Get Out and Get Those Big Bass This Fall

Deacon and his big fish

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

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

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


Boy Scouts Across America!

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

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

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

Boy Scout



Fall Bass Buffet

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

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

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

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


Getting Ready for Fall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lauralee Gilkey

Bass Pro, St. Charles, MOLadies23


Crossbow Predators

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

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

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

Coyote in Grass

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

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

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


Top 3 Summer Bass Jig Tactics


By: William Redmond

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Table Rock & Bull Shoals September Fishing Report

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!  Right now, with the surface temperature of both lakes pushing 85 degrees, putting your boat in 35ft. of water, and casting to 15ft., then slowly working the shaky head out into the deeper water, is working.  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 an early morning 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, and fish in these areas.  Many times, the bite will end when the sun becomes visible, but, on occasion, this bite will go on for a few hours.  Right after the top water bite stops, a grub bite often follows, on these same flats.  Currently, bass are taking a smoke, or smoke with some color flecks (like red, or gold-red-black) grub. 


From late morning to early evening, jigs and tubes often work well, since black bass key on crawdads during this time.  Try a ¼ to 1/2 oz. jig, with a craw trailer, 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 these fish hold the bait in their mouth.  Try fishing around  docks, pole cedar lined banks, chunk rock points and cove banks, with a jig, drop shot rig, Carolina rigged lizard, finesse worm, French fry, or a 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 water is often being pulled (generated) from each lake, and the resulting lake currents, cause shad to congregate off these points, and nearby main lake shore line.  Ten to fifteen inch worms will work well off these main lake points.  Get ready, and set the hook hard!


Summer evenings are a great time to get out onto the lake, since, after the sun leaves the water, bass move into the coves, and water temperatures and available oxygen are at comfortable levels for feeding fish.   


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 , for a while, until the water gets warm enough for the available oxygen to begin depleting.  As the water temperature goes up, dissolved oxygen level shrinks.  So, fish move to deeper water, to find better oxygen levels.  A big rain will add oxygen and bring fish back into the shallows!


Wind and rain offer an opportunity to change tactics.  Wind will allow spinner baits and shallow running crank baits to work well, and rain can cause water clarity to get murky or muddy, allowing a jig or tube to work even better.  They are out there waiting for you!!!


                               Good Luck and Good Fishing!



Fall Fishing Event

Fishing is not just for spring and summer anymore...

Join us in September at the Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville and  plan your fall fishing around the changing season.  Our Fall Fishing Event will include seminars from our knowledgeable Fishing Pro Staff and Nitro Team members, as well as kid and family activities. Make your plans now to attend- September 21-22 & 28-29.


      Saturdays, Sept 21 & 28

            1 pm   Fish Hatcheries; From Hatcheries to Lakes

                        Learn information about fish hatcheries and how they stock our lakes

            2 pm   What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics

                         Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch

            3 pm   Best Baits; Baits that Work for Successful Fall Fishing

                         Visit with experts on what’s hot in baits for fall


      Sunday, Sept 22 & 29

            1 pm    Area Fishing; What You Should Know

            2 pm    Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices

                        Learn about local fishing and selecting the right equipment

            3 pm    Changing Water Conditions; How it Affects Fishing

                        Water conditions change when weather shifts. Learn the effects

**FREE FISHING TOWEL GIVEAWAY- to the first 50 customers who attend the 2 pm seminar each day**

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ JUST FOR KIDS!!!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


12-1 pm     Free Beginning Fishing Workshop

                    Learn the basics to get started fishing.

This class will include hands-on casting instructions. Free giveaway and BPS Kids Fishing Team Certificate to the first 50 kids who complete the workshop each day.


12-4 pm     Catch and Release Pond- filled to the rim with bluegill!!!Fall Fishing 2013



12-4 pm     Free Photo Download!!

 Visit our photo area for this photo opportunity free digital download- you can print or email your friends.









Fall fishing 2



      1-3 pm       Crafts- Color your own Tackle Box


Family Focus: Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock Wilderness Area

Joyce Kilmer Wilderness Area

trail map

Recently, my family and I visited a part of the state that none of us had been to.  We traveled to Robbinsville NC for a weekend stay.  While we were in the area, we decided to make a trip to the Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness area.  While there, we enjoyed the trails which make a loop through the forest.  The trail leads past several of the giant poplars that the wilderness area is known for.

