What Tent Fits You Best?

Choosing the right tent can make the difference between fun memories and camping nightmares. Here are some important attributes of a great tent.

SIZE

If it's just you and your spouse, then there wouldn’t be a need to get a monster tent that's made for 8 people. On the other hand, if you're camping with the Brady Bunch, you don’t want to pack them in like sardines. Tents with divided rooms are perfect for separate living quarters for the girls and boys or parents and the kids. If your planning on keeping a cooler or other items in the tent, then check into tents that are rated for 1 or 2 people higher than you normally would. Always think of who’s using the tent. Are they tall? Is there enough room to stretch their full length when in their sleeping bag? Cabin tents are big with high ceilings and large windows, where dome tents offer less head room.

WEIGHT
For backpackers, the most important feature of a tent is its weight. Car campers, on the other hand, are more interested in roominess and comfort. Some of the larger family tents weigh in excess of 30 pounds. However, if you head out on a camping trip in a heavy duty vehicle intending to set up a base camp for several days or more, the larger tents may be worth the bulk as well as the price.

VENTILATION

On hot, buggy nights there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a poorly ventilated tent. Well ventilated tents also have fewer problems with condensation. Visualize if you would be using your tent in the spring, summer, fall, or winter? What activities and locations are you planning on visiting? Backpacking, rafting, kayaking, or car camping trips? Would you be heading up into the mountains where you'll be exposed to the elements such as; snow, wind, rain, hail, sleet, and all those fun experience-builders?

WATERPROOFING
Today's tents are mostly water resistant, although, even if the manufacturer calls it unnecessary, it's a good idea to seam-seal your tent.
Ideally this should be done prior to the camping trip.Set up your tent in a protected area, and put the fly on inside out. Run seam sealer along every seam on the fly and the floor. It's better to apply two thin coats than one thick coat. Allow to dry for several hours before putting the tent away.

Stop by our Camping Department and pick our brains. We've got answers if you've got the time.

 

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Don't Forget Your Layers!

Looks like the snow and cold tempetures are still hanging around guys. Since we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature let’s be proactive and talk layers.

Base Layer: The key function of this layer is to keep you dry by transporting moisture away from your skin. Be sure to avoid cotton as your base layer because it holds moisture and will leave you clammy once you begin perspiring. Our RedHead premier base layering system—EnduraSkin—now features AXE Anti-Odor Technology for better odor control than ever before. It uses pure silver to control odor, keeping your odor to a minimum despite days in the field. Its scent-controlling power combines with our 4-way stretch fabric’s ability to wick moisture to the surface for quick evaporation, creating a high-performance garment great for any outdoor activity.EnduraSkin Base Layer

Insulation Layer: This middle layer is essential for maintaining your body heat. Once again, you want to avoid cotton and instead go for vests, jackets, or shirts made of polyester fleece, which is warm, dries quickly, and comes in different weights.

Outer Shell: A waterproof or water-resistant shell provides a critical outer defense against the elements, including snow, rain, and wind. Waterproof, wind-resistant, our BPS Storm Jackets feature fully taped seams and ThermoLite® Active 7-0 insulation for maximum warmth during high activity. Features a durable 100% nylon shell, 100% polyester lining, a drawstring hood, a full-front zipper protected by a full-length storm flap, a zip security pocket on the left chest, and two hand warmer pockets.BPS Storm Jacket

Sock Layers: If the rest of your body likes layering, so will your feet. A thin, tight-fitting sock against your skin that wicks away moisture is essential for keeping your feet dry and warm. Your outer sock should be made from merino wool or synthetic materials and not be so thick that your foot fits too tightly in the boot and circulation is reduced. Like a second skin, our CoolMax liners are made of stretch nylon and spandex combination that provides a snug barrier between the tender flesh around the heels and toes and your socks. The liner also features CoolMax, a special 4-polyester DuPont fiber that wicks moisture away from the foot, keeping things dry and warm.

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Fall King Salmon Run

Fall King Salmon Run

The cool nights and falling water temps have once again brought the King Salmon into the harbors on the shore of Lake Michigan, in the greatest city in the world, Chicago!  Today let’s talk about the Tackle we need to catch these fish on Spoons and Crankbaits.  Next month we will discuss tips, tricks and tactics for fishing spawn for the Kings. Salmon rods are very unique.  They’re nothing like rods we use for bass, walleye, pike, and Muskie.  They’re very long in length, 8 – 9 feet long for most spoon/crank rods in MH action and 9 – 11 feet in L - UL for spawn rods.  There are a couple reasons for the long rods, the first is casting distance.  At times we need to bomb a bait as far as we can in order to cover more water giving us more of an opportunity to have our baits come in contact with a King.  The other reason is due to the mouth structure of a King.  They have very hard bone and cartilage in their mouths and many times we will not get our hooks to penetrate completely through that.  The long rods have a soft tip to keep the fish hooked and not rip a hook out but enough backbone to turn a fish when we have to.  I am a big fan of the Browning 6 Rivers Salmon rods.  Many options to choose from and good durability to these rods! As always there is a HUGE debate on what type of line to run.  The greatest debates between Braid and Mono runs wild here!  Here are some pros and cons to running Braid;

No stretch – better feel, however runs a lighter drag so we don’t pull hooks out of the fish’s mouth.  There’s no forgiveness to Braid like there is in mono.

