It's time to "Hunt for a Cure"

 

October is one of my favorite months…. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler and you have Halloween thrown in there too. 

In recent years October has also taken on a new meaning- It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And whether we like it or not, A LOT of us have been touched in some way by this horrible disease.

For me, my mother-in-law was diagnosed over 15 yrs ago and she won! She is still with us today and going strong!

Take a look around at your friends and family – how many have had their own battle with breast cancer?

It’s time we find a cure!!!

This month Bass Pro Shops is joining the bandwagon on finding a cure.  We are introducing 3 brand new t-shirts and a hoodie designed for that outdoors woman in all of us.

      

Make sure you stop in and get yours today before they are gone. A portion of all proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

 

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The Power of the Penn Senator Reel/Ocean Master Combo

We at Bass Pro Shops are very happy to announce that we have in stock the Penn Senator Reel 14/0. This reel is especially designed for fishermen who enjoy catching sharks, groupers, cod, and rock fish from the beach shore or trolling in your Mako boat.

The Penn Senator Reel 14/0 is intended to hold 1,300 yards of 100 pound monofilament, and can tolerate a max of 35 pound drag. However, not too many rods can endure the force or heaviness of this reel. We prefer and suggest this reel be used with a sturdy rod, such as the 5'6" and a 6' Ocean Master Rod. The Ocean Master Rod is durable and very dependable and is a perfect match to stand up against the Penn Senator Reel 14/0.

Please feel free to give us a call at 305-341-4200; where you can speak to any of our fishing associates, or pass by our Miami store located at: 11551 NW 12 Street, Doral, Florida 33172. Our hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10am to 10 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 8pm.

 

PENN® Special Senator® Reel/Offshore Angler™ Ocean Master® Stand-Up Combo

SKU Number: 1552688

http://www.basspro.com/PENN-Special-Senator-Reel/Offshore-Angler-Ocean-Master-StandUp-Combo/product/89547/

By: Victoria Sanchez

Special thanks to Fishing Team Leads Janiel Perez and Adan Campos

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Fall Fishing Event

The weather is changing and so is the fishing! Are you ready?  Join us for our Fall Fishing Event!

Fall Fishing Event

Plus celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day all weekend with a Beginning Fishing for Kids workshop and crafts!

National Hunting and Fishing Day

 

Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28:

Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop Noon – 1pm

Kids learn the basics to get started fishing, including hands-on casting instruction! Kids who complete the class will receive a fishing certificate along with a folding fishing hat!

Free Craft - Color Your Own Mini Tackle Box 1-3pm


Then we have these great seminars for the big fishermen and women!


Saturday, Sept. 27

1pm- Where did the Fish Go? Expert advice on following fall fish movements.

2pm- Which Fishing Rod and Reel? Our fishing experts help you select the rod and reel that work best for various fishing situations.

3pm- Local Fishing Areas  Learn the hot spots for area fishing opportunities.

 

Sunday, Sept. 28

1pm- Fall Fishing Tackle Box  Learn the key baits and presentations for fall fishing.

2pm- Fall Weather Transition & How it Affects Fishing  Learn how the fall weather changes affect water and fishing conditions.

3pm- Preparing Your Boat  Our experts show you ways to be more productive on the water by setting up your boat correctly.

A free collapsible water bottle for the first 25 customers to attend the 2 p.m. seminars each day!

 

Also, in the store this weekend:

These Boy Scouts will be at the store selling popcorn!

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Pack 62 from Johnston
Sunday, Sept. 28 - Troop 182 from Ankeny

Legal Heat Concealed Carry Classes - Sunday, Sept. 28, 1 - 5 p.m. This one class qualifies you to obtain the Iowa, Utah and Arizona concealed firearm permits.This powerful combo of permits will allow you to carry in 36 different states. The course will emphasize state and federal laws. Students can expect to learn more about firearm laws and self-defense laws during this short 3.5 hour class than most will learn in a lifetime. Register online at www.mylegalheat.com.

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There's A Snake In My Boot!

Unless you're a cute animated toy from a Disney Movie, this is NOT something you want to be shouting in the middle of the woods. Snakes are everywhere you hunt, hike, or travel and can have quite the bite when not properly prepared. (There is no bark). Looking towards this fall, it is important to use the right protection when walking through tall grasses, forests, and leaf piles, to avoid snake bites. At Bass Pro we carry various lines of great snake protection. The two I will talk about is the ForEverLast Snake guard shields and chaps.

 

The ForEverLast Snake guard shields are one of our top sellers at our store for snake protection. They are knee length and are made with adjustable straps to fit any size leg. The chaps themselves are made of a tough 900d nylon composite shell and high density polycarbonate insert. These are $39.99 and exclusively printed in Realtree APG. You can find these items online here http://www.basspro.com/ForEverLast-Snake-Guard-Shields/product/12020205011219/

The second pair we carry from ForEverLast is the Snake Guard Chaps. These chaps are a lightweight canvas like material that protect from briars and bushes and snakes from the knee down. The snake protective portion is constructed of a firm nylon.  The chaps adjust around the calf and belt loop for a proper fit. These are featured in APG and are priced at $49.99. The link for the item on our website is http://www.basspro.com/ForEverLast-Snake-Guard-Chaps/product/1304260626449/

Make sure to check out our full line of snake protection products at Bass Pro ranging from chaps to full length boots in our footwear department.

"Snake in My Boot" Photo Credit @PhotoBlip.com

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Catch Me If You Can

We can taste salt on our lips and smell it in the breeze blowing past us. We can see for miles as the sun rises to the left of us. How did we get here? Where are we? What are we doing? We’re saltwater fishing.

It all started at Bass Pro Shops. We saw a Redfish/Frigate rod and reel combo that was on sale. There were so many rods, reels, combos, and great deals that as we looked around we were almost overwhelmed with the wealth of options, but we always came back to that first combo – so we put it in our basket – it was then that we decided to go fishing. 

