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



Duck, Duck, Dynasty

Duck Dynasty has taken the world by storm! Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on the A&E network. The show portrays the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander. The business makes products for duck hunters, including duck calls and is located in West Monroe, Louisiana. The family men, famous for the long beards, include brothers Phi and Si, and Phil's sons Jase, Willie, and Jep and are well known for their religious views. Bass Pro Shops in Leeds carries a plethora of Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty products! We carry a the following products and more!

  • Marshmallow shooters
  • DVDs
  • Board games
  • Adventure sets
  • Action figure sets
  • Tervis tumblers
  • Tea cups
  • Books
  • Crappie rods
  • Duck calls
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Hats
  • Vehicle accessories
  • Video games
  • Boots/clogs
  • Dog treats               

Here is a sneak peek at a few of those items:

duck dynasty 1

“The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty” by Willie and Korie Robertson with Mark Schlabach, is perfect for fans of A&E’s hit show “Duck Dynasty”. Readers will devour tidbits about the family that they won’t see on TV, and learn how Korie manages family and work life. You’ll get a taste of the Robertson clan’s food through recipes in every chapter and view childhood photos of Willie and Korie. Hardcover. 272 pages. Made in USA. 

duck cup

Hey, Jack … that's my kind of cup!" This Duck Commander Si's tea cup lets you drink tea just like Uncle Si! Great for Duck Commander fans, this 16-ounce cup is made of polypropylene plastic and features a Duck Commander logo on front. Dishwasher safe. Imported


dvdYou won't miss a moment of Robertson family antics, wit, and down-to-earth wisdom with all episodes of Duck Dynasty in one set. The "Duck Dynasty Seasons 1–3" DVD Combo Pack includes every crazy, laughable adventure from the first Season 1 episode through the end of Season 3, including outtakes, deleted scenes, never-before-seen footage, music videos, and much more. Follow Willie, Phil, Jase, Miss Kay, Korie, Si, Missy, and Jep through their ongoing adventures of turning a backwoods family business into a multi-million dollar empire. Made in USA.


duck setBass Pro Shops has joined forces with Duck Dynasty to create the ultimate Robertson family play set! This Duck Dynasty Deluxe Adventure Play Set for kids incudes Willie, Jase, Phil, and Si action figures, as well as a truck, a trailer, an officially licensed Tracker Jon Boat, and more. Kids even get awesome Duck Dynasty accessories like Si’s tea cup, 2 frogs, a duck, and a beaver. This toy set comes with over 20 pieces and is compatible with Bass Pro Shops Duck Dynasty gift sets. Ages 3 and up. Imported.

duck tervisThe Tervis Tumbler Duck Commander Fear the Beard Insulated Wrap with Black Lid showcases a bold, wrap-around design sealed between tumbler walls. Microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, this sturdy travel mug is made of a high-grade polymer and features powerful insulation to keep drinks hot or cold. Great for work, travel and your daily commute, this Tervis Tumbler Wrap is perfect for Duck Dynasty fans! Manufacturer’s lifetime guarantee. Made in USA. 

duck video

Be an honorary member of the Duck Commander family and join Phil, Uncle Si, Willie, and Jase as you blast your way through multiple levels of waterfowl, beavers, and frogs with the Duck Commander Plug and Play Video Game. No video game console or software needed, simply plug this game in and play on any TV. This Duck Commander Plug & Play Video Game is a great rainy day activity for kids and kids at heart! 3 AA and 3 AAA batteries required, not included. Ages 8 and up. Imported.


dog treats

Freshen' up your prize dog's breath after a successful morning in the blind with the Duck Dynasty Southern Recipe Style Dog Dental Treats. These mint-flavored, all natural dog treats promote clean teeth and fresh breath in dogs. They contain no corn and no soy and are made with 1 part home cooking, 1 part love, and 2 parts redneck. Dogs love these southern recipe style dental treats. Happy, happy, happy!


To check out these great Duck Dynasty and Duck Commander items, come into the store or check out the web at www.basspro.com




A New Year, A New Attitude (Hiking)

What's your New Year's Resolution? Start a new hobby? Get into shape? Move more? Many people are making the change from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Some are spending lots of money to make this change. If you are like me, you would rather find an inexpensive way to make a change. After all, we all know that change is hard enough when it is free, much less if it comes with a cost. What kind of change can we all make? Let's look at getting off the couch and into the outdoors by hiking.

Hiking has many health benefits. Below are the ways that hiking improves your health:

  • Improves cardio-respiratory fitness (heart, lungs, blood vessels)
  • Improves muscular fitness
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Lowers risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers risk of high cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Lowers risk of colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial cancer
  • Increases bone density or a slower loss of density
  • Reduces depression and better quality sleep
  • Lowers risk of early death (If you are active for 7 hours a week, your risk of dying early is 40% lower than someone active for less than 30 minutes a week.)
  • Weight control; hiking burns up 370 calories an hour (154-lb person)

Before you hit the ground running, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Proper planning is important. Obtain trail maps, guidebooks, trail distance, estimated time required and any other information before you leave on a hike.

