Fishing Line Revolution

As any seasoned angler will tell you, the most important link between the fisherman and the fish is the line. The moment of a lifetime can easily be ruined by the most minute of nicks or frays. Fishing line can be an absolute nightmare to successfully spool and utilize on any given day and I, unfortunately, have numerous times witnessed line warp itself into asymmetrical arrays and knots that do not even seem physically possible.

    Fishing Line Disaster

The fishing lines of today present a new problem to anglers that strikes even before the line touches their hands! That common issue is the choice of not only which brand to purchase, but which type of line is most suitable as well. The vast majority of anglers are familiar with the first line that I will discuss, but many people are still learning about the others that follow. This is just a brief overview of the various types of lines and this thought process can definitely become more detailed depending on an angler's mindset and needs.



This is the standard nylon fishing line that has been around for decades. This line is very affordable and causes the least issues to a beginning angler. This line is suitable for the majority of applications, but is not always the best line for someone desiring a technique specific line. These lines are very basic, but are offered in varying styles that accomodate different features that an angler may be looking for such as strength, knot strength, abrasion resistance, and castability. These lines are best for jerkbaits, topwater, and crankbaits, but can most certainly be used for any technique or species.

Visibility:        Mostly invisible/Green is great for grass/algae areas and Clear/Blue for night fishing

Buoyancy:     Almost Floating

Strength:       Good/Varies with Type/Brand

Abrasion:      Good/Varies with Type/Brand

Memory:        Low to Mid/Varies with Type/Brand

Stretch:         Varies by Type/Brand, but most have notably more stretch than other lines

Cost:              Low

Excel Jumbo Spools   Sufix Elite  Trilene XL



This type of fishing line is becoming increasingly popular due to the low visibility of the line. Fluorocarbon refracts light in a nearly identical way as water which creates an almost invisible line. This line possesses minimal stretch which makes it more sensitive than mono and also allows for bettter hooksets. Fluoro can be a bit difficult to handle to begin with as some of the lines exhibit a stiffness and memory issue that is not generally found in monofilaments. The line is being used more often for crankbaits due to the sinking factor, but is also great for jigs, shakey heads, and soft plastics because of the abrasion resistance, sensitivity, and low stretch.

Visibility:         Almost Invisible

Buoyancy:      Sinking

Strength:        Good/Take extra care during knot tying however

Abrasion:       Great

Memory:         Mid to High/Varies by Brand/Often times worse in colder weather

Stretch:          Low

Cost:               Mid to High 

XPS Fluorocarbon  Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon  Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon


This type of line is surging in popularity this year due to the Alabama Rig craze. This line has superior strength and has been popular for many years in areas with heavy grass cover such as Florida. The line has very small diameter allowing for the use of much stronger pound test ratings on standard spools. Most brands have excellent abrasion resistance with an ability to cut through most grasses. Braid has basically zero memory and zero stretch which allows for extreme sensitivity and eye crossing hooksets. The main downsides to braid are visibility and cost. The practice of using monofilament backing underneath the braid on a spool is popular to assist in decreasing backlashes and line slippage during drag pulls. Fluorocarbon leaders are also quite common due to the high visibility of braid. This line is great for soft plastics, jigs, alabama rigs, and single hooked topwaters such as frogs.

Visibility:          Very Visible

Buoyancy:       Floating

Strength:         Excellent

Abrasion:        Excellent

Memory:          None

Stretch:           None

Cost:                High

Excel Braid  PowerPro Super Slick Braid  Sufix 832 Braid


There are other lines available that are either very new to the market or have much controversy to the true nature surrounding them. Copolymers are an excellent line choice for many and are generally categorized closely to monofilament and fluorocarbon with similar traits and price points. Berkley also has a new line that hit the market this year that is dubbed a Uni-filament line and goes by the name of NanoFil. This line is specialized for spinning gear and is very similar to braid in most characteristics. The line floats, has no stretch, small diameter, and casts very well.


In closing, I encourage every angler to get acquainted with every line type to find which is most suitable for them and their needs. Please be open to speaking with an associate at Bass Pro Shops about each line and their characteristics. Most of us have used various types and brands and will always be glad to share our experiences, both memorable and forgettable.


Tight Lines,

Gary G. Garver

Fishing Team Lead

Kodak, TN Bass Pro Shops


Fly Fishing Update for East Tennessee

Hello and welcome back to our Bass Pro fly fishing blog! It is a bit cloudy and cooler today, definitely not the norm considering the weather we have had this year already. The weather for the next ten days has been predicted to be more or less the same of late, high 70's and lows in the 50's. Fly fishing all over east Tennessee has been great so far this year. Everything has been happening earlier this year than usual. Fishing in the national park is going to be affected more by weather than the fishing on the tail waters. If you fish the park earlier in the day I would start out using some basic nymphs ( pheasant tails, princes, etc). I would recommend fishing them as dropper under a dry fly. For dry flies I would suggest something such as a parachute adams, elk hair caddis in yellow, olive or tan and maybe a yellow stimulator. Pay close attention to your approach and drift, always make that first cast count! As the sun gets higher and warms the water, you should see more action from the fish.



