Tips For Successful Late November Steelhead Fishing

The tributaries of Lake Michigan are loading up with winter-run steelhead. Anglers are catching them throughout the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, Salt Creek, and Trail Creek. The bigger fish are being caught on various spinners, but far more quantities are caught on live bait fished under a float rig. Try using spawn sacs, skein, shrimp, crawlers, or wax worms. Fishing improves with the water quality, so for best results wait a few days after the rain before heading out the creeks. Keep in mind, the backs of the creeks will always clear up earlier than the lower stretches that are closer to Lake Michigan.

Rigging Tips. When you rig up, make sure the color top of the float sits at surface level (see picture). This will leave the clear ¾ of your float underwater, right where it should be. Your hook should be as close to the creek bottom as possible, and you only need about 2-3 feet of fluorocarbon leader from the connector to the hook. Use the equipment shown in the picture and you’re all set!

If you want to try float fishing, stop by Portage Bass Pro and let us hook you up with the right equipment for the job!

Good Luck!


Check It Out List: Picnicking

My fiancé loves to picnic. I base this off the fact that we went once and she always says “Remember when we went on that picnic?!”… Sometimes I feel like Phil Robertson….

Now in her defense, she made everything for the picnic and it was delicious. It was really cute and one of the last times she has cooked… I meant umm… I appreciated all the effort she took! But so I have been thinking about taking her out on a little picnic and was thinking about what I would need. So this month’s Check It Out List will be for picnicking!

Basic Picnicking:

·         Chairs

·         Plates, Cups and Tableware

·         Napkins and Paper Towels

·         Food and Condiments

·         Clips for securing open bags and tablecloths

·         Container to hold everything

·         Coolers with Ice

·         Wet Wipes

·         Outdoor Tablecloth

·         Blankets or Quilts

·         Trash Bags

·         Sunscreen

·         Trash bags

·         Outdoor Games

Now these are all suggestions. If you are like me, and like to lay down you won’t opt for chairs. But if you did, check out taking a seat via Bass Pro Shops! I personally like laying down on a nice quilt/sleeping bag!

One thing I really want to emphasize is the bringing of a trash bag. You packed it in… pack it out. And then some! There is nothing wrong with taking a few extra steps and picking up an extra piece of trash or two. I am pretty sure this little act buys you more credit with the Gods of The Outdoors!

Now here is something I will put directly out to you: the reader. What is your favorite thing about picnics?




So on:

What makes picnics special to you? Go ahead and answer below in the comments section!


Food: Sandwich (with bacon)

Drink: Coke out of a glass bottle

Activity: Getting’ my FRIZ on!!!

So on: I hate but also love the inevitable invasion of ants that comes with any picnic.

Lookin’ forward to hearing from ya’ll!

Pack It Out, Pack It In, Let this Picnic Begin! Giddy-Up!!

Lists of Old:

Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid

Day Pack

Trip Prep


Last Minute Shopping Ideas

Nothing is more frustrating than those pesky last minute gift ideas.  What do you get someone who has everything?  Does not go outside much, or who you don't know very well but have to get a quick holiday gift for.  Here are some cute gift ideas that might just fit the bill.


Check out the Rednek Party Cup.  Top rack dishwasher safe and what a conversation starter with either a bottle of wine or a 6 pack of beer. 
















The Bass Pro Shops Popcorn Popper Gift set is always great for a quick family gift.  The wooden handle stays cool and the pot is simple to clean.  This popper is top quality and will last for quite some time.









Big Sky Carvers has a Bear Chip and Dip Set, that is quite whimsical.  Bring a salsa and a bag of taco chips and what a cute gift this will make.






















Now you say you need a gift for holiday party people?  Well we have exactly what they can use.  Check out the Margaritaville Mixed Drink Maker.  This drink maker is unbelievable and makes 48 restaurant quality cocktails.  There is a digital display that shows you the ingredients you need to make the drinks.  A rotate center wheel gives you the drink of your choice.  Why there is even a dial to make your drink stronger.  Great idea for a wedding gift or heck how about a retirement? 














Candles always make a nice gift.  Here are a few ideas.  Swan Creek makes the Coffee Mug Candle.  Very warm and inviting this candle comes in warm cinnamon buns, pumpkin vanilla, and roasted espresso.  The Whispering Woods Jar Candle has 8 different scents  from spring rain to campfire. 








What do you get that person who does not need anymore little things around their house?  Someone who does not get out as much as they used to.  Well here is a cute idea - try the Magnet Works Mailwrap.  Perfect for that bland old metal mailbox.  This one is for the holiday season, but imagine getting them one for every season as it comes up.  Why you could even pick one up for different holidays like July 4th, Halloween etc.  This won't add to clutter in the house, but will bring a smile to their face as they look outside.
















Remember  if in doubt you can always give a Bass Pro Shops gift card.  They never expire and as you can see we have a large variety of different items to pick from. So stop on by Bass Pro Shops and have a Happy Holiday!


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator






Safety and Turkey Frying

For many years people have been preparing their holiday bird in many ways trying to find the perfect recipe to please the whole family. One method that many have turned to is frying the turkey. It sears in the juices and leave a crunchy skin. This method, however, can be dangerous and causes many accidents each year.

According to a report released this month by the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryers as a group are involved in about 1,000 home fires each year, causing an average of 57 injuries, or nearly twice the injury rate of any other type of cooking fire.