Giant Poplar

Details At a Glance

Trailhead: Cheoah Ranger District
Overall Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2mi
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
Allowed Uses: Hiking


This figure-8 loop trail travels through a spectacular, virgin forest, one of the largest tracts of uncut forest in the Eastern United States.The forest around this trail is designated the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. This is a fitting memorial for an individual who is best know for his poem, "Trees". A monument inscribed with the poem lies at the mid-point of the hike, where the figure-8 trails cross. Excellent representation of original, native cove hardwood forest with enormous trees. Well-designed trail with creek crossings on bridges. Connects with trails in the larger, wilder Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area.

While hiking the trails, we were constantly stopping to look at the things that were all around us.  At one point, our 2 girls stepped right over a small snake that was in the middle of the trail.  It turned out to be a small ringneck snake (pictured below).

Ring Snake


  This little snake was in a hurry to move off the trail as we came lumbering by.  This was also a great opportunity to remind our kids to slow down and look more closely at the surroundings.  We were all in too big of a hurry and this was a reminder that we needed to slow down.  We made the loop through the forest, seeing several other impressive poplars.  At one point, we stopped to the sound of water rushing down the hillside, even though there wasn’t a stream to be seen.  It turned out that there was a subterranean creek just under one portion of the trail.  The earth had collapsed and opened a small hole about the size of a basketball that allowed us to hear the water below.  We would later cross the small stream of water further down the slope after it had resurfaced. 


At the end of the hike, we found ourselves taking a few minutes to sit by the primary creek that runs through this section of the wilderness area.  Little Santeelah Creek is fairly small at this point, but has several small pools and falls near the parking area, making it ideal for a little exploration.  The kids had a great time just sitting and watching the water flow by.

Relaxing by the creek

Of course I took advantage of the time and spent an hour or so fly-fishing for the small rainbow trout that seemed very plentiful.  It seemed that each small pool, eddy or pocket held an eager little rainbow that was more than willing to eat the small caddis patterns that I had tied on.  Short, accurate casts were the name of the game in this creek.  With the recent rains and slightly off colored water, several casts to a likely holding spot were often rewarded with a splashy strike. 

If you find yourself in the area around Robbinsville NC, you owe it to yourself to take a quick trip over to this great wilderness area. If you are interested in hiking western NC check out this interactive map.


Ron Kinney

Operations Manager

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World




It's the 2013 Fall Fishing Event!

Fall Fishing Event signage

Dates & Times: Saturdays, September 21 & 28     &    
Sundays, September 22 & 29   Noon-4pm

Fishing Seminars

Saturdays 9/21 & 9/28, 2013

  • Fish Hatcheries – From Hatcheries to Lakes     1pm
    • Visit with the Jake Wolf Hatcheries staff Mark Sarti (22st) and Tom Hays (29th).
    • Learn more about fish hatcheries and how our lakes are stocked.
  • What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics         2pm
    • Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch.
  • Best Baits; Baits That Work For Successful Fall Fishing       3pm
    • Visit with experts on what’s hot in baits for fall.

Sundays 9/22 & 9/29, 2013Rob Hilsabeck, IDNR Fisheries Biologist

  • Area Fishing; What You Should Know   1pm
    • Visit with the IDNR’s Fisheries Biologists Wayne Herndon (22st) and Rob Hilsabeck (29th).
  • Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices   2pm
    • Learn about local fishing and selecting the right equipment.
  • Changing Water Conditions; How It Effects Fishing      3pm
    • Water conditions change when weather shifts. Attend this seminar to learn the effects.

Seminar Giveaway:   Fishing Towel Giveaway to first 50 Customers to attend 2pm Seminars each day!

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Kids Activities

Boy & girl at Bass Pro Shops Catch & Release pond.CATCH & RELEASE POND  
Noon-4pm each weekend day of the event


Noon – 1pm each weekend day of the eventMike Rolen conducting kid's seminar

  • Learn the basics of fishing.
  • This class will include hands-on casting instructions.
  • Kids that complete the workshop will receive a Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team certificate and a free pair of sunglasses!


