Fishy Facts: Striped Bass

One of my absolute favorite things about working here are the fish feedings. We have three large aquatic homes for our fishy friends (I don’t like to use the word tank, unless talking about military history). There is a saltwater exhibit in the Islamorada Fish Company. Our Trout Stream gets fed every day at 1:30, and people can even help feed the fish if they are there early enough. And the big show takes place at our Main Tank, which gets fed Saturdays and Sundays at 2PM and Tuesday at 6PM. One of my favorite fish to watch during the Main Tank feedings is definitely our striped bass. Those guys SLAM whatever we toss into the tank! They are extremely fast and voracious predators, and just look cool. And for that reason they will be the star of this month’s Fishy Facts blog!

My love for the striped bass goes back years before I even entered my first Bass Pro Shops. For some reason, I had always been keen on catching this one. (Sadly, I still have yet to.) I honestly think it is their impressive size and cool coloring that gets me about them. They are a longer, streamlined fish with mostly silver-gray coloring and distinctive black stripes. They use their streamlined body to reach impressive speeds, which always make for an exciting fight.

Striped bass are believed to be able to live over twenty-five years and on average grow up to 40 inches. The largest (scientifically) recorded weight for one is 126lbs! (I put in there scientifically, because I am sure some old-timer somewhere has caught one larger than that.) They are native to the Atlantic coastline of North America, but have been heavily planted elsewhere. They are anadromous fish, which means they live in both salt and fresh water.

Pretty much since there has been a history of people living near these fishes native area, there has been a history of catching them. They were an extremely important food source for early colonials. The love of these fish has grown with us as a nation from the beginning and the striped bass is now recognized as the fresh water state fish for three states and the salt water state fish for four states.

Like most fish, the striped bass has several common names given to it. These names include:  striper, rockfish, rock, linesider and pimpfish.

Striped bass are a prized sport-fish, due their powerful fights and delicious taste. There are numerous ways to fish for these, and is mostly dependent upon the area you are in. I personally love the idea of catching a landlocked striped bass while they slam a boil and then catching one while surf-fishing in the ocean. (A boil is a common term used to explain when a bunch of larger fish start attacking a ball of baitfish towards the surface of the water. With all the activity it looks like the water is boiling. Looking for birds attacking a certain spot on the water is also a good indicator of feeding action.)

Many times with these blogs, we have to cover the current condition and any conservation efforts to protect the fish. Sometimes they are not the most opportunistic. But in this case, we have great news and a perfect example of groups coming together to protect our beloved fish. In 1982 the striped bass population had declined to below 5 million. Thanks to multiple sources of resources, effort and support the population grew back to 56 million striped bass by 2007! This is a clear example of how everyone can work together for something bigger than themselves.


Former Fishy Facts:

Grayling Northern Pike Rainbow Trout Largemouth Bass Peacock Bass Walleye

Billfish Dolphinfish Crappie Catfish Bull Shark Tilapia Smallmouth Bass

Brook Trout Bow Fishing Bowfin Common Snook World Fish Migration Day

Yellow Perch American Paddlefish Cutthroat Trout


Backcountry Fly Fishing Association Presents "The Legend Series"

Steve Huff"The Legend Series" highlights some of the pioneers of the fishing world, and the Backcountry Fly Fishing Association along with Hell's Bay Boatworks is bringing a true industry trailblazer, and Florida Keys expert to Orlando to teach us a few things that will make our time on the water more productive and maybe a little more enjoyable.  Flip Pallot was set to be the original speaker for this event but will not be making an appearance due to unplanned circumstances.

Captain Steve Huff is one of those guys that seems to have seen and done it all when it comes to fishing and exploring the Florida Keys and the Everglades, which is saying a lot considering how many square miles of land and water we're talking about.  He's professionally guided for over 47 years (almost more years than I've been alive) and surely has forgotten more about saltwater angling than most of us will ever pick up by fishing only on weekends and holidays.  He along with Del Brown developed the Merkin Crab which is undoubtedly the quintessential permit fly that also produces well on species they hadn't even planned on, ultimately proving the versatility of the pattern and the ingenuity of the designers.  Steve has led numerous anglers to tournament wins in the Gold Cup, the Islamorada Invitational Bonefish Tournament, and the Islamorada Invitational Fly Bonefish Tournament, as well as many world record tarpon, bonefish, and permit including a 41 1/2 specimen on 8 lb tippet.

Captain Huff's inventiveness and constant search for perfection has proven invaluable time and again when the industry has asked for his expert guidance in developing more advanced flats skiffs, bow platforms, knots, and a myriad of other flats-fishing essentials.  He developed the Huffnagle Knot (I just got the connection) for joining light class tippet to a heavier bite or shock tippet, which is absolutely necessary when pursuing large tarpon such as the ones he chased in the Homosassa region on Florida's Gulf coast.  Steve's 186 pounder back in 1977 would have eclipsed the standing record by more than ten pounds but he never submitted for recognition because he felt that records should be left to anglers.  That's just the kind of guy he is.

Captain Steve Huff was inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2010, for his many contributions to the sport, but you'd never see this gentleman, whom many would consider to be "The Guy," hold himself in higher regard than others that enjoy the sport.  Humility, commitment, and enthusiasm are evident every time he welcomes an angler onto his boat, and he's surely converted more than one conventional-tackle angler to the fly rods as a patient and adept instructor for the Florida Keys Fly Fishing School.

I'd highly recommend taking a little time out of your busy schedules to attend the presentation.   

No-motor Zone RedfishSpending the night of September 10th with the Backcountry Fly Fishing Association at "The Legend Series" sponsored by Hell's Bay Boatworks is your chance to hear the stories first hand while possibly learning a few things that'll make you a better angler.  Becoming involved in a club made up of a bunch of guys who share your love of fly fishing, fly tying, or just spending time on the water can't be a bad thing in itself.  The club helped me to develop as a fly angler, ultimately leading me to writing about and sharing my love of the sport.  I'm no John Gierach, or Norman Maclean when it comes to storytelling but we all share something in common with Flip and his friends, and that's passion.

Make plans to spend the evening with Steve and some new friends (and possibly some new fishing partners) on Thursday, September 10th.  It's sure to be a gathering you won't soon forget.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando 



Reel for speed like a boss with Accurate!



