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New This Week & Where To Find It

New Category Birthed at ICAST
PRODUCTS

Berry Brothers Fishing Report
REPORTS

MDWFP News
REPORTS

Bass Pro Shops teams with NRA for Freedom Days in-store event
EVENTS

Casey Ashley appearance at BPS on Macon Rd.
EVENTS

Steyr Arms Announces the Availability of the SSG Carbon Rifle
PRODUCTS

New Season of DU TV: Watch it Now!
REPORTS

Humminbird® Awarded Fifth Consecutive ICAST Win
PRODUCTS

Mid-South Hunt & Fish Expo is comig soon
EVENTS

Rhode Wins Gold at Pan American Games
NEWS

Steve McCadams Kentucky Lake Fishing Report
REPORTS

Big Cat Quest Weiss Lake
PHOTOS

Interviews from July 18, 2015
VIDEO

2015 ICAST "Best Of Show"
NEWS

14th Annual Darryl Worley TN River Run Bass Tournament is September 26th
NEWS

ICAST Photos
PHOTOS

Costa Brings Kick Plastic Message to ICAST, Commissions Sculpture Made of Ocean Trash
NEWS

Morgan Wins Morengo, Captures Sixth IBO Triple Crown National Championship
NEWS

New DU Film unites a cancer survivor and a duck-calling legend
NEWS

Plano: New Stamp Celebrates Legacy of Innovation
PRODUCTS

AquaVu: See Through Sonar
PRODUCTS

2015 NASP® World Tournament to be Held at Nashville's Music City Center
EVENTS

Old Town® introduces the Loon Angler™ kayak
PRODUCTS

H & H Lure Co. Teams With Mr. Crappie
PRODUCTS

Kim Rhode Selected As Flag Bearer For Toronto 2015 Pan American Games
NEWS

McRee Shines at .50-Caliber World Championships
NEWS

Legacy Sports International Announces Transition To Foxy Woods Camo
NEWS

Mercer Joins Huk Performance Fishing Team
NEWS

Two Common Chores for Diesel Boat Owners
EDITORIAL

Bandit Lures Offers 3 New Totally Unique Bandit Crank Color Patterns
PRODUCTS

Frabill: New Stow Series Raingear
PRODUCTS

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The Show

"Outdoors with Larry Rea" is in its 14th year on the air, broadcasting from Entercom Studios in Memphis, TN.

The show's host, Larry Rea, is an expert in Outdoors media, having been the Outdoors Editor for the Memphis Commercial Appeal prior to his move into radio.

The show, as well as its website, www.lroutdoors.com, has consistently won awards for excellence in broadcasting, most recently at the annual Southeastern Outdoors Press Association conference.

Airing on Saturday mornings, the show features a broad list of segments, including interviews with the most interesting and accomplished Outdoorsmen and women in the U.S. and beyond, but offers a local flavor as well.

Larry and his team of show contributors cover the latest news, reports, products and events.

In addition to the radio booth, the show hits the road to cover some of the most prestigious events in the industry, such as the Bassmaster Classic, the National Field Dog Trials and more.

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Morgan Wins Morengo, Captures Sixth IBO Triple Crown National Championship

Uniontown, PA – World Champion 3-D archer and host of Name The Game TV, Levi Morgan, pulled out another come-from-behind victory at the third leg of the IBO National Championship, held July 10-12 at the Cardinal Shooting Center, in Morengo, OH. This was Morgan's sixth IBO Triple Crown National Championship in a row. Further, Morgan claimed a new IBO "first," as the only professional archer to have ever won each of the three legs of the Triple Crown to take home the National Championship. Morgan ended the Triple Crown race with 1259 total points and 73x's, which put him 19-points and14x's ahead of the second place finisher.

Morgan's road to the final win at Morengo started out rocky, ending the first day a 207, with 9x's. He was six points back from the leader and tied for fourth place. Wet, muddy conditions had made an already long and hilly course, even more challenging. 

"It just wasn't the round I needed and I found myself in a hole, once again," said Morgan. "Others were gaining on me for the Triple Crown points total so I scrambled that night, after the first round, just trying to find some peace." 

However, Day 2 brought even worse weather, with more rain and dark, cloudy skies. The heavy canopy of the wooded course made target-viewing conditions very difficult for everyone. After a night of reflection, Morgan found the confidence he needed and hit 11's on his first two targets of the day, which tied him for the lead early in the second round. 

"The conditions on Day 2 were the worst I'd ever competed in, it was just so dark and you couldn't get good footing in the mud," said Morgan. "But sticking those first two targets evened the playing field and I felt like I had a clean slate. I told myself, 'now it's time to win.'"

Morgan, always a fierce competitor when coming from behind, found his stride and pounded one 11 after another throughout the course, ending with a second day at 213 and 15x's. For the tournament, Morgan finished with a total score of 420 and 24x's.

The Pro Division of the IBO sanctioned 3-D event features a total of 20 unmarked targets shot on Day 1 and 20 unmarked targets shot on Day 2. Contestants shoot each target once per day, scored as 5 (non-vital body), 8, 10, and 11-point rings per target, thus a perfect possible score of 440. Target distances varied in range out to a maximum of approximately 50 yards. No range finding equipment is allowed at the IBO unmarked event, putting additional pressure on shooters to accurately judge distances.

Morgan won all three legs of the IBO Triple Crown National Championship using the same blue ELITE Victory bow, set-up ahead of the first event and left untouched throughout the season. The Gold Tip 22 Pros were actually same arrows he used in 2014 to win the previous year's IBO National Championship title.

"I've always said, through prayer and preparation anything is possible," said Morgan. "If you work hard, the opportunities will present themselves and you just have to be ready to make the most of them – and that's what I did this weekend."


ABOUT LEVI MORGAN: World renowned archer, Levi Morgan, is a 10x World Champion, 42x National Champion, 11x Shooter of the Year and has won the ASA Shooter of the Year title a record setting 8x in a row. He is the Host of the popular hunting show, Name The Game, currently airing on the Sportsman Channel. For more information on Levi Morgan, please visit NameTheGameTV.com.

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New DU Film unites a cancer survivor and a duck-calling legend

Memphis, Tenn. – July 13, 2015 – In Ducks Unlimited’s newest online film, Harris Jones recalls how a duck hunt on a mild day during his cancer treatments gave him hope for the future. Today, Jones is giving back to the resource as a Ducks Unlimited volunteer. And last spring he had a unique opportunity to hunt with duck-calling legend Buck Gardner.
“In one day I went from being a college athlete to a St. Jude patient,” said Jones. “I’m a person who realizes every day is a gift. And so any time I can wake up and put my feet on the ground, I’m thankful.”
With the DU Film crew on hand, Jones joined Gardner for a spring snow goose hunt in Eastern Arkansas. “When I first met Buck, I was a little star struck, I guess,” said Jones. “I was so honored to actually get the chance to hunt with him. It’s a dream come true for any waterfowler.”
“It’s a special day when you get to meet people like Harris,” said Gardner. “He has a tremendous story. I guess you could say he fought the good fight. I’ve followed his story and today I got to go hunt with him.”
Gardner is known for his work with children undergoing cancer treatment in Memphis. In this film, viewers get to follow Gardner to the Ronald McDonald House, where he hands out duck calls and gives calling lessons.“I thought giving out a few videos on hunting and teaching kids how to blow a duck call would be cool,” said Gardner. “These children truly are the heroes. It will inspire you if you ever get a chance to come and see them.”
Produced in partnership with Rock Road Creative, DU Films goes beyond the confines and formulas of traditional hunting shows, presenting the beauty and passion of waterfowling in new and unexpected ways. DU Films includes six short films airing on the DU website this spring. Viewers can watch the first five films and find more information about the series at www.ducks.org/dufilms. New films will be released each month through August.
DU Films is made possible through sponsorships from Sitka GearBuck Gardner Calls and The Original Muck Boot Company.
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Plano Boosting Bassmaster Elite Finale

EFFICIENCY AND ORGANIZATION ON DISPLAY AT AUG. 27-30 BASSMASTER ELITE EVENT ON LAKE ST. CLAIR, MI

PLANO, IL (July 21, 2015) – Plano, the iconic fishing brand that has made it their mission to innovate and elevate tackle storage and organization since 1952, continues to support bass fishing at all levels – most recently through title sponsorship of the Aug. 27-30 Plano Bassmaster Eliteevent on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair. 

The tournament is the regular season finale for bass fishing’s most prestigious tour, which, in 2015, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a schedule that commemorates some of the greatest events and venues in bass fishing history.

Widely held as one of the best smallmouth lakes in the nation, Lake St. Clair hosted the unforgettable 2013 Bassmaster Elite finale in 2013, won by Chris Lane and also sponsored by Plano. The massive, 275,000-acre, shallow lake also enjoys the distinction of being the favorite water of Plano pro and four-time Bassmaster Classic champion, Kevin VanDam (KVD).

“St. Clair is the greatest smallmouth bass fishery on the planet,” says KVD, the all-time money winner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail. “It’s my favorite lake for both numbers of smallmouth and for trophy fish, but speed and organization are crucial if you are going to have a shot at putting together the winning bag there.”

In other words, the winning bag at the end of the Plano Bassmaster Elite on Lake St. Clair may just come down to who starts the tournament with the winning bag – the tackle bag, that is, that’s best-provisioned and organized for speed and success. Chances are, it’ll be a Plano.

“Plano is extremely pleased to be an ongoing partner with B.A.S.S. and to have the opportunity to pledge our support at the Elite level of competitive bass fishing,” says Plano-Synergy Vice President of Marketing, Pete Angle.  “It’s the ultimate arena for showcasing the advantages our tackle storage products provide… products that help both tournament and recreational anglers perform at their best on the water.”

Angle shares KVD’s enthusiasm for Lake St. Clair. “It’s definitely one of the finest fisheries out there,” he says, crediting St. Clair’s sprawling sandbars, gravel reefs, isolated rock piles, cabbage beds and abundant forage for the lake’s trophy productivity. “It’s going to be exciting to see how the best anglers in the business exploit the potential of this unique piece of water.”

