Dressing like a Pro

Dressing like a Pro

 Not only are you a professional fisherman but you should look like one too, with Columbia's Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) collection at Bass Pro of Memphis. Today we will be featuring Columbia's Bahama II, Bonehead, and Tamiami fishing shirts. These tops will keep you cool and dry for those hot summer fishing days. 

    Our Bahama II shirts are 100% nylon, with omni-shade UPF 30 protection from the sun's harmful rays. Our Bonehead shirts are 100% cotton ultralite poplin. And last, out Tamiami shirts are 100% polyester with omni-shade UPF 40, omni-wick, and antimicrobial. All these tops come in long-sleeve and short-sleeve in a variety of colors.

        Each and every detail on the PFG tops has a purpose or function on them. For example the velcro tap above the pocket holds your fishing rod in place while you change out your lure. These shirts also feature a utility loop for your pliers, clippers, or a lanyard with a tool attached. All the pockets feature drain holes in them when wade fishing, or can be used to fed fishing line through. Also all three shirts feature venting in the back which provides air flow for cooler wear and faster drying. The mesh built into the shirt prevents fabric from sticking to the body.  

     Not an outdoor fisherman, that's okay, Columbia's PFG collection is great for ballpark games, vacations, summertime outings, or for everyday wear. Our fishing shirts are very stylish and show up on our top 20 best seller list every week here at Bass Pro of Memphis. So come out and get yours today and tell them Holli sent you.  

The Benefits & Features of the Bahama II, Bonehead, and Tamiami Short & Long Sleeve Styles:


Fill Your Easter Baskets at Bass Pro Shops

Easter is just a few days away and it is time to get serious about the contents of your Easter baskets. Your local  Bass Pro Shops has a wide variety of items for kids of all ages.

First, let's start with the candy.  Our Uncle Buck's line has a huge variety of nostalgia-type candy such as burnt peanuts, caramel bullseyes, cherry sours, maple nut drop and orange slices.  You can also find circus peanuts, chocolate-covered peanuts, malted milk balls and peach rings.  These are some of the options available in individual 3-ounce packages, typically located near our cash registers.

candy If you need bigger packages, then keep an eye out for our candy cart.  Here you will find bigger packages (16 - 24 ounces) of the items listed above, plus many more. Additional options include Smarties, gummie bears, and jawbreakers. We even have multiple flavors of licorice and taffy to choose from.




If you want to provide a gourmet treat (for someone the Easter Bunny is particularly fond of), then check out our selection of Jelly Belly jelly beans.  Jelly Belly Jelly Beans come in over 50 flavors, not including licensed flavors from Tabasco, Harry Potter and sugar-free varieties among others.

Finally, no Easter basket is complete without a stuffed animal. You will find all types at your local Bass Pro Shops, from large to small, realistic to camo-wearing.  Many even have sound boxes to play authentic animal or bird calls.






Head over to your local Bass Pro Shops for all of your gift-giving occasions.  You're sure to find something for everyone!




Red Head Rancher II Wellington boots will be going on sale at $79.97 compared to $129.99

The Rancher II Wellington boot is a durable pull on work boot with BONE DRY waterproof technology inside. The Rancher II work boot from Red Head ensures you will look great while working hard.

Premium waterproof full grain leather uppers feature BONE DRY waterproof breathable technology and moisture wicking linings to give you a boot made for a full day of work. Built tough, the Rancher II delivers long lasting strength and durability with its Goodyear welt construction.

Great for work on the farm or ranch, this boot cushions and absorbs impact forces from every step with breathable footbeds and shock absorbing, slip and oil resistant rubber outsoles.

The Rancher II is also non-insulated which works out great on those long sunny days. Average weight per pair is 3.2 lbs. and average height is 12". Drop by the footwear department today to check out these great boots. Bass Pro Shops, your adventure starts here.


