Is Your Boat Ready?

Spring is here, and the weather has prompted the floodgates to open, releasing thousands of boats from their winter storage. Like anything else, smart preparation will be the key to a successful season for everyone, and we at your local Bass Pro Shops would like to offer some advice and tips for a great beginning to a long boating season.

First, let’s start with the trailer, since your boat is dependent on reliable transportation. What condition are your tires in? Do they show signs of dangerous wear, or dry rot? Most boat tires never wear out, they break down over time. If your tires are in good shape, inflate them to the proper setting, and move on to your bearings. Have you had your bearings re-packed? Check them yearly for wear, and replace them as needed. Cold lake water on a hot bearing can be tough, so make sure they stay full of fresh grease all of the time. At Bass Pro Shops, we offer Bearing and Seal replacement kits, as well as the proper grease for ongoing maintenance. Bearing Buddies with Caps work great for keeping the grease in and the world out.

When you check your tires, remember to check your spare tire very closely. The main reason for this is that the only thing between your boat and the rough pavement at 70 mph are two small patches of rubber tire, so it is best to make sure that they are in good shape. If you see signs of worn tires, replace them. IF you see damage to your rims, your local Bass Pro Shops sells replacement tire and rim combinations for most boat trailers.

Speaking of trailers, the only thing holding your boat onto the trailer is a couple of straps, and they need to be replaced every few years. Nothing would be worse than having the straps beak at 70 mph, causing you to dump your boat in the road. At Bass Pro Shops, we carry a full line of Transom Straps, Gunwale Straps, and Bow Straps. Some of the straps even bolt directly on to the trailer and are retractable, simplifying the tie down process.

Trailer lights are a critical but often overlooked component of your boat trailer. Connect your boat trailer to your tow vehicle and have a buddy help you check out the lights. At Bass Pro Shops, we offer everything from replacement bulbs to replacement lights, as well as replacement trailer wiring harnesses. Wiring can dry rot as well, so make sure to check your wiring thoroughly. Finally, remember to check the trailer hitch on the tow vehicle, especially the trailer ball and the nut on the underside holding the ball onto the hitch.

Okay now, so your trailer is ready to go, how about your boat? If you stored it properly, then getting everything ready should be a breeze. Let’s start with the battery. A properly maintained battery should provide good service throughout the stated battery life cycle. Some batteries require that you monitor the fluid levels, and others are sealed. All batteries can benefit from the use of a quality on-board battery charger, as these will keep the batteries fully charged and properly conditioned, ready for use when you are. If your boat does need new batteries, we carry a full line of Starting Batteries, Deep Cycle Batteries, and Dual Purpose Batteries at Bass Pro Shops, as well a variety of one, two, and three bank battery chargers. If your boat does not currently have an on-board charger, now is the time to add one. When you get in from a day of drinking beer and catching fish, you just plug it in to the AC plug and your batteries will be ready to go in just a few hours.

Now that you have your boat cranked, how long will it run? Once again, the answer is determined by how well you stored your boat. If the engine won’t keep running, or runs very rough, the problem may be in the gas tank. Gas can go stale in as few as 60 days, and you don’t know how old it is when you buy it. The answer is to use a product that we carry at Bass Pro Shops called Stabil. Stabil addresses several major problems caused by gas storage in a boat, or any tank, for that matter. Gas goes flat over time, and can lose its ability to help your engine run effectively and efficiently. Stabil is made to add to the tank when filling it up, treating the gas in the tank and in the engine, extending the life of the gas for up to a year. Another problem associated with gas is that much of it contains ethanol. Ethanol alone can be harmful to your engine, and can attack and damage the seals in some older engines. The main problem that you notice with ethanol is that it pulls moisture out of the atmosphere, adding that to your gas tank. This is not good, and should be addressed by adding Stabil or another ethanol treatment. Stabil will treat the water in the tank, breaking it up into smaller molecules, allowing it to be expelled from the engine through the normal combustion process. Water is highly corrosive, and you want it out of your gas as soon as possible. Bass Pro Shops carries Stabil in several different sizes of easy pour containers, and we carry other ethanol treatments as well. I use Stabil, and can vouch for it personally.

Alright now, you have pulled your boat to the lake for the first time this season, and thanks to your preparation, it cranked right up and ran as smooth as ever. Now, we will discuss how to make that boat look like new again. Bass Pro Shops has a whole area devoted to cleaning supplies that will make your boat look like new again. To start with, we carry the proper Buckets, Sponges, Scrub Brushes that clean without scratching, Hand Washing Mitts, Polishing Pads, Terry Cloth Towels, Cloth Diapers, everything you could imagine. You supply the water and elbow grease, we have the Boat Soap. Boat Soap is important, as it won’t wash off the protective finish that may still be on your boat. We have HD Hull Cleaner to get the scum deposits off of the hull, and HD Bottom Cleaner for the really stubborn stains. Once the dirt is gone, how does the finish look? If it is faded or oxidized, we have Color Fiberglass Restorer, and HD Oxidation Remover. We have things to help you get that luster back, or get your shine on as they say. We also sell the better Boat Waxes and Boat Polishes with PTFE. Your boat will look great this year, if you will invest a little time and care, and your finish will look nicer, longer. Of course, using a Bass Pro Shops Boat Cover will help this greatly.

Finally, we have arrived at the inside of the boat. Boat Soap will help keep the carpet looking nice, and our Upholstery Cleaner works great on stains. Did you know that the vinyl on boat seats has to breathe and maintain healthy moisture content in order to look good, remain pliable, and resist cracking under pressure? Our Vinyl Cleaner and Protectant will help keep your seats and interior healthy and looking great for years if you use it regularly. Does your boat have pontoons? We have several types of Pontoon Cleaners, some for aluminum pontoons, and some for fiberglass pontoons. Some even have spray nozzles for easy application. As always, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using any of the products you get here at Bass Pro Shops. And if there is anything that I have not touched on here, give me a call at 205-702-7500, x4081, or, better yet, come see me in person at Bass Pro Shops here in Leeds, Alabama. I’ll be looking out for you.

