Outdoor Skills Tips: Dress Like an Angler

Say goodbye to those long fishing days when you battled the sun and sweat lugging around that huge tackle box. You were burning up in that heavy cotton shirt, and the back of your neck got so burnt you could barely turn your head to see your buddy land the biggest catch of the day! Say goodbye to the misery and hello to the World Wide Sportsman Nylon Angler's Shirt.

longsleeve

  • 100% quick-dry nylon
  • UPF sun protection
  • Vented cape back with mesh lining
  • 2 large multi-function chest pockets
  • Roll tabs to keep sleeves rolled up
  • Handy rod loop
  • Hidden button-down collar rolls up for sun protection
  • Utility loop on the right pocket

Our World Wide Sportsman Nylon Angler fishing shirt is made of 100% quick-dry nylon that's been enhanced for on-the-water action with built-in UPF sun protection. UPF is an important technology for fisherman and women, read up on all the gear you need to brave the scorching summer sun. This long-sleeve shirt features an improved vented cape back with mesh lining to encourage airflow, 2 large hook 'n' loop chest pockets, roll tabs at the elbows, a handy rod loop, a button-down roll-up collar for sun protection, and utility loop on the right pocket. Machine wash. Imported.

Or if you prefer the short sleeve version of this shirt!

Did you know that the color of your fishing shirt will affect the UPF rating, see the color chart below for these shirts.

Nylon Angler UPF Ratings by Color:
 

  • UPF 25 +: Glacier
  • UPF 30 +: Haze
  • UPF 40 +: Seagrass, Ocean, Yellowfin, Kiwi
  • UPF 45 +: Fossil
  • UPF 50 +: Coral Reef

For all you ladies out there that love to fish and look good doing it we have the Womens Boca Shirt by World Wide Sportsman.

Womens

With all of these features the Nylon Angler Shirt is a must have for fisherman and women, with these features the shirt is almost its own tackle box. Designed with multiple pockets featuring spooling holes, you can spool your rod right from your shirt. This smart design features a sunglasses loop, rod loop and utility loop. Everything you need to carry all your fishing needs. So stop on in and try it on. We look forward to seeing you in the store! Remember ... Your Adventure Starts Here!

Shekea Crowley

Apparel Lead.

Happy Fishing!

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Outdoor Skills Tips: Wild Turkey Hunting Shotgun Tips

Outdoor Skills Tips

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to take up wild turkey hunting, there are a lot of considerations that must be taken.  In this blog, I’ll discuss the basics in choosing a firearm, choke tube and shot shell before you venture out on your hunt.

turkeys

I’ll be honest and say that if you and I were to own the same model shotgun, with the same model choke tube and same shot shells, they probably will not pattern the same.  So, there lies the challenge.  What do you use?

Shotguns:

If hunting with a shotgun (rather than archery) you don’t necessarily have to have a “turkey shotgun”.  You can use basically any type of hunting shotgun.  Most people prefer 12 gauge but I use and prefer my Benelli M2 in 20 gauge with a 26” barrel (that thing is super light and patterns quite well!).

You can use about any shotgun, as long as the barrel is threaded so that you can remove and replace choke tubes in the barrel. Pictured below is a Beretta A300 with the choke tube partially out.

a300 threaded tube

Notice how you would use a choke wrench to remove your choke and install a turkey choke of your choice. Keep in mind that turkey shotguns don't have to have threaded tubes; if you have a fixed tube shotgun with a full choke that patterns well enough to do the job you can use it. I have a friend that uses the very first shotgun he ever owned, a Browning 30" barrel fixed choke, he has harvested several toms with this old gun. Threaded barrels allow you to use one gun for multiple reasons.

Here are some shotguns in our upcoming Spring Hunting Sale.

Berretta A300

stoeger

I particularly like this Turkey / Predator special by Remington. All setup and ready to go out of the box.

Remington Turkey Predator

Even an all black gun will work well, most shotgun manufacturers make these color options. The Benelli Super Vinci is a great choice.

benelli vinci

Choke Tubes:

It can be a bit overwhelming when you are looking at choke tubes to turkey hunt.  There are many manufacturers out there and they all want your business.  The cost range can be as cheap as $25 and can go up to nearly $100, even higher on custom shop choke tubes found on the internet. My advice on purchasing a coke tube is to go ahead and spend a little more and get a good quality choke.  I’ve tried turkey chokes in all parts of the price range.  I’m currently using an Indian Creek Black Diamond choke tube in my Benelli M2.

BlackDiamondChoke

It is a higher end choke tube and it has proven to be effective. If you arent looking to come off the hip with a large investment for your turkey choke, here are some great values in the upcoming Spring Hunting Sale.

Selectiontubes

Turkey Shot Shells:

When I talk to customers about what shot shell to use, I’ll be honest with them and say that it’s challenging and sometimes frustrating when it comes to choosing your shells.  There are many choices out there for turkey hunting shot shells.  There are different brands, different shell length, different shot sizes.

Brands:

Basically, all of the major shot shell manufacturers are making shells for wild turkey hunting.  Choosing a brand is part personal preference but it also has to do with what shoots best in your gun.  Note that my next blog will cover basics in how to pattern your shotgun.  Part of that discussion will have more info on brand choice.

Shell Length:

Turkey shot shells will have more recoil when fired than your standard dove/quail or target load will have.  Take recoil into consideration especially if you’re setting up a gun for a youth or a small framed individual.  A 3½ inch 12 gauge turkey shell most likely isn’t a good choice for them.  If someone small is using a 12 gauge, consider a 2¾ inch or maybe a 3 inch shell.  Better yet, consider that 20 gauge for a small framed individual.  As I stated earlier, I use a 20 gauge with much success and I use 3 inch shells.  That combination has a fairly light amount of recoil.  An even lighter recoil option is a 20 gauge with 2¾ inch shells.  Also remember that longer shells in length will have more pellets available to strike the target, but it will also increase the amount of felt recoil when shooting your gun.

Shot Size:

Traditional shot sizes for turkey hunting are #4’s, #5’s and #6’s.  There are some manufacturers that are now mixing different shot sizes together in each shell to produce a “blend” of shot sizes.  Below is a chart that shows the differences in diameters in each.

Turkey Shot Sizes

In considering what size to choose, keep in mind that #4’s will have fewer number of pellets inside each shell, BUT #4’s will have more energy, or knock down power at a further distance.  So, if you attempt to shoot a bird at 50 yards with shot size #4’s, you’ll have less pellets available to strike the bird in the kill zone, which is the neck and head but it will have more energy, or knock down power that the smaller #6’s.  On the other hand, if you shoot at a bird at 50 yards with #6’s, you’ll have more pellets available to hit the kill zone but will have less energy.  So, it comes down to preference in knock down power at further distances or more pellets at shorter distances.

pattern

To help determine what size shot to use in your gun, it’s VERY important to take the time and buy a few different brands and a few different shot sizes “pattern” your gun.  To pattern your gun, you’ll set up paper targets and shoot at different distances to determine what shoots best in the set up you’re considering in you gun. If you prefer an actual turkey to shoot at we sell these lifelike Redhead 12" targets.

turkeytarget

  • Special dual-color, flake off technology makes it easy to pattern your shotgun for turkey season
  • Flake off technology provides an explosion of color that can be seen from great distances
  • Kill area shots show florescent green behind turkey image
  • Misses show bright white behind red background
  • Self adhesive to stick to almost any backstop
  • 12'' turkey head image
  • 10 targets to a pack

 Patterning your gun can be come fairly expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run.  if you plan to take your wild turkey hunting seriously and take it to the next level.  If you’ve got a friend willing to pitch in, you can share some of the expense if you both shoot the same gauge shotgun.  You and your buddy can pitch in to buy a few different brands and different sizes of shot shells and go out and pattern your gun to see what shoots best in each or your firearms.  In my next blog, I’ll discuss tips for consideration when you go out to “pattern your shotgun”.

Happy Hunting!

~Richard Plonk

Hunting Lead

 

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Tips from the Power Pros: Four Wheelers 101

Power Pros             ArcticCat

I’m a Mercury/MerCruiser technician and I have been doing it for a long time. Too often it feels like I am on an assembly line. Change impeller, put new spark plugs in, replace a starter, trim solenoid, fuel injector etc, etc, etc. So when I came over to Tracker Marine in Bass Pro Center and my new co-worker in the service bay next to me had a four wheeler apart, it was something new to me, a new challenge to learn. A welcome break from the monotonous routine I seem to have become accustomed to over the years. That and Mike was an avid MotoCross/Supercross follower as well, so we got to talk about the races while we worked.

