Outdoor Cooking Primer - Rabbit Cacciatore

My husband and I love rabbit, wild or commercial. Lean, mild, and extremely healthy, rabbit is showing up on more and more restaurant menus around the country.  It's also very versatile and can be used just like you might use chicken, for example. Fry it up or, my favorite, throw it whole in the slow cooker for three hours or so, with your favorite seasonings. In researching recipes, I came across this recipe from the Missouri Department of Conservation...and it sounded very similar to what we do. 

Here's what we do - Slow cook the rabbit. In a sauce pan, mix up a tomato sauce using our homegrown frozen tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh parm, mushrooms, and onions.

From Missouri Department of Conservation

Remove the rabbit bones from the slow cooker.  Warning: It will be falling off the bones, and there are many little bones with rabbit, so you have to be very careful.  Add the sauce to the slow cooker rabbit, then serve over noodles of choice.

It makes a hearty and healthy belly-warming dish!  Leftovers? Well, we've made rabbit enchiladas, rabbit paninis, and rabbit salad (like chicken salad)!

So, try something new and use rabbit instead of chicken. You won't be disappointed!

Rabbit Cacciatore

  • 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces
  • 1 package sliced button mushrooms
  • 14oz. can diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes (drained)
  • 12 oz cooked pasta (rotini or fettuccini)
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped onion

Dust rabbit with flour enough to coat, season with salt and pepper.

In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add rabbit and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side, remove rabbit and set aside.

Add onions, mushrooms, and garlic to the skillet reducing the heat to medium, cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add drained tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste, bring to a boil.

Add rabbit, and tuck into the sauce.

Cook mixture on medium-low heat partially covered for approximately 8 minutes, until the meat is tender.

Serve over cooked pasta of choice.


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Change It Up: Sharpening

So last time I challenged you to change it up, it was about skillets. This time I am going to challenge you about the practice of sharpening knives. Anybody who uses them knows how important a good edge on a blade is and how dangerous a dull one can be. So what is the latest and greatest way for sharpening? Well, there are actually two!

One, don’t. That’s right, don’t. Just replace the blade! Or at least that is the theory behind Havalon knives. Brendan, who is kind of one of my besties here at Bass Pro, showed me these slicing sweethearts. We carry two different knives. The Baracuta is the larger and the Piranta is its little brother.

They both come in blaze orange which is really nice for keeping an eye out for them. They are specifically for skinning and deboning. They both come with belt loop holsters and replacement blades as well.

To change the blades, instead of sharpening, just pull the back tab of the blade and it will slide right off. The Baracuta comes with a total of 6 blades and the Piranta comes with 13!

Now be careful as you change the blades as they are wicked sharp! How sharp? Well Brendan decided to demonstrate how sharp on the notes I was taking.

Not very nice. So to make up for it Brendan decided to show me a new fangled sharpening device. The Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener is great for anyone! Plug it in and you are good to go! It comes with three different belts. There is the coarse (P80), the medium (P220) and the fine (6000). The changing of the belts takes all of ten seconds.

The actual sharpening of the blade will be determined by how dull it is. In the effort of an olive branch, Brendan sharpened my beloved knife. Including the serrated part!

That’s right! These can sharpen a multitude of blade edges. That would include: scissors, hunting blades, gut hooks, kitchen knives, serrated blades, machetes, straight razors, axes and arrowheads. Brendan did say that it could handle claymores but also called me a doof for asking. The use of the angle guide, included, makes sharpening all of these different types of blades easy. It took roughly two minutes to get my knife factory fresh. How factory fresh?

That factory fresh! Straight through our "David & Brendan - Best Friends" sign. (Should have left my notes alone, Pop Tart!)

So there you have it. Two new ways to sharpen your knives. Either don’t and just pop in a new blade or use probably the best and most versatile electronic sharpener ever.  Coots in Cahoots! Get ya some!



Saltwater Drop Shot Rig Fishing

The drop shot rig has roots in the eastern U.S., dating back to the mid-70's and was first seen in "Fishing Facts" magazine.  In the 1990's, Japanese anglers resurrected the method for use on their highly pressured waters.  The Japanese refined the technique and it soon returned to the States.  In 1997, the drop shot rig was relatively unknown except to a few Southern California fishermen who had ties to Japanese manufacturers and pros.  The system worked extremely well, and those that knew about it did their best to keep it a secret.  Then, in winter 1999, two major tournaments were won using the drop shot rig - the B.A.S.S. Invitational at Lake Oroville, and the WON Bass Classic on Lake Cachuma.  The proverbial cat was out of the bag - way out!

While largely viewed as a fresh water tactic for finessing finicky bass or fishing in highly pressured waters, the drop shot rig is readily adaptable for presenting soft baits such as Berkeley Gulp or DOA's in our bays for redfish and speckled trout.  The presentation is different from using a jig or a popping cork in that the bait can be rigged to be held just above the weeds.  This will put the bait in full view of the fish we want to catch.  In addition, the weight being below the bait allows for anglers to feel the soft bites more easily.  But this is more of a rig to use when we have a good idea of where the fish are, rather than when we are searching water using a lure.

The basic rig resembles a standard dropper used in the ocean and for freshwater catfish, with one difference - there is no line (dropper) between the hook and the main line.  Tie a standard Polomar knot - start by going through the "hook-point" side of the eye, and leaving at least two extra feet of line on the tag end.  The extra line will be used to attach the sinker.  Once the Polomar is tied, take the tag end and thread it back through the "hook-point" side of the eye, again.  This last step forces the hook shaft to lie against the line, which aids hook setting.  Another option is the VMC Spinshot wide gap hook, which has a swivel through the eye of the hook, allowing the bait to move without twisting the line. 