With another great season upon us, there’s no better time to upgrade your gear as Bass Pro Shops, Rancho Cucamonga. We have now have in stock Accurate’s new reel The “Fury”.  It is their newest addition to their line-up and their first single drag reel.  These reels, like their “Boss Extreme” counter parts, are made of 6061 T6 billet aircraft aluminum for lightweight and strength. They feature a very simplistic design with stainless steel gears, wet drag for smoothness, and an ergonomic rubber handle that fits perfectly in your hand.  The “Boss Fury” line of reels are offered in single speed in gear ratios of 4.1 & 6.1, and 2-speed models featuring a 3.1:1 low and 6.1:1 high for the 400 and 500 models, and 2.2:1 and 5.1 in the 600 model.  The line capacity of the “Boss Fury” reels are: 400 model – 20LB mono 300 yards, 40LB braid 400 yards, 500 model – 25lb mono 300 yards, 50LB braid 425 yards, 600 model – 40LB mono 300 yards, 65LB braid 450 yards. These reels were designed with fishermen’s needs in mind. If you are chasing Tuna, Dorado or trying to catch your first White Seabass, the Boss Fury has a size to meet your fishing needs at an affordable price.  Currently Accurate is currently having a contest, “#Fish the Fury” that started July 11, 2015 and will run until September 28, 2015.  Visit  Also listen to Ben Secrest of Accurate explain what you need to know about these reels at

Be sure to view our entire selection of online Saltwater gear at



Offshore Fishing Report World Wide Sportsman, Islamorda Florida

Hello everyone, and welcome back to this week’s report!  The weather this week has been absolutely beautiful!  This forecast is supposed to carry on throughout the weekend, so it should be great for boats of all sizes.  The sun has been shining, seas are calm, and the current has been smoking up the road.  These are all great ingredients for fishing, and it has been really nice, with the fishing being no so shabby either!  The fishing report from the deep ledge on the Swordfish grounds has been decent.  Some fish being caught each day, although, nothing to crazy on the sizes.  The majority of the fish being caught have been under the 150 pound range, with the biggest part of them in the 50 to 80 pound range.  Some nice fish for the table, or just nice to let go of to grow up a bit.  The bite has been decent all up and down the line from Marathon to Key Largo.  In a little closer the Dolphin fishing has been a bit tough, but we have been making it happen each day.  Not a lot of bigger fish around with the calmer seas, but some nice gaffer size fish mixed with a lot of smaller fish.  We have been managing around 20 to 30 nice keepers each day, but have had our share of “shakers” throughout the day.  It appears that the last few days the bite has been on the shallow side from 450 to 700 in and around the large mats of Sargasm weed that has been coming through with the Gulfstream.  There have been some fish out in the deep, but the past few days the best of it has been in these depths.  The birds haven’t been flying too heavily, but there are some around and on fish.  The Humps have been producing good numbers of Blackfin Tuna, with a lot of Skipjack tunas mixed in.  Plenty of sharks, and a fair bite of AJ’s and Almacos on the bottom. 


The wrecks have been pretty good this week as well, with some nice Mutton Snappers, and a few Groupers.  Still a few King Mackerel around and a lot of Barracudas perusing these areas, with good numbers of Bonita too.  Plenty of action to be had while drifting or anchoring, and live bait has been the ticket!  Pilchards have been the bait of choice, with Cigar Minnows as a close second choice.  That is all that we have used this week, but you can bet that Ballyhoo and Speedos will work excellent as well. 


The reef still continues to produce as the Yellowtail Snappers and Mangrove Snappers have been happy with the greener water on the reef and the abundance of current.  The bottom bite in these areas has seemed to slow down a bit where the Groupers and Muttons are concerned, but the Mangroves have been very generous.  The sharks have been happy as well when the Snappers get chummed up, so be prepared to deal with the tax collector.  All in all the fishing is good, and should continue through the weekend.  If you are going Dolphin fishing, you might want to consider an afternoon trip to increase your chances.  There have been better numbers during the late part of the afternoon, rather than during the earlier part of the day.  Either way there have been fish, but the sizes have been a bit better after 3:00, and there is still plenty of sunlight to stay until the evening.

Well, that is it for this week! Remember, if you need a charter please feel free to stop by World Wide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina and check us out, as I will be glad to help you out with whatever you need. Fishing report provided by Captain James Chappell 305-803-1321 out of World Wide Sportsman Bayside Marina, Islamorada, Florida. I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember to boat responsibly!

While you're waiting to get on the water, be sure to check out our extensive selection of saltwater gear at


Catching Tuna Like A Pro

Bass Pro Shops Associates & Offshore Angler Gear vs. Yellowtail Some Fishing Associates from Bass Pro Shops had the opportunity to test out our Offshore Angler Tightline and Frigate Rods and Reels aboard the, “Gail Force” out of San Pedro. The ¾ day trip destination was Catalina Island in hopes of cashing in on the hot Yellowtail bite. With rough early morning conditions they were able to land some nice Calico Bass. As the clouds broke in the afternoon and sun came out the last spot of the day produced some great Yellowtail action.

Bass Pro Shops Fishing Associate Travis Provencher took top honors with a 20lb Yellowtail. “It was a great opportunity to spend a day on the water with fellow associates and catch some quality Yellowtail” said Travis. “These Yellowtail put up some great fights and taught our associates why you need rugged durable gear out there.” Bass Pro Shops Fishing Associate Andy Sepulveda on his first Saltwater Trip quickly learned about fishing for Yellowtail when he caught his first weighing in at 17lbs. He was fishing an Offshore Angler Frigate 6000 Spinning Combo. “These Yellowtail really test the drag in your reels and even though it took me awhile to get the yellowtail in the combo held its own” said Andy. “I was so tired after the fight, but the experience of the fight I just wanted another so I put on new bait and got my line out there as quick as possible. To learn more about the gear they were using and read customer reviews please visit the following link:



Hitting the Road to Adventure

Brook TroutThirsting for something new is something many anglers have to fight if they want to maintain any type of marital harmony, but every once in a while we need to give in and depart upon a quest for new and yet to be conquered pursuits.  For me, it’s been freshwater trout and smallmouth.  You’d think they would have been some of the first species I chased with a fly rod, however, seeing as how saltwater was the first environ I chose to enter, rainbows, browns, and brookies seemed too far away to hope for.

Soon though, I’ll be soaking my toes in a cool mountain stream as I ply the bubbling water for fish I’ve yet to encounter because after many years of crying and begging, our bags will be packed and rods rigged as my wonderful woman and I head north to the Pisgah National Forest in search of new and exciting adventure.  My packing started weeks ahead of our scheduled departure (as is normal with an obsessive compulsive), and I’ve now reached the point of stacking clothes and pre-staging the camping gear.  Sleep has been difficult and it will only get worse as the day draws closer and my dreams fill with glorious beauty and much needed seclusion.Brown Trout

Part of the fun has been the gathering of intelligence, albeit limited in my case according to certain fellow anglers and close friends.  I’ve burned up the Internet for hatch charts, stream flow data, campground locations, and everything else you can imagine the traveling angler might need before venturing forth, and I surely hope all the preparation proves fruitful considering how much of a pain in the neck I’ll be if I don’t get the chance to land at least one of the intended fish.  The timing isn’t quite right for a high degree of success but beggars can’t be choosers when the fishing time’s limited.  “Plan carefully and execute violently” is my motto.