Mike Hunsucker

One of the biggest issues I saw Mike deal with was the same as in the marine industry: rotten fuel. Too many carburetors and fuel injectors get plugged up by the ethanol in the fuel. You can see my fuel blog here, and this applies to four wheelers as well. You must run fuel stabilizer in every tank of fuel. Also if you only use your quad for hunting, you still need to start it up at least every 4-6 weeks even with stabilizer in the fuel.

Another issue I saw Mike deal with constantly was squeaky brakes. One thing you have to remember is the brake pads are a metallic compound binding down on a metallic disk. They will squeak from time to time. One reason for constant squeaking is the brake calipers not being cleaned. The mud gets up in the calipers and does not let the brake pad release fully, thus causing a lot of squealing.

muddy cat wash me

If you go out and hit the trails you should wash the mud off your quad before it gets dry and hardens like concrete. Also, stay away from the cheap after market brake pads.

Strut not centered

Keeping your machine clean will also help prolong the life of other parts on your quad. Note the photo of the shocks, do you see that the bolt is no longer centered? This will cause a clunking in the suspension while driving.

bottom shock

This picture shows a cable that will no longer retract, causing the rear brake to drag,

cable siezed

also the brake lever would barely move due to rust and mud crammed into where it pivots. The cable and all the shock bushings needed to be replaced on this unit and the brake lever removed and cleaned out. Keeping the machine clean will slow this process down, but eventually they will all need to be maintained and replaced.

Mudding

Now, I know no one would ever submerge their beloved machine in mud or drive it through a river like this guy would, but if you misjudged a mud puddle or little stream crossing and submerged your unit to where water and/or mud was over the engine, here are some things to consider: you may have a seal that leaks, but not where it is visible or maybe you picked up some weeds or string that wraps around your drive shaft causing your seals to leak.

drivetrain

So when water gets over that seal, you get water in your engine, transmission or differentials. And if you drive it with the water in any of those places you will acquire a rather large bill. I would recommend changing all fluids if you get in deep water or mud. At the very least, check the fluids to make sure they are not contaminated. Even if you own a mud pro style four wheeler with a snorkel, always check and maintain your fluids.  Also clean out the air filter and air box. If you get in so deep that the motor gets shut down, tow the machine in, do not try and start it. It may be hydro locked or have mud and water in the engine. We had a customer who did this and brought his machine to a “We fix everything” shop and they flushed out the engine with water of all things…. over $3000 later we had his machine running again. If you get in that situation, I suggest bringing your quad directly to a certified dealership.

Arctic Cat

By all means, go out and have a great time on your machine, that’s why you bought it! But after you’ve hit the trails hard, don’t forget to give your quad some TLC so you don’t end up losing out on the next fun weekend because of a hefty repair bill.

Jason Wipp

Master Mercury Technician

Master MerCruiser Technician

                                           

 In memory of Mike Hunsucker

The “Cat Master”

Mike on a boat

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NC Wildlife: Free Hunter Education Course for Women

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will offer a free hunter education course for women on March 28-29 at Bass Pro Shops in Concord, Cabarrus County.

womensafetycourse

Join us for a hunter education course for women on March 28-29 at Bass Pro Shops in Concord.

The two-day course will provide an atmosphere conducive to learning for women of all ages, with no experience required. This specialized course will be held at Bass Pro Shops, located at 8181 Concord Mills Boulevard, through the Wildlife Commission’s Hunter Education Program and Home From The Hunt™ campaign.

The course is offered on a first-come, first-served basis with limited space available and pre-registration required. The first session will be conducted on Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. with the final session held Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“There is an increase in female participation in hunting, shooting sports and outdoor recreation, and we want that trend to continue,” said Carissa Shelton, the Commission hunter education specialist who will lead the course. “This course will provide the standard lessons of the Hunter Education Program, but will do so in a gender-specific setting. We believe a specialty course like this creates an appealing environment for those women who prefer it.”

All graduates will receive hunter certification recognized in all 50 states, U.S. territories and many other countries.

For more information or to pre-register, call 919-707-0031

Happy Hunting!

NC Wildlife

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Harkers Island for some Redheads

I just recently I got back from what has become an annual duck hunting trip out to Harkers Island, NC. We were hunting on the Core Sound (pictured below) in search of some Red Heads.

Core Sound

The Core Sound is located in Carteret County. South of popular fishing in Hatteras, Okracoke and the Pamilico Sound.

Core Sound Map

Like many old communities on the Southern coast, Harkers Island is undergoing a transformation. People from elsewhere in the state and country are arriving and buying land on the island, building summer houses or settling in as year-round residents. Fishing and hunting and boatbuilding no longer form the core of Harkers Island’s daily life,but rest assured the duck hunting is still as good as yesteryear!

Historical Waterfowl hunting

Photo credits: Harkers Island; photo by Roger Haile. In Carteret County, and hunting party aboard a menhaden boat; photos in the collection of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum.

The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, at the southeastern tip of the island where Shell Point juts into Core Sound, provides a snug haven for the centuries’ old traditions of these maritime communities. The museum serves as a center for the preservation and documentation of the region’s material culture, and a gathering place where Down Easterners celebrate and renew old ties.

Museum exhibits display beautiful historical and modern-day examples of the region’s finest decoy carving, as well as handmade nets, crab pots, and other tools of the region’s trades, all of which require a high level of skill and experience to make. Exhibits lovingly showcase the daily lives of their hardy forebears, with handcrafts like quilts and tatting, implements of their various maritime occupations, family letters, sports regalia, and many other treasured items.

Given the history of this region and the success of our trips, Harkers Island will no doubt remain an annual staple in our duck hunting season.

Pictured Below one of the first Red Heads harvested during our trip.

Red Head

This trip we ended up having some extremely cold weather to deal with and I was concerned I did not have enough gear and clothing to stay warm and be able to truly enjoy the trip.

I am extremely cold natured but when I checked the weather after hunting Tuesday only to find that they had changed low yet again to bone chilling 8 degrees wind chill, I was worried to say the least.

This was by far the coldest weather I have hunted in yet since I was born and raised right here in North Carolina and temperatures like this are really not that common.

Some of the clothing I used:

Our premier base layering system, RedHead Enduraskin Long-Sleeve Cold Mock Shirt for Men features AXE Anti-Odor Technology and extra-thick 4-way stretch fabric that is ideal as a base layer in cold temperatures. Moisture-wicking, quick-drying, easy care 82% polyester/18% spande

480 gm, 100% polyster spun fleece fits snugly against your skin yet stretches easily to allow for walking and bending. Elastic waist and handy rear zippered pocket. Gives you total moisture control in all types of waders, keeping you completely dry!

Made with 100% waterproof, windproof, breathable Refuge HS with HyperShield 2.0 Technology, the Drake Waterfowl Systems MST Eqwader Plus 1/4-Zip Long-Sleeve Shirt for Men features pullover style with placket-length zipper for easy on/off, fleece-lining, taped seams, midchest adjustment, neoprene cuffs, magnetic call pouch, and zippered security pockets.

RedHead Waders deliver 100% waterproof protection for the entire family. The flexible 3.5mm neoprene construction traps and holds body heat to give you a shield from the chill of the water. The wader's durable ozone-resistant rubber boots are lined with 600 gram Thinsulate Ultra Insulation to keep your feet warm. Adjustable nylon shoulder straps with quick-release buckles and nylon wading belt help provide a comfortable, customized fit.

 Wader Jacket is a shorter version of our 4-in-1 Parka in a warm waist-length style with elastic bottom for wearing over your waders. The jacket features a 100% waterproof/breathable Bone-Dry membrane; 150 gram ThermoLite Insulation in the body, 100 gram ThermoLite Insulation in the hood and arms; Taslon oxford shell; Ripstop-oxford honeycomb fabric at shoulders and articulated elbows; double storm flap with rain drain; lined collar with chin flap; 3-piece hood; side-seam adjusters; hook 'n' loop cuffs with neoprene barriers; 2 large snap-close cargo pockets; magnetic-closure chest pockets with hidden drainage; lined hand warmers; and license loop. The liner features a water-resistant nylon camo with 100% poly microfiber lining which reverses to brown; built-in shell holders; knit wrists; elastic waistband; micro tricot-lined hand warmers; and 150 gram ThermoLite insulation. Mesh ambidextrious shooting pad pocket with shooting pad included.  

