Spinning vs. Baitcasting

The question of which specific type of rod and reel to use is a very controversial subject. Anglers all over the country are set in there ways that either a spinning rod is the way to go or a baitcaster is the way to go. The truth is, both have there time and place, and to truly be a versatile successful fisherman it is important to get confident and build your skills with both. This being said there are still a few rules of thumb that I like to stick by when selecting which type of equipment to use, and both definitely have there time and place.

Spinning setups such as the now on sale Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier or the Pflueger President Spinning Reel have been very important keys to my success as a professional angler. Accompany these reels with either a Johnny Morris CarbonLite or a TFO Signature series rod and you will have a extremely versatile rod and real combination. There are some things a spinning rod is key for that a baitcasting setup just simply can't duplicate. For me I almost always choose a spinning rod when I am using 10lb test Trilene line or lighter. Spinning rods are designed for these light line applications and with extremely sensitive drag systems they give the angler the best opportunity to fool a finicky fish into biting by using light line and finesse tactics. The sensitive drag system will allow a large fish to run and fight stripping out line but not breaking you off in the process. Another great advantage that a skilled angler has while using a spinning setup is the ability to side arm skip light or weightless baits with ease. This technique is deadly for fishing up under docks or overhanging trees. With a spinning rod you can gently place a weightless soft plastic bait 50+feet under the cover where fish rarely see a lure. This being said do yourself a favor and give the sometimes frustrating spinning rod and reel a try.

What i mean by sometimes frustrating is the spinning setup is notorious for having blowout loops that can all but ruin a day of fishing. While getting occasional loops is inevitable there are a few fundamentals that will almost eliminate loops and tangles on the water. The first step in casting a spinning rod and reel is holding the line with your finger, you then flip the medal bail over and you are ready to cast. Now from then on is where all of the problems happen, watch your bait as it sails through the air and just before it hits the water place your finger back on the line stopping the bait, and then simply flip the bait back over manually instead of using the spring mechanism by just starting to reel. That is all it takes, most loops occur when your bait hits the water and line continues to come off of the spool creating line twist, as well as the twist and ware on a reel that happens when you flip the bail over by cranking the handle. Give it a try and you will be blown away at how much more enjoyable spinning rod fishing will become. Trust me it really works.

Baitcasters are the most popular setups by far in the bass fishing world. Bass anglers often use relatively big lures and heavy line, making a baitcaster the best choice. A baitcaster has more power and strength for fighting a fish out of heavy cover as well as the ability to cast the heavy lures that are sometimes required to catch bass. So as a rule of thumb, most of the time when using 12lb line or higher a baitcaster is the way to go. They are very important for tactics such as crankbait fishing, flipping and pitching, or deep water fishing with carolina rigs and jigs. While you won't have issues with line twist using baitcasters they do have there own challenges that come with them. Backlashes are the thing that turns many recreational anglers away from fishing with a baitcaster. The key to casting them begins before you even get on the lake with tuning your reel just right, making sure you have your tension knob and break systems properly set for the specific bait you are throwing is extremely important. The rest is all in the way you cast, your cast must be one smooth and fluid motion allowing the weight of the bait to do the work. If your going to get a new baitcaster I would suggest a Johnny Morris CarbonLite Baitcasting Reel with a Temple Fork Outfitters Signature Series Trigger Rod and you are ready to go.

It all boils down to practice, it takes countless hours to truly master the spinning setup as well as the baitcaster, and neither one is a all around better option then the other. If you have any questions such as how to set your baitcasting reel or the size of line to use come in to Bass Pro Shops where associates can fine tune your setup and give you hands on instructions on how to use your equipment! Also if you decide you want to take a leap of faith and learn how to use a new type of reel Bass Pro Shops has a sale going on from now until May 5th. SPRING WARM-UP SALE!

I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania



RMEF Big Game Banquet

Since 1984, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has conserved more than 6 million acres of prime elk habitat, opened over 650,000 acres of previously off-limits land to public access, helped restore elk populations in six states and stood strong for America's great hunting heritage. Here in Alabama, a portion of RMEF fund raising goes to support our local hunting heritage, conservation efforts, and basic outdoors education.

Please join this great cause as they host this year's Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Big Game Banquet on May 4, 2013 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Homewood City Hall, 2850 18th Street South, Homewood, AL 35209. There will be dinner with refreshments, raffles, and auctions. Prizes and auction items will include guns, optics, hunts, home decor, and outdoor gear with items for all members of the family (including outdoor items for kids).

