Family Firearm Safety Course

Brocks Gap Training Center is hosting a Family Firearms Safety Course to teach the whole family how to handle, use and safely operate a firearm. This will be a two part course that will last about four hours. The two parts consist of classroom training as well as hands on training. This course is designed for beginning shooters and young shooters, but parents are welcome to take the class as well. This course is designed to teach:

  • Proper firearm safety techniques
  • Types of firearms
  • Shooting fundamentals
  • Target shooting
  • How to select, clean and store a firearm
  • Preventing firearm accidents on the range and at home

The course dates are one a Month until the end of the year:

  1. September 12, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.
  2. October 10th, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.
  3. November 7th, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.
  4. December 12th, Thursday. 5:00P.M. - 8:45P.M.

This training course is going to be a fun learning experience for everyone and will promote a happy and safe future of shooting sports. For pricing and registration please contact certified NRA Instructor Jim Reichard. I am going to post his contact information as well as Brocks Gap at the bottom of this blog.

Contact Information:

Certified NRA Instructor Jim Reichard

205-617-9967

nrainsructorjim@gmail.com

Brock's Gap Training Center, Inc.

3721 South Shades Crest Road

Birmingham, Al 35244

www.brockgap.com

 

Thank you and safe shooting,

Grayson Barnes

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New Game Check System for the 2013-2014 Hunting Season

Alabama Harvest Record

New for the 2012-2013 Alabama hunting season is improved Game Check system. This is the same as the Harvest Records we had to keep in the past, but now you will be required to report every Deer and/or Turkey harvest to the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries(WFF). The reason for this is so biologists of the WFF will be able to accurately study the deer and turkey population in Alabama to improve the hunting in our state.

The process of reporting your harvest is not much different than it was in the past. You still write down the date of harvest and the antler configuration before you ever move the animal. After that you call the WFF at 1-800-888-7690 or go to www.outdooralabama.com/gamecheck to report your harvest. You need to provide your hunting license number, the county where the deer/turkey was killed, sex of the deer and whether the deer was killed on public or private property.

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Ammo too Expensive or not avaliable?

Hornady LNL Classic Kit

With recent times ammunition has become not only scarce, but prices are also starting to rise. This is where a reloader will have a "one-up" on the people who buy factory ammunition. Whenever a person who reloads wants to shoot all he or she has to do is sit down and load however many round they want. Be it 50 or 500 the quantity does not matter. If you are one who does not reload then you have to get in your car, drive to the store and buy your ammunition. That might be a 100 round box or in some cases all you might be able to find is a 20 round box. This is why it would be advantageous for someone who shoots a lot to get into reloading.

If you are wanting to get into this hobby Hornady has just the solution for you. This is their Lock-N-Load Classic reloading kit. With the exception of brass, powder, primers,projectiles and dies, this kit comes with everything you need to get started reloading. Here is a list of the included items:

  • Lock-N-Load Classic single stage press
  • Lock-N-Load powder measure
  • Electronic scale
  • 8th Edition Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading
  • Three Lock-N-Load die bushings
  • Primer catcher
  • Positive priming system
  • Hand-held priming tool
  • Universal reloading block
  • Chamfering and deburring tool
  • Primer turning plate
  • One Shot case lube

Series 2 pistol die setAnother piece of hardware you will need to start reloading is reloading dies. Unlike the Hornady Lock-N-Load reloading press, reloading dies are specific to every caliber. Pictured here is the Hornady Series 2 Pistol die set (9mm to be more specific). The far left die is the full length sizer die, middle is the case mouth expander die and the right is the bullet seating die. So not only is each die set for a specific caliber, but each die in that set has a specific use.

If you have never reloaded before I highly recommend reading as much information as possible. The Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading is an excellent source of information on not only cartridge specifications but also a beginners guide to reloading. Here is a YouTube video of Hornadys Lock-N-Load Classic kit.

Come out to the Hunting department in Bass Pro Shop and will we be more than happy to assist you with your reloading questions.

 

We look forward to seeing you,

Grayson Barnes

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Pre-Owned Inventory at BPS Leeds, Alabama

Summer's winding down and the temps are starting to cool off a little.  So just like late Winter into Spring, it's time to start thinking about some Fall fishing

A great way to do that if you are ready to get in to a reasonably priced boat is to take a look at our Pre-Owned Boat Corral located just outside the showroom to the left of our Power Pros service bays.

Right now we have 5 pre-owned boats ready for the right owner.  From a NauticStar 1910 Bay  Boat with a Yamaha 115 4Stroke with low hours to a great little beginner boat in a Tracker Pro V-17.  We have a Triton 17 Explorer with a 90HP Merc Optimax.  We even have an G-3 Aluminum boat rigged with a 40HP Yamaha JET drive outboard, ideal for fishing rocky areas near dams. And a really nice Fisher Marsh Hawk ready for those Fall croppie and bass.

Pre-Owned Line Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These boats are priced to sell, and ALL have been through our Power Pros'  32-point Check List. 

Stop by the next time you're out this way and check out our Pre-Owned Specials, as well as our MODEL YEAR CLEARANCE.

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Duck Commander Plug & Play

Coming soon! The latest and greatest in the Duck Commander series. Arriving soon will be the new Duck Commander Plug & Play video game. Be one of the first to get it! (This game does not require a game system. It simply plugs into your television set.)

Watch the demo video below:

http://www.basspro.com/Duck-Commander-Plug-and-Play-Video-Game/product/13041606115820/

With this game, you can

  • Blast your way through multiple levels of waterfowl, beavers, and frogs
  • Simply plug into the TV - no video game console or software necessary
  • Features Phil, Uncle Si, Willie, and Jase
  • Makes a great gift for Duck Commander fans
  • Ages 8 and up

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.

