Take It Slow - Old Town Canoes

Sometimes you just have to take it slow.  Life is hectic - people can always find you anywhere.  TV has the same old re-runs on.  Constant stimulation is all around us.  Well try to tune it out, by getting out on the lake with a Old Town Canoe.  Watch the leaves turn or the loons on the lake.  Why in just a few hours you will feel rested and relaxed.  


The Old Town Saranac 146 XT has 2 contoured padded seats and seatbacks.  The center bench seat has storage inside.  There are molded rod-holders, paddle rests, and in cup holders.  The length is 14'6" and it weighs 79 pounds.  This canoe is stable with a flat bottom and straight sides. 










You need room for your best friend?  The Old Town Saranac 160 XT gives you more room at 16' and 89 pounds.













It always pays to be safe so don't forget your life jacket.  The Ascend OSFM Paddling Life Jacket is lightweight.  Don't forget you best friend with the Bass Pro Shops Life Jacket For Dogs in sizes xsmall to xlarge.

paddling jacket



























At Bass Pro Shops we also have a variety of paddles to pick from, but the Caviness Boat/Canoe paddle is durable and a great value.













After a few hours, it is time to take a drink and quick lunch.  Reach into your Ascend Round Bottom Lightweight Dry Bag which will keep everything dry and safe.  The  Ascend 1L water bottle  is perfect for holding just enough water.  Hunger has set in so grab the package of  Uncle Buck's Premium Beef Jerky and the sandwich you packed.  Don't forget your best friend,  Bass Pro Shops Jerky Bites Dog Treats are great.


























Stop on by and take a look at what we can offer you in line of relaxation and enjoyment.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator





















A Day on the Water: Special Blessing

I believe that every day on the water is a blessing, but some days are even more special….the following is one of those days.

The day begins as a thin layer of fog is lifting from water and sun is about to peek out over the edge of the lake. It is a cool morning in the North Carolina mountains when my fishing partners arrive at the ramp.



Every year I donate a trip for the YMCA to auction off to raise money and this year’s winners wanted to bring their young ones out for a day of fun. John and his 2 young boys John Peter, aka JP, age 8 and Jacob age 6 were chomping at the bit to get on the water. Wes and his daughter Jeannie age 7 were also ready to put some fish in the boat. Since there were 2 families I brought a great friend and fellow Bass Pro employee Stokes McCellan to help me hopefully give these folks a trip of a life time.

pre blastoff

Stokes and the boys headed out for a few hours of trolling, while the rest of us set out for some top water and early morning bass action. It didn’t take long for Jeannie to start pulling in the fish. She had us down 3 to zero in just 5 minutes. We had a blast over the next 3 hours and caught more fish than we could keep up with. Wes even took a break from bass fishing for Wes to work on his fly rod fishing techniques.

2 boys with bluegill


While we were catching fish like crazy the other boat was getting loaded as well. That team caught some monster bluegill, crappie and a ton of bass while trolling the banks and the middle of the lake. There wasn’t a minute or two went by that we didn’t hear ‘fish on’ coming from that boat.


When we met back at the ramp to swap around partners Jacob and John were ready for big time bass action. Once again it doesn’t take long before boats are calling out ‘ fish on’ .  Jacob was only 6 but that little man was fired up and was catching fish on nearly every cast. He was throwing a shakey head and catching fish like crazy. John and Wes got serious and started throwing jigs and creature baits and the big fish started chewing. We started landing 3 ,4 and 5 pounders all afternoon.


Wes with his Bass!

John with bass

It wasn’t too long before Jacob was ready for a snack and to get back to trolling, so we met on the water and we picked up JP, dropped off Wes and Jacob with Stokes , and got back at it.  JP wasted no time and was sacking fish left and right. Although he was only 8 he was making great casts and figured out quickly where the bass should be. He also relieved me of some of my guiding duties and wanted to take all the fish off and release back into the lake. My thumb was extremely grateful as it was torn up from all the fish we had caught that morning. I am not sure who had more fun …JP catching fish or his Dad taking pictures and capturing the moment on film.

Eric with Fish

I have a great passion for fishing and truly love to share that passion with others, especially when it is young ones. I believe that these kids would have a good time even if we didn’t catch a fish, but the fact that we whacked them all day made it easy for the young ones to enjoy the day. Every day you won’t catch like fish like we did on this trip, but you have to go and spend time with youngsters and give them the opportunity to fall in love with the outdoors. In today’s world there are so many other things for kids to do, that if we as outdoorsmen don’t take the time to introduce kids to the outdoors our way of life could be lost in just a few generations. I am blessed that I get to work with people that have my same passions.. I am blessed that every day I get to share with customers a little bit of knowledge…I am blessed that I live in a country that affords me these luxuries.