Our Cold Weather System—C.W.S.—is your shield from the full frontal assault that mother nature can unleash in the coldest months of the year, and it will soon become your favorite cold weather system. In driving sleet and blinding snow, you'll stay warm, dry, and comfortable while you stalk your prey. The quiet, waterproof/breathable warp knit suede The quiet, waterproof/breathable warp knit suede features our BONE-DRY 100% waterproof, windproof, breathable membrane, a technical barrier to pounding moisture that also lets your body exhaust perspiration, increasing your comfort level while hunting in inclement weather. C.W.S Bibs feature ultra quiet, waterproof, breathable warp knit suede with 150 grams of Thermolite insulation. Features include integrated adjustable stretch suspender system with dual clip release, 2 front waterproof lock down zipper chest pockets, 2 front slash pocket, 2 waterproof lock down zippered cargo pockets, extra wide belt loops, and two 20 inch waterproof lock down slider leg zippers for easy on and off. 60% cotton, 40% polyester.

 

Thanks to the hunting gear I had with me I will have to say I stayed warm from the boat ride out until we got back to the landing. After looking over all of the gear I had you may think wow that is a lot of clothing and you are right. I think I looked like the Michelin Man walking around on the marsh that day but I was warm and was able to enjoy the hunt instead of being cold and completely miserable.

Group Photo Limit Out

We had a great hunt, almost limited out all three days as a group, enjoyed the great outdoors and got to experience God’s amazing creation. I have used our Red Head hunting clothes for the last thirteen years that I have been working here and they continue to get better and better. Next time you are looking for new hunting clothing make sure to check out our Red Head brand and compare it to the other.

Red Head Logo

     "150 Years in the Outdoors Since 1856"

 

Just like one of our print ads says, “ Ducks Don’t Care About The Label On Your Camo”.

 

Happy Hunting,

Dale Rice, Hunting Manager

 

 

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Outdoor Skills Tips: Preperation For Fishing ... A New Look

Outdoor Skills Tips

I have fished for years and thought I was pretty good at preparing for a season, or a trip. This winter I found out that for all these years I have been missing some of the most important things in preparation.

I always took the time in the winter to clean my reels, wipe down my rods and make sure my guides are in good shape. I re-spool all my reels and treat my line with reel magic. I go through all my crank baits and change out or sharpen hooks. I go through my pounds and pounds of plastic and re-organize and make a list of what I think I need. I go through my boat and give it a good cleaning, check all my connections and test my pumps. I make sure my trailer hubs are all lubed up, tires properly inflated and ready for a season of travel. I could go on and on, but I have still been missing the most important thing….my body…

I found out around Christmas that I had some melanoma on my back. For those who don’t know , melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that is caused from sun exposure. When found early it is very treatable, but when left alone it can take your life. I have fair skin and a lot of freckles so the sun likes to cook me quickly. For years I was a life guard and have been a tournament and recreational fisherman for 25 years. Years of exposure to the sun finally took their toll. I use to joke about getting off the water with raccoon eyes, being able to see my flip flop tan, well now I know that there are repercussions for my actions. Many days I would forget to apply or re apply sunscreen. I “didn’t have time”, when in reality I was ignorant to what I was subjecting my body to.

I was lucky, and mine was found early by my wife. It was on my back and I may never have found it by myself. After my family doctor did a biopsy and it came back as melanoma my doctor sent me for removal the next day to a specialist. The rest is a long story and to save time I will tell you that I now have a 3.5 inch scar on my shoulder blade to remind me of the dangers of the sun. I get to go and be checked every 3 months for the years to come, because once found to have melanoma you are more likely to have it again.

 

All this being said I encourage all of us who spend time outdoors enjoying all the beautiful things on God’s green earth that we all take time and educate ourselves to the dangers of the sun. Today there are many ways to protect our skin from sunscreen lotions to clothing. Many tech shirts like our World Wide Sportsman Angler Shirts have upf built in from 20upf to 50upf.

WWS Angler Shirt

  • 100% quick-dry nylon
  • Built-in UPF sun protection
  • Vented-cape back with mesh lining
  • Two large multi-function chest pockets
  • Handy rod loop
  • Roll-up collar for sun protection
  • Hidden button-down collar
  • Utility loop on the right pocket

Made of 100% quick-dry nylon enhanced for on-the-water action with built-in UPF sun protection. Features an improved vented-cape back with mesh lining for superior fit and performance. Includes two large multi-function chest pockets, handy rod loop, roll-up collar for sun protection, hidden button-down collar, and utility loop on the right pocket. Machine wash.

 

We have several Shorts and pants that have upf built in as well.

WWS Pants

  • NANO-tex® Resists Spills Technology for stain resistance
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Zip-off legs convert pants to 9" shorts
  • Wrinkle-resistant 100% nylon construction
  • Half-elastic waist
  • Total of six pockets
  • Two security pockets with zippers
  • Reinforced belt loops
  • Double-stitched seams

Long days on the water call for versatile clothes like our Hybrid Angler Pant, which features NANO-tex Resists Spills Technology for stain resistance, UPF 50+ sun protection, and convenient zip-off legs that convert to 9" shorts. Wrinkle-resistant 100% nylon construction features a half-elastic waist for full freedom of movement, six pockets (including two security pockets with zippers), reinforced belt loops, and double-stitched seams. Machine wash. Imported.

Hats and fingerless gloves with sun protection, buff headwear and many more products protect your hands and head from damaging rays as well.

gloves and hat

BUFF head gear

I use to think that all that gear made you goofy. Lets think about it..you are spending tons of money to chase a green fish around a big body of water, that you are going to try and catch and then put back in the water… that is really goofy. I now realize that looking cool is not as important as protecting my body so I can spend many more years with my family and spending time outdoors doing what I love….

Cover Up

Cover up, Have fun and be safe!

Thanks for the time, and I look forward to seeing you in the store or on the water….until next time.

Eric Winter

Store Manager 

Bass Pro Shop Concord NC

 

 

 

 

 

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Power Pros: Whats New in 2014

Power Pros

Hey guys, I know it is still cold out there, but now is the time to start thinking about spring fishing.  The new Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW, Pro Team 175TF and the Pro Team 190 TX are ALL NEW for 2014. 

These boats have been redesigned with new features never before seen on a Tracker aluminum boat.  A few of the new features are designed with comfort in mind.

Check out the new recessed trolling motor foot pedal on this 175 TXW

recessed trolling motor foot pedal

This feature will help you on those long fishing days. Fatigue is greatly reduced and you dont have to chase your footpedal all over the boat. This is one creature comfort that you will notice the benefit the first time out.

The new consoles for 2014 are well designed with smart phones in mind. The below photo shows an iphone in the holder, the holder has grips and a small bungee cord to hold your phone firmly in place. There is a convenient 12v receptacle for charging your phone as well.

new console

On the 175TXW and the 190TX they feature a front livewell and storage in the floor and under the seats for your keys and wallet.

Its nice to have two live wells to choose from and both of them not being in the back of the boat.

Front Live well

There is plenty of space for all the fish you'll be catching in your brand new tracker!

Back Live Well

The back live well has a divider so technically you have three live wells, great for those tournaments where there is a trash fish category and you need a bigger live well.

Check out all this storage!

Storage under seats

This year model the cup holders have been moved from the middle seat step to the floor in front of the seat, no more hitting your beverage of choice as you go from the back of the boat to the front. New for the 2014 models is the water proof storage under the middle console seat, pictured below.

Dry Storage

Similar to the dry storage common in kayaks this will give you a guarenteed place to keep your cell phone and keys protected from the elements, a great way to utilize the space.

waterproof canisters

Note the new cooler in the floor for 2014 models, it helps keep everything exactly where you want it and need it, this is with out a doubt the most versatile aluminum boat out there!

Storage

 

New for 2014 are these great looking paint schemes, the 2014 line up has the newest technology put into aluminum boats. The New Diamond Coat paint on the bottom of the boat is a revolutionary change. The two pictured options are available on the 175 TXW, 175TF and the 190TX.


175TXW in black:

175TXW

175TXW in red:175TXWRED

175TF in Metalic Light Charcoal:

175TFcharcoal

175TF in Blue:

175TFBlue

190TX in Metalic Light Charcoal:

190TXcharcoalPro Team 190TX is also available in black and light grey.

Our New Ultimate Finish:

Diamond Coat Boat

This new paint process is 3 times harder and 4 times thicker than regular paint processes, it is the ultimate finishing touch.

diamond coat

This finish will last much longer than traditional paint processes, if all the numbers and statistics dont sway you the looks will, it looks awesome!

Come check out the new line-up, you won’t be disappointed!

Bass Tracker 2014

Thanks for reading come out and see me or any of the knowledgable and professional salesmen here at the Bass Pro Shops - Charlotte Location!