In order to go fishing, we needed gear to take care of our new equipment; we needed things to clean up and maintain everything and things to take care of the fish when we catch them. We added a Bass Pro Shops XTS Rod Sock, a reel case and Salt Away to our cart before heading to the shelves to look at bait and lures.  There were so many choices and options when it came to bait. There were hard, soft, jigs, spoons, and trolling baits. After that we had to get hooks and then we realized we needed something to help us carry everything, Luckily Bass Pro Shops sells this awesome Backpack called the Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 360 Backpack Tackle Box. It not only separates into two separate bags, but it also fits 10 tackle boxes, the top is insulated to carry fish or yummies, and it has straps for a rod tube AND it’s water resistant!

We now have a rod, reel, bait, hooks, and other things that we knew we’d need to go saltwater fishing. Next we needed things for after we catch the fish. We needed knives and scalers and cutting boards and a processing table, gloves and a bucket or four, and deodorizer and knife sharpeners. We were lucky again that we were at Bass Pro Shops: they sell everything we would need for a fantastic trip! We were able to find folding and floating knives. We found skinners and scalers. We found a Bass Pro Shops hardwood Fillet Board and a Bass Pro Shops Folding Processing Table. We found all sorts of gear and aftercare items; next it was time to make sure we had the clothes and foot ware necessary to have a fun trip. Luckily, Bass Pro Shops sells all of that too so we didn't have to travel around searching for everything we need.

On our way out, we couldn't help but be distracted by the boats: they’re beautiful. There were big pontoon boats for fishing like the 2014 SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 DXL, and there were pontoon boats for fun like the Regency 254 LE3, and there were boats that were for fishing and fun! There were little boats too like the 2015 MAKO 284 CC w/ Twin 200 XL Verado (L4) which is specifically for offshore saltwater fishing and just what we were looking for. There was so much to see and learn about!

This is how we got to where we can taste the salt on our lips and smell it on the breeze blowing past. This is why we can see for miles as we watch the sun rising in the east. We’re saltwater fishing, and we’re having a grand time.

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Ice Holes!

With the changing of the seasons come long awaited outdoor opportunities. While many outdoor men and women are climbing into their tree stands to partake in the exhilarating sport of deer hunting, many die hard fishing folks have a hard time winterizing their boats with the thought of not climbing back into it until spring. Yet this is not the end for the fish loving folks, rather it is just the beginning to the ice fishing season and there are steps you can take right now to make this your best ice fishing season ever!

If your goal is to be the best there is on your favorite area lake, or to win one of the hundreds of ice fishing tournaments held across the country every year, now is a great time to start preparing. The following are proven techniques to increase your odds of being in the right spots long after the water is covered by a thick layer of ice. The first thing you want to do is get out on the water. With the hunting seasons upon us many of the waterways are seeing less and less boat traffic which makes the first and probably most important step much easier.

fish finder

Using some of today’s very advanced electronics, mapping out potential ice fishing hot spots becomes much easier. The first thing is to use is a fish finder with decent sensitivity and detail so you are able to tell the difference between schools of baitfish and underwater vegetation. I like the versatility of the Lowrance Elite-4 HDI.http://www.basspro.com/Lowrance-Elite4-HDI-Fishfinder/Chartplotter-with-Navionics-Gold/product/1311111453/

 

It can do everything you should need it to for locating the best potential ice fishing hot spots. If you don't want to invest into new electronics, you can obtain lake contour maps and using your current fish finder combined with a handheld GPS, you can still map out these potential spots on the water.

The first thing I look for when hunting for my winning locations is the vegetation edges, I'm looking at the depths where the underwater vegetation ends on my fish finder. Once I find my target depth I then refer to my lake contour map, I'm looking at the areas where my target depth has the widest areas, while paying attention to the underwater points and inside bends where my target depth is sustained. What this usually means is there is a good chance there will be larger areas of underwater vegetation once there is ice covering everything.

Why am I looking for the vegetation? Well it's pretty simple; the vegetation offers cover as well as releases oxygen into the water, which attracts plankton, which in turn attracts baitfish, which attracts larger predatory fish species. The larger, feeding fish will often patrol the outer edges of this vegetation looking for their next meal.

It is very important you scout out your areas before plotting them on your GPS as your hotspots. First without taking your sonar over those spots you don't know for certain what is actually down there for cover, it may be a spot void of vital cover. Next you always want to have many different spots mapped out to give you more options once the ice season hits. There are many factors that will affect your success on the ice. For example after a long period of snow covered ice the vegetation begins to die, which in turn causes the fish to find other areas. Other areas to focus on are rock piles, submerged trees, points, rapid depth changes or any other areas that might provide cover for the smaller baitfish.

Another thing to keep in mind is pressure from other people. If the best looking spot on the lake is getting the most pressure it is most likely not going to produce as many fish as some other decent spots that are not getting the heavy pressure. One thing I've noticed from years of ice fishing is many people don't do their homework and have a tendency to copy off of others when the fishing is slow. What I mean by this is that many people who are unfamiliar with the body of water or ice fishing in general have a tendency to start drilling where there are old holes or sign that others have been fishing in that location. Which isn't the worst of ideas if they are very limited on time, however if this is your favorite spot or a highly pressured spot you will be very thankful you have many others mapped out in advance.

lake map

 

Another piece of advice is don't rely on others for your fishing success, what I'm pointing out is something I've noticed on bodies of water that host tournaments. Some of the more seasoned fisher people have experienced their gem of a spot they'd been trying to keep a secret all season is flooded with people the day of a tournament. So in preparation of this they have gone out in advance and drilled mock hot spots, which were just a group of holes in the ice made to look like someone was on a pile of fish. (Pretty clever), unless one of those spots happens to be your gem. What I'm getting at is if you do find a great spot that is producing fish and you plan on fishing it during a tournament keep the pressure down, don't drill up the area, rather keep it to one or none and try your best to save it for the time you need it to produce for you and your odds of "being in the money" at the end of the tournament will increase greatly.

