"A Harvest of Memories"

By: Stephanie Crede

There is something about fall that changes the attitudes of those around us. Is it the changing weather? The chill in the air? The beautiful leaves turning into gorgeous shades of warm oranges, reds, and yellows? Maybe it's the pumpkin farms, trick or treating, or simply just enjoying the switch of seasons. Whatever it is, fall seems to be one of the more popular seasons around the midwest.

For me, October has always been my all time favorite month. I love the cooler weather. A hoodie and jeans are all that I need to feel comfortable. I love seeing the leaves fall and the warm colors that surround my town. The crunching leaves beneath my feet are a sound that I will never get tired of. Hay rides, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider are all part of the experience. Besides all of this, it's football season, and who doesn't like football season?!

When we think of fall, Halloween is usually the first thing that pops into our head. Trick or Treating, costume contests, and haunted houses are all on the list for things to do. Bass Pro Shops wants to help make your Halloween an experience you will never forget! From October 19th-31st Bass Pro in Gurnee is holding a SPOOKY Halloween event for you and the family! "It's The Great Pumpkin" is this years theme with the Charlie Brown characters! If you visit Bass Pro Shops during these dates, you can participate in trick-or-treating around the store, get your photo taken with the Charlie Brown Characters, make a spider lollipop craft, do a scavenger hunt around the store, earn cool pins and kids can even enter into the costume parade! Think you have the best costume? Show us! ALL FOR FREE!

So stop in to Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee for the "It's The Great Pumpkin" Halloween event, and see what all the talk is about! It's going to be a SPOOKTACULAR time!






Fishing With Fresh & Treated Spawn (Roe) For Trout & Salmon

By: Jerry Costabile

This time of the year when fishing the shoreline of Lake Michigan you will hear that the fish are hitting on spawn. If you have never fished with it, I hope to give you the information that will add a technique that will increase your chances for success this fall.

The term spawn comes from the ritual that occurs every fall around the begging of September thru October on the Great Lakes. In the northwest and in Alaska, this happens anywhere from mid May thru late August. This is the spawning run of the Chinook or king salmon. The Coho or silver salmon also make this run and are usually right with the kings. Female’s are carrying eggs or roe, and will migrate up rivers to where they were released or born, with the male’s right in tow! This is the time to be fishing the spawn techniques.

 The eggs can be present in the spring, but are at a very immature stage. As the season progresses, the eggs, or roe, will mature right up to the day that the female releases them into the nests that they and the males have been making in the rocky bottom of the rivers.

What we have to do is to catch a female that is full of eggs and use it for our bait. There are times that is easier to buy a few spawn sacs at the bait shop to get started with. If you catch a female early in the fall the eggs will be inside of a membrane sac called a skein. This is a favorite of mine to use because it is fresh and natural. I just cut a small piece of the skein with the eggs and put the hook thru the middle (we will talk hooks later). As long as the eggs are still solid in the skein, use it this way. 

As the eggs mature and the skein start’s to break apart, you will have to start tying the eggs into a netting to create a spawn sac. With the eggs loose in the skein, you will lose your eggs on the cast and be left with just the membrane on your hook.

At a certain point you will know that the females are really close to spawning or are spawning, the eggs will be running out of the fish. Try to have a bucket or bag to save the loose eggs when this happens. I will explain why in a little bit.

The techniques used to fish with spawn, are fairly simple. If you are fishing in current, use just enough weight to naturally roll the spawn or spawn sac along the river bottom.  I have had some success in weighting the spawn to stay on the bottom, but I use foam floaters in the sacs that I tie to keep it slightly off of the bottom. When I am not in the river and I am fishing at the mouth of the river in the lake, I will simply cast the spawn, skein or sac, out into the outgoing current and let it naturally roll to the bottom. If you are fishing in this location and can’t get into the current, fish the downwind side of the river current. The wind will push the river water in the direction it is blowing to and the fish will use this water to guide itself into the river. If you are not sure what this direction is, look for the stained water and you will see this current pattern.

Let’s say that we are fishing in the harbor areas and want to fish with spawn. We can still put it on the bottom or float it under a slip bobber. I prefer to fish it under a slip bobber. I have caught a lot of fish this way and I always have one out. Set up a rod this way and while you’re casting spoons, you have another technique working for you! I like to add just a little weight to help the spawn sac sink under a bobber. You don’t have to add a lot, just enough to get the line easily thru the bobber.  In the deeper holes of the rivers, this works great there also.

Now, I like to use a #6 octopus circle hook early and then switch to a #2 later in the season. As the spawning run progresses, I increase the size of the spawn sac that I fish with. More to see and more to smell! Treble hooks work too but there is more exposed hook to get snagged up. Keep it simple and you will increase your hook ups.

There are a lot of options and tricks to keeping your spawn fresh and keeping it good for the entire fall season. You can buy a box of good old borax at most grocery stores. Some of the other products out there are Atlas Shake “n” Cure, Pautzke Bait Co. makes a great cure, the BorxOFire. This comes in several colors. Also Pautzke makes a couple of liquid cures, Nectar and Fire Brine.

Watch for an upcoming event at Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee, IL.  I will be holding a demonstration on curing and tying spawn sacs. I will show you some of the ways to keep your eggs working for you for the entire fall salmon run and discuss this topic more!