Watch our store site for the game's arrival! As soon as we receive it, we will post it!

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Late Summer Schooling In Session

As the temperatures slowly begin to drop across the country something happens to the bass. Many of the fish that were previously deep offshore on structure begin to make their annual migration back into the shallow water. With the water as well as the air cooling, large amounts of shad will make their way into the back of pockets and creeks. You can just about guarantee that with this movement many of the bass are going to follow. This is a great opportunity to catch bass on a variety of different techniques, and honestly who doesn't love to find a school of bass and catch multiple fish out of one area.

When searching for schooling activity the first step is to find large amounts of baitfish. Generally shad are very easy to find and you will often see them flicking and jumping out of the water. What I will do is run around to a few different promising areas where I have previous knowledge that fish and bait live nearby. Next I will slowly work my way toward the back of the pocket or creek looking for the baitfish on the surface, as well as on my Lowrance HDS-8 Gen2 Fishfinder. Now most pockets or creeks you idle in to will have shad in it, this can sometimes confuse and overwhelm people. Always remember that on a body of water where there is an abundance of bait fish just simply finding the bait fish does not always mean you will find the fish. There are more ingredients that you need to look for in able to have the opportunity to actually locate and trigger the bass into feeding, but the shad and baitfish is definitely the first piece of the puzzle.

Once you have a good amount of baitfish found it is very important that you find something specific to target to hold the fish. While sometimes the fish will be roaming open water through the schools of shad, I have found in order to catch multiple fish consistently some sort of structure needs to be found. I picture the fish waiting relaxing in the cover, such as a brush pile or small break line and waiting for the shad to come too close. At this point they will run out and attack. By using my GPS I will read my contour lines and find a small break or creek channel near the groups of baitfish, if you can then find some rocks or brush along that break then that is even better. Fishing can sometimes seem so random so any detail you can use to fine tune what you are doing will greatly increase your chances for success.

So now that you've found the bait as well of some sort cover or structure, the final piece of the puzzle is figuring out what bait they want to eat and what presentation you need to use. Fish can be very picky creatures at times so knowing in detail what they are reacting to is very important. One of my favorite baits to use in this situation is a SPRO Little John MD. This bait has a small profile and a very aggressive wobble that is extremely hard for a feeding fish to resist. Just give it a try and trust me you will be very impressed. Another great quality of the bait is its versatility; it can effectively be worked in extremely shallow 1 foot deep water, but can also reach depths of 8 feet deep on 10lb test Trilene 100% Flouro Carbon. This depth range will let you catch those super shallow roaming fish as well as the ones holding to cover on the bottom. It the fish seem to be off the bottom not relating to cover randomly chasing bait then a jerkbait is a great choice for triggering those suspended fish. Working baits such as the SPRO McStick 110, or a Lucky Craft Pointer SP, with an erratic stop and go quick twitching action is always something I will try in order to trigger fish into biting. One of the keys with these jerkbaits is the fact that they suspend letting them reach a little deeper depths and creating an easy meal for the fish to pick off in between twitches. Now if they are closer to the surface then a floating jerkbait might be a better way to go, or possibly even a topwater lure. So keep an open mind and don't be afraid to switch it up a little when you are trying to figure out what the fish want. Even Alabama Rigs can be deadly in the late summer to early fall transition so don't be afraid to chuck that big thing around as well.

Always remember the key pieces to the puzzle when searching for these schooling fish or really any fish in general no matter what time of year it is. You need to have bait fish, a population of bass, some sort of structure or cover for the fish to position on, and then simply find the bait that triggers them to strike, and you've got it made. So head over to Bass Pro Shops, no matter what you're trying to catch they have what you need to get you out on the water and putting fish in your boat. I'll see you on the water!!!

 

Joey Nania

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Labor Day/Hometown Festival

Don't miss our Labor Day/Hometown Festival event on August 31-September 1. For more information, visit www.basspro.com

This event includes cooking seminars:

1:30 Smokin; - Tips for successful meat smoking

2:30 Outdoor Grilling - Choosing the right grill

3:30 Ductch Oven Cooking - Tips for outdoor cooking

 

Product demos

#14 Show Car Photo opportunity

Free Hot Dogs 1-4 pm*

Free Ice Cream 4-5 pm*

Bass Pro Shops Food Samples

Sweepstakes

Family Activities

Duck Pond

Bass Pro Shops BB Range

Metal detector treasure hunt

Casting buckets

Face painting

Crafts*

Coloring sheets

* While supplies last

hometown festival

 

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Are YOU Ready For Some Football?

Believe it or not, football season is almost here!! If you are like most people in the south, this is your favorite time of the year. Whether you are a first-time tailgater, or a seasoned veteran,  now is the time to prepare for the upcoming season.

Here is a partial list of essentials to make all your tailgating adventures a success:

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  • Folding chairs; bring along some extras
  • Folding table
  • Small grill
  • Charcoal lighter
  • Grill brush
  • Tongs
  • Sharp knives
  • Cooler for food (Yeti coolers are great!!!)
  • Cooler for drinks
  • Shade tent or umbrella large enough for everyone
  • Football
  • Soccer ball                                                                                                                  
  • Volleyball
  • Volleyball net
  • Radio or small TV
  • Batteries or cigarette lighter adapter (for electronics)
  • Portable generator (optional)
  • Deck of cards
  • Propane heater (optional; depends on how cold it will be)
  • Warm clothes: gloves, boots, winter jacket, hat
  • Blankets
  • First-aid kit

As you plan for your season to begin, come on in to your local Bass Pro Shops or visit www.basspro.com to see our large selection. From portable grills, to chairs, coolers, and folding tables, we can help make your next tailgating experience one that you, your family and friends will never forget.                                             

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Until next time,  stay safe and WAR EAGLE and ROLL TIDE!!!

