Spring Fishing Classic

Join us for our annual Spring Fishing Classic! Here is a list of events and activities that will be held in our store.

Local fishing tips seminars: Feb. 28- March 16

Fried fish sampling: March 8- 2p.m.-4p.m.

Women’s workshop: March 15- 3p.m.
with giveaways and a raffle
*see seminar list below

Feb. 28- March 16- Win a Nitro Z7 and fish with elite angler Edwin Evers sweepstakes: Enter for a chance to win a Nitro Z7 Bass Boat, 3-day/3-night stay at Big Cedar Lodge, and fishing trip with B.A.S.S. Elite Series Professional Angler Edwin Evers.

Feb. 28-March 5: Reel tarde-in: Donate your functioning used reel and receive a coupon towards a discount on a new reel.

March 6-12 Bonus Bucks: Use your Bass Pro Shops Master Card to purchase new gear and receive up to $100 in Bonus Bucks

March 7-11 Rod trade-in: Donate your functioning used rod and receive a coupon towards a discount on a new rod.
Next Generation Weekend: Saturday and Sunday March 15 & 16
-Crafts 1p.m.-4:30p.m.
-Catch and release pond- Noon-5p.m.
-Photos: Noon-5p.m.: Free 4x6 printed photo of your kids
catching fish in our catch and release pond
-Kids workshop: 2:30 and 4:30 each day
-Free crafts
-Coloring sheets
*first 150 kids to get their Next Generation Card punched will receive a free tackle box
*each child will receive a “Keep America Fishing” Bass Pro Shops certificate
-6p.m.: Mike Webb- Electronics & Deep Water Fishing
-6:30p.m.: Tips for Fishing the Lake of the Ozarks
-7p.m.: Brian Snowden- Seasonal Patterns for Jigs
-7:30p.m.: Techniques for Fishing Bass
-8p.m.: Rick Clunn- Square Bill Crankbait & Jerkbait Techniques

-10a.m.: Selecting the Right Hardbait for Different Conditions
-11a.m.: Fish Finders: Tips and Tricks
-12p.m.: Soft Plastics: Different Rigs for Different Conditions
-1p.m.: Fundamentals of Trolling Motors
-2p.m.: Crappie Basics
-3p.m.: Fish Finders: Tips and Tricks
-4p.m.: Features and Benefits of a Tracker Aluminum Boat
-5p.m.: Tips for Fishing the LAke of teh Ozarks

-10a.m.: Selecting the Right Hardbait for Different Conditions
-11a.m.: Fish Finders: Tips and Tricks
-12p.m.: Features and Benefits of a Tracker Aluminum Boat
-1p.m.: Tips for Fishing the Lake of the Ozarks
-2p.m.: Features and Benefits of a Nitro Fiber Glass Boat
-3p.m.: Fish Finders: Tips and Tricks
-4p.m.: Fundamentals of Trolling Motors
-5p.m.: Tips and Trends for Bass Fishing

-6p.m.: Soft Plastics: Different Rigs for Different Conditions
-7p.m.: Bowfishing for Beginners/ Rigging for Bowfishing

*FREE travel mug giveaway to the first 25 customers to attend this seminar
-8p.m.: How to Use the Bass Pro Boss Shad and Other Swimbaits

-10a.m.: Selecting the Right Hardbait for Different Conditions
*11a.m.: Locating Bass in New Waters
-12p.m.: Soft Plastics: Different Rigs for Different Conditions
*1p.m.: Topwater Techniques for Bass
*2p.m.: Spinning Reel Tactics for Bass
*3p.m.: Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter
*4p.m.: Become a Smallmouth Specialist
*5p.m.: Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Crappie
*FREE travel mug giveaway to the first 25 customers to attend these seminars

**2p.m.-4p.m. Free Uncle Buck's fried fish samples!

-10a.m.: Selecting the Right Hardbait for Different Conditions
*11a.m.: Locating Bass in New Waters
-12p.m.: Soft Plastics: Different Rigs for Different Conditions
*1p.m.: Topwater Techniques for Bass
*2p.m.: Spinning Reel Tactics for Bass
*3p.m.: Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter
*4p.m.: Become a Smallmouth Specialist
*5p.m.: Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Crappie
*FREE travel mug giveaway to the first 25 customers to attend these seminars

-10a.m.: Selecting the Right Hardbait for Different Conditions
-11a.m.: Features and Benefits of a Nitro Fiber Glass Boat
-12p.m.: Soft Plastics: Different Rigs for Different Conditions
-1p.m.: Fish Finders: Tips and Tricks
-2:30p.m.: Thinking Like a Fish
-3p.m.: Women's Fishing Workshop
-4:30p.m.: Thinking Like a Fish
-5p.m.: Fundamentals of Trolling Motors