Jim Mann, Marine Department



Ladies fashionable canvas mocs for any occasion

Hey ladies! Are you trying to decide what shoes to wear this spring? I have the answer for you.  Easter and spring are right around the corner and you may be thinking to yourself... "I need a lightweight shoe that I can wear with almost anything but it has to be cute". Then, Bass Pro Shop is the place to visit. We have a huge selection of ladies canvas moc style shoes that won't break the bank like other brands.

These shoes are easy on and easy off which makes going places a breeze. They have several features such as they are very lightweight, with an average weight of 10oz. Another feature of this stylish shoe is that it is breathable for those warm spring days. The insole is made of leather, which allows it to give and be very comfortable. The insole is also cushioned with a little bit of arch support making it comfy to wear all day. It has a one piece rubber sole allowing them to last just a little longer than most. The canvas material is made from 100% cotton, which allows it to be snug at first but stretch over time.

It is a very stylish and fashionable shoe that will go with pretty much anything from pajamas to a nice sundress.

It also comes in many different styles and colors such as canvas, fabric and a glitter canvas. There are about 15 colors that we carry such as red, pink, camo and leopard. There is a color for everyone and every outfit.

canvas                  canvas           canvas                 canvas           canvas


These shoes come in sizes 4-10 and are only 24.99. So hurry up and come on down to your local Bass Pro Shop and get you a pair. They make great Easter presents for the kiddos, as well as gifts for any occasion. You can never go wrong with a new pair of shoes.


Kenny Chesney's 2013 Sunglasses Have Arrived!

When preparing for summer, don’t forget to upgrade your sunglasses as well!  Bass Pro Shops – Macon recently received several styles of the 2013 Limited Edition Kenny Chesney sunglasses.  Made by Costa Sunglasses, they have a lifetime warranty against defects in materials or workmanship for the lifetime of the product.

Some of the styles we received include the Caballito, Hammerhead, Grand Catalina and Prop. Each comes in a kit, which includes a visor, bottle opener and cleaning cloth. The artwork on the kit features Kenny Chesney's trademark palm tree and guitar. 

The Caballito comes in choice of Black or Crystal frames with either blue mirror or dark gray lenses.







The frames for the Hammerhead style are available in Black or Driftwood. Lens choices include blue mirror, copper or dark gray.







Grand Catalina, one of Costa’s best-selling frame styles, has been brought back by popular demand. This popular style is available in Black Fade and Sunset Fade, both with dark grey lenses.


The Prop glasses are reminiscent of classic styles from the 1950s. However, they’ve been made modern with striking color schemes:  Morena and Tortuga Fade. Lens options are dark amber and dark gray.


Stop by our Sunglass Counter and check out these great new selections from Costa/Kenny Chesney and many other popular styles. We’ve got sunglasses to fit every need!  


Spring Fryers

Spring Fryers


The weather is beautiful, spring is here and what better time to get out into the great outdoors.  fryerAnd that is just what my family and I did last week.  My sisters and their kids all have campers (not me) so we decided to meet up at one of the local state parks and make it a family weekend of fishing and camping.  My youngest sister has this really great camper that has a space in the back for all of their camping and tailgating toys.  It’s called a Toy Hauler.  Well, what made it so great for our family weekend was she brought her smoker and her fish fryer along all tucked up nice and neat in her little toy camper.  Saturday my mom and I spent all day on the bank fishing while the guys were out on the boats.  My sisters don’t care much for fishing so they spent most of the day hiking and biking with the kids.  That evening, we all met up together where the campers and been put together to form a big square.  We had a big campfire, played guitars and sang songs just like we did when we were kids.  Then it was down to business.  All those fish we caught during the day had to be filleted and fried.  That fryer my sister brought along really came in handy.  Turns out, she got it from Bass Pro Shops.  I checked and found out Bass Pro Shops offers a great deal on our Aluminum propane fryer combo.  It comes with everything you need to get cookin.  With items such as a 10.5 quart aluminum pot, light weight strainer basket with a cool touch handle and rear clip for easier draining, 18” tripod stand with 3 stable legs, 58,00 BTU cast iron burner, CSA-Approved regulator and hose (propane tank not included) and 5” deep fry thermometer.  This item is very powerful, easy to use, move around and is affordable.  Regularly priced at $49.99, but it is currently on sale for $39.99 until March 31st.  So come on down and check out our great deals.  You can also check it out on line at


Camping Department

Denham Springs BPS


Spring time is Big Fish time in Central Alabama!


Kyle caught'em!Springtime fishing in central Alabama is fantastic. With a mixture of Largemouth, Coosa River Spotted Bass, Giant Crappie, Hybrid and Saltwater Stripers, and Big catfish, the lakes and rivers here produce some non-stop action from March through Mid June. Our area lakes include The Alabama River, Lake Jordan, Lake Mitchell, and Lake Martin. All of these fisheries are great in the spring and all located within 45 minutes of the Montgomery and Prattville area.

    The Alabama River starts where the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers come together just north of Montgomery. With 80 miles of river between Montgomery and Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam in Benton Al., along with numerous creeks and backwater areas, this section of the Alabama offers any type of fishing you want to do. This year has been great for giant spotted bass. We have more 6 lb spotted bass being caught than ever before. SpinnerbaitsSquare Bill crankbaits, and Soft Plastics fished shallow are the best baits this time of year for bass on the river. This is also a great time to catch crappie in the 2-3lb. range on stump flats. Small jigs and minnows are best.  
    Lake Jordan is the last lake on the Coosa Chain. Lined with docks and grass, this lake produces some excellent bass fishing. 4"-6" green pumpkin worms fished on an 1/8 oz. shakey head around seawalls will put great numbers of fish in the boat from late March to early May. Stick baits like the Netbait Salt Lick, fished SLOWLY around the grass beds will help you catch some of the bigger female bass pre and post spawn. After the first week of April the topwater and swim jig bite will really pick up. If you want to try something fun and different, go to Mitchell dam and fish a 4" Bass Pro Shops Boss Shad swimbait or Deadly 5 rig in the current for some great Hybrid Striper action. Throw the baits in the current as the water comes out of the generation turbines and hold on.
    Lake Mitchell will fish the exact same as Jordan this time of year. It's situated between Lake Jordan and Lay Lake on the Coosa, east of Clanton. Use caution when operating a boat on the upper end of Mitchell, below Lay Dam. There are numerous boulders that come up to just below the water line and can tear up a lower unit or prop. 

