Dads - Honoring, Being, and Becoming

My daddy, he was somewhere between God and John Wayne. 
~Hank Williams, Jr. 

Chad Gebhart and son

"I love being able to sit back and watch my son Cale cast and reel in fish all by himself. My dad and I started him fishing on his third birthday and he loves it! He practiced casting in the driveway this spring when it was still too cold to fish and, now, at age four he is a great caster. Christy and I are expecting another boy in November, so in the near future Grandpa, Cale and I can teach him how it’s done, too.  There is no other sport, hobby, or career that is more rewarding than being a dad! Thank you, God and Christy, for the wonderful gifts!"
~Chad Gebhart, Facilities Manager

 

" Everything I've learned about the outdoors, hunting and fishing has pretty much come from my dad. I was the oldest, so for the first few years of my life my dad took me everywhere he went, including hunting and fishing. I remember going out squirrel hunting with my dad when I was really young. He would take me out in my little red wagon and I would sit under a tree while my dad would hunt the area around there so he could keep an eye on me. My dad has been my hunting and fishing partner my whole life. Every year we go shotgun hunting for deer. He was there when I shot my first deer and was the first person I called when I got my first buck. We still go fishing, mushroom hunting, and hunting together any chance we get. He’s the first person I think of calling when I want to go do something. My mom always says that I'm just like my dad and to me that’s a huge compliment because I look up to him and because of him have learned to both love and respect the outdoors.' 
~Alicia Bricker, Hunting Associate

  Gail and Dad
"Because of my dad, I respect the land and the tranquil enjoyment it can bring. Whether digging in the garden, watching wildlife, casting a line, or relishing in the beauty of the mountains, this six-year WWII Pacific war veteran taught me to appreciate and truly love the grandness of the outdoors and this great country; made even stronger by the service he gave to protect it."

~ Gail McMahon, Merchandising Specialist, Social Media

  

Lance and Dad

 "I have been lucky enough to grow up in a household of fisherman from my dad all the way down the line to his grandpa...it’s just in our blood. Fathers Day means one thing to me…TRADITIONS!  From catching giant stripers with my dad in Tennessee, reeling in little spotted bass with my Papaw in Alabama, (that's Southern talk for grandfather!) to casting Snoopy poles and watching my little girl Kesney make a mess of all my bass fishing soft plastics here in Iowa. That’s what it’s all about!  Happy Fathers Day everyone...keep our traditions rolling on!" 
~Lance Baker, Pro Staff
 

 "My dad started his career as a New York City window display specialist. He moved to Minneapolis and did a lot of freelance work and would take me and my brothers on his many trips out of town. He always stowed our fishing gear in the back of the big Ford station wagon, so we could fish on the way home. He’s now in his 90s and can no longer fish, but he got me my start in visual merchandising which brought me to Bass Pro Shop. I still have memories of catching sunfish or crappies, while learning a trade that I’m still active in today."
~Jim Spizale, Visual Merchandiser


Amanda and Dad"My dad, Tim McMaster, and I are your everyday common fishin' buddies. He taught me how to fish when I was pretty young and, boy, do we have fun.This was my first fish I caught, and from there on is when I fell in love with the sport. As I got older, we started making it a little more interesting by having our own personal competitions. Fishing has always been our little getaway to bond and just go relax. Now, as an adult, I can wholeheartedly say, "Thank you, dad, for taking me fishing...let's go again soon!"  ~Amanda McMaster, Gifts/Footwear Associate

 

"Some of my best childhood memories, when I was younger, was the time I spent outdoors with my dad. From the time I was eight-years-old, my dad taught me about hunting, fishing and trapping here in the Midwest. Spring and summer we would fish just about every chance that he and I could get; most weekends we would start fishing early in the morning, come home to take care of things around the house, then go back at night to fish more. Late summer and fall we would start practicing for the upcoming bow season and shoot competition archery leagues until late winter. He also showed me how to prepare traps for the upcoming trapping season. The time that I was able to spend with my father allowed him to become more of a brother than a father to me.

Since becoming a father of two daughters I've tried to pass on some of the things that I learned, especially the love of the outdoors. I'm glad to see they've taken that enjoyment farther...one daughter is a certified 4-H shooting sports instructor and the other is currently serving as secretary for our local NWTF chapter. I hope they continue this love of the outdoors and are able to pass it on to their children."
~Scott Sickau, White River Fly Shop Fishing Associate

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FREE Family Summer Camp

Summer 2

 

Family Summer Camp
 

JUNE 9TH TO JULY 15TH

The 2012 Family Summer Camp Event is geared to offer families a way to spend an
enjoyable summer together with free crafts, interactive displays and outdoor skill
workshops, in an atmosphere much like the summer camps many of us attended as
kids ourselves.

ShootingThe Event offers:
 

  • -FREE Shooting Gallery

  • -FREE Casting Pond and Targets

  • -FREE Archery Shooting Range

  • -FREE Crafts like the ones you used to make in summer camp—custom leather crafting,
    painting a bear track mold, painting a wiggle snake, decorating a seedling pot,
    creating your own Catch-A-Fish game, painting a birdhouse….a different craft activity
    each Saturday and Sunday and Tuesday and Thursday thru the event dates, while supplies last.

  • -FREE photos Saturdays and Sundays (1:00pm-4:00pm)—enjoy getting a picture of the kids or the whole

  • family made in front of an outdoors backdrop

  • -FREE S’mores activity each Saturday night between, 6:00pm-7:00pm throughout the event

In addition, Free Family Summer Camp Workshops(no registration needed) will be held Tuesdays and

Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays featuring:
 

-Bird Watching: Listen and identify various bird sounds and learn about threatened species.
-Hunting and Shooting Basics: Learn about hunting seasons, clothing, ammunition and safety
-Fishing Basics: Covering different kinds of lures, bait and the fishing seasons.
-Outdoor Discovery and conservation: Learn about the importance of conserving the beauty of the Great Outdoors.
-Backyard Adventure:  Learn about the different trees, insects, animals and pests you should avoid.
-Archery: Learn about Bow Hunting and the different parts of a compound bow and important tips!
-Camping Basics: Learn what to expect when camping and what you need to bring to be comfortable.
-Wildlife Exploration: Learn how to identify more common animals that you can encounter on your outdoor adventure.
-Dogs in the Outdoors: Learn how to keep your best friend comfortable, and discuss different dog breeds and the different activities that’s dogs enjoy.

Kids will earn a collectible pin for every workshop completed and a Bass Pro Lanyard, again, while
supplies last.

Yup

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Family Summer Camp Rocky View

Family Summer Camp

Family Summer Camp
 

JUNE 9TH TO JULY 15TH

The 2012 Family Summer Camp Event is geared to offer families a way to spend an
enjoyable summer together with free crafts, interactive displays and outdoor skill
workshops, in an atmosphere much like the summer camps many of us attended as
kids ourselves. The Event offers(1:00-5:00):
 Free Shooting Arcade

-FREE Shooting Gallery
-FREE Casting Pond and Targets
-FREE Archery Shooting Range
-FREE Crafts like the ones you used to make in summer camp—custom leather crafting,
painting a bear track mold, painting a wiggle snake, decorating a seedling pot,
creating your own Catch-A-Fish game, painting a birdhouse….a different craft activity
each Saturday and Sunday and Tuesday and Thursday thru the event dates, while
supplies last.
-FREE photos Saturdays and Sundays (1:00pm-4:00pm)—enjoy getting a picture of the kids or the whole
family made in front of an outdoors backdrop
-FREE S’mores activity each Saturday night between, 6:00pm-7:00pm throughout the event

In addition, Free Family Summer Camp Workshops(no registration needed) will be held Tuesdays and
Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays featuring:
 

-Bird Watching: Listen and identify various bird sounds and learn about threatened species.
-Hunting and Shooting Basics: Learn about hunting seasons, clothing, ammunition and safety
-Fishing Basics: Covering different kinds of lures, bait and the fishing seasons.
-Outdoor Discovery and conservation: Learn about the importance of conserving the beauty of the Great Outdoors.
-Backyard Adventure:  Learn about the different trees, insects, animals and pests you should avoid.
-Archery: Learn about Bow Hunting and the different parts of a compound bow and important tips!
-Camping Basics: Learn what to expect when camping and what you need to bring to be comfortable.
-Wildlife Exploration: Learn how to identify more common animals that you can encounter on your outdoor adventure.
-Dogs in the Outdoors: Learn how to keep your best friend comfortable, and discuss different dog breeds and the different activities that’s dogs enjoy.

