Berkley Fishing!! Get in on the action at the Berkley Interactive Trailer Display!

The 60-foot trailer offers consumers fun, great deals and activities. It brings fishing education to all levels and skill sets of anglers.

The trailer has videos and interactive demonstrations along with seminars scheduled throughout the day.

Each stop always has special retail promotions only available while the trailer is at the location. These great offers not only include line and bait, but rods, reels and combos. The special offerings through the trailer can’t be missed.

“We are excited about having the Experience Trailer on the road in 2012 and stopping at many new locations across the country,” said Andrew Marks, Berkley Marketing Director. "Our Experience Trailer team is set to help anglers of all ages and skill levels learn about our broad spectrum of products and how best to use them to catch more fish.”

Other exciting elements include a knot tying contest and demonstration, where anglers can learn new knots and potentially win prizes. Under the tent, big screen videos help anglers experience the adventure with Berkley and display racks are filled with the latest products, giving consumers an opportunity to see what new and exciting products Berkley scientists have been working on throughout the year. The Berkley Experience staff is always on hand to help answer any questions that you have about our innovative products

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More Than A Gun Safe

RedHead 1856 Collection Gun SafeOne common misconception about a "gun" safe is just that, they are for and only for guns. While this may be true, there are several other uses for a gun safe other than guns. Yes, the most common safes are designed around guns but that should not restrict you from storing other valuables in the same area as your guns. Guns safes in production today offer ample storage for guns as well as other belongings. Let us think of it as a "Valuables safe" rather than a gun safe.

While guns are very valuable they may not be a top priority to some people like they are to others. A video of a childs first steps, black and white photographs taken by past generations, passports, birth certificates, tax documentation, jewelry, cash and electronics are just some examples of products other than guns that a safe would be excellent for.

RedHead Personal Fire Safe

 

Okay, now you might be asking "What am I keeping my valuables protected from?" Fire, theft and storms are the more common occurrences that one would think of. A safe can withstand a 1200 to 1400 degree fire anywhere from 30 minutes up to one hour. Safes are designed with burglars in mind with a combination lock and upwards of 13 steel rods to keep the door locked. This will have a burglar spending more time prying his hair out than prying on your safe. Safes are also heavy and this will help keep them put when a storm is present. Combine that with lag-bolts anchoring the safe to the floor and even the strongest storms will have trouble moving your gun safe. These are the common aspects that a safe can keep valuables protected from, but lets not forget about how a dog can turn a $1000 camera into a chew toy while you are out getting milk or how your son might mistake your baseball autographed by Bo Jackson for his practice ball to hit in the back yard.

Whether the valuables you are protecting are of monetary or sentimental value, a gun safe will keep them protected from lifes unfortunate events. Ranging in sizes from 9 cubic feet with a 10 gun capacity up to 45 cubic feet with a 51 gun capacity, varying outside dimensions and different levels of fire protection,  Bass Pro Shops has a wide variety of RedHead and Browning safes that will suit your needs. Stop by the hunting department of Bass Pro Shops and tell an associate that you want to look at our safes. We will be happy to assist you with choosing the right safe for your needs and answering any questions you might have.

Grayson Barnes

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Crank to New Depths with a Strike King 10XD

     It’s the time of year again when spring has run out and the heat of summer is bearing down on us.  The heat makes most of us want to sit inside and cool off in the air-conditioning for the better part of the day.  Bass are starting to get the same idea as the water heats up past 80 degrees.  Shallow fish are still being caught and there is early morning and late evening topwater bites as well.  Luckily, as the sun gets hotter and the fish move deeper, there is a tool to get you down to the depths the fish feel comfortable at.  Before now we have been able to get maybe 20 feet out of a crankbait on light line and a very long cast.  The new Strike King 10XD allows you to easily fish 25 feet and beyond.

                                         Here you can see the size difference of the 10XD and the 6XD, which had been one of the largest and deepest diving bats untill the 10XD came out.

     One thing immediately noticeable when you see the 10XD is its size.  Compared to a standard 6XD, it is huge!  The 6XD weighs in at 1 ounce while the 10XD completely doubles its size at 2 ounces.  In addition, the lip is about twice as wide on the 10XD.  The weight and bill changes many of the aspects of this bait, including giving it the ability to dive deep.  Along with that comes more drag in the water.  Standard cranking equipment probably won’t do the job with this monster of the deep.  You will have to have something with a lot more backbone than a standard cranking rod.  I would recommend a large flipping stick.  Something in the 7’6”-7’10’ range in a heavy action should suffice.  Check out the Bass Pro Shops Carbon Light, the Bass Pro Extreme, and the Duckett Fishing Micro Magic rod.   Also critical will be a reel beefy enough to handle the added drag.  You should look at a reel with a 5.1- 6.1 gear ratio to give you the extra power you need for hammering this bait through the depths.  Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier, Johnny Morris Signature Series, and Abu Garcia Revo reels would all make excellent choices for this technique. 

     Most deep cranking is done with lightweight 10-12 pound test fluorocarbon.  To throw the 10XD, you will need at least 14 pound fluorocarbon.  Don’t count out braid either.  Braid has very good castability, no stretch, and is super sensitive.  Braid may also save you a lure if you were to get hung up really deep.  Considering the depth that the 10XD is fished, I don’t believe fish will be able to readily see the braid and they should bite just as well as with fluorocarbon.  If you are concerned they may see it, consider using a heavy fluorocarbon leader with 17-20 pound test.  Attach your leader using a Modified Albright knot.  It is slender, easy to tie and a super strong way to attach fluorocarbon to braid.

     Never head to the lake in the summer without a lure knocker.  Anytime you fish deep, especially with a crankbait, a lure knocker is going to save you a ton of money.  It’s not a matter of if you’ll get hung up, it’s really a matter of when you get hung.  In my experience the Bass Pro Shops E-Z Lure Retriever is about 90% effective at getting your bait back.  To make it easier to use, I fill an old round reel with the nylon line that comes with the retriever.  Then I find an old broken rod to attach the reel to (if you don’t have one ask a buddy) and cut it down right above the first eye.  Run the line through the eye and attach your lure retriever to the line and you have a compact, neat, quick and easy to use lure retriever at your disposal.