Noon-4pm each weekend day of the event
It's You At the Lake! backdrop. We'll take your photo and you go online for your free download.

1-3pm each weekend  day of the event
Color Your Own Tackle Box!
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To stay up to date on all our events, please like us on Facebook!

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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Collegiate CamoHeaded to Ames for the Iowa State-Iowa Football game? Stop by the store on your way to and from the festivities! We're got our jerky on sale and GREAT seasoning and sauces to use for your tailgating! 


Jerky sampling from Noon – 4 p.m. in front of the main aquarium on Saturday and Sunday!


Sunday, September 15 - Jay Green and Scout, the K9  therapy dog, will be here for a dog obedience demonstration in front of the aquarium at 1:00 p.m.


Locally, look for us at the SE Polk Homecoming Parade, Thursday night, September 19 - you won't be able to miss us - we'll be the ones with all of the COOL STUFF AND CANDY to throw out!  

Go Rams!


Coming next weekend - the Fall Fishing Event and the Catch and Release pond for kids is back!  Watch our blog and Facebook page for details!


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


Spring Fly Fishing Conditions Report

Summer is almost over thank goodness. Last weekend, I enjoyed a relaxing weekend out on the water. I took some of my buddies down to the Little Red River and we enjoyed several days of good fishing. It sure was as hot one out there. In order to keep cool, we found that wet wading was the answer. We waded in our Simms footies and Worldwide Sportsman light weight shorts that we bought at our local Bass Pro in Memphis, TN. The fishing was good on the Little Red River. South West Power has been running two generators for 4 hours a day and has kept cooler water in the river. Sow Bug and Zebra flies were the flies of the day. Saturday, there was a huge blue wing Olive hatch (type of fly used) on the water for most of the afternoon.

It does not matter where you are or what river you are on, but make sure you enjoy yourself & the great outdoors. Remember to come by and see Lesley and Mike in the fly shop for all your fly fishing needs & news!


       Some Spring condition reports on local rivers.

*The White and Norfork have been running a lot of water. They are near pool so they should be starting to turn off soon.

*The Spring River closes out the canoe rentals by the end of September. Mark Crawford, a professional tour guide, has reported lots of fish and clear water.


Tight Line & Tall Tales




Toyota Test-Drive


Thursday Sept. 12th through Sunday Sept. 15th, 2013

Here's your chance to test-drive a variety of Toyota products on the streets of Olathe.* The vehicle line-up includes the Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner and RAV4** .
Product Experts will be on hand to answer all of your questions. As a thank you, everyone who completes a test drive will receive a $10 Bass Pro Gift card courtesy of Toyota.
The event takes place from Noon to 6 pm Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bass Pro Shops in Olathe.
*Drivers must be 18 years or older with a valid driver's license. ** Vehicle lineup subject to change without notice



Texas Dove Season Prospects Bright

Special White-wing Area expands; higher possession limit

AUSTIN –Texas dove hunters should see plenty of opportunity this fall as conditions are shaping up for an above average season, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Dove season kicks off Sunday, Sept. 1 across most of the state.

Texas dove hunters number upwards of 250,000 and collectively bag between 5-6 million doves during the 70-day season. Thanks to new rules approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this year, hunters can possess up to 45 birds — three times the daily bag limit. Previously, the possession limit was twice the daily bag. Daily bag limits still apply.

The USFWS also approved for this year an expanded Special White-wing Dove Area (SWWDA) in South Texas. The SWWDA will now extend eastward along its current boundary and continue south along Interstate 37 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, effectively doubling its current size.

Dove Hunting

“For the last two decades, white-winged dove populations have steadily expanded both their numbers and their geographical extent,” said Dave Morrison, Small Game Program Director with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We believe, and the Service agrees, an expansion is appropriate to take advantage of additional hunting opportunities.”

To take advantage of the earliest possible opening dates for the special area, the season will run Sunday, Sept. 1 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, and then reopen Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8. The daily bag limit during the combined four-day season is 15 doves in the aggregate to include no more than two mourning doves and two white-tipped doves and hunting during the early season in the SWWDA is permitted only from noon to sunset.

