This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Rewards and More!

Did you know we have free gift wrapping available on weekends? From 11-8 near the checkouts, across from Customer Service,Free gift wrapping various organizations provide free gift wrapping for a donation.

This weekend it's Katie's Crusaders on Saturday and the Norwalk 10U baseball team on Sunday - Let's help them out!

Friday, December 13

Outdoor Rewards Night, 6-9 p.m.

Another fun event just for our Outdoor Rewards card holders!

  • The first 100 attendees will receive a FREE ornament
  • $25 gift cards given away every 15 minutes beginning at 6:15.
  • Grand prize drawing of a RedHead ground blind at 8:30 p.m.
  • Outdoor Rewards customers will receive DOUBLE POINTS on their purchases that night, but ONLY if you present the coupon that is in your email invitation or in the sales flyer!
  • 5x points on all Columbia Omni-Heat purchases
  • 10% off photo packages in Santa’s Wonderland


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.

Local Hero Night from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. - For military, emergency services, and law enforcement.
o First 100 Heroes receive a free ornament.
o Santa’s Wonderland hours extended (Santa available for photos until 9pm).
o 10% discount on photo packages for Heroes only.
o $25 gift card drawings every half hour from 7:30pm – 9:00 p.m. (enter in the front lobby).


More Letters to Santa!

Dear Santa:

My name is Camila. I come from Chile. This Christmas we are celebrating it in Chile, it's going to be fun. Thank you for everything.

I want hunting and fishing and Nerf guns. Pick one item from one of those categories and put them under the tree. Thank you!


For Christmas I would like candy and a baby doll. Even though I am scared of you, you should still get me a lot of presents.
Thank you.
PS:  I have been a fairly good girl.


I've been a good boy. I would like a drum for Christmas. I'll leave a pickle for you.


I love you. I'm trying to be good. I would like a stuffed animal. I'll leave you a snack.


For Christmas I want the Bass Pro Shop fishing game for Wii or a single tent with a tackle box with bait.


I've been a good girl this year. I want a Elf on a Shelf and Tinkerbell fishing pole. Thank you
And pretty, pretty, pretty please can I get those gifts!


I want a toy train for my grandparents house, a Duck Dynasty tractor and most of all  just want my family all together.


Last, but not least:
I've been very good this year! I hope I get a heart transplant soon!
I want a Ryan Gosling coloring book, pack of crayons, birch box stuff, and gift cards! Thank you!


Good luck, Terri - hope you get your wishes soon, too!


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Lipless Crankbaits


The lipless crankbait is a timeless classic that has been catching fish for over half a century! The bait has 3 main aspects that make it so successful; such as, sound, vibration, and versatility.

Generally lipless crankbaits have a built in rattle chamber filled with small beads that give it the classic sharp rattling sound that is a proven fish catcher. Other styles of lipless baits have recently emerged with a different concept of sound which consists of one large bead which makes a knocking sound when retrieved.

The design of the bait is what makes the lure vibrate as it comes through the water, vibration is one of the key triggering mechanisms that make fish strike. Bass have what is called a lateral line along their sides, which is a sensory organ that picks up vibrations in the water, this is the main reason why bass can feed so effectively at night, even in complete darkness.

I say the lipless crankbait is very versatile because the fact that it sinks, as well as having numerous ways it can be retrieved. This sinking quality makes for a bait that can be fished from top to bottom in basically any depth range you are trying to target. The way you work your lipless crankbait is everything and when the water temperature is warm then a steady fast retrieve is often perfect for triggering an aggressive fish. While the fast retrieve works great in the right time period; such as, late spring and early fall there is another way to work the bait that is absolutely deadly in the cold water months of the year. The technique is called yo yoing the bait, simply letting it fall and hit the bottom or structure and then ripping it up and popping it off of the bottom. This hopping action accompanied with the sound and vibration can often make a cold fish come to life with a quick reaction strike. Lipless crankbaits can also be effectively worked in grass by using that falling and ripping technique which is very effective on bodies of water with large amounts of submerged vegetation, such as the Tennessee River System, as well as Florida.

So from 2 feet deep to 25 feet deep the lipless crankbait flat out catches fish. Whether they're suspended over 25 feet of water or hiding in shallow vegetation it doesn't matter. I've personally had success ranging from catching my biggest smallmouth ever in the state of Washington, a 5.98lb beauty on a SPRO Aruku Shad, to catching big largemouth in South Florida on a Strike King Redeye Shad. It is simply a type of bait that every angler needs to have in his/her fishing arsenal!

The original lipless crankbait was designed by Bill Lewis, called Rat-L-Trap. This was and still is probably one of the best fish catching baits on the market. This style of bait was so popular that it lead to almost every hard bait on the market having their own model of the lipless crankbait. But don't be fooled these baits are all different from each other, each having it's own qualities and innovations. There are a few specific models that really shine in my opinion. Below is a list of my top 3 Lipless baits I use, and the time and place that each specific bait really shines

Bill Lewis: Rat-L-Trap- This is the original and was arguably the very most influential lure ever created in the history of bass fishing. They have a consistent vibration with great product quality control, as well as being offered in numerous deadly fish catching colors which they continue to improve to this very day. They range in sizes from their Tiny Trap which weighs 1/8 of an ounce all the way up to the 1 1/2 ounce super trap. Most Rat-L-Traps contain the proven fish catching rattle chamber with small beads, but they also have recently introduced the Knockin-Trap and the Silent-Trap, which bring some variety to the table. I generally use the Knockin-Trap when fishing cool or cold water below the 50 degree range. Something about the knocking single ball in the bait really triggers the cold water fish that are not typically aggressive. I will pick up the silent model when fishing bodies of water that have heavy fishing pressure, in those types of situations the subtlety of a silent bait really seems to pay off. This is definitely a bait that I have in my tackle box at all times.

SPRO: Aruku Shad- The Aruku shad is a high quality lipless crankbait that consists of a loud rattle chamber as well as having a fast fall rate. It is one of my favorite baits for catching small mouth bass, which are generally very aggressive and are triggered better by the fast fall and the loud sound chamber. The fast fall also allows me to fish the bait at a high rate of speed and still keep the bait in the strike zone of the fish when fishing slightly deeper water. This bait isn't ideal for fishing shallow submerged vegetation but is definitely a bait that will really shine when fished in the right situations such as in deep water or around rocks.

Strike King: Redeye Shad- The Redeye Shad really burst on to the scene in a big way when Bassmaster Elite Series Angler Kevin Vandam won the 2009 Bassmasters Classic on Lay Lake using his signature series bait. Vandam was fishing in very shallow cold water in the back of a creek where the fish where staging, preparing for the upcoming spawn. The Redeye Shad has a slow sink and is a great option for fishing around shallow grass or wood cover. It also has a unique way that it falls, with a gentle wobbling action which is a big reason why it does so well in cold water. They come in many different models and sizes similar to the Rat-L-Trap. Choose your bait by matching the size of baitfish you are imitating as well as the depth you are fishing and hang on tight, when you get it right and figure out the proper retrieve this bait will help you load the boat in a hurry.

You see there is really a time and a place for where each specific lipless crankbait should be used. It takes extensive time and experience to figure out which bait fits the situation you currently find yourself in. I hope this gives you a jump start into a life time of successful fishing trips using lipless crankbaits. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania



















Revolutionary Performance


Revolutionary Performance Guarantee!


Do you want revolutionary performance in your aluminum Mod-V bass boat?  Tracker Marine Group has your answer in the 2014 Pro-Team family of boats. Tracker is so positive that you will love the smooth ride of your new Pro-Team boat it’s guaranteed. What other boat company can say that? The Revolution Hull was first introduced in 1998, with the Tracker’s 20th Anniversary edition Pro-Team 175. The revolution hull is a combination of 3 hull technology combined into one revolutionary smooth riding hull. How does Tracker do it? First they offer you 20 degree deadrise in the bow to slice through the chop. Secondly they offer you 12 degrees at the transom for rock solid stability. Lastly they incorporate Tracker’s patented Power Trac transom. The Power Trac offset transom feeds undisturbed water to the prop for quicker holeshots and better overall performance. Does your boat have that? The guarantee you ask? Tracker’s “Smooth Ride Guarantee; The Tracker Revolution hull will give you the smoothest ride in an aluminum Mod v boat, or you can return it within 30 days for a full credit towards any Tracker boat of equal or greater value”. That’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is! Come in today to see revolutionary performance guaranteed!



Mark Fogle

Tracker Marine Certified Sales Lead

Bolingbrook, IL


Harvest of the Deer

As firearms season comes to a close and the deer have been harvested and processed, many people wonder what to do with the meat that now fills their freezer.  Why not try sausage?  Italian, brats, summer, breakfast, salami, bologna, the varieties are endless.  With the right tools, making sausage is not as daunting as one might think.  Whether using a hand stuffer or electric grinder, the process is actually quite simple. Add seasoning and ground pork (if desired) to your ground venison and stuff in casings. Casings range in size from snack stick size to bologna size- depending on what kind of sausage you want to make.  You may then choose to smoke your sausage or freeze uncooked until ready to use.


Bass Pro Shops Electric Meat Grinder by LEM Products (Reg $269.99, Sale starting at $239.97)

LEM makes a wide variety of seasonings that I found to be quite good. I am particularly fond of the Sweet Italian mix.  Kits are also available that contain the casings and pre-measured packets of seasoning and cure.  With the holidays approaching, sausage is an easy and great gift for family and friends. What could be better than saying you made it yourself? 


Sausage Kit - $69.99


Come in and visit with our friendly camping associates to gain more knowledge on sausage making and meat processing!    



Local Hero Night


Santa's Wonderland


This holiday season we are taking time out to salute our Local Heroes..... We will host a special after hours event on December 15, 7-10 pm.

 Local Heroes include Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, War Veterans, Soldiers and Military Personnel, those that put their lives on the line everyday for you and me.

Just bring your ID with you into the store and you get 10% off on regular priced items (some restrictions apply).

The first 100 Heroes will receive a FREE Santa's Wonderland Bass Pro Shops Holiday Ornament.

In Santa's Wonderland we will have a special FREE craft for the kids- while supplies last!

And get a FREE photo with Santa from 7-9 pm, plus you will save 10% on all photo packages that evening.

We will also have a drawing for a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card every 30 minutes from 7:30-9 pm - be sure to register while you are in Santa's Wonderland....

So come on out on Dec 15, and get a Free ornament, the kids can visit with Santa~ finish your holiday shopping all while saving 10%, and maybe you will snag one of those gift cards.

Thank you for your service, for protecting us ~ every day!

Merry Christmas!

Gayle Chesney

BPS Special Events Coordinator




Great Ice Fishing Gear

With the changing of the season comes the changing of the fishing conditions. In many of the central and northern states this means the transition of open water to fishing on a big slab of ice. This has long been a favorite winter tradition for many residents of the northern states; however, there is a new generation of anglers out there looking to get involved in the sport of "Ice Fishing". The following is a guideline to some of the current products on the market that make this past time easier and more enjoyable.

First thing you will want to think of before venturing out on early season ice is safety. Here are a few things that are good items to consider. The first is some sort of life preserver. I prefer to use something lightweight and non restrictive like the Bass Pro Shops auto/manual inflatable life vest.

life vest

The next safety item is a pair of ice picks. These will help you pull yourself back up onto the ice should you happen to fall through.

ice picks

The last and most used safety item is a good pair of ice cleats or traction aids. These will help you keep from slipping and falling almost constantly on clean ice.

ice cleats

Good gloves and boots will make dealing with the cold and wet conditions bearable, make sure whatever you select are waterproof. The next thing you will want to think about for your ice fishing expedition is a way to access the fish under your feet. This can be achieved with a variety of tools the following are most common; a ice chisel, a hand auger, or a power auger. There is even an attachment to make your drill into an ice auger.



The next few items are where the selections may become overwhelming for the new angler because of all of the options on the market. I will try to narrow down some top choices and give brief explanations why.

Next I would recommend  a sled of some kind to assist in transporting your gear onto the ice. Just about any sled will work but the deep sleds or the ice fishing sleds carry the gear much more efficiently. Combine that with a bucket and you should be able to easily carry everything you need onto the ice. The bucket will serve as your livewell and a seat for you.


Another essential item would be an ice rod and reel combo. There are all kinds of options to choose from and all of them will work, but one I really like and recommend is a large spool reel that does not wrap the line around a fixed spool, instead the spool roles the line up onto it. The reason is so you have less coiling in you line making your jig more responsive and your jig will not spin upon retrieve.

ice reel

This inexpensive schooley reel works great for this application.

The next item you will need is some sort of jig or bait, there are many options but a good variety in your arsenal is recommended.


There are a few more products like heaters, shelters, and fishfinders that make long days out on the ice more enjoyable and cold days more bearable but they are not as essential for getting involved in the sport.



Here is a list of all of the items that are in my ice fishing sled, hopefully this helps with your next adventure.

1. Sled

2. Ice fishing bucket

3. Heater

4. Rods and reels

5. Tackle Box with ice jigs

6. Wax worms/ Minnows (bait)

7. Pop-up shelter

8. Flasher (fish finder)

9. Ice cleats & picks

10. Ice Skimmer


For many more products used for ice fishing please visit us at . There are many great ice fishing articles and blogs from our prostaff if you would like to view them please click on the links provided., Thank you for your business. Good luck and be safe!


















Tips for Walleye Fishing

Some of the most elusive of fish in a fresh water lake tend to be some of the most tasty and fun to catch. This is very true when fishing for walleye. Knowing the areas where they frequent, their habits, and good rigs for catching them is important to a successful walleye fishing trip.

The first way to increase the chances of catching a walleye is to know their seasonal patterns. During the summer months, walleye tend to stay in areas where the water is cooler and the oxygen levels are higher. This means they tend to hang out in deep pools where tributaries flow into a lake. Another great place to find ‘eyes  in the summertime is just off rocky points where the bottom suddenly drops off into colder and much deeper water.  Remember that summer walleye are somewhat lethargic during the day.  As evening approaches they tend to start moving around more and looking for minnows closer to the surface of the water.

In the fall, walleye tend to be a little shallower in the water column and will usually position themselves just off weed beds where they hunt for minnows. They are still mostly active during the evening and night hours.

When spring rolls around, walleye tend to be in river currents or along the shore where they will spawn in sand beds. Pre-spawn they will hang a little deeper, while post-spawn walleye will stay around these areas to protect their eggs. This protective instinct makes them excessively aggressive and very fun to fish.

Summer can be one of the hardest times to catch walleye. A good way to get down deep to the walleye with a jig is to use a three way swivel. To the first swivel, attach your lead line. From the next swivel, attach a 1/16oz lead weight on a few inches of line. From the final swivel, attach about 3 feet of line then either a jig or a Rapala brand minnow. A bait that works well for this is the Rapala Original Floating Minnow. This has the action for this rig and works very well. A great way to use this rig is to throw it over a school of bait fish and aggressively reel it across the school. It is alright to troll over the school once or twice but after that the action of the boat will scare the walleye and they will stop feeding. In the spring, an effective way to run a walleye rig is to take a 1/16oz lead weight 2 to 3 feet up from where the bait is tied on. Hold the lead weight in place with a split shot. Then a great lure to use is the Rapala Husky Jerk Minnow. You can use the same technique as summer. To get the best result, throw over a spawning area and rapidly retrieve to get good solid strikes on the lures.

Husky Jerk

The search for walleye is always hard but the results of a successful fishing trip is one of the best tasting fish of all time. While knowing the areas where the walleye are usually located, the best baits and the techniques that work a fishing trip for walleye oftentimes becomes a fishing trip for whatever can be caught. Get everthing you need at Bass Pro Shops to catch walleye! As always, good luck and happy fishing!



Want to Catch More Trout?

          When you get right down to it, there are ways to catch more trout. What does an angler need to know to be more successful on the stream and how can that knowledge best be put to use? It is a matter of trout versus angler.

          First, the angler needs to understand a little about trout; what trout feel, what they see, and what they hear. Birds are an enemy of the trout. Anglers who wear natural colors that blend with the background when fishing will attract less attention from wary fish. Moving slow is a good idea, as is keeping a low profile, and positioning your shadow where it is not cast over the fish. Not scraping the gravel or other bottom structure with shoes or paddles will help minimize any alarm trout may feel. All of the above stealth techniques, help to keep trout from thinking the angler is a bird, or other predator who might do them harm. So, be stealthy! Wear clothes that blend in. Move slowly and carefully, and make as little noise as possible.

         The angle of the sun is important. Early in the morning and again late in the evening, sunlight tends to bounce off the water’s surface and not penetrate down into the water. Trout feel more at ease when you cannot see them. So, fish early, fish late and fish cloudy days. Also, the wind or rain, or both, provide trout a canopy of comfort, by not allowing a clear view from above. Remember, if you can see the trout, they most likely can see you, which is something you dont want.

         First, cast to the closest place that looks like it will hold a fish and then to those places that are further away. This way line and/or  lure shadows are not cast over a fish. A bird in flight, casts a shadow that is similar to a lure cast over a fish. When there is a current, cast above the fish and let the bait drift down to the fish, if possible.

         Work on knots, and practice tying them until they are easy for you to tie correctly. Take the time, every time, to rig correctly. Slow down, so that you do not have a bad rig, when the biggest fish of your life bites.

        An angler who takes the above steps, will alert fewer trout to danger, and thereby get more bites, and catch more trout. Good luck and good fishing!!! See you there!!!

Steve Fritz

Fishing Lead Bass Pro Shops

White River Outpost

Branson, MO


Double trapping trouble


Trapping season in Missouri began a few weeks ago. I’m not a professional trapper, but I do everything I can this season to remove as many furbearers from my neighborhood as I possibly can. Predators like coons, ‘possums, skunks, foxes, and coyotes do a lot of damage to more desirable wildlife populations.  In particular, turkey eggs and deer fawns can be devastated when the numbers of furbearers are not kept in check.

When I checked the box trap that sits just a few yards from home two days ago, I smiled and cried at same time when I found a black-and-white bundle of fur inside. My emotions doubled when I quickly realized that I had lucked into capturing not just one striped skunk, but two stinkers that day! It took a little bit of extra care to dispatch and remove those turkey-egg eaters, but I was glad to help increase the odds that I’d have more turkey poults on my property next summer.

Bass Pro carries several different types of reliable traps. The most basic, the cage trap is an excellent choice for capturing animals like raccoons, ‘possums, and – you guessed it – skunks.  If you’re in an area where dogs are common, or if you want to focus specifically on catching coons, Duke’s “Dogproof” trap  is the perfect solution. Finally, serious trappers everywhere are still using good ol’ fashioned long spring or coil spring sets to capture furbearers of all sizes.

If you have some land, but don’t trap, give it a try. Good luck!

-Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro Team Member


Lowrance Spotlight Scan

    Many things are happening in the world of sonar for the fisherman. Lowrance is among the leaders in this field and have continued the push to provide the latest technology. Although many things are on the horizon for Lowrance in 2014, one of the most exciting products they are offering is the Spotlight Scan. This seems to be Lowrances answer to Humminbirds 360 imaging. With some unique differences between the two, it appears Lowrance may have a winning product. Pin pointing fish locations is the goal of most people using sonar, and with this spotlight technology pin pointing fish with sonar has never been more effective.

    Fishermen were excited when Humminbird released the 360 imaging technology. The idea was great, but the implementation of the technology had some restraints due to its design and technology. Lowrance must have been taking lots of notes, because they have designed a product that makes implementation of this technology easy. The technology is basically directional sonar. It is designed so that you can determine exactly what area you want to scan, and scan only that area, this includes forward scan. The product is a transducer that increases your forward scan ability. The product works through the Lowrance units NMEA 2000 port. When setup is complete, the user will be able to use the foot controlled trolling motor to aim sonar signals in any forward direction.

    The typical sonar unit has a transducer that shoots down a beam at a particular angle, usually 20 or 60 degrees. A side imaging transducer can offer up to a 240 foot scan range on the left and right sides of the boat. While these technologies are priceless and provide very useful information, there are some limitations and drawbacks. Perhaps the largest drawback of past sonar technologies is that they only provide information about where you have been, while the new Lowrance Spotlight Scan allows the user to scan ahead. This will help boaters detect obstacles, debris, and most important, fish, before the boat has a chance spook anything away.

   The Spotlight Scan is a trolling motor mounted transducer that is to added to your Lowrance unit to increase its function. It would make a great addition to any marine electronics system, but it is not compatible with all units. They are designed to work with the Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch models, but can work with any HDS Gen 2 model if setup correctly. Some units will require the installation of the Lowrance SonarHub Sounder Module.

   Although not yet available at the local Bass Pro, the website should offer some more information about the product. There are more specifics and implementations of this product than what I have provided. Further research may be needed to determine if this product is right for you, as it is yet to be released. For more technical questions on this product please visit If you are looking for the latest sonar technology and have and HDS unit, this is definitely one option worth checking out.

Ryan Wynn


Manteca  Store 49



A Moment Frozen in Time

My husband was born 150 years too late. An extremely knowledgeable, ethical sportsman/woodsman:  hunting big game and small, Ice Fishingguiding,fishing, and boating. You name it, he has done it and done it well. Fishing is his first love of the bunch, but sometimes an unexpected step gives even the most proficient, safe, veteran outdoorsman cause to reconsider that love. This is his story.


It was an unusual day off during the week in the early ice fishing season, so I decided to take advantage of some free time and enjoy my favorite sport. I had ice fished for 25+ years, usually alone. Taking it up in a time when not that many people ice fished. No ice shacks and heaters, you sat on a bucket or stood. There was always the chance of brutal conditions. Even though I went by myself, there were usually others around so there was safety in numbers.

It was clear and really cold that day, just like now. Below zero, wind drifting the snow out of the northwest. I had already been to a farm pond where there was about 5-7 inches of ice. I fished a couple of hours, but couldn’t find any activity and decided to hit the trail to what I hoped were better waters. I headed to Rock Creek State Park east of Kellogg, as far to the east side of it as I could go, past the campground entrance and past the rock jetties.

I got out of the truck, loaded up my gear, the electronics and hand auger. As a last minute thought, I put my ice picks around my neck and headed towards the lake.

As I walked across the ice, I kept stomping and hitting it with my auger. There was about 5-6 inches of snow on top of the ice. About 75 yards out, I set my equipment down and scraped some snow off the ice with my right boot.

A second drag of the right boot and I was completely under water.

In what seemed like many minutes, but was probably seconds, I was hitting the ice trying to find the hole I had just come through. I was a Marine and Vietnam Veteran, use to water and a good athlete, my skills had to kick in. There it was, I got to the edge and put both hands on the ice and started to lift myself out. I grabbed the ice, it broke off and I sank.

Again, I tried and again it broke.

Then I remembered my ice picks and started feeling for them. No sign of the left one, but the right one was floating in front of my chest and face. I reached up and stabbed as far up onto the edge of the ice as I could and held on. Kicking my feet in the water like I was swimming, I finally slid up onto the ice like a seal landing. I was out of the water and took a look around.

A 10-foot-wide hole was behind me and the ice was about 1½ inches thick. My equipment was gone, but I wasn't.  Beginning the trek back to the truck, I suddenly realized it was hard to walk. My coveralls were solid and heavy with ice. I started feeling warm and thought if I could just lay down and rest it would help. But my survivalist brain took over, thankfully, and said, "No, you have to keep walking," and moved my feet for me.

When I got to the truck, I couldn’t get the door unlocked. My hands wouldn’t work well enough to get the remote to work. Finally, I got the key in the door to unlock it. As I opened the door, I looked in my rear view mirror and stopped, blood covered the front of me. My teeth had been chattering so badly I was biting my tongue and didn't know it.

I tore at my coveralls as best as my hands would work, slid into the truck, and got it running. For three hours, I laid there across the front seat before I could function. I drove home, teeth back to chattering and stayed in bed for two days.

The ice gear was sold.

After 25 years of ice fishing, knowing the hazards and knowing what was right, I was just plain careless. Doing everything I had told others NOT to do. Kind of like the farmer that has farmed safely for 40 years, who removes the safety cover off a PTO shaft and suddenly finds his clothing wrapped up in it because he looked away for one fishing hole

Five years later, the equipment was repurchased. Eight years later I ice fish religiously once again, but with a renewed mind set.

I always use a spud bar to check ice.

I always have my pegs around my neck, no second thoughts.

I always wear my inflatable life jacket. (If Santa were to get me a float suit, that would be acceptable, too).

I NEVER go alone. If I am not with someone specifically, there are always others in the same location who know I am there or I simply don't fish there.

I practice what I preach.


Hard water is here and ice fishing has begun. But is it hard enough? Check it, be smart, and be safe.

By: Gail McMahon, Merchandising/Social Media, Bass Pro Shops Altoona (and her husband John McMahon, retired)




Ice Fishing by Map

Not everyone owns a GPS. If you're ice fishing, without a GPS, and not familiar with the body of water you're on, a map will be your best friend.

When looking at a game and fish map, what should you look for to find the fish?  In our recent Q & A with our Pro Staff Ice Fisherman Rod Woten gave some advice and we asked him to expand on it a bit:

First thing I look for is sharp break lines...contour lines close together. Then I look for the flats that are either above or below those. Depending on water clarity one of those is going to be a weed bed. If the lower one isn't a weed bed, it's going to be a sticky bottom area.

If it’s still early in the season, or snowfall is minimal and weeds are still getting sunlight through the ice, they will continue to grow and this makes them a sure bet for panfish. Later in the season, as the weeds die off, these panfish will slide off the weed flats in to the deeper water at the base of these sharp breaks. I’ve indicated sharp break areas on the example map with a “1."

These aren’t the only things to look for, though. Basically, I look for anything that will cause fish to pause or concentrate them into groups. Two great examples of this are inside turns and funnel areas.

A.  Funnel areas, as the name implies, are areas where the contour lines “neck down.”  These locations are also referred to as “pinch points.”  Because of their shape, these areas funnel travel routes for fish down to a smaller area and concentrate the fish. Funnel areas on the map are marked with a “2.”

B.  Inside corners concentrate fish. When fish come into one, they can no longer continue forward…the other side of the corner is directly in front of them. This causes them to pause before deciding whether to deviate from the contour they’ve been traveling along or to turn and follow the corner.  Sometimes this pause is only momentary and sometimes it’s lengthy.  In either case, fish will start to stack up in these kinds of areas. Outside corners are not nearly as productive, because the far side of the corner does not impede the travel of the fish, so they do not pause to redirect their travel. Inside corners have been marked on the map with a “3.”

Ice Fishing by Map

More questions for our Ice Fishing Pro? Just post them here and we'll get them answered! 

Our Ice Fishing Event is January 4, 2014! Watch for details!


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The Countdown Begins!

Christmas Countdown

Christmas is almost here, less than three weeks away!

Why not try something different and use our Bass Pro stainless steel three in one combo cooker! This is a thirty quart pot that would be great to cook your Christmas bird in. It cooks up to an 18 lb turkey! It includes a stainless steel lid, poultry rack, filter, and a 12" thermometer. It is certainly ideal for deep frying your turkey. It also includes an easy drain copper spigot for easy clean up. Because who wants to spend their Christmas day/night cleaning up from dinner? Fry, steam or boil all kinds of different food easily. Adjustable safety brackets attached to the base hold the pot securely in place.

Here is an awesome turkey recipe you'll have to try! Don't forget for delicious fried turkey Bass Pro has many different spices and marinades!



1 (10-pound) turkey
2 tablespoons House seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub
3 to 5 gallons peanut oil
Cooks Note: To measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey, place turkey in fryer, add water to top of turkey, remove the turkey and the water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added.

Wash bird inside and out, and allow to drain. Rub turkey all over with House Seasoning. Coat turkey with dry rub. Allow the bird to sit until it reaches room temperature.

Heat peanut oil in a turkey fryer or a very, very large stockpot to 350 degrees F. Lower turkey into hot oil, very carefully, making sure it is fully submerged. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Try the Butterball Turkey Buttery Creole seasoning we carry in store! Kit contains Cajun Spice rub, Buttery Creole Marinade, and injector. It will flavor your turkey inside and out for attention-grabbing taste!

Read more at:




Favorite Winter Recipe Winner

Congratulations to Belinda M. Hise for winning our Favorite Winter Recipe Contest! Her German Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake recipe got 52 likes on Bass Pro Shops - Springfield, MO Facebook page! Below is her winning recipe!

German Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake

1 (18 ounce) packages German chocolate cake mix
2 (1 2/3 ounce) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix ( I use sugar-free)...
3 cups milk
6 Heath candy bars, crushed
1 (16 ounce) Cool Whip, thawed ( I use fat-free)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Prepare cake as directed on package and bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool.
In a medium bowl, beat pudding with milk until thick and let set in the fridge.
Cut cake into small cubes and place half of them in the bottom of a glass punch bowl.

Make a layer, placing half of the pudding over the cake cubes, cover with half of the crushed candy bars pieces and then with half of the Cool Whip.
Then make another layer with the remainder cake cubes, pudding, candy bar pieces and cover with Cool Whip.

Sprinkle pecans or nuts on top and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight for better flavor.
Yum! This recipe sure looks like a great holiday favorite! Be sure to check out what Bass Pro Shops offers food and drink related in our Gift Department! Happy baking!
German Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake

Big Fall Striper on the Z9R

Fall is my favorite time of the year for evening stripers and bass. Yesterday evening my wife and I had a big glassed over cove to ourselves. We had a colorful backdrop from the reflection of Autumn leaves to set the stage when a few large feeding stripers came into the cove for dinner. I watched one striper in particular. This striper was in full on feeding mode and I was able to slip a big swimbait in the sweet spot. That's when I told my wife to get the camera ready! I felt two hard jerks on the big swimbait and I set the hooks into this bad boy. Thanks for a great swimbait!

Name: Jim Farmer
ProductDescription: Bass Pro 7 inch Z9R Swimbait in XXX Shad color


Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques with Keith Kavajecz

Bass Pro Shops Altoona welcomes

Keith KavajeczKeith Kavajecz

The Next Bite TV´╗┐ 

December 21 & 22
Get ready for ice fishing and learn from one of the best at his 1 p.m. seminar:
"Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques" 
Keith will also be in the store on Sunday, Dec. 22, from 10-2 p.m., to visit with customers.
The Next Bite TV
Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @

The Perfect Lodge Gifts

Do you find it difficult to get a gift for someone who lives and breaths the lodge look?  How about a person who has a camp or just needs to be reminded of days gone by when they did have a get away?  Well look no further,  we have exactly what you need.   When you think of the lodge look you think outdoors but cozy, and warm.  Here some great ideas that won't break the bank but will give that lodge a warm and inviting feel to it.  Actually these gifts would look great in any home.

To start off with, check out the Swan Creek coffee candle in pumpkin/vanilla, roasted espresso, or warm cinnamon buns.  This is a gift that anyone would love to have.  The scent is not overpowering and it has a kitchen or lodge look to it.  Another great idea might be the Moose Metal Lantern Hanging Candle Holder.  This candle holder has laser cutouts on all four sides ,and is finished with a rustic metal exterior.  Worried about a candle?  This lantern holder will hold a flameless candle or a LED light.














Vicki Cianciarulo has some beautiful gifts for that lodge enthusiast in your life.  The Antler Accents Waste Basket is just perfect for any home.  If you are giving wine, consider the Antler Accents 3 bottle wine rack.  Top it off with the  Antler Accents Coaster Set













How about a game chest?  The Vintage Edition Game Chest is hand crafted and a perfect fit for any family room, den, or basement. Kids will just love it and you can store the checkers inside.









You say you just want to bring a little something?  How about a Laser Cut Metal Night Light Buck?  This nightlight has a on/off switch, that gives just enough light so you won't be stumbling around in the dark.  Another idea might be a small bag of coffee and a Deep Woods Latte Mug.  This stoneware mug is diswasher and microwave safe.   How about a rustic wind chime for that outdoor lover?  Sunset Vista Designs Rustic Lodge Wind Chime is great for the indoors or the outdoors.  Now if you know they love pictures of family, how about the Rivers Edge Fir Wood Picture Frame - Deer Antler?  This frame says it all, rustic and charming.

night light







If it is a lamp that might interest you, take a look at the Vintage Verandah The Catch of the Day table lamp.  Made of wood and metal this lamp is charming and unique.









As you can see this is just a small sampling of what we have here at Bass Pro Shops.  So don't let the Christmas season get the best of you.  Stop on by and check out what we have to make your season enjoyable.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator






More Letters to Santa!

"I want a horse for Christmas. Any color will do. I also want anything I need for a horse. I would like you to give something special to my family. What would you like for Christmas? I was thinking of getting something for you. Write back soon!
PS:  I would laos like to get a catnip toy for Paws and Tuffy."


"How is the North Pole doing? Do you have a lot of elves at the North Pole? Are you getting ready for Christmas?

"For Christmas what time are you going to start handing our presents? When should we open our Elf on the Shelf?"

"Christmas is awesome. It includes so much like baking cookies, and caroling, a Jesus being born. My favorite holiday is coming up. I want a rainbow loom with stuff for it."


"Thank you for keeping the "if you believe" alive in your  "Santa Area," Bass Pro Shops.

Kids these days grow up way too fast. So, keeping them young is special."



This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops - Stay Warm!

The weather outside will be frightful, but inside it will be SO delightful! In town for the Big Four basketball tournament or just to shop? Make sure to stop by - see Santa and help our four-legged shelter friends!

Santa's Wonderland Hours

Free Photos with Santa
Friday: 3-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10-8 p.m.
Sunday, December 8 - 10:00 a.m.-5 p.m.

REMEMBER: We ALWAYS use the Bass Pass on weekends. We start handing out the Bass Passes one hour before Santa's scheduled start time on Saturday and Sunday. The Bass Pass provides you a spot in line during a designated time and allows you Free Craft at Santa's Wonderlandto walk around the store. You're in a "virtual" line!

Free Craft!
Weekends:  Noon - 5 p.m.
This weekend's free craft is a Stuffed Santa Ornament!

Santa's Wonderland Hours CHANGE on December 8:

December 8 - Dec. 23:
Free Photos with Santa:

Weekdays - 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday - 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday - 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Free Crafts:
Weeknights - 5-7 p.m.
Weekends - noon-5 p.m.

December 24 (Christmas Eve)

Photos: 10 a.m.-5 p.m
Crafts:  3-5 p.m.


ARL of Iowa - Tree of LifeAnimal Rescue League of Iowa - Tree of Life!

Bass Pro Shops Altoona is proud to be a drop off location for the Animal Re

Helped the pets with food, toys, treats and more!  Drop your donations off in our lobby by December may purchase here or purchase anywhere.  It's just about helping the pets!

Coming up!

Friday, December 13 - Outdoor Rewards Night

Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15 - Breakfast with Santa - MUST have reservations. Email to see if seats are still available.

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21 and 22 - Keith Kavajecz, pro fisherman and host of Next Bite TV, joins us in the store!  Join him for a special 1 p.m. seminar on Saturday, Dec. 21 - Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques

Saturday, December 21 - Pella Wildlife Company joins us, 11-3 p.m., for their monthly Conservation Connections with a porcupine!