"Feeling Froggy?" Top Water Fishing

  You have no doubt heard the phrase, "If you feel froggy, jump." It's that time of year fellow frog fishing fans! The croakers are beginning to sing their spring "Love" songs and move around our lakes and ponds! If you like top water action, there is no single family of baits out there that generate a more exciting bite.

 Spring is finally sewing together enough warm days and nights to instigate insect propagation. As soon as there are bugs to eat, frogs instinctively end their hibernation and start their long awaited feast. Frogs will eat just about any kind of insect they can flick their tongue around. To the top water bass fishing aficionado the beginning of the insect, frog food chain marks the end of winter and time to get out and wet a frog hook.

 Many times while the frogs are paying attention to their bug meal, the bass are paying closer attention to the frogs. The spring time food chain is a wonderful thing for those of us who fish plastic frogs! Fish frogs in all the places a frog might be found and you'll find bass peering up at the surface looking for a big, relatively easy meal. Bass are not only looking for frogs to munch on, but they are listening as well. Bass can feel the commotion a frog kicks up as he legs his way across the surface (or just under it). Unfortunately for the frog the noise is a dead giveaway, pun intended.

 Kermy FrogBass Pro Shops of Garland has a full section of frogs! One of the most popular frog-bait models is the Bass Pro Shops "Kermy" line.  The Kermy frog line features devilishly sharp, weed resistant hooks that ride with the gap of the hooks curving upward so they don't act like a grapnel hook in hydrilla and other weedy areas. Kermy's body comes in  great colors and can take the pounding of fish after fish, but one of the best part of this lure is it's firmness. When most bass take a frog they bite down on the body exposing the twin hooks. some frog lures are to soft and smart fish might let go. A frog that is too hard will not allow the bass to crush the offering sufficiently to expose the hooks. The Kermy body is just right, not too squishy, and not too hard for the perfect hook-set.

  How do we fish frogs? We'll start with a brief description of the perfect rod. Rods should be long enough to allow you to make a broad sweeping hook-set motion and be strong in the butt end. I prefer a little softer flex in the tip end. I feel it allows me a fraction of a second to wind whatever slack I have in my line, to prepare for my hook-set. The fairly flexible tip also does not telegraph my presence to the fish. 

 You'll usually be fishing frogs around some pretty weedy, or stumpy areas this time of year so you'll want to pick a fairly sturdy line. I like a 30lb test braid, tipped with a fluorocarbon leader on the business end. This arrangement gives me plenty of horsepower to turn Mr. Big from returning to his tangled up lair. As lily pads begin to pop up I'll absolutely target the areas, but I usually skip the fluorocarbon leader because if my frog gets under the pads I have a better chance of not having to break my lure off. 

 Some folks prefer a relatively heavy spinning reel because they are more accurate with spinning gear. Most, however, feel the additional power of a baitcasting reel to be more advantageous.

 There are so probably as many ways to fish a frog as there are people who love fishing them. Here are just a few presentations: Cast your lure to an area of heavy cover then just let it sit still as you slowly retrieve ant slack you have laying on the  surface of the water. Slow is the key. Let all the ripples from your cast subside, then just barely twitch the frog to "show " the bass that it is a live, fresh meal.

You can also just use the plop, crank, pop, sit, pop retrieve...actually this is one is pretty self explanatory.  If the sit-n-wait doesn't work, and the erratic movement of the plop, crank, sit, pop retrieve doesn't deliver, try reeling just a bit faster, sometimes bass are fooled into thinking the frog is fleeing for it's life and clobber it before it "escapes." Remember what retrieve you were using when you got that first strike and repeat the pattern as you fish. By all means, experiment with all kinds of retrieves ,but don't forget that first one that got you bitten.

 There are also frogs that are subsurface baits. I get chills just thinking about all the times I have seen that big wake of a fat old bass hustling toward my bait just below the surface! I have to make myself wait until the bait has been engulfed before I set the hook...I could best describe it as "buck fever" !

 Either way you cut it, it's time to break out the frogs! So if you're feeling froggy it's time to jump on some great frog fishing!



Smarter Trolling Motors

          The spring season is officially upon us, and the cabin fever felt by all from a long, cold, icy winter is coming to an end. And even local lake levels’ staying low is not enough to hold the average boater or the professional angler back! With many already in full throttle to gear up for this season, the latest trolling motor technology is in high demand. And just in time to answer the call is “Motor Guide’s” new release of the “Xi-5” series. This new wireless and GPS capable trolling motor system even rivals the competition, “Minn Kota’s I-pilot”, and has been long awaited!

          The new series of “Motor Guide’s Xi-5” comes in three distinct models that are available in multiple thrust and shaft lengths. 1). The first is just a simple yet efficient wireless version, with a wireless foot pedal and bow mount. 2). The second is the wireless motor with a built in sonar transducer compatible with specific Lowrance units. 3). The third is a wireless motor with a built in transducer, and all the functions of an integrated GPS system. This revolutionary GPS system Motor Guide is calling, the “Pinpoint”, and much like its predecessor and rivals version, the “I-pilot”, this new system offers almost the same features. These features are an anchoring system that at the click of a button hold ones boat in that exact position while compensating for wind and water wake! This system also offers a track recording option that allows the boater to have hands free operation of the boat while running along a specific recorded trail saved previously to the system. With this kind of control over ones trolling motor, vital time is spent casting and fishing, and catching fish while the internal GPS system does all the work. Even if we are just putting in a pontoon and cruising acrossed the lake, or looking for that new lake record, this system from “Motor Guide” promises to hold its ground.  

