Top Unique Products of 2013 - Ladies' Apparel

A new year typically means taking time to reflect on the previous year. With that thought in mind, I asked the various departments what their top "unique" products were in 2013...unique in technology, usage, and features.

Ladies' ApparelColumbia Tech gloves

  • Touch Tip gloves - With smartphones and other electronics these days, touch tip gloves are one of theTouch Tip gloves best accessories to have. How many times have you gone to use your smartphone but had to take your gloves off first? With a touch tip thumb and index on both hands, these gloves allow you to use any touch screen device without removing your gloves. The technology is also available in men's and hunting apparel. 
  • Thumbholes on cuffs -  These have become very popular in Ladies' apparel and many vendors are on the Ladies Ascend with Thumbholesbandwagon, including Columbia, The North Face and Ascend.  In most cases, it is on an interior cuff, allowing you to have additional built-in protection in your coat.  If you are wearing gloves, the thumbholes help stop wind and/or snow from going up your sleeve.
  • Omni-Heat Gloves-  Columbia brought their lightweight, yet warm technology, to more gloves this year. The Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining uses your own body heat, trapping and retaining it to keep you warm.
  • Infinity Scarves - These scarves have been extremely popular for our cold weather blasts this season! Natural Reflections Infinity ScarfAre you all about function or do you lean more toward fashion? There are some designed for all tastes!  


Next up - Camping!


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Banded Together

The banding of birds for identification has occurred for over 100 years in the U.S. The first records of bird banding in North America come from naturalist John James Audubon. The numbered bands help scientists at the United States Geologic Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service study the flight patterns, habitat, and more about birds, from the smallest hummingbird up to the trumpeter swan. For waterfowl hunters, harvesting a banded bird can be a milepost in their hunting career. Each band collected is a band of honor…not only for having taken the bird, but also as respect for the life of the bird it has graced. True sportsmen will know the story of any band they collect and the bird that carried it. Bass Pro Shops Altoona Hunting Associate Frank Lake tells his:


Being a relatively new resident of Iowa, I have come to enjoy the new hunting and fishing that this great state has given me. I’m originally from Southern California and had done some duck and goose hunting in that area, but it was mostly open water hunting.

After persuasion from some friends a couple of years ago, I was introduced to waterfowl hunting Midwest-style, particularly goose hunting. On various hunting excursions, I couldn’t stop noticing the displays of silver leg bands on fellow hunters’ call lanyards. Some would have a few and a couple of hunters…well, it seemed their lanyards were nothing but pieced together leg bands.

However, the bands weren’t just for bravado. Every hunter had a story about his or her bands. One friend explained that on his first ever hunt he shot two of the three bands that he held in highest regard. Another friend, a few weeks later, showed me his collection, which looked like a massive ball of recycled soda cans. Silver, black, some stained brown… each one had its own individual story. I looked forward to the time I would harvest a banded bird to begin my own collection of stories and remembrances.
That moment finally came.

Lanyard band of calls

A couple of weeks ago, the day started out in Iowa, and many other locations across this country, as it has so often this season:  Snow on the ground, freezing temperatures, and the wind pushing the cold right down to the skin. For our hunting group it didn’t seem to matter, as we continued the centuries old tradition of hunting and set up our spread that morning.

It wasn’t long and the geese started to move. With the weather being so cold, they had to fly out of the city to the farm fields to eat, and that’s where we waited. The first group pushed north right into our spread and, with an excited “get ‘em,” we sat up from the dugout frozen ditches that we laid in and surprised our prey. Pops from the guns erupted, and the birds flew everywhere…startled by us hunters appearing from nowhere. There where birds falling from the flock. We quickly reloaded, retrieved the birds we had shot, and returned to our blinds.

About an hour passed, with some flocks passing by, but none could be coaxed in with our decoys and calls. After a little while, a small group worked their way toward us fighting the brutal north wind. It seemed like an eternity, while we watched them from afar, moving their wings with such effort just to come to the field. Like any other hunter out there, the anticipation grew with every passing second. The flock now was a couple hundred yards away and we could really start to hear them call back to us. The only thing going through my head was “here we go.” The group started their final approach, cupping their wings and cackling at us as they drew closer. As they were about to set down, one of their calls didn’t sound the same as the rest and they broke away from us. Seeing this, and knowing that they were still within range, I called out to take them. I lifted my old shotgun, added a little lead into the shot, and squeezed the trigger. With a thunderous clap, that 12-gauge, 3.5-inch black cloud round went off, and the bird that I aimed for started to fall like a maple leaf to the ground.  