-10a.m.: Selecting the Right Hardbait for Different Conditions
-11a.m.: Fish Finders: Tips and Tricks
-12p.m.: Features and Benefits of a Tracker Aluminum Boat
-1p.m.: The fun of Fishing
-2:30p.m.: Thinking Like a Fish
-3p.m.: Soft Plastics: Different Rigs for Different Conditions
-4:30p.m.: Thinking Like a Fish
-5p.m. Tips and Trends for Bass FishingSee More



Bass Pro Shops would like to invite you to learn from the professionals. Join us Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for our Bassmaster University weekend. This weekend's lineup includes:

jimmy houston

Jimmy Houston Friday night (February 28th) at 7pm
"Umbrella Rig Secrets & Learning How to Pitch"



Kevin VanDam Friday night (February 28th) at 8pm
"Tournament-Proven Bass Strategies"



Chuck Belmore Saturday (March 1st) at 1pm
"Modern Bowfishing"



James Watson Saturday (March 1st) at 2pm
"Choosing the Right Equipment: Rod, Reel & Line"



Chris Lane Saturday (March 1st) at 3pm
"Grass Fishing Techniques"



Terry Baksay Sunday (March 2) at 1pm
"Soft Plastic Swimbaits from Top to Bottom"



Roland Martin Sunday (March 2) at 2pm
"Techniques for Pattern Fishing"


woo daves

Woo Daves Sunday (March 2) at 3pm
"Worm Fishing"


Stop by and attend a workshop to learn from the best or simply come and meet a professional angler. Don't forget to pick up your Bass Pro Shops merchandise to have autographed from your favorite professional fisherman. Visit our apparel department for hats and t-shirts or pick up your favorite fishing lure from the fishing department.




This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Spring Fishing Classic Begins!

Spring Fishing Classic

Friday, February 28

The Spring Fishing Classic begins when the doors open at 9 a.m.! 

The Reel Trade-in runs February 28-March 5...trade in your old reel and save even more on a new one! The trade-ins must be in good working condition and we donate them to local youth organizations and the Lake View Camp in Pella, Iowa.

6-9 p.m. Preferred Rewards Night - A members-only event, with prizes, giveaways, extra rewards points on all purchases made at the event, and the chance to win a Nitro Z-7 Boat! Entry slip and coupon for double points are in the mailed invitation you will receive. You must bring your invitation to enter.


Saturday, March 1SFC Speakers

Join us to welcome our national pros during Bassmaster University! Seminars will be back in the Fly Shop area.

1 p.m. - Win Stevens - Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Angler - Using Your Humminbird Electronics
2. p.m. - Chase Parsons - Host "The Next Bite" TV show and Walleye Tournament Champion - Walleyes 2014
3 p.m. - Casey Scanlon - Bassmaster Elite Series Pro - Jig Fishing

Saturday, March 1 & Sunday, March 2

What a Spring Fishing Classic without a fish fry! Our Gifts Department will be serving up samples of Uncle Buck’s Fish Batter on Saturday and Uncle Buck's Hot and Spicy Batter on Sunday! Try the Uncle Buck’s Cammo Ammo or Peach Pepper hot sauces for dipping!

Saturday, March 1 & Sunday, March 2

Girl Scout Troops will be selling those famous cookies!
March 1 - Troop #881 from Johnston
March 2 - Troop # 672 from Experience Church


As always, stay on top of all our events and happenings for young and old:

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Product Spotlights: A Winning Combination!

Saturday, March 1, our local pros (Lance Baker and Kary Ray) will be at the store representing two of their other sponsors - Lance  for Daiwa and Kary for Lowrance. Come say hello and let them show you the new Daiwa Tatula line of rods and reels and the new Lowrance HDS Touch units that helped Randy Howell win the 2014 Bassmaster Classic!

The pros will show you how these two lines of products will up your game on the water!

Daiwa Tatula 100H


Stop by and see Lance to find out more about the Daiwa Tatula 100H baitcasting reel. With a 6.3:1 gear ratio, Daiwa designed this reel to be tough and smooth. A solid aluminum frame with a gear-side aluminum side plate. The air rotation provides for effortless casting in a rugged low-profile design. Buy one at the Spring Fishing Classic and get a coupon for a free Tatula long-sleeve shirt!Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2

Kary can fill you in on the Lowrance HDS Touch units, like the Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Touch with LSS-2 HD Bundle, featuring the built-in, exclusive Insight USA mapping, Broadband Sounder, 83/200 kHz and LSS-2 Transducer. This unit also has a $200 rebate available during the Spring Fishing Classic!



Stop in and visit with Kary and Lance this Saturday, March 1, at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!


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Smoker Basics

Hi, I am Jim and I work in the Camping Department at Bass Pro Shops in Las Vegas Nevada.  Each month I’m going to share some information about some of our great products that we carry at Bass Pro.


Do you love having smoked meats or fish at your favorite restaurants? If so did you know that you can smoke your own meats and fish at home?