Jacob and eric

Jacob and I with our Catch!

girl with fish

So at the end of the day we stayed and fished a couple hours past our time, but the fish were biting so what are you gonna do…stay and fish of course. When all was said and done we had caught well over 100 fish on our expedition. Not too shabby for a ½ day trip in August. I am not sure when I will see these kids again but I believe when they close their eyes( at least for few days) they will remember the fish they caught today and hopefully when they wake up be ready to go again.…


tuckered out


Eric Winter

General Manager

Bass Pro Shop

Concord NC




The Big One

The Big One


LonnieHey guys, any of you ever heard of a place called Okhissa Lake?  Me Either.  Well I looked it up on the internet and it is about 40 miles east of Natchez in Mississippi.  My friend Lonnie Boudreaux and his grandson go fishing there all the time.  He recently sent me this picture.  When I asked him how he caught such a big fish, this is what he said.

“This past Saturday, I was fishing on Okhissa Lake, which is just west of Bude, MS with my 13 year old grandson, Galen Bergeron.  Earlier that morning, Galen hooked a really nice bass that wrapped his line up in a submerged tree standing in about 15 feet of water. So when we returned to the lake to fish late that afternoon, I decided to concentrate on certain trees standing in about 15-20 feet deep water, throwing a Zoom 10-1/2” Magnum worm. I was fishing with a Johnny Morris Signature rod & reel combo, spooled with Seaguar 17 # InvizX fluorocarbon line. I like this line for the transparency and low memory characteristics.

At around 7:30 P.M., I made a cast to a standing submerged tree that I have previously caught large bass from occasionally. My worm had just went over a limb that is about 3 feet off the bottom. As the worm began to fall back down, I saw my line twitch, & immediately set the hook. I could tell that the bass was headed for the tree, so I put a lot of pressure on the bass & turned it away from the tree. The bass then headed straight for the surface, & when it headed back down, I had my trolling motor on high, heading  away from the tree. The bass made 2 good runs, pulling a little drag at times, but when it surface the last time, it was pretty worn out, and Galen netted the big lunker.”

Vickie C.

Administrative Assistant

Denham Springs


Tying The Knot

Tying The Knot

tiesHey ya’ll, it’s Jettie again.  I took my mom fishing last weekend and we had a really good time.  I never tire of watching her fish.  She is not like me, I just used a regular old rod and reel.  She fly fishes.  To watch her cast is amazing.  I have tried a thousand times and my mom keeps showing me different techniques she thinks will help me, but every time I just end up all tangled in the line or the hook in my hair.  She, on the other hand, looks like a line out of that old song “Poetry In Motion”.  And let me tell you something else.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too old to do something cause my mom is living proof that you are never too old.  I won’t be so crass as to tell you her age, but suffice it to say that I am considered a “senior citizen” and am the 5th child in a tribe of 8.  So that should give you some idea.  But enough about my mom, this was supposed to be about fly fishing so let me go back to our fishing trip last week.

There we were, me using my casting rod and here using her fly rod.    She went to change her bait, sorry, in fly fishing you call it a fly (go figure) and I noticed it was a gorgeous purple speck.  I looked at the fly closer at it really did look like a little purple fly (you know, the annoying bug that flies around your house in the summers).  When I asked her where she got it, she told me that a friend of hers made it for her. fly

The next day I checked with our fishing guys and they tell me we have a group that meets here in the store.  They get together down in the fly shop and teach beginners how to tie flies or the old times just enjoy learning what’s new.

Here’s the e-mail they sent me to post:


 Good morning,

     We will hold our monthly fly tying class this Saturday 09/28/13 beginning at 9:30 a.m. We will again meet in the fly shop downstairs. We had several beginners last month so we will continue on some basic patterns to tie. Please bring your tying tools if available.


Ron Brooks

Come on over to the Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs and see what you’ve been missing.

Jettie W


Denham Springs


Gear Stories: Awesome Day of Fishing with Bass Pro Rod Holders!

Lake of the woods in northern Minnesota!!! Biggest walleye was 29 1/4 inch rest were a bit smaller all in all awesome day of fishing thanks to the bass pro rod holders we got!!!!

Name: Casey Ferkul
ProductDescription: bass pro rod holders


Tracker Time: Mako 17 Skiff

So this is weird, I have touched upon something from pretty much every part of our store except Tracker-Marine. After several angry texts and a cold shoulder at the water cooler I knew it was time to pay some respect to our awesome boat department.

(I know I had talked about our pond prowlers, but Tracker-Marine is a separate area.)

Now if you have ever been through our selection of boats, you know we have something for everyone and anyone. From family pontoons to blazing bass boats, we have it all! That’s why when I spotted a certain white boat, my curiosity was engaged. It was a Mako, so I knew I had to go to the Mako Master-Patrick.