Dove season in the North and Central zones will run concurrent from Sept. 1-Oct. 23 and Dec. 20-Jan. 5. The South Zone dove season is set for Sept. 20-Oct. 27 and Dec. 20-Jan. 20, with the regular season in the SWWDA Sept. 20-Oct. 23 and Dec. 20-Jan. 20.

According to Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD’s Dove Program Leader, hunters can expect to see an increase from last year in dove numbers.

“It appears that breeding dove numbers have increased from last year in many regions of the state,” he said. “Increased precipitation helped improve dove production and generate ample food supplies. It should be a good season.”

Bass Pro Shops is for the Birds!

Dove Season


Bass Pro Shops - Your Tailgating Headquarters, Part II

Last time around we took a look at some of the tailgating requirements (i.e. grill, cooler, canopy, chairs, etc.) you can find at your local Bass Pro Shops. Today, we're going to take a look at some optional equipment/ideas, that will take your tailgating experience to the next level!

sauceFirst, we've established that a grill, whether gas or charcoal, is necessary.  Once you've decided on what you are going to grill, whether it is burgers or steaks, you are going to want to coax as much flavor as you can out of them.  Take a look at the Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades book, located in our Gifts Department.  This handbook contains over 300 pages of sauces, rubs, marinades, bastes, butters and glazes to enhance anything you cook.

Here is author Steven Raichlen's recipe for Basic Barbecue Rub. Sprinkle this rub on pork, beef, chicken, or fish. You can cook the meat at once or, for an even richer flavor, let it marinate for 2 to 4 hours first.

1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)

1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/4 cup paprika

3 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix. Transfer to a jar, cover, and store away from heat and light. The rub will keep for several months.bone

buttMakes one cup.

That takes care of seasoning your food before you cook it. What about afterwards, you're asking? Bass Pro Shops carries a huge variety of barbecue sauces to dress your meats with. Some of our featured brands include Bone Suckin' Sauce, Rub Some Butt Carolina Sauce, A&W BBQ Sauce and Budweiser BBQ Sauce. You are sure to find a flavor profile to fit your needs and make your taste buds sing.

washerFinally, don't forget games and activities to entertain you while you are waiting for the big game to begin. Some favorites include Washer Toss, Ladder Toss, Bean Bag Toss and Lawn Darts. All are family favorites and fun for all ages. 


GPS devices and the importance of their uses

As summer is approaching the transition into fall and the final days of recreational boating come to an end marked by the “Labor Day” holiday; so begins many others favorite time of year, “Hunting Season”. Although many people will continue to fish in tournaments, and squeak as many last days on the water as possible, the change of season truly brings our focus to the woods. As for many, this change also brings time spent in unfamiliar territory surrounded by woods and open fields. Now whether or not one is hunting or just camping out; there is a vital tool that some have and many more will need, a GPS or “global positioning system”.

Although most of us at first thought will automatically think about the navigation system for a car, the reality is that there are several uses for global positioning systems. Any advanced fisher’ knows that this is a key tool to finding honey holes and special spots, and always being able to return to them. Just as well, the best hunter knows not to leave base camp without one. But there is much confusion and uncertainty amongst the beginning GPS user. Many feel they do not possess the knowledge and skills to operate one, and don’t understand how they work. Choosing a Handheld GPS Unit

GPS devices whether an automotive, fish-finder combo, or a hand-held unit all work the same way. Any true GPS systems all run off the same government satellite’s positioned outside the Earth and triangulate a signal to determine the exact latitude/longitude corresponding location of the user. By doing this, GPS devices offer four major functions.

1). Location

2). Directional information

3). Waypoints

4). Tracks/Trails

The first of course is ones current location. Any GPS will display some form of an outline map and show the position of the user. The second is directional Information that will allow a person to see which way their movement correlates to that current position. The third is the ability to mark a current spot or point. This is called a waypoint. Many units will record more spots than the average person will ever remember. Fortunately, these waypoints can be labeled and designate a specific symbol. But one must remember that waypoints are strictly line of sight. To answer this is the fourth important feature, tracks or trails. These are the ability to actually make a start point and create an exact linear direction saved on the map display. This is important because there might be a creek between the trophy deer, or an island before that brush pile!