 

ice pic

Once you've done your scouting and have gotten a good idea of the best potential spots to hit during the ice season, the next thing you want to do is get your equipment ready.

A few steps to take is change out the old line on your ice reels, check over your equipment to make sure nothing has been damaged while getting shuffled around in the garage all summer, change batteries in your electronics, sharpen hooks, get rid of rusty hooks, and make sure you have both of your favorite gloves as it is almost inevitable you will only have one the morning you head out on the water!

Here is an article that lists many good items to have in your ice fishing sled as you head out onto the ice.http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-council-bluffs-ia/great-ice-fishing-gear.

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DEC Crossbow Hunting Regulations

Crossbows are flying off the shelf here at Bass Pro.  Make sure that you are aware of the regulations, so you can hunt safely and correctly. Straight from the NYS DEC regulation guide here is something you should read:

GENERAL CROSSBOW REGULATIONS

Age Requirement:  Crossbows may be used only by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.

Without landowner permission, crossbows may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home, school building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use, or occupied factory or church.

A crossbow may not be possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless it is un-cocked.

While on lands inhabited by deer or bear, and in or on a motor vehicle using artificial lights, a crossbow may not be possessed unless it is unstrung or taken down or securely fastened in a case or locked in the trunk of the vehicle.

Crossbows may not be used for hunting in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.

REQUIRED CROSSBOW HUNTING QUALIFICATION & SAFETY TRAINING

There are 3 options to choose from in order to complete the required crossbow qualification & safety training.  All must accompany a NYS hunting license and in some cases a muzzleloading privilege.

Option 1:  Review the DEC online crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification.*

Option 2:  Review the DEC crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification* found in the 2014-2015 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide.

Option 3:  Complete a Hunter Education or Combination Education course to receive a Hunter Education Certificate of Qualification. * Certificates must be dated on or after April 1, 2014 to meet crossbow qualification and safety training.

*NOTE:  The Crossbow Certificate of Qualification from 2012-2013 is no longer valid.

CROSSBOW SPECIFICATIONSBarnett Quad 400 Crossbow Package

A legal crossbow consists of a bow and string, either compound or recurve, that launches a minimum 14 inch bolt or arrow, not including point, mounted upon a stock with a trigger that holds the string and limbs under tension until released.

The trigger unit of such crossbow must have a working safety.

Minimum limb width:  17 inches (outer tip of limbs, excluding wheels and cams, uncocked)

Minimum peak draw weight:  100 pounds

Maximum peak draw weight:  200 pounds

Minimum overall length:  24 inches from butt-stock to front of limbs

CROSSBOW REGULATIONS PER HUNTING SEASON

Big Game

License requirement:

The new law essentially treats crossbows as a muzzleloader. Hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during any muzzleloader season OR during open portions of the early bowhunting seasons.  Muzzleloader privilege is not required when hunting with a crossbow during the early bear season or the regular firearms seasons.

Bowhunting privilege is not required for use of a crossbow at any time.

Crossbows may be used during the following seasons:

Crossbows may be used to take bear during the early bear season, early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone, regular firearms seasons in the Northern and Southern Zones, and the late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone.

Cross bows may be used to take deer during:

Early and late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone and late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone using       Bow/Muzz tags, DMPs, DMAP tags, or an unfilled Regular Big Game tag (late season only);

Regular firearms seasons using a Regular Big Game tag, DMPs, or DMAP tags.

Crossbows may also be used to take deer or bear during limited portions of bowhunting seasons as follows, provided that the hunter possesses the muzzleloading privilege:

During the last 14 days of the early bowhunting season in the Southern Zone (i.e., November 1-November 14, 2014);

During the last 10 days of the early bowhunting season in the Northern Zone (i.e.,October 15-October 24; this includes the 7-day early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone);

Only Bow/Muzz tags, DMP's or DMAPs may be used during these times.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions:

To take deer or bear in the following areas of the state:

Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 4J in Albany County

WMU 8C in Monroe County

In the counties of Suffolk, Nassau or Westchester

Junior big game hunters (age 14-15) may not use a crossbow to take a deer during the Youth Deer Hunt weekend (October 11-13, 2014). Adult mentors who accompany a junior big game hunter on the Youth Deer Hunt weekend may not possess a crossbow (or firearm) while afield on those days.

SMALL GAME

License Requirements: A hunting license is needed to use a crossbow to hunt small game species.  A turkey permit is also required to hunt turkeys.  All crossbow specifications remain in effect.

Crossbows may be used to take the following small game species during their respective open seasons.

Wild Turkey

Any other small game or upland game birds.

Unprotected wildlife (e.g.red squirrels and woodchucks) at anytime.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions.

To take waterfowl or other migratory game birds.

While hunting with a dog for any small game (except for coyotes in the Northern Zone).

FISH

Crossbows may not be used to take carp or any other fish species.

We hope this helps you plan your hunting in a safe correct matter.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

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Catch Your Own Shrimp Dinner!

Why pay good money for foreign, bland, farm-raised, previously frozen shrimp when you can go out and catch your own wild Georgia white shrimp?  Georgia white shrimp are renowned for being sweeter and more tender than Gulf or Florida shrimp.  This year's crop appears to be bigger and more numerous than last year's, so now is a great time to get out there with a cast net and fill up the cooler with succulent shellfish! 

 

Georgia White Shrimp

Before you head out, you do need to know some rules for shrimping in Georgia.  For recreational cast net shrimpers, you may keep no more than 48 quarts of head-on shrimp per-vessel, per-day.  Also, you may only use a 5/8" mesh cast net.  The mesh size is the diagonal distance between each stitch on an opened net.  Finally, shrimp "baiting", using a bait attractant to make shrimp congregate in a small area, is not legal in the state of Georgia. 

