Professional Bull Riding is coming to Sevierville!

Professional Bull Riders is paying  a visit on July 27-28 to your favorite Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville.

We will have it all- ropin, ridin, crafts and even a live PBR Bull !!! Yep, you heard right PBR is bringing out their Bull Trailer for us and one of their prize bulls on Saturday, July 27 12-4 pm.

So come on out and join us 12-4 pm for a fun free family event like no other.

  • Stick Bull RidingPBR
  • Bull Roping
  • Make a FREE Leather Wristband
  • See a Live PBR Bull - Saturday, July 27 only
  • Cowboy and Cowgirl Contest- Sunday, July 28 only

               * One winner will receive a $50 Bass   Pro Shops Gift Card. Judging begins at 2:30 pm

               * Gift Card awarded at 3 pm


Free Cowbell to the first 100 customers each day!

And this year we aren't waiting until Labor Day to start our Summer Clearance deals!

Starting July 20-28 we are having a storewide sale and clearance event - just look for all the deals under the tent located on our boat pad.


A Runner's Bestfriend

pepper spray

There is nothing more calming than an evening run after a long day at work or at school.  However, safety is my biggest concern.  I prefer to run either trails or right along the bay,  often in the early evening. However, being a female and having my earbuds in and focusing on my run I'm not always as alert as I should be.  To ease nerves of concerned family, friends, and and my hubby I agreed to carry pepper spray and boy oh boy was it the best decision of my life!  Sabre offers a variety of pepper sprays from a keychain in pink or black to a large bottle for home protection.  They also carry a small bottle perfect for running or walking and even a bottle designed to fit in your car. 

Sabre makes an awesome line of products.  I use the jogger,  when running.  However I also have the keychain for when I get off work, go to the grocery store, go to school, check my mail at my apartment complex, or anywhere I may be heading that day.   Sabre is made is the U.S.A. and is recongnized by national gun retailers as the "TOP DEFENSE SPRAY." 

I truly wish every individual would carry pepper spray with them at all times to prevent a possible emergency.  It will provide the extra seconds needed to get away.  So swing into your local Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and let one of our great camping associates help you find the pepper spray most suited for you!


Great News For Coffee Addicts

Coffee has come a long way over time dating back to the early thirteenth century according to Wikipedia. Legend has it that people saw how the animals were acting after having eaten the strange berries from certain bushes, so they tried them. Being too bitter, they tried cooking them only to have them be too hard to eat. So, after boiling them and drinking the liquid result, coffee was born! Or so the tale goes....

The first coffee press was patented in 1929 most likely by a Frenchman, since they are known as French Coffee Presses. Even those have been changed many times over the centuries. Used to be you had a plunger and rod gizmo you had to try and use without spilling your coffee, but now, it can be as simple as putting one cup inside another. Allow me to introduce to you the new GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press aka; portable french coffee press. Instead of the aforementioned rod and plunger gizmo, you have an inner mug that creates  double wall insulation. The spill resistant flip top seals in heat and eliminates sloshing and spilling then conveniently unscrews to add cream, sugar or other flavorings or to simply stir.

The PLUS Foam sleeve adds even more insulation and adds a soft and secure grip. Add to that a non slip foot and a slim profile and your good to go with your new Java Press in your cars cup holder. The Commuter Java Press holds 15 oz and only weighs 10.4 oz.

To use, simply add 2-5 tablespoons of your favorite course ground coffee, depending on how strong you like it. Add 15 oz of water that is 200°, stir and allow to sit for approximately 4 minutes. After that, insert the inner mug, gently pressing the inner mug with the stainless screen filter down into the water until it stops. Remove the lid, add any flavorings, stir, replace the lid and enjoy! How much more simple can it be?!?!

I'm really excited about this little gadget and I know you will be too. Come on by here and let me show you just how simple and easy it is to use. Priced at only $19.99  it's a bargain you can't afford to pass up!

As always, Thanks for allowing me to share with you, what's new in the Camping Department.

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops



Keys to Fishing Current

As you already know, the eastern half of the United states has gotten far more rain then normal up to this point. This abundance of water has really changed the behavior of the fish population compared to the last several years with very little rain. Most of the regions rivers and reservoirs have been flowing at an incredible rate, creating heavy current and fairly dirty water conditions. While these conditions can seem overwhelming to some people, they actually create some great fish catching opportunities if you know what you're looking for.

When the current is flowing hard the bass and other species will orient themselves on structure just out of the main current. Pieces of cover such as boulders, trees, docks, points, and islands, near the main channel are prime things to target. They create a perfect break in the current where the fish can stack up and sit while expending very little energy. In these current breaks the fish will basically hang out and wait for the food to come to them. The shad and baitfish will be around these same pieces of cover as well making for a feeding frenzy when you get in the right area. Every fisherman searches for that one spot where they can catch multiple fish while hardly moving the boat. This is generally very hard to find, but with the current like it is right now, and has been so far this year, locating a big school of fish is easier then ever.

Once you have located a school of fish there are some details that are very important so you can maximize the number of fish you can catch out of one spot. Fish will generally position directly behind or in front of the piece of cover facing into the current. As they sit they wait for things to wash down towards their face where they can easily strike. This being said boat positioning is critical. Position your boat down stream from the cover you are attempting to fish. Make your casts up current from the structure you are fishing and let the bait wash down to the fish.

So when you have you're boat positioned correctly there are a few types of baits that I will fish. I generally will start out searching for these schools by casting crankbaits. Select you're bait depending on the depth of the structure you are fishing. For water deeper then 10 feet I always pick up my Spro Little John DD. This bait is perfecting for making long casts above the structure and grinding the bait into the cover creating a reaction from the fish. For cover shallower then 10 feet a Strike King Pro-Model 5XD will get the job done. Don't think just because the water is warm that some fish won't position very shallow in current conditions, so don't be afraid to try even shallower diving crankbaits such as square bill type lures. Color selection can be important, when the current is flowing normally the water color will be dirty, for me this points to bright colors like a citrus shad or a chartreuse blue back. But most of all use something that you are confident in and stick with it searching and you will find fish.