    Lake Martin is on the Tallapoosa River and is located 45 minutes north of Montgomery. It's a totally different lake than the other three. It's big, deep and gin clear waters are loaded with bass, crappie and Saltwater Striped bass. It has hundreds of miles of shoreline with lots of docks, laydowns and large rocks. Martin is known as a summer time recreational lake, however it's also known for producing large numbers of bass in the spring. Shakey heads and Salt Licks fished around any available shallow cover will do the trick. I have had many days of 50-100+ fish per day on this lake in April.
Brannon Jones
Fishing Guide

Concealed Carry Permit: A must have for anyone

With the current climate and social issues surrounding firearms, I decided to get my concealed carry permit. As I haven’t fired a handgun in several years, I was a little nervous about the class, especially the qualifying after the class. I convinced a fellow manager to take the class with me. The class that I took was taught by instructors from Practical Arms. Mark, Kyle and Tim offer these classes on a regular basis here at the Bass Pro Shops in Concord, NC. The class begins at 8am in the conservation room at Bass Pro Shops.

There are 25-30 people in each class. After registration, the class started with a very in depth look at the legal issues of having a conceal carry permit. Seldom mentioned aspects of the laws are taught such as; justified self-defense can’t be instigated and you cannot use excessive force. Also once the threat has been stopped, you can’t use additional force. I learned that for a gun to be considered a handgun, it must have a short stock and be designed to be fired and held in a single hand.

Once you receive your handgun permit, you are required to have it on your person, along with your valid identification at all times that you are carrying a concealed weapon. The team also went over places that you are not allowed to carry a firearm concealed, for example any facility that sells alcoholic beverages, any area where admission is paid, and certain state properties, courthouses or any federal property. If you consume alcohol at any time or any controlled substance, you are not allowed to carry your firearm concealed.

The instructors went over the proper care, cleaning and storage of your handgun. Storage of your firearm is very important; practical arms discussed the different types of locking systems for firearms and different types of safes. I did learn that on a biometric safe that it is wise to program a couple of different fingers in case your hand happens to be incapacitated. One of the final things that the guys went over was ammunition safety. They covered misfires and squib loads and how to handle these types of malfunctions if they occur. After a test in the classroom, everyone left to go to the range for qualifying.

At this point, I started to get a little nervous. I soon found out that I had no reason to be. At the range, Kyle and Mark took time with each shooter to familiarize them with their firearm. They went over the safety on every gun with every shooter. They also went over safe handling of the firearm with each individual. I will tell you that having extra clips makes the process go faster.

Evan and I

Every participant is teamed up with another individual. While one is shooting, the other person stays at the back station. Once you have shot your round, you eject the clip from the gun and hold it behind your back. Your team mate then either brings you another loaded clip to go in the gun or they take the clip that you have, load it and return it to you. You shoot 10 rounds at 3 yards, 5 yards and 7 yards for a total of 30 rounds.

At the end of the class, you receive a certificate to take to the sheriff’s department in order to get your permit. My class was in February and my appointment with the sheriff’s department is in April. Given the current climate and social issues surrounding firearms your wait will increase at your local sheriffs office. I was very pleased with how professional and helpful all of the instructors were. If you are not an avid handgun user like myself, this is still a class that I would recommend, knowledge is power.

Class qualify

Practical Arms also rents handguns for the qualifying at the range and will provide ammunition for the handguns that they rent. Check out their website for other classes and training that they offer. They offer a class specifically for ladies at the Bass Pro Shops here in Concord. They also offer a ladies only class for selecting the right handgun. This class includes range time and the ability to shoot 5 different handguns which is very helpful if you are unsure of which handgun is right for you.

Happy shooting!

Michelle Clark






Catch the Easter Bunny...and get ready to hunt turkeys!

Get Ready for Spring Turkey Hunting...With these FREE workshops!

Quaker Boy Representatives
March 30, 2013 - 11 a.m.

Mike Brodell & Tom Ballard from Quaker Boy will in the store to talk about their products and answer questions


Turkey Hunting Accessories - Blinds, Seats, and More
March 30, 2013 - 1 p.m.

Our experts demonstrate the newest equipment to help you have a successful turkey hunt!


Beginning Turkey Hunting
March 30, 2013 - 2 p.m.

Learn the basics of how to get started in turkey hunting - for all ages!  By the Optics Counter at 2 p.m.


Easter Event

The Easter Bunny hops on in at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, along with crafts and an Easter egg hunt!Easter Bunny

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny
March 30-31 - 1-4 p.m.
March 29 - 6-8 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt - Ages 2-10 ONLY
March 30-31, 1-2 p.m.
Egg hunt starts promptly at 1 p.m. and lasts for one hour only.

Free Crafts for Kids
March 30-31, 1-4 p.m., while supplies last
Friday, March 29, 6-8 p.m., while supplies last.



Anxiously Waiting

We have sat around all winter waiting for the weather to break, but have we done the things we needed to so that we are ready for that first big bite of the year? I am a firm believer that time spent preparing is as valuable as time fishing. I have a few things that I like to do every winter to help me get the most out of my time on the water and have less chances of missing time or the fish of a lifetime.

