Fishing: Catching Crappie in the Fall and Winter

Fishing for crappie in the fall and winter can be one of the most interesting experiences in the outdoors when done right. There are many places that crappie like to hide out in these months where the weather is steadily changing to be colder. Being able to pinpoint where these tasty fish will be located during the different times of the year will make fishing a lot easier.

When summer temperatures begin to drop and the water temperature starts falling, this is when shad begin their annual migration into the creeks and major tributaries. During this time of year the crappie tend to follow the shad into these bodies of water just off the main lake. Often times the crappie will be found in fairly shallow water. Looking for crappie around shallow stumps, trees, and laydowns is a prudent idea being that they are following the schools of shad into these areas. Because of these structures, and how close the crappie tend to get to them, a suggested jig for fishing these areas is the Bass Pro Shops® Curltail Stump Jumper® Jig Bait. This jig gives the fisherman the ability to maneuver over these structures without losing a jig every cast. If a fisherman can locate a school of shad it is a very good bet there are a lot of crappie around the nearest structure to the school. During this time of year the location of the crappie seems to be the biggest factor in being able to catch crappie, the color of your lure doesn’t seem to affect the prospect of catching fish in the fall and winter. But making a good presentation to the fish and having the right lure is key to catching a limit of fish during the fall. The best bait that has the proper action for crappie is the Bass Pro Shops® Crappie Maxx® Paddle Tail Minnow, this bait attracts the attention of the crappie during a slow retrieve and can get some powerful strikes.


Once the temperatures begin to decline as, fall turns to winter, shad will move back out of the creeks and tributaries back into the main portion of the lake. As in fall the crappie will follow the shad back into the lake. Once in the lake the crappie will usually go deeper in the lake to remain close to the shad. This time of year the crappie can be found in and around deep water brush piles. When a brush pile is located in the lake a fisherman should lock the coordinates into a GPS or on a map so they can return during the winter. During this time of year another good place to look for crappie is around docks. The best docks are sticking out from a point and are located over deep water or at a drop off in the lake. This is where crappie tend to congregate during the winter in order to stay near the shad. Unlike during the fall where color does not matter much to the crappie, during the winter natural colors tend to work a lot better than others. A slow vertical presentation with a 1/16th -1/8th oz jig with a soft plastic body is one of the best approaches to use during the winter. Good bait during this time of year that comes with a wide assortment of colors is the Bass Pro Shops® Curltail Stump Jumper® Jig Bait. Bass Pro Shops has the largest and best selection of all the crappie fishing baits you need! Check them out here: Now that you know where the fish are and how to lure them in we will wish you happy fishing!

Check out our other crappie fishing blog: Fishing: Crappie in the Spring and Summer!


Fishing: Crappie in the Spring and Summer


Fishing for crappie in the spring and summer has the potential to be one of the most relaxing activities of the season. The crappie are relatively easy to catch and the meat off the fish is one of the best for those fish fries throughout the summer. The trick is finding where the crappie are located on any given day.

Once winter breaks and the water begins to warm crappie begin their annual movement to shallower water to spawn. The crappie will begin in the late winter and the early spring to suspend themselves in the mouth of creeks in the channel. As the water warms they will begin to move further and further back off of the creek channel, often times hanging around structures just off the main channel of the creeks. Once the water begins to reach 60 degrees crappie will move to shallow water to spawn. During this time creeks and large coves are good places to look. Crappie tend to spawn around shallow structures so finding a shallow stump or dock inside a cove is often a good bet for finding crappie. The spawn will last about 2 weeks or until the water reaches about 70 degrees. In the spring crappie are affected by cold fronts, and a strong cold front can push the crappie out of shallow water back towards the creek channel for a few days. During the spawn throwing a 1/32nd -1/16th jig is very effective during the spawn as is suspending a jig or minnow under a float. During the spring color of the jig is not as important as finding where the crappie are spawning, while at the same time finding the right color for the day is a good idea. During a very clear day using natural colors is a safe bet, while a day where the water is murky and full of silt using bright colors is the way to go.

Once the water gets hot and the spawn is over crappie move back out to the creek mouths and main lake areas of the waterways. Crappie will often hold to standing timber or brush piles, where they will remain throughout the summer. Crappie will hold around structures typically from 10-20 feet of water, depending on the lake. During this time of year the color selection used for bait will vary wildly depending on the day. The best way to find the color scheme that works on a certain day is to experiment throughout the year. A great general way to fish for crappie during the summer is to use a vertical presentation of a 1/32nd – 1/8th oz jig. This combined with the right colors and the knowledge of where the fish are concentrated is a recipe for some great fishing. Check out Bass Pro Shops HUGE selection for all your fishing needs: As always have fun and happy fishing!

Do you want more information on Crappie fishing? Bass Pro Shops will be holding their first ever Crappie Madness event on February 7-8 and 14-15!

Crappie Madness


Apparel for Cold Weather

Winter is here! And with it comes everything from cool sunny days, to freezing rain, to the Polar Vortex and Snowpocalypse. During this time of year the best kind of gear to have is versatile gear. Having clothing in your closet that can be worn every day, whatever winter brings our way, helps simplify the season and eases the strain on our wallets. Here are a few different types for both guys and gals of some of the best versatile gear for the unpredictable winter months.

For the Guys:

            The first item (and arguably the most useful piece on the market) is the RedHead XPS Softshell Systems Jacket for men. It is a 3-in-1 Jacket; a water and wind resistant soft shell with a zip-out fleece liner. You can wear the softshell solo for rainy weather, the fleece works well on its own for those cooler days when you don’t want a full size coat. This fleece will also work with a full coat when needing to stay warm and dry during a cold snap. This jacket makes a great daily tool for staying dry all winter long.

Men's Jacket

            The second item needed for the long winter is the RedHead Vertebrae Outdoor Cold Weather Glove for Men. This waterproof glove is filled with 100 grams of synthetic down insulation, and is ideal for everything from freezing rain to the coldest days of winter. These gloves are lightweight enough to pack in a handbag or a glove box, and durable enough for everyday tasks out in the cold. The Vertebrae glove is hard working and hard to beat for the winter weather.

