Goin' Cattin'

Big Catfish are waiting!  Mr. James Wiggins and his fishing partner, Bill Hart of 15 years from Cookeville Texas, have living proof!  They mainly fish Lake Tawakoni with excellent results with these monster cats!  They have only been fishing Tawakoni for the past 3 years, but state that other lakes such as lake Texarkana, Bob Sandlin and lake Cypress also have their share of these monsters!

James has a 22' Lowes aluminum boat set up just for catching catfish.  They have 14 Driftmaster pole holders surrounding the boat with plenty of room to land the big ones.  He preferred Bass Pro Shop Catmaxx 7'6" rods suited with Abu Garcia 6500 and 7000 Level wind bait cast reels.  He states that you need this type of set-up to catch the monsters, smaller rods and reels sometimes fall short when trying to land the bigger ones.  He also prefers 80 lb. pro braided line with a 9/0 double trouble circle hooks.  The Santine Cooper rig is the set up to catch the bigger ones because of its ability to not hang up easily.  He says that he can drag this rig across brush without hanging, this is very important.

All species of catfish are in our lakes, but they prefer to catch blue catfish because they grow to be the biggest.  James and Bill only do this for fun and are very conservation-minded by releasing all they catch.  The blue catfish takes 7 years of growth before they become fertile.  James states that we must throw the fish back to conserve our resources and keep the bigger fertile catfish in the lake.

To catch these bruiser catfish, they like to drift, but will tie up on occasions when they locate a big school.  With many fish coming from 15-25 ft. of water, James says that when you catch fish that deep that it is a must to release the pressure from their swim bladders.  They do this by inserting a piece of tube down their throats to release this pressure so the fish can swim back to the bottom of the lake.  After water temperatures get to 70-78 degrees, they find the fish go shallow to spawn.  To locate these fish, electronics are important.  You must have a plan before going to the lake, and always stay with your plan.  This will help you learn how to find the fish quicker and be more consistent in catching.

The bait they use is cut shad.  Cast nets are the best way to catch the shad.  For the beginner, the smaller radius nets 4' monofilament are the easiest to throw and manage.  There is some practice needed to learn how to throw a perfect circle with the net to achieve the maximum catching ability  of the net.  When the shad are caught, they are cut into pieces to fish with, the head portion being the best choice.  Also, use your favorite fish attractant.  This will enhance the bait.  Then it's just a matter of holding on to one of these monsters, which is a suitable challenge for any angler.


We hope these tips will help you in catching a big catfish and maybe a fish of a lifetime.  Always wear your life jacket and practice safety at all times.  If we practice safety in front of our children, our children will learn how to be safe and enjoy the great sport of fishing for the rest of their lifetimes!


Tips & Tricks for Bow Fishing from the Pro’s

When shooting larger Carp, always have someone with another bow for a backup shot, or at least a gaff. Most large fish are lost at the boat. Connor Hankinson

Know your bow! Aiming low is a rule of thumb, but for longer shots you will need to compensate for the trajectory of your arrow (how far it drops). This is different for every bow. Jonah Powell - River Bottom Outdoors


When shooting grass carp, aim behind the gills because there is a rock hard plate that covers their head, you have a much better chance of full penetration if you don't shoot this. Tyler Gerber -back country bow fishing

When you go bow fishing, take a friend or someone new to the sport. Your friend can back you up on a second shot if you miss or shoot the second fish. They love to travel together in schools. If you can't get your friend to go, take a person that is curious about the sport. It is a great way to make our sport grow and it is always more fun with others. - Dan Swearingin

You really can't aim low enough, especially if shooting in Deep waters. -- Austin Armstrong, Sand Lake MI

When shooting catfish, the best time is at night in between sunset till about one in the morning. -- Justin Dillon Lexington, SC

If you shoot a fish and it bleeds a lot go back to that spot later and there may be gar or bowfin that were attracted to the scent. - Austin Armstrong, Sand Lake, MI

Make sure you use the right point for the fish you're going after. This was a lesson I learned quickly when I lost a nice size Gar because I was using a Ray point. He spun and released the barbs. - Leo, S. Louisiana

I do a lot of shooting in deep water situations, and I have found that using an arrow point with barbs that fold down very close to the arrow shaft causes the arrow to move straighter in the water for those shots over a foot deep or so. - Brian

When shooting spawning carp, the Females are usually the larger in a small group and the males will chase her, shoot the largest in the group and don’t pull her out of the water. Let it settle down and your partners will shoot the rest of the remaining males because they won’t leave her. --Tyler

Don't bow fish on a very windy day. It’s almost impossible to see fish. - Rod

Do not over fish one spot; it will stay a good spot if you do not over fish it. - Rod

If legal in your area, chum with corn, bread, and dog food as much as possible to keep large amounts of carp in one area. - Rod

At night, walk along irrigation ditches with a spotlight. You'll be surprised at how many fish there are. - Rod


Sometimes a fish can be just a slight discoloration in the water. - Austin, Sand Lake, MI

When fishing freshwater dogfish, just look for their fins. They do the wave. - Austin, Sand Lake, MI

When shooting anything from a boat make sure to use a gaff, easiest way i have found to get fish in the boat. ~ Zach Clausing WI

The best way to fish is at night time. You don't really have to worry about shadows and with a good spotlight you can find the fish more easily than they can find you. - Daniel Ballard

I have found that toward dusk or dawn you get a bad glare on the water and to help with the glare buy a nice pair of polarized sunglasses -- Aaron Black, Onsted MI

When bow fishing Southern Louisiana marshes, bring a big ice chest. --- Matt Weber, N.O., La

When bow fishing for big grass carp or anything big for that matter, DO NOT grab the line when the fish makes the first run. I learned that today....9 stitches going up my finger!!! - Michael

When bow fishing off of a dock or off of the bank, put some corn 3-4 feet out in the water and huge amounts of carp and buffalo will come. -- Chance Tuder

A tip for muddy water carp slayers: When going for buglemouths in mud-bottomed waters, keep a close eye for fins sticking out of the mud, as carp will often bury themselves in it when spooked, only to be revealed with a loud thrashing as you go by them in the boat. -- Andy "Carp Slayer" Waltman, Little Falls, MN

Learn How to make boilies, those carp baits used by carp fisherman. Drop them near a likely carp spot; they're great because most other fish ignore them. They are a carp magnet! - Bill Young

While shooting carp from the bank, move very slowly and look for the top outline of the fish in the water. It helps if you have polarized sunglasses. -Jared McCreary Durant

OK When fishing in deeper water for buffalo and you see the bubbles coming from the bottom where they are feeding. Try waiting for a minute or so before moving on, often he fish will feed for a few minutes and then rise and move over a few feet to a new place to feed. When they rise to move this will offer you a shot on them. Often times the bigger and faster the bubbles rise the bigger the fish will be. -- Mike Tubbs, Mississippi

