Time to Plan for Boating Season

Whether you are planning to clean or tune your existing boat or you are in the market for a new one, Bass Pro Shops is your one-stop boating source.  We carry all types of boat cleaning supplies and products to get that hull and deck in pristine condition.  At Bass Pro Shops' Marine Department find quality parts and lubricants you need for that 2 or 4 cycle engine and all-important gear oil for that lower unit.  In our salt-water environment, don't forget to re-grease those wheel bearings on the trailer!  Our Certified Service Department can take the hassle out of tune-ups, electronics and equipment repair and installation, and we can even replace or upgrade your existing outboard!

For those looking for a new boat, Bass Pro Shops' "No Haggle, No Hassle" pricing policy assures that prices are the same everywhere and guarantees the best price possible!  Our boats have the best warranty in the business and are backed by Tracker Marine Group, American's #1 boat manufacturer.

From Tracker Marine riveted and welded jon boats to our offshore deep "V" Makos, and in between, Bass Pro Shops has the perfect boat for you!  Choose from the offshore Makos, skinny-water Mako skiffs, Nitro and Tracker bass boats and deep "V" aluminum boats, Suntracker pontoons, and Tahoe inboard and outboard runabouts!

Not interested in powerboats?  Check out our full line of Ascend and other kayaks.  Our "sit-on-top" kayaks are equipped for all types of fishing and our "sit-in" kayaks are ideal for serene paddling, cruising the waterways, and camping.

Don't let another season pass you by without getting on the water!  Come by Bass Pro Shops today and checkout our 2016 lineup or shop for new, but last year's models!


Photo by Ryan Cox taken on Black Creek near Freeport, Florida from one of our SunTracker pontoons.

Gary Feduccia



Waterfowl Decoys: In Action

Follow our waterfowl series.


You and a buddy are going to Arkansas on a flooded timber hunt. The first step is to check out of state regulations to see if motorized decoys are legal. Currently they are, so I would pack one or two spinning wing decoys. Next I would want some water motion, in the timber most likely a jerk cord will suffice. My main spread would be around two dozen Mallards with Pintails, Gadwalls, and Wood Ducks mixed in for realism and the potential to take a mixed bag limit. In timber, once the ducks are under the tree canopy and can see the decoys really well, they’re usually committed and within shooting range.

You are headed out to hunt a local public area here in middle Tennessee that has a planted food source in it.  For our purposes, lets say it’s unharvested corn. I would start with one spinning wing decoy and add or subtract depending on how the birds react to it that day. I would deploy several decoys to move water ideally ones that are mechanical as well as a jerk cord. For my main decoy spread I would start with Mallards for sure. Numbers on areas like this can be tricky as you want to leave room for ducks to land in the hole and you want to look different from the others hunting around you. I’ve used as few as six decoys and as many as six dozen, on average I like about three dozen Mallards. The majority of these would be in some kind of feeding posture, whether its surface skimmers, duck butts, or what have you. I always leave a few decoys with their heads up as there are always birds in the flock looking for any sign of danger. Earlier in the season I would add Gadwalls and Wood Ducks to the spread, As the water gets closer to the consistancy of a slushie I would swap them out for Pintails and Black Ducks. I'd add Bluebills or Ringnecks as well for the different factor as well as goose decoys if any are in the area.

Its mid-season and the birds have been around awhile and know where not to go. You and a couple buddies load into the boat to go try to hunt open water areas where birds are resting. First, have a boat large enough to handle the load you're taking.  A 12 ft Jon boat is a death sentence for this type of hunting. Also, make sure you have PFD’s for everyone on board and at least one throw-able model. This is the type of duck hunting where lives are lost in the wrong situations so be prepared with back up engine parts, snacks, ways to start a fire, etc. For your decoys you're going to want to start with about four dozen Mallards in lower head and sleeping positions. To that, add another four to six dozen various diver duck species. If you have geese or swans in the area as well they make great additions to your spread as they can be seen for some distance. In this situation a goose flag is usually all you need to get the birds attention from a distance.

You and several buddies are going to hunt the Prairie for the first time and are fired up about it. First thing is to check the regulations for the area your going to as there will be differences in bag limit and procedure. South Dakota, for example, has a drawing for nonresident waterfowl hunters and Canada is literally a whole other country so passports and inspections are required as well as vet records if you're taking your furry retrieving machine with you. Next, talk to the waterfowl biologists in the area as they are a great resource as to the species you can expect in the areas and timetable you plan to be there. Now, the reason I said several buddies is you’ll probably want two pickup beds worth of gear between layout blinds, extra guns, and of course the decoys. Field decoys really shine out here in a variety of situations. Any and all species could come into play but Mallards and Canada Geese usually get the job done in the fall, especially if you're near water and can mix your other species there. As water is limited here a more diverse adaptable spread is better than a massive one of all the same stuff. Take a little bit of everything you have including diver species, some of my best diver hunts have been on small ponds that were overlooked in favor of bigger and more famous water. Use the shallows and dry land to set your field decoys and trail the floaters into the water like new additions to the party.


This gives you some basic aspects and ideas of building your own decoy spread. The beauty of the process is that it’s as individual as the hunters in the field and an ever evolving thing. I reassess and alter my decoy spread every year in the hopes of getting a few more graceful wings to cup into by decoys, to hear someones shotgun bark and watching my aging yellow lab Daisy make one more, but hopefully not the last, retrieve of her career. Just thinking of it causes me to smile and think of what an accomplishment it is to fool nature and to see and experience things that most would deem misery but only a waterfowler can truly love.


Cory, Hunting Associate


Kayaking the Great Miami River

I have been rafting and kayaking, on and off, since I was fourteen years old. I've faced class 5 rapids. I've battled white water in three states. This weekend, I took my first drink – in the placid waters of the Great Miami River!

Consider this a cautionary tale.

My party consisted of my husband, a friend, and me. We put in at Rentschler Forest. You can find the well-maintained park on 5701 Reigart Road in Fairfield Township. 

Rentschler is built on the remnants of the old Eerie Canal. It is evident that the natural flow of water has been diverted. Directly across from the ramp, a dam blocks access to the main river. Instead, a small, shallow tributary flows into the main river maybe a mile or so downstream. We stumbled upon the clever idea of crossing to the dam, carrying our kayaks across the rocky riverbed, and putting in below the dam. That way, we reasoned, we wouldn't get stuck in the shallow water of the tributary. We'd only have to walk our kayaks once, not every time the water got shallow. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable plan, right? Wrong!

Rentschler Park

Warning: don't ever do this.

We paddled across to the old dam and got out. We immediately realized that the dry riverbed over which we had to carry our kayaks was a bit longer and comprised of more treacherous terrain than we'd originally anticipated. On the map, it looks like a hop, skip, and a jump. In reality, it felt more like a slide, skid, and a stumble.

Here, I was the lucky one. My kayak is an Otter by Old Town. I bought it a few years ago, but the product has since been discontinued; that's a shame. Mine is a light-weight, no-frills kayak that is easy to carry. I'm only 5 feet tall and, I'll admit it, I'm rather out of shape. Carrying my kayak across a bed of loose rocks was certainly easier on me than it was for the guys, both of whom had larger kayaks. They had to help each other and take two trips. I got to sit by the water and play Candy Crush while I waited for them.

Kayak at Dam in Rentschler Park

We put in below the dam.