Further, each deep-fryer fire causes an average of $14,500 in property damage, or nearly three times that of any other form of cooking fire.

This article will hopefully educate you on tips and methods to start or continue a tradition in a safe way.

10 Steps on how to prepare and cook:

Start first by removing neck and giblets from cavity. Also remove pop-up timer and wire or plastic truss that holds legs in place. Make sure the bird is completely thawed and pat dry inside and out.


1)Season the turkey. Begin by sprinkling your seasoning of choice over the top of the bird and around the legs, rubbing it in as you go. Then turn it on its side, sprinkle more seasoning and rub it in. Completely turn the turkey over upside down before sprinkling and rubbing the underside. Continue until the entire body has been well covered and rubbed.

2)Make the metal handle. This method is recommended if you do not have a deep frying basket. Place the turkey on its shoulders (where the head would be) and begin to spear the wire through it, just underneath the breast and by the wings. Carefully pull the wire through and loop the wire around about three times to make a metal handle. Twist the ends of the wire around your handle so there are no sharp ends. It is very important to do a little test to make sure that your handle is totally secure when lifting up the turkey. Only when you are convinced that the handle is strong enough should you move onto the next step.

3)Prepare the burner. The frying of the turkey must be done outside, in a dry and well ventilated area and not near anything flammable. Set the gas burner on a level surface because this is one of the safest options so that the fryer doesn't tip over. Keep the propane tank as far away from the fryer as possible and make sure it is not on, under or near any flammable materials. When not set up properly, a deep fryer can explode. Please read the instructions that came with your fryer.

4)Prepare the oil level. Fill the pot halfway with water. Then roughly half fill the bucket with water, which should represent the same weight as your turkey. Place the bucket into the pot to make sure the water does not go past the top of the bucket; it should be at least 5 or 6 inches below the rim. If it is too high, then discard some of the water. The water line will represent the quantity of oil you will need, so make a note of it. Remove the bucket and tip away the water from the pot.

5)Dry the pot. It is extremely important to thoroughly wipe the pot dry with some kitchen roll. You must not leave any water in the pot as hot oil and water can be a very dangerous combination.

6)Add the oil. Pour the oil into the pot to the level where the water was. You should have somewhere between 3-5 inches of oil in the pot. Light your gas burner to a high setting and place the pot carefully down onto the burner plate. Place the thermometer into the oil and allow the oil to heat to a temperature of 350 °F (175 °C). The time it takes to heat to cooking temperatures varies. The outside temperature and conditions can heat oil to dangerous levels quickly. Consider protective apron, gloves and goggles.

7)Check the temperature. Once the oil has reached 350 °F (175 °C), you're ready to fry. Make sure you have on your protective gloves and jacket when handling the turkey or working around the hot oil. With the metal hook attached to the wire loop handle of your turkey, lower the turkey with extreme care into the hot oil. Even with the bird patted dry, there will be a violent reaction when it hits the hot oil. Do this very slowly and be aware of any hot splashing oil. It is strongly recommended to turn off the burner while the turkey is being submerged, then to turn it back on once the turkey is in. Boiled over oil hitting the burner is the cause of most accidents.

8)Fry the turkey. Allow 3-4 minutes of cooking for every 500g grams (1lb). Monitor the temperature by leaving a candy thermometer in the oil (hung from a copper wire) as the turkey cooks. Never leave the hot oil unattended during the cooking process! When the bird is dropped and the fluids begin to cook out, the boiling off of these fluids tends to cool the oil, after which the oil temperature may tend to rise. Halfway through the cooking process, check to see how the turkey is doing by briefly lifting it out of the pot, again using the metal hook attached to the wire handle. Then lower it back into the pot for the rest of the cooking period. If oil begins to smoke at any time, or if it begins to rise adjust the burner and  lower the heat.

9)Finish the frying. Once the turkey begins to float to the top of the oil, allow it cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once cooked, carefully remove your turkey from the pot, give it a little shake to disperse the excess oil and transfer it back onto its platter. Check the internal temperature with the meat thermometer. The temperature should be at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), but preferably 170 degrees F (77 degrees C) in the breast and 180 degrees F (82 degrees C) in the thigh

10)Turn off the flame. Let the oil cool completely, making sure it's in a spot where nobody (especially kids and pets) will run into it. Remove the wire and serve.

How to Dispose of all that grease:

Store the oil in the original container for reuse. Strain out any particles and freeze. Oil can
be kept for up to six months and reused for up to six hours of fry time.

Freeze it and then throw the hardened oil away on trash day.
Mix it with unscented kitty litter, sawdust, or sand to solidify the oil. Dispose of it in the trash.
Avoid scented or disinfectant types of kitty litter as they can react with the oil and cause a
fire. Or another option is to recycle it at your community’s transfer or recycling center. A list
of centers is available at (click on
Household Hazardous Waste).

Where to buy tools needed:

Seasonings:Butterball Garlic and Savory Herb Turkey Seasoning Kit                                                                          $6.99

Oils:Turkey Gold Cotton Seed Oil                                                                                                     Starting at $12.99Cajun Injector® Peanut Blend Frying Oil                                                                                     Starting at $14.99

Fryer:Bass Pro Shops® 30-Quart Propane Turkey Fryer                                                                               Bass Pro 30 Qt. $49.97

These are just a few options to start you out. Please visit to view more products or stop by the store and ask one of our friendly associates for assistance. With these tips and a little precaution you are sure to have a wonderful meal to serve your loved ones with a little help from Bass Pro. Also see A Good Holiday Turkey is a Fried Holiday Turkey! 


