Let the Power Pros Winterize your Boat!

New Z9!It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter the nights are getting cooler and our Saturdays are filled with college football.  So it’s time to start thinking about getting the boat ready for its winter hibernation.  Every year there are people who say it’s not going to get cold enough to do any damage to my boat this year and a few lucky souls are right and then a few unlucky souls are wrong and this can be a costly mistake.  Winterizations start at 199.60 plus parts, so for a small investment you can have your boat winterized and  be assured that your boat will make it through winter without any problems and give you a summer full of fun and relaxation and not cost you thousands to repair come spring. 


At the Tracker Marine Boat Center @ Bass Pro shops in Prattville Alabama we can take care of winterizing your boat for you and eliminate any worries that you will have during those cold winter days and  nights. While you’re in, you may want to go ahead and have your engine fully serviced so come spring you are ready to go have fun.  Every time you bring your boat into our service department we do a FREE 34 point inspection of your boat, motor and trailer to spot any items that need immediate attention as well as those that will need attention in the near future.  Some of the items we check during the 34 point inspection are lights, gauges, batteries, all fluids, switches, tire condition, wheel bearings, pumps and registrations for boat and trailer. We want to make sure that you have a great time on the water with as little interruption as possible!


For all of your parts and service needs please contact us by phone @ 334-290-6372 for service or 334-290-6371 for parts, or you can go to our 24 hour showroom  and contact us there.


Hometown Festival Returns to Prattville Bass Pro Shops!

Hometown Festival!Having a Staycation this Labor Day Weekend?  Maybe you'll be passing through and need a good break for the kids?  Come out and see us Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm for our Hometown Festival!  We bring a new photo download this time that will put YOU behind the wheel of Tony Stewart's #14 Bass Pro Shops car!  Tons of activities for the kids including the Casting Buckets AND Metal Detector Treasure Hunt plus the new Bass Pro Shops Daisy Shooting Range!

Feeling artistic?  We'll have Face painting and the kids can Color a Duck starting at 1pm. 

All of that is bound to get you hungry, so we'll be giving away free Hot Dogs from 1-4 and my personal favorite, Homemade Ice Cream, from 4-5pm!



New Items to the Dove line up at Prattville BPS!

Dove season is upon us again here in Alabama.  Usually the opening weekend coincides with the opening weekend of our favorite form of religion in these parts, College Football!  This start to Dove season catches us where our favorite football teams are eating cupcakes that day, so we’ll pry ourselves away to be in the field at noon for the prescribed start.  Alabama North Zone begins on Saturday September 7th at 12 noon, then runs from a half hour before Sunrise to a half hour before sunset until October 6th.  Most of us have moved on to Deer by then, but a second season opens October 19th through November 2nd and a third December 7th-31st.  The bag limit stands at 15 as always.


Hunter's Edge Feeding Frenzy!!!New to the Bass Pro Shops line-up this year for Dove is the Hunter’s Edge Dove Feeding Frenzy.  Four AA batteries will give you up to 8 hours of keeping three birds in motion, bumping the ground and imitating Doves feeding.  Add in a few of the Hunter’s Edge Winged Dove Decoy and you’ve got a realistic spread and are ready to shoot! 


Couple of things that you’ll need to make your day on the field more enjoyable.  First, consider the Redhead Tec-Lite Camo Shirt and Pants.  Very lightweight wicking material will keep you cool and dry in the blazing ‘Bama heat and with the AXE anti-odor technology this system becomes a bowhunter’s best friend.  Bugs are going to be fun, too so don’t forget your Thermacell or Replacement Pads!  And of course, try to stay hydrated!  The Yeti Roadie at 20 quarts will keep enough water cold to get you through your day, and it ain’t a bad stool either!


Q&A With Crappie Masters Pro!

CrappieMaster's Pro Dan DannenmuellerOn August 15th at 700-800PM CST, Bass Pro Shops, Bobby Garland Pro Crappie Fisherman will be on-line to converse with other Crappie fishermen on Crappie.com with Ed Moes.  Be sure to sign on and converse with Dan on the latest Crappie product trends, tactics and have fun with Dan. 

Dan is the 2011 and 2012 CrappieMasters Points Angler of the Year.  He has placed 4th in two National Tournaments this year and is the Publisher of CrappieNow Magazine.  Dan has been a part of our local ProStaff now for three years and is a wealth of Crappie and Bass knowledge!


Spring time is Big Fish time in Central Alabama!