In addition to KVD, bass fans should keep their eyes on Plano-sponsored Bassmaster Elite pros Stephen Browning, Brent Chapman, Brent Ehrler, Chad Morgenthaler and John Murray when they roll into Detroit to compete at the end of August.

For up-to-date information on the Plano Bassmaster Elite Lake St. Clair event, Elite angler profiles, statistics, news and more, visit www.bassmaster.com.

 

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World Renowned Shooter Jessie Duff Endorses Women of Weatherby Campaign

Weatherby announces champion competitive shooter Jessie Duff's endorsement of the Women of Weatherby™ campaign. A long-time member of Team Weatherby, Jessie has earned numerous National and World Champion shooting titles, including National and World Bianchi Cup and World Speed Shooting Championships. As a result of this endorsement, Jessie will continue to promote women and their presence in the hunting and shooting community through the Women of Weatherby campaign

Since she was young, competitive shooting has run deep in Jessie's blood. Spending countless hours watching her father hone his own shooting skills on the range, she studied the art of being a competitor. By the time she turned 15, Jessie knew what she wanted to do--break the mold and dispel a misleading perception that hunting and shooting were only for men.

"I was able to learn so much about hunting and shooting from my family that I understand the importance of having a safe environment to discuss firearms with women," Jessie says. "Finding someone who can illustrate the importance of firearm safety for women, and assist in finding the right hunting destination or shooting competition is paramount to enjoying firearms activities."

Since those countless hours spent on the range as a child, Jessie has established a legendary competitive shooting career. Amassing a long list of titles from national and world competitions, she will serve as an invaluable mentor for those aspiring to be a dynamic hunter and shooter.

The Women of Weatherby team is creating a community that provides information, opportunities and products specifically for women, by women. This program offers a foundation to inspire the dreams of women at every level of hunting and shooting.

Weatherby has devoted an exclusive website to this campaign, www.WomenofWeatherby.com. Join the exclusive Women of Weatherby sisterhood, and share the thrill of the hunt!
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Legacy Sports International Announces Transition To Foxy Woods Camo

Gene Lumsden, CEO of Legacy Sports International, Inc. proudly announces the complete transition from Muddy Girl™ camo to the new Foxy Woods™ camo by Thunder Mountain Camo. The new Foxy Woods™ camo is available on the Howa line of bolt action rifles and the Escort line of semi-auto shotguns.

Foxy Woods is an updated, 3D version of classic fall camouflage colors with flair! The Foxy Woods™ camo pattern combines realistic oak trees, leaves and acorns as well as hot pink shades that make this like no other pink camo pattern on the market!

In the Howa line of rifles, Foxy Woods is available as a rifle, only, or as a package with a Nikko Stirling Gameking 3.5-10x44 1" body with illuminated LRX reticle. Howa rifles and packages are offered in 22" hunting barrels with adult stock (13.87" LOP), 20" lightweight barrels with adult stock and 20" lightweight barrel with youth stock (12.62" LOP).

Escort semi-auto shotguns are also available in Foxy Woods camo in the Escort Youth configuration with 22" barrel, 13" LOP and TRIO™ recoil pad. This model comes in either right-handed OR left-handed models at the same price! Foxy woods is also available in a Ladies Model with 26" barrel and the same stock length and recoil pad as the Youth model.

These are all fun guns to shoot and are extremely accurate and easy to handle!
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2015 ICAST "Best Of Show"

Sportfishing Industry Presents the ICAST 2015 
“Best of Show” Awards 
eddlyline wins “Best of Show” during the world’s largest sportfishing trade show
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL - July 16, 2015 – The world’s largest sportfishing trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, is being held July 14 – 17, at the Orange County Convention Center Orlando, Fla. Produced by the American Sportfishing Association(ASA), the industry’s trade association, ICAST - in its 58th year as the industry’s trade show – is the annual destination for the global recreational fishing industry. More than 12,000 representatives from the global sportfishing industry are in Orlando to see the latest innovations in tackle, gear, accessories and apparel.
The single most important feature for ICAST exhibitors and attendees alike is the New Product Showcase. The New Product Showcase, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, embodies the sportfishing industry's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and rewards that ingenuity through the "Best of Show" new product awards competition.
This year, 270 companies submitted 889 products in the New Product Showcase, all vying for the “Best of Show” award in 24 categories and for the overall ICAST 2015 “Best of Show” award.
Making up a special section of ICAST’s half a million gross square feet show floor, the New Product Showcase provides special visibility for the industry’s latest innovations in gear, apparel and accessories.  
Best of Show Awards 
This year, first time exhibitor eddyline kayaks and their C-135 YakAttack Edition, was voted by buyers and media as the best product in both the Boat category and the overall “Best of Show.”
“We are still a family-owned company, after 44 years,” said Tom Remsing, eddyline kayaks Sales manager. “With limited resources and a lot of drive, our staff worked very hard to bring this product to fruition. It’s an honor to win the Best of Show.”
This year’s New Product Showcase winner’s also included first-time ICAST exhibitors Under Armour, Lifeshirt, RinseKit and YOLOtek.
“I congratulate all of the winners and everyone who participated in the New Product Showcase. Every year it’s amazing to see all the creativity and ingenuity our member companies use to add curiosity, excitement and discovery to the adventure of fishing,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “I also thank Fishing Tackle Retailer for their sponsorship of this important event.”
The ICAST 2015 “Best of Show” awards were presented on Wednesday, July 15, during the Chairman’s Industry Awards Reception, sponsored by Costa, at the Orange County Convention Center. 
2015 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners 
For product details, images and other information please contact the individual award winners’ contacts listed below.
 
ICAST 2015 Overall Best of Show – eddyline kayaks 
Product: eddyline C-135 YakAttack Edition 
Media Contact: Tom Remsing remsing@eddyline.com
Best of Show - Freshwater Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
Product: E6X Bass 
Media Contact: John Mazurkiewicz jpmazurk@ameritech.net
Best of Show - Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods 
Product: Avid Inshore 
Media Contact: Rich Belanger richb@stcroixrods.com
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Rod – St. Croix Rods
Product: Mojo Bass Fly 
Media Contact: Rich Belanger richb@stcroixrods.com
Best of Show - Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation 
Product: STRADIC C3000HG-K 
Media Contact: John Mazurkiewicz jpmazurk@ameritech.net
Best of Show - Saltwater Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc. 
Product: PENN Clash 
Media Contact: Ron Giudice ron@blueherron.com
Best of Show - Fly Reel – Pure Fishing, Inc. 
Product: New Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel 
Media Contact: Ron Giudice ron@blueherron.com
Best of Show - Hard Lure – Savage Gear
Product: Hard Shrimp 
Media Contact: Brandon Cotton brandon.cotton@okumafishing.com
Best of Show - Soft Lure – Koppers Fishing 
Product: LIVETARGET Hollow Body Sunfish 
Media Contact: Tom Chopin tom@kopperfishing.com
Best of Show – Lifestyle Apparel – Under Armour, Inc. 
Product: UA Storm Covert Pant 
Media Contact: Eddie Stevenson eddie@driftwoodmedia.com
Best of Show – Technical Apparel – Lifeshirt 
Product: Aegis Lifeshirt 
Media Contact: Jim Emmons jemmons@lifeshirt.com
Best of Show - Boating Accessories – YETI Coolers 
Product: YETI Hopper 20 
Media Contact: Mike May mikemay@backbonemedia.com
Best of Show – Boats - eddyline kayaks 
Product: eddyline C-135 YakAttack Edition 
Media Contact: Tom Remsing remsing@eddyline.com
Best of Show – Combo – Lew’s Fishing Tackle 
Product: Mach 1 Combo 
Media Contact: Gary Dollahon gary@dollahonpr.com
Best of Show – Electronics –Johnson Outdoors 
Product: Humminbird HELIX 7 SI 
Media Contact: Jim Edlund jim@traditionsmedia.com
Best of Show - Eyewear – Costa 
Product: Rooster 
Media Contact: Liza Jones liza@fullcirclepr.com
Best of Show - Fishing Accessory – RinseKit 
Product: RinseKit 
Media Contact: Whitney Coombs whitney@verdepr.com
Best of Show – FishSmart – Release Ruler 
Product: Freshwater Release Rulers 
Media Contact: Neilson Paty neilson@jettyproductions.com
Best of Show - Fly Fishing Accessory – Simms Fishing Products 
Product: G3 Guide Stockingfoot 
Media Contact: Rich Hohne rhohne@simmsfishig.com
Best of Show – Footwear – Simms Fishing Products 
Product: Current Shoes 
Media Contact: Rich Hohne rhohne@simmsfishig.com
Best of Show – Giftware – YOLOtek Product:PowerStick 
Media Contact: Christian Corley christian@yolotek.com 
Best of Show - Kids’ Tackle – Steinhauser, LLC 
Product: Tangle-FREE Combo 
Media Contact: Ralph Duda rduda@lilanglers.com
Best of Show – Line – PowerPro 
Product: Maxcuatro 
Media Contact: John Mazurkiewicz jpmazurk@ameritech.net
Best of Show - Tackle Management – Eposeidon Outdoor Adventures, Inc. 
Product: KastKing Rack ‘em Up Rod Racks 
Media Contact: Tom Gahan tgahan@eposeidon.com
Best of Show - Terminal Tackle – Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle 
Product: Lazer Sharp Fillet Knife 
Media Contact: Nickie Kiefer nkiefer@eagleclaw.com
ICAST 2016 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.,July 12 – 15, 2016. For complete ICAST information, visit ICASTfishing.org.
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America's 60 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation's waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate over $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.
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McRee Shines at .50-Caliber World Championships

(GREENWOOD, MS) - McRees Precision, a Greenwood-based company (www.McReesPrecision.net), is proud to announce that co-owner, Scott McRee turned heads and brought home multiple awards from the 2015 .50-Caliber World Championships, held on July 2-4, at NRA's Whittington Center, in Raton, New Mexico. The championship match is hailed as the crème de la crème of .50-caliber rifle precision shooting matches and draws, as the title implies, some of the world's most accurate marksman, including contingencies from the UK, Spain, Canada and Australia.