Sea Green Deep Hole Net

When selecting a net, the first thing you should determine is if you want a regular, shallow-water net, or a deep-hole net.  Deep-hole nets have a webbing that runs around the circumference of the net that allows the net to continue opening after the net has hit the water.  This "parachute effect" allows the net to sink to deeper water depths and collect shrimp that are down in river channels.  Later in the year and in colder weather, shrimp move from the shallows to these deeper drops where a deep-hole net should be used.  Some people use duct-tape to create their own deep-hole nets, however the Bett's company uses a webbing in their deep-hole nets which is much more durable and even than duct tape.  If you are chasing shrimp in shallower waters, or need a net that sinks faster than the webbed models, a regular 5/8" mesh net is for you. 

The next consideration is whether you want a "panel" net or a "circular stitch" net.  Panel nets are assembled with wedge-shaped sections which allow the net to open easier, stay open longer, and last longer.  They are, however, more expensive than circular stitch nets.  Here is a selection of some different shrimping nets here at Bass Pro Shops Savannah:

Name

Panel Net?

Webbed?

 Weight

Mesh Size

Ahi USA 400 No No  1.15 lb per ft 5/8"
Bett's Sea Green No No  1.15 lb per ft 5/8"
Bett's Super Pro 19 Series Yes No  1.4 lb per ft 5/8"
Bett's Sea Green Deep Hole No Yes  1.15 lb per ft 5/8"
Bett's Super Pro 19 Deep Hole Yes Yes 1.4 lb per ft 5/8"

A couple of other things to grab before you go:  You'll need a good cooler, such as a Yeti, as well as ice to keep the shrimp cold as soon as you catch them.  The quicker you can get the shrimp on the ice, the fresher they will be!  Shrimping can also be a messy business, so you may want to wear a good set of rain gear when you are throwing the net.  Don't forget to grab a bucket to dump the shrimp into, either.

When you have all those shrimp, it's time to cook them up.  If you are thinking about a shrimp boil or Lowcountry Stew, check out our BPS Combo Cooker set.  For crispy fried shrimp, bread them up in a Better Breader and throw them in our BPS Stainless Fryer set.

This is the time of year to get out there and catch your own Georgia white shrimp- so what are you waiting for?  Head down to Bass Pro Shops Savannah and let our experts gear you up right for this shrimping season!

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The "Other" Fish

When we leave the house to go fishing around here, we normally have a target species in mind. I always here people that fish saltwater say, “You never know what your gonna catch”. This may be a little more true in the saltwater but also rings true around the tri-state as well. Now me I’m primarily a bassman, but some of my most memorable and largest catches are those “other” fish that I wasn’t necessarily trying for. I chased a fish for 30 minutes that I had hooked on a crankbait and never saw it.  Who knows what it was, but it was a blast!

bmay river largemouth bmay shovel erics goldfish

 

The 3 hardest jig bites I’ve ever had was from a single Shovelhead that owned me three times. It straightened two hooks and broke me off! My dad caught a 10lb. Walleye at Brookville Reservoir while we were bass fishing. The lake record Walleye at Brookville was caught by a fisherman practicing for a bass tournament. A friend caught a 51” Musky while bass fishing at St. Clair. I have hooked fish while bass fishing in the 25+ pound range. Of course they weren’t bass, but for those first few seconds of the fight you just don’t know. It is a test for your tackle and your angling skills. Some of the largest catches an angler will experience may not be the target of the day but will make a lasting memory. So embrace and be proud of that “other” fish you catch next trip out. 

grass carp muskie nicks carp

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Fishing With Youth

Fishing with kids

A day out fishing is one of the most relaxing and fun ways to spend a day off from work, but taking the kids out with you can quickly complicate the relaxing part if a fisherman is not careful. The trick for kids is to constantly keep them occupied with something while teaching them how to fish like a sportsman. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep the kids busy and entertained while teaching them the ins and outs of fishing on the lakes and rivers.

The first step to getting the kids hooked on fishing is to have them experience the thrill of reeling in a fish. A quick way to do this is get them a rod that fits their size, for the really little between 2 and 7 years old a rod like the Shakespeare® Disney Princess® Lighted Fishing Rod and Reel Kit for the girls or the Shakespeare® Spiderman™ Lighted Fishing Rod and Reel Kit for the boys. These colorful rods and reels are small and built for a child’s grip while still being a functional combo for the kids.

SpidermanPrincess

For the kids a little older a great combo for them would be the Zebco® 202® Spincast Rod and Reel Combo, the bigger size lets older kids get the feel of the rod and reel, while still giving the simplicity of the spincast setup. Finally for the kids that have a little experience in fishing a good combo is Bass Pro Shop’s Brawler Spinning Rod and Reel Combo. This rig lets the kids get a feel for the action of a better rod and reel while still having the versatility that is needed for a learning kid.

spinning rodzebco

Now that the rod and reels are all set up and ready it is time for the bait and tackle for the kids. When it comes to fishing with kids a simple rig with bait is the easiest way to do it. For the kids between 2 and 7 a simple rig with a small hook like the Bass Pro Shops® Baitholder Hook, where the hook helps hold the kids bait on the hook so after every cast they don’t have to replace the bait. About 6 inches above the hook putting a float for the little kids is a good idea, a good float for this is the Bass Pro Shops® Round Plastic Float. These floats allow the kids to feel and see when they have a bite and get them actively engaged in the fishing. Now, how should a hook be baited for a kid is the big question for many people teaching kids how to fish. The simple answer is to bait the hook with a live night crawler. This rig will almost always get a strike from the fish around the lake and river, everything from bluegill to bass and everything in between.

floathook

Now that the bait and tackle is all figured out it is time to head out to the lake or river to find the fish. The places to look for fish on the river can be a little trickier than on the lake so finding the kids a good fishing spot is key. The best spots one a river for easy fishing would be in the deep pools in a bend on the river. Having the kids cast out to the far end of the deep hole, then every few seconds reel in the bait just a little till it is in the middle of the open and deep hole. If instead the family is heading to the lake then here are some spots to look for the kids to fish. An area where there are a lot of dead stumps sticking out of the water. Have the kids cast into the middle of the stumps and watch the bobber for a bite. Or if on a deeper lake have the kids instead stand on the dock and drop their bait just over the side. Finally if on a boat and fishing find an area inside a cove where a creek or stream enters the lake and have them cast over top of the entrance of the stream. These spots are great for the kids to get a quick bite and hook them for life on fishing.

