Free Women's Self Defense Seminar

Not only is October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it's also Women's Self-Defense Month. Whether walking, jogging, shopping, traveling, enjoying the great outdoors, or at home, awareness is KEY. 

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is teaming up with the Altoona Iowa Police Department to help women to


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
6-8:30 p.m.
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Join us to learn about awareness, options, choices, assertiveness skills, and basic self-defense techniques. Dress for comfort and movement - we'll be hands on!


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Finding the right pair of rubber boots

With fall officially here and temperatures dropping that can only mean one thing... Winter is quickly approaching and snow will be on the ground before we know it.  Time to gear up!

What better way to get prepared than with a new pair of rubber boots? Rubber boots have many benefits and are very versatile. They are easy to slip on, easy to clean, completely waterproof.. the list goes on and on. 

We have many choices when it comes to rubber boots: Various brands, colors, heights, and insulation factors. As you can see there are many things to consider when looking for the perfect rubber boot.

First you want to decide on height... height ranges from clog style all the way up to a 16” (knee high) boot. Next you want to consider insulation. Do you want thinsulate which is an insulator or Neoprene that works with your body to keep you warm and cool you as needed.  The third most important is print. Do you want camouflage or a solid color? Once you have decided these 3 main things your search will become easier.


Like before mentioned, Rubber boots are a great winter boot because of there versatility and ease of wear. They can not only be used for a wet snowy day but also for your hunting excursions. They are extremely easy to slip on and off and they also offer the feature of being able to tuck your pants in so they also stay dry.  For more information and help with getting the perfect fit in the perfect new boot stop by your local Bass Pro Shops of Independence where we would be happy to assist you!  AND as always enjoy the great outdoors.

Check out these other great articles on boots!

Warm Boots - Protecting Your Feet

How to Insulate Properly: Hunting Boots

Chelsea McDaniel

Team Lead of Footwear


Captain Mack's Weekly Fishing Report!

Striper fishing has been really strong and the summer patterns have remained intact. Last week was actually extremely strong, and lots of angler credit the activity to the Supermom that occurred on the 27th. Maybe it was the usual weather pattern that crated the low flat skies and pesky rain/drizzle. Maybe a combination of both? Either way we’ll take it, especially this time of year! The Method has still been the same as in recent weeks, look for the big schools over the creek and river channel and once you see them, send down the downlines and or the power reelers. Trolling lead core or umbrella rigs is also effective in catching and finding fish. The only difference between now and the last 12 weeks, is the addition of some Fall patterns that are just  starting to emerge. We have seen a few, emphasis on a few, schooling fish so keep an eye open for the surface activity. Even if they are up and down quickly, go to where you saw them and do a quick sonar search, you may find them a bunch of ‘em down deep.

With water temps in the low to mid 70’s, you can’t rule out the night time bomber bite.    That activity is typically best when the surface temps are between 72 and 60, but generally will start as soon as temps drop below 80. I have used this pattern successfully as early as Labor Day, but generally you only catch small fish until the water reaches the lower 70’s. I have not gotten any feedback on this technique yet, no one has been since fishing has been so strong during the day, but keep it in mind as we move into October.

I’ll Bass fishing a rating somewhere between goo and fair. Fishing seems to be best in the middle part of the lake, which is typical for this time of year. The techniques in that part of the lake are really across the board and the fish are using a variety of depths. Almost any structure may hold fish, and the pattern may change daily, but here are some things to get you started. If you are in the middle or upper parts of the lake, try some Top water on the points and around brush in the mornings, or a buzz baits in the pockets or the backs of the creeks. As the day progresses, worms and jigs around brush, docks, and rocky points should get the bite.

On the lower end, think main lake structures anywhere from 20 to 45 feet. A worm on the drop Shot will be the mainstay, but jigs and booger heads will also be effective. Keep a spoon tied on to drop to fish you see, or to cast to schoolers. The shallow end of the above depth range will be best for numbers, the deeper end yields the bigger fish. The buzz bait will also be effective in the backs of the lower end creeks.

Crappie are perhaps a little inconsistent but for the most part fishing is good. Brush is the key, (A blown down tree qualifies as brush), and it can be free standing brush or brush under/around a dock.  Concentrate on a 15 to 20 foot bottom, expect the fish to be 8 to 12. Of course that last set of numbers can vary widely, depending on weather and time of day. Soft plastics and hair jigs will both get the bite!

Good Fishing!

Capt. Mack

Email any inquiries to Capt. Mack @ or Visit Capt. Mack online @


Huge Family Halloween Event Scheduled at Destin Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops will be kicking off the Halloween Season on Saturday, October 24th with Free 4 X 6 Photos with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang in our Pumpkin Patch, Free Crafts and Giveaways.  These activities will be in the store through Saturday, October 31st, and we will be scheduling Costume Parades and Trick-or-Treating activities, as well.  Families should mark their calendars for Saturday, October 24th, when Cub and Boy Scout Units from Okaloosa and Walton Counties converge in the Bass Pro Shops' parking lot to provide an afternoon of Free Games and Activities, from 2 p.m. til 5, followed by the opening of the famous Haunted Tent at 5 p.m.! 

Bring your costumed youngsters for an afternoon and evening of Halloween celebrations at our annual Family Fun Day and Boo Bash on Saturday, October 24th!  All afternoon activities are FREE and you may also come into the store for FREE Halloween Photos and other activities!  The Haunted Tent is getting better and better each year and is recommended only for somewhat older children.  There is a $5 per person or $20 per family charge for the Haunted Tent and all proceeds support the Boy Scouts.

