The 2015 MAKO Inshore Center Console Skiff…

Smooth and stable, agile and able. This is the skiff that everyone is talking about. Thanks to the Advanced Inverted V hull design, the Pro 17 Skiff CC rides smooth and drafts shallow (just 8"/20 cm), making it ideal for both skinny inshore marshes and rough inland waters. And the rolled gunwales keep you drier at cruising speed. The deck and foam-filled hull are mechanically and chemically bonded to become one unitized structure with superior flotation and quiet operation. And at 17' 4" (5.3 m) long with an 80" (2m) beam, it's incredibly spacious and stable. Inside, you'll enjoy 360° of fishability, with huge non-skid casting decks fore and aft. The center console sports rod holders, flush-mount electronics-mounting surface, a contoured acrylic windshield, stainless grab rail, an aerated 8-gal. (30.28 L) live well, and an 85-qt. (80.44 L) rotomolded cooler under the cushioned seat.

New for 2015 are standard 2-tone high-density marine-grade vinyl upholstery w/stain-resistant coating & composite substrates on seats.  Aft molded raised casting deck w/non-skid surface & open storage space below. Bow molded raised casting deck w/non-skid surface.  Molded interior liner with non-skid surface.  Center console w/vertical rod holders, acrylic glass windscreen, stainless steel grab rail, navigation lights, space for mounting optional electronics & below-console storage space.  NEW optional color vinyl hull side graphics package, optional rail package, & optional Power-Pole® Micro Anchor system! The MAKO Pro 17 Skiff comes standard with a hot-dipped galvanized trailer, Mercury Four Stroke outboard, and our MAKO Assurance limited warranty, the Best Warranty in the Business.

Come visit our beautiful showroom here in Katy, Texas and experience where exceptional customer service was born!


A little bit of warmth

Are you ever out hunting and wish there was a way to warm up your hands and feet if nothing else? Well we have the perfect thing to do that!! HotHands® is a great and easy to transport way to warm up a bit. Providing up to 10 hours of 130º-140º heat, HotHands® HeatMax® warmers are a safe and easy-to-use heat pack that help keep your hands warm when the temperature gets cold.  Air-activated heat packs are formulated to deliver a constant, comforting heat.  Ultra-thin, these rectangular pack fits into shoes, gloves, and other spots needing a shot of warmth easily. The value pack contains 20 hand warmers plus 4 bonus foot warmers. HotHands® are made in USA.

 •Safe and easy-to-use heat source for gloves, socks, and more


Up to 10 hours of constant, comforting heat

•Ultra-thin rectangular packs fit easily in a variety of spots

•Puts heat where you need it 

A pack is $9.99 and individually they cost $1.99 EACH, by buying the pack you have a savings of over $10!!!


Come on in today and get your hands on a value pack of HotHands® and warm up!!!


HotHands®, the best way to keep warm in the cold.


Haveta, Gota, Must have it!!!

There are countless articles and papers and news feeds that 

proclaim that these are THE items you need for whatever situation

 or topic is being written about. Well, here's another or few.




1. A tent or tarp to make shelter. We have so many options on this one that I'm just going to send you back to my article on camping and suggest you come into the store. Here are directions: CLICK THIS LINK

2. First Aid Kit for safety. You never know what's going to happen so it pays to always be prepared.

3. Humans have some night vision but not as much as a wild animal does so a light is a great thing to have.

4. Who really likes being eaten upon by bugs? 

I don't and I don't think you do so I'm going to put my favorite bug spray on this list: Repel's Max DEET.

5. Warmth will keep you alive so a sleeping bag, blanket or someway to start a fire are probably all good things to have rather than just one or the other.

6. Storage!!!! A backpack to carry ALL the things in it is most useful. :) There's lots of other things that can go in it like a water bottle, clothes, flint, a compass/map; there's lots of things that make camping easier, better, safer, more fun - whatever your emphasis is.

We'll keep working on this for you and let you know whenever we update it!!!


Keep on keepin' on!


Boo to you too!

(c) Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Charlie Chaplain? Good man Charlie Brown? No,  "It's the Great Pumpkin!"! And it’ll be here at Bass Pro Shops in Katy, Texas until October 31st when we’ll have to wait until next October for it to return. Children will run rampant, sugar will be consumed, and costumes will be created and destroyed. Prizes will be won and pictures will be taken.






Or it will be on the 31st, until then, we’ll be hunting for hidden treasure and decorating cool crafts and taking pictures with the Peanuts Gang. The night of though – watch out! There will be a costume parade and real pumpkins to decorate while supplies last!!!! We are so excited to see all the scary and adorable creatures that come to trick-or-treat with us here in the store! See you soon boys and girls…


The Holidays are Coming!