          While these four functions may sound intimidating and complicated, the truth is that GPS units are surprisingly simple to use! Most entry level units have analogue toggle control to move through menu options that require a very little learning curve. And even the high end units are easy, most have touch screen menus that are almost exactly like operating the current day “smart phone”. GPS Glossary of Terms

 As for affordability, the cheapest beginning unit can start around as low as $100! Let someone get lost in the woods and have no cell phone reception, or hit a giant stump because they don’t have this capability, and GPS units practically pay for themselves! Of course, as one adds bells and whistles, the price can increase, but even the entry level unit has all four basic functions.

  So where can one go to see the latest selection of these units, and receive knowledgeable information and demonstrations of these fascinating devices? Why any local “Bass Pro Shops” of course! Located in the marine department, any one of our associates is well versed in the operations and features of GPS systems. So head to your nearest “Bass Pro Shops” where the adventure truly begins!





Instant Hot Water

Now that fall is just around the corner, many of you may be thinking of a fall camping trip. You may want to consider purchasing a travel shower to make your trip a little more pleasant.

In our store, we carry the Zodi Instant Travel Shower, which can be used not only for hot showers, but for washing dishes and equipment clean-up.  This shower quickly heats water for hot showers anywhere it is available. Just place the system's 6 volt pump in a lake or other water source, ignite the propane burner with its push-button ignition and enjoy this on-demand self-contained shower system.



  • Portable, self-contained
  • Instant push-button ignition
  • Stainless steel burner
  • Hot water in seconds
  • Includes powerful battery-powered water pump and rugged plastic storage case that doubles as a 4 gallon water container and propane tank base
  • Propane and 4 D cell batteries not included
  • $179.95



  • Storage case holds water for a 10 minute shower
  • Can be connected to a water hose for endless hot water
  • Heats 60 gallons of water between battery and propane refills
  • Adjusts water temperature up to 100 degrees F with a gas valve
  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof battery case with on/off switch
  • 6 volt pump with debris screen for greater water pressure
  • Compact for easy transport and storage
  • 4 ft input hose and 8 foot shower hose with water-saver shower head included

So, whether you plan to spend a few days in a tent, in a sleeping bag under the stars, or you would just like to be prepared in case of an emergency, come visit us at your Leeds Bass Pro Shops or visit to purchase your Instant Hot Travel Shower. Your family and friends will thank you for it.

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






Bacon-Wrapped, Marinated Chicken Wings

 Bacon wrapped wings

Okay, so you all know that I have been smoking food at home like a fiend since the spring. And as my frequent visits to a particular nearby wing establishment will stand as a testament that I love wings (and beer), I had an epiphany….smoked wings. But in true Bass Pro Style, I thought how can I make this even bigger and better and tastier??? The first thing that popped in my head was marinade. And the biggest, baddest marinade up in the camping department is the Cajun Injector Buffalo Butter. This heaven-sent concoction is a combination of buffalo wing style sauce and butter…seriously??? The only way that this marinade could be any better is if it had bacon flavor in it…hey…wait a second….how about if I marinade the wings, put a zesty rub on them, and then wrap them in bacon???....BAM, it’s like that !!!!


The party that started when these wings hit my taste buds was off the hook !!! Add a little blue cheese and your favorite ice cold craft beer and you will be wishing every day was football Sunday. Here’s how I did it and what you need to git ‘r done:


Wings – I use the Kroger brand, but any unbreaded wing will do

Cajun Injector Buffalo Butter – how many jars depends on how many people found out about your little secret and now expect you to feed them

Your favorite rub – Again, it depends on your taste, you can go zesty, or maybe a garlic/peppercorn direction, it’s up to you

Bacon – take your pick – I try to go with the local store brand because the marinade and rub could make a piece of shoe leather taste delicious


Ok, so thaw out your wings and in either a sealed bowl or Ziploc bag marinate the wings. Over night is ideal, but 3 or 4 hours will do ok. Next you want to apply the rub. I found that putting it in a pan and rolling the wings in the rub works well, but I have also applied rub by putting the meat in a plastic sealable bag with the rub and shaking it, and I have also used our Better Breader. Again, it’s up to you, I just found that the rub stays on better by the rolling method. Next, wrap each wing in a piece of bacon. You may have to use toothpicks to keep the bacon on the wing, break them in half to make it easier. Load up your smoker with some wood chips (Hickory is my favorite) and I like apple juice in the liquid pan. Get the chips smoking, drop your temp to around 225 and put in the wings. Check them at around 45 minutes and see how they are doing. You have to get chicken to 165 degrees to be safe. If you don’t have a thermometer you can poke the wing, if the juices are clear and not pink the chicken should be done. When they are done take them out and let them rest for 5 minutes or so, then eat them !!!! It’s that easy !! Good luck and I will catch you next time my smoker friends !!!



