A Great Time For Lake Michigan Salmon/Trout Fishing!

Hi, My name is Harley Goodman.  I am a hunting team leader at Bass Bro Shops in Gurnee, IL. My experience started in the outdoors at a very young age.  I have been hunting, fishing, camping, hiking,and boating for over 20 years.

 I would like to share with you some of my experience on Lake Michigan trolling for salmon/trout.  For the past 10 years I have been a tournament angler fishing all over the Western side of Lake Michigan, but  the ports I frequently fish include Winthrop Harbor and Waukegan Illinois and Kenosha and Racine Wisconsin.  I've also been fortunate enough to be part of a few tournament winning teams over the past decade. 

This season has proved to be one of the best I can ever remember in regards to the size of the Chinook Salmon roaming the waters on the western side of the "big pond".  On July 31, 2013 during a morning tournament pre-fishing trip I was able to reel in my largest King Salmon to date from a boat, a 23.5 lb. giant.  Less than 5 minutes after that, another monster struck our lure and I battled a 19.75 lb. King Salmon to the net.

What lures and patterns are working the best you might be wondering?  Various segments of leadcore trolling line and Moonshine Spoons seem to be the best for me. My two favorite Moonshine Spoons are the Flounder Pounder and Happee Meal.  Also, during low light conditions I have been very successful with dodger/fly combinations ran off Dipsy Divers and  downriggers in white/green color patterns.  All of this can be found at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee, IL.

What are you waiting for?  Get out there for some drag screaming action on the Great Lakes!

If you have any questions and/or looking to get out fishing on Lake Michigan  please ask and I will be glad to point you the right direction.

Good Fishing!

Harley Goodman


Geocaching for The Whole Family!

We here at the Bass Pro Shops are proud of our extensive line of GPS equipment. We are also active in the geocache field. Did you know there are 5 Geocaches within walking distance of our front door? Bass Pro Shops promotes and encourage family outdoor activities, and this is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities on the planet. Check out geocacheing on the web and find out what fun you are missing.

We have all the great GPS units you need for this super family activity including an extensive line of Garmin products, considered the best of the best in this field. Come in to the Harlingen Bass Pro Shops and ask for Rick in our Fishing department. He has a wide range of knowledge in geocacheing and can assist you in locating our Bass Pro Shops treasures.

You need to remember a few simple points while geocaching in south Texas. Always wear plenty of sunscreen as our South Texas sun is somewhat unforgiving. While searching for your treasures, be aware of animals such as snakes, spiders, and other critters which inhabit our landscape. For safety reasons, always take a buddy along and never wander far from established trails. Last, but not least, enjoy the great outdoors and share your adventures with friends and family.

Mike Frazier





Be A Hero!

Be a Hero-With the GoPro!

Hey everyone. My name is Chris Kohnke, and I am very lucky to be apart of the Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff in Gurnee. My passion has always been fishing. Some say I am addicted to it. When I am not at my Firefighting job, I am out on the water. Everyone knows that it's important to bring a camera on the boat. After all, catching nice fish all day can create memories. Whether you are a pro fisherman like myself, or a beginner, I want to introduce you to one of the best inventions I have encountered. I am sure you have heard about it, and may have wondered "how does it work? Who is it for?" Well my friends, keep reading.

The GoPro is literally "The World's Most Versatile Camera." We were first introduced to it in 2004. With tons of different varieties to chose from , GoPro has made a camera to fit just about any outgoing, adventurous individual out there. Fishing, hiking, skydiving, snowboarding, you name it! With the GoPro, we can see what is happening from the individual's head, side of the boat, or anywhere it is placed. It's like being there yourself, experiencing it yourself!

GoPro's lineup of mount-anywhere cameras has been dazzling extreme sports enthusiasts for years. Now, GoPro has rolled out the Hero3, which packs even greater performance than its predecessors.
The gopro hero 3 is smaller, lighter, and more efficient than the hero 2. If you have a Hero 2 all of your mounting brackets and hardware will work with the Hero 3.The super cool thing about the Hero 3 is the addition of wifi. In a few easy steps you can activate the wifi on the GoPro to preview your video/photo shots on your smartphone. You will have to download the GoPro app to your phone but it's easy and FREE.

With the go pro app on your smartphone you can control virtually every feature on the GoPro. Including turning the camera on and off, starting and stopping of recordings, snaping photos, as well as watching videos that you have recorded and photos taken. You can also save videos and photos to your phone to share on social media. Overall this is a very fun and easy to use camera. The video and picture quality is unbelievable. The waterproof case ensures complete protection of the camera. The possibilities are endless!

Go out and enjoy the outdoors before summer is over. Record your precious moments with the new GoPro hero 3.

Chris Kohnke


Product Spotlight: Ducks and Dogs

The infatuation with all things Duck Dynasty continues at Bass Pro Shops!  The Season 3 two-disc DVD is here featuring the Robertson family.  Season 3 was the most-watched series telecast in network history - the DVD includes five deleted scenes, five webisodes, five video mash-ups, and two music videos. 

Duck Dynasty Dog Treats

But, wait! There's MORE! 

Duck Dynasty DOG TREATS for real happy dogs!

From pint-sized pooches to big bruisers, these treats will satisfy every canine's craving. All natural and made in the USA...but, according to the box, it's really an easy recipe for these treats:

Duck Dynasty Dog Treats

Duck Dynasty's Southern Style Dog Treats come in two packaging sizes and most are in duck and chicken flavors!

6 oz Bag - Treats (6.99) 

Duck and Chicken Flavor - Soft-Baked Treats - soft little bone shapes easy for chewing!

                                                 Training Treats - little round kibble, perfect for training your dog to be happy, happy, happy!