     Summertime is a great time to catch a lot of big bass, so get out of the A/C and give it a shot.  With the tools outlined above, you should be able to have a successful trip and may catch the bag of a lifetime if you find a sweet spot with the 10XD.  Good luck and be safe on the water!

 

-Brian Eickholtz                                              

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Tackling Bass from a Kayak

Tackling Bass from a Kayak

            If having the proper tools is the key to success when you are fishing, than fishing from a kayak is no different. The ability to get into tight spaces with incredible stealth is one of the biggest advantages to fishing out of a kayak, but kayak fishing is more than just about advantages, there is the aspect of challenge. You are not as fast as a Nitro with a 220 on the back and you don’t have the same vantage point, but that’s what makes hooking up with giant bass that much more rewarding.

            Stout heavy rods, heavy lines, and weedless baits are the way to go if tackling bass in the shallows is the game you play. Having a lower vantage point out of a kayak, makes it harder to spot deeper weed lines, so top water fishing is one of the most popular techniques out of a kayak. Frog fishing is one of the most exciting ways to catch bass, having the water blow up around your frog is a life changing experience. If you are picking apart a lily pad field or slop, you can slow down with a Bass Pro Shops Kermy Frog. If you want to cover more water you can throw a Humping Toad rigged on an extra wide gap hook. Having the stealth capabilities that go along with targeting bass out of a kayak, slowing down and targeting visual structure is a very productive technique. Throwing a Stick-O or a Pro Series Enticer Flopping Jig around docks, laydowns and undercut banks you can slow down and really focus on high percentage areas.

Preparation is key when you are looking to get into some close combat bass fishing. First and foremost, be ready for a swim. Tipping is not all that common, but in the scenario that you do it should not ruin your day. Wearing quick drying clothing will keep you comfortable through out the day, especially if you go for a swim. Sitting in wet cotton all day will make your experience less enjoyable.

Having the rods and reels, your tackle boxes and boat bags strapped in will prevent you from loosing your gear if you do decide to go for a swim. Using a tackle box like the Plano Hydro-Flo will make sure that whatever gets wet, gets dry and not rusty. To protect items like cell phones, gps devices and cameras you may want to consider waterproof cases like the Plano Waterproof Stowaway that gives you a clear lid so you can still see what your electronics are trying to communicate, shock padding on the inside to prevent damage if it gets banged around, and a waterproof seal.

Preparation goes beyond anticipating a swim. Bad weather, a longer than expected trip or getting lost are all things you should prepare for. Mounting a GPS/Sonar combo on your kayak does double duty. The obvious, the sonar gives you the ability to find possible fishing location. But, more important is the mapping capabilities. Using the tracking feature to show you where you have been will help you get back safer. Efficiency is key when you are traveling in a kayak, and knowing that there is a prime bay just around the corner, or a way to get off the water quickly, in case of an emergency, makes an easy to use GPS/Sonar like the Lowrance® Elite-4 Combo a no brainer.

If you have never tried kayak bass fishing than it is hard to explain what it is that you are missing, well aside from an engine….but don’t dismiss it. Its not here to replace bass boats and fast motors, it is just another way to explore the habitat of our favorite aquatic animals.  Grab your paddles, a few rods, tackle and safety gear and get out on the water. There are new experiences waiting for you, get out and enjoy.

By Daniel Notarianni

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Sharing the Sport: Tips for Introducing Kids to Fishing

First fishing tripDads, take time to take your kids fishing.  Don’t put off another fishing trip with your son or daughter.  It can be the most rewarding thing that you have ever done. 

I had the opportunity to take my 2 year old for the first time about a month ago.  I had been waiting for this day for a long time.  We had a VERY successful first trip out! 

Almost every other cast had a fish on the end of the line and my son was screaming with glee;
“Lets get another one Daddy!!”. 
He held his fish up with pride and a sense of accomplishment.  It was one of the best days of my life as a father. 

Watching my son fall in love with this great sport was priceless!  There are some easy steps to make that first fishing trip memorable:

 

First fish!

 

 

 

 

1. Make sure that you take your child to a place that you know you can catch fish.  Sometimes this can be difficult, and it may take some advance scouting.  We are fortunate to have friends that have a fully stocked lake.  Make sure that you have easy access to the water also. I haven't been, but I've been told that Banner Marsh has a great fishing pond for kid's. They keep it well stocked and you can't fish there if you don't have a kid with you.

 

 

Taking the kids fishing. Looking at those faces let's you know that it was so worth the time.

 

 

2. Have Patience.  If the fishing is slow, don’t get frustrated.  Make sure that you keep a positive upbeat attitude or your child may become frustrated.

 

3. Don’t plan an all day trip.  Especially in young children, their attention span is short.  Make sure that you set aside a couple of hours in the morning or evening when the weather is not so hot.  Let the child dictate how long the trip will last.  When they are ready to go,  take them home,  don’t force them to stay.

 

4. Keep it simple.  A rod, reel, bobbers, and worms is all that you need.  Along with a pair of pliers and a fish basket if you’re keeping fish.

 

Take lots of photos.5. Don’t take a rod of your own.  This is probably the hardest step for most fathers.  Leave all of your personal rods at home and put all of the focus on your child.    Bait the hook for them if they can’t and make sure that you help them take the fish off and get used to holding and touching it.

 

6. Take lots of photos.  It is so important to capture memories with your children.  My sons love to look at pictures that we have taken on our phones.  It also gets them excited for the next trip.

 

I hope these tips have helped.  As always,  we are always here to help at the East Peoria, IL Bass Pro Shops.  Our team will be more than happy to assist in any fishing trip that you have coming up, big or small.

HAPPY FATHERS DAY
Josh Catour, Fishing/Camping GSM

I had been waiting for this day for a long time.

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Let There Be Light!

 

Light might just be one of the coolest things in the world. It affects life so drastically that it changes how nature functions. Light can tell us when to get up and when it is time to go to bed. (If you’re like me, a human iguana, you really don’t like getting up before the sun.) Light helps plants grow and changes animals’ habits. Without light, a Jedi would only have a saber! And light is so legit it makes up part of one of history’s greatest band’s name: Electric LIGHT Orchestra. (Don’t bring me down, Grroosss!*)

I polled the guys in camping about things that they would be sure to have in a backpack and they mentioned a light source. As noted then, there has been an increasing trend towards headlamps and other hands-free options. When I was planning a deer hunting trip, I was strongly advised to pack a headlamp along with a flashlight. (I wear glasses and can freely quote Jurassic Park so my inner-nerd quickly embraced this option.) So let’s go over some of the hands-free lighting options, shall we?