Bushwacking with the SEWTU

By: Carol Debell

The South East Wisconsin Chapter of  Trout Unlimited and the Ozaukee County Fish Passage Program hosted a morning of stream restoration on August 17th in Port Washington at Mineral Springs Creek. 

About 20 volunteers showed up dressed in waders, boots, and myself in cut offs, tank top and duck shoes. 

The stream was a hidden gem located off of Oakland Avenue Greens Park, a line of trees afforded shade and quiet.  It is small, spring fed, and filled with rocks and gravel. I enjoyed wading the length , since there was poison ivy here and there on the banks.  We had 3 chain saws, loppers, and hand shears to prune and cut back the limbs and logs that were in the stream or causing water impediments.

After almost 3 hours of work we adjourned to grilled brats and sodas.

The DNR feels that this stream, a tributary of Lake Michigan, has the potential of becoming a future spawning ground for coaster brook trout.

Walking paths are present on parts of the stream bank, but do be prepared for underbrush and don’t forget to keep an eye out the poison ivy. 

Ozaukee County has a live stream camera set up, to view go to www.ozaukeefishpassage.org    One of their main goals is to reconnect 158 miles of streams to the lower Milwaukee Rive, the Milwaukee estuary, and Lake Michigan; the streams have been broken up by small dams, embankments, and culverts.  By opening up these miles fish and other aquatic organisms will have access to over 119,000 acres of existing habitat, including 14,000 acres of existing wetland habitat.

Please go to the trout unlimited web site to see what other programs and events they are hosting.

Don’t forget that Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee has fly tying classes on Thursday nights, just call first to RSVP and let me know what you would like to learn.

Carol D



Fishin' Buddies

By:Walt Borg

If you love to fish as I do, you will probably fish with many different people. Maybe your Dad or Grandpa got you hooked on fishing. Maybe you fish with your brother, sister, son or daughter. Perhaps you have several different friends that you fish with. All of these people can make a great trip. However…if you are really lucky or blessed, you will find a fishin’ buddy. Maybe he is a Viet-Nam vet like you and while you never talk about it you know that he understands. He’s the guy that has his own equipment, maybe even his own boat. He’s the guy that is never late to the pick-up spot, brings coffee when it’s his turn, and even remembers how you like it. When launching your boat, he gets the motor started white you park the truck.

While fishing, whoever is steering always makes sure his fishin’ buddy is in casting position. When one of you “smokes” the other, not much is said because you know that by the end of the season it will be bout’ even. Minutes can go by while fishing without a word, but as you pick at a birds nest the size of the basketball “nice cast” is heard from the other end of the boat. If one of you left your lunch on the kitchen counter at 4am, your fishin’ buddy of course shares his salami on rye with mustard.

At the end of the day the passenger passes a $20 “for gas” without being asked. If you’re lucky, your fishin’ buddy likes to make his own lures, just like you. The driving time passes quickly as you discuss blade sizes and skirt colors. Both of you are eager to talk about each other’s future boat improvements and offer both advice and help. The “off” season is the time to attend a sports show, dream about more boat improvements, have lunch and listen to KVD blah, blah, blah.

So if you have a fishin’ buddy like this, call them and thank them. Call them today because sometimes, just like that, they are gone.

Thanks for all the good memories Rich.


Preparing For Hunting Season

With hunting season right around the corner and the days getting a little shorter, now would be a good time to switch gears in your life and think fall.  While the calendar says it’s still summer, it won’t be long before its archery season.  Once archery opens its full tilt for the rest of the season.   Time, even more than normal, will be at a premium.  Now would be a good time to go through your gear.  Its way better to find out you need to replace something while you are in your driveway rather than as a deer of a lifetime walks in you shooting lane. 

I like to go over each type of gear separately.  I have boxes for each species I hunt so all I have to do is grab a box and go.  By keeping everything separate, I know everything I need for that hunt is right where I need it to be. Plano Molding makes a great box for this.  The Sportsman’s Trunk is ideal for getting everything in a handy portable box.  The folks at Plano even put wheels on it for easy maneuvering. I like to take everything out and spread it out either on the floor or on a table.  I almost always find something broken that I tossed in the box last season and forgot about. By getting everything out you will be able to make sure it’s all in working order and ready to go.

Make sure clothes are in good repair, not ripped or faded. I have found that sometimes over the summer clothes shrink while they are sitting in the box.  I’m not sure how that happens but it does.  I like to get those shirts and pants replaced.  Now is the time to wash your deer clothes in scent-free laundry soap.  Once I get them washed I like to put them in a giant Zip-Lock bag.  The camping department has a great selection.  This will keep them as scent free as possible.  Once you have your clothes taken care of, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure your favorite boots are in good shape.  Nothing can ruin a hunt faster than cold wet feet. 

Last year’s boots can be fine so long as they still fit and haven’t sprung a leak.  Everyone hates breaking in new boots but there’s good news-most boots now have a very short break in period if any at all.  I love the RedHead brand of boots with Gore-Tex.  This makes them not only waterproof but also helps keep your feet as dry as possible by allowing moisture to escape.  As anyone who spends any time in the outdoors knows dry is warm.

