Shad Fishing

by Grant Alvis

Living in the Richmond area, it’s only natural to have been exposed to the Shad fishery that the local rivers have to offer. Every spring the annual Shad Run sweeps through the tidal rivers of Virginia and the fun begins!  Once the water temperatures reach the mid to high 40’s the Shad begin appearing in Virginia's rivers. There are two primary species of shad, Hickory and the American Shad. The Hickory is the more prevalent of the two species and tends to appear first, usually around the 1 - 1.5 pound range. The Hickory is known for its speed and the acrobatic jumps they will be sure to perform as soon as they are hooked. This is what earned them the nickname “the poor man’s tarpon”. The American Shad usually appear one to two weeks later and they grow to a much larger size. It’s not uncommon for an eight plus pound American Shad to be caught each year. These fish are characterized by brute strength and long drawn out runs. Americans don’t tend to jump as much as Hickory Shad but the fights usually last much longer. The American Shad are illegal to possess in the state of Virginia due to their declining numbers in recent years, but they have begun to make a comeback. The Shad usually appear in the James River first, and then begin to show up further north in about 1 week increments.

There are a couple of different ways to target these exciting fish. The most popular way among anglers is with traditional spinning gear. A 5 – 6 foot light action rod with a 1500 – 2500 size reel spooled with 2 - 8 pound line is all that’s required for the setup. Make sure the rod has a fast action and that the reel has a smooth drag. The fast action rod allows for a better feel of the lure which is helpful when the fish aren’t hitting lures hard. The smooth drag allows the angler to handle the constant runs that the fish will make. The typical lures of choice for shad are shad darts and small colored spoons. The way I like to rig these are: Tie a shad dart/spoon under a barrel swivel with about 16 - 20 inches for a leader. Above the barrel swivel slide a 1/8oz. inline weight onto the main line and attach the mainline to the top of the swivel, then peg the egg weight to prevent it from sliding. This rig allows the fishermen enough weight to cast the lure, but it is still light enough to allow the bait to drift fairly naturally in the current. Make long cast across or directly down current and allow the rig to sink. Slow retrieves with the occasional twitch will trigger the strikes. Vary this retrieve until you find what is working that particular day.

Another popular way to target the Shad and my personal favorite is fly fishing. Anglers will need a 9 foot 5 - 8 weight rod with a large arbor reel to match. The large arbor is to allow you to fight the occasional fish that will take you into the reel on a run. The fly line is the most important part of the entire combo for shad fishing. In the James River in Richmond, I typically use a 24ft sink tip fly line. The sink tip usually weighing in at 250 grains. This fly line sinks around 7 - 9 inches per second which allows you to get down to where the shad are in the water column easily. Make medium to long length casts down and across the current. Allow the fly line to sink different amounts of time until you find where the fish are holding. Short quick continuous strips until you retrieve the fly all the way in. If you miss a fish keep stripping the fly in because they will usually hit twice. Once you find the depth the fish are holding, you can repeat the same process again and again and you should hook up every time. Eventually the school moves in the water column (usually deeper) and you will have to find them again.

Shad like to hold in different places throughout the rivers. The most common place to find shad is a current break. Wing damns, channel turns, islands, bridge pilings and obstructions on the bottom can all cause eddies in the current. These eddies are what the shad like to hold in because they can rest without having to swim constantly. Shad usually flood the rivers and you can catch them most anywhere during the spawn, but focusing on areas like these will give you the best chance. Tide is also a large player in shad fishing. Personally, I have always had better luck when the tide is moving. Shad don’t seem to prefer to move around much on a slack tide, and the best bite is usually right after the tide change. The Shad utilize the tide in their spawn as it helps them move up and down the rivers with ease.

In closing, these fish can be a blast to catch, and when the run is in full swing it is not uncommon to have 100+ fish days. Additionally, one of the best things about it is that you typically don’t have to break the bank in order to have a good time and catch a ton of these hard fighting fish. I hope this has given you a better understanding of Shad fishing and be sure to stop by Bass Pro Shops for all of your Shad fishing supplies!

I hope to see you on the water,

-Grant

Grant is currently majoring in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s been an avid fisherman since he was old enough to hold a rod!