Kyle caught'em!Springtime fishing in central Alabama is fantastic. With a mixture of Largemouth, Coosa River Spotted Bass, Giant Crappie, Hybrid and Saltwater Stripers, and Big catfish, the lakes and rivers here produce some non-stop action from March through Mid June. Our area lakes include The Alabama River, Lake Jordan, Lake Mitchell, and Lake Martin. All of these fisheries are great in the spring and all located within 45 minutes of the Montgomery and Prattville area.

    The Alabama River starts where the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers come together just north of Montgomery. With 80 miles of river between Montgomery and Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam in Benton Al., along with numerous creeks and backwater areas, this section of the Alabama offers any type of fishing you want to do. This year has been great for giant spotted bass. We have more 6 lb spotted bass being caught than ever before. SpinnerbaitsSquare Bill crankbaits, and Soft Plastics fished shallow are the best baits this time of year for bass on the river. This is also a great time to catch crappie in the 2-3lb. range on stump flats. Small jigs and minnows are best.  
    Lake Jordan is the last lake on the Coosa Chain. Lined with docks and grass, this lake produces some excellent bass fishing. 4"-6" green pumpkin worms fished on an 1/8 oz. shakey head around seawalls will put great numbers of fish in the boat from late March to early May. Stick baits like the Netbait Salt Lick, fished SLOWLY around the grass beds will help you catch some of the bigger female bass pre and post spawn. After the first week of April the topwater and swim jig bite will really pick up. If you want to try something fun and different, go to Mitchell dam and fish a 4" Bass Pro Shops Boss Shad swimbait or Deadly 5 rig in the current for some great Hybrid Striper action. Throw the baits in the current as the water comes out of the generation turbines and hold on.
    Lake Mitchell will fish the exact same as Jordan this time of year. It's situated between Lake Jordan and Lay Lake on the Coosa, east of Clanton. Use caution when operating a boat on the upper end of Mitchell, below Lay Dam. There are numerous boulders that come up to just below the water line and can tear up a lower unit or prop. 

    Lake Martin is on the Tallapoosa River and is located 45 minutes north of Montgomery. It's a totally different lake than the other three. It's big, deep and gin clear waters are loaded with bass, crappie and Saltwater Striped bass. It has hundreds of miles of shoreline with lots of docks, laydowns and large rocks. Martin is known as a summer time recreational lake, however it's also known for producing large numbers of bass in the spring. Shakey heads and Salt Licks fished around any available shallow cover will do the trick. I have had many days of 50-100+ fish per day on this lake in April.
Brannon Jones
Fishing Guide

Defending Crappie Master's Angler of the Year returns to Prattville Bass Pro Shops!


Dan Dannenmueller Sr. is a professional Crappie fisherman who has won the 2011 and the 2012 Bass Pro Shops CrappieMasters National Tour Angler Team of the Year.  Dan is from Wetumpka Alabama where his favorite Crappie fishery is the Alabama River.  Among his sponsors are the Bass Pro Shops, Bobby Garland Baits, BnM Poles, Ranger Boats, Yamaha Outboard Motors, RoadRunner Lures, Tru Turn Hooks, CrappieNow Online Magazine, TiteLok Rod Holders, Driftmaster Rod Storage, Lake Fork Line, Motor Mate, P&S Jigs, Rock Port Rattler Jigs, Fish Guardian and Engle Bait Coolers.


Dan is the Co-Publisher of the award winning CrappieNow Online Magazine, www.crappienow.com.  This free web magazine and how-to video site is a major source of how-tos for all Crappie Fisherman.


On 9 March, Dan will provide the latest Crappie Tips and Tactics on Spider rigging for bonus sized slab crappie and some new techniques and baits from Bobby Garland for Dock Shooting for Crappies.  The seminar is scheduled for 2:00PM in the Prattville Bass Pro Shops Store. 


Dan will also sign person photos and autograph for the attendees while showing everyone the winning ways of the current tour pros.


GeoFest in the Parks

Be sure to make your plans to attend the first annual geocaching event “GeoFest In The Parks”, which is being held on February 23, 2013 at Chewacla State Park, Auburn, Alabama. The main event begins at 10:00 am however there will be several events held this weekend beginning on Friday evening with a dinner meet & greet at a local restaurant. 