Kids will earn a collectible pin for every workshop completed and a Bass Pro Lanyard, again, while supplies last.Catch and Realease

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New Monday Night Seminar Program

Starting on June 4 Bass Pro shops will be starting a Monday night seminar program scheduled for 6:30pm to 8:00pm for people interested in learning about various outdoor activities. For the month of June we will be beginning with a seminar “Fishing Basics,” which will be held on the first and third Monday evenings of the month and a second seminar “Archery Basics,” which will be held on the second and fourth Mondays of the month.

The ‘Fishing Basics” seminar will cover rods and reels, equipment selection, terminal tackle, rigging your gear, what to fish for, and where to fish. There will also be outdoor hands on casting demo using both spinning and bait casting tackle with the seminar.

The “Archery Basics” seminar will cover the basics of archery, from types of bows, types of arrows, bow selection, rigging your bow, shooting basics and bow safety. There will also be an opportunity to shoot a bow (a recurve model) in the archery range.

We look forward to seeing you there,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops

Foxbororugh

Also be sure to keep checking our website for the addition of new seminar topics.

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What you need to know about Bowfishing

Looking for a fun new activity for the summer? Try bowfishing! Bowfishing is a fun sport that goes overlooked by most people, combining the thrill of the hunt with some fishing aspects. Some of the gear that you will need is a cheaper bow that you can shoot all day and are not afraid to get wet or dropped on a rock or two.  Other equipment you’ll need to get started is some kind of retriever, anywhere from a larger Zebco reel to an AMS bowfishing bottle retriever. Personally, as well as many of my bowfishing buddies, use the AMS kit we sell at Bass Pro; it’s a very reliable system that’s safe and effective. The kit includes bottle retriever, arrow rest, two fiberglass arrows, 200lbs line and the latest AMS bowfishing DVD. Now that you have your gear, you have to figure out the regulations in the areas that you will fish. Here in the state of Missouri you are able to shoot any non-game fish which include gar, Asian, silver, bighead, common and grass carp, buffalo, drum and some of the panfish species.  Lastly, before you venture out to go bowfishing you need make a plan on where you are going, what time and who with. This is important to let people know where you are going because most of the time when bowfishing you are within feet of the water, usually a river or a big creek (fish gather in greater numbers in these areas) if you shoot say a 30lbs fish, it wouldn’t take much to lose your balance and fall in.  Bowfishing with a buddy is very important when you fish at night and in the day. I usually go bowfishing at night; the fish are more active and stay closer to the surface due to more bug activity. Some overlooked items that are needed if fishing at night include: a light source and bug spray, I’d say those are the two biggest things. Now that you have your proper gear, know your states bowfishing regulation, and made a plan, all that’s left is to go out and start bowfishing.

Cory Clermont

 

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Staying Hydrated on the Banks

Outline

 

It's a nice summer day. Not a cloud in the sky, and the XPS Hydrationsummer heat is just starting to come on. Great day to head out on the Bow River and see if I cant get me some trout! I pack up, making sure to bring my trout gear. But it is getting pretty hot outside, and there is a long day of walking ahead of me so I load up my XPS Hydration Pack.

 

I love this thing. I enjoy comfort, convenience, and durability in a hydration pack that sets the standard for performance with the Bass Pro Shops XPS 2 Liter Hydration Pack. With a high performance, sleek design, this low profile pack includes a 2-liter (70 oz.) no-taste, hydration reservoir with a bite valve. The durable pack is constructed of rugged, water resistant polyester. The pack is built for the active outdoorsm350 Clear Tackle Boxan, with a large, easily accessible, main storage compartment great for storing my spinners in a 350 clear tackle box or two. The dual layer mesh stuff pockets are great for my pliers, zippered front pocket for my fishing license, with side and bottom compression straps to secure gear. Deluxe padded shoulder straps feature an adjustable sternum strap to keep the loaded pack from weighing on you over a long trek along the shores of the Bow River. Outline

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Horse Creek Game Plantation

My wife once said “Walter, you never know when a really good time is going to sneak up on you.” I think this applies to a hunting trip that I had the pleasure of taking at Horse Creek Plantation in January.

This all started about five years ago. I was working in archery when a grandfather approached the archery counter with his grandson. He was frustrated because he had purchased a bow from Bass Pro and he could not shoot the bow very well. The bow was not set up right for his grandson, so I set the bow to the correct draw length and poundage. I took a considerable amount of time explaining how to sight it in as neither one had any experience. They thanked me and headed to the elevator. Two minutes later the grandson started running back and handed me a piece of paper with his grandfather’s name and phone number. He said “my Pawpaw said any time you want to hunt you call him.” Year after year passed and I never called. They would come in and shop and remind me of the invitation. Well, this year I decided to call. We lined up a three day weekend and I invited Dean Clark to come along. Dean works in hunting with me and we affectionately refer to him as Mr. Dean. We left work one Thursday evening and arrived at the so called “camp House”. These accommodations were unbelievable! This place had 4 bedrooms and fireplace, television, kitchen and a front porch with rocking chairs. It also had back decks facing a pond stocked with fish.

Camp House

hunting 03.JPG

Camp House (inside)

 

Next door was a processing building with stainless sinks grinders and saws. Behind this building was a catfish pond. They took us out on the Polaris, an ATV, to show us a couple of shooting houses and food plots to hunt in the morning. They handed us keys to two ATV’s and said we could ride them to the stand in the morning. We could not believe how nice this was as we settled into our king size beds that night.

The next morning, as I sat in the shooting house overlooking a food plot, I heard the sound of a truck coming. I peered out the back window and saw Mr. Price, the owner, coming in. I got on the ATV and met him back at the lodge. He loaded Mr. Dean and me in the Polaris and he proceeded to show us the rest of the property.

As soon as we returned to the lodge we loaded up tree stands and blinds and headed out for the evening deer hunt. We didn’t have any deer sightings that day and returned to the lodge for a good meal and watched hunting videos. Mr. Price asked if we would be interested in shooting birds tomorrow after leaving the deer stands. We of course told him that we would love to shoot some birds.

The next morning we were up early and headed for the stands. This was another slow morning for me but Mr. Dean had a visit from a doe that after a lot of head bobbing at the blind left the food plot.

We returned to the lodge where Mr. Price was waiting. This is where it really got interesting. He instructed his care taker to go get some pheasant, chucker, and quail and release them. We then got in the Polaris with a trailer behind that had seats for hunters and kennels for the dogs. We drove over to the kennels where we collared three dogs and put them in the kennels on the trailer.

hunting 18.JPG

Dog Kennels

After releasing the dogs they instantly went to work finding the birds. Not much time had passed before they were pointing the first bird. Our guide called us up on both sides and kicked the brush that the dogs were locked up on. A pheasant took flight and Mr. Dean dispatched him quickly. The dogs instantly retrieved the bird and went back to work. It wasn’t long before they were on point again. We repeated the previous process and a chucker flushed on my side. Much to my surprise I dispatched that bird. This was the first time I had done any kind of upland hunting. This process was repeated over and over. To say we enjoyed our selves would be an understatement. After we shot all the birds Mr. Price offered to clean the birds while we headed for the deer stands.

hunting 28.JPG

Mr. Dean

 

That evening on stand I turned to the left in time to see a flash of whitetail and hear one blowing at me. They ran up and down the hill to my left and eventually grew quiet. Later on that evening as it was getting really dark I heard deer walking into the opening but it was so dark I could not tell what they were. We returned back to camp exhausted.

The next morning we were off to the deer stands and more sightings of does. We returned to the camp where we were treated to a lunch of Tomato gravy and biscuits, venison sausage, and grits. After lunch more birds were released and we were back in the field. This was a repeat of the first day and we shot plenty of birds. We saw a pheasant that was headed across the road. We took the dogs over and could not find this bird so we returned to the other birds and finished our hunt.

hunting 34.JPG

Walter Andrews

 

We cleaned the birds from the days hunt and decided we were too exhausted to deer hunt that evening. We started packing for home and Mr. Price said that maybe we could come back in the spring for turkey season. I would be crazy not to take that invitation and told him I would love to come back. After we had loaded the last of our gear and were about to get in the trucks, we looked to the edge of the clearing and the pheasant that had crossed the road was looking back at us.  It seems a fitting end to a great trip.

For more information please call:  George L. Price (850) 537-3882 or (850) 543-0682. You can also find them online at http://horsecreekgameplantation.com.

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Are You Tournament Ready?

Hello Everyone,

It's Tournament Time!!  The time of year for which every Tournament Angler lives.  We're busy reading all the outdoor ads to pick up on the latest Lures and Tactics we can add to our arsenal.  We're also going over in our mind what maintenance we need to do on our Bass Rig or planning to get the new Electronics we got for Christmas installed.  These are big issues and do require some thought but let's not forget about some of the other issues that can be just as important.  Regular maintenance is critical to the life we can expect from our equipment.  The better we are at maintaining our equipment, the longer it should last us.  With this in mind, I've divided things up into 4 categories: tow vehicle, boat trailer, boat and engine.