So where can one go to find out all the details and advantages of such a sophisticated trolling motor system? Why you’re local “Bass Pro Shops” of course! Come visit any of the local stores to find out the latest and greatest trolling motor and sonar/fish-finding technology and knowledge that will give one the cutting edge against all the compotision this season. So drop into your local “Bass Pro Shops”, and let us help your adventure truly begin!




Spring Turkey Season

It is that time of year again to get ready for the spring turkey hunting season. Preparation is key to an enjoyable and successful harvest of a wily gobbler. Usually this means gathering up all the gear you will need for a successful hunt. Such as decoys, calls, turkey vest, turkey ammunition, camouflage clothing and boots, bug repellant, hunting license, etc.  Making sure that everything is in great working condition before we head off into the woods helps increase our success in bringing home a big tom. Before you start to load up, these are questions you should ask yourself before your hunt, “Are all your calls and decoys in good shape? Have you patterned your shotgun with the new ammo or choke you bought? Are there any tears or holes in your boots?” Making a checklist a few weeks before your big hunt pays off immensely when you are out away from home and deep in the woods.


Speaking of preparation, be prepared to calm yourself from the excitement when that old gobbler shows up out of nowhere from behind you. Being still and not spooking turkeys is one of the hardest parts of turkey hunting except for calling. When it comes to calling turkeys, practice makes a big difference in how they respond. They have excellent hearing and know exactly where the calling is coming from. A naturally sounding call makes for gobblers responding and coming in for your decoys and bad calling will make them go quiet and spook them.


Planning out your hunt will make a difference on how successful your hunt will be. Doing a little preseason scouting and getting knowledge of where the turkey’s location will likely to be, helps in deciding what area to hunt. Also it is a good idea to have a second and maybe third choice of areas scouted out. Weather can also play a major factor in how much the turkeys are moving and responding to your calling. Calling can change from hour to hour or day to day. Sometimes soft purrs or clucks may work, sometimes loud excited calling does better and sometimes you can use a mixture of the two.


So in your preparation for spring turkey, make a list of all the equipment you will need for a successful hunt. From your gear, to practicing calling, to scouting your hunting areas, doing a proper preparation is a must to having not only a successful hunt, but a fun one.



Predator Hunting with Electronic or Mouth Calls

All general seasons are officially over and it is leaving hunters with little options to feed their outdoor addictions.  Spring time is getting close and pretty weather is sure to hit the state of Texas shortly.  Texas being a key word in that sentence, as our state has one of the largest population of coyotes nationwide.  For those hunters who are not partial to turkey hunting in the spring, coyote hunting is a sure fire way to cure that adrenaline craze we all seek while hunting wild game. 

            Our electronic calls feature calls by FoxPro, Hunters Specialties, Primos and Western Rivers.  These calls project loud and accurate sounds of wounded rabbits, fawn in distress, distressed mice and howling coyotes etc.  These calls all come preloaded with the essential calling tones used to have success in the field.  We have targeted coyotes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and have had success using these calls to bring coyotes into range. 

            For the hunters who enjoy a tougher challenge I encourage you to shy away from the electronic calls and go for the mouth and hand calls.  Companies such as Primos, FoxPro and Hunters Specialties have all made very accurate sounding calls to help bring predators in close, even within shotgun or bow range.  Fooling sly coyotes into thinking you are weak and wounded is an accomplishment in itself and proceeding to harvest that animal turns a hunt into a more difficult and primitive way of hunting these wily predators.  Early February we went east and did a few calling sequences and got a response within several seconds of calling.  The coyote used the cover and got to within 40 yards before it spotted us and took off.  Even though we didn’t harvest the coyote we tricked it into believing we were something we were not.  It adds confidence to a hunter when they we realize we can equal the playing field with good calling sequences made by our mouth and hands.         

            We need to have respect for an animal that has no general season, can be baited, hunted at night, hunted with electronic calls, has no bag limit and yet they still thrive and grow in population each year.  We as hunters need to do our part in helping control this population to insure a healthy habitat for the other game animal we chase during general hunting seasons.  Come in to Bass Pro Shops Garland and speak to one of our professionals about getting some of the latest and greatest gear to turn your spring hunting into a new adventure.





Latest & Greatest Fish Finding Technology

The start of the season is almost here, and most have been patiently awaiting its arrival. Although circumstances offer a difficult beginning to local fishing tournaments and weekend anglers, as the water levels continue to stay just low enough to keep most off the water, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Provided some rain comes, and the latest sonar/fish finding technologies, this season promises to be the greatest one yet.

          Many innovations and new technologies in the fishing and boating community have been long awaited, and delayed to be unveiled. But the wait has been worth it, and has come to an end. “Lowrance”, “Humminbird”, “Garmin”, and “Motor Guide” have just released their best and newest concepts for 2014. Here, we will focus on Lowrance’s latest sonar creation, “The SpotlightScan Sonar”.