Thin diameter – Farther casting cause it so thin.  However it’s a solid line so at times in clear water can be visible.  Most of the time we are fishing Kings is at night so the visibility of the line doesn’t really factor in here.  However something to keep in mind for all you sunrise and sunset fishermen who are chasing Kings in the day time.

To me, if you chose a Braided line, there are two that really stand out as far as castability and thin diameter.  Sufix 832 and the new Seaguar Kanzen Braid in either the 20 or 30 pound test.  If you guys are looking for a great mono, definitely check out P-Line CX in either the 10 or 12 pound test.  Smooth casting, low memory, good tensile strength and good abrasion resistance.

Salmon rods are available in Spinning and Baitcasting models, so whichever set up you prefer is fine.  Most baitcasters have good line capacities to them but I am particularly fond of our Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series Baitcast Reels for this job.  6.3:1 Gear ratio.  High performance bearings, smooth drag and a duel brake system making throwing baits all night a breeze.  For spinning reels it’s hard to top our Johnny Morris Signature Wide Spool Models in either the size 40 or 50.

Now comes the fun part, choosing the right bait to catch these Kings.  Keep in mind the Kings that are shallow are only here to Spawn and then die.  They only live 4 years and they are very focused on spawning to keep the species going.  They will not actually eat at this time…but they will strike to kill out of anger or frustration.  So we have to use baits that will trigger a reaction strike.

Since Kings live most of their short lives in deep water they are most active at night or low light periods in the shallow water.  (however they still can be caught during the day while shallow)  This is where our glow spoons play a huge role in our arsenal.  K.O. Wobblers, Moonshine, Little Cleo and Flashy Times spoons all come in glow in the dark pain jobs.  We run the 3/4oz size so we get the maximum casting distance and also help keep the spoon lower in the water column during the retrieve.  Slow retrieves are best.  Cast the spoon out and start to count to 5, then retrieve, if nothing, cast and count to 8 then retrieve and then 10 and so on and so on, so you can cover all levels of the water column.  Remember what count you used on a spoon as it falls if you get a bump or catch a fish and continue on that level since you now know where about in the water level the Kings are.Noisy crankbaits are good too!  3/4 oz Rattle Traps, Storm Mag Warts, Deep ThunderSticks, Deep Reef Runners, Bomber Fat Free Shads, all work great.  Bright colors work best and some models even have glow patterns to them.  If the Kings won’t react to the spoon you can usually get them to react to a crankbait.Get out there and get some Kings!  If you get a female save the Eggs and we’ll talk next month how to fish that spawn.  Take some pics and send them in or stop by the shop with them.

 

Tight Lines Everybody!

Tony Krizek

Team Lead Fishing Bolingbrook

 

 

 

 

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Revolutionary Performance

 

Revolutionary Performance Guarantee!

 

Do you want revolutionary performance in your aluminum Mod-V bass boat?  Tracker Marine Group has your answer in the 2014 Pro-Team family of boats. Tracker is so positive that you will love the smooth ride of your new Pro-Team boat it’s guaranteed. What other boat company can say that? The Revolution Hull was first introduced in 1998, with the Tracker’s 20th Anniversary edition Pro-Team 175. The revolution hull is a combination of 3 hull technology combined into one revolutionary smooth riding hull. How does Tracker do it? First they offer you 20 degree deadrise in the bow to slice through the chop. Secondly they offer you 12 degrees at the transom for rock solid stability. Lastly they incorporate Tracker’s patented Power Trac transom. The Power Trac offset transom feeds undisturbed water to the prop for quicker holeshots and better overall performance. Does your boat have that? The guarantee you ask? Tracker’s “Smooth Ride Guarantee; The Tracker Revolution hull will give you the smoothest ride in an aluminum Mod v boat, or you can return it within 30 days for a full credit towards any Tracker boat of equal or greater value”. That’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is! Come in today to see revolutionary performance guaranteed!