James Langham



Set Your Sights Event April 25-27

Set Your Sights Seminars

Drawing for 1 Bass Pro Shops $25 Gift Cards a each advertised seminar


April 25-27 Friday-Sunday

Friday, April 25

  • 6:30pm Conceal-Carry (A discussion of laws, permits, and equipment)
  • 7:30pm Gun Care, Maintenance, and Storage (Products to keep your guns safe, secure and functioning properly.)
  • Tumbler with BPS logo to the first 25 to attend each advertised seminar on Friday night only

Saturday, April 26 and Sunday April 27

  • 1:30 Guns and Accessories for Your Modern Sporting Rifle Project
  • 2:30pm Conceal-Carry (A discussion of laws, permits, and equipment)
  • 3:30pm Gun Care, Maintenance, and Storage (Products to keep your guns safe, secure and functioning properly.)
  • 4:30pm Guns and Accessories for Your Modern Sporting Rifle Project

Drawing at each seminar for $25 gift card- MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!!!!!

  • One winner per drawing at each advertised seminar April 25-27
  • For each seminar we hand out to each attendee a raffle ticket (two part ticket) and then tear apart for one side to be placed in the drawing box for a chance to win a $25 BPS gift card.


Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 prizes:

  • SAVAGE 64 F CAMO .22 L.R. RIFLE $189.99 Value
  • CALDWELL AR-15 MAG CHARGER $79.99 Value

*2 winners at every store- need not to be present to win- must be 21 years of age to enter*

X4 Bonus Points:  In order to receive 4X points, the customer must be an Outdoor Rewards member and have the purchase put on their Outdoor Rewards account. If the customer is not an Outdoor Rewards member, they will need to sign up for the program prior to making the purchase, so that the purchase may be tied to a Rewards account.

This will be a coupon, valid only for these select brands:

  • Streamlight
  • EOTech
  • Beretta
  • DPMS Panther Arms
  • Remington
  • Savage Arms




Power Inversion

How would you like to have power to run your mobile devices and small appliances wherever you may be? You actually can if you have our newest inverter additions.

Custom Accessories have allowed us to bring to you their line of power inverters. From 100W to 750W.

First off, there's the 100 watt inverter. It converts 12v of vehicle power to 110v of household power. Included one 3 pronged AC outlet and one USB port. This unit will provide you with a continuous output of 110 watts to power you smaller mobile electronics such as iPhone, iPad, digital camera, etc. It's also equipped with integral protection against overloads.

You can get this item for only $29.99 and it comes in the RealTree Xtra camo pattern.


Next up is the 120 watt inverter. It has one 3 pronged AC outlet and one USB port. This item is also good for the smaller mobile devices up to 120 watts.

This compact design measures at 4.5"x2.7"x1" and is very lightweight at 7.4 oz. The 120 Watt version also comes in The RealTree Xtra camo pattern and is reasonably priced at $34.99.


If you are needing something a little more powerful, this inverter will power almost everything except portable vacuums, which require 500 watts and small coffeepots which require 600 watts, then you will be needing the 400 watt inverter. 12v of vehicle power is converted to 120 watts of household power and 400 watts when clamped onto the car battery. It has an internal cooling fan and an off/on button. Also compact, it measures 7"x4"x2" , weighs a mere 17.8 oz. and is available in the RealTree Xtra camo pattern as well. $59.99.


Lastly, when you want to power EVERYTHING including the coffee pot, then you are going to be needing this powerful 750 watt inverter. It will power up the smallest devices, 10 watts, to the bigger ones, 750 watts.  This one also has the internal cooling fan, low battery alarm and automatic shutdown. It measures 9"x5.25"x2.25" and weighs 31 oz.

These items are available right now in the store only. So come on over to Bass Pro here in Sevierville and I will be more than happy to show you what we have in stop for your power needs.

Hope to see you soon!

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro




This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops - Easter 2014!

Easter Egg Hunt @ Bass Pro Shops AltoonaEaster activities continue at Bass Pro Shops Altoona this weekend!

Friday, April 18

  • Free 4x6 Photo with the Easter Bunny - 2-7 p.m.
  • Free craft for kids - 2-7 p.m., while supplies last.

Saturday & Sunday, April 19-20

Free Easter craft @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

  • Free 4x6 photo with the Easter Bunny - 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Easter Egg Hunt - Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20 ONLY. Registration opens at 1:30 p.m. - Egg hunt begins promptly at 2 p.m. and lasts one hour. Ages 2-10 only please.
  • Free craft for kids - 1-4 p.m., while supplies last.