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Speed Cranking Calm Waters for Big Bass

by John Hutchins

It’s widely known that crankbaits and other reaction type baits excel in windy conditions. What's not as commonly known is exactly why this is. Although increased oxygen levels and bait displacement are key byproducts of a wind driven shoreline they are not typically the biggest contributor in the willingness of a fish to strike moving bait. The seemingly extra aggression is directly related to the fish’s inability to see your bait clearly. In the clearest of Lakes, a chop on the water not only decreases light penetration but it also refracts light in a distortion of beams shooting through the water column. Simply put, you get more bites in the wind because the fish can’t quite make out your bait as well.

With that said, it seems to make sense to count out the reaction bite altogether on a calm day. Doesn't it? Well I can say that if you do, you may be missing out on a big often overlooked opportunity when it comes to cranking. Over the years I have discovered that by speeding up my retrieve or even "burning" my crankbait I can lure the fish into eating my bait on a calm day for the same reason he eats my bait in the wind. That reason is that he just can't quite get a good look at it. For this technique I recommend a high speed reel with a 7.1:1 gear ratio. Speed is your friend in this scenario, however it is also important to consider the importance of varying your speed. A quick stop and go, med to fast to extra fast in any combination will do. The key is increasing your overall speed and making your bait as erratic as possible. More often than not theGary Yamamoto Chikara Crankbait more erratic and random you can get your crankbait to move the more bites you'll get. One of my favorites for this technique is the Chikara Crank by Gary Yamamoto. This bait does a lot of the work for me, as at high speeds it really jumps around creating that erratic action I'm looking for. So the next time you're   headed out to the lake and the weatherman is calling for light and variable winds, make sure you don't leave your crankbaits at home because you may just be missing the boat.

John Hutchins is a local Tournament Pro and Lake Anna Fishing guide.  With more than 15 years guiding experience and 11 years on the tournament scene, he is one of the most accomplished and well recognized anglers in the region. In addition John is an accomplished public speaker and outdoor writer who is passionate about sharinghis knowledge with others.   

 

https://www.johnhutchinsfishing.com

https://www.facebook.com/flippinbass

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Let’s Talk Turkey (youth day!)

My oldest son and I start off every turkey season with a youth day hunt. Youth day turkey season begins in Virginia this year on April 5th. This is available for hunters 15 years old and younger. Visit http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/turkey.asp for more information.

Spring gobbler is a fun and exciting time of the year to be in the woods. There are all of the smells of spring, leaves are budding on the trees, and the warming weather has you feeling like winter has finally ended.  Before long we’ll be hearing sounds of big old long-beard’s gobble drumming through the woods from high above in his treetop roost just as the sun is peaking over the mountains in the distance. The evening before our big hunt we’ll be out there just before dark watching just to see where he’s going to roost for the night. We’ll be careful not to get to close! This isn’t long-beard’s first rodeo so we can’t let him bust us! With a little luck he’ll still be there in the morning. We’ll be there waiting and listening before daylight for that tell-tale sound of old long-beard’s gobble that will come quickly after my son blows on his Redhead locator call. If he is still where we put him to bed, we’ll quickly get set up and perhaps do a little soft calling just so he knows we’re interested in doing business. Too much calling and we’ll spook him. With a little patience and a lot of luck, he’ll leave his hens in the roost at daylight and head our way. You’ll know he’s almost committed by the sounds of his wings pounding the ground as he lands and the rustle of the leaves as his dance begins. Strutting as he circles ever closer in our direction with an occasional gobble to confirm he’s also interested. Hopefully he’ll get closer and closer until he’s in shotgun range and at that point I’ll whisper “take um!” and my son will release a single 20 gauge round in his direction! Success? We’ll soon find out.

Until that day there’s still homework to be done. “Homework” yes, there’s homework, but it is enjoyable and rewarding. Weeks before the season starts almost every evening we’ll get on the ATVs and cruise around our farm scouting, looking for birds and watching them. I’m making mental notes of things like what the birds are feeding on, which fields they frequent, how many toms are in the group and where they like to roost. For me, it’s homework that’ll pay off big in the upcoming weeks when I’m calling the long-beards in for one of my buddies or a guest. But for my boys, it’s spending time with dad and doing cool things that many kids will never experience.  Not to mention, this is a special time of the year for me to spend time with my sons and build some memories.

Will our homework pay off? Only time will tell. But, my son and I will be out there on opening day as well as many of my buddies with they’re sons and daughters. So I encourage all parents who have sons and daughters old enough to safely handle a firearm to take them on a turkey hunt.            

If you don’t have property of your own to hunt on, that’s not a problem. Virginia has 39 wildlife management areas (WMA) and 203,000 acres available to all licensed hunters. I’ve personally participated in many successful WMA hunts. Visit http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas for more information. 