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Athleticism In Fishing

 

When you think of sports, and the talent someone must have to compete at a high level, you think of such things as Football, Basketball, Baseball and many other competitive sports. You think of the incredible physical specimens that actually have the certain skill set that it takes to compete. A very small percentage truly are gifted enough to compete at a high level. Very rarely will people relate fishing to an athletic event or something that takes coordination or skill to become above average at, but trust me just like all the other competitive sports fishing is not as simple as the average person might think. This can be very easily recognized if you take a look at the standings and records for the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournaments over the last three years. The consistency of some anglers is absolutely amazing, you will find that many of the same anglers are repeatedly in the top, time and time again having the mental, as well as physical ability to compete and put them in a position to win.

Putting yourself in a position to win is not an easy thing to do. Many professional anglers never actually win an event throughout the course of their career. In comparison to baseball, competing in an eight tournament season with 3/4 of your finishes in the money would be equivalent to winning close to 3/4 of your games in a baseball season. One of the main reasons this is the case is that in almost all sports the playing field is the same each and every time, and with that being said the person with the most physical talent, strength, or skill, is going to win the majority of the time. Now take fishing, traveling from lake, to river, to reservoir all over the country with different mother nature curve balls being thrown at you every step of the way. Now this is something that can take the very most skilled talented angler in the world, chew him up and spit him out. Like so many sports that simply take physical talent with a little game planning, fishing is the opposite, making mental toughness and decision making just as important, or possibly more important than the physical ability. The best anglers are tough, hard working quick thinkers that can adjust at the drop of a hat. But don't get me wrong they are physically skilled and coordinated as well.

The physical side of fishing takes extreme hand eye coordination. As every angler knows quite often fish will position themselves up underneath cover such as docks or trees. Reaching these fish is practically impossible if you don't have extreme skill with either a baitcasting or a spinning reel. It is a true art form to be able to skip a 1/4 ounce Stanley Jig 50 feet up under a boat dock effortlessly positioning the bait silently in front of a waiting fish’s mouth. If you don't think it takes skill just give it a try and you will be shocked at how much timing and coordination it requires. Another physical aspect is the long consecutive days that fisherman endure. Many anglers will go weeks at a time fishing 12 hours days in horrific weather conditions that would send most people running for the air conditioning or in some cases the nice warm fire place. Professional anglers don't get to choose the days they compete, whether it is 100 degrees or 20 degrees they are out there trying to figure out how to trick a little green fish into biting their artificial lure, while all the while the fish have hundreds of live natural food options swimming nearby at any given time.

Based on these comparisons it is easy to see that fishing not only takes physical skill, but also requires incredible mental ability and toughness. Now obviously equipment is important as well. You don't see the best golfers in the world using wood clubs in a professional tournament and fishing is the same way. There are always new innovations in fishing equipment and lures that can affect your success as an angler. Reels and rods are getting lighter, smoother, as well as faster year after year. Most brands and models of reels offer a wide variety of speeds based on their gear ratios. Where 15 years ago you didn't have many options, now you can get the exact specifics of what you need from a 4.7:1 all the way up to an incredible 8.0:1. All speeds of reels have their time and place, and their certain application. Another physical aspect that is rarely thought about is wearing a good pair of athletic shoes, this is very important for countless hours on the water. Shoes such as the Sperry Top-Sider SeaRacer Boating Shoe, provide the light weight, comfort, and stability that it takes to keep your feet and body feeling strong throughout the duration of a tournament. If you want to learn more and acquire more information there is no better place to go then Bass Pro Shops. Product knowledgeable associates are always willing to assist and answer questions; from beginning anglers to extreme tournament anglers Bass Pro Shops has something to offer for everyone. For more blogs and info like us on Facebook at our Leeds Bass Pro Shops Page as well as my personal page at Joey Fishing. I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania

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Tis' The Season For Night Fishing

Every angler knows that the summer months can be one of the most difficult time periods to locate and catch bass, especially the big bass. Big fish can seem to be non existent at certain times throughout the summer, add this to the uncomfortably hot weather conditions, and extreme frustration is sure to follow. Just like us anglers the fish don't like the hot weather either, generally in the day time they will relate to deep structure such as ledges or brush piles seeking the deep cooler water, along with some fish that stay shallow relating to shade. While fish can be caught, the majority of the fish don't feed in the hottest parts of the day. If you don't have a day time tournament then the solution to finicky summer bass is not going fishing at all until the sun sets. Many anglers especially in the southern part of the United States prefer this much more comfortable time for fishing, and trust me they have some amazing results.

When the sun goes down many of the fish move to shallower cover. Picture this in the day time the big fish are holding out off the deep break on a river channel, well once the sun goes down those previously hard to catch fish will pull up on top of the ledge in shallow water and will feed aggressively. It seams like many fish in the summer almost become nocturnal, especially the big fish. Ten tournaments could go out of a lake in the day time with generally poor results and very few big fish caught. Now a night tournament could go out that very evening and you would be amazed and truly humbled by the numbers of quality fish that are weighed in.