Saturday, April 19

Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department shows you easy it is to use our Uncle Buck's Fruit Cobbler mix by serving up samples of cherry and blueberry cobbler! Noon to 4 p.m. or while supplies last.

Coming up?

April 25-27, 2014 - Set Your Sights Weekend!

  • A weekend of free seminars covering optics and other accessories, conceal carry laws and equipment, target shooting, and gun care and safety. Seminar attendees (first 25) on Friday, April 25, receive a free Bass Pro Shops tumbler. Additionally, a $25 gift card will be given away at each seminar all weekend!
  • If you're 21 or older, you have a chance to win a Savage® rimfire.22 LR rifle or a Caldwell® AR-15 magazine loader.
  • Quadruple Points all weekend on the following brands: Streamlight, EOTech, Beretta, DPMS Panther Arms, Remington, Savage Arms


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Bass Pro Hampton Gives Back!

walk a mile

Here in Hampton, Virginia our Bass Pro family has been super busy over the last year.  The store created a team called Team Bass Pro to take to walk a mile in high heels for a great cause!

The team seat a goal of $5,000.00 and was challenged by our hunting manager Mike to raise $10,000.00 to see him walk in a tutu. Team Bass Pro participated in Walk A Mile In Her Shoes 2014 at the Peninsula Town Center In Hampton Virginia, hosted by The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors,http://www.visitthecenter.org.

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is an annual fundraiser hosted by The Center For Sexual Assault Survivors located in Newport News, Virginia. The Center is 100% non-profit organization that provides free clothing to sexual assault victims to leave the hospital in as well as free counseling service for victims.  

Of course we will not say no to a challenge, so we accepted it.  Over the year the team donated their time through hot dog sales, taking to social media, gift card raffles, car washes, bake sales, many associates used their talents to make raffle prizes and collect donations.  As well as making donations.  Our team grew from only 20 members last year to 32 members this year including 2 dogs!  After all was said and done we beat our $5,000.00 goal, beat the $10,000.00 goal, and raised a total of $10,545.00.  The rain held off that day and we had a beautiful day full of lots of fun and laughs! We would like to Thank everyone who helped us make our goal for a great cause!

walk a milewalk a milewalk a mile




Set Your Sights







Set Your Sights

FREE Need-To-Know Seminars

Friday, April 25

6:30PM Conceal-Carry A discussion of laws, permits, and equipment.

7:30PM Gun Care, Maintenance, and Storage Products to keep your guns safe, secure and functioning properly.

The first 25 customers to attend each advertised seminar on Friday April 25th will receive a Bass Pro Shops tumbler!


Saturday, April 26 and Sunday April 27

1:30 PM Guns and Accessories for Your Modern Sporting Rifle Project

2:30 PM Conceal-Carry A discussion of laws, permits, and equipment.

3:30 PM Gun Care, Maintenance, and Storage Products to keep your guns safe, secure and functioning properly.

4:30 PM Guns and Accessories for Your Modern Sporting Rifle Project


In addition to the FREE seminars, be sure to register for your chance to win a SAVAGE® 64 F CAMO .22 L.R. RIFLE ($189.99 Value) or CALDWELL® AR-15 MAG CHARGER ($79.99 Value). At approximately 5 pm local time on 4/27/14, a random drawing will be conducted for one rifle winner and one mag charger winner by each participating Bass Pro Shops location’s management from among all eligible entries received at that particular location. You must be 21 or older to enter. However, winners do not have to be present to win on Sunday. Stores will follow normal gun delivery, paperwork etc... before final awarding to the winner. Official rules will be posted at the Customer Relations Desk.  See stores for details.



The Arctic Cat Trail 700

The new Arctic Cats are here! Be one of the first to see the new line of machines Arctic Cat released from the factory in March.  This is the all new Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail 700 - the first side-by-side by Arctic Cat and one of only a few in the industry that is trail capable and legal.