WARNING: Puns to follow.

Headlamps – These typically range from $20 to almost $200, with about everything in between. Most come with several different brightness levels and some offer “non-white light”. Studies have shown that red or green colored lights affect animals differently (and they make you feel like you are in a Predator movie). They can be a simple head band or have a secondary strap that gives more support over the head. Just remember that the secondary strap may affect any hat/beanie that you would be wearing. (I found this discovery to be illuminating.)

Hat Clip- We have all seen those hats with the built in lights, and those are even too dorky for me. The hat clip light is nice, because it can come off when not needed. (Like when stepping inside the local Denny’s after an all-night crappie trip.)This Browning model will do both white and green light. These will weigh down your cap, but not by anything too drastic. One should not be turned off by this.

Lanterns-  Coleman lantern on a fold-out table? Classic. These are a great option for illuminating a large area and not just what is in front of you.  No campsite is really complete without one. Set them on the ground or hang them from above and things just light up! Just remember to bring extra fuel sources and accessories. (Please note, when carrying these around Prospector Talk and Western Jargon are necessary.)

Pocket Light- These are newer to the market and like Van Halen, they rock! They are pen-shaped and have a clip on the back. Just click them on and stick them somewhere. These things are bright! My buddy’s dad gave me one and it really sheds some light on things. Personally I like to hang them from my backpack’s strap.  You can also pretend to be with M.I.B. when you turn it on right in front of somebody.

Experimental – Now these are “in the works” and should not be considered as viable sources of hands-free light… yet. The “Mr. T” is pretty cool if you ask me. Hook a floating fishing light to some sort of neck-apparatus and hang it in front of your chest. Bling-bling! The only drawback, carrying a battery to power it. But I’d pity the fool who doesn’t get one once they hit the market! The “Caveman’s Bluetooth” would have been the answer to their hands-free lighting problem. Strap on a saltwater fishing belt rig and instead of a fishing rod, a classic fire torch fits in! If that doesn’t say “BEHOLD!” I don’t know what does. Just make sure the width of the torch will fit into the belt rig perfectly, otherwise it will fall down and its lights out.

Well other than the experimental sources, I hope this has helped you chose a new solution to an old problem. I also hope none of this made you burn out. Hollerin’ on Hobby Horses!

*Had to Google that, I always thought it was “Bruce!”

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Bass Pro White River News

 

White River Fly Shop

 

 

Greetings from the Bass Pro Outdoor World White River Fly Shop in Kodak (Sevierville), Tennessee.

 

It has been a couple of glorious fly fishing days in the Great Smoky Mountains.  Perfect weather, perfect water, cooperative fish.

After drenching rains over the weekend that caused Little River to rise to over 900 CFS, the flow dropped quickly to relatively normal levels of around 200 CFS.  To my mind this is "just right" for fishing the Little River and its tributaries; infinitely wadeable, but enough water to keep the fish happy and feeding.

But first I headed up to fish the area above and below Chimney Tops.  The Little Pigeon River is medium sized through this stretch, and one of my favorites.  With the warm temperatures, both air and water, wet wading was the order of the day.  Really nice to have your feet in cool clear mountain water as the thermometer rises with the sunshine.  My Yellow Elk Hair Caddis was met with little enthusiasm so I switched to my old standby, the Parachute Adams.  Things started to pickup and I was rewarded with a good many small to medium rainbows.  Starting in the Chimneys Picnic area and continuing upstream is decent brook trout (spec's as they are also known) territory.  I didn't get any this time around, but judging by a red flash or two in the water I think I managed to catch the attention a couple of them.

GSMP trout


By mid-afternoon I headed off to claim my reserved home for the evening at the Cade's Cove Campground (this time of year the campground is on a reservations only status).  With my one-person tent erected a midst the massive motor homes and some time to kill before dinner, I wandered over to fish Anthony's Creek.  Running through the Cade's Cove picnic area this is small water and frequently overlooked.  However, this little creek is chock full of rainbows.  Within an hour I had caught 25 fish without even leaving the confines of the picnic grounds.  Yes, they are small, but surprisingly enough there are a few 10 to 12 inchers in that little creek and I caught several of them.

I was up early the next morning to bike ride the Cade's Cove loop road which is closed to vehicles on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10AM through September.  While not exactly easy, there are a few lung-busting hills, the ride does have its rewards.  Today those rewards included a number of black bear sightings, the most exciting of which was a mom and four cubs no more than 20 feet off the road.

Breaking camp I headed to Tremont, one fine fishing destination.  I put in just before the first one-lane bridge, tossing the Yellow Elk Hair Caddis yet again.  A couple of pools later with few hits and fewer takers prompted me to switch to a Royal Wulff, a fly that is easy to see in the dark shadowy pools where trout lurk.  Results improved somewhat with a number of small rainbows, but not what I would have expected under such excellent conditions.  Continuing to play "fly roulette" I switched to a Yellow Stimulator and immediately got some really nice hits by, apparently, pretty good sized fish.  However, a couple of pools later the action faded.  Somewhat mystified, I switched to the old standby, Parachute Adams.  This is my year-round go-to fly and always (mostly always) seems to draw out the trout.  This day was no exception and over the next several hours I managed to work my way upstream collecting (and releasing) a good number of rainbows ranging from small up to a few rod-benders in the 10-12 inch range.  At one point, and MUCH to my surprise, I looked up from my concentrated fly watching to see a fair-sized black bear directly across the stream from me.  Luckily he was working his way downstream and I was headed up, so with a mutual nod of our heads we went our separate ways.  Definitely the first time I've shared the stream with a bear.


By mid afternoon, under darkening skies, I decided I was tired of fishing (no, that's not possible....I was just tired) and headed home through one of the east Tennessee afternoon thunderstorms - lightning, thunder, and torrential the-wipers-can't-keep-up downpours.  All-in-all a good couple of days of outdoor adventuring.