Frank Lake Bass Pro Shops Altoona

The other guys in the group looked over and said, “Yeah, yeah, lucky shot,” and the usual phrases we all give each other. I reloaded the gun and walked out to my bird. As I got closer, I saw something that didn’t look natural and was clearly out of place.

It was a band.

The rush of excitement flushed over me and I forgot the cold that day.

“Hey, we got jewelry!” I yelled.

Of course, my fellow hunters were doubtful. I walked over to the blinds to show them the bird. One of the hunters, who has many bands himself, looked at the number printed into the steel and said, “That’s going to be an old bird.”

Another hunter, grinning from ear to ear like a child raiding the cookie jar, good-naturedly ribbed, "Hey, I shot that one!"

We finished the day with our limit. Since it was a weekend, I had to wait until the following day to call in the band and find out the history of that bird. That night seemed like it would never end.

Morning arrived and I dialed the number on the band. At a call center somewhere in Missouri, a very nice receptionist picked up the phone and collected my information - number on the band, when did I recover the bird, did I shoot or find the bird, my name, address, email, phone number - and a list of questions that seemingly went on forever.

“You shot an old bird,” she said, and my interest peaked.

The bird was banded August 4, 2006, in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I went to a map and explored the distance that the bird had flown from the Southwest area of the Hudson Bay to Iowa.

How many miles had that bird flown for the past seven years?

Where had it been?

Where was the bird’s nesting area during the summer? Had it been further south for the winter than just Iowa?

I thought about the odds of how, over the vastness of the Mississippi flyway, this bird and I met in that field, on that day, in the middle of Iowa, in the middle of the country.

While there are many questions that will remain unanswered, this fact is true:  I'm permanently hooked on waterfowl hunting by this first of many bands to come and many more stories behind every bird.  


For more information on bird banding, visit

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Product Spotlight - BaitBall by LiveTarget - NEW!

Hot off the truck at Bass Pro Shops Altoona...LiveTarget's BaitBall...ICAST 2013's Best Hard Lure of the Year!

Multiple profiles in one body gives the impression of a small cluster of shad that has split away from it's bigger group. Another step in re-creating the real underwater world and nature's survival of the fittest!


Threadfin Shad Baitball Crankbait Crankbait

This diver has a maximum depth of 10 feet and at the store we have it in Pearl Blue Chartreuse and Pearl Gray. Details and additional colors are available at


LiveTarget SquarefishThreadfin Shad Baitball Squarebill

Depth of 3-4 feet and comes in Pearl Blue Chartreuse, Metallic Green, and Pearl Green. Details and additional colors are available at


Check out the LiveTarget story of how the BaitBall concept came to be and a demo!


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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Slow Cooker Easy Venison Stew

Venison StewWith temps below freezing, it was a stew week at our house. My husband makes a GREAT venison stew that's super simple. We featured a venison stew last year at this time, but this one is our own concoction. (Secret - Spicy V-8 is a go-to ingredient for many of our chilis, soups, and stews.)


Chili-flavored olive oil
1 - 3-lb venison roast 
8 - medium potatoes (or more if you like)
1 - 8 oz bag of baby carrots
3 - stalks of celery cut into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces
1 medium onion - cut in chunks
1 box of beef stock
2 cups of Spicy V-8 vegetable juice
Garlic powder
Smoked paprika
Fresh ground black pepper or pepper seasoning blend
1 small can tomato paste - optional
3 Tbsp corn starch - optional
3 Tbsp cold water - optional


Cut the roast into small chunks. (It may be easier to do this when it's still a bit frozen.) Quarter the potatoes. Use more or less potatoes to your liking. Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of cooker. Throw everything together in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Use the tomato paste and/or a corn starch & water mixture to thicken the stew, if desired. 


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Clearance, clearance, clearance - we have great buys on items in all departments, including holiday and apparel! While you're here, check out a couple of our sweepstakes we have going on!

Lone Survivor SweepstakesLone Survivor Sweepstakes - Sponsored by Under Armour

Can you picture yourself sitting in a private screening with 249 of your closest friends watching Mark Wahlberg on the big screen? Then get into the drawing for the Lone Survivor movie sweepstakes! Lone Survivor is a true tale of courage, recounting Navy SEAL Team 10 Team's mission in 2005 to capture or kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.