At Bass Pro we have everything you need to smoke your own meats, fish and cheese. All you need is a smoker, wood chips and some time.


First you need to choose a smoker that is right for you; at Bass Pro we carry inexpensive small can smokers such as our Bass Pro Shops® Smoke'n Grill Charcoal Smoker Grill to large heavy duty smokers such as the Horizon 24'' Marshal Backyard Smoker.


Propane gas and charcoal smokers can be transported for smoking out in the field where electricity is not available. Electric smokers need to be located where electricity is available.


The most popular smoker we sell at Bass Pro Las Vegas is Masterbuilt 30” Digital Smoker. The Master Built Digital smoker is very easy to use all you need is to select the proper smoking chips to the type of meat or fish that you will be smoking. The Masterbuilt Digital Smoker is very easy to set your temperature. Just insert your wood chips, place your meat on the rack and add more chips as needed.  Let your meat smoke for the time that your recipes call for.

Masterbuilt Smoker


Our Bradley smokers take the ease of smoking one step further with an automatic biscuit feeder that is truly a set it and forget it smoker. We carry the Bradley analog and digital smokers and the Bradley Bisquettes.

Bradley Smoker


Come in to Bass Pro and talk to our smoking experts in the Camping Department they can help you choose a smoker that is right for you and give you tips on preparing a great smoked meal. Bass Pro also carries many books on how to smoke your meats. Stay tuned for some great smoking recipes and easy dinner ideas.


Predator Hunting with Electronic or Mouth Calls

All general seasons are officially over and it is leaving hunters with little options to feed their outdoor addictions.  Spring time is getting close and pretty weather is sure to hit the state of Texas shortly.  Texas being a key word in that sentence, as our state has one of the largest population of coyotes nationwide.  For those hunters who are not partial to turkey hunting in the spring, coyote hunting is a sure fire way to cure that adrenaline craze we all seek while hunting wild game. 

            Our electronic calls feature calls by FoxPro, Hunters Specialties, Primos and Western Rivers.  These calls project loud and accurate sounds of wounded rabbits, fawn in distress, distressed mice and howling coyotes etc.  These calls all come preloaded with the essential calling tones used to have success in the field.  We have targeted coyotes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and have had success using these calls to bring coyotes into range. 

            For the hunters who enjoy a tougher challenge I encourage you to shy away from the electronic calls and go for the mouth and hand calls.  Companies such as Primos, FoxPro and Hunters Specialties have all made very accurate sounding calls to help bring predators in close, even within shotgun or bow range.  Fooling sly coyotes into thinking you are weak and wounded is an accomplishment in itself and proceeding to harvest that animal turns a hunt into a more difficult and primitive way of hunting these wily predators.  Early February we went east and did a few calling sequences and got a response within several seconds of calling.  The coyote used the cover and got to within 40 yards before it spotted us and took off.  Even though we didn’t harvest the coyote we tricked it into believing we were something we were not.  It adds confidence to a hunter when they we realize we can equal the playing field with good calling sequences made by our mouth and hands.         

            We need to have respect for an animal that has no general season, can be baited, hunted at night, hunted with electronic calls, has no bag limit and yet they still thrive and grow in population each year.  We as hunters need to do our part in helping control this population to insure a healthy habitat for the other game animal we chase during general hunting seasons.  Come in to Bass Pro Shops Garland and speak to one of our professionals about getting some of the latest and greatest gear to turn your spring hunting into a new adventure.





Annual Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro Shops - Macon

The annual Spring Fishing Classic, a 17-day event, kicks off on Friday, February 28 and runs through Sunday, March 16.  The event features workshops from national fishing pros, seminars from local fishing pros and a weekend full of kids activities.

The opening event is Bassmaster University - a series of free workshops presented by nationally-known fishing pros.  This year we have five pros here, at Bass Pro Shops - Macon, to share their tips and techniques with you:



Friday, February 28

6:00 p.m.    Tommy Martin

7:00 p.m.    Scott Martin

8:00 p.m.    Stacey King

Sunday, March 2

1:00 p.m.    Travis Johnson

2:00 p.m.    O'Neill Williams

This is sure to be a "standing-room only" event - so plan to head on over and learn from the best.  Watch this column for even more details on upcoming events (such as workshops from our local fishing pros, fishing activities for kids and even a class designed for introducing women to fishing) during the Spring Fishing Classic or take a look at our Facebook page.





HuntData Digital & Printed Maps

HuntData Maps

Bass Pro carries a complete line of products from HuntData designed to assist you with your research and ultimately help you find “Where to Hunt” strategically & where public & private land boundaries are. The BigGameCD 7 program is a Windows research product, designed to help you strategize for the draw, using statistical history to analyze and identify the best hunting season.