    • Keep trail maps and guidebooks in a waterproof Ziploc bag.
    • Consider using a GPS.
    • Check weather conditions and forecast.
    • Consider the ability level of everyone in your group, when choosing a hike.
    • It’s very important to tell someone of your plans and when you expect to return. In an emergency, this could help with the rescue. Check in with them when you get back.
    • Never hike alone. Always go with a friend.
    • Don’t pack too heavy. Keep your pack weight as light as possible.
    • Take plenty of water – 2 or 3 quarts per person. Staying hydrated will help maintain your energy level.
    • The temperature is always cooler in the mountains. Plan and dress accordingly. Dress in layers.
    • Start early so that you have plenty of time to enjoy your hike and the destination. Plan to head back so you finish your hike well before dark.
    • Hike only as fast as the slowest member of your group.
    • Pace yourself. Don’t hike too quickly. Save your energy.
    • Stay on trails unless you have excellent navigational skills.
    • Never approach wild animals. They may look cute and harmless but they are very unpredictable and can be very territorial and protective. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. In most cases, the animals are more afraid of us and will run away. Do not attempt to feed wild animals. Most injuries occur when people try to feed them.
    • Look out for snakes, spiders and other critters. Watch where you are walking, be careful when picking up sticks or rocks and look around before taking a seat. Again, snakes are usually more afraid of us, but if they feel threatened or if you make sudden movements they may strike. Stay calm and slowly move away from them.
    • Be careful where you are walking. Watch out for low branches and loose rocks. Take it slow through mud and water and be careful of loose leaves on the trail. Stay away from steep cliffs and other drop off areas. Look out for brush with thorns and learn to identify poisonous plants. 
    • Keep track of your progress on the map so that you know where you are at all times.
    • Take turns leading and following trail markers. Share decisions.
    • Pack high energy snacks like granola, energy or fruit bars, trail mixes, fruit, candy, beef jerky, bagels, or pita bread, etc.
    • Don’t drink soda or alcohol when hiking. They will dehydrate you.
    • Use a purification system for water from a natural resource.
    • For blisters or hot spots use moleskin or bandages immediately to stop further damage and to relieve pain. Keep your feet dry – change socks often.
    • Hiking sticks or poles may help make your trip a little easier by giving you some stability on wet trails, and reducing strain on your legs when going up or down slopes.
    • Be aware of your increased exposure to ticks when hiking in the outdoors.
    • Protect yourself against other insects such as bees, ants, mosquitoes, flies, etc. Not only can they be annoying, but they can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort. Many people have severe allergic reactions to their bites and need to carry necessary medical supplies or seek medical attention. Again be aware of your surroundings. 
    • Bring a whistle on hikes. Three short whistles mean you are in trouble and need assistance.
    • Learn to identify the many things you will discover as you hike.



Try a New Sport!

fly fishing 1

Have you wanted to try a new sport and maybe you are just not real sure where to start? Well, if fly fishing is in your thoughts, let me tell you how to make it a reality. Bass Pro Shops in Leeds is proud to offer a "hands on" instructional class for beginners on how to cast a fly rod. The casting class meets each month on the second and fourth Saturday at 1pm at the lake here on our property. (Our lake is located off of the nature trail entrance to the store.) All of the supplies will be provided so you do not need to bring anything except your thirst for knowledge. This class is limited to only six students so that each person can receive individualized instruction based on need. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, don't hesitate to contact the store at (205) 702-7500 today to sign up for the next available class. I will tell you... classes fill up quickly.  


fly fishing 2



Once you get the hang of casting, you should sign up for the fly tying class. Fly tying classes are offered the first and third Monday of every month at 6pm in our own White River Fly Shop.


A New Year, A New Purpose

Well, it's officially the first full week of the New Year. How are your resolutions holding up? If you are like me... you will make a simple resolution so that you are able to stick with it throughout the year. My resolution for the past couple of years was to purchase at least one Christmas present each month so that when December rolls around..I will have a major part of the shopping completed. Well, not all resolutions are that simple. Below is a list of the top 10 resolutions that people make:

  • Lose Weight and Get Fit
  • Manage Stress
  • Travel to New Places
  • Learn Something New
  • Volunteer/Help Others
  • Get Organized
  • Manage Debt
  • Spend More Time with Family and Friends
  • Quit Smoking/Drinking
  • Reduce/Recycle/Reuse

If your resolution includes volunteering or helping others, we have a way to help you with this resolution. Bass Pro Shops in Leeds can help you make a difference in a variety of ways. We partner with five different conservation groups throughout the year and with just a small monetary dontation, you can make a difference too. In the month of February, you can come into the store and make a $2.00 donation to the More Fish campaign (a chapter of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation). Below is the website that you can get more information about this great cause: www.nfwf.org





During the month of April, Bass Pro Shops partners with National Wild Turkey Federation. Again, the donation is only $2.00 and can be added onto your ticket as you leave the store. Check out this great group at the following: www.nwtf.org






August is the month that we send all our support over to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Please check out the details for how this conservation group is making a difference. www.rmef.org






September is the month that we recognize the Quality Deer Management Association group. You will be surprised how much of a difference just your $2.00 donation can make. Check out this link to see how your money can make a difference: www.qdma.com







October is the last of the conservation groups, but certainly not the least. Ducks Unlimited is a group that is near and dear to our hearts. Check out the details of this great organization at: www.ducks.org




Regardless of what your New Year's resolution is and how long you actually keep it is up to you; however, if you want the satisfaction that you were able to keep a resolution throughout the year at a very low cost to your pocket book, while making a difference, visit our store during these months that we support our conservation groups and make your donation.






