Triple Crown Bonus Event

                                       The Triple Crown Bonus event!

Once again it is that time of the year that brings most fisherman and boaters off the water. Although the fall is still an excellent time for crappie, bass, and cat fishing as they start to rise back up to shallower water as the temperature drops. For those who stay on the water or even just those who have been waiting all season for a great deal, Bass Pro Shops once again is offering the Triple Crown Bonus!

          What is this Triple Crown Bonus one may ask? This event is possibly the greatest deal of the year from the marine department, and runs from October 6th to October 19th. This spectacular event offers three outstanding features for Bass Pro Shops customers. The first is triple the rewards point for reward card members. Although the amount of points varies depending on the price of the item purchased, these points turn into free in-store cash, and it takes only a few minutes to sign up. The second feature of this event is a free product replacement plan called, Gear Guard. This is a hassle free, peace of mind in-store warranty starting at a $20 value on the lowest priced qualifying item, and goes up to $200 or more! The third feature, and perhaps the best, is the free standard installation from our very own Power Pros. This gives a set credit of $150 to anyone wanting Tracker Power Pros to take away the headache of installation, and leave it to our qualified, trained technicians. With these three features combined, No matter what item is purchased, there is a minimum of a $200 value! It is a no brainer.

          So just what items are in this “Triple Crown Event”? While there are too many to list here, there are four of the best manufactures participating. The first is “Lowrance”. They have some of their greatest units available like the Elite and the HDS models. Also Humminbird has some of their low and high end units available! The third manufacture is our friends at Garmin and has all the Echomap units in our list! Last but not least, Motorguide is offering its newest line-up of trolling motors such as the X-3 and the X-I5. With the top names in the boating industry coming together for the Triple Crown Bonus event, the selection and value cannot be beat!

          Now of course as always, there is fine print so to say and technicalities involved, but do not be discouraged! Any of the knowledgeable Bass Pro Shops associates have all the details, and qualifying units. Not only that, but our trained expert staff can walk you through all the options and help one select the unit or motor that fits their needs. So head on in to your local Garland Bass Pro Shops for the Triple Crown Bonus event, and let us help you take advantage of these extreme savings. And remember, Your adventure starts here!

                                                                                                -Mike Ball  

Related Content:

 

 

 

 

0 Comments »

Bow Hunting with Persimmons

                Cool fronts are coming in, the sun is setting sooner, and deer are moving in record numbers. Hunters are chomping at the bit setting cameras, filling feeders, and scouting their opening day spots. Social media is blowing up with hunters posting pictures of their trophy bucks pre-season saying, “Score this ‘big mamma-jamma.’” You’d think they’re about to bust out of their skin with anticipation.

                All over the US, deer populations have been fluctuating over the past ten years, however the population in Texas has remained pretty stable. Texas has reached record number of deer counts registering about 3.6 million as of 2013. I’d say that’s pretty good. Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates the average hunt/harvest (likelihood of shooting a deer) and about 89%. That’s about 1 to 1 ratio, just about. Pretty good odds for those who are new to the game, or those who just need to satisfy their long overdue craving.

                Not to mention this past spring has been the most fruitful in a good while. Pollination of local flowers and plants was at an all time high, the Texas Bureau of Horticulture and Botany discovered an estimated 300 new plant species and cross breeds. “How does this tie in?” you ask. Simply, crops and the luscious vegetation that deer love to munch and graze on is more than abundant. Corn and supplements are great attractants, but you know what they say about momma’s cookin’. And ain’t nobody cookin’ better than momma.

                While most hunters are sticking to popular methods of feeders and food plots, there is a significant number out there that have a much different approach. Some could call it the “natural approach.” They merely find a natural habitat with decent signs of deer life and activity, and settle in there. It’s a lot cheaper and easier, in my opinion.

                For those interested in this particular method, persimmons trees are the talk of the town. With its delicious aroma created from crushing the outer shell of the fruit it produces, I can personally attest to its effectiveness.

                Last season, while trekking to my feeder and stand set-up, I happened across a persimmons tree. It struck me as intriguing and the smell of it was an interesting one. Playing around I grabbed one of the fruits and squished it between my fingers. The smell was pungent, and the fruit was messy. I wiped it off on my boot bottoms and kept on going, grumbling about now having to smell like strange fruit throughout the remainder of this endeavor.

About 30 minutes after getting all settled in, I heard a snort from my rear left; the direction I headed into my stand. Turning very slowly I spotted a little spike hot on my trail and nose to the ground. Now on this particular land I happened to be hunting with MLD permits and this little spike was right within my criteria.