Firearm Cleaning and Maintenance

There are many activities one can do with firearms, from hunting to long distance target shooting. One of the least amusing but essential things one must do with every firearm is to ensure it is properly cleaned after a day at the range and the upkeep and maintenance throughout the year. This will keep the firearm in pristine firing shape. There are some simple steps which can be taken to make cleaning the firearm a little easier.  

The first step is to learn how to field strip the firearm down to its base components in order to clean the firearm most effectively. This is easily done by looking at the owner’s manual. The manual will have simple instructions on how to not only disassemble the firearm but how to reassemble the firearm without damaging any of the components. Once the firearm is disassembled the next step is the messiest.

After the disassembly of the firearm, the owner must proceed to oil and lubricate the necessary parts. This is a step that must be taken for both cleaning and regular maintenance of the firearm. The first thing after disassembly is to clean each individual part. Often times old oil and grease residue with be on the firearm mixed with the powder that didn’t burn during the firing of the weapon. This layer of grime needs to be completely removed before anything else can take place. If the components are not properly cleaned or lubricated, the firearm can grind smaller pieces and be rendered inoperable after a time. Finding the right oil and firearm lubricant is often times a pain. One company that is regularly used because of its great track record of quality products and proven performance is the Hoppe’s. The Hoppe’s Elite Dual Pack Firearm Cleaning Products is a great package to get when looking for both gun oil and lubricant in a single package. By taking a clean cloth and adding a few drops of oil to the cloth you can oil the component parts quickly and easily. Simply run the cloth over the parts until you can see and feel a nice film of oil on the pieces. This will ensure that the pieces do not corrode or get exposed to the elements. The next step is one of the most important.

Now that the components of your firearm are all clean it is necessary to look at the barrel and start to clean it. The first thing any person cleaning a barrel needs to do is run a cloth with a drop or two of bore solvent. This solvent helps remove much of the copper, lead, plastic and powder deposits on the barrel. A great solvent is the Hoppe’s Bench Rest-9 Copper Solvent. After using the solvent running a wire brush through the barrel one to two times will help break the deposits off the walls of the barrel. As soon as the wire brush has been run through the best thing to do is run a bore snake through the barrel in order to force the last bits of the deposits out of the barrel leaving it clean enough for accurate shots.

Hoppe's Cleaning

The cleaning and maintenance of firearms is the most important and important activity associated with firearms. Knowing how to properly clean a firearm could save money with the  maintenance or replacement costs in the future. While at the same time a well cleaned rifle, pistol or even black powder rifle will shoot more accurately making the experience far more enjoyable. Follow the link to see wat Bass Pro Shops offers to keep your firearm clean and well maintaind! As always have fun and happy hunting!



Surprise Boots

I ordered my boots online and was anticipating their arrival since I am very picky about how shoes and boots fit. I read the reviews and everyone except one had good things to say. The order process was easy and I received the usual confirmation note. Arrival was expected to be about 10 days. Then I received a product update which said my order was on the dreaded back order list and that I could cancel them if I wanted to. I chose to let the order sit for a week or so and see if things changed. Since they didn't I decided to see how long the wait might be so I did a simple chat session (nice feature) online. The customer service person was very nice and looked up the order. Her response was "February". This was very bad since I placed the order in September. I expressed to the customer service person that I was saddened by the news. I decided to let the order sit. Then about 10 days later news came via email that my boots were being shipped! Awesome. Anyway, they arrived, looked great and are extremely comfortable. They are very light and there is no stress on my knee after wearing them all day. Thanks Bass Pro Shops!

Name: cw
ProductDescription: Redhead 6" Silent Hide Boots

Fall King Salmon Run

Fall King Salmon Run

The cool nights and falling water temps have once again brought the King Salmon into the harbors on the shore of Lake Michigan, in the greatest city in the world, Chicago!  Today let’s talk about the Tackle we need to catch these fish on Spoons and Crankbaits.  Next month we will discuss tips, tricks and tactics for fishing spawn for the Kings. Salmon rods are very unique.  They’re nothing like rods we use for bass, walleye, pike, and Muskie.  They’re very long in length, 8 – 9 feet long for most spoon/crank rods in MH action and 9 – 11 feet in L - UL for spawn rods.  There are a couple reasons for the long rods, the first is casting distance.  At times we need to bomb a bait as far as we can in order to cover more water giving us more of an opportunity to have our baits come in contact with a King.  The other reason is due to the mouth structure of a King.  They have very hard bone and cartilage in their mouths and many times we will not get our hooks to penetrate completely through that.  The long rods have a soft tip to keep the fish hooked and not rip a hook out but enough backbone to turn a fish when we have to.  I am a big fan of the Browning 6 Rivers Salmon rods.  Many options to choose from and good durability to these rods! As always there is a HUGE debate on what type of line to run.  The greatest debates between Braid and Mono runs wild here!  Here are some pros and cons to running Braid;

No stretch – better feel, however runs a lighter drag so we don’t pull hooks out of the fish’s mouth.  There’s no forgiveness to Braid like there is in mono.