Tow Vehicle -

Since my tow vehicle is my primary vehicle, I know that my registration and inspection is current and that I have good tread on my tires - including my spare tire.  Some things to consider that may not be checked regularly are:
  • the condition of your brakes,
  • the condition of the serpentine belt on your engine,
  • is your wiring receptacle still in good condition?...no breaks in wiring, wires pulled out or a worn/smashed connector,
  • how about spare fuses,
  • is the tow-bar bolted securely to the frame? (sometimes these can loosen over time if a thread-locker is not used)
  • is the hitch ball in good condition and secure?
  • is the engine starting battery in good condition?
  • when was the last time you changed your transmission fluid? flushed your radiator coolant?
  • are all lights working properly?
Walk around your vehicle and give it a good inspection.  This is a good habit to develop and should be done regularly, even if you're not headed to a tournament.

Boat Trailer -

The easiest way to check your trailer is to start at the rear passenger side(the Port Side), move to the front (the tongue) and finish at the rear driver side(the Starboard Side):
  • in what condition is the trailer wiring harness?
  • is the hitch-ball latch functioning properly?
  • do you have the required safety chains or cables?
  • if equipped with hydraulic brakes, is the fluid reservoir full?
  • and don't forget the brake pads or shoes...
  • what about the winch and strap?
  • are all the lights working? any reflectors missing?
  • is there good tread on the tires? including the spare tire?
  • when was the last time the wheel bearings were removed & packed with grease?
  • if you have oil-bath hubs, make sure they are full of fresh oil and not leaking.
  • is your license plate secure and is the registration current?
  • are the bunk boards & guides secure?  any missing screws?
  • check the guide-on roller(s) for wear...
Take a minute to walk around the trailer and look for any loose step-plates or fenders.  We should also look for any sign of zebra mussels or giant salvinia.  These organisms are invasive species and are very destructive to our environment.  The more we can do to control these organisms will help preserve our fishing and wildlife habitats for future generations.

 

The Boat -

Once again the easiest way to check your boat is start at the rear (the Aft) and move to the front (the Bow):
  • Check the fuel and oil fill caps...are they secure and not loose?
  • Are the batteries accepting a charge?  are the terminal connections clean and free of corrosion? (I carry battery cables on my boat for emergencies)
  • are the hatch-lid gas-shocks weak? (nothing hurts worse than having a hatch door fall on your head because of a weak shock)
  • is the wiring to the trolling motor in good condition?
  • if your trolling motor is not digital, what is the condition of the steering cables? the worm gear?
  • is the trolling motor prop in good condition?  do you have a spare?  is there fishing line wrapped around the prop-shaft?
  • is the bow eye in good condition? solid and not bent or loose?
  • is the bow light in working condition? both green/red lights?
  • are all cleats solid? how about rails and handles, are they solid?
  • on the dash, are all guages working properly?
  • are any switches broken or in need of replacement?
  • is there any slack in the steering? is the system rack/pinion or hydraulic?
  • check the adjustment in the throttle/shifter linkage for slack? (don't forget the hotfoot)
  • do you have enough oil in the reservoir? extra oil? enough fuel? (and additives for fuel treatment)
  • are you compliant with all Coast Guard regulations?
The Engine -Unless you are a Certified Marine Technician, I would not recommend tackling this section as a "Do-it-Yourself" project.  I would definitey pay for the services of a qualified technician to perform everything but the first two items on the following list:
  • remove the prop and check for fishing line.
  • grease all zerts and apply 2-4-C lube to the steering rod.
  • when was the water pump impeller last changed?
  • when was the lower unit lube changed?
  • what is the condition of the hub inside your prop?
  • how is the tilt/trim pump functioning? is the fluid level correct?
  • if you have shallow water anchors, are they functioning properly? (www.power-pole.com/, minnkotamotors.com/products/shallow_water_anchor/talon.aspx)

This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of things to check but something to get you thinking and try to prepare for what could happen.  Nothing takes the place of regular inspections and maintenance of your rig and even with regular maintenance, things sometimes can and do go wrong.  The thought process here is to be pro-active and prevent them from happening at all.

Best of luck to all of you this season.  Be safe, be ethical and be a conservationist.

Michael Lawson
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Grapevine, Texas
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Productive Post Season Efforts

The lull after deer season until the turkeys start gobbling and the fish start biting can be a depressing time of the year for the avid outdoorsman. However, there are many things that can be done within this time period that will not only help pass the time, but also help to improve success for next season.

Many hunters have found themselves in late season making a mental note on where to hang a stand for next season. Well instead of dragging a stand in on a scorching hot day in September and leaving behind a warning to the deer that bow season is soon to come, move it in February when it's cool and scent left behind will be forgotten about 9 months later. More times than not, the rub line along a thicket or scrap line along a ridge that was there last season will be used again next season. Moving the stand now will only cut down on alarming human scent left in the area before sneaking in on opening morning next season.

Another way to improve next season's chances is to cut shooting lanes and trim brush in post season. This is very important because a whitetail will not notice as many changes to their environment if they are done before blooming season. Pack in a saw like the Hooyman Extending Saw and trim away the limbs that got in the way last season or may get in the way for next season. Also clear the approach to the stand site to reduce the noise and scent produced on the walk in.

It is a good idea to service your treestands after season as well. Take a twist out of turn buckles and a click out of ratchet straps to allow tree growth. Spray any moving parts such as flip up gun rails or folding foot rails with a protectant like RemOil to help prevent wear from weather. Remove cushions and rail pads so they don't become a squirrel's breakfast. Add a gear holder like the Team Realtree EZ Hanger to make your next hunt more enjoyable.

February is also the time to add mineral sites to your property. This will allow the deer herd to locate them in plenty of time to take advantage of them when the protein is needed most. Placing a Trophy Rock near your stand will get deer use to frequenting your area all spring and summer.

Instead of spending this year's off season sulking, put efforts towards improving your hunting area by moving stands and scouting during a time where human pressure will not effect your deer hunting. This will help your success this upcoming season and also help pass the down time.
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Entertainment for the Whole Family


Situated on the banks of the Ohio River, Clarksville, Indiana (www.town.clarksville.in.us/)  has a long, rich outdoors history.  Some of the oldest naturally exposed fossil beds (www.fallsoftheohio.org/) can be seen there; Native Americans set up camps along the Ohio River as it was close to the crossing of the Buffalo Trace; it was the gathering point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition of the Louisiana Purchase (www.lewisandclarktrail.com/legacy/louisclark/) and John James Audubon was only one of several naturalists to study the variety of wildlife in the area.  With such an outdoors heritage it is only natural that outdoors giant Bass Pro Shops has built a retail store in Clarksville which bills itself as the “Oldest American Town in the Northwest Territory.”  At 280,000 square-feet, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store is the company’s second largest to date.

Located in the River Falls Mall, just off Interstate 65 and across the river from Louisville, Kentucky, the entire store is a tribute to the Kentuckiana region and its people and, like other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores, takes on the flavor and atmosphere of the region in which it is located.  Using area artifacts, antiques and memorabilia the store becomes a living museum of the hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies of Indiana.

The outdoor super store features two levels and is part museum, part art gallery, part education, conservation and entertainment center.  Massive log and rock work frame the Grand Entrance where inside, timber skin walls and vaulted post and beam construction ceiling make up the front lobby.   Natural daylight streams through the store through the 50,000-square-foot Hypalon roof structure.

Museum quality wildlife exhibits adorn the entire store including state record fish mounts, turkeys, native waterfowl, quail, pheasants, rams, elk, full body whitetail mounts and bears.  State record mounts are displayed alongside local historical prints depicting early Indiana residents enjoying sporting adventures.

Inside, giant, exquisitely crafted outdoor themed chandeliers, made by Bass Pro Shops own artisans, hang throughout the store.  Dinosaur fossils and wildlife tracks are imprinted in the concrete floor.  One of the store’s focal points is a rock bluff structure that showcases a dramatic 65’ waterfall (one of three) flowing into the 50,000 gallon aquarium which features two tanks.  It is stocked with more than 300 fish native to the area including large and smallmouth bass, catfish, carp, walleye, bluegill, and crappie.  A beaver pond and stream runs through the central clerestory on the main floor. 

Two elevators rise through cave-like structures near the aquarium allowing visitors to see through the aquarium on their ride up to the 2nd floor.