When night fishing I feel it is very important to choose a bait that either has a bulky profile, or creates a lot of vibration. My go to bait for this very reason has always been a spinnerbait. I prefer a large heavy bait, generally something at least 1/2oz and often I'll throw a 3/4oz. Many brands make spinnerbaits designed specifically for night fishing applications. Two of my favorites are, War Eagle Spinnerbaits, and the  Strike King Rattlin' Midnight Special. Choosing a color is relatively simple, when fishing at night the color that I've found works best is something black, this creates a great silhouette with ambient artificial light, as well as moonlight that is usually present. Add some sort of trailer such as a Bass Pro Shops Triple Ripple Craw Trailer, this will help create a bigger profile and will add vibration. Now the biggest key to why a spinnerbait is such a great choice at night is the blade. Most night baits come with either a number 5 or 7 colorado blade, this makes for a ton of vibration. If you're reeling in your bait at night and you can't feel it thumping then something is wrong. I like to slow role my spinnerbaits right on the bottom and through the cover. So chuck it and wind it back slowly bumping the bottom, and hold on tight because you can get some ferocious bites by a big hungry fish using this technique.

Two more baits I like to use are Chatterbaits, and Big Jigs. The chatterbait is great for catching fish at night, anyone who's thrown one knows how much vibration it puts off, and that is the key to why it works so good. I would stick with the same color rule as the spinnerbait choosing black for the silhouette factor. Fish the chatterbait just like you do with the spinnerbait and you will have similar results. Now some nights they just don't seem to want something moving, when I encounter this the jig is always what I switch too. A large black jig worked slowly through the cover will catch finicky fish that didn't want to chase the moving baits. Many companies offer a good black jig, all will work great if they have one thing, a rattle. The rattle like the vibration of the moving baits is essential for helping the fish locate and eat the bait. If you have a jig that doesn't' t already have a rattle then you can pick up your own rattles at Bass Pro Shops, and very easily get them doctored up right yourself. A Northland Fishing Tackle Buck-Shot Rattle Ring is the rattle I use when doctoring up my own baits. Don't be afraid to add this to your spinnerbait or chatterbait as well.

So you have the three key baits, and when I go out at night I leave just about everything else at home. Using these baits there are a few key things I target when searching for fish after dark. The first is rock, I don't care how hot the water is or how deep the rock is, if you get your bait around rock you have a good chance of getting bit. Many baitfish as well as crawfish use rock as protection year around. Often bass will hang out deep of the drop and at night will pull up into the rocks to feed on the wide variety of forage. When fishing southern reservoirs you will generally find rock around old flooded house foundations, road beds, and obviously rip rap banks. Another type of cover I like to target is brush piles. There is very little that I enjoy more then crawling my bait through a brush pile and feeling the rod nearly get yanked out of my hand. The easiest way to locate brush is around docks, many residents will sink brush around their docks for the purpose of attracting crappie and other panfish, this naturally will attract the predatory bass. The more difficult to find brush is located out on humps and off points in deep water. This can be overwhelming in complete darkness but a good set of electronics really helps. I use my Lowrance Gen 2 electronics to graph over offshore structure, when I see something that looks promising I will throw out a marker buoy with a light on it letting me know exactly where the structure is. The only thing left to do is figure out what angle the fish want and work your bait properly through the cover.

So don't be afraid to get out at in the dark and capitalize on the normally frustrating summer months. Safety is key any time you are on the water and especially at night. Make sure you keep your PFD on at all times as well as your running lights, and remember to take your time going from place to place. I truly love the peace and tranquility that comes with being on the water at night. Give it a try, chances are you will get hooked on it too. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania

 

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When The Going Gets Tough, Go To The Docks!

Every angler searches for the fool proof pattern. Something reliable, that consistently produces fish. In the sport of bass fishing this is a very illusive thing to find. Fish are constantly on the move, changing instinctively with every aspect of nature. While there are thousands of  baits, techniques, and patterns, most will work one time of the year and not the other, or sometimes one day and not the next. If there is one pattern that I would say will always catch fish, it would have to be fishing docks. Winter, spring, summer, fall, it doesn't matter there is a fish on a dock somewhere in whatever lake you fish. Now don't think docks are extremely simple because on a single body of water there might be ten different types of docks, and twenty different ways and baits to fish them with. But there is a rhyme and a reason to which docks fish are currently using.

Lets start out with winter time bass fishing, the water is cold, in the mid 40's to low 50's, and the fish are slow and lethargic. In this situation in the dead of winter I would be looking for deep docks. Not only do I like the docks to be deep but I like to know that they have current on them when the dam generation turns on. This means generally I will search for fish in the main river channel, or in the main channel of a creek with some flow. I almost always start out fishing docks such as these with a jig. One of my favorites is a bait that is subtle, yet still satisfying to the fish. A War Eagle Heavy Finesse Jig fits the mold. A few characteristics I like about this jig is it's fairly small size and the fact that it does not have rattles. Another Jig I really like for this situation is the Stanley Finesse Jig. Both work great, I like to rig them with a Zoom Super Chunk Trailer to add some extra bulk to it's profile. With these Jigs I will fish around the deep docks starting with the front of the docks, working my way further back and around the sides pitching my baits up under the dock around the poles. Although most of your bites in the winter will be off the front of the dock you never know when one might be tucked way up underneath the dock in shallow water. I always fish my jigs slow this time of year remembering that fish are cold blooded, yet opportunistic. A jig fished slow is easy for a fish to slowly swim up to, and it is also worth their while and energy that they are going to expend because of the size of the meal.

As the water begins to warm up there are two things on a fish's mind, eating and most of all spawning. Some fish are residential on a specific dock never leaving the area no matter what the season, as long as there is food available. They will simply work there way up to the shallow protected part of the dock in the spring time to spawn and then slide back out in the summer. But the majority of the fish will make their way in from the deep water and position on shallow docks.  A shallow dock in the spring time is great for many reasons. A dock gathers heat especially a dock with shallow sand or clay bottom. Fish in the spring time love warmth and will really hold on these specific docks. I will generally search in the back of pockets or creeks, flipping baits quietly against the edge of the dock. Often the fish will hold in extremely shallow water so don't be afraid to pitch your bait up under the ramp, or walkway of the dock.