The rods are packed, the bait is ready in the cooler and the spot is picked out for the family to go. It is finally time for the kids and the rest of the family to go fishing! As always happy hunting and good luck!
 

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Braised Chicken w/Butternut Squash

Braised Chicken w/Butternut SquashWe have butternut squash from our garden, so I was looking for different ways to use it besides soup. I jumped on this recipe from Martha Stewart because it had all my favorites: Chicken, squash, dried cranberries, and red onion. Strange sounding combination, but it works. It's pretty easy to make; the hardest part is peeling the squash, which you simply do with a vegetable peeler. Plus, it's National Chicken Month, so what a great way to celebrate!

Change-ups: I used a whole butternut squash instead of half. Next time, I'll follow instructions and just use half. (Or maybe I'll use acorn!) I think it did make a difference in the consistency. I also didn't split the leg quarters, which didn't matter, and, of course, I threw in a dash of my favorite smoked paprika.

Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash

    1/2 large butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, and seeded
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    4 chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 pounds total), split into drumsticks and thighs
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1/2 cup dried cranberries

Cut the squaButternut Squashsh into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and, in two batches, cook, skin side down, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to a plate; pour off fat from pot.

Briased Chicken w/Butternut Squash

 

Add 1 tablespoon oil, reserved squash, and onion to pot and cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add sage, flour, coriander, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, 1 minute.

Nestle chicken, skin side up, in squash mixture, add cranberries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

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Preparing Your Home For Disaster

Disaster can happen to you, not just to people you don't know in some far away town. It can come in many shapes and forms. Tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, all carry potentially life-threatening circumstances, and in some cases, help may not come for days or even weeks. To best protect yourself and your loved ones, it would be wise to be prepared for the worst in any situation.

The first step is to know your area and be knowledgeable about what kind of disasters are most likely to happen. Is your area prone to hurricanes? Tornadoes? Is your home in a low-lying area where flooding is possible? Each circumstance carries its own unique set of challenges, and knowing what is likely will help you to prepare for the specific dangers of each event.

However, we humans have needs that must be met in any circumstance, and these needs are threatened by any disaster. Here are some suggestions to ensure you and your family's basic needs in a home survival situation, all of which can be found at your Bass Pro Shops Camping Department.

Drinkable water is probably our most urgent need. Our bodies need it to maintain an incredible array of functions, and without it we will expire within 3 to 5 days in the most ideal of conditions. In many disaster situations, infrastructure that brings clean running water to our homes may be damaged. It is always a good idea to have a stock of emergency bottled water in your home. However, considering water is so important, it is important to have alternative means of acquiring potable water. While boiling water will kill most bacteria and pathogens, a small, easy-to-use water filtration system such as the Sawyer Squeeze Filter will allow you to filter particles like dirt, protozoa, and bacteria from water using a hollow-fiber membrane system. Using such a system, you can drink directly from this source or fill containers for storage, and most Sawyer products are guaranteed to be effective in filtering up to 1,000,000 gallons of water.

Secondly, we must have food. While it is possible to survive a relatively long time without food, hunger will leave you weak and unable to deal with the many other challenges that may befall you in a disaster situation. Having a stock of non-perishable foods in your home is a good idea at any time, and freeze dried foods such as those by Mountain House or Backpacker's Pantry are an ideal option for emergency preparedness as well as camping. These products are very diverse, lightweight, easy to prepare meals that provide the comfort and morale boost of a hot, tasty meal. While canned foods may keep for a couple years, these foods can keep your emergency pantry stocked for 7 to 25 years!

In addition, we need shelter. We must keep warm, dry, and safe from the elements. An emergency tent may be a good thing to keep in the event that your home is damaged. But equally important may be an emergency bivouac sack, such as the Sol Emergency Bivvy, a compact, lightweight, weatherproof shelter that reflects 90% of body heat to keep you warm and dry in extreme conditions. These could also be used to make a tent in a pinch and, because of their bright orange color, could be used to signal for help in conditions where you may otherwise be difficult to spot.

Lastly, you will likely need fire. For warmth, to cook food or boil water, to see in the dark, or even to signal others, fire serves a great many purposes. It is important to keep waterproof tinder, such as UST's Wetfire Tinder or Coghlan's Fire Sticks and a means to start the fire, such as waterproof matches or a fire starting tool such as a Blastmatch.

There are many other things that could prove essential in surviving a disaster situation. A versatile first aid kit, a lantern, cookware, any item or any bit of knowledge may improve your chances in a survival situation. Bass Pro Shops carries a variety of survival manuals that go into much more detail specific to a wide variety of situations. Knowledge and organization may save your life in a situation such as this. Make a list, know what you have, where it is, and how to use it. Keep learning and keep preparing. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

 

 

 

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Get A Good Fit For Beginner Shooters

So you're thinking of starting your child into shotgun shooting? Well first make sure they are ready: tall enough, mentally mature, and most important make sure the gun fits! Mossberg 410There is nothing that will discourage a child from shooting more than excessive recoil.  Shooting with a shotgun that does not fit properly can be one of the leading causes of excessive felt recoil.

