The wait is worth it! Red Drum Citation!

Working here in the store, I talk to a lot of customers on a day to day basis, and I hear a lot of stories of frustration.  The ones about fishing all day and catching nothing, the one that broke off, terrible conditions at fault, the “should have been there the day before” syndrome,  the list goes on and on and I’ve heard them all.  Now through my fishing “career”, I’ve caught many different types fish, fresh and saltwater, and I can promise you, it has been absolutely FULL of these moments.  There have been so many that I can’t possibly recall all of them.  But,  I would like to share with you my most recent fishing trip, where lots of time and effort finally paid off, and I reached one of the highlights in my angling career.  Enjoy!

I woke up bright and early on Monday morning, the 8th of October…. Okay, I’m not going to lie, it was more like 10:30; I was on vacation after all!  It was the last full day of my dad and I’s annual fishing trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. 

I am a dedicated pier fisherman, and I enjoy fishing from several of the pier’s on our coast for different species at different times of the year, but early October on the northern Outer Banks means only one thing to me.  Red Drum.  Big ones.  Now let me go ahead and say that, while over the past 5 years, for 4 days each October, I dedicate myself to the confines of the end of a pier, throwing a heavy weight and a piece of bait on a long surf rod, trying to catch one of these large fish (between 40 and 50 inches is the norm).  Over those 5 years, I would not be exaggerating if I told you that I have logged well over 100 hours trying to accomplish this, and up until Monday the 8th, I had yet to even hook one, much less put one on the deck.  I’ve caught plenty of redfish, from under-slot-limit fish on up to 36 or 37 inches, but none over 40, and none from the end of a pier.  It hasn’t been for lack of trying though. 

Now here comes the aggravating part…..  One particular situation from early in this journey comes to mind when I couldn’t quite cast far enough; longer casters were catching fish, short casters weren’t.  There have been a couple times when as soon as I showed up, the bite quit, and when I got home 4 days later, I checked that day’s report and the bite started back up.  Other times, it’s been the weather and water temperatures not being right, or good conditions and the bait fish not being there, so on and so forth.   I’ve got the right tackle, I’m fishing the right places, put up with and fished through some less-than-desirable conditions (from too nice of weather to weather conditions where I think the pier was only staying open cause I was dumb enough to stay out there); I’m doing everything right, but as the phrase of frustration goes, “There’s always something”.  None the less, my quest has brought me back to the same piers over and over, and I’ve kept coming back for more, despite my lack of success. Well as fortune would have it, the fish-god’s, Poseidon, the Kraken, or what-ever forces control the luck of pier and surf fishermen everywhere, were on my side this day. 

As I said, it was 10:30, and I woke up, and the first thing I did was check the early morning fishing reports.  A pier north of us, just the day before had caught and released 30 drum the previous day, and not surprisingly, a continuous north east wind and put the fish on fire, and they were chewing the end of the pier off with 50 of the beasts caught before 10.  Now a hot drum bite means a crowded end of the pier, and from first-hand accounts, there were close to 50 rods resting on the end of that pier, and that is just something that I don’t want to deal with.  With the conditions being as good as I’d ever seen (Wind direction was right, water temperature was right, bait and some current moving. It was perfect), I was confident, and pepped my step up and got on over to the pier I was fishing.  When I got to the end, a fellow drum fisherman, who I have fished with over the past several years, promptly said “You’re late buddy.  I caught a 48” fish at around 8:30, and another guy lost one at the net”.  This was very promising, because for the past 3 days, we hadn’t seen any drum, just big butterfly rays.  So, I rigged up my first rod, baited up with a fresh spot head (been in the cooler only 20 minutes, thanks to dad), and heaved it out against the 15 mph northeast winds.  I got my second rod rigged up, baited up, made my cast, and immediately back-lashed my reel into one of those all too familar birds nest looking things you usually see on a dune.  A backlash in this type of fishing means getting out a sharp knife, and start cutting (there’s no picking these out!).  After a brief pause to man my rod while 2 drum were caught, I got my second rod under control, I re-rigged, re-baited, and successfully re-cast. 

I leaned myself on the rail next to the rod I cast first, and stood there to wait.  I didn’t wait long, and the bait-clicker on my reel started to slowly creep out, then accelerated to a blistering scream!  Adrenaline kicked in and I picked up my rod, thumbed the spool, pumped the rod, turned the clicker off, and tightened the drag, all in same instant.  Fish on!!  He immediately ran probably 30 yards of line out, and I felt that distinct head shake that lets you know what ever you’ve hook has a head and a tail and is not a big ray.  But I’m not entirely convinced yet.  My past luck has consisted of sharks, and I wasn’t going to jump to conclusions before I saw it.  The fish headed south, so I made my way to the south side of the pier, going over and under other lines and rods as needed, and fought the fish, unobstructed, on the south corner.  All the while, I kept my eye on where the line entered the water a 100 yards or so out, looking for confirmation.  A minute or so later, I saw that copper-bronze color I was looking for (queue angelic music), and my first red drum was coming to the pier.  As I got the fish to the pier, a fellow angler lowered the large drop-net, I guided the fish in head-first, and a few seconds later, my first citation-sized red drum hit the pier deck.  A beautiful 45.5” fish!  After getting the measurements and a few quick photos, the fish was lowered to back to water in the net, and swam away, no worse for the wear.

Red Drum

  As customary, I shook the hand of the guy who netted my fish and got re-baited.  I threw another long cast, and as I tightened up on my line in preparation to prop it on the rail again, there was a very distinct tug on the rod and the drag started peeling out.  I’m hooked up again!!  Well, to fit the rest of an afternoon into a blog it won’t take you hours to read,  I went to catch 3 more for a total of 5 for the day, and the pier total for a dozen or so guys was 42 fish.  At the end of the day, I filled out my citation forms at the pier house, and I am now waiting for the certificates from the NCDMF.


So, if there is one thing that I have learned from this, one piece of advice that I can give to any fisherman who maybe struggling or striking out in their attempts to catch their fish of a lifetime, it is to not give up and never get discouraged.   Try to learn something every time you go out.  Pay your dues, put in the time and effort, and you absolutely will be rewarded.

Thats why they call it fishing!

~ Keith Scott





The Rut was on!

I'm sure that many of you hunters out there have heard of bucks chasing and does feverishly running away, craning there necks to see how close that buck is; all the while trying to figure out whether to zig or zag. I'm also sure that just as I have, you have all watched the outdoor shows on TV where the big bucks come running the guy hits his grunt call and down goes a big buck.

I have hunted for nearly 20 years at this point, I have harvested my fair share of slick heads, and the occasional basket six, although i try to avoid those. I have seen big bucks, but usually just out of range or no clean shot, being an ethical hunter I have passed on more bucks than i wish to discuss.

On November 19th of 2012, the woods was particularly active. I went to the stand about 45 min before sunrise, trying to stay as quite as possible. There was heavy dew on the ground and the temperature was in the mid 40's. About 10 min before sunrise I looked out over the 1 1/2 acre field that hunt, and saw a rather large deer making its way up the pipeline that runs through our property, this was about 160 yards off but looked big for that distance. That deer was about 30 yards past the distant tree line in the below picture.


A view from the stand!

In this picture you are looking out over a field planted with beans and standing corn on the low side to the right, further down in hardwoods to the right is a swamp and a creek. To the left you have standing pines mixed with small hardwoods, back and left of the stand has cedar trees and fairly open pasture. About 70 yards out in this field there is a low spot or swag that deer tend to frequent to sneak across this open area, usually headed toward food or water.