Often when you find a school of fish on your crankbait after catching several of them they will quit biting. I always have some sort of slow moving soft plastic or jig ready to go. This will generally catch you a few more fish even once the school has shut down. A shaky head worm is normally my first choice. My head of choice is a Gamakatsu Skip Gap Head, I rig a soft plastic straight tail worm on this and let the current wash the worm down to the fish. I also love to fish a finesse jig in this situation. Either a War Eagle, Stanley, or Bass Pro Shops brand will work great. Rig the jig with a Zoom Super chunk trailer and you're ready to go, and don't be surprised if the jig picks you up one more big fish out of the school.

So give the current a chance and take advantage of the conditions mother nature has created. Brave the elements and catch a big one. I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania


Kayaks and more

Imagine it’s the weekend or holidays and you are finally at the lake, but you are still tense and are awake way too early. Quietly you get out of bed (or your sleeping bag) and head outside. Standing in the stillness you inhale the fresh air and take in the mist that rises over the glass-like water. It’s cool but light as the sun starts to make it’s journey in the sky.  The only sounds are the birds and water gently lapping against the shore. The serenity of the moment begins to work on all the muscles that you’ve been holding tense all week (or all month.. all year).  You feel all tension slipping away. As your soul begins to recharge you head to the beach where your kayak waits patiently. Once your pfd is donned. the kayak is carefully placed into the water. There is a slight wobble as you climb in.  Grasping your paddle in both hands you head off. Destination relaxation. As you paddle around the lake you see the world through new eyes as  your soul is filled with peace.

Does that sound idyllic?

Maybe it’s time to start looking into adding kayaking as a new addition to your life. Kayaks are not only great exercise but they allow you to go to different lakes or rivers. You don’t need a cottage or a weekend at a campground. Just pack a lunch and snacks, a few little essentials and just head to a local lake for a couple hours of stress relief.

We have kept our inventory focused on the popular Ascend kayaks this summer but we also have the tandem Twin Heron by Old Town,  the modular Apollo (can be solo or tandem depending on whether you go with two or three segments) by Point 65 or the Stealth 9 by Malibu, All Ascend kayaks are made of high density polyethylene, which is a very tough plastic. The Ascend Kayaks are a little wider then other kayaks which allows for more stability and comfort.

The first model is a budget friendly basic beginner level kayak called the A10. At 9’10”  long,  28.5” wide and weighing only 44 pounds  this kayak will suit most people.  It comes in red or blue with a removable steel framed mesh seat and storage area with a bungee support that will hold a 36 quart cooler.

Second in line is the D10. This kayak has the same dimensions as the A10 but has added features; foot braces, a removable steel frame padded seat, cushioned thigh pads and covered stern-well that will hold a 36 quart cooler. The colour choices are red/black or purple/black.

The D10T was introduced this year, a sit on kayak with a custom designed hull for great stability (you can even stand on it!!!) foot braces, adjustable padded seat and loads of storage space. It is 10’ long, 34” wide and only 52 pounds. It  comes in red/black or titanium grey.

Next we have the D12. Stretching out a full 12 feet, this 74 pound kayak has a specialized hull design for speed, better load carrying, easy paddling and good handling in rougher waters. It comes with foot braces, two storage areas (including a dry well), 5” deck plate storage hatch for small items like your wallet, fishing license, cell-phone and keys)  and bungee system to keep all your gear with you. Colour choices are blue/black or red/black.

If you are an angler you will love the next four models in the Ascend line.

The FS10 is one of our most popular kayaks. It’s 10’2” length is perfect for most anglers. The wide cockpit allows for greater movement and stability. There are two flush rod mount holders and a fully adjustable rod tender (I don’t fish but the guys in the fishing department assure me this is a good thing to have). There are also two 4” cleats for anchoring a fish bucket or stringer. Dual bungee paddle keepers and a comfortable seat make this kayak a great choice for anglers who want to go to those tucked away places. It comes in camouflage or titanium Then we have the FS12. This 12 foot beauty is full of great features; integrated rod storage tube, full tackle rod tender on the starboard side and two rod holders behind the seat. It also has an adjustable anchor system, foot braces, cushioned thigh pads, 5” deck plate storage hatch, two big storage areas (one covered one dry) and a very comfortable seat.  You can chose from desert storm or camouflage.

Another option is the FS12T sit on kayak. This 68 pound kayak has an ultra stable hull for maximum comfort, stability and manoeuvrability. It has a moulded five position foot rest and padded seat for comfort. There are also two flush rod mount rod holders, full tackle rod tender, two storage areas and a catch all tray with two colour choices; sand or olive.

Finally we have the last in our Ascend line, a behemoth at 12 feet 8 inches in length; The FS128T. This kayak is a sit on like none we have had before. Available in camouflage or desert storm, this kayak is made to sit or stand  fish on with a tunnel hull design and solid casting platform. It also has a removable swivel seat, lots of storage, adjustable foot braces,  flush rod mounts and a rod tender.

If you prefer to have company when you meander around the lake you might want to look at canoes instead. The Old Town canoes start with the 3 person 14’ 6” Saranac then move into the 14’ Rockport and Rogue River. We also have a 16’ Saranac and 15’4” Rogue River square back.

If you think kayaking or canoeing sounds like it might be a good fit for you, visit our Vaughan store and check out our selection (the majority of boats are outside but we do have one of each Ascend model inside). If you have any questions about kayaking, canoeing or camping in general please see one of the camping associates.