For more information on this event and to help support this great conservation group, contact Brandy Hathcock at (205) 277-9806 or visit the Alabama website: http://www.rmef.org/Alabama/Birmingham or visit the home page http://www.rmef.org/



Bassmasters Open Weigh In

Well, the basketball championship is over and it's too early in the season for football. What sport will you watch next? Why not watch one in person and be where the action is at? Join us at the Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Alabama as Bassmasters professional fishing returns to the lakes of Alabama. This year, participants will be fishing from May 16th to May 18th at Logan Martin Lake in Pell City, Alabama. You will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with today's top fishermen as they make their way to the stage. Last year's weigh in featured a "drive-thru" weigh in and highlighted boats and trucks of various colors and sponsorships. I can't wait to see what the Bassmasters weigh in will feature this year! After three exhausting days of fishing, the top 12 competitors will be making their way to the stage to see who will take it all home. So, bring out the camera and the lawn chairs to this fantastic event. Don't miss out on this opportunity to see today's latest and greatest in the fishing world. Will this year's winner be a local favorite such as Chris Lane, or last year's winner, Hank Cherry, or maybe a new up and coming star, such as Joey Nania? Guess you will have to come to the store on May 18th at approximately 3 pm to see!

Bass Pro Shops will have seating available on a first come, first serve basis. For more details, check out the Bassmaster web page at http://www.bassmaster.com/open We hope to see you there!




Browning Tax Relief In Your Sights!!

Hello Bass Pro Shoppers!Right now going on at the hunting counter is the Browning tax relief. When you buy a new Browning firearm at retail between April 15th and 30th, you can receive a rebate of up 8% of the purchase price to reimburse you for the state sales tax. that's just like putting the sales tax right back in your pocket. (offer also includes Buck Mark and 1911-22 pistols.) Some of the Browning firearms we carry are listed in detail with wonderful reviews. We hope to see you soon.

Browning trademark





Looking For Some .22 Long Rifle Ammo?? You Need To Read This!

Attention Bass Pro Shoppers! As some of you may know .22 long rifle ammo are little gold nuggets at this moment in time. If you have been looking for some ammo lately you know who has it and who doesn't. You know when their shipments come in and what the limit is on .22 long rifle. Here at the Leeds, Alabama store we are currently getting ammo on a regular basis. We DO NOT have scheduled shipment dates, it simply arrives when it arrives. (sorry for the inconvenience) You can always call us to see what we have in stock of ammo or any of our products at (205)702-7500. Please ask for the GUN COUNTER. Thanks,

Bass Pro Shops Hunting Associates



Kid's Outdoor Skills Challenge Event

Are you looking for something the whole family can enjoy? The Kids Outdoor Skills Challenges are intended to educate and test kids’ skills. They will be for 2 weekends only! April 20-21st and April 27-28th! Noon to 4 pm each day. We will hold this event outside (weather permitting) This is a FREE event!

Activities children can participate in include:

Knot Tying Learning to tie a proper knot is essential when camping or enjoying the outdoors. Children will have their own rope to practice and learn how to tie knots. They will also receive a card of directions to take home with them.

Packing a backpack challenge timed challenge Does your child know the difference between what is essential and what is not essential on a back packing trip? Test their knowledge!

Archery Kids can test their skills at either the Soft or Youth archery challenge

Casting pond – Participants will practice casting into the pond to see if they can "ring" a target. 

Wrist Band Giveaway

First 100 kids to get their punch card filled (Must complete all activities) will receive a Bass

Pro Shops flashing wristband

Kids that participate in the activities will get an opportunity to spin the Prize Wheel for a prize

Crafts  1-4pm each day

Saturday April 20:

Dragon Fly craft

Sunday April 21:

Animal Craft

Saturday & Sunday April 27 & 28:

Color an Owl mask

For more details and information, check out www.basspro.com




The Deal On Crankbaits

With so many baits to choose from many anglers can get lost fishing one single bait almost exclusively throughout the year. While you might get really confident in your one go to bait, often you will miss what the fish are really eating the best. Being versatile is incredibly important as a fisherman, if you want to consistently put fish in the boat. So try new things expand your arsenal and you'll be amazed at the results you get, as well as how much better you will begin to understand why fish do what they do.

Crankbaits are what I would like to key in on in this article. They are a great way to catch fish and also will put some giants in your boat. There are a few things that make crankbaits such a good choice. The first is the ability to cover water with these fast moving aggressive lures. Many anglers prefer to sit in one specific area, slowly working soft plastic baits where they are pretty sure fish live. The opposite of that is fishing fast, the idea is you will cover more water and place your lure in front of more aggressive fish. The month of April is great to catch fish fast and slow but as the weather continues to warm the crankbait is king for catching lots of big fish.

There are many different brands of crankbaits such as, Spro, Norman, Bass Pro Shops, and Strike King. All of these companies produce a great bait, and like all other fishing lures much of bait selection is determined simply by personal preference, which varies from angler to angler. The fishing conscience folks at Bass Pro Shops know that spring to summer is the key time to catch fish on crankbaits, this being said from now until May 5th they are having a sale on the specific Strike King Pro Model Crankbaits from the 3XD size up to the 6XD size. The normally $5.99 baits are now on sale for $4.97 which is a great opportunity to stock up on all of your favorite colors and sizes. Strike King produces a wonderful bait that has helped Kevin Vandam 4 time Bassmaster Classic Champion make his name in the sport of fishing. They have many different colors available for all types of water clarity and water color as well as offering baits that dive to different depths.