Patrick gave me the lowdown on this fine vessel, and then some! (That is probably why he is the Mako Master.) I had been checking out the Mako 17 Skiff. This is a great boat with many nice features. The 17 in the name stands for the fact that it is 17 feet long.

This craft can accommodate roughly 6 people and handles extremely well. It is very stable and handles turn quite nicely.

It comes with a 60 Horsepower Mercury motor on the back. Patrick has the opportunity to take one of these out and got up to about 32 miles per hour. What is also nice is that the motor is quite lenient on its 6.6 gallon tank. Patrick was out all day going pretty much nonstop and did not need to fill up.

Now it also comes with an aluminum trailer (perfect for those Arizona salt flats) and weighs roughly 2000 pounds. Which means it is quite manageable and one was even taken away by a Chrysler 300!

There are a few other nice features. There are 5 built in rod holders and lots of storage space at the front and back. The wide platforms on the front and back provide excellent casting and lounging opportunities.

Now for seats, this is where Mako got extremely clutch. (Yeah, we’re trying to bring it back.) The captain’s seat is actually a spacious cooler that is well insulated. Perfect for keeping everything cool on a day out on the lake. And get this, the front seat lifts up to reveal a live-well! Well played Mako… well played.

So next time you come by, spend some time in our Tracker-Marine Department. And if you’re interested in that bad boy, be sure to talk to Patrick the Mako Master. He won’t leave you floating! Doggy Paddling Donkeys! Giddy Up!


Fishing With Fresh & Treated Spawn (Roe) For Trout & Salmon

By: Jerry Costabile

This time of the year when fishing the shoreline of Lake Michigan you will hear that the fish are hitting on spawn. If you have never fished with it, I hope to give you the information that will add a technique that will increase your chances for success this fall.

The term spawn comes from the ritual that occurs every fall around the begging of September thru October on the Great Lakes. In the northwest and in Alaska, this happens anywhere from mid May thru late August. This is the spawning run of the Chinook or king salmon. The Coho or silver salmon also make this run and are usually right with the kings. Female’s are carrying eggs or roe, and will migrate up rivers to where they were released or born, with the male’s right in tow! This is the time to be fishing the spawn techniques.

 The eggs can be present in the spring, but are at a very immature stage. As the season progresses, the eggs, or roe, will mature right up to the day that the female releases them into the nests that they and the males have been making in the rocky bottom of the rivers.

What we have to do is to catch a female that is full of eggs and use it for our bait. There are times that is easier to buy a few spawn sacs at the bait shop to get started with. If you catch a female early in the fall the eggs will be inside of a membrane sac called a skein. This is a favorite of mine to use because it is fresh and natural. I just cut a small piece of the skein with the eggs and put the hook thru the middle (we will talk hooks later). As long as the eggs are still solid in the skein, use it this way. 

As the eggs mature and the skein start’s to break apart, you will have to start tying the eggs into a netting to create a spawn sac. With the eggs loose in the skein, you will lose your eggs on the cast and be left with just the membrane on your hook.

At a certain point you will know that the females are really close to spawning or are spawning, the eggs will be running out of the fish. Try to have a bucket or bag to save the loose eggs when this happens. I will explain why in a little bit.

The techniques used to fish with spawn, are fairly simple. If you are fishing in current, use just enough weight to naturally roll the spawn or spawn sac along the river bottom.  I have had some success in weighting the spawn to stay on the bottom, but I use foam floaters in the sacs that I tie to keep it slightly off of the bottom. When I am not in the river and I am fishing at the mouth of the river in the lake, I will simply cast the spawn, skein or sac, out into the outgoing current and let it naturally roll to the bottom. If you are fishing in this location and can’t get into the current, fish the downwind side of the river current. The wind will push the river water in the direction it is blowing to and the fish will use this water to guide itself into the river. If you are not sure what this direction is, look for the stained water and you will see this current pattern.

Let’s say that we are fishing in the harbor areas and want to fish with spawn. We can still put it on the bottom or float it under a slip bobber. I prefer to fish it under a slip bobber. I have caught a lot of fish this way and I always have one out. Set up a rod this way and while you’re casting spoons, you have another technique working for you! I like to add just a little weight to help the spawn sac sink under a bobber. You don’t have to add a lot, just enough to get the line easily thru the bobber.  In the deeper holes of the rivers, this works great there also.

Now, I like to use a #6 octopus circle hook early and then switch to a #2 later in the season. As the spawning run progresses, I increase the size of the spawn sac that I fish with. More to see and more to smell! Treble hooks work too but there is more exposed hook to get snagged up. Keep it simple and you will increase your hook ups.

There are a lot of options and tricks to keeping your spawn fresh and keeping it good for the entire fall season. You can buy a box of good old borax at most grocery stores. Some of the other products out there are Atlas Shake “n” Cure, Pautzke Bait Co. makes a great cure, the BorxOFire. This comes in several colors. Also Pautzke makes a couple of liquid cures, Nectar and Fire Brine.