Once the hook is in place, attach the weight.  Drop shot leads have an eyelet on the top that pinches the line, allowing the lead to pull off if snagged.  Choose one that is heavy enough to stay in contact with the bottom, but not too heavy.  In most situations, use a 1/8 to 5/16 ounce, but a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce can be used in extremely deep water or during windy situations.  I use 1/4 ounce normally or 3/8 ounce when the wind is up a little.  Experiment with the weight, as this rig will cast well, and increasing the weight slightly will let you cast further.  The "drop" (distance from hook to weight) can range from six inches to four feet, or more, depending upon how high the grass is relative to the bottom.  Remember, we want our bait just over the top of the grass we are fishing.  Another thing to consider is bottom composition.  Use a cylinder weight over grass, and save the round sinker for a rocky bottom as the round is more likely to snag.

I am just starting to experiment with this rig.  My first trip using the drop shot rig resulted in five specks in about half an hour.  After casting, take the slack out of the line and hold the rod at a 10 o'clock position.  After raising the rod tip slowly 2 or 3 times, reel up the slack to get a tight line again.  Fish this rig slowly.  This rig has a lot of versatility and I cannot wait to try variations of the drop shot rig.  I can see a lot of different ways to use this and to target different species.

Jim Martino


Let the Power Pros Winterize your Boat!

New Z9!It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter the nights are getting cooler and our Saturdays are filled with college football.  So it’s time to start thinking about getting the boat ready for its winter hibernation.  Every year there are people who say it’s not going to get cold enough to do any damage to my boat this year and a few lucky souls are right and then a few unlucky souls are wrong and this can be a costly mistake.  Winterizations start at 199.60 plus parts, so for a small investment you can have your boat winterized and  be assured that your boat will make it through winter without any problems and give you a summer full of fun and relaxation and not cost you thousands to repair come spring. 


At the Tracker Marine Boat Center @ Bass Pro shops in Prattville Alabama we can take care of winterizing your boat for you and eliminate any worries that you will have during those cold winter days and  nights. While you’re in, you may want to go ahead and have your engine fully serviced so come spring you are ready to go have fun.  Every time you bring your boat into our service department we do a FREE 34 point inspection of your boat, motor and trailer to spot any items that need immediate attention as well as those that will need attention in the near future.  Some of the items we check during the 34 point inspection are lights, gauges, batteries, all fluids, switches, tire condition, wheel bearings, pumps and registrations for boat and trailer. We want to make sure that you have a great time on the water with as little interruption as possible!


For all of your parts and service needs please contact us by phone @ 334-290-6372 for service or 334-290-6371 for parts, or you can go to our 24 hour showroom  and contact us there.


Fall Fishing Festival!



Come one, Come all to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Fall Fishing Festival.....We will have seminars, crafts, and activities for the entire family!

When: Saturday, September 21, 2013 and Sunday, September 22, 2013 and Saturday, Septemeber 28, 2013 and Sunday, September 29, 2013 From Noon until 4:00 P.M.

Crafts: From 1:00-3:00 P.M. Kids will be able to color their own tackle box


Saturday, September 21, 2013

12:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop.  Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Fish Hatcheries; From Hatcheries To Lakes

2:00 P.M: What you should know about fishing using electronics ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Best Baits; Baits that work for successful fall fishing

Sunday, September 22, 2013

12:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop. Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Area Fishing; What you should know to make the best possible fishing trip

2:00 P.M: Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Changing Water Condition; How It Affects Fishing

Saturday, September 28, 2013

12:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop. Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Fish Hatcheries; From Hatcheries To Lakes

2:00 P.M: What you should know about fishing using electronics ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Best Baits; Baits that work for successful fall fishing

Sunday, September 29, 201312:00 P.M: Beginning Fishing Workshop. Kids are able to complete a fun informative workshop and will receive a cool pair of sunglasses and a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team Certificate"

1:00 P.M: Area Fishing; What you should know to make the best possible fishing trip

2:00 P.M: Expert Tips; Best Fall Fishing Practices ***The first 50 customers will recieve a FREE fishing towel***

3:00 P.M: Changing Water Condition; How It Affects Fishing





Magpul PMAGS are in stock!

PMAG 30Now in stock at Bass Pro Shops is your magazines for your .223rem/5.56mm AR-15! These aren't just any regular magazines either, they PMAGs by Magpul. These magazines set the standard for reliability and durability. You will not find another magazine that is stronger than a Magpul PMAG.  Used by Military, Law Enforcement and civilians, PMAGs have been put to the test since their release in 2007 and have performed flawlessly.








There are different variations of the PMAG and here at Bass Pro Shop we have the following in stock:

PMAG 30 Gen M2

  • The PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M2 MOE is a 30-round 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) AR15/M4 compatible magazine. No dust cover. $17.99


PMAG 30 Gen M3

  • The next-generation PMAG 30 GEN M3 is a 30-round 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible firearms.
  • Stainless Steel spring, dust cover. $19.99


PMAG 20 Gen M3

  • The next-generation PMAG 20 GEN M3 is a 20-round 5.56x45 NATO (.223 Remington) polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible firearms.
  • Stainless Steel spring, dust cover. $19.99






Not only are these magazine the best in the industry the most impressive thing about them is that they are MADE IN THE U.S.A!!  Magpul Industries is based out of Boulder, Colorado and their products are made in Colorado.