Happy Fishing,

Bryan McConnell

Boat Salesman

Bass Pro Shops

Concord, NC

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Outdoor Skills Tips: Off Season Archery Maintenance

Outdoor Skills Tips

Now that Bow Season is over there are several things you should consider with regards to bow maintenance.  During hunting season your bow is your friend and steps you take during the off season will make it a better friend. Plus an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure.  

 Archery

This is the time you want to check that all screws are tight, there are several screws no matter what brand of bow you have. Check all accessories, your quiver, sight, and especially the screws on your cams.

Clean Cam

Concerning cams, look for any debris in the cams, and check your servings and D loop for wear. Pay attention to the serving at the small string stop on the cam pictured below...

Servings string stop

The contacts on the Draw stop on your cams is a pressure point that will first show seperation and then the serving will begin to unravel.

Also look closely at where your peep sight is and make sure you have no broken strands in the string material and that your peep serving is still in good shape. 

peep sight

Early detection will keep you from having to replace your string.  Again an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Don't forget your cables as well pirticurlaly where they contact the cable slide.  

cable slide

 

We're often asked how often you should wax your strings and cables.  A good rule of thumb is after inspection if you think you have too much wax on them, then put just a little bit more.  We would rather see more wax than not enough. A great product for this is Tex Tite.

tex tite

 

For those that shoot Crossbows it is impearitive that you are using a good quality rail lube.  Scorpion Venom Rail lube is an excellent product that will maximize speed reduce noise and extend rail life, it is also odorless and waterproof.

Scorpion Venom Crossbow Rail Lube

Scorpion Rail Lube is chemically composed to provide extreme slip without tac, Scorpion Venom crossbow rail lube boasts a uniquely crafted formula that reduces friction, dampens noise, and extends rail life. No need to wax the serving making contact with the rail that would otherwise cause wax build up, friction, and serving separation. Apply to the barrel of the crossbow; one or two passes is all you need using the mess-free applicator.

Lube rail

You should be lubeing the rail after every 10 to 15 shots.  Do not use string wax on the rails.  Wax is for strings and cables only.  If used on the rail it will wear your serving faster by attracting dust and dirt that will act as an abrasive.   

Remember a little TLC now will make for fewer problems in the future. Make sure to inspect your bow or crossbow before every use, with proper inspection and maintenance you should have a worry free Archery season. Happy Hunting!  

Tim Bloodworth

Archery Lead

 

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Tips from the Power Pros: Off Season Boat Storage

Power Pros

Fall has come out of nowhere. Another summer has come to an end. The days are getting shorter and the weather colder. The boating season is coming to a halt as football season, hunting season, and Old Man Winter approach. This is a critical time for your boat. How you lay your boat up for the winter months is crucial for your pocket book and keeping up the value of the investment you have made.

Sterndrive owners:

This is the most crucial service you can have performed on your boat. Have you ever filled a glass container with a liquid and put it in the freezer to cool off quickly, only to forget about it? It froze and busted! The same thing will happen to your cast iron engine block if it is not winterized properly.

 

Check out this damage caused by improper winterization.

broken block

See the below chunk of the block not where it is supposed to be.

Chunk

 

Since ALL sterndrives, (yes, even the closed cooling models) use the water you are driving on to keep them cool, there is the possibility of freeze damage during the winter months. Yes, a closed cooling model has antifreeze in the motor just like your car, but it circulates through the heat exchanger and it is cooled off by the lake water which is pumped out of the lake. So you have to have the heat exchanger and water pump winterized to avoid freeze damage. Most smaller boats running on fresh water do not use a closed cooling system. In these cases you have the complete cooling system of that engine full of water.

I can’t possibly cover “how to” winterize your boat, as there are multiple manufacturers out there, each of whom change their draining configuration. It would be impossible for me to go into every single engine. I suggest you have your boat winterized by a professional. For those of you who feel as though you already know how to winterize your boat and plan to do so, consider this: Let’s say you winterize your boat 5-6 years in a row with no problem, but on the 7th year you forget something. That engine block that just cracked on average for a single engine boat will cost you $5000. Was $5000 the seventh year worth the money you saved the first six?

The most common mistake I see with “do-it-yourself” jobs is pulling a drain plug, not seeing any water come out, and assuming the block is empty…..but it’s not. Maybe you went near a sand bar or murky water and you have mud damming up the water so it won’t drain. Every spring I see this costly mistake. If you pull a plug and nothing comes out, use a pick and shove it up the hole to free up the mud and drain the water out.  There are several more common pitfalls that cost well-meaning, frugal boat owners who hope to save a buck and winterize their own boat literally thousands of dollars. So I still stand by my advice to have a licensed, certified technician who works for a reputable dealership winterize your boat for you. There is so much more to winterizing than just draining the water, such as fuel treatment, battery storage, changing the fluids (now is the time of year for fluid changes, see previous blogs on this topic) and fogging the cylinders down to prevent rust. It’s always better to have a professional who will stand behind their work take care of this maintenance.  IF you still decide that you want to winterize yourself, at the very least, get the specific manual for your motor.  Also keep in mind that your boat may have a heater, ballast tanks, a fresh water system, a head or an air conditioner.  A professional will know how to handle each of those items.

In the past you may have been told to fill the gas tank up before storage. This was to prevent condensation in the fuel tank.  The addition of ethanol to fuel has changed that old rule. With ethanol there is a process called phase separation (see my fuel blog) where the ethanol separates from the gas, then pulls the moisture out of the air where the ethanol and the water will then mix leaving you with water in the fuel.  Now it’s best to run the fuel as low as possible, leaving just enough for the technician to winterize the boat.  The best case scenario would be if the tech ran out of gas just as they finish the winterize!

 

Outboard owners:

All of the water drains from your engine as soon as you turn it off. However, you should still have it winterized by treating the fuel, fogging the cylinders, and changing the fluids.  It is possible to have water get into the gear lube by way of a leaky seal.  If there is enough water present in the gear lube, it can freeze and crack your gear housing. The average cost for a gear housing is roughly $2200.  This is also true of stern drives as well.

Check out the damage that can happen from water in the gear lube.

cracked drive

Covering your investment for the winter:

Shrink wrap is the way to go even if you live in an area that does not get a lot of snow. A good shrink wrap protects against UV damage. I see way too many boats that are only 4-5 years old with the seats all dry rotted from sun damage. Get a good cover for the summer time, (and use it consistently) and shrink wrap your boat for the winter. If you live in an area that gets a great deal of snow, you may have heard cover companies boasting that they make covers that are just as good as shrink wrap.  Don’t fall for this gimmick!  You’re paying a lot more for a cover that can still collapse, rip, and cost you a nasty mess in the spring.  A good shrink wrap, using the correct materials, will help prevent water, sun, and animal damage.

 

 

During a long period of the boat being covered (even if stored indoors) I recommend a product called No Damp, by Star Brite.

 

No Damp

 There is a package design with a coat-hanger piece meant for hanging in a closet that works best in a boat.  This product helps remove the moisture that causes mildew on the interior of the boat during storage.

The cost of storing your boat for the winter can be overwhelming, especially with the holidays approaching.  Even so, cutting corners for winter storage can make for very costly repairs in the spring or can shorten the overall life of your boat.  An investment now can save you hundreds, even thousands later.

 

Jason Wipp

Master Mercruiser Technician

Master Mercury Technician

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Family Focus: Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock Wilderness Area

Joyce Kilmer Wilderness Area

trail map

Recently, my family and I visited a part of the state that none of us had been to.  We traveled to Robbinsville NC for a weekend stay.  While we were in the area, we decided to make a trip to the Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness area.  While there, we enjoyed the trails which make a loop through the forest.  The trail leads past several of the giant poplars that the wilderness area is known for.

Giant Poplar

Details At a Glance

Trailhead: Cheoah Ranger District
Overall Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2mi
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
Allowed Uses: Hiking

Description

This figure-8 loop trail travels through a spectacular, virgin forest, one of the largest tracts of uncut forest in the Eastern United States.The forest around this trail is designated the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. This is a fitting memorial for an individual who is best know for his poem, "Trees". A monument inscribed with the poem lies at the mid-point of the hike, where the figure-8 trails cross. Excellent representation of original, native cove hardwood forest with enormous trees. Well-designed trail with creek crossings on bridges. Connects with trails in the larger, wilder Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area.

While hiking the trails, we were constantly stopping to look at the things that were all around us.  At one point, our 2 girls stepped right over a small snake that was in the middle of the trail.  It turned out to be a small ringneck snake (pictured below).