Put a loaf of bread in a minnow trap and throw it within shooting distance. Tie it in place with a rope so it does not float off. Carp will come up and suck on the minnow trap allowing for an easy shot. (Put a rock in the bottom of the minnow trap so it does not roll around on the bottom) --- Chad

Look in shallow swamps connected to lakes about 5" to 10" of water with fallen trees and cattails I have found carp a month after ice out going to the shallows ---Aaron Black, MI

On hot days when you are not seeing any carp look under logs and brush piles. ----Luke, Minnesota

To get an easy shot on carp, put dog food in a metal minnow bucket (the ones with holes in the sides), and put it in the water. You can either let it drift or tie it to a tree or other cover sticking out of the water. The carp will come up and suck the dog food out of the bucket, allowing for an easy shot. ----Rusty Nace

We will drift from 50 or 60 yards out into the shallows, between two groups of carp while they are rolling. Some of them will get curious and move from one group to the other. Be patient, and watch both sides of the boat. If you miss a shot stay there and wait you will get another shot. I've shot at the same carp three times before connecting. - Jason

Often times when you shoot and miss a carp they will spook, but many times they make a circle and return to the same spot, as if curious as to what caused the commotion. If you do not disturb the shot arrow, your partner will get a shot at the same fish. They are on high alert then, so be ready for a fast shot. — Dick Bassetti

If carp are gathered in a submerged tree and you can't get a clear shot, then throw a few stones several feet away from the tree. Carp are curious and the bigger ones tend to investigate allowing an easier shot! — Timothy Fynn

When bow fishing in creeks or rivers, concentrate your efforts on deadfalls and other obstructions, as carp will consistently gather to feed on what builds up in front of the blockage. — John Alan Caddell


When hunting carp in shallows, keep your shadow off the water. It will spook the fish. — Michael If you put the big fish on a stringer and let them swim alongside the boat, other fish will come and swim next to them, allowing for an easy shot.— Jeff Hogue, Omaha, Ne

When bow fishing for carp, you will usually find them in warm, shallow water around bushes, rocks and any other cover. — Joey

Look for carp in cattails at any time of the year. — Jeff, Stratford, WI

On Lake Michigan, carp will feed on seagull droppings. — Jeff, Stratford, WI

After shooting a large grass carp, don't put pressure on the line. They will sometimes stop after running a short distance, allowing you to get another arrow into it to ensure it doesn't get off. — Jeff, Stratford, WI

When shooting carp in rivers (from the bank) draw your bow before you get to the water allowing you to get a quick shot off before the carp spook off. — Morgan Longshore

After a successful hit on a carp, push the arrow down into the sand (or mud). With one hand on top of the arrow, dip the other hand into the water and grab the bottom of the arrow so your fish won't slide off! This only happened to me as a youngster!-live and learn. — Joe Roe

If you see a decent amount of carp holding in one spot, chances are they feed that area consistently. Even if they don't show themselves the minute you arrive, give it time. Hot spots and patience are the keys to successful bow fishing. — Dominic Coville

When wading for drum in creeks don't be afraid to chase a fish down, They tend to take off fast and slow down just as fast (unlike carp) making it possible to get in close for a shot. — Christian Goodpaster, Southern Indiana Bow fishing

Anytime bow fishing in shallow creeks look for pools; they may be only 3-5 inches deep in some cases, but these "holes" gather fish from shallower water and provide holding areas. — Christian Goodpaster, Southern Indiana Bow fishing

When shooting fish coming directly at you, shoot just below the mouth of the fish and you will hit just behind the head. — Michelle Moskala

When you think you’ve aimed low enough, aim lower and keep one sight pin on your bow for surfacing fish and turtles. .It’s a lot easier. --Wrightson, Christopher

I use a slightly modified quick shot whisker biscuit on my bow fishing rig. I coated the bottom bristles with a spray adhesive to stiffen them up. This allows for quicker shots because I don't have to worry about my arrow falling off. — Cody, Pinckneyville IL

Shoot a bit lower than where you want to hit, since water will make the fish seem higher than it is. — Josh De Guzman

If a fish is quartering towards you, wait for a broadside shot. — Thomas Aim low and let go!!!!!!! — Rick, Stevens Point, WI

When shooting off of large culverts, wait for the fish to get almost inside of the culvert and then shoot, giving you a perfect straight down shot. — Justin Marc Pelzer

Be careful on long shots in lily pads. Your arrow may skip on the lily pads. — Aaron Black

If you lose an arrow in a fish, keep your eyes peeled. My cousin and I lost 3 arrows one day and shot those 3 fish the next day and got our arrows back. — John VanDusen

When bow fishing from shore or boat, don't shoot the first fish you see. Learn the patterns that the fish are swimming if possible before sending that first arrow. Whether you score or miss, you will now know where to look for the next rising fish. Fish are very predictable. Once you find a hotspot, always a hotspot as long as they aren't disturbed. — Dan Swearingin

When fishing for gar, try using a container filled with blood to attract them where legal. -- Susan

When river fishing, look for gator gar in a deep hole by creek inlets.—Jeff, Stratford, WI

When you see a couple of big gar rolling throw four or five dead buffalo or carp around the anchored boat. Be quiet and still. The gar will mosey on up giving you an easy shot. If that does not work (which it will) throw some jug line out with a big chunk of buffalo on it about a foot deep from the jug anchor with a 1oz weight when the gar hooks on follow the gar and take as many shot as you like. Jay -- Palestine, TX

To have a more durable arrow, you can insert a fiberglass arrow into a 2213 aluminum shaft.—Tim, Georgetown, TX

If you lose an arrow in a creek or river bank or brush, come back when the water is low and get your arrow back. If you lose an arrow in the water, don't dive in after it unless it's your last one! It's not worth it, I know from experience. — Tyler Krukar

Keep a marker to throw if your arrow breaks off, it makes them much easier to find. — Kelby Scott

To get rid of the fish smell on your hands, take some toothpaste or a citrus soda like Mountain Dew and clean those smelly hands. It works great.—Tim, Georgetown, TX

When fishing with a trolling motor, set it as low as possible and drift into the school of fish, don't make any sudden movements and wear polarized sunglasses.—Scott

When shooting carp from a boat, make sure you put the plug in the back or it will sink, I speak from experience. —Scott


Local Fishing Report 3/23 to 3/29/2014

The river was at 5.2ft at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 4.7ft with 27,400CF of flow and 41 degrees.

Trip #1 was a PM Channel Cat trip on Thursday and we caught 15.  The largest was 28.75" and weighed 6.27lbs.  We caught them all on Sudden Impact.  We had constant action but could not hook them because of the extreme south wind.  We had 4.9ft-32,900CF- falling-clear and 39-58 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.30 and falling.

