From the Crossroads

Welcome to the Bass Pro Shops blog from Clarksville, IN!  My name is Brian Eickholtz, and I will be posting blogs about hunting, fishing, and various other outdoor activities that we all love.  Deer, turkey, and waterfowl hunting as well as bass fishing are the activities that I'm involved in the most.  I look forward to bringing you great information on these topics and many more in the future!


Outdoor Showcase: Southern Indiana

   When you think about great deer and turkey hunting in the Midwest, your mind will paint a picture of the bottomlands of southern Illinois or the meandering woodlots of Missouri or Iowa.  You likely picture Ohio or the rolling bluegrass of Kentucky.  While up flying with my grandpa earlier this week I saw a different picture, though.  I saw what has become one of the best areas for hunting in all the land.  Nestled amongst all of these legendary hunting areas is an often overlooked outdoor promise land: Indiana.Great habitat like this is found all along the Ohio river in southern Indiana!

   It wasn't long ago that I laid my eyes on the first turkey that I'd ever seen on our southern Indiana farm.  I believe it was about 14 years ago to be exact.  Two or three hens and about nine poults crossed my driveway.  I remember watching in awe as seeing those turkeys on the farm was akin to discovering Bigfoot.  If you talk to the generation before me, they would tell you the chance of spotting a deer in the 1970's was about the same.  Through restoration efforts and the availability of great habitat and farmland, everything is much different now.  The bucks keep getting bigger and the long beards more plentiful with every passing year.  In fact, Indiana was seventh in the number of entries to Boone and Crockett Club between 2005 and 2010 for whitetail.  Saskatchewan, Kansas, Alberta, and Texas are just a few of the fabled big buck destinations that Indiana sits above on that B&C list.Indiana farm land like this can be found throughout the state near the river basins.

   I started turkey hunting four years after spotting those first turkeys.  On that very farm, I connected with a nice long beard on my first trip to the turkey woods.  Every year since then for the last ten years, I have harvested a spring gobbler on that farm.  Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to take others out to those  turkey woods chasing the once mythical birds.  Sharing their excitement as a bird approaches is as good as being behind the trigger.  Indiana continues to have great turkey harvests as the top 5 seasons based on number of birds killed have all come in the last 7 years!

   As I touched on earlier, the deer hunting has exploded in Indiana.  Not only do we have a lot of deer, we have a very healthy deer population as illustrated by the Boone & Crockett records.  Indiana has a wide forage base with white and red oaks, endless crops, and thick undergrowth including green briar making up a lot of our deer population's diet.  One of the most important things for growing big bucks is habitat.  You could drive a short distance in nearly any rural area in Indiana and find fence rows, native grasses, and great looking woodlots.  The exceptional areas in our state are near the river basins of the Ohio, Wabash, White, and Muskatatuck.  All along these areas you will usually find a great combination of food and habitat for deer.  All of that and I haven't even mentioned the Hoosier National Forest that spans for 202,814 acres across the south-central portion of the state.  The big woods areas like the Hoosier National Forest are home to huge stands of oaks and other hardwoods with ridges, saddles, and fingers running all over.  Every year these areas cough up braggin' sized bucks for hunters.  It has plenty of turkeys and habitat for them too.  Forty years ago, wild turkeys were actually reintroduced to Indiana in the Hoosier National Forest.   
An over-head look at the Charlestown State Park nestled along the shores of the Ohio River in Clark County, IN.

   "Remember...We all live downstream."  That is a line that all of us have heard on television concluding Bass Pro Shops commercials before.  I used to think of that as having only a short term message to all of us.  That is, don't pollute our waterways or landscape with trash and toxins so you don't negatively affect others down the road or river.  However, the evolution of our outdoor heritage shows that this slogan is much more long term.  We are the one's downstream of the millions of hunters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts that have come before.  They worked hard to help establish an opportunity for us to enjoy record numbers of healthy game animals.  Let's make sure that we stay on the right track and make the outdoor life twice as good again in the next 50 years!  

Good Hunting!

-Brian Eickholtz

Bass Pro Shops

Clarksville, IN




Preamble to Fall

   August is an exciting month for anyone who enjoys time in the woods or on the water.  The days are just a little shorter and it is actually trying to cool down a bit compared to our record summer temperatures.  Many of us can find ourselves in a slump by August because of the hot temperatures, lackluster fishing, and the fact that we have been out of a hunting season since turkey season passed on in May.  Fortunately, help is on the way!  As a matter of fact, some of the most enjoyable hunting seasons are right around the corner.  

   Squirrel season is just days away in many areas.  In fact it starts Wednesday August 15th here in Indiana.  Last year was tough in many areas because our trees had an off year on mast production.  White oak acorns were nearly non-existent and I hunted very few areas with any amount of hickory nuts as well.  Walnuts, red oaks, and pine trees were the key.  This year has an opportunity to be different, though.  The white oaks are back and the hickories are producing well despite the drought that has strangled our landscape all summer.  Squirrels and hunters alike are happier when these trees are producing.  Maple trees seem to be what the squirrels are favoring at the moment, but it will not be long at all until they spread out into some of the better mast trees.

   Before going to the woods after some squirrels, I highly recommend treating your clothing in Sawyers Permethrin.  Make sure to treat your socks, shoes, pants, shirts, hats and any other article of clothing you may wear.  This tick repellent is by far the best that I have ever used and I use it anytime I am in the woods between March and October.  Turkey ticks are everywhere and hard to get off you.  Avoid stepping on or in rotting wood as this is where they really like to hang out.  Another item that I love to carry with me to the woods during this warmer time of year is a hydration pack.  The RedHead® Wellspring Hydration Pac is the one that I use but there is a lot of other hydration pack options as well.  Not only does this pack keep me hydrated during the long walks, but it also cools me down since it sits right on your back.  It adds very little weight to your person and holds up to two liters of water!  Don't forget to treat the outside of your pack with permethrin too.   