The deer that seemed big in the distance got me excited, i hadn't seen them moving that time of day this season, usually you would hear them in the dark but come daylight no trace of deer. I waited patiently for about another hour or so, then directly out in front of my stand a doe comes out of the woods. The doe didn't come out like they normally do, this time she was rushed and hurrying through the field, looking back over her shoulder the whole time, I was thinking "Man this will be it, here comes a buck!" The doe had come out on the other side of that swag and since i was hunting with a Remington 870 Supermag shotgun i knew it was out of range, even though i was shooting 3 1/2 inch 00 buck. I was hoping the doe would work her way up the standing corn closer to my stand, as I have seen plenty of deer do earlier in the season.

She went straight across making a B-Line to the swamp, then out comes the buck, he was a good size 6 point or so, it was hard to count points cause he was full speed chasing the doe in front of him. I thought to myself "At least it wasn't a huge buck that would have made me regret the shotgun decision."

About 30 min went by and I was just begining to wonder, Will these be the only deer that I see today? Just then off in the distance where the first doe had come out i heard a limb crack, that all to familiar sound that lets you know something is coming and it isn't a squirrel. Out steps another doe moving hastily in the same direction as the first, and with my luck still out of range.

I was beginning to feel as if all I would do today was watch deer run by out of range. I have another stand that is located on the far side of the field and i began to think i had made the wrong choice of where to hunt. At that exact moment I looked to my left up a road that leads away from the field and saw two does coming, i thought finally my side of the field.

Normally at this stand deer make their way through the open pasture or down the road and cross in front of my stand no more than 20-30 yards away, in my head i was thinking "come on down you're the next contestant!" But then these does did something no deer had ever done approaching my stand, they began to blow, and wheeze. I thought no way they smell me the wind isn't right for that. Just then they quit walking and started to trot looking over their shoulders as well, just like the previous doe. I was beyond excited at this point, just recalling this hunt is giving me goose bumps as i sit here writing.

The does continued closer, but instead of the path most deer make, you know toward the food they broke to their right, (behind my stand), just as i saw them break i heard the loud sound of grunting and running in my direction. I looked up the road and here came an impressive spectacle of a buck, his rack was wide and high, looked to measure around 18+ inches across and was well over his ears. This buck was running as fast as he could, time seemed to slow down, he was pushing these does like crazy. His muscles were well defined and his neck swollen. It was amazing. I felt as if i were watching one of those too familiar Hunting shows, and just as fast as it had happened the woods was quiet again. I was livid at this point, I have never seen this many bucks chasing in my life. I had read about it watched it on TV but never witnessed it first hand. I was just about to give up on the day, when i heard another limb break in the direction of the road.

I slowly turned to see a big bodied deer through the cedar trees, it was about to step out into the road, but this was alot closer this time. It seemed like an eternity waiting on this deer to show itself. The seconds seemed like minutes, but then he stepped out into the road, and had a nice size body and rack, I couldn't see him too well at this point but I could tell to things, he was big and was definitely a shooter.

I continued to look up the road, he was coming closer kind of on a diagonal approach, i picked up my gun slowly as to not bring any attention to my stand. He crossed the road and went into the pines and small hardwoods to my left, i could still see him but just barely could i make out his body. Then i noticed him turning, and for once it was toward the field not away from it. He made his way down through the pines with his head up, as if he were smelling or possibly checking a scrape that was in the woods. He came out into the field right in front of my stand, about 25-30 yards off. He approached the area that i had placed doe estrous in that morning. He proceeded to smell the scent I had placed that morning, and with his head down, i took the safety off and lined up my shot.

Just as I pulled the trigger he pulled his head up, but then fell to the ground. I had made a great shot, the buck i had been hoping to see was on the ground, I let out a "woohoo!" in my mind. I decided to sit there fro a while to calm down and give him time to die if he hadn't already. I climbed down out of my stand and approached the buck. He turned out to be a 7 pointer, but it was the largest 7 point I had ever seen.

7 pointer

Man was i proud of this harvest, I proceeded to do all the fun stuff that comes with hunting after a harvest, as my father always said, the fun ends when you pull the trigger.

This was without a doubt the most amazing day that i had experienced in my hunting career. I guess the moral of the story is to stay calm and keep your head about you. Make sure to stay alert and wait for the right opportunity, don't try for the bad shot, and one day you will be rewarded.

Happy Hunting!

Matthew Holland

Special events and Promotions Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops

Matt and Buck    

Proud day!


Lure Knocking E-Z Lure Retriever!

If I could give you a hint that would allow you to spend under 10 bucks and turn that 10 dollars into a savings of a few hundred would you listen? If I could give you a tool that would give you more time fishing and less time digging through your tackle, would you listen? For those who answered yes to the previous questions here we go…

Summertime on the water can equate to deep cranking, Carolina rigging, and other forms of deep water fishing. These are great ways to catch bass as they have gone deep to stay cool and comfortable. In the deep waters are stumps, rocks, and other lure devouring obstacles that often times take our favorite baits.


I have found that a simple way to save a lot of time, frustration, and MONEY is to use a simple plug knocker. I have seen homemade models, and store bought models and for the most part they all work the same. You simply put your boat on top of the bait , hook up the lure retriever to the line and let the lead weight drop to the bottom and knock your bait loose from its capture. Sometimes you may have to raise and lower the knocker several times to dislodge the bait, but more times than not you can salvage your bait and get back to fishing soon.

Lure Knocker

We sell a few models. Some are just the lead weight with heavy line and others have a built in reel to store the line. I am a little rough on my toys so I created my own way to retrieve the baits. I purchased our lure retriever and line, then put the line on an old reel that I wasn’t using. I had an old rod that I had broken as well, so I used it to hold the reel. Now I have a lure retriever attached to a rod and reel that I can hold easily and find easily in my boat as well.

This past week I fished in a tournament that my partner and I put the plug knocker to the test. We were cranking baits in the 10 to 14 feet region and we were able to save 6 crank baits. The average cost of the baits was 7 dollars. In one trip we saved over 40 bucks. In the same tournament the winners stated that they used their plug knocker over 20 times saving crank baits. You do the math, it adds up quick.

Summer time fishing can be great. The heat keeps a lot of fishermen inside so t is a great time to get out and have the lake all to yourself . A small investment and a little practice with a lure retriever will make your trip a lot more fun and a lot less expensive.

Great fishing, God Bless..until next time Eric Winter







Swimming Fun No Water Required!

Looking for the next best toy for your kids this upcoming holiday season look no further. William Mark Corp has made remote control flying even more fun with Air Swimmers remote controlled flying fish!


Available Air Swimmers


Air Swimmers swim through the air with incredibly smooth and life-like motion. These amazing fish provide hours of remote control indoor fun in even the smallest of rooms (not for outdoor use). They require only four AAA batteries (one in the body, three in the controller) and have complete up, down and 360 degree turning control.

Simply fill your Air Swimmers with helium inexpensively at any party store, florist shop, or grocery store that carries balloons. The body is made from a high quality, durable nylon material that will stay inflated for weeks! You can fill it again and again. Remote control has never come to life so magically!


After some work on balancing and figuring out the ballast on the Air Swimmer you can enjoy hours of fun swim flying around your house.

With the Big Mouth Bass you will have the biggest largemouth on the block at over 5 feet long this largemouth will rule the water ... or air in this case.


big mouth bass


Bass Pro Shops carries three options for Air Swimmers fun, the Big Mouth Bass for all you bass fisherman out there! The Flying Clownfish for all the Kids who love nemo! Last but definitely not least the notorious and well known predator The Great White Shark for all the Saltwater Fisherman. Enjoy hours of unique fun with these Air Swimmers!