The average success rate for hunters in Colorado is around 21%. This translates into success once every five years, right? The truth is, the successful hunters within the 21% tend to be the same hunters, over and over again. Why? They know where to hunt. There are multiple factors contributing to a successful hunt in Colorado. To move into the 21% you have to research, plan, and scout.


During the winter months you don’t have to check out of the hunting process. Instead, check out the concentrations, land ownership, and topography for your favorite unit from the safety and comfort of your office using HuntData’s Digital Maps series in Google Earth, iPhone, iPad, DROID or Garmin. Explore and dream about your fall hunt!


After the draw, your focus will change from many units to one unit, or, as most hunters do, you will need to plan a hunt in one of the over 90 units open to over-the-counter hunting. Bass Pro carries over 350 different printed unit maps covering every unit in Colorado with Elk Concentration Maps, Land Ownership, and Topographical versions. The maps will truly let you determine “Where to Hunt” in your unit.

And when it is time to enter the woods, load one of HuntData’s 2,500 Digital Maps for Colorado or Wyoming into your iPhone, iPad, DROID or new Garmin GPS Unit and hit the trail. Get the same map in your hand, on your computer and in your mobile device. Use these tools to identify “Where to Hunt” and move into the 21%.



An Office with a Different View

Bass Pro Shops Altoona AquaristWe welcome Chris Schuehle as our new aquarist at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!  Chris is a 2012 Drake University Business graduate, which may sound like an interesting background for taking care of a giant aquarium in a big outdoor store.

However, Chris has been around aquariums since he was young. He started with freshwater and went into saltwater aquariums and still has a large reef tank at his parents in Minnesota. But his experience now is to learn the industrial side of things, from the giant pump room to the 33,000 aquarium in the main store and the 1,000 gallon aquarium in Uncle Buck's FishBowl and Grill.

Chris also has scuba experience, which is integral, of course, to maintaining the large aquarium. His scuba experience started after his freshman year in college, when he and friends worked as divers in Minnesota, diving to the bottom of  lakes to remove weeds. He has also been to the Keys diving several times.

He says the most interesting thing about his new position is the size of everything and learning so much more from the experts from other stores who have been training him.

"It's pretty amazing to think about all the goes into making it possible for one little kid to have so much fun running up to see the fish and then running off again!"

That's what it's all about at Bass Pro Shops.


Are You Ready To Fly?

New Year’s Eve and all those New Year’s Resolutions are now behind us. It’s time to start to seriously think about fishing. Whether you are looking for new equipment or hone those skills, you can find everything you need at Bass Pro Shops. From Friday February 28th to Sunday March 16th, the Annual Spring Fishing Classic will take place. During that time, the White River Fly Shop will have the equipment you need and the seminars to help answer your questions. So, come on down and get started. See the listing below for the exact schedule.

March 1st and 2nd:  Steve White will be in the fly shop to answer your questions about Scientific Anglers’ fly lines and Ross Reels.

March 8th and 9th: Bill Teresco will be in front of the fly shop tying flies and answering your questions about fly selection and our classes.

March 8th and 9th: Steve White will be in the demonstration area doing an “Introduction to Fly Fishing” seminar at 12 noon.

March 15th and 16th: Emmett Doane, owner of Circle Valley Anglers in Circleville, UT, will be in the fly shop to explain the fly fishing opportunities in Southern Utah.

March 15th and 16th: Bill Teresco will be in front of the fly shop tying flies and answering your questions about fly selection and our classes.

March 15th and 16th: Steve White will be in the demonstration area doing an “Introduction to Fly Fishing” seminar at 12 noon.




Product Spotlight - The Beadery® Wonder Loom™

In MY day as a child, we had the metal pot holder loom. With a basic metal square with jagged teeth-like edges, a pick and a bag of fabric loops, I was themost incredible potholder maker in the world. My mom, aunt, and the neighbor ladies all reaped the benefit of just being associated with me, because THEY would undoubtedly receive one of my masterpieces...probably many times over!

Now, today's kids have the Wonder Loom and it is here at Bass Pro Shops!  But the Wonder Loom doesn't make hot pads...you make bracelets out of latex-free rubber bands!

You get 600 rubber bands, 24 clips,and easy-to-follow instructions. There are YouTube videos for those who want to see how it's done first. Its' the perfect gift for young kids and is all the rage right now!

Couple of things that are pretty cool:

1. It's a perfect tool for learning or RE-learning skills...youngWonder Loom or old. Visual perception, finger dexterity, problem-solving, dealing with frustration. Numerous web sites and therapists provide resources stating their usage and support of this as a great mental an physical learning tool.

2.  Additionally,  it's the first rubber band loom made in the U.S.A. 


Stop in at Bass Pro Shops Altoona and find the Wonder Loom in the kids toys area. We also carry the book Rubber Band Jewelry with ideas for making bracelets, rings, belts, and more...maybe hot pads???