Thin diameter – Farther casting cause it so thin.  However it’s a solid line so at times in clear water can be visible.  Most of the time we are fishing Kings is at night so the visibility of the line doesn’t really factor in here.  However something to keep in mind for all you sunrise and sunset fishermen who are chasing Kings in the day time.

To me, if you chose a Braided line, there are two that really stand out as far as castability and thin diameter.  Sufix 832 and the new Seaguar Kanzen Braid in either the 20 or 30 pound test.  If you guys are looking for a great mono, definitely check out P-Line CX in either the 10 or 12 pound test.  Smooth casting, low memory, good tensile strength and good abrasion resistance.

Salmon rods are available in Spinning and Baitcasting models, so whichever set up you prefer is fine.  Most baitcasters have good line capacities to them but I am particularly fond of our Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series Baitcast Reels for this job.  6.3:1 Gear ratio.  High performance bearings, smooth drag and a duel brake system making throwing baits all night a breeze.  For spinning reels it’s hard to top our Johnny Morris Signature Wide Spool Models in either the size 40 or 50.

Now comes the fun part, choosing the right bait to catch these Kings.  Keep in mind the Kings that are shallow are only here to Spawn and then die.  They only live 4 years and they are very focused on spawning to keep the species going.  They will not actually eat at this time…but they will strike to kill out of anger or frustration.  So we have to use baits that will trigger a reaction strike.

Since Kings live most of their short lives in deep water they are most active at night or low light periods in the shallow water.  (however they still can be caught during the day while shallow)  This is where our glow spoons play a huge role in our arsenal.  K.O. Wobblers, Moonshine, Little Cleo and Flashy Times spoons all come in glow in the dark pain jobs.  We run the 3/4oz size so we get the maximum casting distance and also help keep the spoon lower in the water column during the retrieve.  Slow retrieves are best.  Cast the spoon out and start to count to 5, then retrieve, if nothing, cast and count to 8 then retrieve and then 10 and so on and so on, so you can cover all levels of the water column.  Remember what count you used on a spoon as it falls if you get a bump or catch a fish and continue on that level since you now know where about in the water level the Kings are.Noisy crankbaits are good too!  3/4 oz Rattle Traps, Storm Mag Warts, Deep ThunderSticks, Deep Reef Runners, Bomber Fat Free Shads, all work great.  Bright colors work best and some models even have glow patterns to them.  If the Kings won’t react to the spoon you can usually get them to react to a crankbait.Get out there and get some Kings!  If you get a female save the Eggs and we’ll talk next month how to fish that spawn.  Take some pics and send them in or stop by the shop with them.


Tight Lines Everybody!

Tony Krizek

Team Lead Fishing Bolingbrook






Min kota I Pilot

During my Yearly fishing trip up North My I pilot quit tracking. It would keep searching for GPS Signal. I took it into Bass Pro in Portage ,In.
They got intouch with Min kota.
They replaced my old I Pilot with a new one. As my boat is now in Storage I haven't had a chance to try it out. I'm anxious for spring
now to try it out. I'm sure the new one will work as good as the old one. I enjoy The Pilot, It keeps the boat headed In the right direction even in windy conditions. The track save feature is great for repeating favorite shoreline breaks. I have used Min Kota products ever since 1988 when I purchased my boat. Their product & reputation is fantastic
I also have 3 Huminbirds on board.

Name: John Tengelitsch
ProductDescription: Min Kota I Pilot


RedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Duck and Goose Calls

New at Bass Pro Shops is our RedHead Reality Series limited edition duck and goose calls. These calls are a great addition to our Reality Series line and for a limited time they come with a free offer.


RedHead and Ducks Unlimited With the purchase of our:

You will receive a free one year membership to Ducks Unlimited. The Ducks Unlimited member ship is a $35 value! If you haven't seen the great things Ducks unlimited is doing, please check out their website at:


RedHead Black PearlRedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Acrylic Mallard call Black Pearl:

  • Easy-to-use, deadly effective duck call that supports wetland conservation
  • Delivers full range of realistic hen mallard sounds
  • Premium double-reed acrylic call designed by champion caller Buck Gardner
  • Great for beginners or experts
  • Constructed of custom-turned acrylic with a custom aluminum band
  • Includes free 1 year membership to Ducks Unlimited (Limited time offer)







RedHead Mallard Green/OrangeRedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Acrylic Mallard call Green/Orange:

  • Easy-to-use, deadly effective duck call that supports wetland conservation
  • Delivers full range of realistic hen mallard sounds
  • Premium double-reed acrylic call designed by champion caller Buck Gardner
  • Great for beginners or experts
  • Constructed of custom-turned acrylic with a custom aluminum band
  • Includes free 1 year membership to Ducks Unlimited (Limited time offer)






RedHead Honker

RedHead Reality Series Limited Edition Acrylic Honker Call Black/Ivory:

  • Short reed, custom acrylic goose call is great for beginners, as well as experts
  • Easy-to-blow call reproduces the full range of honker talk
  • Constructed of custom-turned acrylic with a custom aluminum band
  • Includes free 1 year membership to Ducks Unlimited for limited time





The free Ducks Unlimited offer will not last long! The offer expires February 15, 2014 so get your calls why you can.