   Dove season is less than a month away as well.  This is a great time to introduce new people to hunting.  It is generally nice outside at the beginning of September.  Additionally, you are almost guaranteed some action if you are near a cut field, sunflowers, water, or gravel.  Socializing is perfectly acceptable and being stealthy isn't necessarily a requirement.  Hitting the doves is the hardest part, but luckily there is a way to make this task more feasible, even for a novice shooter.  In one of my past blogs, I explained the importance of movement in your waterfowl decoy spread.  It just so happens that Mojo Voodoo Dove Decoythis carries over to dove hunting as well.  Doves are actually fooled by decoy movement even more than ducks and geese.  Mojo has been offering a MOJO Dove for several years now and the results speak for themselves.  I have witnessed bird after bird actually try to land on this decoy.  They slow down and turn directly for the decoy, many times they will land next to it if they are not shot at.  You can use the decoy placement to your advantage by positioning yourself to get a head on shot when they look hard at the decoy.  The main factors to consider is which way the doves are coming from, and determine if they can see your decoy from that direction.  If they see it, they will usually come.  One thing to keep in mind is the fact that this is a low angle shot and you should make very certain there are not hunters sitting beyond your decoy and watch for the dog too if you use one.

   If you cannot get the fish to bite, have an itchy trigger finger, or just enjoy spending time afield like I do, get out and try some squirrel and dove hunting.  There is nothing like being a part of watching the foggy, dead-still woods come to life before your eyes.

Good Luck!

Brian Eickholtz

Bass Pro Shops
Clarksville, IN



Purdue Extension and Indiana Department of Natural Resources in Cooperation with the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife Present the Venison Workshop Series at Bass Pro Shops Clarksville, Indiana 

The season is almost upon us and many of you hunter’s out there will be harvesting a deer this year!  Now is your chance to learn for “FREE”, how to process, prepare, and cook some fantastic dishes with venison at your Clarksville Bass Pro Shops.

 Great attendance at these seminars!

The Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’  Division of Fish & Wildlife  is once again sponsoring venison workshops on Friday, September 7, 2012, from 6pm to 9pm,  in the theater at Bass Pro Shops, 951 East Lewis & Clark Parkway,  Clarksville, Indiana.

During this workshop, a deer will be skinned, butchered, and prepared in a variety of ways for participants to taste.  Demonstrations of complete deer processing including skinning, butchering and packaging techniques will be shown.  Food safety and handling procedures, as well as an update on deer health issues will be presented. 

 Hanging and cutting the deer.

There will be outdoor cooking with Dutch Ovens.  Watch as delicious venison recipes are prepared in Dutch ovens and on the grill outside!  You will get to sample all the mouth watering dishes that are prepared!

Dutch Oven and cooked ready to eat!

Join us for an entertaining, exciting and fun evening.  Watch and listen as Purdue Extension Educators butcher and prepare the deer for participants to taste.  This program has something for everyone…young, old, experienced and novice!  You definitely won’t want to miss this exciting seminar! 


And don’t forget while you are here, to pick up your supplies and products for your deer processing!  We offer a complete line of FoodSaver  products to vacuum pack your favorite cuts of meat!  Need supplies to make your own deer salami or jerky?  We have all the products you will need!

 Processing for the freezer.

There are additional workshops being offered throughout the state of Indiana for this Venison Series.  Bass Pro Shops is one of only two “FREE” sessions being held this year.  Check with the Purdue Extension Office 1-888-EXT-INFO for dates, locations, and times for the series. 

Register to attend, by calling Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville (812) 218-5500, and ask to be signed up for the “FREE” Venison Workshop Series being held on September 7.

Tina Tucker

Special Events Coordinator

Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville


Tracker Marine In Community

With summer in full swing, so are the local festivals. This past Weekend Tracker Marine had an opportunity to help with the Washington County Indiana Teen contest. The participants in the 2012 Miss Washington County Teen Contest were aboard a Party Barge 25, Regency Edition towed by a Toyota Tundra Truck. Also aboard was last years winner, Allie Tayor. 

The group had a great time passing out candy supplied by Bass Pro Shops of Clarksville, IN to all of the onlookers along the parade route.

Congratulations Ladies!

Bob Crane

Tracker Marine




Summertime Fish Care

   The sun bears down mercilessly as you swing in another keeper bass for the livewell.  The bite was hot early and is beginning to slow down now that the sun is getting higher in the sky.  You open the livewell and drop the fish in with the others only to discover that your livewell has slowly transformed into a sauna.  The aerators are working but your fish aren't doing well and you are still four hours away from weigh-in!  A peek at the depth finder reveals 87 degree surface temperature so adding 5 or 10 degrees to that would give you a good guess what it feels like in the livewell.  An unprepared angler would be making plans for a largemouth bass dinner at this point instead of the steakhouse he had hoped to visit with his tournament winnings.

   The situation above is presented to all of us if you fish in the summer.  Professional anglers and weekend tournament fisherman alike all probably have a story of lost fish in the heat.  Of course, if you are tournament fishing, you are probably trying your best to keep your catch alive and want every advantage possible in this pursuit.  Today's boats have incredible livewell systems that offers the room and technology you need to keep fish alive.  Extreme conditions, however, can require action to be taken to keep your fish alive.  I will share the methods that I have successfully used to keep the mortality rate down on the few fish that enter my livewell.

   The first thing that you want to do, even before leaving for the lake, is make sure that your aerators are functioning properly.  If your aerators malfunction in the heat, it will be nearly impossible to save your catch.  I like to set the timer on my aerators and make sure that I am listening for them to kick on periodically.  Generally, I will put it on a medium time delay which kicks the aerator on about every 15-20 minutes.  If you have more or bigger fish, you may need to shorten the delay so they get oxygen more often.  In addition to this, I add one of a couple livewell conditioners to give the fish every chance I can.  I have successfully used U2 Pro Formula as well as Sure-Life Please Release Me.  The former is a liquid additive and the latter is a powder.  Each of them helps replace the slime coat on your fish.  Additionally, they help remove toxins such as chlorine from the water.

These fish rode in the boat for 8 hours on the lake and an hour and a half on the road.  They found a new home in my pond!