The sweepstakes ends January 24, 2014. Limit one entry per person per method and you must be 18 years old at time of entry!

Everyone who enters will be eligible to win the grand prize:
Grand Prize: a private screening of "Lone Survivor" for winner and up to 249 guests. Universal will determine the theater location as well as the date and time of screening.

Enter in-store or online and be eligible to win: Hoody, Antler Cap, Wounded Warrior Cap, Classic Stretch Fit Cap, and Women's Beanie.

You may also enter online at!


Monster Fish SweepstakesMonster Fish Sweepstakes

It's Bass Pro's eighth year for this Monster Fish Sweepstakes! Stop in and register to win a 2014 Nitro Z-6 with a 115 ELPT OptiMax and Trailer!

Good Luck!


Hot Tips for Ice Fishing in Northern Iowa

Want to know a secret? Kevan Paul, of Kevan Paul's Guide Service has some tips for you ice fisherman on fishing Clear Lake and Crystal Lake in northern Iowa. He's an accomplished tournament fisherman and a member of Clam's Ice Team pro staff. He KNOWS north Iowa lakes! 

In this YouTube video, Kevan gives you the latest secret for the north...and you'll ONLY get it from him on this video!

For more information on Kevan's guide service, visit


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Iowa 2014 Ice Fishing Tournaments

Iowa Ice Fishing TournamentsHere are some ice fishing tournaments that we are aware of in Iowa.  Click the links, where supplied, for more information or visit!  Have fun, be safe, and share your photos with us at!





Jan 11, 2014
Panfish Bonanza (Registration deadline passed)
Dumcombe, IA
Brushy Creek Lake

Jan 12, 2014
Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournaments
Spirit Lake, IA
West Okoboji Lake

Jan 18, 2014
Guttenberg Ice Fishing Tournament
Harper's Ferry, IA
Mississippi River Pool 10

Jan 25, 2014
Diamond Lake Ice Fishing Derby
Montezuma, IA
Diamond Lake

Jan 25, 2014
Fargin Icehole Competition
Davenport, IA
Lost Grove Lake

Jan 25, 2014
Frozen Fins Ice Fishing Tournament
Grinnell, IA
Jacob Krumm Nature Preserver Lake (west)

Jan 25, 2014
Stauss Realty Winter Games Ice Fishing Tournament
Okoboji, IA
West Okoboji Lake

Jan 26, 2014
Cedar Rapids Bassmasters Ice Fishery
Palo, IA
Pleasant Creek Lake

Feb 1, 2014
Lehigh Fire Dept Annual Ice Fishing Tournament
Lehigh, IA
Brushy Creek Lake

Feb 1, 2014
Storm Lake Ice Fishing Tournament
Storm Lake, IA
Frank Starr Park
Storm Lake

Feb 2, 2014
Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournaments
DesMoines, IA
Big Creek Lake

Feb 8, 2014
Clear Lake Yellow Bass Bonanza
Clear Lake, IA
Macintosh State Park
Clear Lake

Feb 8, 2014
Frostbite Olympics Ice Fishing Tournament
Algona, IA
Lake Smith

Feb 8, 2014
Lake Meyer Ice Fishing Derby
Calmar, IA
Lake Meyers

Feb 9, 2014
Des Moines Winter Games Ice Derby
Des Moines, IA
Easter Lake

Feb 16, 2014
Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournaments
Afton, IA
Three Mile Lake

Feb 23, 2014
Team Extreme Ice Fishing Tournaments
Grinnell, IA
Rock Creek Lake

Mar 16, 2014
Fort Dodge, IA
Brushy Creek Lake

Ice Fishing a Cold Front

Ouch! It's cold! But, that doesn't stop an ice fisherman! Clam's Ice Team Pro Staff member Kevan Paul is an accomplished tournament fisherman from northern Iowa. He joined us at Bass Pro Shops Altoona for our Ice Fishing Event on Saturday, January 4, 2014.

Kevan says when it's this cold, the ice fisherman needs to change his or her tactics. Check out this YouTube video for more information from Kevan Paul of Ice Team!