The Holidays are upon us! This month we have had lots of things going on at the store.

And #FlannelFriday is October 24th which is the first day of our Halloween Event!

There will be pictures with the Peanuts characters and there's even Peanut's themed coloring pages! There's crafts to do - and they're different depending on which day of the week people come. There's a scavenger hunt on the weekends and all sorts of fun stuff. The night of Halloween there will be trick or treating and a costume parade at 6 pm followed by a costume contest!!! We can't wait to see what everyone comes as. All our associates are getting in on the fun too: they'll be dressing up on Halloween Day to compete with in store competitions for funniest, scariest, silliest, most creative and many more categories!!! 


Here at Bass Pro Shops we're dog friendly so bring in your furry children/friends in their best costume to get pictures of them with the Peanuts Characters and pictures of them with you to be put in our Facebook album titled Fluffy!!!


Come visit soon! The holidays are here and Santa's Wonderland is right around the corner!!!


Dream Hunter

“Boom!” The retort was sharp in my ear even through my muffs, the kickback jarred my shoulder. It was cold even though I had enough layers on to make me look like a small bear. I didn’t dare look down at my feet, but instead looked out across to see what I had just done. I’d shot a deer. This big beautiful buck lay dead.

The tree stand I was sitting in was high enough to turn my stomach if I looked down. Which I avoided doing. My tree stand was still securely attached to the tree I was in and the ladder below it felt like it was still well attached when I grasped it to climb to the ground. I could feel my harness pulling tension between where it was attached to my body and its attachment point on the tree; it was still secure as well. As I reminded myself to breathe, I slipped and my boot lost its grip on the ladder. For a moment I thought I was going to fall but then that tension jerked to a halt as the harness gripped me and I gripped its straps and the ladder rungs. Vertigo threatened but I put my boot back on the ladder and finished descending. 

With my boots firmly on the ground, I started towards my quarry. I was as quiet as I possibly could be, but as the tension eased animals started moving. Crows set flight turning the mid-morning sky to a midnight expanse in the flap of wings. A rabbit rustled around disappearing out of and back into the brush.  A skink slithered across a fallen tree thin with hunger but racing to avoid the flap of wings. 

For a moment or so the area had been quiet and still with death, but now it showed that life went on for everyone and everything other than the buck I’d killed. He lay on the ground, his belly still round enough to show he, at least, had been eating as well as he could while there was still some foliage. Bronze, copper, and gold flecked his pelt. As the sun revealed itself from behind its crow woven curtain his coat gleamed as the warm colors reflected the suns light. White collared his throat and muzzle giving him the appearance of wearing a halter made of new fallen snow. His antlers gleamed as the sun glinted across them making them shine as though polished.

As I reached for the buck I blinked – and the world shifted. I was back under my tree stand, but this time I held a bow. The warm “thwang” of the bow string reverberated up my arms as fast as the sound reached my ears. The scene replayed again – the only difference was my weapon of use. Again when I blinked upon reaching for the buck I was transported back to the tree and this time holding a crossbow.

The third time it happened I realized I was dreaming. I must need to go to Bass Pro Shops down the street in Katy for something. ‘Tis the season to go a hunting and I’d need ammo, a license, and fresh tips for my arrows and bolts depending on what I ended up using. “Time to get up and go,” I thought as I got up to get dressed and go to my favorite store in town - Bass Pro Shops.


Walk a Mile in My Shoes

So many shoes! That’s what went through my head when I went to Bass Pro Shops Katy the other day. I couldn’t believe my eyes: there were so many choices to be had. All the associates were super friendly and attentively helpful, but I just wanted to take my time looking. There was a massive wall dedicated to shoes. There were other cases and shelves dedicated to specific footwear and the shelves were sometimes short and sometimes tall enough that I couldn’t see over the top of them. I could imagine all the different reason and scenarios that I’d need ALL the shoes for. Everyone needs to have shoes you know.

Most of the shoes were for outdoor stuff. There were boots, so many boots. I could just imagine hiking through the forest in RedHead® Talus II Waterproof Hiking Boots. They’re so well built. They’d support my ankle and give my foot a little cushion and a lot of grip for if I slip. They’re even waterproof! Then I got to thinking about getting my feet in water. I definitely don’t want to get my feet wet so I’d probably need a pair of RedHead® 800 Gram Thinsulate 16'' Side Zip Rubber Boots, they even zip on for easy wear! Or I could wear one of the many different styles of waders and wading boots Bass Pro Shops Katy had on display. Then again if I just want to protect my feet in water and don’t mind getting wet like at the river then I could wear the Aqua Sox or Crocs that they sell.

