, 4 & 5) while supplies last. On Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, kids can color an Easter basket magnet from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Friday, April 3 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. kids can color a wooden bunny. Kids can Color a wooden chick on Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Easter would not be complete without an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt! Kids ages 2 to 10 are invited to come in on Saturdays and Sundays, March 28 & 29, April 4 & 5 and participate. Kids will find 5 Easter eggs to turn in for candy. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. and the hunt will start promptly at 2:00 p.m. and will run until 3:00 p.m.

For more details, please visit www.basspro.com/rossford, check out the Rossford Bass Pro Shops Facebook page, call (419)-891-3900 and/or feel free to stop in the store.

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Community Conservation Seminar - The Monarch Challenge

The Community Conservation Seminar Series

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is starting  series of seminars featuring many of our Iowa partners in conservation. We’ll be inviting various conservation and wildlife organizations to speak about topics focused on conservation, wildlife, and habitat.

Our first seminar focuses on the pollinator crisis. Most everyone appreciates the beauty of a Monarch, Swallowtail or other butterflies. However, our butterfly and bee population has decreased drastically due to several reasons, including loss of habitat and food resources. Iowa is an integral part of the Monarch migration and all pollinators need specific types of plants that help them feed and reproduce.

The Monarch Challenge

Plant Grow Fly with Us!

with Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo

Wednesday, April 8

10:30 AM

Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Jessie Lowry is a wildlife conservationist and leader of the Blank Park Zoo's pollinator conservation initiative: Plant.Grow.Fly., a project aimed at increasing habitat for butterflies and bees. Learn about pollinator issues, why they are a concern to all of us, and how you can make a difference simply in your back yard!

No reservations required. Simply join us!

_________________________

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Turkey Hunting Spring, 2015

Hello Texas Turkey Hunters. It’s time for the Spring, 2015 Turkey Season to begin. Here is quote from the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website regarding sessions and dates and special limits in certain counties.

“Spring turkey hunting gets under way this weekend, March 14-15, with the special youth-only weekend season for Rio Grandes in the 54-county South Zone. The general season in the South Zone runs March 21-May 3 and culminates with another youth-only weekend May 9-10. In the 101 counties comprising the North Zone, the youth-only weekend seasons are March 28-29 and May 23-24. The North Zone general season opens April 4 and runs through May 17. A special one-gobbler limit season runs April 1-30 in Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Jackson, Lavaca, Lee and Milam counties.”

To access TPWD’s full article on the Spring, 2015 season copy the link below and paste it in your browser:

http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150311a 

 

At Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World we have all you need to make your hunt a successful one.

From decoys and turkey loads for your shotgun to camo clothes, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is ready to help you make this year’s season one to remember.

Stop by and check out our Camo Department for all your camo clothing needs and especially for our full body camo suits. We also have special turkey hunting backpacks with attached seats.

Visit out Hunting Department to see our full display of Turkey decoys, including this year’s big hit decoy: Redheads’s new motorized Jake and Strutting Gobbler. Don’t forget our Camping Department where we have a full selection of Yeti coolers, including Yeti’s new soft side coolers, along with lots of other useful outdoor gear.

Our Footwear Department even has a full line of boots and socks to get you through the season.

Before hitting the field, let’s talk about a few things.

First, be sure to check the TPWD website and check the requirements for the county in which you are hunting. Make sure your gun is cleaned and ready to use.

Next, check your shotgun to make sure it’s ready to go. A good cleaning is always a good idea before hitting the field. And be sure to check your choke tube to get the best pattern (Note: be sure to use a good choke tube lubricant before screwing the tube back in). At Bass Pro Shops we have a full selection of choke tubes, cleaning supplies, and we are fully stocked with “Turkey Loads” for your shotgun.

For those trying out bow hunting for this season, visit our Archery Department and check out our selection of arrow heads that can make your hunt a successful hunt.

And if you haven’t picked up that 2014 – 2015 Texas Hunting or Fishing License yet, stop by our Customer Service Department and they will make sure you are ready to hit the field.

At Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Katy Mills Mall we wish you the best for outdoor adventure. And if you have some luck, stop by and tell us all about it, send pictures and stories to our facebook, or email them to bassprokaty@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

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Tracker Time: History

So Tracker Boats has been slaying it over the past couple years. Our in-store Tracker Department has been as well. From the products to the service to our people, everything is solid! And something this good could not have happened over night. I believe it is important to know where things have come from, which is why this month’s Tracker Time blog will not focus on a boat in particular, but the company itself!

Tracker Boats has been around for over 30 years. They were first introduced in 1978 by Johnny Morris. As in the Johnny Morris, who also founded a little thing called Bass Pro Shops.  The company’s headquarters is in Springfield, Missouri. Most people call it Tracker Boats, like I do, but its proper name is Tracker Marine Group.

Their first claim to fame was the introduction of the first ready-to-fish boat, the Bass Tracker.  The boats came with a trailer, fish finder, trolling motor and outboard motor. Nowadays these kinds of setups are pretty much the only ones you see, but back then it blew everything else out of the water. And they still continue to do so with improved materials and technologies.

From this humble beginning the Tracker Marine Group grew to include several brand names. Those being Tracker Boats, Nitro, Mako, Sun Tracker, Tahoe and Grizzly. Recently it has also grown to include Regency and Ascend. And the newest edition to the group is Ranger. A legend in their own right, Ranger Boats was purchased and has become a part of the family.

Each different brand has their own kind of specialty. Ascend has been making some of the best kayaks out there for a few years now, and have also started making canoes as well. Mako is our inshore and offshore brand of boats. Sun Tracker specializes in pontoon boats and barges. Regency is our luxury line of pontoon boats. So there is literally a Tracker Marine Group boat out there for any and every kind of boater.

      

No matter what, Tracker Marine Group has stuck to their roots. They make amazing boats and great prices. We have what is known as No Haggle, No Hassle pricing. All of their boats and trailers are also made here in the United States. They have made three-quarters of a million boats since 1978. Along with great boats and prices, they come with a solid guarantee. As our founder says and sticks to, "Build the best fishing boat value possible. No compromises, no excuses and no shortcuts. That’s the TRACKER® way."

-Giddy-Up!!

Previous Tracker Topics

Mako 17 Skiff Grizzly Sportsman 1860 CC Wildcat Special Edition Regency 254 DL3

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Easter Event 2015

Once again, families are invited to visit the Easter Bunny when he HOPS in to Bass Pro Shops on March 28! Make your special Easter memories this year with free 4x6 photos, free crafts, and the very popular indoor Easter Egg hunt! You can even come see us after Easter services on Sunday morning and we have extended photo hours for Good Friday.

Here's the complete lineup:

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny!

  • Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 5:  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday-Thursday, March 30 through April 2: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Good Friday, April 3 - 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Free Easter Egg Hunt!

For kids ages 2-10!

Saturdays and Sundays, March 28-29, April 4 and Easter Sunday, April 5 - 2-3 p.m.

  • Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at main entrance.
  • Hunt starts promptly at 2 p.m.
  • Kids find five eggs and exchange them for candy!

 

Free Crafts!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.:

  • Color an Easter basket magnet (while supplies last/crafts may vary)

Friday, April 3, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden bunny

Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • Color a wooden chick (while supplies last/crafts may vary) 

      

________________________

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From the Pro - Top 3 Baits for Spring

by Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff
2014 FLW/BFL Champion and Regional Qualifier

 

 

 

When the ice breaks and the water is in the 37-50 degree range, my number one choice is a Lucky Craft Pointer 100SP or a 78SP in Bluegill style colors. I try to target fish that are around their wintering areas, suspended and making the seasonal move to spawning areas. You can get right quick when you find a good group and have a blast catching multiple fish at one time!  I have learned a few fine tuning techniques over the past couple of years that can improve success with this presentation. When the bite drops off, switching up with subtle changes can increase your fish catches.