New Year - New Chapters

A new year is a book with 365 blank pages on which you can write. The outdoors is full of opportunities to create change...maybe take on a new adventure. For some, it may be as simple as spending more time outside...for others, it might perceived to be more complicated - climbing a mountain, for example. Maybe it's physically stimulating...or a mental challenge. Set a goal, give it a try, and you may find a new mindset.

Here some ideas to get you started on those new chapters:

1. Learn an outdoor skill - Open water fishing, ice fishing, bow fishing, hunting, shooting, archery, basic boating skills, using a metal detector, bird watching, animal identification, geocaching, backpacking, nature photography...and that's just some of the ideas. If you know someone who participates in these activities, ask to tag along and learn more. Attend outdoors events sponsored by Bass Pro Shops stores or your local organizations. For example, in the Des Moines area we have the Iowa Outdoors Expo event where you can experience the sport hands-on and learn from experts. Becoming an Outdoors Woman is a program sponsored by the Iowa DNR, which offers women a chance to learn new outdoor skills in a relaxed environment over a long weekend. Your local county conservation office may also offer workshops on various outdoor skill topics throughout the year.

Lake Red Rock

2. Take a hike - Literally, get off your rear and go for a walk. Progress to taking day hikes. Iowa has some fantastic trails to enjoy. Lake Red Rock has a nice trail system to begin with. Take your time, start short distances, but get your heart pumping. You could do it at a gym, but wouldn't you rather enjoy the smell of fresh air and watching wildlife while you work your legs? Take a camera!

3. Garden/Feed the Birds- Again, start small...don't get in over your head. Start with flowers and learn about birds. Plant something simple like tomatoes or peppers. Hummingbirds LOVE flower gardens and help keep the bugs away, so don't forget the hummingbird feeder...put it out May 1, weather permitting.

4. Outdoor cooking - Now, take what you grew in #3 and throw it on a smoker, grill, or other form of outdoor cooking. Smoking, grilling, dutch oven, campfire cooking...anything you make IN the house, can also be made outside the house through one or all of these methods. There are terrific books and online information with recipes, tips and techniques. Explore the many rubs and sauces Bass Pro Shops has, or grab a book and make your own! Take those peppers you just grew in the garden, stuff them with rice and cheese and throw them on the grill! Check out our many Outdoor Cooking blog posts for great recipes!

Kayaking5. Paddle through life - Kayaking and canoeing have reached new heights of popularity in Iowa. Don't have a kayak or canoe? Again, check with your local county conservation office, state DNRs, and resorts. For example, Honey Creek Resort in the Lake Rathbun area offers free workshops on kayaking and other activities to the public, as well as their guests. Iowa not only has a great land trail system for walking and biking, but we have almost 20,000 miles of water trails for kayaking and canoeing. Make sure you learn proper safety, too!

Last, but not least...teach someone else something you already know about the outdoors. Pull a child away from the Xbox or DS and put a GPS, geocaching, or metal detector in their hand and teach them to find treasurers!  Turn off your electronics for a day and invite a friend to fish or hunt. You never may find SEVERAL pages that you'll be able to complete in your Book of 2014.


Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Five Cold Weather Comforts

Twelve below true temp and 27 below wind chill on Christmas Eve morning. I'm pretty sure we'll have a few more of these over the next couple of months. We try to save on heating bills by keeping our thermostat set at a balmy 65-67 degrees and we have one of those "made by the Amish" electric fireplaces to cut the chill in the basement, where we spend most of our time.

We often talk about ways to beat the heat, but what about beating the cold? Here's my personal five cold weather comforts on any given -12 and -27 wind chill day at the house!

RedHead Socks

1. RedHead Lifetime socks - When I crawl out of bed, they are my slippers and my first defense for cold and comfort. If I'm not leaving the house, I wear them all day. If I DO leave the house, I throw on a pair of the new medium-weight lifetime guarantee socks.

2. Natural Reflections Lounge sets - I have the red/black plaid bottoms with the matching black waffle weave top with a red moose on it. This is THE most comfortable set of "lazy" clothes I have, other than the pink/green camo set, which is better for spring and summer.

3. Tervis Tumbler (Made in the USA!) - My Tervis 24 oz. double-insulated tumbler is designed to keep drinks cold OR hot. So, I throw in some of the Uncle Buck's Country Day Premium Dark Chocolate Cocoa Mix and keep my insides Uncle Buck's® Country Day Premium Dark Chocolate Cocoa Mixwarm, too. I like it because it's made in Vancouver, Washington, and they're committed to using domestic products whenever possible.