Spring time docks can be fished with a variety of different techniques. Crankbaits can be a fantastic way to cover alot of docks quickly searching for a aggressive fish. If there is brush or cover around the dock I prefer a square bill style crank such as the Spro Little John. The small profile catches allot of fish and the square bill allows the bait to come through cover with very few snags. For clean bottom I will throw a Rapala Shad Rap, with no rattles this is a fantastic way to catch fish in the early spring. Another hard bait I throw on shallow docks is a Spro McStick Jerkbait. I fish my jerkbait very slow, twitching it parallel to the docks with long pauses watching my line for the strike. If they won't eat a moving bait then falling back on the jig is fool proof for catching fish on shallow docks. Make sure your jig isn't too heavy and fish them slow up under the shallow part of the dock.

When the water warms up in the summer the fish again migrate out to the deep docks. The main thing fish are looking for in the hot summer is baitfish such as shad, or brim, as well as oxygenated water. In the hot summer much of the lake becomes stagnant especially if there has been little current flow. You will almost always find your big bass located around docks that have current flowing past them. Alot of the time I will fish the exact same docks in the summer that I fish in the winter, the ones that are out on the main river, or creek channel. The only difference is that instead of throwing a jig I prefer flipping soft plastics such as Bass Pro Shops River Bugs, Or Magnum Flippin' Tubes. I feel like I get more bites going with the soft plastics, although sometimes the jig will still get bigger bites.

When fall comes around a lot of the fish return to the same docks they were using in the spring of the year and can be caught on very similar techniques. I have had a lot of success in the fall fishing docks with a jerkbait, targeting the aggressive fish that are feeding heavily, preparing for winter. You will find fish on shallow docks as well as mid depth transition docks that fish will use for a short period of time on there way either shallow or deep. Don't let the transition fish suck you in for too long, because those fish are somewhat here today, gone tomorrow.

You can see no matter what the time of year it is fish use docks. Learning the way fish move from season to season is very important to consistently catching fish and once you know this docks are just a common piece of cover that you can always rely on. It is really interesting and beneficial knowing that fish will use the same cover in the winter and summer, as well as the same cover in the spring and fall. You can always get your fishing needs met at Bass Pro Shops, from the baits you want to tips and information from accomplished anglers, Bass Pro has it all. Also Remember, that the Leeds Bass Pro Shops offers fly fishing classes every month. Our tying classes are the first Monday and the third Monday of each month, with our casting classes the second Saturday, and forth Saturday of each month, both are at 6:00PM. You can sign up in store for any of our classes while space is available. We'd love to see you there, and I'll see you on the water!!!

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Kayak Fishing

Fishing is a sport that more people enjoy recreationally each year than golf and tennis combined. From catching catfish and panfish, to fishing for big money in professional bass tournaments, we all have one thing in common, we love the challenge of locating and catching fish. Millions of people are already in to fish, whether they are fishing off the bank or in a beautiful Nitro Bass Boat, they already have a passion for being in nature and spending quality time with their children and family members. Now the question is if I am a beginning angler or maybe even someone that has never fished before in my life how and where do I start? That question can easily be answered if you have a Bass Pro Shops near by. There is no better place to go to get all of the gear and equipment you will ever need, as well as having access to knowledgeable associates that are always willing to assist in any way possible. Getting tips and asking questions from experienced anglers is a great way to jump start your learning into a life long passion for fishing.

Now fishing can be expensive and most beginning anglers don't need to get a big fancy bass boat. While fishing from the bank in small private lakes or ponds can be very rewarding and a fun place to start, at some point you are going wonder what that other side of the lake has to offer. The best way to access those rarely sought after fish is with a fishing Kayak. Bass pro shops offers a wide variety of options from sit in kayaks to the extremely popular and my personal choice, the Ascend FS12T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak. A sit on top kayak makes a great fishing platform that an angler with good balance can even stand on for improved casting ability. The opportunities with a kayak are endless, not only are they a good way to get on the water, but they are very fun for exploring places that a bass boat can not possibly get too. Areas such as creeks or small ponds with limited shore access are often loaded with fish that rarely see a lure, and are an absolute dream come true to a diehard angler.

Bass Pro Shops offers a wide variety of options you can add on to the kayak as well. Accessories such as Ascend Deluxe Sit-on-Top Kayak Seats, rod holders, and SEA-LECT Designs Zig Zag Cleats can all be found at your local bass pro shops or on our website. I would recommend trying to keep your tackle selection simple, as well as wearing a good pair of Sperry Top-Sider Sea Kite Ultrathong Sandals, which will provide important grip and comfort for stand up fishing. When I fish out of a kayak I will bring two rods, one spinning and one bait caster. With the limited room this will be all you need. When looking for a rod and reel combo that is versatile and can be used with a variety of baits and techniques there are some specifications I will always look for. For the bait caster a 7 foot medium heavy Temple Fork Outfitters Gary Loomis Signature Series rod is a perfect choice. From flipping and pitching in heavy cover, to casting spinnerbaits this rod will do the trick. It has enough strength and power to horse big fish out of thick cover, but not so much that other techniques can't be used. Having a spinning rod with you is also important if you want to throw light weight or even weightless soft plastic lures with light line. One of the very most effective baits for fishing shallow water in ponds, creeks, rivers, or lakes, is with the Bass Pro Shops Stik-O. These baits can be rigged either weedless, also known as texas rigged with no weight, or wacky rigged, which is rigging the bait directly in the center. Either way will catch an incredible number of fish, especially in places where they have never been seen before.