Arctic Cat Trail 700 tricked out with bimini top, new tires and rimsThe Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail 700 has a stance of only 50 inches wide, less than a hundred pounds and is powered by an all new 700cc twin-cylinder engine. It has an output of 60 HP and is ready to tame the wildest trails or just cruise around the farm! They come in two packages - the base Trail and the Trail XT and the accessories are never ending with these. You can have anything from a cloth Bimini to a full cab and stereo system.

One of the best advantages to the Wildcat Trail? It will fit in a standard full-size truck bed!

Come out to Bass Pro Shops Altoona and take a look learn more from one of our certified sales consultants about this amazing side-by-side.


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Ascend Power User Contest

Are you an individual who lives an "Active" lifestyle? Would you like to win a $2,000.00 Ascend shopping spree for some totally awesome gear? Well swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and check out our Ascend Power User Contest!ascend

Bass Pro Shops is looking for the next Ascend Power User (individual who “lives” the Ascend lifestyle and/or brand. One who is outdoorsy and active).

Customers 21 and older who wish to participate should submit a 2 minute or less video of themselves  “living the lifestyle,” between April 1, 2014 and July 31, 2014. At the end of the submission period, Bass Pro judges will determine the Top 5 and post them online for public viewing and voting.

Bass Pro Shops is looking for creativity, originality, and how well the entry represents the Ascend brand image. The winner gets a $2,000 Ascend shopping spree, a spot on the Ascend-Pro Staff, and a Bass Pro Shops discount card for a year. Plus, anyone who enters gets a FREE Ascend Water Bottle.

Instructions for entry can be found in camping next to the Ascend kayaks, there is a sign with a tear off sheet that the customer can take with them to remember the entry website.  The entry website is www.basspro.com/poweruser and the public viewing page will be http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGlc7SPmc2363qu_RDm6Q8A (the Public Voting period will be August 7 – 31, 2014). Associates and their families are not eligible for entry. Official rules can be found at the customer service desk.


Canoe Fishing

Some of the most fun I've ever had fishing is in a canoe. Easy to handle, light weight and a great workout the canoe has provided me with great fishing memories and sore muscles. If you head down Tamiami Trail behind the second and third levy there are small ponds that hold a great deal of big largemouth bass. The trick is they are usually in the middle or on the other side of the pond unreachable by land, but easy to get to by canoe.

I would recommend popper lures and 10 inch worms. The poppers will make for exciting fishing, but be sure to leave the popper in the water for a couple of seconds after you cast before you move it. This will allow the fish in the water to come over and investigate what's on the surface. Most of the fish I’ve caught on poppers will usually hit the lure on the first or second pop because I've allowed time for the fish to come over. The 10 inch worm is good to leave weightless, Texas rigged, with a 5/0 hook. You can twitch the worm on the surface to make it look like a snake on the water or you can let it sink to the bottom and work it slow. Now remember while these lures are exciting to use they also attract alligators.

Another place I've used a canoe has been on Card Sound road heading towards the Florida Keys. Putting a canoe in the water here can make for some exciting fishing since you can get into the small creeks that most boats with motors are unable to reach. With a fishing friend of mine and a fellow Bass Pro Shops associate Mike, we've been able to catch a fair amount of Jack Crevalle. While Jack Crevalle may not be high on an anglers list of fish to catch it makes for a good fight on a canoe. Lures mostly used here are Gulp shrimp on a jig head, weight of the jig head mainly depends on the current.

Certain things to remember to bring with you on a canoe would be: an extra paddle, a life vest, a net, and grips to grab the fish. Don't forget your pliers for taking hooks off the fish and a small cooler with drinks to stay hydrated.  I’ve even put a trolling motor on my canoe a time or two for longer trips.  Whatever you decide to do with your canoe remember to be safe and success will be a hook set away.  

"If you are looking for a very stable sit in kayak that is rigged and ready to fish you can't go wrong with this kayak. It comes with great features that make fishing a blast. Set the hook on a bass like you are in a bass boat and this kayak can take it. Comfortable chair sits up off the floor and is very easy to pass 4 plus hours on the water."