Gary Feduccia 




Finding the Right Balance

Casting a fly rod is a pretty simple matter of physics once you get the hang of things and know what a well presented fly and line looks like in the air and on the water, but it can be a physical workout if you’re not used to the exercise or have equipment that isn’t moderately light or well-balanced in the hand.  We strive very hard to come up with outfits that “just feel right” the moment you pick it up and anglers definitely appreciate the extra effort once he/she is on the water swinging it back and forth a couple hundred times in a morning.  But what makes a well-balanced combination?

 I’m first going to compare throwing a fly rod to shooting a shotgun on the trap or skeet range and shooting geese, as opposed to a field gun for grouse and quail.  I know it may seem a bit strange to look at it this way but you’ll get the connection if you hang in there for a few paragraphs.  Shooting shotguns is all about acquiring the target, mounting the gun smoothly, starting and maintaining a smooth swing while pulling the trigger and passing through the target without pause.  Any hitch in that process will cause problems for sure.  So what does a gun’s balance have to do with that process and how is that compared to Browning Citori 725 Fielda fly rod?

Browning Citori 725 Pro Trap 



Trap shooters and goose hunters traditionally shoot long barrel shotguns (up to 32 inches) because maintaining a smooth swing through the target during the shot is more important than overall gun weight.  A longer barrel can make the gun feel a bit front heavy but that ensures that the gun remains in motion once the swing has started. Conversely, a true field gun will have somewhat shorter barrels (26 to 28 inches) and lighter stocks because the quickness (the amount of time needed to acquire the target and mount the gun) needs to be emphasized more than maintaining a lengthy swing on birds or targets flying a somewhat predictable path at a steady speed.  Flushing birds need to be acquired quickly and shot before getting out of range or ducking behind cover, thus requiring a light, fast-pointing shotgun.

Fly rod balance can be equally important to the angler but it’s more a matter of angler “feel” and how hard it is to control the rod’s path through the air once in motion.  Front heavy or butt heavy rods can cause fatigue, unnecessary torqueing or twisting, and a sluggish or listless sensation for the angler.  A perfectly balanced rod and reel combo feels light in the hand, accurate, responsive, and is generally a pleasure to throw all day.

Sage TCX 9" 6wt and Orvis Access

So how do you put together a properly balanced outfit?  Thankfully, the reel manufacturers think about this issue when they develop their products and a recent test session wherein I weighed a large number of our most popular reels in six and eight weight models, proved that they’re all pretty similar given the specific line weight they were designed for.  There was only a .5 to 1.0 ounce difference between fifteen different 5/6 weight models.  There was a much greater variation in fourteen 7/8 weight models with the lightest being 5.5 oz. and the heaviest being 10.0 oz.  Much of that difference can be attributed to drag design or the fact that the reel was intended to cover three different rod sizes (7/8/9) instead of the usual two (7/8).  I guess this means that balancing a number six rod is easier, given the similarities in reel weights, than a number eight.      

The rods themselves can vary greatly in physical weight but many times it’s a question of how the weight is distributed rather than the actual total.  Some rods are tip heavy and would require a heavier reel to balance out properly, while others are butt heavy and would benefit from a lighter reel to avoid feeling like you’ve got a brick hanging from the handle.  You just have to test fit a variety of reels to find the one that gives the proper balance for your needs.

Keep in mind also that the rod’s length will affect its balance as will the addition of backing and line.  Short rods have a center of gravity different than standard or long ones so there are instances we’d sell the customer a reel one size smaller than normal to keep the proper balance.  Of course we have to watch the amount of backing going on the reel at this point, but that’s not normally a problem given the rod’s intended purpose.  Short bass rods and ultralight outfits are the most obvious examples of combinations where we need to ensure a compatible match up.

The rod and reel combination pictured above is one of my personal favorites and it fits my hand so well that it seems like Sage called for my input before designing it .  The balance is exactly where I like it and because of that, I can cast all day, put the fly right where I want it, and easily become "one" with the rod.  There's nothing like having a piece of equipment that matches you perfectly so spend a little time building your next outfit.  Pay attention to the balance and how it's going to affect your fishing performance and how much you enjoy waving that stick around.  You'll be glad you did.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


September Fishing Report by Captain Jonny Fickert

We have struck GOLD around the islands and western end of the lake in these last weeks. Perch fishing is excellent and we cannot complain as these great eating fish are being very cooperative. Perch are being caught from the Ballast Island area to the G, D, and B cans of the Camp Perry Firing range. Many bigger fish are also being caught west of the Bass Islands in 30-32ft. of water and along the U.S./Canadian line.

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Perch can be caught many places and you should be able to find yourself some open water to fish alone if you pay attention to your fish finder. Look for small "sprinkles" of marks near the bottom or a unique set of humps to determine if you are driving over a nice school. If you do find a good pocket be sure to anchor right over them. I personally favor using a 1 and 1/2oz. perch spreader with 12in. + leader hooks on a 6ft. medium rod with a fast tip. Pair this with some power pro braided line and look forward to an amazing time on the water

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Surprisingly, although small, perch take a large amount of finesse, paying close attention to your fishing should help improve your catch. A few walleyes are still biting at our end of the lake in shallow water. Trolling in 18-22ft. offshore the long beach area and to the east can produce some nice walleyes. They are being caught mainly trolling hot n tot lures flat-lined and J'7 rapalas trolled behind tru-trip 40 deep divers and dipseys. There are still a few fish being caught casting mayfly rigs and crawler harnesses but the only fish for casting have been caught in the west sister area.