For the Ladies:

            The first item is the Natural Reflections Flannel-Lined Twill Pants for Ladies; these are one of the most popular picks during the winter season. These pants are nice enough for the office and warm enough for those blustery winter days. They fit true to size and don’t bunch and pull like other lined pants. The cotton flannel lining is comfortable and makes and excellent wind stopper in any situation. These pants are useful out in the town or in the great outdoors!

Natural Reflections® Twill Cargo Pants for Ladies                                                                           Natural Reflections® Broken Twill Cargo Pants for Ladies                                                                    Natural Reflections® Flannel-Lined 5-Pocket Jeans for Ladies                                                                Natural Reflections® Flannel-Lined Twill Pants for Ladies

            The second item on the list for ladies is the RedHead for Her XPS Thermals for Ladies. These baselayers come in 3 weights, making them ideal for matching to your activity and the temperature expected! A blend of polyester and spandex, they hold their shape well and are very quick to dry. These are great for layering under heavy clothing for extra warmth in the bitter cold. These awesome thermals can also be used as standalone garments on a cool day. Use them in the deer blind on those frosty mornings or in the stadium on those cold game days!

RedHead® for Her XPS® Expedition Weight 3.0 Thermal Crew Top for Ladies - Long Sleeve                                   RedHead® for Her XPS® Midweight 2.0 Thermal Crew Top for Ladies - Long Sleeve                                           RedHead® for Her XPS® Expedition Weight 3.0 Thermal Pants for Ladies                                                    RedHead® for Her XPS® Midweight 2.0 Thermal Pants for Ladies

For more Winter clothing must haves check out the following links!

For the Men's clothing:

For the Ladie's clothing:

Here's wishing you warmth from your friends at Bass Pro Shops Springfield!


Finger Foods for the New Year

Hush Puppy

Uncle Buck's® Hushpuppies


1 egg

1-1/2 cups Uncle Buck's® Hushpuppy Mix

1/3 cup jalapeno peppers and/or 1/3 cup whole kernel corn (16 oz.can)

*(1/2 cup milk or water can be used to substitute for corn)


  1. Add 1 egg to 1-1/2 cups Uncle Buck's® Hushpuppy mix.
  2. Mix 1/3 cup of jalapeno peppers and/or 16 oz. can of whole kernel corn; reserving ½ cups of liquid from can to give a batter like consistency.
  3. Dip 1 large Tbsp. of Uncle Buck's® Hushpuppy Mix batter and drop lightly into approximately 2-3 inches of cooking oil at 350F.
  4. Turn hushpuppies over in hot oil until they are golden brown.
  5. Drain on paper towels.



Uncle Buck's®'s Cornbread Small Batch (Makes about 6 2 oz. cornbread muffins)


1 1/3 cup Uncle Buck's® Cornbread mix

2/3 cups milk

1 egg, slightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine Uncle Buck's® Cornbread mix, egg and milk until thoroughly blended. Do not over mix.
  3. Bake in a greased 8x8 inch baking pan or muffin tin for 15-20 minutes.


Uncle Buck's® Cornbread Large Batch (Makes about 18 2 oz. cornbread muffins)


1 full canister (21 oz.) of Uncle Buck's® Cornbread mix

2 cups milk

3 eggs, slightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine Uncle Buck's® Cornbread mix, egg and milk until thoroughly blended. Do not over mix.
  3. Bake in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan or muffin tin for 19-25 minutes.


Check out what other fun recipes you can make to help ring in your New Year here: From all of us at Bass Pro Shops- Springfield, we wish you and your families a very Happy New Year!







Firearm Cleaning and Maintenance

There are many activities one can do with firearms, from hunting to long distance target shooting. One of the least amusing but essential things one must do with every firearm is to ensure it is properly cleaned after a day at the range and the upkeep and maintenance throughout the year. This will keep the firearm in pristine firing shape. There are some simple steps which can be taken to make cleaning the firearm a little easier.  

The first step is to learn how to field strip the firearm down to its base components in order to clean the firearm most effectively. This is easily done by looking at the owner’s manual. The manual will have simple instructions on how to not only disassemble the firearm but how to reassemble the firearm without damaging any of the components. Once the firearm is disassembled the next step is the messiest.

After the disassembly of the firearm, the owner must proceed to oil and lubricate the necessary parts. This is a step that must be taken for both cleaning and regular maintenance of the firearm. The first thing after disassembly is to clean each individual part. Often times old oil and grease residue with be on the firearm mixed with the powder that didn’t burn during the firing of the weapon. This layer of grime needs to be completely removed before anything else can take place. If the components are not properly cleaned or lubricated, the firearm can grind smaller pieces and be rendered inoperable after a time. Finding the right oil and firearm lubricant is often times a pain. One company that is regularly used because of its great track record of quality products and proven performance is the Hoppe’s. The Hoppe’s Elite Dual Pack Firearm Cleaning Products is a great package to get when looking for both gun oil and lubricant in a single package. By taking a clean cloth and adding a few drops of oil to the cloth you can oil the component parts quickly and easily. Simply run the cloth over the parts until you can see and feel a nice film of oil on the pieces. This will ensure that the pieces do not corrode or get exposed to the elements. The next step is one of the most important.

Now that the components of your firearm are all clean it is necessary to look at the barrel and start to clean it. The first thing any person cleaning a barrel needs to do is run a cloth with a drop or two of bore solvent. This solvent helps remove much of the copper, lead, plastic and powder deposits on the barrel. A great solvent is the Hoppe’s Bench Rest-9 Copper Solvent. After using the solvent running a wire brush through the barrel one to two times will help break the deposits off the walls of the barrel. As soon as the wire brush has been run through the best thing to do is run a bore snake through the barrel in order to force the last bits of the deposits out of the barrel leaving it clean enough for accurate shots.

Hoppe's Cleaning

The cleaning and maintenance of firearms is the most important and important activity associated with firearms. Knowing how to properly clean a firearm could save money with the  maintenance or replacement costs in the future. While at the same time a well cleaned rifle, pistol or even black powder rifle will shoot more accurately making the experience far more enjoyable. Follow the link to see wat Bass Pro Shops offers to keep your firearm clean and well maintaind! As always have fun and happy hunting!



The Proper Way to Store Your Bow

Archery can be one of the most enjoyable outdoor sports if done correctly. Archery is also one of the few sports where improper storage of equipment can lead to expensive damage to your bow and other equipment. Finding the best way to store your equipment on a budget, while keeping everyone safe is the only way to ensure your bow works right every time.