Ring Snake

 

  This little snake was in a hurry to move off the trail as we came lumbering by.  This was also a great opportunity to remind our kids to slow down and look more closely at the surroundings.  We were all in too big of a hurry and this was a reminder that we needed to slow down.  We made the loop through the forest, seeing several other impressive poplars.  At one point, we stopped to the sound of water rushing down the hillside, even though there wasn’t a stream to be seen.  It turned out that there was a subterranean creek just under one portion of the trail.  The earth had collapsed and opened a small hole about the size of a basketball that allowed us to hear the water below.  We would later cross the small stream of water further down the slope after it had resurfaced. 

 

At the end of the hike, we found ourselves taking a few minutes to sit by the primary creek that runs through this section of the wilderness area.  Little Santeelah Creek is fairly small at this point, but has several small pools and falls near the parking area, making it ideal for a little exploration.  The kids had a great time just sitting and watching the water flow by.

Relaxing by the creek

Of course I took advantage of the time and spent an hour or so fly-fishing for the small rainbow trout that seemed very plentiful.  It seemed that each small pool, eddy or pocket held an eager little rainbow that was more than willing to eat the small caddis patterns that I had tied on.  Short, accurate casts were the name of the game in this creek.  With the recent rains and slightly off colored water, several casts to a likely holding spot were often rewarded with a splashy strike. 

If you find yourself in the area around Robbinsville NC, you owe it to yourself to take a quick trip over to this great wilderness area. If you are interested in hiking western NC check out this interactive map.

Thanks,

Ron Kinney

Operations Manager

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

 

 

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A Day on the Water: Special Blessing

I believe that every day on the water is a blessing, but some days are even more special….the following is one of those days.

The day begins as a thin layer of fog is lifting from water and sun is about to peek out over the edge of the lake. It is a cool morning in the North Carolina mountains when my fishing partners arrive at the ramp.

Sunrise

 

Every year I donate a trip for the YMCA to auction off to raise money and this year’s winners wanted to bring their young ones out for a day of fun. John and his 2 young boys John Peter, aka JP, age 8 and Jacob age 6 were chomping at the bit to get on the water. Wes and his daughter Jeannie age 7 were also ready to put some fish in the boat. Since there were 2 families I brought a great friend and fellow Bass Pro employee Stokes McCellan to help me hopefully give these folks a trip of a life time.

pre blastoff

Stokes and the boys headed out for a few hours of trolling, while the rest of us set out for some top water and early morning bass action. It didn’t take long for Jeannie to start pulling in the fish. She had us down 3 to zero in just 5 minutes. We had a blast over the next 3 hours and caught more fish than we could keep up with. Wes even took a break from bass fishing for Wes to work on his fly rod fishing techniques.

2 boys with bluegill

 

While we were catching fish like crazy the other boat was getting loaded as well. That team caught some monster bluegill, crappie and a ton of bass while trolling the banks and the middle of the lake. There wasn’t a minute or two went by that we didn’t hear ‘fish on’ coming from that boat.

fishing

When we met back at the ramp to swap around partners Jacob and John were ready for big time bass action. Once again it doesn’t take long before boats are calling out ‘ fish on’ .  Jacob was only 6 but that little man was fired up and was catching fish on nearly every cast. He was throwing a shakey head and catching fish like crazy. John and Wes got serious and started throwing jigs and creature baits and the big fish started chewing. We started landing 3 ,4 and 5 pounders all afternoon.

Wes

Wes with his Bass!

John with bass

It wasn’t too long before Jacob was ready for a snack and to get back to trolling, so we met on the water and we picked up JP, dropped off Wes and Jacob with Stokes , and got back at it.  JP wasted no time and was sacking fish left and right. Although he was only 8 he was making great casts and figured out quickly where the bass should be. He also relieved me of some of my guiding duties and wanted to take all the fish off and release back into the lake. My thumb was extremely grateful as it was torn up from all the fish we had caught that morning. I am not sure who had more fun …JP catching fish or his Dad taking pictures and capturing the moment on film.

Eric with Fish

I have a great passion for fishing and truly love to share that passion with others, especially when it is young ones. I believe that these kids would have a good time even if we didn’t catch a fish, but the fact that we whacked them all day made it easy for the young ones to enjoy the day. Every day you won’t catch like fish like we did on this trip, but you have to go and spend time with youngsters and give them the opportunity to fall in love with the outdoors. In today’s world there are so many other things for kids to do, that if we as outdoorsmen don’t take the time to introduce kids to the outdoors our way of life could be lost in just a few generations. I am blessed that I get to work with people that have my same passions.. I am blessed that every day I get to share with customers a little bit of knowledge…I am blessed that I live in a country that affords me these luxuries.

Jacob and eric

Jacob and I with our Catch!

girl with fish

So at the end of the day we stayed and fished a couple hours past our time, but the fish were biting so what are you gonna do…stay and fish of course. When all was said and done we had caught well over 100 fish on our expedition. Not too shabby for a ½ day trip in August. I am not sure when I will see these kids again but I believe when they close their eyes( at least for few days) they will remember the fish they caught today and hopefully when they wake up be ready to go again.…

 

tuckered out

 

Eric Winter

General Manager

Bass Pro Shop

Concord NC

 

 

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Be a Duck Commander with the New Grizzly® 1654 Sportsman

ALL NEW for 2014, the GRIZZLY® 1654 Sportsman is a unique boat perfect for waterfowl hunting.

1654 Sportsman

Available in two optional camo schemes to match your hunting area, this boat is also loaded inside with great features. Raised fore and aft decks provide great vantage points while fishing. Both even feature a seat base for setting up the fold-down fishing chair. It also has port and starboard rod boxes that can also be used as gun boxes.

top view

One of the most versatile features is the removable gun box on the starboard side, no matter the conditions you can protect your gun and gear from the water back to dry land.

Gun Box Out

For duck hunting, the VERSATRACK® accessory-mounting system in the gunnels is ready to accept your choice of optional blinds to keep you out of sight of your quarry.

duck blind

Beavertail boat blinds are available through Basspro.com

For your convienance, welded-in eyes at the four corners of the deck allow you to install anchor poles to keep your boat solidly in place while you wait!

welded eyes for poles

Plus, the 1654 Sportsman sports a Mod V hull for a smoother, drier ride than you would find on a flat bottom boat. And its all-welded hull translates into extreme longevity. Overall, this is one of the toughest, most versatile and easy-to-maneuver hunting/fishing boats around. Customize your boat today at Tracker Boats.

 

For additional information on boats available at the Charlotte location contact our knowledgable sales staff at 704.979.2200.

 

Happy Hunting

~Matthew Holland

Special Events and Promotions Coordinator

 

 

 

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Tips from the Power Pros: Sterndrives

Power Pros

This past week I have seen some major damage to an engine, so I would like to reiterate the importance of impellers (addressed in my previous blog) and how they pump the water to cool off the motor.  A customer came in because his boat had over heated. He had originally brought the boat to an inexperienced, cut rate boat repair shop that will take in all brands, but has no specialization in one. They installed a new impeller and sent him on his way. After the boat left him stranded on the water twice, he decided to bring it to us. I was amazed at the lack of attention to detail I saw on this motor. Right from the start I saw that the previous over heat had caused the exhaust bellows to melt into pieces back on the transom. Inside the boat, the exhaust tubes were burnt and melted. The engine would barely shift due to the fact that the shift cable was melted. The engine wire harness was melted to the exhaust, the water pump with the new impeller was also damaged. That’s not the worst of it, though, the motor had water in the oil due to a blown head gasket.

water corrosion

See the damage caused by the blown head gasket due to the small inexpensive impeller.

This is an expensive bill, an “I could have gone to Hawaii instead” sized bill. All this could have been prevented by simply following the MerCruiser maintenance schedule. The boat is 7 years old, but it only had 31 hours on it, so either the owners did not know what they needed to do to maintain the motor, or they thought “It only has 30 hours on it”. Impellers are rubber, they get old and brittle even if they do not get used much. Had the impeller been changed after three years as directed, this could have been avoided. Educating yourself and following the suggested maintenance schedule can do wonders for your wallet.

Since I have mentioned the term “Bellows” above, I would like to talk a little about them as well. Bellows (A.K.A. boots) are an accordion shaped type of rubber material that covers the shift cable and u-joints where the outdrive enters the boat.