Putting in below the dam proved a bit awkward. The churning water actually kicked up a bit of a current. This is where my light sit-in put me at a disadvantage to the guys' heavy sit-on-top models. Putting in at a ramp and in placid water is one thing. Climbing inside a kayak near a dam and against a current? Entirely another thing. One foot went in, one stayed planted on the rocks. I did the splits. Then, splash! Into the water I went!

Bonus: the water wasn't freezing. It also wasn't deep. I clung to my kayak, found my footing, and tried to climb back onto the bank. Unfortunately, the loose, rocky riverbed kept slipping out from under my feet every time they found purchase. My husband yanked on my shirt, a move that caused me to lose my footing again, but I eventually made it back onto the rocks without losing either my kayak or paddle. I've decided to be flattered that my husband's first reaction was to try to save me, even if I was never really in any great peril. Honestly, the thoughts flashing through my mind were less, “Oh, God!” and more, “Now I have to do laundry before work!”

After I got back into my boat, we finally paddled off. Every inch of me was dripping wet – and yes, I was embarrassed. I'm glad we had the presence of mind to take a dry bag. We use Ascend's Round Bottom Lightweight Dry Bags. We've never been disappointed with their performance, not even after a few years of wear and tear. My cell phone and wallet remained dry and functional because I stowed them in a dry bag. They're cheap ($15.99), and a must-have accessory for any day spent on the water. They're definitely cheaper then replacing water-logged phones!

The rest of the trip proved peaceful and uneventful. I spent the first half of the trip as I spend the first half of any trip: being asked to wait.

Waiting in kayak
The Waiting Game: this is what happens when you have a fast kayak.

My small, light watercraft is more maneuverable and much faster than my friends' larger kayaks tend to be. The guys were using the behemoth Ascend FS128-T and the comparatively smaller Ascend FS12-T. Both are great boats for kayak fishing. For simple paddling trips like ours, however, I still prefer mine.

We hit a few areas of choppy water and a couple of  spots that might qualify as rapids. Maybe. I'll give them a Class 1 status because I'm feeling generous. We also hit a few shallow patches in which the bottoms of our kayaks and the ends of our paddles scraped rock. One area had a long pipe going from bank to bank surprisingly near the surface of the water. It created a bit of a slide for us, but had the water been lower, it could have proven a major obstacle or even obstructed our journey.

We paddled about four miles down to Combs Park in Hamilton, OH. The ramp here is old and eroded, with chunks of concrete having broken off in abundance. Nevertheless, it is capable of handling larger watercraft. As we were pulling our kayaks up, a family was backing their trailer and jon boat into the water.

The entire trip, complete with a hike across a dry riverbed and a spontaneous dunking, lasted a bit less than two hours. It was scenic and refreshing – and it left me plenty of time to do laundry before work! All in all, I recommend a good paddle down the Great Miami. Just don't try to be clever and bypass the shallow water, like I did. You might end up getting wet!

Amanda Bull Chafin





Bring on the sunshine!

Summertime is coming up quickly! Start the summer with a new boat!! Come in during our spring fishing classic and check out all of the selections we have in our showroom. There is one for everyone.

Looking for a boat just for fishing? We have a 2014 Riveted Jon and utility boat. We've got all different lengths and some that fit up to four people. A two seater topper 1032 Riveted Jon boat starting at $499. Only weighing 80 pounds it makes it very easy to stow an a car or in the bed of a pickup truck. Constructed of a .043 5052 marine aluminum alloy complete with a three year riveted structure limited warranty. This fishing boat will save you on operating costs while bringing on more fish per mile. It's the lightest most economical, flat bottom Jon boat. It has bow/stern handles for lifting!

Looking for a fast sport boat, we've got it! Crank up the action with plenty of water sports for the day. Your Nitro 2014 Z-7 sport has new blue tooth capability with am/fm radio, with mp3 and usb ports! It has an awesome bench seat with port, starboard steps, cup holders, removable fishing seats, and luxurious insulated cooler. For the sports you and the kids are interested in doing this summer to keep busy there is an in-floor wake board storage for more room for your friends to be up and moving around. Many more compartments for a bow and/or rod with organizer tubes, and for after jumping in the water after a long hot day there are swim platforms with a starboard boarding ladder. 

Looking for a place to soak up the sun and enjoy the water with the family and friends? Purchase a new party barge 24xps with 115 elpt four stroke. Its the fastest party around. With hydrological steering, three pontoon logs, six total lifting strakes and up to 200 horses of power behind it! The 24xps comes with comfortable lounge seating through out, including the rear facing lounge with a changing room. Has a full-width after swim platform with a new over sized three step folding boarding ladder.


Hey Jack! Try the Duck Dynasty Deluxe Adventure Playset

If your kids (or you) have been clamoring for one of the many Ducky Dynasty playsets, but you can't decide which one, then this is the choice for you!

The Duck Dynasty Deluxe Adventure Playset incudes Willie, Jase, Phil, and Si action figures, as well as a truck, a trailer, an officially licensed Tracker Jon Boat, and more. Kids even get awesome Duck Dynasty accessories like Si’s tea cup, 2 frogs, a duck, and a beaver. Even better, if you already have some of the action figures or playsets, this one is fully compatible with them all.

The truck has a removable camper shell and Duck Dynasty detailing and it comes with a fully-licensed Tracker jon boat! The Deluxe Playset comes with over 20 pieces to provide hours of entertainment for the entire family.

Head over to your local Bass Pro Shops to take a look at this and other Ducky Dynasty merchandise, including t-shirts, books, cookbooks, DVDs, socks, video games hats, puzzles and much more.




2014 Greater Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show - February 1, 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Greater Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show 

Buckeye United Fly Fishers will host the annual 
Greater Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show 
Saturday, February 1, 2014
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

At our great venue in Northeast Cincinnati 

Oasis Conference Center 
902 Loveland-Miamiville Road 
Loveland, OH


The Greater Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show is sponsored by Buckeye United Fly Fishers and presented annually to promote the sport of fly 
fishing and outdoor recreation. It is a great opportunity for everyone from novice to experienced fly fisher to learn about fly fishing 
techniques, resources, gear, and places to fish. Buckeye United Fly Fishers is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting fly fishing, 
stream and wetlands conservation, and education. Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday each month at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio. 
Check us out at www.buckeyeflyfishers.com or at our show booth. 
  • Admission $10 per person at the door
  • Scouts in uniform - FREE
  • Kids 12 and under - FREE
  • Parking at the Conference Center - FREE
  • Over 21,000 sq ft of exhibition, demonstration, and presentation space
  • Something for all fly fishers - from beginner to advanced
  • Over 75 exhibitors - vendors, fly tiers, DNR booths, and others
  • Educational fly fishing speakers
  • Casting Pond - instructions and/or try out a rod from one of the vendors
  • Fly tying demonstrations with a special kids tying area
  • Kids area with fun things to see and do
  • Boy Scouts - work on your Fly Fishing Merit Badge in the Scout Room
  • Fishing guides and fishing lodge representatives
  • Canoes, kayaks, pontoons, and other watercraft
  • Raffles and door prizes
  • Expanded snack bar - sandwiches and drinks

Presentations Schedule


A. K. Best – “Fishing With Too Much Water” (Main
Presentation Room)

Mike Schmidt – Fly Tying Demonstration (Tying
Presentation Room)

BUFF Instructors – Casting Demonstrations and
Instruction (Casting Pond)


Dane Law – “Trout Fishing the Southern
Appalachians and Beyond” (Main Presentation

A. K. Best –Fly Tying Demonstration – New Quill
Body Material, Duns & Spinners (Tying
Presentation Room)

Dave Leonhard – Casting Demos (Casting Pond)