Murals, wildlife paintings and animal dioramas help portray local and regional scenes to lend authenticity and help capture the Indiana landscape.

On the 91,500-square foot first floor, visitors have the area’s largest selection of freshwater rods, reels and fishing accessories, all hand-picked and specially selected for the area, to choose from.  The White River Fly Shop, featuring antique and collectible fly fishing memorabilia, has a vast selection of the latest in fly fishing gear.  Experts will continue the art of hand-tying flies on site and assist customers in making the perfect selection.

More than a fishing store, visitors find items perfect for camping, hiking, outdoor cooking, bird watching or whatever your outdoor pleasures. A gift and nature center offers a variety of items from artwork to lamps, to bird feeders and furniture, home decorating items and gifts for the holidays.  Cooking accessories include cookbooks, spices, grills and jerky making items.

The attention to detail continues upstairs in the 178,600 square-foot second floor.  The hunting department features a 75’ long curved counter which stands ready to help assist customers.  Hunting cabinets are adorned with hand-carved animals.  World Class record mounts grace the walls.  Customers will find an equally impressive array of hunting clothing and gear.  The archery department offers a bow set-up shop and a 25-yard live archery range is perfect for testing that new bow or sharpening necessary skills.

Shooters of all ages will enjoy the 16,000-square foot, walk-through “African Big Game” safari-style rifle arcade with  animated targets.  There is also a theater-styled seminar room which will accommodate up to 200 people for various civic, educational or conservation functions.

A NASCAR department provides 3 car simulators plus all the clothing and items featuring your favorite driver. 

An 11,000 square-foot marine and boat center helps area residents have fun on the water with a full range of powerboats from Tracker Marine--the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats.  From big water boats to small fishing, canoeing and even kayaking, customers will find exactly what they need with selections from  Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe, Mako, Kenner and more.  An on-site boat service center with 4 service bays is available for customers’ convenience for boat rigging and repairs.

The store offers Outdoor Skills Workshops for adults, kids and families that will help maximize outdoor fun by teaching new skills and improving existing ones.  They also feature many youth activities throughout the year.

For more information regarding your Clarksville Bass Pro Shops store location, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com or call 812-218-5500.
Visit us soon!
Tina Tucker, Special Events Coordinator

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Predator Hunting: A Winter Hunting Adventure

Normally at the end of December most of us put away our hunting gear and begin the long wait until spring turkey season. You might want to reconsider the putting away of your hunting gear as you would be missing the fast growing and very exciting winter sport of predator hunting. You don’t have to spend much time in the woods to know that there are a lot of coyotes in our area. These extremely wary animals are a real challenge to hunt and give a good excuse to get out of the house for some exciting hunting. Winter is a prime time for predator hunting but like any winter sport staying warm is a paramount priority. Not only is there a major need for staying warm but given the extreme wariness of coyotes and their excellent vision effective camouflage is also essential. Whitewater Outdoors Pro Series Reversible Sherpa Snow Jacket and their Pro Series Reversible Sherpa Snow Bibs in either Realtree AP Snow or Realtree depending on whether there is snow cover or not would be good choices for a winter hunt.

 Jacket 1                             Bibs 1

Winter boots are always a must and either Danner Pronghorn 8 inch Gore Tex Waterproof 1200 Gram Thinsulate Hunting Boots or Rocky 10 inch Bear Claw 3D Gore Tex Insulated Waterproof Hunting Boots are a good choice for cold weather hunting. If you are likely to encounter real wet conditions then the LaCrosse Alpha SST Waterproof 1200 Gram Thinsulate Insulated Hunting Boots would be a good choice.

Boots 1                       Boots 2                       Boots 3 

Bows, shotguns and rifles are allowed for coyote hunting but there are specific guidelines as to the types of shot that can be used with shotguns and also when rifles and shotguns can be used. It is a good idea to consult the Mass Fish and Game laws before deciding which type of firearm to use. The Mass Fish and Game laws are also important to determine what the season is for coyote hunting as they have recently changed. A number of different methods are utilized in hunting coyotes and these include spot and stalk (extremely difficult), baiting and calling. Each of these methods requires its own specific skills and techniques.

 

If you are interested in learning about this fast growing type of hunting or if you would like to bring your coyote hunting to a new level you will want to join us at Bass Pro Shops on January 7 and January 8 from 11:00am to 4:00pm for our third annual Predator Hunting Weekend. There will be seminars on coyote hunting and calling demos by predator hunting pros. There will also be a seminar on the Massachusetts’ coyote hunting regulations by a representative of the Mass Fish and Wildlife Department. Also scheduled are seminars on gun and ammunition selection and the selection and use of optics for coyote hunting. There will also be product display tables and industry representatives available to answer your questions and offer tips on hunting coyotes.

 

Hunt safe,

Don Nelson

Bass Pro Shops

Foxborough

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Outdoor Skills Workshops - July

Come and join us for FREE workshops this year at Bass Pro Shops. We will provide exciting and informative demonstrations with the hottest outdoor products to help you stay ahead of the curve. We’ll be offering educational tutorials to help you understand and improve upon the latest techniques used in the great outdoors.

Workshops for July 2011

 

WEDNESDAY 7/20, 7/27

 

Bass Fishing Workshop – Spin & Bait Casting

On Wednesday at 6:00 pm Bass Pro Shops  Fishing Team will be teaching a weekly workshop on Bass Fishing in Colorado. This workshop will take place at our "Super Aquarium."  Come learn all the new techniques used from Drop Shot, Texas Rig, Carolina Rigging to casting a crankbait and spinnerbait. Our team will be showing the tackle and techniques that are working locally and regionally during this weekly workshop.

 

How to use Fish Finders and What’s New!

On Wednesday at 6:30 pm Bass Pro Shops  Marine Team will be hosting a workshop on using Fish Finders and What’s New! Come see the latest models for 2011 and learn what advancements have been made. From Color to GPS built into to the hottest units see what the difference are and what advantages you get from having these features in your Fish Finder. This Workshop will take place at our Marine Counter.

 

THURSDAY   7/21, 7/28

 

Fishing for Walleyes – Spin & Bait Casting

On Thursday at 6:30 pm Bass Pro Shops  Fishing Team will be hosting a workshop on Fishing for Walleyes. Colorado is home to some of the finest Walleye fishing in the West.  We will discuss jigging, live bait rigging and trolling for Walleye. Our team will show you tips and techniques to make you a more successful walleye fisherman.

 

Learning to use GPS
On Thursday  at 6:30 pm Bass Pro Shops  Marine Team  will be hosting a workshop on learning to use GPS. Our GPS experts will be conducting a workshop  that will help you learn how easy these new units are to operate. GPS units have changed the way we hunt, fish and back pack in the Rocky Mountains. Come hear what you have been missing.

 

FRIDAY 7/22, 7/29

 

Beginning Archery

On Friday  at 6:30 pm Bass Pro Shops  Archery team will host a workshop on beginning Archery.
Learn the basics of archery from our hunting staff. They can help you with everything from, draw length, arrow length, picking out your release, and beginning techniques. This is a great workshop for anyone who is preparing to get into archery. Beginning Archery will be held in the Bass Pro Shops indoor Archery range, located on the second floor. If you plan on bringing your own bow, please make sure to check it in at the greeters stand at the entrance to the store.

 

SATURDAY   7/23, 7/30

*Introduction to Fly Fishing
On Saturday at 9:30 am – noon Our Fly Fishing Team will host an Introduction to Fly Fishing Workshop…
Everything you need to know: Including fly fishing equipment, the gear, flies, casting, rigging, knots, waterways and more ...
*Reservations are required. Workshop is limited to 10 students. Call (720) 385-3600 Ask for The Fly Shop.

*Dates subject to change due to weather and/or holidays, without notice


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You Deserve Your Props

Some of the most common questions we get in the boat business are “Do I need a stainless steel propeller?” and “Do I need a bigger or smaller pitch prop?”

 

First of all I am not talking about 20 foot bass boats with big horsepower or pontoon boats with the flat pancake looking props; this discussion pertains to the 16 to 18 foot fishing boat with mid-range horsepower. The standard issue prop on most of these boat packages is a conservatively pitched aluminum wheel on a 40 to 115 HP outboard and by the way, the boat manufacturer recommends the prop that works best in most conditions, not the outboard manufacturer.

 

There really is no rule of thumb here. What we want is a fusion of suitable top end RPM’s, smooth drivability (no fighting the steering wheel), and an efficient hole-shot. Keep in mind that the prop is only a part of this. The placement of weight in the boat, the motor height on the transom, and the basic skills of the driver all play a role. Also, there is no replacement for displacement; on-demand horsepower makes most problems go away. 

