"When to Stay & When to Go"

          "When to stay and when to go"

By: Curt Samo

         I had the opportunity years ago to fish with the great angling legend Larry Nixon.  One of the things I will always remember him telling me is that the thing that separates the great fisherman from the average fisherman is the decision making process of when to stay on a spot or when to leave.  Just a few weeks ago, I was fishing a tournament on West Point Lake in central Alabama.  I was faced with this exact dilemma. 

           I had found a classic fall pattern with fish in the backs of major creeks.  The fish were in roughly 2 - 3 feet of water. The temperature in the back of the creek where I had found the fish was about 67 degrees.  That first practice day, I caught about 14 pounds of bass, which on this particular lake would normally be a winning weight.  Paying attention to the weather forecast for the week, I knew a huge cold front was scheduled to hit the area. On the second day of practice, I went back to those same areas to expand my pattern and locate more spots in the back of the creek.  I found a few more fish and felt comfortable with the quality of fish in this area.  During practice I was catching them on a Lucky Craft Redemption Spinner Bait.  I also caught a few on a Lucky Craft LVR 150 rattle bait.  After the second day of practice, the cold front really settled in.  On the third day of practice I decided to leave those areas alone and move to the main lake to locate some bonus hot spots to add to my creek pattern.  That night the temperature dropped to 31 degrees.  I felt this would affect the bite somewhat, since the fish were so shallow.  Yet I knew the fish were there, so I committed to go to the backs of those creeks.  

          When I arrived the first day, I found that the water temperature had dropped seven degrees overnight.  I thought that the bite would be slow in the morning, then pick up as the water temperature warmed during the afternoon.  I threw the spinnerbait most of the day, and though the bite was tough, I ended up with 4 fish and was sitting in 18th place after the first day.  That night, record cold temperatures came in.  I was nervous about the activity level of the fish in the back of those creeks with such a severe front.  I made the decision not to abandon this pattern based on the quality of fish in this area.  The big decision would be if I got to that location and didn't get bit at all:  should I abandon this area for warmer water, or commit to this area and find a presentation that would make the fish bite.

            I arrived to my spot on the morning of the second tournament day and was shocked to see that the water temperature had dropped to 54 degrees.  The fish would not bite a spinnerbait, so I tried several other presentations and caught 2 fish right away, to my surprise.  One was on a black/blue Chompers Tube and the other was on a white Chompers grub. Then the bite died.  I tried several more presentations and for the next 4 hours did not even have a bite.  Being a couple fish out from a check, I needed to make some decisions.  In the back of my mind, I knew that I only needed 1 or 2 more quality bites.  I decided to stay, thinking that the water temperature would rise a few degrees and increase my chance of getting a bite.  That never happened and I lived with the decision. There have been times in my tournament career when staying paid off, and times like this when it didn't.  I hope that I can learn from these decisions and put that information into my tournament archives. 

           It is worth noting that due to the major cold front, that many of the fish I did catch were barely hooked.  I feel like the rod and reel combo that I was using really helped me to land some of these light-biting fish.  Any time a reactionary bait is being used, it is important to use a rod that has a lot of give because this allows the fish to take the bait in without pulling it out of his mouth.  My favorite rod for this is the Bass Pro Shops Crankin Stix.   I was using a 7 foot, medium-action model, and I had it teamed up with a Johnny Morris Signature series reel and 17 pound XPS Flourocarbon line.  This combo definitely seemed to help me get a few more bites and land the fish that I did in the clear water that I was fishing.  Until next time, good fishin!  Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff, Curt Samo.


Outdoor Skills Tips: Preperation For Fishing ... A New Look

Outdoor Skills Tips

I have fished for years and thought I was pretty good at preparing for a season, or a trip. This winter I found out that for all these years I have been missing some of the most important things in preparation.

I always took the time in the winter to clean my reels, wipe down my rods and make sure my guides are in good shape. I re-spool all my reels and treat my line with reel magic. I go through all my crank baits and change out or sharpen hooks. I go through my pounds and pounds of plastic and re-organize and make a list of what I think I need. I go through my boat and give it a good cleaning, check all my connections and test my pumps. I make sure my trailer hubs are all lubed up, tires properly inflated and ready for a season of travel. I could go on and on, but I have still been missing the most important thing….my body…

I found out around Christmas that I had some melanoma on my back. For those who don’t know , melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that is caused from sun exposure. When found early it is very treatable, but when left alone it can take your life. I have fair skin and a lot of freckles so the sun likes to cook me quickly. For years I was a life guard and have been a tournament and recreational fisherman for 25 years. Years of exposure to the sun finally took their toll. I use to joke about getting off the water with raccoon eyes, being able to see my flip flop tan, well now I know that there are repercussions for my actions. Many days I would forget to apply or re apply sunscreen. I “didn’t have time”, when in reality I was ignorant to what I was subjecting my body to.

I was lucky, and mine was found early by my wife. It was on my back and I may never have found it by myself. After my family doctor did a biopsy and it came back as melanoma my doctor sent me for removal the next day to a specialist. The rest is a long story and to save time I will tell you that I now have a 3.5 inch scar on my shoulder blade to remind me of the dangers of the sun. I get to go and be checked every 3 months for the years to come, because once found to have melanoma you are more likely to have it again.


All this being said I encourage all of us who spend time outdoors enjoying all the beautiful things on God’s green earth that we all take time and educate ourselves to the dangers of the sun. Today there are many ways to protect our skin from sunscreen lotions to clothing. Many tech shirts like our World Wide Sportsman Angler Shirts have upf built in from 20upf to 50upf.

WWS Angler Shirt

  • 100% quick-dry nylon
  • Built-in UPF sun protection
  • Vented-cape back with mesh lining
  • Two large multi-function chest pockets
  • Handy rod loop
  • Roll-up collar for sun protection
  • Hidden button-down collar
  • Utility loop on the right pocket

Made of 100% quick-dry nylon enhanced for on-the-water action with built-in UPF sun protection. Features an improved vented-cape back with mesh lining for superior fit and performance. Includes two large multi-function chest pockets, handy rod loop, roll-up collar for sun protection, hidden button-down collar, and utility loop on the right pocket. Machine wash.


We have several Shorts and pants that have upf built in as well.

WWS Pants

  • NANO-tex® Resists Spills Technology for stain resistance
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Zip-off legs convert pants to 9" shorts
  • Wrinkle-resistant 100% nylon construction
  • Half-elastic waist
  • Total of six pockets
  • Two security pockets with zippers
  • Reinforced belt loops
  • Double-stitched seams

Long days on the water call for versatile clothes like our Hybrid Angler Pant, which features NANO-tex Resists Spills Technology for stain resistance, UPF 50+ sun protection, and convenient zip-off legs that convert to 9" shorts. Wrinkle-resistant 100% nylon construction features a half-elastic waist for full freedom of movement, six pockets (including two security pockets with zippers), reinforced belt loops, and double-stitched seams. Machine wash. Imported.

Hats and fingerless gloves with sun protection, buff headwear and many more products protect your hands and head from damaging rays as well.

gloves and hat

BUFF head gear

I use to think that all that gear made you goofy. Lets think about it..you are spending tons of money to chase a green fish around a big body of water, that you are going to try and catch and then put back in the water… that is really goofy. I now realize that looking cool is not as important as protecting my body so I can spend many more years with my family and spending time outdoors doing what I love….

Cover Up

Cover up, Have fun and be safe!

Thanks for the time, and I look forward to seeing you in the store or on the water….until next time.

Eric Winter

Store Manager 

Bass Pro Shop Concord NC







Plastic baits vs. Bass flies

 “Would you think I have lost my mind if I said I caught a limit of black bass on a fly and my spinning rod?” the man asked me.  “I must have run up on some fish crazier than I am,” he continued.  “Look what I caught!”  he exclaimed.  The gentleman dove into his pocket for his cell phone and produced photos of black bass he had caught on a fly … which he had been drop shotting on his spinning rod. I was impressed with his collection of fish, but not surprised by his method.

 “No, sir, I don’t think either you or the fish were crazy. Actually, it just makes a lot of sense.”  Well it does make sense.  Bass fishers spend a good deal of time drop shotting small plastic worms, minnows and crawfish imitations.  Fishers have been reaping the benefits of smaller bait presentations for quite some time. Armed with light to medium spinning rods that were designed to throw light baits from 1/8-ounce to 1/2-ounce they have almost filled a niche that had been vacant before.  There’s another approach as well.  Replace your plastic baits with bass flies!

 Let’s burn a myth here. Not all flies float.  As a matter of fact, most flies do not float.  Fly shops are filled with flies that can be used from the surface all the way down the water column to whatever depth the fish are. There are flies with neutral buoyancy (called suspending baits in the baitcasting world) flies designed to sink and of course, flies that do float. Streamer-style bass flies can be easily be manipulated to imitate injured or skittering minnows as your particular case may call for.

 Clousers, large streamers, bucktail jigs and crawfish pattern flies can be dangled in front of bass and it’s all over but the hook-setting!   Your Bass Pro Shops White River Fly shop carries a nice array of bass flies for you to choose from. If you want to match your bait to what the fish eat on a regular basis, consider tying your own flies. Your White River Fly Shop has the gear from vises to tying thread and hooks you’ll want and the expertise to suggest fly patterns for your specific needs.

 As the weather warms up and the fish get finicky, gear up and go get’em with your flies and dropshot weights from Bass Pro Shops!


Bass flies


Seasons End, Maintenance Begins

Rod Slings Guest Blog by Rod Slings, Retired Iowa DNR Hunter Education Administrator


As the hunting seasons come to an end, it’s time again to store all your equipment. As always, safety is number one for every hunter and gun owner. Make sure your firearm is pointed in a safe direction, check to make sure it’s unloaded, then it’s ready to be cleaned. Even if you haven’t fired it, it’s important to give it a quick cleaning. Moisture, dirt, and salt from your hands can all have a long-term impact on the condition of your firearms. 

Each year, somewhere, someone forgets to unload his or her muzzleloader. Incidents can happen when you think the muzzleloader is empty and place another “load” on top of the load that was left…last hunting season. It’s never good when you’re expecting a bang and BOOM happens instead. It can cause severe injury or even death by not making sure your muzzleloader is empty before you load it up again. Powder residue will cause corrosion and have a major effect, so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on proper cleaning.

Gun storage is very much a huge responsibility for all hunters. Make sure you use trigger locks or cable locks, and lock them in a gun cabinet or gun safe. This keeps your firearms from the curious, young and old, or even the burglar that may break into your house. There are all kinds of gun storage products available to help you be a responsible gun owner.

Opinions differ on storing “muzzle up or muzzle down” in your gun safe or locker. After cleaning oil is used in the barrel, with muzzle up the excess could run down into the end of your wood stock and cause the wood fibers to expand.  This is due to the oil saturating and working its way down where the metal meets the stock. This is not an issue with the newer composite stocks or other non-porous stocks. Muzzle down will eliminate this from occurring. No matter what, always make sure you keep the firearms pointed in a safe direction when placing them in or removing them from locked storage. Remember:  Treat every firearm as if it were loaded ALWAYS!

Ammunition should be stored in a locked container separate from the firearms. This safety practice adds another layer to your firearm storage safety protocol.

Don’t forget to remove batteries from trail cameras, range finders, GPS units and other battery-powered hunting equipment. Storage of arrows and archery equipment requires an edge of safety, too!

Until you’re ready to go target practice, shoot some trap or skeet, or are preparing for spring turkey season, these steps will keep you, your family, and others stay safe!

It’s always great to break out your equipment in the fall and have everything ready to be inspected for another Rod Slingsyear…not to have rust, corrosion, or other issues from not practicing due-diligence now. 

Always focus on safe gun handling and, please, hunt SAFE!


Rod Slings is a partner with Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants. He was with the Iowa DNR for 35 years as a supervisor in the DNR's Law Enforcement Bureau. He is an active proponent of hunter safety and education through international leadership, instructional, and speaking opportunities for organizations such as the International Hunter Education Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the United Nations.


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The best knife sharpeners for every experience level


I usually get bummed at this time of year. Deer season is almost history, and spring turkey season is still three months away. But one of the things I do to pass the time between now and then is focus on maintaining my hunting equipment. In particular, these cold winter days are a great time to hone the knives we use to dress game or fillet fish.

Of course, Bass Pro offers just about every type of knife sharpener you can imagine.  This two-stage sharpener is extremely simple to use and is great for those who don’t have a lot of experience putting a razor edge on a knife. For more seasoned knife enthusiasts, pad-style sharpeners like this and this are solid choices. And for those of you who love your knives so much you sleep with them, you might consider investing in this high-end Smith’s Edge Pro Electric Knife Sharpener.

As we all struggle to make it through these cold winter days, I’m offering you a chance to win a new Redhead 8” Ceramic Sharpening Rod ($19.99 value). To enter the drawing, click on the "blog raffle" tab at the top of our Facebook page and answer the question it asks. A winner will be chosen Feb. 14.


Good luck, and happy knife sharpening!

Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro


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




Not So Fast! Preparing your fishing equipment for the off season:Part 3

Not So Fast! Part 3

Suggestions for preparing your fishing equipment for the off season.

by Captain Jim Barr- www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com- Bass Pro Shops, Foxboro, MA- Pro Staff- 10/23/13


Fly, Spinning and Baitcasting Rods:

Use an old but clean toothbrush and with hot soapy water clean the reel seat, the fittings  that secure the reel to the reel seat and the screw threads of the reel seat. Clean around all of the guides and the tip top. If the cork grip is discolored, or slick with an oily residue- use a very fine grit sandpaper or 0000 steel wool and carefully rub down the grip to restore it's color and smooth surface. (Use masking tape to cover the rod blank and the reel seat immediately adjacent the cork grip to guard against scratching). If there are cracks in the cork or sections where the cork filler dislodged, mix cork dust (sand a wine bottle cork and collect the fine dust) with waterproof glue (Elmer's), and using a flat wooden stick or coffee stirrer, push the paste into the cracks and pits. Wait 24 hrs to allow the cork/glue slurry to cure and then carefully sand the grip with fine grit sand paper to return it to nearly new condition. Wipe down your rod sections with a clean cloth soaked in hot soapy water (use a mild soap). I like to then polish each rod section with a furniture spray wax such as Pledge. Spray the wax onto a clean dry cloth and polish each rod section. For multi-piece rods, apply beeswax, bowstring wax (or paraffin wax at a minimum) to each male ferrule of the rod sections. (The wax keeps the rod sections from coming loose after repeated casting). For fly rods, store the rod sections in a rod sock and secure everything into the appropriate rod tube. (If your rod tubes have a description of the rod on the exterior make sure you've got the right rod in the right tube, otherwise you might be in for a surprise when it’s time to fish. Pay attention to the details. Store the tube in a cool and dry environment. For one-piece rods, several storage related products are very helpful in organizing and protecting your investments. Most anglers will store their rods with the reels attached and that’s fine as long as it’s done carefully. Most however roughly gather the rods together and prop them in a corner of the basement or garage so they are stacked on top of one another. I have several suggestions:


  1. Remove all terminal tackle and wind all the line onto the spool and secure the line with a rubber band or ladies hair tie.
  2. Slip rod socks over each rod to protect the blank and guides from damage. Most of our rods these days are constructed of graphite. If these rod blanks are scratched or nicked they can easily fail under the load of a fish or during the casting process. Protect your rods with simple covers: Bass Pro Shops Rod Sock
  3. Rather than propping the rods leaning against one another, develop a system for storage, whether it’s overhead or standup design. I recommend vertical storage systems in rod carousels. They don’t use much space, and they rotate making it very easy to remove specific rods without sorting through the “pickup sticks” type storage.
  4. Where necessary, replace worn or broken guides on your rods. The following link will take you to a You Tube video that explains the repair process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki0GviM6WI0


Zippers: Take particular care with any clothing items and gear bags that have zippers. Zippers exposed directly to salt water and salt air can get encrusted and lock up, and when you forcibly try to free them because you're in a hurry, the zipper head or slide will often break. The following link will take you to a blog on my website that offers tips on how to remove salt, clean and maintain zippers exposed to the salt environment. http://www.skinnywaterchartersri.com/SWC-Blog.html?entry=zip-it-up


These suggestions cover much of what anglers should pay attention to as they prepare to put their equipment away for the winter months. Like your car or your house, regular maintenance will help ensure that your equipment will last longer, look better and be ready for next year’s fishing season.

For additional tips, suggestions and announcements from Skinny Water Charters, visit my website at www.SkinnyWaterChartersRI.com.


Try a New Sport!

fly fishing 1

Have you wanted to try a new sport and maybe you are just not real sure where to start? Well, if fly fishing is in your thoughts, let me tell you how to make it a reality. Bass Pro Shops in Leeds is proud to offer a "hands on" instructional class for beginners on how to cast a fly rod. The casting class meets each month on the second and fourth Saturday at 1pm at the lake here on our property. (Our lake is located off of the nature trail entrance to the store.) All of the supplies will be provided so you do not need to bring anything except your thirst for knowledge. This class is limited to only six students so that each person can receive individualized instruction based on need. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, don't hesitate to contact the store at (205) 702-7500 today to sign up for the next available class. I will tell you... classes fill up quickly.  


fly fishing 2



Once you get the hang of casting, you should sign up for the fly tying class. Fly tying classes are offered the first and third Monday of every month at 6pm in our own White River Fly Shop.


Using an Alabama rig


We like to showcase different rigs during our weekly fishing demos. Fishing associate David B. is a fan of the Alabama rig, so that's what we used last week. Let’s “school” you on how it works:


Most 'bama rigs come with five arms for hooks, however in the state of Missouri; you're only allowed to have three hooks. The center wire or two bottom wires will catch the most fish, so attach decoy bait on the other two arms.

If used correctly, it can catch a lot of fish. Its trick? It's designed to appear to be a school of fish. When it's reeled in, the lures are pulled together in one direction. Make sure to pause to let the rig change directions for a bit to give fish a chance to catch up.

The best time to use this rig is from the early spring through the summer, and then again in the early fall. It works best on a 7ft medium-heavy rod with bait casters and 30-60lbs braided line. Use soft plastics like Zoom, paddletail fluke or 4 inch grubs. Lake of the Ozarks is a great place to use them according to David. They are good for catching many different species such as largemouth bass or (if using a smaller rig) crappie.

Because of the amount of arms on the rig, make sure to check with the state conservation regulations before using it. Some states like Tennessee don't allow the rig to be used at all, and most of the time they’re not tournament sanctioned either.

The Deadly 5 War Path is a great Alabama rig to use. It starts at $9.99 and can be found in our fishing department.



Hometown Winter Steelhead

Elk Creek SteelheadingPart of taking up fly fishing is trying to figure out all the different fly combinations and methods for delivering them to the water and hopefully the fish that live there.  Dry fly, indicator, high-stick nymphing, streamer, hopper/dropper, bottom bouncing, popper, chuck-and-duck, swinging, and a few others are methods developed to fit a particular circumstance, location, or fish species.  Little did I know that fly fishing would require learning a whole bunch of knots and a bunch of ways to lose the flies I worked so hard to tie.

I recently took a trip to my home waters of Erie, Pennsylvania to catch up with family members over Christmas break, and to hook some fresh Lake Erie Steelhead if possible.  I’d never tried winter steelheading in the past, so I did a lot of reading up on the subject before packing my vest with tons of useless junk.  The Steelhead Guide by John Nagy, and Great Lakes Steelhead, Salmon, & Trout by Karl Weixlmann became my bibles for a month or so before hitting the road.  Part of the problem though is not knowing how the weather is going to affect the water.  The conditions can change drastically; ranging from free-flowing and clear, high and muddy (blown out), and ultimately, frozen solid.  Your fly type has to change accordingly and the presentation style must follow suit.  Winter fishing is mainly a nymphing or egging prospect with tandem rigs drifted below strike indicators.  In other words totally foreign to me.  We don’t have to use splitshot or strike indicators in saltwater.  What the heck is mending anyway?

Elk Creek SteelheadI left home with 180 flies but still bought more once reaching the northern waters, and guess what….  The ones I tied worked wonderfully.  I had experimented with a few nymphs that combined some desirable features of other stock patterns and they proved killers on the only day I actually got to fish productive conditions.  Every fish I hooked over the course of the day (nine), and ultimately landed (3) were hooked while utilizing a presentation style I’d never tried before, on flies I tied myself.  More would have been landed had I paid attention to the chapter on fighting steelhead differently than you do tarpon.

There’s a great deal of satisfaction in catching fish with a fly rod and even more when you learn a new and productive method for delivering the fly.  Never stop learning and never stop trying to create your own unique patterns.


Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Ice Fishing in New York State

In New York State Ice Fishing is a short season.  Where many hunker down in their house to stay warm, many cannot wait to get out on the ice and fish.  Here is some information from the DEC on Ice Fishing in New York State.  Additional information is available on www.dec.ny.gov .

During this time of year the ice fisherman can catch a variety of fish from perch to walleye.  Some waters are open to lake trout and landlocked salmon just check the Special Regulations by County on the DEC website.  Just like open water fishing, ice fishing does require skill and knowledge.  You need the proper equiment, clothing and most of all safety precautions.  

Cutting through the ice is not as hard as you think.  Buy a auger that fits your need.  Pan fish usually need at 4" to 6" auger, where a larger fish needs a 8" hole.  Keep in mind that a 8" hole requires almost twice as much ice removal  as the 6" hole.  If you do extreme ice you  may want a gas powered auger for speed and convenience. 

The number one safety hazard is "safe ice" .  The DEC recommends 3 to 4 inches of solid ice for safety.  The American Pulpwood Associate developed a table for judging safety on ice, lakes and streams.  The entire table is on the DEC website.  A few suggestions are for 2 inches of ice thickness the permissible load is one person on foot.  Three inches is a group in single file.  Note:  This suggestion is based on clear, blue hard ice on non running waters.  They also suggest be cautious where bubblers are used to protect docks.  This produces thin unsafe ice even some distance away. 

Always check your fishing regulations.  New York State limits fishing to two jigging lines or hand lines and five tip ups in most water.  Check all additional regulations on the DEC website.  Then stop on by and look at  what we have to give you the perfect ice fishing adventure.  Check out some of our products below:

Bass Pro Shop Hand Held Ice Auger - 6" or 8" portable, lightweight, stainless steel blade



  Frabill Bro Series Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combos - Smooth drag, sub-zero lubricant for gears, cork handle











Bass Pro Shop Ice Artic Angler Tip Up - Durable, sensitive, visable strike indicator, measurable board














Bass Pro Shop Ice Rod Holder - Sturdy, fits most rod handles, very handy!








Ice Artic Angler Ul/timate Ice Glove System with Liner - Neoprene, non slip grip, hook and loop wrist strap for fast and easy adjustment, moisture wicking liner.














Clam Legend Thermal Ice Shelter - 1 person, thermal skin to retain heat, fishable area 16ft




















Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator


Bring in the new year!

Bring in the new year with an after Christmas sale!

We've got great prices in the fishing department! Bass Pro shops Tournament Series Micro Spin Lures!


$1.79 a piece with many different styles,weights and colors. Colors such as the hot tiger tiger, Tad pole tad pole, Cinnamon cinn,

Copper Frog copper, Hot Pink Hot pink, Salmon Salmon, and sooo many more!






They're your ticket to boat loads of fish. They have aggressive vibrating blades, effective color patterns, and hackle tail. We also have 10 packs of plastic float assortments. They are made for easy use. Designed to just snap on your line. They are nice for your little fisherman just starting to learn. 10 packs includes: two 1 3/4", two 1 1/2", three 1 1/4" and three 1" floats for just $1.79!!







For our little fishermen and women of the future we've got Barbie, Spider man, Disney Princess, Star wars and Cars backpacks with rods a reels!

barb cars  princessprincess2spidermanstarwars


All come with sunglasses, casting plug, and a mini tackle box all in an easy to carry backpack or bag! $17.99!





More for the great outdoors, we have decorative La Crosse Thermometer.

"Texas born" texas      "Early Catch" early catch  "Mountain Retreat" mountain.

These beautiful thermometers are great for indoor and outdoor. It has a secret hide a key slot on the back with a spot for your spare key. $14.97!




While you're shopping in the fishing department we also have a Bass Pro Shops fisherman Icon wireless weather station.

fisherman. It has a sunrise, sun set, moon phase, latitude and longitude. Updates automatically for daylight savings time, temperature and frost alarm icon! Stay organized and prepared with a 12/24 hour time display with time alarm, snooze and monthly, date and weekday calender!



Remember it's not just the fishing and gifts department with great sales, it's our whole store! So be sure to stop in, you won't want to miss it!



Winter Trout Basics

Not only am I new to Bass Pro, I am also new to fishing. I know it’s funny, but I have sought out my fellow colleagues to help me learn some basics. As it being December, I asked what the best fishing for this time of year would be and the vote was TROUT!! After gathering countless hours of information and spending time in the store and searching for products, below is what I came up with to share with those of you who are new to trout fishing as myself or for a light read on the expertise from us here at the best store ever!!


When choosing a reel for trout fishing, a spinning reel is the best place to start. Find a reel that is small and lightweight with at least a 2-6 pound test line. Below is the Abu Garcia® Revo® SX Spinning Reel. This style offers 4 different models with various specs. The SX10 has great basics for light trout fishing in the winter. It has a max drag of 9 pounds and has a line capacity of 4lb/110yds or a braid capacity of 6lb/125yds.

                                            Abu Garcia Reel




Depending on where you are fishing, ultra-light to medium-light rods are used for lakes. The ideal length is 7-8’ long. If you are fishing in rivers and streams, an ultra-light to light rod is recommended and the ideal length is 5-6’. Below is an Ugly Stik® Rod that is measured a light weight and is 5’6”. It has a full handle and breaks down into 2 sections. The lure rating for this rod is 1/8-1/4 oz. Ultimately, it depends on where you are fishing and what time of year as that will dictate what you should use. 


                                           Ugly Stik Light Rod


A great line to use when fishing for trout would be fluorocarbon. This line has less elasticity than monofilament and has low buoyancy. This is great for trout because they have superb eyesight and can detect the slightest filament in the water. A line that works well is the Berkley Vanish Transition Line. It is called a transition line because it virtually vanishes underwater and has transitioning coloration above water so you can see your line.

                                                       Berkley Vanish Transition Line



A great dough bait to use is Berkley’s Garlic PowerBait. Any dough bait is used on a treble hook because the hooks hold more and it stays on longer. The garlic smell of the bait also helps attract the fish. When using treble hooks, an ideal size is anywhere from 12-16 for single and treble hooks. Also see an earlier blog on other good baits for trout. Other baits such as spinners and jerk baits are common to use. Spinners are designed to mimic bait fish. They give off flash and vibration to attract the trout. Rooster Tail® Trout Trophy Pac is a great item to have. Jerk baits are also used for mimicry. The one shown below has two treble hooks and there are many different kinds but this is great basic bait.

                                                   Garlic PowerBait


                                      Rooster Tail Trout Pac


                                                      Jerk Bait




Here are two ways to rig your line to attract trout. The first is an egg sinker. Egg sinkers allow the line to free flow out in the water. The other is a split shot sinker which remains at the point of attachment. If you are unsure of the location of the fish, using an egg sinker is best. This allows for a more natural flow. If you know exactly where you want your bait to be sitting, the split shot sinker is your best bet. Split shot is more precise for catching fish and is easier to remove from your line. Below are the diagrams for the sinkers in use.

                                              Sinker Diagram


                                        Split Shot Sinker                                                   Egg Sinker

                                  Split Shot Weight                           Egg Sinker.JPG

And our very own Cole Garrett with a nice rainbow trout!

Cole with Rainbow


Happy fishing!!



David's Fishing Poem

Shared with us by Greg Minor of Charles River Charters


David is 10 yrs old and quite a little fisherman. After a couple of trips with CRC, he was inspired to write this poem for a school project. I think its great and it speaks to the passion these young kids have about our sport. Makes me feel good about the future! 


I held my breath as I cast, 

Releasing it as the bait hit the water.

I waited with anticipation,

For nothing else at the moment mattered.


The line tightened upon the water,

As the current pulled it downstream.

To catch a big ole fish today

Was my wholehearted dream.


I felt a tug, and then another...

I waited for the perfect time,

To set my hook and catch my prize.

The moment was so sublime.


The big bass fought with all her might

To loosen herself from my hook,

But I was determined and held my rod high.

My job was not forsook.


My heart was racing, I squealed with glee

As I watched the big girl fight. 

She lept from the water, did a quick dance 

And escape, she hoped she might.


I smiled with pride as I lifted my prize

And admired her natural beauty.

I then returned her to the river,

For this, I felt was my duty. 


Greg Miner

Charles River Charters




“Life is better on the river"





2014 Fishing ProStaffer - Joel Ross

Earlier today, I emailed our newest ProStaffer, Joel Ross to check in with him and ask him to give us a few tips of what we should be doing to prepare for the upcoming fishing season.  His reply was so informative, that I had to share.  Enjoy, and please reply with any questions that you may have.  Thanks!!


Joel Ross


As I look back on 2013, it was one of my best years fishing. My team partner, Steven Hederman, and I were blessed with winning the Catch A Dream Bass Classic on Ross Barnett in May presented by Bass Pro Shops with 19.63 lbs.  I won my first pick a partner tournament of the year, Feb. 9th at Ross Barnett by myself with a personal best overall weight of 25.69 lbs and also won lunker with a 7.76 lb. toad.  I also, fished the Toyota Owners Tournament at Wheeler Lake out of Decatur, Alabama in September and finished 3rd.


Although many are in the hunting mode, the fishing season is upon us and will be here very soon.  For me, my first tournament will be early February, so I am starting my new year off working on getting my gear ready for the upcoming fishing season. 


Living in the deep south, I never really put up my fishing gear, but I still need to clean up the rod and reels and handle proper maintenance so I don’t loose the big one when she eats this year.


I gather a few things prior to the start of this little chore and here is my list of things needed:


1.)   Small Tooth Brush

2.)   A few old cotton tee shirts

3.)   Bass Pro Shops XPS Reel Saver Cleaner

4.)   Bass Pro Shops XPS Reel Saver Grease Syringe

5.)   Bass Pro Shops XPS Reel Saver Oil Syringe

6.)   A hand full of q-tips

7.)   Small screw driver and pliers


First thing I do is take all my reels off the rods and then one by one, I inspect carefully to see which ones need to be deep cleaned.  The Bass Pro Shops Reel Saver Cleaner will be used to break down any organics on the reels inside and out.  The tooth brush will be used to help remove any of the built up organics and wiped away with the cotton tee shirt.


I will take the side plate off the reel and clean, grease and oil where needed.  I also pull the spool and do the same inside the handle side of the reel.  If you don’t do this process every year, you may have to break into the handle side of the reel to get to all that needs attention, but most of the time, you can get into that side every other year unless you feel problems when reeling.


When cleaning, the tooth brush works well on most areas, but the q-tips work in the tighter spots as well as helping to apply the grease to certain areas of the reel like the worm gear once it is clean.


Once done and all put back together, disengage and engage the reel and make sure all is running smooth.  If this is a chore you just don’t want to fool with, then pack up all your reels and send them into the Bass Pro Shops Rod and Reel Repair area. (Google Bass Pro Shops Rod and Reel Repair and you can find exactly how to pack and ship your reels)


I also will take this time to pull old line off to the backing and replace with Bass Pro Shops XPS Signature Series Monofilament, XPS KVD Signature Series Fluorocarbon or XPS-8 Extreme Performance Series Advanced Braid lines depending on what purpose that reel will serve you with for the coming season.  Bass Pro Shops XPS Line Saver Reel Lube is also another product to make sure you have that will give you longer casts and smother action.  A great feature of this lube is that it contains fish attractant unlike other lubes.


God Bless and always catch and release so we can catch again. 

Reel Oil and Line Conditioner

Reel Cleaner and Grease Syringe


Colorado's Tiger Trout

Happy New year, I hope everyone caught lots of fish last year and plan on catching many more in 2014.

As a youth club director I have had the opportunity to chase many different species of fish mainly because many of my kids have not caught a certain species of fish and I try to help them catch a new species as much as I can.

I have witnessed many first species for several of my kids in the club this last year. Kokanee salmon, walleye, crappie, bass, pike, bluegill and tiger trout. Yes, tiger trout. Colorado has tiger trout in selected lakes. They are a hybrid cross between a brook trout and a German brown trout.Tiger trout in ice holeForrest with tiger trouttiger trout in full color

We made a trip up to a lake that has been known to hold a good population of brook trout and tiger trout. I wont give the exact name of the lake but I will say that it is five or so miles from the new Bass Pro Shops that just opened up in Colorado Springs.

The lake is a mile and a half up hill from the parking lot so we had to pack lightly and carry up the hand auger. I thought I was in decent shape but my calves were burning and I felt it when I made it to the top.

We discussed setting up in the inlet area where there was some current but a group was already there and we had to move into a cove that looked like it had a very small stream coming into it and that turned out to be a great choice.

We drilled some holes and spread out across the cove. The super ultra light ice rods were spooled with 4# fluorocarbon line and we used tungsten teardrop jigs tipped with a wax worm. The fish were just above the bottom and were biting very light. A spring indicator will help you detect the lightest of bites.

The brook trout were willing and they were providing most of the action for the morning. The colors of a full spawning brook trout are hard to beat and make a nice photo.

As luck would have it the first tiger trout was on. The fight was a good one and the rod was bending and it was pulling drag - what a fighter! It was awesome to see a first tiger trout on the ice. After a few photos back she went. Now if I could only catch one myself.

The brook trout were hitting really light so when my jig got hit hard and the rod started to bend I was hoping a tiger trout was on the other end. The fish was strong, pulling line and staying deep. When I saw it under my hole it was the most beautiful site. My first tiger trout at age 46.

I was blessed with a few more tiger trout as the day went on and finally another first for a buddy of mine was on the ice and he was all smiles. More photos and back she went. Awesome, the first tiger trout for three of us on o trip. It was amazing.

The colors of the tiger trout are spectacular especially the males in full colors, The markings are so unique for a trout and it is definitely a trout you would want to take a photo with.

Make it a point to take a kid out fishing for a new species this year. You will enjoy it as much as they do. I promise. See you on the water.

                                      Best of luck,

                                                          Sam Heckman / Pro Staff


Tiger Trout


Home Decor!

If you're thinking of doing some re decorating in the next couple months, Bass Pro has everything to do so!

We've got many Bedding collections, for just about everyone.