Frank Willetts – “Steelhead vs. Trout” (Main
Presentation Room)

Glenn Weisner – Fly Tying Demonstration (Tying
Presentation Room)

Kevin Howell – Casting Demo (Casting Pond)


A. K. Best – “Fishing With Little Water” (Main
Presentation Room)

Kevin Compton – Fly Tying Demonstration (Tying
Presentation Room)


Jon Ray - “Smallmouth On The Fly” (Main
Presentation Room)

A. K. Best – Fly Tying Demonstration – Tying with
Biots and Caddis Flies (Tying Presentation Room)

Dave Leonhard – Casting Demos (Casting Pond)


Jerry Darkes – “New Fly Fishing Gear For The
Coming Year” (Main Presentation Room)

Exhibits, Presentations, and Demonstrations
Exhibits – Check out the many exhibits, 
including vendors displaying their latest gear, 
guides and outfitters, lodges, and more. 
Fly Tying– observe and talk to some of the 
region’s best fly tiers as they exhibit their tying 
At The Bench – fly tying demonstrations from 
world class tiers in the Tying Presentation Room. 
Symposiums – see presentations by experts 
throughout the day in the Main Presentation 
Kid’s Corner – free fun activities with a fly 
fishing connection: fish prints, trout aquarium, 
coloring pages, fly tying and more. 
Casting Pond – fly casting demonstrations and 
instruction featuring: 
Dave Leonhard, Master Certified Casting 
Instructor and owner of Orvis Streamside in 
Traverse City, MI, and 
Kevin Howell, FFF Certified Casting 
Instructor and owner of Davidson River 
Outfitters, Brevard, NC. 
Plus the opportunity to “try out” rods for sale at 
the show. 
Information Booths – featuring Casting for 
Recovery, Project Healing Waters, 
environmental groups, and more. 
Refreshments – good things to eat and drink at 
the Oasis concession stand. 
Boy Scouts – work on your Fly Fishing Merit 
Badge in our Scout Merit Badge Room. 


A. K. Best is one of the most respected names in fly fishing and tying. His many magazine articles over the years have provided helpful knowledge for both beginner and accomplished tiers and anglers. He’s also known for his excellent fly fishing and tying books. A. K. has a superior tying talent that makes him a master-class tier. 

Dane Law is the owner and a guide with Southeastern Anglers, a drift boat guide service on the TVA tailwaters of North Georgia, Tennessee, and south central Kentucky. He has led mountain trout trips in the 
Cherokee National Forest since 1999. 
Glenn Weisner, owner of Glenn River Fly Co., often can be found fishing for trout on the streams of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. He enjoys tying most all trout flies, especially Terrestrials. Glenn is a great instructor and enjoys working with all skill levels and age groups. 
Frank Willetts is owner/operator of the Pere Marquette River Lodge in Baldwin, MI, the only Orvis Endorsed Lodging Outfitter Guide Service in the Midwest. Frank has been fishing and guiding on the Pere Marquette and other local rivers since his college days. 
Mike Schmidt, owner of Angler’s Choice Flies, ties standard patterns as well as new and innovative custom patterns. Throughout the year, Mike teaches fly tying and fishing techniques at clubs and retail locations around the Midwest and spends the winter months traveling to present at fly fishing shows around the country. 
Jon Ray, of Hawkins Outfitters, has been guiding anglers in Michigan for 12 years. Jon loves chasing trout, steelhead, smallmouth bass, and musky with streamers, using single or two-handed rods and a variety of techniques. 
Kevin Compton, owner of Performance Flies, Cleveland, is a commercial tier, author, speaker, tying instructor, and fly designer. He specializes in patterns for the steelhead fisheries of Ohio and Michigan and trout in Pennsylvania. He has competed in tyingcompetitions in the U.S. and World Championships in Portugal. Kevin’s flies have been featured in numerous magazines. 
Jerry Darkes is a fly tackle sales rep, instructor/guide and writer based in northern Ohio. He is recognized as an expert on Great Lakes steelhead and warm water fly fishing and has created a series of instructional DVDs on Great Lakes steelhead. 

Duck, Duck, Dynasty

Duck Dynasty has taken the world by storm! Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on the A&E network. The show portrays the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander. The business makes products for duck hunters, including duck calls and is located in West Monroe, Louisiana. The family men, famous for the long beards, include brothers Phi and Si, and Phil's sons Jase, Willie, and Jep and are well known for their religious views. Bass Pro Shops in Leeds carries a plethora of Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty products! We carry a the following products and more!

  • Marshmallow shooters
  • DVDs
  • Board games
  • Adventure sets
  • Action figure sets
  • Tervis tumblers
  • Tea cups
  • Books
  • Crappie rods
  • Duck calls
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Hats
  • Vehicle accessories
  • Video games
  • Boots/clogs
  • Dog treats               

Here is a sneak peek at a few of those items:

duck dynasty 1

“The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty” by Willie and Korie Robertson with Mark Schlabach, is perfect for fans of A&E’s hit show “Duck Dynasty”. Readers will devour tidbits about the family that they won’t see on TV, and learn how Korie manages family and work life. You’ll get a taste of the Robertson clan’s food through recipes in every chapter and view childhood photos of Willie and Korie. Hardcover. 272 pages. Made in USA. 

duck cup

Hey, Jack … that's my kind of cup!" This Duck Commander Si's tea cup lets you drink tea just like Uncle Si! Great for Duck Commander fans, this 16-ounce cup is made of polypropylene plastic and features a Duck Commander logo on front. Dishwasher safe. Imported


dvdYou won't miss a moment of Robertson family antics, wit, and down-to-earth wisdom with all episodes of Duck Dynasty in one set. The "Duck Dynasty Seasons 1–3" DVD Combo Pack includes every crazy, laughable adventure from the first Season 1 episode through the end of Season 3, including outtakes, deleted scenes, never-before-seen footage, music videos, and much more. Follow Willie, Phil, Jase, Miss Kay, Korie, Si, Missy, and Jep through their ongoing adventures of turning a backwoods family business into a multi-million dollar empire. Made in USA.


duck setBass Pro Shops has joined forces with Duck Dynasty to create the ultimate Robertson family play set! This Duck Dynasty Deluxe Adventure Play Set for kids incudes Willie, Jase, Phil, and Si action figures, as well as a truck, a trailer, an officially licensed Tracker Jon Boat, and more. Kids even get awesome Duck Dynasty accessories like Si’s tea cup, 2 frogs, a duck, and a beaver. This toy set comes with over 20 pieces and is compatible with Bass Pro Shops Duck Dynasty gift sets. Ages 3 and up. Imported.

duck tervisThe Tervis Tumbler Duck Commander Fear the Beard Insulated Wrap with Black Lid showcases a bold, wrap-around design sealed between tumbler walls. Microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe, this sturdy travel mug is made of a high-grade polymer and features powerful insulation to keep drinks hot or cold. Great for work, travel and your daily commute, this Tervis Tumbler Wrap is perfect for Duck Dynasty fans! Manufacturer’s lifetime guarantee. Made in USA. 

duck video

Be an honorary member of the Duck Commander family and join Phil, Uncle Si, Willie, and Jase as you blast your way through multiple levels of waterfowl, beavers, and frogs with the Duck Commander Plug and Play Video Game. No video game console or software needed, simply plug this game in and play on any TV. This Duck Commander Plug & Play Video Game is a great rainy day activity for kids and kids at heart! 3 AA and 3 AAA batteries required, not included. Ages 8 and up. Imported.


dog treats

Freshen' up your prize dog's breath after a successful morning in the blind with the Duck Dynasty Southern Recipe Style Dog Dental Treats. These mint-flavored, all natural dog treats promote clean teeth and fresh breath in dogs. They contain no corn and no soy and are made with 1 part home cooking, 1 part love, and 2 parts redneck. Dogs love these southern recipe style dental treats. Happy, happy, happy!


