Fly Fishing Lake Michigan Streams for Steelhead in September

On Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan tributaries, the steelhead bite is on and the hot ticket for fly anglers has been casting and working Woolly Buggers.

Three favorable times and situations to fish a Woolly Bugger for steelhead are in high and dirty water, when fish are holding tightly along the banks, and in low-light conditions (such as cloudy days, and near sunrise and sunset).  A quiet approach and a good presentation are critical on these narrow waterways to entice these fish to strike, along with twitching the fly to supply movement.

I like to position myself upstream of the fish and out of sight, and cast downstream at a 45-degree angle.  As the Woolly Bugger swings toward my side of the creek, I will incorporate several twitches with the rod tip while applying tension to the line. This make the fly come to life within view of the fish, triggering a strike.


Woolly Bugger Pattern - Egg-Sucking Leech (size 8 shown)



Hook – Streamer, 3XL, 2XH

Sizes – 4 to 10
Beadhead – Fluorescent fire orange
Thread – Black
Tail – Black marabou fibers
Rib – Red wire, extra-fine (counter-wrapped to hold and protect hackle)
Body – Black chenille
Hackle – Black saddle (tie-in at the head and wrapped back)


Targeting Trophy Trout or Bass, Tie-on a Streamer
Big fish eat little fish.  Whether fly fishing a stream, river, pond or lake there will always be minnows and fish fry present (with the predominant season for fish fry being the spring).  In other words, the “hatch” is always on when you’re fishing streamers.

Besides availability, fish are indiscriminate feeders and will eat what is presented to them.  Also, they are masters of energy conservation and expenditure.  They will not pursue food if it costs them more energy to catch than they will receive from its consumption.  A minnow that they only have to lunge for, is an opportunity they won’t often resist. A lot of energy consumed without a lot of energy exerted.

A little action imparted by your rod tip, can help convince your targeted trophy that the minnow is injured, increasing the strike potential.  Vary the tempo of the retrieve, using short bursts followed by a count of two or three of idleness can draw their interest to strike your streamer.


Black Nose Dace (size 6 shown)


Hook – Streamer, 3XL, 2XH
Sizes – 6 to 10
Thread – Black
Tail – Red hen hackle fibers
Rib – Silver oval tinsel
Body – Silver flat tinsel
Wing – Brown bucktail over black bucktail over white bucktail
Head – Tying thread


Mickey Finn (size 8 shown)


Hook – Streamer, 3XL, 2XH
Sizes – 4 to 12
Thread – Black
Tail – Yellow bucktail
Body – Silver Holo Tinsel
Lower wing – Red bucktail
Upper wing – Yellow bucktail
Head – Tying thread



Good Luck and Tight Lines,



Pier Fishing for Salmon and NanoFil Fishing Line

Frankfort Pier


Recently, I went on my annual salmon fishing trip with a group of friends off the pier in Frankfort, Michigan. This has been an annual tradition for the last 20 years and we always look forward to this trip. Frankfort, a small town on the coast of Lake Michigan is by far one of the best places in Michigan to visit. The immaculate dunes, beautiful beaches, and awe inspiring sunsets amaze visitors and locals alike. Shoppers can find one of a kind items crafted by local artisans and plenty of specialty shops, galleries, and restaurants. With the two piers that jet out into Lake Michigan, it is also one of the best places in the state to pier fish. In the fall the salmon come in around the pier to feed before they make their way up the Betsie River for their annual migration to the spawning grounds.

Typical equipment that you need in order to fish for these amazing creatures is an 8 ½ ft medium action Browning Six Rivers Spinning Rod with a 4000 size reel. I personally prefer a Shimano Sedona. In the past I was using 10lb P-Line Flouroclear line but that was the past. This year all the reports coming in were saying that a lot of the fish were running in the mid twenties to low thirties. I needed to do some research. I came across a blog on bass pro shops web page called Fishing Line Revolution . It discussed all the different lines and what was new on the market.  From there I talked with the associates in the fishing department and they told me more about the new fishing line made by Berkley called NanoFil. This line is a not a mono, not a flouro, not a braid, it is a unifilament line. This line has virtually no memory and an extremely small diameter. It was especially designed for spinning reels and you can cast it much further than other line of the same line weight. With this information I decided to give it a try. I bought a 150yd spool of 14lb test which has a .009 diameter, equivalent to 8lb monofilament line.

Shimano SedonaBerkley NanoFilBrowning Six Rivers Rod

Well, we are now out on the pier casting glow spoons and I can definitely see the difference in casting distance. My average cast was consistently 30 to 40 percent further than with traditional line. The sensitivity of the line was unbelievable. You could feel every tick of the bottom, every nick of a weed, and even the lightest of strikes made by the salmon. I was quickly becoming a believer in this line. I wasn’t completely sold yet though, I needed to be sure that this line could hold up to a large salmon.