Two four weights, a six weight, numerous lines, and boxes stuffed with Hare’s ears, Princes, Pheasant Tails, Stimulators, Caddis, Light Cahils, Hoppers, Ants, Adams, numerous types of streamers, and many other miscellaneous pieces of tackle are packed and ready to be deployed when the time arrives, but the calendar just doesn’t seem to move along quickly enough.  She’ll have to put up with another week of manic preparation before hitting the trail, but it will all be worth it when we’re standing alongside a deserted stream somewhere in North Carolina looking for that first fish to reveal itself.  God help us all if the first cast of the trip finds its way into a tree or some other type of obstacle.

Rainbow TroutExpanding our horizons and getting out of our comfort zones on occasion provides the spice of life, and fishing in general or searching for more and more species, gives us a good reason to keep testing our boundaries.  It doesn’t always have to be an exotic location that entices us to leave home since every new adventure helps us grow as anglers.  Maybe we’ll learn something about ourselves at the same time.

I’ll hopefully have something good to report once we return, but the trip will surely be a success regardless of how many fish are actually landed. 

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Offshore Angler Frigate Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Offshore Angler™ Frigate® saltwater spinning reel is a masterpiece of design, performance, and rock-solid durability. This versatile warrior is built on an all-aluminum frame, with a carbon fiber-reinforced composite rotor. A specially-formulated, American-made Ocean Silk lubricant is designed to handle the rigors of saltwater fishing. The spool is forged, double-anodized aluminum, with a braid grip arbor to prevent slippage. Carbon fiber and Teflon® drag stack slows battling game fish with firm, smooth, pressure. Inside, you'll find 8-bearing system that includes Powerlock™ instant anti reverse that imparts ultra-smooth and stable performance, and the stainless steel main shaft provides a rigid and durable core. We've designed the Frigate to be the toughest, smoothest saltwater reel you can find. When you use it, we think you'll agree.

The Frigate Rod is built to handle the brutal conditions that saltwater fishing can bring. The blank is a hybrid of 24-ton carbon and fiberglass, with great response and just the right amount of flexibility. Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts prevent saltwater corrosion, and the EVA foam handles are slip-resistant and lightweight.

Reel features:

  • All-aluminum frame
  • American-made Ocean Silk saltwater lubricant
  • Braid grip, forged, double-anodized aluminum spool
  • 8 bearing system including Powerlock instant anti-reverse
  • Stainless steel main shaft

Rod features:

  • 24-ton graphite/fiberglass hybrid blank
  • EVA handles
  • Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide rings

Product Manual 


Potluck Fishing in South Florida's Freshwater

Peacock BassI can’t even begin to tell everyone how lucky Floridians are when it comes to fishing opportunities, but I’m quite sure readers of my Blogs and newsletters are quite aware of how many chances we have to hit the water and the incredible variety we enjoy throughout the year.  South Florida holds a special place in our hearts, mine especially, and I sometimes wish I didn’t live 200 miles from some of the best fishing anywhere.

Scott and I just returned from another stupendous trip to the region, hitting more water than ever while fishing over a wide variety of habitats and cover types including clear and deep canals, residential lakes and retention ponds, tannin stained sloughs, and Scott even took a few casts into the saltwater side of a water control gate to land his first puffer on fly.

Mayan CichlidOur trip started at 2 AM Sunday morning as we departed my house in northeast Orlando, ultimately reaching our first stop, a Denny’s, somewhere close to Pembroke Pines to fuel up for the coming day and to outline a plan of attack.  Location number one was only a few miles away according to my phone’s map application, so we took our time getting there, and it proved to be a wonderful residential pond full of willing peacocks.  They were schooled up and smashing small baitfish, so we just had to lob a few Polar Fiber Minnows into the fray, and it didn’t take long to land a half dozen feisty fish and essentially destroy the first fly of the trip.  But you can only hit them so hard and we had plenty of ponds to explore.  One of my favorites, an unassuming section of canal along Flamingo Road proved to be productive for a very nice peacock, and a good bunch of mayan cichlids.

Three more stops including one of our best producing municipal parks yielded a very good number of cruising and bedding fish that were very willing to smack the living daylights out of a well presented fly, but we were careful not to over pressure the bedding pairs so as not to adversely affect their spawning activity.  Besides, sometimes it’s just too easy to pick what’s essentially “low hanging fruit.”  We finished off the day with our traditional “first-night pizza,” a much needed shower, a drink or two, all capped off by rapidly falling asleep while sitting up watching a movie.  Seven miles of walking, 11 hours of fishing, and essentially being awake for 40 hours sure can take it out of you.

Green SeverumMonday saw an early morning drive a bit further south to one of the best canal systems in the region.  This particular one sees a lot of pressure but the fishing can be very good at some point along its path if you can find it.  We covered a good portion of the canal reachable by foot and caught some decent sized fish, but the biggest peacocks I’ve ever seen refused to commit to the bite despite taking some pretty good shots at them.  We wondered if they were more in the mood to spawn than to chase food.  Overall, the fishing was a little off what we’ve seen in the past with fewer mayans and less peacocks on the structure than normal.  Runoff, temperature, sunlight, love, who knows what the reason for the less than spectacular fishing.

The highlight, or should I say low light, of this part of the adventure was an exceptionally lucky cast I threaded through the cover across a small pond alongside the canal.  There was an immediate flash as the line snapped satisfyingly tight to something much more immense than anything I expected.  I screamed “THIS IS A BIG FISH!!!” as I firmly set the hook and struggled to winch the monster out of the cover, through the lily pads, and across the pond, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to happen as it became embedded in the obstructions between us.  Recovery took a few minutes after breaking off the leader and re-rigging with trembling hands and a pounding heart.  Tarpon, snook, monster bass, peacock…  We’ll never know.

OscarThe final location of the day was right alongside a busy thoroughfare and although we always think it’s going to be over pressured and the fish more skittish, we caught another five or six beautiful peacocks and a spotted tilapia before the fading sunlight made sighting the fish and remaining in contact with the fly difficult.  It had been a long and successful day, totaling seven more miles of hiking and 10 hours of fishing.

MudfishWe visited a number of spots alongside the Tamiami canal during our last day of fishing, and were lucky enough to find a great variety of fish including oscar, spotted tilapia, mayan, stumpknocker, bluegill, largemouth bass, gar, and the rarest of the bunch, the green severum.  Scott was able to legitimately hook and land one by jumping in on a pair I’d worked long and hard to entice, but I returned the favor by absolutely slamming the Oscars and by landing a mudfish (bowfin) before him.  He did land one though in the eleventh hour and deserves congratulations on checking another one off the list of fly-caught species.  We just happened to pull over to the side of the road and discover a canal where we could sight fish to cruisers with limited obstructions and good water clarity.  All we had to do was accomplish a decent presentation and a good battle was sure to ensue.