To check out these great Duck Dynasty and Duck Commander items, come into the store or check out the web at www.basspro.com




Top 5 Ways to use your Bass Pro Gift Card you received for Christmas

Top 5 Ways to use the Bass Pro Shops gift card you received for Christmas.

(In no particular order).


  1. Save up for the Jon Boat you’ve been eyeing. Picture it now: you are out on Lake Mead water splashing up all around you.  What’s that? A tug on your line? You just caught yourself some dinner. Don’t live anywhere near water? That’s fine. Park it by your back door and instant porch. You can have your kids spray you with a water bottle so you can get the full effect.
  2. Camouflage. Best disguise ever. You can’t see me.
  3. Stock up on Lifetime Guarantee Socks.  Everybody needs socks, but who wants to ask for socks for Christmas because instead of getting fun new toys like a new compound bow or that Pink Camouflage purse with matching wallet you are getting socks.  Lifetime Guarantee Socks have just that, a Lifetime Guarantee. Go ahead try to wear them out? Bring them back and we will give you a brand new pair just like that.  Now you will never need to buy anymore socks.
  4. 2 Words: Bacon Jerky. It’s Bacon. It’s Jerky. Need I say more?
  5. Clearance. Remember that RedHead shirt you wanted? Or was it a Natural Reflections sweater? Guess what…chances are…it’s on sale.  Yep that’s right better get down here while your size is still available, because once it’s gone, it is gone.

Jon Boat Seat Clamp

    Across the delta as well rivers across America, the jon boat has become a great tool in getting outdoors men to their location on the water. If you need to get into shallow areas or just want to have the perfect duck blind, the jon boat proves to be both effective and popular. With all the great things about jon boats, there is one problem that frequently arises. The problem is seating. The typical set up for jon boat seat is a couple of metal benches that stretch across the beam of the boat. This can be fine for some people, but many people find the seating very uncomfortable. There are many options for seating improvements, but many of them can be expensive or impractical. There are also ways to improve seating that may damage the boat in the long run. For people with bench seating I always recommend the same thing. The jon boat seat clamp is the best choice most bench seats.

  With the jon boat, the only seating available is a long metal bench. This can very uncomfortable if spending hours on the water. Some people will put padding on the bench, but even with padding you will not have back support. With the amount of use a jon boat is designed for it is easy to see why many boaters are seeking ways to improve the seating. After spending hours on the water, one of the last things one wants to worry about is being in an uncomfortable seat. This can be so distracting that it could actually ruin a great day. To avoid this, boaters will try nearly anything.

     Although many seating options are available for boats, not all are practical for jon boat applications. One option would be to add  pedestal seats to the boat. This will have the benefit of improved seating, but the downside is that you will have to do significant alterations to the boat. Another option that many people attempt is adding a seat swivel directly to the bench and putting a seat on the swivel. This option looks good and gives the benefit of improved seating without spending too much time or effort on the job. However, this seat mounting technique can be very damaging to your boat and possibly to yourself. The problem typically arises at the end of the day and typically after a couple of adult beverages. When someone is feeling real tired and comfortable on your boat and would like to see how far they can lean back in your swivel mounted jon boat seats. The end result is that the person leaning back falls down as the mount rips from your bench, leaving you with an injured buddy and a ripped up bench. These are some reasons why I always recommend the jon boat seat clamp to improve seating.

   A jon boat seat clamp is a large clamp that tightens over your existing bench. On top of your clamp is a seat swivel where the seat will be mounted on. The end result is very clean, no holes drilled installation. This will allow the boat owner to add any pedestal boat seat desired, and also have the ability to be taken on and off with ease. The added benefit is that it will not damage your bench if someone were to lean back too far. It will only damage the clamp.

    Being on the delta with a jon boat can be a great experience, but without proper seating and could be uncomfortable. After going over boat seat options and realizing that they all have their pros and cons, making the decision to go with the jon boat seat clamp is the best choice. For more information on jon boat seat clamps please visit the Bass Pro Marine department.

Ryan Wynn


Store 49 Manteca


Thinking Outside the Boat

Fishing manager Josh Catour in Ascend kayakThis past week I finally had the opportunity that I had been waiting for.  Jake,  our Hunting Manager at the store, and I finally had the day off together.  Jake is leaving for the Anchorage,  Alaska store very soon and he wanted to get me out in a kayak to fish.  I am a guy that doesn’t like to sit down when I fish.  I like to stand up and be able to see down into the water and be able to “cross the eyes” of the fish I hook into.  So, I was pretty skeptical when it came to kayak fishing.

After about 20 minutes of being in the kayak I was able to cast and paddle and actually do some fishing.  Two things I learned from the start;  Number 1 is Kayaks are actually very stable,  I was able to cast, paddle, and land fish with no problem.  And 2, sitting on the water brings  a whole different perspective to fishing.  I was a lot more aware of the things around me.  I could enjoy the outdoors a lot more, relaxing in the kayak and fishing, without having to worry about running a motor. 

Needless to say, I can’t wait for my next kayak fishing trip!  There are some HUGE advantages of kayak fishing compared to fishing from a motor driven boat:

Hunting manager Jake Fergesen in Ascend kayak

Affordability:  An Ascend fishing kayak from Bass Pro will cost around $700,  this includes your paddle and paddling vest.  Compared to a jon boat with motor that will cost thousands.  No more spending money on gas for the motor either.

Access to Water:  You need just 6 inches of water to launch a loaded kayak (300 to 400 lbs).  Think of all of those hard to get to places that you could never get to in your boat or those undiscovered creeks where a fish has never seen a lure.  No more waiting in line at the boat ramp either.

Stealth:  Once you learn to paddle,  you can get right on top of the fish.  On those sunny clear water days you won’t have to worry about spooking the fish with the trolling motor or staying way off the bank to cast.  With the quietness of the kayak you become a lot more aware of your surroundings and can really enjoy nature the way God intended.

Maintenance:   Or lack thereof.  The beauty of the fishing kayak is the simplicity of owning one.  There is no oil, no gas, no engine maintenance, no winterization, and most of the time, no trailer to worry about.  Kayaks can be stored in a garage without having to leave a car out.  You can throw a kayak in the back of a pick up or strap it to the roof of a car.  The low maintenance of a kayak also helps you to be able to get on the water more often,  which is always a good thing!

Health Benefits:  Paddling a kayak around all day will help to build back, arm, shoulder,  and chest strength.  Being  in the outdoors and fishing also helps to boost morale.  My soul just feels at ease when I can get outdoors and get on the water.

Come by and see us in the East Peoria, IL Bass Pro Shops Camping department.  Our staff is eager to help with any of your kayaking needs.

Josh Catour
Fishing/Camping GSM
Bass Pro Shops, East Peoria



Great Deals in Marine

Come on down and see the great deals we have going on in the marine department during our famous spring fishing classic. We have so many great items for some great low prices. Here are a few of the items that are great deals that will be going on until March 10th.

