2014 Spring Force Promotion

Bass Pro Shops and Carhartt are teaming up again. This year, April 1st through April 20th, receive a FREE Igloo cooler when you make at least a $50.00 purchase on any Carhartt Force product. Make at least a $50.00 purchase on any Carhartt Force products and receive a redemption form to claim your cooler. Redemption forms can be found in the apparel department.


There are two ways to redeem:
1. Online: Enter certificate code at www.carharttforce.com, as prompted, on or before June 30, 2014. Limit
1 Igloo® Cooler per mailing address. Note: Customers may be requested to mail in original Carhartt Force®
Product sales receipt and original bar code/UPC code.

2. Mail in: Customer can send original receipt with the redemption coupon Carhartt Force® Product sales
receipt and original bar code/UPC code, along with redemption form, to the address provided.

Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. If your Igloo® Cooler is not received in 6-8 weeks, contact Carhartt at 1-800-833-3118, or by email, carharttforce@carhartt.com.

Come on into the store or visit us on the website at www.basspro.com to check out all of the Carhartt products that we carry. Don't wait long to shop, this offer is only good for a limited time.


Easter Event 2014

It's that time of the year again..... Easter time. Come join us for the 2014 Bass Pro Shops FREE Easter Event.

Dates & Times:  Saturdays & Sundays, April 12-13 & 19-20, 11am-4pm

     Monday-Thursday, April 14-17, 6-8pm

     Friday - April 18, 2-7pm                                                                  


Activities include:

Easter Egg Hunt - Ages 2-10

Saturdays & Sundays, April 12-13 & 19-20 Beginning at 2pm for 1 hour

Eggs and bags will be provided


Crafts for the Kids

Saturdays & Sunday April 12-13, 1-4pm (whiles supplies last)



Saturday & Sunday April 19-20, 1-4pm (while supplies last)


Friday, April 18th 2-7pm (whiles supplies last)



FREE pictures with the Easter bunny! Saturday & Sunday April 12-13 & 19-20 - 11am-4pm
                                                        Monday - Thursday April 14-17, 6-8pm
                                                        Friday April 18th, 2-7pm










2014 Spring Fling

Join us this year for our 2014 Spring Fling Event. The event will be held on March 22nd from 11am to 5pm.

Come on out and spend the day with the family enjoying FREE activities. Activities this year include:

-Fashion Show from the apparel department. Join our Bass Pro Shops apparel team as they prepare to model the latest spring fashions for you. Our team will begin a fashion show at 1pm and will have a variety of apparel. Styles will be from the children's department, men, women's, and even camouflage.


fox 6

-Fox 6 News - Rhonda Robinson will be the emcee for the fashion show!
                      You see her on TV at night, now come see her in person.



red cross

- The American Red Cross - See how you can make a difference this year. Check in with this booth and get lots of information.



barber   -Barber Motorsports - Rated as one of the best motorcycle museums in the world, we are lucky enough to call them our neighbor. Come see what all the fuss is about!



-Alabama Partners for clean air - A little change can go a long way. Are you doing your part to keep Alabama's air clean from pollutants? Stop by and become a partner.



-Turkey Creek Nature Preserve - Where unique natural wonders and rich history flow together.



There will also be an exotic animal show and more! Don't miss the opportunity to have a FREE, fun family day at the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama.




New Shotgun From Benelli, Ethos

Bass Pro Shop, Leeds, Alabama just received its first shipment of the new shotgun from Benelli. This new model is named "Ethos" and it is sure to be a game-changer for the shotgun world.

Ethos' Features:Ethos Stock

  • Progressive Comfort System
  • Wide range of LOP adjustment
  • Easy Loading System (No more ""Nelli numb thumb")
  • Easy Locking System
  • Large Bolt Release
  • Anti-Seize Mag Cap
  • Carbon Fiber Rib
  • Interchangeable Fiber-Optic Sight
  • Crio-treated barrel
  • AA Walnut Stock

Benelli Ethos Configurations:

  • 12ga 2.75"-3". AA-Grade Satin Walnut, Engraved. 28"-6.5lbs. 26"-6.4lbs. MSRP $2199


  • 12ga 2.75"-3". AA-Grade Satin Walnut, Anodized. 28"-6.5lbs. 26"-6.4lbs. MSRP $1999


The new Benelli Ethos is also said to be able to cycle light loads. Benelli advertises that the Ethos will cycle a 7/8 ounce load reliable. This feat is probably the biggest hurdle any semi auto shotgun manufacturer had to overcome.

I have had the shotgun in my hands I can tell you for sure some of the improvements are just that, improvements. The shell carrier does not pinch my thumb, the magazine tube had no restriction while loading, the bolt is amazingly smooth, the AA-Grade walnut is beautiful, the gun is well balanced and swings beautifully. The interchangeable front beads works great for varying weather conditions and shooter personalities.

I think this is a great new gun from Benelli and I can not wait to pull the trigger on one. Be sure to check out www.BenelliUSA.com to see all the specifications for the Ethos, along with more pictures and videos of this gun in action. Also remember to stop by BassPro for all your outdoor needs!