Hope to see you out there!

Chris Krammes

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Miss Absolutely Nothing

Oculus Optics has arrived and I would like to thank them for their support. Great Binoculars 7.0 10x42 and Spotting scope 15x45x65 are available here at the Bass Pro Shops located in Ashland, VA. As we say, you will "Miss Absolutely Nothing" with this wonderful brand of optics. I have a love for the outdoors and a wonderful way to share it is with Oculus brand optics. I know there are many different makers of fine optics and I have used most of them; we all look for the best deals and here they are. These Oculus products are designed and manufactured with precision and accuracy in mind and they stand behind all of their products with a lifetime warrantee; no receipt is required.

 

I have been shooting long distance archery for many years and looking at arrows through many different products. The clarity and eye relief that the Oculus Spotting Scope gives me is beyond wonderful. I would like you to check out these fine products the next time you are shopping online or in person here at Bass Pro Shops. Don't just think about it, do it! You will look at things a lot different and as we say “Miss Absolutely Nothing.”  

 

Till next time your local Bass Pro Staff member wished you happy viewing as you will soon see the outdoors in a different way. 

 

-Rex Reichert  

 

 

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Fall Dove Recipe

I enjoy an afternoon afield when dove season is in. Our limit here in Virginia is twelve birds per day, 24 in possession for each hunter. The shooting day begins at 12 noon ending at legal sunset. Take plenty of shells, they are a worthy target!

After a successful afternoon I return home and prepare the birds by clipping the wings off close to the body with fowl shears. I then insert a thumb just behind the rib cage and press it forward to the neck pulling the breast upright towards the head. At the end of this motion the breast breaks free from the carcass. What skin may remain with feathers attached easily comes off. Quick rinse in cool water and leave to chill in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook I place the breasts in an electric frying pan breast up. I pour into the pan a half cup of heavy cream plus 4 ounces of cooking sherry....bring the heat up to simmer and cover. Check often a sharp toothpick pushed into the breast until clear fluid comes out. I now reduce the heat as the birds turn a whitish color. I have prepared enough bacon strips ( I prefer hickory smoked ) almost done. Put a single rectangular piece on each breast and raise the heat once more.

This requires attention to watch until the bacon starts to shrivel.....do not overcook!

Serve with spoon bread and a steamed green leafy vegetable sautéed in garlic chips with a touch of citrus salad dressing. A good Pinot Noir goes well with what I call, " Palomas Emilee'".

Enjoy,

Harry Robertson

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Take a Kid Fishing

We always have to make some time for ourselves to enjoy the great outdoors and to have fun. This past weekend, I went to Bass Pro Shops for a day of fishing with all the wonderful kids that came to their Fall Fishing event.

Myself, Big John a few other Pro staff members were there to assist the children and hopefully give them memories that would last forever. Thanks to Bass Pro Shops and all my other fine sponsors I am given opportunities to do things that I love to do. As you can tell, my new little friend and I caught one of the biggest fish of the day! I helped her go from some one that was not having a good day to someone that took a memory home that will stick with her for life.

I love being able to share all the good times that we all have in the great outdoors. Always remember, spending a day in the great outdoors will usually results in a wonderful that you can share with others. Ask yourself just one thing; what can I do today to teach the children of the world how to enjoy themselves an to enjoy nature?  

The answer is simple: Get outdoors and have some fun; which we all need to do from time to time, not just the kids. Until next time-

Go out and have some fun,

Rex

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Dove Season by Chris Krammes

DOVE SEASON

With days now shorter and nights getting cooler I can’t help but feel a new hunting season around the corner. Yes, dove season is only a couple weeks away! It’s time to dust off our shotguns and get in some much needed practice before opening day! What better way to kick off a new hunting season than with a September dove hunt!

Traditionally our group meets up the weekend before, either at our local sporting clays range or on our farm to shoot skeet. It’s a great way to be prepared before taking to the field. If you’re not able to shoot at home there are plenty of clubs around the area that will allow nonmembers the opportunity to sharpen their shooting skills.

After digging all of my gear out it was clear that it was time to restock! Realizing time was running out I headed for our local Bass Pro Shops. While at the Bass Pro Shops in Ashland we found everything and more that we could possibly need for the upcoming season. Bass Pro Shops has a wide selection of dove hunting necessities from shot shells, clothing, skeet throwers and clay targets. Don’t forget ear and eye protection! I was so consumed by all there was to choose from I almost forgot to pick up a couple more MOJO dove decoys.