                We have some awesome deals on our electronics during this sell. On Lowrances side, we have their new 4, 5, & 7 Series fish finders. The new 4 series includes both Lowrances Elite and Mark series. The Mark series Lowrance offers is their grey scale models. The Mark 4 is a small gray scale model with GPS. Don’t let grey scale scare you. This little unit is the most visible grey scale I’ve seen. It also offers extended mapping such as HotSpots card and the Navionics card. Then we get in to the Elite 4s. In the Elite 4 series, they offer a variety of them. There is the Elite 4x, 4, & 4DSI. The Elite 4X is just a plain color sonar model. The Elite 4 is identical to the Mark 4 but the big difference is that the Elite series is the color model. It offers the same GPS mapping features as the Mark series. Then there is the Elite 4 DSI. This little unit comes with Lowrances Down Scan Imaging. If you’re not familiar with Lowrances DSI then let me explain. We are use to the traditional sonar models and how they read. The DSI will make that mess of a structure on your screen to a readable picture. You will be able to see if that’s a tree or a grass pile, rocks or a road bed.  It really clears the image up that much. Next is the 5 series. The 5 series is the exact same as the 4 just with a bigger screen. Now we get to Lowrances New Elite 7 HDI. This unit is their new hybrid unit. This unit has a 7in screen and features Lowrances DSI along with their great traditional sonar. They also offer this series in a non HDI and a non GPS model.

                Next we have some great Humminbird units as well. To start out, let’s look at the Humminbird 561 fish finder. This unit is a great starter unit for say a Jon boat or a pond prowler. It is a simple gray scale model with a 5in screen. It is a dual beam model with a 60 & 20 degree beam. Next, let’s get in to some of Humminbirds DI or Down Imaging. Humminbird offers there down imaging in several units. The most popular of all of them are the 587ci HD DI, the 597ci HD DI, & The 596c DI. The 587ci HD DI is a 4 ¾ in unit with GPS. This is a great starting down imaging unit. It has all the same options as the big screen model the 597ci HD DI, just a smaller screen and lower price. This unit comes with not only the down imaging but also Humminbirds switch fire sonar. The switch fire sonar is Humminbirds clearer and more sensitive sonar. This is the same sonar they use within their high end models the 8, 9, & 11 series units. This unit also is Navionics and LakeMasters compatible.  Next, we have the 597ci HD DI. This particular model is identical to the 587ci HD DI but with a bigger screen. This unit is still Navionics and LakeMasters compatible. Last, but not least, is the 596c HD DI. This is Humminbirds 5in down imaging unit. The main difference between the 596 and the 597 is that the 597 has GPS. This unit is a great buy for someone not needing GPS and want the bigger 5in screen.

Also, I would like to mention that we have our GORE –TEX Pro Qualifier Parkas, Jackets, and Bibs on sale for a great price. If you don’t know what GORE-TEX is, it is probably the best waterproof material on the market. GORE-TEX will back up their material if it leaks. This is what the pros use while they are out on the lake in the freezing cold and pouring rain. Whether you’re a pro angler, a weekend warrior, or just wanting a great rain suit that’s going to keep you warm and dry while you are out and about I would highly suggest our a GORE-TEX line.

                So come on down to the marine center and see what we have to offer. We are more than glad to answer any questions or clear up any concerns you may have on any particular items. So hurry down and check out the great staff and the great deals we are having down here at Bass Pro Shops.

To see these great products before heading to the store, check out www.basspro.com



Georgia State Parks: Stephen C. Foster State Park

scfosterThis remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp -- one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface.  Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge.  Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky.  Astronomy programs with an 18" telescope are sometimes offered.
Park staff offer guided boat tours, and same-day reservations are recommended. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island.  Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin.  Boating is dependent upon water levels.  Overnight guests may stay in a shaded campground or fully equipped cabins. Because the state park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a refuge fee is charged.

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator.  Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge.  To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats.  Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels.  Children should not play near the water’s edge.  Feeding any wildlife is prohibited.  Following these guidelines will help visitors have a safe and entertaining experience in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.

At the park's Suwannee River Visitor Center in Fargo, visitors learn not only about the Okefenokee Swamp's ecosystem, but also how buildings can be made from recycled car parts. Located off Hwy. 441 at the Suwannee River bridge, the center mixes environmental education with engineering showmanship. Inside, visitors learn that tannic acid produced by decaying vegetation is what gives the river its tea color, and that, unlike other reptiles, mother alligators actively care for their babies. A third of the building materials was made from recycled content, including a retaining wall made from old dashboards and electrical cables.

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.

  • Canoe, Kayak and Fishing Boat Rental
  • Guided Pontoon Boat Tours
  • Evening Boat Tours
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Walking
  • Bike Rental
  • Birding
  • Nature Photography
  • Astronomy





Here’s My Line Now Bite My Hook!


It’s time to sign up!!

Our newly revised inshore handout material is going to be considered “priceless!”  We are going to give you the best times to fish for what, when, and where for the entire year of 2013.

Any inshore fisherman that is considering going offshore needs to attend my offshore class.  For more details scroll down …

Two Inshore Schools

Saturday February 9 2013

Saturday February 23, 2013

One Offshore School

Saturday March 9, 2013

Time: 8:00AM – 2:00 PM

Place: Tubby’s Tank House 2909 River Drive, Thunderbolt, Georgia 31404

Cost: $90.00 (included one day class, breakfast, and lunch)

Please call 912 897 4921 now for reservations

Please sign up as soon as possible!  There is limited entry!

Capt Judy’s email fishjudy2@aol.com

Capt Judy’s Cell 912 429 7671

For more detailed information go to

www.missjudycharters.com OR GIVE US A CALL 912 897 4921


 Inshore Report

David Miller Catches a Big Trophy Red Fish!!

Trophy Red Fish

David Miller and Captain Jack McGowan are showing off a big trophy red fish.   David caught while fishing inshore with Captain Jack.  Once the fish took the bait, it ran away from the boat, then towards it, and then around the anchor rope twice.  The best news is that this fish was fought, caught, and promptly released!!


Captain Jack McGowan has been doing quite well in the big fish catching department

While fishing the beachfronts and sound areas he had been catching large trophy red fish and, believe it or not, tarpon in the 100 to 150 pound range.  According to this report the big boys have moved in to these areas to take advantage of a feeding extravaganza.  With plenty of bait, large fish such as the trophy red fish and tarpon can easily gorge themselves, and quick!  For those that want to give inshore mega fish catching a try give us a call-912 897 4921 or if you want to try this in your own boat now is the time!!

Now to do a little casting!

Captain Jack reported that if you want to catch your own bait shrimp it is a great time to do it.  According to this report, backs of creeks and all the usual spots are holding quite a few bait shrimp.  So if you want to cast a bit before you fish now is the time to add this sport to your fishing day!  The best times is when the water coming out of the grass.  However, on the day that you plan to fish if the tide is not with you then just give it a try!! 

Captain Ray Crawley releasing a trophy red fish!

Release Red Fish

Capt. Ray about to release a nice red he caught on Jack's boat!


Jillian Nance’s big bull red fish!

Big Bull red fish

Jillian Nance and her father Jon are holding up a nice bull red fish, which was caught while inshore light tackle fishing.  Jillian and her father were fishing guests onboard Mike Holton's boat.  As you can see from the smiles delivered it was a successful catching trip!


Artificial Reefs

Cindy McManus’s big Shark Tale!