Choosing which depth diver you are going to use is probably the very most important aspect in making a crankbait work for you. It might seam tricky but it is really very simple. The rule of thumb is no matter what depth of water you are fishing in you always want to choose a bait that will hit and dig into the bottom. So if you are targeting cover in the 10 foot or less zone then the 3XD would be the perfect choice. Now as the water warms and we enter into the summer months much of the fish population goes deep. You can take advantage of this by using baits such as the 15 foot diving 5XD, and also the 19+ foot diving 6XD. These baits are perfect for hitting the bottom when the fish are positioned on deep points or on ledges and humps. Finding sunken brush piles in the deep water will also greatly improve your chances of catching a big bass in the summer months.

So now is the time to stock up and get ready for the annual migration of big bass leaving the shallows and getting positioned on deep water structure. Just come on in to Bass Pro Shops and ask where the Strike King Pro Model Crankbaits form 3XD, 5XD, or 6XD are and a associate will point you in the right direction, and can also assist with color selection for the specific lake or river you love to fish.

I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania



Hunter's Education Course

Another hunter's education course is coming up this month! Don't miss out on the April 20th class. Registration is under way now!

Were you born after August 1, 1977? Do you like to hunt? Are you hunting illegally? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then I have a solution for you. Bass Pro Shops in Leeds is very happy to announce that we will be offering the field day portion of the Hunter's Education course. The field day is the second part of the Hunter's Education requirement. Part one can be done at your own pace and can be completed on the computer but, must be completed before taking the field day. The following quote has been taken from the Outdoor Alabama web site:

"Alabama has two hunter education options: a traditional course with a written test or a CD-ROM/Internet-based course followed by a field day to test hunter safety skills. Don't wait, start today!"
Whether you want to take the "classroom" section on a CD-ROM or over the internet is entirely up to you. We are offering the "hands-on" training for you. We will have several classes to choose from. We are offering classes on February 23rd, March 16th, April 20th, May 18th, June 29th, July 27th, August 24th, September 21st, October 5th, October 26th, November 2nd, November 16th, and December 7th. These classes will last approximately from 1 pm to 5 pm and will be taught by certified instructor, Matthew Batson. You must bring proof that you have completed the written section of this class with you when you attend the field day!
For more information, you can visit the following web page: http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/education/
If you have already completed the written test part of the Hunter's Education Course and only need to take a field day class, go to the following link to enroll today:
We look forward to seeing you at a class soon!

Spring Fever - Time to GET READY TO FISH!!!


The fish are biting!!  Spring is WAY past officially here!!

But what’s the most telling indicator that spring is here? My usually black SUV is now a faded yellow in color, meaning if you’ve got allergies you probably don’t feel like fishing.  Before the temperatures get totally out of control and it gets ‘too hot’ to fish (as if there was ever such a condition), there are several things you can do to ease in to fishing season with little or no stress.

If you’re all ready for spring and fishing fever, but you don’t have a boat yet, you might want to check out our non-current and pre-owned inventory of boats.

We have several 2012 boats still in inventory that have been reduced for quick sale.  For instance, a Nitro Z-8 package (with a 225HP Optimax ProXS on a tandem axle trailer) that was originally priced close to $50k is on sale for $40,330 (plus tax).

If you’re already a boat owner, bring your boat in to our service center for a spring checkup by one of our PowerPro® team of certified Mercury and Tracker professionals.  We’ll make sure your batteries are ready to charge, your engine fluid levels are where they’re supposed to be, and the bearings on your trailer are greased and ready to launch. 

2012 and earlier ATV’s are also reduced.  An Arctic Cat 700i MudPro LTD is among the many listed and just waiting for their new riders.  Don’t wait till hunting season!! Enjoy the spring weather riding the trails and scouting for scrapes and rubs while you’re out there.

Any of our Tracker Marine Certified Boat Consultants can help you with your boating or 4-Wheeling needs.

If you’re already rigged and ready to go, it might be a great time to upgrade the electronics on your current boat, add a GPS or add a power anchor.  There are so many ways to improve your fishing experience.  Just check with friendly Marine Center staff.

And finally, make sure you know how to tie the right knots for securing your lures.  Several of the most popular knots are demonstrated on our website.

Just a few things to get you ready for the season.  Hope to see you on the water.

Tim Smith

Tracker Marine Leeds, AL




A well-equipped first aid kit is an essential item to pack for any camping road trip. You can easily make-up your own, especially if you already have a lot of the basics, or you can buy pre-packaged ones that come with many of the essentials.