Great White Shark

Have fun and turn your house into a real life Jaws experience with the Great White Shark Air Swimmer!

Clown Fish

Your kids can play with the flying clownfish just like the movies!

Fun for the whole family can be found at your local Bass Pro Shops in the Gifts department! Price varies from $29.99 to $39.99. Enjoy hours of fun in the comfort of your own home!

Check out this cool video at

You can also buy these great toys online at

Have fun with your family and these wonderful products!

Happy fishing!

~ Matt Holland





2012 Fall Hunting Classic Show and Sale!

FHC 2012


The Fall Hunting Classic is an annual traditional event which gives customers a chance to explore features and benefits of new, as well as, existing Hunting Product. The Fall Hunting Classic highlights the Hunting Department with informative and enjoyable classes and opportunities.


Hunting U


The Bass Pro Shops Hunting University will kick off the classic in Charlotte with Pro Appearances by:

Hunting U appearances

Come learn about the art of deer hunting with a focus on scent control and lure products.


Fall Hunting Classic Hunter Appreciation Weekend

Vendors booths: come check out the latest product from all the vendors and ask questions from the pro staffers.


Booth dates and times:

Friday August 10th 10-8pm

Saturday August 11th 10-6pm

Sunday August 10-5pm


Seminars given by local pro staffers!

Friday Evening August 10

6pm Using Big Game Scents & Calls Effectively

7pm Gear Choices in Holsters, Tactical Clothing and Personal Defense Accessories

8pm Scent Control for the 2012 Hunting Season - What’s new in scent control apparel and


Saturday August 11

1pm Using Big Game Scents & Calls Effectively

2pm Gear Choices in Holsters, Tactical Clothing and Personal Defense Accessories

3pm Scent Control for the 2012 Hunting Season - What’s new in scent control apparel and


4pm Choosing the Right Optics

5pm Fundamentals of Long Range Hunting & Shooting

Sunday August 12

1pm Tips for Game Camera Placement

2pm Fundamentals of Long Range Hunting & Shooting

3pm Field Dressing, Transporting & Processing Game

4pm Choosing the Right Optics  




Saturday and Sunday - August 11th &12th

Atv course


Come check out the Arctic Cat ATVs from noon - 5pm! Bass Pro Shops customers, who have shown a valid driver’s license can test drive the atvs to learn about the comfort and performance an Arctic Cat can give you! Each customer is required to wear a helmet during test driving and customers must sign a waiver prior to test driving an ATV.

test drive

Customers enjoying the Arctic Cat ATV test drive at last years Fall Hunting Classic!


Next Gen


Next generation activities will be Noon - 5pm August 17th - 19th

Activities will include Crafts from 1pm-4pm, paintball cage, airsoft Range and Free Photo at the airsoft range. Bring your young hunter to try out paintball guns and airsoft guns in our ranges. After your child completes the activities the first 100 kids will receive a FREE Next generation draw bag!


Bass Pro Shops Next Generation Youth Seminars

Come let your kids experience the basics of these sporting topics during Next Generation Weekend August 17th - 19th.


4:30pm Archery Basics


2:30 Airsoft Shooting Basics-

4:30 Archery Basics


2:30 Archery Basics

4:30 Airsoft Shooting Basics-


Come join us for all the fun informative and educational opportunities that we will have during the classic!

For more information or clarification on events contact the store at 704-979-2200. or email

Happy Hunting

~Matt Holland

Events and Promotions Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops, Concord, NC



Having a Heat Wave! Try out a Chilly Pad ... get your cool on!

If your weather looks anything like the weather we have been experiencing here in Concord, NC you will benefit from the best $15 you will ever spend. These 100 degree days have been horrible for outside work.  

Introducing the best product for cooling off with some of the best technology ... the frogg toggs chilly pad.

chilly pad

The Original Chilly Pad absorbs moisture and sweat and keeps you cool for hours. Whether playing tennis, golf, soccer, fishing, hunting, hiking, or camping; no matter what you do outdoors the Chilly Pad is all about keeping you cool.

How It works:

The chilly pad uses reinforced evaporative mesh (inside for strength) and can be cut to size for fist and comfort. The trademarked embossed frogg feet will evaporate and cool whether inside or out.

All you have to do is rinse the chilly pad in warm water prior to use and it will keep you cool for hours. If and when the chilly pad drys out simply wet it again and keep on cooling for hours.

The chilly pad is designed for years of active re-use. The chilly pad is designed for machine wash or hand wash in liquid detergent and best of all it's "Nature Friendly" and biodegradable.

For $14.99 you get the best technology out there to cool you off on a hot summers day. With these 100 degrees + days we have been having you will want to have your chilly pad with you where ever you go outdoors.

Its all about being cool!

~Matthew Holland

Keep Cool and Stay Outdoors!


704 Outdoors Bass Pro Shops 3D Archery Shootout Series

A view downrange during the 3d Archery Shoot!

3d shoot

We are super excited to finally give you all the details for the 704 Outdoors/Bass Pro Shops 3D Pop Up Archery Shootout Series! Here they are:

  • There are 4 classes: Men’s Class, Women’s Class, Traditional Class and Youth Class
  • Registration starts at 9am. Cut off for registration is 8pm, however we will shoot until the last shooter has completed their session.
  • Registration is $10 per session (You can shoot as many sessions as you want to better your score)
  • There are 2 rounds within each session, the first round with consist of five 3D Pop Up targets and the second will have 5 3D Pop Up targets with one stationary target. The stationary target must be shot sometime after the first 3D target pops up but before the last 3D target falls.
  • It is an indoor range, all shots are within 20yds.


The prizes for each shoot will be announced before each shootout. We are getting different prizes from different sponsors so they will not be the same each shootout! Keep checking in to see what prizes are going to be awarded the Friday before each shootout! As for the Grand Prizes, you MUST attend 2 of the 3 regular Shootout Series before the Championship Shootout in order to be eligible for the Grand Prizes. The Grand Prizes for the 704 Outdoors/Bass Pro Shops 3D Pop Up Archery Shootout Series are:

Option one for Men’s, Women’s & Traditional Class:
Georgia Hog Hunt with 704 Outdoor’s Hog Dogs! We will take care of your permits, licenses, food and all! You will get to hunt with us, using our Hog Dogs. We will take care of everything you need for the trip.

Option two for Men’s, Women’s & Traditional Class:
3 Day North Carolina Archery Deer Hunt with 704 Outdoors. We’ll take care of your food and lodging while you get to hunt with us in some of our hot spots here in NC! Dates to be worked out with the winner of the Championship.

Option three for Men’s, Women’s & Traditional Class:
3 Day North Carolina Archery Hog Hunt with 704 Outdoors. We’ll take care of your food and lodging while you get to hunt with us in some of our hog sites here in NC! We will furnish all the lights, bait and gear needed to lower the boom on a nice NC Wild Hog! Dates to be worked out with the winner of the Championship.

Youth Class Grand Prize
NC Youth Turkey Hunt with 704 Outdoors. We will take you and your guardian on a youth turkey hunt. We will take care of the food, lodging and transportation to and from the places we will run & gun those thunder chickens!


Check out these great pics from the first leg of the shootout!

crowd gathers

The crowd gathers to watch outside the range.


turkey shot

A nice shot on the turkey target!

For more info on the shootouts and some awesome video check out 704 Outdoors Website

Like us on Facebook for more info!