I had the opportunity to re-learn a valuable lesson we should all take to heart when fishing in Florida, and that’s the fact that there are alligators everywhere (especially in the Everglades region) and they’re HIGHLY attracted to the disturbance caused by struggling fish.  I had two close encounters with our reptile friends approaching a little too close for comfort, but none of us was injured so I guess “No harm, no foul,” is the motto of the day.  I can claim to have landed a six footer on eight pound tippet and a size 10 topwater fly.

American AlligatorOverall, we enjoyed one of the best fishing trips of our lives without having traveled to a far off land and spend thousands of dollars trying to get there.  Although I didn't get to check any fish off the "To Catch List" there's no way the trip could have been any better since the weather was nearly perfect, the fish cooperative (for the most part), the flies effective, and company top notch.  He drives, I navigate, and we both catch more fish than should be realistically permitted.  This trip is becoming something of a tradition that I hope will continue for years to come.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Fishy Facts: Common Snook

In the effort to break up the alliteration of Fishy Fact blogs starting with the letter B (brook trout, bowfishing, billfish, bowfin, bull shark) we are going to the letter that follows it! We are also getting out of the freshwater realm for the first time in a number of months. April is a month for change right? Sure. Any who, let’s take a closer look at the common snook!

First off, you would be surprised at how many times I have used the “Add to Dictionary” feature on “misspelled” words according to Microsoft Word. Maybe they should get some more fishermen and hunters involved for their next platform, because it’s getting ridiculous.

Second any who for this blog, a record, the common snook is a prized saltwater game fish. It is also called robalo and the sergeant fish. There are several species of snook, and this one is one of the largest. They can grow to over four and a half feet but are more commonly found at three feet shorter than that.

I remember hearing that the uglier the fish (or at least the less colorful) the better it tastes. Now I am not calling the common snook ugly, but its coloring is quite drab. It has a grayish-silver color to most of its body, except the long black line that runs lengthwise on its body. During the spawning season though, some of its fins will turn a bright yellow.

If that rumor is to be believed about taste and appearance, it holds true for the common snook. It is a delicious fish but special preparation must be taken. Remove the skin before cooking otherwise an unpleasant taste will occur.

Beyond their desirability for taste, these fish put up a great fight! My best friend’s dad caught some down in Florida and loved every second of it. He loved it so much; he bought car-magnets of the fish and added them to his ride.

These fish tend to spawn from April to October. The common snook will move out of the open-ocean and into near-shore waters with high salinity. After the young are born they mature into juveniles and move towards more brackish water. Slowly but surely they eventually move out into the open ocean and continue the circle of life.

Snook are predators. They will opportunistically take on prey, but what is cool is that their prey changes with them. As snook grow larger they will actually start pursuing larger prey. They simply want to pursue prey that will provide them the most nutrition. Any reports of cannibalism with these fish are few and far between.

These fish are preyed upon by larger fish and other marine predators. Once of their biggest killers though is weather. These fish are very susceptible to changes in temperature. In 2010 there was a large cold snap in the snooks’ native range. In one area of Florida it was estimated that close to 97% of the snook population died because of it. Luckily a ban on commercial snook fishing took place and fishermen began to strictly practice catch-and-release fishing on them. This helped the population grow and has allowed the ban to be lifted. There will be another study done on their population this year.

People love their snook and will do what it takes to keep them around. This should be an example for all sportsmen. Conservation must come first, as without it we won’t have anything left.


Former Fishy Facts:

Grayling Northern Pike Rainbow Trout Largemouth Bass Peacock Bass Walleye

Billfish Dolphinfish Crappie Catfish Bull Shark Tilapia Smallmouth Bass

Brook Trout Bow Fishing Bowfin


Who Stole Spring?

See our online selection of fishing products at

Ok, just one question. Who stole Spring?  It seems I remember snow, sleet and cold blowing  rain just a moment ago.  I'm not Rip Van Winkle. I didn't sleep through it.  It's late March and it's 84 degrees outside.  Spring is supposed to have brisk mornings followed by brilliant rays of sunshine that melt away the gloom of Winter, not cranking the air conditioner to full blast to fend off the heat.

  What does this have to do with fishing? Well, pretty much everything at this time of year.  The four most popular fish, largemouth bass, crappie, sandbass/hybrids,and catfish use the cool of Spring to do their spawning.  If the water temperatures soar above the optimal for our favorite species, they will most likely have an abbreviated spawn. What does that mean?

First, and most importantly, it means if you want to catch fish during their spawn you better get cracking.  The largemouths were just beginning to get into their pre-spawn patterns when that frozen blast knocked the bottom out of water temps. It also caused the the water  to rise into places it hasn't been in three to four years. Combine these conditions and just when poor mama bass was just about ready to drop her eggs and go into defensive mode  Mother nature threw her a curve.  It also muddied up the water in the areas they prefer to lay their eggs. These thee factors changed not only where you might want to look for them, but what you might use to catch them.

  Lots of folks traditionally creep lizards or crawfish soft plastics through likely places. With the water deeply stained by sediment  you pretty much have to hit that big spawning female right in the nose to get her to react.  So far this season we're getting  good reports from fishers who've added lures that both represent nest poachers and either vibrate or click to their usual collection of "normal" Spring offerings. If you let the fish know that potential danger is near the nest with bass jigs with rattlechambers, like the Bass Pro Shops Rattling Enticer  Jig  you will surely let that trophy bass have something to zero in on.  You can also try slow rolling a colorado-bladed spinnerbait around fairly shallow, stained water, that  is close to cover and deeper water. A couple of good choices in spinnerbaits are the Bass Pro Shops Lazer Eye Tandem Spinnerbait or  add a selection from Booyah Spinnerbaits. The best selling bass lure right now has been the all new Bass Pro Shops Chatterbait. This new bait comes in a number of colors, but there is one called bully bream that I can't wait to try out!

  Crappie fishers have been hitting good numbers and the photos I've seen recently show a lot of big fat "slabs".  The water temperatures haven't been as critical on the crappie population as far as their spawn...yet. Crappie usually hang in deeper water around cover like brush piles until the water temps reach between 52 and 65 degrees. Hopefully the shallows where they love to lay their eggs will clear up in the next week. When it does, all you waders, float tubers and paddle-powered fishers need to be ready to pounce !  The air temperatures will warm the water quickly if this quick warming trend continues so be ready.  For now the best results have been on crappie jigs. All kinds of color combinations have been flying out the door. If you want to know my personal'll just can't go wrong with the Bass Pro Bumble Bee in Monkey Milk color for deeper water.  Switch to  black and chartreuse when they do move up shallow.

  For our minnow dunking friends the reports have been good too. Don't wait til the last minute to get your minnow bucket, aerators, dip nets, hooks and bobbers . The spawn may be abbreviated this year. Don't miss any of it waiting to gear up.