When teaching youngsters to shoot use light loads and stationary targets at first then slow targets to gain their confidence. Mossberg and Remington both have guns that have shims that can be added to the gun as the child grows. These guns can be purchased at your local Bass Pro Shops, and any associate at the gun counter can help you with fit.

After making sure the shotgun has a good fit, you should ensure the shooter has the right stance. Feet should be shoulder width apart and if right handed the left toe should be pointing at where you intend to hit the target.  The right leg should be straight and left knee slightly bent. The stock should fit into the shoulder pocket and the face should be on the comb of the stock. Shooting a shotgun is different than shooting a rifle, you should have both eyes open so you won't lose your peripheral vision and your depth perception. Remington 870 JrThen keeping your head down and your eye on the target pull the trigger and follow through with the swing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One-Stop Shopping for Game and Meat Processing

Bass Pro Shops has everything you need for meat and game processing.  For skinning and quartering your game in the field, we offer complete Game Processing and Knife sets.  Once you get your game home, BPS carries several sizes of the professional grade LEM "Big Bite" meat grinders with a 2 year manufacturer's warranty.  We carry heavy duty Meat Slicers to make anything from steaks to thinner cuts.  For jerky and sausage making, we offer food grade meat tubs and scales, as well as a huge assortment of jerky and sausage seasonings. 

Electric Meat Mixers, Sausage Stuffers, and manual and electric Tenderizers are available as well.  Both natural and collagen sausage casings are in stock and for preserving or freezing your game or catch, we carry large rolls of freezer paper and freezer sheets.  Our selection of Game Saver Vacuum Food Savers will keep your meats, fish, and other foodstuffs fresh much longer without freezer burn.

Even if you don't process game, a meat grinder and slicer will allow you to save big bucks by purchasing large cuts of meats and cutting them into individual portions.  I use my meat grinder to make sausage and hamburger without all the fat in the commercial stuff and avoid the preservatives (nitrites and nitrates) that they include.  I make wonderful beef jerky without preservatives using thinly sliced round steak seasoned and placed in my dehydrator for about 7 hours.  Did I mention that I grind up pork shoulder and mix with my own seasonings for the stuffing in home-made hot tamales?

Make Bass Pro Shops your one-stop shopping place for all of your game or meat processing needs.  Even if you have never tried home-processing before, our selection of equipment will make your experience much easier and help to insure your game and other meat products have a professional quality.

Gary Feduccia

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Gear for Cave Exploring

Cave exploring is a guaranteed adventure for almost anyone. While exploring alone is attractive to some taking the whole family on a cave diving adventure is just as fun. Exploring a cathedral room or finding a hidden chamber deep underground is the kind of stuff stories are made of, and in the Ozarks caves are definitely not in short supply. But a cave exploring expedition can become treacherous if the right gear is not on hand to deal with situations that might arise along the way.

First thing any caver is going to need while underground is a good light source. This needs to be not only a steady source of directional light but also a solid design that can take a beating and will not need constant maintenance while in the cave. It is also a good idea to take a few forms of light for exploring underground. A headlamp is the first order of business. For the new caver a simple light that is rugged should be used. The Primos Top Gun LED Headlamp is a good starter headlamp because it has both high and low settings for while in the cave and an easily adjustable head strap to keep the light in place.

LED headlamp

After the headlamp a good idea would be to have a regular flashlight that can be stored in a pocket just in case the headlamp goes out. For this job the Bass Pro Shops® Mini LED Flashlight Combo - 6 Pack, because there are 6 lights in this pack it is easy to put one in a pocket, one in a backpack and hand one to each child in the cave exploring. Also these little lights are very bright and durable making them perfect for the cave!

BPS

Another light source that could be used in an absolute emergency would be a chemical light stick or glow stick. A good choice for glow stick would be the Texsport® Glo Lite Stix™, these glow sticks provide 6 hours of continual low light making them good for an emergency in a cave.

glo

The next stumbling block that many cavers will run into while exploring underground, will be dehydration. While the temperature in the cave might be cool and moist, the physical exertion of climbing over rocks and crawling through narrow passages does tend to cause sweating and dehydration. An easy way to avoid this would be to carry a hydration pack with at least a liter of water in it. This pack will need to be durable enough to make it through the cave without tearing a hole in it and keep the water drinkable for an extended period of time. A good pack for the job is the CamelBak® Rogue™ Hydration Pack, with a coated nylon outer casing this hydration pack is great for the scrapes and bumps a caver is going to run into while exploring. Another pack that is great for the job is the Bass Pro Shops® XPS® 1.5L Hydration Pack, this pack has a low profile and durable polyester coating making it perfect for climbing through tight spaces and over rough surfaces.

xpscamelbak

In a cave, regular clothing tends to be ripped to shreds on the limestone and gravel that is throughout. So finding the right clothes to cover softer underclothes is needed. Styles that tend to work well for the cave are the coveralls and bib overalls. What a caver should look for in coveralls and bib overalls is the durability and wear ability. If the coveralls are going to fall apart after crawling on knees for a few hundred yards then they are not going to be caving material. While at the same time if the overalls ride up or chafe when walking then they will definitely not be usable in the cramped spaces of a cave. Carhartt® Sandstone Bib Overalls are a great set that fits the bill for the rigors of crawling around a cave. The double ply knees make this pair great for being down and dirty while still remaining comfortable in tight situations.

carhartt

Now that the clothing is covered it is time for the boots that will be needed in the cave. These boots need to be tough and most certainly waterproof, while also having the traction needed for walking on the slick limestone and loose gravel of the local caves. A good pair of boots that fits the bill is the Columbia Woodburn Mid Waterproof Camo Hiking Boots. This pair of boots has a solid hard sole made for hiking over rough terrain, and is comfortable enough to wear on a long walk, making these boots great for being in a cave environment. Another good set of boots for this job is the RedHead® Osprey Hiking Boots. These waterproof boots have a good set of removable insoles that keep the feet comfortable while providing the support and stability needed for walking and crawling around in a cave environment.