Come by hunting department in Bass Pro Shop and check out all of our Magpul accessories for your AR-15. Also be sure to check out Magpul's website for their full line. Their products and the quality of them are very impressive!
















"How Far That Little Candle Throws Its Beams.."

Okay, it may be a little early in the morning for Shakespeare, but it is never too early to fill your home with fragrant, flickering candles!  Next time you visit your local Bass Pro Shops, head on over to the Gifts Department and take a look at the wide variety of candles that are available.

candle1First up, take a look at the McCall's Country Canning Jar candles. These decorative candles hearken back to an earlier time, with their old-fashioned glass jars, rustic metal lids and wire handles.  This candle line features a variety of nostalgic fragrances such as Cabin Scent, Hot Buttered Rum, Fresh Apple, Butter Cream Frosting, Country Store, Grandma's Kitchen, S'mores and more. 

The Swan Creek Candle Company features candles made from 100% candle2American soy wax. Candles made from soy wax burn cleaner, burn longer and are made from a renewable resource. The Swan Creek candles are highly fragrant and come in a variety of containers, including vintage bowls and pots, enamelware canisters and mugs, and even cast iron skillets.  Some of the available fragrances include Pumpkin Vanilla, Gingerbread, Dutch Apple Pie, Roasted Espresso, Citrus & Sage, Mulberry & Mandarin, Hazelnut and Olive Verbena.

candle3A new product from Swan Creek is the Melting Wax line. These blocks of wax are triple-scented and will fill your home with fragrance as they gently melt. They have their own cast candle4iron wax melter, when paired with a tea light, will give any room in your home charming appeal. Available fragrances include Vanilla Pound Cake, Spiced Orange & Cinnamon, Banana Walnut Spice, Apples & Spice and more.  There are four new, licensed scents as well:  Hershey's Syrup, Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and York Peppermint Patty.

candle5Other available options include Candles By The Hour and Whispering Wood candles. Candles By The Hour are made of 100% beeswax and candle6burn at a measured rate of one inch every minutes. Invented in the 1600s, they were called "courting candles" and were used to monitor the amount of time gentlemen callers spent with young girls.  The Whispering Wood candles have a natural wooden wick that crackles and pops as it burns, providing the sound of a real campfire.

Check out these and other home fragrance options next time you are in the store.  Bass Pro Shops - your home fragrance headquarters!




Late Summer Watersports Action- Starring YOU!!

My name is Eric Weber.  I am from the Tracker/Marine department at Bass Pro Shops.  I have at least 13 years experience on the lake. I am also good friends with Mike Warner, a fellow associate of the Tracker/Marine department.  We enjoy being on the lake for fishing and especially water sports.  I would like to share a short video clip of some enjoyable times on the lake this summer. 

I started riding wakeboards in 2001. I currently ride Ronix wakeboards but my first year riding I obtained a Hydroslide wakeboard and used it for a couple years.  I then moved to Hyperlite wakeboards after that.  Bass Pro Shops carries both of these brands of wakeboards perfect for beginners all the way to intermediate riders. Check out the selection at http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=wakeboards

The entire video was shot with Bass Pro Shop’s GoPro Hero 3 camera.  This camera is a relatively new camera on the market for action sports.  It is very unique due to its wide angle lens and 1080p HD video recording.  This lens captures you in the moment plus everything that goes on around you.  It is also very fun because it can be mounted virtually anywhere.  I decided to mount it on the wakeboard, the wakeboard rope, and a pole I used to extend the camera.  Come in to the Marine department to learn more about this camera, and check out our website to see the entire Go Pro Lineup: http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Navigation?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&searchTerm=GoPro

Lifejackets are a key piece of wakeboarding.  You need a Coast Guard Approved jacket that will float you in case of injury on a wakeboard.  I started out with recreational lifejackets and moved up to neoprene.  Neoprene jackets have a lot more comfort in the jacket which allows me to do more tricks.  Bass Pro Shops sells both styles available in the Marine department. http://www.basspro.com/Outdoor-Recreation-Water-Sports-Life-Vests/Type-Recreational-Ski-Vests/_/N-1z0usqaZ1z0x2q7

There are many different options for tow ropes in wakeboarding.  You can use the ski rope, wakeboard rope, or ultra spectra mainline rope.  The ski rope and wakeboard rope will work perfect for beginners.  If you are at all trying to do tricks, I recommend buying the ultra spectra mainline wakeboard rope.  This rope has no spring back in it, allowing the rider to have full control in the air.  Bass Pro Shops have these three ropes available in the Marine department for sale. http://www.basspro.com/Water-Sports-Accessories/_/S-12850004004

I put a short clip of tubing at the end to show you the awesome perspective the GoPro Hero3 camera records.  Bass Pro Shops sell all different kinds of tubes. There are tubes that have spots for the rider to sit in or lay in.  My favorite tubes are the flat tubes, which allow the rider to lay flat and jump the wake.


This is just a short video clip of my summer fun.  If you have any questions on the products or want to get tips on how to wakeboard come in and talk to Mike Warner or me.  We would love to share our knowledge with you!


Bear Hunting Tips Part 2

In Bear Hunting Tips (Part 1), bowhunter Don Mealey shared some tips including the importance of practicing in realistic scenarios before the hunt. Mealey also talked about the importance of bait, especially when hunting in heavy undergrowth, such as the area of Canada in which he was hunting. It's harder to "spot and stalk" in those dense areas.

"Hunting over bait is not a given situation and you still have to make the shot," says Mealey.

You have to compete with Mother Nature's bait when bear hunting.  If there is a bountiful blueberry crop then you have some tough competition!