Now I'm completely stocked up and you’ll find me on the range this weekend!

See you out there!

Chris Krammes


 

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Duck Dynasty by Timothy Nace

Hey Duck Dynasty fans, get ready for season 4 by getting all your gear at Bass Pro Shops! We have everything you need from Uncle Si’s tea cups, tee shirts, bobble heads, action figures and more. We just received season 3 on DVD along with seasons 1 and 2. We also have the books “The Duck Commander Family” and “Happy, Happy, Happy”. So come on down to Bass Pro Shops and get ready for season 4 as it airs on A&E Wednesday night at 9:30pm!Duck Dynasty Gear

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Fish On

I launched my skiff out of Hopewell City marina Friday afternoon. I headed up river in search of bait needed for an evening of cat fishing with a longtime fishing buddy of mine, Howard and his friend James.

Bait turned out to be easy to find and after a 15 minute soak our gill net delivered 7~10 medium sized gizzard shad as well as a few slab sized.

Ok, game on! With plenty of bait in the cooler we were pumped to get our rods in the water, so we headed down river. We stopped at our first spot furthest from the marina at the beginning of the incoming tide. Our game plan was to fish 6-7 spots working our way back to the marina varying depths and structure.

On our first spot we put out 10 rods and within the first 30 minutes we doubled 10lb and 31lb blues. Giving that spot another 20 minutes it was time to move. Our next spot resulted less luck so after another hour we moved again. This time fishing wing dams in shallow water we picked up a 20lb blue and with the tide ticking away we decided to make another move. After about a 20 minute run up river we anchored at the entrance of a secondary river channel. We had 90 minutes left in the tide so this spot would be our last chance for a big fish. With another 10 rods spread across the channel we waited. After 45 minutes I was beginning to question my decision to anchor there.  With the stillness and quiet of the dark, we started to nod off.  At about midnight the alarm of screaming drag got our attention.  It was enough to revive us and get us pumped! After a short battle the 52lb blue all scarred up rolled to the surface. We took pictures, weighed it and released that big boy back into the water. Thinking that fish would end a great night of fishing, I decided to give it another 30 minutes. What a good decision that was. The alarm of the drag screaming again! Fish on! The rod tip was nearly touching the water. What a big fish! As he broke the surface his huge tail soaked everyone. We knew this was the best fish of the night and the scale proved it! The last fish of the night weighed in at 57lbs and was just over 48” long. We were thrilled! With cameras full of pictures we headed home.

All fish were released as we always do to catch another day.  We will definitely be back for more in a couple weeks!

Good luck!
Chris Krammes
 

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Let's Frog!

By Teddy Carr


I like hot sticky weather for a good froggin’ bite, but of course that has been in short supply in Virginia thus far, but we have a ways to go before we give way to autumn. This weather scenario is also not an absolute or a hard and fast rule for froggin’ either there are plenty of fish being caught on a frogg right now.

Seeing how I like to proclaim myself somewhat an expert on this style of fishing (note self proclamation) I want to pass on to you some of my knowledge and techniques. First it should be called Breamin’ instead of froggin’ because the bite has nothing to do with a bass eating a frog. A frog bite has everything to do with bass feeding on bream as it all relates to emergent vegetation. Any strike or blow-up on a frog in open water is nothing more than a topwater bite. I don’t think I’ve ever used a soft bodied frog in any other situation other than over heavy vegetation such as milfoil, coontail, or pads etc. Focusing in on that premise lets explore my philosophy on the gig a little.  Because I fish the tidal Potomac more these days most of what I’m writing to you is how it relates to that particular body of water but I believe it carries over to other lakes and rivers as well. First bass have a lot to feed on during the summer but they have to make a choice on where they want to eat it or where they want to call home. Bass that want to feed on white perch and the soft bodied shad families will spend more time out in front of a grass bed or along the edge of a pad field. In other words they feel right at home in an open water environment. Bass that decide to call the confines of a weed bed it’s home feel right at home in the thick jungle of weeds and a menu of crayfish, yellow perch, small minnows, and bream is just fine by them.

Which frog, When?