   One of the most important things that you can do is keep plenty of ice in the boat.  Lowering the water temperature inside of the livewell will make your fish last way longer.  They will also be more hardy by the time that you release them.  I generally don't like throwing ice directly in with the fish, but you can.  Instead, I freeze a liter or half gallon jug full of water and throw it in the cooler when I go fishing.  If and when I get a fish or two in the boat, I simply toss the frozen jug into the opposite side of my livewell.  This lowers the water temperature substantially and calms the fish.  Watch out when you reach in to remove them though because they will be more lively than when you caught them!

  Keeping our tournament fish alive not only preserves our resource for the next fishermen that come through, it also helps project a positive image towards tournament fishing.  There is nothing worse than seeing a bunch of dead fish next to the dock as thirty boats from a tournament pull out of the ramp area. Conversely, showing off your healthy catch to folks at the dock as you release them back to the water is very rewarding. 


Good Luck and Stay Cool!


-Brian Eickholtz

Bass Pro Shops

Clarksville, IN



During these very hot days of Summer, come cool off in our store and join us for our "free" Family Summer Camp! All activities are geared towards family interaction!

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5pm
Shooting Arcade, Carousel, Casting Targets
Free Archery Range (1:00 pm – 5:00 pm) Soft Nerf Bows, BB/Air Gun (1:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
Free Photo - Weekends only (downloadable on your own computer)
Free S'mores - Saturday's only

Once again we will have our workshops:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Workshop ScheduleFun at the seminars!

Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00-5:00pm
Tuesday seminar schedule –
1:00 Dogs in the Outdoors (sponsored by SportDOG)
2:00 Archery (sponsored by Bear Archery)
3:00 Wildlife Exploration
4:00 Camping (sponsored by Coleman)
5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting (sponsored by Daisy)

Thursday seminar schedule –
1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation (sponsored by Banana Boat)
2:00 Bird Watching (sponsored by Bushnell)
3:00 Fishing (sponsored by Shakespeare  & Berkeley)
4:00 Backyard Adventure (sponsored by Repel & Cutter)
5:00 Archery

Saturdays and Sundays 1:00-5:00pm
Saturday Seminar Schedule –
1:00 Fishing
2:00 Camping
3:00 Wildlife Exploration
4:00 Backyard Adventure
5:00 Archery

Sunday Seminar Schedule –
1:00 Outdoor Discovery & Conservation
2:00 Bird Watching
3:00 Fishing
4:00 Dogs in the Outdoors
5:00 Exploring Hunting & Shooting

This year there will be lanyards provided (while supplies last) for the Kid’s to put their pins on.

Tuesday and Thursdays during Crafts....sample Coca Cola Tum E Yummies!)

Saturday's Only - S'mores Cookout (sponsored by Kraft)
6:00-7:00pm S’moresSmores' an all time favorite!

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4pm
Saturdays, Sundays, 1-4pm
While supplies last!
June 30, July 1, 3, 5 Paint a Bear Track
July 7, 8, July 10, 12 Stamp a Leather Wristband
July 14, 15 Paint a Birdhouse

Crafts are always a favorite!
Crafts are geared for children ages 8-12, but anyone may participate.

Product Sampling & Free Food: You never know what the Bass Pro staff has in mind during this summer event!  Come try some of our spectacular snacks & treats!

The presentations are geared for kids ages 8 – 12.  At the completion of each seminar, the child will be given an activity sheet to complete. Several questions can be answered from the seminar; the rest are “scavenger hunt” questions that can only be answered by going into the appropriate department to find the sign with the answer. Once completed, the child should bring the activity sheet back to the seminar area to receive the corresponding pin.
Free, Field and Stream booklets!

Free Carousel rides in our childrens department!Family fun on the carousel!

Free Ducks Arcade!

Try your luck at shooting the Ducks!

Hours of operation are 1:00pm to 5:00pm, Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays!

Don't forget, our products sponsors for Summer Camp that help to make this event a success!

Boy Scout opportunities:     Boy Scout Month and Merit Badge Classes:
Classes are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. according to the following schedule:
Tuesday, July 3 Rifle Shooting
Thursday, July 5 Fishing
Tuesday, July 10 Fishing
Thursday, July 12 Rifle Shooting
Classes are limited to 10 Scouts per session.  You must pre-register with the operator in order to attend. The age limit on the Merit Badge Classes are:  you must be 11 years old or older, or going into the 6th Grade or above to attend these classes.  Pre-registration required by calling 812-218-5500

Join us one and all for a really "cool" place to hang out this summer!  Visit us online by clicking Bass Pro!

Looking forward to seeing you this summer! Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator, Clarksville, Indiana.


Fishing for the Future

Reminisce for a moment about when you got hooked on fishing.  For me memories of a Zebco 33, an Ugly Stick, and a black spinnerbait shoots through my mind.  I had long been hooked on fishing, but reeling in a bass over 5 pounds when you are 7 years old is a good way to become desperately addicted.  20 years later I can still envision that bass shooting out towards the middle of the pond while I desperately held on proclaiming that I had a "big one."  The thrill of hooking a big one has not faded and I still feel that same excitement every time I feel a bite on the other end of the line.  
On that particular trip, I happened to be fishing within sight of the house with my uncle.  Many people, mostly family, enlightened me to fishing and the outdoors.  My dad has definitely had the greatest influence, but I also remember many trips with everyone from my great grandpa to my cousins, close and distant.

Clarksville Bass Pro Shops GM Mike Benningfield with two of the participants of the kids fishing day.

Many of you reading this may have been as fortunate as me.  That is, being born into a culture of outdoors and fishing.  Unfortunately, many kids do not have that inherent opportunity.  That is why Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville, IN teamed up with our local DNR to host an event for kids at Hardy Lake.  Several kids from local schools signed up to have an opportunity to go fishing with us on a Saturday morning.  Members of the Nitro Boats State Team and employees at the Bass Pro Shops were paired with one or two kids to take out in a Nitro Boat for a morning of fishing.  The kids were all smiles as they walked down to the ramp towards the awaiting bass rigs.  