Just what is a GeoFest you ask? GeoFest is a gathering of geocachers and friends to enjoy the many aspects of geocaching which include story telling, fellowship, creative caches, finding caches, CITO, food and other mischief that geocachers get into.  So then what is GeoFest in the Parks?  It is a gathering of geocachers in one of the state parks in Alabama the Beautiful.  The Alabama State Parks are a true treasure of the state and hope everyone will come and enjoy the beauty of this treasure as well as the fellowship of fellow geocachers.

This is a first annual event and is a coordinated effort between the geocaching community and Alabama State Parks.  This event is open to everyone.  If you have never heard about geocaching and/or want to know more about it then join us and learn about what it is while enjoying the great outdoors at a beautiful state park.  So come one, come all to this weekend of activities at and around Chewacla State Park.  

Bass Pro Shops of Prattville is delighted to be a part of the first annual "GeoFest."  Go to basspro.com for our selection of handheld GPS devices, or come into the store to test one for yourself!

Any questions about GeoFest can be forwarded to Terry Chestnutt at tlnutt@bellsouth.net.


Quick and Easy Grilled Duck

Hen and a Drake!Next time you get a few Wood Duck breasts and would like a tasty appetizer, give this a try.  I like to soak four or so breasts in a marinade like a Dale's or Moore's for a few hours.  Once I'm ready to cook, I'll remove them from the marinade and I typically will filet them down for a thinner piece of meat.  Give them a good once over with a meat mallet to tenderize a little as well.  A small chunk of cream cheese and strips of fresh jalapeno make a great stuffing for these and I add them to one end and add salt and fresh ground pepper.  Then, keeping the stuffing tight, roll the duck breast filet inside of a strip of bacon.  That's right, I knew you'd pay attention when I said bacon!  Slide a toothpic through to hold and give the outside another hit of fresh ground pepper.  Add them on the grill about 6 minutes per side and your ready to go!  Enjoy!


Dates to Know in Prattville, AL!

Hello all!  Just wanted to take this minute to give you guys a quick summary of all going's on in Prattville for November.  

We just started is our yearly Deer Hunting Sale.  This ad is currently running and will last until November 25th.  With it we'll have some great seminars that may just help you bag that big buck!

     November 3 at 2pm--Archery Basics.  Learn about bow basics, arrow choices, reliable releases, and selecting the right broadhead.  If you're stopping by, make sure you get the guys show you everything now available from Rage Broadheads, too!

     November 4 at 2pm--Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance.  Learn proper cleaning and maintenance of your firearms for safety and top performance during your hunt.  Redhead offers a full line of gun care products, plus we have brands you've used for years such as Remington and Hoppe's!

     November 17 at 2pm--Reloading Basics.  Learn about selecting equipment and proper techniques to ensure success.

     November 18 at 2pm--Hunting for Whitetail.   Learn proper techniques and tips to help you scout, hunt, and track trophy whitetail bucks!

That only scratches the surface.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more coming to your Prattville Bass Pro Shops!


Get your Boat ready for Fall Crappie!


How to Rig your Bass Boat to Spider Rig for Crappie

Last week I just received my new 2013 Boat.  Unfortunately, they don’t come loaded to Spider Rig for Crappie.  The most frequent question I get asked is what to do and use.  Here are a few tips and be sure to check out the photos I have posted with the blog.

1.        Purchase and install Titelok rod holders either Black Widow Racks or the new Caps and Coleman individual mounts.  Titelok tracks and holders can be purchased through Bass Pro Shops. New Tite Lok!

2.       For Spider Rigging, be sure to mount them to be right in front of your knees in the front of the boat.  You will want to have at least 4-8 rod holders to fish it appropriately.

3.       Purchase and install Driftmaster rod forks and racks.  You can also buy them with a locking system to keep your long 12, 14 and 16 poles secure.

4.       Install rubber matting that can be purchased from Lowes.  All you will need is the 2inch new Industrial strength 2 inch Velcro to keep it in place.  Cut it to your preference.  This will keep your carpet fresh and untarnished from smashed minnows, etc.

5.       Be sure to mount dual seat up front so you and your partner can fish side-by-side comfortably. 

6.       Please refer to the photos with this post which shows you how to lay out the front of the boat.

7.       Be sure to check out the CrappieNow Online Magazine for this and more tips and videos at www.crappienow.com.

Until next time, keep your lines wet and live wells full!





Fall Hunting Classic returns to BPS of Prattville, AL!

Free Hunting University!





Mark Thomas & Michael Waddell!