The first step in storing a bow is to find the right case. The question most archers need to answer about the case is what kind of stress the equipment will be under. Will the bow be used once a year to get sighted in then brought on a single hunt? Will the bow be out and about every single day target shooting? If the bow will be used on a yearly basis, it is probably a good idea to invest in a soft case that houses all your attachments for the bow. A great example of a case, that is easy to use and is still able to be stored, would be the Red Head Bow Case 1.0. This case is soft and pliable while at the same time giving the room for the bow and all its attachments. This is a good fit because the case keeps the bow safe when in storage while at the same time allowing the archer to add desiccants to keep moisture away from the bow. Now on the other hand, if you are looking for a case you will be moving around all day every day the case you will want to look at are the hard cases. A great hard case with many different bows is the Plano Bow Guard SE 44 Single Bow Case. This case is large enough for the bow and its attachments. These types of cases will keep the bow from being jostled around and knocking all your adjustments off on the bow. Finding the right case for a specific bow can be done through simple online research. One of the best sources is Bass Pro’s catalog website. The catalog website is a great tool to find specific size cases and brands.

RedHead Soft Bow Case

Storing a bow for any amount of time can be hard on the bow. Another thing an archer must do after finding the right case is to find the right area of the house to store the bow. The bow should be stored in the house where it will not be jostled around. Many people use the underside of stairs simply because it is usually the same temperature as the house and is fairly constant in that temperature. Also underneath the stairs tends to be one of the least humid parts of the house. If an archer is using an area under the stairs in the basement it is a good idea to put some desiccants or chemicals that absorb moisture in the case with the bow. This will aid in preventng moisture to settle on any of the cams or the actual bow string. These areas in a house are typically  walled off from the rest of the house making them great for keeping kids away from the bow and other equipment. If an archer doesn’t have a place to put the bow, utilizing a closet on the interior of the house where you don’t have to stack anything on top of or around the case is a good spot too. If there are kids in the house simply adding a combination lock to the case will deter most kids.

The safe and proper way to store a bow can be fairly easy when properly thought out. First, the archer must find the appropriate case for the bow that will be used and then decide how the bow will be used and how often it will be used. Second, the archer must find the best way to keep moisture off the bow’s cams and string. Finally, finding the right place to put the case is essential to keeping children and others safe and from tampering with your system's set up. All these things will help any archer be able to store their equipment and then retrieve it without worry. Check out what Bass Pro Shops has to offer for proper bow storage: Keep those bows safe and dry and as always happy hunting!




Tips for Walleye Fishing

Some of the most elusive of fish in a fresh water lake tend to be some of the most tasty and fun to catch. This is very true when fishing for walleye. Knowing the areas where they frequent, their habits, and good rigs for catching them is important to a successful walleye fishing trip.

The first way to increase the chances of catching a walleye is to know their seasonal patterns. During the summer months, walleye tend to stay in areas where the water is cooler and the oxygen levels are higher. This means they tend to hang out in deep pools where tributaries flow into a lake. Another great place to find ‘eyes  in the summertime is just off rocky points where the bottom suddenly drops off into colder and much deeper water.  Remember that summer walleye are somewhat lethargic during the day.  As evening approaches they tend to start moving around more and looking for minnows closer to the surface of the water.

In the fall, walleye tend to be a little shallower in the water column and will usually position themselves just off weed beds where they hunt for minnows. They are still mostly active during the evening and night hours.

When spring rolls around, walleye tend to be in river currents or along the shore where they will spawn in sand beds. Pre-spawn they will hang a little deeper, while post-spawn walleye will stay around these areas to protect their eggs. This protective instinct makes them excessively aggressive and very fun to fish.

Summer can be one of the hardest times to catch walleye. A good way to get down deep to the walleye with a jig is to use a three way swivel. To the first swivel, attach your lead line. From the next swivel, attach a 1/16oz lead weight on a few inches of line. From the final swivel, attach about 3 feet of line then either a jig or a Rapala brand minnow. A bait that works well for this is the Rapala Original Floating Minnow. This has the action for this rig and works very well. A great way to use this rig is to throw it over a school of bait fish and aggressively reel it across the school. It is alright to troll over the school once or twice but after that the action of the boat will scare the walleye and they will stop feeding. In the spring, an effective way to run a walleye rig is to take a 1/16oz lead weight 2 to 3 feet up from where the bait is tied on. Hold the lead weight in place with a split shot. Then a great lure to use is the Rapala Husky Jerk Minnow. You can use the same technique as summer. To get the best result, throw over a spawning area and rapidly retrieve to get good solid strikes on the lures.

Husky Jerk

The search for walleye is always hard but the results of a successful fishing trip is one of the best tasting fish of all time. While knowing the areas where the walleye are usually located, the best baits and the techniques that work a fishing trip for walleye oftentimes becomes a fishing trip for whatever can be caught. Get everthing you need at Bass Pro Shops to catch walleye! As always, good luck and happy fishing!



Favorite Winter Recipe Winner

Congratulations to Belinda M. Hise for winning our Favorite Winter Recipe Contest! Her German Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake recipe got 52 likes on Bass Pro Shops - Springfield, MO Facebook page! Below is her winning recipe!

German Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake

1 (18 ounce) packages German chocolate cake mix
2 (1 2/3 ounce) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix ( I use sugar-free)...
3 cups milk
6 Heath candy bars, crushed
1 (16 ounce) Cool Whip, thawed ( I use fat-free)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Prepare cake as directed on package and bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool.
In a medium bowl, beat pudding with milk until thick and let set in the fridge.
Cut cake into small cubes and place half of them in the bottom of a glass punch bowl.

Make a layer, placing half of the pudding over the cake cubes, cover with half of the crushed candy bars pieces and then with half of the Cool Whip.
Then make another layer with the remainder cake cubes, pudding, candy bar pieces and cover with Cool Whip.

Sprinkle pecans or nuts on top and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight for better flavor.
Yum! This recipe sure looks like a great holiday favorite! Be sure to check out what Bass Pro Shops offers food and drink related in our Gift Department! Happy baking!
German Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake

Finding the Right Tree for a Tree Stand

The process of finding the right tree for a tree stand is one of the most important steps in the hunt. You must find the right location for the stand. Then find the tree that best fits your stand. Finally you need to find the tree that is big enough to hold your stand and you. So it is understandable that the process of finding the right tree can be a little stressful. Here are some easy tips to finding that perfect tree.