Trip #2 were 3 full day bass trips on Friday and we averaged 30 Bass per boat and we caught 4 Walleye and 1 Musky that was 35".  The largest Bass was 19.25".  We caught them on jig/plastic, stickbaits, and hair jigs.  We had 4.7ft-28,300CF-falling-clear and 41-43 degrees.  the barometric pressure was 29.90 and steady.

Trip #3 were 2 full day Bass trips and we averaged 32 Bass per boat and we had 7 Walleye.  The largest Bass was 20.25" and the largest walleye was 25".  We caught them on jigs/plastics,hair jigs,stickbaits,and jigging spoons. We had 4.7ft-27,400CF-rising-stained and 40-41 degrees.  The barometric pressure was 29.90 and falling.  The bite was very soft and hard to detect.  We had extreme wind and rain.

Trip #4 was a full day Musky trip and we caught 5, lost one, and had another follow.  This was our best trip of the season.  The largest was 40" and the smallest was 27".  We caught them all on stickbaits.  This is probably the last trip of the season for Musky.  We will start back up around the 3rd week of October.  We had 4.7ft-27,400CF-rising-stained and 40-41 degrees.  The barometric pressure was 29.90 and falling.

In general, Bass, Catfish, and Musky fishing has been very good under some very difficult conditions.  WE canceled our trips for a few days due to the river being high and muddy.


Local Fishing Report 3/16/14 to 3/22/2014

The river was at 8.8ft at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 5.2ft with 38,400CF of flow and 48 degrees.

Trip #1 was on Monday afternoon and we fished from 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM and we caught 15 bass.  The largest bass was 19.5".  We caught them on hair jigs and jigs with soft plastics.  We had 7.2ft - 74,200CF - falling - stained and 39 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.85 and steady.

Trip #2 was on Tuesday and we fished from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and we caught 20 channel cats.  The largest was 23.5" and we kept 3 to put in the tank at Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg.  We caught them all on Team Catfish Sudden Impact.  We had 6.5ft - 66,700CF - falling - stained and 52 degrees.  The barometric pressure was 30.00 and steady.

Trip #3 was a half day channel cat trip and we caught 20+ channel cats.  The largest was 24" and weighed 5.5lbs. and is an Angler Award fish.  We caught them all on Team Catfish Sudden Impact.  We had 5.8ft - 52,500CF - falling - muddy and 59 degrees.  The barometric pressure was 29.80 and steady.

Trip #4 was a half day trip on Friday and we had 22 bass and we caught one Musky.  The largest bass was 20.75" and weighed 4.4lbs.  We caught them on YUM Dingers, craw papis, hair jigs, stickbaits, and minnows.  We had 5.3ft - 42,000CF - falling - clear and 44 degrees.  The barometric pressure was 29.80 and steady

Trip #5 was a a full day musky/smallmouth trip and we caught 15 smallmouths.  We had 5.3ft - 42,300CF - falling - clear and 44 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of -29.00

Trip #6 was a half day trip on Saturday and we caught 20+ bass and the largest was 19".  We caught them on stickbaits, jigs/plastics, hair jigs, and minnows.  We had 5.2ft - 39,400CF - falling - clear and 46 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 26.00 and rising.

Trip #7 was a half day trip on Saturday and we caught 12 channel cats, 1 bass, and 1 fall fish.  The largest channel cat was 26.5" and weighed 6.11lbs.  We caught them all on Sudden Impact.  We had 5.2ft - 39,400CF - falling - clear and 58 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 26.00 and rising.  It was extremely windy and they had a hard time hooking the fish.

In general bass, catfish, and musky fishing is getting better by the week.  Team Catfish picked one of our videos and they edited it and put it on their you tube channel.   You can see the edited version by going to the Team Catfish web site and then click the button for videos and watch the video on Susquehanna River Channel Cats.


American Shad Season 2014 On The St. Johns River

Shad Fishing the St. Johns RiverShad season is hitting its stride right about now and fishermen are doing pretty well when they can find the fish.  I've caught a few very nice ones but the season seems to have taken a strange turn by having peaked a bit earlier than expected and while the fishing quality is still there, the quantities aren't what we've come to expect after the last few seasons.  There are some that call shad "Florida's Salmon" which means anyone who likes to catch strong, migratory species needs to give it a try at the very least. 

On the brighter side, we've had the opportunity to introduce some new folks to the joys of fishing the St. Johns River at this time of year and the wonderful variety that's possible.  I had a chance to share with a customer and now friend a couple days ago and he's surely to venture back on his own given the success he found along this wonderful waterway.  John and I meandered along the straights and bends of the river for a few hours this past week and learned a few things about the waterway and each other, which makes time on the water that much more enjoyable.  We chatted about all things fishy, from flies and rods to the places we have been fortunate enough to visit.  He's a budding "big water" fly fisherman, so casting at a distance is still somewhat of a challenge, but he stuck with it and landed some wonderful fish, including a beautiful hybbrid striped bass (albeit on a spinning rod), and an enormous american shad.  Beginner's luck must have had something to do with it.  Either way, we had a great time and I expect to spend more time together on the fresh and salt water.

John's Big American ShadMy favorite thing about shad season is the variety of fish species available if you just take some time away from casting for the main target.  Bluegill, warmouth, crappie, bass, hybrids, catfish, and many others are possible if you just take a little time to get out of the main channel and explore the out of the way spots.  Scott absolutely blasted a reed line full of crappie just to prove he could catch fish better than me a couple weeks ago.  I didn't stick around to watch the fun, but I could hear him yelling "FISH ONNNN!" from quite a ways away.

Kayaking across this section of river is a very enjoyable way to venture around, especially if you want to take your time and fish as you go.  Every sand bar and channel potentially holds fish, so stopping regularly to ply the water is recommended if you expect success and are willing to take whatever happens your way.  With so many types of cover and water structure available a kayak allows you the luxury of stealth and being able to get close.  You also get a chance at some exercise.

This season has been a little tougher than the last couple but it has proven to be a succesfull one anyway.  We've all caught some nice fish, making the effort well worth the rewards and I can gaurantee we'll all be back next year for another go during shad season 2015   

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando 



"Slough-Gills" plentiful at J.C. Murphy Lake

J.C. Murphy Lake, also known as Willow Slough, has always been one of the premier ice fishing hot spots in the region. Known for its massive redear sunfish and bluegills, dubbed “Slough-Gills,” the shallow reservoir is among the first to freeze in the area and attracts thousands of anglers each ice fishing season.