Are you joining us for the return of the Fall Hunting Classic at your Bass Pro Shops of Prattville, AL?  If you're not, you're missing out!  Just on Friday August 3rd we start off with the Free BPS Hunting University and we're hosting TWO of the most well known and respected members of the Hunting community!  Mark Thomas joins us again this year from 5-9pm.  Mark is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and a Chairman of the Quality Deer Management Association.  He is a wealth of knowledge that you don't want to miss!

Then at 7pm in the ATV showroom come meet Michael Waddell!  Host of "Bone Collector" and "Realtree Road Trips" will be on stage sharing a few tips and tricks to a successful whitetail season!

Wow!  That's just the first day of the Fall Hunting Classic!  Also starting that Friday will be the Bow & Crossbow Trade-In which will last through the 8th!  Trade in your old bow or crossbow and save on any new bow or crossbow purchase!

Join us on Facebook and keep up with daily events, too!


First Annual Severe Weather Sales Tax Holiday declared in Alabama


This weekend, July 6-8, 2012, Alabama has declared the first annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.  The holiday will help Alabamians prepare for future storms and natural disasters.  “Being prepared is the first step to a quick response to a natural disaster,” Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said.   “If people have the emergency supplies they need, that will go a long way toward helping them weather any storm.”

Ready!I was a Boy Scout, so I learned at an early age to “Be Prepared.”  However, as I have grown older and started a family I may not be as prepared as I think for a natural disaster or emergency.  When these events strike we have all seen the devastation and know that it takes time for the government and relief organization to organize a response.  That’s why it is smart to be ready and prepared for you and your family.  Making a few simple plans will allow you to better “weather the storm”.

According to the website http://ready.gov a basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

·         Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

·         Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

·         Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

·         Flashlight and extra batteries

·         First aid kit

·         Whistle to signal for help

·         Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

·         Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

·         Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

·         Manual can opener for food

·         Local maps

·         Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger


During the upcoming sales tax holiday many of these recommended items will be available for sale, tax free.  We at the Prattville Bass Pro Shops are fortunate that both Prattville and Elmore County have chosen to participate in the holiday, so our customers are able to enjoy the full benefit.  To see if your city and county are participating in the tax holiday you can check here: http://revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/WPholiday.htm.

Some of the items that Bass Pro sells that are included in the event are AAA-cell batteries, AA-cell batteries, C-cell batteries, D-cell batteries, 6-volt batteries and 9-volt batteries; NOAA weather radios, battery powered flashlights and lanterns; emergency glow sticks, tarpaulins, non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container, self-contained first aid kits, and fire extinguishers.  All covered items must be $60 or under (except generators).  For a full listing you can check out the Department of Revenue document here: http://revenue.alabama.gov/salestax/WPHolidayQuickRefSheet12.pdf.




Family Summer Camp and the Boy Scouts of America


     Family Summer Camp!                                                        







From June 9-July 15 Bass Pro Shops is hosting Family Summer Camp at our stores across the country.  This event includes free fun family activities, crafts, and workshops.  But wait there’s more.  As part of the Family Summer Camp, Bass Pro Shops has chosen the Boy Scouts of America as its promotional partner during the event.  What does it mean to be a promotional partner with Bass Pro Shops?


During the calendar month of June, Bass Pro Shops will offer customers an opportunity to donate $2 or $5 to the Boy Scouts of America at each cash register. This donation will also enter the customer into a drawing for a $500, $250, or $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card for customers completing their information on the donation form.


Bass Pro Shops is uniquely qualified to offer several workshops with merit badge requirements included. This year, Bass Pro Shops has chosen to highlight the Fishing and Rifle Shooting merit badges for Scouts (the fishing workshop does not include the final step of actually going fishing; for the Rifle Shooting merit badge workshop, Bass Pro Shops is using the air rifle option). Classes are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. according to the following schedule:


Tuesday, June 12 Fishing

Thursday, June 14 Rifle Shooting

Tuesday, June 19 Rifle Shooting

Thursday, June 21 Fishing

Tuesday, June 26 Fishing

Thursday, June 28 Rifle Shooting

Tuesday, July 3 Rifle Shooting

Thursday, July 5 Fishing

Tuesday, July 10 Fishing

Thursday, July 12 Rifle Shooting


Class sizes are limited for the Summer Family Camp merit badge classes and workshops, so pre-registration will be necessary. Scouts may register in store at the customer service desk or over the phone by calling the store.


If all of this talk about the Boy Scouts has gotten you interested in the program, or if you want to learn more go to https://beascout.scouting.org/.  There you can find out information about all of the opportunities for youth, as well as how to volunteer as an adult.  You can also contact the Tukabatchee Area Council at (334) 262-2697.