Finding the right location for your tree stand is crucial for the entire hunt. To begin this process the hunter first needs to look at the area that is going to be hunted and look for choke points. A great way to do this is look for areas where the land naturally slopes to a valley. Placing a hunter in a tree with a good view of the entire valley the options for a shot open up greatly. Another good place for a tree stand is just off of a food plot. If the hunter is able to position themselves just off the edge of the plot with a good view of a lot of the plot and the surrounding tree lines there are many opportunities for a good shot. Now if a hunter is able to find an area with a natural dip in the land and it happens to be on a food plot this spot would be great for a hunt.

Now the hunter needs to look for the right tree to hang a stand. First thing a hunter needs to look for in a tree is the right diameter of the tree. Many tree stands, such as the API Outdoors® Alumi-Tech® Quest Climbing Treestand, have a narrow set of teeth to anchor the stand against the tree. So getting a tree that is too big around is out of the question. Usually a tree around 10” in diameter is a good fit for these kinds of tree stands. This diameter allows the stand ample area to bite into the tree while at the same time giving the person sitting in the stand enough support to keep them in the tree. At the same time while finding the right shape and size tree the hunter will also need to look out for dead and rotting trees. If the tree seems to be a “little” dead it should be immediately marked off a list of suitable trees. These trees are dangerous because of the tendency for the upper trunk of the tree to look perfectly suitable while the base of the tree could be rotten and hollow making it a danger. One other dangers that hunters need to be aware of when putting up a tree stand are widow makers, dead limbs in the tree that have not yet fallen to the ground. These limbs can fall when a hunter is setting up the tree stand or when the hunter is climbing into the stand for their hunt. This falling limb can cause serious injury to anyone who is hit. So when finding your tree, be sure to trim any dead or dying limbs from the tree so on opening day there will be no worrying about falling limbs.

Now that you have found the right tree and got your stand set up it is time for the anchors. These are usually ribbon cords that come with the stands used to tie around the tree in order to keep the stand as steady as possible and make movement easier while in the stand. These cords are one of the few safety installments in the tree so having them is a must. Besides the anchoring cords it is also a good idea to have a harness for the hunter that is attached to the tree in case of an accident. A great harness is the Big Game Treestands EZ-ON Basic Safety Harness. These safety harnesses come with straps to attach a hunter into a tree safely and have quick releases so when a shot is made the hunter can pursue in a timely manner. This specific harness also comes equipped with a drag loop so when a hunter has harvested big game they can then drag the animal efficiently.

Now that the tree is found, the stand is up and the hunter is safely harnessed, there is one last chore. When in the tree before opening day look around and see what is obscuring the view of the surrounding area. If there is a low hanging tree branch cutting your sight to the edge of the small valley, and it is personal property being hunted, go cut the limb so the view is perfect. This is the time to make all the last minute adjustments before the big day. Finally now that all the chores are done it is time to go hunting. Check out Bass Pro's treestands here: As always happy hunting and good luck!





Must Haves for your Holiday Road Trip

The holidays are just around the corner! We all know what that means, the yearly trip to see the family and spend a few days relaxing and having fun. These road trips are always interesting but the trip can be a pain, if you don’t prepare right. Here are some must haves for the best trip of the year.

When a family hops into the car for that twenty hour road trip to see their family on the coast, what is the first thing that is forgotten? The phone charger, the best way to keep you from having this common dilemma is to purchase a USB car charger that never has to leave the car. Now that most chargers are USB this device can stay in the car and never really has to leave the car. A great double USB charger is the Bracketron Universal Dual USB Car Charger. This double port charger keeps the children in the back seat from arguing over who gets to charge what device.

Now on a long trip making a stop every time someone is hungry is always an issue. A wonderful way of keeping this from becoming a problem is to grab some finger food before the trip starts so everyone can nibble something when they get a little hungry. The easiest food to grab before a trip, that last a while, is jerky. Bass Pro Shops' Uncle Buck's Premium Beef Jerky is a great choice for car food because it can be sealed after it is opened. Another great car food is peanuts. They come in different flavors, are packed with protein and can make a long car ride a little easier with fewer stops. A common choice is the Bass Pro Shops® Uncle Buck's Extra Large Virginia Peanuts. The tin is easy to seal and can be passed around the car with ease making this a great way to keep your family snacking and not stopping on that long car ride!

Now that the family is all set for the drive it is time to think about the people you are going to visit. Bringing a small gift for friends or family being visited is a common practice so here are some ideas for great gifts! For the ladies the gift of a nice candle is always a safe bet that they will love it! A great, and compact, candle is the Eclipse Home Décor Candle by the Hour® Beeswax Candle. These candles not only last up to 60 hours but are a great way of showing someone just how much they mean to you. But perhaps you are visiting your good friend who has a new man cave. A Promotional Wood Products Personalized Barrel Head - Jim Beam® is a great way to show how much you have missed someone. This product allows you to personalize the barrel head to leave a message for a lifetime.

Road trips can be some of the most memorable events in a year so being properly prepared for them is essential. Besides the food and device chargers remembering that beds tend to disappear during the holiday season is always wise. Bring a few extra blankets and a pillow or two for the trip. You never know when you might be sleeping on the floor and need that perfect pillow from home. Now that you are ready for the holiday road trip it is time to say good luck and happy travels! Check out Bass Pro Shops gift department for all holiday road trip must haves here:

Car charger


Archery: Steadying Your Shot

There are many problems that new archers face when going out for the first time to shoot. One is the excitement of just being out shooting for sport, this excitement often compounds some other problems. Steadying for a good shot is often the most difficult part of the process.

The first step to steadying your shot is a simple one, find the right bow. If you are a competition shooter finding the bow that fits into the category you shoot is essential. While at the same time finding a bow that is the right draw length and poundage is also crucial. If you are having a hard time holding a steady shot with a 55 pound draw, like that on a Fred Bear Montana Longbow, it might be a good idea to move down five pounds in draw. This can help you steady your hand and give the shooter far more control over the arrows flight. This goes for compound bows also. If the initial draw is too stressful on the muscles your hands will tend to shake throwing off your aim. So finding the right bow with the right weight and draw length is important.