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Giving Back

By: Jerry Costabile

On February 8th, I was part of a “Learn to Hunt Rabbits” program that was put on by the Wisconsin DNR, at Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Kansasville, Wisconsin.

The hunt was put on by the Richard Bong Naturalist Association and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It was held on the park property, which has hundreds of acres of hunting open to the public. I know for a fact that the area we were going to hunt is loaded with rabbits, and I was just as excited as if I were going to hunt! There were five hunters and five mentors. The hunters for the day were Ben, Nathan, Hunter, Annie and Jay. Our Mentors for the day were Adam, Brandon, Michael, my son Kyle and myself.

Being a certified Hunter Education Instructor, I was asked to teach a firearm safety class and a class on hunting rabbits. Along with my classes, there would be classes on state laws and regulations that would be instructed by two state Conservation Wardens, Brandon Smith and Michael Katzenberg. There was a class on the biology of rabbits by Adam Holcomb from the Naturalist Association.

We had a special guest speaker, Mike Corbett, on hunting with beagles. Mike was to bring a really special guest, but because of the snow depth, we didn’t get to meet his dog, Nugget. He still gave a great presentation with a film of an actual rabbit hunt with Beagles.

After a lunch provided by the Naturalist Association, we were ready to hunt! After everyone was given a blaze orange vest, complements of the Naturalist Association, and blaze orange hat, complements of Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee, IL, we were off! I was concerned about the new snow on top of the old snow, and the ability to hunt in a way that we could flush the rabbits to the hunters that were positioned ahead and in safe locations. Well when we got to the first area to be hunted, the snow was deep; I was in snow up to my mid thighs! It was all that we could do to just get thru the drifts and get to the cover. The rabbits were there, lots and lots of tracks and rabbit m&m’s (droppings), but it was very difficult to get into the thickest cover where there was less snow. This is where all of the fresh sign lead to and we were not going to get there, too much snow. The effort was there, but the opportunities were not.

A group decision was made to go back to the classroom for a short break and rehydration and then to head to another location. The snow was already taking its toll on us, we only hunted for about an hour and we looked like we had been at it all day!

When we headed out for round two, I was feeling a little disappointed because with the conditions, I didn’t think our opportunities would be many if any. Upon arriving to our hunting destination, we grouped up and made the walk a few hundred yards back to a heavy brush covered area that had good rabbit sign everywhere. I could see that if we were going to see a rabbit, this was the spot! While everyone was getting into position to start, I could see a very fresh set of tracks that led into the cover we were about to get into. I put Nathan, my hunter, into a good position to see and it was open enough that if Bugs showed himself, he would get a shot. Our “dogs” Kyle and Ben, were just about to the brush that the fresh tracks led into and I told Nathan “Be ready” and sure enough, out he came, the first rabbit of the day! Nathan did a great job getting his gun up and because of the rabbit’s speed, a very ethical decision not to shoot. It just wasn’t a good shot opportunity and because of the deep snow, I knew that the rabbit wouldn’t go far and might give us another chance. As we moved to get ahead of the “dogs”, there was a shot off to our right. It might have been the same rabbit, but we weren’t sure so we kept moving ahead. Once Nathan and I got to an area that gave us a good vantage point and a safe location, we got ready only to see the guys walking up to us and no rabbit ahead of them.

Well we regrouped with the others and found out that Annie got the shot, but the rabbit got away! We made our way to the nature center took some pictures, shook hands and said good buy. I was hoping to demonstrate field dressing and share a couple of recipes, but the rabbits at Bong Recreation Area survived the first “Learn to Hunt Rabbits”.

On the way home, I had some mixed emotions, I was a little disappointed because I am usually successful at rabbit hunting and really wanted the day to be a great memory for our first time hunters. But I was also very proud of the fact that maybe, just maybe, I helped in a small way to keep a tradition alive. I reflected on the introduction to the sport to my boys and the fun we had, even when the rabbits were better than we were. I am now completely into the sportsman stage of my outdoor life, this is where the success is based on the experience, the memories, the friendships and the feelings of satisfaction of just being able to show others why I love what has been created for us all, the great outdoors.

There is something special in giving back to something that has rewarded you with so much. From teaching others, to protecting the resources, I know that for the rest of my days afield, it won’t be about what I harvest, but about what I can do to give back.



Day Dreaming of Spring

Anyone who loves fishing as much as I do, knows that by mid-winter we really start itching to get back out on the water and need fishing related activities to satisfy our craving. This is the time of year when spending some time diving into the books can be super beneficial. All season long I am constantly reading, learning, testing and practicing, but in the winter it is a little bit easier to sit and absorb the material without distraction. With all the ever changing baits, styles, natural forages, weather patterns and presentations of today, it is important to learn as much as you can to be prepared for situational fishing. Don't get me wrong, the joy of fishing can be found by just heading down to the lake, grabbing a rod, tossing out any old bait at any old time and catching some fish, but for those of you who are looking to take it to the next level or just want to know more about the patterns and cycles of your fish, putting in the time is crucial. This winter, take a little bit of extra time and pick a topic that you would like to be better at. Study it; memorize it and when the spring comes put it to the test. Just like when we were in school, if you put the time in and get good results, you will be rewarded right away and with that, you will be Hooked.