Tukabatchee Council


Two-Bait Rigs for Big Crappie

Want to try a very effective method to catch slab crappie anytime of the year?  Try the Two-Bait Rig on Spider Rigging Poles.  How you do you make these rigs?  Here is how:


1.        Tie a lightweight swivel-snap to the main line for attaching your two-bait rig once it’s tied.

2.        On one arm of a three-way swivel, tie on a 8 inch leader of 6 to 8 lb. low-visibility line.  Tie a No. 1 or No. 2 blood red Tru Turn Hook to the end of this leader.

3.        On a second arm of the three-way swivel, tie a 32 inch leader of the same line.  Three quarters of the way down, loop the line four times through a 1/2oz egg sinker.  This will keep the sinker from sliding on the line.

4.        At the end of this leader, tie your jig of choice.  I like a 1/16 oz. Pro Series 2 Road Runner or P&S jig.

5.       On the top hook, I fish a minnow.

6.       On the bottom hook, the jig, I either tip it with just a minnow or with a Yamamoto plastic jig body and a minnow. 

Please refer to this video which shows you how to tie the Two-Bait Rig.

Keep your lines wet until next time!




You just bought a modern Sporting rifle!


You just bought a Modern Sporting Rifle; congratulations you now own the most customizable firearm on the planet! When it comes to the MSR there are hundreds of different directions that a person can go, weather it be for shooting varmint with a heavy barrel, long range scope and bipod or if you want a close quarters combat rifle with a quad rail, flash light and a vertical grip.

The MSR is a great tool for dealing with a varmint infestation from coyotes all the way to hogs. The high capacity magazines and low recoil make it ideal to squeeze off multiple shots even on a running coyote. The variety of optics that can be put on the MSR is just as diverse. A person can mount a reflex, like the EoTech, for close quarters action with a heard of hogs or they can put something like the Nikon M223 3-12x42 for long range shooting. The BDC 600 reticle in the M223 was specifically designed for the 223 Remington cartridges and can allow a shooter to have an effective range of over 600 yards, in ideal conditions.

If hunting is not your sport of choice a MSR chambered in 223 is also an inexpensive alternative to shooting high caliber, high price rifles. For those that want to go to a range a shoot off 500 rounds without spending over $500 on ammunition the 223 Remington is a great alternative, and the high capacity of the MSR makes for a long time between reloads. Other great options are things like 22 Long Rifle conversion kits such as the Stainless Steel CMMG kit. This allows you to take the bolt out of your MSR and drop in the adaptor kit, change magazines, and you are able to shoot 22LR out of your full size MSR. This is the ultimate solution for wanting to shoot lots of ammo, because it will only cost you $25 for well over 500 rounds of 22 verses $25 for about 45 round of 223 ammo.

The MSR is also a great choice for those looking for a home defense firearms that can provide ample firepower without over penetration. The short barrel and the collapsible stock of the M4 make it easier to maneuver corners than a full length shotgun and with the versatility of a quad rail it is easy to mount accessories such as vertical grips, lights and laser identifiers. With the pairing of optics like the Vortex Fire Dot the MSR can be a deadly defensive tool within the walls of your home. With the low recoil of the 223 bullet it would be easy for a female to shoot the gun as well. With new technology that is in bullet design the 223 Remington bullet used in the MSR will not penetrate more than a few sheet of sheetrock inside a home. This helps prevent the problem of firing a gun in a house, for protection, but the bullet travels all the way through your home and possible into a neighbor’s home, destroying everything in its path. The MSR is not a gun just for the military any more; in fact with the versatility of the MSR any outdoorsman can find a use for the MSR weather it is for hunting, protection or play.


Prattville Apparel Leads show off for Chamber of Commerce


On April 25th, two of our Apparel Leads, Sandy McClain and Starla Evans, and I, Ashley McNeil (Apparel Manager) participated in an Annual Fashion Show that is held at the Prattville Chamber of Commerce for the Administrative Professionals Day Luncheon.  The Chamber hosts this each year and invites local shops to participate to generate store and brand awareness for the businesses and to entertain the attendees.  This is our 3rd year participating and it was definitely the best yet.  