While that would all be good for fishing, I started to wonder about hunting: ‘tis the season. They had work boots and hunting boots galore, I turned around and everywhere I looked – there they were. There was rubber and snake boots and insulated and uninsulated boots for men, women, AND children. You wouldn’t believe how happy this made me. With the help of Bass Pro Shops I can take my whole family hunting and properly outfitted in RedHead® gear.

At that thought I decided I needed to do some shopping. They had lots of other shoes for lots of situations and occasions indoors and out, but I needed to get hunting gear: I’d forgotten that was why I’d come to Bass Pro Shops Katy! I do think you should come in and see what all they’ve got though. Everyone is sure to find something they like and at an amazing price!! I love Bass Pro Shops Katy. 


Catch Me If You Can

We can taste salt on our lips and smell it in the breeze blowing past us. We can see for miles as the sun rises to the left of us. How did we get here? Where are we? What are we doing? We’re saltwater fishing.

It all started at Bass Pro Shops. We saw a Redfish/Frigate rod and reel combo that was on sale. There were so many rods, reels, combos, and great deals that as we looked around we were almost overwhelmed with the wealth of options, but we always came back to that first combo – so we put it in our basket – it was then that we decided to go fishing. 

In order to go fishing, we needed gear to take care of our new equipment; we needed things to clean up and maintain everything and things to take care of the fish when we catch them. We added a Bass Pro Shops XTS Rod Sock, a reel case and Salt Away to our cart before heading to the shelves to look at bait and lures.  There were so many choices and options when it came to bait. There were hard, soft, jigs, spoons, and trolling baits. After that we had to get hooks and then we realized we needed something to help us carry everything, Luckily Bass Pro Shops sells this awesome Backpack called the Bass Pro Shops Extreme Qualifier 360 Backpack Tackle Box. It not only separates into two separate bags, but it also fits 10 tackle boxes, the top is insulated to carry fish or yummies, and it has straps for a rod tube AND it’s water resistant!

We now have a rod, reel, bait, hooks, and other things that we knew we’d need to go saltwater fishing. Next we needed things for after we catch the fish. We needed knives and scalers and cutting boards and a processing table, gloves and a bucket or four, and deodorizer and knife sharpeners. We were lucky again that we were at Bass Pro Shops: they sell everything we would need for a fantastic trip! We were able to find folding and floating knives. We found skinners and scalers. We found a Bass Pro Shops hardwood Fillet Board and a Bass Pro Shops Folding Processing Table. We found all sorts of gear and aftercare items; next it was time to make sure we had the clothes and foot ware necessary to have a fun trip. Luckily, Bass Pro Shops sells all of that too so we didn't have to travel around searching for everything we need.

On our way out, we couldn't help but be distracted by the boats: they’re beautiful. There were big pontoon boats for fishing like the 2014 SUN TRACKER® FISHIN' BARGE® 22 DXL, and there were pontoon boats for fun like the Regency 254 LE3, and there were boats that were for fishing and fun! There were little boats too like the 2015 MAKO 284 CC w/ Twin 200 XL Verado (L4) which is specifically for offshore saltwater fishing and just what we were looking for. There was so much to see and learn about!

This is how we got to where we can taste the salt on our lips and smell it on the breeze blowing past. This is why we can see for miles as we watch the sun rising in the east. We’re saltwater fishing, and we’re having a grand time.


Hi-Ho A Camping We Will Go

Camping is something people from all walks of life can do. It can be a really cheap vacation, or it can be an expensive getaway. The experience all depends on how we do it; the real prize to be won is the memories made. If we’re ready to make some memories then let’s get ready to go!

The first thing we want to think about is what we want to do. Do we want to spend as little as possible and still have a good time or do we want to go glamping (this an excessively comfortable form of camping that we will discuss in a later article)? If money is no obstacle and we want to take the house with us then we want to go glamping. If we want to relax and deal with minimal extra and /or unnecessary stuff then we want to go a more traditional route. There’s nothing right or wrong about either of these choices, which can be intermingled at will, and we should always pick what we can afford both money wise and time/effort/ability wise. The point of this is always to make good, positive memories that we can share with others either in the moment or later on.

After we choose how we want to camp we can pick a location. The location will determine what gear we need. The other thing that determines what gear we need is weather. We should always check the weather as we plan for an outing because it can determine not only what gear we need but how long we want to stay. So we have picked a location, checked the weather, and decided how long we’re going to be gone. Let’s start thinking about what all to pack.