Here is a list of items to consider including in your first aid kit:


Bandages and Dressings

  • Elastic bandages (Band-Aids; for everyday cuts and scratches)kit
  • Adhesive and butterfly bandages (effective for use in the closure of a deep cut or wound)
  • Roll bandages (when moderate compression is needed
  • Triangular bandages (for head or appendage, as a handy arm sling, or even as a tourniquet)
  • Sterile gauze pads/non-adhesive dressings (ideal for cleansing and covering larger cuts, scrapes and minor burns because they are highly absorbent)
  • Large wound dressings
  • Blister dressing (particularly useful if you plan to do a lot of walking)
  • Adhesive tape- cloth-based (can be used to hold bandages and dressings in places)
  • An ice pack (to cool and reduce swelling)
  • Splinting materials (to provide support to an injured area to keep it from moving)

bearMiscellaneous Essentials:

  • Safety pins (to secure bandages)
  • Scissors (to trim bandages and other uses)
  • Tweezers and needles (to remove splinters or ticks)
  • Antiseptic wipes/alcohol pads (used to clean wounds, cuts and scrapes and help prevent infection)
  • Cotton swabs/cotton wool (used to apply ointments)
  • Thermometer (for taking your temperature, useful if you have a fever or are not felling well)
  • Non-latex gloves (help prevent the spread of infection into an open wound from the hand of someone cleaning / treating it)
  • Large plastic bag (for soiled bandages and other used medical items)



  • Topical antibiotic cream
  • Oral antihistamine
  • Medications for pain or fever
  • Hydrocortisone cream (1%) (for insect bites)
  • Diarrhea /vomiting medication
  • Anti-acids
  • Eye drops (sooth irritated eyes)
  • Travel / motion sickness medication (in the U.S. need a prescription for most medication)
  • Personal medications (if you or anyone in your group suffers from any illnesses)
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Other medications to consider, depending on the time of year and where you're going:

  • Bee sting kit
  • Snake bite kit
  • Poison ivy cream/cleansers
  • Aloe vera gel or other moisturizer (for sun burn)
  • Sinus medications (if it's allergy season and you know you suffer badly)

Some final tips:

  • Replenish your first aid kit if any items are used and check medications for use by dates
  • Pack your first aid kit in a well-labeled waterproof container. Make sure everyone in your party knows where it is kept
  • Keep your kit as compact as possible, consider removing tubes of cream or ointments and strips of pills from their cardboard box and simply cut out the instructions. Keep them together with an elastic band
  • Know how to use the items in your first aid kit, familiarize yourself with everything that's in it, especially if it's a pre-packaged one
  • Tailor your first aid kit to the kind of trip you're taking, the time of year and your own or families' personal medical needs
  • Bring a first aid manual if you are unfamiliar with basic first aid
  • Consider taking a first aid class if you do not have any basic first aid knowledge, particularly if you have children. Classes can be arranged through the American Red Cross.

Camping should be a fun and pleasant experience for you and your family. But, when the unexpected happens, it is best to be prepared.

To purchase pre-made first aid kits, or to build your own, come by your Leeds Bass Pro Shops, or visit www.basspro.com , to see our great selection.

As always, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!!

Content taken from www.campingroadtrip.com .


Start the summer off right with a new pair of boat shoes.

Last week we talked about good shoes for ladies this spring and so now it is time for the men.

Its a new year and a good time to get yourself a new pair of shoes. This week we are going to feature our new mens boat shoes made by mountrek and called Waterfronts. These shoes are great casual shoes for a day at the office or a night on the town. They would also be great for church or even going out on the boat. If you think about taking a vacation to the beach or a cruise these would be perfect.

Some of the features include a siped outsole which is great for traction in wet or dry places. It also has a non-marking outsole so you do not have to to worry about getting marks on your boat or even the kitchen floor. It has a leather/mesh upper which will allow it to be breathable and the leather will help it be more giving and last longer than most. It iis super lightweight with an EVA footbed for more cushion and support and also has a nylon shank for stability.

The footbed is covered in a moisture wicking fabric that helps keep your feet dry and comfortable. It also has a cuped sidewall which helps for support and protection to keep your foot in one place and secure.

So come on down to your local basspro shop and try a pair on for yourself.



waterfront                        sole




The GoPro Hero 3 Camera is here!

The GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition Camera has arrived at your Leeds Bass Pro Shops!!!  Often called the "world's most versatile camera" , this  "wearable"  camera was once used mainly by surfers but is now used for auto racing, skiing, bicycling, and many more outdoor activities.



  • Hands-free recording
  • Professional quality HD video and 11 MP still photos
  • Built-in Wi-Fi capability that allows you to control the camera from a remote position
  • Multiple settings options in video or photo modes
  • Works with all GoPro mounting accessories-attach the camera on a head strap, helmet, bike, kayak, vehicle, and more
  • Comes with rechargeable lithium-ion battery and USB charging cable
  • Accepts up to 64 GB micro SD card (not included)
  • Polycarbonate housing for extra protection from impacts and shock and waterproof protection down to 180 ft.
  • In addition to the usual camera features, there is also an upside down mode to make photos/videos appear upright when played


Accessories:                                                                                   ddd

  • Suction Cup
  • Side Mount
  • Adhesive Mounts
  • Handlebar/Seatpost Pole Mount
  • Roll Bar Mount
  • Chest Mount Harness                                                                                                                             
  • Surfboard Mount
  • HERO 3 Rechargeable Battery                                                                                                            
  • Wi-Fi Remote Mounting Kit                                                         sss
  • 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB Micro SD Memory Cards
  • Wall Charger
  • Auto Charger
  • LCD Touch BacPac
  • Battery BacPac
  • Wi-Fi Remote

For more information, please visit www.gopro.com , www.basspro.com , or come visit us at your Leeds Bass Pro Shops. We look forward to seeing you there!!