Safe and Happy Shooting,




Key Bait's For Imitating Crawfish

Bass are absolutely one of the most ferocious predators that swim. They will eat basically anything that they can fit their mouths around, and they have been known to attempt to eat things that they can't fit their mouths around. They have amazing appetites and I say it all the time. "If bass got as big as great white sharks, then anyone that swims in our local lakes and rivers would be in big trouble." Animals such as snakes, lizards, frogs, rodents, and even birds and baby ducks are frequently found in the gullet of a bass by anglers. With all of these strange food sources as well as the more common shad, bluegill, and crawfish, selecting baits throughout the season can be a very difficult task. Understanding which food sources are key for the certain time period you are fishing in is very important. The one I want to touch on now is one of my absolute favorite food sources to imitate which is the crawfish. These crustations are like filet mignon to a hungry bass, and trust me they will take every opportunity they have to eat the hardy meal a crawfish offers. Crawfish can range in size from 1/2 inch long all the way up to 5 or 6 inches long, and can be found in a wide range of colors. Generally the base colors are an olive green or brown, but in fall and early spring the crawfish will often have orange or red in their legs and claws, and can even turn blue in certain situations. Generally in the spring or fall I want my crawfish imitation to be brown with a hint orange mixed in. A good way to tell exactly what color the crawfish are is by setting a trap such as a Frabill Deluxe Crawfish Trap. Simply set it near a rocky area and let it sit over night, the next morning you will have an up to date sample of what colors you need to be using in your crawfish imitation lures. So if you're heading out on the water right now in the month of March there are a few key baits that you really should have in your arsenal. You can either base your color selection on the sampling you've done, or you can just stick by the rule of thumb that fall and spring crawfish generally have orange or red in their claws or legs.

One of my favorite baits to turn to in the fall and early spring is a jig with a soft plastic trailer. A few of my favorite jigs are the Stanley Finesse Jigs, War Eagle Finesse Jigs, as well as the Strike King Bitsy Bug Jig. The trailer I use the most in the fall and spring is a Zoom Super Chunk, or Super Chunk Junior. I like this trailer because of the subtlety of it. When bass are cold they often prefer baits with less action and the super chunk is perfect for that application. I often determine my jig and trailer color by figuring out exactly what color the current crawfish population is but in most cases when fishing water below 65 degrees I use a jig that is brown and orange with a green pumpkin trailer that I often dip in orange Spike It. When fishing these jigs I like to target banks that have significant rock structure on them as well as working them through brush piles from 4 to 12 feet deep. The colder the water gets the slower I like to work my jig. Be ready because the jig is a proven big fish bait and there is not a better time to throw one then in the cold water months of the year!

Another great crawfish imitator is a crank bait. Numerous companies produce baits in either an orange or red color and they catch a ton of fish when worked around banks that have an abundance of rock on them. In the fall I like to look for steeper rock banks close to deep water, while in spring I often catch my larger pre spawn fish on clay or gravel banks, as well as on points that have chunk rock mixed in. Whether its spring or fall here are the baits that I like to through. The first is a Spro Little John MD in the spring craw color. This bait is small in profile and has a great action that really triggers fish when the water is in the mid 50s to low 60s whether you are fishing it in the spring or fall doesn't matter. Another crank bait for that same water temperature is the Storm Wiggle Wart. The wiggle wart has been catching fish for far more years then I have been alive and is still producing today. They have a wide variety of crawfish colors to choose from, my two favorites are the orange brown craw, and the natural brown crawfish. The Spro and the Storm both have a relatively aggressive wobble that the fish really love in the early fall and late spring. Both baits actually have what is called a hunting action which means when retrieved they wobble while at the same time subtly changing course from left to right. However when the water is cold, from 42 to 52 degrees the number one bait is the Rapala Shad Rap in the SR7 or SR5 size. When targeting cold water bass with the shad rap I generally use the SR7 size in the crawdad color or the dark brown crawdad. There are two keys to why the shad rap is such successful cold water bait. First is the fact that it is silent while most crank baits have rattles, secondly the bait has a very subtle tight wobble. These two factors are a deadly seductive presentation for a fish that is in a slow feeding mode.

The Jigs and the Crank baits are by far the top two baits when imitating crawfish, but there are some other more innovative baits on the market that are sure to catch crawfish eating bass. A new bait was recently produced by savage industries the bait is called the 3D Craw. It is an incredibly realistic bait that actually has air in the head of the bait and in the pinchers, which makes the bait stand up in an aggressive posture. You can rig the bait on a stand up jig head or for a great weed less application you can take the skirt of a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce jig and simply slide the craw up on to the hook. The Huddleston Huddlebug is another great option when trying to perfectly imitate a crawfish.

Between the jigs, crank baits, and the realistic craw imitations you have plenty of baits to choose from. Remember to always pay attention to water temperature and try and match the color of the crawfish as accurately as possible. The next step is learning where, and how to fish the baits, and finally go out and load the boat with big cold water bass. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania 


Next Generation Weekend

Bass Pro Shops Next Generation Weekend Saturday and Sunday March 15-16th

  • Noon-5pm (Crafts 1-4:30pm)
  • Catch and Release Pond: Noon-5pm
  • Photos: Noon- 5pm Free 4x6 printed in-store photo opportunity


“Keep America Fishing”/Bass Pro Shops certificate



Kids workshop - 2:30 & 4:30 pm


Saturday and Sunday Free Crafts Giveaway


First 150 kids to get their Next Generation Card punched will receive a free tackle box with logo


Coloring Sheets


Women’s Beginning Fishing Workshop
March 15


This Weekend at Bass Pro Shops Leeds

This weekend, the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds has something to offer everyone from the angler to the hunter. For the angler, we will be hosting the Bassmasters Open weigh-in and also conducting workshops in fishing. Here is a lineup of all of the events:

Friday, March 7th 
7pm - Flipping and Pitching for Bass

Saturday, March 8th
11am - Locating Bass in New Waters
1pm - Topwater Techniques for Bass
2pm - Spinning Reel Tactics for Bass
3pm - Does the Color of your Bass Lure Matter?
4pm - Become a Spotted Specialist
5pm - Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Crappie

Sunday, March 9th
11am - Locating Bass in New Waters
1pm - Topwater Techniques for Bass
2pm - Spinning Reel Tactics for Bass
3pm - Does the Color of your Bass Lure Matter?
4pm - Become a Spotted Specialist
5pm - Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Crappie

The first 25 people who attend a seminar on Saturday or Sunday will receive a free giveaway. Must be 18 years old.

local pro


March 6-8th, the Bassmasters' professionals will be fishing at Smith Lake in Jasper, Alabama and holding the final weigh-in here at Bass Pro Shops. Make sure you are here by 3pm for the weigh-in excitement.