Happy Paddling!


Team Lead

Camping Department

Bass Pro Shops

Vaughan, Ontario


Choosing the Perfect Bow

When choosing a bow, the first thing you need to do is research the different bows that are out on the market.  There are many different makes and styles of bows.  A few we carry are the Diamond’s Infinite edge $349.99, PSE’s Stinger $399.99, and Bear’s Outbreak $399.99.  They may have a lot of the same things in common. As you compare all makes and models, you will begin to narrow it down.  You have to decide what your main priorities are.  Do you want speed? Are you concerned with noise? How about comfort?  These are just a few things that you should consider.  Then, talk to people that you know who own bows.  Get their opinions. This will also help narrow the bows down. 

Before going in to pick out a bow, you must determine what your dominate eye is.  This can be done by holding your hands out in front of you.  Make a triangle by overlapping the space between your index finger and thumb with the same space on your opposite hand. Look at an object through the triangle hole made by your hands, preferably something round like a door knob. Focus on the object not your hands. Now close one of your eyes. If you still see the object with your left eye open, you are left eyed dominate. If you still see the object with your right eye open you are right eyed dominate.

Once you have found out your eye dominates the fun part begins. Getting the bow in your hands and shooting.  I would recommend that you try out as many as you can.  Now keep in mind you only want to try a few out at a time, because it can start to get very overwhelming.  Get a couple, and shoot them side by side.  Once you have come down to the bow you want, it has to be set up for you.    

When setting the bow up to fit you, we have to decide what your anchor point is going to be. This can be done by using the tip of your nose.  You can also use the corner of your mouth with a kisser button.  If you can get more than one anchor point, is even better.  This helps in finding out where to set your draw length.  Another thing to think about is will you be using a release or shooting with fingers. It will also help later on when you begin the sighting in process. 

The next step is to find your correct draw weight.  There is no mathematical equation to determine what your draw weight should be.  This is something that must be comfortable to you. Some people opt for a draw weight that is slightly lighter, with the idea that they can hold the bow at full draw longer in a hunting situation.  Others want the increased arrow speed a heavier draw weight can allow. 

Once your draw length and weight have been adjusted, you will have to purchase arrows.  Much like bows, there are many makes out there. Arrows are determined off of what your draw length and draw weight is.  You have to also decide what you are going to do with those arrows.  Are you going to hunt with them, or is it just for target shooting only?  Once that is decided we can measure the arrow to your bow.

As you start this journey in choosing a bow, remember to do as much research as possible.  Shoot the different makes and models. Find your dominate eye. Pick the bow that meets your needs.  Determine the arrows that are going to work the best for you.

Feel free to come in to your local Bass Pro Shops and we will be glad to assist you!


Fly Fishing Preperations, Easy as 1-2-3

     So you're going to finally take that fly fishing trip for trout to that place on your bucket list.  Well if you want it to go smoothly here are a couple of thing you might want to check out before you take off.

  1. If you're going to try for trout be sure to pack your waders. I remember wading out about waste-deep in the Lower Mountain Fork at 6 a.m. and discovering that I was  going to have cold,soggy underclothing all day long because the Leak Gremlins had gotten into the most unfortunate of places of my waders. Check your old waders for leaks! If you don't have waders please remember that trout can't live in water that's warmer than 72 degrees.  Most of the time the water is much colder than that. Cold water can make a fishing trip short.  Even the most hardy fishers can experience numbing cold and even hypothermia without waders. Check with your Bass Pro Shops footwear department pros to get the right fit for both your waders and your boots.
  2. Right now you're probably looking at one of your most valuable tools in making your trip the lifetime memory you have worked so hard for. Yes, your computer or smart phone.  One thing you might want to look at is the specific area you're going to visit.  Google fly shops to see what services they offer. Some have a staff of experienced guides.  Some fly shops have chat areas or message boards. Get on that phone and politely ask what the fish have been biting on. Don't be afraid to call the guides you find in the area as well.  Guides can give you a great insight on what to expect and what you might need to acquire before your trip.
  3. Now here's my big hint. I remember pulling up to a fly shop at a particularly nice destination at 5:30 a.m.   My fly collection wasn't what I thought it should be for that day's fishing.  I reasoned that the fly shop would be open because the owners would certainly understand that the early bite required well-equipped fishers be on the river by 6:00 a.m.....Somewhere around 9:00 a.m. the owner tooled up in his Lexus, stirred his Starbucks and grudgingly let me in to grab some flies, tippet material, a net and several other items. Don't let this happen to you!  Take all the info you can glean from your destination and have what you need so you don't spend your valuable time waiting on Mr. Starbucks. Doing a little fun homework always seems to build up my anticipation and excitement for my trip too.

Come on in to your Bass Pro Shops White River Fly Shop here in Garland, TX and let Bill, Art, Josh and Greg get you in the river with the right equipment!

Tight loops and lines!

Summer Trout Tactics - Click on the link for more Summer Fly Fishing information!

Click here to find the tools you will need to be successful!

Fly Fishing


Night Time Summer Crappie Fishing

Crappie are by far one of the most popular fish across the country. Some reasons for that are: they are decent fighters on light line, they generally school up in large numbers, and they are absolutely delicious to eat. Another great thing about crappie is how predictable their movements are. While some fish are very difficult to track and keep up with the crappie normally are where they're supposed to be. This easy to pattern quality makes them a perfect species for a beginning angler to target.

While in the spring time they are generally shallow, during the summer months the majority of the crappie school up in deep water around the thermocline level, where the water is rich with oxygen which attracts small organisms like plankton, and in return attracts baitfish such as shad and other minnows. If you can find these ingredients then the crappie will not be far away. Crappie are aggressive feeders when you get them fired up and it is not uncommon to catch more 50 fish in one area. Crappie are common in the 7 to 11 inch range, but you never know when a 16 inch or bigger crappie might bite, and that is a blast to fight on light line.