Windchimes, Yesterday and Today

Did you ever wonder how wind chimes originated?  The history of wind chimes dates back to prehistoric times in many cultures.  Wind chimes have been used throughout history to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck, help predict the weather and it's even thought that farmers in Indonesia used wind chimes to ward off animals and other predators from their fields. 

Wind chimes seem to have a healing effect on the mind and body.  The resonance and vibration of the sound is thought to release stress and emotional blockages in the body and calm the mind, thereby expanding conscious awareness and connection with spirit.  The positive sounds of wind chimes are thought to promote relaxation and reduce anger and tension.  It is thought that wind chimes help enhance the mind/body/soul/spirit connection, bringing us a sense of peace and well being.  It is believed that wind chimes can help bring balance and harmony to your garden and home and they are often used in Feng Shui. 

Today wind chimes are widely used as decorations to produce interesting background sounds in your home and gardens. When choosing just the right chime, todays consumers have a huge variety of options.  There's the more traditional bamboo and wooden wind chimes, while others prefer the delicate beauty of glass.  Most often seen hanging on a porch or in a garden, the charm, beauty and magic of wind chimes is just a present today as it was over 5,000 years ago. 

At Bass Pro Shops we carry a tremendous selection of wind chimes.  We have bamboo, wood, metal, ceramic, anything you could ask for.  We have chimes, spinners, bouncies.  From Butterflies to Dragonflies, our new spring selection is arriving daily.  To see our entire selection visit our Gift Shop or visit us at www.basspro.com.


Jan Denard

OW 32, Leeds, Alabama


2013 Spring Family Fun Event

As we approach the 2 year anniversary of the horrific April 27th tornadoes, Bass Pro Shops in Leeds decided to hold a special event. We are going to have our very first Spring Family Fun Event from 1 pm until 4 pm! This event will be a partnership to the Kids Outdoor Skills Challenge event held at the store. Make plans now to join us for this fun filled day. Below are all of the details and activities we will have going on:

-Spring Fashion show from the Apparel Department to show off our latest and greatest spring collections.


maui jim-       

A representative from Maui Jim Sunglasses will be in the store all day with GWP and will be available for any customer needs.





CBS 42 will be in the store from 1-3pm to do Weather Radio programming. This date is the two year anniversary of the Tuscaloosa tornado, and CBS is excited to come out prepare you for the next storm. Bass Pro Shops will have weather radios available for you to purchase.






Also the Birmingham Zoo will be here that day as well from 1-3pm with their Zoo to You program. This is a time where Kids/Adults can interact with 4-5 different animals that the zoo brings out for that day.





The Kids' Outdoor Skills Challenge includes: packing a backpack, archery, casting pond, and crafts! Another blog will be coming soon with all of these details!




April is National Wild Turkey Federation

What is the NWTF?

The NWTF - a national nonprofit organization - is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Founded in 1973, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in every state and Canada.

Who Are We?

  • We are sportsmen, women and children who care deeply about our natural resources and the wild places we love to hunt.

    We cherish the memory of the ridge top gobbler we hunted last spring and fondly remember the cornfield where we saw that big buck at sunset two years ago.

Collectively, we come from all walks of life to engage in conservation and preserve the hunting heritage we all hold dear.

We're hunters...

Some of us follow bird dogs through waving stands of grass from south Georgia to Montana in pursuit of bobwhite quail and pheasant.

And most of us would rather spend a bitterly cold winter morning knee deep in a flooded oak flat or beaver pond than waste that morning in a warm bed.

... champions of conservation.

According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America's wildlife history.

Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and our members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $412 million to conserve nearly 17.25 million acres of habitat.

That area is larger than the state of West Virginia.

Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, have benefited from this improved habitat.

Our dedicated volunteers bring new hunters and conservationists into the fold — about 100,000 every year — through outdoor education events and our Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen and JAKES youth outreach programs. http://www.nwtf.org/

Join Bass Pro Shops this month as we partner to support this great cause. Come into the store and make a donation starting at just $2.00 and enter to win a $500.00 gift card to the store.




Spread The Love Of Fishing

If you asked the question, "what is America's past time", to the average citizen you would receive a wide variety of answers. You would probably hear many of the United States most popular sports mentioned such as, baseball, football, basketball, or golf. Very rarely will fishing be mentioned. But look at the roots of fishing, dating all the way back to the Bible in B.C.. you can see records of people fishing. Although it used to be for producing a lively hood, the sport of fishing has grown and been passed down for generations and is now the number one recreational activity in the country. Yes it is true more people fish then play golf and tennis combined.