Columbiaredhead

Now that the gear is gathered and clothing is ready to go it is time to head to the cave and go over a few tips and tricks for being in a cave. Before leaving for the cave, it is a good idea to let a friend or relative know the exact location of the cave that is going to be explored. Also tell them how long the trip will take and to contact the proper authorities if a certain amount of time has passes and they don’t get a confirmation that everyone is alright. Keeping a phone turned off in the car is a good idea, while taking a phone into the cave is also important, if more than one phone is available. Note that some phones are able to work well in certain caves so having a phone can come in handy. Keeping a small stock of chemical stick lights is a good way to assure that even if all electronic lights fail there will still be enough light to find a way out of the cave. Finally keeping a length of cord handy, so kids and adults have something to hold on to while walking and keep from getting split up from the group. Now that the gear and tips are dispensed it is finally time to go into the cave! As always happy hunting and good luck! 

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - More Meat Madness!

Our big Meat Snack Madness event continues through October 4!  All you Iowa State Cyclone fans have the weekend off, soUncle Buck's Jerky come on in and visit and pick up some Uncle Buck's Jerky for the next tailgating session. Hawkeye fans, unless you're traveling to Pennsylvania, you might as well stop in, too!

Here's what's happening at the store this weekend!

Saturday, September 20

Try Before You Buy

The Gifts Department is handing out samples of Uncle Buck's Jerky, noon- 4 p.m. at the Jerky Shack! Try the flavors and decide which is your favorite...then maybe make some Jerky Tomato Sauce or Jerky Potato Soup!

Sunday, September 21

Jay Green and his K-9/hospital therapy-trained dog Zeus will be doing a dog obedience demonstration at 1:00 p.m. in front of the main aquarium.

The Gifts Department is, once again, handing out samples of Uncle Buck's Jerky, noon- 4 p.m. at the Jerky Shack!

 

COMING UP

Fall Fishing Event - September 27 & 28. featuring a Beginning Fishing Workshop for kids, craft, and various fall fishing seminars.

Outdoor Rewards Night, Sunday, October 5, 6 – 9 p.m.

Halloween Event!  Friday, October 24 – Friday, October 31 - Free photos as well as other fun activities!

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Ten Hunting Tips from our Team

We asked some of our Bass Pro Shops Altoona team members for some hunting tips. No matter what, no matter where, here are some never-fail tips they'd like to share. Maybe it's something YOU'VE never thought of - here we go:

10.  I always take a spare bow release with me when bow hunting. Lose one going into the stand and you'll soon know why!

 9.   While getting ready for the season, try and practice shooting your bow/gun Deer in Woodsin the same gear in which you'll be hunting. The more realistic the practice the more confident you'll be in your shots.

 8.  Aim small, miss small. Aim big, miss big. In other words, pick a small aiming point. You may miss the small point, but more than likely still make a very accurate shot. If you aim at a big target, such as the entire deer, you may miss the entire deer!

 7.  Keep it in perspective. In the grand scheme of life, hunting is a great activity, but does not need to consume you.

 6.  Washing clothing in scent free detergents.

 5.  Store all clothing in air tight bags or totes to keep foreign odors off of them.

 4.  Dress in the field to ensure you don’t pick up any odors on the way to your spot. Sometimes hunters are tempted to stop at the gas station to get a coffee early in the morning. Likewise, remember this may mean that you are getting dressed in freezing temps!

(These next two are somewhat redundant, but that's simply how important they are!) HSS Patriot Reversible Safety Harness Vest

 3.  Safety first. Remember those whom you love who are expecting you to come home after the hunt!

 2.  Safety is #1 for me and anyone that hunts with us. We always wear our safety harness' (especially while hanging stands) and during gun season blaze orange is a must! Coming home safely to my family is my #1 priority.

 1.  HAVE FUN! Take someone with you and enjoy God’s great outdoors together!

_____________________

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Fall Walleye Fishing

Fishing for small fish like crappie and sunfish might be fun for the kids but sometimes having a little adult fishing is just what is needed. This is where fishing for walleye comes into play. These fish grow large in the temperate waterways and lakes here locally, and are great fish to fight on a line. But the best thing about walleye is definitely their meat. This firm, white and mild tasting meat is perfect for everything from a fillet to a grilled medallion. Here are some tips and tricks for catching the walleye of the year.

The first thing many people who fish for walleye will notice is their mouth full of teeth, this is due to their place as one of the apex predators in the waters. On the other hand there is another feature of the walleye that fishermen need to look at in order to get a sense of how they hunt. This is the eyes, walleye have big and often times oversized looking eyes. Given this fact walleye are very susceptible to changes in light, particularly increases in light. So when fishing for walleye it is good to time the day around what fish you are looking for. If you are spending the entire day on the water fishing, try out walleye fishing in the early morning, in the evenings, on cloudy days, or days when wind puts chop in the water. During other times of day, or when the conditions are not right it is probably safe to try catching other fish in the area. When the light is right or the conditions are right for walleye fishing it is often a good idea to use a Strike King® Pro-Model® Walleye Crankbait, throwing this bait across an area with a lot of bait fish and cranking it steadily will give the action that the walleye can’t resist giving a rapid strike.

Strike King

Another solution to getting the walleye to bite is to simply go trolling with a specific rig set up for walleye. This is usually a crankbait or a bottom bouncer with a live night crawler or minnow strung through the hooks. A good crankbait for this is the Bass Pro Shops® XPS® Nitro Shad Dancer Crankbait, this lure has the shine of a shad while also having the action of an injured shad. This along with a wiggling minnow or night crawler in the hooks will be irresistible to the walleye in the direct area.