"The bears already know where the natural baits are...they can sit here and eat blueberries all day long and the berries are high in the nutrients they need this time of year. The better the blueberry crop, the harder the bait is," says Mealey.

In this video clip, Don shows you his bait and stand set-up and explains the importance of manipulating your bait site.

More very important advice - Know the rules and regulations for the state or country in which you are hunting. You don't want to have your trip ruined by lack of research,  planning or ignorance of the law.

To see more of Don's bear hunt, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXa_RGAhDuQ.


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This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona

It's the first weekend of our Fall Fishing Event! Plan for fall fishing and learn the importance of keeping our lakes healthy and available for fishing, plus let your kids learn about the joy of fishing!

Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22

First - for the Kids!

 Kids' Catch and Release PondNoon - 4 p.m. The Catch and Release Pond is back! Our indoor bluegill pond gives kids the chance to catch a fish with one of our poles...then get Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshoptheir picture taken at our free "You at the Lake" photo download!

 Noon - 1 p.m. - Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop
- with our Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray!
Learn the basics of fishing. Hands-on fun for kids - they'll receive a “Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team" certificate and a free pair of sunglasses!

Plus - Seminars for Adults!

, September 21

1 p.m. - Fish Hatcheries: From Hatcheries To Lakes - Learn about the importance of our fish hatcheries to how our lakes are stocked. Presented by Mike Mason, from the Iowa DNR, Iowa Fish Hatcheries Supervisor.
2 p.m. - What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics - Learn how to use your GPS to find the best catch! Free fishing towel for the first 50 customers at the 2 p.m. seminar each day!
3 p.m.- Best Baits: Baits That Work For Successful Fall Fishing - with Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray

Sunday, Sept. 22
1 p.m. - Area Fishing: What You Should Know
2 p.m. - Expert Tips: Best Fall Fishing Practices - Free fishing towel for the first 50 customers at the 2 p.m. seminar each day -
With Pro Staff Lance Baker and Kary Ray
3 p.m. - Changing Water Conditions: How It Affects Fishing

1 -3 p.m. Both Days - Free Craft for Kids!  Color your own tackle box! 1-3 p.m. both days


Like us @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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It's Jerky Time!

Jerky Sale!!! Now through the end of September!!! Be sure to stock up on a high protein snack before your next outing! We have a variety of flavors such as turkey, maple brown sugar, teriyaki, peppered, buffalo, BBQ, jalapeno and even bacon for all the bacon lovers out there!

Sale prices are as follows: 3oz bags are 2 for $8 and the 6oz bags are 2 for $12. What a bargain!

This is a great snack for day trips, camping trips, watching the big game, or just to munch on. Plus the shelf life for jerky is well over a year! Stock up while you can!                





Be sure to stop by your Olathe Bass Pro Shops and get your jerky while it lasts!


It's the Little Things: Fine Tuning Your Archery Equipment

Bowhunters already have many things going against them when getting within 40 yards of the buck of a lifetime: other animals, other hunters, the wind, the environment and simply the animal's will to survive.  When that shot does present itself, we must be prepared and confident.

We all spend many hours at the practice range making sure our form is true for when that shot of a lifetime is required.  But, releasing many hundreds of arrows in practice just isn’t enough.  There are many things that affect our accuracy that just can’t be fixed by shooting more arrows.  These are a few of the little things you can do to get the upper edge on that shot of a lifetime:

Proper Arrow Selection:
Arrows flex coming off of the bow when shot.  This is the way the arrow stores energy to get that pass-through we are looking for.  The flex of an arrow is more commonly known as SPINE.  SPINE is defined by the ATA (Archery Trade Association) as a 29" arrow supported over a 28” span and then a 1.94 pound weight suspended in the middle of the shaft.  The amount of deflection, or bend, measured in one hundredths of an inch is the spine.  For example.  A 500-spine arrow will bend .500 inches as compared to a 340 spine bending at .340 inches.  A few manufacturers, such as Carbon Express, label their shafts a little differently.  Their 150, 250, 350, 450 numbers are not the same as the spine or deflection numbers as Easton, Victory, Beman, Black Eagle and now Gold Tip are using.  Make sure you carefully follow the manufacturer’s charts to ensure you are using and purchasing the correct spine for your setup.  When in question a stiffer arrow is better than a weaker arrow.  Ask your Bass Pro Archery Expert to help you with the correct selection.

Arrow Building:
Think about what an arrow really is.  It is a missile launched from your bow.  You have fletchings (or feathers) on the rear of the arrow giving it guidance.  Then we, as hunters, put wings on the front of the arrow in the form of a broad head.  These wings are now part of the equation of the aerodynamics of the missile. If the broad head or wings are not in line or wobble this will cause an arrow to corkscrew towards the target.  Not the scenario we want.  Make sure that your inserts are square to the length of the shaft.  This can easily be achieved by using an ASD (Arrow Squaring Device) to mill the end of your shaft or insert to ensure the squareness.  Your broad heads need to spin perfect with NO WOBBLE.  This is important for both fixed and mechanical broad heads.

FOC (Front of Center) FOC is how much in front of center your arrow balances. Keep your FOC above 11% and if possible closer to 15%.  If your remember back to your Physics Class, a longer lever will give greater advantage.  So the farther forward the balance point is (the farther away from the fletchings) the greater advantage the fletchings can give.
Size of Fletchings The longer the fletchings, the faster your arrow will stabilize.  However, too much fletching creates more drag at longer ranges.  For most whitetail hunting a 3-5 inch vane or feather will do just fine.  Now out West, where the shots are typically longer, I would suggest a 2" vane to maintain downrange velocity.
Amount of Helical or Offset A rotating arrow will be much more accurate than an arrow that does not rotate.  Just think about a football spiraling through the air.  The more spin, the more stable it is.  Same is true with any projectile, including an arrow.  The more helical or offset an arrow has, the quicker it will stabilize and the tighter groups you will get down range.  But just like fletchings, the more helical or offset at longer ranges, the more loss of velocity.