  • The cleaner the water the more the translucent baits will produce. The light penetration of the sun will shine through these baits making them almost ghost-like in the water. It truly helps with lethargic or shy fish. They will swing on the bait without getting a really good look at it. You have to remember at this time of year the fish will be looking up to feed and the bright sun will penetrate right through the bait and make more of a shadow triggering the bite.
  • You can get most jerk baits from different companies in a “ghost" or translucent pattern, but sometimes you need to adjust on the water. Carry a simple piece of sandpaper - you can take a high definition jerk bait and sand off the finish coat to dull down the image. It truly makes a difference, at times, and will improve your odds.

Once the water is starting to warm a little and get into the low 50s my GO-TO bait is a Picasso Shock Blade bladed jig with a Bass Pro Shops Speed Shad swim bait trailer. I will start to target areas with as much rock as possible, looking for the crawfish starting to appear. Fifty degrees is a magical time when the crawfish start to emerge from their winter haunts and expose themselves around rocky shores and it is a blast here in Iowa!  All species of fish move up to feed on these crustaceans and my goal is to cover as much water as possible. I like to use a Bluegill or Green Pumpkin/Tiger color in a 3/8 to ½ oz., depending on the depth and speed I am trying to cover. I match this up with a BPS Speed Shad in Bluegill Flash color in the 3.8 version. This color matches well with both bladed jigs and is an absolute staple in my spring arsenal.

Last is one of the most crucial fish-catching baits that is always on the deck of my boat at all times - The Picasso Shakedown shaky head in a 3/16 Green Pumpkin/Tiger paired with a Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper Jr. 4.75” in Green Pumpkin. I like to use the Bass Pro Shops KVD XPS 100% Fluorocarbon in 8lb test on spinning gear for this presentation. I cannot express the success this little duo can bring on the water. Whether it's a flat out on-fire bite or when it gets completely tough, the key to this little rig is to let the fish tell you how they want it. It can be worked very erratic by shaking the rod tip all the way down to simply dragging it along the bottom. Use this as a one-two punch with your Shock Blade presentation and it will catch the fish that missed or the ones that are a little less aggressive. The bite is extremely fun on light gear and no matter where you are at IT WILL FLAT OUT CATCH THEM!

I hope this helps each and every one of you for the upcoming season and wish you the best of luck!

Lance Baker

___________

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Easter at Bass Pro Shops, Mesa AZ

We will be having our world-famous and one-of-a-kind Easter Event again, here at Bass Pro Shops! We will be having FREE: Photos with the Easter Bunny, Crafts and Activities for kids of all ages! Check out below for an exact schedule of the activities.

Photos

3/28 & 3/29- 11AM-4PM

3/30 THRU 4/2- 6PM-8PM

4/3- 2PM-8PM

4/4 & 4/5- 11AM-4PM

This year kids will be sitting next to the Easter Bunny, unless they are too small to support themselves. Now just like with Santa’s Wonderland, things are going to get really busy here, really quick. Try and get here at the earliest date possible and call ahead to see how busy we are. Our store’s phone number is: 602-606-5600.

Easter Egg Hunt

3/28 & 3/29- 2PM-3PM. Registration will begin at 1:30PM

4/4 & 4/5- 2PM-3PM. Registration will begin at 1:30PM

Kids will want to find 5 eggs and bring them back to the registration table, to turn in for candy! The eggs will be hidden throughout the store and parents/guardians are allowed to help!

Crafts

3/28 & 3/29- 1PM-4PM

4/3- 2PM-7PM

4/4 & 4/5- 1PM-4PM

As always our delightful Crafts area will be going for this event. We will have two different crafts to be done on the two weekends this event covers, so come back a couple times. Especially if you haven’t met Rocky’s (our constant Craft Cart Attendant/Mascot) new partner!

Be sure to call ahead to see how busy we are: 602-606-5600 and plan on it being very busy on the last weekend of the event.

-Giddy-Up!!