Also be sure to check out our whole Reality Series line at for more great products to help you achieve the game you are after


Thank you,



Salt Life Looks Hard, But it isn't

Salt Life came to be in 2004 by four friends from Jacksonville, Fl. They came up with the concept while on a fishing trip. By definition Salt Life encapsulates all things that people love about the sea – Fishing, Boating, Diving, and beyond.

Salt Life Black Tee

Rule the water in this laid-back T-Shirt from Salt Life. Made of heavyweight, 6.1-oz., 100% cotton, this crewneck tee features a large bacExplore the seas in this easy-to-wear Salt Life Skulls and Poles T-Shirt for Men. Made of ultra-comfortable, 100% heavyweight cotton, this short sleeve tee features the Salt Life logo on front and a bold, eye-catching graphic on back. A front chest pocket stores essentials on the go. Classic mens' fit. Machine washable. Made in USA. Short Sleeves starting at 21.99, Long Sleeves start at 29.99.


Salt Life Womans

Ladies let your tee inspire a seaside state of mind. This lightweight Salt Life Marlin Beach T-Shirt for ladies features a vivid front graphic, a ribbed crewneck, and a fitted shape. This ultra-soft, short-sleeve t-shirt is made of pre-shrunk, 3.3-oz., 100% cotton semi-sheer jersey. Machine wash, tumble dry. Made in USA. Short Sleeves starting at 21.99.

Don't forget a visor or hat. Maybe you need a sticker for you window. We even have Coozies for your beverage - cans and  bottles. So stop on by the Spanish Fort Bass Pro Shop and see the Salt Life display located in our Mens Department.


These Boots Are Made For Hunting!

 Are you looking for a new hunting boot as we head deep into the fall season?  Let me introduce you to the Red Head Big Horn II.

At $99.99 this hunting boot is a perfect example of Real Tree Camo and re-enforced leather and toe. With 200 grams of Thinsulate, this ideal fall Hunting boot will wear you well.

Not too warm, not too cold, just right for the fall gaming tread.  This new product to Bass Pro Canada is also available in Wide sizes which consistently fit far more comfortably than the standard M sizes.  As per Bass Pro reputation, the Big Horn is Waterproof and vigilant at keeping you dry.


Worried about your scent?  Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

The Pro Team Scent Control Sock eliminates odor that may cause your bacteria to talk to the animals. Our patented Silver Technology fibers will prevent sweat and odor from giving you away.

How could that be bad, in any situation? 

Bass Pro prides itself on this signature Scent Control sock for the odor conscious sportsman and sportswoman, allowing one’s stealthy camo appearances to remain undetected by targeted game.

These Pro Team Khaki socks are available in a regular Crew Length or taller 16” Lengths; And at $14.99 each in Medium, Large and Extra Large.


Last but not least, our ever present Red Head Expedition.

These boots remain one of our Customers’ favorites and mine as well!

A Mossy Oak Break up combined with Re enforced Leather Uppers. The Expedition is a taller and warmer boot which will keep you focused on your outdoor winter activities rather than cold and uncomfortable feet.

With 1000 grams of Thinsulate, this hardy and resilient boot is only equal to the Canadian Outdoors man and Outdoors woman who sport it.

Absolutely, we have Expeditions for women.  Not just for hunting but for outdoor play and sport of most kind.

I would know from experience, as I participate in a miasma of outdoor activities with my baby boys; A Mama duck would not tell a lie.  Trekking through any wooded adventure trail, be it wet, damp and or muddy the patented Bone Dry Waterproofing on these Expeditions will keep you focused on your journey and your ducklings. Not distracted by cold and wet feet. 

For $119.99 this boot will keep you warm, dry and free from wanting more.

Again this Red Head signature boot is also available in Wide Sizes.


Our Red Head Big Horn II Hunting Boots, Expeditions and Pro Scent Khakis are signature Red Head Brand and are bench mark products steeped in outdoor tradition, reputation and most significantly, Customer Satisfaction.


Sincerely yours,


The Bass Pro Footwear, Sock Kween

And remember my friends, its one sock at a time….


Shop, Eat, Run Errands, and Wait in Line?


We've all done it stood in-line for something, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or the latest teen band craze, stand in-line for hours for a 2 to 5 minute encounter and with a fussy, impatient, super duper excited, tired, and the list could go on and on child the picture we get is not always the best.  To allow you some extra shopping, eating, running around, or most importantly free time during the holidays we will require a Bass Pass to see Santa Claus.  Bass Passes will be issued starting 30 minutes before Santa's scheduled to be here for the day.


Have time to shop & avoid the photo lines!

Bass Pass Line:

If the photo line gets above a 30 minute wait, our convenient Bass Pass system will help reduce your wait time. A Bass Pass provides a designated time during the day to return to Santa’s Wonderland for your photo with Santa.

Once you have a Bass Pass, you have the freedom to explore the store while waiting in a virtual line until your designated Bass Pass return time arrives. When it’s time to return, line up and get ready to share your Christmas wishes with good ole St. Nick. 

This is why you may not see long lines in Santa’s Wonderland, because our Bass Pass System is in place with several people ahead of you in their own virtual line. 

These passes are handed out on a first come, first served basis. Once all passes have been handed out for the day, we will ask that you return the next day and receive a bass pass.  We can't wait to see you, your entire family, including the pups, your friends, neighbors, and everyone you know to celebrate the holidays here at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.