 Attention sandbassers and hybrid hunters!  The recent rains that have raised our lakes with water, pretty much emptied our area lakes of huge numbers of sandbass and hybrids.  Yes, as the water from the feeder creeks pouring into the lakes, the sandbass head upstream looking for moving water in which to lay their eggs and fertilize them. Sandbass don't make nests, they are actually programmed to do all their reproductive rituals in moving water so get out your mud boots and find a good feeder creek. Running water is good, but creeks that are fast moving and swolen by rain are dangerous and the fish tend to scatter. Remember that hybrid stripers are a mix of sandbass and saltwater stripers. They can't reproduce, but they did not get that memo and travel along with the sandbass into creeks and rivers.

  I found a really good creek stomping sandbass chasing, dependable, strong, smooth reel. It's actually a Crappie Maxx spinning reel. It's drag is smooth and strong enough to handle the strong sudden smash of a hybrid when adjusted properly.  One great lure selections for sandies in the creeks are the Blue Fox inline spinner, either silver or blue with the number 2 blade. Another is any one of a group of soft plastic three inch minnow imitations mounted on a 1/16 or 1/32 jig head. Bounce these offerings off the bottom and as close to the channel as you can. Hang on!

You'll have to hurry on the sandbass/hybrid action to. As soon as the water temp in the lakes and the stream temps are equal the sandies won't bother making the trek upstream. They will simply spawn in the lake off windy sandbar points.

 Catfish have not been as affected by the rising warming water too much yet. They're still going to be found fairly shallow. Their spawn is right around the corner, as a matter of fact, it may be accelerated by warming waters.  Here are a couple rules of thumb for you. Generally speaking...I say generally... blue cats tend to hit fresh dead shad. Get a cast net and a bucket and probe boat launches to get your fresh bait.

Channel cats seem to prefer stink baits, also called "prepared baits."  The big flatheads lean toward prefer to munch on bream (sunfish) .  Get some worms, crappie nibbles, small hooks and go "perch jerking," to garner goodies for these monsters.  Don't forget you'll need size appropriate hooks too. Catfish in the "eater" class usually take baits that can be mounted on 3/0 hooks and smaller, while "trophy cats" require a larger, stronger hook to handle their lockjaw grip, weight, and fighting ability. Come in soon to get outfitted with the Catt Maxx rods and reels for all the cats you want to catch, it's an extremely dependable outfit that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.

  So it doesn't really matter where Spring went. What matters is that you get busy, get equipped, get informed and get on the water.

 Bend a rod for us!
 Bill Sankey
Fishing Lead
Bass Pro Shops, Garland Tx.


in shore salt water like a boss!

Inshore Saltwater Heats Up As our local waters heat up and we prepare for another El Nino our Inshore Saltwater Season is already in full gear with everything from Yellowtail, Rock Fish and Calico Bass being caught.

Come in and visit Bass Pro Shops where our associates can fit you into the right gear from our Offshore Angler lineup featuring models such as the SeaFire, Ocean Master and Frigate that will meet any angler’s needs for their inshore fishing trips. Visit the link below for more information on these great products:

Bass Pro Shops Trout Event March 30th-April 12th It’s that time of the year to start gearing up for the opening of the Sierra’s Trout Season. Come visit Bass Pro Shops as we host our Trout Event Sale which will feature many great Bass Pro Shops trout items on sale. During this event we will also feature seminars on April 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th featuring Pro Staffers from our local lakes that will cover everything you need to know about trout fishing. Check our website for times of seminars or call (909) 922-5500. Join Pete Marino April 18th and 25th for Fishing the Bass Spawning Season Come join our own Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff Member Pete Marino as he discusses techniques for the Spawn Season. An accomplished tournament angler and local guide Pete show you everything from rods, reels, line and baits that are must haves for any angler fishing this season. These seminars will start at 2 p.m. at our main fish tank. Visit the link below to learn more about Pete Marino.



Shark Fishing In Hampton Roads

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The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most bio diverse places on Earth, which gives us rich fishing waters across the entire region.  This includes the numerous species of sharks.  While most sharks are undoubtedly caught from piers or boats, surf fishermen have also caught some trophy specimens over the years in Hampton Roads.

                Most successful shark fishermen use cut bait or live baitfish on bottom rigs or the slightly-more-effective Fish Finder Rigs.  As most sharks hang out beyond the crashing surf, having a rod and sufficient weight to cast beyond the breakers and keep your bait out there is essential.  Effective rod lengths vary from 8’ to 15’ depending on the water conditions and the weight being used.  Weight will depend on the current at your specific location but usually is 3-10 ounces when surf fishing (10 ounces is really heavy and more suited for the rough waters of the Outer Banks, NC).  Pyramid and surf sinkers are most effective when trying to ensure the current does not drag your bait back to the shore.  All of this equipment can be found at most any tackle shop or your local Bass Pro Shop.

                Sharks can be caught in almost all locations in the Chesapeake Bay, even in unexpected places such as the Potomac River.  However, sand sharks are by far the most common shark species that is encountered in our area.  This relatively small species is plentiful throughout the Bay and even into the shallower parts of the ocean.  Probably the best place to surf fishing in Hampton Roads is at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach.  Sandbridge is actually on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Bay and provides the habitat and food sources for these sharks to flourish.  It provides similar conditions to the Outer Banks, which is known for having some of the best surf fishing on earth.

                Shark fishing can be very exciting, especially when catching numerous specimens or rather large ones.  Also, if prepared correctly, sharks can provide delicious and plentiful meat.  Before getting started, the only things you will need is a Virginia Saltwater Fishing License and to take a look at the Virginia regulations for shark fishing, which can be found here and here, respectively.  Hopefully, this is enough information to get you out there fishing, and, more importantly, catching sharks from the surf.

Good luck fishing!

James “Blake” Sexton

Fishing Team Lead

Bass Pro Shops #18

Hampton, VA


*All Images are property of Google Images and their affiliates and are in no way claimed as my own.


Capturers of the Outdoors: Zane Grey

In so many ways the outdoors can provide us with the greatest memories in the world. Whether it be the old family camping trips, a hike where you proposed to your spouse, the first fish you caught or stargazing under the night sky in fresh air there are so many reasons to celebrate being outside. The beauty alone of the outdoors will take some to extreme lengths possibly to see a rare sight or capture it for generations to come. A while back I had the Game Changers reoccurring blogs, all about those who have changed how we connect with nature. One of them was about Ansel Adams, and no one can deny how well he captured the outdoors on camera. The practice and art of capturing the outdoors has been going on for generations, whether it be in book, art, film, song or almost any other form of medium. This was the inspiration for this series of blogs: “Capturers of the Outdoors”. We will take a look at influential individuals who saved and stirred a bevy of emotions and memories we have by capturing the outdoors in some manner. To start us off will the famous writer, Zane Grey.