Lone Survivor Sweepstakes

Lone Survivor Promotion and Sweepstakes January 3rd-24th, 2014

It's not too late to get into the drawing for the Lone Survivor movie sweepstakes!

If you haven't heard about this movie yet, you are missing out. This movie is set to be one of the greatest war movies ever. "Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission "Operation Red Wings". Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd."

Bass Pro Shops is helping to promote this movie by hosting a sweepstakes for prizes. Check out the details below:

  • You may enter in-store and online.
  • Limit one entry per person per method 
  • Must be 18 years old or older at the time of entry

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

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

Everyone who enters will be eligible for the grand prize:

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

Prizes for in-store and online entries: Hoody, Antler Cap, Wounded Warrior Cap, Classic Stretch Fit Cap, and Women's Beanie.




RedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Duck and Goose Calls

New at Bass Pro Shops is our RedHead Reality Series limited edition duck and goose calls. These calls are a great addition to our Reality Series line and for a limited time they come with a free offer.


RedHead and Ducks Unlimited With the purchase of our:

You will receive a free one year membership to Ducks Unlimited. The Ducks Unlimited member ship is a $35 value! If you haven't seen the great things Ducks unlimited is doing, please check out their website at: www.Ducks.org.


RedHead Black PearlRedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Acrylic Mallard call Black Pearl:

  • Easy-to-use, deadly effective duck call that supports wetland conservation
  • Delivers full range of realistic hen mallard sounds
  • Premium double-reed acrylic call designed by champion caller Buck Gardner
  • Great for beginners or experts
  • Constructed of custom-turned acrylic with a custom aluminum band
  • Includes free 1 year membership to Ducks Unlimited (Limited time offer)







RedHead Mallard Green/OrangeRedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Acrylic Mallard call Green/Orange:

  • Easy-to-use, deadly effective duck call that supports wetland conservation
  • Delivers full range of realistic hen mallard sounds
  • Premium double-reed acrylic call designed by champion caller Buck Gardner
  • Great for beginners or experts
  • Constructed of custom-turned acrylic with a custom aluminum band
  • Includes free 1 year membership to Ducks Unlimited (Limited time offer)






RedHead Honker

RedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Acrylic Honker Call Black/Ivory:

  • Short reed, custom acrylic goose call is great for beginners, as well as experts
  • Easy-to-blow call reproduces the full range of honker talk
  • Constructed of custom-turned acrylic with a custom aluminum band
  • Includes free 1 year membership to Ducks Unlimited for limited time





The free Ducks Unlimited offer will not last long! The offer expires February 15, 2014 so get your calls why you can.

Also be sure to check out our whole Reality Series line at Basspro.com for more great products to help you achieve the game you are after


Thank you,



Lipless Crankbaits


The lipless crankbait is a timeless classic that has been catching fish for over half a century! The bait has 3 main aspects that make it so successful; such as, sound, vibration, and versatility.

Generally lipless crankbaits have a built in rattle chamber filled with small beads that give it the classic sharp rattling sound that is a proven fish catcher. Other styles of lipless baits have recently emerged with a different concept of sound which consists of one large bead which makes a knocking sound when retrieved.

The design of the bait is what makes the lure vibrate as it comes through the water, vibration is one of the key triggering mechanisms that make fish strike. Bass have what is called a lateral line along their sides, which is a sensory organ that picks up vibrations in the water, this is the main reason why bass can feed so effectively at night, even in complete darkness.

I say the lipless crankbait is very versatile because the fact that it sinks, as well as having numerous ways it can be retrieved. This sinking quality makes for a bait that can be fished from top to bottom in basically any depth range you are trying to target. The way you work your lipless crankbait is everything and when the water temperature is warm then a steady fast retrieve is often perfect for triggering an aggressive fish. While the fast retrieve works great in the right time period; such as, late spring and early fall there is another way to work the bait that is absolutely deadly in the cold water months of the year. The technique is called yo yoing the bait, simply letting it fall and hit the bottom or structure and then ripping it up and popping it off of the bottom. This hopping action accompanied with the sound and vibration can often make a cold fish come to life with a quick reaction strike. Lipless crankbaits can also be effectively worked in grass by using that falling and ripping technique which is very effective on bodies of water with large amounts of submerged vegetation, such as the Tennessee River System, as well as Florida.

So from 2 feet deep to 25 feet deep the lipless crankbait flat out catches fish. Whether they're suspended over 25 feet of water or hiding in shallow vegetation it doesn't matter. I've personally had success ranging from catching my biggest smallmouth ever in the state of Washington, a 5.98lb beauty on a SPRO Aruku Shad, to catching big largemouth in South Florida on a Strike King Redeye Shad. It is simply a type of bait that every angler needs to have in his/her fishing arsenal!