Memphis Pyramid to become 220,000 sq ft Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World


Memphis, Tennessee-(June 21, 2012)-- Bass Pro Shops representatives and officials from the City of Memphis held a “Construction Kick-Off”  ceremony, Thursday, June 21st, to mark the official beginning of construction on the new Bass Pro Shops retail store in Memphis, Tennessee.   Officials attending the event included Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, legendary angler and television host Bill Dance, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and other city officials.

The store will be located inside the famous Memphis Pyramid-- former sports arena for the University of Memphis men’s basketball program and the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. 


At 321 feet tall (about 32 stories) it’s considered to be the seventh largest pyramid in the world.  The new  Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail space will be approximately 220,000 square feet.

“I remember trying to make up my mind about putting our store in the Pyramid,” said Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris.  “I was on the Mississippi River fishing with my buddies Bill Dance and Jack Emmitt and said if we catch a big catfish it’s meant to be—it’s an omen.  Sure enough, with about one hour to go, Jack got a bite and caught this catfish in the shadow of the Pyramid and I said it’s a deal—we’re gonna do it!” laughed Morris.

“We are all excited to have a chance to use this incredible space to create one of the most visually unique and exciting retail stores in the world,” said Morris.  “We have assembled a team of remarkably talented artists and craftsmen to work on this project.  We believe it’ll be one of the most dramatic retail stores ever created,” he continued.

“When you’re fishing or hunting, you often have to be patient.  But the wait is almost always worth the while,” said Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. “We’re so pleased that Bass Pro Shops and Johnny Morris had a vision for what the Pyramid could be. They are taking an empty building, one that even at the height of its life wasn’t used every day, and turning it into a hunting, fishing and sporting paradise.”

Features unique to the Bass Pro Shops Memphis Pyramid store include a floating dock, an island, an aviary and zip line stations.  The company is also planning a 3-story hotel that will offer balconies allowing guests to step out and view the store, nature scapes and giant cypress trees swamp area below.

Another key feature of the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid store will be a Waterfowl Museum as a salute to Ducks Unlimited.  “We’re particularly  excited to partner with DU President Dale Hall and all the members of  Ducks Unlimited to celebrate the proud history and good work they do,” said Morris.  “We will utilize the unique retail environment we’re creating to celebrate the Delta Flyway and make this store the Waterfowl Center for the whole company.”

“I know that this is just the beginning of a long relationship with Memphis that will highlight the importance of the Mississippi River and, from our point of view, the tremendous Mississippi Flyway for migratory birds and the economy driven by hunters and bird watchers,” said Dale Hall, Ducks Unlimited CEO.  “The advancement of natural resource conservation and economic growth go hand in hand,” he continued.

Bass Pro Shops visitors will be able to purchase most everything they need while visiting and enjoying the many outdoor opportunities in the Memphis and Mississippi River area by shopping selections of fishing, hunting, camping and marine items, and visiting clothing, gift and footwear departments. 

Regarded as part museum, art gallery, education, conservation and entertainment center, the new Memphis Bass Pro Shops store will offer the same signature features of other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores.  However, as typical in stores in other geographic locations, this newest Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will be uniquely designed to pick up the local flavor of the area’s outdoor heritage and will include state record fish and wildlife exhibits as well as historical pictures and artifacts from local hunters and fishermen. 

The store will offer an archery range, shooting range, rifle tube and a fun laser arcade for kids of all ages.  A uniquely designed 24,000-gallon aquarium will showcase native fish Tennesseans love to catch while a boat showroom will featuring Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe and Mako boats all built by Tracker Marine Group—the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats. 

Three-dimensional, museum-quality wildlife dioramas will feature animals such as deer, wild hogs, turkeys and more that will immerse each guest in the abundant bounty of this area.  In the fishing department, murals will engulf the viewer in dramatic, historic Mississippi River scenes capturing the beauty of the area and showcasing record catches from the area.

This store will also feature the much- acclaimed Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill. This nearly 27,000-square-foot nautical-themed entity, located within the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store, features a truly unique atmosphere and design geared for family fun and dining. 

Offering an outside as well as an in-store entrance, visitors will approach a wooden ship-like desk to obtain shoes and a lane.  Sixteen lanes, divided into two separate areas, offer customers the chance to bowl ‘in the ocean.’  Dock wood lanes feature beautiful under-water scenery of sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and other saltwater species which will also glow in the dark during cosmic bowling.  Hand-painted murals depicting oceanic life line the walls and fish hang suspended from the ceiling.  At the end of the lanes, huge TV projection screens allow viewing of sporting events.

Ball returns resemble sharks and alligators while the bowling balls themselves are custom made and bear the likeness of shark, seagulls, bobbers, octopus, leopards, mermaids, camouflage and more. 

Casual family dining will be available in the Grill where customers can select from a menu featuring a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and burgers.   An island-theme bar area will feature a 750-gallon aquarium with scores of beautiful, exotic fish. 

Recognized many times for their conservation efforts and outdoor education programs, Bass Pro Shops will staff approximately 200 – 250 plus associates from the area that have a passion for the outdoors so customers will be assured of getting local skilled, knowledgeable assistance with product selections and questions.  The store will also offer free Outdoor Skills Workshops for adults, kids and families that will help maximize outdoor fun by teaching new skills and improving existing ones.

“Our company has won more awards for our conservation efforts than any other outdoor retailer in America,” commented Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops Martin Mac Donald.  “Bass Pro Shops’ commitment to environmental stewardship will be evident in every aspect of the Memphis site design to the interior of the store and especially in our community involvement where we will work with local conservation efforts to help preserve our outdoor traditions for future generations.”

"Its pretty cool to have this new store so close to North Carolina! For all Bass Pro enthusiast this one will be a must see!" ~ Matthew Holland


About Bass Pro Shops®:
Bass Pro Shops® operates 58 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 112 million people annually.  Bass Pro Shops® also conducts an international catalog and internet retailing operation—the American Rod & Gun® wholesale division--which sells to more than 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide.  Outdoor World® Incentives also sells Bass Pro Shops® gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America.  The Bass Pro Shops® restaurant division has 28 locations.  The company’s Tracker Marine Group® ( manufactures and sells Tracker®, Nitro®, SunTracker®, Tahoe®, Grizzly® and Mako® boats through Bass Pro Shops® retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide.  The Resort Group ( includes Big Cedar Lodge® and other resort properties including restaurants and golf courses. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops® store locations, products or special events, please visit  To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO.  Follow us on Facebook at



You Go Girl!

The Camping Department has a new feminine hygiene product allows women to take bathroom breaks standing up.

Bass Pro Shops female customers are among the most active and on the go outdoors women. This product gives convenience and hygiene no matter where you are.

You’re on the go. There is no sanitary restroom in sight… and you just can’t wait. It’s a common problem for women who enjoy world travel, camping and outdoor activities. Posing a solution to women’s restroom debacles everywhere is GoGirl, a new product launched by FemMed, Inc., of Minnetonka, Minn., that allows women to take bathroom breaks standing up. “Women have been faced with the challenge of unfit or nonexistent restrooms for quite some time,” says Sarah Dillon, president and founder of GoGirl. “GoGirl is the perfect solution to any bathroom emergency a woman can face. For campers, there are no more soiled clothing or shoes; for travelers, there’s no more worrying about what kind of bathroom you’ll find or if you find one at all. Even if you just want to avoid germs in places like gas stations and shopping malls, there’s a use for GoGirl in almost any situation.”


The unique and patent pending design of the go girl gives women convenience and hygiene no matter where they go!