Nitro Shad

If trolling is not the best thing for a fisherman then using the wind to propel the boat through the water is another idea for the new walleye fisherman. While the wind is pushing the boat drop a jig along the bottom for the walleye to get a shot at. One of the jigs of choice would be the ERC Jig-A-Beast Swim Jig, accept remove the minnow attachment on the bottom and replace it by running the hook through a Bass Pro Shops Double-Dipped Tube. This combination is great for getting the action the walleye are looking for in the choppy water during the day.

ERCBPS

Being out on the lake during the fall is always a great experience no matter what the occasion is. Making this experience more fun by adding a fun fishing trip with big fish and a catch that might just bite you back is always a plus. Not to mention that once the walleye are caught they make one of the best meals where fish are concerned. We hope these tips and tricks have been helpful in catching these great fish! MMake sure to check out anothe blog post, "How Weather Patterns Affect Fishing here:http://blogs.basspro.com/blog/bass-pro-shops-springfield-mo/how-weather-patterns-affect-fishing As always happy hunting and good luck! 

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Hi-Ho A Camping We Will Go

Camping is something people from all walks of life can do. It can be a really cheap vacation, or it can be an expensive getaway. The experience all depends on how we do it; the real prize to be won is the memories made. If we’re ready to make some memories then let’s get ready to go!

The first thing we want to think about is what we want to do. Do we want to spend as little as possible and still have a good time or do we want to go glamping (this an excessively comfortable form of camping that we will discuss in a later article)? If money is no obstacle and we want to take the house with us then we want to go glamping. If we want to relax and deal with minimal extra and /or unnecessary stuff then we want to go a more traditional route. There’s nothing right or wrong about either of these choices, which can be intermingled at will, and we should always pick what we can afford both money wise and time/effort/ability wise. The point of this is always to make good, positive memories that we can share with others either in the moment or later on.

After we choose how we want to camp we can pick a location. The location will determine what gear we need. The other thing that determines what gear we need is weather. We should always check the weather as we plan for an outing because it can determine not only what gear we need but how long we want to stay. So we have picked a location, checked the weather, and decided how long we’re going to be gone. Let’s start thinking about what all to pack.

Packing can be easy or packing can be difficult. We’ve decided how and where we want to go camp, we’ve checked the weather, and hopefully in doing all that we’ve decided how long we want to go camping. All these things need to be decided first because they influence what all we need to take with us which in turn can decide how difficult a trip or easy our trip will be barring unforeseen experiences. 

Let’s create a scenario together. We’re going to go camping at Kelly’s Pond Campground for 3 days and it is supposed to be sunny all weekend. Now we all know that the weather can change on a dime and almost no one wants to go camping in the rain. To those who do: best of luck and fun in the rain! So, 3 days at Kelly’s Pond can be a relatively small trip or it can be a super busy weekend. Kelly’s Pond offers lots of stuff to do including: tent camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, if we want to we can ride our ATV if we have one or want to buy one, they even offer  picnic tables and fire rings so we can cook s’mores safely!

Now it’s time to plan what we’re going to take and where to get it if we don’t have it already. Suppose we want to go and have a fun filled week packed with adventure. Here’s what we want to do:

To do all that we need to run by our local Bass Pro Shops and get what we need. Now we’re being hypothetical so we’ll say we’re in Houston near the Katy, Tx Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro Shops in Katy is great: it’ll have everything we need to go camping.

When we first walk in we can go to Customer Service to get our hunting and fishing licenses. Then we can go to the back right of the store from the entrance to get fishing gear and on our way back there we can get that ATV we’ve been wanting. After we get all the fishing gear we need we can head back towards the entrance to get any clothes we may not have and then we can head to the back of the store for a potty break since we’re human and we may or may not have little ones with us. After that we’ll already be standing in camping so we can get all the camping gear we’ll need: tent, cooking store, survival gear, and even a backpack to put it all in! Next to camping is camo so we can get camouflage for hunting and speaking of hunting the hunting department is right next to that on the way to the register so we can get guns, knives and ammo along with decoys and anything else we need to get that prize shot. We’re finally heading to the registers up front to check out and we’ll pass by the boot wall, what’s more important than proper footwear?Now, we should have everything we need besides food to make a memorable camping trip!!!

We can get to packing! Now we have all of our gear and licensing so we can go hunting and fishing. We got an Arctic Cat so we can use the ATV trails. We got clothes appropriate for the temperature and weather predicted. We want to pack everything as conservatively as possible so we don’t have a lot of extra to carry. We need to print a map of the grounds and a map of how to get to the grounds before we head out as well as food and any other supplies we may need.

By now everything should be researched, bought, packed, and printed. The vehicle should be loaded and everything is ready to go.

Let’s go have a great time!

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Halloween Celebration at Bass Pro Shops

Join Bass Pro Shops beginning Friday, October 24th, as we kick off a full week-long celebration of Halloween.  We will be offering candies to the Trick or Treaters, having free photos in the Punkin' Patch, putting on a Scavenger Hunt and a Costume Parade.  Halloween crafts will be available, as well.  Weekdays our hours of celebration will be from 5 til 8 pm, with the exception of Friday, October 31st, when we will start earlier at 4 pm.  Saturday, October 25th, we will start at noon and will be joined in Trick or Treating at 5 pm by many other stores in the Destin Commons!  The Commons will also be hosting many activities and an awesome costume contest!  That Saturday, October 25th, Bass Pro Shops will continue the activities until 8 pm!  Sunday, October 26th, we will celebrate from Noon til 5.

This year, we won't be hosting the Scout Fun Day or the Scouts' Haunted Tent, since that weekend falls on a date when all Scouts from the Gulf Coast Council will be attending Camporee up at Spanish Trails Scout Reservation near DeFuniak Springs.  They will return to our parking lot in October, 2015.

So, whether you are all "grow'd up" or still have some child in you, put on your costume and mischievious attitude, get a little spooky and come on down to Bass Pro Shops for some Halloween fun.

Gary Feduccia

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