 I quickly took him down and tracked him about 30 yards from my stand. I’d never seen a deer come into a clearing much like this one did, and with his nose down like a dog, I was a little bit curious as to what could cause such behavior. I checked his nostrils and the surrounding area for something out of place, but to no avail. Shrugging my shoulders I grunted and began to shift my kill to get a better position to field dress him when that smell, that smelly smell, hit me again. Full on.

I dropped the deer quickly, searching for the source of the stench that was that messy fruit.  Too potent to come from my boot bottoms, I examined the deer more closely and found the source of the stench to be his mouth. He had a mouthful of persimmons fruits. This little booger had come in on a line looking for a snack, just as I intended, but not exactly. Since then I always carry scentless wipes and extra gloves to use persimmons as a natural attractant. Persimmons haven’t failed me yet so I'll continue to use them.

-Rory Kelly

Hunting/Archery Lead

 

 

 

 

0 Comments »

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 away from the water, and a bad ending to lake levels effecting our fishing and recreational boating. Despite all this, as for many this change also brings time spent in unfamiliar territory surrounded by woods and open fields as we enter hunting season. 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”. This is commonly referred to as a hand held GPS device.

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.

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 designated 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! Regardless of its use, GPS devices provide an important functionality to any outdoorsman.

          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”.

 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! And any one of the “BPS” associates is well versed in the operations and features of GPS systems. So head to your nearest “Bass Pro Shops”, and get the information and guidance to master tools that truly help you start “where the adventure begins”!

                                                                   Mike Ball 

0 Comments »

GPS Devices and Functions

As summer approaches the transition into fall and the final days of recreational boating begin to come to an end; so begins many others favorite time of year, the “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 angler 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 users. Many feel they do not possess the knowledge and skills to operate one, and don’t understand how they work.

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 satellites 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”.

 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” and learn all about GPS basics from knowledgeable staff and outdoors experts. All this is located at your local Bass Pro Shops, where the adventure truly begins!

   

                                          

0 Comments »

Fall HUnting Classic 2014

Fall Hunting Classic- August 1-17 2014
Free Hunting University Friday, August 1st
National Pros Seminar & autographs
*Marty Fischer- Wingshooting 7pm
*John O'Dell- Ground Blinds & Scent Control 8pm

2nd Amendment Instant Savings on Guns & Safes with BPS Credit Cards August 1-5th & 13-17th

Sweepstakes- August 1-17th (Grand Prize Only)
Enter for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip to go on a 2-hour helicopter hunt in Texas with Brian "Pigman" Quaca.

NEW! Women's Hunting Workshop- Saturday, August 9 @ 3pm

Giveaways for women's hunting workshop:

  • First 25 women to attend workshop receive BPS tumbler
  • Only women can register for a chance to win a RedHead folding Knife or a Pair of Oculus binoculars.
  • Two women will be announced at store to receive their prize.

Local Pro Seminars- August 15-17


Friday August 15th
7pm- Big Game are ALL around you: Hunting Near Home- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith

Saturday August 16th
1pm- Autumn Hunt: New Approaches to Fall Success- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith
2pm- Tender Venison? It’s Easier Than You Think!!
3pm- Does Camo Pattern Really Matter??- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith
4pm- Why Should You Be Hunting Coyote (or predator)- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith
5pm- How to Integrate Your Game Camera With Mobile Devices

Sunday August 17th
1pm- Autumn Hunt: New Approaches to Fall Success- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith
2pm- Tender Venison? It’s Easier Than You Think!!
3pm- Does Camo Pattern Really Matter??- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith
4pm- Why Should You Be Hunting Coyote (or predator)- BPS Hunting Pros Jason Morris & Kevin Smith
5pm- How to Integrate Your Game Camera With Mobile Devices

Giveaways for Local Pro seminars: First 25 to attend each seminar each day will receive a BPS tumbler on Friday & Saturday and a Survival Whistle on Sunday.

Bad Boy Buggy Test Drive August 1-17th

August 1-6th Bow & Cross Bow Trade-In

August 7-12th Binocular & Rangefinder Trade-In

August 13-17th Scope Trade-In

Next Generation Weekend August 9 & 10th NOON-5pm each day

  • Free BB Range (release forms need to be signed by parent or guardian)
  • Free Photo Download-"bee a BPS Adventure Kid"!!
  • Fall In The Outdoors Seminars @ 2p & 4p
  • Craft- Color a wooden Squirrel or Fox clip
  • Free giveaways- First 100 kiddos to complete punch card each day will receive a BPS Fox drawstring bag.