So if you're interested in getting into fishing but just can't quite take the leap, start by coming in to Bass Pro Shops and checking out all of the incredible things they have to offer. Bring the whole family and you will have a blast checking out all of the amazing attractions at the store, as well as learning how to begin to utilize and enjoy what nature has to offer. Don't forget that at your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops we offer fly fishing classes every month. Our tying classes are on the first and third Monday of each month and our casting classes, weather permitting, are on the second and forth Saturday of each month. So take advantage of having a Bass Pro Shops near you. We can't wait to see you here and share our passion for the outdoors. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania

 

 

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An Open Mind Equals More Fish In Your Boat

In fishing there are never any guarantees. As soon as you think you have them figured out and there is no way you can't load the boat on any given day, they are notorious for throwing you a curve ball. While this is frustrating at times, failure is the fuel that keeps diehard anglers like myself and thousands of others coming back for more day after day. The common fact amongst all hard core anglers is a determination to master the fish and figure them out, while we all know we can never completely understand what those pea brained fish are thinking and doing. So what is the key to overcoming the constantly changing conditions, and fish behaviors? This is a tough question, and the fact is fishing is a life long learning process that no matter how long you've been doing it you still won't be 100% successful. But there are a few key things that can help improve your odds day after day on the water.

Becoming a consistent angler starts with mastering the techniques you use. So what I like to do is start simple. Choose a technique that you like to do such as fishing a soft plastic worm. Go out on the water and fish with it day after day. Use it shallow, use it deep and just figure out as much as you possibly can about that certain technique. Once you feel confident in it the best thing you can do if you want to learn and become a better angler is to put it away. Now take a technique like crankbait fishing, and bring three rods with you. Have a shallow square bill style crankbait on the first one such as a Spro Little John, and have it ready to go if you want to fish in some shallow water. On your second rod have a medium diving crankbait, something that will reach 8 to 12 feet, a Strike King 5XD is a good choice for reaching that middle depth range. Now for your last rod go big tie on a deep diving bait, my favorite is a Spro Little John DD for this situation. It is a perfect bait for reaching depths over 15 feet and will catch you some really big deep water bass. So the next step is going out on the water. Now whether you want to fish deep, shallow, or in between throw nothing but a crankbait you will be amazed at how versatile the crankbait is and grow your confidence in the fish catching ability of the crankbait. You can use this system for any bait or technique you can think of. The key is just leaving the rest of your tackle at home so you're not tempted to switch up when things slow down. Trust me it really works. This is also a great way to learn new techniques such as spoon fishing or throwing a jig. Expanding your fishing arsenal is a big key to success under any conditions.

So once you have all these options and skills under your hat the next and probably most difficult step is knowing when to make the decision of when to adjust and put down one thing for the other. The only way you can effectively and consistently make the right decisions is by always keeping an open mind. A stubborn person does not make for a very consistent angler. While during a certain time period you will shine, the majority of the time you will be left in the dust. Just two weeks ago on the Coosa River I was fishing a night tournament. My partner and I immediately got on the fish and started bringing them in the boat. We ended up with over 14 pounds that night and won the tournament. The very next week conditions were similar, the one major difference was the fact that the current had gone from 3 turbines to 1 turbine. We decided to stick with are pattern from the week before and caught nothing but small fish. A few days later just fun fishing I figured out that the fish had adjusted and we failed to follow their move. All they did was pull out to the next deepest cover. Everywhere I went I would just search for the next available cover a little bit deeper and sure enough I found the fish. Had I kept an open mind and been able to adjust quicker our results could have been very different. The very best anglers in the world can adjust on a dime, they don't get stuck in their ways and what they did the week before or even the year before. They have lots of options to choose from and they are never afraid to abandon ship and switch gears to find the fish. If you can master this as an angler you will be amazed at the consistency you will begin to see in your fishing results. I still struggle with this and while I know what I need to do putting it to use takes years of experience and wisdom. So don't get discouraged and keep learning as much as you can. There is truly no better way to become a great angler then time on the water! And remember I work at Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, AL, so if you ever have any questions or just want to talk fishing you know where to find me.

I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania

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Fall Hunting Season Is Fastly approaching

It might be hot and humid right now in mid July, but Alabama's fall hunting season will be here before you know it. The cool breeze will soon be upon us and that can only mean one thing,  Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic! This years Fall Hunting Classic will be filled with activities, guest appearances, great savings and hunting seminars. Running from August 2 to August 18th

Here is the schedule of events for the 2013 Fall Hunting Classic:

  • August 2-18: Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic
  • August 2-7: Bow Trade In.
  • August 2-11: Instant savings on Guns and Safes
  • August 3: Bass Pro Shops Hunting University with Pro Appearances
  1. Hank Parker with "The Science of Broad heads" at 12:00pm and "How to Properly Use Deer Attractants" at 3:00p
  2. Fred Eichler with "Dangerous Situations" at 1:00pm
  3. Lee and Tiffany Lakosky will be doing a question and answer session as well as signing FREE autographs!!!
  • August 8-13: Scope Trade-In
  • August 9-10: Daily Specials
  • August 9-11: Hunter Appreciation Weekend:
  1. Friday August 9: Rick in our Archery department teaches "Tips For Bowhunters" at 6:30pm and Kraig from Archery teaches "Tactics for hunting Deer" at 7:30pm.
  2. Saturday August 10: Kraig from Archery teaches how to hunt for antler sheds at 1:30pm, David From Archery teaches "From the Field to the Table, how to fry a turkey" at 2:30pm, at 3:30pm Audie from archery tells his tips and techniques for hunting, Mike from the hunting department will give an introduction to Competitive Handgun, Shotgun and Rifle shooting and at 5:30pm will go over choosing the correct camouflage clothing for your needs.
  3. Sunday August 11: Mike from hunting does another introduction to Competitive shooting at 1:30pm, Kraig from archery goes over his tactics for hunting whitetail deer and lastly Greg from the hunting department will go over his tips and techniques for hunting at 3;30pm, choosing the best scent control at 4:30pm and choosing the right optics at 5:30pm.
  • August 14-18: Binocular and Range finder Trade-In
  • August 16-17: Daily Specials
  • August 17-18: Next Generation Weekend, activities for the children:
    • Next Generation weekend is August 17-18, Noon-5pm and includes: Free Kids Archery, Free Kids Crafts, Free Photo Download, Free Giveaway and a Free Kid's Seminar going over 10 safety tips.