 

 

Mark Fogle

Tracker Marine Certified Sales Lead

Bolingbrook, IL

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Stronger-Greener-Better Diamond Coat Finish

 

Stronger- Greener- Better

 

What could be Stronger- Greener- Better? Tracker Marine’s New “Diamond Coat” multi-layer acrylic powder coat finish. This finish is three times harder and up to four times thicker and keeps its color up to twenty times longer than traditional liquid paint. Does your current boat have that type of protection? How does Tracker do it? They first thoroughly clean the hull for maximum surface adhesion. The initial layer of color is applied to the hull in an automated booth that assures consistency and minimal waste. Then they bake on the finish to a durable sheen. Lastly a protective clearcoat is applied to the entire outer surface of the hull. This clearcoat process is similar to what the big car companies’ use today on their product. The resulting smooth, hard, long lasting finish reduces friction enhances performance and even makes it easier to load and unload. Who wouldn’t like a boat that is easier to unload and get to the fish faster? Tracker Marine is not new to using a powder coat process. We have been powder coating our Trailstar trailers for years. With a carbon footprint 50% less than liquid paint, Tracker’s Diamond Coat is the most durable long lasting and environmentally friendly finish being used on aluminum boats today. Stop in today to see firsthand this revolutionary Diamond Coat finish.

Fishing the Finest has only got better!

 

Mark Fogle

Tracker Marine Group Certified Sales Lead

Bolingbrook, IL

 

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Fall Bass Buffet

As our seasons change so do the behaviors of those monster Bass. Our buddy the Bass starts changing his patterns in the early fall. Bass are much like us; they look forward to a nice dinner. If we took a Large Mouth to a buffet, they would be charged twice. So how do we use their appetites to our advantage?

Start by looking for bait fish because that’s where the bass will be. These delicious snacks will most likely be located near large feeder creeks, humps, breaks and the shallows. Bass feed aggressively so don’t be afraid to bust out some imitation shad lures with an erratic retrieve. Bass like to eat but also enjoy the challenge. Teasing these guys with some erratic retrieval will make them salivate for sure. Ok, maybe not salivate but it’ll sure be tempted...

Pay close attention to the weather for optimum Bass location. Water temperature and wind direction make an impact on all fish. Schooling bait fish tend to head in the direction of the wind. The cooler fall temperatures will cause bass to search for water temperature that remain stable. No one likes to sit directly under the air conditioner vent at Olive Garden right? Like I said, bass are like us.

Too bad for them we have the Bass Pro Shop to help us along. Stop in the store and ask for the latest and greatest equipment and advice. Good luck catching YOUR dinner of a lifetime...

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Top Water Tactics For Summertime Bass

There’s no doubt the most fun way to catch bass is on top water baits.  When you least expect it a fish will blows up on your lure and scare the heck out of you!  In all the commotion anglers tend to miss a lot of fish on top waters.  This is often due to short strikes from the fish or over excited anglers actually pulling lures away from the fish.   This often happens when the fisherman sets the hook on the blow up rather than waiting to feel the weight of the fish before pulling the trigger.  So what can we do to increase hook-ups on top water baits and miss less fish?

First let’s talk about the gear needed to throw baits like these.  Generally we like a 7ft medium rod…you could use a 6’6” but a 7’ rod will give you not only better casting distance and accuracy but a softer tip as well.  This is crucial in creating more hook ups.  We want a little give for this presentation.  Most times a bass will come up and suck bait in as he comes up to hit the bait.  If we have a stiffer rod it, we lose the flex needed to allow that fish to do that.  The only exception to this rule is when we are throwing Frogs in heavy cover.  (Pads and mats)  Then we’ll be throwing a 7’ or 7’6” heavy or extra heavy just for a little more muscle to get those fish out of that cover.

I like to run a 6.3:1 gear ratio reel for this application.  Unless we are throwing buzz bait, the top water bait’s action will be imparted by the rod.  Be it a walk the dog style bait like a Zara Spook or popper style bait.

Lastly let’s talk line.  I run monofilament for this set up.  Aside from jerk bait and swim bait fishing this about the only other technique I use mono for.  Mono has a little stretch to it and again we want a little give for this presentation.  Also mono floats so we don’t have to worry about any adverse effects to our presentation.  I usually run 14lb or 17 lb test.  The only change for frogging is running braided line for dealing with the heavy cover.  Braid being no stretch will cut through the mats and pads and help up get the fish out of the cover as well as better hook sets back in the thick stuff.

Hopefully these tips will help increase your hook up ratio when throwing top waters.  If you’ve never thrown them you are missing out on some of the most exciting times on the water.  Early morning, evening or anytime there are low light periods, even cloudy over cast summer days, throw top water!

Tight Lines everybody.

 

Tony Krizek

Team Lead Fishing

Bass Pro Shops Bolingbrook

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Catching Bass On Beds

As water temps hit the 60 degree mark in the Chicago land area, big female bass start roaming the shallows searching for their spot to clear a nest to spawn on.  Once on beds this is a great time to catch a true giant!  Its simple fishing and we’ll discuss the gear and tactics it takes to catch these big spawning females.