          What is this spot light, and just what does it do one may ask? This latest innovation from Lowrance offers picture like quality of the lake bottom structure, and at a full circular area around the boat! It is controlled by a sonar transducer that attaches to the trolling motor and is linked to a “Lowrance HDS GEN 2”, or a “Lowrance HDS TOUCH” unit. Once this system is installed, the angler or boater has the advantage of seeing hundreds of feet of bottom contour at any angle of their trolling motors direction! This means every angle the foot pedal from the trolling motor points it’s facing, one has a detailed picture of bottom contour, structure, and even fish locations right on the HDS screen. This creates a huge advantage for not just the tournament fisher, but even the average weekend warrior.

          So where does one go to find the details and knowledge of such a sophisticated system? Why your local “Bass Pro Shops”, of course! All of our friendly staff can help make your next adventure out on the water the greatest ever; by helping you understand and rig your boat with the latest and greatest technology available. So come on in to the world’s greatest outdoor store, where the adventure begins!

Lawrance Spotlight Scan Sonar





Tips on Great Crappie Fishing

If you think you might like to watch a bobber slide under the surface and move slowly away, or if you love to feel that "thunk" of a fish on the end of your line, you might be a candidate for some great days with crappie.  Crappie fishing can be as simple as a cane pole and bucket of minnows or as involved as specialized boats and custom built rods. Either way crappie are fun for everyone, easily accessible and very tasty!

These delicious fish go by several informal names, crappie, white perch, paper-mouths, sac-a-lait and they even come in black crappie and white crappie versions.

black & white crappieSo where should we look for crappie? Crappie can be found in almost every kind of fresh water we have here in Texas so they are plentiful and usually relatively easy to find in all the lakes that surround the Dallas metro-plex. Don't overlook the streams that feed our local lakes either. Many crappie hunters go "crappie stomping" in the streams that feed our lakes.  They are frequently found in farm ponds in large numbers too!  There are more ways to catch crappie than there are names for them. Let's get ready to go catch a few.

It always helps to know at least a little about our quarry if we want to be successful. Here are a few of "rules of thumb" about crappie. If there were one fish that could and would wear sunglasses it would be crappie. They don't really hate sunlight, but successful crappie fishers do usually fish for them as if crappie were vampire-like in their dread of bright light.

The sunlight of early morning and late evening doesn't put a lot of glare on the water and this translates to being easy on crappie eyes. They will usually be more shallow in our waters early and late than later in the day. Get an early or late start if you are fishing from shore.

Look for large shaded areas on your favorite fishing hole. Bridges across lakes give crappie shade in the summer months and are usually great places for us to start. Marinas with covered boat slips are some of the best areas to wet a line.  Fish slowly and very closely to the pilings of both the bridges and boat slips and you're likely to get bitten by crappie.  Fish the shade and you are very probably close to crappie.  If you're fishing standing timber, fish the shaded side of the tree or stump first, but don't avoid the sunny side either, just fish the shade first.

The second rule of thumb is crappie almost always bite up. Their eyes are located more toward the top of their head so it's just easier for them to look and eat, in an upward direction. If you're fishing with a bobber and it just simply lays over on it's side, set the hook , a crappie just lifted your bait up and took the weight off your bobber!  If you're fishing without a bobber and notice your line go slack, set the hook, once again, a fish has lifted your bait without you feeling it.

Crappie Maxx ComboA third generalized rule is that crappie won't try to jerk the rod out of your hand. They bite lightly for the most part. Sometimes you may just see your line move slightly to one side. That's a crappie trying to ease off with your bait. Set the hook! If you're fishing with jigs and no bobber, and you feel a little 'thunk' like a small fish, or someone taping your rod tip once, set the hook! Always fish with line that is in good shape. If your line is curled up, old, or brittle you will miss more bites than you might think. As we've seen, crappie bite with finesse, curled up lines act as shock absorbers and do not transmit that light bite up the line, through your rod and into your hand so the bite goes unnoticed.

Most of the time crappie like to play hide-and seek with us.  They love cover. Cover is basically described as anything that you can get hung up on.  Tree limbs, bushes, rocks, 1938 Fords, anything that can hide them from us or bigger fish. I've heard it said by professional crappie fishers that if you're not losing the occasional bait, you're fishing in the wrong places.

Now for some general info on what to use.  Most good carpenters have more than one tool in their box. Don't go crappie fishing with a hammer.  That is to say, heavy duty bass rods are overkill to detect the delicate bite of a crappie. Use a rod that was designed for crappie fishing. Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx line of rods is specifically designed to detect crappie bites, set the hook properly and lift your scrappy fish out of his hiding place. These relatively limber rods come in a variety of lengths designed for your preferred fishing spots. Whether you need a long rod, a mid-length or longer rod, come in to Bass Pro Shops of Garland and ask the pros.

What baits do we need to use?  If you're a minnow dipper, then you're probably just about set. A good minnow bucket with aerator will help keep your two inch or smaller minnows frisky. You can fish minnows either with or without a bobber with great success.