Try wax worms or colored spikes on a small #14 ice jig for bluegills. Tip ups can be set out with minnows for bass also. Anglers also catch the occasional catfish or northern pike through the ice as well. The lake has a channel that runs through it, with depths down to 6-8 ft deep. Both the channel and the cat tails are being fished with excellent results, but the entire lake boasts plentiful quality bluegills and is worth the trip. Take a few buddies with to compensate for the 25 fish limit on bluegills and sunfish.

Current ice for the week of Jan 20 is anywhere between 8”-12” thick.

For updated ice reports call The Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Center at 219 285-2704. Stop by Bass Pro and see an associate to get set up for your next ice fishing trip. We’re still stocked up on ice jigs, combos, shelters, augers, and much more!

Good luck and tight lines!


Rustic-Esque Recipes: Catfish

There is something to be said about simple Southern cooking… the word would be delicious. Some many times will you go to some new fangled restaurant and they have to have some specialty flair to every dish. Mac and Cheese with eight different cheese from Europe or a half of chicken that has more seasonings on it than a kitchen has in it! Enough! Sometimes the simpler things are all that we really want. In that respect, Rocky has decided to share his favorite and easiest way to make the bottom-dwelling delight: Catfish!

Oh and of course Rocky prefers peaNUT oil for when he is frying!


·         4-6 catfish fillets, about 1-2 pounds

·         1 cup milk or buttermilk

·         Salt

·         3/4 cup fine cornmeal

·         1/2 cup flour

·         1 teaspoon garlic powder

·         1 teaspoon black pepper

·         1 teaspoon paprika

·         1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Using whatever preferred oil, fill up a heavy friyng pan with ½” of oil. Turn the heat to Med-High. You will want the oil to be at about 350°F when cooking the catfish.

Soak catfish in milk/buttermilk while oil is heating.

Mix cornmeal, flour and spices together.

Once oil is ready, cover catfish with the breading mix. Make sure to get rid of any excess breading.

Lay one side down for 2-4 minutes (depending on thickness) so it is golden brown. Then flip it and cook the other side in the same manner.

Serve with some tartar sauce and your choice of sides. (Coleslaw never hurt anyone… just saying.) Keep reading for a couple extra tips from Rocky!

I’d shore like to grease my chin with a two pound steak! Giddy-Up!!

Two Tricks:

One- Use the Better Breader to help get those catfish just right!

Two- Place catfish in oven after frying to help crisp the fish up. (200°F)

Other Recipes:









Smokin' In Cincy : Smoked Cajun Swai Fillets

Cincy Smokin’ Guy here again, bringing you my first venture into the backyard in 2014 to cook up something yummy. The “deep-freeze of ‘14” set me back here for a few days, but I was able to dig out the smoker and get busy last night. In spite a dusting of wet snow and my first venture into smoking fish, we were able to come up with a seriously tasty treat !!  Here’s how it went:

Just ahead of the “freeze-in”, I was able to dodge all of the folks hording all the milk and toilet paper they could jam in their carts and found some frozen swai fillets on sale at Kroger’s. If you have never heard of swai, don’t feel bad; until last summer I didn’t know what it was either. It’s an Asian/Taiwanese catfish, sometimes called Basa, and it’s cheaper than our catfish here. In fact, doing some research I found that many restaurants use this in place of catfish on their menu because it’s less expensive. It doesn’t have much of a fishy taste, which made it perfect for smoking.

So, I have my swai, thawed it out in the fridge, and decided that the weather was not going to stop me from trying to make a delicious smoky morsel out of this fish. Brined the fish for about an hour then I fired up the smoker. I only had Apple Chips and Apple Juice at the house, so apple flavored smoke it was !!

While the smoker was heating, I got the racks ready by applying cooking oil to the grates. I use a butter spray, but it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you make it so the fish doesn’t stick to the rack. I also use my stove top as a prep table, so I put old newspaper down which is easily thrown away and keeps the mess to a minimum. I then placed the fillets skin side down and lightly brushed olive oil on each fillet then lightly sprinkled Old Bay fish seasoning to that side. Flipped the fillets over and after brushing olive oil on that side I generously applied a Cajun-based rub and let the fish sit until the smoker was ready.

Smoked Swai Prep

I had 9 small fillets, so I used the top two racks and set the smoker for 225 degrees. I checked on them at around 40 minutes and they weren’t quite done (internal temperature was at 135 and the fillets weren’t “flaky” yet”. Checked back at about 1 hour and they looked perfect, internal temp was between 145 and 150, so I got them out of there. They turned out amazing !!! You definitely want to try this one soon.

 Smoked Swai


Swai fillets, thawed

Brine: 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 1/2 gallon water - place all in pot and bring to a boil, let cool (or add ice to speed up the process) and pour over fillets, adding water if needed until they are completely submerged

Cajun Seasoning: 3/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup ground cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp. ground white pepper, 2 tbsp. ground black pepper, 2 tbsp. paprika, 2 tbsp. onion powder, 2 tbsp. garlic powder - mix all in jar or bowl

Old Bay Seasoning

Olive Oil

Oil or spray oil for racks

Apple wood chips

Apple juice


Winter Fishing Report

By: Captain Jon Fetter

Captain Jon Fetter doing what he does best!


This past week the fishing really picked up in the backbay. The redfish bite was really good with incoming water around the grass flats with nearby oyster bars. The fish are moving on and off the oysters with the tides and will take cut bait soaking on the bottom. Cut ladyfish on 2/0 circle hooks was the bait of choice. Patience is the key to fishing cut baits as it can take a while for the scent to attract the reds. Set-up with the tidal flow and put out at least three rods to increase your chances. Anglers should stay closer to the oyster bars on high tides and move away as the tide recedes. There has also been a decent red bite along the mangrove islands on high water with shrimp tipped jig heads the go-to method. The sheepshead bite has also picked up around the oyster bars and any blow down near the mangrove islands. 1/0 circle hooks with #3 split shot will work fine, and remember to just use enough shrimp to cover the hook. Anglers will also pick up mangrove snapper with this method. The sea trout bite should start as the water temps decrease over the grass flats in 2-4 feet of water, with Shrimp under a popping cork the best way to locate and catch them. You will also pick up ladyfish, catfish, and a few bonnethead sharks with this set-up.


Gearing Up For Chistmas


Well Xmas is quickly approaching so it is time to get that list ready for Santa. There are plenty of new items out there worth looking at. Rods, reels, and various tackle are always appealing, but this year I am looking at fillet knives. The Bubba Blade is the one that stands out to me. Great blade with a comfortable handle makes a great combination for hours of fish cleaning. They are rather costly, but it will last and hold an edge for a long time which makes it the perfect gift for the angler that has everything. Make sure to put this on your list for this year and hopefully you have not been naughty and Santa will make the stop at your house and drop one off. Leave plenty of cookies and milk for the guy, he always appreciates good grub. Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!!