Also... in our hunting department, we have Free events & Outdoor Skills Workshops on March 8th.
1pm - Advanced Spring Turkey Calling
2pm - Selecting the Right Turkey Decoys

Attend either of these seminars and register for a chance to win a FREE Avian-X turkey decoy.



While you are here, don't miss out on the free fried fish sampling on March 8th from 2pm-4pm.


Come out and join us for a fun-filled weekend.



Bass Pro Shops would like to invite you to learn from the professionals. Join us Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for our Bassmaster University weekend. This weekend's lineup includes:

jimmy houston

Jimmy Houston Friday night (February 28th) at 7pm
"Umbrella Rig Secrets & Learning How to Pitch"



Kevin VanDam Friday night (February 28th) at 8pm
"Tournament-Proven Bass Strategies"



Chuck Belmore Saturday (March 1st) at 1pm
"Modern Bowfishing"



James Watson Saturday (March 1st) at 2pm
"Choosing the Right Equipment: Rod, Reel & Line"



Chris Lane Saturday (March 1st) at 3pm
"Grass Fishing Techniques"



Terry Baksay Sunday (March 2) at 1pm
"Soft Plastic Swimbaits from Top to Bottom"



Roland Martin Sunday (March 2) at 2pm
"Techniques for Pattern Fishing"


woo daves

Woo Daves Sunday (March 2) at 3pm
"Worm Fishing"


Stop by and attend a workshop to learn from the best or simply come and meet a professional angler. Don't forget to pick up your Bass Pro Shops merchandise to have autographed from your favorite professional fisherman. Visit our apparel department for hats and t-shirts or pick up your favorite fishing lure from the fishing department.




Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

The State of Alabama has announced the return of its annual “Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.”  This is a 3 day sales tax holiday that starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, February 21st and goes through midnight on Sunday, February 23rd.     Please go to the attached Alabama Department of Taxation website, ADOR - Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday , to read more about this upcoming holiday and print out the information provided there.


The sales tax holiday applies to all locations in Alabama (store locations in Prattville, Spanish Fort & Leeds).  The sales tax holiday is on the State portion of the sales tax (which is 4%), and in some locations, the local sales tax as well and then only on applicable items.


PLEASE NOTE:  This exemption applies to the STATE piece of the sales tax rate and only the LOCAL pieces of the sales tax rate when the local governing body has chosen to participate.  It is up to the local jurisdictions to decide if they want to participate.  The City of Prattville and Elmore County have elected to participate in this exemption program.  However, at Spanish Fort, Baldwin County has elected to participate and the City of Spanish Fort has elected to participate, but the Town Center District has elected not to participate in the holiday.  Likewise, at Leeds, the City of Leeds has elected to participate, but Jefferson County has elected to not participate in the holiday.  Therefore, depending on your location, eligible items of clothing and footwear may not be fully exempt, but will be subject to a reduced tax rate during the Holiday.  Below is a list of location with their regular tax rate and the reduced tax rate for the sales tax holiday.


                                               Normal Rate            Holiday Rate                 

Prattville Store:                      11.00%                           0.000%

Leeds Store:                           10.00%                          2.000%

Spanish Fort Store:               10.95%                          2.450%



The Holiday exempts from sales tax only certain categories of items and only on items that have a selling price of $60 or less (the one exception is on generators which is available on those selling for $1,000 or less).  If any item sells for more than $60 (or $1,000 for generators) then the whole sales price is taxable.  For example if a radio sells for $60 it is completely exempt, however, if it sells for $60.19 then the whole thing is taxable.  The list includes:


  • Blue ice or artificial ice  
  • Battery powered flashlights and lanterns (excludes kerosene or other fuel supplied lanterns)
  • Gas or diesel fuel containers
  • Batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt, and 9-volt only – excludes car/boat batteries)
  • Non-electrical coolers and ice chests
  • Cell phone chargers/batteries
  • Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, ground anchor systems, tie-down kits
  • Radios (portable and self-powered), Two-way radios, weather band radios, and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Storm shutter devices
  • Duct tape
  • First-aid kits
  • Portable generators

Monster Fish Sweepstakes

Are looking to start the New Year off with a new boat? Why not try to win one? Check out the Monster Fish sweepstakes that is going on now until April 15th, 2014. Below are the details:

  • No purchase necessary to enter or claim prize.
  • Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Promotion began on January 3rd and ends on April 15th

To enter: Visit www.basspro.com/monsterfish to complete the entry form and submit as directed.

You may also enter by completing an official entry form including your name, complete address, daytime phone number, email address and date of birth and depositing it in an official ballot box at the Bass pro Shops in Leeds. LIMIT one entry per person per calendar month, regardless of method of entry.

Grand Prize: a 2014 Nitro Z-6 with 115 hp OptiMax and trailer valued at approximately $22,499. Prize includes freight and preparation. Winner will be notified by phone, email, and/or mail at Sponsor's sole discretion.