Paper Tuning:  
The first step to tuning your hunting bow is to paper tune.  This is a simple process of placing a suspended piece of paper a few feet in front of the bow and shooting an arrow through the paper.  You are looking for a near perfect bullet hole, where the three fletching tears are equal around the shaft tear.  If high or low, adjust first to remove the high low tears and then start moving the rest side to side until you get a perfect hole.  If you cannot achieve a perfect hole by adjusting the rest, there are other things that may come in to play.  Ask your local Bass Pro Shops archery professional to help determine if any other factors may be involved. 


Broadhead Tuning:
Make a 1” wide horizontal and vertical line, crossing in the center.  Shoot a few field tipped arrow at cross to ensure your sight is correct.  Pull the arrows and then shoot a few broad head tipped arrows at the cross.  Your broadhead tipped arrows should hit the same as your field tipped arrows. If not then move your rest.  Typically, if your broadheads hit right of the line you will want to move your rest to the left, and vice-verse. Re-sight in with your field tipped arrows and then shoot a few more broadheads.  Keep moving the rest, in very small increments, until your arrows hit the same place.

Aim Small, Miss Small.  Small sight pins will allow you to see more of what you are aiming at versus large sight pins.  The same can be said about a sight pin that is too bright and has a halo around it.  You want to be focused on your target not your pin.  Many manufactures offer different sized pins.  From .029, .019 or even as small as .010.  Some manufactures even allow you to choose sights that have different sizes to fit your needs the best.

Peep sight hole should be just large enough for you to see the entire ring of your sight.  The surrounding light can make a difference in what peep you should use.  The amount of light entering your eye will change the size of your pupil and sometimes requires a different sized peep for that lighting situation.  I always setup my bow for the condition that I will most often be in or use an adjustable peep sight.  You can also move your sight towards and away from your bow to get the perfect scenario.  Some sight manufactures have long sight bars to allow more adjustability.  Keep in mind that the farther away from the bow your sight is the farther away your pins will be away from one another.

The more reflexed (as opposed to deflex) risers of today need to have longer stabilizers to help them aim.  Many manufactures have short rubbery or short heavy stabilizers.  These DO NOTHING to stabilize or help you aim better.  Choose a stabilizer long enough to be at least a few inches past your limb pockets.  Typically a 9” to 12” stabilizer will do fine.  Have your weight at the end of the stabilizer.  This will make it more effective to aim and take unwanted torque away from your shot.

Deflex Riser


Reflex Riser


Release Aids:
There are many releases today to choose from. Wrist straps are the most common types of releases on the market.  They are easy to draw and are probably the easiest to learn how to shoot.  When setting up these make sure that the trigger rests in the proper place near the middle knuckle on your finger, NOT AT THE END OF YOUR FINGERTIP.  Find a release that has NO detectable trigger travel.  It should be crisp and you should not be able to anticipate the shot.  I find the drawback on these releases to be the “hookup”.  If you are like me, you sit in the stand for hours and have your bow hanging by your side.  Of course this is when the buck of a lifetime will show up.  You now have to keep your attention on him as you reach for your bow and put your release on the D-Loop.  Try and do this without taking your eyes off of that buck.  You can’t, and of course, this is when he will look at you.  To avoid this take a look at a T-Handle release.  These do take a little more time to learn to shoot but in the long run will allow you to be a better shot utilizing proper form and follow-through during the shot. I like them because I can attach my release to the D-Loop and leave it hang there.  Now the buck of a lifetime shows up and I can keep my eyes on him as I reach for my bow and grab my release already attached to the bow.

Take a little time to look at these little things and when that buck of a lifetime walks in front of you, you will have that extra edge.


Eat Out for a Good Cause

How many times do you eat out a week? It could be a couple times or maybe just once for date night, but more than likely you let someone else do the cooking from time to time. On September 26th, make plans to stop by our Islamorada Fish Company to eat out for a good cause.

Let me give you the story before the facts as this was how I found out about it from one of our associates in the fishing department…

The family involved is his girlfriend’s and starts with the father who is the only worker in the family. He had gotten a new job working construction in Montana for the oil field boom. He started part time where he would be away for 10 days at a time. This of course would be hard on any family. Instead of giving up on the family or the job, everyone packed up and moved out to Montana in a 5th wheel to stay together and support the father.

Now they were occupying a space near the Yellowstone River. The two daughters were playing at the water’s edge and were swept away. Luckily they were rescued but Chava, the oldest, was not breathing and had no pulse. She was revived on the scene and flown to the ICU in Billings. (You can read the local account of the story here.)

She has made a full recovery and appears to not have any long term damage besides a slight motor skills issue. The family is happily back together, with all members, but is not out of the rough waters just yet. With the father being only part-time he does not have insurance to help with the medical bills. Which as you can expect is astronomical.

We here at Bass Pro Shops- Mesa, AZ and our Islamorada Fish Company like to take care of our own. That is why on September 26th you should plan on being at our restaurant for a delicious dinner. A percentage from all receipts between 6:00PM and 9:00PM are going to help raise funds for Chava’s medical bills.

This blog is being put out about a week before the event because we hope you will share this with your friends and family. The more, the merrier! We hope to see you there!