The last things that need your attention will be the stuff you carry in your pack.  We all carry different things so you should make sure all are in working order.   I like to take the calls apart and clean any dirt or weed seeds that may have gotten into the reeds.  A light rinse in warm water doesn’t hurt either.  I also clean out any garbage that I have put in there.  It never ceases to amaze me how much trash I accumulate, then again one of the most common items in my pack is food.   I always put the wrappers in my pack.  I usually find trash that I take out as well.

If you can find the time before season starts to do basic maintenance on your gear, you will have more time to do what we all live for come fall.  Every minute spent prepping now will give you that much more time in the stand waiting for Mr. Tender and Juicy.

By: Mike Reynolds 8/22/13


Small Boat Fishing-What You Need To Know

Ok, in my last two blogs we covered when to start shore fishing in August for brown trout and some shore fishing techniques. Now let’s cover some small boat fishing.

First let me point out that we are fishing Lake Michigan, this body of water can change on you very quickly. I have seen the lake go from calm to 7 to 8 foot waves in minutes. PLEASE make sure you do your homework on the weather conditions, BEFORE you go out. If you are not sure if it’s safe for your boat to fish in, call the Coast Guard or contact someone that is familiar with the conditions you plan to fish. It’s not worth your life. If it’s too rough, leave the boat on the trailer and fish from shore. I always keep my spinning rod on the boat just in case!

There are a couple of options that you can fish. The first is the harbor bite. In the Kenosha, Wisconsin harbor it is not uncommon to see small boats trolling in the harbor basin. It can be a nightmare with more than a couple of boats doing this. I have seen 34’ charter boats trolling in there and creating problems with everyone, boaters and shore fishermen.  Trolling small spoons and cranks are the best baits to use.  You can flat line the cranks or put them on a downrigger or Dipsey Diver. With the spoons, Dipsey’s or downriggers work best.

The other common technique is to drift in the harbor using the wind to cover water. You can use the same baits as you would use while fishing on shore, spoons, jigs, spinners and don’t forget to drag a spawn sac under a slip bobber.

On the right day with the right wind, try trolling the mouth of the harbor areas. This area can hold a lot of fish that haven’t been bombarded with lure from the shoreline and the boats working the inside. I would not hesitate to troll up and down the shoreline looking for fish in the current areas from the harbor or any tributaries that flow into the lake.

One thing to remember is that the bite goes from feeding to reaction as the fall progresses. Fish the depths that you are marking fish. You might see fish at all depths, but they aren’t all active. I have seen fish that move from the bottom to the surface, I think these are the fish we see constantly jumping. Are these active fish, I think some? But I would target the fish that I am marking on my electronics that are at a consistent depth. I think these are active fish that will give you the best chance at some action.

By: Jerry Costabile 8/20/13




Floating Along in my Old Town

Floating Along in my Old Town

By: Suzie Mason

I just bought my first canoe!! It is a 14 foot Old Town Saranac 146, and it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!!  It’s fully loaded the front and rear seat comes with adjustable back rests, a 6” dry storage hatch, cup holders, and rod holders!  And if I feel like bringing a 3rd person along for the ride I have a bench seat in the middle with a small cooler under the seat, which I found fits a carton of night crawlers and some ice very nicely.  Only one problem I drive a very tiny 4 cylinder car, not really ideal for lugging a canoe around.  So every time I take out my awesome new canoe I have to drive from Fox Lake all the way to Wadsworth to pick up my dad’s van then back to Fox Lake again to load up the canoe, round trip that’s about an hour drive.  Determined to be in the outdoors I do this drive once or twice a week, but let me tell you it’s definitely worth it.

This last Sunday we loaded up my canoe along with my friends 16 foot Old Town canoe and headed over to Long Lake in Ingleside to hit the water.  It was a beautiful day and the water was very calm, perfect for some fishing.  We paddled across the lake to my lucky spot and it worked out, I caught about 8 blue gills, and a little bass.  After about an hour of fishing we decided to paddle across the lake to the little channel that we saw on the way in.  We had to paddle under this very short bridge with a bunch of spider webs that we had to duck under (which we almost had to turn around because of the fact we had some girly girls with us).  But thankfully the boys and myself were determined because once we got through it was so cool!!!  There were fallen trees we had to paddle around, and so many other obstacles we had to get out of the canoe a few times and carry it over logs and rocks.  The best part of the trip was at the end when a beaver ran out in front of us.  It scared us at first, but we were fortunate that it did because it made us aware of the dam he was making.  It was so big!!!  I’d say one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in this area.  At that point we had to turn around and call it a day. 

Next stop Des Plaines River!!!  We will be paddling about 6.2 miles from Sedge Meadow canoe launch to Gowe Park canoe launch, should take us about 3-4 hours.  Maybe I’ll see you out there!

If you have a passion for being outdoors like I do, you really should think about a canoe or kayak from Bass Pro Shops we have so many styles to choose from and speaking from personal experience it’s a great way to do some fishing, explore new areas, or just relax with friends and family.  Think about it, and trust me you will not regret it.

By: Suzie Mason 8/20/13






Catching Browns in August & September

It’s me again, Jerry Costabile your Certified Tracker Sales Consultant slash great lakes fisherman!

