Bass Pro Staff At Table Rock Lake

Nitro Pro and Table Rock guide Mike Webb had a great weekend on Table Rock Lake with a 4th place finish in the FLW BFL event held at the State Park Marina. Webb had 5 fish that weighed in at 22 pounds, 3 ounces. Fishing the next day with Mike Tracy, Webb bagged another 5 fish limit that went 21.83 pounds with a 7.51 kicker!

The Outdoor World team of Doug Asher and Matt Fisher had a giant bag at the Anglers in Action event on Sunday that weighed in at 20.16 pounds with Matt catching a 6.71 kicker.

Although you can never fully believe fishermen, the Deadly Five rig with XPS smoke colored grubs was credited with catching the bass. 

 Mike Webb

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Getting Ready for the Youth Spring Turkey Season

It is almost time for the Missouri spring turkey season which takes place on the weekend of March 31-April. Here are some tips on equipment needs for your youth hunter:

Camo RedHead hat with built in facemask-easy to use and hides hunters face well while not hindering vision.

Camo  Redhead gloves that fit! Adult gloves are bulky and hard for small hands to take off the safety or squeeze the trigger properly.

Camo RedHead pants and shirt- it gives the youth a lot of confidence that they are really a hunter!

Waterproof footwear-even in perfect weather there is usually heavy dew and nothing can end a hunt quicker than cold, wet feet.

Shotgun and ammo-use light loads like, Winchester Ultra Lite, when teaching your young hunter to shoot! Heavy turkey loads are ok when actually hunting, but will cause discomfort and cause bad habits if used on a firing range.

Go pre season scouting with your young hunter-a great time to work out all the “bugs” in equipment and clothing, plus it builds the anticipation of the actual hunt.

For turkey hunting regulations and details please come by the Bass Pro Shops Customer Service desk for a Spring Turkey Hunting pamphlet or go to www.mdc.mo.gov/ for further information.

Mike Eutsler

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Springfield, Missouri

 

 

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Snagging Season Opens Soon!

The Missouri fish snagging season opens at midnight, March 15th, and runs through April 30th, except on the Mississippi River, where it will end on May 15th. The paddlefish, one of Missouri’s most unique fish, is the number one target for most anglers. Sucker grabbing (another term for snagging) is also very popular in the clear water Ozark streams and usually is better in April.

Specialized equipment is needed to harvest paddlefish as these fish can reach weights of over 100 pounds! The Missouri Department of Conservation state record for a snagged paddlefish stands at 139 pounds 4 ounces and was taken from Table Rock Lake. To take these big fish heavy fiberglass rods spooled with 100 pound test line on a heavy duty bait casting reel is needed to maneuver the large treble hooks that are coupled with lead weights of up to 16 ounces. The most anglers use large treble hooks, Bass Pro Shops carries treble hooks in all sizes up to a 12/0! Some trebles are have lead weights molded onto the shank and work very well in shallow water conditions.

Seasoned snaggers are using both conventional sonar units and many are starting to see the benefits of side scanning imagery. Humminbird and Lowrance make excellent units that can be used either while fishing or by looking at sections of the water to see if the big fish are present.

Paddlefish do not have bones like other fish, only cartilage, and they make ready good filets as long as you cut all the red meat out. The daily limit is 2 and Table Rock and Truman lakes have a 34 inch minimum length limit that is measured from the eye to the fork of the tail.

Be sure to come by the Fishing Department at Springfield’s Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World for some great bargains on snagging rod, reels and other equipment!

Good Luck!

Mike Eutsler

Springfield, Missouri

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

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Sonar Side Scan

Few inventions have provided anglers with underwater information like the recent side scan sonar units that are available at Bass Pro Shops. The newer units are a far cry from the first “green” boxes that only showed blips on a circular screen. However; with practice most anglers mastered the blips and could even discern what type of bottom was below them!

Today’s angler can really hone in not only fish images, but can actually see structure some distance from their boat. The side scan is designed to be used as the boat is moving, it doesn’t work well when sitting still. Most units will function properly at 3 to 6 mph. Anglers can scan an area then go back and fish the area, or you may also replay desired scans for review.