Follow this Check List for Success on the Water:

1.  Check every crank bait in my boxes and do any repair or replacement that may be required. that means cutting off left over knots, taking a file to each and every treble and sometimes changing hooks if needed. I will also (borrow) some of my wife’s fingernail polish or colored sharpies and touch up scuffs and chips to make it look as good as possible. I take this time to also ensure I have my crank baits separated the way I like them so I can spend less time looking for them on the water. Everyone has their own way own of organizing their baits, but I like to group mine by type and depth. Some people separate by color and others by season. Just do it the way that you feel more comfortable and is easiest to remember.

2. I clean and repair my rods and reels. This is a multi day event for me as I have acquired more rods and reels than any one person would ever need. I believe that if you spend a little time each off season cleaning your rods and reels you will get better performance and they will last you much longer. We sell many products for cleaning and lubricating your reels and I am sure they all work great. I use the ardent cleaning system that comes in a kit with everything you need to put your reel back in tip top shape.


It is highly recommend you read the manual for your reel as each may recommend certain things to enhance the performance. Our staff can help you with most questions or you can go to you tube as there are many videos that show how to do basic maintenance on your reels. One key I have found is to not OVER lube or grease your equipment . I will gob up and catch dust and grime and over time reduce the performance of your reel.


Remington Rem Oil is a great product to protect guns but also to shine and protect rods. I spray it directly on my rods and wipe down. This is the same spray that you can use on your rifles so you don’t have to buy multiple products. It not only cleans but leaves a protective teflon coating on your rods to help keep it clean and dust free.Take a Q –tip and run through each guide to see if any of the guides have any cracks or chips that could nick my line and break when hooked up.

3. You may want to label your boxes in your boat storage so you can easily grab the right box. I use a label maker, but you can use a sharpie or tape and get the same results.

4. I like to check my line on each and every reel. I normally go ahead change out each reel after the winter season, so I know that I have the best chance of longer casts and fresh line. When you're fishing for trophy fish or striper fishing, you dont want your line to be the weak link that causes you to loose a fish.

 I use a lot of flouro carbon line and have found that if you use a line treatment like Reel Magic or KVDs line treatment you will see improved results.

reelmagicKVD line lure

I like to spool about half with mono and then tie in my new floro line. This will allow you to save a lot of money over the course of time and reap the same results. Once I start spooling the flouro line I stop about half way and spray it down good with the line treatment. I let that soak in and then fill the rest of the spool. When full I spray the remaining line as well. Take your time and it will soak in to the line and coat and protect the line. I try to do this the night before I am going to use it so it has time to dry. You will be amazed at the difference you see in performance. I do this for both spinning and bait cast reels, but see the most improved performance on spinning reels.

5. I also use the off season to go through my soft plastics. We fisherman are prone to buy baits we will never use, "Dock Talk" has cost me a fortune over the years and I always end up with odd ball colors that I have no confidence in using. I go through these baits and make myself a yard sale or craigslist pile. By cleaning out these baits I am not going to use it allows me to find my other baits quickly as well as have less weight in my boat. Selling your unused baits is relatively simple…remember fisherman buy anything…

6. I also use this time to check my inventory to see what I REALLY need in the way of baits, terminal tackle, line ect. This way I can make a list and get what I need on my trip to the Bass Pro Shop.

These are just some of the ways I get myself ready for the spring season. I have also started making my own weights and jigs , but that is another day and another blog.

At Bass Pro Shop our goal is to help get you ready for whatever outdoor challenge you face. Log on and check out your local Outdoor Skills Workshops, these targeted classes can get you ready for your next adventure.  I hope that you will give our staff the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise so that you have the adventure of a lifetime.

Until next time, God Bless you and yours

See you on the water

Eric Winter

General Manager

Concord Bass Pro Shop


Columbia Brand Outdoor Apparel - introducing Omni Freeze Zero!!

Have you ever thought of your sweat being a renewable resource?  Leave it to the people at Columbia to not only have thought about it but made it a reality.  Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga is proud to introduce Columbia’s newest technology, the Omni Freeze Zero.   

If you are familiar with Columbia, you know that they are always at the top of their game with the newest technology.  This new line is beyond amazing.  How does it work you ask? Blue rings of a special cooling polymer, when exposed to sweat or moisture, swell (similar to goose bumps) creating an instant cooling sensation.  So basically when you get hot, it gets cooler…. It's how the hot people stay cool!

Other perks that these NEW items have is they all offer Omni-Shade which provides a UPF 50, protecting against harmful sun rays.  Some items also include the Columbia technology, Omni-Wick, which pulls moisture away from the body. We, at Bass Pro Shops, carry this new technology in Men’s, Ladies and accessories, with more colors and styles hitting the floor weekly.  

If you are hot and want to stay cool, come check out the new Omni-Freeze Zero line - available NOW at Bass Pro Shops. 




of1                            of





Tree Stands - Comfort and Safety

Today's tree stands are pure luxury from days gone by.  With enhancements to maximize comfort and safety, hunters can look forward to sitting in a tree all day!  There are so many  stands to pick from, and the right one can truely be an asset to your hunting arsenal.  Take the time to stop on in and take a good long look at them and ask questions.   Here are a few you might find interesting.


The API Outdoors Hi Point Climbing Tree Stand has padded armrests.  Combine that with a attached back rest, full body harness, and a camo accessory bag.  Quality and great value makes this tree stand something to think about.



















Summit has  The Crush Series Viper SD Ultra Climbing Treestand with great sound reduction technology.  Cushioned armrests, seat bar and a full body harness with quick and easy adjustments.  








Gorilla has the Greyback Climbing Treestand with padded camo climbing bar, stirrups, adjustable back pack straps, and a full body harness.



















The Ameristep Non-Typical Rapid Rail Ladder works on small trees or  crooked trees.  V steps for increased footing,  this treestand is easy to use and performs well.