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Look for the perch bite to continue to be great and the smallmouth fishing to really heat up. Largemouth and most of the panfish will be slow throughout the month of September but also will begin to put on the fall feed bag soon enough. Lastly catfish will always provide a constant action in many areas. Overall, what a great season we are having and expect it to continue! I see success in your future! If you're looking to get up and fish this year call Sea Breeze Charters at (877)-616-780 and book your trip

Capt. Jonny Fickert

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Neighborhood Night Out & Safety Fair

I'm excited to announce that Coliseum Central is hosting a Neighborhood Night Out & Safety Fair in our Bass Pro Shops Parking Lot September 26th from 3pm-6pm. 


Representatives from local government agencies, Hampton City Schools and businesses from around the district will be on site with important safety information, equipment and demonstrations. The Hampton Sheriff's Office will be performing finger printing and taking photographs for child identification kits.Hampton Division of Fire & Rescue will discuss fire prevention and free home inspections, schedule smoke detector checks, as well as provide engine and medic unit demonstrations. 

This event is super family friendly and has :

-face painting



-inflatable slide and much more!


This event is FREE to the public and we sincerely wish to see each and every one of you there! The Dolphinettes will also be there September 26th and September 27th selling their absolutely delicious BBQ! This is an event you won't want to miss, register on our Facebook page HERE

Did you enjoy this blog post? See more like it HERE, HERE, and HERE


“Stik” to the Basics

The best lessons in life are often learned the hard way, and today I am licking my wounds from a tough lesson reinforced at the recent Bass master Northern Open on Oneida Lake in New York.

I pride myself on being an angler with an open mind by refusing to stick with a tactic or place on the lake if it fails to produce. This philosophy has led me to success countless times and came with me to Oneida where after spending an entire week I found the bite to be tough. However, while most anglers reported that bites were far and few in between, I was finding quality fish everyday and felt an opportunity was knocking to finish high. The most consistent producing baits were the Speed Shad, XPS Suspended Minnow, double-dipped tubes, and a drop shot rig, and I was vigilant on remaining open minded on which bait was best for each spot and each day.

When day one of the tournament arrived, I was supremely confident that by slinging these baits and going through the areas that produced in practice, I would manage a competitive bag of smallmouth and largemouth bass. But, I had forgotten what got me to this point.

It began when spot #1, my most reliable producer in practice, failed to produce a single fish. After saturating the area with the aforementioned baits for an hour, I moved on. Nearly each spot produced the same results. Before I knew it, just 15 minutes remained, and I was bewildered to find only two quality smallmouth in my live well, and then it hit me. I finally slung the bait that has produced more fish for me over the years than nearly every other bait combined: a BPS Stik-O rigged wacky style. Almost immediately I caught another keeper smallmouth and a pickerel. A lightbulb went off in my head.

Unfortunately, after one day of competition I brought just three fish, weighing 7 pounds and 15 ounces, to the scales and settled in 102 place out of 196 professionals. Disappointment was not a strong enough word to describe my feelings, but I took some solace in the valuable discovery at the end: the BPS Stik-O would catch a mob of fish on day two.

When day two was over my co-angler called me a prophet as I boldly told him even before take off to tie on a Stik-O rigged wacky style because it would catch hordes, and it did. The onslaught began almost immediately in front of a disapproving audience. Amongst a crowd of boats, in an area that failed to produce a single fish on day one, we caught over 20 keeper bass. All other surrounding competitors failed to catch a single fish.

Working a wacky rigged Stik-O is as easy as fishing can get. Simply sling it out as far as possible and allow it to naturally shimmy down on slack line. Once you’re confident the bait has hit bottom, lift your rod up from the 9 o’clock position to the 2 o’clock and repeat all the way back to the boat. The fish on this day ate it up.

An interesting secondary pattern developed throughout the morning as well. Sporadically, small schools of smallmouth would surface. To coax them into biting, I threw a host of baits (Speed Shad, jerk baits, and top water) at them, but never scored a strike. Out of frustration I threw the Stik-0 at the schooling fish, which is unconventional for schooling fish. I soaked that bait for 10 seconds before lifting it, and when I did, a largemouth had swallowed it. This happened numerous times and I caught my biggest fish doing so. It was apparent that largemouth were following the schooling smallmouth and hung out under them waiting to eat up the scraps.

At the end of the day my limit of largemouth weighed 13 pounds and 9 ounces, which catapulted me up 41 spots to finish in 61 place out of 196. While I am proud of the strong finish, I will forever regret forgetting the most valuable bait in my arsenal on day one. Had I, I surely would have placed high in the standings.

Thus the lesson: always have an open mind and refuse to be content, but never allow that philosophy to ignore techniques and patterns that have proven themselves. I will never go into competition again without the Stik-O rigged up ready for battle.