If you have ever wondered if the man behind one of the world's most popular rifle chassis can hold his own, his World Championship performance should put that to rest. Those who know Scott McRee, take him as a competitive shooting force to reckon with. He's no stranger to top-level long range precision shooting matches, as well as heavy rifle class shooting and has amassed a great deal of respect and notoriety over decades of match shooting.

While Scott McRee has constructed quite a resume, this match was different. "This is one of those bucket list matches I always wanted to shoot. I just had to knuckle down, go west and shoot. I met some phenomenal folks who really gave me a run for my money. I'm definitely going back."

Scott shot with Team Thunder Ammo 1 and held his own along with his three teammates to take the Team World Championship title. He also earned the coveted Rookie of the Year Award, placed second in the Hunter Class for Score and 5th in the Hunter Class for Group. All in all, he walked away with four awards. Not too shabby for his first .50-caliber world championship match! Please join McRees Precision in congratulating Scott McRee on last week's shooting accomplishments.

About McRees Precision
Rooted in a humble, there-has-to-be-a-better-way beginning, competitive bench rest shooters, Scott and Kathy McRee launched McRees Precision in response to frustration with failing stock systems, poor product offerings and even worse customer service. Once MIA, "old school American values" are the cornerstone of McRees Precision products and services. Forged from real world combat to the thin blue line and from high-stakes shooting competitions to your favorite hunting adventures, McRees stock systems are built, not made, for hard core boot-on-the-ground operatives, discerning marksmen and blood-under-the-fingernail hunters, by master craftsmen focused on changing the world you shoot in.
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Costa Brings Kick Plastic Message to ICAST, Commissions Sculpture Made of Ocean Trash

Daytona Beach, Fla. – July 13, 2015 – Discarded plastic trash washes ashore on sandy beaches in massive, rolling waves, as if to challenge the ocean in a fight-to-the-death duel. From plastic water bottles to discarded children’s toys, plastic in every shape, size and color floats in gigantic swirling garbage patches across oceans and onto coastlines.

Costa, a company committed to sustainable sport fishing practices and ocean conservation, launched itsKick Plastic campaign earlier this year to educate its customers about the growing ocean trash issue, and encourage them to kick the plastic habit. Now, the brand takes the initiative one step further by offering solutions through products that help change behavior, and commissioning a sculpture of a jumping marlin made entirely out of washed up beach trash.

The nine-foot tall, seven-foot long fish will premiere at the entrance hall of the American Sportfishing Association’s ICAST event in Orlando July 14-17. Artist Angela Pozzi and her team of staff and volunteers from the non-profit organization Washed Ashore designed and the assembled the sculpture using thousands of collected plastic and metal cans found on beaches along the West coast.

A toy truck tire sliced in half makes up the outer ring of the marlin’s eyes, with pieces from a child’s plastic ball, a blue plastic automotive oil bottle, bottle lids and aluminum cans adding to the creation. Silver flip flop pieces, plastic water bottles, a mayonnaise jar lid and a baby bowl from Japan also went into the mix to create the eyes.

The sculpture is meant to serve as a stark reminder of how much trash can be found on coastal beaches, and start conversations about how anglers can become more involved in addressing the plastic problem. Costa produced a short video illustrating the making of the plastic art sculpture, seen here:www.costadelmar.com/kickplastic.

As part of the solution, Costa now offers a new stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottle, a reusable heavy-duty tote bag made entirely out of material from recycled plastic bottles, and a line of t-shirts made from 50 percent polyester comprised of recycled bottles and plastics, and 50 percent organic cotton. The products are now available online at www.costadelmar.com.

“Plastic is everywhere, it’s unavoidable,” said Al Perkinson, vice president of marketing for Costa. “But we, as anglers, can work together to make small changes that will create a huge positive impact, such as swapping out our plastic bottles for a permanent one, or collecting plastic we find on the beaches and recycling it.”

“Our goal with the Kick Plastic campaign is to start conversations within the angling community about how we can all work together to address this issue head on,” said Perkinson. “If left unchecked, we can assume our oceans will be taken over with floating, melting plastic in a very short time.”

Anglers and sportfishing professionals attending ICAST are encouraged to see the sculpture and bring their empty plastic water bottles to the entrance of the show to trade out for a new permanent water bottle or other Costa gear. They’re also invited to post a photo of the plastic marlin sculpture on social media with the hashtag #kickplastic and tag @CostaSunglasses for a chance to win daily prizes and sunglasses.

After ICAST, the marlin sculpture will join Washed Ashore’s traveling environmental art exhibit. For more information about Washed Ashore and its other works of marine debris art, visit www.washedashore.org.

For more information on Costa’s Kick Plastic message, or to join in the global movement, visithttp://bit.ly/kickplastic, or search for conversations through #KickPlastic. Also, watch and share the short animated video explaining the plastic pollution problem here http://bit.ly/kickplasticvid.

About Washed Ashore
The Washed Ashore Project is sponsored by Artula Institute for Arts and Environmental Education, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded by Angela Haseltine Pozzi in 2010. Washed Ashoreis an environmental education project that uses art to raise awareness to the tragedy of plastic pollution in our oceans through community involvement. It has taken thousands of volunteers and thousands of pounds of marine debris to create the monumental sculptures that now make up the Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea traveling exhibit. In addition to the exhibit and art workshops, Washed Ashore is currently developing an integrated arts marine debris curriculum for schools, aquariums and zoos.  

In addition to the displays at all three SeaWorld Parks, this summer the traveling exhibit can be seen at The Mystic Aquarium in Mystic CT. Upcoming venues in 2016 include The Houston Zoo, The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL and The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. 
About Costa™
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983. 
 
For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.
 
For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/costasunglasses or on Twitter @CostaSunglasses.
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Rhode Wins Gold at Pan American Games

TORONTO (July 18, 2015) - Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode successfully defended her Pan American Games gold medal from 2011 in record-setting fashion.
Rhode (El Monte, California) set a Pan American Games record and tied the world record of 74/75 targets during Qualification. In the Semifinal, Rhode once again set a new Pan American Games record when she shot a perfect 16/16 targets. In the gold-medal match against Melisa Gil of Argentina, Rhode would only drop one of the 16 targets to pick up the second Pan Am Games gold medal of her career.
“Like any athlete would tell you, we’re always looking to get better and improve, but it was pretty smooth sailing,” she said. “I was pretty pleased with my performance I had out there…I’ve been fortunate enough to make my shooting like walking so when I go out there, I just really enjoy the moment. I like being out there under the pressure!”
In Women’s Three-Position Rifle, 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington) and Hannah Black (Richmond, Virginia) qualified for the Final in fourth (score of 572) and seventh (571) respectively.
In the Final, Black pulled to the lead early in the Kneeling stage and held on to one of the top-two positions through most of the prone stage. Furrer surged later in the Final, but the pair was unable to catch eventual gold medalist Eglys de la Cruz of Cuba, who had equaled the Pan American Games record during Qualification. Furrer was eliminated in fifth place and Black – in her first international Final – was eliminated in sixth place.
"I was pretty nervous. This was a big competition for us,” Furrer said. “I worked really hard to get that quota, but in shooting, it's one of those things where each day can be a different result and no matter how great practice has been, you never know what will really happen on match day. I had a hard time controlling some of the nerves that I had, but overall, it was not absolutely terrible. I just wish I could have done a little better."
Shooting wraps at the Pan American Games tomorrow with Men’s Three-Position Rifle and the conclusion of the Men’s Skeet competition. After two rounds today, Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) and T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas) are in an eight-way tie for fourth place with 48 targets.
Men’s Three-Position Rifle is the final event of the competition with George Norton (Salina, Kansas / U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit) and Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska) finally get their chance at medals and securing the first U.S. Olympic quota in the event. Norton just, missed the Finals when he finished in ninth place in Men’s Prone Rifle Friday.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Pan American shooting team picked up eight medals (two gold, four silver and two bronze) in Men’s Air Rifle (gold, bronze), Women’s Trap (silver, bronze), Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol (gold), Women’s Sport Pistol (silver) Men’s Prone Rifle (silver) and Men’s Air Pistol (silver). Gold medalists Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Kentucky) and Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pennsylvania/USAMU) also won Olympic quotas for the U.S. in Men’s Air Rifle and Rapid Fire Pistol, along with silver medalist Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) winning a quota in Women’s Sport Pistol.
Follow along for live updates from the Pan American Games on facebook and twitter.  Start lists and results are also available on the Toronto 2015 website.
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14th Annual Darryl Worley TN River Run Bass Tournament - September 26th, 2015

The Darryl Worley Foundation is very excited to announce the 14th Annual TN River Run Bass Tournament, which will be held at Pickwick Landing State Park on September 26th, 2015. All funds raised go to the Darryl Worley Foundation, a 501c3 that directly helps individuals in need in the region and serves others through non-profits, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center and Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center. The tournament will kick off on September 25th at the Pickwick Landing State Park Conference center with registration from 4-6 PM (For those who did not preregister) and a mandatory team meeting at 6PM. Attached you will find the pre-registration form which you can mail in or you can register and pay online at www.theworley.org. The tournament will be on September 26th, launching from State Park at safelight and a flighted weigh-in begins at 3PM. For the latest information and rules, please visit the website (www.theworley.org).
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Arkansas Outdoors

Today’s topics:
Governor appoints Joe Morgan to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Commission approves dove season dates
Tips for playing it safe while boating and swimming
Buck’s notched ear is reminder of AGFC restoration refuges
Farmers help migrant birds in Arkansas Mud Drive
 
Governor appoints Joe Morgan to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Joe Morgan of Little Rock and Stuttgart to serve on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. This is the Hutchinson’s first appointment to the commission.
Hutchinson said he wanted someone like Morgan who understands the breadth of the outdoors culture in Arkansas. “I wanted someone who is engaged and passionate, who values, respects and treasures our incredible natural resources. Joe Morgan is an ideal fit. He understands the importance of the work of the Game and Fish Commission and what it means to the general public, to the average Arkansan,” Hutchinson said. “He's an avid hunter and fisherman with a lifelong love and appreciation of the outdoors,” he added.
Hutchinson said Morgan understands that being on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission means being a steward of all The Natural State has to offer. “It means protecting and improving our natural resources for this generation and for generations to come. We want to sustain and build our outdoor life, which makes Arkansas so very special,” Hutchinson explained.
Morgan is a lifelong hunter and fisherman with a working knowledge of game and fish issues statewide, especially in Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. He has served on the Arkansas Motor Vehicle Commission for 14 years, spending three of those years as Chairman. Morgan is a retired Chevrolet auto dealer and lives in Little Rock and spends the winters hunting in Stuttgart.
Morgan’s term will expire in 2022. He replaces Ron Duncan of Springdale whose term expired in June.
 