GoGirl is made from medical-grade silicone, GoGirl lets women enjoy the same benefits that men do in terms of restroom availability. This product is revolutionizing the way women go in the outdoors.

product pictures



Michelle stated that: “Me and my friends go mountain climbing all the time, it’s the most convenient way to go when you’re hiking and climbing up the side of a mountain.”

These following pictures illustrate how to correctly use the go girl.


I'm sure that the longer GoGirl is on the market, it will only grow in popularity. It is great for all types of outdoorswomen: hunters, skiers, boaters, fisherman, hikers, mountainbikers, atv riders and pretty much any other outdoor activity you can think of. 

Check out more testimonials at GoGirl’s website!

Check out GoGirl's facebook page

Get your GoGirl today at your local Bass Pro Shops!

Get outdoors Girls!





Family Summer Camp 2012!

Family Summer Camp is in full swing at your local Bass Pro Shops. Here in Charlotte we are off to a great start and fun is being had by all.

Make sure to come out for all the fun we are having with shooting activities! Kids are taking aim with BB guns, foam shooters and Bows as well as casting challenges! Check out all the fun every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through July 15th!

Shooting Gallery

Kids take aim at the ducks in our Shooting Gallery!

After taking your aim at the ducks with our foam shooter be sure to stick around for crafts from 2-4pm weekdays and 1-4pm on the weekends. Crafts will vary as summer camp progresses so check out the summer camp website for more details.

Crafts and Casting buckets

Kids competing in the casting challenge as part of the Family Summer Camp Fun Free activities.

As part of Family Summer Camp Bass Pro Shops partners with the Boy Scouts of America to provide merit badge classes on fishing and rifle merit badge. Class attendance has been great with full classes every week. If you missed out on the merit badge this year we will have them again next year. Check out the below pictures from rifle merit badge, these scouts show focus!

Rifle Merit Badge

Scouts from all over have enjoyed the chance to come to the store and complete most of the requirements for the rifle and fishing merit badge. Its great to see such enthusiasm and excitement in the Boy Scouts and youth of America during Family Summer Camp.

The activities can be very busy at times during Family Summer Camp, check out all the participants in the below photo!

crafts and activities

Come out for fun crafts all summer camp long, these kids are painting the oh so popular wiggle snakes!

In addition to all the fun activities and crafts make sure to come out for the Family Summer Camp Workshop series where we will discuss topics such as: Archery, Exploring Hunting and Shooting, Fishing, Bird Watching, Camping, Dogs in the Outdoors, Backyard Adventure, Wildlife Exploration and Outdoor Discovery and Conservation! After each workshop the kids will go on a scavenger hunt through the store to find the correct answers for each topic. Once they complete the hunt they will receive a free pin for every workshop! (while supplies last). Click here for a complete schedule of workshops.

Come spend some time in the great outdoors indoors during Family Summer Camp at your local Bass Pro Shops! Learn fun activities to do at home in your own backyard that are not only entertaining but highly educational.

Come to summer camp and get your own Field and Stream Summer Fun Guide compliments of Bass Pro Shops! They are full of useful information about fishing camping hiking shooting and bird watching plus much more. Each Summer Fun Guide will also have an insert with information on local state parks with addresses for each park and a list of activities available at each location.

For up to date info on all kid activities at your Concord Bass Pro Shops just like us on our Facebook Page! 

Come experience all the fun with Family Summer Camp! Only 2 1/2 weeks left to experience the fun and educational activities!

Get out there and explore your world!

Matthew Holland

Promotions and Events Coordinator



Get your Kimber Hand Gun!

Bass Pro Shops now carries the well known and quality made firearms by Kimber. There are many styles and models to choose from. All manufactured with the precision and attention to detail known of the Kimber brand.

Kimber Selection

The great selection of Kimbers ranging in price from 879.99 to 1549.99.


  Kimber builds the world's finest 1911 pistols right here in America—something that makes sense, as few things are as American as a 1911 .45 ACP. Virtually every critical component of every pistol is manufactured inside the Kimber factory. The finest raw materials come through the front gate and Kimber does the rest, the only way to ensure that every part meets unequaled standards.

America's best shooters keep choosing Kimber. Legendary LAPD™ SWAT tested five major 1911 brands and chose Kimber. United States Marines assigned to Special Operations Command chose Kimber. The U.S.A. Shooting Rapid Fire Pistol Team trains for Olympic competition with a Kimber. Most recently, LAPD™ SIS transitioned to Kimber. They all chose Kimber for the same reason: quality, dependability and accuracy. So should you.

Kimber offers a myriad of features, such as a slimmer profile for carrying, the alloy frame makes for a lighter weight 1911 than many of its competitors. As you move through the levels of price in Kimber the attention to detail will be apparent. The custom pro at 1549.99 has scallop details and crimson trace technology.

Crimson Carry

This Pro Crimson Carry II has the features every shooter can benefit from in a carry pistol.

All Crimson Carry .45 ACP pistols have lightweight aluminum frames for easy all-day-every-day carry. Crimson Trace Lasergrips project a red dot that is visible in virtually any light, a tremendous psychological and tactical advantage that also promotes speed and accuracy under stress.

Having confidence in a carry pistol is critical. Dependability and accuracy proven through repeated practice increases confidence. Crimson Trace Lasergrips project a bright red dot downrange, an important aid in training. Reading the dot immediately shows the advantage of proper grip and trigger control, which can dramatically improve accuracy and reduce time between shots for any level of shooter. Crimson Carry pistols come with Crimson Trace Lasergrips; the finest laser sight available today. Combining that advantage with Kimber quality makes Crimson Carry pistols an unbeatable value. Offered in three sizes, they are ideal for law enforcement, home defense or concealed carry.

Check out all the details of the custom line of 1911 from Kimber at

The most important feature of the Kimber firearms is the quality and precision that comes with owning a Kimber. They are out of the box accurate with tight tolerances built in to every Kimber.

Come out to the store and get the feel of a quality precision made Kimber thats made in the USA.

Happy Shooting!

Matthew Holland

Promotions and Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops Concord, NC





Sweet Tooth: To bug or not to bug, that is the question?

Everyone loves candy! Everyone loves bugs! Well almost everyone, but if you fall into these categories we have just the treat for you! HotLiX bug suckers, I know what your thinking, a sucker shaped like a bug, well that is the part where you would be wrong, these are suckers with bugs in them.

New to our gift departments assortment of candies are these bug suckers. There are several flavors to choose from strawberry, blueberry and the normally thought of flavors for suckers, with one catch: a side of cricket.

Fear Factor meets Willie Wonka! with these new tasty treats, well i guess tasty is in the eye of the beholder.

blueberry cricket

Take a walk on the wild side with HotLix suckers! Come get your cricket blueberry suckers here at Bass Pro Shops!

If crickets aren't your thing then maybe a worm is right up your alley, to supplement the assortment of flavors with crickets HotLix has just the sucker to add some life to your party!

Check out the below picture of the tequila flavored sucker with the worm inside!

tequila worm sucker

Check out more of HotLix products in case these two options aren't adventurous enough for you they have a scorpion sucker!

HotLix Candy Co .... the candy that bugs! HOTLix is the original edible insect candy creator. For over 20 years HotLix has been making people cringe with delight with their outrageous confections featuring real insects embedded inside the candy!

If these new products from HOTLix don't tickle your fancy we still have all the old fashioned candies to take you back to your childhood.

To bug or not to bug!

Matthew Holland



The one that didn’t get away…

In the past I have written about the fish I have caught or the ones that I should have landed. Today I want to share with you something much more precious than any fish you will ever catch.