Now this is of course the same restaurant of our Bi-Weekly Bites blogs. So if either the Grouper Sandwich or Steamed Mussels have inspired your taste buds, what better time to try them than then?!


2013 Fall Fishing Event!

Coming soon, we have a Fall Fishing Event that you will not want to miss! This event is an effort to teach kids and families on the importance of keeping our lakes available for fishing while creating an interactive and inviting environment. We aim to educate youth on conservation and enjoying the sport!

Two weekends in September (09/21-09/22 and 09/28-09/29), we will have multiple activities going on that are fun for kids at any age! From a FREE photo download and a beginner's fishing workshop to catching a real live fish, this event has opportunities you can't find anywhere else! From noon to 4pm, all these activities are completely FREE and available for anyone. So come out and color, fish, and have a great time! Don't miss out!

Catch and Release Pond: Noon-4pm we will have an interactive catch and release pond with live fish both weekends.

Beginning Fishing for Kids Workshop: from noon-1pm each day of the event, we will hold a workshop that will include hands on activities to teach kids the basics of fishing. Each child that completes the workshop will receive a "Bass Pro Shops Kids Fishing Team" certificate and a free pair of sunglasses.

Crafts and Photo Opportunity: During the event, FREE photos will be available for download and craft available!

Fishing Pond


Risk Mitigation for Wade Fishing at Night- A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Risk Mitigation for Wade Fishing at Night- A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

by Captain Jim Barr of Skinny Water Charters


Personally I would rather saltwater fish in very shallow water (preferably with a fly rod), thus the name for my charter business, Skinny Water Charters. (www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com).  Most seasoned striped bass anglers know these fish prefer to feed heavily at night and in the low light of early morning and evening. It’s true that in the spring and fall months stripers can be found in the middle of the full light of day, typically when they are making their spring and fall migrations or when they have pushed bait to the surface creating those dreamy sustained top water blitzes. This top water action is found in both shallow water as well as deep water environments. In Rhode Island, during July and August, stripers will often retreat to deeper and colder water that can significantly degrade our shallow/top water fishing opportunities.

In Rhode Island we are blessed with many shallow water /tidal estuaries, flats and salt ponds, absolutely wonderful places to fish for stripers and hickory shad. During those warm summer months one of my favorite places to fish are the salt ponds along our southern coast, each of which is connected to the ocean via narrow breachways that supply cold and highly oxygenated water, and striper forage that includes crabs, shrimp and a variety of small baitfish. Ideally I like to target fishing in darkness, during an incoming tide, and in skinny water. During periods at and surrounding the new and full moons that bring big tidal exchanges and fast moving currents, the incoming night tides can produce spectacular fishing in a beautifully serene environment… few if any competing anglers, no waves or engine noise from passing boats, only the composite sound of the ocean breaking on the distant barrier beach, the occasional screech of a seagull or tern… and the nearby slurping of stripers feeding in shallow water.

Tragedy Narrowly Averted

Several years ago on an early July evening, the stage was set for such an outing. In two canoes, three of us crossed the narrow breachway as the tide began to turn. The new moon would guarantee no light except the faint glow of a starry sky. We each wore a life vest for the crossing, and brought our chest waders, chest packs, and headlamps that would provide the light we’d need to change fly patterns and hopefully unhook fish. We anchored the canoes in a foot of water on the southernmost end of an expansive sand flat that was beginning to come alive with gulls and terns wheeling over clouds of sand eels that were beginning to school on the flat. We removed our life vests and stashed them in the boats for the return trip, wet waded the short distance to dry land to put on our waders and packs, string our fly rods and tie on our starting fly patterns.  In short order we were positioned on the flat and casting to nervous water as the sun set and the salt pond began to fill with cold ocean water.  Our timing was near-perfect, as the light fell from the sky and the “sun setters” on the far shore packed up their beach chairs and wine glasses, the parking lot emptied, and the stripers began feeding… heavily.

As expected the top water fishing became spectacular. We had the entire flat to ourselves on a warm summer evening with all the striped bass we could ask for feeding on the surface as close as a rod length away. We continued to wade the flat casting to pods of breaking fish as they recklessly fed further north on the flat into the belly of the salt pond. During those several first hours of the incoming tide the fishing was so fast and furious that we paid little attention to the gradually deepening water and the distance we were opening from our anchored canoes. The sky was black, the only light being our headlamps that we turned on occasionally to change a fly and unhook a bass. I glanced at my watch and realized there were two more hours of incoming tide before the water went slack. Panic set in when I realized we were roughly 200 yards from where we anchored the boats, that the current was still flowing heavily against us and that I recalled having crossed through several  low areas on the flat where the water would be deeper than the waist high depth I was now standing in.

We soon realized our peril. I was the strongest wader of the three of us, so the plan was that Paul would stay with his girlfriend, turn on their headlamps and make whatever progress they could as I pushed hard against the current and deeper water to get to the boats before we were all swept off the flat into the deep water where with all our gear weighing us down there would be little chance of avoiding being drowned.

As I crossed several deeper areas on my way to the boats, as feared, the current pushed water over my waders so that by the time I reached the relative safety of the canoes I was exhausted and my waders were nearly full despite wearing a tight wading belt.  I stripped off my beach shoes (I never wear wading boots when fishing in saltwater estuaries) and waders and piled into the canoe and floated them down-current to my friends. Together we found shallower water further west on the flat, and eventually paddled back to the launch.