Reports of good fishing have been coming in from the Holston as well as the Clinch. I have not personally fished the Clinch yet this year, but I have tested the waters on the Holston and the caddis hatches have been excellent already. If you are thinking about making a trip to the Holston, have a good selection of caddisses in both the high and low riding varieties. Nymphing with copper john's, pheasant tails, and midges should get your line stretched. Be sure to check TVA's web page for the generation schedules before heading to the river. Recent schedules have been very conducive to fishing. Conditions should remain the same while TVA is bringing up water levels in our local lakes. Good luck and tight lines everyone!

Also, don't forget to join us on Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM at the Kodak, TN Bass Pro Shops for our fly tying class! This is a very low pressure setting and a place to simply talk with others and learn more about fly tying or fishing whether you are a beginner or a seasoned angler!

-Seth French   4/18/2012


Are you a Doomsday Prepper?

Lately, all you see on TV is shows about people prepping for a major disaster, whether it's a catastrophic earthquake, tornado, hurricane or even an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). I recently realized that I'm a prepper too although not on as big a scale as others. I prep for a loss of income. While I don't have any gas masks in my little stockpile, I do have food and other items that my family would need in case of a major set back in our income.

What I want to talk about today though, is prepping on a larger scale and just what you will need if Mother Nature should wreak havoc on us or if an EMP should happen. I am going to list for you items you should really consider adding to your supplies (if you haven't already) and I'm going to tell you EXACTLY where you can get each item. This list won't contain everything you'll need, but it will get you started.


First aid kit, freeze dried food, water containers, fire starting source, emergency blankets, pepper spray, water purifying system and tablets, portable toilet, batteries, lanterns (flashlights), battery or crank radio and a bug out bag. This list could literally go on and on, but I think I'll stop there. Now, I said before I would tell you EXACTLY where you can these items and more. You can get this stuff guessed it....Sevierville Bass Pro Shops.

Every day we get calls and in store customers asking about survival kits. While we don't sell ready made survival kits, we do have most all the components you are going to need to make your own personalized kit. Everyone's needs and desires are different so why buy one already made up and have to adjust YOU to fit IT when you can make your own to fit you. We have several brands to choose your items from. Brands like Camelbak, Reliance, Adventure Medical, Coleman, Coghlan, Mountain House, Katadyn and as always Bass Pro Shops. We also have backpacks suitable for bug out bags but if you prefer a duffel bag...we have those too!

What are you waiting for? I'm here and ready to talk to you about what you want and/or need to make your preparations complete. Come on by and see me, Deedee, in the Camping department and I'll get you set up and on your way to a ready and waiting survival kit.

Happy Prepping,
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops


Kids’ Challenge Weekend

We are having our own version of The Outdoor’s Challenge. Join us on April 21 -22 from 12-4 pm for the Kids’ Challenge Weekend. Your little ones can test their skills at our outdoor Archery Range, Fish Casting Buckets, Sleeping Bag Challenge, Life Jacket Race and Knot tying Challenge.

After they brush up on their skills be sure to stick around for Crafts from 1-4 pm. Your kids will love the braided snake craft and/or the arrowhead craft we have prepared. When they get done with all the activities and challenges they will get a spin at our prize wheel for a prize.  


So come on out for another great FREE Family Event at Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville and make some lasting memories.










Browning and Winchester Tax Rebate Event

Bass Pro Shops Gun Counter

Looking for a rifle or shotgun, come out to your Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Sevierville, from April 1, 2012 thru April 30, 2012 and check out our selection of Winchester and Browning shotguns and rifles. Right now we have a special going on just for you…when you purchase a new Winchester or Browning shotgun or rifle for your gun rack we put the sales tax up to 8% back in your pocket but an even better bonus when purchasing at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World the redemption is instant- we take 8% off at the register.  (See associate for full listing of eligible models) You can use that savings to get your favorite ammo, practice target, or even that new pair of hunting boots you've had your eye on.  So if you are looking for the perfect new gun for Spring Turkey Season come visit us at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let one of our extremely knowledgeable hunting associates get you set up with the perfect gun and hunting gear at unbelievable savings!!!



East Tennessee Fly Fishing

Kodak, TN Bass Pro Shops

Welcome to the Fly Shop Blog for the Kodak, TN Bass Pro Shops

The following is a quick fishing report for the next week or so in the Kodak area. Water temps are going to be in the low 50’s and will increase over the next week. The weather is going to be warm with highs in the 70’s. Fishing in the national park is good and getting better. Start with nymphs early (pheasant tails, princes and stone flies) and switch to dry flies (parachute adams, march brown, olive/black cadisses) as the water warms. Trout are taking both dries and nymphs, but the fish activity will be its highest in the afternoon. Always be prepared with a variety of offerings in when entering the park! Beadhead Pheasant Tail

Also, the Clinch and Holston tail waters should be picking up. A good selection of midges along with some BWO’s and black cadisses should do the trick. The generation schedule will dictate when and where you can fish. Generation schedules can be checked at TVA’s web page.

We are going be holding fly tying classes on Tuesdays at 7pm. The class will be approximately one hour and we will focus on one or two particular fly patterns. There is no fee for the classes and no materials required! Just a friendly environment to learn the basics of fly tying, talk with fellow fisherman and tyers, and have fun! Call us at 865-932-5600 for more information!.


Seth French

Bass Pro Shops Fly Fishing Associate

Kodak, TN


Extreme Makeover: 2012 Edition

The Extreme line of reels and rods is considered by many to be the flagship series of fishing equipment at Bass Pro Shops. Their inevitable appeal is generated by the sleek appearance, midrange price, smooth feel, and overall value for the customer and anyone that has opened their 2012 Master Fishing Catalog or strolled into their local Bass Pro Shops has likely noticed that the spinning and baitcast models of the reel, as well as the rods, have received complete makeovers for this fishing season!