First Outfit!Sandy and Starla were chosen to model two Bass Pro outfits each in the Fashion Show.  Starla’s first outfit was a Peasant Tank Top by Bob Timberlake in Chambray Denim.  It has awesome embroidered detailing on the straps and retails for $38.00.  It was paired with a pair of Navy Columbia Bermuda Shorts that have an 8 inch inseam and retail for $40.00.  We completed her outfit with some awesome Spin Art Accessories that sell for $9.99 and $12.99.

Sandy’s first outfit was made by Natural Reflections.  Her top was a Mixed Print Baby-Doll Cami with a Denim Jacket layered over it.  The cami retails for $29.99 and the jacket is a steal at only $45.99.  Her jeans are a Modern Fit Dark Denim that sell for $34.99.  The jeans are also available in a lighter wash and a Classic Fit. You also have the choice of lengths ranging from Petite to Tall, and sizes ranging from 2 to a Women’s 24.  Her outfit was topped off with a Blue Pebble Beaded Clutch and Beaded Accessories that are available in our Women’s department.



Second outfit!Starla’s second outfit was a beautiful Floral Maxi dress by Bob Timberlake and a Shawl Collar Cardigan by Natural Reflections.  The dress sells for $58.00 and the cardigan for $34.99.  Her dress is accented by a Sun and Sand Woven Tote and Spin Art Accessories that range from $9.99 to $39.99.

Sandy’s second outfit is a fun spa green Heights Slub Printed V-Neck and Nomad Burnout Hoodie made by Ascend.  The hoodie retails for $54.00 and the tee for $34.00.  Her Capri’s are made by Natural Reflections and have awesome flap- pocket detailing and destruction.  The capri’s sell for ONLY $34.99!!  Her Crossbody Bag is also by Ascend and sells for $36.00.


We had a great time and can’t wait until next year!!!


New Ladies Columbia Collection Will add Color to your Spring!

Ladies are you looking to update your closet with color this Spring?  Our new Columbia Collections have plenty of shirts and shorts to choose from.  One of our favorites is the Tidal Tee paired with the Viva Bonita Board short and as a set is a must have for any outdoor activity!  Both offer UPF-50 Omni-Shade to protect you from harmful UV rays.  To keep you cool both pieces also feature Omni-Wick which will keep you dry and comfortable when Spring turns to Summer.  The Omni-Wick technology moves and disperses sweat away from the body for quick evaporation, keeping you comfortable and looking your best during any outdoor activity this spring.  This great technology is also available in Men’s as well!  Come see us!


Joanna Hoggle

Apparel Team Leader

Prattville, AL


Quick Guide to Rainwear

With so many options and features to choose from, finding the perfect rain gear can be quite intimidating. Besides price, there are other factors to consider. How often will you wear your rain gear? What activity will your rain gear be used for? Do you want a jacket or a parka? Will bibs or pants be needed? This guide and/or help from an associate from our Rain Wear Department at Bass Pro Shops can help make the process of buying easier.

Let’s go over some available options.



The most basic rainwear beyond ponchos is the PVC Rain Suit.  The Bass Pro Shops ® PVC Rainsuit is 100% waterproof and affordable at only $14.99.  It is ideal for occasional to rare usage, keeping you dry at minimal cost.  The jacket and pants easily roll up to be stashed away for storage, so you can keep it in your glove box for when a storm catches you off guard.  The jacket has a zipper closure with a storm flap, adjustable wrist cuffs, and a drawstring hood with visor. The back of the jacket features a vented cape to help regulate temperature by allowing airflow. The pants feature an elastic waist and snap closure ankle cuffs for a dry fit.  However, the primary drawback to PVC is it does not breathe. Therefore, if you have to wear it for any length of time, it starts to get very warm, and if it is warm outside, you can get uncomfortable fast.

For just under $50.00, you can get basic waterproof breathable protection with the RedHead® Lightweight Packable Rainsuit Jackets and Pants that are 100% waterproof and breathable.  Both pieces are constructed of 100% rip stop nylon taffeta treated with waterproof coating durable water repellency (DWR) and every stitch hole is designed to prevent leakage by being fully taped and sealed.  This option is lighter weight and slightly more breathable than PVC.


Membrane waterproof/breathable

Moving beyond basic rainwear, we encounter waterproof breathable membranes.  These membranes are both waterproof and breathable due to their micro-porous design.  These micro-pores are large enough to allow water vapor from your body to escape, but small enough to block raindrops.  The vapor molecules are smaller than the liquid water molecules, thereby allowing the escape of one, while blocking the other.  The best-known brand using this technology is Gore-Tex®, but also includes Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-Tech®, North Face's HyVent®, and Bass Pro Shops BONE-DRY®. 