 

This years Fall Hunting Classic is going to be bigger than ever. Please come join us as the local and National Pros will be here to help you improve your skills in the woods. All schedules are attentive and subject to change. I will be posting a more detailed schedule as the time gets closer to August.

Thank you,

 

Grayson Barnes

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Tent Sale

tent sale

 

Looking for a good bargain? Check out our store wide clearance event going on from July 20-July 28th, We are going to have savings all throughout the store. Now is a good time to start picking up the kids' school clothes, the hunter some extra camouflage, or even something special for yourself. Make sure that you make Bass Pro Shops in Leeds a stop this weekend. We will have an outside tent sale and special deals inside, as well.

Also, while you are here... make sure that you register for a chance to win a trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to see the Professional Bull Riders in person.

For these great deals and more, make sure you check out our website at www.basspro.com

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New at Bass Pro Shops, CMMG 300 AAC/Blackout AR-15!!!

CMMG 300 BlackoutNew here at Bass Pro Shops is an AR-15 rifle chambered in 300 Blackout. The rifle is manufactured by CMMG Incorporated. CMMG manufactured not only full AR-15 rifles but they also manufacture AR-15 parts and accessories. This company was founded in 1999 and has been growing exponentially ever since. They now offer everything from magazines to a fully built rifle like we have here.

The specs on the rifle are:

  • Caliber - 300 AAC BLACKOUT.
  • Barrel - 16" M300 Profile Barrel, WASP Treated 4140 Chrome-Moly Steel, 1:7" Twist, 5/8-24 Threaded.
  • Hand Guard - M4 Hand guard.
  • Sights/Gas Block - Flat top/railed gas block.
  • Trigger assembly - Factory Trigger.
  • Magazine - 30 Round  P-Mag.

 

300 AAC Blackout  The 300 AAC Blackout(7.62x35 MM) is fairly new to the industry, but since the 300's acceptance by SAAMI(Sporting Arms Ammunition Institute) the cartridge has been gaining popularity. If you are unfamiliar with the 300 Blackout it is basically a .223rem case cut down and re-necked to fit a .30 caliber projectile, but its actual parent case is a .221 Fireball. Having the same case as a .223rem this means that the 300 blackout will function in a magazine designed for a .223rem and hold the same capacity. Now you might be asking yourself "What is the 300 Blackout good for?" Here are some of the advantages to this cartridge:

  • Subsonic ammo that will cycle an AR
  • Uses standard .223rem Magazine and bolt
  • Better muzzle energy when compared to a .223rem
  • Wide projectile selection (.308")

300 Blackout assortment

 

The 300 Blackout is becoming very popular with hog hunters. The low recoil, light noise crack and excellent energy producing make it a perfect fit for hog/pig control. Combine this cartridge with a suppressor and you will have a quiet, reliable rifle that will suit your needs.(Please check local game laws. Not all states/game can be legally hunted with a suppressor. Look here on how to obtain a suppressor).

Here is a YouTube video of what this round sounds like subsonic/suppressed vs. supersonic.

Now every pro has its cons. The only cons I could think of were slightly more expensive to shoot, factory ammo is a little harder to find(but what ammo isn't right now) and bullet drop after two hundred yards is significant.  These cons should not steer you away from this rifle. It is an excellent choice. Shoot one and you will realize what I am talking about.

Stop by Bass Pro Shop and ask an associate behind the gun counter to see this rifle. I am sure you will be impressed.

Grayson

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PBR National Event in Leeds

pbr

Join us this year for our Professional Bull Riders Event at the Leeds Bass Pro Shops on July 27 & 28! The event will be from Noon-4pm with lots of fun for the whole family!

  • Stick Bull Riding - see who can "ride" the stick pony the fastest by racing each other
  • Bull Roping - Test your skills to see if you can "rope a bull"
  • Free Crafts - Make a Leather Wristband
  • Face Painting
  • Free CowBells to the first 100 children
  • Enter to win a VIP Trip to the PBR in Ft. Lauderdale

Saturday Only:

  • Meet Josh Moore from 1-2pm

Sunday only:

  • Best Cowboy or Cowgirl contest
  • Judging begins at 2:30
  • Winner receives a $50 gift card

 

pbr

 

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Get Rid of Those Pesky Bugs!

Ahhh!! Those carefree days and lazy nights of summer are in full swing - swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, and.....BUGS!!!! 

Don't let a few bugs spoil your fun. Come on in to Bass Pro Shops and check out our selection of insect repellents.  We carry a variety of products, from sprays and patches, to wristbands and thermacells. We even carry repellent for clothing.  

Don't like to use those chemicals? We can help you with that, too. Try out our Flyshooter Bug Gun or our Bug-a-nator Electronic Insect Zapper. Your kids will love to use these and you won't have to worry about the chemical repellents on their skin.

FlyshooterBug

We also have a variety of mosquito nets to help protect you when you are outdoors. Check out our head nets, nets to cover your sleeping bag, and even nets to cover your cot.