 

Let me paint one scenario I recently spoke about with a customer. He owned an 18 foot aluminum deep "v" with a 90HP outboard. His concern was with the hole-shot; it was taking too much time and too many RPM’s to make the bow break over and get the boat on plane. He was not concerned with top speed. I recommended the following: move any “movable” weight to the front of the boat first and experiment with motor height. The 90HP works okay on his boat but it is not optimal so we need to fit the boat to the motor. Moving 50 pounds (anchor, tackle, etc.) from the back of the boat to the front nets us a 100 pound difference which is huge. Also, raising the motor height in most circumstances will help elevate the boat as well. These adjustments will make a difference but may not completely cure his problem. Remember he was pleased with the top speed so dropping the pitch from say a 17 to 15 will cause the outboard to rev up faster giving him more punch for the hole-shot. And with his set up, it will only cost a 2 or 3 MPH loss of top speed.

 

Stainless or aluminum? Stainless is more durable and does not flex at high RPM’s but it is also less likely to break on impact which could send the impact force on to the gear case causing damage there or to the prop shaft. Aluminum is less expensive and tends to bend and chip easier. 

 

All this should be considered when choosing a prop. One arguable point is that Mercury makes the most balanced OEM props on the market. Consistency of the weight of the each blade is crucial to the efficiency of the prop. Check out Mercury’s prop selector tool here.

 

More on this in future posts….


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Choosing a Good Hunting Pack - Part 1

When it comes to hunting packs I have to admit that I have what my wife says is a very big fetish for them. At last count I figured I could have a garage sell with just my packs alone and probably make enough money to make my truck payment, but what’s really funny about this is, I’m always looking for a new and better pack then the one I’m using now. The deal is there are so many different packs out there to choose from it’s hard to decide which is best for you and fit your needs. This is why I decided to make this a two part blog because there is so much information I can’t do it all in one. Personally I feel that any time you go out pre-scouting or hunting you should have some type of pack with survival gear and a small first aid kit on if not just for safety reasons. Accidents do happen
 
Hunting packs come in all different sizes, shapes, and camo patterns imaginable, from small little fanny packs with about 480 cubic inches, up to packs with over 7,000 cubic inches of space that you use to pack in for a couple of days or more. When I first started archery hunting I used a small fanny pack that was made out of nylon, I still have that pack by the way. It worked for a couple years but then I started to find out that I really needed to carry a little more than that fanny pack could hold, so I ended up buying a little bigger pack. This will go on throughout your whole hunting career until you figure out exactly what you need and what you don’t. The main essentials that I will never leave out of my pack are my survival items. These consist of a small first aid kit, one extra pair of socks, a pair of insulated waterproof gloves, some fishing hooks and line, my Katadyn® water purifier and enough fire starter that I should have a flammable label on the back of my pack. If I have to spend the night in the woods I will have a big fire to stay warm.
 
Choosing a Pack
After thirty plus years of hunting elk, I have only three very simple but yet important items I look for in a pack, quietness, comfortable, and plenty of room for what I need.  First is quietness, when I started hunting almost every pack made was out of nylon or some other type of noisy material that when you brushed against a tree branch you would hear like a ripping sound. Any unnatural sound an animal hears will put them on alert and nylon against a tree branch is very much, unnatural. There was one or two other packs made that where a little more quiet but they cost almost an arm and a leg back then. Now days hunting packs are made out of cotton, fleece or other types of quiet material, so a quiet pack really isn’t too hard to find.
 
Comfort is very important when looking for any kind of pack that you are going to be carrying around on your back all day. Sometimes a pack looks comfortable so you put it on and it feels good so you buy it, then when you load it down with your equipment it’s not so comfortable any more so you have to take it back and find another one. Hopefully you find this out at home and not at elk camp. When I look at a new pack, I put it on and adjust it to how I like my packs to be and then have my wife or son pull pressure down on it like it has a load in it to see how it feels; you would be surprised at how well this works. I’ve weighed my day pack with no water in the hydration bag or spotting scope and tripod and it weighs twenty-two pounds, that’s why I don’t fill my hydration bag the full two litters, or carry my spotting scope every time I go out. If I need more water I will use my water purifier. Then you have the waist belt and shoulder straps. On a good day pack the waist belt and shoulder straps should have at least 1 to 1 ½ inch thick pad for comfort. On your bigger packs the waist belt and shoulder straps should have a least 1 ½ to 2 inch thick padding because you will carry more weight. The majority of the weight on any kind of pack should rest on your waist and not your shoulders, your shoulders straps should be for support but not the load bearing of all the weight. There’s also a chest strap that keeps your shoulder straps from falling down. I always use this strap because I can’t stand for my shoulder straps doing this.
 
Now for the hard part, deciding how big of a pack do you really need? I bring two different packs to elk camp, one is my day pack for those one day outings and the other is a lot larger combination pack/ meat pack. I will use the larger pack if we decide to go further in and spend a night or two (spike camp) away from our base camp, or I can detach the pack portion and have just a meat pack frame to pack an elk out. When choosing a pack think about what you really need to carry. Your first thought should be survival gear, a small first aid kit, water, flashlight with extra batteries, and high protein foods (trail mix, granola bars ect) then what ever else you want to carry. After this put all of it on the floor and look to see if the pack you need has to have a lot of little pockets for small stuff, and or a large compartment for bigger items. My new RedHead Spot & Stalk Seat Pack has two main compartments that open like a book; I chose this pack because of this feature. How many times have you sat there and needed something and you had to dig down to the bottom of your pack to get it. With this pack you just lay it down, unzip it and there is everything you need without having to pull everything out and then re-packing it. It has a built in seat for comfort, two side pockets for my spotting scope and tripod, and places to tie stuff to, plus I can put a gun or bow on the back of it if I don’t want to carry them by hand. On the left yoke strap there is a built in LED light and on the other strap is a lens cleaning cloth for your binoculars, scope or even your eye glasses. The dimensions of this pack are 22”H x 14.5” W x 9” D with 3,500 cubic inches of room. I like a pack this size because other then my normal stuff that I carry I take my Squaltex rain gear ninety percent of the time, my Montana Decoys, or when its cold in the morning I can take off my coat and tie it off on the outside of the pack as the day warms up.
 
My larger pack is the RedHead Enduroflex Plus™ Field Frame; it has the same features as my day pack with the LED light and the lens cleaning cloth on the yoke straps plus it comes four 1”W x 6’L and two 1”W x 8’L heavy duty web tie down straps. It has 7,130 cubic inches of room, the dimensions are 36”H x 17.5”W x 10.5”D. It can also hold a bow or gun on the back and has plenty of tie offs. The main compartment can be loaded from the top or bottom. The big thing here is if you’re not in good physical shape you won’t make it very far with this large of a pack with everything in it that you need for a pack in hunting trip. I did a three day pack in with this pack and I had everything you need and it weighed close to fifty pounds. So when choosing a pack think about what your needs are and then start looking for the right pack for you.

We just covered the beginning of hunting packs and in my next blog we are going to go more in-depth on all the different styles of packs out there.
 
Mark Campagnola,
RedHead Hunting Pro Staff
Hunter’s Specialties Pro Staff
Montana Decoy Pro Staff
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Choosing The Proper Fishing Line

Working at Bass Pro Shops the two most common asked questions are: “Where is the bathroom?” and “What kind of fishing line do you recommend?” Customers are constantly in search of the perfect fishing line – but is there such a thing? There is no easy answer to this question and it's why we carry 86 different lines in our store. Every fisherman has their favorite lines and lines they despise. I personally have tested many of the lines we carry at Bass Pro Shops, as well as many others on the market. I feel confident in assisting customers to find the perfect line for their needs but in order to do so I will always ask them a few questions.

  1. “What are you fishing for?”
  2. “What baits will you be using?”
  3. “What type of reel is the line going on?”

The first thing to uncover is how experienced the customer is as an angler. There is a big difference between a novice customer that will be using the line for all different types of fishing and lures and a more experienced customer that will be using the line for technique specific applications. Certain types of fishing line can be used for various types of fishing, but that does not mean it qualifies as the best option for certain techniques. Other lines cannot be used with certain lures or techniques and will hinder the performance of a bait, thus causing the customer to catch less fish, yet can be ideal for specific lures or techniques. I like to compare the rod, reel and line fishing combination to a set of golf clubs; you can play 18 holes with only a seven iron but you would do much better with a full set of clubs. 

 

In addition to selecting the appropriate line for your fishing experience, maintenance is a mistake that many fishermen overlook. Leaving line on your reel for too long can negatively impact your ability to catch fish;  re-spooling your line frequently ensures that it is fresh and strong. Depending on the type of line used, I recommend re-spooling every three months. If I am fishing frequently or in a tournament, I re-spool every other day. 