The original lipless crankbait was designed by Bill Lewis, called Rat-L-Trap. This was and still is probably one of the best fish catching baits on the market. This style of bait was so popular that it lead to almost every hard bait on the market having their own model of the lipless crankbait. But don't be fooled these baits are all different from each other, each having it's own qualities and innovations. There are a few specific models that really shine in my opinion. Below is a list of my top 3 Lipless baits I use, and the time and place that each specific bait really shines

Bill Lewis: Rat-L-Trap- This is the original and was arguably the very most influential lure ever created in the history of bass fishing. They have a consistent vibration with great product quality control, as well as being offered in numerous deadly fish catching colors which they continue to improve to this very day. They range in sizes from their Tiny Trap which weighs 1/8 of an ounce all the way up to the 1 1/2 ounce super trap. Most Rat-L-Traps contain the proven fish catching rattle chamber with small beads, but they also have recently introduced the Knockin-Trap and the Silent-Trap, which bring some variety to the table. I generally use the Knockin-Trap when fishing cool or cold water below the 50 degree range. Something about the knocking single ball in the bait really triggers the cold water fish that are not typically aggressive. I will pick up the silent model when fishing bodies of water that have heavy fishing pressure, in those types of situations the subtlety of a silent bait really seems to pay off. This is definitely a bait that I have in my tackle box at all times.

SPRO: Aruku Shad- The Aruku shad is a high quality lipless crankbait that consists of a loud rattle chamber as well as having a fast fall rate. It is one of my favorite baits for catching small mouth bass, which are generally very aggressive and are triggered better by the fast fall and the loud sound chamber. The fast fall also allows me to fish the bait at a high rate of speed and still keep the bait in the strike zone of the fish when fishing slightly deeper water. This bait isn't ideal for fishing shallow submerged vegetation but is definitely a bait that will really shine when fished in the right situations such as in deep water or around rocks.

Strike King: Redeye Shad- The Redeye Shad really burst on to the scene in a big way when Bassmaster Elite Series Angler Kevin Vandam won the 2009 Bassmasters Classic on Lay Lake using his signature series bait. Vandam was fishing in very shallow cold water in the back of a creek where the fish where staging, preparing for the upcoming spawn. The Redeye Shad has a slow sink and is a great option for fishing around shallow grass or wood cover. It also has a unique way that it falls, with a gentle wobbling action which is a big reason why it does so well in cold water. They come in many different models and sizes similar to the Rat-L-Trap. Choose your bait by matching the size of baitfish you are imitating as well as the depth you are fishing and hang on tight, when you get it right and figure out the proper retrieve this bait will help you load the boat in a hurry.

You see there is really a time and a place for where each specific lipless crankbait should be used. It takes extensive time and experience to figure out which bait fits the situation you currently find yourself in. I hope this gives you a jump start into a life time of successful fishing trips using lipless crankbaits. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania



















Weightless Baits Catch Big Bass


In this day and age there are numerous of ways that an angler can rig a soft plastic bait. To name a few you have the, Carolina Rig, Texas Rig, Shakey Head, Drop Shot Rig, Mojo Rig, and more. These are all great options in the right situations throughout the year. But one way to fish soft plastics that gets less attention than the rest is fishing them weightless. In this case the only weight you have is the hook and the bait, and trust me this is a great way to catch big bass.

Silver GhostSome of my best tournament finishes I've ever had came from fishing with light tackle and weightless baits that have a slow, almost irresistible fall. One of my go to baits that works great in the spring and also in the fall is a weightless Bass Pro Shops Shadee Shad or a Zoom Super Fluke. When rigging my Shadee Shad I use a 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG Hook and I do what is called a texpose method for making the bait completely weedless. What I do is rig my bait just like a normal texas rig worm, where I come all the way straight through the plastic and then slightly burry the point of the hook into the worm. This results in a hook that is ready to release and stick the fish, as well as a perfectly straight Shadee Shad once rigged. Figuring out how to rig your fluke bait as straight as possible is very important, if the bait is off center on the hook just the slightest bit then the bait will spin and not swim like it's supposed to. One great thing about the weightless Shadee Shad is that it is a very versatile presentation. I like to very my retrieve when fishing it. Specifically, I will at times work the bait extremely fast making it twitch like a fleeing shad on the surface of the water and then when I come over a piece of cover or have a fish roll on the bait I can stop it and just let it slowly sink, which will trigger a lot of strikes. So weather they are extremely aggressive and chasing or if they want a slow falling presentation this bait is going to cover it all. It works near lay downs, docks, rocks, and seawalls, as well as in open water situations! It's definitely something that all anglers need to have in their arsenal.