Captain Jon Fetter works in our very own fishing department in Ft. Myers, FL., and has been known to be a reservoir of knowledge in all things fishing related. Please stop by his very helpful page if you would like to learn more at www.catchfishnow.com


Local fishing report 10/13 to 10/19/2013

The river was at 3.5ft at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.2ft with 5,100CF of flow and 78 degrees.

Trip #1 was a half day AM bass trip and we caught 10 bass.  The largest was 18" and we caught them on top water lures and tubes.  We had 3.3ft-6,400CF-steady-clear and 70 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 28.50 and rising.

Trip #2 was a 4 hour PM catfish trip on Tuesday and we caught 11 flatheads and 1 channel cat.  The largest flathead was 19.4lbs and the channel cat was 26.5".  These are both angler award fish and we caught them all on live bait.  We had 3.3ft-6,100CF-steady-clear and 74 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.85 and steady.

Trip #3 was a half day bass trip on Wednesday and we caught 12 smallmouth and 3 stripers.  The largest smallie was 17" and the largest striper was 19".  We caught them on spinnerbaits and jigs.  We had 3.3ft-steady-5,400CF-clear and 72 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.00 and steady.

Trip #4 was a combination PM trip and we caught 50+ sunfish, 3 rock bass, 2 largemouth bass, 4 smallmouth bass, 2 chubs and 2 flatheads.  The largest flathead was 7.4lbs. we had 3.2ft-steady-5,400CF-clear and 75 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.95 and falling.

Trip #5 was a half day bass trip on Friday and we caught 20+ bass and 1 fallfish.  The largest bass was 19.5".  We caught them on top water and jigs.  We had 3.2ft-steady-5,200CF-clear and 76 degrees.   We had a barometric pressure of 29.85 and steady.

Trip #6 was a night trip for catfish and we caught 17 flatheads.  The largest 7.4lbs. and we caught them all on live bait.  We had 3.2ft-5,100CF-steady-clear and 78 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.85 and steady.



Fish Feeding Frenzy and The Fish Guy!

Meet Jason McCoy or what most people call him as  "The Fish Guy."  Jason is our biologist who takes care of all our fish in our 18,000 gallon  fish tank.  Jason knows fish.  He can answer just about any question you may have.  Jason has been with us since we opened in 2004.   With Jason comes his partner and who he calls his boss  "Jack".  Jack is half cairn terrier and half shih tzu.  Everyone of our associates welcome Jack each and every time he comes in.

Jason not only feeds our fish but is their crusader.  He takes care of them when they are sick.  He introduces new fish into the tank, as well as cares for fish who have been donated to us until they are ready to be put into the tank.   Jason also maintains our Utica store.  Jason takes care of  private companies, doctors offices, law offices, and more.

Jason does not just feed the fish, he also keeps the tank in good condition.  Every week he backwashes the tank's filter to clean it.  Jason puts on scuba gear and gets inside the tank to scrub and power wash the rocks and gravel.  He then vacuums to clear the debris.  Jason feeds our fish 10-12 meals a week.

The tank needs to be around 58 degrees and is filled with Auburn water.  The only chemical used is a chlorine neutralizer.

We do public feedings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12 noon.  Saturdays are the day we get up on the tank during the feedings  and talk a little about what Jason is doing and a little about the store.  Once he arrives, the fish just know its feeding time and they start moving around.  They eat the food immediately.  When a fish is not aggressive enought to eat,  Jason never forgets them. Jason puts a long narrow plastic tube in and drops food from the top of the tank and it comes out near those fish who dont fight for their dinner.  Jason uses both natural and artificial food.  A few examples of food are pellets, earth worms, crayfish, minnows and other small fish.

What fish do we currently have in the tank?  Well stop on by and see if you can find the following:

Large and Small Mouth Bass

Rock Bass

Blue Gill

Sun Fish

Black Crappie

Tiger Muskie

Brown Trout

Rainbow Trout

White Bass

Yellow Perch

Channel Catfish

Freshwater Drum

Common Carp

Every day is a fun exciting one at Bass Pro Shop.  So bring the family by and watch Jason do his magic.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

fish guy













Fishing and Fitness

I feel the level of fitness required for the sport of fishing depends on the type of fishing you will be doing. It is obvious that if you plan to sit on a bucket and cast out a bobber with a worm on the end of your line, the level of fitness needed will be very minimal. The challenging part of the trip will be lugging your equipment from the car to the bank of the lake or stream. Even if you break a sweat on the way to your secret spot on the lake, a cold one can be pulled out of the bucket to bring your comfort level back to normal. By all means, there is nothing wrong with this style of fishing. If nothing else it will get you out of the house for the day. I don't know of a more effective way to catch a catfish than to sink a bait to the bottom of your favorite fishing hole, and wait for a bite (Catfish Basics). This is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a tough day working at Bass Pro Shops. I wade out and cast a treble hook full of Sudden Impact into the river. It's never long until a nice sized channel catfish finds the end of my line, and all the frustrations from the day have vanished.

On the other hand, it can be a lot of work to catch a fish. Let me start with trout fishing. It is common for me to travel one or two miles of water during my quest to land a trout. Include walking while wearing a pair of White River waders (Buying Fly-Fishing Waders), and you will have earned yourself quite a workout. Don't forget, as you work your way upstream, it will be the same distance back to where you have parked your vehicle. Often I will hike a the beginning of my trip when I am feeling fresh. Since most of my trout angling is done in the evening hours, a difficult stroll in the dark is avoided by fishing my way back to the truck. If this is your method of fishing I recommend that you at least maintain an active lifestyle. There is no need to train to the point of finishing the Boston Marathon, but you should be able to hoof it a few miles at a comfortable pace. There is however one thing you should keep in mind. At an increased level of fitness, more enjoyment will be received from this type of fishing.

Donegal Creek

Donegal Creek always provides me with a beautiful, but challenging hike.

In my observations, wading for bass requires a bit more fitness for several reasons. You expend more energy during the fishing process. Burn a spinnerbait for a couple hours and you add a new element to your angling experience. When targeting trout, unless I am out with my sons, you will find me fly fishing. Although it looks tiring, it's really very easy if you allow the rod to do most of the work for you. Conventional trout fishing gear is small and light weight requiring little effort in casting and retrieving a lure. Throw some musky lures and you will earn a new respect for large tackle. Second, as you navigate a large river, the water is deeper and the current is much faster than your typical trout stream. More strength is needed to keep your footing. Our Susquehanna River is a mile at its widest point. It is easy to lose track of how far you have traveled and the time it took you to get there. Your trek back to shore can be a workout in itself. If night has arrived, it could also be very dangerous. One advantage is that there is no need for wearing those awkward waders. It is a great way to cool off during the hot summer months. Lastly, there is a need to cover more water when trying to locate fish resulting in the use of more energy. It is a huge factor while fly fishing for bass. Long casts with heavy streamers equals lots of work. Consider the stripping motion needed to retrieve your fly and you can count on a good nights sleep and sore muscles in the morning.