For a list of winners, mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to be received by 5/30/14 to: Bass Pro Shops "Monster Fish" Sweepstakes Winners, PMI Station, PO Box 750, Southbury CT 06488-0750


Basics To Build On In The Sport Of Bass Fishing


Anyone who has explored very deep into the fishing world knows that fishing at times can be very overwhelming, and frustrating. Especially if you have little or no previous experience, and you are trying to figure out how to get started. The best advice I can give, is keep it simple. There are literally thousands of different types of baits, rigs, and presentations to choose from, and if you don't have a basic place to start then chances are you will get discouraged with the sport and loose interest before you ever give it a chance. I promise once you begin to learn the baits, presentations, and fish behaviors, and start to consistently catch fish throughout the year, a passion will be instilled in you that will last a lifetime. It happened to me as a child at the age of two years old down on my dock with my dad catching hundreds of bluegill and sunfish, and it has now grown into a career in professional bass fishing and guiding. This passion I have has over the years grown far beyond fishing, and has turned into a full love and appreciation for nature and the outdoors. So here are a few very simple baits and techniques that will help you get started in your own journey, utilizing and enjoying what God has given us!

The Bass is a very interesting species of fish consisting of three main types, all of which can be found in the state of Alabama! First we have the most prevalent and probably most popular type of bass the Largemouth. The Largemouth Bass is known best for getting big, with the world record being almost double the size that it's cousins are known to grow too. They are beautiful fish, and just like their name describes they have big mouths often with the same or bigger diameter than their body. They can eat very large baits and will typically be found holding tight to cover or vegetation in most lakes, rivers, and reservoirs across the country. The next major species of bass is the Smallmouth, and like their name they have a mouth that is much smaller than their bodies. Don't be fooled though, smallmouth are incredible feeders and fighters and will often jump upwards of five feet out of the water in an attempt to through your bait. They are found primarily in the northern states, but can also be found in Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas. Now the third cousin and one of the most prolific in the state of Alabama is the Spotted Bass. A spot looks almost like a cross between a largemouth and a smallmouth, while they rarely get over 7 or 8 pounds they are possibly the most aggressive feeders and hardest fighters of all. The Three baits that I am going to tell you about are baits that no matter where you go across the country, and what species you are targeting will work very well with just a little practice. 

The first, and probably my main go to technique in tough conditions is the shaky head. A shaky head is very simple, all it consists of is a jig head, with a straight tail worm rigged weedless on the hook. My very favorite shaky head jig to use is called a Gamakatsu Skip Gap Shaky Head Hook. It has a patented notch just under the head that is perfect for holding the head of the worm up on the hook with little damage to the soft plastics integrity. The weight of the head should be chosen based on the depth of water you are targeting. To keep it simple in water 15 feet or less use a 1/8oz jig head, if you go deeper than that then I’d jump it up to a 3/16 or 1/4oz head. On the jig head I basically texas rig a straight tail finesse worm such as a Robo Worm or a Bass Pro Shops Finnike Worm. On color selection any soft plastic you use that is a natural green or brown color will consistently produce bass. When rigged properly the shakey head is weedless and works very well around just about any cover you want to fish. An important tip to remember when fishing the bait is less is more. It seems that the less you try to hop and move the bait the more fish you catch. All it takes is little twitches of the rod tip to make the bait move and shimmy across the bottom. I almost always fish my shakey head with a TFO Tactical Series spinning rod, and unless I'm fishing heavy cover like brush piles, I use from 6 to 10lb test Trilene 100% Flourocarbon Line. Fluorocarbon has very little stretch and also sinks which helps significantly with sensitivity. This will allow you to feel every object your bait comes in contact with, as well as increasing your ability to detect light bites. This is a fish catching machine, and is perfect if you are interested in getting a young child into fishing, or if you are a beginning angler that wants to get into the sport.

Another deadly and simple bait that is amazing for bass is a stick bait. Specific brands all have their version of this bait from the Bass Pro Shops Stiko, to the Yum Dinger, and also the originator of the bait the, Yamamoto Senko. They all look very similar and will catch you a ton of bass. There are two primary ways to rig a stick bait, both of which work best weightless. The first is called the wacky rig, the wacky rig is simply piercing a small hook such as a Gamakatsu Weedless Wacky hook through the center of the worm. This allows the worm to flex and quiver as it slowly falls parallel to the bottom which is very difficult for a bass to resist. If you are fishing in extremely heavy cover than weightless texas rigging the bait is very effective, using either 3/0 or 4/0 Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Hook. This bait works great for fishing shallow cover no matter where you live across the country, and if you have a pond or small lake near by then this bait is almost irresistible to bass that have rarely or never seen it before. A stiko can be fished on a spinning or bait casting setup, based on personal preference. The only time that a spinning rod is critical to success in my mind is when the fish are tucked deep up under docks or overhanging trees. In this situation the spinning rod is the best choice when attempting to skip this weightless bait.

 The first two baits I described are designed to be fished slowly and are great simple options that can help you get started in bass fishing, and more importantly, they flat out catch fish! Now there is a different type of fishing that is the exact opposite of the slow moving techniques it's called reaction fishing. When fishing slow moving bait you are attempting to intrigue a fish into biting in a certain area. When fishing a reaction bait you are attempting to cover as much water as possible and trigger an aggressive reaction from either active or possibly surprised inactive fish. Now, there are a large number of reaction type baits out there and certain ones work better in specific times of the year, but for starters I will give you one bait that you can throw that will catch you fish throughout the majority of the year. The type of bait is called a crankbait, which is designed to be moved fast, and to be worked around cover, letting the diving bill dig the bait into the bottom. The specific make and model that I use most often is called a SPRO Little John MD. The MD stands for medium diving which means it can effectively be worked in depths from 1 foot all the way to 9 feet. They come in a wide variety of colors and by rule I would stick with crawfish imitations in the spring, bluegill imitations in the summer, and shad imitations in the fall. So three different colors and one specific bait model will be all you need to get started in catching fish. All you have to do is simply cover allot of water and make as many casts as possible. Reaction fishing is very effective in low light conditions such as on cloudy days or early in the morning, and will work even better if you can find an area with the wind blowing into it.