Lessons Learned

I have since wade-fished that same flat during similar conditions but I do a few things different than the night we came so close to tragedy. What’s different?

and the case is inserted into the Lifeproof Lifejacket  Float http://www.basspro.com/LifeProof-LifeJacket-Float-for-iPhone-4-and-4S-Case/product/12091205013851/

  • I tether my canoe or kayak to my wading belt as I wade across the flat. Gone are the days of having to fight against a strong current to get back to my boat.

As anglers we generally are in “overkill” mode when it comes to gear that we take fishing. At the end of every wade fishing venture I take, I can easily identify half the inventory I brought that I didn’t use, but the problem is I don’t carry forward that lesson to the next outing. If you can build into your behavior a discipline that steers you away from toting stuff you never use and backfill some of that space and weight with the safety gear noted above, you’ll be more inclined to fish some of those quasi-risky locations and conditions where the big ones prowl.


Protecting Our Herds

Proper Deer Management – Deer Hunting and HarvestsDeer Silhouette

Proper deer harvest plays a big role in an effective deer management program. Areas with higher deer densities have lower fawn crops, more major die-offs, smaller body weights, and poorer quality antlers. These symptoms are a result of abused rangeland, where white-tailed deer (and often exotic deer and domestic livestock) have eaten all available forbs and browse. Such areas have poor plant diversity and in some cases are dominated by nuisance plant species. If this is the case, the whole system, including your white-tailed deer herd, is suffering. But what if you are short on deer? And how many deer should you harvest?

Hunting season for whitetail is always in the fall, and it’s not an accident. Fall hunting allows the removal of excess animals from the landscape prior to winter. When it comes to the deer carrying capacity, winter is the biggest limiting factor. Because of the harsh time of year, proper deer harvest is essential for the deer herd on your property, their habitat, and your overall deer management program.Deer herd

In most situations, harvesting around 20 to 30 percent of the antlerless deer off a property each year will usually maintain good nutritional conditions, assuming the habitat is not overgrazed by cattle or some other form of domestic livestock. On well-managed habitat, a healthy white-tailed doe harvest should produce conditions for good fawn survival, good body size, and good antler development. To make sure you are harvesting at the proper rate, the best bet is to conduct a deer survey in late-summer of each year. Without deer survey data, you may as well just shoot into the dark.

With accurate information on deer herd size, the buck to doe ratio, and fawn survival and with considerations for rainfall, habitat conditions, and hunting on neighboring property, the deer manager could then prescribe the percentage of the herd that should be harvested to optimize management objectives. Situations such as this where all pertinent information is available are, of course, very rare in deer management. However, it is your job to collect as much data as possible so that you can manage the herd on your property as effectively as possible.

Let’s say your goal is to produce “quality” whitetail bucks. Well then, the total buck harvest should be restricted to 20% or less of the estimated buck population. This limited harvest lowers hunter success rates, but will allow a significant portion of the buck population to reach maturity and increase the proportion of bucks in the population. This strategy has only limited success on smaller tracts of land where hunting pressure on surrounding lands is moderate to heavy. If you have a smaller property, then it will probably be recommended that you harvest at a slightly higher harvest rate unless you can form a wildlife management cooperative with your surrounding neighbors.Fawn

For smaller properties, or those that simply want a healthy deer herd, a slightly higher buck harvest rate can be justified. In short, remove 27% to 33% of the estimated buck population annually. Not only will this harvest rate allow for a generally acceptable level of hunter success, but it will also restrict pressure on bucks–and allow the remainder of the buck population to reach an older age classes.

Getting Started

If you are interested in getting in the outdoors, you should check out the Bass Pro Shops website and the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in Oklahoma City. Ok.

We look forward to seeing you in our store and as always, thank you for shopping Bass Pro Shops. Good luck and have fun.




Bow Season is Upon Us

September 28th is opening weekend for bow season this year and it is approaching quickly. This time of the year the archery department is busy seven days a week as people are tuning up bows, honing in their skills and getting prepared for the season. As you hunters look over your gear and evaluate possible upgrades or some adjustments, know that Bass Pro Shops in Garland has well trained bow techs and avid bow hunters working at the counter. We are confident in working on or with any bow you may bring into our shop.  So if you notice that your old arrow rest may look worn or a bit outdated please bring it up to us. Our techs will suggest a rest that is affordable and compatible for your setup. Or perhaps your sight just is not as bright as you may want, we have plenty of sights that are affordable and maintenance free. The convenient features found in these two products allow hunters to make last minute adjustments without having to spend a lot of time setting everything back up. A quick swap of a sight or rest can make the difference in bagging your 2013 trophy.

One rest I would like to mention is the Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit. This whisker biscuit is offered in several sizes and either black or camo. At a $39.99 price point, this arrow rest is affordable and features easy adjustability that puts you the shooter back on target in no time. (Prices will range $39.99-$69.99 depending on features and color)

Arrow Rest

 A fiber optic sight I would suggest looking at would be the Trophy Ridge Outlaw 4 pin sight. This sight is light weight and has four .019” fiber optic pins. Other special features include a sight light and it is ambidextrous so it will mount to either a right or left handed bow. This is a tough sight to beat at the price of $49.99 and it makes for an excellent last minute upgrade to improve your odds this season. Come in and see us here at Bass Pro Shops in Garland and let us help make this year’s bow season one of your best. 

Outlaw Bow Sight


Patterning Late Summer Bass


Late summer bass fishing can be some of the most frustrating days you will spend on the water all year. Generally the fish are transitioning and can seem to be neither here nor there. While small fish can be caught randomly roaming shallow water eating shad the big ones often seem to be nonexistent. Covering water casting fast moving reaction baits will catch you fish but if you are going for the big ones, searching for a trophy, your approach needs to be different.

