February Events at Bass Pro Shops Harrisburg

February at BPS

February is More Fish Month. The More Fish Campaign is a five-year initiative launched by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to raise awareness and funding to protect, conserve and enhance the nation's fish populations and their habitats. Make a donation at the register to be entered for chances to win a Bass Pro Shops gift card.

The More Fish Campaign objectives include the following priorities:

  • Restore the nation's fish and other aquatic life to healthy and thriving populations;
  • Increase public awareness, access and stewardship;
  • Protect, conserve and enhance the nation's rivers, lakes, estuaries, bays and coastal waters;
  • Work with conservation nonprofits, federal land and water management agencies and state fish and game agencies to support the conservation of fish and aquatic populations.
  • Work with corporations, foundations, individuals and others to raise additional financial resources to invest in priority fisheries conservation projects.

The need is real and the need is daily!  Take this opportunity to donate! The first of 8 Central PA Blood Bank visits will be held on Sat. Feb. 8 from 12pm – 4pm. Bass Pro gift cards will be available to those that donate. Some rules apply.

Are you interested in obtaining a conceal carry permit for PA or other states? Legal Heat will be in the store on Friday, Feb. 8 to conduct a class. The class is scheduled for 5pm-8:30pm in the Hunt Club at the store. For more details and to register, visit www.mylegalheat.com .

Do you possess a CDL? On Saturday, February 8 from 8am-2pm there will be a CDL job fair in the mall at the Bass Pro entrance. Many trucking firms will be on site to discuss hiring possibilities. Access to the job fair prior to 9am will be through the mall entrances only. For more details, contact Ron Walker @ 717-554-8157

 

Friday Night Fishing Demos are underway! We will continue to have Friday Night Fishing Demos through April. All demos will begin at 7pm and begin at the reel counter. Some demos will moved to the aquarium for further description. Check the website for all of the scheduled dates.

Two dates are scheduled for February. They are Feb. 14 & 28.

Feb. 14, the topic is Basic Trout Fishing: Where to go and What to Use in PA Waters.

Feb. 28, the topic is Fishing Rods: Matching the Power & Action of a Rod to the Technique

 

Can you fillet your own fish? Want to get better at it? Stop by and see the pros in action! On February 7, 8 and 9 from 11:00am – 1:30pm the folks from Limestone Springs Trout Preserve will be in the store showing off & sharing their filleting skills. They will also be frying those fillets using the Bass Pro Shops Better Breader and Cajun Shake seasoning to create a very tasty morsel! Samples will be available while supplies last.

 

Finishing off the month of February is the beginning of the Spring Fishing Classic! On Friday, Feb. 28 we will kick things off with the Preferred Rewards event. This event runs from 6pm – 9pm. Snacks will be provided for those Rewards customers invited to the event. Few details are available about the Pro visitors or activities for the classic but this is what we do know…

March 1 & 2 – BPS National Pros will visit the store to greet customers and give workshops

March 8 & 9 – Local Pros will be in the fishing depart to talk about product and to give workshops & demos

March 8 2pm – 4pm – Fish Frying demo and sampling

March15 & 16 – Next Generation Kid’s Event including the Catch & Release Pond

                     – Women’s Beginner Fishing Workshop

There will be workshops, demonstrations and other activities throughout the Spring Fishing Classic!

So as you see, February is a busy month that will lead us into more busy months and activities! Be sure to watch our Facebook page www.facebook.com/bpsharrisburg as well as www.basspro.com and select the Harrisburg page.

 

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Spring Fishing Classic in Memphis, TN


Spring Fishing Classic

Bass Pro Shops will be holding its annual Spring Fishing Classic this year from February 28th to March 16th! Come out and enjoy great sales, seminars, meet and greets, free food sampling, and family activities throughout this three week event!

The first weekend of the Classic, February 28th through March 2nd,  we will be joined by National Pros holding seminars and meet and greets. Come see Dalton Wilson,  3-Time Bassmaster Junior at Mississippi State Champion and 2013 Bassmaster College National Championship Contender, Friday February 28th at 7PM for a seminar on Straight Worm Fishing Tactics. He will be in the store for a few hours Friday for any tips you may need or questions you may have! Also, join Bill Dance, the legendary bass angler, for a meet and greet on Friday February 28 from 5 to 9PM!