The best time to target summer time crappie is definitely at night.  Now one of the keys for night time fishing is attracting the baitfish to your boat. The way to do this is by using a light of some some such as the Optronics Floating Fish-N-Lite or a Bass Pro Shops Submersible Fish Light. The baitfish will gather around your boat and like I said earlier the crappie will not be far behind. A lot of the time when fishing this way your boat will be sitting over 30 feet of water with the fish suspended feeding up off the bottom in about 10 to 15 feet.

I would recommend using either 4 or 6 pound test line. When fishing regular jigs with no flotation I prefer Trilene 100% Flourocarbon, it's low stretch, sensitive, and the fact that the line actually sinks is perfect for this presentation. Artificial baits will work great. The Bass Pro Shops Baby Shad in a variety of colors is my artificial bait of choice. Rig these soft plastics on a small 1/16 ounce jig head and simply drop the bait down into the school of fish. While artificials will catch alot of fish there is honestly nothing that will works quite as well as live minnows. Hook your minnow through the tip of the nose on a Gamakatsu Bait Holder Hook in a size 2 or 4 depending on the size of crappie you are catching. Pinch a reusable split shot about a foot up the line and you are ready to go. For this light line and light weight technique there is no better rod and reel setup then the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Combo. It is light weight and sensitive, yet still has a soft tip so that you won't tear the hook out of a crappies paper soft mouth.

If your looking to get into fishing this is a great way to start, and there is nothing better then providing for your family by putting fresh crappie on the dinner table. Make sure you always check your state regulations to find out what the size and quantity limits are in your local area, and most importantly enjoy yourself while spending time out in beautiful nature. I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania



FINALLY! A chance to use all my western slang in-store. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. It is time for the PBR National Event to be coming to your local Bass Pro Shops.

This won't be the first rodeo for these two, by any means! Bass Pro Shops and The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. are always excited to partner up to hold this event. For those who never attended one, you are going to want to correct that mistake and come down this year.

It will run on the weekend of July 27th-28th and be open from noon until 4:00PM. The PBR National Event is the highlight of our Tent Sale this year, and closes it as well. There will be a number of fun activities for the whole family on both days. Kids can take a shot at bull roping and ride a stick bull. Ever wondered what your kids face would look like painted as "Flint" the Entertainer? Here's a good chance to find out as we will have face painting for the event.They can also make a free leather wristband, while supplies last. The first 100 kids each day will recive a cow bell as part of our giveaway. 

On Saturday, there will be an appearance in-store by a proffessional bull riding expert! You will have from 1:00PM-2:00PM to meet this buckeroo so don't miss it! On Sunday, there will be a Best Cowboy/Cowgirl Contest. Make sure your little one gets all sorts of "cowboyed up" for this as the best dressed will receive a $50 Bass Pro Shops gift card. It'll start at 2:30PM and the winner will be announced at 3:00PM.

The Tent Sale will run from July 20th-28th. This is a great chance to snag some awesome purchases at sweet prices. And I'm talking about like 20-50% Off sweet prices. It will cover products from almost all of our departments, but hurry! There will be limited qualities and no rain checks.

So really what I am getting at with all this is: that ya'll need to grab a hunk of mane, set spurs and giddy on up to your local Bass Pro Shops during this time! Western jargon is encouraged! Bobbin' for Apples with Bobcats!!


Product Spotlight: Thermacell


You know they're out there - the mosquitoes, gnats, black flies...they are just waiting to make their move!  The portable and cordless Thermacell is a great way to stop them in their little tracks!

Using a butane cartridge (included), the unit heats a small mat containing the synthetic repellent allethrin to create an area of invisible, odorless protection.  It protects up to four hours per mat - heats mats up to 12 hours per butane cartridge.

  • Covers up to a 15' diameter
  • Also repels black flies, no-see-ums, and sand flies
  • DEET-free - uses allethrin, the same chemical repellent used in mosquito coils, but 50 times more!
  • U.S. Army tested and approved


Bass Pro Shops Altoona Receiving Manager Dan Stephany is an avid hunter and enjoys the outdoors in general. He says he has won the battle against mosquitoes!

"I have been a bow hunter for 20 years now, and during the early season I have always struggled with mosquitoes and flies. When the Thermacell was first introduced, I was skeptical about the product not because of the mosquito repellency, but because of the smell.  As you know, deer have a fantastic sense of smell, and I was worried that they would smell the unit and I would be busted.  I decided to give it a say I was impressed would be an understatement! 

I have used this product dozens of times during the early season hunting and have yet to be detected from the smell. Granted, I try to hunt with the wind in my favor, but on occasions when deer have gone to the downwind side of my stand, they have not been bothered by it at all."

I have enjoyed using the product while hunting, camping, fishing, and just hanging out in the backyard cooking out.  I have especially enjoyed the holster that you can buy with it, to make it portable and hands free. 


Gear Up With Garmin

“Where are you going?”

So many possible answers…. That question could range from an extremely internal-life changing moment in life where a dear friend is concerned about you or as simple if the same friend is questioning if you really know where the Fry’s is. Deep stuff.

This question can be of great importance when outdoors. If you are planning a five-day hike you will probably want to let some people know where you are headed. Or let’s say you want to try your luck fishing somewhere else and decide to head upstream, this is stuff you should let others know.

Technology really has changed almost every aspect of life. This includes how we get around in the wilderness. No longer are we bound to maps and compasses, but have handheld GPS systems. These things have revolutionized how we navigate in this awesome world of ours. People love using their GPS systems so much that they have even spawned their very own sport, geocaching.