Bellow Kit

 

They are used on both MerCruiser Alpha and Bravo sterndrives (other brands have them as well). There is also a third one called the exhaust bellow. What they do is prevent water from entering the boat by being able to flex up and down and side to side all while holding a water tight seal, therefore allowing you to be able to steer and trim your boat.  The exhaust bellow provides a flexible tube that forces the exhaust down through the outdrive, giving you a quieter boat ride. Now if either the shift cable bellow or the u-joint bellow tear, your boat will begin taking on water. It may be a few drips if the hole isn’t very big, or water could enter in a large quantity if the breach is big enough. If the amount of water coming in can’t be matched by what your bilge pump is getting out, your boat will sink. 

critter damage

This bellow came off of a pontoon boat, luckily; if this had been on a stern drive it would have sunk the boat. This damage was due to a critter of some sort most likely a muskrat.  

Also if you rely on the bilge pump to take care of the extra water until you “get around” to making the repair, remember that a $ 0.25 fuse is all that’s keeping the bilge pump going. That’s not something I would want to put all my faith in for long.

If the water getting to the u-joint goes undetected for too long due to a slower leak, damage to the u-joints and the gimble bearing occurs. The water washes away the lubricants and the metal corrodes and rusts.  If damaged u-joints or a gimble bearing get left un-checked because you leave your boat on a hoist or trailer, after awhile, if either gives out under load, major damage can occur. Just think…case hardened steel turning at the same RPM as the engine coming loose with an aluminum housing around it. Aluminum loses. And so does your check book. There are other important parts water can damage if the level gets high enough in the bilge to where it can reach electrical components, such the trim pump and the starter.  If water gets higher than that, it can possibly get into the oil pan. If the exhaust boot tears, it just allows a little exhaust to leak out, causing the boat to sound louder. No water will get into the boat with a torn exhaust bellow. Keep in mind too, that most insurance companies will not cover an event like this because it was lack of proper maintenance that caused it, not an impact or other covered event.

Here is a tip to help you increase the life span of your bellows. If you leave your boat in a slip, leave your outdrive in the down position with the outdrive facing straight out the back (as it would be if you were driving straight).

This is the most relaxed position for the bellows to sit in so they aren't being stretched all the time. By allowing the bellows to relax this lessens the strain on the rubber and gives the bellows longer life. Note the two bellows below, they are the same bellow, when in the straight position you can't even notice the gaping tear, but when turned you can easily see how water could enter your bilge.

bellow straight

The average life of a bellow is about 8-10 years, but the environment can affect that as well. Being rubber, they are at risk of dry rot.  Putting the outdrive in this relaxed position also prevents muskrats from getting up to the shift bellow and chewing on it. Yes, there has been many a boat sunk by muskrats chewing on bellows. They also chew on transducer cables, speedo tubes and any wire within their reach.  If you leave the boat in a hoist, put it in the same position. If you trailer it, try to keep your outdrive centered but in the up position. Some people center their outdrive and lower it when they park their boat, but all it takes is forgetting to raise the outdrive once to end up dragging it down the road and costing yourself money. The cost of that is far more than replacing the bellow, so I would say leave it up if you trailer your boat.   

For more on maintenance see our other informative blogs!

Boat Motor Maintenance

Ethanol Fuel: Do's and Don'ts

Maintenance: Batteries and Impellers

Happy Boating!

Jason Wipp

Master MerCruiser Technician

Master Mercury Outboard Technician

 

 

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Coming Up: 2013 Salt Water Expo

Saltwater Expo

Join us for the 2013 Saltwater Expo. This year's event will be bigger than ever. Come join us on Saturday Sept. 7th from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The event will host a day of hands on educational seminars, great door prizes and a silent auction table benefiting Wounded Warriors.

 

Keynote speaker George Poveromo, host of the NBC Sports TV show George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing will be on hand for seminars and autographs.

George Poveromo is a world-renowned angling authority, National Seminar host, television host, and Editor-At-Large for Salt Water Sportsman Magazine.

Poveromo, a native of South Florida in the United States, has fished most of the U.S. coast as well as many countries. He demonstrates his expertise through his column "Tactics and Tackle" in Salt Water Sportsman. Poveromo is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Southeast Outdoor Press Association, and Boating Writers International. He is an advocate of catch and release fishing, and is a member of the Coastal Conservation Association.

Poveromo is Editor-At-Large for Salt Water Sportsman magazine, the oldest and most widely distributed sport fishing magazine in the United States. Salt Water Sportsman has a paid monthly circulation of over 150,000 readers. Poveromo has been part of the Salt Water staff since 1983.

In addition to Salt Water Sportsman, George has been the host of their National Seminar Series for all twenty five years of the tour. The National Seminar Series, which has eight country-wide stops per year, instructs people on how to catch popular coastal and offshore game. The Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series is the largest and most successful fishing seminar in the nation.

George Poveromo is also producer to a line of how-to videos and DVDs regarding sport fishing. These educational videos are published under High Hook Incorporated and are hosted by Poveromo himself. The High Hook videos range from bottom-fishing to sailfish tactics and everything in between. These videos are the top-selling salt water fishing DVDs on the market.

Most popularly noted would be George's television program, George Poveromo's World Of Saltwater Fishing, which runs on the NBC Sports Network. The show, which aired on ESPN2 for 10 seasons was picked up by the NBC Sports Network, formerly Versus (TV channel) when ESPN cancelled its coverage of fishing television lineup. Each week, Poveromo presents a cool and informative fishing episod from a U.S. coastal, or Bahamas fishing destination. Poveromo's show entered into its 12th season on national television in 2012.

Plan on a great day with some of the top fishing guides/captains of the carolinas; along with some of the top manufacturers and the latest in saltwater gear. See some of the pictures from last years vendor / captain area!

lowrance

Lowrance will be on hand to talk electronics again this year!

vendor

Come see the latest in saltwater gear and technology!

Penn Battle

Penn let the battle begin!

This years Seminar Schedule will promise to be exciting, educational and experiential.

  • 10:30 – Mark Patterson – Kayak Fishing NC/SC intra coastal water
  • 11:30 – Sonar Class - Navionics
  • 12:15 – 12:45 Lunch Break
  • 12:45 – Capt. Ricky Kellum – Fishing for Speckled Trout
  • 1:30 - Capt. Fred Rourke - Fishing for Redfish
  • 2:15 – How to Throw a Cast Net
  • 3:00 – George Poveromo – Rigging Ballyhoo
  • 4:15 – Navionics Side Imaging

The Ballyhoo Rigging class will be hands on, you will acutally get to rig your own bait while George Poveromo instructs you on the how to. This class will fill up fast!

There will be a silent auciton table benefiting Wounded Warriors in NC.

Wounded Warrior

Items on the auction include but are not limited to, fishing technical gear, rods, reels, combos, fishing electronics, other useful satlwater items and Artwork by Guy Harvey.

overview

 

Check out the vendor tables from the 2012 Saltwater Fishing Expo! Most of the vendors will be back this year!

vendors

Last years event had an amazing turnout, this year looks to be even bigger still. Make sure to come out and experience the 2013 Saltwater Expo at your Charlotte, Bass Pro Shops!

Happy Fishing! & Tight Lines!

~Dave Miller, Fishing Manager

 

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Bass Pro Shops Customer Profile: Bill Penninger

Customer Profile

I would like to introduce you to a long time customer at Bass Pro Shops.  Bill Penninger has shopped in the Bass Pro Shops here in Concord, NC since the store opened.  Every time that he comes into the store, he loves to share pictures of his son, granddaughter and grandson from their most recent hunt.  I want to take the time to share a little with you about them. 

Mark Penninger, Bill’s son, lives in Oregon where he is a forest wildlife biologist. 

mark working

Forest biologist Mark Penninger works to attach bait to attract martens towards a hidden camera. (photo courtesy of US Forest Service)

He also serves as the National Bighorn Sheep biologist for the US Forest Service

Sheep

The above picture was taken by Mark while working for the US Forestry Service. (photo courtesy of US Forest Service)

Mark started hunting here locally on about 50 acres before he moved to Oregon.  Jack O’Connor inspired Mark to start hunting through his articles in Outdoor Life magazine.  Mark believes that you “bless it, dress it and eat all of the edible meat” when he is hunting.    One of his favorite spots to hunt is in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.

No Return Wilderness

 When Mark hunts there, he is 35 miles from the nearest road and is flown in to his hunting site. This wilderness is a total of 2,366,907 acres and is the second largest in the lower 48 states.  Mark has hunted mule deer and small game in the Frank Church wilderness.  One of Mark’s most successful hunts that Bill has told me about was the elk that he took on September 18, 2003.  Mark used a Martin Lynx bow from 12 yards.  The recovery of the elk was 50 yards.  The elk scored 351 6/8 net score on the rack. 