Packing can be easy or packing can be difficult. We’ve decided how and where we want to go camp, we’ve checked the weather, and hopefully in doing all that we’ve decided how long we want to go camping. All these things need to be decided first because they influence what all we need to take with us which in turn can decide how difficult a trip or easy our trip will be barring unforeseen experiences. 

Let’s create a scenario together. We’re going to go camping at Kelly’s Pond Campground for 3 days and it is supposed to be sunny all weekend. Now we all know that the weather can change on a dime and almost no one wants to go camping in the rain. To those who do: best of luck and fun in the rain! So, 3 days at Kelly’s Pond can be a relatively small trip or it can be a super busy weekend. Kelly’s Pond offers lots of stuff to do including: tent camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, if we want to we can ride our ATV if we have one or want to buy one, they even offer  picnic tables and fire rings so we can cook s’mores safely!

Now it’s time to plan what we’re going to take and where to get it if we don’t have it already. Suppose we want to go and have a fun filled week packed with adventure. Here’s what we want to do:

To do all that we need to run by our local Bass Pro Shops and get what we need. Now we’re being hypothetical so we’ll say we’re in Houston near the Katy, Tx Bass Pro Shops. Bass Pro Shops in Katy is great: it’ll have everything we need to go camping.

When we first walk in we can go to Customer Service to get our hunting and fishing licenses. Then we can go to the back right of the store from the entrance to get fishing gear and on our way back there we can get that ATV we’ve been wanting. After we get all the fishing gear we need we can head back towards the entrance to get any clothes we may not have and then we can head to the back of the store for a potty break since we’re human and we may or may not have little ones with us. After that we’ll already be standing in camping so we can get all the camping gear we’ll need: tent, cooking store, survival gear, and even a backpack to put it all in! Next to camping is camo so we can get camouflage for hunting and speaking of hunting the hunting department is right next to that on the way to the register so we can get guns, knives and ammo along with decoys and anything else we need to get that prize shot. We’re finally heading to the registers up front to check out and we’ll pass by the boot wall, what’s more important than proper footwear?Now, we should have everything we need besides food to make a memorable camping trip!!!

We can get to packing! Now we have all of our gear and licensing so we can go hunting and fishing. We got an Arctic Cat so we can use the ATV trails. We got clothes appropriate for the temperature and weather predicted. We want to pack everything as conservatively as possible so we don’t have a lot of extra to carry. We need to print a map of the grounds and a map of how to get to the grounds before we head out as well as food and any other supplies we may need.

By now everything should be researched, bought, packed, and printed. The vehicle should be loaded and everything is ready to go.

Let’s go have a great time!


Shoot for the Stars

Some parents teach their kids to reach for the stars and dream big. Jack Moller is teaching his granddaughter's to shoot for the stars. These girls aren't just shooting for the stars either, they want to be stars - they want to shoot at the Olympics.

Alyssa (10) and Julia (8) are avid archers and have been for 2 years or so. The girls shoot every weekend with their granddaddy. Jack Moller has been shooting Traditional Archery since he was 12 and he takes teaching the girls seriously. When they shoot the girls aim at balloons attached to the targets in order to work on precision and accuracy. 

More information about the difference between the different bows the girls use can be found by reading A Simple Guide to Bows.


You can shop for bows at


A Simple Guide to Bows

The familiar "thwang" of a bow string can set many an archer's mind at ease and relieve stress or tension. Archery is a sport practiced around the world. It is so popular that there have been world archery competitions at least five times a year every year since 2006 according to the World Archery Federation's website, which will be referred to as WAF. Countries all over the world including "China, India, Korea, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, USA, Mexico, [and] Australia" compete to see who has the best archers. (WAF) They have multiple types of archery competitions: Olympic Games, World Cups, World Championships, Ski Archery, Run Archery, Universiades, World Games, World Master Games, Para-Archery, and much more.

Archery started around the time people started walking, and walked its way through the Shang and Zhou dynasties to eventually make its way through Asia to Europe. There it got into Greek, Egyptian, and Norse Mythology and then Roman soon after that. Diana of the Roman Mythology, Athena of the Greek Pantheon, the Huntress, she hunted with a longbow in the traditional style. Many in the Eurasian cultures had at least one deity that carried a bow of similar fashion as the weapon of choice.

Longbows are as many hands high as their archer and without any bells and whistles or additions to help with aim or draw. According to "longbows are much more difficult to aim than other modern bows and do not have nearly the same velocity as compound or recurve bows. " Yew is the traditional wood but other lighter woods are known to be used to make the bow. (“The Longbow”) More modernly used is the compound bow which is like an assisted or easier to use bow.