There are many reasons in my mind that fishing has continued to grow like it has. But they all boil down to one thing, a relative or friend with a passion for fishing, that took the time to introduce it to someone from a younger generation. From the experienced professional bass fisherman to the weekend angler, almost every fisherman will have a similar story, that at a certain point in their life someone else took them fishing. And most of them will agree that it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to them! My story is the same, at a very young age my dad took me fishing, and I still thank him often today for taking the time and doing so.

Fishing for me was very important in my life growing up. With the growing amount of worthless distractions we as Americans now face in every day life there is nothing more wholesome then fishing. For me it played a huge role in keeping me out of trouble, and motivating me to do the right thing when faced with inevitably tough decisions. I was never willing to risk loosing what I cherished most growing up and that was being allowed to fish.

As the sport of fishing grows more and more opportunities are popping up for young people to get involved in tournament fishing at a young age, which can now leed to College Scholarships, where students can fish for teams such as the the University of Alabama as well as hundreds of other teams across the country. So for parents and people that think of fishing as just simply a hobby, in this day and age that is not the case. High school fishing teams are also being started nationwide, as well as separate youth programs such as the Junior Bassmasters that has been going strong for nearly 10 years. So if you have a child or friend that has a passion for fishing, the doors are wide open.  

If you are interested in introducing someone into fishing then the perfect place to start is at Bass Pro Shops. They have knowledgeable associates that are always willing to give assistance and can lead a beginning angler in the right direction. Bass Pro Shops offers many options for young children such as the Zebco SpongeBob Squarepants combo. They also have many great beginner options for adults and older children as well with affordable combos like the Zebco Bill Dance Select 733 Combo.

So there are no good excuses for why not to introduce either a family member or friend into fishing, and in my opinion the younger you get them started the better. My father and I still share countless great memories together from my childhood, fish stories documented with pictures that will never be forgotten. I will always cherish the times we have spent together on the water and it is my hope that this article will encourage others to do the same great thing that my dad did. Take your child, or children fishing. Whether you find a local pond or private lake to fish on, or invest in a Tracker Boat and begin to learn about the abundance of great fishing lakes and rivers across the country, the result will be the same. You will either build or pass on a wholesome passion that you or your family and friends will have for the rest of their lives.

If you ever have any additional questions please contact me at www.joeyfishing.com, and I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania




Ladies fashionable canvas mocs for any occasion

Hey ladies! Are you trying to decide what shoes to wear this spring? I have the answer for you.  Easter and spring are right around the corner and you may be thinking to yourself... "I need a lightweight shoe that I can wear with almost anything but it has to be cute". Then, Bass Pro Shop is the place to visit. We have a huge selection of ladies canvas moc style shoes that won't break the bank like other brands. http://www.basspro.com/Natural-Reflections-Canvas-Moc-SlipOn-Shoes-for-Ladies-Olive/product/1201140501089/

These shoes are easy on and easy off which makes going places a breeze. They have several features such as they are very lightweight, with an average weight of 10oz. Another feature of this stylish shoe is that it is breathable for those warm spring days. The insole is made of leather, which allows it to give and be very comfortable. The insole is also cushioned with a little bit of arch support making it comfy to wear all day. It has a one piece rubber sole allowing them to last just a little longer than most. The canvas material is made from 100% cotton, which allows it to be snug at first but stretch over time.

It is a very stylish and fashionable shoe that will go with pretty much anything from pajamas to a nice sundress.

It also comes in many different styles and colors such as canvas, fabric and a glitter canvas. There are about 15 colors that we carry such as red, pink, camo and leopard. There is a color for everyone and every outfit.

canvas                  canvas           canvas                 canvas           canvas


These shoes come in sizes 4-10 and are only 24.99. So hurry up and come on down to your local Bass Pro Shop and get you a pair. They make great Easter presents for the kiddos, as well as gifts for any occasion. You can never go wrong with a new pair of shoes.


Is Your Boat Ready?

Spring is here, and the weather has prompted the floodgates to open, releasing thousands of boats from their winter storage. Like anything else, smart preparation will be the key to a successful season for everyone, and we at your local Bass Pro Shops would like to offer some advice and tips for a great beginning to a long boating season.

First, let’s start with the trailer, since your boat is dependent on reliable transportation. What condition are your tires in? Do they show signs of dangerous wear, or dry rot? Most boat tires never wear out, they break down over time. If your tires are in good shape, inflate them to the proper setting, and move on to your bearings. Have you had your bearings re-packed? Check them yearly for wear, and replace them as needed. Cold lake water on a hot bearing can be tough, so make sure they stay full of fresh grease all of the time. At Bass Pro Shops, we offer Bearing and Seal replacement kits, as well as the proper grease for ongoing maintenance. Bearing Buddies with Caps work great for keeping the grease in and the world out.