Side scan will not only show fish, it will also show what fish are doing! Spawning beds will show up as small white circles so anglers will know if fish are spawning. Manmade structures such as rock or brush piles can be found, even if they are under a dock!  The detail is outstanding and even small features such as a single rock or small ditch can be detected.

The Lowrance and Humminbird manufactures have been very aware that most anglers want a user friendly menu and they have responded very favorably. Fewer buttons and easy to understand menu’s are very nice. Both companies offer online tutorials that will answer almost all your questions. Also, our Bass Pro Marine Associates are very well versed in every aspect of the side scan operations and can also help you out.

So if you want to expand your underwater knowledge, side scan or imaging is definitely the equipment that you need. Be sure to ask your Bass Pro Marine Associate about our Gear Guard Premium protection plan for extended warranty and damage protection, it certainly pays off in the long run if you have problems. Product protection plans can be obtained at the time of purchase or with 30 days of purchase by calling 1-866-618-5783 or online at www.bassproshopsgearguard.com.

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Bass Pro Gunsmith Shop

Gunsmith Shop - Springfield, MO

Do you have a firearm that is malfunctioning or maybe you inherited an heirloom piece that you are unsure of its value, reliability or safety? Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World has a full service gunsmith shop that can provide almost every service that one may need.

Restoration of metal or wood parts are available as well as customization of most firearms including revolvers and pistols. Gun bluing, case hardening, checkering and many other services are provided by our very experienced staff has a vast knowledge of weapon repairs.

Complete firearm inspection and repair may be made by bringing your firearm to the shop which is located in the lower floor in the Camping Department.

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Think Big for Big Springtime Bass!

 Big Bass

Mother Nature has provided us an early opportunity to cash in on giant bass moving into shallow water to “feed up” before the annual spring spawn takes place. Whether you fish tournaments or not now is a great time to catch that trophy fish of a lifetime. Water temperatures have stayed warmer than usual and each day the sunlight increases and allows the water to warm even faster. This in turn draws the hungry bass that can be caught a little easier than usual.

Of course; the bait of the century, the “Alabama” or umbrella rig, has created such a furor of activity with its big fish catching reputation, so many anglers would make it the first choice for catching your trophy.  Fishermen in the know are placing shad imitating swim baits or grubs in varying lengths to catch the larger fish. Berkley Split Belly’s on 1/4th ounce jig heads coupled with the Bass Pro Shops Deadly Five has a high probability of catching larger bass.

Stick or jerk baits are extremely popular and are producing just as effectively as the umbrella rig and shouldn’t be ignored. Bass pro Shop XPS Pro Series stick bait comes in a large 5” model in several lunker tempting colors and has premium hooks. Spro’s Mc Stick 95 is also a great lure and will attract strikes as well.

Red Rat-L-Traps in ¾ ounce weights are a lunker hunter’s staple in Texas and will work just as well in our Midwestern lakes. Allow the bait to just touch the bottom before pulling it up with your rod as if you were trying to yo-yo it. The new Zombie series is also a great change of pace for pressured fish.

Last, but certainly not the least, the versatile jig & chunk combo. The newest big bass jig on the market is called the “mop” jig. This is simply a live rubber jig with extra long strands, use a large Zoom chunk with a Buckeye Lure jig in ½ ounce and work slowly along the bottom on rocky 45 degree angle banks. Brown with a green pumpkin trailer will work in almost any Midwestern lake.

Spring weather can change overnight back to almost winter so watch for consecutive days of warm weather with southerly winds for the optimum time to tempt your trophy bass with extra large lures!

Mike Eutsler

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Springfield, Missouri

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Top Anglers Give Free Seminars at Springfield

Top Anglers to Visit Springfield

 

Check out this weekends top professional bass anglers at our store! BASSMASTER qualifiers Ott DeFoe and Edwin Evers will be on giving seminars and relating their recent success with top ten finishes at the BASSMASTER Classic on the Red River. All seminars are free so make sure to come early to get a seat!