The first and most crucial part of bed fishing is being able to see the beds as well as the bass.  There is no greater tool in your arsenal this time of year than a pair of polarized sun glasses.  On a cloudy day or at dawn and dusk we like to run a set of amber colored lenses.  This color lets in the most light under low light conditions and cuts the glare to allow us to see into the water.  On bright sunny days with mile high skies we will use the dark gray lenses.  These dim the light and cut glare to allow us to see in the water.

Now, probably the most known and most publicized way of bed fishing is using heavier gear, such as a flipping stick and pitching a jig or a plastic of some type and dragging or hopping it on a bass bed.  But today we want to talk about a more finesse approach.  Leave the flipping sticks in the trucks, and pull out the spinning rod!  It’s time to pitch a “Flick N’ Shimmy

A Flick N’ Shimmy is a new twist on a finesse worm and a new twist on whacky worming.  It’s a thin body worm with fatter heads on both ends of the worm.  They come in 4.8”, 5.8” and 6.8” and a wide variety of colors.  We rig them whacky style (Hooked one time right through the middle of the bait) with a Flick N’ Shimmy Head.  They come in sizes of 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, and 3/16 and are available in 3 colors; unpainted, Black and Green Pumpkin.

We throw these baits on a ML spinning rod.  Due to the short shank, wide gap hook, we want a little flex in the rod to keep from pulling that hook out of a bass’s mouth.  One of my favorite rods for this is the Johnny Morris CarbonLite 6’8” Med Light spinning rod.  It’s a very light rod to hold in your hand and easy to fish it all day long and unreal sensitivity to detect even the lightest bites.  Can also double as a good drop shot rod.

We team that rod up with the Johnny Morris CarbonLite spinning reel in the 750 size.  It’s light weight, durable and super smooth.  Its wide spool design cuts down on line twists and wind knots even when throwing fluorocarbon line.

Speaking of fluorocarbon line, yep, you guessed it, that’s the line we are using for this tactic.  Fluorocarbon line sinks so we get a better feel and is a tad smaller in diameter then mono and a little less stretch then mono.  Its best quality is that it is nearly invisible in water.  Bass Pro’s XPS fluorocarbon is smooth casting while still giving you some abrasion resistance to fish around cover.  8lb test gives us enough shock absorption on hook sets and enough tensile strength to handle just about any bedding bass.

To use these baits is simple.  Pitch them out to the area’s we see that a bass has swept out with their tail or if you visibly see them sitting on the bed.  We can drag this bait across the bed, hop it, shake it, or even dead stick it.  When this baits at rest on the bottom, the two heads float up and can temp even the most disinterested bass into striking.

Be patient when fishing beds.  It’s not always hot and heavy action but it can sure produce some of the biggest bass of the year!  Good Luck and Tight Lines!

 

Tony

Fishing Lead

Bolingbrook’s Bass Pro Shops

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Ice Fishing 2013

Ice Fishing 2013

 

It’s that time of year again.  Temps are dropping well below freezing at night and barely warming to the freezing point during the day.  This time of year triggers something in us that makes us leave the comfort of our warm homes and head out on the ice.  Today let’s talk about some of the new products for this year. These items not only get you out on the ice but to make each trip a successful one!

 

Frabill In-line Ice Rod and Reel Combo:  No guides on the rod.  Line actually runs through the blank, keeping the wind from blowing your line giving you better sensitivity.  Don’t have to worry about ice forming on your rod guides!  The combo comes with an integrated fly reel, which features a composite body so it’s light weight and durable, with a 1:1 gear ratio and a super smooth drag.  The line comes straight off the spool so no worries about line twists.  Works with Braided, Fluorocarbon and Monofilament lines.  Retails for $39.99

 

Rapala Snap Rap Jig:  Comes in two sizes.  2 ½ inches, 5/16oz $6.99 and 3 1/8 inches at 7/8oz $7.49.  Hard darting action on these baits.  With a snap of the wrist they will shoot off to the side in a hard darting motion and swim down on the fall.

 

Tungsten Ice Jigs:  Tungsten ice jigs are an awesome addition to any ice anglers assortment.  It allows us to run a heavier jig in a smaller profile due to the density of tungsten over lead.  They get to our desired depths quicker and being a denser metal they can be bounced on the bottom and kick up whatever the bottom content is, producing little clouds on the bottom, many times sparking the curiosity of the game fish in the area and brings them in for a closer look.

 

There are two good brands of Tungsten ice jigs.  Fiskas Wolfram Jigs, $3.19 and Northland Tackles Mooska Jigs, also $3.19.  They come in a variety of colors and sizes.