So stop by your local Bass Pro Shops, with a list of the baits I just suggested, and ask one of the associates in the fishing department where you can find the specific baits. I promise you that if you give them time they will catch you allot of fish. So be patient, and learn to love and respect the outdoors just like I do. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania









Meet a Pro! Brad Whitehead

This year, don't miss out on the "Crappie Madness" sale and event that is going on at Bass Pro Shops on February 14-15. During the weekend of February 14-15, come listen to crappie pro fisherman, Brad Whitehead from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, as he conducts workshops here at the store. The workshops will be held on February 14th at 7pm and February 15th at 11am and 2pm. The workshop titled, Learn tips and techniques of various styles of crappie fishing, will be filled with lots of useful information and tips.

Get to know Brad Whitehead just a little before you get here. Crappiecrazy.com wrote an article on Brad Whitehead, asking questions and revealing the answers with the fishing pro. here are the questions and answers:

Years Pro: 12
Tournament Partner: When I fish it’s Bevan Berry
Home Lake: Pickwick Lake
Favorite Lake: Pickwick Lake
Boat & Outboard: WarEagle 754VS, 50 Yamaha
Sponsors: BnM Poles, WarEagle Boats, Lake Fork Tackle, ORCA Coolers, Browning, Hi-Tek Rodholders, RoadRunner, Mister Twister

10 Crappie Fishing Related Questions:

1. What is your favorite Crappie Fishing Technique and why? Sidepulling, its the best guiding technique I have ever seen.

2. When you fish a lake that has Black Crappie and White Crappie, which one do you target? Do you have a different approach for fishing for one or the other? If so please explain. White Crappie for me.  I fish deep, fast and with large baits.  If I go for blacks, they seemed to like smaller baits and structure I don’t care to fish.

3. What is your go-to lure or bait and why? (favorite lure & color) 1/4 oz hairjigs, red, black, orange.  This bait I have confidence in and that is what matters.  If you don’t have a confidence bait, you don’t need to guide or tournament fish.

4. How do you approach a new body of water that you have never fished before and what are you looking for? Call anybody that has fished it.  Then take half of what guys tell you and throw it out the window because it will not work the day you go.  The main thing I gather is the area of the fish.  One part of the lake will hold more fish. 

5. Do you pre-fish before your tournaments? If so, please explain your approach. Do you thoroughly cover water catching as many crappie in the area or contact fish and keep moving not to pressure an area? The few tournaments I have fished. I just showed up.  Crappie fisherman I think “wear the fish” out to much before tournament day.  There not bass.  Most guys are greedy and take them out of the place there going to fish.

6. Name the most important tool/equipment in your boat or tackle that you could not fish without. Confidence in your equipment.  Just because its the most expensive, does not mean you know how to use it. 

7. How do you locate tournament winning fish? I’m normally guiding during tournament season.

8. Please name the gear you fish with; (Poles, Reels, Line, Electronics, etc.) BnM Poles, Lake Fork Panfish Line, 1197 Hummingbird

9. Do you have a Pre-Tournament Routine? If so please explain. No, normally guiding

10. To date, what is your proudest moment in your Crappie Fishing Career? I guess, being in the fishing industry long enough to start getting my son put in catalogs and on the cover of magazines.  With him being 8 years old I hope he thinks about this stuff we did together one day with his kids.


10 Questions Non-Crappie Fishing Related:

1. What is your favorite hobby/activity other than Crappie Fishing? Duck Hunting with my 8 year old

2. What is your favorite meal? Any meals my wife cooks!

3. What kind of music do you like? Who is your favorite singer or band? Country or any 80′s to eariler 90′s groups

4. Name your favorite vacation getaway and why? The mountains, its cool and I’m away from any lakes.

5. When you were a child, what did you have dreams of becoming for a profession as an adult? Yes, maybe not as a crappie fisherman but a fisherman that everybody knows.

6. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? One, a mix, name Izzy

7. Name for us the most influential person in your life, past or present and why? An older friend I meet on a guide trip about 5 years ago.  He is a self made million dollar man and you would never know he had a dime. 

8. If you had a warning label, what would yours say? Don’t open unless you want the truth!

9. Do you prefer watching the sunrise or the sunset? Sunrise

10. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Being a parent and a good husband



2014 Inaugural CRAPPIE MADNESS!

Join Bass Pro Shops in Leeds as we celebrate warmer temperatures with our 2014 Inaugural Crappie Madness!  This event includes 2 weekends (Feb. 7 & 8 and Feb. 14 & 15) filled with fishing facts and fun.

Friday night’s activities include:

  • FREE photo downloads from 5-8pm (Photo shows you on the cover of Crappie Magazine!)
  • Pro Crappie Seminar at 7pm - Learn tips and techniques of various styles of Crppie Fishing

             ** FREE Giveaway to the first 25 people to attend seminars at the advertised times.

Saturday’s activities include:

  • FREE photo downloads from Noon-6pm (Photo shows you on the cover of Crappie Magazine!)
  • Catch and Release Pond 1-5pm (Feb. 8th ONLY)
  • Pro Crappie Seminar at 11am & 2pm - Learn tips and techniques of various styles of Crappie Fishing

              ** FREE Giveaway to the first 25 people to attend seminars at the advertised times.

While you are here, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Crappie Rigged 2014 Tracker Pro Team 175 TF. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal US/DC residents 21 or older. Begins 2/7/14 and ends 2/15/14. Subject to official rules available at participating locations or by mailing a SASE to BPS "Crappie Madness" Sweepstakes Rules, PMI Station, PO Box 750, Southbury, CT 06488-0750.


Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.....

It's that time of the year again. NASCAR season is quickly approaching. Have you been keeping up with the changes being made this year and are you keeping up with your favorite driver? It seems as though every year NASCAR makes changes either to the set up of the car or the set up of the points system. This year, rumor has it that the changes will be made to the number of driver's in the points race, changing the number from 12 drivers to 16. Of course, we all know that as of right now.... they are just rumors.