 

0 Comments »

Fly Fishing Basics

Here we are again, right in the middle of summer.  Temperatures in July and August are only going to continue to rise. Some folks call these the "dog days of summer," but I call them a perfect time to cool off and catch fish. Now is a great time to go stand thigh deep in some ice cold water and catch some decent size rainbow trout. The Lower Mountain Fork River wanders through the rolling hills of southeast Oklahoma just outside of Idabel providing both Oklahomans and Texans a great fishery and a prime place to cool off.  Its waters flow from the deepest part of the dam that forms Broken Bow Lake at Beavers Bend State Park. The water is re-oxygenated and sent downstream. The cold, oxygen-rich water not only supports the rainbow population, it plays an integral part in creating a habitat where the fish can actually procreate and grow.

 I'd suggest a pair of White River waders and wading boots because that water is just too dad burn cold to stay in for more than a few minutes. The reason for the wading boots is that regular tennis shoes aren't made to grip the bottom and you could end up "floating your hat" as they say.

 Here are a few more good tips for your trip. If you have never fly fished before then by all means take advantage of Bass Pro Shops of Garland FREE fly casting seminars on Saturday or Sunday at 11:30 a.m. or both! The pros in the White River Fly Shop can introduce you to the basic cast and familiarize you with any of the terminology your may have heard associated with your new sport. Come in and enjoy the camaraderie in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. You don't need to bring anything; we have all the equipment you'll need for the class.

 All of your White River Fly Shop associates have fished the Lower Mountain Fork and most of us will agree that if you had to pick just one fly rod to take it would be an 8 ft. 6inch 5 weight rod with matching floating line. If, however, you have numerous rods to pick from, perhaps an 8-foot 4 weight but I don't recommend much lighter weight than that because there are some "hosses" in the river. Whatever your rod situation, we have something to fit your needs and your pocket.

 Your White River Fly Shop also has the hot flies for the area. Word to the wise: Get some flies before you go! If you're an early riser you might be at a loss for flies if you wait on the local shops to open. Some flies to add to your fly box before you leave are the Y2K bug, a few size 20 red zebra midges, flashback hare's ear in size 16 and smaller and a couple of pink San Juan worms will work well especially after a rain.  For those who prefer a dry fly, we suggest size 18 caddis flies in black, green or tan. From time to time the best dry fly is the blue winged olive in about a size 20, and don't forget your dry fly floatant to keep your flies afloat and the fish afraid.

 We look forward to helping you beat the heat by getting to your favorite cool trout stream. Whether you're a novice, a seasoned veteran or are just getting re-introduced to the sport, come on in to the White Rive Fly Shop of Garland and see why we call it your fly shop....oh, and don't forget your net... you're going to need it!

 

 

0 Comments »

Red Head Blackout SS bow

 

            This time of year, very little is going on in the hunting community. It’s either too hot to get out in all that gear, or people are out enjoying themselves fishing, and partying on the lake. However, this time of year is also when a variety of new products come out for the upcoming hunting season. Hunters start getting that pre-season itch, and along with air conditioning, it’s a great excuse to find your way to your local Bass Pro Shops and check out what new toys are going to be available.

            This year, one of our new toys is the Red Head Blackout SS bow, made by Diamond/Bowtech. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t they already come out with one of those?” And you’re right. Back at the tail end of 2010/beginning to 2011, Diamond Archery came out with the original Red Head Black Out bow, and it did fairly well. With a 7 inch brace height, 26.5-30.5 draw length range, as well as 50-60 and 60-70 limb availability, it easily matched up with some of the bows in its market. It has the ability to shoot 333 fps, which is up there in the bow speeds and darn right impressive for a single cam bow. Not to mention the remarkable let off that has you feeling (in my opinion) little to no weight past that back wall. It’s light weight (a whopping 3.8 pounds!), 32 inch brace axle-to-axle and even comes in a fancy Real Tree camo pattern.

            Any experienced bow shooter knows these specs are about average in bows nowadays. From Mathews to Hoyt pro line, they’ve come out with bows some may argue are bigger and better. However, if you look back, that was AFTER Diamond archery produced the Black Out. Hoyt produced the Spyder 30 in 2011 with a 30 inch axle-to-axle, 330 fps, and a 6 ¾ brace height. But, the Spyder 30 is also a dual cam bow. Dual cams have the ability to store more energy upon a complete revolution by both top and bottom cams while pulling the same amount of weight, while single cams only have the one on bottom to do the same. Single cams also have a reputation for being smoother and quieter, while Dual cams are bit more noisy with the string slap. A good example of this is the Mathews Chill, and the Mathews Creed, both of which were released in 2013.