The problem of a steady shot is not just a hunter’s problem but also a competition shooters problem. A great way for hunters to get over the excitement of the hunt and steady your shot is simple practice with the bow. Practice taking easier shots you know you can always hit. This will help your body get accustom to the motion of drawing the bow and releasing on a regular basis. This in turn will help you slow down the shot and follow a routine when getting ready for a shot, which will steady your shot greatly.           

There are a lot of problems with the actual handling of the bow that may cause an unsteady shot. A great way to minimize this unsteadiness is simply to remove a hand from the bow. This can be done on a compound through the use of a draw assist and release mechanism. A great release for compound is the Redhead XPS Caliper Bow Release. These releases allow you to draw with your whole arm instead of putting all the pressure on your fingers. Using these releases allows you to keep the bow steadier while holding the draw for longer periods of time letting a shooter make the decision on a good shot without compromising the integrity of the shot at the same time.

There are a lot of opportunities to help shooters become better shots with a bow. The old saying that practice makes perfect is doubly important in the field of archery, where a simple mistake can injure an animal instead of killing it or move your shot one inch over causing a shooter to lose a competition. By finding the right bow, practicing regularly and using devices like the bow releases a shooter is able to turn a very unstable shot into a rock solid shot with practice and patience. Bass Pro sops has everything you need to steady your perfect shot! Good luck on better shots and successful hunts!


Bow Release




Safe Storage for Firearms

One of the problems many adults have with keeping firearms in their house, is not knowing the safest way to keep them from being stolen or used by their children. The safety of all peoples is always the top priority for any family or sportsman. There are simple steps firearm enthusiasts can take in order to keep their firearms and families safe.

A simple step that can keep firearms safely stored is to simply remove any rounds from the magazine or chamber of the weapon. This will keep accidents from happening even when the home owner is not around. Another quick and easy way to keep families safe is to store the firearms and ammunition separately. By doing this you put a barrier to curiosity for children and others who might be wanting to use the firearms. Another simple way to keep little hands from accidentally firing a rifle or pistol is to constantly keep gun locks on all firearms in a house. This again can will provide a barrier to children and others who might be too curious about the firearm. By keeping locks on all weapons the homeowner can feel safe having firearms in the home.

Another way to keep firearms secure is to use designated firearms safe. Personal stories have shown that when a safe is employed in a house burglars are not able to get inside the safe and in some cases give up on the house entirely when they are unable to break the safe. One such safe is the RedHead Ultra Fire Resistant 25-Gun Safe. These safes are built to protect your firearms from everything from burglars to small fires. In many cases these safes are able to keep everything inside the safe protected from any conditions on the outside. Now a good way to keep your firearms away from other forms of damage is to keep your firearms and ammunition in two separate safes. This makes sure that if something unthinkable happens your ammunition does not discharge or damage your firearms. While this might seem tedious, it will help prevent unauthorized access to both your firearms and the ammunition.

To keep your firearms safe and also in good working condition, storing them in the right place is key. In some cases having the firearms in the house is out of the question, but this might not be the best for the integrity of the firearm. Keeping a firearm in a shed or the garage is usually quite trying on the weapon simply because the conditions are not regulated like inside a house. When storing a firearm first take a look at the conditions where it will be staying, if the conditions are at all damp or the temperature fluctuates to wildly during the year, finding a place inside will be far better for the firearm. When storing a firearm in a safe inside a house it is always a good idea to invest in a good desiccant. These chemical blends pull moisture from the air and keep the conditions dry and moderated. A good and rechargeable desiccant is the Red Head Safe Dri Rechargeable Moisture Control. These chemicals stay in their packages and make the conditions far better for any firearm in a safe, and they keep firearms from rusting or destroying the blueing on rifles or pistols.

In the end it is up to the owner of the firearms on how they choose to store their firearms and who has access to them. Great ways to keep these firearms secure is to get a gun safe. While at the same time doubling up on safety might be a good idea, so putting some gun locks on the firearms in the safe is still a great idea. Storing your ammunition away from your firearms, while keeping your firearms unloaded in the house keeps accidents from happening. And one last thing to remember about safe storage of firearms is look at the conditions the firearm is in. If it is to moist in an area get a desiccant and make sure the temperature does not vary too wildly or the firearms finish and parts could corrode. Follow this link to see what options Bass Pro Shops has for storing your firearms safely Good luck on the hunt and stay safe!

RedHead Safe


Hunting Blinds for Beginners

There are many ways in which to hunt in the woods and in fields. First you can set up a tree stand near the field so you can see over a large area and track your quarry as it slowly gets closer. Second you can stalk your prey over the land and try to sneak close enough to get a shot off.  Finally you can set up a blind and hide from your prey till it is so close you can almost touch it and get that perfect shot. All three are great ways to challenge yourself, but hunting from a blind takes a different set of skills and some general know-how to work properly.

Finding the right blind is often a challenge for new hunters. There are so many different kinds of blinds and styles that are used it can often saturate your search. Here are some tips to finding the right blind. First find out if you are planning to go bow hunting or rifle hunting. Then find the corresponding blind, archery blinds often times have a place to hang your bow while rifle blinds are generally lacking this. Then find out how many people will be present in the blind. Once those two things have been established finding a blind that holds your maximum amount of people and is made for the type of hunting you will be doing finding the right blind will be fairly easy. An awesome blind to use for beginners is the Primos Double Bull Blind, because it is easy to assemble and is large enough to move around in if need be.

One of the first things you need to do upon getting your blind is make sure to spray it down with a scent neutralizer. This needs to be done outside the home and preferably after it has been transported to the approximate area where the blind is going to be set up. A great product to use is Scent-A-Way, it covers and neutralizes scent very efficiently. After spraying down the blind it is also a good idea to spray yourself down with the scent neutralizer so as to keep from getting your scent all over the blind while you are setting it up. This keeps your scent from leaving a “trail” right to your blind and spooking any animals in the area. Then move the blind to the appropriate area where you want to hunt. The best place for a ground blind is usually on the edge of a clearing or field. Once the blind is set up and in the right place it is time to brush in the blind. This is a process of using local foliage to break up the outline of the blind and make it look generally like a new brush pile. It is often a good idea to use evergreen brush to cover the blind this is because it is light and easy to cut and also aromatic making it cover the scent of a person a little more than other brush. While doing this make sure to go inside and check to make sure your brush is not covering your shooting lanes. One last thing to do is place a gauze sheet over the “windows” in the blind to eliminate the dark spot that deer will see when they are around the blind and can often spook them. This is not a problem for turkeys because they seem to be unaffected by the entire blind. After the blind is brushed in it is a good idea to go inside and spray down the blind with a scent neutralizer, then go to the outside and spray down the blind again. This will keep the scent of a person off the blind completely. This all needs to be done a week or two before the beginning of your preferred hunting season.