Throttling down and putting the boat up on plane, I realized that the short trip across the glass calm surface would make the whole trip worth it for the kids, fish or no fish.  Luckily, there were plenty of fish to be caught as well.  We tied on light weight Flick'n Shimmy jigheads and added a 4 3/4" Watermelon Red Flick'n Shimmy worms to let the kids cast around with.  After a few casting lessons and some advice on how to get the fish to eat their bait, the fish were coming into the boat.  When it was all said and done, the two kids in the boat with us probably caught about 6 fish apiece.  Hopefully the lessons they learned from those dozen fish or so will compound into something that one day they can share with others they care about.
Clarksville Bass Pro Shops' GM Mike Benningfield with a participant from the kids fishing day.   A nice bass to top off the day.
The next time you have a chance to take somebody fishing, DO IT!  Not only is it a fulfilling experience, but you would be surprised what you can learn from the person you are teaching.  Additionally, never take for granted the right we have to access water and go fishing.  Many people have fought for this before us, and folks today are also doing a good job of preserving it for the next generation.  Take a kid fishing to ensure that generations beyond us will care enough to help preserve this right and experience the outdoors for themselves.

See you in the woods or on the water!

Brian Eickholtz
Bass Pro Shops
Clarksville, IN  


For more photos and information on the trip to Hardy Lake check out Bobby Crane's blog here.


Participants from the kids fishing day loaded into a Nitro Z9 for a group photo.


2012 Bass Pro Shops / Indiana DNR Kids Fishing Day

Every summer the folks at Hardy Lake, IDNR, Pioneer Village, and the Pro Staff at Bass Pro Shops in Clarksville sponser kids from our local school systems for fishing trips. This year on June 9th the first of these trips were held. During this event the following kids from the Austin, Vienna, and Finley schools were represented:

Tyler Spicer, Sara Slayer, Brandon Couch, Kendra Lucas, Andrew Johnson, Christian Chism, Sean Small, and Bryce Mather.

Kids Fishing Day June 9, 2012



Each year Terry Davis, Asst. Manager and Wildlife Specialist at Hardy Lake SRA - IDNR does a great job working with the area school systems helping to get these kids fishing.


Kids Fishing DayKids Fishing Day


All of these great kids that attend receive a Bass Pro Shops Classic 200 Pistol Grip 6' rod that is matched up with a Zebco 202 Spincast Reel. They also receive a Plano three tray tackle that is equipped with Bass Pro Shops tackle.


Thanks again to all of the Pro Staff members for their time and boats for these events.

Bob Crane

Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Marine

Clarksville, IN








Don't Get Burned this Summer!

Summer is starting to take hold around the nation, proven by the increased boat traffic on the water.  Everyone has their boats registration, insurance, fire extinguishers, horns, whistles, and life jackets.  The list goes on and on.  All of this in an effort to keep themselves safe.  Safe from legal trouble and safe from what the unknown brings us on a daily basis in the outdoors.  Of course all of this equipment and licensing is important for each one of us on the water, but there is one thing that I would absolutely not be caught without this time of year: sunscreen.  Sunscreen can be the difference in a good day on the water and a nightmare to remember for years.

Sunscreen comes in a variety of forms with sprays, lotions, and oils all being very popular.  Additionally, they all have a rating of some sort.  Basically, the higher the number the more sun protection you will have.  Your skin sensitivity and the UV index will dictate what SPF rating you need.  The SPF rating shows you how many times longer you can stay in the sun with the sunscreen as opposed to without.  For example, if your skin starts to burn after 30 minutes without any sun protection at all, then you will be able to stay out for about 7.5 hours with an SPF 15.  This will vary with the UV index.  As the sun's rays become more powerful, you may think about reapplying more often or using a higher rated sunscreen.

Lotions are probably the most affordable sun screen considering the amount you get for the purchase price.  The Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunblock is a great sunscreen that I've used with good results.  The best thing about it is that you can see exactly where it is being applied as you rub it into your skin because it is white when you first put it on.  It does take a while to apply and rub in completely, though.  The sprays are definitely more convenient for applying, but sometimes it is hard to tell if you missed a spot until you get out of the sun and see that you missed.  You will never miss that particular spot again after a painful mistake like that.  When using the sprays, I will generally spray it on and then rub it in just to be sure.  The spray that I would recommend is Banana Boat Ultramist Sport Performance Sunscreen.  After spraying it on, you can hardly tell that you are wearing it because it instantly soaks in and disappears.  No matter which sunscreen you choose, make sure that you get your ears, nose, and cheeks covered well because they burn very easily.

In addition to lotions and sprays, there are other options for additional protection from the sun.  Clothing lines available now have some great sun protection options.  Glacier Gloves Dr. Shade Sun Gloves are a great accessory to protect your hands from the sun.  Your hands are especially vulnerable if you are a fisherman because they stay in nearly the same position all day as you cast and reel.  They also have a great line of head wear that can cover your neck and ears as well.  I like the Glacier Glove® Dr. Shade™ Long Bill Cap with Zip-Off Shade because it covers your neck and gives your face extra protection with the long bill.  My favorite clothing accessory for sun protection and all day comfort when fishing is the World Wide Sportsman Morada Bay shirts only available at Bass Pro Shops!  These shirts are extremely comfortable, lightweight, and best of all they have a 50+SPF rating!  Furthermore, these shirts dry very quickly.  This is a big advantage when you get caught in a little rain or splashed by a stray wave.

The next time you are planning an outing this summer, remember to have plenty of sun protection.  Staying cool and protected from the sun makes everything more fun on the water.  Don't forget to pack plenty of ice!

Have fun and good luck!

Brian Eickholtz  




Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville, Indiana and the Jeffersonville Indiana Fire Department  recently joined forces to conduct the first ever River Rumble Bass Fishing Tournament on April 15, 2012.  The main purpose of this tournament was to help to raise money for the Crusade for Children.

Morning takeoff

The April morning started out beautifully, but soon turned into a very windy day at Duffy’s Landing, the boat ramp chosen to conduct this tournament!  At approximately 7 a.m., the twenty three, two man teams left the ramp to endure the waves of the mighty Ohio River!  In the meantime, the other volunteers and spectators hung around and helped to cook food, hold down the tent, and feel the fine breeze on shore!  The tournament weigh-in time was at 4 p.m.  Those of us who were at the weigh-in site, managed to stay land bound, and were not blown away, although some of our hair dos had that “backlash fishing line effect” at the end of the day!