I shoot the Creed, while my younger brother shoots the Chill, and we wouldn’t have it any other way, or rather, that’s what we thought. The Creed is a 30 inch ATA, 318 fps with a 400 grain arrow (68lbs), 7 inch brace height, and 3.8 pounds bare bow. It’s not the fastest, but it’s smooth, and quiet. The Chill is 31 inches ATA, 324 fps with a 400 grain arrow (70lbs), 3.8 lbs bare bow, and a 6 ¾ brace height. Both are impressive, and have their perks. And again, these were produced 2 years AFTER the Red Head Black Out.

            When I shot the Black Out, I had my reservations, but they were quickly put to bed after a few arrows flung down range. As I mention before, the let off is virtually unfelt at 70 lbs, and the output was 325 fps with a 400 grain arrow. Not much faster than the Chill, but it’s a SINGLE cam, versus the DUAL cam Chill. If that doesn’t give you goose bumps, I don’t know what does. Now the new Black Out SS is essentially the same bow spec wise, but it’s got a few tweaks here and there. With custom dampeners found only on the BowTech destroyer (but being made by Diamond/Bowtech, it makes it an exclusive accessory) and a milled riser that brings it down to a light 3.5 pounds, it manages to bring notable results to the range. From 20 yards and at 70 lbs, when I shot a group of 4 arrows, all of them managed an average of 14 inch penetration with a 400 grain arrow and a field tip. Still a single cam, other than a quick, solid thunk it is screaming fast, powerful, and quiet. The back wall is a bit stiff, but I also shot it right out of the box. After about 20 or so arrows, it loosened up and the back wall wasn’t even noticeable.

            To top off all of these remarkable statistics that follow this bow, it also comes in a stealthy looking black, and an “extra green” real tree pattern. Like I mentioned before, my brother and I shoot the Mathews bows, but after both of us shot the new Black Out SS, we are reconsidering our preferences and starting a pre-season piggy bank, with the Black Out SS being the first thing for both of us on our list to buy.

            Oh! And if you’re still having second thoughts, compared to a Mathews or Hoyt bow that typically runs for around $1000 MSRP bare bow, the Black Out SS comes Ready to Hunt package for only $599. How ‘bout them apples?

0 Comments »

How to Pick the Best Fish Finder

The sonar/fish finding technology has come a long way since our grandparents took us out on our first fishing trip when we were children. Before the “Down Scan” and “Side imaging” there were things like paper graphs, and simple depth sounders. Although these provided accurate information for the sonar user, they were very primitive in nature and cannot hold a candle to the latest technology available. The game has definitely changed, and the burning and most sought after answer is, “Who is the best when it comes to sonar/fish finder combos?

 I work with sonar and fish finding customers every day and this is beyond the most frequently asked question by all my customers. “Who is better, Lowrance, Humminbird, or Garmin?" many ask. And the answer is not a simple one, but very complexed and multi-sided. Each of these manufacturers has there pros, and cons; I shall elaborate.

Humminbird- run by “Johnson Outdoors”, this company controls a large chunk of the boating industry. They focus on simplicity, and have always been known as being “more user friendly”. While the menu options on these graphs are easier to navigate through, this also limits the control of the advanced user. Humminbird has also always been recognized for their superior customer service and support. It is also the cheapest way for an angler to get into “Side imaging”. While all these factors make Humminbird great for the entry level angler or weekend warrior, they lack several key functions that the competitors possess.

 

Lowrance- this Corporation in league with “Navico” and “Simrad” has been around a long time and for the most part has had the sonar market monopolized from the beginning. While they have had their negative aspects such as bad customer service and support, and harder to understand menu options, Lowrance has at least three major key features that set it aside from the competitors. The first is “Broadband Sonar”. This cleaner frequency offers more perfection in traditional sonar to the user. Along with this, Lowrance offers insight base mapping that gives the user a good general understanding of major lakes in the U.S. But most importantly, they offer the best bang for ones buck on entry level units, at least for the moment. With the new “Elite” series, all the functions of their high end units are available to everyone at the lowest price point available!