Now, let’s talk about the techniques for catching the browns in August and September. When the browns start showing up in August, they can be feast or famine. One day you can catch them on anything you throw at them and the next day, nothing, notta, zilch! The browns are difficult to figure out this time of year. I have been down at day break and watched hundreds of brown trout jumping from one end of the Kenosha, Wisconsin harbor to the other, and not get a single hit.

I have idled thru the harbor in my boat and marked fish from top to bottom the whole way out and not seen a single fish being caught. There can be hundreds of fishermen lined up along both sides of the harbor this time of year.  But, I have taken the same pass thru and seen fishermen everywhere hooked up with a fish!

In August, having a variety of baits will be to your benefit. I like to cast spoons in different colors and sizes. I cast several different makes and sizes. Luhr Jensen Krocodile in the ¼ and ½ oz. size, Kastmaster in the 3/8oz, Acme Little Cleo in the 1/3 and 2/5 oz, Acme KO Wobbler in the ¼ and ½ oz,  Moonshine Lures 3/4oz casting spoon , and the Mepps Syclops Spoon in the ¼ and ½ oz.

Colors can change so fast with the browns, you can have a color working like crazy one day, than the next, nothing. Be prepared to change colors often, using a good quality snap swivel will help in both changing lures and keeping your line from getting a twisted or a coil memory.

Vary your depth that you retrieve your spoons at. The browns are at all levels and active fish can be also. Don’t be afraid to work the bottom. I have used a retrieve of letting the spoon go to the bottom and a slow, short sweep of my rod tip to bring the spoon off of the bottom and than by letting the spoon flutter back down triggers a strike. Speed can make a difference also.  Change speed. Fast retrieve than a pause, slow steady, steady with a twitch, jigging, are all good techniques to try. In line spinners have had their day in the spotlight also. Again vary colors, sizes and speeds.

Crankbaits are another favorite of mine. There are days when throwing a #5 or #7 Shad Rap can be deadly on the browns. I have caught them on a variety of cranks so don’t be afraid to experiment. Again vary your retrieve and speed.

Another technique that works for everyone but me is pearl or white, 2” and 3” tube jigs. I have seen fishermen absolutely destroy the browns on them. I just can’t seem to get that bite right!!

Lastly, it is not a bad idea to throw out a rod rigged up with a slip bobber and a spawn sac. There are days when this is the only bite in town! Spawn sacs can be purchased at local bait shops. FRESH IS BETTER! Old frozen spawn doesn’t seem to work for me. Also, brown trout spawn works better than salmon spawn for the browns. Just a tip from my past!

 By: Jerry Costabile 8/15/13





"Catch" us on Facebook!

Today more than ever online social networking has become a way of life. With so many options out there, finding and trading information is as simple as the click of the button. What’s so great about this is that we have the option to utilize these interconnections to help stay connected, promote a business, and even sell, buy or trade product within a matter of minutes, to someone who may live across the world.  

Do you realize the ways that people acquire information have been changing significantly overtime? In the old days, they mainly obtained information from newspaper, radio and television. These sources, however, are quite limited because they only work well locally. Although these traditional media of communication are still being used, the internet world has quietly emerged as a new and more effective way of how information flows.  

In 2013 one of the largest networking programs ever created reached its peak of 1.11 billion active users. This included people from all across the globe, connecting into one network site, and expanding as a “web” to form groups, chats, links, blogs, and clubs. This networking site was named “Facebook” and has become the life of many organizations. Our way of communication now changes from one-way to two-way. For example, the newspaper as a traditional communication tool provides news to the public only in one direction without a mechanism to collect feedbacks. In a two-way communication mode like Facebook, people can acquire information as well as conveying their own comments at the same time. This can make a big difference in social impacts because it effectively facilitates exchanges and interactions among people and therefore contributes to making information flow more globalized and influential in the real world. It’s quick, easy, and efficient.

If you are reading this, chances are you already have a Facebook account. The neat thing about being an account user is being able to “LIKE” pages to receive quick and free information that applies to your needs and interests. Bass Pro Shops has joined the rest of the ever changing, fast paced social networking world. We are on Facebook! Our mission is to share the passion of the outdoors with the rest of you, by providing updates, blogs, events, and cool things happening within our store! By “liking” our page, you will be able to stay connected with us, and receive the latest scoop on what’s going on in the outdoor world. Here, you will be able to comment, share, and like the latest newsfeeds, keeping you and your family in the loop. You will discover new elements that revolve around the outdoors, be exposed to new pros in numerous interests like fishing and hunting, and even stay updated on the latest sales, deals, and promotions Bass Pro has to offer. Bass Pro Shops is dedicated to educating children on the importance of conservation and outdoor discovery. We offer many free activities throughout the months including seminars, crafts, archery lessons, and much more for the kids to enjoy. There is ALWAYS something for the children to do, and best of all, it’s at no cost to you!

So is Bass Pro Shops a page you want to “like?” If you are like most of us, your passion for the outdoors is ever lasting. The excitement, enthusiasm, and dedication to promoting the outdoors are crucial and essential in today’s society. We strive to educate and be an influence on today’s generation, so that tomorrow’s generation will follow in our footsteps.  If you agree, go ahead and click the link below!