Hunting: Preparing for the Weather

The biggest problem many hunters run into is weather. The weatherman might say it is supposed to be 65 degrees with a slight breeze, when in reality there is gale force winds and it is raining sideways. Sadly the weather is a huge factor in how many hunters pick when they will hunt. This being said there are a few tricks of the trade that might make hunting a little more appealing to everyone.

            The first rule of preparing for the weather while hunting is, learn to layer. This simple step in the morning can save almost any hunt from the weather. Start with a base layer that is skin tight and will wick away sweat. Under Armor Charged Cotton Camo T-Shirt is a great way to keep the sweat or wet off of you as a base layer. After your base layer a light fleece camo jacket under a heavy coat can stave off just about any form of cold, while at the same time keeping you dry in case of the odd pop up storm or persistent rain. Now picking the right heavy coat to go over top of your jacket is key to the whole process. Many of the coats in the Red Head Mountain Stalker series are made for cold climates and come with the added advantage of being fairly water resistant. After you have found the right layers for your torso finding the layers for your legs is also important. Using a skin tight absorbent material under a pair of camo pants is a great way to keep your legs warm while in a tree stand or stalking. Also finding a good pair of coveralls to go over everything and keep in your body heat is a great way to feel warm while hunting.

            The next thing any aspiring comfortable hunter is going to need are gloves. In the same line of thinking as with the upper body, layering with gloves keeps your hands warm and the response time quick just in case you need to take that snap shot at a trophy buck. Starting with a thin glove lining, similar to the Scent Lok Level One Ultralite gloves you can keep your hands warm and dexterous when needed. Then on top of the liners having a heavy glove, that can easily be removed, is recommended. A good glove for this is the Red Head Insulated Fleece. Bass Pro shops has several options of hunting gear such as base layers, gloves, belts, head gear and outdoor gear! Follow this link to see what we have!


Hunting Jacket


Local Fishing Report 9/1 to 9/7/2013

The river was at 3.3ft at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.3ft with 20,200CF of flow and 75 degrees.

Trip #1 was on Tuesday and we fished from 4PM to 7PM and caught 5 bass.  The largest was 19" and we caught them all on spinnerbaits.  We had 3.5ft-8,500CF-rising-clear and 82 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.60 and rising.  We had extreme wind.

Trip #2 was on Wednesday and we fished from 1:30PM to 5:30PM and we caught 20+ smallmouth and 1 walleye.  The largest bass was 19" and the walleye was 21".  We caught them on spinnerbaits and stickbaits.  We had 3.6ft-rising-9,400CF-clear and 81 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.80 and rising.

Trip #3 was on Thursday and we fished from 2PM to 5:30PM and we caught 10 bass.  The largest bass was 17" and we caught them on spinnerbaits and soft plastics.  We had 4.0-rising-15,100CF-stained and 79 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.20 and falling.

Trip #4 was on Friday and we fished from 11AM to 3PM and we caught 10 bass.  The largest was 18" and we caught them on spinnerbaits and soft plastics.  We had 4.2ft-rising-20,200CF-clear and 76 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.20 and steady.There was alot of grass and slime floating.

Trip #5 was a half day PM on Friday and we caught 9 channel cats and 3 flatheads.  The largest channel cat was 26.25" and weighed 5.3lbs, and the largest flathead was 15.3lbs.  We caught all but one channel cat on Sudden Impact and we caught the flatheads on live bait.  We had 4.2ft-rising-20,200CF-clear and 76 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.20 and steady.  No matter where I moved to i could not get out of the floating debris so we constantly had grass and slime pulling on our lines.

We will not be fishing on Saturday as I had my fill of fighting grass and slime on Friday night.