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Keeping The Bugs Away While Hunting

Springtime weather has arrived! Spring turkey hunting is just around the corner so it is time to refresh our hunting gear. One important step many may forget is insect repellant. Unfortunately, bugs come paired with the warmer weather.  An easy way to protect yourself from bites and annoying flying bugs is to treat your clothing and gear with a good insect repellant. Luckily, your local Bass Pro Shops has a variety of different bug repellants that are safe for you and your gear

Our most popular insect repellant for hunters and any other adventurer is Permethrin. Permethrin is a naturally occurring insect repellant found in chrysanthemum flowers. The scientists over at Sawyer have extracted it from the flowers and made a repellant that is as effective as 100% DEET. Permethrin is made for use on clothing and gear, and will not plasticize like some other bug repellants. When applied the Permethrin material bonds with the material providing insect protection for 42 days of exposure to sun and air or six washes. Once dried the treated material will kill ticks and mosquitoes on contact while repelling many other insects. On top of the great repellant properties, once dry Permethrin is completely odorless so any treated items do not have to be treated with any additional scent block to remove the odor of the repellant. You can simply treat the garment as you would any of your other hunting clothes.

..

Sawyer brand Permethrin is by far the most popular repellant that we sell. It is extremely effective at warding off insects while being versatile enough to work on virtually any material. Once applied, the Permethrin molecules bind with the fabric providing long lasting protection. Sweat and water does not deteriorate Permethrin so you don’t have to worry about reapplying throughout the other day as you would with other repellants.

As a pro tip make sure to treat shirts pants and socks while hunting, this will keep ticks from climbing up your shoes but will also protect from any ticks or bugs that rest on bushes and other higher surfaces. The more surfaces that you treat with Permethrin the better the protection, so if you have a backpack you can treat it to boost your insect protection. While Permethrin works wonders on fabric and other porous materials, it is not effective on your skin. We advise that you use a small amount of skin safe repellant such as Sawyers maxi-DEET (hyperlink) on any exposed skin to maximize your protection.

Come on in to your local Bass Pro Shops to check out our collection of bug spray to help prepare you for the spring hunt ahead. Our Camouflage Department will have a display of the Sawyer products we sell, including Permethrin. While there make sure to check out some of the newer styles of camouflage clothing we have received. Any of our friendly Bass Pro Shops associates will be able to assist you in pairing you with whatever hunting items you may need.

With help from Bass Pro Shops you can have a great, and bug free, hunt in our great outdoors.

Here is some other content you might enjoy!

Don't Let Ticks Keep You Out of the Woods!

Bugged While Hunting and Camping?

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Coming Clean About MSR’s

Those of you with MSRs (Modern Sporting Rifles) have probably had the misfortune of experiencing a jammed or double fed round. The most common culprit of this issue is a dirty weapon.  More so than other firearms, proper cleaning is key to enjoying a day out on the range, or having peace of mind known that your weapon will function properly when it needs to.

First you will want to fully break down your rifle. Since not all MSR’s are the same, you will want to consult your user’s manual if you are unsure about how to do this. Most bolt systems will look like this. MSRs are notoriously dirty. The carbon from the rounds you shoot finds its way to all parts of your rifle. To remove this carbon you need a carbon cleaner as either an all-in-one, or a stand-alone cleaner such as Hoppes Elite Gun Cleaner

Cleaning the barrel - If you look down your barrel, you will notice a lot of carbon deposits down your barrel. First you want to run a wire brush with the cleaner on it though your barrel to scrape any stuck on deposits. Be sure to pull the brush through in the same direction as the bullet. After doing this a few times, follow up by using some cleaning patches. Keep using the patches until they come out clean. Now when you look down the barrel, it should be shiny, clean, and spotless. If you find yourself having a hard time seeing down the barrel, try this: Point the barrel at a light in the room or try one of these.

Breech aka “Star Chamber” – This is usually the hardest and most time consuming area to clean. It is also one of the most important areas since a dirty breech prevents the bolt from going in battery, and also prevents rounds from properly feeding causing those jams. There are several different methods in cleaning this depending on what you have to use. Just like with the barrel, you will want to make sure to hit it with some cleaner first.  Next you want to find a method that works for you to remove the carbon. Hoppe's Chamber Brush accomplishes this really well, as does using a pick. If you are without these try using a pipe cleaner to get those hard to reach places or use a dirtier method and get in there with some cleaning patches and your pinky finger. Once this is clean, a very light coat of oil will help keep carbon from crusting on during your next use.