 By: Stephanie Crede 8/15/13





Technique To Conquer The Clear Bodies Of Water!

Hi guys my name is Tim Fleischauer, I work in the fishing department here at Bass Pro Shop in Gurnee Illinois. I am an avid bass fisherman but also enjoy fishing for other species, but largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing is my favorite. Like many of you other anglers reading this, fishing has become an obsession of mine so I have many baits and techniques that I use frequently.

One technique in particular that in my opinion has been under utilized by many anglers, and that has helped me land many nice large and smallmouth bass over the past few is the drop-shot rig. The drop shot rig is a technique that is very effective in catching bass in very clear and deep bodies of water. Now with the drop shot there are many ways to set up your rig, most important is rod and reel, type of line, size of you hook, and the size of your weight.

Choosing the right length and action rod is key when using a drop shot rig. I prefer using a 6’8” medium extra fast action rod, because I like a little more back bone but like the extra fast action on the tip to get a better feel.  Now the rod “made” for the drop shot is a 6’9” medium light fast or extra fast action. Medium light is the ideal action for most anglers but I like a little more power when I drop shot. 

 Line plays a very important role in your drop shot rig. In those deep, clear bodies of water like Lake Geneva WI, you can see the bottom in 20 foot of water, and those fish can see just as far and will spook very easy. Always use a fluorocarbon line, I prefer Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon in 6 or 8 pound test because it’s super strong, very sensitive, but also very clear when submerged under the water. Now fluorocarbon line in general is a harder line, so there will tend to have more memory, I don’t recommend spooling this directly on to your spinning reel. I like to use a 10 or 15 pound braided line then attach a 6 to 8 pound fluorocarbon leader to the end of my line, about 3 to 5 feet is fine. I do this for three reasons, one because braided has no stretch there for I can feel the bottom and the real light bites that you may sometimes get.  Secondly, braided line has no memory so I am able to cast my spinning reel with no problems.  Lastly the diameter of a braided line is less than half the size of its monofilament equivalent, so you are able to use a higher pound line and get a lot further cast.

There are many types of hooks you can use for the drop shot rig. A lot of the times I find myself using the Spin Shot hook by VMC, in either a  # 2 or #4 size. But in cases where fishing is slow or high pressure, like a blue bird day with no wind, I will switch to a #4 octopus hook and tie the rig myself to eliminate as much visible hardware to the fish as I can. The weight you use is another important factor when it comes to drop shoting, you want a weight heavy enough to maintain contact with the bottom while you drag it around weed beds or vertical jig it over rock piles. I prefer to use 1/4oz in all my applications of drop shotting because it is a very versatile weight.  I can fish the deeper 20 even 25 foot rock piles with it and I can still fish the shallower weed beds efficiently, without getting hung up. 

 Using the right baits and how you present those baits, is what’s going to catch you fish. I can go on and on about the different baits for the drop shot, but for the sake of this blog I am going to keep it short and sweet. For the #2 VMC hooks I will use a 6 inch worm my favorite but then I will also present the worm nose hooked and wacky style.  For the smaller #4 hook I like to use 4inch worm’s nose hooked.  My favorite brands of worms to use are the Chompers drop shot worms, the Bass Pro Cut tail worm’s, and a zoom finesse worm. As far as colors go, when you’re in clear water go natural green pumpkin is always a killer, my smallmouth killer is a plum chompers 4” worm.            

The type of presentation you will use with this rig will be vertical jig and twitch, keeping the weight in contact with the bottom and shaking the line making the worm twitch.  The other technique is casting the rig let the weight hit the bottom then you will just drag and shake the rig towards you, keeping the weight sliding along the bottom.

 Areas of interest when using the drop shot in deep clear bodies of water is focus on deeper points,  break lines, or rock piles. I find myself working from 10 FOW all the way out to 25 FOW when using the rig. This rig is a blast to use! You will catch a lot of fish and have a blast doing it! 

I recently took my boss out fishing on my boat, and had one of the best days this year using the Drop shot Rig!

 Here is a nice Bass he landed!

By: Tim Fleischauer                   



Late Season Shore Fishing

Hi, my name is jerry Costabile. I am a certified sales consultant for Tracker Marine Boats in Gurnee, Illinois.

I am an avid Lake Michigan fisherman and I am getting excited for the late season shore fishing in the Kenosha, Wisconsin area.

Even with the capability to fish from a boat, there is something about catching August brown trout and September king salmon on light tackle from the shoreline. If this is something you have never experienced, you are missing out on a chance to catch some of the biggest fish of the year!

It usually starts about this time every year depending on, of course weather and water temperature. As the weather starts to stay around the 70 degree mark during the day time and night time in the 50’s and 60’s, the brown trout start to migrate into the harbors and shoreline areas. With the water temperatures in the mid 50’s to mid 60’s the first fish are being caught. This is not a spawning run or a feed; it is when the water temperature is favorable for the trout around the shorelines. This makes the fish accessible to everyone to include shore fisherman as well as small boat owners. The spawn for the browns come later in the fall and is evident by the condition of the fish.