Commonly Asked Camping Related Questions

Walking into the camping department, you have an idea of what you're looking for and think it should be just a grab and go item, but when you think you've found what you're looking for you realize there's more to it than you thought. What are Lumens? Btu's? You begin to realize you need some assistance on the knowledge of these products. This blog will cover some of these common questions and try to clarify some things for you to make your next shopping trip a little easier.

What is a Lumen? Simply put it's a measure of total "amount" of visible (to the human eye) light emitted by a source. With LED becoming the primary source, some people still using watts are not sure how the conversion works. Watts (incandescent) to Lumen (LED) rule of thumb for replacement is: 100 watt = 1600 lumens, 75 watt = 1100 lumens, 60 watt = 800 lumens, and 40 watt = 450 lumens. Streamlight® Super Tac® X C4® LED Flashlight

What is a BTU? British Thermal Unit is a traditional unit of energy equivalent to about 1055 joules. It is the amount of energy needed to cool or heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. BTU describes heat value of fuels. There is no universal conversion factor for the number of BTU to volume. One standard cubic foot of natural gas yields 1030 BTU (depending on the quality when burned.)Mr. Heater® MH45T Triple Tank Top Propane Heater

What is Candlepower?  (candelas) is an absolute unit expressing luminous intensity in terms of light emitted by candle of specific size and constituents. It is sometimes used to describe the luminous intensity of high powered flashlights and spotlights. Most packages will show both lumens and candlepower. For instance a 2,000,000 candlepower spotlight is also referred to as a 250 lumen spotlight, a 3,500,000 candlepower is equal to 600 lumens. Bass Pro Shops® 2 Million Candlepower Camo Spotlight

What are the dimensions on an air mattress? Twin 39"X75", Full 54"X75", Queen 60"X80", King 76"X80". Now you'll know if it will fit in your tent!Coleman® Double High Air Mattress With 120V QuickPump™ Unit

What is the best pepper spray to get for my loved one? There are many varieties and manufacturers of pepper spray on the shelves today. In all reality all of them have the same amount of pepper (capsaicin) by law 10 %. Even bear sprays have just 10%. The only differences is the container style you choose and how far and with what force the product is dispensed. For instance bear spray can be sprayed from 35 feet away while most pepper sprays for humans spray only about 10 feet. There is also pepper gel. In my opinion i believe this to be a safer and more effective spray. Not only does it "stick" to the perpetrator better, but is safe to use in a closed environment such as an elevator, or around other people without the risk of blow-back onto yourself or  onto someone else nearby    Campus Safety Pepper Gel - Pink                                                                                                 $11.99


For other questions you may have on any subject that was not covered in this article or for more details about this content feel free to ask any of the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Bass Pro Shops. Or go to Also see Product Spotlight: Pink Pepper Spray  for more information on pepper sprays.


Free Fly Tying Tuesdays at White River Fly Shop!

Who says there’s nothing to do in wintertime? Come join us at 6:00 PM every Tuesday evening at the White River Fly Shop, located in the fishing department, to learn how to tie your own flies. Then test your creation this coming spring!

TUESDAYS ARE always exciting at Bass Pro Shops. Why do you ask? Because the White River Fly Shop holds a free fly tying seminar for all skill levels and ages. Enjoy a complementary cup of hot, fresh-brewed coffee and sit in the company of great people while you get hands-on experience with tying beautiful masterpieces that catch monster-sized fish! Then test it out in the spring and see how many fish you can catch on your own hand-made flies!

DO YOU FLY FISH? If not, that’s okay too. Come learn on Saturdays from 12:00-4:00PM (weather permitting) in the spring…and bring that fly you tied with you too!

ICE ANGLERS ARE WELCOME TOO! If you ice fish, you know how well ice flies can work. Learn to tie your own ice flies this winter and catch more fish!

If you have any additional questions, contact our White River Fly Shop at Bass Pro Shops with any possible questions. See you there!


Table Rock & Bull Shoals Fishing Report - December, 2013

The suspended jerk bait bite is on early this year! This bait will work for the next couple of months! Suspended black bass, positioned in the water column at a depth that offers both the comfortable temperature and oxygen level, will attack a dying shad, if it looks real, and it stays around long enough to attract attention. Present the shad imitation above the suspended bass, and employ a jerk and wait retrieve. The longer the wait, between jerk retrieves, the better, as this allow the fish to react and attack.

    The Alabama rig is starting to work now! This is an exciting bait to fish, and many anglers have caught more than one fish on a single cast!!! Ask a fishing associate about this rig, how to fish it, and how to rig it. Take a rig home, and try it out on the lake. You will not be sorry you did. These rigs make excellent stocking stuffers!!!

    Spinner baits are working now. Try a 1/2oz. double willow blade spinner bait, especially on any windy or rainy day. Natural shad colors are working well.

    There is a jig bite now. Crawfish spend most of their time on the bottom. A crawfish imitation needs to move slowly, from behind one rock, to the next rock. It is hard to fish this bait too slowly. Right now, bass are from 4-35ft. deep, either in the backs of coves, or off or next to, main lake and secondary points. Try a 1/4 to 5/8oz. round head jig, brown or green pumpkin in color, and add a trailer, green pumpkin, watermelon candy, or cinnamon purple. Add scent to your jigs.

   Try a drop shot rig. Ask a fishing associate how to rig for this drop shot bite, and ask what the current best bait is. This technique works well, on suspended fish! You can also fish this drop shot rig like a finesse Carolina rig, by casting it out and retrieving it the same way you would a Carolina rig.

    Do not pass up any main lake point that looks good to you, during this time of the year, since fish congregate on and around these points, looking for shad and crawfish.

   Slow fishing, employing a finesse Caroline rig, jig and trailer, tube, square billed crank bait, or other bait which will work in the medium depth of a deeper cove flat or secondary flat, will pay off.

   Black bass can be harder to find during this transition time of the year. Keep looking, though, and you can find a group of hungry fish, just for you!!!

   They are out there waiting for you!!!

   Good Luck and Good Fishing!


The Proper Way to Store Your Bow

Archery can be one of the most enjoyable outdoor sports if done correctly. Archery is also one of the few sports where improper storage of equipment can lead to expensive damage to your bow and other equipment. Finding the best way to store your equipment on a budget, while keeping everyone safe is the only way to ensure your bow works right every time.

The first step in storing a bow is to find the right case. The question most archers need to answer about the case is what kind of stress the equipment will be under. Will the bow be used once a year to get sighted in then brought on a single hunt? Will the bow be out and about every single day target shooting? If the bow will be used on a yearly basis, it is probably a good idea to invest in a soft case that houses all your attachments for the bow. A great example of a case, that is easy to use and is still able to be stored, would be the Red Head Bow Case 1.0. This case is soft and pliable while at the same time giving the room for the bow and all its attachments. This is a good fit because the case keeps the bow safe when in storage while at the same time allowing the archer to add desiccants to keep moisture away from the bow. Now on the other hand, if you are looking for a case you will be moving around all day every day the case you will want to look at are the hard cases. A great hard case with many different bows is the Plano Bow Guard SE 44 Single Bow Case. This case is large enough for the bow and its attachments. These types of cases will keep the bow from being jostled around and knocking all your adjustments off on the bow. Finding the right case for a specific bow can be done through simple online research. One of the best sources is Bass Pro’s catalog website. The catalog website is a great tool to find specific size cases and brands.

RedHead Soft Bow Case

Storing a bow for any amount of time can be hard on the bow. Another thing an archer must do after finding the right case is to find the right area of the house to store the bow. The bow should be stored in the house where it will not be jostled around. Many people use the underside of stairs simply because it is usually the same temperature as the house and is fairly constant in that temperature. Also underneath the stairs tends to be one of the least humid parts of the house. If an archer is using an area under the stairs in the basement it is a good idea to put some desiccants or chemicals that absorb moisture in the case with the bow. This will aid in preventng moisture to settle on any of the cams or the actual bow string. These areas in a house are typically  walled off from the rest of the house making them great for keeping kids away from the bow and other equipment. If an archer doesn’t have a place to put the bow, utilizing a closet on the interior of the house where you don’t have to stack anything on top of or around the case is a good spot too. If there are kids in the house simply adding a combination lock to the case will deter most kids.

The safe and proper way to store a bow can be fairly easy when properly thought out. First, the archer must find the appropriate case for the bow that will be used and then decide how the bow will be used and how often it will be used. Second, the archer must find the best way to keep moisture off the bow’s cams and string. Finally, finding the right place to put the case is essential to keeping children and others safe and from tampering with your system's set up. All these things will help any archer be able to store their equipment and then retrieve it without worry. Check out what Bass Pro Shops has to offer for proper bow storage: Keep those bows safe and dry and as always happy hunting!




Ice Fishing 2013 - New Clam Tackle

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Ice Fisherman Rod Woten gives you a brief rundown on what's new in Clam tackle for this year's ice fishing season. Among his favorites are the new drop lines, made from tungsten, so it will fish heavier. Check out this video for more!



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Fishy Facts: Billfish

Well its winter here and things are quite chilly. I do not like the cold. Fact. So I tend to think about warmer places.And usually no matter what, when I think about other places I always think about fishing there. So right now, I’m feeling the tropics and some: billfish!

Billfish are by far one of the most interesting and impressive fish in the world. The role they play is an important one as they are an apex predator. Now quickly let me clarify, that not all billfish live in the tropics, as they can be found in almost every ocean. They just prefer warmer temperatures… like me.

There are actually 12 different species of billfish, divided into two families. They get their name for the large bill (rostrum) in front of their face. They use this bill to slash and stun their prey. They have been noted to spear prey from time to time. If you have ever watched them as they go after their prey it is truly majestic. The swim and twist with precision and agility. Some species will actually flash different colors and raise their “sails” to confuse and corral fish.  LOOK OUT BELOW!!!!

 Now usually when I think of math I tend to think in evens. So if I were to hear there are 12 species of billfish divided into two families I would figure that would mean six in each family. Wrong!!! There are a grand total of 11 in one family and (let’s see… carry the four… it has to be your bull…) one in the other family. Kinda lopsided, but that’s OK. The one species/family of billfish is the prolific swordfish!

So let us start with the swordfish. First fact, it is the most commercially fished billfish. Typically fishing boats will string out long lines that have hooks attached at distances. This is known as “long-lining” and was shown in the film The Perfect Storm. (You know, the one where Marky Mark had a beard.) They can get up to about 1400 pounds and range from 10 feet long to 15 feet. Their impressive size and strength makes them a formidable opponent and sought after game species, like all members in the billfish family. Swordfish are also sometimes called broadbill.

Back to the rest of the family. The rest of the billfish include: marlin, sailfish and spearfish. Now let me give you some more statistics on these fish that show how impressive they are. Some billfish have been recorded swimming at bursts of close to 70 miles per hour! Many of them grow over 10 feet and the largest (Atlantic blue marlin) can grow over 16 feet. Black marlin are the second largest member of the billfish family, beating their swordfish cousins. Because of their strength, they can be dangerous to catch. There are a number of reports of fish that are hooked, jumping up and into boats and impaling people. One specific report and video shows one pretty much flying into a boat and stabbing the fisherman with its bill in the mouth. The fisherman survived and has an awesome story to tell FOREVER!

Fishing for these fish is a huge industry. Many fishermen will have some form of billfish on their “bucket list”. People will spend thousands of dollars and travel hundreds of miles to catch one. I personally promised a guiding figure in my life that I would not get married until I went out and caught a marlin. This was from his prompting. Well… I don’t have the fish, but I’ll soon have the wife. You know that might just be a great book title. (Sorry, Joe. I’ll get to it one day.) Funny thing though, he was the one that made the ring for my soon-to-be better-half but man, did I get a scolding! What is really cool about the fishing industry and fishermen, is that we can learn the importance of certain species. For a long time billfish-ing was unregulated, but now many practice catch and release.

Two legendary fishermen who always come to mind about billfish-ing are also two great writers. Zane Grey and Ernest Hemmingway were avid fishermen. The stories they told and pictures they showed of their amazing catches would inspire thousands of fishermen to try their luck and reeling in one of these beasts.

So while it may be cold outside, you can warm your mind with the thoughts of these awesome fish. You can also warm your tummies with their delicious meat. They are high in protein and Omega-3 acids. Of course many also note that they are high in mercury. Just remember everything is in moderation. I’ll be honest, a swordfish steak might just be my favorite kind of steak. I’ll “take that chance” when I see a piece on Manager’s Special at my local supermarket. (Fish from Cave Creek, Arizona… risky, but worth it.)

Hook Yourself a Happy Holidays! Giddy-Up!!

Former Fishy Facts:

Rainbow Trout

Peacock Bass


Largemouth Bass


This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Pros, Porcupines, and Santa!

Saturday, December 14

Santa's Wonderland Hoursfree craft santa's wonderland

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, December 15

Santa's Wonderland Hours

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

- See more at:, December 14

Santa's Wonderland Hoursfree craft santa's wonderland

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 15

Santa's Wonderland Hours

o FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
o Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
- See more at:

Talk about a wild mix of activities this weekend!  We have Fishing Pro Keith Kavajecz in the house this weekend...he's making a special trip here from up north just to visit with YOU!  We'll have porcupines from Pella Wildlife Company and, of course, it's the last weekend opportunity to see Santa! Here's the complete rundown of this weekend's events, plus Santa's Wonderland hours for Monday and Tuesday:

Santa's Wonderland Hours

Friday, December 20
Free Photos with Santa: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. - Bass Passes will be handed out as soon as the line becomes a longer than 30-minute wait.
Free Crafts:  5-7 p.m.

Saturday, December 21
FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes at 9 a.m.
Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.crafts

Sunday, December 22
FREE photos with Santa from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. We will begin handing out Bass Passes right at 10 a.m.
Free craft from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, December 23
Free Photos with Santa: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. - Bass Passes will be handed out as soon as the line becomes a longer than 30-minute wait.
Free Crafts:  5-7 p.m.

December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Photos: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Crafts: 3-5 p.m.

Keith KavajeczKeith Kavajecz , The Next Bite TV, is in the store this weekend!

Get ready for ice fishing with one of the best! Keith will be in the store from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, the 21st and from 10-2 p.m. on Sunday to visit with customers.

Join him at 1 p.m. on Saturday ONLY for his special seminar - Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques!


Pella Wildlife Company - Conservation Connections

Last, but not least, Saturday, Dec. 21, the Pella Wildlife Company will be in the store from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. They'll be bringing a porcupine so you can learn more about this prickly creature and it's life in Iowa!

Don't forget those last-minute stocking stuffer items! Make sure to check out the stocking stuffer tower in front of the checkouts.


Fly Fishing Classes at Bass Pro Shops

If you've ever wanted to learn how to fly fish, Bass Pro Shops in Destin will be offering FREE fly fishing classes beginning in March.  Participants should plan on attending all 6 Saturdays, either morning or afternoon classes over a six week period.  Each class will consist of one hour of classroom instruction followed by one hour of hands-on casting, and weather permitting, fishing in our stocked ponds.  The final class will involve two hours of fishing.  All equipment will be provided and participants will have the option of purchasing a recommended textbook.

Classroom studies will include:  Basic Fly Fishing; Gadgets and Equipment; Leaders and Lines; Fly Selection; Reading Water; and Casting.

Interested individuals may sign-up for either the 6 morning or 6 afternoon classes by calling Customer Service at (850) 269-6200.  Morning or afternoon classes are limited to a maximum of 6 persons.  Morning classes will be held from 10 am til Noon; afternoon classes will be held from 2 til 4 pm.

All classes will be held on Saturdays on the following dates:  March 15th, 22nd, & 29th; and April 5th, 12th, & 19th.

Gary Feduccia