Conestoga River smallmouth from a kayak.Fishing a lake or river from a boat does not require the effort that it takes to wade. In this case endurance is the key to being successfull. Consecutive casts have to be maintained over a long period of time. While participating in a tournament you also have to keep up a high level of intensity and concentration that can become mentally exhausting. It is common to fish eight hours during an event so you may want to consider some light workouts to strengthen your abilities. The amount of your training should match the goals set for your fishing. In other words, you get out of it what you put into it. One thing that is often underestimated is getting the boat in and out of the water. Again, you don't have to be a world class athlete, but the more agile you are the easier this task will be. My favorite bass fishing comes from one of my three Ascend kayaks. They can be difficult to load and unload onto the vehicle, especially if you are alone. Most of your exercise will come from navigating a lake. I prefer to fish rivers but they consist of mostly floating and very little paddling. One negative to kayaking moving water is you need a drop off and a pick up automobile. If I get the urge to float a river by myself I head for the larger water. I'll look for a long stretch without rapids enabling me to get up river and drift my way back to my put-in spot. Rowing at the beginning is always my chosen method. There is nothing worse than having to load a kayak onto my truck after a long paddle

The fitness app I use tells me if you fish four hours while wearing waders, 2,368 calories will be burned. Standing on a boat four hours will take off 1,381. Even sitting on a bucket casting a worm and a bobber a total of four hours will get rid of 987. Running a mile at a ten minute pace will burn 164. I'm sure there is no need to mention my preferred method of burning calories. Know your body's limits. No one knows them better than you. If there is any doubt how much you can handle, see your physician for his or her approval. Ask yourself what level of fishing you want to achieve, then make strides to get there. If exercise is your method of choice, pick a program that you enjoy. If you like what you are doing there will be a greater chance of sticking with it. I am no tournament angler but I love to fish. Whether I am here working at Bass Pro Shops or playing catch in the backyard with my two sons, I try and live an active lifestyle. That is enough activity to meet my fishing needs. The most important advice I can give you is to go fishing. The best way to get into fishing shape is to fish.

Go Fish!

Troy Caslow

Troy Caslow



Saltwater Drop Shot Rig Fishing

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Martino


A 94-year-old angler has another great fish story to tell

By Lee Williams       


Moses Lopez spent his early days hunting with a slingshot.

He mostly bagged rabbits and squirrels and was handy with a rod and reel as well.

“I’d tag along with my brother,” Lopez said. “That’s where I learned to hunt and fish.”

It was during the Depression in the 1930s, and Lopez lived in Winnie just east of Galveston Bay with his mother, four brothers and two sisters. Besides hunting and fishing, he found odd jobs and worked in the fields, planting and harvesting crops, doing whatever he could to help out.

“My father had passed away when I was 12,” Lopez said, “and we had a family to feed.”

Now a spry 94 years old, Lopez doesn’t hunt anymore — “that’s too much work” — but he still loves to fish.

“I’ll fish whenever I can find someone to go with me,” Lopez said.

He’s put away a few stories over 80-plus years of dropping lines, but few rival the one that he told a couple of weeks ago.

Fishing Aug. 22 with grandson Nicholas Griffin near Harbor One Marina at Eagle Mountain Lake Lopez said it had been an uneventful day as he cast his line toward the docks.

He felt a little tug, but then the line held.

“I thought it was stuck on a stump,” Lopez said, “but then it took off. It was fast.”

The black bass was a fighter and shot out of the water, giving them a glimpse of its size.

“He was big,” Lopez said. “Both me and my grandson knew that. He said, ‘That’s a big fish!’”

As he maneuvered the fish near the boat, it spit out the Bandit lure — but Nicholas had a net in position and grabbed the largemouth.

“He was so big you could put your fist in his mouth,” Lopez later told his son, Ray Lopez.

Lopez had an electronic scale, but the batteries were low, so after measuring it — 231/2 inches long — and taking a few photos, he turned to Nicholas.

“That was a thrill, but it’s time to turn him loose,” Lopez said.

“I figure it was about 91/2 or 10 pounds,” Lopez said. “That’s the biggest fish I’ve caught that wasn’t a striper or catfish.”

‘I’ve always loved fishing’

After Ray Lopez told his father that the record for a black bass at Eagle Mountain Lake was 11.65 pounds, Lopez suggested that he might have turned loose a trophy.

“I guess I’ll have to go back out there and catch him again,” Lopez told his son. “After all, I know where he lives.”


Local Fishing Report 8/18 to 8/24 2013

The river was at 3.7ft. at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.5ft. with 8,200CF of flow and 81 degrees.

Trip #1 was on Tuesday and we fished from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM and we caught 20+ bass.  The largest was 18".  We caught them on spinnerbaits, soft plastics, and top water.  We had 3.7ft-steady-10,800CF-clear and 78 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.00 and steady.

Trip #2 was a half day PM trip on Tuesday and we caught 11 channel cats and 11 flatheads.  The largest channel cat was 24.5" and the largest flathead was over 30lbs.  Those of you who fish with us know how we mark our catfish and it appears we caught this fish in May.  It was 42" long.  We had 3.7ft-steady-10,800CF-clear and 78 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.00 and steady.

Trip #3 was on Tuesday from 9AM to Noon and we caught 11 Bass.  The largest was 19" and we caught them on top water.  We had 3.7ft-steady-10,800CF-clear and 78 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.00 and steady.

Trip #4 was on Wednesday and we fished from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM and we caught 20+ bass.  The largest was 20" and we caught them on top water, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits.  We had 3.6ft-steady-10,100CF-clear and 76 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.90 and falling.

Trip #5 was a half day AM channel cat trip on Saturday and nwe caught 25 channel cats.  The largest was 20" and we caught them all on Team Catfish Sudden Impact.  We had 3.5ft-steady-8,200CF-Clear and 76-81 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.20 and steady.

Trip #6 was a half day PM catfish trip and we caught 2 channel cats and 2 flatheads.  The largest channel cat was 24" and the largest flathead was 6#.  We caught them all on live bait.  We had 3.5ft.-steady-8,200CF-clear-81 degrees.  We had a Barometric pressure of 30.20 and steady.


From Tippet to Stream

Experiencing the Blue River in OklahomaBlue River Photo 1

If you’ve never been there and you put on a blindfold and had someone drop you off at the Blue River, you would never guess you were in southern Oklahoma when you took it off. The Blue River looks like it belongs in Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas or even eastern Oklahoma but not south-central Oklahoma.