As September approaches, the word of king salmon being caught spreads like wildfire! The kings showing up around the shorelines this time of year is not related to weather or water temperature, it is a spawning run. Every fall, mature salmon return to the rivers or harbors where they are released as fingerlings. This spawning run not only brings mature salmon but it also attracts immature king and coho salmon as well as rainbow and later in the fall, lake trout. All of the species of trout and salmon feed on the eggs or roe as the females deposit them. On most of the great lakes, the eggs do not hatch due to unfavorable spawning conditions. There is some evidence of natural salmon hatches in the upper Lake Michigan, but most of the trout and salmon we catch have been raised by the many sport fishing clubs and state hatcheries. An effort you contribute to with the purchase of your great lakes trout and salmon stamps.




Hunt Like A Girl...In Style!

Hunt Like a Girl… In Style!

By: Katie Cook

Being a women in the wonderful world of hunting we have had limited options for hunting clothing. When I first started hunting there was only men’s hunting clothing on the market. Even the smallest sizes didn’t fit correctly. As I got older the clothing options stayed the same. Unshapely, men’s hunting clothing was all I had to look forward too as a female hunter each season. I know hunting isn’t a fashion statement but I shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort or style for the things I love. That's why I want to introduce you to "She" apparel, for women!

In the mid 2000’s Pam Zaitz was tired of wearing men’s and kid’s clothing when on safari and hunting. She wanted to create functional clothing that was fitted and tailored for woman. After months of design and testing Pam launched She Safari women’s outdoor apparel.  She Safari introduced the safari line and the response was so great that they introduced a line of upland clothing in less than a year and, the company started to focus on a broad range of camouflage for North American markets.

When Bass Pro Shops first received She Safari clothing and footwear in our store I was ecstatic! FINALLY we have clothing for woman. We only received a few pieces at first but soon began to carry more items. The camouflage items we originally received were the duck blind bib and jacket. The quiet material and thinsulate interior made them an item above any other product we had for woman. Soon we started to carry t-shirts and light weight long sleeve shirts with either a scoop neck or a v-neck.  Not only did we receive the camouflage clothing line but also some of the safari line. The safari line is a light weight, rip-stop material made for durability and functionality but still flattering to a female form. I wear the Adventure Skort at work in the summer months and it is extremely comfortable. I have received many compliments from my coworkers and customers when I wear it. She Safari also knows that no two women are the same so their clothing has a diverse size range from extra small – 2XL.  (SKU# 1998793)


Be A Hero!

Be a Hero-With the GoPro!

Hey everyone. My name is Chris Kohnke, and I am very lucky to be apart of the Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff in Gurnee. My passion has always been fishing. Some say I am addicted to it. When I am not at my Firefighting job, I am out on the water. Everyone knows that it's important to bring a camera on the boat. After all, catching nice fish all day can create memories. Whether you are a pro fisherman like myself, or a beginner, I want to introduce you to one of the best inventions I have encountered. I am sure you have heard about it, and may have wondered "how does it work? Who is it for?" Well my friends, keep reading.

The GoPro is literally "The World's Most Versatile Camera." We were first introduced to it in 2004. With tons of different varieties to chose from , GoPro has made a camera to fit just about any outgoing, adventurous individual out there. Fishing, hiking, skydiving, snowboarding, you name it! With the GoPro, we can see what is happening from the individual's head, side of the boat, or anywhere it is placed. It's like being there yourself, experiencing it yourself!

GoPro's lineup of mount-anywhere cameras has been dazzling extreme sports enthusiasts for years. Now, GoPro has rolled out the Hero3, which packs even greater performance than its predecessors.
The gopro hero 3 is smaller, lighter, and more efficient than the hero 2. If you have a Hero 2 all of your mounting brackets and hardware will work with the Hero 3.The super cool thing about the Hero 3 is the addition of wifi. In a few easy steps you can activate the wifi on the GoPro to preview your video/photo shots on your smartphone. You will have to download the GoPro app to your phone but it's easy and FREE.

With the go pro app on your smartphone you can control virtually every feature on the GoPro. Including turning the camera on and off, starting and stopping of recordings, snaping photos, as well as watching videos that you have recorded and photos taken. You can also save videos and photos to your phone to share on social media. Overall this is a very fun and easy to use camera. The video and picture quality is unbelievable. The waterproof case ensures complete protection of the camera. The possibilities are endless!

Go out and enjoy the outdoors before summer is over. Record your precious moments with the new GoPro hero 3.

Chris Kohnke


A Great Time For Lake Michigan Salmon/Trout Fishing!

Hi, My name is Harley Goodman.  I am a hunting team leader at Bass Bro Shops in Gurnee, IL. My experience started in the outdoors at a very young age.  I have been hunting, fishing, camping, hiking,and boating for over 20 years.

 I would like to share with you some of my experience on Lake Michigan trolling for salmon/trout.  For the past 10 years I have been a tournament angler fishing all over the Western side of Lake Michigan, but  the ports I frequently fish include Winthrop Harbor and Waukegan Illinois and Kenosha and Racine Wisconsin.  I've also been fortunate enough to be part of a few tournament winning teams over the past decade. 