The Bolt Assembly – With the hard part out of the way, you will want to focus on cleaning the many pieces of the bolt assembly.  Many of these can be simply wiped down with a patch and your cleaning solution. Use a pick if necessary if there are some tough spots and run a pipe cleaner through the bolt where your firing pin goes. If you are using a gas operated system, pay special attention to tube on top of your bolt carrier that connects to your gas tube. Carbon that travels down your gas tube will collect here, and it is a usually over looked area for cleaning. Get in there with picks or pipe cleaners. Once the assembly is clean, coat everything in a light layer of oil just as you did with the breech.

Buffer spring – Cleaning the Buffer Spring is often overlooked. The whole assembly is usually held in place by a pin and can be removed when that pin is pushed down. Wipe the Buffer and spring down with a rag that has your cleaning solution on it and follow up with wiping down the tube that the spring slides into.

Other areas – You can spot clean the rest of the firearm. Use brushes and rags to remove any other dirt on the exterior or in the magazine well. Pipe cleaners once again work great for cleaning any dust or dirt out of the trigger assembly. You do not have to go too far in depth in cleaning the trigger assembly, but removing the excess dirt and grime keeps your trigger functioning correctly.

With this these tips, your next hunt or range trip with hopefully go without failure. A clean rifle will be more accurate and function better than one that hasn’t been properly cleaned. If you have any questions, feel free to come into the hunting department at your local Bass Pro Shops and ask an associate. Happy Hunting!

 

Written by Michael Steiner, Hunting Team Lead

 

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Did you know we carry satellite phones?

As an outdoors enthusiast I never really saw a big need for a satellite phone myself, but I happened to have borrowed one on a recent hunting trip I went on and well I had to put it to good use.  I was in an area where no cell phones worked on the border of Mexico when something horrible happened in the middle of nowhere, the leaf springs on my trailer snapped, so it was not drivable.  Miles from anyone or anywhere I didn’t know what I was going to do, then I remembered I had this handy satellite phone, so I was able to call a tow truck to help me get parts for the trailer to be able to fix it. Now I wouldn’t be caught dead without one of these in my hunting pack for when I go to these remote ranches.

Anyone who is an outdoorsman, and likes to go to the most remote places with no cell phone service this product is a MUST HAVE.  The SPOT GLOBAL PHONE is a very affordable satellite phone, as far as satellite phones are concerned.  The phone plans are not any more expensive than buying a regular cell phone, but this one will work anywhere in the world.  The satellite phone is $499.99 and the plans can be monthly or annually and are done through SPOT.

 

Come check it out for yourself! Any questions about this item, come straight to the Marine Department. We will be ready to help you out!

 

Cory Chudnow,

Marine Team Lead

 

Bass Pro Shops San Antonio

Bass Pro Shops San Antonio- Facebook

 

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Captain Macks Weekly Fishing Report

Striper Fishing has been good, and improving with warming water temps.  The main pattern remains pulling live baits over open water, mainly over the river channel. The bite is probably best in the upper parts of the rivers and I think the Chattahoochee side is the best option. Live baits on free lines and planer boards have been the best producers, but a few fish have been taken on down lines as well.  I am going to give Herring the nod as the bait of choice, but a Trout and or Gizzard Shad is always a good addition to your spread.  Depth seems to be the key and the distance behind the boat/planer can really influence the bite. Also, the addition of a little weight, #5 or #7 Split Shot, can be a very beneficial technique. Vary the distance and weight on your lines until you tweak the bite. Surfacing fish have been a little scarce, but there are a few to be found, mostly early and late in the day.  Keep a small bucktail tied on; if you see fish on top, they are quick to take the jig if you can get it to them quickly.  A ¼ or 3/8 Super Jig, tipped with a Shadee Shad should get the bite. On the bucktail, light line is a big plus. The smaller line allows for longer casts and makes those fish that seem to habitually be 10 feet out of range a little more accessible. Think 6 and 8 lb. test for the jig.