 

Ion Electric Auger:  Drills up to 40 holes, through 2 feet of ice, all on one lithium charge!  Never have to worry about gas or oil again on your power auger.  $499.99

 

Clam Bigfoot XL2000 Ice Shanty:  Pop-up style shanty that houses 4 to 5 anglers.  Super tough 600 denier fabric.  Over sized skirt.  Comes with a travel bag for easy transportation and storage, 4 ice anchors and tie downs.  56 squared feet of fishable area on the inside.  Compared to other models that’s 30% more interior space!  Weight 35lbs.  $229.99

 

Well there’s just a few to get you started.  Come on in to Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook and talk to our ice fishing exports to see all these great products in person as well as many other new and exciting additions to our ice fishing selection!

 

Be safe on the ice this year!

 

Tony Krizek

Team Lead Fishing

Bass Pro Shops Bolingbrook.

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Time to Winterize

By Bob Frampton, TMBC Bolingbrook, IL

Sadly the time has come for most of us to think about putting our boats in storage for the winter months. The things we do now can save us valuable time and money in the spring when it is time to hit the water again.  The easiest way to get your boat ready for winter storage is to bring it to the Power Pros in our service department for a professional winterization and inspection.  Many times during the winterization process our Certified Techs can spot something that will prevent trouble in the spring or summer when you want to be out on the water.  If you have been experiencing trouble or know that water pump needs attention remember that if you wait until spring you will be bringing your boat to us at one of our busiest times.  So drop your boat off here at Tracker Marine Bolingbrook any time Monday through Friday 9 am to 4:30 pm and we will get you taken care of.  We also shrink wrap boats for winter.

If you like to winterize the boat yourself, here are a few tips:

  • Check the winterizing/storage section of your owner's manual
  • Check fiberglass hulls for stress cracks and gelcoat blisters.  Serious issues should be referred to the Tracker Power Pros
  • Clean/power wash/scrape the bottom to get rid of barnacles, dirt, scum and other aquatic hitchhikers.
  • Ice and snow accumulation can lead to splitting and cracking causing leaks and other damage. Get a proper fitting cover, make sure it is vented to prevent moisture build up and adequately supported to evenly distribute the weight of snow.
  • Spray vinyl surfaces with cleaners and protectant to keep them from drying out.
  • Proper venting of the storage cover also aids in the prevention of mildew.
  • Moisture also likes to corrode your electrical system.  Remove all the electronics you can and store them indoors.  Corrosion prone wiring can cause shorts and blown fuses come spring time. If your wiring is non-marine grade, spray all connections with a moisture replacing lubricant. 
  • Clean and inspect all your bright work such as rails, cleats and bimini top hardware.
  • Vacuum/wash the carpet/deck and give your boat a general overall cleaning.
  • Biggest dangers to engines are freezing, corrosion and stabilizer degradation.
  • Pull the engine cover and check the hoses, belts and wiring.  Replace any that appear to be worn.  Tighten loose belts and hose clamps.
  • Flush the engine with fresh water while the engine is at idle.
  • Fill the fuel tank and add stabilizer, run the engine 10-15 minutes to be sure it is through the whole fuel system.
  • Store outboards vertically to be sure all water drains out.  In-boards and stern drives need  require refilling with anti-freeze.
  • Fog the engine and cylinders with fogging oil to prevent internal corrosion.
  • Drain the gear case lube a and look for a milky color which would indicate water in the oil.  Look too for metal shavings which would indicate excessive gear wear.

Taking care now could mean a trouble free launch in the spring!

Bob

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Introducing the New Nitro ZV-21 Walleye

By Bob Frampton

This Saturday, November 10th is a big day for us here at the Bolingbrook Bass Pro/Tracker Marine Boat Center.  Beginning at 10:00 am we will have the New Nitro ZV-21 walleye boat here for everyone to see.  Then starting at noon we will be traveling to Big Basin Marina for on the water demo rides. If you're interested in a demo ride you can RSVP to Dan White at ddwhite@basspro.com.  The Nitro Walleye Pro Team of Gary Parsons, Chase Parsons and Keith Kavajecz have been getting a lot of attention while performance testing this boat on a variety of waterways.  The ZV 21 is loaded with standard features and options so that the boat can be customized to your specifications. Special introductory pricing starts at $49,995 with a  Mercury 250 Optimax Pro XS.  Pre-orders will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. The preliminary forecast for Saturday is partly sunny and 62 degrees, can't get much better than that for early November.

Later Saturday afternoon Santa arrives and Santa's Wonderland opens with a special preview event from 5pm to 8pm.  There will be crafts, games, free pictures with Santa and more!  Also this year we will be featuring FREE carousel rides!  Be sure to come early to check out the ZV 21 and stay for the opening of Santa's Wonderland, it is sure to be a good time.