This season has proved to be one of the best I can ever remember in regards to the size of the Chinook Salmon roaming the waters on the western side of the "big pond".  On July 31, 2013 during a morning tournament pre-fishing trip I was able to reel in my largest King Salmon to date from a boat, a 23.5 lb. giant.  Less than 5 minutes after that, another monster struck our lure and I battled a 19.75 lb. King Salmon to the net.

What lures and patterns are working the best you might be wondering?  Various segments of leadcore trolling line and Moonshine Spoons seem to be the best for me. My two favorite Moonshine Spoons are the Flounder Pounder and Happee Meal.  Also, during low light conditions I have been very successful with dodger/fly combinations ran off Dipsy Divers and  downriggers in white/green color patterns.  All of this can be found at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee, IL.

What are you waiting for?  Get out there for some drag screaming action on the Great Lakes!

If you have any questions and/or looking to get out fishing on Lake Michigan  please ask and I will be glad to point you the right direction.

Good Fishing!

Harley Goodman


Guess What I Found In the Dark?

 I love the night bite that can happen in the heat of the summer.  On July 20, I fished a tournament with my daughter, Berklie.  We had a blast!  We started at 7 p.m. and ended at midnight.  It was windless and water temps were in the 80’s and the fishing started fast and furious.  I was fishing a black and blue Bass Pro Shops ¾ oz. Enticer Football Jig with a blue Zoom Super Chunk for a trailer.  The lake we were fishing on had that green algae bloom look to it, so we headed for the only current in the lake.  About ten flips into it, we had our limit of 4 fish. As the evening progressed, the fishing got even better.  We culled a lot of fish.  Then at dark, I was flipping the same jig, but I had changed to a green pumpkin color. It was so dark that I could not see a thing.  So I made a flip, and … nothing. As I was reeling it in, already in my mind changing to a different bait, just as I lifted it out of the water, a 2 ¾ lb. smallmouth smoked it. It almost scared me to death! So I decided to swim the jig like I do in the daytime. 

I was using my Extreme 7’6” Heavy Flipping Stick with 20 lb. mono line, maybe not the best choice for the technique, but I had never swam a jig at night before, so how could it be wrong?  Well, it was on.  I caught more giant smallmouth bass than I can ever remember in my life, and some really sweet largies.  Normally, my go-to at night is a buzzbait, spinnerbait, etc.  You know, the textbook baits that everyone says to use.  But, I tried them.  I threw a buzzer along the bank, and spinnerbait, and nothing would happen.  I stopped, grabbed the jig and swam it, and “bam,” giant! From that point, I never laid it down again, and the action never slowed.

We did not win, but we ended up in 4th, and got our entry money back. The best things that came of it were making fishing memories with my daughter and learning something new.  I’m not saying it will always work, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box.  Remember to spend as much time as you can with those you love.
Dan Hayes


"Falling into the Outdoors!"

By: Stephanie Crede 08/5/13

Falling Into the Outdoors

The weather is slowing starting to turn, and the days are becoming shorter. We know winter is only a few months away, so we are trying the best we can to enjoy the beautiful weather outside, while it lasts. Every season has its perks with nature, but there is something about fall that everyone seems to love. The colorful trees turning, the comfortable sleeping weather, and most of all, HUNTING SEASON!

How does one celebrate the hunting season you ask?  The 2013 Fall Hunting Classic has begun, and we are excited to invite all hunters, beginners or experienced of all ages out to Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee for one of the biggest sales of the year! Hunters can take advantage of 3 full weekends to prepare them for hunting season. Check out “Hunter Appreciation Weekend” where pros like Mike Reynolds, NRA instructor Bill Worth, and others will be here to discuss important topics involving tactical gear, camouflage clothing, camera placement, scent control, and much more! What’s even better is if you are one of the first 25 customers to attend a seminar each day, you will receive a cool gift! Seminars are a great way to get you involved in what’s happening in the hunting world, and help keep you up to date with the latest news, gear, tips and tricks. There is no need to register, it’s free. All you have to do is show up!

Who remembers their first hunt? Was it with pops? Grandpa? Maybe your older brother or sister got you involved in hunting. Either way, like fishing, we all remember our first time out in the field, and more importantly, our first catch. Educating the youth on tomorrows generation today is very important and something that we take pride in. August 17th and 18th is our “Next Generation” weekend. We dedicate this weekend to the children who have a passion for the outdoors, and have an interest in the sport of hunting! Join us for free crafts, free seminars, and even get your photo taken next to the outside B.B range, all for free!

Lastly, Bass Pro Shops has come up with an excellent program called the “trade in” program. This lets you bring in your used materials such as binoculars, scopes, and rangefinders for a discount on brand new ones! That’s a deal you can’t pass up. With so many great brands out there, you are sure to find something and save money! Also be sure to check out the 2nd Amendment Savings program. This means TAX FREE when purchasing a full size safe or gun when using your Bass Pro Shops Master card!

The month of August is a busy one, and we want to share it with you! Be sure to check us out by stopping in and seeing all we have to offer for this upcoming hunting season!