4. Since it's a day off, I'm probably keeping warm by cooking and running around doing laundry, etc. However, if I settle down to do some work on the computer in my office, I wrap myself up in one of the many fleece wraps we have from Bass Pro!

5. At the end of the day, when it's time to watch the Iowa State University mens' basketball team, or some pro football on the television (if we haven't already been!), I crawl into another set of Natural Reflections lounge wear. Yes, I love these lounge sets. Flannel, warm, and toasty. Throw a blanket over me and I'm ready to cheer on a team and relax for the evening!

Whatever it takes, keep warm this and snug...and don't look at the thermometer!



Ice Fishing Event @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Cold temps have made great conditions for ice anglers! On Saturday, January 4, 2014, Bass Pro Shops Altoona celebrates the art of ice fishing! Join us to learn ice fishing basics and more starting with an ON-ICE DEMO at 11:30, then seminars at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., plus the chance to win drawings!


11:30 a.m. - On Ice Demo -   UNDERSTANDING FLASHERS AND OTHER TIPS/TRICKS (Weather and ice thickness permitting) Meet at the reel counter in the Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Department and we will head outside for a demo. You MUST come to the reel counter first.  Space is limited to 10 people, however, if demand warrants it a 12:15 session will be added and we will take another group on the ice. PARTICIPANTS SHOULD BRING ICE CLEATS, if possible.  All participants will wear a store-provided PFD.

1 p.m. - "NORTH IOWA PANFISH TACTICS" with Ice Team Pro Kevan Paul, featuring Clear Lake and other northern Iowa waters, like Crystal Lake. Kevan is a fishing guide (Kevan Pauls Guide Service) and an accomplished tournament fisherman on these bodies of water.

3 p.m. - "FISHING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BACKWATERS" - Learn more about fishing this northeast part of Iowa from Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Lead Chris Grocholski, a native of the area.

At 4 p.m. we'll be drawing the names of two lucky winners and give away a Clam Vista Shelter and a Bass Pro Shops 6" Hand Ice Auger!

Kevan Paul


Seasoning Your New or Old Cast Iron

Seasoning your cast ironThere might be a few people who will receive or give cast iron cookware for Christmas presents. Plus, aside from those who cook year-round with cast iron, many people are putting their Dutch Ovens, etc., away for the winter.  We thought it would be a good time to revisit how to maintain your cast iron, so we asked our Camping Department experts for some tips.

Prepare cast iron for use is called seasoning. Most manufacturers sell pre-seasoned cast iron, but not all. The package should tell you. By the way, Lodge, a very popular brand, is the only non-enamel "Made in the USA" manufacturer.

The best practice is to have designated pans for different cooking and to circulate use.

There are some tell-tale signs that it's time to reseason your cast iron:

  • Food sticking on bottom
  • Food not moving freely
  • There should have a shine to the pan
  • Rust

To season a new pan:

  • First, heat the pan in an oven at 400 for about five minutes. The warmth loosens up the pores of the skillet.
  • Using a liquid vegetable oil  – no olive oils or solid shortening - wipe the cast iron piece, inside and out, including the handle.
  • When you think you’ve got all the oil out of the paper towel...take another paper towel and do it all over again.
  • Bake the oil-coated skillet in the oven upside down, so there’s no pooling in the bottom of the skillet – 400 degrees for  one hour.
  • Cool in oven


What about rust?

Surface rust

  • Make a 50/50 vinegar water solution.
  • Spray on the rust area and then rub off with paper towel.
  • Dry completely.
  • Apply oil like when seasoning.
  • Bake again.  Even if it’s just one little spot, do this complete process.

If the cast iron is pitted, you will need to use steel wool and go deeper.


Remember - Cast iron is only as good as the care it receives. Always put it away dry and it’s okay to season once a year, even if you don’t think it needs it. Just adds to the protection factor even more.

Enjoy and happy cooking!



Last, Last Batch of Letters!

Dear Santa:

For Christmas I want Barbies, barbie dream house, clothes, PJs, Twinkle to return. That's mainly it.

PS: Twinkle did not move last night and how I know that is because she is in the same exact place she is in that she was in yesterday. So I do not know what is going on.