Commission approves dove season dates
LITTLE ROCK – Hunting may be the furthest thought from the minds of Arkansas outdoorsmen, but fall hunting was on the agenda for last week’s meeting of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. During the meeting, the Commission set the state’s dove season dates. Commissioners also heard a proposal for the late migratory bird seasons.
Mourning Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove
                    Sept. 5-Oct. 24 and Dec. 19, 2015-Jan. 7, 2016
Teal Season
                  Sept. 12-27
 
Rail Season
                  Sept. 12-Nov. 20
 
Woodcock Season
                  Nov. 7-Dec. 21
 
Common Snipe Season
                  Nov. 1, 2015-Feb. 15, 2016
 
Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen Season
                  Sept. 1-Nov. 9
 
Early Canada Goose Season
                  Sept. 1-15
 
Northwest Canada Goose Zone Season
                  Sept. 19-28
 
AGFC Waterfowl Program Coordinator Luke Naylor presented the Commission with the late migratory season proposals.
Proposed duck season dates:
Nov. 21-29
Dec. 10-Dec. 23
Dec. 26-Jan. 31
Youth Hunt: Feb. 6-7
Canada, White-fronted, snow, blue and Ross’s goose seasons
                Nov. 19-Jan. 31
Snow, blue and Ross’s goose conservation order
                 Oct. 10-Nov. 18, Feb. 1-5 and Feb. 8-April 25
The late migratory bird season dates and regulations will be approved at the August commission meeting.
In other business, the Commission:
*Authorized the director to enter into an agreement to purchase a 5-acre parcel adjacent to Two Bayou Creek Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita County. Cost of the property is $15,000. Federal Wildlife Restoration Funds will cover 75 percent of the acquisition cost.
*Heard the 2016 proposed fishing regulations.
*Heard a regulation change proposal to remove the outboard motor restriction on the Eleven Point River.
*Authorized the director to enter into an agreement to purchase a 160-acre in holding on Sheffield Nelson Dagmar WMA in Monroe County.  Purchase price is $480,000. Money for the purchase includes $360,000 from Wildlife Restoration Funds and $120,000 earmarked from non-resident duck stamp funds.
*Discussed a proposed change in the spring 2016 turkey season regulations.
*Honored 22 employees for their service to the AGFC. The group had a total of 420 years of experience with the agency.
 
Tips for playing it safe while boating and swimming
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas has abundant waters for boating or swimming – or for combining the two.
Have fun but be safe, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission advises. While many parents worry about their children’s safety around swimming pools, as they should and need to do, drowning incidents can also occur in natural bodies of water. Safety precautions need to be taken around all water environments.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about half of all drowning incidents occur in natural water settings such as lakes, rivers, or oceans. And, almost 75 percent of people killed in boating accidents die as a result of drowning. In the summer boating season, there are steps parents can be taking to keep their children safer in the water.
Sue Mackie of the United States Swim School Association passed along these tips to help keep children safe while boating:
Make sure your children know how to properly wear a lifejacket. Always have children 12 and under wear a life jacket at all times when boating or using personal watercraft. It’s the law in Arkansas.
Personal floatation devices should always be U.S. Coast Guard approved. Never substitute water wings or other recreational type floating toys for an approved PFD. AGFC Boating Education Coordinator Alex Hinson says it’s always a could idea to have a throwable PFD available around water if all possible. “A throwable cushion or any PFD can be handy in a lot of situations,” Hinson said.
Make a water safety plan for your family and have water emergency drills with your kids so they how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in water and what to do in this type of emergency.
Teach your children the “throw, don’t go” rescue method. Instead of entering the water to help a struggling person, teach your child to throw in a rope, reach with a stick, paddle or other object to pull the person in.
Non-motorized boats can also pose a risk. If your family is canoeing or kayaking be sure your child is wearing a life jacket and knows what to do if the boat flips.
If your child is playing near a natural body of water and accidentally falls in, teach your child to roll over on his or her back and float until help arrives if exiting the water is not an option.
 
Buck’s notched ear is reminder of AGFC restoration refuges
BRYANT – Bob Fugitt looks at the deer mount on a den wall, and the memory takes him back more than a half century.
It’s an 8-point buck with a better than good set of antlers. Then a closer look shows a notched right ear. And that is the story of this particular buck.
Back in the deer restoration days, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission operated numbers deer farms or refuges. The term changed with the passing of years. A 1951 book published by the AGFC said there were 44 such facilities, and these included Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge and White River National Wildlife Refuge.
Nearly all the others were on leased or rented or sometimes just land worked through a handshake. The AGFC actually owned little land in those days, meaning the late 1920s to the late 1950s. This was the era of the deer turnaround – from a low of an estimated 500 deer in the entire state to today’s abundance.
It took time, and it took habitat – the same essentials cited today by wildlife biologists.
One of the deer operations was near Hollywood, and it was called Clark County Deer Refuge. This was close to the Little Missouri River bottoms and land owned for generations by the Fugitt family. The river forms the boundary between Pike and Hempstead counties with Nevada and Clark counties nearby
Bob Fugitt told of killing that deer on the wall back in 1958. “The dogs were running deer, and three does came past us. I pushed back into some vines and sure enough, this buck came along. The dogs went one way after the does, and the buck went the other way. I waited until it got into an opening, then I shot.”
This was before the onset of tree stand deer hunting. You were on the ground to hunt deer. Fugitt was using a Winchester Model 50 12-gauge shotgun, popular in those days, and he had it loaded with buckshot, also popular in those days. “I shot it at about 60 steps, and three buckshot went into the heart,” he said. The buck had an 18-inch inside spread and later scored a Boone & Crockett 147.
Fugitt and companions began dressing out the deer, and someone said, “Look here. This ear has a notch in it. And here is a tag.”
Some research turned up facts. Deer stocked on those refuges in the restoration era were notched and tagged for identification. Four does and two mature bucks were stocked on the Clark County Deer Refuge, so the buck that Fugitt killed was probably – repeat, probably – One of those two bucks put on the refuge just after World War II.
But another possibility is the buck could have come downstream from Howard County Deer Refuge 30 or so miles away.
Deer don’t wear license plates nor carry Social Security cards.
This buck was a big one, Fugitt recalled. “We had a time getting it out and back to the farm,” he said. That farm has an old house festooned with antlers – mementos of past hunting successes, he said.
But none of the other racks came from deer with notched ears and wearing tags.
 
Farmers help migrant birds in Arkansas Mud Drive
           CROSSETT – Farmers, duck hunters, birdwatchers and other conservationists are forming an alliance to strengthen Arkansas’s economy by making mud.
Through the Arkansas Mud Drive, farmers and landowners are asked to voluntarily flood their fields by closing water-control structures within 14 days after harvest. This will keep valuable sediments and nutrients in the fields, as well as provide much needed habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds.
Row-crop agriculture, hunting, wildlife watching and fishing combined generate roughly $4.5 billion in economic activity for Arkansas. The simple practice of voluntarily flooding farm fields after harvest provides the opportunity to bolster the economic impact of all of these sectors at the same time.
Since pumping water is not encouraged through the Mud Drive, and only closing structures is required, farmers will not be out time or money. The goal is to catch rainfall, which is free; and only a few inches of water are needed to support birds. If structures aren’t closed, the soil that escapes a farm field after harvest has nutrients bound to it that the farmer paid for. That is money sent down the drain. Additionally, flooding fields after harvest allows weed seeds to decompose or be consumed by birds, reducing herbicide costs in the spring.
Mike Budd of South Arkansas National Wildlife Complex said, “There are plenty of duck hunters hoping to find more flooded fields, so this is an opportunity to increase hunting opportunities and farm income through leases. Additionally, bird watchers seek flooded fields starting in late summer for highly sought after shorebirds. Trip-related expenditures by wildlife-watchers in 2011 were $35 million, so more wildlife-watching opportunities will certainly boost the rural economy for farm-dominated areas of the state. Fishing will improve, as keeping the soil in the fields will enhance water quality and increase sport fish populations.”
The Arkansas Mud Drive is also an opportunity for the youth of Arkansas to learn more about farming and how all of these sectors can work together to make Arkansas stronger and the water cleaner. Students and youth groups can win cash through the Mud Drive by getting pledges from farmers or landowners as well as answering a handful of educational questions. Pledges are due by Aug. 28. Farmers are encouraged to fill out the pledge form at their County Conservation District office regardless of whether or not a student approaches them to get the pledge.
The voluntary pledge form for the Mud Drive, as well as the youth competition questions and instructions can be found on the Arkansas Association of Conservation District’s website at www.aracd.org/. Look for the Arkansas Mud Drive on Facebook. For more information, phone Mike Budd at 870-940-0681 or email michael_budd@fws.gov.
 
Boating education class schedule
Click here for boating education information: http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/EducationBoating.aspx.
 