October 7, 2012 Sunday

Shark Tale

Cindy McManus standing next to her 8 foot 180 pound tiger shark

Cindy along with her nephew Corey McManus loaded up the boat and headed offshore to the K.C. artificial reef to do a little shark fishing.  In the tackle department Cindy had brought along a couple of her favorite rod and reel combos.  Since it was sharks that she was after she loaded up her Penn jig master 6/0 reel combo with 80 pound test monofilament main line.  As far as leader “steel was the deal” and it was rigged with one single “J” hook.  Cindy’s favorite bait when shark fishing is a Bonita.  With this bait on her mind she headed over to the Tybee Bait shop.  The only shark bait that they had was a barracuda head, which is what they suggested.  So therefore barracuda head became the bait of choice for this fish day. 

Cindy and her nephew Corey, age 19, have been fishing together since he could walk.  So this fishing duo knew exactly what they were doing when they hooked up what most would call “a sea monster from the deep!”    Cindy and Corey both watched as the rigged barracuda head free floated away from the boat. Their first shark weight about 150 pounds and was quickly released after it was landed. With lines re-set the duo watched as several different size tiger sharks curiously cruised by their boat.  It seemed that the barracuda head had come alive as it started moving away from the boat.  The further it got away from the boat the faster whatever had it swam.  As soon as Cindy made sure the big fish had gotten enough of the head in its mouth the hook was set.  This act started a strong fight that would last a couple of hours.  After 2 1/2 hours of this big shark making deep runs, screaming off line, retrieving line, and seemly dragging the boat around the duo finally got a good look.  It was at this time that both ascertained that this big shark was about 8 foot long.   

Shark Tale

Here's a picture of Corey holding the gaff in place while the tiger shark is trying to pick its teeth with Cindy’s boat rail.

When Cindy felt it was time she maneuvered the shark to the boat and Corey set the gaff.  Once Corey set the gaff in place the tiger shark went crazy jumped towards the boat and jaw locked the bow rail of Cindy’s boat. After a few minutes of wondering what the heck the shark was going to do next Corey tail wrapped the shark. 

When they got back to Tybee Island Marina the shark that they pulled into the boat was mechanically hauled out with a wench. The big tiger shark was weighted, tipping the certified scales to a large 180 pounds.  Cindy filled out proper paper work and sent information off to the GADNR in hopes of setting a new women’s state tiger shark record.  

Now here’s where this shark fishing story gets real interesting.  Cindy just relocated from Florida about 7 months ago and thought that she will give fishing off the Georgia coast a try.  Cindy’s boat is only 18 feet long.  So let’s do the math 18 foot boat and 8 foot shark equals 10 foot left between you and the shark!!  I don’t know about all of you but the phrase from the movie “JAWS”   I think we need a bigger boat comes to mind!

Congratulations and a big welcome goes out to Cindy McManus and her nephew Corey!!


Savannah Snapper Banks

Plain old bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks can be interesting!

Snapper Banks

Almaco Jack

The bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks and around the naval towers has been pretty good.  Top water fish such as amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudder fish are holding in large school around these areas.  And here’s the best news these fish will hit cut squid or small live baits such as Spanish sardines and cigar minnows.  


Gulf Stream Report

Ilander Trackers

Ilander Trackers

South Ledge

Friday October 5, 2012

  Captain Tommy Williams

E-FISHN-C Blue water fishing team

Trace Dorminy

Wil Dorminy his son Trace, ARran Bibby, Captain Big Tommy Williams, Dan Spencer, and Captain Little Tommy Williams


 Trolling the South Ledge in the day time:

 While pulling assorted colors of  Ilander Trackers rigged with dink ballyhoo this blue water team stayed hooked up.   They caught 13 black fins, one 50 pound Wahoo, and one sailfish, which was promptly released.  When it got time to head home to the west, the crew instead headed east.  This is where the night time Sword Fishing took place.

Night time fishing for Swordies

While drifting in 1,500 feet of water with rigged baits not revealed, the team caught three sword fish weighting in at 71 pounds, 61.1 pounds, and 55 pounds.

So now that you know, it’s definitely time to go!!

Freshies Report

Bill Vanderford is “Lake Lanier’s Legend!”

For more about my long time friend Bill Vanderford as well as his accomplishments, his freshwater charter trips or wildlife tours, books written and his special line up of tackle offered, please visit his site http://www.fishinglanier.com/contact.html for all the details!  For more details go http://stores.ebay.com/Fishy-Racer http://www.youtube.com/fishyracer www.cafepress.com/grapefruitshop



Here’s My Line Now Bite My Hook!

Captain Judy


2012 Wounded Heroes Fall Bass Classic

2012 Wounded Heroes Fall Bass Classic

    Over 45 Anglers showed up to host our Nations Heroes for a day of bass fishing at Lake Anna, VA. We had 75 warriors attend the event from Warrior Trans Units (WTU) in Virginia and the surrounding area, and as well as far away, like Ft. Bragg, NC.
    These heroes received a new Quantum rod and reel and Plano Tackle system from our new partners at Take A Warrior Fishing, who we teamed up with this year. They also received all of their tackle from Bass Pro Shops in Ashland, VA. This year the breakfast was provided by Subway on Lake Anna. The goodie bags were provided be the National Rifle Association, and the lunch by Elks Lodge #875 in Fredericksburg, VA.
    With 2 Heroes to almost every boat, the event got underway around 6:30 AM, at Sturgeon Creek Marina and it was not long until the heroes were having a blast fishing with some of the most talented anglers in the area. At 3:30 PM, some great prizes were given away from the NRA, Castaway Rods, Baits For Bass, Bass Pro Shops, Subway and many others, as well as plaques provided by the Elks Lodge BPOE #875
All in all our Nations Heroes had a great day on the water. The 2012 Wounded Heroes Fall Bass Classic was a complete success.


BOAT CAPT                                        WOUNDED HEROES                 WEIGHT

1-W. Doreman                                    A. Brooks/S. Eckhart                    8lb 10.2oz
2- R. Fulk                                             Jon Hawke                                     8lb 2oz
3- D. Minard                                         B. Critcher/J. Alvarado                 8lb 0.4oz
4- B. Green                                          E. Dickerson/H. Perez                 7lb 12.2oz
5- Ji. Cornwell                                    A. Salgado/J. Germano                7lb 8.8oz
6- S. Mcguire                                      J. Spears/G.Aullet                          7lb 7.4oz
7- M. Alexander                                  P. Cedillo                                         7lb 5.6oz
8- W. Vickery                                       T.  Herror/G.Williams                    7lb 2.8oz
9- J. Sutton                                         S. Petrvzzi/T. Zabroski                    7lb 2oz
10-Ja. Cornwell                                 J. Hoffman                                       6lb 10.2oz
11-J. Parrish                                      J. Andries/V. Takesue                    6lb 9.4oz
12- L. Hall                                           S. Hall and son                               5lb 14.2oz
13- R. Rosier                                     C. Lewis/J.Collar                            5lb 13.2oz
14- D. Scott                                        N. Moore/N. Lorew                          5lb 13oz
15- J. Bandish                                  W. Jordan                                          5lb 10.8oz
16- T. Garrett                                     J. McDonald/A. McDonald              5lb 10.2oz
17- K. Phelphs                                  L. Wilson/E. Rue                             5lb 5.6oz
17- K. Barry                                        M. Zavala/J. Dennis                        5lb 5.6oz
18- Doc McGhee                              J. Dussault                                       5lb 0.4oz
19- C. Armstrong                             J. Babcock/W. babcock                  4lb 13.8oz
20- M. Gibson                                   R. Nunez/C. Bush                           4lb 7.2oz
21- M. Cornwell                                M. Berkhouse                                  4lb 6.6oz
22- Del Smith                                   A. Rahm/D. Wilson                         4lb3.6oz
23- M. Kukowski                              J. Graham/L. Artiles                        3lb 10.6oz
24- F. Lee                                           P. Herbert                                        3lb 9.8oz
25- B. Gibson                                    K. Giaquinto/A. Gilly                       3lb 9oz




The Nitro Z7 was my 4th of July Fireworks!