Bob

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New Bad Boy Buggies

by Bob Frampton

This week, Tracker Bolingbrook took deliveries of two new Bad Boy Buggies for 2013. The Recoil iS is a fully electric 4wd with a 72v (9 8v batteries) that offers a 40 mile range between charges. Select both drive methods and you've got 4x4 capability in the really tough situations.  The Recoil has rack and pinion steering and 4-wheel independent suspension for improved control, tighter turning and a smoother ride. There is a 10.2 cubic foot cargo bed for gear and supplies.  If you need more passenger room, the cargo bed can be replaced by an optional rear seat that converts into a cargo deck when you need the extra space. Safety features include roll bars, 3-point seat belts and side safety nets.

The Ambush is the best of both worlds. It is a gas/electric powered utility vehicle. A 16hp V-twin gas engine powers the rear wheels.  A 48v DC power train drives the front wheels. Select the gas motor for the power and the range to get out to where your tree stand or blind is and then switch to the electric motor to get you in close without the engine noise. The ambush can tow up to 1,000 pounds if you have a lot of gear or decoys to tote out to the field.  This is the perfect utility vehicle to take deer hunting when you want the silence of the electric drive or goose hunting when you may need the power, range and towing capacity of the gas engine. The Ambush has a bucket seats for 2, front independent suspension, a manual locking rear differential for extra traction and torque for when the going gets tough, and a 9.6 cubic foot cargo bed.

Stop by the Tracker Boat Center in Bolingbrook and check these Buggies out!

Bob

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Early season Geese

So early season goose is almost here and we still have a ton of things to do. First of all, we have to secure all of our hunting spots with the farmers and insurance company. It's to your benefit to carry liability insurance on the land you lease for your sake and the farmers in case of injury or property damage, with that being said let's move on.

When it comes to scouting you want to scout your fields from a distance so you don't scare birds.

You want to watch birds in your fields react to different wind conditions and contours of the land.

You want to locate roost waters and food sources and the routes the birds take to and from.

Food sources for early season will be all your easily digested grains and grasses such as wheat, peas, beans, milo and thick grass. Corn won't be needed till mid to late season for the high carbs that they need to make long flights and to stay warm.

Always use the highest point in the field to set decoys but stay just below the highest point so you don't sillouette yourself and leave the highest point for the geese to land.

Decoys spreads can very but for the most part use family groups of 5-7 birds per group keeping birds about 7-10 ft apart from each other in that family unit and 15-20yds. away from other family groups and leave enough room for landing birds.

Remember sometimes that the Boss Gander does like to land the young birds directly into other geese so if that happens keep the spread there and move the blinds down wind and keep your caller in the decoy spread.

Use mostly full bodies because they will only be there for an hour or so, they won't stay to rest. Use different size decoys like lessers and giants together.

 Keep decoys away from fence lines or ditches or anywhere predetors can hide.

 When calling birds keep it simple just use clucks and moans

 Hope this helps !!!

 Have fun and be safe and remember SAFETY FIRST !!

 Ken Ingo- RedHead ProStaff

Owner/Operator- Poorman's Guide Service

ProStaff- Sean Mann Outdoors

D.T. Training Systems- ProStaff

Hayes Calls- ProStaff

 

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Be prepared

This week I decided to take my family on a combination picnic and fishing trip. We arrived at the park around 10AM. We grilled some burgers and hotdogs and had a great time. Around 6PM I decide it was time for me to go fishing on the nearby lake. As I arrived with all my fishing gear, I found that I was being attacked by big, I mean big , mosquitos. I tried just about everything to defeat them but they just kept attacking. I tried several different types of bug repellent but nothing seem to work. I had one more line of defense that I had not used. It was something called Thermacell. It came with 12 hours of protection and it cleared a 15 foot square foot area. I purchased it a the Bass Pro Shop in Bolingbrook. I wasn't sure it would work but my customers advised that it was great stuff so I figured, what did I have to loose? It was very easy to set it up. I put one of the blue pads in it and put a small butane tank in the bottom. I then turned it on and pressed a button to start it. After about five minutes I noticed that the mosquitoes stopped biting. At first I thought it was because the temperature was dropping. I didn't dream it was the Thermacell because it didn't smell or make any noise. It just laid there. I then made my mistake, since the mosquitoes were gone, I turned it off. After a few minutes here they came again. Out of desperation I turned it back on and enjoyed the rest of the evening in peace. Only problem was I didn't catch any fish.

For under $20 bucks I purchased another one for my wife to use. That way I won't have to listen about the bugs all the way home on our next outdoor trip. You see, she didn't have one. She entertained the mosquitoes while I was fishing. Pick up your Thermacell and be prepared for your next trip.