As the two man teams started coming back with their catches of the day, it was clear, the wind and waves in no way affected the catches of the day.  There were some very nice fish caught, with the winning team having a total weight of 13.83 pounds!  That winning team consisted of Alex Dillon and Justin Brown.  Might we say, that Alex is the Fishing Manager at the Clarksville store, so if you need any good tips on fishing the Ohio River near the Louisville area, he is a “very good source of information”! 

Justin and Alex

There was a two way tie for the big fish of the day with the teams of Tony Masingo and Robert Sumerlot, along with Eugene Seals and Doug Gettings with the two big fish weighing in at 4.17 pounds!

 Big Bass 1


Mayhem was in attendance that day also, as one of our teams called and reported they were taking on water….needless to say Fire and Rescue was on the way and all turned out well!  Perhaps this would be the time to buy a new Nitro from our Tracker Department ?

This tournament helped to raise approximately $1500 for the Crusade for Children!  Next year, they hope to double or triple that!  There are great ideas in the works to make this a bigger and better tournament!  A big thanks goes to Michael Osborne of the Jeffersonville Fire Department who helped to organize this tournament and was the official “weigher”! 

Justin, Michael, and Alex


A great big thank you to all the Jeffersonville Fire Department volunteers who helped make this a very successfully event!  Community involvement with such a worthy cause only confirms the great camaraderie in the sporting industry!
Til next year…….the challenge is on to “beat” the Fishing Manager!

Article by Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator, Clarksville, Indiana


Crossbow Seminars at Bass Pro Shops

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has revised its archery season to now include the use of crossbows throughout the regular archery season.  The season has also been revised to run from October 1st to January 6th with no week-long break after gun season as there has been in the past.  I, along with the entire Bass Pro Shops team, am very excited about these changes.  Hunters will now have more options for harvesting deer and I believe that a crossbow is a great way to get kids and
other beginners involved in the outdoors.  Crossbows are easier to shoot and take less practice than compound bows.  Additionally, October offers some great weather to accommodate those beginners that might not have the best equipment for when it gets cold.  We all know how miserable it can get in the woods when you end up cold!

In response to these changes, our Archery Department will be offering a seminar on crossbow training in the coming weeks and months.  Crossbows are very easy to use, but can become very dangerous if used inappropriately.  Therefore, they will go over all of the safety aspects of using a crossbow and offer hands on experience with several different styles and brands of bows.  This will include having the chance to cock, load, and shoot various crossbows that we have available here at Bass Pro Shops!  Additionally, they will explain how to properly maintain your bow so that you get the most out of your investment.

The first seminar is scheduled for May 12th and will be every Saturday until the final one on June 2nd.  All of the seminars will start at 2:00 p.m. and last until 4:00 p.m..  The first part of the seminar will deal with safety, maintenance, and other tips for using your crossbow.  They will also familiarize you with the crossbows that are available at Bass Pro Shops and show you some of the accessories that can add to your success with a one.  The best part is that the rest of the seminar will be dedicated to offering everyone hands on experience with these bows.  We have an outstanding range set up and nothing can replace actually getting to handle and fire the bows.  

Finally, I would like to reach out to all of the traditional archery and compound bow shooters.  Some of us, including myself, were fortunate enough to be introduced to the outdoors at a young age.  I got my first "real" compound bow that could pull the proper weight for hunting when I was 9 and harvested my first deer with it when I was 12.  I will never forget the  excitement tied to that experience as I drew on that 8 point buck standing mere feet away.  Absolutely nothing could compare to it.  Now, nearly 15 years later, you will still catch me in the woods wearing hunters orange toting a compound bow even
during our gun season.  Being able to observe, elude, and harvest an animal like the whitetail deer or even a wild turkey with a bow is an unexplainable feeling.  The close proximity to your quarry sends your stomach to your throat and your knees close to buckling, not to mention the emotions that overcome you after you shoot.  Thousands of archers have had the opportunity to experience this and crossbows will be a gateway for people who haven't had these experiences.  Additionally, anyone who is disabled or unable to use a regular compound will now have the opportunity to go back to doing what they love.  I, myself, love shooting crossbows.  They have a level of power to them that is surprising for a couple sticks and a string.  The wallop they pack when they hit the target is motivating to say the least.  I would highly recommend you guys coming up here and trying one of these out if you never have before.  You might be surprised by how much you like it, and you may find another way to diversify your archery hunting or shooting.

To sign up for the seminar please call Bass Pro Shops at 812-218-5500.  Tell the operator that you would like to sign up and they will get your name in!  Again, the seminars are every Saturday from 2-4 p.m. starting May 12, 2012 and lasting until June 2, 2012.  They will be held at our Clarksville, IN store upstairs in the archery range.  Ask for Wayne in the Archery Department if you have any additional questions.  

-Brian Eickholtz



Come join us at your Clarksville Bass Pro Shops for these informative seminars at our "Set Your Sights Event" May 4, 5, and 6, 2012!

Friday, May 4

6pm - “Guns and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle Project”

7pm - “Conceal-Carry – A discussion of Laws, Permits, and Equipment”

8pm - “Reloading Basics”  Why should you reload? Learn all about selecting equipment, proper reloading techniques, and tips and tricks to ensure success.


Saturday, May 5 & Sunday, May 6

1pm - “Guns and Accessories for your Modern Sporting Rifle Project”

2pm - “Conceal-Carry – A discussion of Laws, Permits, and Equipment”

3pm  - “Reloading Basics”  Why should you reload? Learn all about selecting equipment, proper reloading techniques, and tips and tricks to ensure success.

4pm -  “What Is CCW?”  Learn what you should expect from a Conceal and Carry Weapons class, what it costs, who is eligible to get a CCW permit, and how to sign up for a class.