Watch for an upcoming event at Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee, IL.  I will be holding a demonstration on curing and tying spawn sacs. I will show you some of the ways to keep your eggs working for you for the entire fall salmon run and discuss this topic more!





Be a Duck Commander with the New Grizzly® 1654 Sportsman

ALL NEW for 2014, the GRIZZLY® 1654 Sportsman is a unique boat perfect for waterfowl hunting.

1654 Sportsman

Available in two optional camo schemes to match your hunting area, this boat is also loaded inside with great features. Raised fore and aft decks provide great vantage points while fishing. Both even feature a seat base for setting up the fold-down fishing chair. It also has port and starboard rod boxes that can also be used as gun boxes.

top view

One of the most versatile features is the removable gun box on the starboard side, no matter the conditions you can protect your gun and gear from the water back to dry land.

Gun Box Out

For duck hunting, the VERSATRACK® accessory-mounting system in the gunnels is ready to accept your choice of optional blinds to keep you out of sight of your quarry.

duck blind

Beavertail boat blinds are available through Basspro.com

For your convienance, welded-in eyes at the four corners of the deck allow you to install anchor poles to keep your boat solidly in place while you wait!

welded eyes for poles

Plus, the 1654 Sportsman sports a Mod V hull for a smoother, drier ride than you would find on a flat bottom boat. And its all-welded hull translates into extreme longevity. Overall, this is one of the toughest, most versatile and easy-to-maneuver hunting/fishing boats around. Customize your boat today at Tracker Boats.


For additional information on boats available at the Charlotte location contact our knowledgable sales staff at 704.979.2200.


Happy Hunting

~Matthew Holland

Special Events and Promotions Coordinator





Local Fishing: Fishing Table Rock Lake

Summer is back in force making fishing as interesting as it gets. With water in the 80’s, the local lakes are getting a little harder to fish. Even for those with a lot of experience. The thermocline is set now that the temperature is finally at the summer highs, making the fish a little harder to pin down. Now that summer heat is finally here the humidity is making it hard for seasoned fisherman to be out on the water for too long or risk heat related illness. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your fishing fun and productive on one of our favorite lakes in the area!

As a general rule of thumb a fisherman on Table Rock should stay relatively close to areas where fish like to congregate. Some of these spots can be seen from your boat or shore. These formations are shallow spots or underwater hills. Whether these are man-made such as brush piles or simply submerged hills from when the lake was formed both are hot spots for fish during this time of year. Drop Shotting a 4” BPS Plum Cut Tail down in this area can bring up some large fish! This can grab both Crappie and Bass so be ready for some subtle bites and some big yanks on the rod!

If you are really out to catch some good size fish the best time of day is definitely the first few hours of sunlight. This not only is easier on the fisherman but also the fish are far more active and ready to feed. Simply by fishing from the crack of dawn to 10a.m. to 11a.m. you can make your chances of a catch higher. One of the best things to fish with in the morning is a White Strata Spoon. By running this lure in the morning the fish are more attracted to the actual lure as it flies over the water and lands. The fish being closer to the top of the water makes them far more likely to take a quick pass at the bait. Another great bait to use is the Chompers 4” Brown/Purple 1/2 oz. Drop Shotting this on a submerged hill or brush pile in the morning is an awesome way to attract fish and get some big strikes.

Fishing Table Rock Lake here in the Ozarks can be one of the most fun and exciting activities during the summer. While the summer heat might be here for a little longer you can still have a good fishing experience by fishing in the morning and knowing your fishing spots. Another great way to keep those morning hours a little less hot is by using one of Bass Pro’s Frogg Togg Neck Coolers. These little cooling towels have saved more than one trip and have made the summer far more bearable. Good luck on your fishing, stay cool, and take a look at what Bass Pro offers to make your fishing experience complete! http://www.basspro.com/Fishing/_/T-12100000000

 Table Rock Lake


Small Boat Fishing-What You Need To Know

Ok, in my last two blogs we covered when to start shore fishing in August for brown trout and some shore fishing techniques. Now let’s cover some small boat fishing.

First let me point out that we are fishing Lake Michigan, this body of water can change on you very quickly. I have seen the lake go from calm to 7 to 8 foot waves in minutes. PLEASE make sure you do your homework on the weather conditions, BEFORE you go out. If you are not sure if it’s safe for your boat to fish in, call the Coast Guard or contact someone that is familiar with the conditions you plan to fish. It’s not worth your life. If it’s too rough, leave the boat on the trailer and fish from shore. I always keep my spinning rod on the boat just in case!