Rich

Camping Department

Bolingbrook, Illinois

 

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ON THE ROAD WITH BASS PRO SHOPS

    As the miles go by and the scenery changes, I'm always excited about my next adventure.  Being  the host of the web show, www.hookandhunttv.com and as a member of the RedHead Hunting team, I look forward to any fishing and hunting expedition.  With all the traveling, I thought it might be a good idea to stop at Bass Pro stores that are along the way and this year so far I have stopped at several.  Every Bass Pro Shops is a little different and takes on the history of the area its in.  My home store is in Bolingbrook, Illinois and its unique compared to the stores in Gurnee and East Peoria, Illinois. One of the things I have always enjoyed about Bass Pro is their attention to detail and every time you enter a new store, there is bound to be something that catches your eye and makes you say, Wow!

     On a recent trip to Georgia to go hog hunting, I stopped at the Macon Georgia Bass Pro and really liked there hunting section which was loaded with great turkey hunting essentials.  It was a fun store and as always I picked up a Bass Pro t-shirt from that location.  I have got in the habit of collecting them and I look forward to going to every store to add to my collection.

  We just arrived back from Florida where I fished with the "Bass Professor" Doug Hannon for snook and on the way I stopped at the Prattville, Alabama store and enjoyed a great meal and picked up some well needed World Wide Sportsman gear for the trip.

    If your reading this, you are a fan of Bass Pro shops and we are glad you are part of the family.  When your on the road, stop by some of the different locations and each store will have its own story with a little something different to offer their guest.   As with any Bass Pro shops, your adventure starts there!Doug Hannon "The Bass Professor" & Jim Crowley

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Fishing the Hennepin Canal

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to fish a Maple Bassmasters club tourney on the Hennepin Canal at the Hennepin State Park. I knew absolutely nothing about this body of water and at first sight I was pretty disappointed. Oh boy, I get to fish a ditch was my first thought! The Canal is about 60 feet wide and the average depth is probably five feet, it is full of lay downs and carp and you can only use your trolling motor or a 10 hp or less. Needless to say, my expectations were not very high. Goodness was I wrong.

This body of water is loaded with some really nice bass! I brought in a 5 bass limit that weighed nearly 11 pounds with my biggest around 3 pounds and I got 2nd in the tourney! I had a few guys close to me in weight, but it was the final contestant to weigh in that took the prize. Thomas Garbacz brought 5 fish to the scales that weighed over 15 pounds with a 4 pound kicker. It turned out to be one of our best weigh ins so far this year. Since I am the tournament director, I was pleased not to hear all the bad comments about this choice of venues that I originally expected before we started.

My choice of baits for this trip consisted of a wacky rigged Sticko on a Gamagatsu wacky rig hook that I fished on a 7’ medium action G Loomis spinning rod with a Shimano Stradic reel. I used 10# BPS fluorocarbon line with the wacky rig and found it to be more than a match for the woody situation and the fairly clear water. My second choice was a double willow 3/8oz white spinnerbait that I fished on a 7’ medium action Carbonlite casting rod with a matching Carbonlite reel. I fished both of these baits as tight to the lay downs and as close to shore as I could get them and I used a very slow retrieve with both. The fish were hammering them when they hit! Sometimes they had me in the stick ups before I could react and I lost a couple of nice ones that way. This body of water is fairly easy to pattern…just fish the wood! In retrospect, I probably should have tried what Thomas caught his on, which was a Senko rigged straight with no weight fished in the grassy areas with wood. But I guess I can’t expect a call from him while we are on the water competing against each other with any real information! (We all know he would be lying anyway LOL!) Great Job Thomas and for the rest of you, take a short trip out to this body of water just off of I80 and have a blast! It is a pretty cool experience.

 

See ya on the water!

Mel Hedrick

Bolingbrook BPS Fishing Pro Staff Team

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Go Outdoors Event & Sale

The Go Outdoors Event & Sale runs from May 18- 28. With the way the economy is a lot of families can't afford to go on that expensive family vacation, so what do you do? Bring the family to BPS Bolingbrook and spend time there doing crafts, kid's challenge, family photos and a kid's wildlife photo contest. They have daily specials and a ton of cool outdoor gear on sale. Let's take the kids on a camping vacation , you can get a BPS family tent, Ascend canoe,BPS camp stove and maybe some new fishing gear. The best thing is  you will be spending quality time with your family in the GREAT OUTDOORS !!. Every dept. has gear on sale from new boats to hunting and fishing to apparel. So load the family up and come on down to the GO OUTDOORS EVENT & SALE and have some FUN !!!!