Backcountry Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada, Florida

As the Harley Davidson’s Fly down US1 through Islamorada, and swimmers trek out to Alligator Light House and back, a group of forty five boats set themselves for two incredible days of fishing in the Mako Funaments, Presented by Bass Pro, and a host of other sponsors, Offshore Angler, Simrad, Papa’s PILAR, RCI Group, Coca-Cola, StarBrite, Penn, CCA Florida, Tacklewebs, NU-ICE, Columbia, Maui Jims, Mercury, and Rapala.  They went to sea both Backcountry and Offshore and did battle with a Myriad of Denison’s of the deep.  It was all smiles on everybody’s face as each day they returned to World Wide Sportsman for the fest ivies delicious food and great comradery.  It was a total good time for all the attendees’ lots smiles on lotsa faces.  The winners were showered with beautiful artwork as well as countless other gifts for their accomplishments during the two days of fishing and the raffle afterwards was just over the top everybody was a winner!  And in another venue several of World Wide Guides fished in the Herman Lucerne Tournament well, they all did well, but our very own Captain Larry Sydnor taking First Place with Captain Tony Horsley hot on his heels.  I keep telling everybody that I am docked here at world Wide with a group of titans in the industry what a great compilation of fishing guides.  I want to add a persona note:  My hat is totally off to the organizers of the Mako Funaments.  Their tireless efforts made a large group of people Very Very Happy.  Islamorada Fish Company’s Management and Staff put on three days of wicked good grub thirst quenching libations all with smiles on their faces and did not miss a beat even though during the tournament banquet there was a wedding and two full bars and a dining room full of patrons.  Way To Go!!  World Wide with three Hundred plus people in the Tournament, the Wedding, Marina Full, Restaurant full, parking lot full, giant tent in yard, Mako boats parked everywhere and a store full of patrons and they never missed a beat.  Kudos to every one of you, and lastly, Thank you Mako Boats your Staff, your Boats, these Tournaments and everything you do with and for your owners and the public a Great Job Well Done! From the Bottom of my Heart, Thank you Very Much!

There are lots to do and lots to catch, and Fun to have, no matter what the weather. Backcountry Fishing Report provided by Captain Ron Brack (305)393-7448, out of World Wide Sports Bayside Marine, Islamorada Florida. If you would like to get out on the water stop by World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina and book your trip for your adventure today.


Fly Fishing on the Rapidan River

        On the first cool, crisp morning of the fall, Charles and I headed up the rutted road that led to the headwaters of the lovely Rapidan. Arriving at the Meeting Pool, we chatted with three visitors from Korea who had come to hike along the scenic trail that led to Herbert Hoover's Rapidan Camp - a short distance downhill from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

        Charles and I headed downstream at a nice, leisurely pace and breathed in the Autumn air. For the next couple of hours we took turns fishing alternate pools as we worked our way back upstream. We noticed a few mayflies here and there but no signs that the trout were actually looking up and taking them. Nonetheless we decided to fish dry flies and settled on a size 14 Stimulator as an attractive pattern that could be easily spotted by the brookies and the eyes of senior citizens as well.

        We used our favorite cane rods on this historic little river where President Hoover had fished his Hardy "Marvel". My rod was similar to Hoover's as it was 7 and a half feet long and limber and slow in action. It was made for me by Bob Nunley of Poteau, Oklahoma. Bill Harms made the 7 foot 4 inch quadrate rod that Charles chose to fish the Rapidan on this lovely day.

       We fished through the early afternoon and raised a fish or two in nearly every run, pocket and pool. Most of the beautiful little brook trout were too quick for our reflexes but we did manage to bring a couple of them to hand for a moment's admiration and a gentle release.

Come see me in the White River Fly Shop at Bass Pro Shops – Ashland, VA!

Michael C. Simon

Brook Trout Basics Trout Fishing Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Outdoor Cooking Primer - Hard Cider "Can" Chicken w/Hard Cider Glaze

So, we like to make beer can chicken and I had yet to try the latest craze of a hard cider, so I thought - why not combine the two? I hit the Internet, knowing someone out there would have certainly thought of it before me, and found a recipe. The recipe called for a specific brand of hard cider, but I chose a different brand because it was less expensive (always thinking of the pocketbook!). The original recipe also called for fresh squeezed lemon juice, but I used the bottled lime juice that was on hand. I opened up a can of green beans to put the cider in for the cooker, since the cider comes in a bottle.

This is by far the BEST "can" chicken I have ever had - the smell of apple cider floated through the neighborhood - AND I had a great excuse to finally try a hard cider. Win-win for all!

Hard Cider Can Cooker Chicken with Hard Cider Glaze


8 ounces hard cider
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 TBSP lime juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp butter
Kosher salt & black pepper

For the Chicken

1 (4 lb.) roasting chicken
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
8 ounces hard cider

For the glaze, add cider, mustard, garlic, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and butter to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce reduces by half and thickens a little. It won't be completely thick, though, it will still be somewhat runny. Keep half of your glaze for serving and use the other half for basting

Preheat your grill with all burners on high. Remove the giblets from the inside of the chicken and cut the extra fat  off the bird, inside the neck and body cavity. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour 8 ounces of hard cider into the green bean can. Place the chicken over that can on your cooker over indirect heat. Turn the back burner off and leave the other two on medium.

Close the lid and grill the chicken until it is browned and cooked through, basting off and on. It took about 1.5 hours and you want the meat cooked to 170º F. 



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Remembering Our Fallen

In 2010, a couple from Omaha read a newspaper article about a grieving father. The father's son had died four year earlier in Iraq and he stated that his pain and grief were even greater four years later. Bill and Evonne Williams wanted to do something to help ease the pain of grieving family and friends, so they embarked on creating a visual, traveling memorial, called Remembering Our Fallen. With the backing of the Omaha World Herald and other sponsors, including Bellevue University in Nebraska, the Williams' created a memorial to honor the Nebraskans who had fallen in the War on Terror since September 11, 2001.

Seeing and experiencing the impact of this photo display/memorial for their fellow Nebraskans, the Williams' expanded the project has now grown to other states. Almost half of our 50 states each has their own Remembering Our Fallen traveling memorial and they are working to complete more.