Garmin has been a leading brand in GPS units for a number of years now. Garmin has become a name that people trust. They have a wide variety of products that range all over. Their holiday commercial is still one of my favorites. They have also just revamped their popular Oregon 600 Series.

Once again, Brett let me know the down-low on these bad boys. (Brett is the man-of-the-hour in our Marine department and let me know all about our pontoon boats a while back.) He showed me three models, the: 600, 600T and 650T.

Now all three models are touch screen. Garmin added an extra ½” of screen to this series compared to the last. They use the transitioning screens and are activated by pressure. Back in the day, most of these worked off of heat for touch capabilities, but with these using pressure they are smooth. The image on screen glides effortlessly and faster than older models.  This also means you can wear gloves when using them. They do accept AA batteries, regular or rechargeable. Regular AA batteries should last for around 18 hours, which is pretty impressive.

The 600 is their base model. It is a great first GPS unit or upgrade for the seasoned user. The 600T comes with everything the 600 has and more! It comes loaded with topographic maps for the entire United States! The 650T comes loaded with all features mentioned so far, but with a little secret gem as well. An 8 megapixel camera! So while you are out exploring you can snap a few pictures and know exactly where you were when you took it.

Relative: “Oh what a cool picture! Where were you when you took it?”

You: “I was at 33.4369°N, 111.8671°W”

Relative: “Umm… what?”

Now Brett, the super star he is, pointed out a couple more things while I was there. For those with ATVs and UTVs, he had the Ram Mounts for this unit in-store. These things are heavy duty and great. The last thing you want to do while out riding is lose your new favorite toy!

He also noted that with hunting season coming up that boundaries are so important. If you are not sure of where you or the animal you just took is exactly, you can be in big trouble. has your solution! This site has some awesome choices for hunting maps. Their maps will let you know about public land, private land ownership and much more.

No matter what purpose you use your GPS for, just remember to be safe and take extra batteries! If you have a cool GPS story or tip, feel free to leave it below in a comment. Until next time Bass Proers… same Bass Pro Blog Website, same Bass Pro Blogger. Tacklin’ Trails and Dirtying Boots! Giddy Up Now!


New Species New Thrills

In the United States alone 1,154 native fish species can be found. This being said many anglers tend to focus all of there fishing attention on one or two species, often forgetting about what their local lakes and reservoirs have to offer. In the Southern part of the US Bass fishing is definitely king with with Crappie fishing a close second. Crappie and bass definitely take most of the attention. In this article I want to show you some different species that can sometimes be overlooked. What I like about angling for different species is the numerous challenges that they bring along with them. By challenging yourself with different species you will grow as an overall angler and gain a better understanding of how the entire echo system works in your local lake, river, or reservoir.

The catfish is a species that is probably 3rd behind the Crappie and Bass. While they are fairley popular many people consider them to be trash fish, or bottom feeders. In many cases that is not true. In any southern water system you will find a variety of catfish species such as channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. While they are all in the same family they behave different from one another.

The Channel Catfish is the most abundant in the US. They are extremely tough fish and can survive in extremely low water qualities meaning you can find them in just about any pond, lake, creek, or river you can think of. They are great to eat and will also put up a very strong fight. Channel catfish are generally the species you are eating when you go to a restaurant and are often farm raised for this purpose. They can be caught on anything from earthworms, nightcrawlers, minnows, cut bream, and chicken livers. They also have a great sense of smell making them very vulnerable to stink baits. Channel Catfish spend almost all of their time on or near the bottom making a heavy weighted rig the best. If you are a bass fisherman you probably know about the Carolina Rig, a slightly modified version of this is a perfect rig for channel catfish as well. The rig starts by sliding a Bass Pro Shops Egg Sinker on your line. The weight of you sinker should be determined by 3 factors, the depth you are fishing, the amount of wind you are facing, and also if there is current. For ponds and small lakes a 1/4 to 1/2 oz should be plenty. In bigger rivers or reservoirs it might be necessary to use up to a 4 oz weight in order to keep the bait down on the bottom. Once you have you sinker in place you attach a swivel, followed by a short 12 to 24 inch leader and your hook of choice. 20 lb test Bass Pro Shops Excel Monofilament  will work great for this and a Gamakatsu Octopus Hook in a size 1 to 1/0 is perfect for most situations. Channel catfish are rarely caught over 25 pounds with most from the 1 to 6 pound range making them perfect size for the fryer.

The bigger species in the catfish family are the flathead catfish and the blue catfish. The world record Flathead catfish weighed in at an incredible 123lbs and they are commonly caught from 10 to 30 lbs. The world record blue is 109.25lbs and are normally pretty big when you catch them. Unlike the channel cat flatheads and blues are predators. They eat all sorts of aquatic animals, such as bass, bream, crappie, shad, crawfish and even other catfish. For these catfish I recommend using fresh cut fish as well as live bait, fished on the bottom with the same carolina type rig you would use for channel cats just with heavier weights and bigger hooks. Make sure you use heavy line as well because these fish are extremely strong and have incredible stamina putting up a strong fight for a long period of time. I would suggest a heavy baitcasting combo such as the Bill Dance Catfish Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo in the 9 or 10 foot model. These will give you the strength you need to handle a true fish of a lifetime.