How about a treestand that fits two?  The Big Game Treestand The Sky Rise  has removeable seat cushions and 2 full body harnesses with a max weight of 500 pounds.  Durable, high quality and a great price.

sky rise








Are you a mobile hunter?  The Muddy Outdoors Climbing Sticks are perfect for mobile hunters.  There are steps on both sides which allow for quick and easy climbing.  Very quiet and high quality make this a must.












So stop on down to Bass Pro Shops and let one of our Archery associates show you the perfect stand that fits you.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator








Which Deer Call is Right For You?

Calling deer.  Everyone has their own way of doing it.  How do you know without spending alot of money which call might work for you?  Well word of mouth is still the best way to find out.  Talk with people around your area to find out what they are using.  Watch hunting videos, TV shows, or go on the internet.  Here at Bass Pro Shops we have many calls that might interest you. 

The experts say that during the early season - try rattling.  Not hard but gentle and easy.  This sound is meant  to imitate two bucks sparring.  The Knight & Hale Pack Rack Rattling System Deer Call twists back and forth to create a lifelike sound of two bucks in combat.  Easy to use and not expensive you may just want to give these a try.  The Primos Big Buck Rattle Bag creates the sound of two different size bucks fighting.  Again very easy, durable and a great value. Not to mention they fit in a pack much easier than a set of antlers!















Many people prefer the can which produces the sound of mating bleats of estrus does.  The Primos "Original" Can Mating Bleat Call is simple to use, performs well, and is a great price.












It takes a great deal of patience to get that monster.  Don't be afraid to use your deer call.  Sure you may just spook one or two, but this is how you learn.  In order to be successfull you need to know deer behavior.  Have that arrow nocked or your gun in hand before you start calling.  Dont get frustrated after 10 minutes or even a hour.  How many hunters have relaxed their guard only to have that giant buck appear.

Primos has the Uproar Deer Call that has three proven effective calls in one.  You can switch between two main chambers to produce aggressive grunts or loud estrus.  Also there is a wheeze tube to challenge a large buck.




















 The Primos Hardwood Grunter Deer Calling System is a 6 in one adjustable reed system.  This system produces extra loud calls from deep grunts to doe bleats.












These are just a few calls to consider when deciding what you need.  Talk with your friends then stop on by and talk with our hunting associates to find what call will work best for you.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator





Making a good choice on a sleeping bag could mean the difference between having a great trip or a miserably uncomfortable one. But, there are so many sleeping bags to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you?

Keeping you comfortable is the main purpose of a sleeping bag.  Although personal preference is very important, there are other factors to consider when making your selection:

  • Temperature rating
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Material
  • Lining
  • Zippers and collars

The temperature rating tells you the lowest temperature at which you will stay warm. A sleeping bag rated at 25 degrees F. will keep you comfortable as long as the temperature remains above 25 degrees F. The rating also assumes that you are sleeping on a sleeping pad and are dressed warmly. Keep these temperatures in mind when choosing your bag:

  • A bag rated at 20 degrees F., with a sleeping pad, is considered a 3 season bag. This should get you through a frosty spring or fall and not overheat in the summer
  • If camping in colder weather , choose a bag rated at -10 degrees to +10 degrees F.
  • For extremely cold weather, such as winter camping, your bag should be rated from -15 degrees to -30 degrees F.
  • Most bags have a  temperature rating between 15 degrees and 50 degrees F.
  • You should purchase a bag with a rating lower than the coldest temperature that you expect to encounter.

Size:Choose a sleeping bag that is big enough for you to sleep comfortably, but one that does not add a lot of extra weight and space. You may also want to consider youth, women's, or extra long sizes.


The most common shape for bags is the rectangular bag. While roomy and comfortable, this bag can also be opened and used as a comforter on warm nights, can cover an air mattress, or can be opened and zipped together with another rectangular bag to make a double-sized bag.


The mummy bag wraps tightly around the sleeper, providing  maximum warmth with less material. This bag is great for camping in cold weather.

Generally, you may choose between two types of material for your bag-synthetic or goose-down. Synthetic materials are a popular choice. They perform well, are non-allergenic and inexpensive, dry quickly, and still insulate if wet. Goose-down is more durable and can be compressed (more common for backcountry camping).

Most bags come with a nylon taffeta or silk lining. You can also purchase a fleece liner, which adds extra softness, and about 15-20 degrees of additional warmth.

Zippers should not pinch or catch on the fabric when zipping up. You should be able to zip it up from the outside or the inside. If you plan to connect two bags together to make a double, make sure the zippers are compatible.

Some bags have a collar at the top that helps keep the opening closed around your neck to retain heat. This feature is useful in cold weather, not so much in warm weather.

Remember, these factors should be used as guidelines only. What is comfortable for one sleeper may not be comfortable for another. And, always keep your bag clean  and air it out after every trip. Store in a cotton storage sack.

Please visit , or come on in to your Leeds Bass Pro Shops and see our great selection. We look forward to seeing you.

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





Changing Weather Means Changing Tunes

music notes

As the weather changes, so does my taste in music. During the warmer months, I am continuously looking for music with an upbeat sound. Nothing is better than cruising down the road, the sunroof open, and music blaring through the speakers. Did you know that Bass Pro Shops in Leeds has a great music selection? I sure didn't. It wasn't until I was looking for the perfect gift for my dad that I stumbled upon a great discovery...... music. And by the way, it was the perfect gift. I bought my dad the Bluegrass CD and he loved it!


Bass Pro Shops carries a variety of music CDs. If you are into laughter, then you should check out the "Blue Collar Comedy" CD. I walk by the display and often push the demo button just so I can hear Larry the Cable Guy tell a good joke. We carry his "best of" CD.

larry the cable guy

If you are looking for music that will help soothe your mood, check out the selection of CDs that includes instrumental sounds. Nothing is better, after a long, stressful day at work, than coming home and putting in a CD that will help unwind your stress. Titles include "Woodland Rain", "Moonlight", "Native Spirit", "Sacred Earth", "Forest Piano",and "Thunderstorm". If you are anything like me, there is nothing better than listening to the sounds of a rolling thunder to help you sleep.