Growing up my dad often made time to take me fishing, even on the days when he was tired and had plenty of other stuff he could have been doing. We would sit on the side of the river and drown some crawlers and many days we never caught a fish. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that my dad was not interested in catching fish, he was interested in catching me. This was a time that we had to ourselves and we could just talk. I was only 8 and 9 years old at the time, but to this day I can relive many of our trips.

As I sit here today my dad is 30 years older and his health is starting to fade. Just 2 weeks ago he had his 3rd heart attack and suffered significant damage to his heart. He often times asks me about some of our trips and is hoping to feel better so we can go on a few more adventures.

I have been able to take my son on many fishing trips and have many more ideas of other trips as well. I made a decision long ago that I would do whatever I had to do so that I would always make time to spend with my son. My son graduated high school this past week end and my dad was able to make it down for the graduation ceremony. My son and I started sharing stories about a special trip we had this spring. The following photos are of fish we caught during this trip.

My big catch!

What a fish, this trip was great not because of the big fish we caught but the time together on the lake!

Jordan's Big Catch

Jordan's big catch! 

This was a trip that we both will always remember and I saw my father listening carefully as my son spoke about this trip. Afterwards my dad pulled me to the side and wanted to let me know how proud he was that I took time to make memories with my son. We both then reminisced about some of our days together or the times he caught me laying out of school to wet a line.

I am now working on a trip for my dad, my son, and myself to go together so we can continue that bond of father and son.

Why am I writing this blog you may ask...well I just want to remind folks, that life is short. We must make time to do the things we love to do. We must make time to be with those we love. We must make time to create memories that will inspire our children to continue traditions .

I am not sure how many fish we will catch or how big they will be…but the one thing I can guarantee is…. that is one that will not get away.


Hot on High Rock

Summer in April and May? That is what weather in North Carolina has felt like in recent months. Anyone who has spent time on the water can tell you that weather is at best unpredictable. On a last minute whim last week I decided to head to High Rock Lake before work to see if I could tear 'em up on the lake.

Well the last time that I had fished High Rock at 6:00am it was raining and 40 degrees. This time there wasn't a cloud in sight and the low was in the mid 60s. We unloaded and got our gear ready and were on the water by 6:15am, just in time to catch the sunrise as we began throwing spinnerbaits and other assorted topwater baits.


I started the morning out throwing a Heddon Spook out there and walking the dog all the way back to the boat, thinking the only thing that would be prettier than the sunrise would be a lunker blowing up out of the water to swallow my topwater spook! After working a few points and coves with the spook i figured it would be smart to try a couple of other things, we began working our soft plastics. I was throwing a Texas rig sinko in and around the docks, while my fishing partner Chad Walker was throwing a Carolina rig across points with a Bass Pro Shops Lizard Green Pumpkin Chart Pepper. After several good bites and landing several non keepers, we decided to again change our tactics.


At this point it was almost time to go to work. It was around 10:45am and it was hot, the temperature had already climbed into the high 70's and was racing to 80 degrees. I thought we might try some luck at the rip rap that surrounds the bringleferry bridge. Plus this bridge is right next to the boat ramp so we could fish right up to the time for us to come off the water so we could be on time to work.

With the heat coming on strong I opted for a Rapala number 7 shad rap, we started working the bank on an angle. Chad was throwing a chart / white spinner bait, while I was running the shad rap along the bottom hitting it against the rip rap to simulate feeding shad. While we were doing this a small group of ducks were chasing after my bait as I made my cast. Since we had been some time without a decent bite. I casted out along the bank and turned to Chad to get him to look at the ducks chasing my every cast. Out of nowhere my rod pointed down almost taking the pole from my hands, I had a good fish on! I turned to Chad and yelled get the net, after a nice fight, the bass jumping out of the water trying to spit out my lure, we got him to the boat, he was barely hooked but it was enough.

the nice one!

We didn't weigh him but i believe it was a high 3 pounder or a low 4 pounder. We needed to load up at that time, but given the success of the moment decided to work up and down the bank one more time. As we were coming back up the bank I heard Chad say "there he is," then he fought a decent keeper of his own back to the boat!

chads keeper

As you can see this bass obviously had just come off the bed...see the bloody tail this one still had?

That kind of success right before you leave the water makes you want to call out of work and stay on the lake!

Best of luck to all you anglers, and happy fishing!

Matt Holland

Promotions and Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Concord, NC


High Rock Lake: BPS Employee Tourney

Many local anglers are familiar with high rock lake and many other lakes along the yadkin river basin. Most anglers complain about the muddy waters on the high rock and the constantly changing conditions. High Rock is notorious for being a feast or famine lake. Personally, I think it's just a matter of tactics and time on the water.

Most anglers, at least experienced anglers, know that changing conditions can play havoc on the habits of bass. The weather conditions this year alone leave the bass in a funk. They have been on the beds a lot longer than expected when you consider how long they have been bedding.

Bass Pro Shops - Charlotte, NC had our employee tournament on High Rock Lake April 25th. Weather conditions that day were less than desirable and the water temperature had cooled almost 7 degrees from the week before. This odd weather, which has fluctuated from hot to cold from winter to summer with almost no spring, has changed the tactics needed to be successful. The timing of bedding bass is usually easy to pick out, then the post spawn bass tactics of feeding bass on brim beds takes over.

When my fishing partner, Ron Kinney, and I started planing out our attack for fishing on "The Rock" we were expecting to see bass off the beds, but much to our surprise most of the fish caught by the wining team of Addison Hinson and Travis Williams were caught on the beds.

The morning started out raining and temperatures in the mid 40s. Not a great day on the water, compared to the low 60s and mid 70s we had experienced just the week before. Ron and I started out fishing from the boat landing and working our way back down second creek. As many teams did we started out on topwater baits; we through buzz baits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and poppers. Two hours later we still had yet to feel the first bite. Then we started to change tactics, we switched to plastics throughing BPS floating worms and Gary Yamamoto Sinkos. Ron had his first fish on sometime around 10:00am. For the next two hours we caught all four fish we weighed. My one and only fish of the day came on a sinko while throwing under a floating docks ramp. The sinko had barely hit the water when the fish came up and swallowed the lure. I must have thrown it right in front of his face. Ron and I continued to fish second creek, with little to no success in the afternoon. Either way the two hours of catching fish translated into a third place position at High Rock.


1st Place team: Addison Hinson and Travis Williams, pictured below were the winning fish from the April tournament. The winning sack came in at 17.74 lbs and a big fish weight of 4.88lbs.

1st place

2nd place in the Bass Pro Shops Employee Tournament went to Michelle Armstrong of our Prostaff and Jim McMurray, Jamie McMurray's father, who spends so much time in Bass Pro Shops he should work there. They were successful in netting 5 fish for a total sack of 12.30 lbs.

2nd place

Third place went to Ron Kinney and myself ( Matt Holland) we ended up with 4 fish that weighed 9.96lbs. Here are the two biggest fish of our sack pictured below.

3rd place



The thing to remember especially in odd weather conditions is to be willing to change your plan of attack, especially during a tournament; and maybe just maybe you will figure out what works! Best of luck to all of the local anglers heading to high rock, don't let the weather stump ya!

Happy Fishing!

Matt Holland

Promotions and Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Concord, NC


That's why they call it fishing

As many fisherman have for years and years to come, I had a less than stellar experience on High Rock Lake this past Wednesday. No matter who you are or where you fish there will come a day when the fish aren't biting, or at least the fish you want to bite aren't biting.