Purple Brown

Another excellent bait that was truly designed to fish weightless is the Bass Pro Shops Stiko. This bait looks like nothing but catches fish like crazy! Rigging it weightless is by far my favorite method and I rig the bait exactly the same as I rig my Shadee Shad, using the texpose method. The key to the Stiko is generally the less you do with the bait the more fish you catch. I like to let the bait do the work 90% of the time, just casting it out and letting it sink slowly. The way it falls and wobbles on the way down parallel to the bottom is just to easy of an opportunity for a bass to slowly swim up and inhale the bait. When fishing the Stiko or any weightless bait you always need to watch your line looking for a little twitch when the bass takes the bait, as well as watching for your line to swim off if the bite was too light to be detected. Now occasionally I will twitch and pause the Stiko just like I fish a Shadee Shad, I do this specifically when I'm fishing around shallow scattered or matted grass, when doing this don't be surprised if a fish blows up on the bait just like they would on a topwater Spro Frog! Another bait that I rig and fish the same is a Zoom trick worm as well as a lizard. These techniques work exceptionally well when fishing during or close to the spawning period for bass, when the water is in the 60 to 72 degree range!

So whether you spend your time fishing big lakes and reservoirs, or small private ponds you will be blown away at the success you can have fishing weightless baits. I generally like to fish them using a 6'10" or a 7'3" TFO Tactical Series Spinning Rod, accompanied by a Pflueger President 30 Spinning Reel, spooled up with 8 to 12 lb Trilene 100% Flouro Carbon line. The spinning tackle makes for easier casting with light weight baits as well as the opportunity to skip these baits like a stone way up under cover such as docks or overhanging trees. If you are fishing extremely heavy cover and are very talented then a bait caster can be used, but your simply not going to be able to get as far up under the cover as with the spinning reel. So head over to Bass Pro Shops where you can get everything you need, because the weightless soft plastic bite is on now! I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania











Great Headlamp for Hunting!

Now that it is mid-October, I am sure that many of you have taken to the woods for the first deer hunting of the season in Alabama. In all of the excitement of that early hunt, make sure you don't  forget a headlamp.

The Browning Pro Hunter Maxus Headlamp has incredible power, providing exceptional results and is great for late night tracking, camping, or that early morning hike to your tree stand or blind. 


  • Three brightness levels and flashing h
  • Memory switch returns to the most recent setting when you turn the light on
  • Focus control with adjustable spot-to-flood beam
  • 100,000 hour LEDs -never need replacing
  • Ultralight and ultratough construction
  • Comfortable elastic headband
  • Tilts up and down to direct the light where needed


  • Lamp type-LEDs b
  • Color of emitted light- White, Red, Green
  • Lumens:   High- 80, Medium-50, Red/Green- 6-8   
  • Battery type- 3 AAA Alkaline
  • Battery life: High- 6 hours, Medium- 10 hours, Red/Green- 30-45 hours
  • Distance: High- 80 meters, Medium- 60 meters, Red/Green- 15 meters

Still not convinced?  Come on in to your Leeds Bass Pro Shops Camping Department or visit  www.basspro.com and see our great selection of headlamps and flashlights. We will be glad to help you choose what is best for you.

Until next time, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!    




Junk Fishing 101

Junk Fishing 101

For each specific time of year there are generally one or two patterns that really shine. In those situations if you are not fishing one of those specific patterns or techniques than your fishing results and definitely tournament results will show it. The key seasons for dialed in patterns are the middle of spring, summer, and winter. At these times the weather although different from one another is generally stable for a period of time. But there is however the often dreaded transition time period where fish seem to be neither hear nor there. This can be extremely frustrating and can sometimes baffle even an experienced angler. While tough at times, it does offer a unique opportunity to do what many know as junk fishing. If you've ever heard the phrase," I through the kitchen sink at them", this is just that. The key times of year when junk fishing really comes into play is during the spawn to post spawn transition from spring to summer, as well as the summer to winter transition. During either transition period you better keep an open mind and don't leave any technique or lure un tested.

During these transition periods I will often have as many as 12 or more rods on the front deck of my boat all rigged with different baits. Fast moving, deep diving, shallow running, finesse fishing is a good way to look at what a junk fishing pattern is. Now it is extremely important to keep an open mind during this time period and to remember one consistent fact. While the fish are very spread out one pattern holds true, this pattern is, if you find the bait you will find the fish. During both of the major transition periods feeding is the one common thing that is on the fish's mind.

Having a wide variety of baits to choose from is important and one of the main ones that I like to start my day with is a topwater lure, that I can cover allot of water with before the sun gets up. Baits such as the Spro Dawg 100 and the Zera Spook, are great early morning and late evening choices that can put a couple big roaming fish in your boat. This bite can slow as the sun gets up but occasionally under the right conditions you can actually throw the topwater bait all day long covering as much water as possible. But that is not the case all the time so generally once the sun is up I will switch over to some sort of crankbait. My crankbait I choose depends on the size and type of baitfish I am seeing. So if you are fishing shallow cover in the spawn to post spawn season and you are seeing things such as an abundance of bluegill then I would definitely go with a bigger square bill style crankbait such as the Strike King 2.5 or a Spro Fat John. Now if you're fishing during the fall transition period then generally a smaller shad imitation lure will get you more bites such as the Spro Little John MD in a shad color. Now these techniques and many others will work great for targeting shallow roaming fish during either transition periods, but remember there are also fish that will be out in deep water at this same time and trying to catch them can be very rewarding as well.