2012 Extreme Baitcast Reel2012 Extreme Rod2012 Extreme Spinning Reel


The 2012 Extreme Baitcast reel is offered in right hand with three varying retrieve speeds and in left hand with two varying retrieve speeds. The reel sports seven total ball bearings and a strong 12 pound Aramid fiber/stainless steel drag system for setting the hook on and fighting even the most voracious and hard charging of fish. The reel is also upgraded with a Dual Braking System this year which includes the ever popular externally adjustable magnetic system coupled with an all new automatic centrifugal braking control to make those casts effortless with minimal backlash. All of these exciting features along with the free-floating V-grooved spool, recurve handle, and sleek new look combine for an awesome value at $79.99. Also, the reel is currently available online for the sale price of $59.97!

The 2012 Extreme Spinning Reel is available in four different sizes ranging from the ultralight 10 size for crappie and trout to the incredible 50 size that can handle upwards of 15 pound test monofilament for those large bass or even cat fishing! Each size possesses six total ball bearings for a super smooth feel when casting, retrieving, or fighting that incredible catch. The reels have varying inches per turn by model with a carbon fiber drag utilizing pressures ranging from 19.5 to 22 pounds! These reels use the Mag Spool Technology which uses a wider spool in order to assist with those long casts and decrease the dreaded line twist created by most spinning reels. These useful features combined with the one piece aluminum frame and free spare aluminum spool make this reel a great value at only $59.99. This reel is currently available online for the price of only $49.97!

Lastly, the Extreme Rods have been reengineered for 2012 as well. These rods are more lightweight, sensitive, and stronger than ever. All of the rods feature an IM-9 graphite blank and full contact Soft Touch reel seat for ultimate sensitivity as well as the new diamond weave carbon fiber in the butt section for enhanced strength and lifting power. There are also three models available in a three piece travel rod for those times when space is an issue. All of the options in these rods are a spectacular value at only $99.99. As with the reels, these rods are currently on sale online for the price of only $69.97 as well as in store for $69.97 as well!

As previously noted, the entire Extreme line has received an incredible makeover for 2012. The current sale prices online create an even greater value for each and every eager fisherman and as always, these rods and reels are available in baitcast and spinning combos for a savings of $20 per combo! We encourage you to check out our website or head to your nearest store to check out these incredible new items!


Tight Lines,

Gary G. Garver

Fishing Team Lead

Kodak, TN Bass Pro Shops


What's New in Footwear? Toe-Shoes!

It seems that summer is already upon us here in East Tennessee, looks as if we went from Fall, no Winter, to Summer, no Spring. With temps already in the 80's it is time to start thinking about SUMMER footwear. Over the next couple of weeks I plan on dedicating my blogs to all of the new styles of summer shoes we have here at Bass Pro Shops.

First blog of the “Summer” is about the famous and trendy "TOE" Shoes. Over the last couple of years a number of footwear manufacturers have developed their own styles of the “Barefoot” shoes. The first being the Vibram Five-Finger shoes. Although we do not carry this style we continue to get requests for these shoes in the footwear department. This year Bass Pro Shops has taken those comments and we are offering two styles of Barefoot footwear to choose from. Both styles are very unique in they are completely different from the Five-Finger shoes.


The first we offer is by Merrell. As most of you know Merrell is a great company with a long tradition of offering top of the line styles of shoes from casual to hiking. And cover a wide range of products from running, hiking, water and casual shoes. Merrell has developed a great technology called the Barefoot technology. These shoes unlike the Vibram do not separate you toes from the toebox. They instead have engineered the shoes to have the technology in the sole of the shoe. Ironically they used this sole made by VIBRAM the same company that made the five finger shoe. The sole is contoured to the shape of the foot and does separate the striking points on the toes and heal. The total collection lets your feel follow their natural instincts rather than control them. They come in many different styles and functions, from Multi-Sport, running and casual to the newest lines, the current and the rapid gloves which are the perfect shoes for kayaking and canoeing.

They also offer these shoes in many different types of outsoles, from a breathable, ventilated shoe to GORTEX and watershoes with drainage ports in the front of the soles. They also promote a vegan friendly shoe that uses no animal products in construction yet does not diminish the quality or structure of the shoe. I really enjoy the technology that Merrell has put into this shoe and would recommend any of the styles we have on hand to my customers. The best part is they are reasonably priced, both men’s and ladies styles start at $99.99. Great company, great shoes at a great price. Check them out today in our footwear department at Bass Pro Shops.