Zane Grey was born in Ohio in 1872. He was born a Pearl Zane Grey but dropped his first name as he never was a fan of it. He however was a fan of almost all things considered American at the time that included baseball, history and fishing. He was most avid though about being a writer. He tried his hand at dentistry for a while but wanted nothing more than to be a writer.

Like many of the greats, Grey went through several failures before reaching success. Several of his first writings were rejected by publishers. This did not help that Grey suffered from depression and other mood swings. Once he began writing in the Western genre, he found success. His novels focused on topics like Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny and other such subjects. His first bestseller was The Heritage of the Desert from 1910. Two years later he wrote his most well-known book Riders of the Purple Sage.

Riders of the Purple Sage would not only be Grey’s best known book but also his best-seller and one of the all-time best selling western genre books. It made him a household name. This book would spur a movement for more western literature, keeping imagery and stories from the Old West still alive for generations to come. It was even adapted into a movie giving a new medium to the work. It has been remade countless times and for many it is the quintessential western story. No library collection is complete without a copy of it.

From the success of this book, Grey was able to afford his true passion in life of fishing. He spent as much time as possible fishing wherever he could. He bought a boat that he would take lengthy adventures on. He helped make big-game fishing what it is today. Saltwater fishing was a huge part of his love affair with the sea and caught many prolific fish throughout his time. There are now even a few tournaments that bear his name.

All the while he continued writing, mostly contributing to Outdoor Life magazine. Some stories were true, others were fictional and some seemed to be a little bit of both. There is a great book out there called Best of Zane Grey, Outdoorsman. It is a collection of hunting, fishing and other outdoor tales. It also offers some facts about the writer’s life that many may not know about. Like how he tried to start a Dolphin Club that would work in the same way as a fishing club but for harpooning dolphins. Or how he “battled” a whale shark while on a sea-faring trip looking for a “sea monster” in the Pacific Ocean. Probably the best thing though is how he tried to write off all of his hunting, fishing, sea-faring and other outdoor trips and gear as tax-deductions because they were so important to his writings. He even went in front of the Supreme Court!

Zane Grey loved the outdoors and it is beautifully portrayed in his writings. The fact that he wrote not only about outdoor sporting for many years for magazines but wrote novels on a genre that is so entwined with the outdoors and open-air country. He truly was a capturer of the outdoors.



Give Me 45 Minutes -- And I'll Show Unbelievable Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Spinning Combo

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Spinning Combo Bass Pro Shops is proud to introduce for 2015 the Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Spinning Combo. This light-weight combo is available in 4’6 Ultra-Light, 5’6 Ultra-Light and 6’6 Ultra-Light models. With a graphite frame and 7 bearings these reels will handle any Angler’s Trout or Panfish needs. The Rods are built with RT2 Graphite that offers sound, reliable performance to anglers of all skill levels. At $69.99 this is a great Combo for any angler. The reels are also sold separately at $39.99.

For more information visit the following link:

Pre-Spawn and Spawn Season Approaching Fast As water temperatures heat up and Spring approaches it becomes every Angler’s favorite time to catch Large Mouth Bass. Come visit Bass Pro Shops and speak with our associates about the latest new gear or upgrade your current gear before the season kick off. If you have any questions about drop-shots, bed-fishing or sight-fishing stop by and talk with our associates.

Visit the following link to view all your needs for this upcoming season.

Rock Fish Season Opener: SeaFire Reel A Must Have Bass Pro Shops is proud to add the Offshore Angler Seafire Reel in 2015. With a 1pc CNC Machined Aluminum Frame, 4 bearings and an anodized power handle this reel will handle all your rock fish needs. Priced at 79.99 these reels are a great buy.

This reel is also featured in a combo at $129.99. For more information visit the following link:



Watch Your Speed

Winter Florida LargemouthNo, I’m not talking about your speed on the roadways, although that’s a good idea to keep in mind unless you just want your insurance rates increased and your license suspended.  Winter time fishing can be some of the most productive of the year but the one thing I keep forgetting to keep in mind when I hit the ponds or the saltwater flats, is the speed of the retrieve and how fast to work the fly in general.  There isn’t another single time of the year when this is so important and we’re constantly getting questions about how quickly to work a fly through the strike zone for various species.  Unfortunately there isn’t any one single solution but rather a batch of questions the angler needs to ask while they’re out there casting away.

The first consideration is what am I trying to imitate and how quickly does it move through the water when relaxed and how much faster when frightened.  The dry fly fisherman is going to say that his bugs only move as fast as the current it’s riding while a barracuda fisherman will respond that a needle fish can truly haul the mail when a giant is tight on its tail.  There isn’t any single correct answer but instead it’s key to keep the prey in your mind and what frame of “mind” it’s in at the time.

Secondly, I take a look at the species being pursued and the type of feeding it generally does.  A large bass is primarily an ambush feeder that doesn’t chase anything further than a foot or two (similar to giant snook, and gator trout), while a smaller specimen of the same species may actively chase down its dinner from time to time.  Speedsters like mackerel, bonita, barracuda, ladyfish, and others, are relentless and amazingly fast; chasing down and devouring their meal like they may not get another.  Trout like brookies and cutthroat rarely chase anything, they rely on the current to bring dinner to the table, at which time they can dine at a leisurely and easy pace, sipping or grabbing their food as it passes.  The retrieval rates vary greatly depending on species and size as you can see.

Thirdly, am I appealing to the fish’s hunger, territorialism, or shear anger?  Bedding fish are not really in the mood to eat and therefore don’t often pursue things that aren’t passing relatively close to their location.  Objects that pass by closely, but too quickly don’t get chased either, so you need to slow it down, and sometimes stop the retrieve so the fly lies still in the bed, before eliciting a strike out of anger and the need to protect the brood.  Striking or highly predatory fish are often more willing to chase or follow prey, or your fly, over greater distances and at higher speeds.

Lastly, we need to consider that the same species will likely change its feeding habits due to a slowing or speeding up of its metabolism as a result of changing seasons and varying water temperatures.  Bass are a prime example of this and the reason I wrote about the topic in the first place.  Experiencing a slow and deliberate bite on the drop into a deep pond left me amazed and frustrated by my inability to slow down enough without losing total concentration on the task at hand.  I awoke from a daydream at one point, realizing I’d been struck only because the line was swimming away at right angles to where I had originally casted.  The bit was so subtle that I hadn’t even noticed it.  I invariably lost that fish because of an ineffective hook set.  My inability to slow down may also be the reason behind my lack of success with black drum on the flats as well.