Around the fly shop we are restocking shelves after a busy couple of weeks supplying visitors with equipment and local fly fishing information.  If you have not fished the national park before or if it's been a long time, please stop by.  Thanks to the national park staff we have a supply of the park's fishing brochure that includes all the rules and regulations as well as a map of the park's rivers and streams.  We will be happy to show you some fine fly fishing destinations, including the ones mentioned in this report.  Also, remember that this Sunday is Father's Day and it's not too late to drop a few hints about that coveted piece of fly fishing gear that has captured your eye.

Fishing in the park

 

Bass Pro Outdoor World

White River Fly Shop

3629 Outdoor Sportsmans Place
Kodak, TN 37764
865-932-5600

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The Double Slammin’ D’s

It was just your typical Arizona day out on Lake Pleasant. Most people remember it as: April 28th, 2013… but for two young anglers it will always be remembered as: Destiny!

The Arizona Bassmaster program holds youth fishing tournaments as a way to get the youth involved in the sport. (Check out their site for more information.) It is a great program and anybody looking for a way to get their kids engaged should contact the program. We all know it is going to be up to the next generation to protect and preserve our great outdoor heritage.

The winners of this event were Dusty and Dixon. These two troublemakers showed up as contestants and left as conquerors.

Dusty won the Junior Side with a bag of three fish. The total bag weight was 6.16#, with the big fish being 2.23#.

Dixon took the High School Division two solid fish. The total bag weight was 3.13#, with his big fish weighing 2.11#.

Due to their diligence these dudes have earned the designation of: The Double Slammin’ D’s!!! Along with their trophies, they took home a rod and reel combo from our store. Other fishermen and charlatans best be wary when crossing paths with these two! Let it be known that nothing will get in their way of a good day of fishin’! Congratulations, boys!

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Mark Your Calendars, A Lot

A little while back I mentioned that Family Summer Camp was comin’ to town! Well, today is the first official day of this event! From now until July 14th, Bass Pro Shops is calling all kids to come learn some great skills and make some amazing memories. And it’s ALL FREE!

Summer seems to be when some of the best memories are made. Life goes by a little slower and everything seems a little simpler. We like that and think you should mark in some good old fashioned fun on your calendars. With everything that we have going on you will want to mark in several dates so you can enjoy all the activities throughout the summer!

Workshops will go from Noon – 4PM. This is good stuff for the whole family! Learn the basics of: camping, fishing, hunting and archery, bird watching, wildlife exploration, water safety, backyard exploration and outdoor discovery. These last two will focus on the little and big pictures of the great outdoors. They will range from the little bugs crawling in our backyards to the importance of conservation. The workshops will change hourly, and for every one completed you will receive a collectable pin to attach to your Bass Pro Shops Summer Camp Lanyard. Warning: The lanyard and pins are free.  Make sure to set aside several dates on your calendar for these! That way you can have fun throughout  the summer break and by the time school starts, you will have lots on new information to share with all your friends!

Summer Camp will be held every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the event and will be comprised of fun activities, crafts, workshops and more! Oh and did I mention the price tag? FREE-ninety nine!

Our daily activates will run from Noon – 5PM. Have fun learning how to cast a fishing rod at our casting buckets or proper gun and bow safety at our Daisy BB Gun and archery ranges! For our little guys, we will have our Zing Toys shooting gallery. We will also have our carousel up and running for those of you who love a good ol’ fashion carousel ride.

Crafts will be held from Noon – 2PM. The crafts will include: designing a compass, making a bobber key chain (perfect gift for Dad), coloring a slap bracelet, designing a lizard door hanger, creating a popsicle stick fish and painting a deer track. That is a different craft every week and only while supplies last. So be sure to factor that in when planning to participate.

June 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th from Noon – 5PM come celebrate Father’s Day with us by having our catch and release pond set up where you can catch your first fish or just show off your great fishing abilities! And free photos will also be taken on these dates as well. Be sure to make it down as after these weekends are gone, so are the fish and photos!

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Memories of a Lifetime

Big BassBig Bass 2Big Bass 3When I was a little kid I always wanted to just go fishing. I didn't care what it was I was fishing for as long as I could catch it I was happy. Now that I am much older that feeling is still going strong today. I have fishing on the brain 24-7. I had been taken back by one of my greatest experiences to date and I will share it with you.

I remember the days when my dad would take me out to a pond on Fort Carson I would get up early pack a lunch and grab a few rods and spend the entire day trying to catch fish before my dad would pick me up after he got off work. I spent countless hours trying to figure out each species of fish that were in the lake, where they hung out, how do they react to my baits, how spooky they were, watching them feed on minnows and bugs on the top of the water and all the crazy things they did throughout the day.

I pretty much had the bluegills figured out. A small piece of worm on a #10 eagle claw hook under a small bobber was all it took and after seeing the trout hit a grasshopper I scared off the bush as soon as it hit the water it didn't take me long to whack a bunch of them also every time I went out. It was that bass that would always get to me. The little green fish with the black stripe that continues to drive me crazy today. Not to mention its cousins the spotted and small mouth bass. 

The bass seemed to mezmorize me, They would hit that grasshopper I threw in the water but refused to hit the one on my hook.The trout didn't seem to mind it. I flipped a few rocks and threw crawdads at them and they would eat em up but not on my hook. Every now and then I would get a smaller bass to take a whole night crawler but those big ones crusing would just come up and look and just swim off. Stressful for a little kid.

Through the years I studied about bass. I read every book I could find in the library about them and would read every issue of Bassmaster magazine I could get my hands on. Now we have every resource available just by the touch of a button from the internet or a phone call to a buddy. The kids sure have it easy now it seems like.

I still go back to that lake that has been there for forty plus years. it's just ten minutes from my home in Fountain, Co. so a short after work trip is always good for the mind, body and soul. I have seen pictures of giant bass being caught at that old lake and I have yet to catch a good one for myself. I went out with a few of my youth club kids that have held some 4# plus and one 7# in the years earlier and this was more than enough to peak my intrest. Giant bass close to home is like a dream come true.

This year the weather has put the spawn behind and the bass are just now starting to come up. I was out in my Stealth 2000 duck boat looking for active fish and when I saw them I beached it and tried to sneak up on them from the bank. I told my buddy that I had just seen the biggest bass of my life, he laughed and said, "like the ones in the tank at Bass Pro Shops" exactly I said. I knew that was a giant bass I just needed to figure out how to catch it and take a picture with her.

I mentally marked the spot and snuck up to find her and another smaller male on a bed. I covered myself with dead bulrushes and settled in with my rods. I threw a drop shot rig with a BPS teaser tube and the male whacked it instantly. I set the hook and landed him and quickly put him back in the water and right back to the bed he went.

I worked those fish for over two hours and the male kept pushing that big girl back and holding his ground. He picked up my baits several times and I just let him spit them out. The female kept coming closer and closer and as soon as she looked like she was going to hit my bait the male would chase her off. We played this game over and over. I decided I was going to stick the male again just to shake him up a little more and threw in one of my hand tied football jigs with a Lazer Trokar 3/0 hook and as soon as it hit the bed he came up and sucked it in and I swung and missed. I regrouped and pitched back in and he spun around and then just grabbed the tail of my YUM Money Craw trailer and spit it out. I hopped it back on the bed and the female bolted in from the side and crushed it.

I set the hook and the fight was on. I yelled over at my buddy and he and a few others came running over to check out what all the fuss was about and when I finally lipped her I started to shake. I have caught big bass in my travels and my biggest to date was an 8# 2oz.. I didn't have a scale and there was no way I was going to keep or hurt this majestic fish but I know it was my biggest bass ever. I had a few photos taken and put her back in the water and watched her swim away. I always preach "CPR" catch, photo and release. I hope someday she will be caught again and be much bigger.

I have been truly blessed to have landed such a giant bass so close to home.This is one I will never forget. I am glad I have the opportunity to share it with all of you. I thank my dad for teaching me how to fish and I hope all my youth club kids share their knowledge and teach kids how to fish so they can have their own memories of a lifetime....

                                                                           Best of Luck,

                                                                                                   Sam Heckman / Pro Staff

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Fishing for Trout and Salmon in the Finger Lakes

Fishing in the Finger Lakes offers a variety of different species to catch.  The most popular fish  people go for, are trout and salmon.  There are different systems of fishing the Finger Lakes, and here are a few you may just be interested in.

 

Trolling:  Trolling is the most popular for trout and salmon.  For this type of fishing you can put up to 5 lures per line, and slowly pull or troll behind a boat.  The positive side to trolling over the casting method is, it allows multiple rods rigged with different lures that are set up at different depths.  Trolling does require special equipment and can be very maddening during periods when the waterfleas are plenty.  A good trolling motor to look in to is the Minnkota Terrova Bow Mount Trolling Motor with Universal Sonar 2.   The Minnkota  has a factory installed I-Pilot wireless GPS trolling system which allows you to store and retrieve location and paths on water.  Added, is the co-pilot wireless function to navigate and position your boat which allows you to focus on fishing.  Easy to use and very durable.

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Trolling with lures near the surface is referred to as flat lining.  This technique works great with landlocked salmon (best when water is cool).  The best lures to use are stickbaits, streamers and spoons.  During the warm months you need to get lures deeper for the trout and salmon.  Sometimes as deep as 100 feet or more.  A few methods to get lures down deep is a downrigger.  A downrigger is a heavy weight attached to steel cable that lowers and raises by a winch and pulley system.  One downrigger that works well is the Cannon Tournament Series DigiTroll 5TSThe stainless steel spool allows you to re-spool monofilament or superlines.  It has a swival base and integrated LCD screen and touch pad which provides a real time date and is simple to operate.  Best part is its electric.

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Divers:  This device is attached to your line.  This will get your lure down to the depth you want.  Divers are a great option for beginning trollers.  They are cheaper than downriggers and there is no installation to your boat.

WireLine:  This method has become very popular over the years.  When used with a diving device, the bait goes deeper.

Copperline:  This system has been popular for many years in the Finger Lakes area.  Lake trout are the favorite to catch with copper.  Another term people use is "pulling copper".  One tugs the copper by hand using a heavy spoon.  Some people modify an old victrola record player to wind the copper on.

Lures that are popular for trolling salmonids are spoons, plugs, and flies.  Three main styles of attractors are spinners, dodgers, and flashers.

Vertical Jigging:  A very popular method of catching lake trout is vertical jigging.  This method entails lowering the jig to the bottom a few times and then reeling it up rapidly off the bottom for a short distance, before dropping it again and repeating.  This is a nice alternative to trolling when you have water fleas or weed matts.  You also do not need any special rod or reel.

Natural Bait:  Minnows are extremely popular to use.  Make sure you use only certified bait or bait caught from the lake you are fishing on.  Other popular baits are alewives (also called sawbellies or mooneyes), egg sacs, and marshmallow and worm rigs.  The marshmallow and worm rigs are extremely popular on Skaneateles Lake.  The colored marshmallow helps float the worm off the bottom and the bright color of the marshmallow acts like a attractor.  Some people skip the worm and just use the marshmallow. 

So have a relaxing and fun time out fishing on the Finger Lakes, and remember if you need anything we are just a short distance away.

 

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'll Have One Of Everything

Midas CichlidFly fishing has obviously become a disease for some of us, myself included. Unfortunately for those uninfected, they’ll never understand what it is that makes us keep going back again, and again, and again.

I’ve been on a quest to catch as many species as possible on the fly rod ever since I first threw one, 17 or so years ago.  And I know many other guys that feel the same way.  It isn’t enough to say we caught some of the premier species available, but rather we want to land as many different species as possible, even those that most people would call trash fish or undesirables.  Gar, bowfin, Grass Carp, Tilapia may be less than what we would call sportsman’s dreams, but they each present their own challenge. 

Compare it to Chuck Adams a world renowned bow hunter.  “On January 4, 1990, Chuck became the first archer in history to harvest all 27 varieties of North American big game--a feat called the Super Slam.”  Although it’s unlikely I’ll ever be famous for catching a bunch of fish, it’s nice to consider the accomplishment and the effort it takes in the same light.  Maybe if I could catch a world class specimen of each then it would make the achievement more noteworthy, and although catching one on conventional tackle is nice, they don’t count for me until they fall to the fly.