There are a couple of options that you can fish. The first is the harbor bite. In the Kenosha, Wisconsin harbor it is not uncommon to see small boats trolling in the harbor basin. It can be a nightmare with more than a couple of boats doing this. I have seen 34’ charter boats trolling in there and creating problems with everyone, boaters and shore fishermen.  Trolling small spoons and cranks are the best baits to use.  You can flat line the cranks or put them on a downrigger or Dipsey Diver. With the spoons, Dipsey’s or downriggers work best.

The other common technique is to drift in the harbor using the wind to cover water. You can use the same baits as you would use while fishing on shore, spoons, jigs, spinners and don’t forget to drag a spawn sac under a slip bobber.

On the right day with the right wind, try trolling the mouth of the harbor areas. This area can hold a lot of fish that haven’t been bombarded with lure from the shoreline and the boats working the inside. I would not hesitate to troll up and down the shoreline looking for fish in the current areas from the harbor or any tributaries that flow into the lake.

One thing to remember is that the bite goes from feeding to reaction as the fall progresses. Fish the depths that you are marking fish. You might see fish at all depths, but they aren’t all active. I have seen fish that move from the bottom to the surface, I think these are the fish we see constantly jumping. Are these active fish, I think some? But I would target the fish that I am marking on my electronics that are at a consistent depth. I think these are active fish that will give you the best chance at some action.

By: Jerry Costabile 8/20/13




What's HOT for Delta Striper

So as many of you know the delta stripers bite is coming up quick and you may be wondering what to use. Well what do delta stripers like to eat ? Shad! Many of you are thinking okay I'll just throw a swim bait. Well think again. Those big striper aren't just looking for that single little shad, they are looking for a nice school.

Right now at Bass Pro Shops we have the YUM YUMbrella 3-Wire Rig Kit and our Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Crappie Rig. Both of these rigs come with the 3-wire design. Some of you may be asking why a crappie rig and I'll tell you. Believe it or not this smaller rig may help out with not only catching Striper but hooking up to some of those big delta black bass in those more confined areas.

Now when using the YUMbrella rig i recommend switching out the 4" minnows that come with it, to our Bass Pro Shops Boss Shad. When I'm fishing this rig, I like to use the 3" Boss Shad preferably two of the shad color and one with the firetiger pattern. Believe it or not for some reason 90% of  the time that different color Boss Shad will be the one that gets hit. When using the Bass Pro Shops Deadly 5 Crappie Rig I use the Boss Shad also, but this time with two 2" shad and one 3" shad of a different color and again 90% of my hits will be on that different color. Other great colors of Boss Shad to use are the blue gill and baby bass colors.

Also to note I recommend spreying some BANG shad formula on your Boss Shad the night before to help it soak in, it really helps attract the fish. When throwing these rigs I use 7' Medium-Heavy Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series rod with a 7.1:1 Johnny Morris Signature Series Reel. This Set up is also available in a combo. The line you should use is our Bass Pro Shops XPS 8  Advanced Braid. The 50lb braid is the best because these heavy rigs will snap any other mono or flourocarbon at that diameter.    


For our early morning anglers a Heddon Super Spook is that way to go. These top water lures are the go to lure in the delta right now for early morning striper fishing. The 5" Bone, Frog, Foxy Shad and the Wounded Shad are the best colors at this time. Throwing this lure I like to use a 6'6" to 7' Medium-Heavy Bass Pro Shops Extreme Rod and Reel Combo with the 7.1:1 Extreme Reel with some Bass Pro Shops Excel 15-17lb Monofilament.


If you are interested in seeing these products in action I ill be demonstrating them in our bass tank on August 31st at 12p.m. and September 1st at 2p.m.

Travis Gonsalves

Fishing Department

Manteca Store 49







The Power of Fishing from a Tube

  I have a nickname that I'm quite proud of. They call me the "Frugal Fisherman."  I look for bargains and will study ways to eliminate expensive fishing obstacles. One such obstacle was that I was tired of watching boats blast by me on shore while they headed for greener fishing pastures.  There were also tanks and ponds I wanted to fish which would not allow motors. So I compromised.  I bought a Lost Lake Fishing tube from the White River Fly Shop at my local Bass Pro!

  That turned out to be on of the better buys I have made in my 50+ years of fishing purchasing.  I was instantly able to leave the shore!  I could reach acres and acres more fishing spots on both lakes and ponds without having to buy a trailer, or boat tags or insurance, or dolling out dollars for gas. 

  My first tube was a round (actually more circular) tube.  I added a pair of good swim fins and off I went to Lake Loy up around Sherman, Tx.  Once I limbered up the old fly rod I maneuvered out past the tangled mat of hydrilla and it was on!  I don't remember how many bream and crappie I caught that day.  I do remember thinking what a good buy that tube just might prove to be.  I caught the daylights out of fish I could not reach before.