The Blue River has swift, clear, braided stream that arises in Johnston County from the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer, a giant underground water source. The headquarters of the spring-fed Blue River are southwest of Ada. The stream continues until it flows into the Red River in southeast Bryan County.

The most scenic part of the river is along the 6¼-mile stretch through the Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area. Here, the granite rocks of the Arbuckle outcrop come to surface and the river comes alive. Along these six miles, the river transforms from a lazy, meandering stream to cascading water that forks through granite and limestone formations. Over and around these rocks is the creation of horseshoe waterfalls and deep, slow-moving pools and fast-moving riffles.Blue River Paradise

The river channel often becomes braided, forming smaller streams with interspersed islands covered with unique seaside alders and native hardwoods. The seaside alders, which grow in clumps along the banks, waterfalls and islands, are typically found only along the Eastern Seaboard.

The Blue River is one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful places. It receives between 75,000 and 100,000 visitors each year. Most of them, an estimated 70 percent, travel to the Blue during the winter trout season which runs from November through March.Most are bait fishermen, but the Blue draws its share of spincasters and fly fishermen as well.

On the north end of Blue River Public Hunting and Fishing Area is a portion of the stream for the purists — a catch and release only area that requires the use of barbless hooks. Fly anglers gravitate to this stretch of the river where it’s usually easy to find some secluded water. The Blue River has more falls than any other river in Oklahoma.

Blue River Photo 4Beginning near Connerville in Johnston County, the Blue River flows southeast to the Red River.  This spring-fed river has a designated trout area in the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area. Other fishing opportunities exist for black bass, crappie, as well as channel and blue catfish. Camping facilities are available only at the Blue River Campground. Float trip opportunities by kayak are available on this Class II-III river, offering several falls and ledges, dependent on seasonal waterfall. No commercial outfitters along the river are allowed and public access points are limited. Supplies and information can be found at Scotty's Blue River One Stop, located at the entrance to the public hunting and fishing area. A Blue River Conservation Passport is required of all persons who enter or use the Blue River area, unless exempt.  Check with the Oklahoma Wildlife Department for availability and criteria.


Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies - Blue River OklahomaWWS Fly Line

Fly Line:
We recommend a 5 weight, floating fly line for most all of the fly-fishing. We recommend a 6
weight, floating fly line for nymph fishing and streamers. There are some larger size trout that
are stocked in this stream.

Fly Rod
Fly Rod:
The five weight fly rod should be between eight and nine feet in length. A medium to moderate
action would be our choice. The 6 weight fly rod would be best in a nine foot length and a medium
fast action. A slightly stiffer tip would help with the nymphs and streamers.Fly Reel

Fly Reel:
The fly reel for either of these two rods should have a good drag.  Disc drags would be preferred.

You should be using at least a 9 foot leader on the Blue River. A twelve foot length or even
longer length may be the right choice in some situations where the water is smooth. You
should have them in sizes ranging from 1X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry flies. I wouldn't
go any lighter on this stream.Tippet

Carry extra tippet material in sizes ranging from 1X to 6X.

We suggest you wear waders or hip boots anytime you fish the Blue River. We prefer the
breathable type but the neoprene ones can help keep you warm if you fish during the cold

Wading Boots:
Felt sole wading boots  would be our first choice but are quickly being replaced by the new rubber soles that may also work well.

wooly bugger
Many fly fishers will agree that the Wooly Bugger is one of the best patterns on Blue River.  Best colors are olive, brown, and black.  Other patterns that work well include the red midge larva, zebra midge, hare's ear nymph,  pheasant tail nymphs, hare's ear soft hackle, brassies, and copper johns.  When the midges are on fly fishers will want to concentrate on size 20 and 22 midge patterns.



Fortunately the fishing is only going to get better as the Oklahoma weather cools off.  November on the Blue means big and aggressive trout just ready to slurp down a Wooly Booger

Last year we had the pleasure of fishing with a few very skilled anglers and we were able to target some of the larger fish at a stream just on the other side of the low water crossing.  We landed several fish in the four to six pound range and had some great action mid-afternoon.  If you would like to experience the Blue River, log onto blueriverok.com.


Getting Started

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

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


Saturday Fish Feeding Frenzy

Join us on the weekends for an up close view of fish at feeding time. At St Charles, MO Bass Pro Shop we do a fish feeding every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00p.m. This weekend Jim and Paul from our fishing department gave the crowd a nice show feeding live minnows, crawfish, baby carp, night crawlers, pellet food and protein based gel food.

Species of fish in our tank include:

Jim and Paul

Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Spotted Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

White Bass


Short nosed Spotted Gar

Channel Catfish

Black Crappie

Common Carp









The Kids enjoy it......



The Adults enjoy it.........


And the fish always enjoy it!

catfishsmallmouth feeding


Father/Son Susquehanna River Catfishing Trip

     As the manager of the fishing department at Bass Pro Shops I am constantly searching out the latest techniques and baits used on our local waters. As a father I am forever searching for ways to entice my two sons to put away their video games and go outdoors where two young boys belong. Often times the two go hand in hand. When they do coincide it is a win win situation for everyone. I of course have to compile my "product research", and the boys get a fun day out of the house.

  I can always rely on our Bass Pro Shops pro staff and local guide Rod Bates to keep me up on the latest techniques he is using. Rod can frequently be found giving fishing workshops at Bass Pro Shops. It benefits me to know what he is using so I can fill the customer demand after his demonstrations are over. This summer he invited the boys and me to join his Koinania Guide Service on the Susquehanna River fishing for channel catfish. He had been using a new bait called Sudden Impact from Team Catfish and wanted me to experience it. I have never been one to pass on a great opportunity so I gathered the boys and met Rod at a local boat launch on the river.

The Sudden Impact performed flawlessly. We couldn't keep the catfish off of our lines when we used it with a #4 treble hook, egg sinker, swivel, and Team Catfish sinker bumper. Much of the time Rod couldn't keep the four rods we were using baited and in the water. When it was all said and done the boys had boated 30 catfish between them. There were numerous doubles and very little down time between fish. The best way to keep two boys happy is to keep them busy. It wasn't until we ran out of Sudden Impact and had to switch to another bait that the boys became restless. With the bite slowing to a crawl, the two brothers were spending less time fishing and more time testing each other's nerves. This seemed like the perfect time to end our fishing for the day so we headed for shore leaving Micah and Noah with one of their favorite fishing trips of all time. It left me with the reassurance that Sudden Impact was a must carry for the Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg, PA.