No matter what type of changes are made, we know that each NASCAR fan will be watching, as their favorite driver takes the field. This year's Daytona 500 will be on February 23rd. That's just a week after Tony Stewart is said to be released from his doctor. (Stewart suffered a broken leg last year and has undergone physical therapy every since his injury.) To help get into the spirit of NASCAR, stop by the Leeds Bass Pro Shops and pick up some of the Tony Stewart items that we sell here. Below is an example of what you can find:

tony decal

Broadcast your support with this NASCAR Wincraft Bass Pro Shops Ultra Decal, featuring Tony Stewart's number, signature, and sponsor. This bold, eye-catching decal can be removed and reused, and looks great on your car or tailgating grill! This Tony Stewart decal makes a great gift! Made in USA.


tony hat

The Bass Pro Shops NASCAR Tony Stewart Adult Sponsor Cap is a great choice for racing fans, featuring all sorts of embroidered logos—Bass Pro Shops up front, NASCAR and Tony Stewart's signature on the sides, and the number 14 on the back. Stretch-to-fit A-Flex construction gives you a snug fit and moisture-wicking performance. 95% polyester/5% spandex. Imported. One size fits most.


tony hoody

Our Bass Pro Shops NASCAR Tony Stewart #14 Sweatshirt is more than just a way to keep warm—it's a way to show your support for number 14! Made from 80% cotton/20% polyester, this soft, beefy sweatshirt is decked out with lots of logos, including our leaping bass logo, the number 14, Tony's signature, and NASCAR. Other details include a drawstring hood, a kangaroo pocket, and contrast stitching. Machine wash. Imported.


tony tshirtWho needs a boat when you have a racecar? Our Bass Pro Shops NASCAR Tony Stewart Burnin' Rudder T-Shirt answers that age-old dilemma with the roar of unbridled horsepower, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "smoke on the water." Bass Pro Shops, NASCAR, and Tony Stewart are powerful partners in supporting the sports we love and defending our way of life. This awesome tee celebrates 2 great American pastimes with front and back screenprinted graphics, highlighted by a scene on the back featuring Tony's #14 car "burnin' rudder" by kicking up some spray with his slicks. If you love racing and fishing and any combination of the 2, you simply have to have this tee. Made of 100% cotton. Machine wash. Imported.

To check out these great items and more, go to www.basspro.com or visit your local Bass Pro Shops in Leeds!


4 Must Have Baits For Winter Fishing

During the winter months the majority of angler’s trade in their bass boats for a tree stand and their fishing rod's for a rifle! For some reason hunting in the cold months of the year just seems to make more sense than placing yourself in the open elements out on a boat. While it can be cold and nasty at times, with the proper 100 MPH Bass Pro Shops rain gear and the right selection of fishing lures you can have some of the most successful fishing days in your entire life. Not only do fish bite in the winter time, but big fish bite. With odds of catching a big fish increasing, no matter what the weather, if I have a free day in the winter I'm going to be on the water. Here are 4 key baits that will help build some mid winter memories on the water!

1) The umbrella rig is one of my primary winter time baits. Actually it's 5 baits on one rig consisting of a head and 5 wires with swivels on the end of each wire. The original model was produced 2 years ago by Manns Bait Company and is called the Alabama Rig, since then many other companies have come out with their own rigs. My personal favorite is the new Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Flashy Times, not only does it have the 5 baits when fully rigged but it is also built with a blade on each of the 4 outside wires. The blades add extra flash and vibration that is deadly for bass that are lurking in deep stained water. There are a few different baits I like to use when on my rig. The first is the new Strike King Swim-N-Shiner. The Swim-N-Shiner is a flat sided slender swim bait with a perfect paddle tail that gives the bait incredible action. It comes in two different sizes, a 4" and a 5" and is offered in 6 different colors. I like to choose my size of bait and color based on water clarity, size of the baitfish, and species of bass I am targeting. For example if I'm fishing Lake Guntersville I use the 5 inch, if I'm fishing Logan Martin Lake I prefer the 4 inch baits. I rig my baits on Gamakatsu Darter jig heads and I select my size based on the depth I am going to be targeting. My rule of thumb is 1/8oz for 15ft or less and 3/8oz or 1/4oz for anything deeper than that. Often the key to catching fish on the rig is letting it hit and drag on the bottom, so make sure you use jig heads that allow you to do that. Another bait option that is a little simpler is the Bass Pro Shops Boss Shad, they come pre rigged on a jig head and are ready to be fished straight out of the pack. They are a perfect option for a beginning angler that doesn't want to mess with rigging the baits themselves. When I'm fishing my rig I look for three main ingredients. One is bait fish, two is the wind, and three is an area of the lake that I know has a good population of bass such as a specific creek, deep pocket, or main river point. If you find those three things and work your bait properly through the school of fish you will be amazed at the success you can have while fishing with an umbrella rig.

2) An awesome way to catch winter time fish is with suspending jerk bait. When the water temperature drops below 50 degrees the jerk bait is possibly the very best option you can turn to. The neutrally buoyant suspending nature of many of the jerk baits on the market today is the real key in why it is so deadly on cold water bass. I love to throw the Spro McStick 110 Jerk bait in cold water using a slow twitch and pause teqnique. The colder the water the longer I let my bait pause which gives the slow moving bass time to swim up to the bait. 9 times out of 10 the bass will eat the jerk bait when it is sitting still so always be sure to watch your line. A good quality rod is very important such as a 7'3" TFO Tactical Series bait caster spooled with 10lb Fluorocarbon Line. A quality sensitive rod with the low stretching flouro carbon will allow you to feel and see even the most gentle bites whether your hands are frozen or not! The ingredients I look for when searching for an area to throw my jerk bait are identical to where I use my umbrella rig. One bait fish, two wind, and three fish that you know live in the area. Very your retrieve and try to learn something from every fish that bites. Once you have triggered a strike you can often repeat the exact same cast and retrieve and catch fish after fish in the same area.