I always start with a moving frog like a YUM Money Frog or a Bass Pro Humpin’ Toad, if I get bit I stay with it. The choice out of the gate is a simple one for me, I choose the moving frog because I’m a power fisherman and I like to cover as much water as I can as fast and efficiently as I can. The moving or swimming variety as some refer to it excels when the bass are on an active bream beat down. One of the tells that a beat down is happening or about to happen is when you hear that popping or sucking sound coming from the grass bed. That sound is coming from bream feeding on critters that are living on the under side of the vegetation. The preoccupied bream is an easy target for well concealed bass that is hungry. A moving frog taps into the reactionary nature of a bass in this situation, oh its a lovely thing! Also on a side note if the strike is violent probably means the bass was positioned under the bait on the bottom, if the strike is light or if the bass basically humps up on the lure means it was positioned just under the surface. I know I don’t have a life I just set around in my bass zone analyzing such things. If the bass are in a non aggressive mood then a popping frog or regular frog is probably the wiser choice. My favorite two are the Booyah Pad Crasher and the Booyah Pad Crasher Popper.

Colors

I always use darker colors like green-pumpkin, dark watermelon, or black. I like to accent them with some orange or yellow.

Gear

I use a 7′ 6″ med-hvy rod for all my frog presentations. The soft tip allows the fish to load up without detecting you and then you have the backbone to drive the hook home and the power to pull his head up and get the old boy coming your way. I use 65-pound Bass Pro braid as my fishing line of choice, heavy and no stretch attached to a 6/0 heavy off set shank hook if using a swimming frog. As for a reel you want one that has a real heavy duty drag system then lock that baby down so a freight train couldn’t pull line from it. Then go to work. We have begun our 4-hour frog trips if you’re interested contact us and we would be more than happy to show you up close and personal some breamin’

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Fly Fishing in Central America by Harry Robertson

An exciting letter from Harry Robertson: 

Hey Bass Pro Team,


Please pardon the redundant report. Hampden-Sydney College where I
preform two seminars yearly asked for an after graduation trip to
Central America. This trip would be open to family members as well as
the students. A good opportunity for the father-son type trip or a great
graduation present for seniors. The dean of Students joined us and the
entire group had a marvelous time.

  
I had prearranged avenue with Dr. Alfredo Lopez, the CEO and on
location manager of Rio Indio Lodge along with Mike Lilla, fishing
manager to offer an educational calendar that would include half of each
day clearing paths in the jungle and half a day guided fishing. The path
would be available to the local Rama Indian tribe to take visitors on
nature walks explaining the jungle flora and fauna.

The Rama Indian guides in the jungle and on the water offered an insight
into the ECO lodges offerings....we left only footprints! the path
cleared will have a sign at its entrance with credit to the Beyond the
Hill participants. This denotes the college's intention to prepare the
students for how to assist those willing to help themselves to cope with
everyday life after college. It has worked extremely well in several
other Central American countries. There are plans to make this an annual
trip stretching the helpful activities to the nearby Rama Indian
village.


Now for the fishing, my part of the program. I had explained how the the
jungle species are found in different locations at different times of
year. The fish we targeted were Mojarra, Machaca and Guapote. When
waters are high during the rainey season the fish are scattered
throughout the vast jungle almost impossible to fish for. As the dry
season progresses the bait fish are driven into concentrations in
lagoons and rivers. The best season to target the aforementioned species
is March, April and May. We were on the end of the dry season and did
not expect excellent fishing...what a surprise!

We were armed with nine foot fly rods, high capacity reels, nine foot
leaders and a variety of surface flies that included grasshoppers and
popping bugs in various colors. The poppers in solid white or solid
black were the most successful. We would cast to shore cover near
the overhanging trees. All the gear was furnished by the Bass Pro
program and worked well. If you want to know models and and weights
please get in contact at www.hanoverfly.com.


There was no evidence that the Guapote I had enjoyed catching that month
were still around. A few Machaca were a nice addition to the afternoon
fishing with popping bugs. These fish are equipped with molars to crack
nuts, fruit, or masticate foliage and blossoms. This food source finds the
fish waiting below towering Fig Trees....but these fish are  also are
carnivores! There explosive, lightening fast strikes often result in
broken or cut leaders but if hooked put up a marvelous battle.

The Mojarra is a brute cousin of our North American Bream. The fish has
fins that end in delightful points making it look like it was styled in
India. These fish are much thicker than our bream and real street
fighters when hooked. They wait in ambush near logs and vegetation to
dart out to take naturals. They eat minnows as well as insects. They are
lovely in muted colors.