A very popular one would be the machine washable Pink Real-tree Bedding Collection. A high definition design of branches and leaves are set against variegated shades of soft pink. Many little girls are in love with the soft and comfy comforter. It comes with pillow shams, and a bed skirt. We have all different sizes. The sheet set, curtains and other pillows are sold separately but we do also have those! These curtains have a valence that measures 88" W x 15" L plus 3" header and the Rod Pocket Drapes include two lined panels measuring 42" W x 63" L plus a 3" header. We also have the Pink crib Bedding Collection for your baby girl who isn't just ready for the comforter set.

realtreecurtains baby


And for the final touches....

outlet covers  Light switch  double light switch



We've got a beautiful NEW Carstens Cimarron Bedding Comforter set.  Has a southwestern design that features chocolate, red, and blue-green hues, Faux leather euroshams with trim, red and chocolate shams that have antique brass rivets, embroidered throw pillow features faux leather fringe. This warm, rich comforter set comes with a bedskirt, 2 euroshams, 2 shams, and 1 throw pillow. Make sure you light up your room with a Hidden Path Arm table lamp. This is a beautiful lamp that is crafted of metal and wood with an Idol silver bronze finish and metal and natural linen shades.

cozzy    lamp

Bass Pro also has many different styles of shower curtains, towels, toothbrush holders, soap/ lotion dispensers, and clever toilet paper holders.

Shower, towels, Moose, Soap, Duck



If we aren't looking to do a full makeover, we have beautiful paintings, signs, candles and much much more.

Please come in and check out our gifts department!!







Fall King Salmon Run

Fall King Salmon Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tight Lines Everybody!

Tony Krizek

Team Lead Fishing Bolingbrook






Ice Fishing is on it's way!

Delta Lake in upstate is a great place to start out for ice fishing this season!


To help get your season going stop by the store and check our the many ice fishing accesories. Start out with a brand new Shakespeare fuel ice fishing spinng rod and reel. It has the comfort of an Eva foam handle and the smooth sharp look of a graphite spool. But don;t forget anout the lures! You'd be lost without these. We;ve got a Rapala Jigging Rap Lure, comes in plenty of different colors, designs and great finidh. This lure is deadly any time of the year. It is Zinc weighted with a balanced design.


Because of Rapala starting November 18th 2013 through March 16th 2014 enter for a chance to win the fishing trip of a lifetime. You could win a five day/six night fishing trip for two in Pinas Bay, Panama! It includes three full days of fishing. Just visit, FACEBOOK.COM/RAPALAUSA to enter!


We've also got a NEW very sharp looking ION Electric ice Auger, with easy grip handlers, Onboard, high-energy 40V MAX lithium-ion battery. Drill up to forty holes through two feet of ice on one lithium-ion charge! This Electric Ice Auger features lithium-ion technology, and is so quiet you won’t scare the fish. ION's steel auger cuts holes like a gas-powered auger, but without the usual noise and bone-jarring action.Better yet, no  gas, no oil and no fumes! . A Straight Through blade design translates to a smooth, no-catch breakthrough with no jagged ice at the bottom rim of the ice hole to fray line.




Don't forget about one of the most important parts of ice fishing... We have an awesome Clam Corp Bigfoot™ XL4000T Ice Fishing Shelter! Accomodates 4-6 anglers, oversized skirt, and four ice anchors and tie downs. Set up size 96"x96". Center height is 82", Weight is 72 lbs. It comes with an awesome oversized carry bag. When compared with competing models, this Best-in-Class shelter boasts more fishable area and the most headroom. Bigfoot's super-duty, flex-tested poles; an oversized skirt for ample snow banking! Make sure you stop by our store and check out the one we have set up on display back by our fishing counter!



Bait fishing for striper

Well its that time of year the stiper are coming in and the shad are in big schools. The water has cooled down and trolling is slowing down. So you may be thinking to yourself well what can I do? Bait fishing is the way to go. Whether your fishing off a boat or off the shore, bait fishing will get you some great results.

There is a varitey of baits that you can use. Some frozen bait that I use is shad, anchovies, and sardines. All of these baits give out quite a bit of scent that help attract the fish. The hooks I usually use for bait fishing is #6/0 Gamakatsu circle hooks. Also when using these baits I highly recommend using Pro Cure Bait Scents. The bait scents come in a variety of scents and also come in a oil or gel form. The scent that is working great is the Shad scent.

GamakatsuĀ® Octopus Hooks

 There are a couple of rod and reel sets up that would work great from the shore or boat. If you are trying to fish on a budget, the new Ugly Stik GX2 in a 7 foot medium heavy action combo is a great set up. On the other hand if price is not an issue the 7 foot  medium heavy Ugly Stik Tiger spinning rod pairs up greatly with the Offshore Angler Frigate 7000. Both these combos should be spooled up with some P-line CXX 17-25 lbs for maxium results.

P-Line CXX X-tra Strong Monofilament - 260-300 Yards                                                                                               Offshore AnglerĀ® FrigateĀ® Spinning Reels                                                                                      


Good luck and good fishing

Travis Gonsalves

Fishing Department

Store 49 Manteca, CA