Mark’s children Weston and Bailey have picked up the hunting bug from their father. 

Family Affair

 Bailey, who is 16 years old, started hunting with her dad at a very young age.  She was using her Dad’s 20 gauge at 8 years old. 

Bailey

At 11 years old, Bailey started using a Ruger 7mm-08 compact rifle.  She was also taught about trapping from her father and grandfather.   Bailey is an avid hunter of duck, mule deer, elk and antelope.  She has harvested a cow elk, 4 deer, an antelope and a coyote.  She has also bagged a turkey every year since she was 13.

Turkey 1

 Bailey goes to the rifle range with her father regularly.   She and her dad are going to Alaska in August for a self-guided caribou hunt.  We wish her tons of success.  When she isn’t hunting, Bailey enjoys playing the fiddle, modern dance, hangs out with friends and loves going to church with the family.

Bill and Bailey

Bailey on a turkey hunt, even crutches cant stop her!

  Weston, who is 14 years old, uses an A-Bolt Browning 25-06 when he is hunting. 

Bill and Weston

Weston and Mark after a successful Pronghorn Hunt!

He took his first cow elk on December 22nd of last year.  He too has taken several turkeys since he started hunting at age 10.  One of Bill’s favorite stories about his grandson is his nickname from soccer, which is “the Wall”.  Bill states that Weston is called this because “hitting him is like hitting a brick wall.”

Duck Hunt

A successful duck hunt!

I hope that you have enjoyed meeting the Penninger family.  I know that Bill is proud of them.  Mark’s favorite quote is by George Washington…”It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.”  After hearing about Bailey and Weston, I have little doubt that Mark doesn’t spend a day alone at all.

In memory of William F. “Bill” Penninger,

bill

December 31, 1938 - July 6, 2013

 "Bill was a master carpenter, building anything from schools to homes to nuclear stations. He loved to garden and share the fruits of his labors. Known as “the mayor” of Taylor Glen, he will be missed by his neighbors there. Even after his first stroke which left him in a wheelchair with left side paralysis, he adapted and kept living life to the fullest, which was a great motivator to those who knew him. He loved his family, especially his grandchildren."

I would say, and I think Bill would agree, that the best thing he ever built was his wonderful family!

Happy Hunting,

~Michelle Clark

 

 

 

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Tips From The Power Pros: Maintenance, Batteries and Impellers

Power Pros

 

Batteries

Motors in the marine industry have come a long ways in the last 10-12 years. In fact, it is not uncommon to see points and condensers on a stern drive that is around 25-30 years old. For the most part, those times are behind us. Emissions regulations have changed the way motors are made. Soon the last of the carbureted stern drives will roll off the assembly lines, all 2 stroke engines except direct injected are gone, and I wouldn't’t be surprised to see them disappear in the next 10-15 years as well. Control cables are being replaced with “Fly by wire” systems such as DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) or the AXIUS and Zeus systems. (If you have not seen either of these systems, check them out. I docked a 45’ boat with Zeus on a windy day easier than I could a 17’ bass boat. If your waiting in line for the gas dock you can press the “Skyhook” button and with a link from the boat to a satellite it will keep your bow pointing in the direction you had it in when you pushed the button, and within a few feet front to back and side to side. 

If this caught your interest click here, and you’ll be happy to know that Mercury Verado engines will soon be introducing their own type of “Axius” system called “Joystick Piloting”.  Where on the Axuis stern drive system the twin outdrives turn independently of each other, this system will allow Twin Verado engines to turn independently of each other, so no bow thruster is needed. I cannot wait to see this system on a Mako 284CC)

 

So with all the new electronics I am seeing out there from Direct injected Opti-Max engines, Supercharged Verados with DTS, to Axius controlled stern drives with Vessel View, I keep coming across an engine fault code over and over again…. “Low battery voltage fault”. I see it most often in an Opti-Max motor on a fishing boat.  Running down to the auto parts store and grabbing a battery that looks close to the same size does not work! These engines need a lot of cold cranking amps. With a Verado or Stern drive utilizing the DTS system, if the computer does not see a certain amount of voltage on start up, the computer will abort the start up process. That’s why it is very important to get a a trained Mercury/Mercruiser Technician to get the right battery for your system.

Another low voltage problem I see is caused by the boat builder not using the correct gauge wire. So, if you know you have the right battery and you keep seeing this code on your Smartcraft gauges, that may need to be looked at by a Mercury/Mercruiser dealer. It usually takes about a year or two before it starts causing problems. If this turns out to be your problem, the correct size wire needs to be run.

Here are my battery recommendations for some common engines:

8HP- 115HP Fourstroke -- 400 CCA Minimum

Older Carburated 2 strokes to 90HP -- 400 CCA Minimum

Any Opti-Max or EFI two stroke -- 800CCA Minimum

Any Verado with DTS -- 800 CCA Minimum

Any Mercruiser Product -- 800 CCA Minimum

 

On a side note with batteries, if you are working on any battery, take off your rings.

consequences of not removing rings

While tightening a battery on a closed bow ski boat I burned my left ring finger badly. The wrench was on the positive terminal and my ring bumped the negative terminal on the battery with the ring against the wrench inside my hand. Sparks flew. I burned my right fingers and thumb trying to get the ring off! Thankfully I was near water and was able to jump out of the boat and put my hand in a puddle. The ring sizzled when it hit the water. I immediately grabbed the ring again, this time getting it off (with skin still attached to it) and 8 years later I still have a clearly visible scar and some gold on my ½ wrench.  The moral of the story is don’t just assume you can be careful, take the ring off. It’s the last thing you’re thinking about when you’re working on your boat

(or car, mower, etc) but the “reminder” that you’re wearing it is unpleasant to say the least.

 

Impellers

Another item that most people don’t understand is the cooling system in a boat. In a car you have a radiator, and you might look at the fluid level every now and then and away you go. Cooling on boats is different. All boats, even stern drives with closed loop cooling systems, use impellers to cool of the off the engine. Closed cooling systems simply use a heat exchanger the has fresh cool water on one side cooling the hot anti-freeze off on the other.

This is how it works: a rubber impeller simply sucks the water out of the lake (or which ever type of water system you are running in), cools off the engine, and then the water is discharged out with the exhaust tube.

There are two primary types of impellers that come in all different sizes, Volume and Pressure. Both are made out of rubber. Volume is a little more forgiving, which is why we are seeing it on more and more engines. Pressure impellers can completely fail in seconds. One minute you’re cruising on the water, the next you’re overheating. When you stop pumping water and the engine starts to get hot, serious engine damage can occur quickly. Wires begin melting onto the engine, on stern drives the exhaust boots start to melt as well. Sometimes I find the exhaust flappers in the exhaust tube when this happens.

impellers

 

If run to long in this condition, complete engine failure is immanent.

Preventative maintenance guidelines recommend that you go no longer than three years or 100 hours on a impeller. If you run in shallow water where there is a lot of sand or debris,  intervals between service shorten.

Often I have been asked, “Jason, I only have about 20 hours on my motor in the last 3 years, why should I replace the impeller?” Yes, there would be very little wear on the impeller in that case, BUT the rubber will start to harden and the impeller vanes will not draw the water in like they should. Rubber parts can dry rot, harden, and break down.  It’s not the amount of hours or the wear and tear that you need to be concerned about in this case, it’s the age and condition of the part itself. On newer motors that monitor water pump pressure the break down of the impeller can cause a fault as well. If the computer does not see a certain amount of water pressure at a certain RPM it will cause the engine to go into power reduction mode.  So if you have a monitoring system and do not hear a system check beep when you turn your key on, get that repaired, even if you just had your impeller serviced. It can save you a ton of money if that warning system is kept up and working properly.

Every boater knows that when you plan that perfect day on the lake, some sort of mechanical issue can always pop up to ruin it.  However, you can drastically reduce the odds of it happening to you if you keep up on routine and preventative maintenance and keep good records of the services you have performed.

 

For more on maintenance see our other informative blogs!

Boat Motor Maintenance

Ethanol Fuel: Do's and Don'ts

Happy Boating!

Jason Wipp

Master MerCruiser Technician

Master Mercury Outboard Technician

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Outdoor Gear: LIfe Straw Personal Filtration System!

Looking for the perfect water filtration system for your next hiking trip or your emergency preparedness pack? Then you need the LifeStraw! The LifeStraw is a personal water filter that filters up to 1,000 liters of water, enough water for one person for one year.

LifeStraw removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of parasites. The only downside to lifestraw is that is doesn't de-salinate water or remove heavy metals, so the taste of your water may leave something to be desired, but at least you will have drinking water no matter the conditions you face.