  I've had my tube under the bridges of Cedar Creek and Lake Ray Hubbard. The creeks of Ray Roberts and Lewisville have produced Spring crappie by the 25-fish-limit too. I just stay in either the coves away from speeding boats or under bridges on major lakes and out of swift current on running.

 Granted, I got my catch rate per trip up to some very respectable numbers, but that wasn't the biggest long term advantage. Two huge plusses I have been able to use throughout my fishing career were to plan a trip with a map and the weather forecaster. And second, to fish the my chosen waters thoroughly before hauling myself all over the lake.

 If you plan on fishing the lakes around the metroplex, grab a good lake map.  Get the kind with the contour lines like A.I.D Lake Maps or "Fishing Hot Spots Maps."  Then watch your local weather personality or check the internet. You want to figure out which direction the wind will be coming from and it's speed.  Look at your map. The goal here is to figure out good places to fish while not being buffeted by heavy Texas winds. Windy areas are also good to fish, but after a day of fining my way around, I want a relatively easy kick back home.

 Fish your area thoroughly. If you have fished every stump. lily pad, weed bed, brush pile and there is no joy in Tubeville it's not hard to move. If you have ants in your pants and want to change major areas on the lake, well, it's no big deal to throw your tube in the car or truck and boogie to the next spot.

 Most float tubes are well constructed and can support at least 250 pounds of fisher and gear.  They are also rugged in their construction and don't puncture easily on snags in the water. As you progress in your tube fishing adventure, get on fishing forums on the internet. There are actually clubs and individuals who get together and go fishing with their tubes.  You can also tune in here next time for some more fishing, safety and just plain old helpful tube fishing hints!

Get off the bank! Get a White River Fly Shop float tube at your Bass Pro Shops of Garland, Tx and bend that rod like you own it!

Fishing from a tube

Tight Lines and Loops,

"Fly, the Frugal Fisherman"


What's In a Fishing Hat?

Paul's HatAsk my wife that question on any given day and she’ll reply that if it’s sitting on top of my head there isn’t much going on inside other than crickets, cobwebs, and random thoughts about pizza, shiny things, and squirrels.  But what I’m actually talking about is what makes a good fishing hat.

We get asked where the fishing hats are all the time and I have a hard time not sounding like Bubba in “Forrest Gump” when I answer.  “Well that all depends ya see cuz, we got yer ball caps, trucker caps, floppy hats, straw hats, sun hats, cowboy hats, knit hats, gardening hats, winter hats, hunting hats, skipper’s caps, visors, NASCAR hats, felt crushable hats, boonie hats, etc…”  You get the picture?  Just about any hat we sell could be used as a fishing hat if the time is right.

Some folks I know make sure whatever chapeau they wear fishing doesn’t have a fish on it, thinking that would ensure a less than successful day, while others insist on wearing a hat with the logo of their favorite rod maker, boat manufacturer, or sporting team.  A few people even get upset that it’s getting harder and harder to find a good hat that doesn’t have any logos on it whatsoever.  They figure they’re not being paid to be a walking billboard so why advertise for someone else.  Even others taunt the mosquitoes by wearing a hat with “Bite Me” written on the band, but for Paul, his favorite fishing hat also serves as a convenient tackle storage system, adorned with a few choice lures he hopes will be productive on wading trips.

I don’t think you can actually look at a hat on the shelf and decide that it’s going to earn a coveted position on top of your head.  Function isn’t enough.  How well it does it's job is irrelevant if it just doesn't feel right!  It needs to feel like it’s an integral part of the fishing uniform, kind of like your lucky shirt.  It takes time for a new sombrero to prove itself as head protector and luck bringer.  A friend of mine will give each new hat one fishing trip to prove that it isn’t jinxed.  And if she doesn’t catch a fish on that first trip?  Well, let’s just say there are no second chances when it comes to finding a good hat in her household. 

My choice in hats has always leaned towards baseball caps with slightly larger brims to keep the sun out of my eyes and a dark under brim to cut down reflection, but recently I’ve been trying out a dove hunter’s hat because it’s lightweight and has a brim all the way around.  Keeping the sun off my ears and the back of my neck is important (….according to the dermatologist, and my wife).  The jury’s still out as to whether it’s going to be the hat of choice for the rest of the season.  It may yet earn a permanent place in my ever growing hat collection that currently sits at 69 ball caps, hunting hats, NASCAR hats…etc.  You get the picture?

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Oakley Redfish Tour at Destin Bass Pro Shops

Join our first annual Destin Open - Oakley Redfish Tour at Destin's Bass Pro Shops on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th  .All anglers are welcomed and registration will be on Friday, September 6th from 5 til 6 pm.  A Captains' Meeting will be held immediately after registration from 6 til 8 pm, where we will review all rules and tournament information.  Food will be served to all participants.

The first 50 teams to participate will receive a pair of Polarized Oakley sunglasses and a pair of Wright McGill inshore rods with a combined value of $600!  Entry fees are $500 per team.