Ken Ingo ProStaff

RedHead Hunting Team

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Product Review- BassPro Shooter Waterfowl Parka

Tested in -  Ontario Canada, Illinois and The Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Weather- Sunny, thunderstorms, downpours and snow showers

Temps- 23 degrees - 65 degrees

Winds- N-NW  5-35mph

 Hunter- 6'1 - 270lbs.  2xl

          The parka fit was very good in upper body but a little tight in the hips.Upper body has lots of room to swing gun from side to side. The high extended fleece collar was a godsent from the blustery northern winds and the sideways rains. Along with the windproof membrane of the parka the BONE DRY waterproofing really held up well with the downpours we encountered.

          The ARCTIC SHIELD- RETAIN membrane really worked  hard in keeping the body heat in and the cold out. High neck and good elastic sleeve cuffs help the RETAIN do it's job very well without adding bulk to the parka. The extended cuffs gloves are a great idea until they get wet and then they add some coolness to you body.The only drawback on this parka is the zipper which kept pulling apart and then you have to rezip it. If this parka had the zipper from the CANVASBACK parka it would be the perfect waterfowl parka.For more info on this parka visit BassPro.com

Would I recommend this - YES

 Rating 1-5 -  4

 Ken Ingo ProStaff

RedHead Hunting Team

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This and That

We Service What We Sell

Many of the customers that come through the Boat Center are surprised to learn that we have a full service department right here.  The fact is our service manager has thirty plus years of boating experience, our two full time techs are both Mercury Marine certified and so is our parts/warranty specialist.  In addition we have a full time rigger and customer service representative.   These are the guys that prep and rig the new boats for delivery to their new owners and maintain them over the years.  Whether you need some routine maintenance or a major repair there are none better to take care of your boat, Arctic Cat ATV, UTV or Bad Boy Buggy.

New Promotions

April 15th brought the end to our first quarter promotions, and thanks to all of you who took advantage of them and now have new boats for this season!  Starting April 16th, Tracker announced incentives on our two most popular deep-V models, the Pro Guide 16SC and the Pro Guide 175SC.  Each of these boats have a $600.00 discount and receive a free boat cover ($550.00 value) through June 17th. Tracker and Mercury are still offering the 5-year warranty on their outboard motors through the end of May.  And don't forget the VIP Owner's discount card that comes with all new boat purchases.  If you missed the gift card promotion and are still interested in either of these models, give us a call at 630-296-2680 or just stop on by.

Marine Accessories

There are a couple of new additions to the line up in the Marine department. The Monaco DLX paddle boat and the Predator 103 fishing boat both made by Pelican.

The Monaco features a built in cooler/storage area with a solid cover, sun canopy, and adjustable back rests.  The boat is made of RAM-X composite, is 7' 7" long with a 62.5" beam.  It weighs 105 lbs and has a weight capacity of 775lbs and is rated for 5 people. This is the ideal boat to have fun on the water and get your exercise too!  The Monaco DLX sells for $499.99.

The Predator 103 is a molded 2-person fishing boat featuring 2-drink holders, 2-folding swivel seats, a live well (non-aerated) built in motor mounts fore and aft, and a battery compartment.  You can use either a 12v trolling motor (the boat is pre-wired and has receptacles fore and aft) or up to a 7-hp gas motor to move you along.  The Predator is 10' 3" long and weighs in at 154 pounds.  It is the perfect boat for some of the small lakes and strip pits in the area that have horsepower or motor restrictions.

That's what's going on here......see you on the water.

Bob Frampton

Tracker Marine Boat Center

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It's Ok. We don't bite!

Hello Bass Pro Fans!

I'm Mike from the Camping Department at Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook, IL. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, my coworkers & how we can help you truly enjoy every moment of the great outdoors.I have been an outdoors and camping enthusiast all my life. I have experience in general camping, canoeing & kayaking. I have been with Bass Pro Shops since 2010 & have become the resident "bug" guy.

The number one reason why people don't have an enjoyable experience with the great outdoors is to the fact that not everyone knows how to truly protect themselves and their family from the onslaught of biting bugs. Back in the day there were one, maybe two products that we used to attempt to deter biting bugs, mostly mosquitoes. Today there is close to a dozen different products each serving a different purpose. Unfortunately there isn't one "end all be all" product that does the job of every product. There are skin, clothing & area effect products. By utilizing all three ways of coverage at the same time, you are guaranteed to have a much more enjoyable experience in the great outdoors.

So, I invite you to come into the Camping Department at Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook, IL. Take a moment to talk with myself or my coworkers. We're here to guide you into the right product. It's okay to approach us. We don't bite & once we get you into the right bug repellancy the bus won't either.

See ya next time, happy campers!

Mike in Camping

Bass Pro Shops

Bolingbrook, IL

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