 

Friday, March 2
10am-8pm Vendor Booths
7:00pm Wiggle Warting in the Ozarks Greg Bohannan

Saturday, March 3
10am-6pm Vendor Booths

Sunday, March 4
10am-5pm Vendor Booths
Noon-5pm Scales and Tales Drawings Bill McElroy
1:00pm Bass Fishing Trends in 2012 John Maniaci
2:00pm My Way of Power Fishing Shallow Water Ott DeFoe
3:00pm How to Power Fish with Finesse Baits Edwin Evers

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Mike Eutsler

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New Trout Regulation

 

Wader Sole Regulation on Trout Areas and Waters

The Missouri Department of Conservation has implemented a new regulation to prevent the spread of didymo, an invasive alga, the use of shoes, boots or waders with porous soles of felt, matted or woven fibrous material is prohibited at all trout parks and the areas in Missouri. This ban goes into effect March 1, 2012, will be enforced; anglers should contact the Department if you have any questions or need clarification of rules.

573-522-4115

www.mdc.mo.gov./

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World has a complete selection of footwear that will meet the requirements and are currently on sale at 25% off. For further details please see an Outdoor World Footwear Associate.Wader Sole Regulation on Trout Areas and Waters
The Missouri Department of Conservation has implemented a new regulation to prevent the spread of didymo, an invasive alga, the use of shoes, boots or waders with porous soles of felt, matted or woven fibrous material is prohibited at all trout parks and the areas in Missouri. This ban goes into effect March 1, 2012, will be enforced; anglers should contact the Department if you have any questions or need clarification of rules.
573-522-4115
www.mdc.mo.gov./
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World has a complete selection of footwear that will meet the requirements and are currently on sale at 25% off. For further details please see an Outdoor World Footwear Associate.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Mike Eutsler
 

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Spring Crappie Tactics

By: Mike Eutsler

Spring, which is just around the corner, is the best time to catch crappie for most anglers. The fish, urged by the spawn, move up into the shallow water areas of our lakes, rivers and ponds and are usually easier to catch than other times of the year. The key to knowing when the majority of fish are moving up is when the water temperature exceeds 65 degrees for a few days. The makes usually move up first and start to clear bedding areas; big females wait in deeper water and don’t spend much time in the bedding areas.

Successful anglers will keep their boat within casting distance of the bank and make short accurate throws to any stickup, brush or woody type of structure that they see. Care should be taken to limit the amount of noise made by anglers in the boat as crappie will move off of the bedding area if disturbed too much. An anchor can come in very handy as it will keep the wind or current from moving your boat out of position or by getting too close.

Crappie can be taken with a variety of bait or lures, however; jigs made of plastic or marabou work very well as the fish are usually very aggressive toward any small fish trying to rob their nests of eggs. A 1/16th ounce jighead is a good starting point although heavier heads may be needed if the wind is blowing or there is a strong current. Sometimes a small float or bobber set 18 or so inches off the bottom is very productive as it leaves your offering in the strike zone longer and is a slower presentation.

Tip: Use Berkley PowerBait Crappie Nibbles in chartreuse Sparkle or Chroma-Glow and you will catch a lot more crappie. One bait placed just past the barb does the trick.   

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Swim Baits for A-Rigs

Few lures or techniques have drawn as much attention as the “Alabama” rig, or as it has been known for years in saltwater circles, the umbrella rig. This attention was brought to a head by the almost unbelievable weights that were caught last fall in a couple of major professional bass tournaments. The fire was lit and although there has been a considerable amount of debate about their use and legality it would seem they are here to stay.

The umbrella rig, our Bass Pro Shops model is called the “Deadly 5 Shad Rig”, is fairly simple, usually one tie point with 5 wires with swivels for lure placement, however; there seems to be a lot of questions about what kind of trailer and hooks should be used. Swim type baits are currently the lure of choice for most anglers. The most popular size is 4 inches and sports a large paddle type tail that provides a very lifelike presentation. Some anglers will use 4 of the four inch baits and use a 5 inch or larger bait in the center trying to draw a strike to the larger bait. This is a result of varying state regulations, such as Missouri, which only allows 3 trailers with hooks, but you can use the other two wires with baits (decoys) as long as they do not have hooks in them. A lot of anglers use a lighter head such as 1/8th ounce when fishing in less than 10 feet of water and use heavier heads up to ½ ounce when the need to fish deeper.  Some anglers use jigs with light wire hooks so they can pull the rig loose when it gets hung up, however; trophy fish may be lost when using the light weight hooks.