Hunter education class schedule
Click here for hunter education information: http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/EducationHunter.aspx.
 
What’s open for hunting
Click here for hunting season information: http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingSeasons.aspx.
 
Coming up in the outdoors
Click here for information on programs, meetings and other things to do in the outdoors: http://www.agfc.com/Pages/eventsAll.aspx.
 
For the latest in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission information go to www.agfc.com or call the Wildlife Information Hotline, 800-440-1477.

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JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 7/24/2015

During the past week, we have had several rain events (combined for about an inch and a half here in Cotter), hot temperatures and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell five tenths of a foot to rest at thirty one feet above seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is three feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell five tenths of a foot to rest at ten feet above seasonal power pool and three feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell three tenths of a foot to rest at seven and eight tenths feet above seasonal power pool and eight tenths of a foot below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had high generation with no wadable water. Norfork Lake rose a foot to rest at fifteen and seven tenths feet above seasonal power pool of 555.75 feet and eight and five tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day.
 
The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. Due to recent rains, the lakes on this system are well above seasonal power pool and are nearing the top of flood pool. We can expect high levels of generation in the coming months.
 
On heavy generation, the best way to catch fish is to switch to longer leaders and heavier weight. On the White, the hot spot was the Catch and Release section at Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a hot fluorescent pink or cerise San Juan worm with a prince nymph or copper John suspended below it).
 
Conventional wisdom states that hopper fishing begins in late summer. I reject this idea and fish them all year. I favor shorter leaders (seven and a half foot 3X) and a stiff six weight rod to proper deliver these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers (#10) and the western pink lady (#8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size eighteen on a three foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing).
 
The sulphurs have been coming off fairly reliably. I was lucky enough to catch it on the Norfork again before the water came up. This is our major mayfly hatch of the year. They are size fourteen and easy to see. Before the hatch, you should concentrate on fishing pheasant tail nymphs. When the trout key on the top but no insects are present, switch over to a partridge and yellow. When you observe trout taking adult insects from the top of the water column, you should switch over to sulphur parachutes.
 
The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek are a bit high and off color. With the warm weather, the smallmouths are active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
 
 
The Norfork River has fished better lately. The siphon is back in action. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis). There have been daily hatches of sulphurs around noon. The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. My favorite combination has been a grass hopper with a root beer or ruby midge dropper.
 
There is a major construction project at the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. You can still access Dry Run Creek. It has seen more pressure with school out. It still fished well. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10).  
 
The water on the Spring River is high and off color. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is in full swing and can be a nuisance to fishing. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).
 
Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
 
John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
 
 
 
 
LORI’S BIRTHDAY HATCH
BY JOHN BERRY
My wife, Lori, and I share a passion for fishing dry flies for trout. There is something special about watching a good trout rising to the surface and taking a dry fly from the top of the water column. It is the most exciting and rewarding aspect of fly fishing.
 
Dry fly fishing is also the fussiest and most difficult technique in fly fishing. First you must match the hatch. That means that you must figure out what insect the trout are keying in on and then choose the closest thing you have in your fly box based on size, shape and color. Then you have to douse them in fly floatant, before you begin fishing them, so that they do not absorb water and sink.
 
The difficulty comes in with the casting. The favored aspect of fishing dry flies is that you cast to rising trout. You have to cast at least eighteen inches upstream of the riser and then drift downstream over the trout in a perfect drag free drift. Then once you get that perfect drift over the fish you need to set the hook after the fish has taken the fly (the tendency is to strike too soon and miss the fish).
 
If this were not enough, we just do not get that many opportunities to fish dry flies. We have some reliable hatches but the big problem is the constant changing of the volume of water flow and water level on the White and Norfork Rivers because they are tailwaters (the outflow of dammed lakes).
 
Because of all of these factors, taking a fish on the top with a dry fly is a very rewarding occasion for any angler. I would rather take a dink on the top than a hog on the bottom.
 
Lori’s birthday was last Sunday. For her birthday, she wanted us to go fishing. We had both been guiding our clients on the Norfork to take advantage of the sulphur hatch, our best mayfly hatch of the year. This year’s hatch has occurred much later than usual. Though it has been sparse, the trout have really keyed in on it at times. We had both been able to fish it once each but we had not been able to fish it together and we had not been able to fish it enough to satisfy our appetite for fishing dries.
 
We got a late start because I had been ill the night before. I had been throwing up and had little sleep. I was not going to let that mess up Lori’s birthday. We arrived at the Ackerman Access around 8:30 AM. We donned our waders, strung our rods and were on the stream in no time. I went far upstream into the catch and Release section and Lori started close to the access but agreed to join me later (her last client had landed a stout twenty inch brown there a couple of days before).
 
I began the day with a sulphur parachute and was into a great sixteen inch cutthroat in a couple of casts. I picked up a small rainbow and then lost my fly, when a bruiser of a rainbow broke me off during a frenzied struggle. About this time, Lori showed up. She had landed a few nice ones downstream but was ready for some bigger fish. We fished together for a while and she picked a few more trout.
 
I had gone cold. The sulphurs had disappeared and I decided to try nymphing a nice run upstream. I rigged up a double fly nymph rig and took a few fish on a copper John and a root beer midge. I returned to where Lori was fishing and I watched her land a couple of trout, as I walked up. She was fishing a partridge and orange, which is a great fly to duplicate the emerging sulphur. I switched over to the partridge and orange and landed a few more trout.
 
By this time, I was worn out. The previous night’s illness and little sleep were catching up with me. It was around 1:00 PM and I was ready to sit for a while and watch Lori fish. She had returned to the sulphur parachute as there were a few insects coming off. I watched her deftly casting and picking up trout with the dry fly. It was pretty amazing. She is a great caster and has superb line control. All the while, we were chatting about the experience.
 
I noticed a big rainbow rising just in front of me. I asked if she had seen it and she replied that she had. Lori moved slightly to improve her casting position and carefully cast toward the rising trout. It took three perfect drifts, before the big rainbow fell for the fly and took it. Lori lifted her rod and set the hook. Fish on! I had a front row seat to the action and it was intense. This trout was a handful and made several long runs. Lori was not to be denied. She fought him well and he was eventually landed. He turned out to be an incredibly stout eighteen inch male and easily the fish of the day. It was the perfect way to end the day, sight casting to a great trout with dry flies.
 
Happy Birthday Lori!
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TWRA Announcements

FIFTH PERMIT FOR 2015 ELK HUNT TO BE AUCTIONED ON EBAY, JULY 16-26

NASHVILLE --- The fifth permit for participation in Tennessee’s sixth managed elk hunt will be awarded to the successful bidder in an eBay auction to be held from July 16-26. Proceeds from the auction benefit the state’s elk restoration program.
Since the elk hunt was implemented in 2009, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has donated a permit to a Non-Governmental Organization to join four others who will be chosen from a computer drawing. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation (TWRF) is the recipient of this year’s donated special take permit.
The TWRF will award its permit to the successful high bidder through the eBay auction. The successful bidder will be a participant in the hunt along with four others who will be selected in a random computer draw later this summer. Applications for the four permits for the elk hunt must be submitted by midnight (CDT) on July 23.
The hunt will be held Oct. 19-23 at the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. The North Cumberland WMA will be divided into seven elk hunting zones (EHZ). Each of the five hunters will be designated an EHZ in a drawing to be conducted at a later date at a TWRA Region IV location.
All proceeds from the sale of the remaining special bull elk tag will go exclusively to the elk restoration program. The auction will begin at 9:30 p.m. (CDT) on July 16 and will end at 9:30 p.m. (CDT) on July 26. Search Tennessee Elk Permit on eBay to find the listing after the launch time or visit the TWRF website at www.twrf.net for information.
TWRF is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting habitat conservation, responsible land stewardship, and Tennessee's hunting and fishing heritage for the benefit of TWRA and Tennessee's outdoor enthusiasts. 
In addition to this year’s elk hunt, this will be the fourth year for a Young Sportsman Elk Hunt. One young sportsman will be selected for the Oct. 24-25 hunt. A youth entering the draw must select the regular elk hunt or the youth elk hunt.


APPLICATION PERIOD DEADLINE IS JULY 23rd FOR 2015 WMA BIG GAME QUOTA HUNTS

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is announcing that the application deadline is nearing for the 2015 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Big Game Quota Hunts, the regular elk, youth elk, and WMA youth hunts. Entries must be submitted before midnight (CDT) on Wednesday, July 23.
The WMA hunting instruction sheet lists locations and dates for each of the quota hunts along with drawing rules and regulations. Instruction sheets can be obtained and applications made for the hunts at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office or online at the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org. Mailed instruction sheets will not be processed into the drawing system.
There is no fee for current Annual Sportsman License holders, Lifetime Sportsman License holders, or seniors possessing a Type 167 permit in addition to their permanent senior citizen license. For all other applicants, there is a non-refundable $10 permit fee for each drawing entered. There is a $1 agent fee for applications made at a license agent. When applying at a license agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed to verify the information is correct on the receipt.
For applications made on the internet, there is a $2 internet usage fee. An internet application is not complete until the applicant gets a Temporary Authorization Number, which is found on the Purchase Confirmation page. If entering multiple quota hunts, a person must pay the permit and agent fee(s) for each quota hunt application submitted.
The WMA (elk hunts excluded) priority point system gives a priority point for each year a hunter participates (this year a maximum of 10 points) without being successful for a hunt. Applicants drawn for a hunt last year will start over with a priority of zero.
After all the drawings are conducted, leftover permits will be sold on-line and at all TWRA license agents, on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning Aug. 26 at 8 a.m. (CDT).
The state’s seventh elk hunt will be held Oct. 19-23, 2015 at the North Cumberland WMA, located north of Knoxville off of I-75. As in the previous hunts, five individuals will be selected to participate. Four of the participants will be selected through a computer drawing conducted by the TWRA. The fifth participant will be the recipient of a permit that is donated to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), which will be announced at a later date. That permit will be auctioned with proceeds going to the elk program.
For the fourth year, a Young Sportsman Elk Hunt will be held Oct. 24-25. Those applying must be ages 13-16 years old at the time of the hunt. Youth entering the draw must select the regular elk hunt or the youth elk hunt.