When you check your tires, remember to check your spare tire very closely. The main reason for this is that the only thing between your boat and the rough pavement at 70 mph are two small patches of rubber tire, so it is best to make sure that they are in good shape. If you see signs of worn tires, replace them. IF you see damage to your rims, your local Bass Pro Shops sells replacement tire and rim combinations for most boat trailers.

Speaking of trailers, the only thing holding your boat onto the trailer is a couple of straps, and they need to be replaced every few years. Nothing would be worse than having the straps beak at 70 mph, causing you to dump your boat in the road. At Bass Pro Shops, we carry a full line of Transom Straps, Gunwale Straps, and Bow Straps. Some of the straps even bolt directly on to the trailer and are retractable, simplifying the tie down process.

Trailer lights are a critical but often overlooked component of your boat trailer. Connect your boat trailer to your tow vehicle and have a buddy help you check out the lights. At Bass Pro Shops, we offer everything from replacement bulbs to replacement lights, as well as replacement trailer wiring harnesses. Wiring can dry rot as well, so make sure to check your wiring thoroughly. Finally, remember to check the trailer hitch on the tow vehicle, especially the trailer ball and the nut on the underside holding the ball onto the hitch.

Okay now, so your trailer is ready to go, how about your boat? If you stored it properly, then getting everything ready should be a breeze. Let’s start with the battery. A properly maintained battery should provide good service throughout the stated battery life cycle. Some batteries require that you monitor the fluid levels, and others are sealed. All batteries can benefit from the use of a quality on-board battery charger, as these will keep the batteries fully charged and properly conditioned, ready for use when you are. If your boat does need new batteries, we carry a full line of Starting Batteries, Deep Cycle Batteries, and Dual Purpose Batteries at Bass Pro Shops, as well a variety of one, two, and three bank battery chargers. If your boat does not currently have an on-board charger, now is the time to add one. When you get in from a day of drinking beer and catching fish, you just plug it in to the AC plug and your batteries will be ready to go in just a few hours.

Now that you have your boat cranked, how long will it run? Once again, the answer is determined by how well you stored your boat. If the engine won’t keep running, or runs very rough, the problem may be in the gas tank. Gas can go stale in as few as 60 days, and you don’t know how old it is when you buy it. The answer is to use a product that we carry at Bass Pro Shops called Stabil. Stabil addresses several major problems caused by gas storage in a boat, or any tank, for that matter. Gas goes flat over time, and can lose its ability to help your engine run effectively and efficiently. Stabil is made to add to the tank when filling it up, treating the gas in the tank and in the engine, extending the life of the gas for up to a year. Another problem associated with gas is that much of it contains ethanol. Ethanol alone can be harmful to your engine, and can attack and damage the seals in some older engines. The main problem that you notice with ethanol is that it pulls moisture out of the atmosphere, adding that to your gas tank. This is not good, and should be addressed by adding Stabil or another ethanol treatment. Stabil will treat the water in the tank, breaking it up into smaller molecules, allowing it to be expelled from the engine through the normal combustion process. Water is highly corrosive, and you want it out of your gas as soon as possible. Bass Pro Shops carries Stabil in several different sizes of easy pour containers, and we carry other ethanol treatments as well. I use Stabil, and can vouch for it personally.

Alright now, you have pulled your boat to the lake for the first time this season, and thanks to your preparation, it cranked right up and ran as smooth as ever. Now, we will discuss how to make that boat look like new again. Bass Pro Shops has a whole area devoted to cleaning supplies that will make your boat look like new again. To start with, we carry the proper Buckets, Sponges, Scrub Brushes that clean without scratching, Hand Washing Mitts, Polishing Pads, Terry Cloth Towels, Cloth Diapers, everything you could imagine. You supply the water and elbow grease, we have the Boat Soap. Boat Soap is important, as it won’t wash off the protective finish that may still be on your boat. We have HD Hull Cleaner to get the scum deposits off of the hull, and HD Bottom Cleaner for the really stubborn stains. Once the dirt is gone, how does the finish look? If it is faded or oxidized, we have Color Fiberglass Restorer, and HD Oxidation Remover. We have things to help you get that luster back, or get your shine on as they say. We also sell the better Boat Waxes and Boat Polishes with PTFE. Your boat will look great this year, if you will invest a little time and care, and your finish will look nicer, longer. Of course, using a Bass Pro Shops Boat Cover will help this greatly.

Finally, we have arrived at the inside of the boat. Boat Soap will help keep the carpet looking nice, and our Upholstery Cleaner works great on stains. Did you know that the vinyl on boat seats has to breathe and maintain healthy moisture content in order to look good, remain pliable, and resist cracking under pressure? Our Vinyl Cleaner and Protectant will help keep your seats and interior healthy and looking great for years if you use it regularly. Does your boat have pontoons? We have several types of Pontoon Cleaners, some for aluminum pontoons, and some for fiberglass pontoons. Some even have spray nozzles for easy application. As always, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using any of the products you get here at Bass Pro Shops. And if there is anything that I have not touched on here, give me a call at 205-702-7500, x4081, or, better yet, come see me in person at Bass Pro Shops here in Leeds, Alabama. I’ll be looking out for you.