I took up the fly rod because I desired to catch fish using a technique I thought was a little more old fashioned and intricate than conventional tackle fishing.  Creating and throwing a fly for a target species requires some research and dedication to the craft as well as the fish you’re pursuing.  I love that part of the journey and will spend hours searching the internet, pouring over maps, and toiling at the tying bench, lining up places to go and things to throw.

A Midas Cichlid was the most recent fish to be checked off the list and although I was a bit surprised at the number of them inhabiting the canal systems of south Florida, catching one wasn’t like shooting fish in a barrel.  It took some time but the result was worth it.  Another beautiful fish came to hand, to be followed by a few more, proving it wasn’t totally by accident.  I can check off another one. Good friend and coworker Scott also landed his first Midas as well as a beautiful Spotted Tilapia that took some time to identify.  He was ecstatic when he learned that another species had been landed.

There are many more yet to be caught and I have no desire to stop searching for worthy quarry.  Oscars, and snakeheads are high on the list but once again, we’ll have to travel south to find them.  Let’s hope the search doesn’t take another 17 years.  Maybe you too can create a list of your own and start checking them off one at a time.  Keep records, take pictures, and enjoy the journey….  It’s worth it.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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The Oakley Big Bass Tour

 

oakley Big BAss

 

We have 5 months until the next BIG fishing event comes into Bass Pro Shops, Sevierville and Douglas Lake!!!!

The OAKLEY BIG BASS TOUR will be here October 19-20 for the Rusty Wallace Big Bass Classic.....

If you missed it last year make sure you get in this year. All you need is one BIG FISH!!!!!

If you haven't fished an Oakley Big Bass Event before let me tell you- THIS is what fishing is all about!!!! This is an all amateur tournament, all about having that one big bass. There are hourly weigh-ins and HUGE payouts.

Grand Prize

2013 Nitro Z7 with Mercury 150 HP motor, tandem axle trailer with dual console

Hourly Prizes

1st       $1000

2nd      $500

3rd       $300

4th       $200

5th       $150

*Hourly payouts based on 400 entrants

 

First 100 two day entrants to register early online receive a free custom Quantum rod. Value $149 *** 50 rods remaining ***

Thursday October 17th 4-7 PM Bass Pro Shops, 3629 Outdoor Sportsmans Place
Kodak, TN 37764
Friday October 18th 12 - 7 PM The Point Resort, Restaurant & Marina
122 Boat Dock Drive
Dandridge, Tennessee 37725

Safe light

Hourly Big Bass

The Point Resort Lake Suites, Restaurant & Marina 122 Boat Dock Drive Dandridge, Tennessee 37725

8-9, 9-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-1, 1-2, 2-3

 

Visit www.oakleybigbass.com  for all rules and regulations to register.

 

Oakley Tour

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The Perfect Time To Take a Child Fishing

It looks, and feels like summer is finally here. The kids are out of school and the weather is absolutely perfect for getting them outdoors, and specifically on the water. In this early summer time frame many different things are happening on our southern reservoir systems. The annual migration of Bluegill are now making their nests in the shallow sandy areas as well as the billions of shad that are spawning around seawalls and marina docks. Making this time of year perfect for taking your children fishing.

Just like other species, when bluegill are on their nests they are extremely aggressive, and the best way to get a child hooked on fishing is for them to catch numerous fish. I like many other anglers fuelled their love of fishing at a very young age catching countless numbers of bream and never getting tired of it. To this day I still love watching a fish pull my bobber under the surface. It is just something that never gets old. The way I used to catch them was very simple, and you can get everything you will need at Bass Pro Shops! A simple Bass Pro Shops Round Plastic Float with a small Bass Pro Shops Premium Reusable Split Shot Weight above a Bass Pro Shops Baitholder Hook and your ready to go. Baits such as live red worms work great, and if you prefer artificial bait the Berkley PowerBait Micro Power Wiggler is a perfect choice. Also, if your children need a beginners rod and reel setup Bass Pro Shops has that too at a very affordable price.

So take the time to come on in to Bass Pro Shops and give your children the opportunity to fall in love with the outdoors just like I had growing up. Chances are you will create a passion that will stay with your child for the rest of their lives as well as a family bond that will never be forgotten. Take them out with the right equipment and let them catch as many fish as they want while still not making them stay out longer then they want and the rest is history!

I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania

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Add Life to Your Years

Two daughters of an Iowan recently brought Bass Pro Shops Altoona a special gift.

Ed Morello, an avid fisherman, passed away in Ogden, Iowa, in April. His daughters, Cindy McNeil, who works in the Gifts Department at Bass Pro Shop in Mesa, Arizona, and Dawn Meadows of Ames, presented our General Manager with a 7.5 lb largemouth bass mount their father caught 35 years ago. The lure he caught it on hangs from the fish's mouth.

donationMcNeil and Meadows said their dad made it very clear that when he died he wanted the fish to go to Bass Pro Shops Altoona, so his fishing buddies, family, and friends would be able to see it and remember him. Morello’s favorite saying was,

“Fishing may not add years to my life, but it adds life to my years.”

The bass was caught at Bull Shoals, AR, in May 1978.

How about you? Have you helped someone add life to their years by taking them fishing?  June 7-9 are free fishing days in Iowa for Iowa residents.  Other states around the country also have free fishing days. It's a great way to introduce a child OR an adult to the sport and enjoyment of fishing and to enjoy the outdoors.

So, pack a picnic, pray for sunny skies, grab a rod and reel and take someone fishing. It could add life to their and YOUR years.

 


For more information on various free fishing days and event around the country, visit www.takemefishing.org/downloads/FreeFishingDays.pdf.

 

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Sunny Saturday Sensation

Sunny Saturday Sensation

kidsThe kids are out of school now and I know you parents are always looking for things you can do with them that are 1) Fun, 2) Exciting and 3) Free.  Right?  So now you are asking yourself and me “Where do I find this Oh so wonderful place where I can take my kids for the day and let them play?”fish

            Bass Pro Shops sponsors a Free Kids Fishing Rodeo every year at Waddill Pond in Baton Rouge.  This year the rodeo will be on June 8th from 8 am until 11 am with the awards ceremony to follow. 