Giveaways  –  Drawing Giveaways- 2 winners per store

                        (1) Bass Pro Shops exclusive Remington ( 700 ADL rifle -1 rifle per winner drawn

                        (1) Otis Technology Elite Gun Cleaning System ( - 1 system per winner drawn per store.

No purchase necessary to enter.  You must be 21 years of age or older at time of entry.

Double Rewards Points during this event!  Gift Card drawings at each seminar!

Seminars will be conducted by our expert staff and local law enforcement personnel. 

Questions?  Call 812-218-5500 and ask about the "Set Your Sights Event" or go to!.



Springtime at Tracker Marine

Hurry in to the Tracker Marine Dealership here in Clarksville, IN before the springtime deals are gone. Just like previous years, we are still giving you one of our boat VIP cards on qualifying boat purchases.

Get either a $500 or a $1000 Bass Pro Shops gift card on qualifying boats in stock before April 15, 2012. What a great deal to have this type of gift card to be able to purchase your favorite items for your needs after your boat purchase. Whether you need a new Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite Reel to go on that Carbonlite Rod, or an additional Lowrance or Humminbird Fishfinder on your Tracker Marine Boat. 

Give us a call here at 812-218-5337 so we can tell you how it works.

Thanks for visiting us,

Bob Crane

BPS / Tracker Marine



Springtime Largemouth Bass

Cloudy with muddy water.  Charatruse blade/trailer.The faint sound of a turkey gobbling shatters the morning silence as you cut the engine and prepare to drop the trolling motor in your favorite cove. The sun lingers below the horizon as the light cloud cover is blown from the morning sky by the cool breeze.  A look at your electronics reveals that the water temperature is hovering in the low 60's.  Perfect.  Absolutely perfect conditions to catch that lunker largemouth that has spent so much time in your dreams over the last several months.  As the clouds diminish and the sun sinks its rays further out over the lake, your anticipation starts to diminish and frustration starts to develop.  Reports have guys whacking 20 pound stringers on a daily basis out here and now you're just praying for a bite.

Like many fisherman, the above scenario has presented itself to me many times.  Often, I have loaded the boat on the trailer wondering if there were any fish in the lake to begin with.  Like any other time, though, it's all about locating the fish.  Remember the fish will generally rise and fall with the water temperature and level.  Bass seem to be oriented close to a channel or ditch of some type this time of year.  This allows them quick access from shallow to deep(er) water so that they can adapt to the conditions presented to them.  Sometimes this change in water depth may be slight, but it offers a travel corridor to the main channel.  With that in mind, try using search baits like squarebill crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Carolina rigs to help you locate a group of fish.  Conditions will dictate which search bait that I will gravitate towards.  On a calm, sunny day a squarebill or Carolina rig may be the ticket.  On a breezy day I will generally pick up a spinnerbait, and I like a lipless crank for an all around search bait.  Once you start catching a fish or two, assume more fish are in the area, because they are.  Take note of the water depth the fish came from and the current conditions as well.  Most of the time they will hang tighter to cover the brighter it is outside.  You can expect to catch them away from the cover on overcast days, however.

Sunny, stained water conditions.  Tandem spinnerbait with gold blade/white trailer.Color is an important factor when choosing a lure.  I like to use something with chrome or some sort of flash on bright days. If the water is extremely murky, you would be better off with a bold, solid color like chartreuse, though.  On overcast days, a solid shad colored bait seems to work well.  A red crawfish pattern is a good all around color for this time of year.  Don't be afraid to try different colors, this could make a big difference in your catch for the day.  Cutting off your shad colored bait because the sun came out and switching to a chrome bait or vice-versa may keep the bites coming for you.  A specific instance I had came on a recent trip to Lake Fork in Texas.  My partner and I were catching them good on a spinnerbait.  Nothing fancy, just a tandem chartreuse and white spinnerbait with a white trailer and a gold willowleaf.  That afternoon, a storm blew in and filled the areas we were catching them with muddy water.  We started with the spinnerbait again and struggled to get a bite.  A slight change to chartreuse blades and trailers and we started pulling them in the boat again.  

The springtime, especially March, can have some extremely volatile weather conditions.  One day you may be fishing in shorts and t-shirts in 75 degree weather, while the next weekend you are knocking ice out of your line guides.  You have to remain open minded and not get stuck on a pattern that was good a week or a day ago.  Be prepared for any situation and keep your rain gear handy.  I never leave the house in the spring without my BPS Pro Qualifier rain suit.  It has saved me from some severe rain and wind before.  Despite being knowledgeable on the latest weather forecast before you embark on your fishing trip, something always seems to change and conditions aren't quite what you expected.  As I talked about before, these unexpected changes not only affect the fisherman, but also the fish he is after.  Make sure you are taking note of the changing conditions and adjust your fishing strategy accordingly.      

Good Luck!

Brian Eickholtz
Bass Pro Shops
Clarksville, IN



Easter Activities at the Clarksville Bass Pro Shops

The Easter Bunny is coming to Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville!

Get your photo with the Easter Bunny!
March 31-April 8
Saturdays, 11am – 3pm
Sundays 1-4pm
Monday – Friday are 6pm-8pm

2012: Once again Bass Pro Shops customers will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with
the Easter Bunny to receive a free 4x6 photo!

Easter photo packages will be offered and printed in-store!
2012 package prices will remain the same as prices in 2011 as follows:

And, of course, there’s the time-honored tradition of an old-fashion Easter Egg Hunt.

Easter Egg Hunt - Ages 2-10
Saturdays and Sundays, March 31-April 1 & April 7-8 only, beginning at 1pm for 1 hour.

Crafts for the Kids
Saturdays & Sundays, March 31-April 1 & April 7-8, Noon-3, while supplies last.
Friday, April 6, 6-8pm, while supplies last.

For more details, go on line to, look for your local store.

Come join us for all the fun!!!!  You won't want to miss this exciting event!

Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator


Get the "Reel" Deal at Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops' Spring Fishing Classic is underway and we have some great deals to offer our customers this spring!  All of our Zoom baits are marked 25% off.  We also have great buys on a number of hard baits including Strike King, Rapala, and Lucky Craft.  Additionally, some tackle manufacturers are offering rebates that add up to even more savings.  The one day specials are particularly exciting this year, though.  On Saturday, March 3rd only Bass Pro shops is offering our Johnny Morris Carbon Black Baitcast Reel for only $69.97.  This reel will be offered in three different speeds: 5.4:1, 6.4:1, and 7.1:1.  Left handed models will be available in select speeds as well.  The reel features a 10-bearing system, 14 pounds of drag power and the Dual Braking System.  Combine all of these features with the light weight and you have a reel that is versatile and powerful.  It can be used for anything from casting a small crankbait on light line to spooling up your 65 pound braid and lobbing an Alabama Rig into deep structure.  You're only going to find a deal like this at Bass Pro Shops.  Whether you are a seasoned tournament fisherman or a weekend angler, visit our location in Clarksville, IN on Saturday, March 3rd and our associates will set you up with the great gear you need to put fish in the boat and make memories for a lifetime!

Good Fishin'

Brian Eickholtz   


2012 Fishing Classic Daily Specials - Different Items Each Day

Are you looking for that great bargain to get started on your spring fishing trip?  Drop by the Clarksville store for our Daily Specials March 2, 3, 9, and 10!!!

Four special days of one day only items! Different items each day!

Friday - March 2
Bass Pro Shops 3600 & 3700 Utility Boxes - 3 for $9.99! (Limit 12)
Bass Pro Shops Extreme Boat Bag - $12.97 (Limit 2)

Saturday - March 3
Lowest Price Ever!
Johnny Morris Carbon Black Bass Caster Reel - only $69.99!!!!! Save $60! (Regular $129.99)
- 10 bearing system
- Powerlock Instant anti-reverse
- Carbon fiber recurve handle

Cotton Cordell Super Spot lures - $1.25 (Limit 10)
Cortland Fly Line - $9.97 (Limit 6)

Friday - March 9
Enticer Spinning Combo - $39.97 (Limit 3)
- Reel features: 8 bearing system, Powerlock Instant anti-reverse
- Rod features: IM7 graphite construction
Performance Boat Seat - $22 (Limit 4)
White River Intruder Reels - $19.97 (Limit 2)

Saturday - March 10
Bass Pro Shops Enigma Smart Cast Baitcast Reel - $49.97 (Limit 4)
XPS Lazer Eye Micro Spin - $0.97 (Limit 15)
Berkley 110 Electric Filet Knife - $19.97 (Limit 2)

Daily Specials! Different Items Each Day! Store hours are 9am to 10pm!

Check out our 2012 Spring Fishing Classic ad at for all of your great fishing and boating needs this spring and throughout the year!

Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator



Free Boat Show at Clarksville Bass Pro Shops

Our "FREE" Boat Show begins on February 10, 2012! Bring the whole family and pick out that perfect watercraft! Learn the basics at our seminars on many topics!

February 11, 2012
3pm - Saturday February 11
Tracker Pro Staffers Jeremy Knepp and Gary Earl will be giving you the best tips and techniques on using the latest Lowrance ( electronics. Learn what to look for, and how to find that big catch!    
February 11, 2012
1pm, Saturday, February 11
Tracker Marine Expert Chris Martin and Track Pro Staffer Bob Crane will help you learn the basics of a "Do It Yourself Service-Caring for Your Boat". Join us for this informative and how to workshop!  
February 11, 2012
2pm - Saturday February 11
Tracker Pro Staffers David Taylor, Steve Mitchell and Bob Crane will be conducting this informative workshop on the where's and best local fishing hotspots, tips, and tricks!    
February 12, 2012
2pm Sunday February 12
Tracker Pro Staffers Gary Earl and Bob Crane will be on hand to give you the best tips and tricks on organizing your boat for that great fishing trip or tournament! You won't want to miss this informative workshop that keeps your equipment and you safe and in control!    
February 12, 2012
3pm - Sunday February 12
Tracker Pro Staffers Steve Mitchell and Johnny Morris will be conducting this informative workshop on the where's and best local fishing hotspots, tips, and tricks!   
February 12, 2012
1pm - Sunday February 12
Do you have questions on towing your boat? Get the basics on towing, backing up, and the how to's on handling towing. Tracker Pro Staffers Morris Taylor and Johnny Morris will be here to "walk" you through this informative workshop.  
February 18, 2012
3pm - Saturday February 18
Tracker Pro Staffers Jeremy Knepp and Gary Earl will be giving you the best tips and techniques on using the latest Lowrance electronics. Learn what to look for, and how to find that big catch!   
February 18, 2012
1pm - Saturday February 19
Tracker Marine Expert Chris Martin and Track Pro Staffer Bob Crane will help you learn the basics of a "Do It Yourself Service-Caring for Your Boat". Join us for this informative and how to workshop!  
February 18, 2012
2pm - Saturday February 18Tracker Pro Staffers Steve Mitchell and Johnny Morris will be conducting this informative workshop on the where's and best local fishing hotspots, tips, and tricks!
February 19, 2012
2pm Sunday February 19
Tracker Pro Staffers Gary Earl and Bob Crane will be on hand to give you the best tips and tricks on organizing your boat for that great fishing trip or tournament! You won't want to miss this informative workshop that keeps your equipment and you safe and in control!   
February 19, 2012
3pm - Sunday February 19
Tracker Pro Staffers Steve Mitchell and Johnny Morris will be conducting this informative workshop on the where's and best local fishing hotspots, tips, and tricks!    
February 19, 2012
1pm - Sunday February 19
Do you have questions on towing your boat? Get the basics on towing, backing up, and the how to's on handling towing. Tracker Pro Staffers Morris Taylor and Jeremy Knepp will be here to "walk" you through this informative workshop. 

February 19, 2012
Visit us during our "FREE: Boat Show" on February 19 and stop and chat with Jimmy Houston ( Jimmy is well known as the hardest working pro in the country. He started his career by winning The Oklahoma State Championship as a college senior in 1966. He has fished 15 BASS Master Classics and won the B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year title in both 1976 and 1986. He still fishes the FLW Series.