Wednesday morning we started out at the Wildlife Access of Bringle Ferry Rd at High Rock Lake. The sun was coming up as my co-angler, Chad Walker looked at me and asked, do you want to be kinda cold for a long time or really cold for a short time? I opted for the latter and off we went, on plane and eyes watering from the wind, we approached the dam on High Rock and took a left hand turn toward the train trestle bridge. If you know this lake and this particular bridge you also know that it can be a tight fit. Due to recent rains the water was up, we had to unscrew the pedestal seats just to fit under the bridge.

Given that the water was stained, and that made sight fishing out of the question, we headed out toward the flats and coves in that area of the lake that are riddled with stumps and plenty of cover for bait fish, in the hopes that the Bass would be biting. Started the morning out with floating worms, and buzzbaits to no avail. We tried everything that you typically throw in early spring / summer. Finally we had several bites on a Carolina rig setup, but none that got landed. Luck just wasn't on our side today.

We headed further into the cove where the lake quickly turns into a creek, lifting the trolling motor up to get back the these secluded parts of High Rock that we figured few people have been to unless by Kayak. We again threw an arsenal of baits and tactics that typically work in that type of water, But we had only one bite this time and again the fish got off by swimming under a log. Sometimes luck is on the side of the fish.

After spending hours trying our luck with bass we decided to switch gears, we picked up a few dozen minnows and headed out to try our luck with Crappie. We continued on down to the pleasant cove area of High Rock Lake. There our luck began to change, from the first cast we knew we would at least have some fun with the Crappie that were biting like no tomorrow. All you had to do was land your cast anywhere within one foot of a dock or group of underbrush and the Crappie were on top of it.

Remember when your fishing its ok to change gears and try something else for a little fun!

Happy Fishing!

Matt Holland

Promotions and Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops Concord, NC



Fishing Field of Dreams

I have always loved the game of baseball and one of my favorite movies is The Field of Dreams. This movie hits home with everyone who ever wanted to reach the show, for Dads and Sons to relive the joys of playing catch, or just hearing the crowd cheer you on….Well folks I reached the field of dreams in the fishing world this week. I had the opportunity to spend a few hours on one of ,if not the greatest fishery in the country. In just over 5 hours of fishing my son Jordan and I  together   landed 37 bass. That number alone is pretty good but when the smallest fish weighed in at 3.5 lbs  and the largest weighed in at over 8lbs it makes for a great day of memories.

The King Fisher Society is located in Laurel Hill NC and is one of the best kept secrets in the fishing world. Mark Zona filmed a couple of fishing shows from here this past year that you can watch that will help you to truly understand the magnitude of this fishery. As with most pristine things in life there is a fee for this kind of fishing adventure, but one must understand that nothing of greatness comes easy or free. The staff is wonderful, the dining is 5 star quality ,and the grounds are immaculate and inviting to anyone who truly loves nature.

The bass fishing is unbelievable, but this fishery also has trophy size bluegill. A 2 pound bluegill is not uncommon in the waters of Richmond Mill Lake. In our 5 hour adventure our guide a caught a bluegill that was 1.5 lbs and he referred to it is a (baby). People travel in from across the country to chase these trophy gills, often times with fly rod in hand to enhance the challenge and hone their skills of landing that catch of a lifetime.

Field of Dreams 1

Not only can the king Fisher Society provide you the fishing trip of a lifetime, they also have some of the Carolina’s finest quail hunting. You can tie in a hunt for quail and  an afternoon of sporting clays from their new 5 stand facility. If you are looking for the perfect place for a corporate retreat , or just a way to say thanks to some special people on your team, King Fisher Society may be the place for you.

This lake has been praised by the likes of Ray Scott, Davey Hite, and David Cutcliff just to name a few. I am none of those famous people, I am just a man that loves to spend time on the water with his son. I will tell you that the experience my son and shared this week will never be forgotten. The look on my son’s face when we landed his first fish over 8 lbs will be embedded in my mind for as long as I live, and that is priceless.

Field of Dreams 2

As in my old baseball days, this week I got to hear the cheers from our boat as we landed fish after fish…I got to play a different kind of catch with my son…and yes I got to make it to the show….this week I met my field of dreams…

To meet your field of dreams go to



The Spawn is On!

There is a certain time of the year when love is in the air, and my friends we have hit that time in North Carolina. The water is in the high 50’s and low 60’s and fish are starting to do what fish do in the spring. The buck bass have started moving up and getting the beds ready for the female of their dreams to arrive. This year’s weather has been so mild that many lakes are seeing spawning occurring weeks ahead of normal.

When people ask me ”why do you like sight fish” my answer is “ locating a bass, finding the sweet spot in the bed, and then figuring out how to flip that fishes trigger is awesome. For those fisherman who have never seen the bass on beds, there a couple of key components to make sight fishing a success. First and foremost is a quality pair of sunglasses that are polarized. I often carry several pairs with different lenses to adapt to water clarity and levels of sun. Polarization is key to see those “big uns” in the deeper water. Secondly I believe that patience and good bait control are imperative to a successful day of bed fishing. These fish are extremely focused and it is key to be calm ,subtle, and as stealth as possible to keep these fish from becoming wary to what is going on.

I am not sure that bait color makes a huge difference in scheme of things. I often throw white lizards and tubes and even white floating worms and had great success. I use white because I can see it deeper in the water than I can a natural green or pumpkin color. If you like the more natural colors, I recommend dip dye to add a flare to the tail and make easier to see for the fisherman as well.

I also like to carry a push pole so I can trim up my motor and float my Nitro Z9 in the skinny water and sneak up on them. I do my best to not use my trolling motor when I am going down a bank, and if I do I put it as low as I can get it to make as little disturbance as possible.

One thing about bed fishing is that you do not have to have a big bass rig and tons of tackle. Every year I take my kids bed fishing from the bank at local ponds and they love it. My son is 17 and has been going with me for years and has the advantage of young eyes over his Dad. He often sees them before I do and has already made a pitch toward them before he lets me know. My daughter caught 10 bass on the bed in one trip to our favorite local pond. All of these fish were on the beds. None of them were huge fish , but that did not matter to her or me. Time spent walking the banks with your kids enjoying God’s beauty will not only get your kids outside away the TV, but also will allow you to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Check out this "Big Un" that was caught at a local pond right on the beds where they are heading this time of year. With a whole lot of patience and persistence I was able to land it.

big un


If you haven’t come to Bass Pro and bought your new line for this season, hurry on over and get your favorite rod and reel ready to go. Spawning season has a few more good weeks here in North Carolina, at least for bass. We will talk again soon, because just a little while after the bass finish spawning the shad will start and then we will be able to get after the bass with top water favorites. That however will have to wait for another time as I have got to go…cause the fish are biting.


2012 FREE Boat Show

Make sure to stop by next weekend for the second weekend of Fun at your local Bass Pro Shops. Next week we will have fun free family activities like the casting activity we had this week, kids can come and test their skills again this weekend 3/24 and 3/25.

Casting Activity for Kids, Fun was had by all!

Upon completion of the casting activity kids were awarded a Bass Pro Shops Tracker Boats Safety Whistle.


The kids fish mobile craft was a great success with some very creative fish made by the kids that attended.

Fish Mobile Crafts!

Next Weekend' craft will be the Wooden Sailboats! Come out for more family fun and activities next weekend as we enjoy all the Boat Show has to offer.