Jigs are by far the preferred baits for most crappie chasers. Bass Pro shops has a huge selection of jigs and jig hooks. There are tube type crappie jigs like the "Squirmin' Squirt", solid body jigs, like the Bass Pro Shops "Triple Ripple", these are excellent choices. There are also crappie jigs with small spinners, some with paddle tails and some that glow in the dark. Actually there are so many that you might really, really want to come in to Bass Pro Shops of Garland to see them all! Oh yeah! before I forget, you'll also need to pick up either a cooler or stringer to keep all your crappie in!

Tight Lines and Bent Rods to You!






Portable Water Filtration

LifeStraw personal filterWater is the most important element to survival, especially in the backcountry when the body undergoes physical stresses and abundant exercise. No matter where you are backpacking or trekking there is a good chance that if you drink the water before purifying it that you may end up with diarrhea and stomach cramps or worse. There are four main methods of water purification.


Boiling is sometimes the best way to disinfect water and kill heat sensitive microorganisms such as Giardia, Amoeba and Cryptosporidium. Once water reaches a good boil it is safe to drink. Boiling also kills pathogens so water doesn't need to be treated when cooking.


Iodine treatment such as Potable Aqua tablets is one method that is commonly used for treating drinking water. Drop the recommended number of tablets into your water and let sit for the directed amount of time (the colder the longer you must wait). Do not add drink mixes to the water until after it has been purified. This treatment leaves the water slightly tinted and smelling of chemical.

Water Filters

Water filters are a standard method for water purification in the backcountry. These filters come in many sizes and shapes and all are slightly different as to what they will filter out. These are used by sticking one end of the tube in the water and the other in your container and working the pump. Filters with a pore size of 1 micron of less are preferable. Filters, no matter how fine the filter pore size, will not get rid of viruses.

UV Light

UV water purifiers such as the SteriPEN are a more recent method for purifying drinking water. These handheld water purifiers are held in the container of water in need of purification and within several seconds its Ultra Violet rays kill waterborne microbes including Cryptosporidium. These are lightweight and are powered by a solar-powered rechargeable battery.


The LifeStraw  personal filter is by far and away my favorite. It only weighs 2 oz. and can filter up to 1000 liters of water.  This is the perfect primary or a secondary filter for the backpacker.


Tips on how to winterize your boat

          Alas, the time has come to secure the rods and reels, stow the tackle, and put away the boat. As fall finally gives way to winter, and the temperatures drop to unbearable lows only braved by the most avid (Crappie) fisherman, most will put the boat in the garage for the winter.

This is called  “Winterization”, and what many do not know, there are many important steps that must be done in order to ensure the boat will be in optimal condition come early spring when it is time to put it back on the water. Take for instance the main plugs that allow water to drain out of vital areas. Or how about the treatment needed for the fuel, so the ethanol in the gas does not turn into jelly, or corrode the inside of fuel assembly lines. Also, there is a need to treat the engine with a fogging spray, so no moisture is left in the cylinders or the block which can cause rust and corrosion costing thousands of dollars to fix! And these are only but a few of the necessary requirements that winterization calls for.

So where does one go to get all the products, and knowledge needed to ensure a correct winterization is done to the boat; why your local Bass Pro Shops in Garland Texas of course! Our knowledgeable associates in our marine department can help you find the right products and our “Power Pros” in the Tracker department can make sure you receive professional service, they can be contacted at (469) 221-2569 . So don’t be too discouraged that the season is at an end, and let us help you end it the right way, here at Bass Pro Shops, where your adventure begins!

winterization of your boat


Spring Fishing Classic 2014

In my 55 plus years of fishing I have never caught a fish that was wearing a watch or carrying a calendar. I guess in a way fish might be considered lucky in that one respect. They are governed by nature to do very few tasks. They eat to survive, reproduce to continue their species and try to stay comfortable and uneaten while doing these tasks.

  If we will remember this simple list, we will catch more fish. We humans are governed by a host of things that do not apply to fish. We deal with clocks, daylight savings time and calendars to conduct our daily lives. Fish, to a large degree are governed by temperature, daylight, water content and the availability of food and that’s about it.

As Winter begins to slowly and reluctantly give was to Spring we find the days starting to get longer. This gradual process begins in January here in North Central Texas. The daylight hours get a little longer each day and the Sun travels a higher arc across the sky. As the northern hemisphere turns more and more toward the Sun the water begins to warm thus setting the reproductive cycle in progress on largemouth bass.

Sorry folks, but the bass don’t employ flowers, sweet phone calls or romance in any way. In a nutshell, the male bass starts to fan out a nest with his tail when the water temperature approaches 58 degrees. He then finds a female bass and coaxes her to the nest he has prepared. The female will come to the nest, deposit her eggs and stay in the area for a few days to protect them, but she soon moves on to her other duty of just being a bass. The male stays behind and defends the nest area against all intruders.

 This is one of the best times of year to catch that big mama bass. Many fishers don polarized sunglasses and patrol the shallows around cover looking for the large female tending her eggs. Some of the preferred baits for this tactic include soft baits that imitate natural egg predators like, salamanders, crawfish, and bream or perch. My personal favorite is a white floating lizard attached to a shaky head jig. Other good baits include, jigs with a trailer of pork or synthetic trailer designed to present a “threatening” profile to Ms. Bass. There are times when the big females will slam the bait, there are others when she will delicately pick the offending intruder up in her mouth and simply escort it out of her protective zone. Either way it’s time to set the hook!