One of the best jig heads for the rig is the Bass Pro Shops “Deadly 5” jig, the powder coated head is very chip resistant and the hook is strong enough to handle lunker bass. The darter type head helps control swim baits and is designed to hold the baits securely.

Several very good swimbaits  such as the Berkley “Hollow Belly”, the Optimum “Double Diamond Swimmer” or the new NetBait “BK” swimbait are good choices. Quality Swimbaits have paddle tails that have a lot of movement even at slow speeds. Color selection is generally either the prevalent shad or sunfish pattern that the bass are feeding on. One rule of thumb that applies is to use light colors on bright days and dark colors on dark days. Swimbaits are made in several lengths, however; the 4 inch size seems to be a good size to start the day with, bigger baits may be used to target trophy fish.

Special Tip: Use a chartreuse or red Spike-It marker on the center swim bait tail to attract fish!

 

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A-Rig Produces 30 pound Bag on Table Rock Lake

Nitro State Team Pro Jim Lovan and Cliff Carnahan blew away the competition at the Winter Bass Series Championship on February 4th with a 6 fish limit that weighed in at 30.13 pounds!  The giant bag was anchored by a 7.77 brute that blasted an umbrella rig off of a main lake point. The duo had two other bass that were in the 7 pound class! What a day for the team!  A Luck "E" Strike rig with Zoom Swimmin' Flukes was all they needed or used.

Cliff Carnahan_Jim Lovan

 

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Giant Bass

Giant Bass Taken at Falcon Lake

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Pro Staffer Art Hines, Joplin, Missouri, with a beautiful Falcon Lake bass that was taken with a Johnny Morris Signature Series ll 7'2" med hvy rod, Johnny Morris Signature Series ll reel, 7.1:1 ratio, Trilene 25# fluorocarbon  line,  and a homemade 3/4 oz jig. The big fish was caught last Saturday, come on spring!

Giant Bass

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First Weekend Spring Fishing Classic Free Seminar Schedule

 

2012 Spring Fishing Classic Seminars

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Springfield, Missouri


Join us here in Springfield, MO for the 2012 Spring Fishing Classic! Great sales on fishing supplies will be going starting on February 24. Check below for the first weekend seminar schedule.

Friday, February 24
6:00pm Advanced Small and Largemouth Bass Techniques- Nitro Pro Staffer Larry  “Doc” Seger
7:00pm Local Fishing Tips and Techniques- Nitro State Team members Ricky & Travis Clemen
8:00pm Side Image Sonar: How to Use it Effectively to Catch Fish- Humminbird Rep Troy Frandson

Saturday, February 25
1:00pm Cold Water Jerkbait-Nitro Pro Staffer- Mike Webb
2:00pm Pre-Spawn and Post-Spawn Bass -Nitro Pro Staffer-Larry “Doc” Seger
3:00pm Fish Finder Basic-Humminbird Rep Troy Frandson
4:00pm Crankbait Fishing-Nitro State Team members  Travis & Ricky Clemen
5:00pm Spinnerbait Basics-Nitro Pro Staffer Steve Boillot

Sunday, February 26
1:00pm The Tackle and Tactics of Power Fishing vs. Finesse Fishing-Nitro State Team members Travis & Ricky Clemen
2:00pm Local Fishing Tips and Techniques-Bass Pro Shops Pro Staffer Rick Flint
3:00pm Side Image Sonar-Humminbird rep Troy Frandson
4:00pm Fish Finder Basic-Humminbird rep Troy Frandson

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Three Cold Water Lures for Bass

#1  Jig/Chunk

A jig with a craw or chunk is a very good choice to probe your favorite waters for bass whenever the water is cold. The jig can be worked very slowly and looks like an easy meal for bass that aren’t really very active otherwise. A Midwestern standard, the 5/16th ounce Jewel jig in a brown/green pumpkin combination or a black/blue or purple combination works very well on cold water bass. The brown/ green pumpkin is good in clear water while the black/blue or purple combination would be used if the water is stained. The trailer should be a chunk or craw, like the Bass Pro Shops 3.5” Incredible Craw or a Berkley Chigger Chunk, as they will let the jig glide along the bottom; other trailers that have curly tails may spook bass as they create a little too much action.