Garmin- While being the world’s leader in automotive and handheld GPS systems, Gamin has been the underdog of the fresh water sonar industry until lately. Unfortunately, there new technological advance will cost the user more than both “Humminbird” and “Lowrance” for similar features. Although, Garmin does comes out of the box with some of the most detailed mapping available in sonar technology. Their competitors rely on another mapping company to do there charts, although this is rapidly changing.

So again we ask the question, “What sonar manufacture is the best”? Although now from these brief examples the answer is not so black and white. There are many factors and features that set these units and manufactures apart, giving them their own positive and negative aspects. I have spent years comparing and contrasting these differences and have come to the conclusion that none are better or worse, just unequivalent and equal. And there is only one place that offers the knowledge and service any sonar user must have to be successful on the water. Your local “Bass Pro Shops” of course! So come on in and let us explain away the confusion of fish finders and help get one set up with exactly what the user needs. At Bass Pro Shops, we strive to outfit the sonar user with what best fits their application, and truly answer which sonar manufacturer is best, for the customer!

0 Comments »

It's Bug time......Again

It’s Bug Time ……. Again

Spring is here and summer is around the corner and so are the bugs.

The biggest worry is the disease that biting bugs carry, West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  Applying repellants when you are outside, especially dusk and dawn will keep you bug and disease free.

There are 3 types of repellants that used alone or in conjunction will keep even the worst bugs at bay.

  1. DEET

   Great for hunting, fishing and camping, 30% DEET insect repellent          gives you up to 10 hours of dependable insect repelling performance. 30% DEET formula provides excellent repellency, driving away ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes that may carry West Nile Virus. Safe on skin and most clothing 30% DEET Insect Repellent does not damage cotton, wool or nylon.

  1. Permethrin

As a treatment for clothing, Permethrin clothing insect repellent does not harm fabrics and is odorless after dried. Use Permethrin on clothing by itself or with skin-applied repellents to create the ultimate protective, armor-like insect barrier. Permethrin-treatments on clothing are non-toxic to humans. You can also spray all your gear for maximum protection.

  1. Picaridin

 Picaridin can be used on human skin or clothing to repel mosquitoes, biting flies ticks, fleas, and chiggers. These products may be pump sprays, liquids, aerosols, or wipes.

Picaridin is the best choice when repelling biting flies.

 

0 Comments »

Water Safety for a Fun Summer

Here it is a very short time before the traditional 'return to the water' time of year for most area boaters. Whether you're a fisher or water skier, or merely like to cruise and take in the sights, we here at Bass Pro Shops urge you to take some precautions.

 Well call me Captain Obvious here, but just in case you haven't noticed, our Texas lakes are down quite a bit. Here on Lake Ray Hubbard there are hunks of exposed bottom where I used to catch fish and stumps that seemed to mysteriously grow out of nowhere. Now don't let me spoil your fun. Get out there and have a grand old time, just take a little time to make sure your day goes as you want it to.

 From all the reports I have seen and heard almost all our area lakes are showing a bit more structure than we saw as recently as last year. Some of the places where I usually see water skiers and folks riding tubes behind boats have submerged stumps about a foot under the surface. Some stumps have been marked by good Samaritans, but others lie in wait for the unwary or careless boater. I suggest that if you are going to be towing someone behind your boat that you cruise through your intended area two or three time to look for any nasty obstructions that could ruin your day on the water.

 There are also sand (mud) bars showing that did not used to be showing above the surface. One area to be aware of is the area just north of the long jetty that stretches north from the power plant area. Captain's Cove Marina has a channel that leads from the marina to the lake. Stay in the middle of this channel, I saw waves breaking like bleachers on the Gulf one recent windy day. The waves breaking there tell me that there is a very shallow spot there.

 The East side of Robertson Park use to be a haven for schools of sandbass and hybrids, I saw them up close and personally last week, the area demands that you slow down, peel your eyes and use some good judgment. There are still fish there by the way.

 These are just a few of the hazards I saw on a three hour fishing trip. Please keep your head and have some fun.

 As far as water safety, well that starts at home. You can eliminate a lot of hassle if you'll make sure your trailer lights work properly. Check the bearings in your trailer wheels. Don't have a wheel poof out on you; trust me it isn't any fun. If they don't work properly or need work, bring your rig to Bass Pro Shops and let our pros troubleshoot the trailer.

 Before you launch be sure you have all the safety gear the law requires. Life jackets must be in good shape and actually fit the boat's occupants. They must be U.S. Coast Guard approved, serviceable and readily accessible. Kiddos under 13 have to have their life jackets on if the boat is less than 26 feet long.