Skele-Toes Trifit Men'sThe second style I would like to discuss is the Fila SKELE-TOE shoes. Many of us who have played sports such as Tennis and Soccer are well aware of Fila and the quality of the products they provide. With expanding into the TOE Shoe market they are taking on some of the giants in the technology of these shoes. I welcome everything they have to offer. Now this style does differ from the Merrell in that Fila does separate the toes on their shoes. Although unlike the Five-Finger, on the Fila only Four Toes are separated, they last two toes slide surprisingly comfortably in the same toe hole. This is what Fila calls their EZ-Slide system. They differ from the 5 finger slide because it is usually a little more difficult to get the 4th and 5th toe in the shoes. These shoes are offered in both men’s and women’s styles, and are very reasonably priced between $49.99 and $59.99. Though I will have to warn the buyer, though they are a toe shoe they have been marketed as more of a casual shoes then a true barefoot shoe. They have more padding in the soles and have a stiffer sole. This will provide you with more protection when wearing them. But if you are truly looking for the toe shoes that make you feel like your not wearing shoes at all I would look more at the Merrell barefoot. Cool thing is, and I know there are a lot of you out there that love to wear camo, THEY COME IN CAMO…Skele-Toes Turbo Ladies


So no matter what style TOE shoes you are looking for we have both styles to fit your needs. Please stop by our footwear department and one of our knowledgeable associates will be more than happy to get you fitted for your new summer exercise shoes, TOE SHOES……… the way to go out barefoot without having to worry about hurting your feet in the process.

As always if you have any questions drop me a response or come in and see me I will be more than happy to help you.

Enjoy Everyday,

Lee D. Bridges
Team Lead Footwear
Bass Pro Shops – Sevierville, TN



Ladies' Hunting Apparel

Oh yes,Ladies....... You asked for it!   And it's here.

Browning PINK shooting apparel

Yes,sorry fellas ...... The ladies like to Hunt too.


This is our new deluxe range of shooting apparel by Browning. From hats to vests our prices range from $17.99- $64.99








CapA comfortable cap for lady outdoorsmen with a bold Browning look, the Browning® Spangle Buckmark Logo Cap shows a love for the outdoors with a feminine touch. A great cap for the weekend or wearing around town, this comfortable 100% cotton, six panel cap features a large, eye-catching Buckmark logo on the left front panel in bright, glittering spangles. Tailored specially for women like all Browning For Her apparel, this cap also features a Browning For Her logo over the back arch. Cap delivers a perfect, customized fit thanks to its adjustable hook and loop  closure. Color:  Pink.    One size fits most. Imported.




 VestA shooting vest made just for female shooters, the Browning Sporter II Shooting Vest for Ladies allows ladies to shoot all day long in comfort. This high performance shooting vest features a polyester mesh body for maximum ventilation and comfort on warm days at the range or in the field. Full-length quilted shooting patches over both shoulders include internal pockets for Browning's recoil-reducing REACTAR pad (sold separately). Notched shoulders provide easy movement. Large front shell pockets give you room for extra shells and gear. Large rear pocket for hulls. Button tab waist adjustments for comfortable fit. 3D embroidered Buckmark logo on the front with embroidered Claymaster and Browning for Her logos on back. Color: Pink/Brown. Imported.

Whether you are hunting, clay shooting or just going to the range,do it in Bass Pro and Browning style. Be sure to go to Bass Pro  to see our entire line of Ladies Hunting Apparel.



The N'awlins Hillbilly

8:15 in the morning, temperature 52 degrees, 9 days before turkey season opens

The sky was clear blue with only a few wispy clouds. I'd been listening to a turkey gobble repeatedly for 10- 15 minutes outside on the big hill as I drank my first cup of coffee. Not being able to stand it any longer, I pulled back the curtains just enough to survey where he was. 160 yards away ... There was not one, but two, 10" bearded  gobblers in full strut. They were following one lonely hen . After watching their little dance of lust for a few minutes, I went to get my camera.

 bearded Turkeys

Slowly opening the front door to capture this moment,  I realized that four deer had joined them. There was a 4-pointer with one side broken off (yes, he still has his antlers), a spike , and two other deer. I went to get my wife , so she could see this unusual sight. But when I returned, the deer were already making their way up the hill. However, I noticed movements  in the brush, and  to our amazement, more turkeys were coming  into view.

Two smaller toms and a jake were following four hens towards the very mature, full strutting, purple-headed toms I had been watching. The hens, pecking nonchalantly , as they always seem to be doing, surrounded the toms. As the hens antics faded from my attention, I soon witnessed four strutting toms, each eagerly trying to outdo the others for the attention of the noncommittal hens.

After snapping a few long distance photos, I went back to my binoculars to watch this rare scene. All was peaceful until four horses came running over the hill and scattered this early morning spectacle.

Horsin' around

What a way to start the day !

Stayed tuned for more of Mike's N'awlins Hillbilly Antics.......




Spring Time Means Grill Time

The sound of birds chirping. The sounds of kids laughing and playing. The smell of fresh cut grass. The smell of food cooking in the great outdoors. Yep, that means it's Springtime and with Springtime comes Grill time!

Whether you're a charcoal grillmaster or a propane grillmaster, Bass Pro Shops is the place for you to find that perfect grill to start your grilling season off with.

You may just want a little tailgating grill. In which case, either of these would be perfect. We have the Brinkmann Portable Propane Grill for only $249.99 (top) or maybe you'd like even smaller with the Weber Baby Q for only $159.99 (bottom).



What if you wanted to go really bigger????? Then let me suggest to you our Charbroil 6 Burner with a side burner for only $349.99. What a steal!

If you want to leave the kitchen out of the picture all together and cook your burgers and fry your fries all on the grill...? Frying french fries on the grill????? Yes sir! Just take this new to Bass Pro Smoke Canyon 5 Burner with a side fryer for a spin. It's only $349.99.