There are a lot of things to consider before making that first cast of the day if you want to have some semblance of success, not the least of which is the speed (or lack thereof) in your retrieve.  Pace, pausing, long, short, jerky, call it whatever you want because there isn’t any single answer to the question.  Only more questions.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


The Ultimate Guide to Fishing South Florida On Foot

Ultimate Guide to Fishing South Florida On FootDoing the research for any trip abroad is a very important part of any preparation in my household and the farther the trip, or the more unknown the species, the more resources I’ll look for.  Thank goodness we live in the information age when access to maps, species profiles, fishing reports, fly recipes, and hatch charts are nothing more than a finger click away.

Putting in the time before enjoying stellar success is a big part of growing as a fisherman and I really think that everyone should spend a few “less than successful days” on the water in order to truly appreciate what they have when all the parts start falling in place.  We can’t all jump right in as experts, and not every day is going to be worthy of a syndicated fishing show, or a spot on the Fly Fishing Film Tour.  Fishing our region can be a humbling experience for a guy that thought he knew what was going on in the fishing world.  And there’s just so much darn water!

Much of Florida was nothing but swamp back in the day but as civilization expanded and our desire to tame the wilderness meant that dry real-estate was at a premium, canals were built to control, drain, and route ground water and storm-water runoff out of the settlements, unknowingly creating some of the best fishing opportunities anywhere in the United States.  Retention ponds, lakes, ditches, canals, and other water control measures provided ideal habitat for many of the indigenous fish species of both fresh and saltwater varieties; and the introduction of non-native species (both accidental and on purpose) helped to make this region a superb fishing destination with nearly limitless possibilities.  Bass, tarpon, peacocks, snook, jacks, ladyfish, oscars, and many more inhabit every wet corner of the area and they'll all take a bait or fly of some type.  All those locations and all those fish can make for a very confusing fishery but now you know there are resources to make finding a place to go a little simpler.

Well Steve Kantner “The Land Captain” has written and published the quintessential authority on fishing South Florida… on foot no less.  He realized that a great number of fishermen, whether locals or visitors, don’t have ready access to watercraft of any type but would still like to experience and enjoy everything that Florida has to offer the adventurous individual.  “The Ultimate Guide To Fishing South Florida On Foot” has brought everything together an angler new to the area, or just getting started, might want to know before hitting the water, or the road as it were.  Since the guide is geared towards spots you can reach by foot, you really can just hit the road and explore with some sense of where you’re going in the first place.

Peacock EyeMr. Kantner has consolidated so much information and insight that it’s nearly impossible to explain how in depth and thorough this guide proves to be.  I’ve been fishing the area for about ten years and I’ve quickly learned a good number of things just in the moments of browsing through the pages between customers in the shop.  Species profiles, tackle requirements, techniques and tactics, along with maps (reproductions of those available on the FWC website along with others) and personal insight complete a package it would take years, if not lifetimes, to accumulate.  This book will open up South Florida to many people who just wouldn’t otherwise be willing to venture beyond their comfort zone of the water immediately surrounding the homestead.

Stop in and check out Steve Kantner’s new book, load up the car or bicycle, and be ready to start finding fish with regularity.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


Fishy Facts: Bow Fishing

So this month we will be taking a different approach to our Fishy Facts blogs. Instead of focusing directly on a fish itself, we will take an in-depth look at a certain way to catch fish. And if you read last month’s Tracker Time blog you would know exactly what kind of fishing we are talking about: bow fishing!

Using specialized equipment, bow fishing allows fishers/archers the opportunity to take fish. I am not sure what you would be classified out of those two (fisher or archer) exactly but you definitely get the best of both worlds. The main differences between regular archery and bow fishing is that the bow will have a line holder that holds the line attached to your arrow. Your arrow does not have any kind of fledging as it not necessary in water. What is necessary though is understanding how your arrow will react when in hits water. Also the arrowhead used will usually be a barbed one that will hopefully keep your fish from getting away. After a fish is pierced it is reeled back and taken.

Typically bow fishing takes place on a boat, as you need to be rather close to the fish to get one and they spook quite easily so be prepared to cover some water. The most common species harvested are bottom feeders including carp but also alligator gar are common targets. In saltwater though, things get kicked up a notch and sharks are a targeted species along with rays. Bow fishing also typically takes place at night when fish are slightly more active and using bright lights are easy to spot.

Of course you will want to look at your local rules and regulations concerning bow fishing. Because not only could you be fishing in the wrong place but now “discharging a weapon” as well if you find yourself in real trouble. Bow fishing has increased significantly over the past few years. What once was a smaller niche market is now proving to be a huge game-changer. Not only in sporting good stores but also ecosystems.

Unfortunately invasive species have done a good job and making a mess of our waterways. One of the most prolific is the Asian Carp. You know, that fish that jumps out of the water when disturbed and have caused serious damage to ecosystems and people that they have hit. Huge efforts to eliminate these fish have been undertaken, and bow fishing allows people the change to specifically target them and remove them much quicker and safer than other methods.

The son of the founder/owner of Bass Pro Shops is huge outdoor enthusiast. Bow fishing has become a huge passion of his, and he loves to show it on his YouTube channel. Our stores now carry a wide variety of bow fishing products as well. Bass Pro Shops also started its own Bow Fishing Championship! It is pretty awesome and definitely deserves a checking out!

While the new products and advancing technologies definitely have a lot of people drooling, it is cool to think about how this sport has evolved from its once simple and survival-importance ways. Our ancestors had to learn to bow fish in order to get the food they so desperately needed.

So do your homework and look into what it would take to get into bow fishing. It may provide that niche sport to get your fisher into archery or your archer into fishing. Either way it is a great way to get outdoors and make some awesome memories on the water. And that is what it is all about.


Former Finned-Friends:


Northern Pike

Rainbow Trout

Largemouth Bass

Peacock Bass






Bull Shark


Smallmouth Bass

Brook Trout


Sling Pack, Waist Pack, or Vest? So Many Options.

Fishpond Gore RangeTech PackFishermen have been trying to answer this conundrum ever since Orvis brought out their first catalogue and we started believing there just had to be a better solution than the one we already carried.  I'm not sure there really is a single answer to which is best and sometimes we just have to let the color of our fishing shirt determine the type of pack we're going to carry on the water.  Just kidding.  Each one has it's uses and it'll just take time to figure out which one you like. I've personally gone full circle, beginning with a simple waist pack I used for many years of wading the saltwater, but I've found that it isn't large enough for some endeavors afield or far too big for others, and it makes wearing a stripping basket at the same time all but impossible.  But what's the ultimate solution and should new anglers agonize over getting it right the first time?

Vests like the one shown are great for carrying just about everything short of the kitchen sink, and I've found that there's a reason trout fishermen traditionally chose this type of system.  The pockets are spacious and numerous so you can hide things away never to be found again, except at the beginning of the next season when you take stock of what you need to purchase before hitting the water again.  Some even have integrated backpacks wherein you might carry enough supplies to spend extended period on the water rather than just a few short hours.  There are obvious benefits to wearing a vest but you do have to watch out for the tendency to carry everything, including the kitchen sink, the potential heat retention issues due to the type of fabric the vest is made of, and the need to compensate for clothing worn underneath by wearing a fixed size vest larger than your normal.  Keep an open mind and plan ahead.