The second weekend of the Classic,  March 7th through March 9th, we will have Mike Whitten and other local pros giving seminars at varying times each day. See chart for seminar times and topics! Come learn new techniques and get great tips from these guys!

Seminar Schedule for March 7th-9th.

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

7PM Flipping and Pitching   for Bass

11AM   Locating Bass in New Waters

11AM   Locating Bass in New Waters

1PM   Topwater Techniques for Bass

1PM   Topwater Techniques for Bass

2PM   Spinning Reels Tactics for Bass

2PM   Spinning Reels Tactics for Bass

3PM   Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter?

3PM   Does the Color of Your Bass Lure Matter?

4PM   Techniques for Fishing Smallmouth

4PM   Techniques for Fishing Smallmouth

5PM   Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Bass Fishing

5PM   Choosing the Right Soft Plastics for Bass Fishing

 

The final weekend of the Classic on March 15th and March 16th, we will have our FREE Kids Next Generation Weekend! This event will be full of fun and exciting activities for kids of ALL ages to participate in! Catch your very own fish at our Catch and Release Pond we will have running from Noon to 5PM on Saturday and Sunday! Also, from Noon to 5PM, come get your FREE photo taken and printed with us in the store both days! There will be kids workshops at 2:30PM and 4:30PM and FREE crafts from 1PM to 4:30PM! The first 150 kids to participate in the Kids Next Generation Activities will receive a FREE Tackle Box!

You can also enter our Spring Fishing Classic Sweepstakes, running from February 28th through March 16th, for a chance to win a 2014 Nitro Z7 boat and fishing with Edwin Evers!

 

Bring in ANY of your old, used, broke, or even new reels between February 28th through March 5th to trade-in for a discount, varying on the price of the reel you wish to purchase! You could also do the same with your old, used, broke, or new rods between March 7th and March 11th to get a coupon for a new rod you’d like to buy!

Come try of FREE Fried Fish Sampling on March 8th  from 2 to 4PM right here in the store!

New this year, there will also be a Women’s Beginning Fishing Workshop for any women who would like to learn more tips or just touch up on their fishing skills at 3PM on March 15th! Demonstrations, tips, and advice for those looking to better their fishing game or start a new hobby.

Come out and join us for all these great activities! It’s definitely something you won’t want to miss!

 

*Appearance are subject to change

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Tips on how to winterize your boat

          Alas, the time has come to secure the rods and reels, stow the tackle, and put away the boat. As fall finally gives way to winter, and the temperatures drop to unbearable lows only braved by the most avid (Crappie) fisherman, most will put the boat in the garage for the winter.

This is called  “Winterization”, and what many do not know, there are many important steps that must be done in order to ensure the boat will be in optimal condition come early spring when it is time to put it back on the water. Take for instance the main plugs that allow water to drain out of vital areas. Or how about the treatment needed for the fuel, so the ethanol in the gas does not turn into jelly, or corrode the inside of fuel assembly lines. Also, there is a need to treat the engine with a fogging spray, so no moisture is left in the cylinders or the block which can cause rust and corrosion costing thousands of dollars to fix! And these are only but a few of the necessary requirements that winterization calls for.

So where does one go to get all the products, and knowledge needed to ensure a correct winterization is done to the boat; why your local Bass Pro Shops in Garland Texas of course! Our knowledgeable associates in our marine department can help you find the right products and our “Power Pros” in the Tracker department can make sure you receive professional service, they can be contacted at (469) 221-2569 . So don’t be too discouraged that the season is at an end, and let us help you end it the right way, here at Bass Pro Shops, where your adventure begins!


winterization of your boat

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Daddy's little mini me

Isn’t it cute when you hear your little one wanting to be just like you? To see them mimic you, from how you do little habits, to how you dress. The greatest thing I know, is to hear from you son and daughter that they want to hunt and fish just like you! For you to know that it will be awesome quality time, a special bonding moment you will forever cherish. We have some ideas to help you and your kids to be the best little mini me! (most of these items that are shown are in boy and girl colors/characters)