Something else that every angler should be looking forward to and equally as important is to organize and prepare you gear for the upcoming season. Depending on your skill level, all of this information may not pertain to you, but if you spend as much or more time on the water than not, most of these tips will ring true. Lure preparation is very important. I like to make sure that all of the old line is clipped away from the split rings and adjust any of the rings as needed to make sure the bait is running true. It is also very important is to check the hooks on your lures. Many times it is a good idea to change them out season to season or more often depending on the style of fishing you do. Dont forget to check the paint job. On many of our lures that are beat up, it is possible to do some touch ups of our own, and it is a good way to refurbish your supply without spending a fortune on new stuff. Another important aspect to preparing is going through your terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jig heads and the myriad of other peices we have should be inspected and organized accordingly for the upcoming season. Organization of your gear is very important, especially on the water because it puts what you need in your hand quickly and allows you to get your line in the water faster. Speaking of line, this is perhaps the most important thing I would recommend doing in the off season. I like to strip all of my old line off from the season before and re spool everything. Now, that may not be necessary for you to do especially if you only fish a couple times a week or even a handful of times a season, but for me, I am on the water every day, and I go through a ton of line. By the end of the season, the line still on the reel has been used and abused. I will spend some time oiling and greasing my reels, and then I will put all new line on before the start of the new season. There is nothing worse than heading out for your first fishing trip of the season, targeting some big pre-spawn bass and hooking a monster only to have your old line from last season fail. It will really start you off on the wrong foot for the year and put you in the wrong frame of mind as a fisherman. Hopefully some of these tips will help you to ride out the winter a little bit easier and be better prepared for an outstanding fishing season in the spring.


Greg MinerCharles

River Charters




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NC Wildlife: Free Hunter Education Course for Women

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will offer a free hunter education course for women on March 28-29 at Bass Pro Shops in Concord, Cabarrus County.


Join us for a hunter education course for women on March 28-29 at Bass Pro Shops in Concord.

The two-day course will provide an atmosphere conducive to learning for women of all ages, with no experience required. This specialized course will be held at Bass Pro Shops, located at 8181 Concord Mills Boulevard, through the Wildlife Commission’s Hunter Education Program and Home From The Hunt™ campaign.

The course is offered on a first-come, first-served basis with limited space available and pre-registration required. The first session will be conducted on Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. with the final session held Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“There is an increase in female participation in hunting, shooting sports and outdoor recreation, and we want that trend to continue,” said Carissa Shelton, the Commission hunter education specialist who will lead the course. “This course will provide the standard lessons of the Hunter Education Program, but will do so in a gender-specific setting. We believe a specialty course like this creates an appealing environment for those women who prefer it.”

All graduates will receive hunter certification recognized in all 50 states, U.S. territories and many other countries.

For more information or to pre-register, call 919-707-0031

Happy Hunting!

NC Wildlife


Winter Blahs Be Gone

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" 

~Robin Williams~

One day, when we least expect it, we'll wake up and be ready to party because it's spring. In the meantime, I'm 99% sure we'll be getting more snow, and there's surely going to be some rainy days, too. So, instead of bemoaning Mother Nature and something we have no control over, here are a few suggestions of ways to make the days seem a little brighter. 

Have kids, a spouse, significant other, or roomies? Get them involved!

Snowball Maker1.  Spring Cleaning - Do those little tasks you've been putting off...like cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen! How about using a Bass Pro Shops Tackle Storage Box to help keep some of the "junk" sorted?  And have you seen the Fishing Butler Ultimate Rod Ties? These handy dandy little gadgets can be used for hanging rods, but also organizing items in crafting areas or in shops and workrooms!

1. Bake/Cook - Tackle a new recipe or cooking style. View cooking as a pleasure and not a chore. Make something not because you HAVE to feed someone, but because you WANT to. Bake with kids...teach them a practical, fun skill that involves using their head and motor skills. Cook with your spouse or partner - assign tasks or leave the cooking to one and let the other do the clean up. Make it a team effort.  Hey, pick up a snowball maker and make meatballs! Take about repurposing!

2. Learn a new craft - You're never too old...grab the kids' Wonder Loom and have them show you how to make the rubber band bracelets, etc. They may teach YOU something.

For the "of age" crowd that likes a frosty beverage, try making your own brew with a Mr. Beer kit. We have some refill flavors, too, like Bewitched Amber Ale and American Ale, and the brand new Diablo. Mr. Beer

For the non-drinkers or kids, you can pick up a Mr. Root Beer Kit and make your own root beer!