The Maui Jim "Picture Yourself in Paradise" promotion gave customers the chance to feel like they were in a tropical paradise, complete with Maui Jim Sunglasses and samples of Uncle Bucks Margarita mix blended to perfection in our Margaritaville Bahamas Frozen Concoction Maker!

Margaritaville Samples

Customers had the opportunity to get their free photo download and free leis. Customers could dress up in grass skirts and straw hats and pretend they were truly in paradise. Customers could also enter to win a pair of Maui Jim and the below pictured prize package!

Maui Package

Make sure to stop by and attend the free seminars during the second weekend of the Free Boat Show, Next week we will have seminars given by our local prostaff on the topics of boat maintenance and towing, fishing tactics as well as proper boat organization.

Michelle Armstong was on hand to discuss local fishing techniques and tactics, she talked about the advantages of using the Alabama Rig to give you success in fishing local lakes. Rob Ferris will be on hand to discuss the latest in fishing electronics, including side image sonar and how to read and interpret displays to help catch more fish. Have a great week and remember to get out on the water! We look forward to seeing you next weekend and Happy Boating & Fishing!

Matthew Holland

Promotions and Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Concord, NC


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Taking Kids Fishing - "Keeping It Simple"

Who took you fishing for the 1st time?  Some may remember, others may not.  I am one of those who couldn’t begin to tell you for sure, but I would bet it was my grandfather.  I have more memories than I can count of sitting with him, beside our farm pond, watching a bobber and waiting for the little jiggle that told us a bream, crappie or maybe a bass had decided to pay us a visit.  I can still hear his voice telling me to sit still, be patient and wait for the bobber to go under the water.  Now, if you were like I was, you may as well have asking me to not get excited the night before Christmas…it just wasn’t going to happen.  Inevitably, I wouldn’t wait, and would do my best Bill Dance, swing for the fence, jumping off my 5 gallon bucket hook set.  More times than not, I would miss the bite and would look to my grandfather wondering what had gone wrong.  Not once did he ever scold me or tell me how I had just forgotten everything he had just said.  He would simply smile, rebait my hook for the 100th time and help me cast again.  I’m sure you can guess what he was going to be doing again just a few short minutes later…yes indeed, he was smiling and baiting my hook for the 101st. time.


Now, years later, I have kids of my own.  I have had the privilege of introducing them both to fishing.  I have also learned some valuable lessons along the way.  Some are new and some are handed down through the experiences I had with my grandfather.  Following are a few very simple ideas for any adult who wants to take a child fishing for the 1st or the 101st. time.


  • Keep it simple.  It sounds easy, but too often we overcomplicate what should be a very simple experience.  Take just what you will need with a couple of things you may not think of.   
  • 1st and foremost is always safety.  Anytime you are around water, and especially when children are involved, safety is paramount to anything else.  Use good judgment based on your individual situation.  Always stay a safe distance from the waters edge.  Sunglasses or some form of eye protection should always be worn.  Remove the barb from any hook that you will be using.  This will assist in the removal of the hook from hooked fish, or from yourself or others in the case of an accident.  Sun protection in the form of sunscreen or long sleeve shirts and pants will prevent sun and wind burn.  Part of an enjoyable experience is being comfortable and safe.
  • Fishing pole:  Cane poles are great for the beginner.    They are super simple to use, inexpensive, have no moving parts and are extremely safe since the hook is usually far enough away from the child that accidentally getting hooked is very unlikely.  There are more modern versions of the cane pole that are made of graphite and are telescopic (much easier to travel with). 
  • Hooks:  The smaller the better when it comes to catching small panfish like bream or sunfish. Tradition has been to use hooks that were too large to catch all but the larger bream in the pond or lake.  By downsizing, more of those bites will become caught fish.  Stop in the White River Flyshop and pick up a pack of long shank, #14 or #16 flytying hooks.  Now, even the smallest bream can be caught.  Remember, this isn’t about catching the largest fish in the lake, but about keeping kids interested.  Caught fish are way more interesting that a bobber that wiggles all day but few if any fish are caught due to hooks that are too big. 
  • Bobbers / Corks:  Corks are one of the pieces of equipment that are often overlooked in their importance.  Try to pick out the smallest float possible.   One the size of a quarter or smaller will detect when even the smallest fish is biting.  Also look for one that is made from a solid material and not one that is hollow.  Here is why this is so important.  Kids (and adults) don’t always avoid hitting object around them when casting into the lake or stream.  If you hit something with a hollow plastic float, it’s very likely to crack and start leaking water.  Before long, its full of water and wont float.  Solid foam may crack or deform, but will still do its job.
  • Weights:  These come in all shapes and sizes.  For the beginners trip, a simple assortment of sizes will fit the bill.  You will want to use just enough weight to assist in casting but not so much that it causes your bobber or cork to sink.  Place the weight about 6 to 8 inches above the hook.  Or, if you find that fish are biting closer to the bottom, remove your bobber and fish directly on the bottom. 
  • Line:  Even though most canepoles will come with factory installed line, its always a good idea to have a small spool handy in case of tangles or breaks.  Get a spool of 8lb test and you will be ready to go. 
  • Bait:  There are more bait choices than we could ever possibly cover.  So in the interest of “Keeping It Simple”, we are going to cover just a couple .  For the squeamish, there is bread.  Yep, old fashioned, grocery store, white (not wheat…fish don’t worry about their figure) loaf bread.  Try to find one that can be mashed into small, tightly compacted balls.  You will want to mold these little balls of bread around the hook.  Try to keep it small, about the size of dime.  The downfall to bread for bait is that it falls of the hook fairly easily if not packed on tightly.  The other choice for bait that appeals to panfish everywhere is the meal worm.  These little worms come preserved or live and packed in sawdust.  We typically use the preserved baits since you will often have some leftover and they will keep very nicely in their little sealed bag until your next trip.  Thread these onto the hook starting at one end and out the other.
  • Knots:  If you have never fished on your own or are just a bit rusty on the basic knots you will need while fishing, one of these will come in real handy.  This little book has everything you will need to get rigged up for the 1st time. 
  • Hook Removal:  There are a couple of things to consider when dealing with hooked fish.  The tool you choose will need to be small enough to remove the hook from the mouth of very small panfish.  Since small hooks are being used, this is even more important.  Small tools like the hemostat are ideal for this purpose.  The other is that we want to quickly release the fish if we are not keeping them.  Buy having the right tools handy and barbless hooks, we can make this happen as quickly as possible.
  • Bucket:  This is the most underrated tool for that 1st. trip to the water.  Since they stack so well, we usually take 2 with is to the pond.  When taking your fishing tackle to the water, they serve the purpose of carrying the items listed above, but it also serves 2 other very important roles.  Before any fish are caught, it makes a handy seat if flipped upside down.  Then, once the child has caught a fish, you can take a small amount of lake water and fill one of your buckets about 1/3rd of the way full.  Kids absolutely love to watch the fish they just caught swim around in this makeshift livewell.  This also give us as adults the opportunity to talk to them about the different characteristics of the fish they just caught.  Point out the way the gills move and how the fish uses them to breathe.  Panfish are often very colorful, especially during the mating season.  Show them how the colors and patterns act to not only attract a mate, but also blend with their surroundings to camouflage them from predators. 
  • Camera:  You and your child will want to look back and see a picture of their 1st fish. 
  • Where To Go:  A quick search online will often yield numerous public fishing areas depending on where you live.  Almost any body of water will have a resident population of sunfish and since we are targeting the smaller fish in the lake, there is much less pressure from other anglers. 

With the winter months quickly giving way to spring, there has been no better time than now to get ready for a spring time adventure with a child.