The Bass have also responded to the rising surface temps, but they are starting to move into shallower water. Creek Channels, ditches, and drains have all been good structures, and for this pattern I think the Fish Head Spin is the best bait. The slow steady retrieve is the ticket here.  There is also a good dock bite, Roboworms on the Weedless Wonder and the Spotsticker casting jigs are good choices for this pattern.  Target docks that are around 30 feet deep, the fish may be at any depth and often move over the course of the day based on weather and the sun. Dock fishing is a numbers game, run and gun until you can develop some type of pattern.  Jerkbaits are also viable baits and will become more so as the fish pull up on flats and points. For any of the above, I think the middle and upper parts of the lake are the most productive.

The Crappie bite is fair, maybe good, depending on the day. The fish are perhaps a little more scattered out than they might normally be in March, but they are really starting to move around as they prepare for the spawn. The techniques are varied with several methods producing fish. Long line trolling is still a good choice; fish the creek channels over a 7 to 15 foot bottom.  A slow troll seems to be best, let’s say .5 MPH, give a take a couple of tenths. Swimming jigs like the Crappie Country Wow Grubs have been good bait for the trolling. Docks are, as always, a good choice, shooting the docks with the Bobby Garland Grubs or the Sugarbugs Chenille jigs have been producing fairly well.

We actually have a Walleye report this week! The fish are in the rivers now, and we have a few anglers that are having some successful targeting the Walleyes. Small jigs, 1/8 or ¼ oz. bucktails fished slowly on or near the bottom is the pattern. Typically, the Walleyes will not be in the rivers long, they often spawn and head back down the lake so now is your chance! Historically, the Chattahoochee River has greater numbers of fish than the Chestateee, but there will be fish in both rivers. If you don’t want to make the run up into the headwaters, try targeting the Walleyes on lower lake rip rap. This technique is generally the most productive after dark, or in low light conditions. Small jigs and crankbaits fished slowly are a good choice for Mr. Walleye.

 

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

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A Sailfish Story Like No Other

In 1969, Virginia and Harold Henningsen of Oregon, Ohio went to Acapulco, Mexico for a winter vacation. Both are recreational fisherman and made the decision to test the waters of the deep seas. Neither of them spoke Spanish, but they chartered with a local crew that did not speak English. The boat they fished on did not seem very reliable and seemed as if it could sink at any moment. Even with communication barriers and undependable equipment they found success. Early to being at sea, Virginia felt a bite and set the hook. She could tell this was going to be a big catch. After hours of effort and teamwork, she reeled in the biggest catch of the whole crew’s experience. She caught a 7 foot long sailfish! The sailfish was mounted and displayed in the Henningsen home for forty years prior to the donation to Bass Pro Shops. It is now mounted and displayed in our Conservation Room in the Rossford store.

Virginia and Harold were married for 53 years and were lifelong residents of Oregon, Ohio. Together, they raised four children and welcomed 10 grandchildren.

Virginia Henningsen: December 23, 1926 - October 4, 2000

Harold Henningsen: July 28, 1923 - March 12, 2010

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Let's Get Ready For Spring Turkey Hunting

It’s that time of year to get ready for spring turkey hunting! With that being said let’s get some basics out of the way. Pre-season scouting is the most important part of successful spring turkey hunting. Look for sign like tracks, scratching and droppings. The best way to set up is the evening before. Look for sights of a roost. If you can find there bedding. Start in a location where you've found turkey sign by scouting.

Slip into an area in mid-afternoon where you've heard birds before, or maybe just where you've found some decent habitat. Sit quietly and listen. If you're close enough, you'll hear wing beats as they fly up; maybe even soft calling or gobbling as turkeys approach roost trees. With any luck you'll see them. Once in the trees, birds will often move from branch to branch, wings noisily flapping as they reposition. When they're settled, let it get dark and sneak out.

Turkeys have incredible eyesight. They can see colors, with this being said make sure you are decked out in camouflage from head to toe. Make sure you have a vest too. This will help you with all your calls you will be carrying throughout the hunt.

There are different types of calls. You have slate or glass calls, diaphragm calls, and box calls. The easiest to use per hunting pro’s are the box calls. With this call you will get a versatile turkey sound and there simple to use.

This is some basic steps to turkey hunting, with this being said there is a lot more to turkey hunting. It is a challenging sport but with patience and proper set up’s you’ll be successful. Please go and visit your local Bass Pro Shops and we will get you ready for your outdoor adventures.