So if I have tried the shallow water bite with limited success then I will often completely switch gears and begin to use my Lowrance electronics. I like to begin my search for deep transition fish by graphing around areas that are neither here nor there. Places such as secondary points leading in or out of spawning pockets or creeks as well as looking at deep river ledges that are close by to main river flats. Transitioning fish in the summer and the fall will use these in between places as stopping points to feed. They are generally relatively close to shallow and deep water. Fishing medium to deep diving crankbaits is sometimes a great way to trigger these fish into biting and if you find the right school of fish it is not uncommon to catch fish after fish on one specific piece of deep structure. Once you have a group of fish located that are feeding deep on baitfish you need to be ready to slow down if the fish seem to suddenly shut off, and work them thoroughly with carolina rigs or shaky head worms. Having this versatility will maximize the amount of deep transition fish you can catch on one spot. One thing to remember about the deeper transition fish is that they will often suspend, specifically in lakes that have and abundance of shad, or blue back herring in them. If you are seeing surface schooling activity or, large amounts of bait fish on your depth finder then there are a few baits that you need to have ready to catch these suspended fish. The first is an umbrella rig such as the Bass Pro Shops Flashy Times rigged with some sort of soft plastic swimbait. Other baits such as jerkbaits and spoons can also work very well on the suspended fish.

So keeping an open mind is really what junk fishing is all about. Many tournaments I have fished during transition periods I have caught fish on topwater early, shallow crankbaits mid morning, flipping cover mid afternoon, and targeting deep suspended fish later in the day. This fast pace multiple pattern type of fishing is not easy to master but if you have a wide variety of techniques in your angling arsenal then making the adjustments and switching things up throughout the day will become more and more natural to you. So get every rod you own and don't be afraid to throw the kitchen sink at them during the tricky but fun transition periods. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania











Fall River Fishing



Photo: Spro little john

The leaves changing colors, days getting shorter, and water temperatures getting colder, are a sure sign that the fishing is about to change in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, across the country. While you don't have to worry about dehydrating yourself with intense heat, this more comfortable time of year can actually be a very frustrating time to really figure out and pattern the fish. During the fall of the year the fish are very scattered and roaming around looking for food. In one single day you could catch fish in 1 foot and then switch gears and go catch a fish in 30 feet. While junk fishing or throwing the kitchen sink at them can be a successful approach, there is an option that in my opinion is at times easier to figure out. Abandoning the wide open lower end of lakes and reservoirs and heading up to the river is a great option when trying to figure out what to do in the fall of the year.

The way I look at it river fish quite simply have less places they can hide. Rivers are pretty simple you have a winding channel with flats, drop-offs, rock piles, lay down logs, shoreline vegetation, and shallow creeks and backwaters. The thing I really like about a river, is that all of these types of structure are generally in close proximity to one another. Where on the lower main lake end of a body of water there are multiple levels of depth changes, channels and structure, which the fish will move back and forth on throughout the year. Sometimes these main lake fish will move half a mile or more to go from a spawning pocket to a creek channel and then on out to a main river ledge or point. In a river often 100 yards is all a fish has to move throughout the year making river fish easier to pattern during scattered out time of year like the fall.

Just like figuring out any part of the lake in the fall finding the bait fish is a very important step. To do this I use my Lowrance HDS 8 Fishfinder, as well as physically looking for schooling fish or balls of bait on the surface. Baits such as spinner baits and crank baits are extremely effective for covering stretches of river bank, in order to search for aggressive fish. If the reaction baits aren't working then baits such as Jig and Pigs, and Texas Rigged soft plastics are also great choices for pitching to shoreline cover. A key thing to always remember in a river system is that current is everything. Current positions the bait fish and the bass use the current to there advantage in order to ambush the bait. Bass will often sit just on the edge of current areas in current breaks caused by lay down trees, stumps, rock piles, and points. An accurate cast or better yet, pitch is crucial for catching river fish with the current running. An underhand pitch is my method of choice because of the accuracy and gentle presentation it can achieve.

When fishing soft plastics or jigs around lay downs and stumps I try to look for little eddies where there is a backup in the current and then present my bait as close to the cover as possible in the slack water. When using this technique bites come quick, often as soon as the bait begins to sink, so being able to either pitch left handed or use a left handed real is critical for hitting the fish quick and getting them out of the cover before they get you in trouble. When fishing points or rock piles I generally throw above, or upstream from my targeted current break and with a semi tight line I feel the bait as it washes down over the structure. With either technique your cast angle and accuracy is critical, but once you master it these river fishing techniques are extremely rewarding, and not to mention a boat load of fun! It is very important to use a strong rod such as a, TFO Tactical Series 7'3" Heavy Action, and a good high gear ratio 7.9:1 Pflueger Patriarch Reel in order to horse the fish out of the often cover littered banks and fast moving water. When fishing your moving baits such as Spro Little Johns and Stanley Spinner baits you should target the same current break areas. I often use a short roll cast to accurately place my bait where I can run it through the slack water past the cover. Another key to river fishing is boat positioning and understanding how to work your boat in the current in order to give yourself the best casting opportunities. If you have a 36 volt trolling motor and the water isn't overly swift then you can slowly move your boat against the current up stream, casting ahead at a 45, or more, degree angle. If you don't have a strong trolling motor to make headway or the current is just too strong then back drifting, holding your boat and then letting it slightly drift down for each cast can work very well.