The RedHead® Stretch Rainwear Jacket for men starts at $69.99 and is a great example of a waterproof breathable rain jacket.  Made of a polyester/spandex blend, the jacket provides 4-way stretch, making it a comfortable jacket that allows freedom of movement.  It has a drawstring adjustable hood and two zippered slash front pockets.  An added bonus to this jacket is a drawstring bag to pack it away when not in use.  RedHead® Stretch Rainwear Pants are sold separately starting at $59.99.  The same technology is also available with the RedHead ® for Her Stretch Rainwear Jacket also priced at $69.99.

The Columbia® Watertight™ Rain Jackets for Men and the Columbia® Arcadia™ Omni-Tech® Rain Jackets for Ladies start at $70.00.  These are a good example of a lightweight shell type jacket.  They both feature 100% nylon outer shells with 100% polyester mesh lining.  These jackets utilize Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Tech® waterproof/breathable membrane, and have fully sealed seams.

The final item we will look at is the Bass Pro Shops® HPR (High Performance Rainwear) BONE-DRY® Waterproof Rain Jacket, starting at $119.99.  It features Bass Pro Shops proprietary BONE-DRY® 100% waterproof/breathable membrane technology, guaranteed to keep you dry. The jacket is constructed with a 100% nylon shell and features a hood with flexible visor, hook ’n’ loop storm flap and cuffs, articulated sleeves, a nylon mesh lining, adjustable elastic waist, and six pockets.  This jacket is waterproof, windproof, and breathable and will take care of you in some very adverse conditions.


Taking care of your rainwear

As you can see, there are many options available for rainwear and the best item will vary depending on the activity.  No matter what you buy, remember that the better and best rainwear items have built-in technology that may have additional care requirements.  Always follow the directions on the manufacturers’ tag so your gear is in the best condition possible.  To help you in the care and washing of your rainwear, find products designed specifically for cleaning and protecting it.  The ReviveX® Synthetic Fabric Cleaner is a special formula that cleans all types of outerwear.  After you clean your jacket or pants, you can reapply a topical DWR, like ReviveX® Spray-On Water Repellent, that will renew the protective coating on the shell of your jacket that causes rain to bead up and roll right off. Again, be sure to read the manufacturers’ tag to ensure the product is right for your gear.  With a little extra care, you can make your rainwear investment go the distance and last so you can stay dry in all of your outdoor pursuits.


Hunting Season is over. What did you learn?

January 31st.  Sad day in Alabama.  Hunting season will end today at sundown.  As the sun sets on another season I reflect back on the past season and wonder what I've learned.  As far as putting up numbers, I've got nothing to brag about at all.  I haven't chased deer in a few years and have tried putting my efforts into chasing ducks.  Ducks in these parts should translate into "maximum effort and expense for minimal meat on the table."  I'm kidding, but am learning that the amount of effort going in, just as any other endeavor, will increase the output.  Typically.  Most of the time.  

It was a tough season for me as I only got to go for a couple of hunts this year.  I'm learning that duck hunters in these parts are more protective of their flying gold than tournament fisherman are about their prized grass bed.  But, I did get an invite to go and didn't give the guy a chance to retract his offer.  Yes, I'll be there in the morning.  Yes, I realize that I'm working late tonight and won't get but 3 hours sleep.  Claim me on your taxes if you need to, I'm going duck hunting with ya.

Next morning I'm up and ready.  Truck loaded.  Let's do this.  Just a short trip from the house, too.  Starting off great!  We get to our spot and quickly start fumbling into my waders, Redhead BoneDry Big Man in Max 4.  Yep, Big Man because I shopped in the husky section as a kid.  No problem.  Added my Redhead BoneDry Canvaback 4-in-1 Jacket and I'm ready to go!  My partner and guide for the day told me it would be a short wade in to where we were going, but it would be tough.  "No problem" were my famous last words.  Two steps into the murky abyss and I'm up to my thighs in water and mud!  Not freaking out yet, just gotta put in the work I tell myself.  I also realize that the water is deep enough that Champ, our trusted duck picker for the day, was swimming most of this "short wade" in, finding high spots to climb onto, shake off, then back in for another swim.  "I'm gonna be a duck hunter" I keep telling myself.  We stop for a second, and as I relay to my hunting buddy that this was my first time wading in muck like this, he offered up some advice.  "Walk slow, not lifting your feet high.  Feel for your next step.  And don't worry, everybody falls sooner or later.  We're almost there." Cool, I can do this!  