3.  If it's winter outside, why can't it be summer inside?  Use that electric ice cream maker that you usually only drag out in the summer and make some homemade ice cream.  Fry up some chicken (see #1 above), throw a blanket on the floor and have an old fashioned picnic inside! Open the curtains and let what light there is outside come inside.

4. Drag out the outdoor yard games...indoors! Bag toss, ladder toss...they can be played inside, too. Have a competition! Drag out the board games or swing by and pick up some new ones, like Animalopoly or Fishopoly or the UNO Wildlife Edition...make it a learning experience while they're having fun.

5. READ - Snuggle everyone together and read some books. Out loud. There is a not a kid in the world who doesn't like to be read to. Have the older kids take turns helping out with the reading.

6. Grab the camera and take some goofy photos and video footage for archiving. But really archive them, not just post them on Facebook. Keep them for the future. How about a GoPro? How cool would that be to make some fun movies with it for the future?

7. Likewise, drag out the scrapbooks and photo albums and reminisce. Start a scrapbook for your family, if you haven't already. Doesn't have to be fancy and you don't have to invest all the bells and whistles that some do when scrapbooking. Photos and a few mementos are what it takes. Our family has a camping scrapbook that my mother started in 1962 that I still look at.

8. Do manicures and pedicures...include the dog. Rarely has a dog gone without getting their toenails painted at some point in their life.

9. If it's nice enough, go outside and enjoy a little fresh air. Feed the birds and clean out their feeders...they like clean dishes, too.

10. Lighten up. Spring will be here soon and the party will begin.

Summer Fun








Nom, Nom IFC: Woo-Hoo for Wahoo!

The IFC has another delicious dish for you and something tells me that you will want to say “Woo-Hoo!” for it. It is the amazingly edible Smoked Wahoo Wrap!

Now the restaurant offers their Smoked Wahoo Dip as an appetizer, but they knew it was so good that they needed to wrap it up and make it a handheld hunger-killer! This thing is loaded up with the delicious dip and vegetables. So it is a healthy option when dining at our fine next door neighbor. I am sure most of you made some resolution at the beginning of this year to eat healthier or such, and this is a delicious way to do so!

Now for those of you who do not know what a wahoo is, let me clue you in! Wahoo are a long and silvery fish that resembles the barracuda. These fish are considered a prized sportfish as they can attain speeds of up to 50 miles per hour! They will also violently shake their head and sometimes will leap out of the water to get free, when hooked. If that is not a fighting fish, then I do not know what is! But I also that it is a fine-tasting fish that it sure to delight anyone who tries a bite.

So next time you stop by our store finish up the adventure with a trip to our sister restaurant. Scientific evidence may prove that the best way to wrap things up at Bass Pro Shops is with a wrap… wahoo wrap!

As Lazy as a Chilled Rattler! Giddy-Up!!

Previous Nibbles:

Grouper Sandwich


Clam strips





Miss Absolutely Nothing

Oculus Optics has arrived and I would like to thank them for their support. Great Binoculars 7.0 10x42 and Spotting scope 15x45x65 are available here at the Bass Pro Shops located in Ashland, VA. As we say, you will "Miss Absolutely Nothing" with this wonderful brand of optics. I have a love for the outdoors and a wonderful way to share it is with Oculus brand optics. I know there are many different makers of fine optics and I have used most of them; we all look for the best deals and here they are. These Oculus products are designed and manufactured with precision and accuracy in mind and they stand behind all of their products with a lifetime warrantee; no receipt is required.


I have been shooting long distance archery for many years and looking at arrows through many different products. The clarity and eye relief that the Oculus Spotting Scope gives me is beyond wonderful. I would like you to check out these fine products the next time you are shopping online or in person here at Bass Pro Shops. Don't just think about it, do it! You will look at things a lot different and as we say “Miss Absolutely Nothing.”  


Till next time your local Bass Pro Staff member wished you happy viewing as you will soon see the outdoors in a different way. 


-Rex Reichert  




Spring Fishing with Flicker Shad


With warmer weather rolling in Walleye anglers are hitting the water and the new Berkley Flicker Shad is helping them catch more fish.  The Flicker Shad is a minnow imitating lure that can be cast or trolled.  Trolling is by far the most popular technique for Walleye fishermen when using the Flicker Shad.  The bait has a tight, subtle action that is very effective with the cooler water temperatures now in the area.  These baits also have rattles, and many of the color patterns that are standard are perfect Walleye colors.   Bass Pro Shops has four sizes and a very large selection of colors to choose from, 11 of these colors are Bass Pro Shops exclusives selected by Walleye pro Gary Parsons. 

berkley flikr shad


Studies have shown Walleye will target small Shad even if they have larger forage available.  Therefore, this has made the Flicker Shad one of the most productive baits of our time.  With top of the line components you get a bait that will run correctly out of the package,  featuring strong hook attatchments and a wide range of colors.   On sale now for $3.97, and continuing through the Spring Fishing Classic,  plus an additional rebate available from Berkley, make the Flicker Shad a must have lure for springtime fishing.  Stop by our Fishing Department and see one of our dedicated Associates to help you stock up on all your Walleye Fishing needs.