Well, what about charcoal grilling, you may be thinking. Sometimes people want the best of both worlds....a gas grill and a charcoal grill but don't want to have 2 different grills taking up valuable deck space. It's not sensible really. Let me show you the answer to that problem. It's a Chargriller Duo 50/50 and it's only $299.99. 2 full size grills for about half the price of one all in the same frame package. One side is gas and the other is charcoal. Can't beat that with a stick!

Then we have our smaller (but not too small) charcoal only grills. They are along the same lines as our Duo but with just the charcoal side. There's the Chargriller Outlaw that is $184.99 (top) and the Chargriller Deluxe Pro that is $149.99 (bottom).


If your not sure what exactly you're looking for, please come on by and see me, Deedee, at the Sevierville Bass Pro Shops and I will be more than happy to show you what we have to get your Springtime grilling off to a wonderful start!. While you're here, we'll take a look at some different grilling tools too.

We have everything you will need, from tools

to covers

and many many more accessories that you'll just have to have!

I'll be waiting for you!


Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops



The Easter Bunny is Hopping down the Bunny Trail.... at Bass Pro Shops

Easter Now you can relive all your favorite Easter memories plus pass important family traditions on to your own children without it costing you a dime at Bass Pro Shops. There's no better time to get great outdoor memories started than during this first official event of spring.

Visit us at Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville, TN on March 31st thru April 8th and bring the kids to take part in free, fun Easter activities we have planned for the whole family. Kids will have fun doing the crafts and Mom and Dad will really enjoy the free photo opportunity for the kids as they visit the Easter Bunny. And, of course, there's the time honored tradition of an old-fashion Easter Egg Hunt.

Saturdays, March 31st and April 6, from 11 am -3 pm and Sundays, April 1st and April 8th, from 1-4 pm bring the kids to have their FREE 4x6 photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Pictures will also be taken Monday thru Friday, April 2-6 from 6-8 pm. An old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt for kids ages 2-10 will be held Saturdays and Sundays, March 31st and April 1st and April 7th-8th from 1-2 pm. Registration for the Easter Egg Hunt will be at 12:30 pm with the hunt beginning promptly at 1 pm and lasting only until 2 pm.

Kids can enjoy fun crafts like making a foam magnet Easter Egg Photo Frame- Saturday, March 31st and Sunday April 1st from 12-3 pm. Then on Friday, April 6 from 6-8 pm they can make an Easter Sun catcher. If you can't make it on Friday we will have crafts again on Saturday and Sunday, April 7-8 beginning at 12-3 pm.

Bring the whole family to Bass Pro Shops this spring and enjoy making some great Easter memories. Visit or for more information on current events.


Ladies, Let's Go Gun Shopping!!!

Choosing a gun is a very personal decision.  No matter what kind of gun you are buying or the reason you are buying it, your choice should be the right decision for you.  Ladies, would you ever consider wearing your husband’s shoes?  I am going to take a wild guess and say you are all cringing about right now.  If you would not wear their shoes, then  why on earth would you shoot their gun?  Chances are your husband’s gun of choice is not the right choice for you.  I know, I know, guns are scary and you are only considering buying one because someone else in your life thinks you need it.  Put everything else aside and ask your self two questions.  Do I really want a gun?  If I had a gun and had to could I actually use it?  If you answered either one of those questions no, then I would suggest you take some time and re-evaluate.  When you can honestly answer yes to both of those questions, then it is time to go gun shopping.

Did I actually say gun shopping???  Yes, I believe I did.  Time for some more questions.  How many pairs of shoes do you try on before you buy just one?  How many outfits do you try on before you buy just one?  Why would you think buying a gun would be any different?  When people in your life find out that you are considering purchasing a gun, they are going to give you all kinds of advice.  Take this advice with a grain of salt, dare I say even if it comes from your husband?  The best advice you can be given is GO GUN SHOPPING!  Answer some very specific questions for yourself, will I carry this gun on my body, will I carry this gun in my purse, will I carry this gun in my car, do I want a gun for my house?  What are your specific needs?  Your specific needs are a big determining factor as to what kind of gun you should buy.  Then the next question should be what gun fits me?  Yes FITS you.  What gun fits your hand the best?  Yes, we all have different size hands and there are all different size guns.  You need a gun that fits your hand and one that you can maintain good control of at all times.  This is a very important deciding factor in determining what gun is best for you.  Your loved ones will often advise a big caliber with lots of rounds.  If you cannot maintain control of a large caliber gun and hit anything with it then it is useless to you and not the right gun for you.  A well placed 22 round is more helpful than a 45 round that hits nothing.  These are just a few of the determining factors in what gun is right for you.

Ladies, come see me, Cindy Gose, at the gun counter at Bass Pro in Sevierville, TN.  Let’s try on some guns and start determining the right one for you.  I can give you information on classes to educate yourself on all aspects of gun handling.  I can also give you information on shooting ranges you can go to and shoot different types of guns to see what might be the right fit for you.  I can talk to you about revolvers versus semi-automatics.  I can let you hold every gun in the case if it is necessary to find the right one for you.  We have a great crew in the hunting department and any one of them will be happy to help assist you in making the right gun buying decision for you.  If you already have something in mind and don’t see it in the case, just ask for it.  Chances are if we don’t have it, we can get in just a few short days.  We are here to serve you and want you to purchase the gun you need.  My most important piece of advice…walk up to the counter and ask every question you can think of…just like shoe shopping, find the best fit for you.


Fishing Footwear

 It’s that time of year again to start getting geared up for Fishing. With the Fishing Classic going on I want to take a moment to share some insight on the “Other” Gear you need besides your rod, reel and bait. With the large interest in Trout Fishing in East Tennessee waders and wading shoes are essentials to an enjoyable experience. They are as important as your fly rod and flies; not only for Fly fishing but any type of river, stream or brook fishing. Waders provide you with the way to get into the action instead of just bank fishing. Depending on the time of year you do the majority of your fishing will determine what type of waders you will need. Also waders come in two styles, one with an attached boot or one with a stocking foot. Lightweight breathable waders are perfect for late spring, summer and early fall fishing. My personal favorite is the White River front pocket stocking foot waders. They are perfect for any type of fishing you are planning this year. They are made of a strong nylon fabric with plenty of room to accommodate additional clothing underneath, such as wader pants and wading socks. I really like the front pocket with it zipper closing the pocket so you don’t lose you valuables and allows easy access to your tools of the trade such as baits and flies and your clippers. At $149.99 they are a great value and I would put them up against any waders made by Simms or Orvis for quality. As you may know those brands of waders can run you from $200.00 to over $400.00 depending on they style you want. An even better value during the fishing classic you can purchase these waders for only $99.97, now that is an extreme savings on a dependable, durable and perfect wader.

For the year round fisherman you may want to invest a little more and purchase another style of waders for the colder months of the year. A neoprene wader from Bass Pro Shops provides you warmth and comfort. The standard type of neoprene wader is the 3.5mm brown stocking foot wader by Redhead. Retailing at $79.99 this is a great value. There are also other types of neoprene waders, depending on how cold the weather outside is may influence your choice of thickness of neoprene, the thicker the better for warmth. The thickest we carry here at Bass Pro Shops is the extreme neoprene wader; at 7mm this is very durable and strong. It also comes equipped with a boot with 1000 grams of thinsulate to keep those feet warm. In two camo patterns, Mossy Oak Break Up and Max4, this is perfect of those of us who enjoy Waterfowl hunting. Retailing at $199.99 this is a great value. If you are trout or small mouth fishing you can get by with the 3.5mm neoprene.

To go with those new waders you just purchased we have on hand multiple styles of wading boots to fit your needs. Again depending on the type of fishing you are doing, or to be more precise the type of body of water you are fishing in you can go with a cleated sole boot or a felt sole boot. The river bottom will determine which boot fits you need better. When fishing in a muddy bottom river the cleated sole boot will provide you with the traction you need. When heading in to rocky bottom rivers and streams the felt bottom boot provided you with more traction that the cleated bottom. They most economical boot we carry here at Bass Pro Shops is the Redhead wading boot retailing at $39.99. This boot comes in either cleated or felt. If you’re like me and fish both types of rivers, instead of purchasing two types of boots you can purchase the Korkers style of boot. This company makes in my opinion the best boot and shoes for fishing on the market today. With its interchangeable soles (Yes they provide you with two pairs of soles) you get the best of both worlds. Retailing at $109.99, they are truly the best wading boot I have ever wore and are my personal preference when I trout fish.

So now you have purchased your waders and wading boots. You may ask what ‘Other” Gear am I going to need. Aside from heading to our fishing department and getting expert advice on your rod and reel purchase, you will need to get a great wading stick. The White River brand exclusive to Bass Pro Shops makes the best folding wading stick I have ever used. It also comes in a case so you can carry with you attached around your waist belt.

Well now I have you dressed for one of the best adventures you can have in the outdoors, in closing I would like to say one last thing. Remember to be safe out there. When you are fishing alone make sure you tell someone where you will be and when you plan to return. Keep in mind that you are fishing in the river not next to the river and anything can happen. If you happen to fall into the river don’t panic. Yes your waders will fill up with water. Remain calm and simply detach the shoulder straps and slide out of your waders. And lastly when you decide to make your gear purchases come by and see us in the footwear department, one of our knowledgeable associates will be more than happy to show you what type of gear you need. Thanks for your time and no matter what type of adventures you have planned this year, be safe and enjoy it as much as you possibly can.


Lee D. Bridges

Footwear Team Lead

Bass Pro Shops

Sevierville, TN


Three Must-Haves for Spring Bassin'

I have long been of the mindset that the Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro Shops was held about a month too early. Here in East Tennessee the lakes don't really begin to warm up until late March, so the Classic has always felt like a giant tease of the fishing days that were still a good month away. This year, however, Mother Nature has decided to move Spring in early after a very mild Winter. I have already been on the lake several times this year, whereas last year I would have still been a month away from a day filled with scraping the ice off my guides.

Spring-time offers the most exciting bass fishing of the year. It forces the bass to move shallow for the spawn, making them more catchable than any other time of year...theoretically. In all honesty, Spring-time bass fishing can be painfully frustrating. The inconsistent weather of the Spring season causes the fish to move to various parts of the lake at any given time without much notice. Spring is the time when the fish will bite everything in the boat at one moment, and then want nothing you throw at them in the next. In this blog, I will give you three baits that you must have tied on in the Spring, as well as some tips on when they work best.

#1: The Jerkbait


The jerkbait can be a deadly tool in the spring. They come in a variety of styles that include sinking, suspending and floating. As the water temperatures are climbing in the Spring, the jerkbait can often be the best (and in some cases, the only) way to catch quality bass. Before the bass move into the shallow creeks to spawn, they will gorge themselves with baitfish to bulk up and prepare for the rigorous spawn in the coming weeks. I start using a jerkbait when the water temperatures hit 45 degrees. I start with a deep-diving suspending model with slow twitches and long pauses. The warmer the water, the harder the twitches and shorter the pauses. Jerkbaits are made to catch fish suspending out away from the bank, so throwing them to the bank is rarely the best way to fish them. Usually I try to get my bait down at least 6 feet and work it near steep drops over water 12-25 feet deep. Color varies day to day, so don't be afraid to experiment.


#2: The Crankbait

The crankbait is an extremely versatile tool. Its versatility comes from the fact that it can be fished comfortably from 0 to 14 feet...and uncomfortably down to 20+ feet. The crankbait dives to a depth determined by the length and shape of the plastic bill on the front of the bait. The bigger/longer the bill, the more drag it creates in the water and, thusly, the deeper it will dive. As the fish begin to migrate back into the creeks, this lure can be used to locate them as they stage on main points, secondary points, channel swings and rock piles. I usually start fishing crankbaits when the water reaches 55 degrees. I start by cranking deeper water and move shallower as the day warms up. Once you locate what depth the fish are holding at, you can duplicate the pattern across the lake to maximize your day's catch. I usually go with more realistic patterns in clear water and brighter colors as the water becomes more stained. There are also square-bill crankbaits that really shine around shallow cover, such as fallen trees and chunk-rock. The squared bill allows it to deflect off of cover to get reaction bites from fish hiding deep in the cover.


#3: The Jig

The jig in the Spring is your best bet for a huge bass. The jig is arguably the best bass-catching lure of all time and as I said earlier, the Spring spawn forces all the bass in the lake to move shallow for the spawn. The jig can be flipped, pitched, stroked, swam, crawled or hopped around any type of cover at any depth. The shallower the water, the lighter the weight of jig you should use. A slow falling jig to a bass on or near their spawning bed is considered a threat and they will quickly move in to terminate it. Jigs can also be used in deeper water to imitate a crawfish crawling across the bottom. On days where cold fronts move in and slow down the bite and force the fish to retreat to deeper water, the jig can be fished slowly across the bottom to entice fish that aren't interested in chasing jerkbaits or crankbaits. I stick to black and blue or Green Pumpkin colored jigs in the Spring.


Spring fishing can be a challenge, but with these three baits tied on you have all levels of the water column covered, as well as a bait for any type of activity level that the bass are in. Stop by Bass Pro Shops and let one of our experts give you some tips on what is working right now on your local lakes. You'll be glad you did.


Camping: Then and Now

In 1869, the New York States Adirondack Mountains were overrun with people for the first time. Author, Preacher and Sportsman William H.H. Murray convinced these people that spending time in the great outdoors was fun. For the majority of them it wasn't because they didn't know where to go, what to take or what to do. Up to this point, families didn't do this. Only the men would spend time out in the wilderness without their families, hunting for food. It wasn't until Murray had laid it all out for them that it caught on and became a fun thing to do. So in essence, William H.H. Murray invented camping.

30 years ago, the ideal of camping consisted of sleeping in a tent on the ground in a sleeping bag. You would take the food you would be eating from your kitchen (or maybe even caught it after you got there) and cooked it over an open fire on a cooking grate. You wore the same clothes for the duration of your trip and if there was any hygiene to be done, you did it in the nearby creek. There were no electrical hook-ups, bathrooms/showers and no nearby stores or fast food joints. For entertainment, you played in the creek, played in the dirt or ran through the woods. Imaginations were plentiful!

Today, for some, camping hasn't changed all that much. Sure people prepare better because they are more knowledgeable about what they will/will not need to take. Some just prefer to keep it simple while others want to make things a little more challenging and have the same luxuries as home. People today have the option of having a tent that has a light and fan, a table to put their lamp on by their bedside, a porta-potty ( so you don't have to use a log and a leaf) and even wi-fi accessible areas. If you don't want to cook, you can always go to a nearby store or even down the road to get fast food. There are even GPS and personal locator beacons for those that want to do a little hiking but are afraid they'll get lost. For the adventurer who wants to keep it simple, there's decomposable toilet paper, trowels, several different fire starters, lanterns, camp stoves, grates and dehydrated food, to list a few.

A few years ago, my husband and I wanted to take a weekend camping trip. So, we loaded up the bass boat with a tent, sleeping bags, food, a cooking grate and a fire starter and headed to the middle of the nearby lake to an island. For entertainment, we swam in the lake, we cooked our food over an open fire on a grate and later on we fought off a raccoon who desperately wanted our food. There were no bathrooms and showers or even a store or fast food joint and it was one of the most enjoyable times I have ever had. To me, that is what camping is all about.

At Bass Pro Shops, we have everything you could ever want/need for your camping adventure. Whether you want to rough it or have a home away from home, we have it all including equipment and a knowledgeable staff to answer any question you may have. Bass Pro Shops offers top notch brand equipment that includes Jansport, Kelty, The North Face and of course our newest brand, Ascend among others.

Hope to see you soon.

Happy Camping!

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead


Getting Prepped for Turkey Season

With turkey season just around the corner it is time to start shooting again. Practice is especially crucial when your chasing those big spring long beards with their keen eyes and small vital area you really need to be confident in your shooting. 3D shooting is probably the best way to get this practice, it will help with judging yardage and shot placement.

Once you have the confidence in your shooting its time to work on getting close enough to take that shot. The most effective way to get close with a bow is from a ground blind. There are many different types of blinds on the market today ranging from one person spring steel style to the bigger and better hub style blinds. You can find a good selection of sizes and camo patterns at the Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville,TN. Some such blinds are the Red Head Blackout and the Red Head Enigma with their Realtree Camo and blacked out inside makes them the perfect choice for getting that shot off undetected.

Stop by for a visit at my Sevierville Bass Pro Shops located on I-40 at Exit 407.  I'm happy to answer any questions about turkey bow hunting or any other Archery-related topic.  Just ask for me, Chris Holt.

I look forward to seeing you!


Bonus Bucks

We would like to invite you to our store March 1st – 7th to receive up to $100 on a Bass Pro Shops BONUS BUCKS gift card.  During these days simply bring in your Bass Pro Shops Visa and when you make a purchase of at least $100 on your Bass Pro Shops Visa in any department in our store, you will qualify to receive a Bonus Bucks Gift Card that can be used 24 hours after your purchase and is good thru March 18th.  If you do not have a Bass Pro Shops Visa please visit our credit card stand when you first enter the store and once you are approved you will also receive a 10% discount on your first purchase up to $1,500.  This is a great opportunity to get extra discounts off of our already low prices during our Spring Fishing Classic.  Please stop by our credit card stand for complete details



2012 Nitro Z-9

The 2012 Nitro Z-9 is even better than ever! The standard equipment that is included with the 2012 model is a terrific upgrade from last year, and makes the Z-9 the boat to catch this year.

Standard is the Mercury 250 HP Optimax Pro XS Torque Master motor which was a $3,500.00 upgrade last year, PLUS they have reduced the base price $3,000.00 to just $39,995.00!

Don’t hesitate; check the whole Nitro line out today at Bass Pro Shops-Sevierville and maybe you’ll be landing the lunker of a lifetime soon from the deck of your new Nitro Z-9!

Rob Barton

Tracker Boats-Sevierville, TN


Make a Memory

"Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self." Ted Hughes

Working at Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, TN, I have a front-row seat to the latest and greatest innovations in the fishing and boating Industries. I have been fortunate enough to attend seminars discussing the newest lures, equipment, boats, electronics...etc. All of these form an amazing image of how far this sport has come in a relatively short period of time. What started with a cane-pole, bobber and some string is now a multi-million dollar industry in which fishing poles are no longer made of wood, but rather carbon fibers, titanium and special lightweight alloys. We have lure companies using computers and laser technology to create near perfect replicas of actual forage. We have boat companies making boats lighter, stronger and faster to aid tournament fisherman in their quest for victory. We have fishfinders that can now show us up to 320 linear feet of the bottom...leaving the fish seemingly no place to hide. We have super-lines that are invisible to fish, yet nearly unbreakable; super-hooks that can be set with just a light tug of the wrist that will not bend or straighten out and reels that are as light as a feather, yet as smooth as silk and built like a tank. We have improved not only our ability to find fish, but our odds of putting them in the boat should we be so fortunate as to have one take our offering. What more could we possibly come up with?

All this said, fishing is still special. It is still different. It is still a chance to spend a day outside, with no computer, no television, and no phone. (OK, maybe a phone...but only for safety purposes and picture taking). Fishing is different because it doesn't matter how good your equipment is, how fast your boat is or how good you think you are at finding fish...there is still a chance you come home without so much as a bite. Unlike hunting, golf, baseball, football...etc, when you're fishing, you can't see your target. You have to 'feel' it. You have to rely on knowledge, experience and a little bit of luck if you want to come home with a good story to tell. People often ask me what my absolute favorite thing about fishing is, and I always tell them the same thing. It's the first 5 seconds or so after the fish bites and I've hooked him, because for those few seconds there are only two things on my mind: "I've fooled him!" and "I wonder how big it is?" For those few seconds there could be anything on the end of my line and that excitement is unmatched to me. The whole process gives each fish I catch its own story...its own memory.

At Bass Pro Shops we are in the business of making memories, and right now is our busiest time of the year. The Spring Fishing Classic starts this Friday, February 24th. We have some terrific products on sale, terrific activities for children and adults alike, as well as seminars from fishing professionals: Boyd Duckett and Jason Quinn. I say this not to promote an item, a sale or a company...but to promote a fishing trip. I don't care if its in a huge tournament on a local reservoir with 200 boats or a trip to a creek with someone close to you, do yourself a favor and just 'go fishing'. Whether I was using a 10 dollar combo and some night-crawlers on the bank of a pond with my dad, or a top-of-the-line outfit on the deck of my bass boat, fishing has always created vivid memories that I will have forever. Memories of friends and family. So, as the weather is warming up and the fish are becoming more active than they have been in the last few months, I am encouraging you to make a memory. At Bass Pro Shops, we pride ourselves in having everything you'll need to plan that trip and make those memories, whether its the latest and greatest rods, reels, baits, and electronics...or simply some advice about the area and species you plan to catch. We at Bass Pro Sops hope you'll come in and let us help in any way we can.

Its worth it.


"Faith, Family, Friends...and Fishing."

Houston Kress

Team Lead/Marine Department

Bass Pro Shops  Kodak, TN