So, whatever you are doing this summer, don't let those pesky bugs spoil your fun. Come by and visit your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops or check out our website @ www.basspro.com  and get prepared today. You and your family will have a much more enjoyable summer!!! 

bug

 

Until next time, stay safe, have a great BUG FREE summer, and GO CAMPING!!!

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Night Time Summer Crappie Fishing

Crappie are by far one of the most popular fish across the country. Some reasons for that are: they are decent fighters on light line, they generally school up in large numbers, and they are absolutely delicious to eat. Another great thing about crappie is how predictable their movements are. While some fish are very difficult to track and keep up with the crappie normally are where they're supposed to be. This easy to pattern quality makes them a perfect species for a beginning angler to target.

While in the spring time they are generally shallow, during the summer months the majority of the crappie school up in deep water around the thermocline level, where the water is rich with oxygen which attracts small organisms like plankton, and in return attracts baitfish such as shad and other minnows. If you can find these ingredients then the crappie will not be far away. Crappie are aggressive feeders when you get them fired up and it is not uncommon to catch more 50 fish in one area. Crappie are common in the 7 to 11 inch range, but you never know when a 16 inch or bigger crappie might bite, and that is a blast to fight on light line.

The best time to target summer time crappie is definitely at night.  Now one of the keys for night time fishing is attracting the baitfish to your boat. The way to do this is by using a light of some some such as the Optronics Floating Fish-N-Lite or a Bass Pro Shops Submersible Fish Light. The baitfish will gather around your boat and like I said earlier the crappie will not be far behind. A lot of the time when fishing this way your boat will be sitting over 30 feet of water with the fish suspended feeding up off the bottom in about 10 to 15 feet.

I would recommend using either 4 or 6 pound test line. When fishing regular jigs with no flotation I prefer Trilene 100% Flourocarbon, it's low stretch, sensitive, and the fact that the line actually sinks is perfect for this presentation. Artificial baits will work great. The Bass Pro Shops Baby Shad in a variety of colors is my artificial bait of choice. Rig these soft plastics on a small 1/16 ounce jig head and simply drop the bait down into the school of fish. While artificials will catch alot of fish there is honestly nothing that will works quite as well as live minnows. Hook your minnow through the tip of the nose on a Gamakatsu Bait Holder Hook in a size 2 or 4 depending on the size of crappie you are catching. Pinch a reusable split shot about a foot up the line and you are ready to go. For this light line and light weight technique there is no better rod and reel setup then the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Combo. It is light weight and sensitive, yet still has a soft tip so that you won't tear the hook out of a crappies paper soft mouth.

If your looking to get into fishing this is a great way to start, and there is nothing better then providing for your family by putting fresh crappie on the dinner table. Make sure you always check your state regulations to find out what the size and quantity limits are in your local area, and most importantly enjoy yourself while spending time out in beautiful nature. I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania

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Keys to Fishing Current

As you already know, the eastern half of the United states has gotten far more rain then normal up to this point. This abundance of water has really changed the behavior of the fish population compared to the last several years with very little rain. Most of the regions rivers and reservoirs have been flowing at an incredible rate, creating heavy current and fairly dirty water conditions. While these conditions can seem overwhelming to some people, they actually create some great fish catching opportunities if you know what you're looking for.

When the current is flowing hard the bass and other species will orient themselves on structure just out of the main current. Pieces of cover such as boulders, trees, docks, points, and islands, near the main channel are prime things to target. They create a perfect break in the current where the fish can stack up and sit while expending very little energy. In these current breaks the fish will basically hang out and wait for the food to come to them. The shad and baitfish will be around these same pieces of cover as well making for a feeding frenzy when you get in the right area. Every fisherman searches for that one spot where they can catch multiple fish while hardly moving the boat. This is generally very hard to find, but with the current like it is right now, and has been so far this year, locating a big school of fish is easier then ever.

Once you have located a school of fish there are some details that are very important so you can maximize the number of fish you can catch out of one spot. Fish will generally position directly behind or in front of the piece of cover facing into the current. As they sit they wait for things to wash down towards their face where they can easily strike. This being said boat positioning is critical. Position your boat down stream from the cover you are attempting to fish. Make your casts up current from the structure you are fishing and let the bait wash down to the fish.

So when you have you're boat positioned correctly there are a few types of baits that I will fish. I generally will start out searching for these schools by casting crankbaits. Select you're bait depending on the depth of the structure you are fishing. For water deeper then 10 feet I always pick up my Spro Little John DD. This bait is perfecting for making long casts above the structure and grinding the bait into the cover creating a reaction from the fish. For cover shallower then 10 feet a Strike King Pro-Model 5XD will get the job done. Don't think just because the water is warm that some fish won't position very shallow in current conditions, so don't be afraid to try even shallower diving crankbaits such as square bill type lures. Color selection can be important, when the current is flowing normally the water color will be dirty, for me this points to bright colors like a citrus shad or a chartreuse blue back. But most of all use something that you are confident in and stick with it searching and you will find fish.

Often when you find a school of fish on your crankbait after catching several of them they will quit biting. I always have some sort of slow moving soft plastic or jig ready to go. This will generally catch you a few more fish even once the school has shut down. A shaky head worm is normally my first choice. My head of choice is a Gamakatsu Skip Gap Head, I rig a soft plastic straight tail worm on this and let the current wash the worm down to the fish. I also love to fish a finesse jig in this situation. Either a War Eagle, Stanley, or Bass Pro Shops brand will work great. Rig the jig with a Zoom Super chunk trailer and you're ready to go, and don't be surprised if the jig picks you up one more big fish out of the school.

So give the current a chance and take advantage of the conditions mother nature has created. Brave the elements and catch a big one. I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania

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