New Ascend™ C156 Canoe with Motor Transom

A fun and versatile canoe for up to 3 paddlers, the C156 Canoe from Ascend gives you an easy paddling canoe that easily accepts an electric trolling motor. With its sturdy, built-in square back transom design that's ideal for electric trolling motors, the C156 gives you the choice of paddle or powered propulsion. Offering plenty of room for family and gear, this canoe features 3 molded-in seats with drink holders and comfortable, supportive seat backs on the fore and aft seats. A built-in cooler and storage compartment in the center seat offers protected storage for gear and food. The C156 also offers paddle holders, integrated carrying handles at the bow and stern for easier carrying, and eyelets fore and aft for tie downs. Length: 15' 6". Weight: 97 lbs. Maximum weight capacity: 800 lbs.



Zero Rules Columbia shirt

As a Bass Pro Shops employee I have the opportunity to see some of the best Tech shirts come to our store. I truly have to say that one of the best shirts I’ve ever bought for fishing is the Zero Rules Columbia shirt. I was out all day on my husband’s boat, I mean ALL day from sunrise to sunset; and we did not feel hot or sweaty even once. I never thought a shirt like this could make me feel so comfortable. I’ve tried many different brands and styles but I will stick to this style shirt for the rest of my fishing days because they’re great for the sun protection and keep me extremely cool. If you are out in the sun all day fishing, kayaking, or enjoying any other activity you should make a point to stop by our store and check out the Zero Rules Columbia shirts.



Ananay M. Rodriguez


2014 Spring Force Promotion

Bass Pro Shops and Carhartt are teaming up again. This year, April 1st through April 20th, receive a FREE Igloo cooler when you make at least a $50.00 purchase on any Carhartt Force product. Make at least a $50.00 purchase on any Carhartt Force products and receive a redemption form to claim your cooler. Redemption forms can be found in the apparel department.


There are two ways to redeem:
1. Online: Enter certificate code at www.carharttforce.com, as prompted, on or before June 30, 2014. Limit
1 Igloo® Cooler per mailing address. Note: Customers may be requested to mail in original Carhartt Force®
Product sales receipt and original bar code/UPC code.

2. Mail in: Customer can send original receipt with the redemption coupon Carhartt Force® Product sales
receipt and original bar code/UPC code, along with redemption form, to the address provided.

Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. If your Igloo® Cooler is not received in 6-8 weeks, contact Carhartt at 1-800-833-3118, or by email, carharttforce@carhartt.com.

Come on into the store or visit us on the website at www.basspro.com to check out all of the Carhartt products that we carry. Don't wait long to shop, this offer is only good for a limited time.


Easter Event 2014

It's that time of the year again..... Easter time. Come join us for the 2014 Bass Pro Shops FREE Easter Event.

Dates & Times:  Saturdays & Sundays, April 12-13 & 19-20, 11am-4pm

     Monday-Thursday, April 14-17, 6-8pm

     Friday - April 18, 2-7pm                                                                  


Activities include:

Easter Egg Hunt - Ages 2-10

Saturdays & Sundays, April 12-13 & 19-20 Beginning at 2pm for 1 hour

Eggs and bags will be provided


Crafts for the Kids

Saturdays & Sunday April 12-13, 1-4pm (whiles supplies last)



Saturday & Sunday April 19-20, 1-4pm (while supplies last)


Friday, April 18th 2-7pm (whiles supplies last)



FREE pictures with the Easter bunny! Saturday & Sunday April 12-13 & 19-20 - 11am-4pm
                                                        Monday - Thursday April 14-17, 6-8pm
                                                        Friday April 18th, 2-7pm










Weathervanes and windchimes!

We've got many different assortments of the EZ Vane Weathervanes; Garden, Roof mount, Deck, and post. Built to last, these solid 14 gauge steel weathervanes feature a special three step coating to give it a durable, scratch- and fade-resistant finish designed to last for years. This special coating process also delivers the look of an old-time hammered copper piece at a fraction of the cost. The weathervane's windcup assembly features high quality, sealed ball bearings to keep the cups spinning with the slightest of breeze.  They come with multiple mounting options and assembles in minutes!