So if you want to search of something new on your local body of water the catfish has a ton to offer. But probably the most overlooked fish is the gar. There are three species of gar. The longnose, the spotted, and the alligator. Gar are generally considered to be trash fish but trust me they are a lot of fun catch. While the longnose are normally 1 to 3 feet long the alligator gar can grow up to 10 feet in length. The smaller species are much more common and can be found in many different lakes and river systems. Some of their main characteristics are their sharp needle like teeth and there extremely bony head and mouth. This poses a slight problem for hooking them with congenial fishing hooks. One of the best ways to catch a gar is with a small 1 to 3 inch piece of frayed rope. While the mouth is almost impossible to penetrate the rope will tangle in the teeth and allow you to bring them to the boat. Gar normally feed off the surface so no weight is the weigh to go. This can be difficult for spinning equipment so what I like to do is fly fish for them. Fly fishing allows you to cast a weightless bait long distances and also creates a great challenge when fighting a strong jumping gar. Give it a try and you will be hooked on what it has to offer. All of your angling needs can be found at Bass Pro Shops, and make sure to ask an associate if you have any questions! I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania



Let's Frog!

By Teddy Carr

I like hot sticky weather for a good froggin’ bite, but of course that has been in short supply in Virginia thus far, but we have a ways to go before we give way to autumn. This weather scenario is also not an absolute or a hard and fast rule for froggin’ either there are plenty of fish being caught on a frogg right now.

Seeing how I like to proclaim myself somewhat an expert on this style of fishing (note self proclamation) I want to pass on to you some of my knowledge and techniques. First it should be called Breamin’ instead of froggin’ because the bite has nothing to do with a bass eating a frog. A frog bite has everything to do with bass feeding on bream as it all relates to emergent vegetation. Any strike or blow-up on a frog in open water is nothing more than a topwater bite. I don’t think I’ve ever used a soft bodied frog in any other situation other than over heavy vegetation such as milfoil, coontail, or pads etc. Focusing in on that premise lets explore my philosophy on the gig a little.  Because I fish the tidal Potomac more these days most of what I’m writing to you is how it relates to that particular body of water but I believe it carries over to other lakes and rivers as well. First bass have a lot to feed on during the summer but they have to make a choice on where they want to eat it or where they want to call home. Bass that want to feed on white perch and the soft bodied shad families will spend more time out in front of a grass bed or along the edge of a pad field. In other words they feel right at home in an open water environment. Bass that decide to call the confines of a weed bed it’s home feel right at home in the thick jungle of weeds and a menu of crayfish, yellow perch, small minnows, and bream is just fine by them.

Which frog, When?

I always start with a moving frog like a YUM Money Frog or a Bass Pro Humpin’ Toad, if I get bit I stay with it. The choice out of the gate is a simple one for me, I choose the moving frog because I’m a power fisherman and I like to cover as much water as I can as fast and efficiently as I can. The moving or swimming variety as some refer to it excels when the bass are on an active bream beat down. One of the tells that a beat down is happening or about to happen is when you hear that popping or sucking sound coming from the grass bed. That sound is coming from bream feeding on critters that are living on the under side of the vegetation. The preoccupied bream is an easy target for well concealed bass that is hungry. A moving frog taps into the reactionary nature of a bass in this situation, oh its a lovely thing! Also on a side note if the strike is violent probably means the bass was positioned under the bait on the bottom, if the strike is light or if the bass basically humps up on the lure means it was positioned just under the surface. I know I don’t have a life I just set around in my bass zone analyzing such things. If the bass are in a non aggressive mood then a popping frog or regular frog is probably the wiser choice. My favorite two are the Booyah Pad Crasher and the Booyah Pad Crasher Popper.


I always use darker colors like green-pumpkin, dark watermelon, or black. I like to accent them with some orange or yellow.


I use a 7′ 6″ med-hvy rod for all my frog presentations. The soft tip allows the fish to load up without detecting you and then you have the backbone to drive the hook home and the power to pull his head up and get the old boy coming your way. I use 65-pound Bass Pro braid as my fishing line of choice, heavy and no stretch attached to a 6/0 heavy off set shank hook if using a swimming frog. As for a reel you want one that has a real heavy duty drag system then lock that baby down so a freight train couldn’t pull line from it. Then go to work. We have begun our 4-hour frog trips if you’re interested contact us and we would be more than happy to show you up close and personal some breamin’


Gearing up for Walleye

Gearing Up for Walleye

By; Daniel Notarianni

            I’m not sure if it is the fight, the wide the distribution, or the great taste of walleye that make them one of Canada’s most popular fish, but most anglers target walleye the same old way….the good old jig. There is no doubt that you can get walleye on a simple jig head and live worm or minnow with just about any rod, but you are missing out on some great fishing action if that’s the only way you target walleye.

Having a high modulus graphite rod is important, especially when the walleye are biting subtle. Pairing it up with a light and powerful reel will put a finesse walleye machine in your hand.  I stress “light” because the lighter your rod and reel combo is the more sensitive it will be. The reason for this is based on the “law of differences”, to quickly explain that, imagine holding a brick and dropping a penny on top of it, you probably won’t feel the penny land. Now imagine holding a piece of paper and dropping a penny on that. No doubt that you will feel the penny land, now think of the penny as a hit from a fish and that brick being your old overweight rod and reel combo.

            If I had to choose only two rods to fish with for walleye, a six-foot medium fast action rod and a six-foot eight medium extra fast rod would be the top of my choice for any body of water where trolling is not on the menu.  A six-foot medium fast Bass Pro Shops® XPS® Extreme® is an ideal rod for bottom contact presentations like jigs, live bait split shooting and small crank-baits. A six-foot eight medium extra fast  Bass Pro Shops® Johnny Morris® CarbonLite™ Series is ideal for rip jigging, jerk-baits and buck-tail jigs. Pairing either of these rods up with a JCL500 Bass Pro Shops® Johnny Morris® CarbonLite™ Spinning Reel will keep the combo light, balanced, provide more than enough cranking power, and a super smooth drag to make sure once you hook up you land the walleye.