Sincerely, Jasmyn

I will not be here on Christmas Eve. Bring my present on Christmas night. What I want for Christmas is a real bow and arrow. I love you.



I want all the kittens in the world to be happy and a zoomie robot dog. Please get all my cousins, friends and family good presents, too. Thanks!



I hope you a merry Christmas, too. You are such a nice guy. I really like what you give me every year. I really, really, like what you give me.



How are you doing? How many elves fo you have? How do you dliver present in one night? This year I would to have an elf on my shelf. Could I also have a bunny or a kitty, too?  I deserve them because I have always been believing in you!



My halo is crooked a little. Can you please say "hi" to the elves for me? I want a I-pod cover. Good luck! Any new reindeer?



Last but not least - Greydon, cuts to the chase:

I have been good. I want a bat cave.





One More Batch of Letters to Santa

I would like a Lego Death Star. It is the big one with 3,003 pieces. Thanks and let my family have a happy Christmas. Thanks.
PS: Have a good night sleep!

Your friend, William

I want you to be happy when delivering presents and I hope you get a present to have a good year.  Get my dad whatever he wants and what my mom wants. Let John be with Carly and him get presents to.


PS: Give Will his present even though he was bad.  Are there elves or owls working in your workshop.

How are the reindeers? Do you have Rudolph? (yes or no) Merry Christmas!  I like you. I like Christmas, too. Do you? (yes or no)  Are reindeer real? It looks like you are real. My reindeer has camalflash (camouflage) on it. My elf,  his name is Jack.


I have already wrote you what I want. Now I want to write what I want you to do:  First you need to have a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Second, I need you to get some presents for yourself, not just me.



A Few More Letters to Santa!

I have been a very good sister this year. I am helpful and have good manners. I would like a rainbow loom, please.

Love, Arabella


I have been good. What I wants for Christmas is a teddy bigger than me and some surprises.



I hope you leave me a picture of you and all your elfs and your friends. And a pet duck!



I need a new train table, also new tracks with new train. I would like some bridges and hills. Some day I would like to take a trip on a real train.
PS:  I have been a good boy.



Merry Christmas. I hope I get a laptop, geodes, art kit, and a phone. I also want my own chuwawa (sp). Will you wake me up and we can have a party!  I want to see one of your elves.


I want a locket for Christmas, a puppy, and a coloring book. Are the elves being good? How do you get everywhere in the world in one night? How are the reindeer?


Dear Santa:

I believe in you. I think you are family and I love you like family.

Love, Piper


Ice Fishing 2013 - New Clam Tackle

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Ice Fisherman Rod Woten gives you a brief rundown on what's new in Clam tackle for this year's ice fishing season. Among his favorites are the new drop lines, made from tungsten, so it will fish heavier. Check out this video for more!



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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Pros, Porcupines, and Santa!

Saturday, December 14

Santa's Wonderland Hoursfree craft santa's wonderland

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, December 15

Santa's Wonderland Hours

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

- See more at:, December 14

Santa's Wonderland Hoursfree craft santa's wonderland

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 15

Santa's Wonderland Hours

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
- See more at:

Talk about a wild mix of activities this weekend!  We have Fishing Pro Keith Kavajecz in the house this weekend...he's making a special trip here from up north just to visit with YOU!  We'll have porcupines from Pella Wildlife Company and, of course, it's the last weekend opportunity to see Santa! Here's the complete rundown of this weekend's events, plus Santa's Wonderland hours for Monday and Tuesday:

Santa's Wonderland Hours

Friday, December 20
Free Photos with Santa: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. - Bass Passes will be handed out as soon as the line becomes a longer than 30-minute wait.
Free Crafts:  5-7 p.m.

Saturday, December 21
FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.crafts

Sunday, December 22
FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes right at 10 a.m.
Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, December 23
Free Photos with Santa: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. - Bass Passes will be handed out as soon as the line becomes a longer than 30-minute wait.
Free Crafts:  5-7 p.m.

December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Photos: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Crafts: 3-5 p.m.

Keith KavajeczKeith Kavajecz , The Next Bite TV, is in the store this weekend!

Get ready for ice fishing with one of the best! Keith will be in the store from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, the 21st and from 10-2 p.m. on Sunday to visit with customers.

Join him at 1 p.m. on Saturday ONLY for his special seminar - Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques!