The day of the hunt make sure to spray yourself with scent neutralizer after you leave your vehicle and are on your way to the blind. Once in the blind again check to make sure that the shooting lanes you are going to use are not obscured by your brushing in. Once you are confident of your job brushing in the blind and having your lanes cleared it is time to start hunting. In a blind getting ready for the shot is a little different from a tree stand. As you get ready for the shot you either have to be ready to shoot through your gauze screen or you have to carefully move the screen aside without spooking the animal. Either way is an effective way of harvesting an animal. With a bow it is often a good idea if you are using a broad head to fire through the gauze while if you are using a mechanical head it is better to have a partner or yourself move the gauze aside as to not prematurely activate the arrowhead.

Blind hunting can be one of the most fun types of hunting when done right. It gives you the ability to get so close to the game you can almost touch them while at the same time making you comfortable and generally out of the weather. After you have learned the basics of blind hunting it becomes easier to pick the right blind, find the perfect hunting spot, and brush in the blind properly. Click on the link to see the variety of hunting blinds we offer at Bass Pro Shops!  We hope you have fun hunting from blinds and good luck on the hunt!

Primos Double Bull



Cold Weather Camping Tips

Camping in the fall and winter can be some of the most fun and scenic times of the year to get out of the house. These scenic views sometimes come with a little bit of a rough time with the weather. The cold fronts in the fall and winter are much harsher and being prepared for any scenario is always a must. While the cold might deter some people, the true outdoorsman can get through a rough night and enjoy the benefits of a nice chilly morning.

The first thing any seasoned or new camper can tell you is that watch the weather before you go on your camping trip. Check the temperatures you might be dealing with and always prepare for the cold you might not be expecting. A great way to do this is to bring a good sleeping bag along with a liner to match. The Ascend 0 degree Mummy bag is a great way to be prepared for the winter or fall cold. Bringing this along with a Bass Pro Shops Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner makes it so you are prepared for anything. If it is cold you can hunker down inside the liner inside the mummy bag, or if it is warmer than you thought you can sleep on top of your mummy bag inside your liner and still have a great nights sleep while being comfortable at any temperature. Another must have on a fall or winter night is a good sleeping pad. Sleeping pads keep your body off the ground and provide comfort while at the same time allowing you to retain precious body heat from being absorbed by the ground. The Ascend Hiker Tapered Air Mat is a great sleeping pad for the job, it is a light but effective pad for a hiker or a regular camper.

While sleeping bags are a big part of fall and winter camping so is finding the right tent and cooking equipment for the season. What is needed in a tent for fall and winter camping is zip up windows, a rainfly, and a tarp or reinforced floor. There are many tents that match this description but a great family tent for the fall and winter is the Bass Pro Shops Eight Person Family Dome Tent. This is great for any family that wants to camp in the winter while still having some space to move around and enjoy the time outdoors. There is only one way to go when talking about cooking in the fall or winter, this is cast-iron. Whether it be a Lodge Cast-Iron Dutch Oven or a Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet, the best way to cook in the winter is to use cast-iron. This material gets hot quickly and stays hot longer than other materials making it ideal for those people looking for a good hearty warm meal on a cold camp-out. While Lodge makes a good cast-iron line for cooking the best thing for camp lighting is hands down Coleman. This company has a huge line of lanterns and flashlights that are useful for any possible camp-out. The Coleman North Star Duel Fuel propane lantern has been a must have to campers and outdoorsman of all walks of life for years. The propane tanks are light and easy to carry while at the same time the price to keep the lantern running is quite low for those who have to camp on a budget.

Camping in the fall and winter is one of the most scenic things a person can do. Preparing for the weather during this time of year though is a must. Bringing a few different types of warm or cold weather clothing is always a good idea while at the same time bringing a few warm or cold weather sleeping bags is a must. There might be a few things you can leave off your winter camping list but food is not one. Bringing a lot of nutritious food that is high in calories will keep your body performing at optimal efficiency even in the bitter cold. While camping in the fall and winter can be a little frightening for some people, with a little help and some good gear it can be very rewarding. Bass Pro has all the gear you will need to make your camping experience comfortable and fun! Check out our gear here:

Ascend Sleeping Bag




Sighting in Your Rifle

When it comes to sighting in a rifle many people have a misconception that every rifle is the same and every scope functions exactly like every other scope. This is simply not true. There is a great difference between two different rifles, even if they are in a similar production model by the same company. Take the Remington 700 Series. A Remington 700 will act differently, when firing a 30 caliber 173 grain round at 100 yards, than its counterpart the Remington 770. Both are bolt action rifles produced by Remington but both will fire very differently.

The first trick to sighting in your rifle is finding the right rings and mounts for your rifle and scope. This can sometimes be tricky because each rifle might have a specific set of mounts that are sometimes non-compatible with other rifles. So first thing you need to do is look at the mount packaging, usually written on the packaging is either the rifle model numbers that this mount fits or a code that can be checked against a the companies database online. So now that you have found the right mounts finding the rings for your scope is essential. You don’t want your rings to be too tight or you risk warping the scope while you also don’t want the rings to loose or you will never get the scope sighted in correctly. Again scopes and rings come with information on the specifics of the scope. These specifics concern the diameter of the scope and where the rings should be mounted so matching up the rings to the scope is fairly easy. After the scope and rings are matched the scope must be mounted. This is essential to how the scope functions and needs to be precise. While tightening the screws on the mount and the scope, be sure not to over tighten the screws or strip the screws. The mounts and scope rings should be tight but no tighter than 25 pounds of torque.