 

Line is the link between you and a trophy fish. Oftentimes, I see fishermen not catching fish or losing fish because of the line they using, and yet both of these problems are easily avoidable. 

 

In order to become more familiar with selecting your line, it is important to understand the three basic categories of fishing lines: Monofilament, Braid and Fluorocarbon.

 

Monofilament

 

Monofilament is your basic multiple use fishing line. Monofilament and Co-polymer lines are the most popular and best-selling lines. It is the most all around line but rarely the best option if you are looking to excel at a specific technique. Monofilaments come in many different blends all with different properties. Some are softer than others and have less memory, while others are stiff and abrasion resistant. 

 

Positives: You can use monofilament for most types of fishing. If you only have one rod it should be spooled with a monofilament line. Mono floats, which for certain techniques is ideal. Monofilament has less memory than Fluorocarbon. This line is also the most affordable and is available in clear, clear blue, green, and various high visibility lines.

 

Negatives:  Monofilament has the most amount of stretch, which can hinder hook sets. Since the line floats it can create a bow in the line, which also hinders hook sets on sinking baits. Low abrasion resistance.

 

Technique Specific: Top-water, trolling, kids, stream trout, all around setup

 

Personal Favorites: Trilene Sensation, Pline Premium, Trilene XL, Yo-Zuri

 

Tips: Mono absorbs water and sunlight, so over time it breaks down and looses strength. It is very important to re-spool your line every few months. Storing your extra line in a cool dark place ensures it will last longer.

 

Fluorocarbon

 

Fluorocarbon line is relatively new to the fishing industry, but is definitely here to stay. Fluoro looks almost identical to monofilament but has incredibly different properties that make it a far more superior line. It is much less visible under water than monofilament line. Since its light refractive index is nearly the same as water when it is penetrated by sunlight fish cannot see it.   While fishing in clear water and using finesse techniques, fluorocarbon will get you more bites. Another advantage in most cases is that fluorocarbon is a very dense line; which means it sinks, has very low stretch and is more abrasion resistant.

 

Positives: Because it sinks, Fluorocarbon is better than monofilament for most sub-surface baits. Less bow in your line and less stretch means you will have a better hook set. Fluorocarbon is the least visible to fish. The line density also makes Fluorocarbon very more sensitive than monofilament.

 

 Negatives: The line is not ideal if you only have one rod because it can hurt the action of floating baits. If you use fluorocarbon for still fishing with live bait it will sink to the bottom and get stuck in rocks. Heavier pound tests are tough to cast on spinning gear. Fluorocarbon is also a lot more expensive than monofilament line.

 

Technique Specific: Drop Shot, Tubes, Jerkbaits, Crankbaits, Flipping and Pitching, Finesse, leader material.

 

Personal Favorites: Bass Pro Shops XPS, Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon

 

Tips: Fill up half your reel with cheaper monofilament line and tie a knot to your fluorocarbon, this way you are not wasting expensive line that you will never get down to on your reel. Use an aftermarket line conditioner to reduce line memory.

 

Braided Line

 

I'm grouping all “Superlines” into this category because they all have similar properties. Braided line is a made of multiple strands of fiber, Spectra or Dyneema, woven together. There are also a few thermally fused lines on the market, such as Fireline, that fall into this category.  Braid is extremely thin for its strength. An 8 pound test monofilament line has the same diameter as a 30 pound test braided line. These superlines have almost no memory or stretch at all and float.

 

Positives: You can use very heavy pound test lines, 50 to 80 pound test lines are not uncommon, which allows you to rip though weeds with ease. No stretch in the line means instant hard hook sets. Braid lasts a long time on a reel so you do not need to replace it often.

 

Negatives: Braid is colored and is not invisible and sometimes this can spook fish. Superlines are hard to break if you get your lure hung up on the bottom or a tree. It is more expensive than monofilament. 

 

Technique Specific: Flipping and Pitching, weeds, can be combined with a fluorocarbon leader and used for a wide variety of techniques.

 

Personal Favorites: Spiderwire Stealth, Suffix Performance Braid, Power Pro.

 

Tips: Always spool your reel with a small amount of mono first, and then tie in your braid. These lines are so thin and slick that it will spin on your spool if not tied to monofilament; you may think the drag on your reel is broken. 

 

You can use your line twice. Once one end wears out, change it to a different reel. By starting with the used end you will get down to line you have never fished with before.

 

All Braided lines bleed and lose color over time. Buy a green Sharpie marker and cut a splice in the tip of the pen. Run your line through the pen a couple times to make it green again.

 

Don't spool up a baitcasting reel with braid less than 30 pound test. The diameter of the line is so thin that it digs into the spool and will cause a backlash.

 

The Latest Technology

 

This year two new lines have been introduced that have unique properties and I'm still not sure how to categorize them. They are Spiderwire Fluoro-Braid and Suffix 832. Both lines are braided, but they also sink. The idea here is to combine some of the best qualities or a superline and sinking properties of fluorocarbon. By doing this you eliminate the bow in your line while using sinking baits with braided line, thereby giving a better hook set. These lines are ideal for fisherman prefer to use braid for drop shot fishing with a fluorocarbon leader.

 

The fishing industry is constantly improving products each year. Berkley has already announced a new line coming out later this year called Nanofil, which uses the strength of nano fibers to make an even stronger and thinner line than ever. I can't wait to test this out!

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see there is a lot more to selecting the perfect fishing line than you might have originally thought. Each category of line has unique properties that make it a good and bad choice. Certain lines will help you catch more fish while others will hinder the action of the lure you are using. Fishing line is the most important part your rod and reel combo as it is the link between you, your bait and a trophy. Good luck and tight lines! 

5/29 Fair Haven Bay



-Mark Kratz
 Sales Manager- Fishing, Marine, Tracker Boats
 mpkratz@basspro.com
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What is UPF?

What is UPF protection?

 

Now we’re not talking about the United Peace Federation – maybe later. We are talking about the Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating in clothing.

 Zinc Oxide Nose

We all remember from growing up (especially here in Arizona) that sunscreen was essential for outdoor  activities. Remember the white zinc oxide nose cover?  Our moms forced us to wear this stuff because it was common knowledge that the sun’s rays were harmful and we have to protect ourselves from them. Well, as much as they try, our moms don’t take care of us anymore and don’t dress us in the morning, hopefully. So now it’s our own responsibility to protect ourselves… enter UPF rated clothing.

 

A few years ago this acronym, UPF, popped up from almost no where. Is it SPF for clothing?  Kinda. What actually is it? It’s been around since 1998 and most people know that it’s good for you in the sun, but they don’t know the science or reasoning behind it. As we enter into these sun-intensive summer months, let’s explore what UPF is.

 

The first thing to know about UPF is the rating system. 

UPF Rating

Protection Category

 % UV radiation Blocked

UPF 15 - 24

Good

93.3 - 95.9

UPF 25 - 39

Very Good

96.0 - 97.4

UPF 40 - 49

Excellent

97.5 – 97.9

UPF 50+

Ultimate in UV Sun Protection

98.0 or more

 

As you can see from this table, the higher the UPF rating, the higher the percentage of UV protection and that means the more protected you are from the sun’s harmful rays. This is important because we do not realize that clothes without this UPF rating can let these rays through to our skin. We could wear the appropriate hat and the best sunscreen money can buy, but we are still vulnerable through our clothing. This is why it is essential to upgrade your outdoor clothing to UPF rated stuff.

 

There are a number of factors that affect the level of ultraviolet protection provided by a fabric and the UPF rating. In order of importance these are: weave (tighter is better), color (darker is better), weight (also called mass or cover factor - heavier is better), stretch (less is better) and wetness (dry is better). The other major factor that affects protection is the addition of chemicals such as UV absorbers or UV diffusers during the manufacturing process. Many factors that make a garment comfortable also make it less protective – the major design challenge for sun protective clothing is how to combine comfort, style and protection in the one garment (http://www.coolibar.com/upf-ratings.html). Check out today’s UV Index in your area here.

 UPF Hiker

So now that we have a bit of understanding as to what UPF rated clothing is and what it entails, let’s have a look at a couple of examples from head to toe…


Columbia Omni-Shade Schooner Bank Hat
UPF 50 - $20

UV Buff Headwear UPF - $23

UA HeatGear Tech T-Shirt UPF 30+ - $25

Columbia Omni-Freeze Woven Shirt UPF 50+ - $70.00

WWS Hybrid Angler Pant UPF 50+ - $25

 

Whether you're fly fishing, bow hunting, or just out enjoying the kids' soccer game... now you’re protected, stylish and ready to take on the outdoors!