Pella Wildlife Company - Conservation Connections

Last, but not least, Saturday, Dec. 21, the Pella Wildlife Company will be in the store from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. They'll be bringing a porcupine so you can learn more about this prickly creature and it's life in Iowa!

Don't forget those last-minute stocking stuffer items! Make sure to check out the stocking stuffer tower in front of the checkouts.


Christmas Gift Ideas for the Bird and Nature Lover

I enjoy watching wildlife and photography...birds, eagles, deer, etc.  If you have someone like me in your life, consider these gift ideas. 

Binoculars - There is a great selection out there for all price ranges. From a basic pair to get kids started to $2,600 night vision binos, there is a pair for everyone!

Muk Luks

RedHead Mid or Lightweight Lifetime Guarantee socks - I bought a pair the other day and LOVE them. These aren't the heavier hunting socks. these are lighter in weight, but still extremely comfortable and warm. Perfect for short hikes in the cold winter sunshine to spot some eagles!

Convertible gloves - Traditionally, mitten keep your fingers warmer because of the body heat of the fingers being together. But, mittens aren't always user friendly for taks, such as taking photos. Convertible gloves are handy when needing the use of your fingers, but also needing the warmth of a mitten. Just flip the top back when you're ready to shoot, whether a camera OR a bow or gun!  Variety of materials,  including ragg wool and fleece...prefer form over function? Check out the Muk Luks brand for ladies or and colorful!

bird feeders

Watching from a window?  Here are some fun bird feeding items you can get!

Squirrel Proof Feeders! No guarantees, but maybe you will fool the squirrels!

Suet HolderSuet holders - Birds like suet all year round, however, in the winter they really need it to keep up their energy! You can get suet holders in simple wire racks, or two-sided and cradled in cedar like shown to the left. There are also copper suet holders with decorative leaves over the top, which also help protect the suet. There are also new brightly colored sunflower shaped suet holders.

Of course, don't forget the suet. Bass Pro Shops has several "flavors," including Red Pepper Suet.  Did you know that squirrels don't like spicy things, like red peppers? However, it doesn't bother birds at all, so the Red Pepper Suet should  help detract the furry critters from munching down on the birds' eats!

From fishing cabins to lanterns to shotgun shells, there is a plethora of  feeders out there to match with a person's other interests. But make sure you consider the elements, as some feeders will obviously "weather" better. There are tube feeders for finches, platforms feeders that appeal to cardinals and hummingbird and oriole feeders for those birds with the sweeter tastebuds!

Throw in a book on birds or wildlife and you have perfect gifts for under the tree or the stocking for any nature lover!




Christmas Gift Ideas for the Bass Fisherman

Santa FishingStruggling on what to buy those fishermen and women in your life?  We asked our Pro Staffers, Kary Ray and Lance Baker, for some Christmas advice...

Lance says:

Top 5 must have Christmas Gifts for the Fisherman!

  1. Daiwa Tatula Series Rods and Reels
  2. Lowrance Elite 5 or 7 DHI
  3. Bass Pro Shops Bionic Blade Micro Guide rods
  4. TroKar Hooks...great stocking stuffers!
  5. A Barbie or Superman rod to take the kids fishing!

Lance says throw in some other items like War Eagle Spinnerbaits, Berkley Havoc plastics, Bass Pro Shops line spooling station, Bass Pro Shops XTS Rod Socks, and Bass Pro Shops XPS Line Saver and you've got your fishing guy or gal set!


Kary Ray has some additional wishes on HIS list:

Clam two-person ice fishing shack (Kary just got married, so this makes sense!)
Electric or gas-powered auger
Set of Pro Qualifier Rain gear
A new boat cover for my Nitro
A new pair of polarized sunglasses


Kary and Ray have been very good this year, so maybe Santa will help them least we hope they helped YOU out with ideas!



Ice Fishing Cadence

During our recent Facebook Ice Fishing Q & A, a participant had a question for our Pro Ice Fisherman Rod Woten about his presentation.

Question -

"Rod, knowing you fish the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC), for each lake you fish, do you need to change your jig presentation style?"

Rod's Answer - 

"Not necessarily. I almost always stay horizontal. More important is your jigging cadence and color. I might change jig size, but I fish the same profile a lot."

We asked Rod to expand on this a bit, so check out his tips and demonstration in this YouTube video!


Our Ice Fishing Event is January 4, 2014!


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