Now that you have the rings and mounts all attached and your scope mounted the sighting in can begin. The most essential thing in sighting in your rifle while on the range is to bore sight the rifle. If you own many rifles that need to be sighted in regularly buying a bore sighting kit might be a good option. One of the best kits for bore sighting is the Pursuit Boresighting Kit. These bore sights are placed in the end of the rifle and pushed snugly into the barrel then the bore sight is turned on. Once the bore sight is on, you must look through the scope and line up the dot from the bore sight with the crosshairs on the rifle. Doing this at 25 yards is usually the easiest. Now that you have the rifle bore sighted you can take your first shot with the scope, after removing the bore sight. After each shot find how far off the hit on the paper was from the point which you were aiming and slowly move the cross hairs to the point you were shooting at with the directional movement tabs on the scope. After the rifle is sighted in at 25 yards take the rifle to the distance you wish to hunt or competition shoot. Then repeat all steps after the bore sighting.

Now that your rifle is sighted in you can hunt and shoot at a greater distance with ease. The great thing about sighting in your rifle is that there are infinite amounts of ways in which a person can customize their set up on their rifle. There are also so many companies to choose from when it comes to sighting in supplies from Pursuit, Red Head, Burris and Black Hawk to the most technically advanced of Armasight Night Vision. This ability to choose makes sighting in your rifle one of the most fun experiences you can have on a day at the range. Follow this link to see what shooting accessories Bass Pro Shops offer!  Happy Hunting.Sighting in Rifle


Archery: Finding the Right Bow

For many individuals who are thinking about getting into the world of archery, finding the right bow or the right information on how to select a bow can be difficult. There are hundreds of bows and many different companies competing to earn your trust and dollar. While looking for a bow may be hard finding the right company as well as the right price and style can be harder. There are a few simple steps that can be taken when getting ready to buy a new bow.

Archery pic 1

The first thing any prospective bow shopper wants to look at is how much you are willing to spend on a bow. Archery equipment and bows start at an economic price and quickly rise from there. Choosing whether you want to spend $500 or $1000 is a big step in finding the right bow for you. Say you have a $400 spending limit and want a good solid compound bow. Looking at the Red Head Kronik XT might be a good place to start. Or say you are looking for a Recurve bow for under $250, starting by looking at the PSE Archery Mustang might be wise.  When you are a beginner, buying the most expensive bow on the market is not the best thing to do. Finding a bow that has few features and possibly a smaller draw weight will be a good choice for the beginner. That being said these bows tend to be less expensive. While a seasoned archer might want to look for a bow with all the bells and whistles, this might mean paying a little extra to get a great bow.

Now that you have found your price range, the next and possibly most important step is finding a bow that is comfortable for you to shoot. There are a lot of things that go into the comfort of a bow from the grip to the actual feel of drawing the bow. While looking at the comfort aspect of the bow one must also think about how the bow will be used. If the bow is for hunting you will want to think about the little comforts that come along with the bow. Many days while hunting it will be cold. So finding a bow that has a rubber grip or has the option of putting a rubber grip on the bow is always a good thing. While putting your hand on a cold riser does not seem like a big deal now, while in a tree stand or in a blind this little thing can actually affect your shot. If you are a new archer another thing to take into consideration is brace height. Brace height is simply the distance from the hand grip to the string. Having a longer brace height makes the bow easier to draw and makes the bow a little more forgiving during the actual shot making this a good feature for a beginner. Another feature many hunters need to look at is the height of the bow. This is measured from the center of the upper cam to the center to the lower cam. If you are in a tree stand a taller bow might not be a problem and might be preferable because of the increased accuracy this gives. If you are hunting in a blind on the other hand you might need to look for a bow that is slightly shorter so you can comfortably draw in the blind. The final feature that needs to be taken into account is the draw cycle. This is how smooth the bow is drawn. This has a lot to do with cams and limbs and can be the most important factor when finding a bow. You need to be able to draw your bow and shoot at your first deer or even at the trophy of a lifetime.

Archery pic 2

Taking all of these things into consideration the selection of bows should have dwindled down substantially. Now the rest of the process of finding a bow is simply up to you. If you have a brand you love finding a bow from them is a good idea. Or if you are looking for the first time find a trusted friend or relative to give you a little nudge in the right direction never hurt. But always think about one thing when buying a bow. Does it work for you every time. If the answer is no keep looking! Good luck on your hunt for a new bow!

Follow this link to start browsing Bass Pro Shops Archery department now!




Fall Fishing in the Ozarks

During the fall is one of the best times to fish, especially here in the Ozarks. September to November is one of the most productive times of the year. This is due to the fish in the area feeding at an increased rate in order to build up stores of energy for the winter. This makes catching fish much easier. At the same time this feeding frenzy makes landing that monster fish far more likely.

The cooling temperatures and shorter days tend to push small bait fish and shad into feeder creeks and tributaries of many local lakes. This in turn forces that bass to follow suit and move up to the areas around the tributaries. While the bait fish are moving into these areas the bass corral them around flats and into coves. So for anglers finding those surfacing fish around the tributaries the likelihood of finding a large amount of big bass is increased. Throwing a square bill Crankbait in this area and working it back and forth like a wounded shad will draw the attention of a lot of those larger bass. Another Crankbait that works wonders in this scenario is a lipless Crankbait. Again keeping this bait on the surface and giving it a jerky action will draw the attention of the bass in the area and get some spectacular bites. Other than Crankbaits the use of a Buzzbait can be equally as effective. Working this bait across a shallow flat at the mouth of a tributary or feeder creek will increase your chances of a bite.

When fishing in the fall find that flat where the sediment from a tributary has settled and sit on just off the top of it with the flat in between you and the tributary. By throwing an umbrella rig with plastics swim baits you can mimic the movement of a group of shad swimming away from the flowing water. As the baits get close to the flat the predatory fish will be waiting. If you are a shore fisherman this is also a wonderful way to fish but instead of having the umbrella rig swimming away from the tributary have them swim towards it. A very similar scenario will make the predatory fish lock on to your rig and take a bite. This technique will usually yield bigger bites making setting the hook all the easier. Follow this link to view Bass Pro Shop's Fall Into Savings sale going on now through October 6! Taneycomo Dam


Hunting: Preparing for the Weather

The biggest problem many hunters run into is weather. The weatherman might say it is supposed to be 65 degrees with a slight breeze, when in reality there is gale force winds and it is raining sideways. Sadly the weather is a huge factor in how many hunters pick when they will hunt. This being said there are a few tricks of the trade that might make hunting a little more appealing to everyone.