All participating teams will launch on Saturday, September 7th, from Joe's Bayou ramp in Destin for this one day event.  Weigh-Ins will begin at 3 pm at the Destin Bass Pro Shops, 4301 Legendary Drive, Destin, Florida.

Based on a minimum of 50 teams, the following payouts are scheduled:

1.  Guaranteed MAKO LTS 18 ($30,000 value)

2.  $5,000

3.  $4,000

4.  $3,000

5.  $2,000

6.  $1,000

7.  $900

8.  $800

9.  $700

10. $600

ATX, "Big Fish"  $1,000

For ALL of you freshwater and saltwater fishing needs, come visit the Destin Bass Pro Shops!

Gary Feduccia


ATX "Big Fish"


Big "E" Lands Some Big-Uns This Summer

eric with another big grass carpEric with big grass carp

Eric Feltner of our Fishing Department has had a pretty good summer out on the local waterways. He caught the two huge grass carp above, that weighed in at 69 and 74 pounds each, in a local pond. The kicker is that he was using a fly rod and a fly he tied in our Fly Fishing shop here at the store....and only 4 POUND TEST LINE !!!! He said it took over an hour to get these big boys to the shore.

Eric with 3 pound bass

A couple weeks later he caught this nice 3 pound smallmouth bass in 4 Mile Creek on a white river five weight fly rod and a white hand-tied clouser minnow. Way to go Eric !!!



Floating Along in my Old Town

Floating Along in my Old Town

By: Suzie Mason

I just bought my first canoe!! It is a 14 foot Old Town Saranac 146, and it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!!  It’s fully loaded the front and rear seat comes with adjustable back rests, a 6” dry storage hatch, cup holders, and rod holders!  And if I feel like bringing a 3rd person along for the ride I have a bench seat in the middle with a small cooler under the seat, which I found fits a carton of night crawlers and some ice very nicely.  Only one problem I drive a very tiny 4 cylinder car, not really ideal for lugging a canoe around.  So every time I take out my awesome new canoe I have to drive from Fox Lake all the way to Wadsworth to pick up my dad’s van then back to Fox Lake again to load up the canoe, round trip that’s about an hour drive.  Determined to be in the outdoors I do this drive once or twice a week, but let me tell you it’s definitely worth it.

This last Sunday we loaded up my canoe along with my friends 16 foot Old Town canoe and headed over to Long Lake in Ingleside to hit the water.  It was a beautiful day and the water was very calm, perfect for some fishing.  We paddled across the lake to my lucky spot and it worked out, I caught about 8 blue gills, and a little bass.  After about an hour of fishing we decided to paddle across the lake to the little channel that we saw on the way in.  We had to paddle under this very short bridge with a bunch of spider webs that we had to duck under (which we almost had to turn around because of the fact we had some girly girls with us).  But thankfully the boys and myself were determined because once we got through it was so cool!!!  There were fallen trees we had to paddle around, and so many other obstacles we had to get out of the canoe a few times and carry it over logs and rocks.  The best part of the trip was at the end when a beaver ran out in front of us.  It scared us at first, but we were fortunate that it did because it made us aware of the dam he was making.  It was so big!!!  I’d say one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in this area.  At that point we had to turn around and call it a day. 

Next stop Des Plaines River!!!  We will be paddling about 6.2 miles from Sedge Meadow canoe launch to Gowe Park canoe launch, should take us about 3-4 hours.  Maybe I’ll see you out there!

If you have a passion for being outdoors like I do, you really should think about a canoe or kayak from Bass Pro Shops we have so many styles to choose from and speaking from personal experience it’s a great way to do some fishing, explore new areas, or just relax with friends and family.  Think about it, and trust me you will not regret it.

By: Suzie Mason 8/20/13






Father/Son Susquehanna River Catfishing Trip

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

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

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

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

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




From Tippet to Stream

Experiencing the Blue River in OklahomaBlue River Photo 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Getting Started

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

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


Recognize a Pattern - Catch More Fish!

Successful anglers are great at observing!  The fisherperson who can put together a pattern of what is working and why, and duplicate it, will have a great advantage over other anglers.  That first fish caught, may not be by chance.  A pattern may be responsible for that success.  If so, the faster it is identified, the greater the success will be.  An angler who puts together a pattern to match a great day of fishing, will be able to duplicate that great day, when the same pattern occurs again, on another day.

How does an angler recognize a pattern?  What must an angler observe, and how does an angler put together an outline of the characteristics of a day, and form a pattern to remember for a similar day, on a future trip?  Observation is the key, and here are some of the characteristics which must be noted, when putting together a pattern:

First, sun light or moon light, and the intensity of that light (cloudy or clear sky), plus the angle of that light to the water, are factors that should be considered.  Is the next bank in shadow, like the one that just held keeper largemouth?  What is the angle of the sun to this bank, and, is it a similar angle to the bank just fished, the one that held the fish just caught?