It didn’t take long before a salmon slammed the spoon. I wrenched back on the rod setting the hook and the salmon exploded out of the water and ripping off 100yds of line before I even knew what happened. This was the big fish I was waiting for. It would definitely let me know if this line was worth the cost. After a few moments I finally got the fish turned around, but now it was making a b-line straight towards me. Reeling as fast as I could, I was able to catch back up to the fish. It was at this point it decided to make one last burst. Unfortunately, it went under the pier, under some iron pipes and then back out over the top of the pipes. Now I have a fish 20 yards out in front of me with my line is wrapped up on these pieces of iron pipe. There was only one thing I could do. I stuck the rod tip in the water and started to pull the fish back towards the pier. The line is scrapping across the pipes, grass is piling up at the rod tip and I figured there is no way I’m going to land this fish. To my surprise though, I was able to pull the fish back, get it around the iron pipes freeing it up, and land it. It was a beautiful 24lb King salmon. After a few seconds of celebrating with my friends, I knew I would have to check the line for damage. Prepared to lose 20 to 30 yards of line, I did a visual check and found no apparent damage. Continuing to fish with the line, I landed three more fish that night. All of them weighed between 18 and 20lbs. I am now a true believer in NanoFil and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great line. You can find Berkley's New NanoFilament Line Now At Bass Pro Shops. 


Good Fishing

Patrick M. Stringfield


Bass Pro Shops

Auburn Hills, MI




Tis' The Season To Go Backpacking

It's that time of year again, when the true outdoorsmen (and women) don their backpacks and head off into the wilderness for a day or so. If you have ever gone on a hiking trip, you'll know that every ounce counts, even if it was just a day hike. So today, I'm going to help you out on eliminating some weight from your pack without eliminating something crucial.

Katadyn has come out with THE perfect backpacking stove! It's called the Katadyn Optimus Crux. This little stove is awesome and is the perfect weight for any hike.

It's ultra light weight....only 2.9 ounces but it has a very high output...10,200 BTU/3,000 W and is a measley 3.2x2.2x1.2 inches which makes it hotter and lighter than any other stove out there! There's a very large burner and it has serrated pot supports to keep your pot just where it needs to be.

Let's say you want to boil some water to fix one of your backpacking meals that you brought along. Pour your water in your pot (up to a liter) and in as little as 3 minutes you have boiling water! No worries! What about cooking multiple meals...? The Optimus Crux will burn for 60 continuous minutes at high output, so absolutely no worries at all!

The fuel you need to use for this stove is pretty simple. Propane/Butane.

So, when your finished cooking and your stove has cooled, just fold it flat, put it in the stuff sack that comes with it, hang the strap of the stuff sack around the neck of the fuel canister,store it snugly in the base of the fuel canister for easy carrying and it virtually disappears!

The Katadyn Optimus Crux was built to last and could possibly be the last backpacking stove you will ever buy.

Want to take a closer look at it? Just come on in to the Bass Pro here in Sevierville, TN and I will be more than happy (excited actually) to show you the Optimus or any of our other fantastic camping needs.


As always, thanks for allowing me to share with you.

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops









PAA Table Rock Event Sept 5-7 2013

The PAA tournament trail arrived at Table Rock last week, bringing  with it 65 National level tournament  anglers ready to win a boat, a berth in the Toyota Big Bass Classic, and to secure their places in the running in the Angler of the Year race.  A couple of us had the privilege of being camera boat drivers for this event and saw all the action happen first hand before it appears on the Pursuit Channel in October.

 As summer leads into fall and fish begin to scatter out. These guys could fish any of their strengths and catch fish. However, it was finding the right fish to bring home the trophy and a brand new Nitro Z-8 Bass Boat. 65 anglers went head to head for two days and then were cut to the top 16 on day 3.  There were BASS guys, FLW guys, and several other big name competitors in Branson for the week.

                There were boats running as far as they could up the river arms, there were boats running and gunning main lake points, there were boats out fishing deep structure and there were guys fishing the shallow bushes. Table rock typically doesn’t have many bushes in the water but some late summer rain and a rise in the normal level elevation left enough cover to draw the winning fish up into the extreme shallows of the lakes clear water. Many of the Pro’s stated they saw almost every one of the fish they caught.  Oddly enough as it worked out through the three days, the guys who made the shortest runs found the more consistent fishing. Everywhere was producing fish, but the dam area and its shallow bushes are where this thing was won and almost every one of the top 16 was within 20 miles of the launch site. Table rock extends for over 65 miles offering 720 miles of shoreline.  To say the least, the lake was fishing small for this showdown.               

                James Watson of the FLW circuit was crowned the Champion at the conclusion, which took place at the Branson Landing and was run by Bass Pro Shops – White River Outpost.  He caught most of fish using a variety of top water baits and then using a jig to produce the five keepers he needed to take the crown. Shane Long was in a very close second and led the competition out of the gate.  Several of the top ten competitors were local guys who have done really well at the national level and made for a very close race right down to the wire. No one really ran away with the thing after the second day.  The Action of the PAA event on Table rock is set to air on the Pursuit Channel /coming in October!


Fall Boating Safety Tips

       When it's still 100 degrees outside, it is hard to imagine that fall is just around the corner. Fall in the south means just one thing, HUNTING SEASON!! But Fall is still a great time of year to be on the water cathcing large fish and admiring the season changes. Here are a few safety tips to remember to make sure everyone makes it back home safely:


            1. Check your lights and flares. Orion® Alerter Basic-4 12-Gauge Launcher and Red Aerial Signals                                                   

Make sure that your boat's navigation lights are in working order and your emergency flares are not past their expiration date. Carry a couple of water proof flashlights to help you unload passengers and their gear at the dock or boat ramp in the dark. a flashlight can also be used in an emergency to signal for help.

2. Update Your Charts.

Helpful landmarks you've relied on all summer to point out shallow waters may look different as the season changes and water levels drop. With the days becoming shorter, you may find yourself on the water in the dark a little more. Make sure that your charts are up to date and use them to navigate safely home.

3.Carry a VHF RadioStandard Horizon® Explorer GX1600 Fixed Mount VHF Radio                                                           

During the fall boating months, the waters are less crowded. While this may be peaceful, it also means that if you run into trouble, you might not see another boater for quite some time. A VHF radio can be used to call for help even in spots where your cell phone has no signal.

4 Wear a Lifejacket Bass Pro Shops® In-Sight Auto Inflatable Life Jacket                                                              

A lifejacket is always a must. Boaters who accidentally fall overboard in late fall and winter run an increased rick of hypothermia, It is a good idea to purchase lifejackets with reflevtive materials for easier recovery from the water. Self infalting PDF's are always a great idea.

We hope that you find this information helpful while on the water this fall. Safety is important to us and we carry all your safety needs.




Save Money, Meat Processing at Home

One of the easiest ways to save money on your grocery bill is to process your own meat at home. Bass Pro Shops has everything you need to get this done.

The first thing you'll need to get started is your choice of meat, whether it is bulk beef from the grocery store or that trophy deer you took this season, whatever you prefer. Once you've selected you choice meat the next step is preparing it for processing.

No matter if you want something as simple as ground meat for burgers, or if you're making meat snacks. The first you'll want to do is "trim" the meat. What this means is taking the excess fat and connective tissue or (gristle) off of the cut of meat.(note: if you are working wild game like deer, removal of as much fat and gristle as possible is recommended, for this is where a lot of the "gamey" flavor comes from.) The Mundial 4 Piece Hunter's Knife Set from Bass Pro Shops is a great tool for helping with this process.;s-Knife-Set/product/36729/.

If you want to grind your choice of meat, the next step will be cutting your trimmed meat into cubes or strips so they easily fit into the grinder. Once the meat is cubed you're ready to start grinding. The tool you'll need for this is a meat grinder, if you are on a smaller budget you can find some very economical hand turned grinders.hand grinder


But if you don't want to wake up with a sore shoulder the next morning I highly recommend an electric grinder. I like the electric grinders by LEM that Bass Pro carries.


The next step is feeding the pieces of meat into the grinder as it is running; you'll want to make sure this is done at a controlled rate. As the meat is pulled down into the auger (the cork screw looking mechanism inside the grinder) you'll want to add in the next piece of meat and so on. (note: NEVER push the meat down into the grinder with your fingers, use a stomper) If you are having problems with the grinder gumming up or clogging a helpful hint is to put the cut up pieces of meat in the freezer for a while until they are firm but not frozen solid. This will keep the auger and blade from becoming wrapped up with any remaining connective tissue.

Once all of the meat has been ground up you are ready to either vaccum seal it and freeze it, or you can continue to process it into other edible forms like breakfast sausage, jerky, snack sticks, or summer sausage. Bass Pro Shops has all the seasonings for whatever process you want to do next.

If you want to stop with ground meat only, I highly recommend sealing your ground meat before freezing it with a vaccum sealer. By doing so you remove all of the air from the meat helping prevent freezer burn and spoiling. There are a wide variety of vaccum sealers on the market, one I have personally used and works very well is the Food Saver Game Saver Deluxe.

Game Saver Deluxe

This is just one of many very good vaccum sealers on the market. You can find a wide variety to choose from at

As I mentioned earlier there are other edible processes you can use your freshly ground meat for, and one of the most popular is turning it into jerky. There are many different ways to process meat into jerky, one easy method is to use ground meat and mix it with pre-packaged jerky cure and seasoning mix. There are many to choose from at, Simply pick out your favorite flavor and follow the directions on the package for the best results.

The next step after the meat is properly seasoned is to make it into jerky form and ready it for drying. If you plan on making a lot of jerky or other forms of meat snacks, such as snack sticks or sausages, an electric grinder really speeds things up. There is a wide variety of attachments available for the LEM grinders that make this next step fast and easy.

For the next step one tool I use is the jerky attachment for the LEM grinder.jerky attachment

After the jerky mixture is formed, the next step is drying it. There are a few different ways to do this, you can dry it in the oven on a very low tempurature setting (around 200 degrees for 4 hours), you can use a smoker (at the same time and temp), or you can use a food dehydrator. The dehydrator is probably one of the most popular and simplest methods. With some of the dehydrators like the RedHead six tray dehydrator for $69.99 at You can set the required run time and temperature and let it do the rest.




Once the jerky is dried it is ready to enjoy.

For other great tips please follow us on facebook or enjoy other informative blogs at





Duck Hunting with the Right Calls


Duck Commander

Hunters know that choosing the right calls can make or break a waterfowl hunt. When used correctly and combined with decoys they can bring game closer to your location. 

The Duck Commander line of calls will meet all of the hunter's needs. Common calls even include instructional DVDs to help you make the most of them. Master a number of essential calls.  From the basic quack, feeding call, the come back call, lonesome hen call, begging hail call and many more . Learn these calls and the right time to use them by judging  distance of your game.

Below are three of the Duck Commander Calls carried at Bass Pro Shops.

Duck Commander Triple Threat Patented 3-reed design is "pure duck" with a little extra kick—it easily replicates the quack, feed call, and hail call of a mallard hen.


Duck Commander Uncle Si

Duck Commander Uncle Si

Great for beginners, the Uncle Si Duck Call from Duck Commander features a single reed design that's easy to blow. Durable polycarbonate call cranks out a good raspy sound that  rings for a seasoned caller as well.
Duck Commander Wood dDuck

Duck Commander Wood Call

This high-impact plastic call allows you to deliver the exact squeal of a wood duck in both sitting and flying positions. Simple and easy to use, you can bring wood ducks to you in the air or on the water with this quality call.

 Dennis Smith

Hunting Department

store 49 Manteca


Hunt for a Cure

Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month? The Komen foundation started in 1982 and still going strong today to raise awareness. Today, Susan G. Komen is steadily working towards a cure. They host many community events to help raise funds for more research. One of their popular events is the Komen Race for the Cure. Bass Pro is dedicated to helping raise awareness. In October, 10% of all proceeds of our pink breast cancer t-shirts will be donated towards breast cancer research. Make sure you visit our pink display for breast cancer awareness month located in our women's apparel department. This is a great organization, so make sure you stop by Bass Pro today to purchase your pink gear for the great cause!


We have some awesome Hunt for a Cure apparel such as:

Hunt for a Cure Hot Pink Sweatshirt $39.99

Hunt for a Cure Light Pink short sleeve Ribbon Rack T-shirt $19.99

Hunt for a Cure Hot Pink short sleeve T-shirt $19.99

Bass Pro pink camo hats for women, one size fits most, range from $12.99-$16.99.



Fall Fishing Event is Coming!

Fall Fishing

It's finally getting cooler, which means fall fishing will be that much more pleasurable! Here's your opportunity to:

  • Plan for fall fishing
  • Learn the importance of keeping our lakes healthy and available for fishing
  • Let your kids learn about the joy of fishing


Catch and Release PondBass Pro Shops Fall Fishing Event!

Weekends of September 21-22 and 28-29

First, for the kids!

  • The Catch and Release Pond is back! Noon-4 p.m.
    Our indoor bluegill pond gives kids the chance to catch a fish with one of our poles...then get their picture taken at our free "You at the Lake" photo download!Kids Fishing Workshop
  • Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop Noon – 1 p.m.
    Kids will learn the basics of fishing from our experts! Hands-on fun, with a “Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team" certificate and a free pair of sunglasses for all!

Free Craft - Color your own tackle box! 1-3 p.m. both days!



Next, for the Adults
(Our Pro Staff of Lance Baker and Kary Ray will be in the store the first weekend, Sept. 21 and 22, to help with seminars and answer questions!)

Saturdays, September 21 and 28:
1 p.m. - Fish Hatcheries: From Hatcheries To Lakes - Learn from the DNR's Iowa Fish Hatcheries Supervisor Mike Mason about the importance of our fish

hatcheries and how our lakes are stocked.

2 p.m. - What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics - Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch!
Free fishing towel for the first 50 customers at the 2 p.m. seminar each day!

3 p.m.- Best Baits: Baits That Work For Successful Fall Fishing

Sundays, Sept. 22 & 29:
1 p.m. - Area Fishing: What You Should Know

2 p.m. - Expert Tips: Best Fall Fishing Practices - Free fishing towel for the first 50 customers at the 2 p.m. seminar each day!

3 p.m. - Changing Water Conditions: How It Affects Fishing



Natural Reflections Turns Up The Heat For Fall

dragonflyThe apparel options for cooler weather continue to roll in!  We took a look at the Natural eggplantReflections Zip-Fleece Jacket last week. If the fleece jacket is, perhaps, a little too casual for you, there is another option:  The Natural Reflections Chenille Full-Zip Sweater.

The sweater is available in five basic colors, perfect for fall:  Dragonfly, Eggplant, Biking Red, Antique White and Rock Ridge. Made of a soft nylon/polyester blend, the sweaters feature a full zip front, split pocket, and suede-like zipper pull. This wardrobe redessential will keep you nice and warm during cooler and weather whiteand is easily cared for.  Simply machine wash, on the gentle cycle cycle, then lay flat to dry.

Chenille is a type of spun yarn, which has been around since the 18th century. Chenille yarn is made from short pieces of fiber twisted around a yarn core. The fiber then stands away from the yarn, which gives chenille its famous soft texture.  It didn't become truly popular as an apparel fabric until the 1970s.

rockThe variety of colors and timelessness of chenille, make them perfect for gift giving (Christmas isn't that far away) or back-to-school needs. Stop by your local Bass Pro Shops and check out the latest offerings from Natural Reflections.



Salmon Fishing in September

The Salmon River is waiting for you.  You can fish from shore, by wading or by drift boat.  Anyway you look at it, what a exciting time to be fishing.  At Bass Pro Shops we have exactly what you need to enjoy that fighting fish experience.  The right equipment, and knowledge is important so your encounter with that large salmon is safe as well as fun. Salmon fishing will keep you coming back year to year.

New York Salmon are some of the largest gamefish found in the northeast.  The salmon have small scales, soft-rayed fins, and a lobeshaped fin on its back.  They are slender and streamlined.  This body shape makes it possible for them to hold their position in tumbling rivers as well as make swift movements when seizing their prey.  Salmon range from a delicate shading of spots and irregular markings to silver metallic.  They can also be bright and bold during the spawning season.  Salmon thrive in freshwater as well as sea water.

Never been Salmon Fishing?  Well stop by our Fly Shop to talk with our associates, and they will set you up with what you need.  To start off with check out the Temple Fork Outfitters Signature Series II.  This two piece rod includes a rod, reel, line, backing and leader.  Just great for beginners.








We recommend a breathable wader.  Try the White River Eco Clear Waders 100% waterproof waders with ECO clear technology.  ECO clear are a crushed walnut and dynamic rubber compound.  This compound helps keep organisms from attaching on to your gear.  Add a wading belt and you are covered.

















Don't forget your floatation vest.  The Simms G3 Guide Fishing Vest is great with 22 pockets, and a breathable mesh liner to keep you cool.  This fishing vest will keep everything from your flies and tools to your license and cell phonevest

Our associates in the Fly Shop always recommend a wading staff.  The White River Wading Staff, is lightweight, collapsible, and provides just the right amount of stability for those slippery rocks.







On to bait - Roe Flies or Glow Bugs as some call them are fantastic for spring and fall salmon fishing.  You want something to immitate egg patterns.  If it is estaz  flies you are looking for, stop on down and talk with Mike DeTomaso our associate in the Fly Shop.  He will be happy to tie the flies you need.















Finally, Don't forget sunglasses.  Bass Pro Shops has a large variety of sunglasses to pick from.  One that you might find interesting are the polarized Fish Eyes Bifocal sunglasses .  They add just a little bit of bifocal so you can tie what you need on quickly.







Enjoy the month of September salmon fishing, and remember we are always here to answer any questions you may have.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator


Outdoor Cooking Primer - Dutch Oven Honey Dijon Chicken

Dutch Oven CookingYou can feel the cool air starting to finally arrive!  Time to fire up the cast iron and do some Dutch Oven outdoor cooking!  Use a fire pit, cement slab or gravel to place your coals on...or we use a small Weber Smokey Joe grill as our charcoal holder!

Here is a recipe we've borrowed from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Iowa State Fair Recipes brochure from this summer.

Honey Dijon Chicken

Honey Dijon Marinade
1 Cup Honey Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
Splash of Lime Juice

1 Pkg Chicken Tenders
2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms. Cooked
1 Small Onion
3-4 Slices of Cooked Bacon
1 Cup Monterrey Jack Cheese

Mix the marinade ingredients together and hold back about 1/2—1 Cup for dipping sauce later. Place the chicken tenders in the remaining marinade and let sit for two hours.
Spray the bottom of a Dutch Oven and place over 20-26 hot coals. Cook chicken tenders until browned on both sides. Then place the mushrooms, onion, bacon and cheese over the top of the tenders.

Place the lid on the oven.

Remove coals from below the oven so only 6 remain.
Place 12 coals on top of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.


Like us @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @


Approaching a Century of Leadership

September is Boy Scout Month at Bass Pro Shops

September is Boy Scout Month at Bass Pro Shops. This promotion will run in all of the Bass Pro Shop stores for the entire month of September 2013.

What’s in It for the Boy Scouts and Your Local Council?

  1. Increase awareness of Scouting in the community to help grow membership
  2. Raise money through a customer donation program at each store
  3. Offer fulfillment of merit badge requirements through in-store workshops to your Scouts
  4. Invite Cub Scouts to come out and participate in workshops preparing them for Boy Scouting


How Can Your Council Help and Benefit?
Any time during the fall family promotion (but particularly on weekends, when traffic is highest), Scouts are encouraged to be in the store to talk to customers, solicit membership (youth and adults), and remind visitors of the donation program (explained below). Bass Pro Shops will provide a covered, skirted table and chairs for your council, and have in-store signage promoting the BSA.

Donation Program
During the month of September, Bass Pro Shops will offer customers an opportunity to donate $2 or $5 to the BSA at each cash register. This donation will also enter the customer into a drawing for a $500, $250, or $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card if the customer completes the information on the donation form. At the end of the promotion, 50 percent of the money collected will come to the National Council and the other 50 percent will be given to your local council. Scouts present in the stores are encouraged to talk about the donation with customers to increase results.

Merit Badge Classes
Bass Pro Shops in Oklahoma City is uniquely qualified to offer Fishing and Rifle Shooting Merit Badge Classes with merit badge requirements included. This year, Bass Pro Shops will help Scouts working toward the Fishing and Rifle Shooting merit badges. (Fishing does not include the final step of actually going fishing, and Rifle Shooting will use the air rifle option.)

Advertising Support
This promotion is being supported with national advertising and has been approved by the National Council. Bass Pro Shops’ national advertising includes television, direct mail, in-store signs, a website and email campaign to Bass Pro Shops customers, and a mention on Twitter to Bass Pro Shops followers.

Store Management Support
If your council has specific needs or ideas, please schedule a meeting with store management in advance; they’re glad to work with you. Bass Pro Shops’ corporate office has sent out a communication to its stores in advance of this event, so don’t hesitate to reach out ASAP to begin preparations.

National Council Support
The Corporate Alliances Team is working with Bass Pro Shops to provide a seamless experience for every participating council. In addition to communicating with the 51 councils in Bass Pro Shop store areas, we will be communicating to all councils across the country to inform them of this promotion in case they or their members choose to visit a Bass Pro Shops store during the month of September. Either way, Scouting benefits from more of our members being aware of this promotion. For questions or more information, contact the Corporate Alliances Team at or call 972-580-2247.

Bass Pro Shops Online Toolkit
An online toolkit is available that includes sample emails, letters, and fliers you can use to help promote your participation for the entire month of September. Communication of this will go out in advance with instructions on how to access it at

Getting Started

If you are interested in getting with the Boy Scouts or the great outdoors, you should check out the Boy Scouts http://www.scouting.orgwebsite and the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Oklahoma City. Ok.

We look forward to seeing you in our store and as always, thank you for shopping Bass Pro Shops. Good luck and have fun.



Redhead Toxik is your next Archery adventure!

Redhead is a brand we have all grown to love. Our Redhead Toxik XT is an outstanding, performance driven compound bow. The engineers have really done a number on this amazing bow. It’s shooting a blazing 330 FPS and can be adjusted from a 26.5 to a 30.5 draw length. So teenagers from full grown adults can fit into this package. The Toxik XT is a ready to hunt package. Which means, it comes with a 3 pin apex sight and an octane rest, stabilizer, and quiver. That’s most of the essentials already. All you would need is some arrows and a nice target. The Redhead X1 Pro arrows are one of the best on the market. They are made by Goldtip and have .001 straightness. They come in 340 and 400 spine strengths which cover 40-70lbs shooters. And lastly, you need the Redhead layered target. They are guaranteed for 750 shots and have a 10 dollar rebate which brings the price down to only $39.99. So, the next time you are looking for a bow hunting rig stop into bass pro shops and pick you up a Redhead Toxik XT!

    Package Details:

  • Re-engineered to generate even faster flight—up to 320 fps
  • Effortless draw cycle
  • Compact, lightweight machined-aluminum riser
  • Parallel limb technology
  • Rotating cam module
  • No-press draw-length adjustments from 26.5"–30.5"
  • 80% let-off
  • Axle-to-axle: 32"
  • IBO speed: 320 fps
  • Brace Height: 7"
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • 3-pin sight
  • Hostage® capture-style arrowrest
  • 5-arrow quiver
  • 5" stabilizer
  • Wrist sling

Get Out and Get Those Big Bass This Fall

Deacon and his big fish

With the leaves starting to change and the cooler temperatures just around the corner, it’s time for you to start hammering those big bass. These big guys and girls are going to start actively feeding again as the local waters start to cool back down. It’s a fact, they just don’t feed as often or eat as much in the summer when the temps are up and the oxygen levels in the water are down. Another great thing about the fall is the cold fronts that come through. These fronts lower the temperatures and seem to get the big bass in a feeding frenzy. You will find fishing pretty good right after a front passes through.

So where are the big bass in the fall? Well, they are following the bait fish, and these shad and other little guys are migrating up the creeks, so look for the big bass there, as well as on the flats. And the shad that were fortunate enough to make it through the summer have grown in size, so think about using some of your bigger lures in the fall as well. The key is to making your bait mirror the look of the baitfish in the area. Green weeds seem to attract them in the fall, as do boulders and docks where the water is transitioning from shallow to deep.

Scout out the water you are on, find the bait fish, throw something that looks like them, and watch the big bass tighten your lines. I think you will have some great days this fall if you follow these tips. Good Luck and Good Fishing.


Boy Scouts Across America!

Scouting began in England in 1907, created by General Robert Baden-Powell. Today, the Boy Scouts are found in 190 of the world's 195 independent countries The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded by Chicago publisher William Boyce on February 8, 1910. 

The journey begins as a Tiger Cub Scout, then Bob Cat, then Wolf, then Bear, then Webelos and ultimately ends with an Eagle Scout Ranking.  During their journey, they will learn basic skills which include:  Camping, Citizenship, Communications, Community Living, Conservation, Cooking, Environment, Family Living, First Aid, Hiking, Physical Fitness, Swimming. 

Bass Pro annually supports these young men through community ivolvement including this months contridbutions, local fundraising events which included a Hot Dog Stand in front of the store to give the customers as they entered and exited the building!  It was a delight to watch as when the customers realized they were getting a free hot dog and drink.  Bass Pro is also holding Merit Badge classes for fishing and rifle shooting hosted by our own Operational Support Associate Jerry!  Earn Your Merit Badge!

Boy Scout



Fall Bass Buffet

As our seasons change so do the behaviors of those monster Bass. Our buddy the Bass starts changing his patterns in the early fall. Bass are much like us; they look forward to a nice dinner. If we took a Large Mouth to a buffet, they would be charged twice. So how do we use their appetites to our advantage?

Start by looking for bait fish because that’s where the bass will be. These delicious snacks will most likely be located near large feeder creeks, humps, breaks and the shallows. Bass feed aggressively so don’t be afraid to bust out some imitation shad lures with an erratic retrieve. Bass like to eat but also enjoy the challenge. Teasing these guys with some erratic retrieval will make them salivate for sure. Ok, maybe not salivate but it’ll sure be tempted...

Pay close attention to the weather for optimum Bass location. Water temperature and wind direction make an impact on all fish. Schooling bait fish tend to head in the direction of the wind. The cooler fall temperatures will cause bass to search for water temperature that remain stable. No one likes to sit directly under the air conditioner vent at Olive Garden right? Like I said, bass are like us.

Too bad for them we have the Bass Pro Shop to help us along. Stop in the store and ask for the latest and greatest equipment and advice. Good luck catching YOUR dinner of a lifetime...


Getting Ready for Fall

Alright, ladies…it’s about time to put away our sundresses, flip flops and shorts and trade them in for items a little bit warmer with the fall season fast approaching. I know it is crazy to think about since we are currently in the middle of a heat wave, but we all know how St. Louis weather is so we need to start preparing ASAP! Personally, this is one of my favorite times of year because as summer comes to an end there is still a ton of things to look forward to. Bonfires, hunting, football games and much more are just around the corner. I can almost feel that crisp autumn air…

As you pack away your clothes until next year, I know what you’re thinking…”I have nothing to wear this fall.” So, let’s talk about some new options for your fall wardrobe.  

Starting with the basics, blue jeans are perfect for the cool fall weather. They are a warm article of clothing. You can buy them in various fits to match your shape. Searching for the perfect pair of jeans can be frustrating, but it is worth it. Nothing feels better than a comfy pair of blue jeans. My favorite thing about jeans is that they can be dressed up for a night or dressed down for a casual appearance. You already have the jeans you just have to pick the top based on where you’re going.

Flannel button shirts are the perfect top for a night at a bonfire. They offer a bit of warmth but if it’s not enough throwing on an extra layer would not be too bulky. Natural Reflections have countless flannel button ups come in a variety of different colors and patterns.

            Layering is a must for the fall. Take a plain long sleeve t-shirt, add a vest on top and you’ve gone from simple to casual cute in no time. You can do the same with jackets and you can even layer the flannel shirts we just talked about. Pick colors that accent each other, maybe even add some jewelry to enhance those colors and you can’t go wrong.

            If you’d like to wear dresses, there a tons of long-sleeved style dresses. And you can always add a pair of leggings and boots. You won’t have to worry about the cold air striking your legs because the leggings and the boots create a warm barrier.

            Brands like Under Armour and The North Face have released some adorable, but sporty hoodies and jackets that are great for the fall also. Some even have camo accents.  I am a huge fan of these because they are not only cute, but who doesn’t love the feeling of a soft hoodie? You have a place to shove your hands when the cold is too much and a hood to protect your ears from the harsh air.

            As the summer comes to an end, don’t fret. I love the warmth and sunshine too, but embrace fall! Go shopping for some fun new fall outfits and you’ll be anxiously awaiting that first bon fire.  Keep these tips in mind while you’re shopping, but explore and do what’s comfortable for you. Then share with us your ideas….what are your favorite fall styles?

Lauralee Gilkey

Bass Pro, St. Charles, MOLadies23


Crossbow Predators

As an experienced predator hunter I had called in and shot many coyotes and bobcats with both rifles and shotguns, and although i was aware of the increasing popularity of bow hunting i had never considered it for hunting predators. However i retired recently and taking a part time job at Bass Pro brought me into direct contact with new equipment developments in this field and i began to think seriously about it.

In practicing both in the stores range and in my back yard i was amazed at how quickly i was able to shoot accurately even at the ranges of fifty and sixty yards, well within the distances that i had called in and shot predators with a shotgun. In using my crossbow i would be able to have it cocked in the stand, a big advantage over the movement involved in drawing and shooting a compound or a longbow. The real difference would be in shocking power where the accuracy of a high powered rifle bullet would be less important than that of a crossbow bolt. For this reason i selected some wide cutting broad heads to maximize blood loss and to assist in tracking a wounded animal.

The area that I chose for my first crossbow hunt was one where i would have no competition, an old overgrown farm where i had hunted for deer for more than 10 years. It had recently been bulldozed for a housing addition, but the construction did not belong immediately. The deer were gone but there was coyotes scat on every new road. I spent the next week scouting and doing some howling in the evening, and it appeared that i would be dealing with at least two separate packs of coyotes. I selected four calling sites so that i would have choices depending on wind direction. I planned to call early in the mornings and late afternoons although coyotes can be called at any time especially in cold weather when food is scarce. Night calling can also be very successful but is illegal in many areas.

Coyote in Grass

Late one afternoon i slipped quietly into one of my stands and set up with a light breeze in my face. I was wearing camouflage clothing, a face mask and gloves, and sat against a tree to break up my outline. i placed and decoy that looked like a red-tailed hawk and a electronic caller with programed rodent and rabbits distress calls. i had a mouse squeaker tapped to my bow and squeaked every ten minutes, which is important as coyotes maybe close enough to hear it and may respond from several hundred yards away and going to full call mode may scare them off.

Shortly there after two yearling coyotes showed up followed by an alpha female. I loaded my crossbow waited about 10 minutes till she was in range and i was confident enough in my shooting skills to kill her and released the bolt that got her right in the neck, with that i was able to get one of the yearling coyotes with a quick reload. Wow what a day my first crossbow hunt and i got two coyotes. It took two trips to get both coyotes and my equipment home but the elation i felt with my hunt made the trips very easy.

with a little preparation and some face time with Bass Pro employees and the sue of the range i was able to make my very first crossbow hunt extremely successful, and though my first hunt was fruitful unfortunately my next 3 were not, i reviewed what i did with some of the hunting staff at Bass Pro and was able to adjust what i did and got a Bobcat the last day of the season


Top 3 Summer Bass Jig Tactics


By: William Redmond

BOO Jig for big bassDeep and slow always seems to be a solid summer bass strategy. The fish are generally lethargic and rarely given to the chasing mood we find during spring and fall. Enticing presentations are important during these sluggish times, so for tips on the topic, we turn to a pair of Bassmaster Elite Series pros, Terry Scroggins and Cliff Prince.