Two more steps I take, twist, and my world turns horizontal.  Didn't feel the step, did feel the water hit the side of my face.  Kept my Weatherby Shotgun pointed barrel up, though!  Don't know how but I did, and good thing too as I could have grown rice on the butt end.  I somehow popped up quickly and stood their kinda dumbfounded.  I soon realized that I probably submerged 3/4 of myself.  And it's 30 degrees.  Cold for Alabama.  Cold to be falling over in a swamp.  I'm still not freaking out.

I laugh it off and keep on moving.  I'm learning to feel for the step now, learning to test the stumps and sticks that I feel before putting my weight on them.  "This still ain't so bad" I think as I get to my shooting hole.  "Sit on that high spot, it's comfortable like a recliner" my leader tells me.  No problem, I've been training for the Recliner Olympics for years.  He throws me out a few RedHead Decoys and he's on the move to his spot.  I'm in my mud recliner and I'm feeling good.  I shine my headlamp around the swamp and immediately that ol' Charlie Daniels song "Wooly Swamp" is blaring through my head.  That's ok.  I've got a gun which I quickly loaded.  I'm ok, gonna do this, be a duck hunter.  Right here today!  Swoosh!!!  Something swirled around one of those decoys and I promise that it woke up every bit of adrenaline that I owned.  Headlamp back on, scanning, scanning, looking.  Nothing.  "Had to be a fish, a beaver would have slapped the water.  Could it have been a gator?  We have'em on the River!  This ain't far!" is how my internal monologue spoke in my head between heart palpitations.  Wait, I've got the gun.  It's loaded.  I'm going to be ok.  Not going to freak out again.  The sun will be up in a minute.

Successful Hunt 2010As legal shooting light hit it was as if someone had let the gates open.  Pairs of woodies, teal, and mallard painted the sky as the sun rose as their backdrop.  Beautiful.  I'm learning that mucky walk is worth it just to see this sight, and was somewhat interested in trading my gun for a camera.  I watched as the woodies and teal flew through my shooting hole like mad bombers on their final missions.  The mallards would swing wide, circle, circle again.  I reached in my jacket for my lanyard......gone.  Not there on my neck holding my Duck Commander call, ready for a little chuckle and tick-a tick-a.  As my lanyard sat on my truck seat I learned to do a final check before you leave, don't let your excitement override your preparedness.

I don't know that those calls would have made my trip more successful or not.  I do know that they can't pull the trigger for me and learned that no matter how good you look doing it, you've still gotta shoot when you get there.  The opportunities were there as the ducks flew that cool Alabama morning, but now a few days removed I can reflect on how much I truly learned that morning.  Things like preparation, wading, how the birds fly will make for awesome pictures and a nice dinner next season.  What did you learn this year?

The new Humminbird 858C DI Combo

Welcome back everyone!
November has passed, and December is here which leaves us with a limited amount of time to finish up on all the Christmas shopping. So with that information in mind, we're detailing yet another product from the marine department. This week's item just happens to be the newly released HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo from the company Johnson Outdoors (who also manufacture Minn Kota trolling motors). The HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo is one of the latest Down Imaging units released this year featuring a 7" 480x800 HD display, making for a crystal clear image. The HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo also features DualBeam PLUS capability's which allows two separate sonar beams (20/60) to cover the lake floor resulting in more depth information than your traditional SingleBeam units. The 858C DI Combo is capable of reading depths up to 600ft using traditional sonar.
858C DIThe major feature of the HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo is Down Imaging, A new enhanced image that completely replaces the traditional sonar arcs with 3D images allowing you to see EXACTLY what's below your boat. The maximum depth readable by Down Imaging on the HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo is 250ft, at speeds up to 55 MPH. Along with Down Imaging the HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo features an internal GPS receiver allowing you to make up to 3000 waypoints, 50 routes, or 50 tracks.
As you can see the HUMMINBIRD 858C DI Combo is one of the latest and greatest pieces of technology any fisherman could use in the ever changing world of electronics. The 858C DI comes packed with: Sonar, Down Imaging, DualBeam PLUS, GPS, and enough space to hold over 3000 waypoints. The only thing left to ask for from a fish finder is to catch the fish for you. With all that said and done the HUMMINBIRD 858C DI can be purchased at BassPro.com or in one of our retail stores for $1199.99, and as always feel free to swing by the marine department if you have any questions.
Marine Team Lead
Shane Schwarzman