So if you're having trouble catching fish this fall, check the current generation schedule, and abandon the open water lower end of your local lake or reservoir, and head up to the river portion of your lake for some awesome fishing action. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania









Bass Pro Shops Marine Department TRIPLE CROWN BONUS Promotion until October 31, 2013

Hurry on in to you Bass Pro Shops Marine Department, and take advantage of the tremendous        TRIPLE CROWN BONUS promotion that we have going on right now.  Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama is offering a new promotion on 9 different Lowrance and Garmin Fish Finders and Chart Plotters!

This is how the TRIPLE CROWN BONUS promotion works. You purchase one of the qualifying units listed below and receive 3 extra bonuses. First, you get 3 times the rewards points, and you know how valuable that is and how quickly they add up. Then you get FREE Standard Power Pros Accessory installation, and this alone can be worth a lot of money in your account! Think of how nice it would be to pull your boat into our Tracker Marine service bays and let our professional install your new electronics, and have the Standard Power Pro Accessory Installation done for free! But that is not all. The final jewel in the Crown is a Free 3 -Year Gear Guard Protection! Imagine having the peace of mind of knowing that if something happens during the first 3 years you have our Bass Pro Shops Gear Guard Protection Plan protecting your electronics, and this protection is free! It can’t get much cheaper than that! The Standard Power Pro Accessory Installation cost and Free 3-Year Gear Guard Protection plan together will save you a minimum of $200, and the savings could be much higher!

The Lowrance and Garmin Fish Finders and Chart Plotters that qualify for this promotion are these listed below.


Lowrance Elite-5X HDI – This is an amazing unit with built in 83/200 KHZ sonar and 455/800 KHZ down imaging. This Hybrid Dual Imaging unit has a 5” high resolution color screen. A great value for $399.99!

Lowrance Elite-5 HDI – This is another amazing unit, and our biggest seller so far for this TRIPLE CROWN BONUS promotion. This HDI unit has the 83/200 KHZ Sonar and the 455/800 KHZ DownScan imaging, and it also includes GPS with a built in GPS antenna and a detailed US map. It offers the same 5” high resolution color screen as the previous unit. A tremendous value at $499.99


Lowrance Elite-5 HDI Gold – This unit features the 83/200 KHZ Sonar and 455/800 KHZ DownScan Imaging, and includes GPS with built in GPS antenna and a Gold level map for additional detail. It offers the same 5” high resolution color screen as the previous units. A tremendous value at $569.99




Lowrance Elite-5 HDI Gold – This is considered an offshore unit, and features the 50/200 KHZ Sonar and 455/800 DownScan Imaging, and includes GPS with built in GPS antenna and a Gold level map for additional detail. It offers the same 5” high resolution color screen as the previous units, and is a tremendous value at $669.99.


Lowrance Elite-5 HDI - This is considered an offshore unit as well, and features the 50/200 KHZ Sonar and 455/800 DownScan Imaging, and includes GPS with built in GPS antenna and a standard map.It offers the same 5” high resolution color screen as the previous units, and is a tremendous value at $599.99.




garGarmin echoMap 70s Inland –7”WVGA Touchscreen Display with Advanced HD-ID Sonar. This unit includes a 500 Watt 77/200Transducer. It comes Preloaded with Garmin US Lakes Cartography, and is compatible with the Garmin BlueChart maps. This unit features wireless connectivity, and is a tremendous value at 1099.99



Garmin GPSMAP 547xs –This unit has a 5” VGA Display, with Advanced HD-ID Sonar with 50/200 KHZ transducer. This is preloaded with the Garmin US Offshore and US Lakes Cartography. It features wireless connectivity, and is a great value at 849.99.



Garmin echoMAP 50s Costal – A great value at $599.99.




Garmin echoMAP 50s Inland –5” VGA Display with Advanced HD-ID sonar. This Unit Includes 500W 77/200KHZ transducer. This Unit comes Preloaded with Garmin US Lake Cartography. It has wireless connectivity and is compatible with Garmin BlueChart maps. A great value at $549.99

Well, these are the 9 models that we are offering for the TRIPLE CROWN BONUS promotion, so please come on over to your local Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama, and let us help you out with the latest and greatest electronics for your boat. Of course we offer many more models than the ones that are featured on this sale, so we probably have what you want and need. Remember, this sale ends on October 31, 2013, so you still have time to make your dollars count and your dreams come true!

Look me up when you get here, but if I am busy with another customer, any one of our well trained associates in the Marine Department will be glad to help you. Thanks, and we will see you here at Bass Pro Shops just off of i-20 in Leeds, Alabama.

Thanks, Jim Mann


Pet Event at Bass Pro Shops


Saturday November 2nd we are having a Bass Pro Shops pet event that will include a Vet Clinic, Groomer, pet adoption and dog breeders! It will surely be a fun filled day for you and your furry friends.