Look for bass to position themselves on rocky sun drenched banks, the water here will warm up faster and crawfish will begin to stir. Larger rocks will absorb the sun’s warmth and provide bass with concealment and ambush points.

#2  Lipless Crankbait

Few lures have caught more bass in cold water than the Rat-L-Trap. This lure, invented by Bill Lewis, provided anglers with the tool to catch bass when most fishermen thought the water was too cold to catch them. The tight wobble, accompanied by the loud sound made by the internal pellets, attract bass when fished slowly near the bottom. Successful anglers pump their rod on retrieval as the ‘Trap hits the bottom. The bait hits the bottom nose first and this prevents most hang-ups. While Midwestern lakes have little vegetation fishermen in the know will let the bait hang up slightly in grass and then rip the bait out, this action triggers a lot of strikes this time of year.

Red lipless baits work very well in early spring as this resembles the color of most crawfish at this time of year. Chrome or shad colors also work very well and care should be taken to try to match the size of the shad.

#3  Jerkbait

These minnow/shad imitating lures are very effective throughout the year, however; they really perform during the early spring when most of our Midwestern lakes experience a shad die off. As the shad are dying and are falling through the water column they provide an easy meal for bass.

This style of bait has been around for a long time, but the manufactures addition of internal weights that make the bait suspend really increased angling success at this time of year. Most anglers use a twitch, twitch, then pause method of retrieve and anglers need to note if the fish want a soft or hard twitch or a long or short pause in order to establish a pattern as this can change from day to day.

Jerkbaits come in a variety of colors so lure selection is up to angler preference, a good rule of thumb is that light colored lures for bright days and darker colors for dark days. Two top brands, the Luck “E” Strike RC Stick and the McStick by Spro are good choices for our Midwestern lakes.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Mike Eutsler


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Spring Goose Hunting

If you haven’t tried the spring light goose hunting season you may be missing out on a unique hunting adventure! For the 14th consecutive spring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a Conservation Order to reduce the numbers of snow, blue and Ross’s geese that are damaging the tundra in the Arctic.

Season dates are Feb. 1 thru April 30th with no bag limits! That’s correct no daily limit. Shooting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. Hunters may use unplugged shotguns and electronic calls.

The only permit required is a Conservation Order Permit, $5.00 for Missouri residents, $40.00 for non- residents.

The best area’s to hunt are located on the western side of Missouri; thousands of these geese will congregate on the thousands of acres of winter wheat that is prime food for the north bound birds. Hunters must have permission from landowners before entering on private land to hunt, so make sure this is obtained first! Many landowners are happy to accommodate hunters as long as their land is treated with respect.

Steel shot is required and bb or #1 shot size will work very well. Since a lot of ammo can be expended most hunters use the least expensive. Bass Pro Shops has all the supplies needed for a successful hunt.

Tactics play an important role in determining hunter’s success, the giant flocks of birds move around a lot and can be gone overnight. Making local contacts is a great help as driving your vehicle over the area to locate birds can get expensive.

 Some hunters set up decoy spreads that number into the hundreds of decoys, usually more is better, however; it also takes a lot of time and work! White plastic bags work well, but again great care is required to pick up all of them.

Other hunters use stalk/sneak method, in other words, crawling across fields until you get within range. This works well for one round of shooting, but the birds will move on to another field, so make every shot count!

For Missouri Department of Conservation information please check reports out online at www.mdc.mo.gov/ go to Hunting, then Snow Goose Conservation Order Hunting Reports.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Worldsnow goose 

 Mike Eutsler

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Winter Time is Luck "E" Strike Time!

By Mike Eutsler

Usually the first three months of the year are prime time for stick or “jerk” baits in the Midwestern highland reservoirs. Although they also work nationwide these baits seem to produce quality bass year after year. The technique is fairly simple, twitch, twitch and then pause. Of course, almost every day the length of the twitch or pause will vary so don’t be afraid to experiment. In other words, don’t get hung up on the same retrieve that worked yesterday, but isn’t drawing strike today. A small variance in the twitch or pause can make a drastic difference.