Canoes and Kayaks must be equipped with one wearable personal floatation device (PFD) for each person on board.

 This is not a complete list of the safety gear you need by any means, so check with our Marine Accessories Pros to see what else you are going to need to stay safe and keep from getting ticketed because the list goes on. You can, and probably should check with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for a complete list of all boat and boating regulations.

 Once again, Captain Obvious has to add, don't drink and boat!  The penalties are consistent with drinking and driving and will totally ruin an otherwise super day of recreation. Just don't do it. It's not worth it.

 We here at Bass Pro Shops of Garland wish you a fun, smile-filled summer on the water. Be sure you use common sense and courtesy while boating

 Oh yeah, don't forget the boat plug!

 Take pictures! Not chances!

 

 

0 Comments »

How to Catch a Fish

 The first question we always ask ourselves should be, "What kind of fish do I want to catch?" Probably the easiest and most plentiful fish in our area are bream (Pronounced brim), or perch as we call them here in Texas. They like worms, grubs, crickets and small grub-like baits. Whereas, bass, larger catfish and hybrid stripers won't bother with small panfish offerings, they prefer minnows and larger meals like big worms, or stuff that looks like it might get away if they don't gobble it down on the spot. So the first question is answered with what kind of fish do I want to target. "Target" is the functional word because if we don't aim at something we don't stand a very good chance of hitting anything.

 You can search the internet for the kind of fish you choose or even use the web to determine which kind of fish you want to target. There are clubs for almost every kind of fish in the area. Granted there are a lot of bass clubs which concentrate on Largemouth Bass, but there are also clubs for crappie, perch, catfish and even carp fans. 

 Spend a few minutes searching on google and you'll see what I mean... clubs galore. These clubs are always a source of an almost infinite info for either the novice fisher or the seasoned veteran.

  Perhaps you have a friend or family member who already has a favorite fish they like to chase around our Texas waters. By all means go with them, pick their brains and spy (but don't borrow without permission) from their tackle boxes. Watch them closely as they fish, mimic their movements. If they've been catching fish you should start catching some of your own in very short order.

 Here's a  Guide to What Most Fish Eat:

 Bream, sunfish, perch, bluegill, longears, and shellcrackers are all part of the bream group. Most of these panfish are caught on smaller hooks, about size 6 through 10 wire hooks will work well. Offer these fish, redworms, mealworms, bits of nightcrawlers and crickets to start that bobber dancing on the surface of your local pond or lake. Use a small light bobber, a split shot for weight and you might just take home a mess of fish and a fond memory.

  Crappie, also known as  "Papermouths”, "Sac-a Lait", Caloco Bass or Slabs are a finesse kind of fish and that require both a light attitude and touch. Crappie diets consist mostly of minnows that are found in the home waters of the crappie you are after. Lakes generally provide threadfin shad as the main forage food for crappie. In small impoundments where threadfin shad are not found, use a small jig that mimics the colors found in small bream because that is their main source of food for them in tanks or ponds. One-sixteenth of an ounce jig heads with or without spinner blades will usually garner a stringer of these delicious fish.

    For crappie in lakes, choose just about any color you want... as long as it imitates shad in some fashion. Presentation is more the key to success than color in catching lake-bound crappie. Sensitivity and a little bit of backbone are prime in picking the right rod for the job.  Crappie generally do not crash into your bait like a pro football player, they almost whisper a soft "thunk" up the rod to let you know they are there. They also seem to prefer slow moving minnow offerings, so don't buzz your bait past likely spots. Remember finesse, sensitivity and s-l-o-w is perhaps the most important factors with Crappie. 

  Sandbass are very popular all across Texas. Many years ago I was fishing in all the wrong places with all the wrong baits and using all the wrong presentations. I thought if I found some slow moving water and chunked the biggest stinkiest hunk of meat I could find, that I was going to catch catfish. My failure here was just plain respect. Catfish actually prefer clean, water that moves a little except during their spawn season.  Get some stout equipment, line, flat weights and circle hooks.  For bait I prefer fresh dead shad for blue cats and”stink bait" or worm offering for the channel cats. Either will give you a tussle and are great table fare.