 

Shop Hunting at Basspro.com.

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Captain Mack's Fishing Report

Robert Estrada with a double header on the rig!

 

What a difference a week makes! The water has warmed nicely and fishing is improving for all species! If nothing else, at least we have been warm while we are trying to catch them!

The Stripers are waking up and in addition to a good average size the numbers are improving as well. There has been a good bite open water bite that has developed in recent days, live baits on free lines and planer boards have been the best producers. The addition of a little weight, a #5 or #7 Split Shot, seems to worth a few extra bites. Fish the baits 60 to 80 feet behind the boat or planer. The fish are still keyed on the smaller baits, so keeping a medium m Shiner or a threadfin Shad in the bait spread is probably a good idea. Herring are also very effective, and I would dedicate at least one line to pulling a big Gizzard Shad or Trout.  Keep a small bucktail tied on, we are starting to see some surfacing fish, especially early and late in the day, and if you can get to them they are quick to take the jig. A ¼ or 3/8 Super Jig tipped with a Shadee Shad has been an effective combo. Light line is a big plus on the jig, I prefer 6 or 8lb test, the smaller line allows for longer casts and more depth as you retrieve the jig. I think fishing is best in the middle parts of the lake.

Bass fishing has also improved and we are seeing the fish get up and move around a little bit. Docks have been a good pattern, of Course that can be tough to define since we have 7500 docks on the lake, but key on docks with some type of structure under or adjacent to the dock. Side Imaging is a big plus here as you can quickly determine which docks qualify, and often you’ll see the fish as well. That is not to say that a dock alone is not sufficient structure to hold fish, they often are, but an additional structure is usually a plus. The Roboworms (Green Shiner has been a good color choice) on the weedless wonder are a good choice to cast at the docks, as are rubber skirted jigs such as the Spotsticker casting jigs. Small cranking baits, I always like the Shad Raps in this cool water, and jerkbaits are also beginning to produce some fish in the backs of the pockets, look for this activity to increase as the water continues to warm.

The Crappie bite is ok, the numbers are area not as strong as they usually are in March, but I think that is due to cooler than normal water temps. The Crappie are also responding to improving water temps and look for the bite to really fire up any day. Shooting docks with the Bobby garland baits is the best pattern, and upper reaches of the lake are the most productive areas for this pattern. The longline trolling is also effective, pull small grubs along the creek channels over a 15 to 30 foot bottom, darker colored baits on overcast days, and lighter colors in bright conditions. The trolling pattern may be effective in creeks on any part of the lake.   

Walleye fishing is great, in Minnesota, but not much to report on here.  If anybody is catching them they are silent. There should be some spawning fish in the rivers, or in staging areas in the upper parts of either river. There may also be some really nice fish on lower lake rip rap as well. The rip rap pattern will probably be most productive after dark. Small jigs and crankbaits fished slowly are a good choice for Mr. Walleye.

 

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ thefarrside@mindspring.com or Visit Capt. Mack online @ www.captmacks.com

 

 

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Tilapia Fishing or Watching Paint Dry.... Your Choice

Scott's Blue Tilapia on FlyIf a title like that doesn't catch your attention then nothing will, but trying to fool a fish that for the most part is unwilling to take any type of bait can be a true test of will, sanity, and patience.  Each year during the spring we'll hit the local lakes and ponds looking to hook into one of the regions more successful invasive species, the Blue Tilapia.

Blue Tilapia have expanded their range to include just about every waterway imaginable across the state and their spawning beds make for a pretty conspicuous clue that they're in the area.  Tilapia spawn right after most of the bass and their beds can make the sandy shallows look like a moonscape.  Each bowl-shaped nest is about the size of a truck tire and during the peak of the season there will be a single, fiercely-aggressive, and meticulously-cleaning, tilapia parent.  Their aggressive nature and obsessive compulsive cleaning is what we use to our advantage when trying to catch one on fly.