I've spent the last 50 years fishing every creek and puddle I could find in Missouri between Table Rock and Mark Twain Lakes, fishing from everything from a 12' jon boat to pontoons to my friends' big Ranger and Nitro bass boats.  Even the best, most expensive boats I regarded only as tools to help me do what I really wanted to do on the water: fish!

Even this past year and a half since my responsibilities shifted to include managing a Tracker Dealership I only assigned emotional value to the boats in how the sum of their features related to the fishing potential.  All that changed the week of July 4th at Lake of the Ozarks.  Most folks would resent having to take work with them on vacation, but I had to put a 150 Mercury OptiMax Pro XS on a Nitro Z7 through its break-in procedures so we could use it for an upcoming event; so I sucked it up and took one for the team.

Now, as anyone who has ever purchased a new boat knows, during your first few hours of use you have to be pretty careful watching rpm's and not pushing the engine while it's still unseasoned.  Even so, as we got past the no-wake buoy I was shocked at how the Z7 popped up on plane with the throttle barely half-way forward!  I had some great experiences on my buddy's 2002 Nitro, but getting out of the hole was never one of them.  In that boat we would plow water as the seconds ticked by and we leaned as far forward as we could to help the nose finally dip and we would be on our way.  I can tell you it wasn't just hype when our designers called the Z7's hull design "Rapid Planing System!"  I found later that even a livewell full of water and two 225 pound guys didn't keep this baby from popping right out of the hole.

If you've ever been on Lake of the Ozarks over the 4th you'll remember there's a lot of boat traffic and a lot of big wakes.  You'd know I was kidding you if I said the Z7 made the lake feel as smooth as glass, but the foam filled stringer system and the modular construction ties everything together to make this boat as tough as they come without giving up any speed.  After I got 5 or 6 hours on the 150 ProXS I opened her up coming out of the Little Niangua and my passenger's eyes were wide as we cut across the chop and the speedometer rose to meet the 60 mark!

To say I was impressed with these and all the other performance features of the Nitro Z7 is a huge understatement.  There are bigger and faster boats out there, especially at Lake of the Ozarks; but I can honestly say the two days I spent breaking in the Z7 with its 150 Mercury Pro XS OptiMax were the most fun I've ever had on the water... and I didn't even have a fishing rod in the boat!!!



Colorado" Froggin"

FrogBass on a frogBass on a frogweed bedsHave you ever wondered why there are so many types of frogs on the shelves at Bass Pro and heard people say they were for fishing somewhere else besides Colorado. I have and I just have to smile. This means they haven't figured out one of the best times of the summer on our Colorado warm water fisheries as well as most of the local ponds around the Metro areas.

I have mentioned in the past that most of our reservoirs are used for irrigation and they lose water fast starting in mid March, add this drought we are now in and they are losing water faster than in the years past.

This doesn't mean there aren't fishing opportunities in the muck. Take advantage of the weed beds and dropping water levels and do a little "froggin". You can walk the banks or take out a Jon boat if your access of launching your boat has been left high and dry.

There are many different frog baits to choose from at Bass Pro. BPS Kermey Frog, Live Target Frogs, BOOYAH Pad Crashers and many more as well as various soft plastic buzz frogs on the market. I always say throw what you have confidence in and that will produce for you. Colors are simple,have a white, black and a natural and you pretty much have it covered.

You will need a medium heavy rod, high speed reel as well as heavy line to hook up with the bass. I like to use braided line due to the no stretch and the strength to pull the bass out of the weeds and bring it all in at the same time. Normally the hits and hook up results are not the best ratio but the heart attack explosions are what keep me going back time after time. I am always amazed at how shallow bass get and how aggressive they are when they hit a frog.

I look for matted weed beds with openings in between them and try to work my frog as real as possible meaning hopping it along the weed beds with short twitches from my rod and stopping it at the edge of the openings and shaking it a little before moving it up onto the next matted patch of weeds. If the bass is there he will explode on your frog. I try to use the soft plastic buzz frogs in more open vegetation to get better hook ups.

If you need a little excitement this summer and you want to try something new. Pick up some frogs at BPS and head down to the local pond and fish the weed beds. Once you experience the explosive strikes that the frogs produce you will be as addicted as I am on" froggin" in Colorado

                                                                   Best of luck,

                                                                                      Sam Heckman  /  Pro Staff




Great Savings in Tracker Boats on Non-Current Boats and ATVs

Come in and see Tim Chappell, Bill Mills, Bill Gibson, Butch Lauderdale, or Steve Medorie in Tracker for great savings and rebates on all non-current boats, and ATV's.

Currently in stock:

2011  MAKO In-shore Center console boat with 200 opti-max engine (1)

2011 Party Barge 20  (2)

2011 Party Barge 24 (1)

2011 Tahoe Q7 decked out with wake board tower & extreme graphics (1)

2011 Tahoe 215XI Deck boats         (2)

2011 Tahoe 195 I-O   Deck boat  (1)

2011 Tahoe 225 Deck boat    BEST BUY $3000.00 in savings (1)

2009-2011 Arctic Cat ATV's  With rebates (6)

2010-2011 Bad Boy Buggies with Rebates and 1.9% financing (4)     

Several 10 and 12 foot Jon Boats with extra savings and no freight charge

2010 ATV trailers 4x8, 5x10, 6x12  BIG SAVINGS

Wide variety of Outboard Engines that have been reduced off their original price.

Our Tracker Sales team looks forward to helping you find the boat or ATV to fit your needs.







Four Keys to Fresher Bait

Next to my outboard, the most important piece of equipment on my boat is my bait tank. It does not matter if you are targeting monster flatheads or big blues fresh bait is the key to making your next trophy catfishing adventure a more successful one. Without a properly functioning tank you could be in for a long boring trip.

There are many popular brands of bait tanks out there like Super, Grayline, KeepAlive and my personal favorite BlueWater. Regardless of which brand you chose your tank should have rounded corners and a good filtration system. Freshwater baitfish naturally school in a circular pattern in the wild. If you try to keep them in a in a modified cooler or other container with 90-degree corners, they will all congregate in one corner. This will deplete the oxygen in that part of the tank and your shad will get the dreaded red nose and die. Second, you can infuse your bait tank with all of the oxygen that you want but without a good filtration system to remove loose scales, excrement and ammonia your bait is as good as dead. By following the steps below your bait will stay amped up and help you catch more fish.

Step 1: Tank Prep

About 15 minutes before you are ready to put bait into your tank you should fill it and add your salt and hydrogen peroxide. While you can fill your tank with tap water before you head out I would recommend that you fill it with lake water when you get there. The reason for this is that tap water has chlorine in it that will kill your bait. There are chemicals on the market that will safely remove the chlorine, but I like to save money and just fill her up at the lake or river I am fishing in. This also starts the bait tank temperature out at the same temperature as the lake so the shad won’t be shocked as much when you put them back in the lake on the end of your line. As a rule of thumb, I add non-iodized salt at a ratio of 1 cup per 10 gallons of water in order to reduce scale and slime coat loss. Then I add hydrogen peroxide at a ratio of 1 cap full for every 10 gallons of water. This will allow the water in the tank to absorb the maximum amount of oxygen that is possible by volume, making the aeration system about 50% more efficient than normal. Now turn your tank on and let it run for about ten minutes while you catch bait so that the salt and peroxide are thoroughly mixed.