Of course, being in the south, we have a lot of country music fans. We have a couple of Justin Moore CDs to choose from. We have a CD from Brad Paisley and even the legend, Johnny Cash.

justin moore


I, personally, am thinking about purchasing a couple of the new CDs that we just received. With titles like "Afternoon Delight" and "Dancing in the Street", I am sure they are going to be exactly what I am looking for this summer. However, the CDs titled "Road Trip" and "On the Road Again" may be just as good! I am sure that I would absolutely love The Beach Boys, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or The Everly Brothers. (So many to choose from!)

on the road again


If you like listening to Celtic music, we have three different CDs available to choose from. These CDs include Celtic Dreams, Celtic Love Songs, and Celtic Grooves.

celtic grooves

No matter where your choice in music takes you, make sure that you stop by Bass Pro Shops in Leeds to pick up your tunes! We carry other CDs that include Chicago, Bluegrass, "Amazing Grace", "Songbird Suite", and "Bone Collector".

bone collector


All CDs are $14.99 + tax. Come by and hear a demo sample today!





Manteca Camping

Every spring I invariably get asked, at least 3-4 times per week, where can I go camping near Manteca.  So in this blog I have decided to review some of our local campgrounds.  All of these locations host both RV as well as tent camping and have centrally located toilet facilities.

First on the list is Caswell Memorial State Park.  The park is located along the Stanislaus River near the town of Ripon, California.  From 99, take the Austin Rd.Beach at Caswell exit. Head South on Austin Rd. and you will run into the park at the end of the road.  Several species of fish including bass, catfish, crappie and more await your most enticing fishing technique.  Campfire programs, Junior ranger programs and nature walks are given every weekend throughout the summer. The Stanislaus River meanders through the park, with beaches and swimming areas near the park’s day use and campground facilities.  One of the most magnificent aspects the park has to offer is its seemingly endless maze of nature trails. The trails allow a glimpse of what the riparian ecosystem of the valley would have looked like in pristine times. A majestic Oak Forest is surrounded by many other lush plant species, some of which are rarely found anywhere else in the Stockton Delta KOAarea.  The park also offers a rich variety of wildlife viewing.

The Stockton Delta KOA is located just minutes from Lodi and Stockton. it's a great place for a family reunion or any group gathering. There's something for everyone, including live music and dancing on weekends, all new children's playground and pet playground, movies under the stars, swimming pool and hot tub, banquet and meeting facilities and boat rentals.  If you love California camping, California fishing and being on the water, this is the perfect KOA for you!  From I-5 take Highway 12 West for 5 miles.  Turn left unto Tower Park Way and you’re there.

Coyote Point Campground sits along New Hogan Lake in the brush-covered foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Boating is a Coyote Point Campgroundpopular pastime, with boat ramps conveniently located around the lake. The large surface area allows for plenty of water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing and more. Year-round fishing for stripers, bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish is perfect for experts and beginners alike.  The "River of Skulls" hiking trail is located below the dam at the Monte Vista Recreation Area. The trail also includes a staging area for an eight mile equestrian trail on a scenic loop that winds along the lake and through the foothill chaparral. Trail guides are available at the park office.  Bike trails suitable for the beginners as well as advanced riders are found on the west side of the lake and next to the group camping area.  Coyote Point Campground offers a spacious group campsite that can accommodate up to 50 guests. Campfire and interpretive programs offer additional recreation for visitors, as well as an 27-hole disc golf course.  To get to Coyote Point, take state highway 4 out of Stockton and go about 20 miles west until you hit Milton Rd.  Turn left on Milton Rd.  The campground will be about 3 miles ahead.

Del Valle ParkDel Valle Regional Park, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, is located in a valley framed by oak-covered hills. The centerpiece of the park is a five-mile long lake, with all kinds of water-oriented recreation, surrounded by 4,316 acres of beautiful land for hiking, horseback riding, and nature study. Del Valle is also the eastern gateway to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, 28 miles of scenic back country trail.  Del Valle is located about 10 miles south of Livermore, CA, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.  From interstate 530 near Livermore head south on Vasco Rd. for approximately 4 miles.  Turn right on Tesla Rd.  Take your first left on to Mines Rd.  After 4 miles Mines Rd. will become Del Valle Rd.  Continue another 4 miles to reach the park.  Del Valle offers two swimming beaches, with lifeguards on duty during posted periods. Visitors to Del Valle may rent motorboats, patio boats, peddle boats, canoes, and kayaks at Woodward Reservoirthe marina, and any size boat may be launched at the public boat ramp.

Last on my short list is Woodward Reservoir.  It is located at 14528 26-Mile Road a few miles north of Oakdale off Hwy 120. This regional park offers 3,767 acres of land and 2,900 acres of reservoir for recreation and camping.  Facilities include 115 developed campsites, 40 full hook-up campsites, undeveloped camping areas, marina, concessions, restrooms, picnic shelter, barbeques, picnic tables, and radio control airplane field.  Campsites are available on a “first-come first-serve basis”; no reservations are available at this time.  Recreation opportunities include swimming, fishing, boating, water/jet skiing, waterfowl hunting (with permit), and radio control airplane flying.

These are just a few of the places to camp which are close to Manteca.  So get your gear together and lets go camping and explore the great outdoors.  And remember that your Manteca Bass Pro Shop can provide you with any supplies you might need for that camping trip as well as advice on planning your trip.  Have fun!!


Phil Steele

Camping Dept.

Store 49, Manteca


Product Spotlight: DogBones Retrieving System

New at Bass Pro Shops Altoona from Jeremy Moore and the gang at Dog Bone!DogBone

DogBone Shed Antler Retrieving System

A proven three step process to train your dog to find shed antlers.