Additional information on the colors and sizes available in the Flicker Shad, as well as all of the details on the many Berkley rebates, can be found at  basspro.com, or by calling us at the Sevierville, TN location.  We look forward to seeing you during our upcoming Spring Fishing Classic, February 28 – March 16.

flikr shad



Good fishing,


Jonathan Dyke

Fishing Team Lead


Rod Trade-In!


Join us starting Friday, March 7, 2014 thru Tuesday, March 11, 2014 for our rod trade-in event.  Do you have an old rod or two laying around the house just taking up space? Are you looking to upgrade your old rod? Just want a newer model? Well, bring your old rod to your local Bass Pro Shops March 7, 2014 thru March 11, 2014 and let us take it off your hands and give you a coupon to use when purchasing a BRAND NEW rod, while your old rod is donated to a charity and makes someone else happy:) Its a win win situation!

New Rod Purchase Price SAVE
$30.00 thru $48.99 $5.00
$49.00 thru $74.99 $10.00
$75.00 thru $99.99 $15.00
$100.00 thru $119.99 $20.00
$120.00 thru $159.99 $25.00
$160.00 thru $199.99 $30.00
$200.00 thru $249.99 $40.00
$250.00 thru $499.99 $50.00
$500.00 and UP! $100.00



Walleyes in Skinny Water

By Chris Grocholski
Fishing Lead
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Growing up in northeast Iowa, I was faced with no lakes, or any big water for that matter, to fish. What we had were small rivers to spend our days fishing in. Small towns, like Elkader, Eldorado, and Clermont, and small rivers, like the Turkey, Volga, and the Cedar Rivers, provided lots of opportunities to catch walleyes while wading down the river or in a small boat.  Many summer days were spent with a zip lock bag full of 4” plastic worms/grubs, a small tackle box full of jigheads, and occasionally a small crankbait

What makes these rivers such a challenge and also rewarding? The rivers are never the same from year to year.  When the snow starts to melt, and the spring rains come, so does flooding and many instances of major flooding. Many times, this will change the complete look of a small river and, in some cases, completely change the river's course!

Places/Things to Look For

Some of the easiest places to look for, when trying to catch walleye in smaller rivers, are bridges and dams. Most likely, those are going to have the deepest water available for fish for quite some distance and the fish will tend to congregate there. However, keep in mind that “deeper” might only be 2 or 3 feet deeper. 

If you are on a particular river that does not have any dams or bridges, the next areas that you should be looking for are places that have sharp bends in the river. A bend will usually have an area close to the shore that has significantly more water than the rest of the area. Currents hitting the bank causes the bank to have a steep drop and any sediment coming up stream does not have a chance to Chris Grocholskisettle. Depending on the amount of current, these areas may be as long as a half mile or can be as small as just a few feet, but all have the potential of holding walleye. This picture of me holding a nice 17-inch walleye came on a bend area that was no more than five or six feet wide, and about 15-feet long, but the fish was in five feet of water, and I was standing in about one foot of water.

Another area that I like to concentrate on are rip rap shore lines and steep rock facings with any current on them. The big key to what I look for is water depth of five feet or, again, the deepest water available. If the shore has any irregularities to it, that is definitely a bonus as well...things like indentations, points, a change in rock type, etc. Anything that will divert current will have a good chance to hold fish; the stronger the current the better, because those irregularities are almost a guarantee to hold fish and will cause a larger eddy with the more current in the area.

What Baits?

My #1 choice for walleye in smaller rivers is a combination of 4” ring worm and a jighead. However, things like three- or four-inch Chris Grocholskitwister tails, small shad body baits, and even a fluke-style minnow are all good choices as well. I also, on occasion, will choose a suspending Rapala stick minnow or also a small vibrating rattle trap-style bait, as well. Jighead weights will be from a 1/16 to a 3/16 oz., but most occasions will call for the 1/8 oz. The key to jighead selection is to keep it the smallest that you can get away with, to make the bait look the most natural, but at the same time keeping in close contact to the bottom. I will sometimes go up a lure size to make a change in the way the bait looks in  the water, but not even change the jighead size, for example. Switching from a smaller 3 inch twister tail grub to a 5 inch grub will give your bait a bit more buoyancy in the water and also a bigger profile. This is a go-to presentation in the fall when fish are looking for a larger meal going into the winter season.

Questions? Please post them here or on our Facebook page and I will answer them!  Don't forget about the Spring Fishing Classic Local Tips and Seminars sessions on March 8 and 9! We'll be on hand to answer questions then, too!


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