  By far the most popular species in our area is the Largemouth Bass. Bass, Bucketmouth, Footballs, Ditch Pickles or whatever you want to call them, these hardy fish prove to be great sport to chase and outsmart.  Bass are ambush feeders. That is they will lay in shadows, behind logs, stumps, or hang out in places where they know food will eventually present itself. Bass generally do not like to spend a lot of time chasing minnows, frogs or lizards around the water. All this effort would expend more energy than the meal they are after would provide. They can't afford to spend 20 calories to take in 10. No they don't have a diet plan like some people, but they do know what is profitable to eat and how to go about getting it.

 Again, you'll need some fairly sturdy equipment to tackle this fish. They may not weigh much, but they put up a heck of a fight. You can choose to go after numbers of bass bites or go after that trophy or any combination of sizes in between. Bass rods generally run from "light" actions all the way up to extra heavy action. Hooks, oh my goodness! Hook selections are critical. Come in and let us fix you up with the right hooks for your plastic worms, craws, lizards or creature baits. Spinner baits are almost always a good bet. Crankbaits also account for a large portion of all the bass caught here in Texas, so be sure to load up on ranks, like the Rat-L-Trap, KVD Squarebills, Rapalas, and a host of other crankbaits that either dive , float, dip, suspend or run erratically.

 As you've seen from this all -too-brief overview there are a lot of factors to consider. Our staff here at Bass Pro Shops of Garland are all anglers. We can help you "target" whichever fish you decide to go after. Come in and let us walk you through our selection. We will ask a lot of questions and put you in touch with the right equipment at the right price to give you the right results on your fishing trip when you really just want to catch something!

 

0 Comments »

No Excuses: How to Prepare for Your Best Hunting Season Yet

Around this time of year there isn’t much in the way of a hunting season. The main focus is typically fishing/bow fishing, or the “tail feather end” of turkey hunting, but now is the perfect time to be looking forward. By that, I mean into the future seasons of deer, duck, and those frigid, coffee desperate mornings we both dread and love.

     Think back to a time when you were in a stand waiting for that one trophy buck, or waiting for the big birds to get up and move around. Maybe you had that big “mamma jamma” in your sights, safety clicked off, adrenaline pumping, ready to go. You calm your breathing, you settle in and draw up on that trophy buck you’ve been desperately searching for these past weeks. And then, right when you feel it; that “I’ve got this. Nothing can stop me now,” attitude, a tree, or a bush, or some branch gets in the way. Maybe you get him, maybe you don’t, and if you don’t, it’s all because of that stupid foliage (of course, that’s what you’ll tell everybody else.)

     This time of the year is perfect for maintaining and preparing your future, or current hunting spots. Of course you can always go out right before season and do some last minute fine-tuning, but you can get most of the grunt work out of the way now. Cutting down trees to make a lane, or “kill spot,” for those of you tactically-minded, removing obstructions that you’ve noticed spook game, brushing duck blinds, putting out a food plot; all the stuff you shoulda-coulda-woulda done during the season, you now have the opportunity to fix.

    It’s also a great time to make any repairs you may have noted during your last season. An uneven bench that hurts your back and causes you to miss a shot, or that darned creaky step that scared all the animals away before you even got into the stand. It’s time to eliminate ALL other factors so you can finally get a successful hunt, and keep Murphy out of your stand (Murphy’s law of if anything can go wrong, it will). Unfortunately, this also means no more excuses. So if most of your stories revolve around you overcoming the odds, you might not want to put forth so much effort. You might actually have to hold yourself accountable!

     My family is a modest family that loves the outdoors. Mud, sweat and tears are our cup of tea (not quite so literally.) But in our family we have what we call the “Kelly Curse.” “What’s that?” you ask. Let me explain. If your last name happens to be Kelly, you immediately have a propensity to injure yourself, or make life significantly more difficult. The most common encounters are mosquitoes, wasps, parking next to or within the immediate vicinity of cow pies/pot holes, skunks, and poison ivy. We stock up on Technu, Caladryl, Neosporin, Claritin, and anything else we think we might need to proactively prepare ourselves for the supernaturally inevitable. Never will you meet a Kelly man who does not have what we call an “Oh S***” bag, more commonly known as a first aid kit (good thing to keep on you at ALL TIMES). I tell you this because every year, about this time, is when we end up breaking it in. We cut those fiendish poison ivy vines, trim trees, and do just about any and everything we feel will improve our honey holes for the season to come. It’s a hard day’s (or days’) work, but we always walk away with a of couple cuts/scrapes/bruises and an underlying sense of accomplishment.

     That sense of accomplishment is amplified when the season comes around, and it’s a direct result of my efforts that I fill my tags with relative ease. Be it a lane to a “kill zone,” or a bushel of cat tails that kept me from seeing my decoy spread properly, I can’t help but pat myself on the back and say, “atta boy.”