TWRA REPORTS SINGLE BOATING -RELATED FATALITY OVER JULY 4 HOLIDAY WEEKEND

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported a single boating-related fatality over the July 4 holiday weekend. The holiday boating period extended from July 3-5.
The fatal incident occurred on Kentucky Lake on July 5 when a victim drowned after falling off a boat and is classified as a boating-related incident.
TWRA boating officers made six boating under the influence (BUI) arrests and one additional arrest. TWRA boating officers checked more than 2,900 vessels, issued 94 citations, and 127 warnings during the weekend
There were two boating-related fatalities over the same period last year. Through the July 4th holiday weekend, there have been 11 boating-related fatalities on the state’s waterways in 2015 as compared to nine through the same period last year and 14 in 2013.


2015 APPLICATION PERIOD FOR PEREGRINE FALCON TRAPPING FOR FACLONRY USAGE IS UNDERWAY

NASHVILLE --- The 2015 application period for the trapping of a peregrine falcon to be used in falconry is underway, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced.
The TWRA will award this permit to the winner of a draw to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Falconers may go to TWRA’s website under the Hot Topics section and locate the print-ready application and also view the requirements. Resident and non-resident master and general falconers are eligible for participation in the draw. Completed applications must be postmarked by Aug. 12.
Peregrine falcons may only be taken under the authority of the drawn permit from counties located in the TWRA’s Region I (West Tennessee). This marks the fifth year that a permit will be issued in Tennessee. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded Tennessee its first permit allowing the trapping of one Peregrine falcon for the use in falconry in 2011.
The population of Peregrine falcons, through state and federal conservation efforts, has recovered enough since their near-extinction in the early 20th century to allow for a limited take of these birds for the use in falconry.
For more information, contact Walter Cook at walter.cook@tn.gov or (615) 781-6647.


COMMISSION HEARS EXTENSIVE RESPONSIVE MANAGEMENT REPORT DURING JUNE MEETING

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission heard an extensive report from Mark Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, at its June meeting Friday at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Ray Bell Building.
Duda, who is an internationally known analyst who specializes in wildlife/natural resources, covered several topics relative to today’s and future wildlife issues. He spoke to the commission about public attitudes toward wildlife and conservation.
He addressed hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation participation. He also detailed demographic trends of those who participate in outdoors activities, and funding issues faced by state agencies, such as the TWRA.
Duda has conducted several public surveys for several states, including Tennessee. He is currently under contract to assist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national survey which occurs every five years. The work of Responsive Management has reached all 50 states and 15 countries.
In other items at the meeting, TWRA Biodiversity Division Chief Bill Reeves brought forth an amendment to the rules and regulations of live wildlife. The commission approved the amendment to add non-native wildlife, the African clawed frog and the marbled or Marmorkreb crayfish, to the regulations because of their potential to be detrimental to native wildlife.
The TFWC approved the Agency’s recommendation to approve a budget expansion for an updated communications system.
There were also several presentations made during the meeting. Sen Lamar Alexander was presented a resolution for his efforts in helping secure the funding for the continued long-term operation of two federal fish hatcheries in Tennessee, Erwin and Dale Hollow. The resolution included the economic impact that the hatcheries bring Tennessee which is an estimated at $45 million. Evann Freeman, field representative from Sen. Alexander’s staff was present at the meeting to accept the framed resolution on the senator’s behalf.
Mike Lorance, a Murfreesboro resident who has been a writer and television host for more than three decades, was recognized for his contributions with a framed certificate of appreciation. He has continued his outdoor activities, primarily fishing, after losing his sight in his early 20s.
Steve Patrick, the TWRA Assistant Director of Field Operations, was honored for a career that began in 1976 with the Agency. A former Region II manager, he is retiring at the end of the month.
Jim Hall, Fall Creek Falls State Park Manager, was recognized for his work with helping establish a Wounded Soldiers hunt at the park. He was unable to attend the meeting and will be presented his framed resolution at a later date.
The TFWC’s next scheduled meeting is also a one day meeting on Friday, Aug. 21 in Morristown.
The June meeting can be viewed on the TWRA website at tnwildlife.org in the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission section.


TENNESSEE POLLINATOR HABITAT ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency desires to emphasize the availability of assistance to landowners and agricultural producers to create and enhance pollinator habitat already existing in conservation programs as increasing attention is being given to the plight of pollinators.
Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and bats are credited for providing one of every three bites of food eaten in the world, as they facilitate the reproduction of 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants. Bees are the most important single group of pollinators in North America. Habitat loss and excessive use of insecticides are the biggest contributors to pollinator declines.
One way to help restore and improve habitat for pollinators is by using a variety of native flowering plants, shrubs and trees in landscaping, agricultural and conservation plantings.  These plants can either be seeded directly or may be established from seeds existing in the natural soil bank if proper techniques are used.  Both large blocks and strips of pollinator plants as well as smaller backyard plantings can help. Many of the plants people often view as “weeds” produce attractive flowers that are important to pollinators, as well as many fruit and berry-producing shrubs and trees planted for food for wildlife and humans.
Many U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other state and federal conservation programs offer technical and financial assistance to restore pollinator habitat. Current opportunities exist in USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices such as CP42-Pollinator Habitat and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  Native pollinator habitats also benefit many other wildlife species such as bobwhite quail, wild turkey and many other songbirds.  Other CRP practices including CP4D-Permanent Wildlife Habitat, CP29-Marginal Pastureland Wildlife Habitat Buffers, CP33-Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds, and CP38E-SAFE Bobwhite Habitat utilize diverse native grass and wildflower plantings that provide benefits to pollinators as well as other targeted wildlife.
Technical assistance on establishing and managing larger plots of vegetation (bigger than “backyard”) for pollinators is provided by the TWRA, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Quail Forever wildlife habitat biologists.  They can also help guide you to financial assistance available in conservation programs.  To find your local biologists and their contact information, visit www.TWRAprivatelands.org or call your local USDA service center or TWRA regional office.
On May 19, 2015, the White House released the “National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.” The 58-page document devised by the Pollinator Health Task Force identifies three main goals: reducing honey bee colony losses, increasing the Eastern population of the monarch butterfly, and restoring or enhancing 7 million acres for pollinators over the next five years.
Information about pollinators and their habitats, including garden plantings, can be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov/pollinators and also through the Xerces Society (www.xerces.org) and the Pollinator Partnership (www.pollinator.org). 


TWRA’S MOBILE APPLICATION REACHES 100,000TH DOWNLOAD

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is announcing that a milestone has been reached with the 100,000th download of its mobile application.
The TWRA launched the “TWRA On The Go” app in early 2013. It has been very well received by the public as the usage numbers indicate. The app allows customers to perform many functions and keep up with all of TWRA’s latest news.
“The feedback has been tremendous,” said Don King, TWRA Chief of Information and Education. “We are pleased that our users are finding so much value in the app. We are happy to provide this tool to keep outdoor enthusiasts connected to our agency.”
Since the TWRA mobile app was launched, customers became able to purchase licenses, renew boat registrations, and report big game harvests right from their mobile device. There is also a button to view their harvest log and the ability to keep a hunter’s diary to remember those special moments in the field.
In addition, outdoor enthusiasts can use the app to find a TWRA Wildlife Management Area (WMA), check stations, fishing locations, boat ramps, and wildlife viewing areas, complete with driving directions. Mobile app users also have fingertip access to all TWRA hunting, fishing, and boating guides. Users can also stay connected to social media, and even upload their catch, harvest or wildlife photo to the TWRA Trophy Room.
The “TWRA On The Go” app is available for apple and android devices at both The App Store and Google Play. For a link to both, visit the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org


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MDWFP Announcements

Deer and Early Teal Hunting Applications Available August 3

JACKSON – Beginning August 3, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will accept draw permit applications for deer and early season teal hunts on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).  Applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com/draws and have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt.
Permitted deer hunts will be available for Black Prairie, Charles Ray Nix, Hell Creek, Great River Road, Mahannah, Natchez State Park, Sardis Waterfowl, Sky Lake, Trim Cane, Twin Oaks, and Yockanookany WMAs.  Youth and disabled hunting opportunities are available on Sardis Waterfowl, Natchez State Park, and Trim Cane WMAs. Applicants for youth deer hunts on Sardis Waterfowl WMA and Natchez State Park must be 15 years of age or younger.  Applicants for deer hunts at Trim Cane WMA must have a physical condition which makes them fully dependent on a wheelchair for mobility or be 15 years of age or younger.
Permitted early season teal hunts will be available on Howard Miller and Muscadine Farms WMAs.  
For more information regarding wildlife management areas in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/wma or call us at (601) 432-2199.  Follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.


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Clagett Talley Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Pickwick Lake Elevation 414
Water Temp. 85
BASS
Carolina rigged plastic baits have produced most of the bass caught over the last week. I have mainly used a Strike King plastic 8" lizard.  Early in the morning throw a walking bait or buzz bait.   I like to get out around 5:30am to beat the heat and fish until around 10 or 11 but if the dam is generating later in the day that is the time to go to deeper water with the carolina rig or a one once spinner bait or a series 6XD crank bait.
 
Stripers
Striper fishing has been hit or miss.  Early in the morning you can catch a few on the Strike King, King Shad and Wild Shiner Jerk baits. If you can, catch a few small bluegill and use them for live bait.  Use a 2 or 3oz weight with the live bait to get your rig to the bottom. Drift from the Dam downstream as far as the powerline crossing and if they are feeding on the bottom you should catch a few. 
 
 
Catfish
The catfish have been biting.  I have caught several catfish on nightcrawlers and cutbait ( from skipjack), fishing in 20' of water with a 1oz jig an 2/0 hook.   On all of my catfishing trips lately we lost count of all the small catfish we caught and we also caught several catfish in the 5-10 pound range.  The biggest catfish we have caught on a guide trip over the past two weeks has been 25 pounds on cutbait.
 