Check out this youtube video on how to use this great product!

 

Lifestraw

You can get LifeStraw in our Camping Department for only $19.99.

Not only is it ultra light, weighting in at 2 oz., it is also very easy to use. Unlike most systems, there is no pumping or no chemicals to add like most filtration systems, all you have to do is place the straw in the water and sip through the mouthpiece.

The LifeStraw has won numerous awards, including the TIME magazine's Best Inventions Award! LifeStraw has been used throughout Africa to provide clean drinking water to people in need.

Helping People

Get yours today and get ready for that next hike or hunting trip. Life Straw the personal filtration system!

 

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Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff: Boat Review Mako 21LTS

Mako 21lts

The New 21 LTS Mako is obviously built with all the past 47 years of knowledge gained from the offshore series and the inshore series rolled into one.  The fit and finish is unmistakably Mako with the comfort and room of all its predecessors, and the handling and quick to plane RPS hull is something way ahead of its time.  As a tournament fisherman, I have never had too much storage… the storage typically less than ideal in boats of this category. Though after loading the boat for my first tournament event, I actually had several areas in the boat with nothing in them!   

The boat handles shallow water as well as rough choppy conditions with ease and a true sense of confidence.   The RPS hull allows the boat to achieve plane in seconds with little to no bow rise.  This can be done in extremely shallow water and allows the boat to run on plane in even less.  It maneuvers like its on rails with very responsive handling in tight turns, as well as very comfortable flat ride in heavy bay chop and stiff winds. 

After you have had enough of the boats running performance and its time slow down and go fishing, is when the boat shines the most.   The large raised casting platforms both fore and aft are extremely roomy and the wide stance makes maneuvering around the boat easy.  The boat is very responsive using a trolling motor around the mangroves or around your favorite set of cypress stumps.  The boat can be rigged right from the factory with everything a tournament angler needs, from a Polling platform on the stern to a raised sight casting platform on the bow.  It is easy to see this boat is designed with the experienced angler in mind. Check out all the options online, or come in the store and see it in person.

Showroom21lts

Take it home today!

Check out other boat reviews like the 18LTS by Mako. Look for more Reviews in the future and check out Bass Pro Shops - Charlotte, NC's Facebook page.

 

Tight Lines!

Rob Ferris

Captain Rob Ferris

 

 

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Bass Pro Shops - Charlotte, NC: Employee Tournament Trial

 The third stop of the Bass Pro Shops – Charlotte, NC employee bass tournament trail was on High Rock Lake.

lake map highrock

 

Spring was in full swing and the water temps were on the steady rise. The weather had been warm and was about 3 days post cold front,  everyone was looking forward to some good bites. A total of 11 boats and 22 fishermen and women entered the tournament with hopes of taking home some money. The tournament’s 7 am blast off  was from dutch second creek wildlife access.

Dutch Second Creek

At blast off the temperature was around 60 degrees and water temps was 58-60 degrees. The water clarity and color was a mixture depending on where you were  in the lake, the main channel was slightly stained to darker and it got clearer as you went into major creeks and pockets. The fish activity has been rather fickle due to recent changes in the weather however most fish where sticking to pre spawn activity and could be found tight to structure or shallow water with in a couple feet of the bank.

It didn’t take long for my fishing partner Richard Jordan to find a good fish and put him in the boat.

Richard Jordans Fish

Water temps where on the rise with warming sunshine and we quickly found 68+ water temperatures. A lot of visible bank activities were carp splashing on the bank and long nose gar patrolling around.  Gathered together, a few largemouth bass were spotted patrolling the banks. We tried to entice them to strike but no luck was found. 

The lake is set for the fish to hit the beds and perhaps a few are already there but I’m sure after the full moon next weekend 4/27-4/28 the spawn will be in full swing.

At the end of the day only 5 boats had fish to weigh.

winners

1st place - Travis Williams and Brooks Betty with a good sack of 20.02

2nd place - Tyler Osterhout and Ethan Icard with 12.04

3rd place - Kyle Kiziah and Richard Jordan with 11.06

2012 High Rock Employee Tournament Results

 

John cook had an impressive catch of f a trick worm, he caught this beauty near a stump, John said “ I saw the flip of what looked like two tails, made my cast made it in the right place, then whoop … she swallowed it!”

John Cooks Catch

Good fish, weighing in at 4.22lbs. If you look close you can tell her tail is all bloodied up and she was fixing to hit the beds.

 

Overall it was a beautiful spring day to be on the lake with seasonal warm temperatures, it’s a great time to head to High Rock and do some fishing. Nothing beats time on the water and as many people say “you can’t catch them sitting behind a computer”. So get out and enjoy this spring weather and the great outdoors.

Happy Fishing,

Kyle Kiziah

Fishing Associate

Kyle Kiziah

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Camping Prep Done Right: Inspecting Your Gear

Camping In Tents BPS

We're entering prime family camping season and its time to start getting ready to get outdoors. There are a few steps you need to take before you're first camping trip of the year to ensure that you have a trip that isn't marked by problems with your gear.

First, take the time to set up your tent in your yard at home or somewhere close by. You will need to inspect for damage, i.e. ripped seams or frayed edges, check all the zippers as well, the last thing you would want to happen is get all the way to your destination only to realize your tent isn't up to the challenge. A few things to remember about your tent:

  • Size
  • waterproofing

The tent you select must be appropriate for the group you plan on bringing. Chances are if you are in a family the group camping could range due to every ones activities and schedules lining up.  Being crammed into a small tent is no fun, but spending all your time setting up a circus tent for two people is no walk in the park either. Remember to plan on some extra room to spread out gear, food & dirty shoes. A good rule of thumb is to buy a tent that is made for one person more than you plan to sleep. Some tents designed for extended stays even have the ability to store shoes outside the tent, hang lights or even battery powered fans, as well as store hiking or fishing gear. Once you decide your old tent will accommodate your group and be up to the challenge you must address the all to familiar menace in camping, RAIN!

You'll need some seam sealer and waterproofing spray for tents, and take the time to apply it to your seams and the bottom portions of your tent, both inside and out.

Gear Aid Seam SureRed Head Waterproofer

 Waterproofing breaks down in sunlight and with time, so making sure you do this every year will keep you dry in case of that spring thunderstorm. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and no-one enjoys trying to sleep when wet.

 

Next replace all the batteries in your flashlights and/or lanterns, if they haven't been used in a while they can still die down. Its not a bad idea to always have extra batteries in case yours die or someone else is unprepared. If you have a gas lantern make sure to check your mantles, these can become brittle and break leaving you in the dark. Another good idea is to always have a spare pair, just make sure to get the right size for your model lantern. A small investment know can ensure that you aren't left in the dark.

BPS Clip on Mantle

 

Another Item to check is your propane/gas lanterns and stoves you need to make sure they all fire up and don't leak while at your home. Its hard to replace a seal or pump when your in the woods, and odds are you won't have the replacement parts.

If you have a leak just ask the experts in our camping department for the part that you need, like this Coleman kit pictured below. Fuel left in a lantern during storage can cause the rubber parts of your pumps to deteriorate. Fuel leaks in the great outdoors are not only a nuisance but can be a dangerous fire hazard.

Pump Kit

 

Make sure to check your first aid kit to get it full of the items you need such as band aids, neosporene, moleskin, and ace bandages.

First Aid Kit

 And its not a bad idea to get a new first aid kit each year, just in case it wasn't stored properly. This is one item that is better to have and not need than to need and not have.

If your sleeping bags have been stuffed in closets hang them up or lay them out and let them air out to spread the insulation around so it isn't bunched up. Also check to make sure the sleeping bag you are taking is rated to the proper temperatures. Its hard to get a good nights rest if you are too cold or too hot!

Its always good to make sure you have some sort of sleeping pad, either an inflatable mattress or a foam pad, you don't want to try to sleep on the hard ground all night without one. If you have an inflatable version make sure to test it out, its not fun to go to sleep and wake up on the ground with no padding.

If smores are your thing, and you're looking to have a campfire, but you're not an expert at fire making pick up a fire-starter, these are great to get fires started, even with wet or moist wood. Coghlan's has this pack that will light even if your fire stick gets wet.

fire sticks

 

Preparation is always key, like the boy scouts motto, Be Prepared; that way you can be a happy camper!

For more helpful tips and advice please stop by your Bass Pro Shops camping department and ask the experts!

Stay tuned for more blogs on Camping!

David Bryant

Receiving Manager / Camping Enthusiast

 

 

 

 

 

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