Some other great spawn fishing lures include neutral buoyancy “twitch baits” like the suspending Rattling Rogue, and Bass Pro’s Excaliber  baits.

 When fishing for these early-season fish remember a couple of basic things. One is to understand that smaller bodies of water tend to “warm up” quicker than others. Ponds, or tanks here in the area will almost always warm to acceptable spawning temperatures than the main bodies of our favorite lakes. Those of us who don’t have access to private ponds should look  in the north ends of our lakes for the warmest water available that is close to cover and if possible close to deeper water.

  Another factor in water warmth is the clarity of water. Clearer water, though nicer to look at, warms slower than slightly stained water which absorbs the Sun’s rays. If you have a thermometer use it!

Remember that bass are simple creatures whose single job it is , is to survive and you will catch more and bigger ones earlier in the year. You also stand an even better chance of landing that bragging rights monster if you’ll stop by Bass Pro Shops of Garland Tx and talk to the pros who have the experience and knowledge. They are there to help you with all your fishing needs and may just give you that little tip that puts you on your personal best.

Tight Lines and bent rods to ya!

Enjoy Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic from February 28- March 16 2014!!


Spring Fishing Classic 2014



Training Your Hunting Dog

As winter starts to break and spring time begins to roll in, we will be gifted with much warmer and prettier weather.  Spend that time outside with your companion. By companion I do mean your dog not your spouse.  Take them on walks, spoil them with treats and new toys, and perhaps enhance their outdoors knowledge with some dog training.  We also believe in helping dog owners with obedience training for their pets too.  Here at Bass Pro Shops we love dogs and in fact welcome them inside our store at any time.

Bass Pro Shops will carry dog training videos with specialty training such as puppy training, puppy pointer training, advanced retriever training and even shed hunting training.  A few videos are breed specific but most are tasks specific.  The premise of these videos is to give advice and perform demonstrations to help you the trainer as well as your pet companion. Some examples include “yard training” commands, tips for choosing a “gun dog,” field commands, as well as bird tracking. 

Bass Pro Shop employees can speak from experience or give reference to any question you may have.  Having hunted game birds for several years, I know that hunting with a well trained dog can make the difference in recovering birds and not recovering birds.  Aside from hunting, a well behaved dog inside the house can also be a blessing if there are guests or infants around. Our dog training assortment will also include gear like training dummies, whistles, bird/animal scents, life jackets and Kevlar vest and boots.  Obedience collars or shock collars are available as well and are a great tool for breaking dogs of bad habits or just being stubborn.  Come shop around and see how Bass Pro Shops can help with tips and training for you and your dog.


hunting dog




Plastic baits vs. Bass flies

 “Would you think I have lost my mind if I said I caught a limit of black bass on a fly and my spinning rod?” the man asked me.  “I must have run up on some fish crazier than I am,” he continued.  “Look what I caught!”  he exclaimed.  The gentleman dove into his pocket for his cell phone and produced photos of black bass he had caught on a fly … which he had been drop shotting on his spinning rod. I was impressed with his collection of fish, but not surprised by his method.

 “No, sir, I don’t think either you or the fish were crazy. Actually, it just makes a lot of sense.”  Well it does make sense.  Bass fishers spend a good deal of time drop shotting small plastic worms, minnows and crawfish imitations.  Fishers have been reaping the benefits of smaller bait presentations for quite some time. Armed with light to medium spinning rods that were designed to throw light baits from 1/8-ounce to 1/2-ounce they have almost filled a niche that had been vacant before.  There’s another approach as well.  Replace your plastic baits with bass flies!

 Let’s burn a myth here. Not all flies float.  As a matter of fact, most flies do not float.  Fly shops are filled with flies that can be used from the surface all the way down the water column to whatever depth the fish are. There are flies with neutral buoyancy (called suspending baits in the baitcasting world) flies designed to sink and of course, flies that do float. Streamer-style bass flies can be easily be manipulated to imitate injured or skittering minnows as your particular case may call for.

 Clousers, large streamers, bucktail jigs and crawfish pattern flies can be dangled in front of bass and it’s all over but the hook-setting!   Your Bass Pro Shops White River Fly shop carries a nice array of bass flies for you to choose from. If you want to match your bait to what the fish eat on a regular basis, consider tying your own flies. Your White River Fly Shop has the gear from vises to tying thread and hooks you’ll want and the expertise to suggest fly patterns for your specific needs.

 As the weather warms up and the fish get finicky, gear up and go get’em with your flies and dropshot weights from Bass Pro Shops!


Bass flies


Practice makes perfect

Now that hunting season is over, it is not an excuse to put your bow up in a closet to collect dust. Now more than ever is a crucial time to sharpen your hunting skills.  The off season doesn’t mean you no longer shoot your bow, if anything it should be shot more. Pull out the 3D decoy or bag target and practice taking shots you wouldn’t normally be comfortable with. Turn your decoy or target to emulate quartering away or that it faces right towards you.  Practice taking these real life scenario shots you would normally be afraid to take.  If you were having any issues with your bow during the season, now is the time to get it fixed. Do not wait until the week prior to the next season to get it fixed. If you were debating on getting a new sight now is the time. 