Coming to a Pet Event will be Higrove Veterinary Care.  Their staff will be here to talk to you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Higrove will also have their pet Groomer with them to go over products and techniques that will help you keep you pets clean and soft.

We also have two dog breeders coming to our Pet Event:

  • Hickory Nut Kennels from Cullman, Al will be here with their Labrador Retrievers and English Setters. Hickory Nut is breeders of companion, hunting and service dogs.
  • Smoke Ridge Kennel from Warrior, Al will be here with their Irish Setters. They offer field-bred, hunting Irish Setters.

Adding to this event, we are having a Pet costume contest! Dress up your pets in costume for a chance to win one of our 1st, 2nd or 3rd place prizes! Prizes will be announced the day of the event.

We at Bass Pro Shops hope to see you and your pets on Saturday November 2nd. It will be a great day for you and your best friends and remember, Pets are always welcome here at Bass Pro Shops!


Thank you,




The Jerkbait, A Year Around Fish Catcher?

When trying to imitate a wounded shad their are very few presentations better than jerkbait fishing. Typically the jerkbait is thought of as a winter and early spring time bait, and while it does shine in that specific time period the jerkbait can cover a far wider range of seasons. Growing up in the Northwest jerkbait fishing was very limited and not as effective based on the fact that there are no shad. In much of the country however shad are the primary forage for bass throughout the year. While certain seasons are more effective that others this abundance of shad in many of our lakes and reservoirs makes the jerkbait a very effective technique no matter what the water temperature. While the technique doesn't change the style of jerkbait I prefer, and the way I work my bait does from season to season.

The peak season for jerkbait fishing in most anglers minds is late winter on through to early spring. With cold water temperatures a large amount of the shad population will die off. When this happens you will visibly notice shad slowly twitching around just below the surface. This is a dead giveaway that you need to have a jerkbait in your hand. There are two jerkbaits I will have tied on in this cold water situation, a Spro McStick, as well as a Smithwick Rogue. While the McStick suspends the original Smithwick will actually float slowly, rising when you pause it. The suspending quality of the McStick is what makes me choose it about 90% of the time. In cold water I will fish this bait extremely slow, giving the bait quick sharp twitches and then letting the bait sit for a long pause. During this pause is when a suspending bait works it's magic. Remember bass are cold blooded so when the water is cold their metabolism is slow making them weary about expending to much energy. The suspended bait offers an opportunity that is difficult for a cold hungry bass to resist, they can slowly move up towards the bait using very little energy and lightly attack the bait. In extreme cold conditions a pause of 30 seconds or longer is sometimes necessary. Keep an open mind and very your retrieve to figure out what they are keying in on from day to day. Also don't be afraid to alternate to the slow floating rogue, this slow float will sometimes trigger more aggressive fish into biting.

As the water warms and the annual spawn begins to happen the jerkbait bite, while you can still catch some fish on it, tends to slow down. It's the post spawn feeding period when I pick my jerkbait back up and start to hammer down on them again. What I look for is schools of bass that are aggressively feeding up on shad, in order to replenish their weakened bodies after a long spawn. While topwater baits such as Super Spooks and Bass Pro Shops XPS Professional Series Walkers work great for this situation, a jerkbait can also be very effective. I normally find my schools of bass near a spawning pocket or flat on some sort of secondary point or break line. The bass will stop at these points throughout the lake to feed up before heading out to the main channel. Often you will find these late spring fish suspended as well. I have had some great success working a deeper diving Spro McRip through fish suspended at around the ten foot depth range. For this style of jerkbait fishing I like to work my bait with a fast aggressive retrieve with short pauses throughout the cast. To get the bait to reach deeper suspended fish I will work it on a spinning rod with 8lb test Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. This technique will continue to catch fish all throughout the summer so always keep ready to go if you see suspended fish on your depth finder.

As the summer ends and the water starts to cool my jerkbait is always on the front deck of my Nitro Z-8 boat. During the fall months is when the shad make their annual movement into shallow pockets and flats in the back of creeks. These feeding fish will hammer a suspending jerkbait worked around the cover they are holding on. Seawalls, points, flats, and docks, are all great key shallow water structures to focus on. A good thing about fall fishing is when you find one fish, it's normally not the only one in the area, so it is possible to hit a stretch where you catch multiple all very close to each other. As well as the fact that generally these fall fish are easy to pattern and find success doing the same thing in similar areas all up and down the lake or reservoir. Just look for the key ingredients, shallow water pockets and flats, an abundance of cover, an abundance of shad and then hold on tight, because when you put those factors together the predatory bass are almost guaranteed to be close by. I will generally rely on my McStick 110 just like in the late winter to early spring time period.

In my opinion for those of you blessed enough to live on a body of water that has a large shad population, some sort of jerkbait should always be readily available. The jerkbait can be a winning pattern in certain times of the year, especially in the late winter to early spring, but no matter what the season it's a bait that should be in your arsenal and will put more fish in your boat. For more blogs about how to add more tricks to your repertoire, check out my blog, Expand Your Fishing Arsenal. And if you ever have any questions you can go to my website, www.joeyfishing.com, and write me an email, I'd love to help in any way possible. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania