Knife Buying 101 - A Numbers Game

Visit the knife section and you can be quickly overwhelmed! Terminology, numbers, knife names...what to buy? Which is best?

Bass Pro Shops AltoonaWe asked our knife specialist, Mike Sibley, to give us a brief rundown on the numbers game of buying a knife.

"Our RedHead knives' packaging now clearly shows the numbers, making it easier to decide which knife will work best to fit your needs."

Expedition Folding Lockback Bass Pro Shops

First you'll find a 400-series number on the package. This number defines the type of steel and it's durability. 400 series stainless steel is the most popular steel used for making  knives because it's easy to sharpen and more corrosion resistant.

440 is a common stainless steel and corrosion resistant - often found in good all-purpose knives. You can find 440 used in RedHead's The Hunt, the Expedition Folding Lockback, and the Function EFX-T Folding Knife. 

420HC is a higher carbon content steel than the regular 420. It's the steel that Buck Knives uses and is now available on many RedHead knives, including the exclusive RedHead Guide Series Fixed Blade Skinner Knife by Buck...the result of a collaboration between Bass Pro Shops and Buck. It it also used in the RedHead Medium and Large Stockman knives, and the Traditions Series Double and Single Blade, and  Lockback knives.

RedHead Medium Stockman

Another number you will find on the package is a two-digit number called the Rockwell Hardness number (HRC). This is an industry scale used to measure the hardness of the blade steel and, for knives, how long it will stay sharp. For example, the Medium Stockman knife has a 54HRC making it slightly more difficult to resharpen, but better edge retention properties.

A 57HRC knife is sharpenable, with reasonable retention. 

A 60HRC is very hard and durable.

Sibley says three of RedHead's knives are good examples of durability and long-lasting edge with higher HRCs.

"With an HRC of 56-57 you would need to tune up the knife during the cleaning of a deer. But with the 58-60HRC of  The Hunt and The Expedition you should be able to clean more than one deer with it before resharpening. The EFX-T also has a HRC58-60, which 

makes it a good survival-tactical knife."

Another aspect of a blade's steel that Sibley points out is "deferentially hardened" steel. 

"This means that the back of the blade is different from the edge, so lateral strength is still there. It's stronger for hard use and the edge remains longer."

Take a look at the hundreds of knives Bass Pro Shops offers online or at your local Bass Pro Shops store!





Hunting preparedness

Being properly prepared for your hunting trip is important. It can be the difference between life and death, not to mention just simply the comfort of your trip and peace of mind that you didn't forget anything. Make a checklist! 

-Waterproof bag- for cell phone, I.D., keys, money, license, medication, maps, etc. *Coghlan's starting at $3.59

-Flashlight and batteries * Browning tactical hunter catalyst flashlight $69.99/ Extreme batteries $4.99-$9.99

-Compass *Silva Huntsman 423 $22.99compass

-Water bottle, thermos, lifestraw, or camelback (hygdration bag) *Redhead Camo Teck-Lok bottle/pouch $14.99, Lifestraw $19.99, Redhead thermos $24.99

-Survival Kit, First aid kit, whistle * Adventure Medical kits Ultra light and water tight $17.00

-Hand warmers, gloves *Coghlan's disposable Hand Warmers 4 pack $4.29

-Matches or Fire starter ( magnesium, flint, starter sticks, etc.) *Coghlan's water tight match box $2.39

-Food: Lunch, snacks, Dehydrated meals * Tactical Bacon in a can $17.99, or Dehydrated pouches $4.99-$8.99Food

-Canvas Quarter bags- for field meat breakdown to transport more easily *Hide away 30X50 $9.99

-Knife or axe * Kutmaster Crush High Performance folding field saw $17.99/ Coghlan's camp axe $11.99

-Space heater * Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Propane  $129.99Heater

Keep in mind these are just some of the items to consider when making your checklist. Everyone has different needs. All the items above can be found in the camping, hunting, and camo section at Bass Pro Shops or online at Prices and products vary, there are several options, these were just some of them to look out for. Have a safe and fun camping trip!

ALSO SEE these other helpful links: Purify Your Drinking Water with LifeStraw!, Are You Ready for Hunting Season? , Deer Camp/Camping Necessities




Santa's Wonderland Preview Night November 9th

Santa arrives for Preview Night

Be sure to join us for Santa’s Wonderland Preview Event Saturday November 9. Santa will arrive at 5pm. Santa will open Santa’s Wonderland for the season. Join us for free crafts, refreshments and a free photo with Santa.

At 5:00pm, Santa will arrive in his bass boat in front of our store and welcome our customers, as well as drawing a lucky winner of a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card, one of six $25 cards we will be drawing for that night. After stopping in our foyer to light our Christmas tree, he will make his way to Santa's Wonderland to cut the ribbon and officially open it for the 2013 season. Free pictures with Santa will be available until 8pm on that Saturday, and we will have a FREE stocking craft for the kids from 6pm to 8pm. Also, the first 125 kids to visit Santa's Wonderland that night will receive a Christmas themed backpack clip.


Santa's Wonderland - The Magic Returns!

 Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Santa's Wonderland returns with the glitter, lights, fun and games, and magic that Christmas should always have!

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night, this Saturday, November 9. from 5-8 p.m.

Be first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa after we welcome Santa and light the tree!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers
  • Gift Card giveawaysSanta's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?

Free crafts from 6-8 p.m. on Preview Night, plus backpack clips for the first 125 kids!

Santa's Wonderland is open through December 24!

Free photos with Santa 

Remote control trucks, slot car racing, and games!

Free crafts and activity tables!

Write a letter to Santa and receive an e-mail back from him!


Here is the schedule through December 8 for all Santa's Wonderland Activities!  

Times will change beginning December 9.

We will be using the Bass Pass system again during busy times. The Bass Pass is like a virtual line, allowing you to shop and enjoy the store instead of waiting in line for long hours. It provides a designated time for you to get in line to see Santa. 

Bass Passes are given out on a first come, first serve basis. When they're gone, they're gone!

Santa's Wonderland Schedule - Bass Pro Shops Altoona


Keep up-to-date on ALL Christmas events, including Black Friday Sales, Toys for Tots Weekend

and more by liking our Facebook page and watching this blog!



Santa’s Wonderland

This blog will be brought to you with musical accompaniment for your pleasure. Please open this link in a separate window or tab. Thank you.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen; it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Bass Pro Shops. It’s a magical time of the year, where our friends from the North Pole stop on by to hang out with ya’ll. Reindeer, elves and jolly Saint Nick (that’s right, SANTA!!!!!) will be at our Santa’s Wonderland.

To get everybody into the festive mood, we will be having a Preview Night on November 9th.  Starting at 5:00PM, we will have several things going on. First, Santa will be pulling up in front of our store in nothing other than a bass boat. He will be greeting people and helping us by using his Christmas magic to light up our store! Then at 6:00PM, we will be taking FREE photos with Santa until 8:00PM. From 5:00PM-7:30PM we will be drawing for a chance to win a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card every half hour. For the first 125 kids, we will be handing out a collectible backpack clip. We will also have crafts*, cookies* and McSteven’s Hot Chocolate* available for our guests.

Santa’s Wonderland will then be open from November 10th until December 24th. During this time we will have several activities going on every day.

  • Free Photo with Santa!

Monday-Friday: 3PM-8PM

Saturday: 10AM-8PM

Sunday: Noon-5PM

  • Free Crafts*!

Monday-Friday: 5PM-7PM

Saturday: Noon-5PM

Sunday: Noon-5PM

  • Free Games and Activities!

Monday-Sunday: Open-Close

There will be photo packages available as well, if you would like to get multiple copies of a great holiday memory. (Actually, my old coworker and his wife pride themselves on their collection of “Baby Crying on Santa’s Lap” pictures. They are actually quite adorable!)

Games and Activities Include: Laser & Soft Gun Arcade, Moving Trains, RC Trucks, Slot Car Racing, Writing a Letter to Santa, Wildlife Carousel** and Snowbrawl**!

Like most of our extended events, we will be changing up what kinds of crafts are available every few days. Now just a heads up, there may be a little thing called style variance (which means we may not have the exact things listed below but should be close).

Free Crafts* Include:

Merry Christmas Wooden Ornament (11/10-11/17)

Felt Penguin Craft (11/18-11/24)

Popsicle Stick Reindeer Ornament (11/25-12/1)

Stuffed Santa Ornament (12/2-12/8)

 Candy Cane Owl Ornament (12/9-12/15)

Reindeer Gift Bag (12/16-12/22)

Cookie Decorating (12/23 & 12/24)

We hope to see ya’ll come on down and have some fun. And don’t be shy to come by a few times and bring friends and family with ya!

Stuffin’ Stockings and Hangin’ Wreaths!! Giddy-Up!


*While Supplies Last

**Open during same times as Photo with Santa


Which Deer Call is Right For You?

Calling deer.  Everyone has their own way of doing it.  How do you know without spending alot of money which call might work for you?  Well word of mouth is still the best way to find out.  Talk with people around your area to find out what they are using.  Watch hunting videos, TV shows, or go on the internet.  Here at Bass Pro Shops we have many calls that might interest you. 

The experts say that during the early season - try rattling.  Not hard but gentle and easy.  This sound is meant  to imitate two bucks sparring.  The Knight & Hale Pack Rack Rattling System Deer Call twists back and forth to create a lifelike sound of two bucks in combat.  Easy to use and not expensive you may just want to give these a try.  The Primos Big Buck Rattle Bag creates the sound of two different size bucks fighting.  Again very easy, durable and a great value. Not to mention they fit in a pack much easier than a set of antlers!















Many people prefer the can which produces the sound of mating bleats of estrus does.  The Primos "Original" Can Mating Bleat Call is simple to use, performs well, and is a great price.












It takes a great deal of patience to get that monster.  Don't be afraid to use your deer call.  Sure you may just spook one or two, but this is how you learn.  In order to be successfull you need to know deer behavior.  Have that arrow nocked or your gun in hand before you start calling.  Dont get frustrated after 10 minutes or even a hour.  How many hunters have relaxed their guard only to have that giant buck appear.

Primos has the Uproar Deer Call that has three proven effective calls in one.  You can switch between two main chambers to produce aggressive grunts or loud estrus.  Also there is a wheeze tube to challenge a large buck.




















 The Primos Hardwood Grunter Deer Calling System is a 6 in one adjustable reed system.  This system produces extra loud calls from deep grunts to doe bleats.












These are just a few calls to consider when deciding what you need.  Talk with your friends then stop on by and talk with our hunting associates to find what call will work best for you.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator




Product Spotlight - Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker  - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

'Tis the season to get the slow cooker out...I mean REALLY out.  Granted it gets used once in a while during the summer, but not very often. As temperatures cool, the slow cooker usage rises. I

Elite 8.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker


Bass Pro Shops carries this Elite slow cooker. We use this cooker at the store for demos and associate events.  It's large capacity is perfect for large groups. The large removable stoneware pot is easy to clean and the clear tempered lid allows you to check on what's cookin' without removing the lid. 

From stews, soups, and chili to roasts of all kind, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, side dishes like applesauce and sweet potatoes, and desserts like brownies (yes, brownies) can make just about anything in a slow cooker. 

Here are a couple of slow cooker tips from the Hy-Vee Seasons magazine:

Test Your Slow Cooker for Accuracy

Fill the cooker half to two-thirds full with water. Put the lid on, turn the cooker to low, and let it heat on low for eight hours. After the eight hours, use a food thermometer and see if the water is 185-200 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's not, then it's time to replace the cooker.

Clean the Stains out of your Cooker

Fill the pot halfway with water and add one cup of white vinegar. Heat on high for two hours, then clean as usual. 


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Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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Tree Stand Safety

While it might not be the most popular topic in the world tree stand safety is extremely important and should not be ignored. All too often we adopt the attitude that falling out of a tree stand only happens to someone else. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Not only is it important to make sure that you are properly secured when you are in your tree stand but it is also important to be properly secured while you are climbing up to your tree stand or climbing down. Last year I had a hang on stand  I was using in connection with a special conservation hunt in the town where I live. I had a couple of climbing stick sections that I used to get me up to where it was easier to use the tree branches to climb the rest of the way up to the stand. One day as I reached the top of the climbing sticks the sticks pulled away from the tree with me falling over backwards hitting the ground flat on my back. I was lucky that other than being stunned from the fall I had no injuries. I was extremely lucky. Two major mistakes on my part, one, I should have been tied to the tree while climbing and two; I should have checked the climbing sticks to make sure they were securely attached to the tree. Someone had undone the straps and made it look like they were still tight to the tree. Unfortunately we do have to be concerned about the anti hunters who will sometimes go to extremes.

Always make sure that your climbing sticks and your stand are secure before you climb up. It is also a good idea to check the condition of your stands each year before you put them up, something we often overlook to do.

Some of the items that are a necessity for staying safe while using a tree stand are as follows:

  1. A safety harness to be worn and used all times when you are in the tree.

Pictured here are some of the more popular safety harnesses all are designed to provide you with a safe connection to a safety rope which is firmly tied to the tree. The first pictured is a Gorilla G Tac Ghost safety harness. Next is the Hunter Safety System HSS Alpha Harness and the last one is another Hunter Safety System model.


  1. A safety rope is also a critical part of your safety gear.

The first safety rope is the Big Game Platinum Collection safe line. The second one is G-20 Gorilla Gear safety harness and the third item is Hunter Safety System Life Climbing line.

  1. A sharp knife should be in an easily accessible place in case you have to cut yourself loose in an emergency. You will eventually black out if hanging unsupported so it is important that you can cut yourself loose if you have to.


  1. You should also have a cell phone where you can reach it to call for help in an emergency.


One final suggestion is that you try out your safety gear under a controlled situation just high enough off the ground so you will be hanging free. Ideally, this should be done with someone there to help if needed. This will give you a chance to prepare for an emergency if one does occur.

Bass Pro Shops is the perfect place to pick up your tree stands and your safety gear and our expert hunting associates are there to answer any questions and offer suggestions and advice on being safe in your tree stands.


Hunt safe,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops




Hunting associate


Time to get the Little Ones Moving!


We all remember those days when we just wanted to drive, we loved our bikes and scooters but big wheels and power wheels were so much cooler.  Well here at Bass Pro Shops, we like to make sure that kids of all ages have the most awesome toys.  There are a few MUST HAVE items this year.

The Bass Pro Shops Fisher Price Power Wheels Dune Racer, , is absolutely amazing.  This vehicle goes on all surfaces; grass, hard surfaces, and rough terrian.  It also holds two passengers, so your little one can take a friend along. It has a monster traction system to take on all surfaces.  It has 2 speeds, 2.5 mph and 5 mph as well as 2.5 mph in reverse, giving the little ones an option to cruise nice and slow or have an adreline rush.  We recommend this for all little ones 3 years of age and up. 

dune buggy

Not quite big enough to drive the dune buggy. never fear.  Check out the Bass Pro Shops Fisher Price Power Wheels Little Quad ATV,, This hunting inspired ATV is perfect for toddlers.  With a maximun weight capacity of 40 pounds, its perfect for the little ones from 1 year of age thru 3 years of age. 

toddler atv

Now its time to bring back the big wheel from when we were little, and give it a little flare.  The Bass Pro Shops Realtree Xtra Camo Big Wheels,, is what all the cool kids will be riding around on this year. It has a large "grow with me" seat, 16" front tire, sturdy plastic construction, easy to assemble,low center of gravity, has a weight limit of 70 pounds, and is recommended for ages 3 thru 8. 

big wheel

So no matter how old the little one may be, we are all kids at heart.   Swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and check out our large selection of items that will move with the family! 


Bear Archery 2014 Line Up

Bear Archery 2014 Line Up

Bear Archery has a great line up for the 2014 year. They have 4 new flag ship bows that are blazing fast and have a smooth draw cycle. Also along with the new Pro-line bows, they are advancing the main line bows to a new and improved style of riser. But lastly, let’s not leave out the ladies with two new female bows. The new flagships start off with speed. The Agenda 6 is what bear archery is all about. Its 100 years of evolution. The Agenda 6 has a 6 inch brace height, peak weight can reach 80 pounds, and shoots 360 FPS. The Agenda 7 has a 7 inch brace height, peak weight of 70 pounds, and shoots 345 FPS. The Anarchy HC has a 7 ¼ inch brace height, peak weight of 70 pounds, and shoots 330 FPS. All three bows have a dual cam system unique to the bear bows. The last flagship bow is the single cam Venue. The bow has a 7 inch brace height and shoots 330 FPS. For the Main line bows there are a few. They have released 6 new main line bows to the 2014 season. New to the lineup is a price point dual cam called the Effect. This bow has a 7 inch brace height and shoots 325 FPS. The Authority, Attitude, and Apprentice 3 will be replacing the Legion, Encounter, and Apprentice 2. The last 2 bows are your female bows. The Rumor will be replacing the Siren which will have a 6 ½ inch brace height, peaks at 60 pounds, and shoots 300 FPS. Lastly the new Finesse will be replacing the Homewrecker. This new bow line is expected to arrive in late December in Bass Pro Shops.  So, get ready because they you won’t want to miss out on this great collection!

If you have questions, our Archery Techs will help you find the bow that fits you. Stop by our Archery dept or call us today at 901-213-5800.


**Expected date will vary with availability and times are subject to change.












This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

It is quiet at Bass Pro Shops this weekend! Our Fall Harvest Sale is underway, so there are some great buys on flannel shirts, fleece blankets and more!

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops AltoonaMeanwhile, elves are working furiously to get Santa's Wonderland in tip-top shape, because...


Santa's Wonderland Opens November 9!

Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Join us for Santa's Wonderland Preview Night from 5-8 p.m. and be first to get your free 4 x 6 photo with Santa!

  • Hot chocolate and cookies
  • Carolers
  • Gift Card giveaways


Who will help Santa cut the ribbon this year?Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Keep up-to-date on ALL Christmas events, including Black Friday Sales, Toys for Tots Weekend and More by liking our Facebook page! 


Trout Beads and Sheffield Floats: A Killer Combination



Trout Beads and Sheffield Floats


I’ve heard a lot of rumors about how well beads worked; I had never used them but had always been interested. These rumors were coming from Alaska, on low pressure rivers with fish that run in who knows how many more numbers than they do here in Michigan. Last year a friend came across some beads in a store and started playing with them. He used them in a non-traditional way by slipping them on a mono loop and tying them onto a hook and adding a yarn veil, let me tell you they WORKED! Checking with the DNR to make sure they were legal here in Michigan, we here at Bass Pro Shops decided to carry them. Once we received them in the store it didn’t take me long to purchase them and try them on the river.

Rigging beads is VERY easy. The problem is there are two ways to rig them, the way they are “suppose” to be rigged is the ILLEGAL way to run them in Michigan. This method runs a bare hook under the bead. Per the DNR hooks MUST be baited so running a fly underneath the bead is LEGAL. Think of it this way you can run 2 beads and 2 nymphs and now you have twice as many offerings as you would if you were to run the illegal bare hook method. To rig beads all you need to do is slide one on BEFORE you tie your fly on. Once your fly is tied on all you need to do is peg the bead with a peggz or a tooth pick, trim the excess and shove what little material that is left father down the bead with the side of your nippers or pliers. Then slide your bead about one and a half inches above your fly any father you run the risk of snagging the fish.

When fishing beads there is no different technique. You can fish them under an indicator, on your chuck-n-duck rig or under a center-pin. There are multiple colors so you can “Match the Hatch” to what the natural eggs in the river are looking like. Remember the longer we go into the season the paler the eggs are going to look. So it doesn’t make sense to use a Tangerine egg in the middle of December, try something pale like Peachy King or Apricot.


Bobbers, floats or indicator depending on whom or how you fish with depends on what you call them.  All I know is that some work better than others. Sheffield floats met the standard for many fisher-people. The nice thing is they are highly visible up top and clear on the bottom making them pretty darn close to invisible underneath

These floats are easy to set up and tell you WAY more than you ever need to know. To add them to you line you need to add two of the small rubber band like doughnuts that come with them to your leader, then add you hollow core lead (if that’s your preference) then add a barrel swivel (I like using the Offshore Angler™ Barrel Swivels Double XX Strong due to how small they are). From there run your leader from the swivel to your flies and to you second fly if you would like. Once rigged you can slip each end of the float into its respective doughnit, colored end on top (towards the reel) and then clear end on bottom (towards the flies). Setting Depth, if you know how deep the run is set it so you are just above the bottom. If you are fishing new water I tend to shy on the side of caution and set the float high and set it lower 6 inches at a time until I hit bottom and then raise it up. Setting it low to start will lose more flies and make you frustrated, unless you like tying knots!

Back to the floats telling you what’s going on. If you float is running high and you’re not detecting any strikes or not sinking when you snag bottom you need to increase your weight. If your float sinks right away your weight needs to lighten up. Watch the top, whatever direction the top is pointed your flies are drifting in the opposite direction, meaning if your top is pointing downstream your flies are running behind the float and drifting slower than your float add a mend to slow down the drift (remember water on top flows faster than on the bottom due to

friction from the bottom of the stream). If the top is pointed at you, the flies are drifting on the other side of the float away from you. If the top is pointed away from you the flies are between you and your float. If the float disappears SET THE HOOK! For Additional Steelhead tips you should check out Egg Pattern Fly Fishing Egg Pattern Fly Fishing.


Good Luck To All

Andrew Neeson

Bass Pro Shops

White Rivver Fly Shop


"They See Me Rollin'..." -- The Sequel!

We recently covered some of the automotive-themed kids gift ideas available this year at  your local Bass Pro Shops.  As if those weren't enough, we have two more items to add to the list:  The Fisher-Price Power Wheels Dune Racer and the Duck Dynasty RC Redneck Dune Buggy.

duneThe Fisher-Price Power Wheel Dune Racer is a new addition to our merchandise selection this holiday season.  The kid-sized racer, is designed to let kids 3 and older, enjoy the excitement of the open road!  The 2-seat open cockpit ATV has large off-road tires to drive on hard surfaces, grass, and rough terrain. The Dune Racer has two speeds: 2.5 and 5 mph and comes with Power Lock brakes. It comes with a 12V battery and charger, as well as hidden storage and pretend seat belts to add even more fun!

The Duck Dynasty RC Redneck Dune Buggy is an officially licensed product, featuring both the Bass Pro Shops and Duck rcDynasty logos. It has a 30' operating range and features a talking key chain with popular phrases from the Duck Dynasty crew. The radio transmitter controls forward/reverse driving and left/right steering. The vehicle requires five AA batteries and the transmitter requires one 9V battery (batteries not included).

Both of these items are expected to sell out this holiday season, so make sure you pick yours up right away!


It's The Great Pumpkin!!

Happy Halloween



The Great Pumpkin returns to Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville on October 19.





Bring all your ghosts and goblins down to the pumpkin patch and get their picture made with Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and Charlie Brown. 

Get your FREE 4x6 photo with The Peanuts Gang in the pumpkin patch.

  • Other photo packages available for purchase and instant print at the store
  • Weekends                  12-5 pm
  • Weeknights               5-8 pm
    • Weeknights 5-8 pm ONLY- the first 100 kids to have a photo taken will receive a Halloween wristband and a Halloween pin.
    • Oct 31 the first 100 kids will receive a Special flashing pin

FREE Crafts

  • Weekends                             1-5 pm                        Create a Lollipop Spider
  • Weeknights                           6-7 pm                        Make a Friendly Monster Craft
  • Halloween Night Only          6-8 pm                        Color a Ceramic Jack-O-Lantern

Costume Parade       

  • Saturdays Only                     4 pm                Kids 12 yrs and under - Participants will receive a flashing Halloween necklace

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

  • Sundays Only                        2-3 pm            find all the Halloween items throughout the store and win a flashing spider


  • Weeknights                           6-7 pm

October Events




Crankbait wind blown banks

November brings lots of changes and many of opportunities for the anglers and hunters in Colorado. You can go out and hunt some critters or head out to the reservoirs and chase some bass and walleyes. I am not ready to trade in my fishing rod for my shotgun and park my boat just yet.

The water in Pueblo Reservoir is the lowest I have seen it in years. I am praying for a good amount of snow in the high country this winter to help out with the water level come spring. There are points and islands I have never seen exposed and I know now why they hold fish when the water is up.

I took an afternoon with a few friends to head down and chase some walleyes during the day. The water is unusually stained for this time of year and the night bite has been slow. There was a strong wind blowing out of the west and I knew just where I wanted to look for feeding fish.

At Pueblo Reservoir I tell everyone the wind is my friend. I fish the wind blown banks and points as much as I can. The shad are usually stacked in those areas and the walleyes and bass take advantage of the mud line to ambush their prey.

I like to cast parallel to the bank and keep my Bomber crank bait in the strike zone as much as possible. You need to cover as much water as possible and when you find a stretch of bank that is holding a lot of fish, you beat it up and make pass after pass. When the bite slows down continue to look for the active feeding fish. Find the shad and you will find the fish. A good indicator to look for arekids craknin the bank22'' walleyekeeper walleye2 keepersgood day on Pueblo the feeding birds, they know where the shad are schooled up.

Shad imitation crank baits are what to throw this time of year. Chunk and wind is the name of the game. Have your buddies throw a different color phase or a shallower or deeper diver to see which one the fish like better and then change up to what is working best.

Take a trip down to Pueblo with some buddies for a great crank bait bite right now. Run the wind blown banks and keep it in the strike zone. The shad are schooled up and still shallow. It wont be long before they will be starting to move deeper as the weather gets colder. See you on the water.

                               Best of Luck,

                                                    Sam Heckman / Pro Staff







Great Headlamp for Hunting!

Now that it is mid-October, I am sure that many of you have taken to the woods for the first deer hunting of the season in Alabama. In all of the excitement of that early hunt, make sure you don't  forget a headlamp.

The Browning Pro Hunter Maxus Headlamp has incredible power, providing exceptional results and is great for late night tracking, camping, or that early morning hike to your tree stand or blind. 


  • Three brightness levels and flashing h
  • Memory switch returns to the most recent setting when you turn the light on
  • Focus control with adjustable spot-to-flood beam
  • 100,000 hour LEDs -never need replacing
  • Ultralight and ultratough construction
  • Comfortable elastic headband
  • Tilts up and down to direct the light where needed


  • Lamp type-LEDs b
  • Color of emitted light- White, Red, Green
  • Lumens:   High- 80, Medium-50, Red/Green- 6-8   
  • Battery type- 3 AAA Alkaline
  • Battery life: High- 6 hours, Medium- 10 hours, Red/Green- 30-45 hours
  • Distance: High- 80 meters, Medium- 60 meters, Red/Green- 15 meters

Still not convinced?  Come on in to your Leeds Bass Pro Shops Camping Department or visit and see our great selection of headlamps and flashlights. We will be glad to help you choose what is best for you.

Until next time, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!    




On the Trail - Now you See Him, Now you DON’T!

Do the Right Thing

Buck -Muzzleloader - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaBy Dan Stephany, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager and Outdoorsman

This week finds us on the brink of the November rut and anticipation is running high.  A few days ago, I went to a friends’ property (private land) that I had a couple of trail cameras on.  We had located a few good bucks that we wanted to chase this November, and I went in with two main objectives. First, to check my camera’s batteries and see if the SD card was getting full and, second, to sit a nearby tree stand in hopes of catching a mature buck on his feet before dark.

Things turned south pretty fast.  As I was approaching my tree stand, I jumped a good buck bedded with 4 does. The good news was that he felt pretty comfortable there and was very close to my stand.  The bad news was that I cleared out the entire bedding area and couldn’t sit there.  As if to add insult to injury, I walked down the ridge a little further to find my trail camera, lock box and steel cable all stolen!  I immediately called the land owner, and he assured me that I had exclusive rights to hunt the property, and that nobody else should be out there.  One other bit of information is that this property is located almost a full mile off the road.  Whoever found the camera and eventually took it must have made multiple trips out.  The steel cable could only be cut with a bolt cutter, something a random wanderer would more than likely not have with them.

If you are reading this, and you consider yourself an ethical sportsman, I am going to ask you a favor…would you please share this article and let our voice be heard!  I am sure I am not the only person who this has happened to.  I have heard countless stories in our store from people, much like myself, who had permission on a property and hung cameras, stands, or planned a hunt, only to have it stolen out from under them by someone who has no conscience, no ethics and does not deserve to be called a sportsman!  Our reputation as conservationists and sportsmen are being ambushed by people who are trespassing and blatantly violating laws all in the name of tagging a “shooter.”  Well, it is time that we voice our frustration and let those around us know that we are fed up with this kind of behavior.  I am not suggesting violence, or even promoting confrontation with those we encounter in the woods. I am, however, hoping that some of you reading this will join me and reclaim our reputation as ethical sportsmen who going to be honest, respecting the laws, and respecting other's property - both land and physical equipment. Let’s begin a movement that focuses on doing the right thing, even if that means you need to return something you may have taken from someone else in the past.  I am even hoping the person who took my equipment will read this and be convinced to put it back. I can, and will, forgive anyone who chooses to do the right thing and simply say they are sorry.

Will you join me?  Let’s give people every reason to associate hunters and sportsmen as the most ethical and honest people they know!  I may have had a frustrating day in the woods this past week, but I refuse to let that keep me from enjoying what I love to do!  I’ll see you in the woods and on the trail again next Tuesday!

Good hunting! 


Saltwater Fly Fishing Here in New England.

 The best time of year is now here, when the leaves are changing, apple picking and saltwater fly fishing are at it's finest. I am talking about boat and inshore fishing with the fly rod for Striped Bass, False Albacore and Jumbo Bluefish. These fish are tracking and eating a lot of bait that is entering the bays and shores of our coast for their fall migration from Massachusetts all the way to Montauk, NY. They are focused on bait fish like; Bay Anchovies, Peanut Bunker, Spearing, Sand Eels and Silver Sides and what better way to catch these predators than on the fly rod.

    Fly fishers utilize patterns that so closely mimic these bait fish that we have an edge over most conventional anglers by offering patterns that are the right size, shape and color of the natural. When it comes to the right size shape and color, fly rodders use patterns such as, Lefty's Deceivers, Clouser Minnows, Sand Eels and Silver Sides. Hook sizes vary, from 3/0 on the larger size down to size 2 to represent the proper size of the offering with such an appropriate proportion to the bait fish being represented. Most patterns are tied on Gamakatsu SC15's or Mustad 34007's as these hooks are an awesome saltwater choice due to their inherent strength. Materials used for these fly patterns can be anything from bucktail, marabou, crystal flash in addition to many other types. Some utilize lead dumb bell eyes or stick on eyes as I am a huge fan of eyes as we are trying to make our flies look lifelike. The lead eyes ensure that the fly sinks quickly to get down to where the fish maybe, whereas the stick ons simply make the fly look alive.

    The tackle that I use in saltwater here in New England are rods that are 9' in length for a 9 or 10 weight line, like the TFO Professional II series, the Sage Response or World Wide Sportsman Gold Cup . I prefer to use an Intermediate line as the entire line sinks slowly and I am able to fish sinking flies and poppers equally well. I fish a RIO Striped Bass line in a size 10wt, weight forward and the line is easy to pick up for those fast shots that need to be taken sometimes to busting fish on the surface. My leader consists of a 7'  16lb RIO as these aren't for trout or bonefish and the shorter leader turns over the heavier and larger patterns. When Bluefish are around I use Tyger Ty-able wire for my tippet,  as it is quick to attach with regular fishing knots and doesn't effect the flies ability to be retrieved or swim properly.

Lundin Coward

Fly Fishing Department

Bass Pro Shops, Foxborough



Got Cold Feet??

Our footwear department carries many different products that can help keep you warm during the harsh cold temperatures about ready to hit us in Missouri!  Besides the usual insulated boots and heavy weight socks, we carry many accessories to keep your feet warm during the winter months.


We offer a variety of Heat Max products including Toasti-Toes which are air activated warmers that you wear inside your boots, either as an insole or toe warmers.  Most of the warmers have adhesive to help them stay in place.  They are designed to be worn on the outside of your sock on the bottom of your foot.  They provide a lot of warmth so it is important to read and follow the directions listed on the package.  The toe warmers provide up to 8 hours of heat and the insole warmers provide up to 9 hours of heat.  They are great for helping warm your feet on extra cold days.  Whether you wear them for winter outdoor adventures, work, watching sporting events, or shoveling snow, they will keep you warm. 


Another option we have is the ThermaCell Heated Insoles.  These insoles operate with a remote control and have two temperature settings which provide 5 hours of warmth.  They are powered by a rechargeable battery so you don't have to worry about keeping disposable ones on hand, you just simply recharge them.  They come in 5 different sizes to provide warmth for a range of shoe sizes including women's size 4.5 to men's size 13.  Here is a link to take a look at them: 


One thing also to consider is a boot dryer.  Once you are done wearing your boots for the day it is important to entirely dry them out so you can wear them again the next day and to prevent odors and bacteria from building up.  We have two different boot dryers at the store:  the Original Peet Dryer and the Advantage Peet Dryer The Original Peet Dryer has 2 drying ports and the Advantage Peet Dryer has 4 ports with a fan and timer.  We also carry the extensions and glove dry ports that can be used with them.



So come in to the Independence Bass Pro Shop and take a look at our selection of foot warming products.



Table Rock & Bull Shoals Fishing Report - November, 2013

Bass are close to shore now.  November is a great time to throw a jig!  Bass bulking up for winter, will eat gobs of crawfish this month.  Get out there!  The scenery is breath taking!  The fish are hungry!


Crawfish spend most of their time on the bottom.  A crawfish imitation needs to move slowly, from behind one rock, to the next rock.  It is hard to fish this bait too slowly.  Right now, bass are from 4-35ft. deep, either in the backs of coves, or off or next to, main lake and secondary points.  Try a 1/4 to 5/8oz. round head jig, brown or green pumpkin in color, and add a trailer, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, or cinnamon purple.  Add scent to your jigs.


Spinner baits are working now.  Try a 1/2oz. double willow blade spinner bait, especially on any windy or rainy day.  Natural shad colors are working well.


Shaky head fishing is hot right now!  Take a 1/4oz or heavier shaky head jig head (it is built to make the soft bait you attach to it stand up), and add a crawfish, worm, or baitfish soft trailer, and work it slowly along the bottom, frequently stopping the bait completely.  The bass just cannot leave this bait alone!  Try a skirted twin tail grub, in brown purple or smoke purple.


Try a drop shot rig.  Find a line of trees or stumps off a bank with a varied depth.  The crawfish, shad, or pan fish the bass are after, will be moving among these trees, and suspended bass will be ready to ambush.  Look for underwater timber at all depths.  Mark the depths where the most bait fish and bass are found, and find timber at that depth.  Fish straight up and down to these suspended fish.  Ask a fishing associate how to rig for this drop shot bite, and ask what the current best bait is.  You can also fish this drop shot rig like a finesse Carolina rig, by casting it out and retrieving it the same way you would a Carolina rig.      


There is still a top water bite on most of each lake.  Top water lures, such a s a Zara Spook, Chug Bug, etc., will work during this time, as will most of the wake baits.  Beginning at dawn, look for fish rising on big flats, or cove backs, and fish in these areas.  Many times, the bite will end when the sun becomes visible, though, the bite can go on all day! 


From late morning to early evening, tubes often work well, since black bass key on crawdads during this time.  Try a ¼ to 1/2 oz. jig, with a tube, on main lake and secondary cove points, and any transition banks or flat.  It is important to add scent to all soft plastic, to maximize the time fish hold the bait in their mouth.  Try fishing around  docks, pole cedar lined banks, chunk rock points and cove banks, with a jig, tube, drop shot rig, Carolina rigged lizard, finesse worm, French fry, or creature bait, also Carolina rigged.  Don’t pass up any different feature, like an underwater hump, depression, ledge, chunk rock section, etc.  Shallow to medium depth flats, near deep, main lake water, often produce nice fish. 


Do not pass up any main lake point that looks good to you, during this time of the year, since smallmouth congregate there, and are now at about 10-35 ft. depth.


Slow fishing, employing a finesse Caroline rig, jig and trailer, tube, square billed crank bait, or other bait which will work in the shallow to medium depth of a cove flat or secondary flat, will pay off. 

                         They are out there waiting for you!!!


                               Good Luck and Good Fishing!