Scroggins is first up with his look at dense summer weed mats. When bass take refuge in the cool shadowy world beneath tangled masses of hydrilla and countless other aquatic weeds, punching through with heavily weighted worms, craws or tubes usually does the trick. However, Scroggins said he finds plenty of fish hiding near the outskirts of such mats where a ¾-ounce Boo Jig with a 3 ¾-inch Yum Craw Chunk easily pushes through the looser vegetation while presenting a large profile that typically generates big bites. 
Scroggins releases bass caught on a boo jig
"Those are great ambush points and it's cover that often gets overlooked because they're small isolated patches, usually on the outside edge of a weed line," he said. "It's not like you're going to catch a whole school of fish off of one clump. Most of the time, you'll get two or three bites. It's also easy to cover because it's a very small target. It's a high-percentage point that takes hardly any time to fish effectively."

While bait color is less important in the darker realm beneath dense mats, Scroggins pays more attention to his jig's appearance around the scattered stuff. Natural colors like green pumpkin, brown and watermelon work best in clear water, while black/blue or dark neons provide the necessary contrast if the water is stained. Scroggins flips and pitches his jig on a 7-foot, 8-inch extra-heavy Duckett flipping stick with a 6.3:1 Lews baitcaster holding 65-pound braid, which helps him manage big fish by slicing through the salad.

"When I'm flipping the isolated grass, I'll flip the jig in there and dead stick it," he said. "I'll let it go to the bottom for 15-20 seconds before I do anything. With a Craw Chunk, that jig will actually stand up like a crawfish would be in fighting mode. I'll let it sit there, hop it twice and go on to the next drop."

Scroggins is apt to fish the edges and isolated sparse vegetation any time, but notes that the best times normally are the low-light periods of dawn, dusk, at night and under cloudy skies. Bright, direct sunlight often pushes bass farther under the grass mat.


In deep water, Prince likes the big profile of a ¾-ounce Booyah Pigskin Jig with a full skirt guaranteed to move a lot of water. This bait, however, is no one-trick pony and Prince knows that a standard football head jig can also stir up plenty of trouble on the bank.

"A lot of people don't throw it in shallow water because they think all the fish are out deep during the summer," Prince said. "The fish will get shallower than a lot of people think – especially if we get a lot of rain. If the water gets dirty, the fish will move up shallow to feed."

Prince likes Molting Craw and Nest Robber color patterns matched with a green pumpkin craw chunk. In much of the water he fishes during the summer months, these color patterns match the stage of crawfish development, and in clear, shallow water, he wants the jig to look as natural as possible.

(Above: Bass-fishing legend and two-time Bassmaster Classic Champion Bobby Murray with more information on dragging the Pigskin.)

Cover is key, as the Pigskin’s rumbling ways generate lots of fish-attracting commotion when it traverses wood or rock. As with the traditional offshore theater, Prince sticks with a meticulous drag that gives fish plenty of time to spot that noisy, hefty profile representing an easy meal.

"You don't want to move it a lot in the summer," he said. "The fish don't want to chase anything."


Back out deep, Scroggins will often taunt lackadaisical summer bass with an old-school stroking technique. He's more likely to go with a 3/8- to ½-ounce flipping jig, but a football head of similar size works just as well. In fact, the latter proves advantageous if you're short on rods, as the one jig enables you to instantly shift gears from dragging to stroking.
bigmouth bass on a jig
At first glance, stroking a jig doesn't seem to fit into the "deep and slow" summertime attack, but it prompts bass to react to the jig before it gets away. 

Armed with a 7-foot heavy-action rod, a 6.3:1 Lews reel and 15-pound fluorocarbon, Scroggins fits his jig with a plain chunk trailer that allows for a quick return to the bottom after each stroke. Noting that this technique works best when fish suspend 4-5 feet off the bottom, he said the proper stroking motion requires controlled force with sharp direction.

"It's almost like a ¾-of-the-way hook set," he explained. "You're just popping it on slack line. The key is that it creates a bottom disturbance and the fish just see something fly off the bottom and then fly back down. That triggers a reaction strike."

If the fish play hard to get and his day heads south, Scroggins said he can always count on bluff walls to keep him out of trouble. Bluffs may be more popular for big fish during the winter, when they retain heat and pull bass close to their mostly vertical surface, but bluffs also benefit the summer game with shade, bait positioning and plenty of depth ranges so fish can rise to feed and then quickly access deeper, cooler water.

Here, Scroggins will commonly throw a 3/16-ounce Booyah Finesse Head with a 6-inch YumMighty Worm. Benefits when used as a primary lure include a quick sink-rate to reach deeper fish and a smaller profile when fish are accustomed to seeing bigger, skirted jigs. He also uses it as a follow-up bait when he misses a fish on a jig for the same reasons. Jigs - A starter Course