 

gun

Bass Pro Shops® Toy Pump Shotgun for Kids- 

Before they are ready to really go out and shoot, this gun is a great way to look just like dad and have them used to how to load and shoot. http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Toy-Pump-Shotgun-for-Kids/product/11080405012027 / 

bow

Bass Pro Shops® NXT Generation® Rapid Riser Toy Compound Bow for Kids-

This is a pefect way to teach the kids about target practice and to have a steady eye. Right for the bulls eye! http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-NXT-Generation-Rapid-Riser-Toy-Compound-Bow-for-Kids/product/1307221044/

 

walkie

Outdoor Hunter Sports Style Walkie Talkie and Binocular Set for Kids-

What is cuter then seeing the kids pretending to be out in the woods hunting, spotting a deer with the binocular and radio each other on if the other is ready to shoot! http://www.basspro.com/Outdoor-Hunter-Sports-Style-Walkie-Talkie-and-Binocular-Set-for-Kids/product/12083130/

 

fishing

Shakespeare® Disney® Princess Purse Rod and Reel Kit for Kids-

A way to daddy's heart is when his little girl wants to spend time out at the coast with him catching fish. This is a way to get her even more excited plus learn the basic release and reel form. http://www.basspro.com/Shakespeare-Disney-Princess-Purse-Rod-and-Reel-Kit-for-Kids/product/100748/

 

box

Shakespeare® Little Princess™ Tackle Box for Kids-

Don't forget the tackle box! To store all her little play worms or other items princess need. Great way to start their fishing advertures! http://www.basspro.com/Shakespeare-Little-Princess-Tackle-Box-for-Kids/product/104666/

 

We are here to help you make those memories and easy to teach them at an early age how to hunt and fish. At the same time have fun and excitment with their equipment.

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Why Ice Fishing?

Rod Woten - Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro StaffBy Rod Woten, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff

As a “professional” ice angler, that’s a question I get asked a lot.  For someone that has never fished through the ice, it’s really hard for me to describe the sensations and emotions I get from ice fishing that are all so different from the sensations and emotions I get from open water fishing. I can tell them all about how the bugs that bother us all summer are now gone, and the absence of personal watercraft, water skiers, wakeboarders, tubers and other pleasure craft roaring through some of the best fishing spots. Most of these folk are SO hung up on the fact that it’s cold out there that my list of positives for ice fishing falls upon deaf ears.

Ice-The Great Equalizer

The lack of bugs and pleasure boats are just the tip of the iceberg. However when it comes to why I love ice fishing so much, probably one of the biggest reasons I love ice fishing is that ice is the great equalizer. Once the lakes freeze over, all of the best fishing spots on the lake are accessible to ANYONE.  No longer is a boat required to get to these spots.  A good pair of boots and the willingness to do a little walking will put you on top of fish, regardless of whether you own a boat or not.  I actually know several people that ONLY fish in the winter for this exact reason. 

Rod Woten
Fish with Surgical Precision

This is somewhat of an extension of the above point.  Because fish-holding spots can be so accessible through the ice, it also means that we are able to dial in our presentation and fish structure, or individual fish, with surgical precision. The vertical nature of most of the fishing done through the ice only adds to this precision. This makes ultra-finesse presentations very do-able, which allows us to even further sharpen our focus on every inch of a piece of structure and the fish it holds. In the winter, boat control also is no longer an issue. Since we are on a solid surface, wind and wave action are really no longer a concern in regard to being able to keep our presentations directly in front of the nose of a fish. All of these things add up to allow us to more effectively target fish through the ice which, in turn, leads to my next point…


Quality AND Quantity

Another reason I love the hard water is that I typically catch the greatest numbers of quality fish through the ice.  Why is that?  I strongly believe it is because of the surgical precision with which I can dissect every piece of structure in the lake.  During the open water season, that precision is just not there.  It goes without saying that fishing so much more effectively can only lead to increased fishing success.  This means we catch MORE fish in the winter, and statistics tells us that the more fish we catch, the greater our chances are that we’ll land a trophy fish.  

Ice Shanties
The Social Sport

Ice fishing has a legacy of being a social sport. Everyone’s favorite ice fishing movie, “Grumpy Old Men,” is a perfect illustration of that. The shanty towns depicted in that movie are very true to real life. Even when we’re out fishing in our highly mobile, portable fish house, it’s not at all uncommon to see groups develop. In these groups, the grills come out at lunchtime and a nice hot bratwurst with all the trimmings as the day’s fishing is discussed is the norm. Ice makes all this social activity possible.


Emotional Responses

Ice fishing also just speaks to the soul of certain individuals. It’s really hard for me toIce Fishingdescribe the feeling I get from walking on water. It invigorates me, just knowing that I’m standing on top of structure that I could only float a boat over a few short months ago.

There is also a certain solitude that comes along with ice fishing. Once the holes are all drilled and the auger turned off, it’s amazing how quiet it can get. It’s not uncommon at all to hear snowflakes as they touchdown on the surface of the lake. Some of my best days on the ice have been on a lake in northern-middle-of-nowhere-Minnesota…listening to the whispers of falling snow as it covers the existing snow pack…eagles circling overhead…wolves howling in the distance as dusk approaches. 

Close your eyes and picture that and you’ll find the answer to the question, “why ice fishing?”

____________________________

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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

10:00

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)
 

11:00

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

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

Dave Leonhard – Casting Demos (Casting Pond)
 

12:00
 
Frank Willetts – “Steelhead vs. Trout” (Main
Presentation Room)
 

Glenn Weisner – Fly Tying Demonstration (Tying
Presentation Room)
 

Kevin Howell – Casting Demo (Casting Pond)
 

1:00

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

Kevin Compton – Fly Tying Demonstration (Tying
Presentation Room)
 

2:00

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)
 

3:00

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 
skills. 
 
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 
Room. 
 
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. 
 

Headliners

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. 
 
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New Fishing Products for 2014

Now is the time when the new 2014 arrivals are showing up in the store. The new items are reels like the Shimano Stradic CL4+,new Penn Conflicts, and new Offshore Angler reels to name a few. Also new rods are in stock like Seeker, Castaway, Abu Garcia and more but don't forget the current favorites like the Carbonlites. Also hitting shelves are new lures both salt and freshwater like the new baitball from Live Target and new frogs from Spro. The new items in the store are worth coming to take a look at in order to stay up on your fishing game.

Shimano Stradic Cl4+

 

The New Bait Ball by Live Target

 

Bait Ball by Live Target

 

 

-Garrett Farmer

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Using a Map for Ice Fishing

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro Staff ice fisherman Rod Woten was asked:

Q:  "When looking at a game and fish map, what would you look for to find fish when ice fishing?"

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

__________________

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Crappie Madness Event and Sale Info

crappie

 

Bass Pro Shops loves traditions, but this year we're starting something new! Join us for our first ever Crappie Madness event and sale February 7 & 8 and 14 & 15. We'll have pro Crappie seminars, a free photo download, giveaways and sweepstakes. See schedule below.

New items on sale include the Browning Midas Balck Bass Cast Reels, Crappie Maxx Signature Series Combos and many Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series soft plastics. Click here for list of sale items or grab a tab on your way in to our store. 

___________________________________

Here are some tips from fishing associate David to get you excited about Crappie fishing:

-Use light line- 4-6lb test line especially in clear water.

-When fishing around docks, use a shorter pole, if you're on a boat use a longer rod, and if you're fishing on the shore use a 10ft-16ft pole to reach certain areas.

-Fluorocarbon line disappears in water, use fluorescent green or blue line if you want to see line better.

-In warmer months, use crappie grub/tube.

-Everyone has favorite colors, but the most popular are black chartreuse, all chartreuse, pink and white, blue and white or exotic colors like electric chicken and John Deer green.

-In clear water use clear bait i.e. firecracker, smoke- black glittl, pumpkin or a more natural color i.e. minnow color.

-Fish around submerged brush, dock pilings, submerged tree tops, cedars and hard woods.

-Be versatile because they won't always bite on one color, try new targets.

_____________________________________

Fridays:
5p.m.-8p.m. Free photo download
7p.m. Pro Crappie seminar

Saturdays:
2p.m.-5p.m. fried fish sampling
Noon- 6p.m. Free photo download
11a.m. Pro Crappie seminar
2p.m. Pro Crappie seminar

Saturday, Feb. 8th 1p.m.-5p.m. catch and release pond

*The first 25 people to attend seminars will receive a free Bass Pro Shops travel mug

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Spring Fishing Classic 2014

In my 55 plus years of fishing I have never caught a fish that was wearing a watch or carrying a calendar. I guess in a way fish might be considered lucky in that one respect. They are governed by nature to do very few tasks. They eat to survive, reproduce to continue their species and try to stay comfortable and uneaten while doing these tasks.

  If we will remember this simple list, we will catch more fish. We humans are governed by a host of things that do not apply to fish. We deal with clocks, daylight savings time and calendars to conduct our daily lives. Fish, to a large degree are governed by temperature, daylight, water content and the availability of food and that’s about it.

As Winter begins to slowly and reluctantly give was to Spring we find the days starting to get longer. This gradual process begins in January here in North Central Texas. The daylight hours get a little longer each day and the Sun travels a higher arc across the sky. As the northern hemisphere turns more and more toward the Sun the water begins to warm thus setting the reproductive cycle in progress on largemouth bass.

Sorry folks, but the bass don’t employ flowers, sweet phone calls or romance in any way. In a nutshell, the male bass starts to fan out a nest with his tail when the water temperature approaches 58 degrees. He then finds a female bass and coaxes her to the nest he has prepared. The female will come to the nest, deposit her eggs and stay in the area for a few days to protect them, but she soon moves on to her other duty of just being a bass. The male stays behind and defends the nest area against all intruders.

 This is one of the best times of year to catch that big mama bass. Many fishers don polarized sunglasses and patrol the shallows around cover looking for the large female tending her eggs. Some of the preferred baits for this tactic include soft baits that imitate natural egg predators like, salamanders, crawfish, and bream or perch. My personal favorite is a white floating lizard attached to a shaky head jig. Other good baits include, jigs with a trailer of pork or synthetic trailer designed to present a “threatening” profile to Ms. Bass. There are times when the big females will slam the bait, there are others when she will delicately pick the offending intruder up in her mouth and simply escort it out of her protective zone. Either way it’s time to set the hook!

Some other great spawn fishing lures include neutral buoyancy “twitch baits” like the suspending Rattling Rogue, and Bass Pro’s Excaliber  baits.

 When fishing for these early-season fish remember a couple of basic things. One is to understand that smaller bodies of water tend to “warm up” quicker than others. Ponds, or tanks here in the area will almost always warm to acceptable spawning temperatures than the main bodies of our favorite lakes. Those of us who don’t have access to private ponds should look  in the north ends of our lakes for the warmest water available that is close to cover and if possible close to deeper water.

  Another factor in water warmth is the clarity of water. Clearer water, though nicer to look at, warms slower than slightly stained water which absorbs the Sun’s rays. If you have a thermometer use it!

Remember that bass are simple creatures whose single job it is , is to survive and you will catch more and bigger ones earlier in the year. You also stand an even better chance of landing that bragging rights monster if you’ll stop by Bass Pro Shops of Garland Tx and talk to the pros who have the experience and knowledge. They are there to help you with all your fishing needs and may just give you that little tip that puts you on your personal best.

Tight Lines and bent rods to ya!

Enjoy Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic from February 28- March 16 2014!!

 

Spring Fishing Classic 2014

 

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"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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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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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Tweet us @bassproaltoona
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The best knife sharpeners for every experience level

sharpener

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.

www.facebook.com/bpscolumbia

Good luck, and happy knife sharpening!

Todd Pridemore, Local Hunting Pro

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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


 


                     

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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.

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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.

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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:

rig

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.

 

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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

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