            The first rule of preparing for the weather while hunting is, learn to layer. This simple step in the morning can save almost any hunt from the weather. Start with a base layer that is skin tight and will wick away sweat. Under Armor Charged Cotton Camo T-Shirt is a great way to keep the sweat or wet off of you as a base layer. After your base layer a light fleece camo jacket under a heavy coat can stave off just about any form of cold, while at the same time keeping you dry in case of the odd pop up storm or persistent rain. Now picking the right heavy coat to go over top of your jacket is key to the whole process. Many of the coats in the Red Head Mountain Stalker series are made for cold climates and come with the added advantage of being fairly water resistant. After you have found the right layers for your torso finding the layers for your legs is also important. Using a skin tight absorbent material under a pair of camo pants is a great way to keep your legs warm while in a tree stand or stalking. Also finding a good pair of coveralls to go over everything and keep in your body heat is a great way to feel warm while hunting.

            The next thing any aspiring comfortable hunter is going to need are gloves. In the same line of thinking as with the upper body, layering with gloves keeps your hands warm and the response time quick just in case you need to take that snap shot at a trophy buck. Starting with a thin glove lining, similar to the Scent Lok Level One Ultralite gloves you can keep your hands warm and dexterous when needed. Then on top of the liners having a heavy glove, that can easily be removed, is recommended. A good glove for this is the Red Head Insulated Fleece. Bass Pro shops has several options of hunting gear such as base layers, gloves, belts, head gear and outdoor gear! Follow this link to see what we have!


Hunting Jacket


Camping: The Right Tent for the Right Place

There are many options when one is looking into buying a tent. Does the tent have a waterproof bottom? Does it hold the amount of people I am taking camping? And, of course, is it comfortable? These factors are very important in picking a good tent, but perhaps not the best criteria for finding a great tent. Here are some other factors a person might want to take into account when shopping for your next tent or looking at which tent to take out on your next adventure.

A great way to find a tent that is going to be suited for you is to look at the place you are camping and what kind of wear and tear are going to go on with the tent. For example taking a BPS 7x7 Dome Tent with a tarp bottom would be a great tent for an area where the weather is unpredictable. At the same time this tent would be great for campers who are hiking and staying on the trail because of the small profile coupled with its ability to be broken down into separate bundles that each hiker can share around with each other. This tent is also durable enough to be set up on rock surfaces with a simple ground cloth underneath, making it great for climbers who want to hike into a climb.

The BPS Dome Tent might be good for hikers, but taking the whole family camping is not an option with this tent. Instead look for a tent that has as large of an area as possible while being able to be divided into “rooms”. This gives you the ability to have some privacy in the evening or morning while still getting the camping feeling. A great example of a family tent is the Coleman 10-Person Vacationer. This tent comes with small hanging dividers as well as lights built into the frame. This tent is also big enough to walk around in without the need to stoop over. This monster of a tent is big enough to fit even the largest of families comfortably with some room to move.

This room to move is great but not what some people are looking for in a tent. Where the Vacationer is heavy and big for an entire family the Eureka! Solitaire Backcountry Tent and the BPS Hiker/Biker are light and meant for a quick setup in the most remote of locations. These tents are made from a durable material that is meant to take strong winds by flexing under the wind with their low profile. Both of these tents are ideal for back country hikers and hunters who need to have a light pack and the ability to take down camp and move on a moment’s notice.

Choosing the right tent may, for many people, be about finding the best overall tent that can last through anything and can be carried around for a while. For those of us who camp like there is no tomorrow finding the right tent for the right environment is what we live for. While hiking or biking a small easily put up tent that can take a beating from the wind and still go up day and night is what I need. If I am in the forest where the roots of a tree are going to shred my biking tent I look for my tarp floored tent. Finally if I am taking the family on a nice weekend away from the city I am definitely taking the biggest tent I can find. So next time you go out camping remember what you want from your tent and finding a great tent is always in your grasp. Check out the variety of tents we offer at Bass Pro Shops!

BPS Tent


Local Fishing: Fishing Table Rock Lake

Summer is back in force making fishing as interesting as it gets. With water in the 80’s, the local lakes are getting a little harder to fish. Even for those with a lot of experience. The thermocline is set now that the temperature is finally at the summer highs, making the fish a little harder to pin down. Now that summer heat is finally here the humidity is making it hard for seasoned fisherman to be out on the water for too long or risk heat related illness. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your fishing fun and productive on one of our favorite lakes in the area!

As a general rule of thumb a fisherman on Table Rock should stay relatively close to areas where fish like to congregate. Some of these spots can be seen from your boat or shore. These formations are shallow spots or underwater hills. Whether these are man-made such as brush piles or simply submerged hills from when the lake was formed both are hot spots for fish during this time of year. Drop Shotting a 4” BPS Plum Cut Tail down in this area can bring up some large fish! This can grab both Crappie and Bass so be ready for some subtle bites and some big yanks on the rod!

If you are really out to catch some good size fish the best time of day is definitely the first few hours of sunlight. This not only is easier on the fisherman but also the fish are far more active and ready to feed. Simply by fishing from the crack of dawn to 10a.m. to 11a.m. you can make your chances of a catch higher. One of the best things to fish with in the morning is a White Strata Spoon. By running this lure in the morning the fish are more attracted to the actual lure as it flies over the water and lands. The fish being closer to the top of the water makes them far more likely to take a quick pass at the bait. Another great bait to use is the Chompers 4” Brown/Purple 1/2 oz. Drop Shotting this on a submerged hill or brush pile in the morning is an awesome way to attract fish and get some big strikes.

Fishing Table Rock Lake here in the Ozarks can be one of the most fun and exciting activities during the summer. While the summer heat might be here for a little longer you can still have a good fishing experience by fishing in the morning and knowing your fishing spots. Another great way to keep those morning hours a little less hot is by using one of Bass Pro’s Frogg Togg Neck Coolers. These little cooling towels have saved more than one trip and have made the summer far more bearable. Good luck on your fishing, stay cool, and take a look at what Bass Pro offers to make your fishing experience complete!

 Table Rock Lake