We had an instance when around a ten pound Snook tried to wrestle a hooked 

Mojarra from the line with no success but provided a
heart stopping moment for an entry level angler. The Snook are in the
same are in  sizes to twenty pounds a bit later in the year. In
September they are in evidence in the lagoons and rivers along with a
huge migratinfg run of Tarpon. Fishing for them while residing at the
lodge is minutes away where the Rio Indo River exits into the Caribbean
Sea. The sea is calm during that month.


I shall return with client friends in September and shall report on that
fishery after that. Now I must change the travel bag to accommodate gear
for first trip to Alaska where I will target the Coho ( Silver Salmon ) in early
August and later that month to Montana during the "Hopper Season", a
yearly favorite.


 

Harry Robertson



    
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Positive Reinforcement Part 2

Positive Reinforcement:   Part 2

 

 Hello again, after a great day of training I thought I would add a little more to my last blog on Positive Reinforcement. There are so many times that we catch ourselves making comments like, “what am I doing wrong?” and, “if I could only figure it out and narrow it down I could be successful.” -You know, nothing could be further from the truth. To me those statements are like saying, “if I were to study by doing a problem all the wrong ways, I will eventually find the right way to do it.” Stop harping on yourself for doing things wrong; instead figure out how to be successful. Always think about all of your successes and never your failures.

 

Let’s talk about the Archer; mentally prepared vs. unprepared. An unprepared archer will shoot great and say, “Well I guess I got lucky that time.” When he shoots a bad shot, he’ll say, “Why do I always do that?” Now on the other side, when a mentally prepared archer shoots a bad shot he knows it was bad and says, “Next time I will do better.” When he shoots a great shot he acknowledges his accomplishment. I am sure that you can see the difference.

 

I always tell myself that if I practice failing, I will fail. So, with some good encouragement from a dear friend I have learned how to think positively and complement myself when I do something good. I hope you do this as well. Don’t forget, it is not bad to tell yourself you did something good.

 

 Until next time,

-Rex

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Bass Pro Pursuit X1 Spotting Scope Review

    Hello there, My name is Rob Panosh, I would like to take a moment to write about an experience I had with a particular spotting scope, The Bass Pro Pursuit X1 25-75x70.

My friends and I head down to the shooting range a couple times a month to sight in newly scoped Rifles and to do some 100 yard target shooting. Walking 200 yards every time you need to see where your hitting the target gets old fast, and we've all gotten that uncomfortable stare you get from all the guys with spotting scopes as you go to check your target, so we decided to try out a spotting scope.

I have owned and attempted to use a couple different spotting scopes in the past to no avail, only to find with my low budget they just weren't bright enough to read a target at 100 yards, or the target would shrink and darken so much when zoomed that the (((shake))) would not allow you to see where your shots were being placed. This was very frustrating, and I was back to walking down range.

Yesterday, a real good buddy of mine swung by the Bass Pro Shops in Ashland, Va. and showed up at the range toting a box that said PURSUIT X1 25-75X70 Compact Spotting Scope.  Great timing as we were getting ready to throw some lead 100 yards down range hoping to pierce the Bullseye.

Upon setting up the Spotting scope, we immediately took notice of its Short Compact Lightweight design. In the box we also found a compact folding tabletop tripod, padded case, and a shoulder strap, everything you need to get started. It had a wide easy view angled eyepiece, cassegrain-style mirror system in the huge 70mm exit lense for a super bright field of view, Fogproof Lens, Waterproof lightweight polycarbonate body sporting a protective rubber armor.

Well here we go, first set at 100 yards lets see what it can do.You could hear the sounds of approval as each of us looked through the scope to see the Large Bright target crisp and clear with the bullet holes in it, in fact one guy saw a lucky barn fly land in the lower left corner of the target, I say lucky because he took off JUST before I got a lock on him with one of my tack drivers.

Come to find out incredibly we did not even begin to zoom the scope, it was still at its factory beginning 25x70 power position with all of its 25-75 zoom to go which tells me this scope is very capable for you guys out there poking stuff out to 500 yards. Is this a Win Win situation ? Lets talk about price. I was floored when I compared prices with the competitors of this same exact power scope, I saw it for $320.00 + up, much of what you would expect to pay for a scope of this capability. To my surprise the Bass Pro Shops Pursuit X1 25-75x70 came in well under that at $169.99!  I am Hooked, not only did this Scope perform allowing for a great experience and relaxed day on the range, it cuts its competitors price in half.

Thank you Bass Pro Shops, Well done!!