3) The Rapala Shad Rap has been fooling winter time bass for as long as I've been alive! It is made out of balsa wood and has an absolutely deadly action. The reason it works so good on cold water bass is because of two things. First is the fact that the Shad Rap has no rattles, second is the subtle tight wobble of the bait when retrieved in a slow and steady manner. These two factors combined make a subtle bait that has proven to be hard for a bass to resist, especially when the water is cold! The bait comes in multiple different sizes from an SR4 to an SR9. I generally use the SR7 for the reason that it is easier to cast and is really a perfect size to attract fish across the country. There are also a wide variety of colors to choose from yet I still only rotate between three different choices. The original crawdad, shad, and silver black back colors, are all you will ever need to load the boat with fish. I like to throw my Shad Rap on shallow clay and gravel points where the bass will be sunning and feeding throughout the winter months.

4) A good old fashion jig and pig will rarely let you down if you work it properly in the winter months. While the previous 3 go to baits are considered reaction baits, fishing the jig and pig is a slow methodical presentation will slowly entice a slow moving fish to bite. On difficult cold fishing days it can at times seem like there are absolutely no fish left in the lake, but the truth is they are there and they have to eat at some point. Always remember that fish are cold blooded, so if the water is cold then their bodies will be cold. A bass in water that is 45 degrees or is going to be extremely opportunistic, meaning a food opportunity must be worth the effort. A jig is a bulky slow presentation that imitates a hearty worth while meal. If I'm fishing relatively clear water I like to use a natural green or brown color Stanley Finesse Jig with a Zoom Super Chunk Junior trailer. In the clear water the natural color slightly smaller jig with no rattles will definitely fool fish into eating. When fishing stained or muddy water I like to use a darker color such as black and blue, and having rattles definitely won't hurt your fish catching cause. When fishing a jig in cold water I like to move the bait as slow as possible, just simply shaking the jig on the bottom, giving the fish plenty of time to swim up to the bait. One thing I do often is change the skirts on my jigs. PPMB Skirts is a company that makes awesome jig, spinner bait, and chatter bait skirts in more colors than you can imagine. Definitely check there website out so you can start customizing your jigs.

Braving the elements and heading out on the lake could be a decision that will lead you to the catch of a lifetime! Pick up these four simple baits at your local Bass Pro Shops and go give it a shot I have a feeling you will be glad you did. If you are interested in learning these tactics first hand you can find my guide service e-mail address at www.joeyfishing.com.  I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania



Gift Card Trivia

What to buy? What to buy? Did you receive a gift card for Christmas? Gift cards are actually the most popular present in the United States. How about a little bit of gift card trivia? Do you know who the first company was to issue a gift card? What year was the first gift card issued? How many gift cards are issued annually? Let's look at some of the answers:

Neiman Marcus actually was the first to sell gift cards, in 1994, but because the retailer didn't quite understand their potential, the cards were kept out of sight and sold only as a novelty item. Blockbuster was the first to actually display them, for customer access, starting in 1994, which became the true beginning of the gift card revolution.

Starbucks was the next major innovator, in 2001, with gift cards that worked more than once, so you'd have to keep going back. (Today, one out of seven purchases is made with a gift card at Starbucks in the US.) In 2012, 1,500 Starbucks gift cards were purchased every minute in the U.S. and Canada. In 2013, the coffee giant sold more than 450 million cards, worth $16 billion.

Today, more than $100 billion a year in gift cards are sold and they have quickly become the number one gift to give for any occasion. For the past seven years, gift cards have been at the top of the list of the most desired gifts to receive.

So, with all this in mind... as the New Year brings another round of birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, you can always rely on a gift card to be the perfect gift for anyone. Check out our selection of Bass Pro Shops gift cards in store or online at www.basspro.com





This One's for the Birds!

This year has already been one for the books and we are only just getting started. Wtih much of the United States hitting record lows this year, already, just think of what is to come. Are you taking measures to help those feathered friends outside? One of this month's features for our store is a focus on birds, bird feeders, and bird houses. If you don't have a feeder outside, now is the time to get one. The birds will not be too picky when it comes to a warm place to stay and good food to eat. Check out these samples that you can find in the store on the focus area or online at www.basspro.com



This whimsical Woodstream Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country Style Wild Bird Feeder adds fun and color to your patio or backyard. This feeder features a weight-activated perch bar that closes to prevent squirrels from eating seed. Adjustable springs can be calibrated to accommodate varying bird sizes, allowing you to keep out pesky birds as well. This Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Bird Feeder boasts bold red styling, all-metal construction and a removable roof peak for convenient filling. This feeder can be hung or pole mounted. Clean every two weeks with soap and water. Measures 14”H x 14”D x 11”L.  Made in USA.


bird 2

Add a bit of nostalgic charm to your porch or patio with this antique-style Hurricane Lantern Birdfeeder. Your feathered friends will like the dual, sheltered feeding stations and large perches. This feeder also features durable metal construction and an easy-to-fill design. A charming addition to any porch or garden, the Red Lantern Bird Feeder makes a terrific gift.


bird 3


Attract a variety of birds to your yard with this Woodlink Plastic Magnum Sunflower Screen Feeder. This easy-to-use bird feeder is ready to hang, with an attached wire and hook on top. Simply fill this feeder up, hang it on a porch or tree and watch the birds flock to it! Capacity: 3 lbs. Measures 8.5''D x 12.5''H. Color: Green. Made in USA.


bird 4

Just the right size for smaller wild birds, the WoodLink Garden Wren/Chickadee House features a friendly green roof and laser-etched image of a chickadee. This sturdy and picturesque birdhouse is constructed of natural decay-resistant cedar and painted with non-toxic paint to safely last for years. Made in USA.



bird 5

Attract happiness and beautiful bluebirds to your yard with this Bluebird House from WoodLink! Sturdy construction and ornithologically correct. Makes a great gift! Dimensions: 12''H x 6.125''W x 7.25''D.