            Loading up your combo with a quality braid is ideal, braid is strong, sensitive, and extremely thin which is ideal for power finesse applications. There are two main options when it comes to braid, a floating braid or a slow sinking braid. A floating braid like Bass Pro Shops® XPS® 8 Advanced Braid is great for fishing crank-baits or fishing around weeds. The floating line will keep your line high in the water, reducing hang-ups and fouling in weeds. Using a sinking line like Sufix® 832 Advanced Superline™ is great for just about all of your other walleye tactics. The sinking line will not bow in the water; this allows you have less line between the tip of your rod and the bait increasing sensitivity. Attaching a two to four foot section of fluorocarbon to your line will improve the stealth of your presentation, and add just a little bit of stretch to your rig, helping to prevent ripping the hooks out of the walleyes mouth.

            There is no doubt that throwing a jig and grub tipped with live bait is an effective way to get into walleye, it is a passive way to fish and if the walleye are not around it may not provide hot and heavy action. More active ways to locate and catch walleye include rip jigging and throwing hard baits. In the Kawarthas and other smaller weedy lakes walleye will hold in the weed beds in shallow and deep water. You can target them by throwing small jerk-baits and crank-baits around the weed lines to trigger reaction strikes from walleye, but if the bite is slow or they are holding tight in the weeds, you should hop on the trolling motor, get over the weed beds and go dunking. Using an Enticer® Pro Series Smallmouth Jig, drop it down into the pockets of the weeds and once the bait hits the bottom give it a sharp snap or two then move to the next pocket. When doing this it is very important to watch your line, hits can come on the fall and sometimes all you see is a twitch in the line that signals a bite.

            A hand full of jig heads in different weights, a few colours of XPS® Single Tail Grubs and anchoring on a rock shoal is the old standard.  But chances are you are not reading this to simply go with the old standard, you are here to up your game. Give the techniques mentioned a shot, once you get some confidence in them you may not be so eager to just toss out the old ball and chain and hop a jig along.


A Simple Guide to PBR National Event

Ever thought about being a professional bull rider? Bass Pro Shops and the the Professional Bull Riders, Inc (PBR) are partnering on a fun family event the weekend of July 27th and 28th.

Enter to win a "VIP Trip to the PBR in Ft. Lauderdale" (July 20-28), the grand prize is a trip for the winner and a guest to go to Ft Lauderdale during the dates of October 9-14.  Prize consists of a round trip coach air travel for two; 6 days/5 nights hotel accommodations (standard double occupancy); rental car; the opportunity to fish with PBR rider Luke Snyder, PBR annoucer Clint Adkins, and a fishing pro; use of fish equipment; 2 tickets to all 3 nights of the PBR Cooper Tire Invitational October 11-13, 2013 with VIP pre-party access on Friday and Saturday; a VIP backsatge tour with Luke Synder; a PBR merchandise gift bag and a top of the chutes visit. Official Rules will be available at Customer Service during the sweepstakes.

Besides great sales we will have a full weekend of games and activities to be enjoyed by the children and their families.  From noon to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday we will have stick bull riding races, bull roping (no not a real bull), leather wristband craft, face painting (get your face painted like a rodeo clown), and more. We will also have a best cowboy or cowgirl contest on Sunday, winner gets a $50 Bass Pro gift card, judging to begin at 2:30 in the afternoon. 

The first 100 guest to attend the event each day will receive a PBR/BPS logo cow bell.





New Winchester AA Tracker Shotgun Shells

Winchester AA Tracker cutaway

Back in January Winchester announced its next innovation in the shotgun world, Winchester AA tracker shotgun shells. This new product will allow shooters to see where their shot is "tracking" and will advise them as to whether they are high, low, quick or slow when shooting clays.


This is all possible from the AA Trackers newly designed wad. This new wad has deep cuts in the bottom that captures 1/8 ounce of shot to give it more mass. This allows the wad to fly on target and stay on target down range. Another advantage to these new wads is they are offered in two different colors. This allows you to pick the best option for your backdrop.


Winchester AA Tracker



Overcast day or shooting along a wooded backdrop? Then the fluorescent wads are going to suit you best. The fluorescent will stand out on the dark backdrop where as a normal wad you might not ever see. Shooting on a bright clear day? Then the Black wads will be easily visible  in the clear blue skies. The two different wads can be easily identified by the color of the shotgun shell itself. Fluorescent orange for the orange wad and black for the black wad.

 Here is a YouTube video of Winchester AA Tracker in action.



Whether you're a professional shooter, weekend clay slayer or a beginner that has never fired a gun, Winchester AA Tracker will be a fun way to train yourself to be a better shooter. Bass Pro Shops now has the AA Tracker so stop by the hunting department and ask an associate to "see" what all the hype is about!


Grayson Barnes





Fourth of July Sale


The Bass Pro Shops Fourth of July Sale ends July 4, so hurry over to our store for some last minute shopping!

We have a ton of items on sale that will help you celebrate the holiday such as $149.97 Masterbuilt 2-door propane smoker and the $549.99 Brinkmann smoke'n grill pro 5-burner propane grill, and the $49.97 Bass Pro Shops stainless steel fish fryer.

Need folding chairs for the firework show you're going to see? We have festive American flag chairs on sale for $12.99 and a Portal oversized mesh chair for $24.97 complete with a cup holder.

If you're going on vacation you may need some new fishing gear or a tent. We have numerous fishing items on sale as well as a Bass Pro Shops 12'x12' dome tent for $149.97.

Our Summer of Fun Sale ends July 14th also with even more savings. Save $50 on the Coleman area tent or $90 on an XPS 76" Phantom towable tube for example. Fishing, hunting, camping, lake activities all have items on sale!

The savings are great! For a complete list of sale items check out the Bass Prop Shops catalog or our website.