A legendary angler, Jimmy was inducted in to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in 2002. He was inducted into the IGFA Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame in 2008. Jimmy was named King of Sports for Fishing in 1989. In June of 2004, the Jim Thorpe Association recognized Jimmy as the Jim Thorpe Man of the Year.

Jimmy has written five books including "Caught Me a Big'un" which was a #1 selling fishing book. "Hooked for Life" and "The Reel Line" are spiritual and inspirational collections taken from fishing situations. His latest book, "Catch of the Day", is a 365 day daily devotional built around fishing tips, tales, and events.

Visit with vendors and local fishermen!

Register to win a Kayak! You could win a $200 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card!

Crafts both weekends! Join us Saturdays and Sundays: 1pm - 3pm "while supplies last"! Bring the kids and let them play our "Casting Game" from Noon - 3pm.

Don't forget, the "FREE" Boat Show dates are February 10 through February 19! 

For any additional information, contact our store at 812-218-5500.


Free Boat Show

It's cold outside, and many people are having severe cases of "Cabin Fever" this time of the year. Bass Pro Shops is currently having a sale to help with that. Our annual CABIN FEVER SALE. There are numerous items in there to help you "brave" the cold, and get outdoors.

In that flyer you will also find a great selection of our Tracker Boats, and boating accessories. Did you know that here in 2012 Tracker Marine is celebrating 35 years of delivering the finest boats in the industry? To celebrate this milestone Tracker Marine Group has continued to issue everyone that buys a new boat with one of our VIP cards. We are also giving a free $500 or a $1000 Bass Pro Shops gift card on select model boats. Come on in to the showroom here at the Clarksville, IN store and have a Boat Sales Associate explain how it works.

Our annual Free Boat Show here at the Clarksville, Indiana store will be starting on February 10th and running through the 19th. What a great time to bring in the family and view the selection of Tracker Boats. We have all of the brands, Tracker, Tahoe, Suntracker, Nitro, right here on site for you to view. We will be having some great crafts, and activities for the kids as well during the show.

We hope to see you then,

Bob Crane
BPS / Tracker Marine


Heath's Top 4 Picks Saga: Part 2 - Bolt Action Rifles

The bolt action rifle is the standard iconic symbol of marksmanship for shooters all over the world. From military sniper to mountain roaming hunters the bolt action rifle is probably responsible for more game than any other firearm yet to date. Early in the year you might want to start the search for that perfect piece of precision or build from the ground up. No matter what you decide to do one thing is for certain when in search of the perfect long distance bolt gun, accuracy! That is why I would like to present my top 4 picks of my favorite bolt action rifles.

While not necessarily a modern gun by any means, coming in 4th the German Mauser Karabiner 98 Kurz or kar98k for short remains still one of most accurate rifle in history. This controlled feed rifle was widely used by all branches of the armed forces of Germany during World War II. It saw action in every theatre of war involving German forces, including occupied Europe, North Africa, the Soviet Union, Finland, and Norway. Although comparable to the weapons fielded by Germany's enemies at the beginning of the War, its disadvantages in rate of fire became more apparent as American and Soviet armies began to field more semi-automatic weapons among their troops. Still, it continued to be the main infantry rifle of the Wehrmacht until the end of the War. Resistance forces in German-occupied Europe made frequent use of captured German Karabiner 98k rifles. The Soviet Union also made extensive use of captured Karabiner 98k rifles and other German infantry weapons due to the Red Army experiencing a critical shortage of small arms during the early years of World War II. Many German soldiers used the verbal expression "Kars" as the slang name for the rifle. These Rifles are still widely available today and are range favorites for vintage rifle enthusiasts.


Next in our number 3 spot we have the Browning A-bolt rifle. The A-Bolt is a gorgeous piece of history that is extremely accurate, especially when fitted with Browning’s patented BOSS system which allows you to adjust your A-Bolt to shoot a wide variety of ammunition and still gain very tight grouping at long distances which traditionally could only be achieved by reloading and tailoring a custom load to your barrel. The A-Bolt rifle uses a non-rotating bolt sleeve. When the bolt is unlocked, smoothness is achieved with three guide ribs aligned with three locking lugs, enabling precise movement. These three locking lugs also largely increase bolt strength. The bolt's smoothness is also increased with a unique cartridge depressor, the cartridge depressor stays in place independent of the bolt's position. Near the end of the reloading cycle, when the bolt is re-inserted, the bolt moves gently over the cartridges in the magazine. The barrel is free-floating and the recoil lug is glass bedded. This is a highly desired feature in any rifle and improves accuracy. The A-Bolt has a recessed crown at the muzzle which preserves the life of your barrel and prolongs your rifle's accuracy. The A-Bolt rifle uses a detachable box magazine.

browning abolt

While little is known about the company or even the rifle for that matter, in our number 2 spot, you may have heard about an infamous world record that it holds. The "shot heard around the world", or second shot heard around the world, took place on a November morning in Afghanistan in 2009 by British Army sniper Corporal of Horse, Craig Harrison, a member of the Household Cavalry, is responsible for setting the longest confirmed sniper kill in history. Harrison struck 2 Taliban machine gunners at a range of 2,707 yards, using an Accuracy International L115A3 .338 Lapua rifle. Accuracy International is a specialist British firearms manufacturer and best known for producing the Accuracy International Warfare Series of precision sniper rifles. All rifles are hand-built and are usually paired with a Schmidt & Bender optic.

Winning my number 1 pick is the state of the art M2000 .408 CheyTac Intervention Rifle. The CheyTac is a complete weapons system. What that means is the CheyTac is paired with an ABC, Advanced Ballistics Computer, that is made specifically for the rifle. This system instantly calculates ballistics and adjustments in a unit, similar to an iPhone. CheyTac papers state that the entire system is capable of delivering sub-MOA accuracy at ranges of up to 2,500 yards, one of the longest ranges of all modern day sniper rifles. This makes CheyTac the most advanced bolt action rifle on the planet, which is why it gets my number 1 pick!

Be sure to check back when I count down my top 4 shotguns!

-Heath Ezell
Hunting Lead