Looking to sit and relax on the front porch? Get one of our soothing, beautiful wind chimes that we have here at Bass Pro Shops. Experience a peaceful melody every time the wind blows with the Encore Collection Chimes of Earth. This Woodstock Chimes Encore Collection piece is designed and handcrafted for amazing musical performance. It is hand-tuned to a universal, pentatonic scale and creates beautiful sounds with every breeze. These unique chimes are designed to harmonize with all other Encore Collection chimes. We have them in a variety of colors as well.

http://www.basspro.com/Woodstock-Chimes-Encore-Collection-Chimes-of-Pluto-Verdigris/product/12040911/?cmCat=  ...

Take a look at this video that shows you every inch of these amazing Wind-chimes.



Turkey Season is Upon Us!


We are quickly approaching Spring Turkey Season, Are you ready? Do you have your turkey vest, decoys, calls, ammo, bug repellant, the perfect  camo, a tick key, and any other minor detail to make your next hunt perfect? Never fear, swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let our great Team of associates help you find everything you will need to make your first hunt of Spring Turkey season 2014 a blast!

Try the All New RedHead Striker Turkey Vest, http://www.basspro.com/RedHead-Striker-Turkey-Vests-for-Men/product/13082106113916/.  This vest has been redesigned with some awesome feature to make your hunt comfortable and safe; shell loops, maganetic flip seat, memory foam seat, hydration pack compatable, detacable blaze orange flag, padded back, adjustable game bag, accessory pockets, mesh mouth call pocket, box call and striker pocket, and double slate call pocket.  It can be yours for the price of $59.99.

One thing you do not want to over look is the pesky bugs. Try Sawyer Permethrin,http://www.basspro.com/Sawyer-Permethrin-Insect-Repellent-for-Clothing/product/10223263/,  to keep all those pesky insects away from mosquitos to black flies to gnats to chiggers and so many more. This is made in the U.S.A, lasts up to six washings, and is super easy to use; you simply go to a well ventilated area and spray one side of your clothing, let it dry, flip it over, spray the other side, let it dry, and you will be bug free.

As you get ready for the kick off of this Spring Turkey Season, swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let our knowledgable team help you get ready!






A New Way To Cook

In today's world, you can never be prepared enough. You can prepare for any number of things as dramatic as the dreaded end of the world or a natural disaster, a power outage or a hiking trip just to name a few. Today I'd like to hit on the last two and tell you about a few things that could and should go into the preparation of those two scenarios.

First, let's take a look at the Esbit Foldable Pocket Stove. This is an awesome little nugget to have around for hiking trips but also in your car for an emergency or even in the disaster kit at home.

The Nesbit stove comes with 6 - 0.5 oz solid fuel cube so right out of the box, you're ready to go. It's made of electrolytic galvanized steel, only weighs 12.7 oz. and is small enough folded to fit in your pocket. It has two heat positions for low and high (direct heat). A real steal at only $9.99!


Now, you're of course going ot need extra fuel. I have Esbit Solid Fuel Cubes. These come 12 in a pack for only $7.99. Esbit fuel cubes are non- explosive and non- toxic which makes them a great fire starter! They are waterproof and get as hot as 1300°. Depending on conditions, one little cube (0.5 oz.) can heat water to a boil in about 8 minutes and when it's burned out, there's nothing to dispose of and no residue. These would be a great addition to your camping trip just so your camp fire will light a little easier and also would put off a little bit of heat for a short time in case of an emergency.


Lastly, there is the EmberLit Foldable Wood Stove for only $39.99.

This thing is AWESOME! It assembles in seconds, only weighs 11.3 oz. and folds down to 1/8" (folds thinner than an iPhone5) so it can fit easily into your pocket! Fuel for it is always available as it uses just a handful of sticks or anything else burnable that you picked up along the trail. This little puppy is very durable and stable and strong enough to hold a cast iron skillet or a dutch oven. The best part.....? It is 100% made in the USA!

We have alot new and exciting items here at the store and I'd love to show them to you. 2014 Camping season is going to be a great one if you judge it by all the new gadgets we have.

Come see me....

Thanks for allowing me to share once again.