A rod length that lets you hold the rod tip just above water level is necessary to get the right cadence plus is also lets you observe your line for subtle strikes. Sometimes the strike may be very hard, but many times your line will just twitch or get slack. A good quality rod like the 6’ 6” Bass Pro Shops Extreme rod in a medium action works very well when paired with the new Bass Pro Shops CarbonLite baitcasting reel is a perfect match for working a jerkbait all day long. The new 2012 CarbonLite reel weighs in at just 5.9 ounces.

Ten pound Berkley fluorocarbon line works very well and can handle big fish will ease while providing excellent casting quality.

Main lake points provide a starting point while searching for schools of prespawn bass, as the water warms up anglers will need to move to secondary points and spawning coves to catch bass. 

Luck “E” Strike and Rick Clunn teamed up to make an outstanding new suspending jerkbait that weighs in at ½ ounce and is 4 ½” long. This bait has been used by Nitro Pro Greg Ryan and Nitro Table Rock guide and tournament angler Larry “Doc” Seger with great results this month and the pair have nothing but praise for the attention to detail and the seven color selection gives anglers all the colors that one needs to catch bass. The RC Stickbait uses a weight transfer system that makes casting easy even if the wind is blowing and the weights also cause the bait to rock gently at rest which is something Mr Bass cannot resist.


Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Springfield, Missouri

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Modern Day Trapping- Fun, Profitable and Aids Conservation

Successful Trapper with bobcat

Modern Day Trapping- Fun, Profitable and Aids Conservation

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, trapping in the state is typically a $5 to $10 million dollar a year industry. Fur pelts from the state provide the world’s clothing industry with raw materials that are turned into clothing and other apparel. Trapping also creates an income opportunity to those who participate in the sport, although a lot of trappers just trap for the fun and outdoor experience that it provides.

Trapping is also a valuable tool in the control of species that as popular to hunters or are very difficult to hunt.

Skunks, raccoons, mink and opossums can be very destructive to ground nesting birds such as quail, pheasants or

turkeys. Coyotes, foxes and bobcats also are detrimental to fawn deer and turkey poults populations and can even kill adults as well.

Beaver and muskrats damage pond dams and surrounding trees and shrubs.

Trapping also helps control possible outbreaks of disease. If populations reach peak numbers an outbreak of a disease such as distemper can occur and create problems for landowner’s livestock and pet-owners.

Trapping also maintains the balance between people and wildlife tolerance. Pets, crops, and shrubbery are destroyed unless the animal population is controlled in a safe orderly fashion.

Trappers are required to label their traps and also check their traps daily. They also must have the landowner’s permission if they are trapping on private property. Trappers need to check with authorities about trapping on public property such as U.S Corps of Engineers or Conservation areas, special regulations usually apply.

Great care should be taken to place traps so they will not catch or disturb domestic pets. Use live traps near urban areas and place signs that indicate traps maybe present.

Fur pelts can be sold or tanned for your own use. For further trapping information contact an Bass Pro Associate or call your local conservation department.

Equipment, accessories and misc items that you will need:

· Resident Missouri Trapping permit- $10.00

· Leghold traps $7.99 to $10.99 each

· Body Grip traps $ 5.99 to $16.99 each

· Live Traps $54.99 and up each

· Trapping lures or baits (jar) $6.99 & up

· Misc equipment needed-wire, pliers, trap stakes, hatchet, small shovel, garden trowel, trap tags, and bucket or trap basket

 Websites of interest:    

www.basspro.com

www.mdc.mo.gov

www.havahart.com

www.duketraps.com

 

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Want to Try Something New?

Try predator hunting!

Tired of sitting on the couch watching sports all weekend? Then here is the solution that not only gets you out of the house, it will provide exercise, aide conservation and extend you’re hunting season! Predator hunting is an exciting sport that really doesn’t cost a fortune in startup costs.

 Firearms that are used for deer, turkey or other game can be used to hunt predators. Shotguns are very effective for close range shots up to 60 yards. Larger shot sizes like bb’s in lead or T in steel will work very well. Rifle calibers of all sizes may be used, but larger calibers will destroy pelts that you may want to tan or sell. Small rimfire calibers can be used if care is taken on shot placement and range is short.

Camouflage clothing is helpful, however; it isn’t entirely required. Any dark or drab colored clothing will work and concealment by using existing trees and brush will make for successful hunting.

Predator calls can be handheld and blown or the popular electronic digital calls are probably the most effective.

One side benefit from hunting predators is that a lot of landowners will give you permission to hunt “critters” and it helps to establish relationships that may open doors to other hunting opportunities.

Predator hunting also helps control “critter” populations and will help stabilize or increase other game animal and bird populations.

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Electronics for Crappie

Since the invention of the “little green box”, which was what inventor Carl Lowrance named the first sonar unit that was available to the public; many anglers relate their use to bass fishermen and bass fishing. However; knowledgeable anglers are finding that today’s units are invaluable for pursuing crappie.

Better straight down imaging will show schools of shad and crappie that are feeding on them, the units will also allow you to find brush piles or other structure and reveal whether or not fish are present. This saves a lot of time and effort trying to locate fish and structure.

Side imaging scans the areas to the side of your boat and are very useful in finding structure or brush piles, the side imaging feature is fairly new and can be a significant investment. The side imaging technology performs best at about 3 to 5 mph and doesn’t give good returns when stationary or moving very slowly.

When buying a new sonar unit anglers should try to get a unit with high wattage. This is called the amount of “power” that the unit has, a 4000 watt unit will give more detail than a 2000 watt unit. Another factor to take into account is pixels, the more pixels the unit has, the more detail you will see on the screen. Otherwise, today’s units are very reliable, extremely waterproof, and will withstand really severe use.

Units that have GPS capability are very useful for marking your favorite spots, plus they are extremely valuable with available maps and guidance systems when fishing a new lake.

Some units even have SD card slots so you can save your fishing trip data and download to your home computer.

Our Marine Department Associates are very knowledgeable and can assist you in getting the most out of your purchase. The “hands on” display area of our Marine Department can save you a lot of time and effort in determining what unit will work best for you. GEAR GUARD is highly recommended as this warranty extension plan will protect your investment even further.

Mike Eutsler

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Springfield, Missouri

 

  

 


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Winter Fishing Bonanza

Traditionally, a lot of anglers winterize their boats, place their rods, reels and other fishing equipment in storage and patiently wait for spring warm up. Well, the secrets out, fishing is great all winter! Just because water temperatures are cold it does not mean that fish do not feed; maybe less often or bites may not be as easily detected, but they still feed. Here are some tips that may help you have a good experience.

Go with lighter line

If you are fishing for crappie and have been using 6 pound test, use 4 pound. Lighter line will let you detect bites better and may not spook fish in clear water. The same applies to bass, if you are using 14 pound test drop to 10 or 12. Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon line, because of its sensitivity is a plus in detecting delicate cold water bites.

Use lighter rods

Today’s rods are already much lighter and more sensitive than anything we have had in the past. Bass Pro Shops Carbon Lite rods are one of the lightest, most sensitive rods on the market and make t light bites more detectable. Another good rod choice is the Berkley Veritas, this mid level price range rod has excellent balance and sensitivity.

Smaller lures are usually better

Again downsizing is rule rather than the exception for winter time trips. Replace 1/16th ounce jigs with 1/32nd and trim the skirts back to just past the bend of the hook. Use Gulp! Alive nuggets or maggots placed on the jig hook to get more bites from crappie. For bass use ¼ ounce jigs in either live rubber or deer hair with Uncle Josh pork trailers.

Fish Slow

If you think you are really fishing slow, slow down even more. Fish will move to your bait, but they may take longer when the water gets colder. Drag your lure and keep contact with the bottom or the brush pile you are fishing.

Fish Smart

Stay close to the boat ramps if possible, this way if you really get cold you can return to ramp to get warmed up. Do not go alone, cold water can kill in just minutes and it can be almost impossible to get back into your boat by yourself. Layer your clothes; you can always take clothing off if you get hot. Carry spare clothes in your boat, just in case you or your partner falls in.

Winter time fishing provides many smart anglers with great fishing and very little pressure. You can fish in many places that are inaccessible because of normal summertime recreational boaters. Fish will also remain in their winter time haunts for longer periods of time and can be fairly predictable, plus fish taken from cold winter water  make for excellent eating.

Good Luck,

Mike Eutsler

Springfield, Missouri

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

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