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is honored to host the Remembering Our Fallen from Iowa display at our store from Oct. 12-19. The memorial honors 95 fallen from Iowa who have made the ultimate sacrifice in The War on Terror since Sept. 11, 2001. Through personal and military photos, the exhibit continues their memory, comforts family and friends, and reminds us all about the cost of freedom paid by many. A special opening ceremony for this emotional tribute will be held Oct. 12, 11 a.m., at the store, with presentation of our Nation's colors.

I have personally seen this exhibit. While I didn't know the fallen in the exhibit, I felt a connection and was moved and honored to know these Iowans had lost their lives for me.

We hope you will join us to pay your respects and learn more about those who called our beautiful state home and died fighting to keep it free.


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Three Things I Wish I Would Have Had

We asked some of our team members - "What are three things you wish you would have had when you first started hunting?

Gun Vault Specialist Alicia Bricker offers up this advice:

1.Rechargeable Hand Warmers – I bought one at the store last year. I get cold easily and they stay warm for a long time, so I can keep it in my pocket and just switch hands. The warmer helps keep my hands from getting stiff, while out in the extreme Iowa climate. I hunt under any conditions, so this helps give me some warmth during those frigid days.

2.  Climbing Treestands – when I started hunting when I was younger, I would just sit under any tree or anything I could find to help give me some cover. With age comes wisdom, the say, and I started using tree stands for bow hunting and soon discovered climbers were the way to go. If you get a lightweight climber, you can hunt almost anywhere and just carry your stand in with you, and you don’t have to set it up ahead of time. This keeps you from being limited to only hunting places that you had already picked out to hang a stand.

3.  Neck Gaiters - This may seem like an odd product to pick, but, as I mentioned in #1 above, I get cold easily and in Iowa’s extreme cold and wind a neck gaiter really helps me stay warm. Since I started bow hunting, I am out in more of the frigid weather than I used to be. On the ground you can somewhat get out of the wind, but with bow hunting mostly from tree stands, you are right up there in the wind with nothing to block it. I picked up one of the thick RedHead neck gaiters two years ago and won’t leave home without it now, especially on the cold windy days. They hold a ton of heat in and help keep the cold from seeping down the top of your coat. Plus, if you are like me, on the really cold days I like to cover my face with the gaiter until I am ready to shoot. I don’t like face masks when bow hunting -  I feel they throw off my shooting. I use the gaiter in a similar manner, until I am ready to shoot.

We hope these tips will help you as hunting season continues and the days get colder. What do you use now that you wish you would have know about "back then?"


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Salmon Fishing on the Salmon River

Upstate NY is know for this time of year.  Salmon fishing on the Salmon River.  Please check out for all information and fishing regulations for fishing on the Salmon River.  Below is some information from the New York State Fishing Regulations.

Salmon River

Picture of the Salmon River.

The Salmon River, located in Oswego County, stretches 17 miles from the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir in Altmar to where it empties into Lake Ontario at Port Ontario. There are 12 miles of Public Fishing Rights along the river. The Salmon River offers some of the finest sport fishing in the country. Two major fish records have been set in the Salmon River: the Great Lakes record Chinook salmon (47 lbs. 13 oz.) and the world record Coho salmon (33 lbs. 4 oz.).

Public Access

Pine Grove Boat Launch- Pine Grove Rd., off Route 3 half a mile south of route 13 at Port Ontario. Dual gravel ramps. Access to Lake Ontario. 120 cars and trailers.
Port Ontario - Rte 3, Wheelchair access. Parking.
Blackhole - North Jefferson and Bridge Streets in Pulaski.
Long Bridge Pool (Staircase) - South Jefferson Street in Pulaski.
Short Bridge Pool - Rte 11 Downtown Pulaski.
Haldane Community Center - North Jefferson St. and Maple Ave. Parking.
Railroad Bridge Pool - County Rte 2A.
Papermill Pool - County Rte 2A.
Compactor Pool - County Rte 2A. Parking.
Drift Boat Launch - Compactor Pool, County Rte 2A. Parking.
Sportsman Pool (North) - Centerville Rd. Parking.
Sportsman Pool (South) - Rte 13. Parking.
Pineville - Rte 48. Parking.
Trestle Pool (North) - Sheepskin Road. Parking.
Trestle Pool (South) - Rte 13. Parking.
Ellis Cove - Rte 42. Parking.
Altmar North- Rte 52. Parking.
Drift Boat Launch - Rte 52, Altmar. Parking
Lower Fly fishing Section - Rte. 52 Altmar. Parking.
Upper Fly Fishing Section - Rte 22. Parking.
Orwell Brook - Tubbs Rd. Parking.
Trout Brook - Rte. 48. Parking.

General Fishing Information

Chinook and Coho Salmon

Photo of anglers with large Chinook salmon

Maturing Chinook and Coho salmon returning to the Salmon River usually begin to stage off the Salmon River mouth in late August. Chinook (or King) salmon are the main attraction this time of year. The fish range in size from 15-30 lbs., averaging around 18 lbs. The Great Lakes record Chinook salmon, caught in the Salmon River, weighed 47 lbs. 13 oz. Coho salmon are generally smaller and range in size from 3 to 10 lbs., averaging around 8 lbs. The world record Coho salmon, caught in the Salmon River, weighed 33 lbs. 4 oz. Trolling in the estuary with spoons, dodgers/flies, cut-bait and plugs works well for these staging fish. Salmon usually begin entering the Salmon River around Labor Day.