-- Richie Campana
Bass Pro Shops Mesa, AZ

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Spring Turkey Hunting in Missouri

Montana 2010First I would like to introduce myself, I am one of the Hunting Department Team Leads at the St. Charles Bass Pro Shops store. My name is David and I actively engage in several of the hunting and fishing seasons here in Missouri and in other states around the country. I enjoy the freedom and the serenity that is provided by actively engaging in such activities through out the year.

As spring begins to blossom, the weather begins to break and the temperatures increase, it sounds the signal on the spring turkey season. Spring turkey hunting this season promises to be more of a challenge than it has been in the previous few years. According to the MDC; several breeding seasons of foul and unfavorable weather conditions have reduced the number of birds per acre on average, and as such the large gobblers are more scarce and harder to call in and the jakes are even scarcer and are smaller on average. Though the overall numbers remain strong the competition for food, space, and hens is not as aggressive; setting the stage for a challenging season.

This year's season runs from April 18-May 8th, so now is the time to get equipped and get that essential must have gear:
  1. Shotgun
  2. Call
  3. Camouflage
  4. Permit
  5. Other items that I suggest you take but are not entirely necessary:
    • Knife or Knives for cleaning your bird
    • Camera- to capture that great moment
    • Binoculars- its a great help to spot those distant birds
    • Bug Repellent as often it can be damp and humid
    • Rain gear for those days when mother nature just doesn't cooperate

First lets look at the Shotgun, its the most essential part of your gear. There are a number of suitable choices from brands such as Mossberg, Remington, Browning, Winchester, and Benelli. While there is a dizzying array of choices, just keep in mind that there a a few specific features that make a "Turkey Gun" different from just another shot gun. Most are customized to some degree to take full advantage of the condition that most turkeys are hunted in, there fore they have shorter barrels that allow for great movement and ease of handling in dense foliage. They have more constrictive chokes either full or extra full to maximize the killing potential at the greatest distance possible by controlling the spread of the shot pattern. Many also make use of fiber optic rifle style sights to aid the shooter in aiming and making that perfect shot. Many now also make use of collapsible or pistol grip stocks to give the shooter greater comfort and control; and number one single defining factor is that a turkey gun sports a dense foliage camo pattern. Some of the best choices this season for a turkey gun are the Mossberg 500 series "Thug", and the Remington 887 Turkey Magnum- which is a Bass Pro Shops Exclusive. Both feature a dense woodland camo pattern, with fiber optic sights, and chokes optimized for turkey hunting. The Mossberg also sports a Choate Inc. Pistol grip stock.

The ammunition also makes a big difference on your success. Winchester, Remington and Environ-metal Hevi-Shot all make turkey specific hunting loads designed to exploit the advantages of the full and extra full chokes. These loads maximize effective range and killing power while being easy on the shooter and reliable in all conditions.

Next, we will look at the call. Once again this can prove to be a harrowing experience. To simplify your life there are two basic types of calls, the diaphragm call and the friction call.
  • The diaphragm call produces sound by the user forcing air through either a silicone of latex reed. The diaphragm call will often be referred to as a mouth call.
  • The friction call produces sound by rubbing two pieces of material against one another. The most common of the friction calls are the box and slate.
The diaphragm is most likely the hardest for the beginner to use, as it requires conditioning and hours of practice to master. Then it requires a different call for each type of sound you are wanting to produce. The box and slate calls however are rather user friendly and you can produce many types of sounds of varying length, volume and urgency from a single call. The box call is the simplest of the calls and can be used by anyone with little to no experience. The slate is a bit more advanced and its benefits far outweigh its learning curve. I suggest that even the greenest novice learn to use a slate call as its versatility lend itself to the varying conditions that are often encountered on a hunt. You can call soft and subtle or loud and aggressive, from a simple yelp to a full blown mating call. New for this year and one of my favorites is the Knight & Hale Warlord diaphragm call- quickly becoming a customer favorite. Its a full featured call ideally suited to the conditions that many face hunting spring turkey in Missouri. In the box calls the RedHead RTX box calls are a great value and are built to last through years of punishing use! In the slate call arena there are several great options; One of my favorites is the Primos Jackpot Slate, however there are some others that are great options as well: the HS Strut Lil Deuce II is a great beginners slate call as well as the all new for 2011 RedHead Cherry Friction slate call.

On to the camouflage, many times you can simply use what you have for early season bow hunting. However if your starting from scratch you will want to look at a thinner weight camo clothing that will provide comfort and concealment for those cool mornings but won't overheat you in the early afternoons. Ideally you want to be looking at something in an Mossy Oak, or a Real Tree pattern, as this best matches the Missouri foliage conditions. You also might want to purchase a blaze orange vest to wear when traveling to and from your hunting area. A face mask is also a good idea for a couple of reasons. One, it keeps the pestering bugs from your face. Two, turkey have particularly strong eye sight and your face and eyes are most often the portion of your body that give your position away when the rest of you is concealed.

The permit is just that: the state issued hunting permit that is required to be on you at all times while you are in the field hunting. It is available at any sporting goods retailer and now through the MDC website for an additional dollar. Its amazing just how many people forget just how important this piece of gear is. Its arguably the single most important piece of gear in your assortment. Don't risk your hunting privileges, get your permits on time and guard them like cash!

The other category is where many people go overboard and collect a lot of useless items. You have to remember everything you pack takes up space and adds weight, so pack sensibly. I prefer to keep my other items as light and compact as possible. For a knife I carry either a Buck Alpha Hunter with the Gut Hook feature or a Knives of Alaska Muskrat. For a camera I rely on either a Nikon or Canon pocket size digital camera. When using binoculars I prefer to carry the Nikon Monarch 8X36's. They are robust and have great light transmission for those early morning birds that are just out of naked eyesight, but be careful because you don't want to use them when there is a change of shadowing or prismatic reflection which may give away your position.

As far as bug repellent goes the best thing going right now is the Therma Cell. If you want or require bug repellent look no further; its light, compact, highly effective, and refillable. For those wet mornings quality rain gear is a must. I prefer a product with Gore Tex, as I have had great experience with it. However there are some new fleece materials on the market that are just as effective. Both the RedHead Storm Tex and Bone Dry backed clothes are great, as well as the Storm Kloth branded products.

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It Spins and Flies on the Bow

A spinning fisherman from Ontario asks about fly-fishing The Bow River in Alberta

I’m sitting here, writing this blog, when Jarett Black (BPS manager) comes up to me holding a White River fly-rod in one hand. “This is how you fish on the Bow,” He says. I examine the 9 foot rod skeptically. I even more skeptically examine the little plastic box filled with what he calls flies. Instead of effective, first rate trout lures, these look like something I made in Kindergarten art class. He continues to smile like he just handed me the holy grail of Bow River fishing. I smile back and wonder - is he right?

I grew up in Northern Ontario fishing for Pikerel and Smallmouth Bass using a spinning reel and 6’6 medium action rod. This is how I was raised to believe it was done. You used Lindy rigs, jigs, spoons, cranks and soft plastics. When I moved to Calgary everyone seemed to agree that if I wanted to fish in Alberta I’d have to learn to Fly-fish. It was described to me as the finest angling art … a fusion of craftsmanship and sport. They spoke of enlightenment and serenity. To this Northern angler it sounded a little bit like ‘Feng-Shui fishing’.

I’m looking at the White River Fly-rod now and I’m noticing that the reel looks a little like a tire rim. Where is the drag? Where is the bail? I tune back into the conversation and find that Jarett is talking about turning over rocks to see what kind of bugs are beneath it. I laugh at him, thinking it’s a joke, but it isn’t. This is one of the best ways to determine what kind of fly you’re going to use. “I’ve been fishing the bow like this for years. There’s more satisfaction in identifying exactly what the trout are eating and then matching it and catching one,” I start to see the appeal. It must be like the feeling you get when you’re calling for big game and you get an answer. This makes me think that Fly-Fishing is somehow closer to nature. There seems to be less technology standing between the angler and the fish.

 I ask him then about waders. “They’re pretty useful when the water is cold in the spring and fall.” I can’t shake the image of a man wearing waders, flinging his line out, breaking the mist on the water just as the orange sun peaks over the pine tree tops. It’s a powerful image.  It might be from a painting I once saw, but it’s more likely my inner-angler having his interest peaked in fly-fishing. So I finally ask him what he thinks about spinning for trout on the Bow. “I’ve never really been much of a fan of it,” he says then adds jokingly, “It’s sort of a lesser art.”