 

FREE KID’S FISHING RODEO

 

When:  Saturday, June 08, 2013

Time:    7:00 – 11:00 am     Registration:  7:00 - 8:30 am

Place:    Waddill Ponds         4142 N. Flannery Rd.  Baton Rouge, LA

 

Children ages 6 & under

 

  • 1st Place    Prize to be determined
  • 2nd Place    Prize to be determined
  • 3rd Place    Prize to be determined

 

Children ages 7 – 9

 

  • 1st Place    Prize to be determined
  • 2nd Place    Prize to be determined
  • 3rd Place    Prize to be determined

 

Children ages 10 – 14

 

  • 1st Place    Prize to be determined
  • 2nd Place    Prize to be determined
  • 3rd Place    Prize to be determined

 

prizesWe will supply the bait and cane poles or you may bring your own rod.

Weigh in at 11:00 am with prizes awarded after judges have tallied all final results.

Drinks will be provided for this event.

 

Rules and Regulations will be handed out at the time of registration.

 

Contact us at (225) 271-3100 for any questions

 

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The 19th Annual Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament

Islamorada, Florida Keys

The 19th Outback Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament kicked off Sunday, May 19th at the Islamorada Fishing Club. Outgoing Tournament Chairman, Pat Ford of Miami, and incoming Tournament Chairman Dr. Steve Ward of Coppell, Texas, welcomed a 20 boat field by first presenting a $3,000.00 donation to IFACT Chairman, Kara Lundgren.  The Islamorada Fishing and Conservation Trust supports local fishing and marine conservation projects as well as providing scholarships to those going into the marine resources education programs.

Ward, Lundgren, Ford

The weather actually was very good through out all three days of fishing. The Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament is a large fish tournament, meaning that the bigger fish of 70 pounds and over will score more points. The smaller release fish of four feet and over all score 200 points but do not count unless a weight fish is scored.

Angler Julian Robertson from Kerikeri, New Zealand and local Captain Joe Rodriguez ran away with day one. They scored two weight fish and two releases for 2,300 points. High points on day two also went to Robertson and Rodriguez with another weight fish as well as two more releases for a total of 3,740 points. Day three high points went to newcomer Ryan Seiders from Texas and Captain Rob Fordyce with a weight fish and a release for 1,240 points.  

Julian Robertson and Captain Joe Rodriguez took over the entire tournament winning the Grand Champion title with a final scoring of three weight fish and seven releases for 4,340 points. The team walked away with David Wirth sculptures, a custom fly reel by Tom Kapusta and a custom fly rod from Randy Towe Signature Series Fly Rods. The team also claimed the Billy Pate Memorial Largest Tarpon Award with a 108 pound tarpon. Captain Rodriguez guided Robertson to High Point Trophies on day one and day two as well as the Most Releases trophy with seven fish released.

 

Capt. Joe Rodriguez, Left  Julian Robertson, Right

First Runner Up Trophy went to Ryan Seiders and Captain Rob Fordyce with two weight fish and three releases for a total of 2,660 points. Seiders and Fordyce grabbed the High Point Trophy for day three as well as the Newcomer Award. Second Runner Up went to angler Rand Holstead of Houston, Texas and Captain Brian Helms with one weight fish and four releases for a total of 1,800 points. Third Runner Up was Ned Johnson from Charleston, S.C. and Captain Andy Thompson with one weight fish and two releases for 1,145 points.

The 20th Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament will be held May 18-21, 2014. For information please email Betsy Bullard at fishnfever@bellsouth.net.

 

 

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Deep Summer Cranking

Summer is here and while many fish still live in shallow water the majority of the fish population spend most of the summer months on deep water structure. A wise man once said while fishing the bank 90% of the fish are behind you. This statement is generally true, and while deep water fishing can be overwhelming and difficult to master, it can also be very rewarding.

When fishing the bank generally you are looking for individual fish catching one here and there. Now when fishing off shore you are searching for the honey hole, a spot or area holding sometimes hundreds of fish. Some keys to look for when searching for deep water fish are points, humps, ledges, rock piles, shell beds, or man made brush piles. Having a good depth finder and GPS unit is very important to mastering deep water fishing. When I am looking for a school of fish offshore I generally will use my GPS on my Lowrance HDS-8 Gen2 Fishfinder to study and locate where drop offs or humps are located. Once I've chosen a couple different places to look I will drive my boat over the hump or drop off, while using my fishfinder to look for brush piles or rock piles. While searching I always have my Bass Pro Shops Marker Buoy in my hand ready to drop it where I see structure that looks promising. This will give you a perfect reference point so you can properly work the structure. The final key to look for while searching is bait fish, if you don't see balls of bait near the bottom you are probably not going to get bit and should search for a different area.

So all of this preparation and searching takes place before an angler has even made a cast. Deep water fishing is really more like hunting, where the preparation and searching is just as important as making a good shot. Once your preparation is complete and you have found an area with all of the proper ingredients then it is time to go to work. There are many different ways to catch offshore fish once you have them located, such as a, carolina rig, football jig, or a texas rigged worm, but my very favorite is a deep diving crankbait. Crankbaits allow you to make relatively quick casts fanning around the area searching for the proper angle to trigger a strike. What I mean by proper angle is, every fish has a certain presentation or cast that will be the best for triggering it to strike, and this can very from day to day or week to week, so keep an open mind. With your marker buoy in place a circle the wagon technique is hard to beat. Simply begin on one side of the structure and work your way around the buoy throwing casts from many different directions and at many different angles. Once you have triggered a fish to bite always throw back with the exact same cast. More often then not you will find that one specific cast through an exact spot will get you bit over and over again.

When deep cranking I like to use a 7'9" TFO Gary's Tactical Series Rod accompanied by a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier Baitcast Reel with a 5.2:1 gear ratio. This slower gear ratio will make cranking in big billed crankbaits easier as well as allowing your bait to reach deeper depths with still a good amount of line out. With high speed reels by the time your bait hits the bottom your bait will be half way back to the boat. The slow winch type reel is the way to go. The bait that I have the most confidence in is the SPRO Little John DD Crankbait. Others such as the Strike King 6XD Series and the Bomber Fat Free Shad will also catch fish, and sometimes the fish can be very picky changing which one they prefer from day to day. To make the baits achieve their maximum depth potential, long casts and light line are very important. Generally I will use 10lb or 12lb Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. And don't forget the key to catching crankbait fish whether in shallow water or deep water is to make your bait hit the bottom and contact the cover.