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops


Shad Fishing

by Grant Alvis

Living in the Richmond area, it’s only natural to have been exposed to the Shad fishery that the local rivers have to offer. Every spring the annual Shad Run sweeps through the tidal rivers of Virginia and the fun begins!  Once the water temperatures reach the mid to high 40’s the Shad begin appearing in Virginia's rivers. There are two primary species of shad, Hickory and the American Shad. The Hickory is the more prevalent of the two species and tends to appear first, usually around the 1 - 1.5 pound range. The Hickory is known for its speed and the acrobatic jumps they will be sure to perform as soon as they are hooked. This is what earned them the nickname “the poor man’s tarpon”. The American Shad usually appear one to two weeks later and they grow to a much larger size. It’s not uncommon for an eight plus pound American Shad to be caught each year. These fish are characterized by brute strength and long drawn out runs. Americans don’t tend to jump as much as Hickory Shad but the fights usually last much longer. The American Shad are illegal to possess in the state of Virginia due to their declining numbers in recent years, but they have begun to make a comeback. The Shad usually appear in the James River first, and then begin to show up further north in about 1 week increments.

There are a couple of different ways to target these exciting fish. The most popular way among anglers is with traditional spinning gear. A 5 – 6 foot light action rod with a 1500 – 2500 size reel spooled with 2 - 8 pound line is all that’s required for the setup. Make sure the rod has a fast action and that the reel has a smooth drag. The fast action rod allows for a better feel of the lure which is helpful when the fish aren’t hitting lures hard. The smooth drag allows the angler to handle the constant runs that the fish will make. The typical lures of choice for shad are shad darts and small colored spoons. The way I like to rig these are: Tie a shad dart/spoon under a barrel swivel with about 16 - 20 inches for a leader. Above the barrel swivel slide a 1/8oz. inline weight onto the main line and attach the mainline to the top of the swivel, then peg the egg weight to prevent it from sliding. This rig allows the fishermen enough weight to cast the lure, but it is still light enough to allow the bait to drift fairly naturally in the current. Make long cast across or directly down current and allow the rig to sink. Slow retrieves with the occasional twitch will trigger the strikes. Vary this retrieve until you find what is working that particular day.

Another popular way to target the Shad and my personal favorite is fly fishing. Anglers will need a 9 foot 5 - 8 weight rod with a large arbor reel to match. The large arbor is to allow you to fight the occasional fish that will take you into the reel on a run. The fly line is the most important part of the entire combo for shad fishing. In the James River in Richmond, I typically use a 24ft sink tip fly line. The sink tip usually weighing in at 250 grains. This fly line sinks around 7 - 9 inches per second which allows you to get down to where the shad are in the water column easily. Make medium to long length casts down and across the current. Allow the fly line to sink different amounts of time until you find where the fish are holding. Short quick continuous strips until you retrieve the fly all the way in. If you miss a fish keep stripping the fly in because they will usually hit twice. Once you find the depth the fish are holding, you can repeat the same process again and again and you should hook up every time. Eventually the school moves in the water column (usually deeper) and you will have to find them again.

Shad like to hold in different places throughout the rivers. The most common place to find shad is a current break. Wing damns, channel turns, islands, bridge pilings and obstructions on the bottom can all cause eddies in the current. These eddies are what the shad like to hold in because they can rest without having to swim constantly. Shad usually flood the rivers and you can catch them most anywhere during the spawn, but focusing on areas like these will give you the best chance. Tide is also a large player in shad fishing. Personally, I have always had better luck when the tide is moving. Shad don’t seem to prefer to move around much on a slack tide, and the best bite is usually right after the tide change. The Shad utilize the tide in their spawn as it helps them move up and down the rivers with ease.

In closing, these fish can be a blast to catch, and when the run is in full swing it is not uncommon to have 100+ fish days. Additionally, one of the best things about it is that you typically don’t have to break the bank in order to have a good time and catch a ton of these hard fighting fish. I hope this has given you a better understanding of Shad fishing and be sure to stop by Bass Pro Shops for all of your Shad fishing supplies!

I hope to see you on the water,


Grant is currently majoring in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s been an avid fisherman since he was old enough to hold a rod!