Cross-train previously trained retrievers and sporting dogs or young pups to hunt for and retrieve shed antlers.

DogBone Dummies are made of the same material as other familiar training dummies, enabling an easy transition in training to an object of a new shape with a familiar feel.

The antler dummies provide a safe, positive and pleasant introduction to the antler shape for pups and young dogs with sensitive smaller muzzles, eyes and noses.

With the use of a few basic training methods and the proper tools, most dogs can be effectively trained to find sheds, increasing your odds of success exponentially.


Also available -  2 oz. bottles of the Shed Antler Scent - the only manufactured antler scent on the market, made from 100% naturally shed antlers. Designed to be used in conjunction with the Shed Antler Retrieving System.


Bass Pro Shops Altoona has the Shed Antler Retrieving System in stock and the 2 oz. Shed Antler Scent.  Check with your local Bass Pro Shop for stock and also available online at




Bowfishing - Sport of Removal

It's a great way for bow hunters to "extend" their season. Bowfishing has been around for hundreds of years and its popularity continues to grow in Iowa and other states.

Members of the Bowfishing Association of Iowa (BAI) were at Bass Pro Shops Altoona recently to share information about this unique method of fishing.

Billie Summers of BAI has some important regulations and safety tips you need to know before beginning bow fishing.



Bowfishing can be done from the bank or in a boat.  Avid bowfishers often have boats with raised platforms to improve their visual of their targets.

Why bow fish?  From the BAI website:

Many people do not realize just how destructive some rough fish can be to a body of water. Common carp, for example, will roll and root around in the mud on the bottom looking for food. This causes the water to cloud up, in turn not allowing needed sunlight to penetrate to the bottom helping vegetation to grow. Game fish fry rely on the vegetation for survival from predators. Grass carp will eat all the needed vegetation resulting in poor game fish survival rates.  Long and Shortnose Gar are a lighting fast ferocious predator that will eat game fish. A gar can grow up to 16” in its first year of life, and is in direct competition with more desirable fish for food in that first year.

Most recently introduced into Iowa are the Asian breeds of carp. Bighead and Silver carp have only been in Iowa’s waters for around 15 years. Their population has exploded at a very alarming rate. Both the Bighead and Silver carp are filter feeders that can eat their body weight of zooplankton per day, this also takes away from the more desired game fish. Not to mention, the Silver carp will jump out of the water as high as 9 feet at the slightest disturbance, which can result in personal injury to boaters and personal watercraft operators. Many of these accidents happen every year. The largest ever recorded bighead removed from Iowa waters at the time of this writing was over 80lbs. 

As you can see, since bowfishing is a removal only sport, it can play a huge role in the balance of fish in a body of water.


Summers stresses that you need to be aware of city, county and state ordinances and regulations when it comes to bowfishing.

For more information visit these sites:






Humminbird Leads the Way!

            It is time to get the boat ready and build back up the tackle boxes! Grab your Alabama Rigs and your Watermelon Flukes, because this year is going to be one of the best we have had in a long time. As a lot of us know, last year was one of the worst years in a long time for fishing, and for recreational boating in the whole Dallas/Fort Worth area. This was due to the extreme lack of rain, and such low lake levels, that one couldn’t even launch their boat from once familiar ramps! Although, thanks to a couple of seasons of great rain and warmer than average weather, the level of our lakes and the water temperature is once again ideal for fishing and recreational boating!

            As avid fishermen and even the occasional weekend warrior, we all look to the latest tools that will help us catch that big bass, find catfish holes, or slay some crappie. However, we don’t want to spend more than we have into our boats on rigging our electronics so that we can find them! To this I give my hat off to Lowrance. They have come out with the new Mark and Elite series of fish finders that have allowed even the poor fisherman to be able to put a decent 3 inch screen unit on their boat! But the latest and greatest technology goes hands down to Humminbird. Not only have they pushed the envelope with the “Humminbird 360”, and the amazing “I-Pilot”; but now they have released the “Humminbird I-Link”! The “I-Link” now allows one to link their GPS trolling motor to their fish finder and the newest “Lakemaster” chip. By doing this, all the functions of the Humminbird “I-Pilot”, are now on steroids! The whole game has changed again, and the latest technology has arrived! And anyone without these tools is left in the wake of those who actually possess and understand them. So where does one go to obtain and find out exactly how to interpret this latest and greatest fishing technology?

              Bass Pro Shops has been in business for more thirty years, and has strived to provide  greater customer service than any other outdoor retail store can, by staffing only the best and most knowledgeable associates that actually live and breathe fishing, boating, hunting, and all the outdoor adventures that let us know we are alive! This is why I not only work at Bass Pro Shops, but I enjoy what I do. Because we make it the best place to gain knowledge, get the best customer service, and truly understand who our customers are. Because we are our customers!

Humminbird 360 GraphHumminbird 360



Big Cat Quest: Saturday, March 16, 2013

Looking back on the tournament from this past weekend, I feel that the event was challenging. There was great competition with fishermen from all over various parts of the United States who brought their skills and knowledge to Virginia to fish on the Mighty James River. Ken Freeman, of Outdoor Promotions, has a great circuit for Catfishermen of all ages to compete in due to the hourly set-up and various target weights that were needed to win.

My partner Chris Krammer and I were on the water at 4:30am; luckily we had all the bait we needed for that day.  We were on the river the day before catching shad and eels for bait. We went down river from Jordan Point Marina because that was our game plan. During practice, the bite was hot down river so we did not want to deviate from our original plan. We boated our first fish by 9am; a lovely 35 pounder!  After this, a drop in air temperature and cold rain seemed to effect the biting where we were. Boats were nearby, but we didn't see anyone boating fish; it was just plain tough!  We moved around to various fishing holes but the big bite never came. You can locate the fish but you can't make them bite if they don't want too.