Just remember one thing, regardless of the type of weather we are having, the birds will appreciate the fact that you thought of them. So get out and get yourself a bird feeder or house today.


Wrap This Season Up Right By Protecting Your Equipment

 Don't be that person who is rushing next year to get everything on there gun or bow worked on because they didn't take care of it out of hunting season. Today we will see a few things that will help everyone protect their investment from damage, theft , and plain Ol' Rust. Most people spend their hard earned money on their hunting tools and should take the proper time and resources to protect them.


Hoppe's® Elite Gun Cleaner


Hoppe's® This is an all around product that will clean just about any metal part that you can think of. This is great for cleaning all of the remaining residue and light rust off of your gun and its working part. You can even use it on your bow parts if you start seeing light rust on screws or anything just spray some on there and wipe it down. This is an all around cleaner that will help you with just about any type of hunting gear.


RedHead® 2-Rifle Aluminum Gun Case


Rifle CaseThis RedHead® Gun case is on of the best investments you can make for your money. Whether you are hauling it in the back of the truck or stowing it in the garage for the summer this case will get the job done. It is made out of tough but not too heavy aluminum  that will protect your equipment against bangs, drops, and all the other day to day beatings a gun takes. It comes equipped with a locking mechanism and standardized key to keep for ensuring no one touches your gun that is not supposed to. All in all whether you only have 1 or two guns and don't need a safe or are looking for a nice hard case this is the way to go.


RedHead® 1856 Collection Fire-Resistant Gun Safe


Safe1The 1856 collection of Gun Safes are definitely one of our best sellers in the store. The construction on these safes are impeccable and without reservation you should be able to trust even your most prized possessions in this safe. You wont have to worry about anyone running away with this safe because it weighs a whopping 455 pounds, and the fire rating is 1200 degrees for an entire 45 minutes. Don't leave your high dollar investments out to rust or have the chance of being stolen. Lock them up in something that is sure to keep them safe.








New Fishing Classes for 2014!

The fishing team at Bass Pro Shops in Leeds is pleased to announce that we will be adding three new fishing classes this year! Starting February, anglers will have the opportunity to attend a variety of classes at our store. Check out the classes and information below. Mark your calendars now to attend one of these great new opportunities.

Beginning Kid's Fishing Class

The first Saturday of every month, our very own Mr. Buddy (from the reel counter) will teach a class about the basics of fishing. This class will be suitable for kids of all ages and will be held at 11 am in front of the aquarium. The class will include basic information about the different types of reels to fish with, different types of baits that work in various water conditions, where to go fishing, and when to go fishing. The class subject will change from Saturday to Saturday so that you can attend each month.


Advanced Bass Fishing Techniques

The advanced bass fishing techniques class will be offered on the second Thursday of every month. Professional fisherman, Joey Nania, will be leading this class and sharing his fishing secrets on how to make each fishing trip a successful one. Joey Nania is a two time Junior Bassmaster World Champion and will share tips on pitching, flipping, and other advanced tactics. This class will meet in front of the reel counter at 6:00pm and is open to any anglers who are looking for a few good tips.


Zackie's Crappie Class

Join David Zackie in the White River Fly Shop on the fourth Tuesday of every month for crappie fishing tips. Mr. Zackie's class will include information appropriate for any level of crappie fishing including information on lures, line, and lakes to fish. This class will cover a different topic each month so that you can return throughout the year to learn the most. This class will meet at 6:00 pm just inside the fishing department at the White River Fly shop.

Also, don't forget about the fly fishing classes offered the second and fourth Saturday of each month and the fly tying class offered the first and third Monday of each month. Call the store at (205) 702-7500 for more information.


Clearance! A Thrifty Shopper's Paradise

Are you a thrifty shopper when it comes to buying clothes? Are you constantly looking for a good deal? I know that I am. I browse thrift stores, consignment shops, and clearance racks. It is hard, sometimes, for me to pay full price for an item. (Especially if it is one that I don't NEED, I just WANT)

As a parent, (I feel) one of the greatest lessons that we can teach our children is to become an economical shopper. It is not always an easy task to handle. Especially when all of their friends are wearing the name brand clothes and they just want to fit in with the crowd. It has taken me a while but, I am proud to say that 2 out of my 3 children have become money conscientious shoppers. (Please note: the youngest one is 16 years old and is just now working his first job. The other two are responsible for their own car payments!)

It is funny how kids and adults alike start changing their shopping habits when they are responsible for the bill. Well... if you are like me and always looking for a good deal, you need to check out the apparel section at the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds. We have hundreds of items that are on clearance throughout the store. Anything from bathing suits, shorts, blue jeans, long sleeve shirts, short sleeves, tank tops, hats, hoodies and jackets can be found on a clearance rack. We have several racks of clearance clothing available in men's women's and children. And believe it or not... some are even name brand. Our selection includes Ascend, Red Head,World Wide Sportsman, Northface, and Columbia, just to name a few. Whether you are stocking up cold weather clothes for the remainder of winter or want to get a jump start on the summer, come in and check out the great deals. Below is a small sample of what you can find.

For the fisherman in your life:

wwsp                                wws


For the ladies:

l3      l3       lady 2       lady


For the men:

    men2                                men         


And of course, who can live without their favorite hoodie?

      hoodie 2                          hoody

For our online selection of clearance, visit www.basspro.com