Fly Fishing in Central America by Harry Robertson

An exciting letter from Harry Robertson: 

Hey Bass Pro Team,

Please pardon the redundant report. Hampden-Sydney College where I
preform two seminars yearly asked for an after graduation trip to
Central America. This trip would be open to family members as well as
the students. A good opportunity for the father-son type trip or a great
graduation present for seniors. The dean of Students joined us and the
entire group had a marvelous time.

I had prearranged avenue with Dr. Alfredo Lopez, the CEO and on
location manager of Rio Indio Lodge along with Mike Lilla, fishing
manager to offer an educational calendar that would include half of each
day clearing paths in the jungle and half a day guided fishing. The path
would be available to the local Rama Indian tribe to take visitors on
nature walks explaining the jungle flora and fauna.

The Rama Indian guides in the jungle and on the water offered an insight
into the ECO lodges offerings....we left only footprints! the path
cleared will have a sign at its entrance with credit to the Beyond the
Hill participants. This denotes the college's intention to prepare the
students for how to assist those willing to help themselves to cope with
everyday life after college. It has worked extremely well in several
other Central American countries. There are plans to make this an annual
trip stretching the helpful activities to the nearby Rama Indian

Now for the fishing, my part of the program. I had explained how the the
jungle species are found in different locations at different times of
year. The fish we targeted were Mojarra, Machaca and Guapote. When
waters are high during the rainey season the fish are scattered
throughout the vast jungle almost impossible to fish for. As the dry
season progresses the bait fish are driven into concentrations in
lagoons and rivers. The best season to target the aforementioned species
is March, April and May. We were on the end of the dry season and did
not expect excellent fishing...what a surprise!

We were armed with nine foot fly rods, high capacity reels, nine foot
leaders and a variety of surface flies that included grasshoppers and
popping bugs in various colors. The poppers in solid white or solid
black were the most successful. We would cast to shore cover near
the overhanging trees. All the gear was furnished by the Bass Pro
program and worked well. If you want to know models and and weights
please get in contact at

There was no evidence that the Guapote I had enjoyed catching that month
were still around. A few Machaca were a nice addition to the afternoon
fishing with popping bugs. These fish are equipped with molars to crack
nuts, fruit, or masticate foliage and blossoms. This food source finds the
fish waiting below towering Fig Trees....but these fish are  also are
carnivores! There explosive, lightening fast strikes often result in
broken or cut leaders but if hooked put up a marvelous battle.

The Mojarra is a brute cousin of our North American Bream. The fish has
fins that end in delightful points making it look like it was styled in
India. These fish are much thicker than our bream and real street
fighters when hooked. They wait in ambush near logs and vegetation to
dart out to take naturals. They eat minnows as well as insects. They are
lovely in muted colors.

We had an instance when around a ten pound Snook tried to wrestle a hooked 

Mojarra from the line with no success but provided a
heart stopping moment for an entry level angler. The Snook are in the
same are in  sizes to twenty pounds a bit later in the year. In
September they are in evidence in the lagoons and rivers along with a
huge migratinfg run of Tarpon. Fishing for them while residing at the
lodge is minutes away where the Rio Indo River exits into the Caribbean
Sea. The sea is calm during that month.

I shall return with client friends in September and shall report on that
fishery after that. Now I must change the travel bag to accommodate gear
for first trip to Alaska where I will target the Coho ( Silver Salmon ) in early
August and later that month to Montana during the "Hopper Season", a
yearly favorite.


Harry Robertson


Fighting the Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger MosquitoThere's been a lot of talk in the news about the Asian Tiger Mosquito's expanding territory in the United States. It arrived in Texas about 30 years ago in a tire shipment and has made its way into 27 states, as for north as Iowa.

The black and white striped pest is known for having some distinguishing features -some of which make it an even bigger annoyance and threat:

  • Black and white striped legs and body
  • Feeds during the day - Although, according to entomologist Joseph Conlon, with the American Mosquito Control Association, the Asian Tiger has been known to feed at night only when the moon is full!
  • Transmits many diseases, including West Nile
  • Basically, this mosquito likes to hang out around humans - and seems to shoot for the knees and legs when seeking a place to start drawing blood.
  • Their eggs are tough and have no problem surviving in snow and freezing temps.
  • They only have about a 200-yard flying radius, so they lay their eggs in water puddles, etc., usually located close to where people are being bitten.

So, how do you combat them?  In a recent CBS news segment, Conlon suggested the Three Ds:

1.  Drain - Get rid of all water that could be, or has been sitting for a while. Conlon says even something as small as water sitting in a drink bottle lid that's been left on a patio, could be a harbor for their eggs.  Dump out empty flower pots, tires, etc., change water in bird baths frequently, and clean your gutters!

2. Dress - Conlon says where light-colored clothing and pants, since the Asian Tiger mosquito favors ankles and knees.

3. Defend - Conlon recommends repellents with DEET as the most effective against this biter. Some of the DEET products here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona are:

Repel 100
Sawyer Insect Repellent with 30% DEET


More Information:

Watch the CBS segment on the Asian Tiger Mosquito!






Product Spotlight - The Pool Saddle

This thing that looks like a jig-saw puzzle piece is...hands of THE hottest selling summer season items at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

In the lake or in the pool, the Pool Saddle Water Chair gives you a break from the usual lounger. The saddle-shaped floating chair is made of soft, flexible foam. It's great for water aerobics, water therapy, water games, or just to relax and hang out on the water.

The BEST thing is, it's on sale from July 1-14 and Bass Pro Shops Altoona has many in stock, even though we've already sold plenty. Even with our late arriving warm temps, folks have been purchasing them right and left for places like water parks, Adventureland, boating on Saylorville, Red Rock, and Rathbun, or just at the home pool!

They are 25% off for two weeks, starting July 1...only $24.97.  Get 'em while we've got 'em!Pool Saddle Water Chair