Second, wind, current, and angle of the bottom fished, are important.  The sides of points, as they extend away from the shoreline, have angled bottom structure, and that angle can be the key to more fish.  What is that angle?  What direction was the wind coming from, on the bank where the big fish were caught (into or away from the bank, or parallel to the bank?  Were they pulling water (usually, this means generating power) when the fish were caught?  Are they still generating?  Bass stack up, particularly on main lake points, when current causes shad to school up.  The lure of plentiful and readily available food can result in a feeding frenzy!   Watch for the angle of the bottom where the fish hold, and make a note of where the fish are holding on the point.

Next, water depth, clarity, and temperature (surface) are important to establishing a pattern for success.  At what depth was that last fish caught, was the water murky, muddy, or clear, and what was the water surface temperature?  When choosing a lure color, depth and water clarity must are important, since different colors disappear at different depths.  Fish move to comfortable water temperatures, and their comfort has a lot to do with plentiful oxygen.  Check the finder on your boat, and mark the depth of the thermocline. 

Fronts, and the change in barometric pressure associated with them, are factors that must be considered.  Strong fronts can cause heavy fish feeding as they pass over the lake.  Make note of the change in barometric pressure, and remember how it related to the fish bite.  At what reading did the fish bite the best?

Finally, bass in particular are structure oriented ambushers.  Predators, they use the cover of stumps, timber, bushes, boulders, chunk rock, ledges, and any man-made obstacles, to aid the hunt.  What type of structure was there, when that fish almost pulled the rod and reel out of the boat and into the water? 

When you can answer some of the above questions, you are on your way to creating a pattern that will help you catch fish right then, and on subsequent trips, when you encounter similar circumstances.  Don’t wait!  Get out there!  Greater success is waiting for you right now!  I’ll see you on the lake!!!

Steve Fritz

Fishing Lead

White River Outpost

Bass Pro Shops

Branson, MO


Catching Browns in August & September

It’s me again, Jerry Costabile your Certified Tracker Sales Consultant slash great lakes fisherman!

Now, let’s talk about the techniques for catching the browns in August and September. When the browns start showing up in August, they can be feast or famine. One day you can catch them on anything you throw at them and the next day, nothing, notta, zilch! The browns are difficult to figure out this time of year. I have been down at day break and watched hundreds of brown trout jumping from one end of the Kenosha, Wisconsin harbor to the other, and not get a single hit.

I have idled thru the harbor in my boat and marked fish from top to bottom the whole way out and not seen a single fish being caught. There can be hundreds of fishermen lined up along both sides of the harbor this time of year.  But, I have taken the same pass thru and seen fishermen everywhere hooked up with a fish!

In August, having a variety of baits will be to your benefit. I like to cast spoons in different colors and sizes. I cast several different makes and sizes. Luhr Jensen Krocodile in the ¼ and ½ oz. size, Kastmaster in the 3/8oz, Acme Little Cleo in the 1/3 and 2/5 oz, Acme KO Wobbler in the ¼ and ½ oz,  Moonshine Lures 3/4oz casting spoon , and the Mepps Syclops Spoon in the ¼ and ½ oz.

Colors can change so fast with the browns, you can have a color working like crazy one day, than the next, nothing. Be prepared to change colors often, using a good quality snap swivel will help in both changing lures and keeping your line from getting a twisted or a coil memory.

Vary your depth that you retrieve your spoons at. The browns are at all levels and active fish can be also. Don’t be afraid to work the bottom. I have used a retrieve of letting the spoon go to the bottom and a slow, short sweep of my rod tip to bring the spoon off of the bottom and than by letting the spoon flutter back down triggers a strike. Speed can make a difference also.  Change speed. Fast retrieve than a pause, slow steady, steady with a twitch, jigging, are all good techniques to try. In line spinners have had their day in the spotlight also. Again vary colors, sizes and speeds.

Crankbaits are another favorite of mine. There are days when throwing a #5 or #7 Shad Rap can be deadly on the browns. I have caught them on a variety of cranks so don’t be afraid to experiment. Again vary your retrieve and speed.

Another technique that works for everyone but me is pearl or white, 2” and 3” tube jigs. I have seen fishermen absolutely destroy the browns on them. I just can’t seem to get that bite right!!

Lastly, it is not a bad idea to throw out a rod rigged up with a slip bobber and a spawn sac. There are days when this is the only bite in town! Spawn sacs can be purchased at local bait shops. FRESH IS BETTER! Old frozen spawn doesn’t seem to work for me. Also, brown trout spawn works better than salmon spawn for the browns. Just a tip from my past!

 By: Jerry Costabile 8/15/13