2014 MAKO Pro 17 Skiff CC


The 2014 Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC measures 17’ 4” long and is designed with an exclusive advanced inverted V hull design. This hull design ensures that whether you’re cruising shallow-water inlets, choppy bays, rough-water inland lakes or skinny bayous, you’ll enjoy a smooth, dry ride and nimble handling. Also with only 8 inches of draft this boat is capable of accessing shallow water. With a wide stance and large casting decks the Mako Pro 17 Skiff provides a stable, roomy fishing platform. We tested a Pro 17 Skiff CC packaged with a 60-hp Mercury EFI four-stroke, the hull’s maximum recommended power. So rigged, we reached a top speed of 34.9 mph at 5800 rpm burning 5.1 gallons per hour. We found the optimum cruising speed for the rig to be 21.3 mph, turning 4000 rpm while consuming 8.67 miles per gallon, giving the boat a cruising range of 47 miles with the standard 6 gallon fuel tank. The 2014 Mako Pro 17 Skiff CC has a starting price of $13,995 and for limited time if you purchase a new Pro 17 Skiff CC you could choose either 3.99% APR Financing or a $300 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card! Plus, you'll receive a VIP Owner's Card, providing up to a 20% discount on Bass Pro Shops merchandise for 2 years! Financing option for qualified buyers, restrictions apply.

For more information come on over to Miami Bass Pro Shops and speak to one of our Tracker Associates.




Goin' Cattin'

Big Catfish are waiting!  Mr. James Wiggins and his fishing partner, Bill Hart of 15 years from Cookeville Texas, have living proof!  They mainly fish Lake Tawakoni with excellent results with these monster cats!  They have only been fishing Tawakoni for the past 3 years, but state that other lakes such as lake Texarkana, Bob Sandlin and lake Cypress also have their share of these monsters!

James has a 22' Lowes aluminum boat set up just for catching catfish.  They have 14 Driftmaster pole holders surrounding the boat with plenty of room to land the big ones.  He preferred Bass Pro Shop Catmaxx 7'6" rods suited with Abu Garcia 6500 and 7000 Level wind bait cast reels.  He states that you need this type of set-up to catch the monsters, smaller rods and reels sometimes fall short when trying to land the bigger ones.  He also prefers 80 lb. pro braided line with a 9/0 double trouble circle hooks.  The Santine Cooper rig is the set up to catch the bigger ones because of its ability to not hang up easily.  He says that he can drag this rig across brush without hanging, this is very important.

All species of catfish are in our lakes, but they prefer to catch blue catfish because they grow to be the biggest.  James and Bill only do this for fun and are very conservation-minded by releasing all they catch.  The blue catfish takes 7 years of growth before they become fertile.  James states that we must throw the fish back to conserve our resources and keep the bigger fertile catfish in the lake.

To catch these bruiser catfish, they like to drift, but will tie up on occasions when they locate a big school.  With many fish coming from 15-25 ft. of water, James says that when you catch fish that deep that it is a must to release the pressure from their swim bladders.  They do this by inserting a piece of tube down their throats to release this pressure so the fish can swim back to the bottom of the lake.  After water temperatures get to 70-78 degrees, they find the fish go shallow to spawn.  To locate these fish, electronics are important.  You must have a plan before going to the lake, and always stay with your plan.  This will help you learn how to find the fish quicker and be more consistent in catching.

The bait they use is cut shad.  Cast nets are the best way to catch the shad.  For the beginner, the smaller radius nets 4' monofilament are the easiest to throw and manage.  There is some practice needed to learn how to throw a perfect circle with the net to achieve the maximum catching ability  of the net.  When the shad are caught, they are cut into pieces to fish with, the head portion being the best choice.  Also, use your favorite fish attractant.  This will enhance the bait.  Then it's just a matter of holding on to one of these monsters, which is a suitable challenge for any angler.


We hope these tips will help you in catching a big catfish and maybe a fish of a lifetime.  Always wear your life jacket and practice safety at all times.  If we practice safety in front of our children, our children will learn how to be safe and enjoy the great sport of fishing for the rest of their lifetimes!