Mint Flavor - Dental Treats - Gives your good pooch good breath!

24 oz Box - Biscuits (also only 6.99!)

The biscuits come in small and large sizes with that wonderful duck and chicken flavoring!

But why believe a person?  Take it from Riley, our 10-week-old canine customer, who loved the soft-baked treats and couldn't keep out of them:

Riley and Treats"Floor-lickin' good!"                                                           

"Where's the rest? Give me MORE!!!!"Duck Dynasty Dog Treats







Leaving A Lasting Legacy

Traditional Archery

A Lifestyle and Camaraderie.Fred Bear Hunting Photo

If you’re a traditionalist, like me, and like to do things “old school,” it doesn’t get any better than traditional archery. The bow and arrow have been around for thousands of years. This tool has served men as a way of providing food, protection, and recreation since its creation. Ishi, Saxon Pope, Art Young, Howard Hill and Fred Bear are just a sample of the great names associated with Traditional Archery. Since these legends have passed on to the happier hunting grounds, there have been many advances in the field of archery: compound bows, sights, rangefinders, etc. These may be more “efficient” ways of using the bow and arrow, but not everyone agrees they are better. Whether you’re at the 3D target range or stalking the woods for game, many prefer archery in its more traditional form. For many, the appeal of “Hunting The Hard Way,” as their ancestors did, is simply too much to resist.

I got my first longbow at age five and have been hooked ever since. I learned early on the “Howard Hill” style of shooting a bow and have passed this style on to many friends and family. My father and I have been making traditional archery equipment for over 20 years and prefer to bow hunt exclusively.

If you’ve ever felt drawn to embrace your inner archer and want to “become the arrow”, here are a few basics on traditional archery that you will need to follow.


Longbow RecurveThe Bow - There are two main types of bows in traditional archery: the longbow and the recurve bow. Both have variations among themselves, but the basics are pretty standard. The longbow is a straighter bow with one curve from end to end, looking like a “D” when strung. The longbow has more of a “cast” to it and is more forgiving than the recurve. The recurve bow has more than one curve, as the name suggests, and this causes added spring-like quality in the bow when it is pulled back, giving additional speed to the bow.

Arrows The Arrow – This is the most important piece of the setup. If you do not have a proper arrow, it matters little what bow it is shot from. If it is not capable of correct flight, the archer will never hit the bull’s eye or the vitals of his prey. The arrow consists of a straight shaft of wood (many archers today use carbon or aluminum shafts for cost and consistency considerations), a nock that allows the arrow to rest on the string of the bow, fletching to stabilize the flight of the arrow (most commonly primary wing feathers, usually from a turkey) and, foremost, the attached broached, blunt or target tip, depending on the intended use of the arrow.

QuiversThe Quiver – Holding extra arrows is the primary function of the quiver. However, if sharp hunting broadheads are being used, the quiver will also function as a guard against the archer injuring himself on an arrow not in use. Quivers come in the form of back quivers worn much like a single-strap backpack, side quivers that hang at the archer’s side, and bow quivers that attach to the bow itself, as well as several other formats.

Arm GaurdThe ArmguardArmguards protect the forearm of the archer from the string of the bow as it is released. Not all archers find this necessary, but may still use them for the purpose of restricting the clothing of the forearm from coming into contact with the string and throwing off the shot of the arrow.

Shooting Golve




The Shooting Glove or Tab – In traditional archery a mechanical release is not used. Instead, to relieve the pressure of the string on the archer’s fingers he will use a shooting glove or a tab. These also help in releasing the string smoothly so as to make the most accurate release of the arrow.


Those are the basic and most common components in traditional archery. There are many variations of each and they come in all levels of quality from basic, functioning items to works of art which leather and wood craftsmen have invested many hours into creating.


Traditional vs. Modern: Knowing and Understanding the Differences

CompoundTraditional Archery

Shooting traditional archery is not better or worse than modern compound shooting, it’s just different. There is nothing wrong with cams, releases, stabilizers, etc. Instead of using those aids in shooting, however, traditional archers prefer to shoot instinctively. The difference is this: When an archer shoots with modern bows he will most always be using sights. He must either have an incredible ability to judge distances accurately or use an electronic range-finder. This is because the sight pins on his modern bow represent different distances in yardage and the proper pin must be aligned with the target to be accurate, and the bow must be held at an angle perpendicular with the ground.

The traditional archer, on the other hand, shoots instinctively; the bow can be held at any angle (called canting), and his brain makes the calculations as to what angle to hold the bow in order for his arrow to reach its mark. This sounds more complicated than it is. The process is much akin to a quarterback throwing a football to a receiver; he doesn’t need to know the exact distance (though in football we know the yardage is in fact there for him to see) because his brain calculates how hard he must throw the ball at a particular angle to get it to his teammate.

Also, compound bows provide what is known as let-off. Once the bow has been drawn it requires very little effort to keep it at “full draw.” Traditional archery bows do not have let-off. The amount of pressure on the string needed to draw it back is the same needed to keep it at full draw. No prolonged period of holding at full draw for the traditional archer. For many this is a much more rewarding method.


If an archer is not a hunter, but shoots solely for competition and recreation, there is plenty for him to participate in. There are many traditional archery clubs across the world that have regular competitions and events to get involved with, and contact information for these clubs can be found in the links provided below.

If an archer is a hunter he also has the opportunity to test his woodsmanship to the extreme. It’s comparatively easy to shoot an animal from tens, if not hundreds, of yards with a scoped rifle, than it is to step into the home of the wild creatures, get within a handful of yards without being detected by them, and release an arrow that will put them down in an ethical and efficient manner. Again, there’s nothing wrong (or inherently easy) with hunting with firearms, it is just different.


“If asked to sketch a mental picture of the typical archer I would be hard put. They seem to come in all shapes, sizes, color and backgrounds. Inwardly, they seem to have in common a love for the outdoors, a reverence for wildlife and a close tie with history. There is nothing they enjoy more than telling tall tales around a campfire and talking about archery to others. It would be difficult to find a more interesting group of people.” –Fred Bear


Traditional Archery – An Extensive CommunityBear Archery

The community that exists for traditional archery is astoundingly extensive. There are literally tens of thousands of traditional archers around the world. Many of them gather at 3D Shoots, rendezvous and club events throughout the year. Any type of folk you can imagine can be found at these gatherings. A budding archer may find himself in the company of the many older men that will share their knowledge and experience with him. Because of the nature of traditional archery many archers are enriched with the wisdom of primitive skills and a plethora of outdoor treats. One never knows what he will learn from a generous soul.

Getting Started

If you are interested in getting involved with traditional archery you should check out the Bass Pro Shops website 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. Happy Hunting!


Fishy Facts: Rainbow Trout

Want to hear some fishy facts? And no, I’m not talking about CIA conspiracies. I’m talking about some pure unfiltered facts about the awesome fish in our world! And yes, the fact that Shark Week wasn’t too long ago did inspire me.

Quick fun fact, there are over 30,000 different known species of fish! With all those fish, where to begin?! Well considering that these fishy facts will pertain to sport fish species, I think I’ll start at my favorite: Rainbow Trout.

Now, now I know some of you are probably in ruckuses about me not starting with the Largemouth Bass (as this is a Bass Pro Shops Blog) well just wait your turn! I’ll get there in good time! (Waiting may in fact be half the fun.)

I love rainbow trout. Go back to one of my first blogs and you’ll see it’s all about trout baits. Usually when it comes to helping customers out in our Fishing Department I tend to defer them to a real expert, unless the quarry is trout.

There is something truly beautiful when you get that flash of silver when a rainbow is tugging on your line. It is simple inspiring. So inspiring that I feel a poem coming on…


Ode to a Trout

Rainbow trout have the color red.

They swim in water that is blue.

I need to make sure this part rhymes with line number two!


You’re welcome. Anyways, here some fun and fishy facts about the rainbow trout:

The rainbow trout is a species of salmonoid. They have been introduced around the world for food and sport. They get their name from the rainbow-like pattern of colors displayed on their body. It is important to note that they do come in a variety of colors, depending on the waters they are in.

Genetically speaking, they are closer to Pacific salmon than brown trout. Their oceangoing brethren are commonly known as steelhead. If you need to learn anything about steelhead fisherman it is simply that they are typically considered insane for the lengths that they will go to in an attempt to catch them.

Rainbow trout are predators and eat a variety of things. While they are not as veracious as their second-cousins brown trout, they can out-compete native fish for resources in areas. Their prey includes: smaller fish, crayfish, and insects. This is what leads to one of the most popular forms of fishing; fly-fishing.

Their popularity for both eating and catching has led to the establishment of numerous hatcheries. These hatcheries specialize in raising rainbow trout from egg to fry to full sized. How full sized can a rainbow trout get? Well the current record was caught in 2009 and weighed 48 pounds exactly! (You’d need a whole clove of garlic for that bad boy.)

If you’ve never caught or tasted one, make a point to! It doesn’t take much to get into trout fishing. A good old pole and any of the number of baits I suggested will get you going. FISH PUN INCOMING!!!! And once you get going, you’ll be hooked!


Hey check it out. It’s a fisherman with the catch of his life!

… and my fiancé is there too.


Riding Rainbows and Bucking Browns! Giddy-Up!


Making Venison Jerky - A Beginner's Guide

So....you've got a freezer full of venison and need some idea on what to do with it all?  Here's one - make jerky out of it!  The flavor and marinade options are endless - you can use any seasoning you like to create your own signature flavor blend.

The process is not nearly as hard as you might think.  Here are the steps broken down for you.

1.  Make sure you follow all necessary safety precautions to avoid bacterial contamination. Hands and utensils should be kept scrupulously clean, throughout the entire jerky-making session. Venison must be kept refrigerated at 40 degrees are below.

2.  Mix up your marinade. You can use your own made-from-scratch recipe (which usually includes soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper) or take a look at the variety of flavors available in Hi Mountain Jerky Cure & Seasoning mixes. Flavor blends include Original, Sweet & Spicy, Mesquite, Mandarin Teriyaki, Bourbon BBQ, Cajun, Jalapeno, Pepper Blend, Cracked Pepper 'n' Garlic, Hickory, Inferno, Hunter's Blend and Pepperoni.


3.  Pour over meat (uniformly sliced as close to 1/4" as possible) and allow marinate overnight.

4.  Remove from refrigerator and drain marinade.

5.  Place in a 200 degree preheated oven and allow to dry for 4 to 6 hours. If you dehydratorwould rather not tie your oven up for that long, head over to your local Bass Pro Shops and take a look at the numerous dehydrator options.

6.  Finally, once dry, remove from oven/dehydrator and cool completely. Jerky must be stored in an airtight container or frozen to prevent spoilage.

Eat and enjoy!





Durango FFA Boots - Rebels with a Cause!

FA BootsFFA Boots

"Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve"

FFA Motto

It's the Iowa State Fair and that means NO better time for the arrival of the new Durango Rebel FFA boots at Bass Pro Shops! 

We're proud of our FFA organizations and the excellent agriculture education and positive leadership skills it has brought to so many students through the years. Being in the Midwest, we especially realize the immense impact of this student-lead organization and its 216 chapters around our state.

With the beautiful blue coloring, intricate gold stitching and the FFA eagle emblem proudly displayed, the 11" Rebel Men's or Ladies Western Boots shout FFA!

At Bass Pro Shops Altoona we currently have the Lady Rebel in Black or Brown and the Men's in brown.

Lady Rebel


  • Oiled full-grain leather upper with FFA patch and detailed stitching on shaft
  • Removable contoured and ventilated cushion footbed
  • Molded EVA midsole
  • Dual-density, translucent FFA graphic outsole
  • 1-1/2'' Rebel heel
  • Rolled shank area
  • Square Toe
  • Durable double row welt stitch construction


  • Removable contoured and ventilated cushion footbedMen's FFA
  • Molded EVA midsole
  • Dual-density, translucent FFA graphic outsole
  • 1-1/2'' Rebel heel
  • Rolled shank area
  • Square Toe
  • Durable double row welt stitch construction


But, the BEST feature of these boots?  Rocky Brands, Inc. will donate at least $5 per pair sold of the Rebel FFA Boots to FFA, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $25,000.00!


Cooking Venison

Aaaah, hunting season is here and you have harvested your first deer of the season. The average 180 lb. mature buck will yield about 72 lbs. of meat, according to the Butcher & Packer web site. What are you going to do with all that delicious deer meat?

Head over to your local Bass Pro Shops and pick up a copy of The Complete Venison Cookbook. This cookbook contains over 900 recipes, 700 of which feature venison. The balance is recipes that complement venison (such as side dishes) or are used in the preparation of venison.

There are a huge variety of recipes with recipe categories including Elegant, Steaks, Chops, Tenderloins, Roasts, Ribs, Stews, Burgers, Appetizers and many, many more. Until you are ready to try Venison Steak Tartare or Baked Venison Kidneys, here is a basic recipe for Quick Fried Venison Round Steaks. The key is not to overcook to the well-done stage. The author suggests just below below (138 degrees).


2 venison round steaks, cut 1/2' or less

Worcestershire sauce



all-purpose flour

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

pan drippings

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

1 cup whole milk

salt and pepper to taste

Tenderize venison round steaks by beating/chopping both sides of the steaks with the sharp edge of a knife. Season the steaks with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Dredge the steaks in flour. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and quickly fry steaks on both sides. Do not overcook. Remove the steaks to a warm serving platter. Brown the onions in the pan drippings. Mix flour with milk and add to onions and make a gravy. Add more milk to achieve the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour the gravy over the steaks and serve. Serves 2 to 4.

Serve with your favorite side dish such as cheese grits, baked beans, or corn casserole and you will have a tasty and delicious meal the whole family will love.

You can find your copy of The Complete Venison Cookbook in our Gifts Department.










Hunter Appreciation Weekend


August 9-11

Friday, August 9
6:30pm Tips for Bow Hunting
7:30pm Tactics for Hunting Deer

Saturday, August 10
1:30pm Shed Hunting: How to Successfully Hunt for Sheds
2:30pm From the Field to the Table: How to Fry Turkey
3:30pm Join Local Pro Staff for Hunting Tips & Techniques
4:30pm Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
5:30pm Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Choosing Correct Camouflage Clothing

Sunday, August 11
1:30pm Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
2:30pm Tactics for Hunting Deer
3:30pm Join Local Pro Staff for Hunting Tips & Techniques
4:30pm What’s New in Scent Control
5:30pm Choosing the Right Optics


First 25 customers to attend a seminar each day will receive a FREE Bass Pro Shops Gift Bag and Lanyard License Holder!!!
***Must be 18 years old or older***

Hunter Appreiciation Weekend


Catching Jaws: Gear Tips for Shark Fishing

In honor of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, I thought it best to honor our toothy friends with a shark related post.  Shark fishing from the beaches along the Texas coast has become very popular lately and has received decent coverage in the media. A lot of people are asking what they can use to catch these hungry critters and the first question I ask is whether they have some sort of water craft (kayak, paddle board, jet ski, etc.) to deliver the bait out past the third or fourth sandbar or if they must cast it from the beach.

If you must cast your meaty offering, a minimum of a twelve foot surf rod capable of handling 6-10 oz of weight(i.e. Offshore Angler Ocean Master) and a reel capable of holding a minimum of 400 yards of 40lb to 80lb blue Magibraid  is required.

magibraidoffshore angler ocean master

On the other hand, if you do have a vessel in which to deliver the bait, your options switch to heavy boat tackle. The number one choice of reel amongst shark fishermen is a Penn Senator Reel in a 4/0, 6/0, or 9/0 depending on the size of shark you are after.

penn senator reels

There are a large variety of boat rods to choose from.  I favor a rod with the heaviest backbone available for my line class and an aluminum reel seat. I cannot stress the importance of an aluminum reel seat enough to beginning shark fishermen.  It will save you money, injury, and frustration in the long run. Always keep safety in mind when handling such a powerful species with sharp teeth.  So just swing on by your local Bass Pro Shops today and let us help you get setup for your latest outdoor adventure!


Mark Maynard

Fishing Department



Inside Scoop on Salt Water fishing

I have a rather lengthy fly fishing bucket list, but recently I was able to check one trip off of it. My husband Chris and I went to Boca Grand, Florida to do some saltwater fly fishing. I planned out my gear weeks before we went to make sure that I didn’t forget anything.

We loaded up 8, 10, and 12 weight fly rods with saltwater line and bass taper fly lines. Why so many rods? Most of the saltwater fish are pretty large and we had a chance at catching a tarpon. Tarpons are huge so a 12 weight is perfect for them. The 8 and 10 weights are great for snook, redfish, and other saltwater species. Bass Pro carries TFO rods which are my personal favorite when it comes to fly rods. However, the models BVK and Axiom are my favorites. Pair these up with BVK reels or Lamson reels and  you have an excellent combo to fish with. The lines that we used were Rio Saltwater lines and Scientific Angler Bass Taper lines. Both are fantastic when it comes to turning over big streamers.

Another important factor was our clothing because no one wants to get a second or third degree sunburn while fly fishing out in the mangroves. We chose to wear Columbia and World Wide Sportsman products which are light weight pants and shirts. The Columbia and WWS clothing can be purchased at Bass Pro Shops.  We also used Buffs over our necks and ears which helped protect us from the sun and the wind (see photo).

My husband and I had a wonderful time and caught snook, redfish, jacks, and snapper. All of these saltwater fish hit hard and pulled like a freight train. It was so much fun! Stop by the fly shop at Bass Pro and let us outfit you for your next saltwater fly trip!

Make sure to stop by the White River Fly Shop at Bass Pro in Memphis to visit me!

Until my next fishing adventure, see you soon!

Mrs. Lesley








This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Hunter Appreciation Weekend!

We love our hunters and want everyone to be safe and educated before they hit the fields! 

Join us this weekend as the Fall Hunting Classic continues with:

Hunter Appreciation Weekend

August 9-11


Friday, August 9
6:30 p.m. - Tips for Bow Hunting
7:30 p.m. - Tactics for Hunting Turkey

Saturday, August 10Shed dog hunting
1:30 p.m. - Shed Hunting:  How to Successfully Hunt for Sheds
2:30 p.m. - From the Field to the Table - How to Fry Turkey
3:30 p.m. - Hunting Tips and Techniques
4:30 p.m. - Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
5:30 p.m. - Now You See Me, Now You Don't: Choosing Correct Camouflage Clothing

Sunday, August 11
1:30 p.m. - Exploring the Shooting Sports: Introduction to Competitive Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and 3-Gun Shooting
2:30 p.m. - Tactics for Hunting Deer
3:30 p.m. - Hunting Tips and Techniques
4:30 p.m. - What's New in Scent Control
5:30 p.m. - Choosing the Right Optics


Bass Pro Shops Altoona ATV courseBut, wait!  There's more!
Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11

The ATV Course is BACK by Popular Demand!
Try your ATV skills on our course from Noon – 4 p.m.!


Kayak Fishing

Fishing is a sport that more people enjoy recreationally each year than golf and tennis combined. From catching catfish and panfish, to fishing for big money in professional bass tournaments, we all have one thing in common, we love the challenge of locating and catching fish. Millions of people are already in to fish, whether they are fishing off the bank or in a beautiful Nitro Bass Boat, they already have a passion for being in nature and spending quality time with their children and family members. Now the question is if I am a beginning angler or maybe even someone that has never fished before in my life how and where do I start? That question can easily be answered if you have a Bass Pro Shops near by. There is no better place to go to get all of the gear and equipment you will ever need, as well as having access to knowledgeable associates that are always willing to assist in any way possible. Getting tips and asking questions from experienced anglers is a great way to jump start your learning into a life long passion for fishing.

Now fishing can be expensive and most beginning anglers don't need to get a big fancy bass boat. While fishing from the bank in small private lakes or ponds can be very rewarding and a fun place to start, at some point you are going wonder what that other side of the lake has to offer. The best way to access those rarely sought after fish is with a fishing Kayak. Bass pro shops offers a wide variety of options from sit in kayaks to the extremely popular and my personal choice, the Ascend FS12T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak. A sit on top kayak makes a great fishing platform that an angler with good balance can even stand on for improved casting ability. The opportunities with a kayak are endless, not only are they a good way to get on the water, but they are very fun for exploring places that a bass boat can not possibly get too. Areas such as creeks or small ponds with limited shore access are often loaded with fish that rarely see a lure, and are an absolute dream come true to a diehard angler.

Bass Pro Shops offers a wide variety of options you can add on to the kayak as well. Accessories such as Ascend Deluxe Sit-on-Top Kayak Seats, rod holders, and SEA-LECT Designs Zig Zag Cleats can all be found at your local bass pro shops or on our website. I would recommend trying to keep your tackle selection simple, as well as wearing a good pair of Sperry Top-Sider Sea Kite Ultrathong Sandals, which will provide important grip and comfort for stand up fishing. When I fish out of a kayak I will bring two rods, one spinning and one bait caster. With the limited room this will be all you need. When looking for a rod and reel combo that is versatile and can be used with a variety of baits and techniques there are some specifications I will always look for. For the bait caster a 7 foot medium heavy Temple Fork Outfitters Gary Loomis Signature Series rod is a perfect choice. From flipping and pitching in heavy cover, to casting spinnerbaits this rod will do the trick. It has enough strength and power to horse big fish out of thick cover, but not so much that other techniques can't be used. Having a spinning rod with you is also important if you want to throw light weight or even weightless soft plastic lures with light line. One of the very most effective baits for fishing shallow water in ponds, creeks, rivers, or lakes, is with the Bass Pro Shops Stik-O. These baits can be rigged either weedless, also known as texas rigged with no weight, or wacky rigged, which is rigging the bait directly in the center. Either way will catch an incredible number of fish, especially in places where they have never been seen before.

So if you're interested in getting into fishing but just can't quite take the leap, start by coming in to Bass Pro Shops and checking out all of the incredible things they have to offer. Bring the whole family and you will have a blast checking out all of the amazing attractions at the store, as well as learning how to begin to utilize and enjoy what nature has to offer. Don't forget that at your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops we offer fly fishing classes every month. Our tying classes are on the first and third Monday of each month and our casting classes, weather permitting, are on the second and forth Saturday of each month. So take advantage of having a Bass Pro Shops near you. We can't wait to see you here and share our passion for the outdoors. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania




Handgun Safety In Cayuga County

Have you ever considered owning a handgun?  Do you know we have Handgun Safety Classes at Bass Pro Shop?  The only accepted courses are those endorsed by the Central New York Police Academy Onondaga County.   Registering can be done two ways.  You may register by calling 315-498-6046 or by website at www.sunyocc.edu

Here are a few questions that are commonly asked in Cayuga County.

What is the basic criteria for apply for a permit?

     You must be:

1.  At least 21 years of age.

2.  Reside in Cayuga County.

3.  Provide proof of residency by submitting a valid NYS driver's license.

4.  Pass a background check.  The background check includes a criminal record check by the State of New York, the FBI, the Nation Crime Information Center, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office, other law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Mental Health.

5.  Submit two non-refundable processing fees to cover the costs with fingerprinting, photographs, and background checks.

6.  You must have successfully completed an approved handgun safety course and need to submit an original certificate prior to the issuance of a permit.

How Do I Apply For A Permit?  

Obtain an application packet and, follow the instructions on the cover sheet.

Have the application notarized prior to submitting your application.

Provide a valid NYS driver's license or military photo identification.

Submit processing fees.

Submit an original accepted handgun safety certificate.

Application processing is conducted only by appointment by calling the Special Services Section at 315-253-4148. 

A set of fingerprint and photographs will be taken at the time your application is submitted.

What are the required fees of a new permit application?

Two separate fees are required at the time the application is submitted:

A $20.00 fee payable only by either cash or money order made out to the Cayuga County Seriff. 

A $91.50 fee made payable by money order to the Cayuga County Sheriff

No personal checks accepted.

What types of criminal arrests/offenses must I disclose?

You must disclose ALL arrests for offenses of the law, even if the charges were dismissed or if the criminal record has been sealed.  This includes DWI/DWAI charges, with the exception of minor traffic infractions.

Failure to disclose any criminal offense will deny the application and may lead to criminal charges.

How long does the permit process take?

The process usually is 3 months after all requirements are met.

What types of pistol permits can I apply for?

Carry Concealed:  The applicant must be able to demonstrate a special need for a carry concealed.  They must fill out a "proper cause" supplemental form also.

Possess On Premise:  Have and possess in a dwelling by a homeowner ONLY  or have and possess in one place of business by a merchant or storekeeper ONLY.  This is NOT a carry license and restricts handguns to the dwelling address or place of business.

Carry Concealed/Employment:  Applicants must have a letter from their employer stating why they need to carry during their duties on the job.

Where is my permit/license valid?

This is according to NYS Penal Law Article 400.00 which you can look up online, found in a library, or a bookstore.

A license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, not otherwise limited as to place or time of possession, shall be effective throughout the state.  The exception to this is it is not valid within the City of New York unless a special permit granting validity is issued by the police commisioner of that city.

The contact number for anyone that has additional questions is the Special Services section at 315-253-4148 or the Records Division at 315-253-1148.


Additional questions and more indepth information is on the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office website.


Robin Piedmonte

Events Coordinator










Are YOU Ready For Some Football?

Believe it or not, football season is almost here!! If you are like most people in the south, this is your favorite time of the year. Whether you are a first-time tailgater, or a seasoned veteran,  now is the time to prepare for the upcoming season.

Here is a partial list of essentials to make all your tailgating adventures a success:

                                                y                                                                          t

  • Folding chairs; bring along some extras
  • Folding table
  • Small grill
  • Charcoal lighter
  • Grill brush
  • Tongs
  • Sharp knives
  • Cooler for food (Yeti coolers are great!!!)
  • Cooler for drinks
  • Shade tent or umbrella large enough for everyone
  • Football
  • Soccer ball                                                                                                                  
  • Volleyball
  • Volleyball net
  • Radio or small TV
  • Batteries or cigarette lighter adapter (for electronics)
  • Portable generator (optional)
  • Deck of cards
  • Propane heater (optional; depends on how cold it will be)
  • Warm clothes: gloves, boots, winter jacket, hat
  • Blankets
  • First-aid kit

As you plan for your season to begin, come on in to your local Bass Pro Shops or visit www.basspro.com to see our large selection. From portable grills, to chairs, coolers, and folding tables, we can help make your next tailgating experience one that you, your family and friends will never forget.                                             


Until next time,  stay safe and WAR EAGLE and ROLL TIDE!!!


Under Armour Scent Control

Don’t Get Sniffed Out!

Deer season is approaching quickly and one of the best ways to insure a good hunt is having a high quality base layer. One of the  top line base layers on the market for both scent control as well as adequate warmth is the Under Armour Scent Control base layer line. The Under Armour Scent Control base layer line uses Anti-Microbial Silver and also odor trapping Zeolites. This combination in the base layer traps odors and suppresses the growth of odor causing bacteria. This system also works ten times longer than carbon and does not need special reactivation detergent, you just wash it like you would any other clothing, however I would suggest still using an unscented detergent, I also suggest not using your home dryer, let the clothing hang dry outside as to make sure you do not pick up any other unwanted scents. Another tip after washing theses base layers and they have dried, place them in an air tight container as to keep out any house hold scents that could ruin your hunt.

Bass pro shops carries the Under Armour Scent Control base layers in all shapes and sizes, including youth, women’s, and men’s, ranging from extra small to 3XL. The Under Armour Scent Control also comes in two different camouflage patterns which are RealTree Xtra and Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity. These Base layers are a great addition to any hunting arsenal and well help insure that those amazing whitetails will not detect you, if you take care of the clothing properly.


These products can be found at any local bass pro shops or on our online store. Thanks for reading and safe hunting.



Ethan Aycox

Bass Pro Shops

Camo Pro Staff

Spanish Fort, AL


Trail Cameras 101

What to look for when buying a trail CameraSunset

While so many of us are grabbing whatever little bit of summer that is left by hanging out at the beach or the local swimming pool, there are those that are quietly preparing for the upcoming hunting season. These folks are trying to gain every little edge they can, which means more than just checking your equipment and wondering where in the basement you put your hunting boots or walking through your local Bass Pro Shops to see what sales are going on to buy the newest equipment for this season. Here is a great tip to help you gain an edge over your quarry, and over the other guy who just doesn’t think about putting in a bit more effort.

Bushnell Trail CamOK, so you're an experienced hunter. You’ve done all the "right things". You’ve scouted, you’ve read sign, and you’ve checked all the scenarios. Now you’re ready to go.  At least you thought you were. You've set up in a spot that's perfect for that big black bear, or deer. All the tell-tale signs are there, everything looks good, but you get skunked! Why? It could be just the "roll of the dice" (which happens), or maybe it's because you never really knew or found out what, if anything, is coming through the area you set up in that's worth hunting. That's changed.  Welcome to hunting in the 21st century.

Bushnell Trail Cam PictureYears ago, hunters would rig a simple string that they'd run across a trail and attach a clock and/or timer in a small box to it. An animal tripping the "string" would register on the timer, and you'd know WHEN that animal was there. Of course, you wouldn't know its size, or maybe not even the type of animal it was (a squirrel could trip that string as well as a deer or bear). Also, you'd have to reset the trail camera after each time it was tripped. That’s a lot of work for not much information.

In today's market, there are lots of different electronic devices -- and that includes trail cameras. We strongly advise doing very detailed research, speaking to hunters you know who have experience with these devices, and go to a reputable seller, where you can actually "see and feel" the equipment and get demo lessons. These types of electronics are always present at hunting trade shows as well. Do your homework before spending a dime!

Cuddeback Trail Cam PictureAs time has progressed, these electronic devices have improved – and today's main "attractions" are trail cameras. These cameras can be absolutely amazing. The quality of the imaging is incredible. And infra-red laser beams are incorporated to "trip" the mechanism in real time. By the way, you should make sure that there is no delay when the photo or video begins. Finding out the reaction time on these cameras once they're tripped is essential. If there's a delay, as with some point-and-shoot digital cameras, you may end up missing the animal and just see empty space. Trail cameras will take a single photo. They will take streaming video. They have batteries that can last for days. They have that little, simple SD cards that you can pull out of a slot in the camera in a nanosecond and then "read" on your computer or TV at home; OR they can be read right in the field. You'll know exactly the type of animal, its size, time it was there, and maybe some "habits."

Moultrie Trail Cam PictureAnd now -- the cost. You can get a still-photo trail camera for as low as $60. Then you can get video, or a combo of both still and video. Particular retail outlets have trail cameras that run around $600. We suggest Keeping It Simple. Meaning, buy only what you really need. You can always upgrade. You can usually add on "bells and whistles." Remember, you're not doing work for National Geographic. You want it simple. You want it to work. You want accuracy. So be cautious and be slow before you buy.

As we usually do here at Bass Pro, we like to pass on "real world" moneysaving ideas for everything that we talk about: When not using these cameras for hunting (which is most of the time), set them up in or around your home or valued storage areas as "security cameras." They work beautifully, are rugged, and will prevent theft – or worse! Remember, these cameras can and will trigger an alarm on your computer or other simple electronic set-up.

Meet all of your Fishing, Hunting, Boating & Outdoor needs at the Bass Pro Shops in Oklahoma City, OK. Follow our link for all store information, upcoming events & more.

Good luck and good "shooting" -- and that includes the use of your camera!


When The Going Gets Tough, Go To The Docks!

Every angler searches for the fool proof pattern. Something reliable, that consistently produces fish. In the sport of bass fishing this is a very illusive thing to find. Fish are constantly on the move, changing instinctively with every aspect of nature. While there are thousands of  baits, techniques, and patterns, most will work one time of the year and not the other, or sometimes one day and not the next. If there is one pattern that I would say will always catch fish, it would have to be fishing docks. Winter, spring, summer, fall, it doesn't matter there is a fish on a dock somewhere in whatever lake you fish. Now don't think docks are extremely simple because on a single body of water there might be ten different types of docks, and twenty different ways and baits to fish them with. But there is a rhyme and a reason to which docks fish are currently using.

Lets start out with winter time bass fishing, the water is cold, in the mid 40's to low 50's, and the fish are slow and lethargic. In this situation in the dead of winter I would be looking for deep docks. Not only do I like the docks to be deep but I like to know that they have current on them when the dam generation turns on. This means generally I will search for fish in the main river channel, or in the main channel of a creek with some flow. I almost always start out fishing docks such as these with a jig. One of my favorites is a bait that is subtle, yet still satisfying to the fish. A War Eagle Heavy Finesse Jig fits the mold. A few characteristics I like about this jig is it's fairly small size and the fact that it does not have rattles. Another Jig I really like for this situation is the Stanley Finesse Jig. Both work great, I like to rig them with a Zoom Super Chunk Trailer to add some extra bulk to it's profile. With these Jigs I will fish around the deep docks starting with the front of the docks, working my way further back and around the sides pitching my baits up under the dock around the poles. Although most of your bites in the winter will be off the front of the dock you never know when one might be tucked way up underneath the dock in shallow water. I always fish my jigs slow this time of year remembering that fish are cold blooded, yet opportunistic. A jig fished slow is easy for a fish to slowly swim up to, and it is also worth their while and energy that they are going to expend because of the size of the meal.

As the water begins to warm up there are two things on a fish's mind, eating and most of all spawning. Some fish are residential on a specific dock never leaving the area no matter what the season, as long as there is food available. They will simply work there way up to the shallow protected part of the dock in the spring time to spawn and then slide back out in the summer. But the majority of the fish will make their way in from the deep water and position on shallow docks.  A shallow dock in the spring time is great for many reasons. A dock gathers heat especially a dock with shallow sand or clay bottom. Fish in the spring time love warmth and will really hold on these specific docks. I will generally search in the back of pockets or creeks, flipping baits quietly against the edge of the dock. Often the fish will hold in extremely shallow water so don't be afraid to pitch your bait up under the ramp, or walkway of the dock.

Spring time docks can be fished with a variety of different techniques. Crankbaits can be a fantastic way to cover alot of docks quickly searching for a aggressive fish. If there is brush or cover around the dock I prefer a square bill style crank such as the Spro Little John. The small profile catches allot of fish and the square bill allows the bait to come through cover with very few snags. For clean bottom I will throw a Rapala Shad Rap, with no rattles this is a fantastic way to catch fish in the early spring. Another hard bait I throw on shallow docks is a Spro McStick Jerkbait. I fish my jerkbait very slow, twitching it parallel to the docks with long pauses watching my line for the strike. If they won't eat a moving bait then falling back on the jig is fool proof for catching fish on shallow docks. Make sure your jig isn't too heavy and fish them slow up under the shallow part of the dock.

When the water warms up in the summer the fish again migrate out to the deep docks. The main thing fish are looking for in the hot summer is baitfish such as shad, or brim, as well as oxygenated water. In the hot summer much of the lake becomes stagnant especially if there has been little current flow. You will almost always find your big bass located around docks that have current flowing past them. Alot of the time I will fish the exact same docks in the summer that I fish in the winter, the ones that are out on the main river, or creek channel. The only difference is that instead of throwing a jig I prefer flipping soft plastics such as Bass Pro Shops River Bugs, Or Magnum Flippin' Tubes. I feel like I get more bites going with the soft plastics, although sometimes the jig will still get bigger bites.

When fall comes around a lot of the fish return to the same docks they were using in the spring of the year and can be caught on very similar techniques. I have had a lot of success in the fall fishing docks with a jerkbait, targeting the aggressive fish that are feeding heavily, preparing for winter. You will find fish on shallow docks as well as mid depth transition docks that fish will use for a short period of time on there way either shallow or deep. Don't let the transition fish suck you in for too long, because those fish are somewhat here today, gone tomorrow.

You can see no matter what the time of year it is fish use docks. Learning the way fish move from season to season is very important to consistently catching fish and once you know this docks are just a common piece of cover that you can always rely on. It is really interesting and beneficial knowing that fish will use the same cover in the winter and summer, as well as the same cover in the spring and fall. You can always get your fishing needs met at Bass Pro Shops, from the baits you want to tips and information from accomplished anglers, Bass Pro has it all. Also Remember, that the Leeds Bass Pro Shops offers fly fishing classes every month. Our tying classes are the first Monday and the third Monday of each month, with our casting classes the second Saturday, and forth Saturday of each month, both are at 6:00PM. You can sign up in store for any of our classes while space is available. We'd love to see you there, and I'll see you on the water!!!


"Falling into the Outdoors!"

By: Stephanie Crede 08/5/13

Falling Into the Outdoors

The weather is slowing starting to turn, and the days are becoming shorter. We know winter is only a few months away, so we are trying the best we can to enjoy the beautiful weather outside, while it lasts. Every season has its perks with nature, but there is something about fall that everyone seems to love. The colorful trees turning, the comfortable sleeping weather, and most of all, HUNTING SEASON!

How does one celebrate the hunting season you ask?  The 2013 Fall Hunting Classic has begun, and we are excited to invite all hunters, beginners or experienced of all ages out to Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee for one of the biggest sales of the year! Hunters can take advantage of 3 full weekends to prepare them for hunting season. Check out “Hunter Appreciation Weekend” where pros like Mike Reynolds, NRA instructor Bill Worth, and others will be here to discuss important topics involving tactical gear, camouflage clothing, camera placement, scent control, and much more! What’s even better is if you are one of the first 25 customers to attend a seminar each day, you will receive a cool gift! Seminars are a great way to get you involved in what’s happening in the hunting world, and help keep you up to date with the latest news, gear, tips and tricks. There is no need to register, it’s free. All you have to do is show up!

Who remembers their first hunt? Was it with pops? Grandpa? Maybe your older brother or sister got you involved in hunting. Either way, like fishing, we all remember our first time out in the field, and more importantly, our first catch. Educating the youth on tomorrows generation today is very important and something that we take pride in. August 17th and 18th is our “Next Generation” weekend. We dedicate this weekend to the children who have a passion for the outdoors, and have an interest in the sport of hunting! Join us for free crafts, free seminars, and even get your photo taken next to the outside B.B range, all for free!

Lastly, Bass Pro Shops has come up with an excellent program called the “trade in” program. This lets you bring in your used materials such as binoculars, scopes, and rangefinders for a discount on brand new ones! That’s a deal you can’t pass up. With so many great brands out there, you are sure to find something and save money! Also be sure to check out the 2nd Amendment Savings program. This means TAX FREE when purchasing a full size safe or gun when using your Bass Pro Shops Master card!

The month of August is a busy one, and we want to share it with you! Be sure to check us out by stopping in and seeing all we have to offer for this upcoming hunting season!