XPS Lazer Eye Brown Trout Floater and The Rapala Countdown #7 Brown TroutIn talking to guys and ladies in the fishing department here at Bass Pro Calgary, I hear a much different story. “Of course you can spin for trout on the Bow,” Jason Cahoon (Fishing Department Lead) tells me. “You just need a CD07 brown trout Rapala or an XPS Lazer Eye Brown Trout Floater and away you go.”  

I think that a lot of people from out east that come out here are intimidated by the prospect of having to learn to Fly-fish to enjoy the angling experience they so crave. I know I was. But you can take part in the world-class trout fishing we have here in Alberta with the gear you’re most accustomed to using. We have everything you need to get started including opinions on which way is best. Either way we can get you geared up and ready to rip-lip this fishing season here at the store. Just don’t ask us to turn any rocks over, you’re going to have to do that yourself.

Chris Wragg is a lead at Bass Pro Shops Calgary.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SPIN THE BOW

·         Fishing License

o   We sell fishing licenses in our store at the customer service desk.

·         Rod and Reel

o   A good combo rod and reel is really all you need. Make sure that your rod is long enough for extended casts (7Ft+). Look for something in a Medium Light or Light for increased sensitivity.

·         Lures

o   XPS Lazer Eye Brown Trout Floater

o   Rapala Countdown 07 Brown Trout

o   XPS Tournament Series 1/4oz Micro Spin – Brown Trout

o   Mepps Black Fury #2

·         Tools

o   Bass Pro Shop XTS Angler Tool Kit

·         Net

o   White River Dog Canyon Net

·         Tackle Box

o   Bass Pro Shops Tackle Box Trays


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Launch-Ramp Etiquette

By Monte Burch

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In low-water conditions, make sure your tires don't drop off the end of the ramp, sinking into the soft lake bottom. 

At first it was an amazing but funny sight. Then it became serious as we watched the automobile being pulled backwards into the water. The elderly lady was yelling at the top of her lungs and trying to get her car door open while her husband kept gunning the big cruiser in reverse without so much as a glance toward his wife. My fishing buddy and I ran into the water, finally got the husband's attention and the lady out just before the car dropped off the end of the ramp into deep water.   

I've seen a lot of stupid mistakes at boat ramps in my years of boating, and I've made many myself, including the usual forgetting to unhook the boat from the trailer as the couple just mentioned. I also forgot to install the drain plug, and even forgot to hook up the winch and safety chain. The latter resulted in having to re-launch the boat, but I was lucky. I've also seen an expensive fiberglass bass boat sitting "dry docked" in the middle of a boat ramp.

Most pro and weekend bass and walleye tournament anglers are pretty sharp at boat-ramp etiquette, mostly because they have to be. I've watched over 400 boats launched within an hour's time during a Charger Owner's Tournament, and watched the efficiency of ramp "sergeants" at B.A.S.S. Tournaments as well. It's usually when you mix in the less-experienced recreational boaters that problems begin. They park on the end of the ramp, then begin getting their boat ready for the water, hauling stuff down from the parking lot, and in general creating a long line of frustrated boaters. Here's how you can make your day easier, and less of a hassle, as well as other boaters happier.

Pre-Launch Preparation

In the parking lot, before you approach the ramp, or in the case of a long ramp access with a waiting line, begin your pre-launch preparations. First, remove tie-downs securing the boat. Make sure, however, you leave the winch line attached to the bow eye. Install or check and tighten all drain plugs. Check livewell drain positions or plugs. Connect fuel lines, and pump the primer bulb a few times to pressurize the fuel line. Turn the motor key very briefly to check the motor-battery charge, but do not turn the motor on. If it fires immediately, turn it off. If I haven't used my boat for some time I install a water-flush hose attachment to the outboard motor water intake, and turn it on for a minute or two before leaving home, ensuring it will start. Sitting on a boat ramp with a motor that won't start can be extremely frustrating to you and everyone around you.

Move coolers, fishing gear, lifejackets or other equipment you may have in your automobile to your boat. Lay out PFDs and make sure you have enough for all passengers. You may also wish to connect the driver's pfd to the engine kill switch if the lanyard is long enough. If your trailer lights are not waterproof, unplug the wiring harness between the trailer and your tow vehicle. This will prevent damage to your lights and blown fuses. Raise your outboard or stern drive so it won't scrape on the ramp. Next, be sure to tie at least one, and preferably two, docking lines to the boat so that anyone helping you will be able to control the boat after it's launched. This is also helpful in case you're doing the job yourself, enabling you to quickly secure the boat to a floating dock or other temporary tie-up while you park your vehicle. 

Another step that can prevent a lot of headaches is to check out the ramp situation before you pull onto it. How steep is it? Is it algae-covered, slick or dry? Is it smooth or does it have roughened surfaces for traction? Depending on your tow vehicle, all these factors can be extremely important. Determine if there is a dock to tie to after you launch the boat, or will you need to beach and tie to the bank. You should also check out the parking lot, making sure there is space for you to park. Some ramp areas require parking vehicles and trailers in separate areas. 

The Launch

Next to forgetting the drain plug, backing a trailer down the ramp into the water is the single most embarrassing chore for many boaters. Like many other skills, however, it just takes practice. One of the best things you can do is practice, practice and practice some more, in an empty parking lot until you're comfortable backing the boat and trailer. Some ramps are more challenging, to say the least. Some are extremely steep, or have a change of angle where the boat and trailer disappear from view until your tow vehicle drops to the same angle. And some ramps are also multi-lane, which means less space, but make sure you stay in your ramp. 

Some ramps have turn areas at the top. Make sure you don't turn so short you jam the trailer tongue against your vehicle. In the case of square-bow boats such as some aluminums, and on short trailer tongues, you can even put a dent in the back of a utility vehicle with the corner on a tight turn. Regardless, the key to success is to take your time and keep your cool. 

Two methods can be used for launching, without power and with power. How far you need to back into the water depends on the method chosen, steepness of the ramp and water depth. With a little experience you'll quickly learn the best positions on ramps you use frequently. A good rule of thumb is to stop when the step in front of the trailer fender is even with the water level. Then set the parking brake on the vehicle and you're ready to launch.

A properly fitted trailer will allow a boat to launch itself. But be careful on steep ramps because a roller trailer might launch your boat before you're ready. Either have a friend hold the docking line as you back into the water, or secure it to your vehicle or the trailer. It's best to stop, loosen and then unhook the bow eye winch hook just before final entry into the water. One dangerous possibility exists if using the winch rope to launch. If you snap the ratchet mechanism open without a firm grip on the handle, the weight of the boat may pull it back off the trailer quickly, causing the handle to spin rapidly with possible injury. In some cases you may need to give your boat a slight shove to get it moving backwards, but in most instances it's easier to simply back a bit farther into the water. In low-water conditions watch that the ramp doesn't end before the boat floats and your tires drop off into the soft lake bottom. 

Launching a boat by power is usually the choice, particularly if fishing with a partner--one drives the vehicle and the other the boat. You can even do this single-handed on some ramps. I've found my Chevy Suburban allows me to open the back doors, step through the back and onto the boat bow without getting my feet wet. In any case, leave the winch strap attached to the bow eye until you're actually in the boat, then reach over, snap the switch to off and making sure you hold firmly to the handle, loosen the winch enough to unsnap the eye and you're ready to launch. I usually like to start the engine before this step. Make sure you have the engine tilted down, but there's enough water for prop clearance before a power launch. Then apply power slowly and smoothly, just enough to get the boat moving off the trailer. Once the boat is afloat, quickly tie it to the dock and park the trailer, allowing the next person access to the ramp. 

Loading

Loading your boat onto a properly fitted trailer at the end of the day can be a breeze; with an improperly fitted trailer it can be the single most frustrating situation of the day. 

Use common courtesy. Don't park your boat on the ramp while retrieving your tow vehicle. Park at a dock, or beach it off the ramp. Loading is basically a reversal of launching. Again two methods can be used, power or non-power. Trailer position is important in both cases. If using power-on the best tactic is to have the trailer in the water just enough that a little power is needed to get the boat in place. This settles the boat correctly on the bunks. If the trailer is too deep the boat can float side to side and when you pull out the boat may have shifted off center of the trailer. If using powered method, center the boat on the trailer as you enter the bunks. This means approaching upwind or upcurrent in those conditions. Use steady but low power for a constant forward motion if possible and you're not approaching too fast. Shifting out of gear lessens your steering ability, often causing the boat to twist or turn on the approach. Make sure there is enough water for prop clearance, and use as little power as possible to move the boat bow eye up to the winch stand. Too much power can cause damage to the winch stand and boat eye, as well as cause erosion at the end of the ramp.. 

Launching and loading a boat can be a simple chore with a little preparation and practice. It can not only make your fishing day more pleasant, but also more pleasant for those around you as well. 

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