Unfortunately though, this is a waiting game with very limited casting followed by extended periods of standing as still as a hunting heron, and then impossibly light strikes. The normal scenario includes finding an active bed with a fish on it, the fish spooks, you cast into the bed, the fish eventually returns, it stares at the fly for a while, it picks up the fly and tries to move it out of the bed, fight on.  I've actually stood over a single bed for upwards of 15 minutes waiting for the fish to return after fleeing the bed, only to have it spook again or come to rest in the bed without noticing my fly.  That can be more than a little irritating.

Five or six weight rods with fairly light leaders and smallish and lightly dressed flies are the tools of the trade when chasing tilapia because they aren't overly powerful nor are the flies so large as to require a heavyweight rod.  About the only trick to hooking up is using a fly that's large enough to get the fish's attention but dressed sparsely enough that the fish gets the hook in its mouth rather than a bunch of fluffy material.  A simple wooly bugger or something similar should work pretty well if you find cooperative fish.  Bowfishing is another popular method of taking tilapia during the spawn but there's no way to practice catch an release with an arrow so it's only a method to explore if you have a way to dispose of your catch

So why would anyone go through all this for a very low likelihood of success?  Because it's a fish, there's a ton of them around, they'll eventually bite, and are a lot of fun on a fly rod.  Scott and I are in an informal competition to catch the most fish species on fly so he just had to get one since I've already checked that one off the list.  Living in a place with as many fish as Florida means that we throw a fly at anything that swims no matter how tough or uncooperative it might be.  Being well-rounded and flexible allows us to extend our season through the entire year, with very little down time.  We might even come home with something for dinner on occasion.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

 

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Attn High School Anglers !!!

 

 

We are around a week away from one of the biggest high school fishing events EVER in Tennessee!

March 27-28 the city of Dayton will host The Battle of Chickamauga. You know the lake- Home of the first ever 2014 Bassmaster BASSFest and some of the largest bass around these parts, including the State Record bass!

Bass Pro Shops is the title sponsor of the March 27-28 event. Youngsters will be competing for a top prize that includes a $1,000 scholarship for the team, as well as $1,000 in Bass Pro Shops gift cards. The winning team will also earn an automatic spot into the Bassmaster High School National Championship later this year.  The winning school will receive a custom championship Battle of Chickamauga title belt (MMA style) to keep until next year’s event.

Every registrant will enjoy a pre-tournament meal with Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Ott Defoe headlining the evening.  Registration is $30 + an additional $10 for “Big Fish” cash prizes.  100% of all entry fees including “Big Fish” will be paid back to anglers.

As this is a Bassmaster High School sanctioned event, all registrants must be registered with Bassmaster HS.  Cost per member is $20. This includes your B.A.S.S. and B.A.S.S. Nation membership.

 Register or learn more about the Bass Pro Shops Battle of Chickamauga by contacting Dennis Tumlin with the Rhea County Economic and Tourism Council at 423-775-6171 or dennistumlin@rheacountyetc.com  or check out battleofchick.com .

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Hopping Down the Bunny Trail...

Spring has sprung and we are getting ready for that BIG white bunny to come hopping down the bunny trail straight to Bass Pro Shops Sevierville!

The Easter Bunny will be here from March 28- April 5 taking photos, hiding eggs, and making crafts with the kids!

Photos with the Easter Bunny

FREE 4x6 Photo

Saturdays and Sundays                   March 28-29, April 4-5                    11 am- 4 pm

Monday thru Thursday                      March 30-April 2                               6-8 pm

Friday                                                   April 3                                                  2-8 pm

           Easter photo packages will be offered and printed in-store

 

FREE Crafts

Saturday and Sunday                     March 28-29                                          1-4 pm

                Color an Easter Magnet

Friday                                                    April 3                                                  4-7 pm

                Color a Wooden Bunny

Saturday and Sunday                     April 4-5                                                  1-4 pm

                Color a Wooden Chick

FREE Easter Egg Hunt

Egg hunts will be on Saturday and Sunday of event- March 28-29 and April 4-5 for 1 hour only. Register in the Tracker Showroom at 1:30 pm, hunt will start promptly at 2 pm. Children ages 2-10 are invited to find 5 eggs and return them in exchange for candy.

 

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