Some fishermen didn't catch anything, and of course, depending on where you were some did. The winning fish weighed in at 71 pounds caught by a crew from North Carolina. Awesome fish, and congratulations to the winning team!  At the weigh in, Bass Pro Shops had food and drinks for everyone. Hot dogs and refreshments were well received by all of us. Bass Pro Shops is a First Class organization in which I have the great honor of representing!

Overall the event had a great turn out, and I look forward to the next Big Cat Quest tournament next year!  Special thanks goes to all the wonderful people who made this tournament possible; awesome work!


                                                                         See you on the water,

Captain John.



Kayak Fishing with Alex, Daddy/Daughter Day

What is it about going fishing that causes lost sleep? Wednesday night, I mean Thursday morning, was the perfect example. It is Spring Break for most of Texas and what better way to usher in a new season than by going fishing with your eldest child? It was Daddy/Daughter Day, going fishing as we have done since she was three years old. Rather than hitching up the boat or heading for the pier, this trip, was to be a little different. Our newest Pro Staff member at Bass Pro Shops, Pearland, George Young of Texas Coastal Kayaks, invited Alexandra and me to spend a morning paddling a kayak.

I’ll have to admit a sense of elation when she thought the trip was a great idea. After all, children have different interests as they mature and we have gone from the days of the Snoopy fishing rod to cheerleading, to driving and to ‘gulp’ college visiting - as if there weren’t enough reasons in that sentence to lose sleep, so her immediate “that would be really cool” meant a lot. After spending a fitful few hours tossing and turning while endless questions ran through my head “packed both reels, rods are by the door, new pliers ARE in the dry bag, right? Waders are in the truck, it is March, we only have one pair, she can wear them, how cold can the water be, toilet paper… toilet paper… oops, don’t forget that” we were headed for coffee and breakfast.

We met George before sunrise and headed off to Christmas Bay. I personally have not used a kayak in a few years and have never fished from one, but my daughter’s summer camp has several. George was careful to cover safety and how to maneuver, especially with the added encumbrance of fishing gear. Perhaps the most important lesson was how to board. I paid careful attention. You know that five minutes after an unplanned exit, there would be a video on YouTube entitled “Look at Dad Upside Down in the Bay, or What We Did on Spring Break.” Within 15 uneventful minutes though, we were paddling, rather than motoring towards one of our favorite fishing locations.

Remember the earlier comment about dry bags and the sleepless nighttime question of ‘how cold can the water be’? No matter how careful you are, kayaking is a wet sport. It’s Spring, it’s March, it’s a little chilly. Warm, dry towels and clothing at the end of the day are wonderful things to find. To ensure their availability, we used the Ascend Light-weight 10 Liter Dry Bags. They weigh almost nothing and are perfect for backpacking too. I trusted them enough to include a small pair of Zeiss binoculars for bird watching, which if you understand my phobia about nice things being immersed in saltwater, you would recognize as a high degree of confidence in the dry bag.

For fishing equipment, we took the Johnny Morris Carbonlite series rods, a matched set of 7’2” medium-action spinning rods, with Bass Pro Shops Offshore Angler, Inshore Extreme spinning reels. Mine has served faithfully for the past two years. I liked it so much that last summer, I purchased a second one. Being ever so gallant, I handed Alexandra the brand new, never been near the water combo, certain that she would find it comfortable and easy to use.

Over the past few summers, the advantages to using braided fishing lines has become apparent so both reels are loaded with 50 pound test Bass Pro Shops branded XPS 8 Advance Braided line. While it is true that the reel would hold more if a lower test line was used – the 50 lb braid has the size equivalency of 12 pound test monofilament, it’s just easier for some of us in our advancing decrepitude to tie knots using slightly larger line with wet fingers and no reading glasses. The water of Christmas Bay is usually a little murky, but to be safe, we added some fairly stout leaders using Bass Pro Shops XPS Fluorocarbon.

We also brought a new product that I have wanted to test since they were first introduced, the Bass Pro Shops XPS 7” Aluminum Pliers. They have an excellent balance and feel. Lightweight, made of machined aluminum, they have a set of replaceable tungsten carbide clippers which were perfect for trimming braided line and will not corrode, always a positive feature for tools that will be used in saltwater. In addition to the 7” pliers, there is a ‘Mini’ set which has a split ring tip, and a larger pistol-grip pair for releasing fish from a distance. Given my proclivity for catching hardhead catfish, the latter is on the Father’s Day Present List. The 7” pliers were easy to use, gripped small items securely and made it possible to open and close swivels with ease. I cannot recommend them more highly, but I’d also invest a few dollars in a retractable lanyard rather than the extra piece of braided line I used to attach them to the lifejacket.

All in all, we had a fantastic time. George Young could not have been any more patient and instructive. Every piece of fishing equipment functioned exactly as expected. The only real equipment problem occurred at the end when I suddenly found that I no longer owned a matched set of Carbonlite rods and Offshore Angler reels. Apparently I own one and my daughter who caught not only her first speckled trout, but also her first flounder and first redfish (her first Texas Slam!), owns the other. How did I do you ask? It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll just let the last photo of the day do my bragging.

To reach George Young of Texas Coastal Kayak, call 713 501 0636, and check out their website at

For more information about the products listed in this article, view them online at BassPro.Com.




Product Spotlight: AcuRite Weather Alert Radio

AcuRite® Weather Alert NOAA Radio/LED Flashlight With Hand Crank

AcuRite Weather Alert Radio

  • NOAA National Weather Service alerts for your location
  • A loud alert siren when emergency conditions are at hand
  • Also an LED flashlight
  • Hand crank recharges the batteries in the case of emergency power
  • Listen button plays local weather report at any time
  • Has a 50-mile signal scan
  • Battery operated or AC adapter powered (not included)


For more information on AcuRite weather safety products, watch this video!

Sever weather can come up quickly in Iowa...receive fair warning!

Available at Bass Pro Shops Altoona or online at!