This will give you ample time to get the new feel of the weight, and or the amount of pins your sight may have.  Check over the strings and cables on your bow. If there is any wear or frays on the strings you may want to consider replacing them. If you are unsure and would like an expert take a look, feel free to bring it to your local Bass Pro Shops. If you don’t have a big enough area to shoot, try looking into local shooting clubs. Joining a club will give you an opportunity to ask questions, learn from other hunters, and quite simply have an opportunity to meet new people.

So to reiterate there is no reason why your bow has to sit in a closet collecting dust until the next hunting season rolls around. Take an opportunity to better yourself, and upgrade your bows features. Who knows maybe this is the year that monster buck steps out and you will be ready for anything.


Bow huntingshooting at target


Lone Survivor Sweepstakes

Lone Survivor (movie) Promotion and Sweepstakes January 3rd-24th 2014

Bass Pro Shops is helping to promote a new war film, starring Mark Wahlberg, based on the 2007 nonfiction book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. Set during the War in Afghanistan.

There are many ways to enter for the sweepstakes.You may enter in-store and online for chances to win certain prizes. Also, you may enter via Facebook for chances to win other prizes!!

How to enter- Limit one per entry- Must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry!!

In-Store: Complete an official entry form with your name, complete address, daytime phone number, email address and date of birth and deposit it in an official ballot box at your local participating Bass Pro Shops.

Online: Visit www.basspro.com/LoneSurvivor and complete the official entry form and submit as directed.

Facebook: Visit the Bass Pro Shops Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bassproshops. "Like" the page, and then click the "Lone Survivor" tab and you will be directed to an online entry form. Complete all information requested on the entry form. If you choose, you may upload ONE photo of yourself at the Lone Survivor display at any Bass Pro Shops location, and submit with your entry form.

Prizes for In-Store and Online as follows: Hoody, Antler Cap, Wounded Warrior Cap, Classic Stretch Fit Cap and Women's Beanie.

Prize for entrants that enter via Facebook during Promotional Period as follows: (250) Lone Survivor t-shirts!!

All entrants that enter the sweepstakes, regardless of method of entry will be available for the Grand Prize!!

Grand Prize: a private screening of "Lone Survivor" for winner and up to 249 guests!! Universal will determine the theater location as well as the date and time of screening.

Good Luck!!

Lone Survivor Sweepstakes 2014


The Triple Crown Event

          Unfortunately the levels of the lakes in the Dallas Fort-Worth area are at an almost all time low again. The lack of rain is only preceded by the drought a few years back. This has caused many lakes and many boat ramps to become inaccessible to the avid tournament fisherman, and all the new boat owners. This leaves a sour end to the season. Although, not all hope is lost!

          Despite the low lake levels, there is a glimmer of light, a shining star at the end of the tunnel. Your local “Bass Pro Shops” Outdoor world has an event going on that will brighten your heart, and fill your wallets as well! This event is called, “The Triple Crown Event”. Not even the lack of rain can rain on this parade!

          What is the “Triple Crown Event” one may ask? Why it is the single most outstanding promotion that “Bass Pro Shops” has possibly ever offered, and may never come again! Just ask thy self, how do triple reward points for a single purchase sound? Or how about a free “Gear Guard” three year extended warranty on top of that? But it doesn’t stop there; “Bass Pro Shops” is also throwing in free installation through the “Power Pro’s” service center to make this the best deal of the century! (Please see basspro.com for all details).    

This promotion applies to the hottest and best-selling units used on the water. The qualifying products range from the low priced, new “Lowrance Elite 5” series to the reliable and trusted “Garmin Sonar/fish finder” combos. Combined with the triple reward points and the free three year extended warranty, toppled with free credit on installation and service for the qualifying units, this is truly the best deal of the season!

Gear Guard


A Different Technique for Deer Hunting

Bow season has officially kicked off here in Texas and customers are constantly asking us what advice we can give in order to bring more deer into the area where they are hunting. Our biggest competition is our neighbors.  In Texas we all use very similar techniques for hunting whitetail deer. You have to set your property apart.  I try to find attractants that my neighbors probably will not be using. Wildgame Innovations has several different products that are available and they come in three different forms. They have the cubes, powder and liquid formulas that are made to help bring in more deer and keep them there. If you hunt in an area where acorns are the predominant food source then try enhancing a stand location by adding some acorn rage powder or acorn rage pellets. These are not magic weapons that will allow you to shoot every big buck within 10 miles no, these are ways to enhance your setup and get more deer to focus on a specific location on the property rather than just stick to their normal routine. The aroma from the attractant is strong and deer will pick up on that smell sooner than the natural aroma that is produced by the food source. Another good technique is to plant something like a sugar beet food plot. Once the food plot has been harvested, pick up some Sugar Beet Crush by Wildgame Innovations. The sweet smelling aroma from the sugar beet crush powder will get in the air and force deer to frequently visit the site. I tried something a few seasons ago that helped hold deer to a specific location and it involved real apples and Wildgame Innovations’ Bucker Up Ripe-N-Apples. I would cut up fresh apples and pile them in a location I was going to hunt. In the mean time during my trip I would spread the Bucker Up Ripe-N-Apples powder around the area where I had put the real apples. The area was frequently visited by deer during my hunt and the constant traffic gave me an idea to use for years to come. Get passed the standard tripod feeder technique that everyone is using and go with something that will give you the advantage over the neighboring properties.     