"The sleek, uncluttered lines of traditional equipment speak volumes on old-school simplicity and tradition. On the other hand, a compound bow -- with its system of cables and wheels and adorned with accessories like a stabilizer, wrist strap, multiposition arrow rest and fiber-optic bow sight -- screams modern-day technology".

The compound bow is set up on a system of pulleys that make the bows stiffer limbs assume the desired shape. The pulley system allows the archer to manipulate potential and kinetic energy for a swifter and more accurately precise shot.


The recurve bow is an older style usually used by horsemen that has also been modernized so that it comes apart into three pieces for convenience.  The recurve bow "gets its power from the unique curve at the limb tips, a design first developed by Egyptian archers thousands of years ago" per The recurve bow may be suggested as a beginners bow due to affordability.

Bass Pro Shops is a great place to buy traditional, recurve and compound bows. We have a wide selection and a staff that can help anyone pick the right bow for the archer.


"Facts and Figures." World Archery. World Archery Federation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"History of Archery." World Archery. World Archery Federation, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"The Longbow." The Longbow. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Carmichael, Lindsey. "The Recurve Bow – What You Need to Know." Discover Archery. The Easton Foundations, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Robb, Bob. "The Modern Compound Bow." Sportsman's Guide. The Sportman's Guide Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Unger, Kristen. "Four Types of Archery Bows." LIVESTRONG.COM. Demand Media, Inc., 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.



Easy Tips for Cleaning Your Firearms

As we move towards hunting season a quick reminder to all that your firearms need to have a quick cleaning even if you have not used them since last season.

With the new cleaning systems available a quick cleaning won’t take too long. The “boresnake system” allows for a one swipe and done barrel cleaning. Using the traditional rod system takes just a bit longer but either way a quick cleaning of the barrel, and an inspection and lubrication of the action should be done before heading to your favorite field.

After use a more thorough clean is necessary. When cleaning any firearm first check to see that it is unloaded. Many accidental shootings occur while cleaning a loaded weapon.

When using the rod system, I prefer to use a brass bristle brush first to break any particulates loose in the barrel. Caution: never reverse the direction of the brush in the barrel; always push the brush completely through the barrel before reversing the direction. The newer spiral wound brushes are excellent for use on smooth bore weapons such as shotguns, but will not get into the groves of the rifling. Then a swab or a patch with a bore cleaning solution should be used, followed by another dry swab or patch until you have a clean swab or patch after use. At this point a very light coat of gun oil should be applied to give the cleaned barrel a little protection.  Note that a very small amount of oil is all that’s needed.

When using a boresnake system, all the steps above except the oiling may be accomplished with one swipe of the boresnake. An additional feature of the boresnake is that it may be used from the action towards the end of the barrel, eliminating any particulates being “dumped” into the receiver area. Again, a small amount of gun oil should be used to protect the bore of the barrel.

Cleaning the action is a little more complicated. Refer to your owner’s manual for disassembly instructions. Modern ammunition is much cleaner than in the past and a complete teardown isn’t always necessary. Inspect your receiver area, and using a can of compressed air (the type used on computer keyboards) removes some of the accumulated grit. If your action requires a complete cleaning, tear down the action and clean individual parts with solvent, drying with a soft dry cloth and following that a light coating of oil should be applied. Remember that a lot of oil isn’t always best.

Modern firearms can give the user many years of service, but nothing will extend the life of you firearm like proper maintenance. If at any point you find something that doesn’t seem right with your firearm, please consult a gunsmith.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World carries a complete line of gun cleaning products. For any questions or tips just ask your Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World hunting professional. They are here to help make your hunting season a successful and an enjoyable one.

And always remember: Safety First.


Written by our own hunter Mark Neathery


Little Fisher

A young boy, around 9 or so, came into the store for our Summer Camp Event this summer with his dad. The young man's father related to me that they go fishing on a regular basis. As his father was talking to me about their adventures the boy proved how skilled he was at fishing in our catch and release pond. Not only did he catch a fish, but he also tried to help other children catch fish by coaching them as to what they could do better. He proudly stood for his "magazine cover" picture with his fish before running off to show what a skilled marksman he was as well.


"Don't Rock the Boat"

The Katy Bass Pro Shops location is one of the few locations where you can buy a Tracker Boat and bring it in to be serviced in the store; it's also home of the Power Pros. We are a Power Pro,  Five Star Marina. We sell Mako and Nitro boats that can also be maintained by our crew. Two of our sales team that are certified Tracker are Janet, who's worked for Bass Pro Shops for more than 10 years, and Brian, who has worked for Bass Pro Shops for about 3 years or so. Both of these associates went through a rigorous training to earn their Tracker Certification which consisted of the completion of around 150 tasks in a month or so.