Keep your bait down where the fish live and are feeding and find the proper angle, and then hold on tight. Deep water fish are generally big and healthy and i'd be willing to bet that the very biggest fish on your lake lives on deep structure in the summer months. Remember starting today May 28th and ending June 16th Bass Pro Shops Father's Day sale is going on. One of my favorite items on sale is the Bass Pro Shops Crankin Stick which is a perfect affordable rod to get started with crankbait fishing from deep water to shallow. This would also make a perfect gift for a fisherman looking to expand his arsenal and grow as an angler!

I'll see you on the water!

Joey Nania

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Catching Bass On Beds

As water temps hit the 60 degree mark in the Chicago land area, big female bass start roaming the shallows searching for their spot to clear a nest to spawn on.  Once on beds this is a great time to catch a true giant!  Its simple fishing and we’ll discuss the gear and tactics it takes to catch these big spawning females.

The first and most crucial part of bed fishing is being able to see the beds as well as the bass.  There is no greater tool in your arsenal this time of year than a pair of polarized sun glasses.  On a cloudy day or at dawn and dusk we like to run a set of amber colored lenses.  This color lets in the most light under low light conditions and cuts the glare to allow us to see into the water.  On bright sunny days with mile high skies we will use the dark gray lenses.  These dim the light and cut glare to allow us to see in the water.

Now, probably the most known and most publicized way of bed fishing is using heavier gear, such as a flipping stick and pitching a jig or a plastic of some type and dragging or hopping it on a bass bed.  But today we want to talk about a more finesse approach.  Leave the flipping sticks in the trucks, and pull out the spinning rod!  It’s time to pitch a “Flick N’ Shimmy

A Flick N’ Shimmy is a new twist on a finesse worm and a new twist on whacky worming.  It’s a thin body worm with fatter heads on both ends of the worm.  They come in 4.8”, 5.8” and 6.8” and a wide variety of colors.  We rig them whacky style (Hooked one time right through the middle of the bait) with a Flick N’ Shimmy Head.  They come in sizes of 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, and 3/16 and are available in 3 colors; unpainted, Black and Green Pumpkin.

We throw these baits on a ML spinning rod.  Due to the short shank, wide gap hook, we want a little flex in the rod to keep from pulling that hook out of a bass’s mouth.  One of my favorite rods for this is the Johnny Morris CarbonLite 6’8” Med Light spinning rod.  It’s a very light rod to hold in your hand and easy to fish it all day long and unreal sensitivity to detect even the lightest bites.  Can also double as a good drop shot rod.

We team that rod up with the Johnny Morris CarbonLite spinning reel in the 750 size.  It’s light weight, durable and super smooth.  Its wide spool design cuts down on line twists and wind knots even when throwing fluorocarbon line.

Speaking of fluorocarbon line, yep, you guessed it, that’s the line we are using for this tactic.  Fluorocarbon line sinks so we get a better feel and is a tad smaller in diameter then mono and a little less stretch then mono.  Its best quality is that it is nearly invisible in water.  Bass Pro’s XPS fluorocarbon is smooth casting while still giving you some abrasion resistance to fish around cover.  8lb test gives us enough shock absorption on hook sets and enough tensile strength to handle just about any bedding bass.

To use these baits is simple.  Pitch them out to the area’s we see that a bass has swept out with their tail or if you visibly see them sitting on the bed.  We can drag this bait across the bed, hop it, shake it, or even dead stick it.  When this baits at rest on the bottom, the two heads float up and can temp even the most disinterested bass into striking.

Be patient when fishing beds.  It’s not always hot and heavy action but it can sure produce some of the biggest bass of the year!  Good Luck and Tight Lines!

 

Tony

Fishing Lead

Bolingbrook’s Bass Pro Shops

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Getting ready for the summer fun!

Getting ready for the summer fun!

 

With the temperature rising and the sun shining bright that time is getting ready to fall right on top of our laps again! And why let it surprise us when we are all getting ready for what comes with it! Summer is the season that we all truly love down here in our neck of the woods and we know we like to gear up on all the best gear to go along with it! Well we here at Bass Pro Shops are getting ready right there with you, stocking up on our assortment of warm weather gear, toys, and clothing.pack

Our camping department is gearing up with all of the best survival gear and tools you could hope for. Even with some pretty cool bells and whistles like camp stoves that can charge your smart phones and tablets while you’re out of the camp. We are also starting to see some great deals coming out in our ads for our Ascend kayaks and even a few new makes and models that we are carrying this year. This time of year is also when many of you like to grab a hold of a new hydration bag or backpack for hitting the trail and keeping your load comfortable.

boardMarine is also getting a great boom on all of our water sport accessories such as towables and inflatables. We are seeing a good deal of new pool toys coming in this time of year too. In the next few ads, you will see such items as wakeboards and skis going on sale for great prices. And just as usual will be keeping well stocked on all or your boating needs and accessories to help you while you’re out on the water.

Fishing will also have some great deals going on this time of year.  Replenish tackle you have already used or come on in to pick up those last few items you have been meaning to grab. Just keep your eyes peeled to see the great assorted crank baits, worms, rods, and reels we will be putting out there for you, as well as, everything thing else between.

Also with the weather getting hotter and more humid our apparel departments will be getting in more and more collections of warm weather clothes assorted with shorts, skirts, swimwear, and plenty of fishing shirts to keep you cool. We are seeing great new patterns and frills across the ladies apparel department to keep you looking quite fashionable while also keeping you in great comfort. As far as the men’s side, the fishing gear keeps coming in by the truckload to keep you ready and looking good out on the water or around the town. It will be hard for you to miss all of the great Saltlife and Guy Harvey options we have out on the floor to help you show off what you love.go

As we are moving on in to the hot weather just keep your eyes out for the sales we are setting up for you. Our Go Outdoors ad starts on May 16th and it would have to be nearly impossible for you to not find any of the things you’re looking for in there. Its one of the biggest and best ads geared to the summer fun we all love and love to enjoy! So keep your eyes open and come on in to see the great seasonal gear we have making its way to the floor for all of you from all of us at your Bass Pro Shops.

Samantha Stevenson

Front End Manager

Denham Springs

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