Compliments of Clagett Talley  731-607-5266 or www.pickwickareaguide.com
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Pickwick Lake
Fishing Forecast/Report
August 2015
Level: 413.75 (414 full pool)
Water Temp: 85-90
Clarity: 3-5’
 
  I think we can officially say that the “dog days of “are here, now that the heat index is hitting the 100 mark.  Bass fishing has been surprisingly good even with the heat. The two things that really help us have such a good fishery on Pickwick are the abundance of forage (shad &crawfish) and cover (grass). The topwater bite has picked up early and late as well as on cloudy days. I would expect the schooling activity to pick up throughout August and on into September, peaking in mid to late October.  The hot weather also means TVA should be generating some current for us (fingers crossed hoping and praying)
  Experiment with different topwater baits until you find out what they want, it will vary from day to day. I typically keep a Strike King Sexy Dawg Jr and a KVD Splash Jr. tied on and alternate between them until the fish tell me what they want.  My personal favorite way to fish for them is with a Texas rigged soft plastic around the grass.  I use Coffee Scented plastics from Strike King such as the Game Hawg, Anaconda, Thumper and Cut-R worms. Have 2 or three rigged up with different weights. Start with a 1/8th oz and go up to a 3/8 or ½ oz rigged with a Mustad grip pin hook.  The key with any artificial bait this time of year is to fish slow and be very methodical about fishing the area you are in thoroughly.
I always end my reports with the Be Safe on the water speech.  I want to place extra emphasis on it this month. Pickwick has gotten really crowded and being courteous to other boaters is of utmost importance. Fishermen, for your own safety please watch out for the pleasure boaters as they are busy watching the tubers and skiers. There have been several near misses lately so please be careful. If you have an issue or incident contact the authorities don’t take matters into your own hands.
I want to thank Roger Byrd and Jay Carroll for helping with this report.
 
Capt.Gary L. Harlan
31 CR 117
Tishomingo,MS 38873
cell:901-413-2650
US Coast Guard Licensed Fishing Guide
Roger Stegall's Professional Guide Service LLC
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Steve McCadams Kentucky Lake Fishing Report

LAKE LEVELS FALL; TEMPS  HIGH

Updated July 28th, 2015

By Steve McCadams

 

    Lake levels have been falling slowly this past week and are now back in the normal range for late July and early August. Temperatures, however, were rising this week.

    Despite the heat Kentucky Lake’s fishing scene hasn’t been all bad for bass and crappie anglers rising early and hitting the water before the midday sun takes over.

    Several mornings offered light breezes and cloud cover that delivered pretty nice fishing conditions.

    After sleeping at above normal elevation for about two weeks the reservoir is back down as TVA has had a gradual drawdown underway. Projections for the weekend will be 357.9 at Kentucky Dam and also upstream at New Johnsonville.

    Those readings are down about a foot from last week at this time.

    Water color has been good for fishing. Surface temperatures peaked last Tuesday at 91.7 on my Lowrance sonar unit. Most days had been starting out around 87 and climbing to 89 but two or three days of back to back heat pushed surface temps to the highest reading thus far this year.

    Crappie were hitting decent along the deep sides of main lake ledges for a few days. A slight current seemed to benefit the bite but later in the week activity subsided once lake levels stabilized and current diminished.

    Depths of 18 to 23 feet were giving up some crappie when deep structure was located.

    Bottom bumping rigs loaded with live shiner minnows worked well at times. And, a few fish remained in deeper stake beds where anglers were picking off some in the 13 to 15 foot depth range while vertical fishing jigs tipped with Berkley power bait in the chartreuse color. Tipping jigs with minnows also produced at times.

    Strikes have been light, which is not unusual for summer crappie.

    Catfish activity has been fair with a few boats working the down current sides of bridge piers in the Paris Landing area. Some anglers continue to target the edge of the main river channel bank in depths of 25 to 35 feet with mediocre results.

    Bass have been taken around shallow grass mats, boat houses and docks where schools of pin minnows are attracting fish. Lower lake levels this week have exposed more grassbeds along the main river and around island rims.

    A few anglers are tossing weedless frogs and fluke style baits and also working the holes or parameters with Texas rigged worms, craws and Gitzit style skirted baits.

    Ledge fishermen continue to target main lake drop-offs with big deep diving crankbaits, jig and craw combos, Texas rigged worms and spoons. The ledge bite has been sluggish but may improve some now that lake levels have returned to normal and pulled some shallow bass back out of bays and shoreline habitat that had been appealing.

    Most are reporting the bite is best in the first two hours of the morning as once the bright sun enters the picture activity falls off.


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DU News

New Season of DU TV: Watch it Now!

Ducks Unlimited TV is back with the best waterfowling action on TV. Now you can watch every episode on your television, computer, or mobile device. With so many options, you'll never have to miss an episode again!
Wade Bourne, Field Hudnall, Zach Pederson, and Ainsley Beeman travel to the best waterfowling destinations across North America and meet people who are passionate about hunting and giving back to the resource. This season's shows also include practical tips and tactics for hunters, shooting instruction from Phil Bourjaily, cooking with Scott Leysath and Jennifer Chandler, and retriever training from Mike Stewart.
DU TV airs four times a week on the Pursuit Channel: Mondays at 1:00 a.m., Tuesdays at8:30 a.m., Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. (Eastern). You can also catch every episode and web-exclusive content any time at www.ducks.org/dutv.

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Avery Outdoors Announcements

New Position Announcements at Avery Outdoors, Inc.

Memphis, TN – Avery® Outdoors, Inc. is proud to announce the following new promotions within the Pro Staff team.

Rusty Hallock joined the Avery Pro Staff in 2003. In 2007, Rusty became the Flyway Manager for the Atlantic Flyway. In that role, he assisted the Territory Manager with dealer support as well as supporting Avery Pro-Staffers in the Atlantic Flyway. This year, Hallock has been promoted to Avery Pro-Staff Manager. He now supports three Territory Managers by scheduling Pro-Staffers to provide dealer support. Hallock also is the administrator of the Pro-Staff program as he assists Avery office personnel with supporting the Pro-Staff to meet their personnel needs along with maintaining Pro-Staff directories. As the Pro-Staff Manager, he is also responsible for receiving and evaluating Pro Staff applications and scheduling Pro-Staff meetings.

Ben Cade joined the Avery Pro-Staff in 2006.  In 2011, Cade was promoted to Flyway Manager of the Mississippi North Flyway.  This year, Cade has again been promoted, this time to Assistant Pro-Staff Manager.  As such, he is assigned to the Mississippi North, Mississippi Central Region 1, Central, Pacific and Rocky Mountain Flyways.  Cade also oversees International Pro Staff. Cade’s administrative duties include staffing dealer events and assisting the Territory Managers with scheduling Pro-Staff meetings within his assigned flyways. Cade is also the Pro-Staff In-The-Field Photo Manager, and also coordinates imagery from Pro Staff for use by the social media team.

Avery® Outdoors, Greenhead Gear® and Avery® Sporting Dog brands would like to congratulate the gentlemen on their advancements within the company, and look forward to their many successes within these new capacities.

 ~

Avery® Outdoors is the nation’s leading manufacturer of waterfowl products. Avery®, Greenhead Gear® or Avery® Sporting Dog products can be found online at www.averyoutdoors.com, www.greenheadgear.com and www.averysportingdog.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/averyoutdoors and www.facebook.com/greenheadgear  
Twitter: @AveryGHG


Greenhead Gear® Pro-Grade™ and FFD Specklebelly: Full Body, Shells & Floaters

White-Fronted geese, also known as the Specklebelly, have expanded their range and increased their numbers in recent years. Greenhead Gear® decoys have produced some of the best Speck decoys around for years, but have now decided to take that a step further. Additional feather detail and a low maintenance one-piece design combine with a durable and realistic finish to make this the ultimate Speck decoy. Those in need of a fully-flocked decoy will be pleased to have this option as well.  Active and feeder styles are equipped with motion systems. Greenhead Gear® applied the same look as their full bodied decoys to a new line of Specklebelly shells and floaters to cover all you Speck hunting needs.

Pro-Grade™ & FFD Full Body Specklebellies available at www.greenheadgear.com

MSRP:
Pro-Grade™ Full Body Specklebelly/Harvester Pack: $159.99 (½ Dozen)
FFD Elite Full Body Specklebelly/Harvester Pack: $219.99 (½ Dozen)


Avery Outdoors announces 2nd Annual Spring Break Giveaway

Memphis, TN – Avery® Outdoors is proud to announce the 2nd Annual “Spring Break” Giveaway, taking place through Avery’s Facebook Page and affiliated social media outlets.  The company has partnered with K2 Coolers & Field Proven Calls to present over $600 worth of merchandise for the Spring Turkey lover.  Prize package includes:

  • K2 Summit 60 Cooler
  • Field Proven Twisted Triple Turkey Diaphragm Call 3 Pack
  • Field Proven Zebrawood Combo Slate/Glass Call
  • BuckBrush PowerSeat
  • BuckBrush Finisher Gun Sling
  • BuckBrush Mesh Back Cap
  • Black and White Mesh Back Cap
  • BuckBrush 8oz Oil Cloth Cap
  • BuckBrush XL Folding Floating Gun Case
  • BuckBrush Guide’s Bag
  • BuckBrush Fleece Hand Muff

 

The “Spring Break” Giveaway runs from Friday, March 20th until Friday, March 27th.  Winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the 27th.  Contestants must share the giveaway post and like the Avery® Outdoors page in order to be entered to win.


Avery Migration Reports


New Position Announcements at Avery Outdoors, Inc.

Memphis, TN – Avery® Outdoors, Inc. is proud to announce the following new promotions within the Pro Staff team.