"We are a Marine Five Star Certified Dealer who subscribes to the Marine Industry Consumer Bill of Rights.


Bass Pro Shops owns the factories it's boats and trailers are made in. This includes Nitro, Tracker, and Mako boats; all of the listed boats have a lifetime warranty on the hull. The boats are sold with their trailers for the most part as they are made to fit each other and since they are made together, they are registered together. 


Come on in and buy a boat today. 


More to come soon about the rest of our Tracker group!!!


Boat Service

Power Pro boating service


At Bass Pro Shops we service what we sell but we are able to do many things on boats that we did not originally sell.  Bring your boat buy for a full review and acessment from our Certified Technitions. 

No need to have an appontment just call 281-644-2105 and ask for the service department.

Right now is the time to get your boat in and prepaired for next season.  Why wait until the last moment and then miss a wwekend while you wait for parts or service timing.

Remember bring your boat in today.  We are ready to serve you.


Power Pro


Galveston Back Bay Fishing Report

Fishing Report


Come on in the the Bass Pro Shops to get the expert advice you will need for fishing the back bay this weekend.

The last week we had a fairly good bite in Galveston East Bay which should resume and get even better after the frontal passage this weekend. Most of our fish were caught drifting mid bay reefs still. We had to hop around a lot last week due to extreme boat pressure which scatters the fish and stops bird action. However, we put together good catches of specks, reds, sand trout and a few flounder. The best bite was on TTF Mumpy Glow Hackberry Hustlers fishing shell in 4-5 ft range. Fishing will get even better each day now. Flounder are starting their fall patterns at all of the usual spots like Seawolf and the barges. According to reports, Trinity bay was hot last week in some of the well and deeper shell pad areas. That should change as we approach more Fall-like weather patterns. All of the seismic work is about done in East Bay now so all of the disturbances to fishing patterns we suffered all summer should settle down quickly.

The best way to work birds is to be quiet as possible. Shut your big motor off as far as you can from the working school and drift in slowly paying attention to where shrimp are jumping out of the water. If you must adjust your boat position, use your trolling motor on low just as much as needed. A trolling motor will scatter the fish as quickly as a big motor. Be patient, quiet, and courteous with your boat and you will increase your chances of catching good fish around the birds. Many times, the larger fish are outside the main school of fish.  They can be caught on heavier jig heads or a topwater worked just outside the school. So when the birds quit, just drift a while and pay attention to water conditions around you. The fish haven't left too far and usually will start pushing bait again.


Selecting the right Handgun for Concealed Carry

Selecting a Pistol for Concealed Carry

If you are reading this, perhaps you haven't made up your mind or have questions about your selection of a personal defense handgun. There have been many articles written on this subject, most of which boil down to a discussion of calibers and actions. While the caliber and action discussion is important, I find it incomplete and lacking in some important considerations for a person who carries a concealed handgun for self defense. Hence, my point of departure is what it means to live with a pistol every day.


The paradox of the concealed personal defense weapon is that it is something you hope you will never have to use for its intended purpose, but with which you must achieve a level of mastery and familiarity comparable to the other tools you use to survive and get through your day. You wouldn't drive to work in a car that you didn't know how to operate. You wouldn't wear a coat that was three sizes too small or use a carpenter's saw to slice up a pot roast. No, you use the tools appropriate to the job and you learn how to work with them competently. The same holds true with a self defense pistol. You should know how to operate it and have the level of skill necessary to use it safely and effectively. It should fit your hand and your lifestyle because you will be spending a lot of time with it. It should be comfortable to shoot and hopefully to carry.


Handguns are not easy to shoot well. The ability to consistently put bullets into a target quickly and in the places which will stop an attacker is a skill that requires a lot of practice. Too many people have the notion that a pistol is a kind of magical talisman and the user need only take it out and wave it around and the problem will magically disappear. Nothing could be further from the truth. A gun brandished at the wrong time and without the fighting skills necessary to employ it effectively will make a whole bunch of new problems, including getting you killed or arrested and charged with some very serious crimes. Hence, making the decision to carry a gun should be made only with the commitment to practice and learn.