     It all starts now, when you’ve got that hunting itch that you’re trying desperately to scratch. Go to your “happy place,” (which is your hunting blind in this scenario) and play around. Or try and perfect something you’ve been meaning to work on. Shooting from a tree stand at different angles, or elevations is a great way to figure out what works to your advantage.

     I always record my hunts. I have a journal I take with me everywhere I go, and it stays in my pack. In it I write down all the conditions I remember: weather conditions, the time of day I took my game, wind. All the details I can look back on and know how to better prepare myself for similar future endeavors. And if there’s something wrong with a particular honey hole or blind, I make sure to write it down so when this time of year comes around, and I get struck with a horrible sense of cabin fever, I know what to tackle and how hard. It’s a good habit to keep, and should you ever forget the reason you missed that one trophy buck that only you saw, and almost had, you can always look back and see why you missed.

 

 

0 Comments »

Start of 3-D season

Finally the weather has changed, the sun is shining and the temperatures have come up, and with this change in season the sport of 3-D shooting starts. Whether you do it for the competitive aspect or to keep yourself ready for the upcoming hunting season, 3-D shooting has benefits for you. This sport is a chance for archers to practice their unknown and known distance, shooting at foam animals in situations that aren't comfortable with and the pressure of trying to make a perfect shot. The sport of 3-D is a great way to be involved in archery, to meet people as passionate as you are, and keep you prepared for the hunting season.

 Since 3-D shooting is starting, it is now time to do the upgrades you have been thinking about all season. An upgrade of your bow, arrows, or other accessories may be what keeps you competitive and give you that extra edge hunting in the fall. We offer many great options for bows, arrows, and any upgrades you could need to gives you that edge on the range or in the field, at the price you can afford. The best deals are by far on our Redhead line of products. These products offer a low price for an outstanding product. The Redhead brand includes everything from our Redhead line of bows, such as the Blackout, to the three different tiers of Blackout arrows that we carry. The products we carry and the knowledge we have can help you be better prepared for whatever you decide to do in the sport of archery. So, come see one of professionals in the Archery department to help give you a competitive edge, point you in the direction of somewhere to shoot 3-D, or answer any questions about competitive archery.


0 Comments »

Set Your Sights Event April 25-27

Set Your Sights Seminars

Drawing for 1 Bass Pro Shops $25 Gift Cards a each advertised seminar

Seminars

April 25-27 Friday-Sunday

Friday, April 25

  • 6:30pm Conceal-Carry (A discussion of laws, permits, and equipment)
  • 7:30pm Gun Care, Maintenance, and Storage (Products to keep your guns safe, secure and functioning properly.)
  • Tumbler with BPS logo to the first 25 to attend each advertised seminar on Friday night only

Saturday, April 26 and Sunday April 27

  • 1:30 Guns and Accessories for Your Modern Sporting Rifle Project
  • 2:30pm Conceal-Carry (A discussion of laws, permits, and equipment)
  • 3:30pm Gun Care, Maintenance, and Storage (Products to keep your guns safe, secure and functioning properly.)
  • 4:30pm Guns and Accessories for Your Modern Sporting Rifle Project

Drawing at each seminar for $25 gift card- MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!!!!!

  • One winner per drawing at each advertised seminar April 25-27
  • For each seminar we hand out to each attendee a raffle ticket (two part ticket) and then tear apart for one side to be placed in the drawing box for a chance to win a $25 BPS gift card.

 

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 prizes:

  • SAVAGE 64 F CAMO .22 L.R. RIFLE $189.99 Value
  • CALDWELL AR-15 MAG CHARGER $79.99 Value

*2 winners at every store- need not to be present to win- must be 21 years of age to enter*

X4 Bonus Points:  In order to receive 4X points, the customer must be an Outdoor Rewards member and have the purchase put on their Outdoor Rewards account. If the customer is not an Outdoor Rewards member, they will need to sign up for the program prior to making the purchase, so that the purchase may be tied to a Rewards account.

This will be a coupon, valid only for these select brands:

  • Streamlight
  • EOTech
  • Beretta
  • DPMS Panther Arms
  • Remington
  • Savage Arms

 

 

0 Comments »

"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!

 

0 Comments »

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!

 

 

0 Comments »

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.

 

0 Comments »

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.

 

 

 

0 Comments »

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

 

 

 

0 Comments »

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!

 

 

 



 

0 Comments »