Are you building a wish list or shopping for someone who didn’t provide one?  We have the perfect solution! Find Christmas gift ideas in guides specific to hunters, anglers, target shooters, campers, outdoor kids and more at Bass Pro Shops. Gift Ideas for Anglers - Check out this selection of gift ideas from Bass Pro Shops, which the addicted angler refers to as "Santa's Toy Shop." Gift Ideas for Hunters - Here's a rundown of the season's hottest hunting items available at Bass Pro Shops. Gift Ideas for Target Shooters - Have a tactical or recreational shooter on your Christmas list?…
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The signs are pretty clear if you have an addicted angler on your Christmas list. This time of year, he or she goes around faintly singing “… jigging’s swell … jigging’s swell… ” and “… a largemouth in a live well …”  The dead give-away is a Christmas tree decorated with lures and monofilament rather than ornaments and garland.  Here’s a selection of gifts from Bass Pro Shops (which the addicted angler refers to as “Santa’s Toy Shop”) sure to further fuel their fishing fever. Bass Pro Shops® Johnny Morris Carbonlite Baitcasting Reel Finicky as Santa Claus is about checking…
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Leadhead jigs are a mainstay of bass and walleye anglers, especially during the spring and fall, when the water is cold.  For river anglers like me, jigs becoming increasingly effective as fall progresses and smallmouth bass move into areas of reduced current, typically deeper pools and pockets out of the main force of the river’s current.  It’s important to know a variety of jigging tactics and be willing to experiment to find the productive one for that particular day. A guide trip late last week provided my first consistent jig bite of the fall.  Water temperatures had dropped into the…
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The southern shore of Lake Erie that stretches across portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, known by many anglers as Steelhead Alley, provides an exceptional opportunity to fish for quality-sized steelhead. When the water is low, anglers can find success using smaller flies and lighter fluorocarbon tippet. The best condition for taking these fish are good flows with a hint of color.  Sadly, this is often the exception rather than the rule.  The watersheds are fairly short, often shale bottomed, and drain off quickly following periods of rain and snow melt. Since these conditions exist so often throughout the…
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What if, rather than carrying that smartphone or tablet in your hands, technology allowed you to actually "wear" these indispensible devices? Imagine having the device always at the ready in front of your eyes, convenient, low profile and completely hands-free. Aqua-Vu, technology leaders in smartphone-sized underwater viewing systems, recently released the Micro-Mobile Pro Viewing Case. The first wearable underwater camera holster, the Pro Viewing Case fits any Aqua-Vu Micro Series system, allowing anglers to view with unprecedented mobility, convenience and nearly hands-free operation.The first wearable underwater camera holster, the Pro Viewing Case fits any Aqua-Vu Micro Series system, allowing anglers…
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Normally a mobile approach to fishing river smallmouth is preferred, but there are certain conditions that call for dropping the anchor and focusing on areas where fish are concentrated. It’s one of the most underutilized pieces of equipment in my river guide boat: the boat anchor.  Some days I silently curse it, those times when I nearly trip over the plastic bucket it’s stored in as I step down from the front deck. It’s my belief that a mobile approach is usually best when river fishing, going to the fish rather than camping out in a given spot. Baits are…
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Like many of you, I use artificial fishing baits and lures 95 percent of the time when targeting bass.  But if there’s a period when it makes sense to dip into the minnow bucket, it’s during autumn. It’s at the time of year — at least in my part of the country where winters are an icy reality —  when bass tend to forage on minnows, big ones in particular.  This leads to a situation where large, live minnows can be effective. An angler’s gotta do what an angler’s gotta do and during autumn, that may mean dipping into the…
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Having had the chance to test St. Croix’s Legend X fly rod in a variety of venues during the past several months, I can say it’s one sleek fly rod.  If it had four wheels it would be a muscle car, yet one quite comfortable running down to the corner market to pick up the fixings for the day’s streamside fishing lunch. The Legend X is designed for targeting larger predatory fish – bass, muskies, northerns – big fish that often require the use of beefier, wind-resistant flies.  It’s a nine-footer that’s offered in four models, ones meant to throw…
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My guide client Dave and I were drifting along a river section that split around a small, gravel-covered island.  We were concentrating on the main bank, where a deeper trough hugged the shoreline.  We saw steady action all morning, but nothing for 15 minutes or so and were just about ready to move to another area.  Then I happened to look over my shoulder, toward the island, and noticed surface disturbance and a spray of jumping minnows.  Excitedly I asked Dave to fire a cast in that direction.  A moment later he was hooked up with a three-pound-plus river smallmouth. …
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For an effective go to bait throught summer and early fall, try Senko plastic worms. It’s pretty easy to think of certain baits such as the Senko (and similar cigar-shaped sinking worms such as the Stik-O by Bass Pro Shops), as being a great presentation but limited to wacky rigging just prior to and during the bass spawn.  However, Senkos are effective throughout the summer and early fall, as evidenced during a recent trip for river smallmouth bass. Senkos baits are one of my friend Mark’s confidence baits; he fishes them often when he joins me.  We frequently fish a…
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