It is easy to catch fish when someone else is baiting your hook. After all, it's Rod's job. If he doesn't get you any fish, you would not be likely to book Koinonia Guide Service again. Noah, my youngest son, and I headed out to the Conestoga River to see how Sudden Impact would perform without the help of a professional guide. We would be wading the Conestoga since it is too shallow for boats. For a young boy of seven, this adds swimming to the list of fun for the day. There would be no disappointment, this trip would leave him soaked from head to toe. Our first hook up was almost the size of Noah. As the fish rolled we got a good look at it and Noah's eyes doubled in size. He handed me the rod and headed for the bank. It was a little intimidating for a guy of 45 pounds. Unfortunately it broke us off and we didn't get a chance for a close encounter. The Sudden Impact once again performed perfectly. It continued to do so for the rest of that trip and every trip there after.

Team Catfish has truly outdone themself. Sudden Impact has consistently caught fish for us on every outing. It's ease of use compliments it's effectiveness. A bare treble hook is all that is needed for this fiber enriched bait. Thank you Team Catfish for not only helping to create great fishing stories, but for the memories my sons will carry with them long after I am gone.




Local Fishing Report 7/28 to 8/3 2013

The River was at 4.5ft at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week we had 3.8ft with 12,100CF of flow and 75 degrees.

Trip #1 was on Monday and we fished from 4:30 to 7:00PM and we caught 12 smallmouth.  The largest was 15" and we caught them all on spinnerbaits, stickbaits, crankbaits, and jigs.  We had 4.0ft-steady-15,600CF-clear and 83 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.00 and steady.

Trip #2 was on Tuesday and we fished from 9:00AM to 4:00PM and we caught 30 smallmouth.  The largest was 19" and we caught them on stickbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs.  We had 3.9ft-steady-14,000CF-clear and 80 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.10 and falling

Trip #3 was on Tuesday and we fished from 2:45 to 4:30PM and we caught 50+ sunfish.  We caught them all on jig/worm combo.  We had 3.9ft-steady-14,000CF-clear and 80 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.10 and falling.

Trip #4 was on tuesday and we fished from 2:30 to 5:30PM andn we caught 20+ bass and the largest was 18".  We caught them on stickbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs.  We had the same conditions as noted in #2.

Trip #5 was a half day combo catfish trip on Wednesday and we caught 14 channel cats and 3 flatheads.  The largest Channel cat was 22" and the largest flathead was 7lbs.  We caught the channel cats on Sudden Impact and we caught the flatheads on live bait.  We had 3.9ft-steady-clear-and 79 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 30.00 and falling.

Trip #6 was a full day combo cat trip and we caught 15 channel cats and 6 flatheads.  The largest channel cat was 22.5" and the largest flathead was 14lbs.  We caught the channel cats on Sudden Impact and the flatheads on live bait.

Trip #7 was a half day bass trip and we caught 20+ smallmouth and the largest was 17.75".  We caught them on crankbaits and wacky rigged dingers.  We had 3.8ft-12,100CF-falling-clear and 75 degrees.  We had a barometric pressure of 29.80 and steady with rain.

Please let us know how you are making out with the Sudden Impact bait from Team Catfish.  The Harrisburg Bass Pro is now carrying Team Catfish bait and gear.  Just ask one of our associates in the fishing department if we do not have what you are looking for.



Kayak Fishing

Fishing is a sport that more people enjoy recreationally each year than golf and tennis combined. From catching catfish and panfish, to fishing for big money in professional bass tournaments, we all have one thing in common, we love the challenge of locating and catching fish. Millions of people are already in to fish, whether they are fishing off the bank or in a beautiful Nitro Bass Boat, they already have a passion for being in nature and spending quality time with their children and family members. Now the question is if I am a beginning angler or maybe even someone that has never fished before in my life how and where do I start? That question can easily be answered if you have a Bass Pro Shops near by. There is no better place to go to get all of the gear and equipment you will ever need, as well as having access to knowledgeable associates that are always willing to assist in any way possible. Getting tips and asking questions from experienced anglers is a great way to jump start your learning into a life long passion for fishing.

Now fishing can be expensive and most beginning anglers don't need to get a big fancy bass boat. While fishing from the bank in small private lakes or ponds can be very rewarding and a fun place to start, at some point you are going wonder what that other side of the lake has to offer. The best way to access those rarely sought after fish is with a fishing Kayak. Bass pro shops offers a wide variety of options from sit in kayaks to the extremely popular and my personal choice, the Ascend FS12T Sit-On-Top Angler Kayak. A sit on top kayak makes a great fishing platform that an angler with good balance can even stand on for improved casting ability. The opportunities with a kayak are endless, not only are they a good way to get on the water, but they are very fun for exploring places that a bass boat can not possibly get too. Areas such as creeks or small ponds with limited shore access are often loaded with fish that rarely see a lure, and are an absolute dream come true to a diehard angler.

Bass Pro Shops offers a wide variety of options you can add on to the kayak as well. Accessories such as Ascend Deluxe Sit-on-Top Kayak Seats, rod holders, and SEA-LECT Designs Zig Zag Cleats can all be found at your local bass pro shops or on our website. I would recommend trying to keep your tackle selection simple, as well as wearing a good pair of Sperry Top-Sider Sea Kite Ultrathong Sandals, which will provide important grip and comfort for stand up fishing. When I fish out of a kayak I will bring two rods, one spinning and one bait caster. With the limited room this will be all you need. When looking for a rod and reel combo that is versatile and can be used with a variety of baits and techniques there are some specifications I will always look for. For the bait caster a 7 foot medium heavy Temple Fork Outfitters Gary Loomis Signature Series rod is a perfect choice. From flipping and pitching in heavy cover, to casting spinnerbaits this rod will do the trick. It has enough strength and power to horse big fish out of thick cover, but not so much that other techniques can't be used. Having a spinning rod with you is also important if you want to throw light weight or even weightless soft plastic lures with light line. One of the very most effective baits for fishing shallow water in ponds, creeks, rivers, or lakes, is with the Bass Pro Shops Stik-O. These baits can be rigged either weedless, also known as texas rigged with no weight, or wacky rigged, which is rigging the bait directly in the center. Either way will catch an incredible number of fish, especially in places where they have never been seen before.

So if you're interested in getting into fishing but just can't quite take the leap, start by coming in to Bass Pro Shops and checking out all of the incredible things they have to offer. Bring the whole family and you will have a blast checking out all of the amazing attractions at the store, as well as learning how to begin to utilize and enjoy what nature has to offer. Don't forget that at your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops we offer fly fishing classes every month. Our tying classes are on the first and third Monday of each month and our casting classes, weather permitting, are on the second and forth Saturday of each month. So take advantage of having a Bass Pro Shops near you. We can't wait to see you here and share our passion for the outdoors. I'll see you on the water!!!

Joey Nania