A caught Salmon laying on leaves.

Once salmon enter the river they are no longer actively feeding. Despite this, they do exhibit behaviors that make them vulnerable to traditional sportfishing techniques. One of these behaviors is aggression, or territoriality, and the other is their attraction to fish eggs or egg shaped lures. The peak of the spawning run usually doesn't occur until the latter half of September and the first half of October. Fish are generally spread throughout the river depending on the spawning stage they are in. Some fish will be making their way upriver (often referred to as running), holding in deeper pools and actively spawning. Fish engaged in the first two activities can be caught on egg sacs, egg imitating flies or plastics and streamers. Fish that are spawning, especially the males, can become very aggressive and will strike gaudy streamers swung past their spawning redds.


A fisherman holding a Steelhead.

The Salmon River offers the opportunity to fish for two strains of steelhead, the Washington strain and the Skamania strain. The Washington, or winter run, begin entering the Salmon River in late October and continue through Spring. They feed aggressively on the abundant salmon eggs in the Fall, thus making it a very good time to go steelhead fishing. Using egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are your best options. Fish that entered the river in the fall will hold over in the deeper pools of the river throughout the winter. Fishing the deeper pools with egg sacs, egg imitating flies or nymphs works well this time of year. Warming periods during the winter may bring new fish into the river. Spawning usually takes place during mid-March and through early April.

After spawning the fish begin to drop back to Lake Ontario. These fish can be very aggressive. These fish feed heavily because they are hungry and finished spawning. They can be caught on plugs, spinners, flies, egg sacs and night crawlers.

Summer run skamania steelhead begin entering the river around June. They tend to run during periods of increased flow. Your best chance to encounter fish is after a heavy rain or planned water release from the hydro plant. The fish remain in the river until they spawn the following spring.

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon were native to Lake Ontario. They are fall spawners and start their spawning run as early as July. Atlantic salmon can range from 5 to 20 lbs. Fishing techniques are similar to steelhead fishing methods.

Brown Trout

Brown trout enter the river from mid-September to mid-November. Brown trout are also on a spawning run, but will feed heavily on salmon eggs. It can be difficult to target brown trout, but one option is fishing downstream from actively spawning salmon with egg sacs and egg imitating flies and plastics. Brown trout range from 2 to 20 lbs.

For current fishing information a fishing hotline is available at Region 7 Fishing Hotline or by calling (607) 753-1551.
For current water level on the Salmon River call 1-800-452-1742 code 365123.

Fisheries Management

Fishermen standing in the Salmon river.

The five major gamefish are Chinook and Coho salmon, Atlantic salmon (or landlocked salmon), brown trout, and steelhead. Smallmouth bass are also found in the river. The Salmon River is stocked yearly with around 300,000 Chinook salmon, 80,000 Coho salmon, 120,000 Washington strain steelhead, 40,000 skamania strain steelhead and 30,000 Atlantic salmon. Natural reproduction does take place in the Salmon River but to what extent this adds to the fishery is not known. The Salmon River is an important part of the Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishery. Some of the returning salmon and steelhead to the Salmon River make their way to the Salmon River Fish Hatchery. These fish are then used for egg collection and the resulting fish are stocked into many Lake Ontario tributaries, along with the Salmon River. A total of 1.76 million Chinook salmon are stocked annually by NYSDEC into Lake Ontario.

Special Regulations

Salmon River has some special fishing regulations, these can be found in your fishing guide in the section Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations. There are two catch and release fly fishing only areas. Conventional fly fishing equipment is required. The area above the County Rte. 52 bridge in Altmar is open from September 15 to May 15. The upper section is located adjacent to County Rte. 22 above the Salmon River Hatchery and is open April 1 to November 30.

Bass Pro Shops has just what you need to make salmon fishing safe along with giving you the right equipment to make it successful.  Check out or click on the product below to see just some of what we have to offer.

White River Fly Shop Osprey Chest High Stocking Foot Waders for Men are just what you are looking for. Made of 100% waterproof/breathable membrane material, quick release suspenders, safety belt, inside chest pocket and reinforced knees and seats.  Pair them with the White River Fly Shop Extreme Wading Shoe for Men.   Rubber outsoles with re-moveable metal studs are perfect for slippery conditions.

Check out the  World Wide Sportsman Deceiver Rod/Kingfisher Reel Complete Fly Outfit.  It is one of our best sellers.  Flies?  Stop on by and talk with our knowledgeable associates as to what color or what fly is needed.  They will be happy to direct you.




The Family that Eats Together....

September is National Family Meals Month. After rolling my eyes at another monthly recognition, I thought about it and realized eating as a family ties in with what we do here and is just another step in the circle of creating the next generation of ethical sportsmen and women.

As a Midwest small-town family of the 60s and 70s, one thing our family most always did together was eat. The dinner table was where you caught up on the day's activities, whether work or school, where big brothers picked on little sisters, and where my mom was always the last one to finish eating. As most good Midwestern families know, THE meal of the week was Sunday dinner (for non-Midwesterners, "dinner" is the Sunday noon meal - otherwise, dinner and supper are interchangeable as proper evening meal terminology all other days of the week). That's when mom broke out the cast iron for the pot roast, REAL mashed potatoes, and dark brown gravy made from the roast residue (not from a jar or packet)...oh, and don't forget the green beans, usually home-canned.  As the children aged, and got involved in activities and working, the weekday meals together were less frequent, but there was always the Sunday meal. Even on our camping trips, we sat around the picnic table and ate meals together.