Jim Mann, Marine Department




Making a good choice on a sleeping bag could mean the difference between having a great trip or a miserably uncomfortable one. But, there are so many sleeping bags to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you?

Keeping you comfortable is the main purpose of a sleeping bag.  Although personal preference is very important, there are other factors to consider when making your selection:

  • Temperature rating
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Material
  • Lining
  • Zippers and collars

The temperature rating tells you the lowest temperature at which you will stay warm. A sleeping bag rated at 25 degrees F. will keep you comfortable as long as the temperature remains above 25 degrees F. The rating also assumes that you are sleeping on a sleeping pad and are dressed warmly. Keep these temperatures in mind when choosing your bag:

  • A bag rated at 20 degrees F., with a sleeping pad, is considered a 3 season bag. This should get you through a frosty spring or fall and not overheat in the summer
  • If camping in colder weather , choose a bag rated at -10 degrees to +10 degrees F.
  • For extremely cold weather, such as winter camping, your bag should be rated from -15 degrees to -30 degrees F.
  • Most bags have a  temperature rating between 15 degrees and 50 degrees F.
  • You should purchase a bag with a rating lower than the coldest temperature that you expect to encounter.

Size:Choose a sleeping bag that is big enough for you to sleep comfortably, but one that does not add a lot of extra weight and space. You may also want to consider youth, women's, or extra long sizes.


The most common shape for bags is the rectangular bag. While roomy and comfortable, this bag can also be opened and used as a comforter on warm nights, can cover an air mattress, or can be opened and zipped together with another rectangular bag to make a double-sized bag.


The mummy bag wraps tightly around the sleeper, providing  maximum warmth with less material. This bag is great for camping in cold weather.

Generally, you may choose between two types of material for your bag-synthetic or goose-down. Synthetic materials are a popular choice. They perform well, are non-allergenic and inexpensive, dry quickly, and still insulate if wet. Goose-down is more durable and can be compressed (more common for backcountry camping).

Most bags come with a nylon taffeta or silk lining. You can also purchase a fleece liner, which adds extra softness, and about 15-20 degrees of additional warmth.

Zippers should not pinch or catch on the fabric when zipping up. You should be able to zip it up from the outside or the inside. If you plan to connect two bags together to make a double, make sure the zippers are compatible.

Some bags have a collar at the top that helps keep the opening closed around your neck to retain heat. This feature is useful in cold weather, not so much in warm weather.

Remember, these factors should be used as guidelines only. What is comfortable for one sleeper may not be comfortable for another. And, always keep your bag clean  and air it out after every trip. Store in a cotton storage sack.

Please visit www.basspro.com , or come on in to your Leeds Bass Pro Shops and see our great selection. We look forward to seeing you.

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





Changing Weather Means Changing Tunes

music notes

As the weather changes, so does my taste in music. During the warmer months, I am continuously looking for music with an upbeat sound. Nothing is better than cruising down the road, the sunroof open, and music blaring through the speakers. Did you know that Bass Pro Shops in Leeds has a great music selection? I sure didn't. It wasn't until I was looking for the perfect gift for my dad that I stumbled upon a great discovery...... music. And by the way, it was the perfect gift. I bought my dad the Bluegrass CD and he loved it!


Bass Pro Shops carries a variety of music CDs. If you are into laughter, then you should check out the "Blue Collar Comedy" CD. I walk by the display and often push the demo button just so I can hear Larry the Cable Guy tell a good joke. We carry his "best of" CD.

larry the cable guy

If you are looking for music that will help soothe your mood, check out the selection of CDs that includes instrumental sounds. Nothing is better, after a long, stressful day at work, than coming home and putting in a CD that will help unwind your stress. Titles include "Woodland Rain", "Moonlight", "Native Spirit", "Sacred Earth", "Forest Piano",and "Thunderstorm". If you are anything like me, there is nothing better than listening to the sounds of a rolling thunder to help you sleep.



Of course, being in the south, we have a lot of country music fans. We have a couple of Justin Moore CDs to choose from. We have a CD from Brad Paisley and even the legend, Johnny Cash.

justin moore


I, personally, am thinking about purchasing a couple of the new CDs that we just received. With titles like "Afternoon Delight" and "Dancing in the Street", I am sure they are going to be exactly what I am looking for this summer. However, the CDs titled "Road Trip" and "On the Road Again" may be just as good! I am sure that I would absolutely love The Beach Boys, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or The Everly Brothers. (So many to choose from!)

on the road again


If you like listening to Celtic music, we have three different CDs available to choose from. These CDs include Celtic Dreams, Celtic Love Songs, and Celtic Grooves.

celtic grooves

No matter where your choice in music takes you, make sure that you stop by Bass Pro Shops in Leeds to pick up your tunes! We carry other CDs that include Chicago, Bluegrass, "Amazing Grace", "Songbird Suite", and "Bone Collector".

bone collector


All CDs are $14.99 + tax. Come by and hear a demo sample today!