Step 2: Bait Prep

When cast-netting your own bait you should have some sort of water filled staging container to hold your bait in before adding it to your bait tank. While a 5-gallon bucket will work in a pinch I like to use one of the rope handled plastic washtubs that you can find at any dollar store. The methodology behind the washtub is to let the fish stage in it so that any loose scales and excrement come out in tub rather than in your bait tank. This will also keep unnecessary debris like leaves and sticks from clogging up the filter in your tank. In addition, it will let you choose the optimum size baits for the tank and turn back ones that are too small or the wrong species. There is no reason to dump them directly into your tank when they are just going to rob oxygen away from your desired baits.

Step 3: Maintaining Your Bait

Now that you have successfully prepped your tank and added your bait, you will need to do a few things during your trip to keep them feisty and ready to play. A combination of constant agitation of the water due to aeration and slime coat loss will result in a foamy film floating on the surface of your tank. This film is not productive to a healthy bait tank environment and can be removed using a product like foam off or if you run out you can use powdered coffee creamer to stop the film from forming. Even with a top-notch filtration system you need to remove the scale catcher and filter material about every 2-3 hours and wash it out over the side of the boat. This will insure that the water stays as clean as possible for the rest of your trip. Water temp is another factor that will kill bait and should be monitored as well. I like to keep my baits between 55-75 degrees, if you stay in this range your baits should thrive without a problem. To cool it down on a hot summer night I will add a frozen 20 oz water bottle as needed. Do Not add ice directly into the tank as it most likely contains chlorine and will kill your bait. If you are a hard-core catfisherman like me and your bait tank is getting too cool on a frozen winter day just add some water from your idling outboard and you should fine.

Step 4: Securing Your Bait Tank

Thirty to fifty gallons of water and shad are very heavy and shouldn’t be left to roam around the boat freely as it could cause loss of bait or worse, an injury! To secure my bait tank I use a rubber exercise equipment mat that you would place under a treadmill or stationary bike and a ratchet strap. The rubber mat will keep your bait tank from sliding, but it will also help with temperature control on those hot summer days. The mat will keep the heat soaked up by your boats deck from transferring through the bottom of your bait tank. Jon boat owners really benefit the most from this trick as their exposed metal decks can get much hotter than their carpeted counterparts do. Then I just secure my tank using the ratchet strap to the starboard rail on my pontoon and I am all ready to bait the rods and wait for a monster pull down.  

If you follow the steps above your bait will stay fresher longer and result in more trophy catfish in your boat!


Spider- Rigging to catch Crappie

Want to catch some crappie?

Lets set youspider riggingr boat up for spider-rigging to catch those big slabs.

 Boat - Most any style of boats can be converted easily for this type of fishing. (pontoon, jon boat, bass boat) We fish from a Nitro Bass Boat which we’ve set up for crappie fishing. We use a tandem seat that allows us to fish side-by-side off the front of the boat.

Rod Holders - We use the Driftmaster Pro Series Rod Holders on the front of the boat, each one holds four rods. You want to adjust your rods so the tips will be approximately 6²to 10² from the water.

Rods - Crappie trolling rods vary in length from 10¢-18¢. We use eight 12¢ Bass Pro Shops Crappie Maxx Signature Series. These are excellent rods for spider-rigging.

Reels - Our reels of choice are the Bass Pro Shops Extreme EX10 spinning reels with Wally Marshall Hi-Vis 10 lb. test line.

don and toni2Trolling Motor - You will need a trolling motor. There are many types to choose from, we use the Minn Kota Autopilot. The autopilot allows us the freedom to move around in the boat and maintain our speed and course.  

Electronics - You will need a fish locator. This will show you structure, channels, baitfish, water temperature and speed. There are several styles to choose from to fit your budget. We have the Hummingbird Model 898, down and side imaging at the console and at the front of the boat we have a Lowrance HDS-5 with the transducer on the foot of the trolling motor allowing us to see everything in the front of the boat.  Any hand held GPS which monitors speed will work just as well. Your speed should be .5 to .6 mph.

 Now the fun begins once you locate fish. Start trolling the edges of the drop offs or channels using a chartreuse jig or roadrunner tipped with a minnow.

 Visit your local Bass Pro Shops for any of the items mentioned. www.basspro.com

Hope to see you on the water…

Don & Toni Collins

don and toni

2010 Angler Team of the Year

2010 Sportsman of the Year

email: crappie07fish@yahoo.com 



Boating and fishing in rivers and ponds

Our service guys in Tracker have out done themselves in customizing a Grizzly 1648 Jon and turning it into a sweet river boat for the Susquehanna river . Our sales lead calls it the river that's a mile wide and a foot deep. But what he forgot to mention is the superb fishing and water sports you can do anywhere on this river that runs through the capital city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "The river" (as the locals affectionately call it) is tricky to boat and fish but with some practice and the right equipment, like one of the many depth finder/fish finders available in our marine department you'll be sure to have a good time. Check out these 2 YouTube videos about the custom boat our service technicians built that works great on "the river":

Our service technician lead, Scott Lucas, included this description. "We added a center console to the boat with a windshield, added a seat/livewell (20 Gallon). Installed a trolling motor and put the battery up under the front deck. Installed aerator and bilge pumps, navigation lights, fire extinguisher and paddle, cranking batter and 6 gallon tank. After shooting video, 2 fishing seats were installed. One in the front and another in the rear of the boat.


Because of the heavy rains in the spring and other factors that the PA Fish and Boat Commission are researching, the bass fishing has been regulated to catch and release only in certain areas of the river this year. Because of this, some of our local bass fishermen have been looking elsewhere to go fishing. This brings me to my VERY IMPORTANT message to all outdoorsmen and women. There are many land owners who don't mind people hunting, fishing, swimming, etc. on their property as long as those people have permission to be there and use their property RESPECTFULLY. Recently, Rod and I were fishing in his uncle’s private pond and there were two men fishing along the bank of the pond. We were unsure if they had permission so we decided to stay in the area and watch them. One of them named, Randy, caught a nice largemouth bass and had no problem with releasing it back into the pond to be caught again some day. Rod's uncle came by later on his ATV to talk to all of us and see if the fishin' was any good and that the area was left clean of garbage. He is constantly on patrol because of people sneaking in and leaving broken glass and their trash behind and tearing up the property that he worked his lifetime to own and enjoy in his retirement. THIS IS WRONG AND HAS TO BE STOPPED. Parents....please teach your children to respect other's property and be responsible for their actions. Not only in the summertime but also during hunting seasons where farmers and property owners may allow you to hunt.

 Rod and a largemouth bass from private pond caught and released 

July is also the month for PA hunters to buy their hunting licenses because the PA Game Commission begins to offer it’s antlerless deer licenses on Monday, July 11. Since we’ve put up the deer feeder last year we’ve been able to watch the buck’s antlers begin to grow back this summer. Here’s some pictures taken from our Moultrie game cameras that we placed by the feeder that I have been promising you.  
Another young buck in velvet One of the bigger buck

Two young buck protecting their tender antlers while in velvetUnder the feeder and always vigilant

Until next time, have a safe and enjoyable summer and get out of the air conditioning and enjoy the natural, cool shade and summertime fun in our national and state parks.