How many people have regular family meals now? According to a 2013 Harris poll, only 30% of American families share a meal every night. We're busy. Kids are being shuttled here and there for sports and activities at a MUCH younger age than when I was young. Are you setting aside one day or night per week to have a family meal?

Many families that hunt & fish together often gut and fillet together AND enjoy the rewards together later. They enjoy the family time outdoors, then the time around the cooking equipment and the table. From fried panfish to smoked trout to grilled backstraps to venison casseroles and slow cooker wild turkey breasts, the game we hunt and fish is also, more often than not, what we eat, often breaking bread not only with family members, but sharing with friends.

Some families don't hunt and fish, but still enjoy cooking and having big family meals once in a while. We give you many resources here in this blog for recipes - some easy, some a little more time-consuming - so you can have family meals together more often. Slow cookers, chicken, chowder, meatloaf...there is something for everyone's taste. Improvise, like we often do. Don't have venison? Use beef. Don't have crappie? Use tilapia.

Take the time, teach your kids, commit to one more meal together per week, gather round the table, unplug, eat and communicate. Your mother would be proud of you.

Here are some of the popular recipes we've shared over the past five years. To see others, visit search!


Breakfast Casserole

Brick Chicken

Grilled Chicken Crunch Casserole

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Uncle Buck's Biscuits

Slow Cooker Fresh Veggie Lasagna

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

Grilled Pork Chops with Rhubarb-Cranberry Sauce

Parmesan-Crusted Crappie

Panfish Chowder

Smoked Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Crust

Venison Meatballs Espanol

Venison (or Not) Spiral Meatloaf

Mini Apple-Glazed Venison Loaves


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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Roasted Beets

While we use the grill and smoker year round at our house, we go into overdrive in the warmer months. That's when our garden and the farmer's markets offer up the least expensive and tastiest fresh veggies to roast outdoors. A veggie I've added to my must-have lists is the roasted beet.

Pickled beets are they only way I've ever had beets. I like them, but don't buy them. They'll show up on my plate, if they're on a salad bar. However, last year, a friend gave us beets from their garden and, as usual, I said, "We should be able to roast these on the grill."

I did, we do, and now we have another veggie to add to our roasting collection!

Roasted Beets

The most challenging part of this project is peeling the beets, especially when they're small. Be prepared for a colorful look to your hands afterwards --- it will look like you've been soaking them in a nice Merlot!

Cut the greens off the beets, peel and quarter. Depending on the size of the beets, you may want to halve the quarters, too.

Spread a sheet of heavy duty foil on the counter.

Place the beets in a bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and season generously with fresh ground black pepper (or pepper blend seasoning), garlic powder and a twist or two of ground Mediterranean or kosher salt. Stir them around so everything is well covered.

Dump them on the foil.

Pull the foil up on each side, long ways, and seal, creating a good solid seam. Fold the ends up, sealing them tightly.

(You can also used a veggie roasting grid, made specifically for the grill. But the foil pouch takes up less room if you want to use the grill for other items at the same time.)

Put them on the grill on indirect heat. On our grill, we have the back burner off, the middle on medium-low and the front on medium. Close the lid and roast on the grill for about 45 minutes.

What's nice is you can throw something else on the grill, while they're roasting. Serve them over some saffron rice, with some butterfly chops, and you have a colorful, tasty summer meal!


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Tie One On: Yellow Stimulator

So this month will give us our fifteenth article in the Tie One On blog series. We have covered many of the classics fly patterns, a few knot options to try out and the off-hand fishing lure. This month we will take a look at a pattern that is a must for every trout fisherman’s fly-box, and I’d even put it out there for bass and some panfish as well. It’s big. It’s yellow. It aint Big Bird. It is… the Yellow Stimulator.

The Yellow Stimulator is a dry fly that rides high. It has ample amounts of hackle and hollow hair that keeps it afloat and easy to spot while being fished. The bright yellow coloration also helps a fisherman keep his eye on it. It simulates several prey species for trout, including grasshopper, stonefly or caddis.

It typically ranges between size 6 to 10, but as always there are numerous variations to this. I have seen sometimes where the pattern has rubber legs attached to it. You can tie this pattern in any vibrant color, usually orange as the substitution, but one of the prettiest flies I have seen in a while was one of these tied to replicate the Royal Coachman pattern.

Since this fly rides high and has a little extra heft to it, the yellow stimulator is quite popularly used with a wet fly dropped behind it. But this pattern really shines during golden stonefly hatches.

Until next time.


Woolly Bugger Royal Coachman Pheasant Tail Nymph Crawshrimp Own Creation

Trilene Knot The Adams Dropper Loop Spinner San Juan Worm Elk Hair Caddis Royal Wulff

Blue Winged Olive Purple Haze


True Timber: The Difference Between Looking Real and Being Real

Every year, like most hunters, I look at the newest hunting products and hunting clothing to see what I want to spend my hard earned money on. It isn’t very often that I decide to spend that money on the newest products. This year, however, something has caught my eye and I have to spend the money. Since it involves switching my choice of camouflage pattern, I’m going to be buying all new hunting clothing. So what has me this excited? Two simple words: True Timber.

Companies are always trying to create the most realistic patterns when compared to the geographic locations we hunt. True Timber has done exactly that. There is a “difference between looking real and being real.” True Timber uses high definition digital images to create their variety of patterns. There is nothing painted into the pattern. This allows for the pattern to be ultra-realistic to different natural environments and to break up a hunter’s silhouette.