Types and Sizes: Pros and Cons

Medium Frame Revolvers

Even though they have been around for 165 years, revolvers remain an excellent solution. These pistols are simple to use and accurate. They can handle hot loads and larger bullets making them effective personal defense weapons. Examples of this class of pistol are the Ruger GP Series and the S&W Model 66. The ideal revolver would have a 3" to 4" barrel, a six-round cylinder, and a grip that fills your hand. The biggest drawback of these pistols is the speed of reloading, but with practice, a revolver can be reloaded as quickly as an autoloader.

Medium Frame Auto Pistols

The overwhelming majority of professional trainers, operators, law enforcement and military people prefer medium to large framed autoloading pistols. These pistols have the best combination of speed, firepower, and accuracy. These pistols will generally load 8-10 rounds in their magazines (or more if you can find the magazines), have full-length grips, and 3.5" or longer barrels. These guns tend to have adequate accuracy and power, and large enough grips to be comfortable. Examples of this type of pistol would be the Glock 17, 19, 21 and 22, the S&W 39xx, 59xx, and 69xx series, the SIG 22x series, the H&K USP and P7, the Kimber ProCarry and Compact, the Springfield Champion, Para-Ordnance P12, and many others.

Large Frame Pistols and Revolvers

I like big pistols. They shoot more accurately, absorb more recoil, and develop greater muzzle velocity due to their longer barrels. I would include in this group the Beretta 92, the Colt Government Model M1911 (and clones), The N Frame S&W revolvers, Colt Python, Anaconda and their copies. Characteristically, these guns have 5" barrels and weigh 36 oz. or more. The biggest drawback of these pistols is their weight. They get heavy and small framed people may have difficulty concealing them.

Calibers and Power

I will just give you my personal opinion and you can take it for what it's worth. I like the .45 ACP and the .357 Magnum the best. Next the .40 S&W, the .44 Special and the 9mm. Then the .38 Special and the .380 ACP. There are other cartridges, but these are the most common for personal defense weapons and the ammunition is readily available.

The Selection Process

Don't be in a rush to buy the first gun you see. Give it a lot of thought. Ideally, shoot as many pistols as you can before you make a decision. Most gun ranges have pistols you can rent to see how they feel. If you have friends who own pistols, go shooting with them. Most will be happy to let you shoot their guns.

At Bass Pro Shops we have many knowledgeable associates on staff to provide advice and information.

Consider how you dress and your lifestyle. How will you carry the pistol? Can you adjust your wardrobe to accommodate your pistol? Particular body shapes may present special problems. Your physical strength and conditioning may also be a factor, i.e., powerful auto pistols tend to function better for people with strong arms and hands. How much time do you have to devote to practice? As a rule of thumb, autos require more training than revolvers, so don't pick a single-action .45 auto if you're not willing to learn to use it.

As important as any other single factor is the size and geometry of your hand. Hand size varies greatly between people and it is very important to handle a gun and note carefully the comfort of the grip and the position of the controls on the pistol. If you can't easily manipulate every control on the gun with either hand, then find a different gun. People with short thumbs may have trouble with the safety of an M1911. People with short palms may have difficulty with the thick handles of the double-stack 9mm and .40 pistols. People with meaty hands may be "bitten" by the slide of a small auto when it cycles.

Does the gun feel good in your hand? Is the trigger smooth or is it rough and heavy? Is the frame fairly narrow so that it will conceal well? Does the gun have the right balance of power, weight and size? (Remember, bigger is better for shooting and power, but can you carry it for 8 hours if you have to?)


The selection of a holster which fits the gun you intend to carry is critically important.

Summary of Selection Criteria

  1. Your personal defense weapon should be as large and as powerful as you can shoot accurately and carry with a reasonable degree of comfort and concealment.
  2. Your personal defense weapon should fit your hand perfectly.
  3. You should be able to manipulate the controls of your weapon with either hand alone.
  4. Your personal defense weapon should be of sturdy construction and be able to withstand heavy use and rough handling.
  5. Your personal defense weapon should be accurate enough to consistently hit a target the size of a saucer at 10 yards quickly.
  6. Select the largest caliber you can shoot well, and a caliber for which ammunition is readily available.
  7. A good quality holster will be available for the model of pistol you intend to carry.

Planning your Hunting Strategy

It is time again to start thinking about planning your hunting trips.  I started my planning at the Bass Pro Shops to make sure I had all the right gear and pick up a few pointers from our local experts.  I always like to look around the store anyway they always have something going on at the Katy store.  As always they hooked me up with the information below and I am planning my trips and deciding on the areas I want to visit.


Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit - $48

  • A valid Texas hunting license along with any required stamp endorsements is required in addition to the APH Permit to participate in hunting opportunities offered through the public hunting program. Please visit Licenses for more information.
  • Issued to an individual and valid from date of purchase through August 31 of that license year (Sept. 1-Aug. 31).
  • Provides access to almost million acres of land for hunting, fishing, camping, and other recreational activities during operating hours. Sites include some State Parks, U.S. Forest Service lands, and Wildlife Management Areas.
  • Offers more than 200 different areas, including approximately 140 special dove and small game hunting units.
  • Many areas are open year-round to permit holders.
  • Hunt a wide variety of species including deer, dove, feral hogs, quail, squirrel, turkey, waterfowl, and other legal game.
  • Regular/daily hunting permit fees (see below) are waived for holders of the APH Permit.
  • The APH Permit waives any applicable daily hunting permit fees.
  • Youth under age 17 may hunt free with a permitted adult.
  • Only permit holders receive a Map Booklet for Public Hunting Lands listing available areas, facilities, maps, rules, and schedules.
  • APH Permits are available at TPWD law enforcement offices and all license vendors (a place which sells hunting and fishing licenses) or by calling 1-800-TX-LIC-4U (menu choice 1 for license sales and paying by Visa, Discover or MasterCard). You can also purchase permits online. If the permit is purchased at a TPWD office, the Map Booklet will be provided immediately at the time of purchase; otherwise, publications will be mailed to the purchaser within two weeks of purchase.





Pro Team 175

Share the fun of multi-species fishing, and catch more than your share of crappie, bass and even walleye!

You love sharing the variety and challenge of catching all types of fish. Where they hide, what they’ll bite on and how to reel ’em in.

The Pro Team™ 175 TF aluminum fishing boat is ready to help!

Its lower bow deck with two seat locations, two cockpit-level fishing positions and an elevated aft deck give you more places to fish than a traditional bass boat. You’ll love the convenience of dual livewells and baitwells, tackle trays, bow accessory trays and drink holders—as well as the smooth, dry-riding Revolution™ hull.

It comes totally outfitted with a Mercury® outboard, 12-volt trolling motor, Lowrance® fishfinder and a factory-matched TRACKER® trailer.






Kayak the Colorado River

  I recently had the opportunity to kayak the Colorado River with my son, near Columbus Texas, just a short drive from Katy, Texas where we live.  It was a beautiful but hot day and we needed to make sure we had all of the essentials for this 3-4 hour trip.  With our gear loaded and ice chest full of ice and water, we set out for the mighty Colorado.  We found a guide service Howell Canoe, that for a $10 fee, will let you unload your equipment (or rent theirs) at their place on the river and then drive you to the get out point to drop off your vehicle and take you back to begin your journey.  This particular trip is 6.1 miles of meandering, beautiful views, and abundant wildlife. 

  As we shoved off from the dock, it was an almost instant calming of the senses and isolation that we were looking for as no one else was on the river with us.  Immediately you begin to notice the abundant amount and variety of birds everywhere you look.  The river was about 2’ down from normal levels, but still plenty water and descent flow.  About midway downstream, we came upon some small rapids and after going through them, we backtracked and parked the kayaks on a rock in the middle of the river and lay down in the middle of the water flow to cool off and take a break.  It was just enough to rejuvenate us from the hot July heat as we continued on our trek. 

  The water was cool and mostly clear as you could see about 3’ down and most of the time the bottom of the river and all that flowed in her.  We saw alligator gar, turtles, bass, diving ducks, and a plethora of other fish and wildlife.  About this time we were wishing we had brought our fishing poles to wet a line and take advantage of some good fishing holes, maybe next time.  Another hour downstream we found ourselves over a sandy bottom about 2’-3’ deep and parked the yaks on a sandy island and cooled off once again. 

  The property on both sides of the Colorado River is private and no trespassing except when there is a city or state park and clearly marked.  The history of the Colorado River around these parts is magnificent and I look forward to learning and exploring more of it.  As we continued on the last leg of our expedition we saw many signs of old bridges, low water crossings, and many old wooden structures.  When you see two bridges in a row, your trek is coming to and end as the city park is just past them on the left.  There is a sign that says Beasons Park painted on a buoy.  After pulling your kayaks out of the water, it’s just a short walk to get your vehicle and drive down to the water to pick them up.

  It was wonderful and a day I soon won’t forget as spending time with my kids in any fashion is what life is all about to me and something I will continue to do.  Here is a list of gear we used for this 3 hour trip in 100 degree heat that was purchased at Bass Pro Shops in Katy Texas.

Ascend FST12 Kayak (sit on top), Ascend A10 Kayak (sit in), Ascend oars, Ascend life jackets, World Wide Sportsman zip off pants with 50 UPF, World Wide Sportsman long sleeve Nylon