_

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Positive Reinforcement

Well I am back. The first time that we talked we had a little time to talk about the mental game involved and what it takes to be competitive or to shoot at the competitive level. Well, I have been using what you may call "Positive Reinforcement"; this works for me and I hope it may help you as well. I always approach any given situation with a positive attitude and always reinforce myself that I am going to do the very best I can every time that I am training for an event as well as in life . The more we talk and write about something happening we really improve the probability of that situation really happening. So, all I would recommend is to be careful on what we  picture in our minds because that is what will probably happen. Just a small situation that has probably happened over a hundred times or more is when two competitors are having a conversation and one tells the other all the things that went wrong through out the competition. You must remind yourself to be strong and over come the negative thoughts and think of all the positives that happened instead. This will approve your ability to be positive and to reinforce positive outcomes. Well, for me, it's back to the range for now and we will talk again later. 

- Rex    

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Lake Anna Bass Fishing and Trash Talking

                              Dennis Daniels & Hank Ruffin holding up a 20 lb plus 5 fish limitDennis Daniels & Hank Ruffin holding up a 20 lb plus 5 fish limit

I have several dozen pictures from the last three months that need to be posted and written about. I've met some really great people this spring. Most of the fishing trips have produced very nice catches... All of them have been fun!

I had to take a few minutes to share this one. I think the best way to describe this trip was competitive! Dennis has a way of lighting a competitive fire in all of his friends! I'm not sure if I can do it justice in this post, but I'll try. I have to start out by saying that both Hank and Dennis have been out (on separate occasions) earlier in the year. We caught some fish, but truly struggled in the previous trips. For example, Hanks last trip offered a 25 degree cold front, sleet, snow and he was already suffering from the flu! (The Bass Pro 100mph Gortex was awesome!) We managed to put together a decent limit in the past but I really wanted this trip to be a good one for both of them.

Dennis organized the day with 3 of his buddies... Walt, Darryl, and Hank (All pictured in Taylor's previous post). Taylor guided Walt and Darryl, while Dennis and Hank hopped in my boat. Most people take fishing trips to relax and wind down. Dennis and the gang chose to turn this into a vicious competition. There was trash talking at the ramp, on the phone, during lunch, between partners, between clients and guides, and on and on! There was never a dull moment. Each boat landed between 20-30 nice keeper bass during the course of the day. Dennis started early with a 3 pounder on a "skitter pop". Hank struck hard around 9 am with a 5 1/2 lb hawg that took "big fish" honors, shortly followed by a 4 pounder. Sometime around 4 o'clock Dennis landed another angry 4 1/2. And dropped plenty of high fives and explicit shouts in celebration. Towards the end of the day Darryl lost one on a crankbait that may have taken the lunker prize. It was one of those days where the next big bite could happen at any time.

Great day on the water... Looking forward to seeing these guys again at the end of June.

Quick reminder... 
We are doing "Happy Hour" fishing trips this summer, everyday from 5pm to dark.
These evening trips are a ton of fun and a great way to wind down after work! The boat traffic dies down and the temperature cools as the sun sets.  On average the trips produce a dozen or so angry Lake Anna Striped Bass from 5-15 lbs.

Feel free to call Taylor or me (Charlie) at 540-287-3591 to book a trip or learn more about Lake Anna. I've been a resident of Lake Anna  for over 25 years and have plenty of relationships with owners of rental properties, marinas, restaurants etc. We're happy to assist with lodging, large groups, boat rentals and more.

Tight lines!

Charlie Bowles

 

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Hand held GPS’s and Spring Time

                

This is the time of year that everyone loves. We can now get out of the house to do all types of sports comfortably that really wouldn’t be fun in the extreme cold. Geocaching is one of them that really gets the whole family involved.

Here at Bass Pro Shops, we enjoy assisting people with this new sport. We can make suggestions on what type of GPS would be a good starter as well as giving recommendations for the seasoned enthusiastic Geocacher.

This May at our Go Outdoors Event, we will have seminars on Geocaching for the young and old. So come on out to Bass Pro Shop in Ashland, Va. and check us out at the Marine Electronic Center, we are here to help.