LL Bean Sling PackSling packs and chest packs are perfect for the person that's able to scale down the amount of equipment they carry to the water for a days adventure and are a great way to keep yourself from becoming overly weighted down by things you probably won't need anyways.  These options force you to look at your tackle needs and storage systems with a more critical eye towards limiting waste and clutter.  Sling and chest packs are the perfect options for those short jaunts around a neighborhood pond, a nearby creek, or along the beach looking for cruising snook.  All you need is a small box of flies, tippet material, pliers, and a water bottle to have a great adventure.

Fish N Hunt Waist PackWaist packs are somewhere in between the two and continue to be a favorite of mine because of how well they distribute the load low on the body where I don't even notice the burden.  Many of them have back support built in which greatly increases the amount of time you can spend wandering the waterways in search of fishing opportunities. Water bottle holders, box storage, plier keepers, and even rod holders have been included in their designs so the angler isn't left with much to desire.  About the only issues I've ever had with waist packs is the need to spin them around to the front in order to get anything out of it, which results in a pretty twisted up wardrobe; and as I mentioned before, troubles with using a stripping basket at the same time.

Another possibility I've experimented with is using a backpack whether intended for fishing or not.  It works well when carrying both spinning and fly equipment because it's large enough to securely carry multiple large Plano boxes full of tackle, water bottles, Boga Grip, and other essentials.  Simms, Patagonia, Orvis, Fishpond and numerous others have included backpacks in their product lines, both in traditional and waterproof materials.  Backpacks are an accessory worth looking into if you have a bunch of equipment to carry.

New anglers shouldn't get too worried about their first choice of carrying accessory since they'll likely have half a dozen different ones within a very short time, very much like myself.  I've been around the block a few times and thrown in a few wrong turns over the years but each one was a learning experience and now my choices are based on experience rather than fashion.  Comfort, practicality, and versatility are the main criteria we should be using to find our next bag so keep the lessons I've learned in the back of your mind the next time you go looking for something new to schlep around your tackle.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando




Spring Fishing Classic


 February 6th -15th

It is that time again, Spring Fishing Classic! Sales, Sales and more Sales that go on at Bass Pro Shops around this time! If you are an avid fishermen(and women!) or wanting to pick up the sport and learn what is the best tricks, advise and products, make sure that you come to our event!

Here is the schedule and times of all the different events that will be taking place:

Rod and Reel Trade in

 February 6th –February 15th

New season new equipment? We think so! Bring in your old rod and reel during our “Trade in Promotion” and walk out feeling ready to conquer the water with your new rod and reel!

Line Spooling

February 11th – February 15th

Instant Rebate up to $100

February 6th – February 15th

On selected products, get instant rebates! See ad for details

Fried Fish Sampling

Saturday February 7th 2pm-5pm

Come up to our Camping Department and try out some FREE Fried Fish Sampling! You get to see how it is made with all the products that are used. To make it even better, all the products that are used are sold in stores. Talk about convenient!

Local Pro Seminars

Local Pro Seminars


First 25 customers to attend a workshop will receive a mug at the aquarium

Feb 13th-Will be held in the Marine Department by the Marine Associates.

7pm- Electronics Essentials: Effective use for Saltwater Success.


Feb 14 and 15th- Front of the aquarium.

11am- The Baitfish Connection- Understanding seasonal movements will help you catch more fish

2pm- Cutting- Edge offshore Gear- A guide to the Latest Advances on Tech and Tackle

2:30pm-KIDS SEMINAR- Kids will receive certificate of completing a workshop there at the aquarium!!

3pm- ONLY SATURDAY FEB 14TH-Women’s Workshop- Fishing and Outdoor cooking tips.

4pm- Surf Fishing: Beach and Wading strategies that work.

4:30pm-KIDS SEMINAR- Kids will receive certificate of completing a workshop there at the aquarium!! 


Women’s Workshop

February 14th at 3pm in front of the aquarium

Ladies, have you been curious about learning how to fish? Nice relaxing getaway sport. Perk of learn is to gloat to your husband how is better (all fun)! We will be hosting a FREE Workshop that will include some great tips, demos and products of best outwear. To make it even better, for the first 25 ladies to attend will be receiving a FREE tumbler!

Local Fishing Tips and Seminars by Local Pros

Friday February 13 -7pm

Saturday and Sunday- February 14 & 15 - 11am, 2pm and 4pm

Avid fishermen and women or beginners! Come get some tips and watch some product demos right from our aquarium! All given by our on Local Pro! For the first 25 customers (18 and older) to attend these seminars will receive and FREE tumbler!


Kid’s Next Generation Weekend

February 14 and 15 – Noon-5pm

Don’t think we forgot about the kids! We will have some fun fishing activities from:

Casting Challenge- Learning how to cast a fishing pole. (Fish Shaped water bottle for kids who complete the Casting Challenge (while supplies last)

Crafts- Color Wood fish stand-up and coloring sheets

Free 4x6 download - receive a free photo download 


Kids’ Workshop/Seminar

Saturday &Sunday during the Next Generation Event

February 14 & 15- 2pm & 4pm both days

Subjects to include:

-Discuss how we can learn to catch fish by thinking like they do

- Have a few items for kids to view and have “hands-on” experience

(First 25 kids to attend workshop/seminar will receive certificates and lanyard)  




As you can tell it is going to be a busy 2 weeks that you cannot miss! So remember February 6-15 – Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic!! 


Pompano Fishing Workshops at Bass Pro

Destin's Bass Pro Shops held its first in-house pompano fishing workshops on Saturday, January 10th and Sunday, January 11th, even though spring pompano fishing won't pick up for several more weeks, when the weather warms up.  Our Fishing Department Staff, Bo Corbitt and Chuck Formes, who hosted the 2-day workshops, spend most of their days off fishing in the surf or from the piers, catching redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and pompano among others.  Topics covered included types of surf fishing combos, tackle and pompano rigs, jigs, live bait, presentation, and where to look for the deep cuts in the surf where pompano are most likely to lurk.  The proper use of sand flea rakes along the tide line to catch live pompano bait was also demonstrated.

For the past several years, Destin's Bass Pro Shops has hosted spring and fall surf fishing classes in April and October at the beautiful Henderson Beach State Park on the Gulf in Destin.  Everything is provided to participants, including tackle, bait, and expert instruction from our experienced fishing staff.  There is no charge for the classes and admission to the State Park is free.  Participants must have a current Florida Saltwater Fishing License and pre-registration is required, since class size is limited.  Check the Destin store's events site in March and September to see when our next surf fishing classes are scheduled.  Once the classes are announced, one may call the store at (850) 269-6200 to pre-register.

Gary Feduccia