So which pattern of True Timber am I turning to this fall? It’s the High Tech Concealment Fall, or HTC Fall, pattern. The pattern features oak branches, leaves and twigs. The leaves are a mixture of green, aged brown, and golden brown leaves, making the pattern great for mid to late season hunting. The HTC Fall pattern is ideal for the hardwood forests that I hunt in Northwest, Central and West Central Ohio. It is also versatile enough to fit into a variety of other landscapes throughout the country.


The HTC Fall pattern is the only pattern I have seen in person, but the True Timber website currently shows 15 patterns available that are usable in multiple hunting situations and another 4 patterns that I would consider fashion patterns. When these other patterns hit the store, I’m positive I will be adding them to my closet.

DRT™ - Dead Right There HTC Spring New Conceal

 XD3 / Extreme Detail, Depth, and Deception Flooded Timber Conceal Brown Conceal Green DS1 Harvest Mixed Pine

   MC2 Snow / Maximum Concealment Snow MC2 Blaze / Maximum Concealment Blaze MC2 Cobalt MC2 Purple MC2 Pink Snowfall Snowfall Pink

If you have not seen this pattern in person, you need to stop into Rossford Bass Pro Shops and check it out. The pattern is currently available in a variety of products such as the Mountain Stalker Series, the Redhead Tech Windproof, all of the Silent Hide products, long-sleeve and short sleeve True Fit T-shirts, a variety of boots, and the Blackout Hybrid 180 Hunting Blind.


True Timber has stepped up the game and created what I believe to be the ultimate patterns available. They have blown everyone else out of the woods with the most realistic pattern that I have seen and True Timber has me hooked! It really is for true hunters and I cannot wait to see the new patterns in the store.


Jay Hollis

Hunting Clothing Team Leader


Feral Swine - How Hunters Can Help

Feral pigs - free-ranging populations of wild pigs - are now in at least 39 states. Experts estimate their numbers at around 5 million. The feral swine not only cause extremely extensive damage to crops and landscapes, but also can spread disease to other animals and people.

USDA Wildlife Specialist Josh Wisdom says while the feral swine problem in Iowa is not as prevalent as in nearby states, it is on the rise. In the past 10 years, there have been a little over 200 feral pigs reported killed in Iowa or state/federal agencies have removed them. Wisdom emphasizes that REPORTING is the key and they are putting out an all call for sportsmen and women everywhere to be a part of solution by reporting feral pigs they kill or even simply see.

Wisdom says the phrase "greedy as pigs" is around for a purpose. They will destroy our native wildlife, if the population continues to increase as it has, by eating everything in sight, almost literally. From the acorns that drop off the trees to the crops and rebuilt habitat, they will devour before anything else can get to it.

How can you help? If you see signs of feral swine or kill one, report it to your state wildlife or agriculture officials.

  • Contact USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at 866-487-3297.
  • In Iowa, report feral hog sightings online at (scroll to the bottom, right about the map)
  • Do not relocate feral swine without permits. It is illegal in most states to trap and move feral swine.
  • If you have domestic pigs, protect them from escaping or having contact with feral hogs.

For more information, visit the USDA APHIS web site at


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Fire Starting 101

With summer coming to an end and the temperatures dropping it is starting to feel a lot like fall.  Though we are thankful for the cooler weather, the temperature drop at night can put a damper on many fun camping trips planned for the next couple of months.  A campfire is a perfect way to put you into the camping spirit as well as stay warm as we continue into the chilly nights ahead.  Luckily here at your local Bass Pro Shops, we have a selection of great fire starting materials from many top brands:  Light My Fire, Coghlan's, and Ultimate Survival Technologies.  Not only do the brands create great products, you can own one yourself without having to break the bank.  All the products we will discuss are under $15.00.


Light my Fire is a Swedish Bran that specialized in camp mess kits and fire starters.  Their Firesteel 2.0 Scout is one of the more popular fire starters that we sell. This is a set that consists of a ferro rod and a metal striker that when slid across the rod creates a spark that is over 5,000 degrees!  The unit itself is durable and will last over 3,000 strikes.  The striker and the starter rod come attached on a string so you don't have to worry about losing one or the other.  In addition to strikers, Light My Fire also sells a collection of fire starting materials which they call Tindersticks.  These Tindersticks are natural wood that has a high resin content that makes it highly flammable and long lasting. 


Another popular outdoor brand is Ultimate Survival Technologies.  They take the system of a sparking rod and a striker and simplify it into one concise package.  This combination they call the Sparkie.  The Sparkie can shoot sparks with a simple push allowing one to sart a fire by simply placing down kindling and pushing the Sparkie towards it.  Unlike other brands where you have to fumble with making sure you shoot the sparks in the correct direction and with enough force, the sparkie ensures that every time you strike it you get a spark.  In addition Ultimate Survival Brands has fire starter tinder titled Wetfire.  Wetfire as its name suggests can light under many harsh conditions and will ignite with just one spark even when wet.   


Tired and true brand Coghlans provides the standard for fire starters.  Their fire starter is the standard rectangular system people might recognize from survivor and many survival television shows.  The block is used with a knife to create sparks.  White this is not as simplistic as the systems created by other brands, this is the original design for fire starters and has lasted for many years.  Coghlans has a collection of tinder as well.  Their firesticks are waterproof and will quickly ignite and stay lit to ensure you have the best change of starting your fire.  


So as you gear up for you fall camping excursions come down to Bass Pro and check out these great products that will help you create a fire fast and a fire that will last!


How to Build a Safe Campfire