Books to help you reel in the big one

Gone Fishing


We have an extensive assortment of books on fishing.  If you are wanting to learn the basics or some new techniques we have a book for you.  We have books that cover knots, bait, rigs, tackle and so much more.  We have several books on fly fishing for the beginners and for those that are more advanced.  If you want to learn fly tying we have books and we have work shops as well so our experienced staff can help out.  If you enjoy bass, walleye, catfish and crappie fishing we have concept books for each that will cover fundamentals, locations and presentations.  We look forward to helping you catch your next big fish by proviiding the information necessary.  Next time you stop by our store, come visit our book selection.  We look forward to taking care of all of your fishing needs.


Cool Fun in The Hot Sun!

By: Stephanie Crede 07/08/13

By now most of us are taking full advantage of this beautiful weather! From Family vacations to lying in the hammock all day… grilling and chillen’ is what it’s all about! While most of us spend the majority of our time outside as much as we can, sometimes it just gets too hot, and we need a nice cool down. That’s where Bass Pro Shops comes in!

The rules are simple. Place a hyper 150-pound cowboy on the back of a hulking, snorting temperamental 2,000 pound bull and see if you can ride the beast for an eternal eight seconds...with one hand strapped to the bull's massive backside, without falling off. Think it’s easy?! Think again!

Professional Bull riding has been around since 1992. Headquartered in Colorado, the PBR, Inc. was created when a group of 20 visionary bull riders broke away from the traditional rodeo scene seeking mainstream attention for the sport of professional bull riding. They felt that, as the most popular event at a rodeo, bull riding deserved to be in the limelight and could easily stand alone. They were right! Some call it “the toughest sport on dirt.” More than 1,200 bull riders from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico hold PBR memberships. They compete in more than 300 bull riding events per year on either the elite tour, which is the Built Ford Tough Series, the Touring Pro Division, or the PBR International circuits (PBR Australia, PBR Brazil, PBR Canada and PBR Mexico). The ultimate goal for PBR athletes each year is to qualify for the prestigious PBR World Finals in Las Vegas.

Not everyone can make it to the fascinating shows. However Bass Pro Shops holds a “PBR Event” every year at store locations for the public to get a small taste of what it’s all about. Join us July 27th and 28th from Noon-4pm for real life PBR fun! Kids can try bull roping, stick bull riding, make cool crafts, and even get their face painted like “Flint” the entertainer! Think you’re a real cowboy/cowgirl?! Come in Sunday at 2:30pm for the “Best dressed Cowboy/Cowgirl” contest! You can also talk to a real professional bull rider expert on Saturday from 1-2pm! So bring the family, because the first 100 customers to attend the event each day will get a FREE cow bell!





Sizzling Summer Fun! 06/03/13 By: Stephanie Crede

Family get togethers, camping, fishing, bonfires, sunburn, BBQ's and relaxation...ahhhhhh the joys that summer has to offer! Now that it's already June, I am sure most of you are looking forward to some sort of vacation. Whether it's a huge family trip outside of the states, or maybe just a simple road trip to your favorite camping resort. Either way, we know what it's like to "get away." It's important for families to spend time together. Life is hectic, we know! Taking a few days to stop and smell the flowers can make all the difference in the world believe it or not. Bass Pro Shops encourages families to get outside and become active in the outdoors. What is your favorite spot to "stop and smell the flowers?"

For me, it's simple. My stress reliever is about a 7 hour drive to northern Wisconsin where my cabin sits. Hayward Wisconsin is my happy place I guess you could call it. It is my home away from home. I spent all of my summers there as a kid, and even as an adult. I am pretty sure the fish even know my name! I am thankful that my parents always took the time to take me to Hayward. Now as an adult I look back and can reflect on all the memories I had, and more importantly the quality time I got to spend outdoors. I hope to someday pass this on to my children.

Not everyone can just get up and get away though. This we know .Bass Pro Shops wants to make it easy for you, so we have created a great event called "Family Summer Camp" open to the public! Family Summer Camp is a great way for you and the family to participate in outdoor related activities...without driving 7 hours away! Starting June 8th-July 14th you can stop on in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays for great need to know seminars, workshops, food demos, crafts, free photos, and even a scavenger hunt! The kids will love it, and won't walk away empty handed! For every scavenger hunt they participate in, they can receive a cool pin and lanyard! For more info on this, be sure to check out our website! Go to www.basspro.com, and click on the "Gurnee" store!

So don't stress about where to go this summer. What's important is that you are spending it with the ones you care about most. Stop into Bass Pro Shops, and let us do all the work! In the meantime, happy camping:)


We are raising awareness for our heroes

Wounded Warrior Project


We have recently recieved shirts from Under Armour that are raising awareness for our nation's heros.  A portion of the sale of these shirts goes to the Wounded Warrior Project.  Wounded Warrior Project has made it their mission to help our wounded warriors with programs and services to help meet their needs.  We are very excited about these and they are good quality t-shirts and polos.  The UA Freedom t-shirts are made of moisture wicking, ultra soft charged cotton.    They are 60% polyester and 40% cotton regular fit style shirt.  The UA Support the Troops t-shirts are also made with charged cotton and include the anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of microbes.  They are a regular athletic fit shirt.  The UA Performance Polo is made of polyester and elastane.  It is full of technology such as wicking away moisture, 30+ sun protection and it's anti-odor fabric.  We look forward to your next visit into our store and showing you our new shirts.