On lakes such as Guntersville or any lake that has an abundance of weed growth or matted vegetation; giant bass can be found hiding in the shade of these thick mats. They are generally there to feed on large bluegill that wonder through the grass, as well as any other creature that comes in range. Targeting this thick matted cover is a great way to catch a big late summer to early fall largemouth bass. Hollow body frog lures such as the SPRO Bronzeye Frogs work great for covering water and locating big fish buried deep in the grass mats. Just fire the frog as far across the mat as possible and slowly twitch it along the surface of the vegetation. Fishing this way is extremely exciting, knowing that at any moment a 6 plus pound bass could crash through the mat and eat your frog. Your work doesn't end at simply getting the fish to attack the true test is first being able to hook the fish and second is being able to drag it out once it is hooked. This technique takes nerves of steel to not immediately set the hook when the blow up happens. The key to consistent hook ups is letting the fish take the frog and making sure the fish actually have it in their mouth before you set the hook. The simple truth is you will always have some of the fish miss the frog or come unhooked while hauling them in. While it can be heart breaking it is worth it for the excitement as well as the potential of a giant. One thing I like to do is always have a back up flippin bait ready to go. Often if the fish shows itself but doesn't get the bait you can quickly flip in a heavy weighted bait and punch it down into the fish's territory triggering the fish to strike. I love flipping a green pumpkin Bass Pro Shops River Bug rigged with a 4/0 Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Worm Hook and a 1 and 1/4 oz BPS Tungsten flippin weight pegged so it will not slide up the line. Just pitch it up high and let it crash through the thick cover. The equipment you use is very important when fishing heavy cover. I use braded line from 40 to 65 lb test and a heavy or extra heavy 7' 6" rod accompanied by a high gear ratio reel with allot of power to winch the fish out of the cover. Often you will drag the fish out as well as twenty or more pounds of grass with it. Give it a try and you will most likely get hooked on the challenge and potential of fishing super heavy cover.

If you are not comfortable or do not have the equipment to handle heavy cover fishing then there is another way to still have potential for giant bass, and that is fishing deep offshore structure. This is where you will have the opportunity of getting into a school of fish where you can catch numerous fish in a short period of time. For tournament anglers this is one of the very best ways to win a tournament in late summer. Finding these deep schools in the late summer can be difficult at times, and seem like your searching for a needle in a hay stack, but it can be done. Having good quality Lowrance electronics makes this hunt a whole lot easier. I will generally check places near the main river channel or a creek channel that still have shallow water or a flat nearby where they can pull up to feed. The fish could be anywhere from 10 feet to 25 feet and once found can be caught on a wide variety of lures. Reaction baits such as deep diving Spro or Strike King crankbaits are always a good option for triggering a fish and firing up the school. What I mean by firing up the school is that often once you have made one of the fish bite then it will ignite the rest of them into a feeding frenzy for a short period of time. You really need to be ready and know exactly what cast to make, in order to take advantage of the opportunity before it's too late. Schools of bass can shut down as quickly as they turned on so be prepared and pay attention to your boat positioning. Once the fish have slowed down I like to switch my presentation to a slow presentation, using Carolina Rigs, Texas Rigs, or Football Head Jigs. Working these through the school will usually get you a couple extra bites once the main frenzy is over. On my rigs I like to throw big worms or brush hogs, while small fish will still bite these, they are also a great bait to trigger a big one into biting.

So decide what sounds the most enjoyable for you and go give it a try. Whether  that means a fist fight in shallow water or a more relaxing slower technique on deep structure, give it a shot. You will be amazed at the size of fish you can catch even when the fishing is tough if you try these two things. If you have any questions or need to get geared up for a fishing trip there is no better place to go then Bass Pro Shops. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania
















Fishing Department

Bass Pro Shops Harlingen offers a variety of family activities to include the fishing pond, arts & crafts, as well as fly fishing classes throughout the year.  Our Fishing Associates offer a wide variety of fishing experiences ranging from deep sea(salt water) to lake and pond (fresh water) fishing.  We have all the equipment necessary to prepare you for a good trip out on the water.  Great customer service is our goal in fishing.  We understand how important each customer is.  We will go above and beyond the call to do all we can to meet the needs of our customers. 
reel bar
Our management team includes:
Fishing and Camping Manager:  Matthew Whittington
Fishing Leads: 
Juan Dominguez
Rick Gonzalez
Rick Becerra
fly shop
By:  Juan Dominguez



2013 Fall Fishing Event

fishThe Fall Fishing Event returns to your local Bass Pro Shops

As the weather becomes cooler and the days become shorter, fishing techniques need to change to adjust to behavioral changes in fish.  Find out more about seasonal fishing techniques and changes in this fun, yet educational event.

Fishing Seminars

Saturdays, September 21 & 28

Beginning Fishing for Kids



Fish Hatcheries: From Hatcheries to Lakes

1 p.m.

What You Should Know About Fishing Using Electronics

2 p.m.

Best Baits: Baits That Work for Successful Fall Fishing

3 p.m.

Sundays, September 22 & 29

Beginning Fishing for Kids


Area Fishing:  What You Should Know

1 p.m.

Expert Trips:  Best Fall Fishing Practices

2 p.m.

Changing Water Conditions; How It Affects Fishing

3 p.m.

In addition to the seminars shown above, we will also have Fishing Towel Giveaways at the 2:00 p.m. seminars, free photo downloads and free crafts.  We will also have Kids Fishing available, for kids 12 and under, from noon - 4 p.m. Load up the family and come out for the Fall Fishing Event - there's something for everyone!