 

               Larry G Martin

                Marine Lead 

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Fishing Report

Fishing

by David Brayman

FRESHWATER FISHING

     For the freshwater fishermen, there are plenty of shad to be caught in the lower James River up to the fall line with darts and spoons being the primary lure, no specific color. This fishery will continue for another 2 to 3 weeks before it begins to wind down. Along with the shad the Striped Bass have started to get caught with both schoolies and big fish in the mix. A jig head lure with a white body will produce good results, 4, 6, or even 8 inch bodies will work. For the bass fishermen, the fish have begun to work into a pre-spawn/spawn patterns. Top water and plastic lures producing best results. The Small mouth bite is getting better as well with the fish following their larger mouthed cousins. For the crappie live minnows and and jigs are doing well.

SALTWATER FISHING

     The croaker and spot are a little slow going coming to us, but they are being caught. The Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum are beginning to make their way to the flats areas in places like Mobjack Bay. The large Drum are making their presence in the ocean going inlets like Fisherman’s Island inlet. These big fish are being caught up to the 50 inch marker. Softshell crab, or cut bait will produce for these bruisers. Another good fish to pursue is the Tautaug. These fish are bait stealing KINGS, if you aren’t paying full attention. Cut crabs, sand fleas, or fiddler crabs are best bait for these guys.

     As Spring comes into play around us, we begin to remember those little things we needed to get done last year. Changing that mono line out, sharpen bait knives, replace last years lost tackle. Getting these things done now, can prevent lost time later.

     Our Feature product this month is the Ascend fs128t Angler Kayak. This is one to get excited about, it has GREAT potential to become a big contender in the fishing community. Come by and take a look for yourself!

  • Sit-on-top/Stand up design provides the ultimate kayak fishing platform
  • Solid casting platform with pull up assist strap for stable switch to stand up fishing
  • Removable 360 degree swivel seat with 3 position height adjustment.
  • Multiple watertight dry storage hatches with easy access
  • Deep molded side storage trays accept all kinds of fishing gear and tackle
  • Multipurpose molded dash - catch all trays, cup holder, and recessed tackle tray storage under seat
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • 4 flush mount rod holders - 2 by seat, 2 forward
  • Molded rod tip stagers on bow deck hold top of rod while fishing
  • Fully adjustable rod tender - provides vertical adjustment and 360° of horizontal adjustment
  • 8 scupper drains - big enough to accept transducer (sold separately)
  • Anchor trolley
  • Maximum weight capacity: 350 lbs.
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Becoming a Pro Staffer by Rex Reichert

Becoming a Pro Staffer: What does it take and what does it mean?

I have been asked this question a time or two while participating in the world of archery. The word “Prostaff”, what do you think it means. Is it that you are a professional in the archery world? This is what most people believe it to mean. However, to me and many others who are prostaffers, the “pro” means “promotions” of that and other products in which you wish to endorse. It takes a lot of time to become a true promoter of the product in which you choose. I have been promoting archery products for a long time and have had a great time in doing so. It is important to take time and have dedication and the knowledge on the product in which you are going to promote. Take the time and do your homework and become the best you can be!

 

Talk to you again real soon

 

- Rex.

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Archery: Practice, Discipline and Dedication

 

Well after the rain let up I decided to go out and do some training for some up and coming archery events. What does it take?  Well, I will be the first to tell you it takes a lot of dedication and a lot of practice. Don't worry, it will all pay off in the long run.  Sometimes I ask myself , "why do I love the sport of Archery?" First and foremost it is because of my love for the outdoors. I have learned that there is a lot of mental preparation that goes in to shooting at the competitive level. To me, being outside under the clear blue skies and shooting my bow is one of the best forms of meditation in the world; Just you, your bow, and the arrows. Mental preparation is the best tool you have and over the next few months I will try to help you understand the importance of this.

But for now back to the practice range I go. We will talk again soon.

- Rex

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Tips to safely enjoy the outdoors

May is the time of year that just about everyone who enjoys the outdoors will be there. From fishermen -oops-persons'- hey cut me a break I'm old school and I hope my daughters don't see this, to hikers, lawn care and gardeners. If you are outdoors lets make it a safe time. Just a bit of a warning for things to watch out for; Number one: Insects! Ticks, chiggers, mosquitos and spiders (Black Widows), are all out there but can be avoided with bug sprays or just plain caution. Watch where you sit, place your hands, unpack your sleeping bags etc. Next, snakes; Copperheads are the most commonly encountered. Take the time to put on shoes and long pants. Most snake bites happen after dark by people stepping on them as they rest on sidewalks or steps' that are holding the warmth of day. Use a flash light and use some common sense. For water safety, use your pfd and don't turn your back on little ones.

Until next time, enjoy!

 

Marshall “Smokey” Stover

White River Fly Shop

Ashland Va.

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