white tail deer


Achieving a Successful Hunting Season

Today is the day

The months of anticipation has finally come down to the bitter end. Endless practice shooting at decoys and targets are now going to finally pay off. Opening week is just two weeks away and it can’t get here fast enough. Most of the northern states have already opened season, and its frustrating looking at pictures of trophies already taken. But all is good in the world now that our time has come. It’s time to put all of the practice to work. If history tends to show the same hand this year, opening day will be hot. Early morning hunts and late evening hunts are going to be very critical.  With that said dress appropriately, you still need to blend with your environment but don’t layer up.  Some of the same stuff that you use for spring turkey can be used for early deer season in Texas. As the season progresses the need for thicker better insulation will be needed, but for now keep it simple. Also, keep your eyes on the weather forecast. See if there are any cold fronts pushing through, animals usually respond well to a change in the environment. Keep an eye out for full moons. If there is a full moon in the night sky deer mostly move at night eating under the light of a full moon. Last but not least just be careful. Use all safety equipment if you are using any tree or ladder stands. Keep your eyes out for other hunters, and always wear orange if you are hunting in public areas.




Bow Season is Upon Us

September 28th is opening weekend for bow season this year and it is approaching quickly. This time of the year the archery department is busy seven days a week as people are tuning up bows, honing in their skills and getting prepared for the season. As you hunters look over your gear and evaluate possible upgrades or some adjustments, know that Bass Pro Shops in Garland has well trained bow techs and avid bow hunters working at the counter. We are confident in working on or with any bow you may bring into our shop.  So if you notice that your old arrow rest may look worn or a bit outdated please bring it up to us. Our techs will suggest a rest that is affordable and compatible for your setup. Or perhaps your sight just is not as bright as you may want, we have plenty of sights that are affordable and maintenance free. The convenient features found in these two products allow hunters to make last minute adjustments without having to spend a lot of time setting everything back up. A quick swap of a sight or rest can make the difference in bagging your 2013 trophy.

One rest I would like to mention is the Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit. This whisker biscuit is offered in several sizes and either black or camo. At a $39.99 price point, this arrow rest is affordable and features easy adjustability that puts you the shooter back on target in no time. (Prices will range $39.99-$69.99 depending on features and color)

Arrow Rest

 A fiber optic sight I would suggest looking at would be the Trophy Ridge Outlaw 4 pin sight. This sight is light weight and has four .019” fiber optic pins. Other special features include a sight light and it is ambidextrous so it will mount to either a right or left handed bow. This is a tough sight to beat at the price of $49.99 and it makes for an excellent last minute upgrade to improve your odds this season. Come in and see us here at Bass Pro Shops in Garland and let us help make this year’s bow season one of your best. 

Outlaw Bow Sight


GPS devices and the importance of their uses

As summer is approaching the transition into fall and the final days of recreational boating come to an end marked by the “Labor Day” holiday; so begins many others favorite time of year, “Hunting Season”. Although many people will continue to fish in tournaments, and squeak as many last days on the water as possible, the change of season truly brings our focus to the woods. As for many, this change also brings time spent in unfamiliar territory surrounded by woods and open fields. Now whether or not one is hunting or just camping out; there is a vital tool that some have and many more will need, a GPS or “global positioning system”.

Although most of us at first thought will automatically think about the navigation system for a car, the reality is that there are several uses for global positioning systems. Any advanced fisher’ knows that this is a key tool to finding honey holes and special spots, and always being able to return to them. Just as well, the best hunter knows not to leave base camp without one. But there is much confusion and uncertainty amongst the beginning GPS user. Many feel they do not possess the knowledge and skills to operate one, and don’t understand how they work. Choosing a Handheld GPS Unit

GPS devices whether an automotive, fish-finder combo, or a hand-held unit all work the same way. Any true GPS systems all run off the same government satellite’s positioned outside the Earth and triangulate a signal to determine the exact latitude/longitude corresponding location of the user. By doing this, GPS devices offer four major functions.

1). Location

2). Directional information

3). Waypoints

4). Tracks/Trails

The first of course is ones current location. Any GPS will display some form of an outline map and show the position of the user. The second is directional Information that will allow a person to see which way their movement correlates to that current position. The third is the ability to mark a current spot or point. This is called a waypoint. Many units will record more spots than the average person will ever remember. Fortunately, these waypoints can be labeled and designate a specific symbol. But one must remember that waypoints are strictly line of sight. To answer this is the fourth important feature, tracks or trails. These are the ability to actually make a start point and create an exact linear direction saved on the map display. This is important because there might be a creek between the trophy deer, or an island before that brush pile!

          While these four functions may sound intimidating and complicated, the truth is that GPS units are surprisingly simple to use! Most entry level units have analogue toggle control to move through menu options that require a very little learning curve. And even the high end units are easy, most have touch screen menus that are almost exactly like operating the current day “smart phone”. GPS Glossary of Terms

 As for affordability, the cheapest beginning unit can start around as low as $100! Let someone get lost in the woods and have no cell phone reception, or hit a giant stump because they don’t have this capability, and GPS units practically pay for themselves! Of course, as one adds bells and whistles, the price can increase, but even the entry level unit has all four basic functions.

  So where can one go to see the latest selection of these units, and receive knowledgeable information and demonstrations of these fascinating devices? Why any local “Bass Pro Shops” of course! Located in the marine department, any one of our associates is well versed in the operations and features of GPS systems. So head to your nearest “Bass Pro Shops” where the adventure truly begins!





The Power of Fishing from a Tube

  I have a nickname that I'm quite proud of. They call me the "Frugal Fisherman."  I look for bargains and will study ways to eliminate expensive fishing obstacles. One such obstacle was that I was tired of watching boats blast by me on shore while they headed for greener fishing pastures.  There were also tanks and ponds I wanted to fish which would not allow motors. So I compromised.  I bought a Lost Lake Fishing tube from the White River Fly Shop at my local Bass Pro!

  That turned out to be on of the better buys I have made in my 50+ years of fishing purchasing.  I was instantly able to leave the shore!  I could reach acres and acres more fishing spots on both lakes and ponds without having to buy a trailer, or boat tags or insurance, or dolling out dollars for gas. 

  My first tube was a round (actually more circular) tube.  I added a pair of good swim fins and off I went to Lake Loy up around Sherman, Tx.  Once I limbered up the old fly rod I maneuvered out past the tangled mat of hydrilla and it was on!  I don't remember how many bream and crappie I caught that day.  I do remember thinking what a good buy that tube just might prove to be.  I caught the daylights out of fish I could not reach before.

  I've had my tube under the bridges of Cedar Creek and Lake Ray Hubbard. The creeks of Ray Roberts and Lewisville have produced Spring crappie by the 25-fish-limit too. I just stay in either the coves away from speeding boats or under bridges on major lakes and out of swift current on running.

 Granted, I got my catch rate per trip up to some very respectable numbers, but that wasn't the biggest long term advantage. Two huge plusses I have been able to use throughout my fishing career were to plan a trip with a map and the weather forecaster. And second, to fish the my chosen waters thoroughly before hauling myself all over the lake.

 If you plan on fishing the lakes around the metroplex, grab a good lake map.  Get the kind with the contour lines like A.I.D Lake Maps or "Fishing Hot Spots Maps."  Then watch your local weather personality or check the internet. You want to figure out which direction the wind will be coming from and it's speed.  Look at your map. The goal here is to figure out good places to fish while not being buffeted by heavy Texas winds. Windy areas are also good to fish, but after a day of fining my way around, I want a relatively easy kick back home.

 Fish your area thoroughly. If you have fished every stump. lily pad, weed bed, brush pile and there is no joy in Tubeville it's not hard to move. If you have ants in your pants and want to change major areas on the lake, well, it's no big deal to throw your tube in the car or truck and boogie to the next spot.

 Most float tubes are well constructed and can support at least 250 pounds of fisher and gear.  They are also rugged in their construction and don't puncture easily on snags in the water. As you progress in your tube fishing adventure, get on fishing forums on the internet. There are actually clubs and individuals who get together and go fishing with their tubes.  You can also tune in here next time for some more fishing, safety and just plain old helpful tube fishing hints!

Get off the bank! Get a White River Fly Shop float tube at your Bass Pro Shops of Garland, Tx and bend that rod like you own it!

Fishing from a tube

Tight Lines and Loops,

"Fly, the Frugal Fisherman"


Hunting Season is Upon Us

Now that the long hot summer months are almost coming to an end, the beginning of the hunting season is upon us. And what better way to kick off your season than dove season.

It has been a long time coming, especially for us migratory bird hunters. With this year proving to be a wetter year, forecasts show a better than average migration in store.  More birds mean better odds of shooting your limit.  That bodes well for those of us who enjoy dove fresh off the grill.  I want to mention a few products and strategic moves that may allow for a more successful season. First and foremost we need hunting licenses, but don’t forget to buy your migratory bird stamp. Choosing a shotgun comes down to money and personal preference. Once you have decided on a shotgun we are going to need some shells. 7 ½ shot or 8 shot is what is usually used while hunting dove.  Thorough practice is highly recommended.  I encourage you to pick up some Winchester AA Tracker shotshells.  This new ammo has a black wad that tracks your shot.  If you miss high, low, left, or right you will know and this allows you to correct your aiming point and fix any mistakes you may have made.  These shells have proven to be great teachers and are just what some of us need to hone in our wing shooting skills before opening day. 

Finally let’s go hunting. Best times to hunt are going to be just after sunrise or late afternoon, that’s when doves are most active, eating, and looking for water.  Make sure you are not in plain view, because doves have amazing eyesight and will see you before you see them. Choose a tree next to a fence line or around water.  Enhance that area you have chosen with a few still dove decoys and one or two deco Mojo VooDoo Decoys.  The spinning wings of the mojo brings a more constant flight into your setup.  Before I used mojo dove decoys I would shoot my fair share of doves. However, once I began using these in my setup the groups of dove increased and the limit became more attainable each hunt.  Now that we are all well informed hope everyone has a very good season. And remember all your necessities you will need for a successful hunt can be found at your local Bass Pro Shops.