Mark Brendemuehl started with Avery® Pro Staff in 2003 as a Flyway Manager and was promoted to Territory Manager of the Mississippi Northern Flyway in 2011. This year, Brendemuehl has accepted a new opportunity with the company as Manager of Online Sales. He will be responsible for the company's websites management and product sales, as well as managing Avery® image distribution.

Arliss Reed joined the Avery® Pro Staff in 2010. After 5 years as a valued team member, Reed has been promoted to Territory Manager of the Atlantic Flyway. Reed is excited to lead the region's Pro Staff and continue building valued relationships with Avery's dealers and customers on the East Coast.

Bailey Ortley, an Avery® Pro Staff member since 2008, has been promoted to Territory Manager of the Mississippi Northern Flyway. With a strong background in sales and experience on Avery's Decoy Production Team, Ortley is enthusiastic about this new promotion within the company. He looks forward to managing the Mississippi Northern Flyway Pro Staff and continuing to advance Avery's dealer and consumer relations in the region.

Avery® Outdoors, Greenhead Gear® and Avery® Sporting Dog brands would like to congratulate the gentlemen on their advancements within the company, and look forward to their many successes within these new capacities.



Decoy Specialist Rejoins Avery® Outdoors

Memphis, TN – Avery® Outdoors is proud to announce the return of Decoy Program Manager, Matt Vanselow, to the Avery® team.  While with the company from 2010 – 2013, Vanselow was instrumental in leading the prototyping, molding, research and design, and paint scheming of many innovative Greenhead Gear® and Avery® Sporting Dog products.  Vanselow started his career in the decoy industry in 2004 molding and painting decoys. He advanced his specialism by attending the Pennsylvania Institute of Taxidermy in 2008, an experience that propelled his mastery of decoy molding, sculpting and painting.

As Decoy Program Manager, Vanselow’s role encompasses a lengthy list of crucial responsibilities in the advancement of the company’s product lines.  From hiring world-class carvers, determining decoy poses, refining prototyping processes, developing paint schemes and painting decoys, to making sculpting modifications for blow-mold compatibility and enacting innovations on both decoy functionality and packaging, Vanselow will maintain a critical position on the Avery® team.   Vanselow was essential in the development of many GHG decoys, both established and new in the 2014 – 2015 season.  Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, Eiders, Honkers, Snows & Blues, Pintails, Gadwalls, Redheads, Canvasbacks, popular EZ Bird bumpers and many others decorate his experience with the company.  

As Avery® Outdoors, Greenhead Gear® and Avery® Sporting Dog refine and expand their brands in 2015, the addition of Vanselow comes at an opportune and exciting time.  Vanselow hopes “to continue building the best decoys on the market,” and to “keep innovating and improving in the future”.   Avery would like to extend a warm welcome back to a respected authority in the decoy industry, and looks forward to many more years of ultimate realism and attention to detail in the nation’s most diversified decoy product line.


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New Category Birthed at ICAST

St. Croix fashions category all its own with Mojo Bass Fly; takes ICAST Fly Rod “Best of Show”

Park Falls, WI (July 24, 2015) – It’s no secret that Florida’s interior is laden with freshwater lakes known for producing gargantuan largemouth. Considered a class of their own, the “Florida strain bass” is so coveted that anglers from around the world converge on the Sunshine State’s waterways for a chance to catch these genetic wunderkinds.

But Florida’s behemoth fish don’t come easy. They have seen a lot of lures swim past their snoots, and can be picky about what they’ll poke at, often requiring techniques out-of-the-norm to conjure up strikes.

Fitting, then, that ICAST—the fishing industry’s largest tradeshow—was held in the hub of this bass fishing Mecca... Orlando to be exact. It was here manufactures from around the globe gathered to present their goods to the fishing trade. Even more appropriate, St. Croix seized “Best of Show” in the fly-rod category with a stick built specifically for casting full-size flies to big bait-bustin’ bass. (This prestigious industry honor is decided by choice outdoor media and retail buyers.)

And that rod is the now matchless Mojo Bass Fly.

If you’re familiar with St. Croix’s Mojo Bass series, you already realize it comprises a wide array of technique-specific rods. But like the Florida strain bass, the Mojo Bass Fly rod is really in a class all its own. Mojo Bass Fly was designed to deliver an offering—in this case large, wet and heavy bass flies—with pinpoint accuracy, no matter the skill level of the caster.

“We were thrilled about the response to Mojo Bass Fly at ICAST,” stated Jeff Schluter, vice president of brand management at St. Croix. “Both conventional bass anglers and hardcore fly anglers are anxious to try one out.

“With this rod, we have a wonderful opportunity to introduce conventional spinning and baitcasting anglers to the sport of fly fishing.”

All three tournament-legal models (a 7-, 8- and 9-weight) of Mojo Bass Fly rods were drafted and crafted for making shorter, yet more accurate casts. Built on St. Croix’s lightweight, sensitive SCII graphite 2-peice blanks, they have a moderate-fast action for quick, untroubled loading of line. And false casts are a thing of the past with Mojo Bass Fly; you just lift, swing back and forward the fly in one smooth stroke. Wherever you aim the tip of the rod is where your fly is going to go.

Premium-grade cork graces the grip at the base of the black cherry metallic colored blank, while your reel sets securely up-locked on the Mojo Bass Fly’s machined-aluminum reel seat. Fly line slides through Kigan Master 3D stripper guides with aluminum-oxide rings and black frames, paired with hard-chrome snake guides. And all are wrapped with high-quality thread, which is protected by two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish.

Mojo Bass Fly rods retail for only $150, and come complete with a soft-cloth rod sack. And like all models in the Mojo Bass series, the fly rods are protected by a 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.

The majority has spoken – Mojo Bass Fly rod stood out of the crowd at ICAST. From hard-core to entry-level fly anglers, all will get a kick out of casting and catching bass with the Mojo Bass Fly. 

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GoPro Launches HERO4 Session
50% Smaller and 40% Lighter - HERO4 Session Combines Ultra-Compact Waterproof Design with Easy One-Button Control for Simple Yet Powerful Life-Capture Solution

SAN MATEO, CALIF. (July 6, 2015) - GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO), enabler of some of today's most engaging content, is proud to announce HERO4 Session, the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro yet. 50% smaller and 40% lighter than GoPro's best-selling HERO4 Black and Silver cameras, HERO4 Session packs GoPro's Emmy® Award-winning image quality and performance into an exciting new low-profile form factor. HERO4 Session benefits from a durable waterproof design that eliminates the need for a separate housing and features simple one-button control to make capturing immersive photos and video quicker and more convenient than ever before. HERO4 Session is compatible with existing GoPro mounts and will retail for $399.99 MSRP at authorized GoPro retailers around the world and on GoPro.com beginning July 12, 2015.

"With HERO4 Session, we challenged ourselves to produce the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro possible," said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO. "HERO4 Session combines the best of our engineering and user-experience know-how to deliver our most convenient life-capture solution, yet." Woodman adds, "I'm so excited about the launch of HERO4 Session because now I can finally use mine in public!"

HERO4 Session captures GoPro-quality 1080p60, 720p100 and 1440p30 video along with eight megapixel photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes. It features many of the same innovative features found in GoPro's best-selling HERO4 Black and Silver cameras, including SuperView™, Protune and Auto Low Light recording modes. An expanded set of controls and settings can be accessed when using the GoPro App or Smart Remote.
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H & H Lure Co. Teams With Mr. Crappie

July 10.2015   Baton Rouge, La
H&H Lure Company 
H&H Lure Co. is proud to announce we are teaming up with Mr. Crappie, a household brand in our fishing industry. Wally Marshall is a well-respected leader in the industry and the pioneer of crappie fishing and crappie products. This will allow H&H Lure Co and Wally Marshall / Mr. Crappie to combine many years of experience to bring you the finest crappie fishing products on the market today.  Quote: William Humphreys, Jr. , Wally Marshall came to us about a year ago with an idea for the Mr. Crappie Brand that will make fishing Fun for all ages. So without further ado, here is the latest and Greatest from Mr. Crappie and H&H lure Co.
The New Revolutionary Mr. Crappie YO Daddy! Yo Daddy makes fishing fun and exciting for the whole family, kids will love them too!  The Mr. Crappie - YO DADDY takes out all the guess work of when you need to go run your lines! The Mr. Crappie - Yo Daddy has a Blinking Neon Glow light that signals when you have a fish on your line or you need to re- bait which can be seen up to half a mile!  When the Mr. Crappie - YO DADDY trigger is set, the Neon Green Light is off however, when you get a strike, the Neon Beacon will start blinking the second the fish strikes the YO DADDY! The Stainless Steel Coil Spring inside the Mr. Crappie - YO DADDY allows you to catch big fish and will take the fight out of the fish in just minutes! When the Mr. Crappie - YO DADDY starts blinking you know right away that you have a big one on the line! Mr. Crappie - YO DADDY can be used day or night! Hang the Mr. Crappie - YO DADDY from your favorite trees, docks, piers, etc.! Geaux - Yo Daddy!!!

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Bandit Lures Offers 3 New Totally Unique Bandit Crank Color Patterns

New Dual-Look Cranks Now Available In 100, 200 and 300 Series

Fort Smith, Ark. – Bandit Lures made a huge impact on bass fishing with its “Mistake” color pattern that features a black back and vertical bars over a red base on one side and a chartreuse base on the other, and for 2016 anglers get three new “mistakes” from which to choose. New are the Crossbreed pattern, which pairs up the realistic Baby bass pattern on one side and the equally natural-looking River Bream on the other, Malfunction, which blends two productive crawfish patterns into one bait with Brown Craw Orange Belly on one side and Spring Craw on the other, and Mistaken Identity, which is possibly the craziest mash-up ever. This Bandit takes the vibrant Fire Tiger pattern and pairs it with the muted Root Beer pattern to create a head-turning combination for bass and other gamefish.

The original Mistake pattern wasn’t really a mistake and neither are these. The Mistake pattern was conceived and ordered by a tackle shop, and it was such a success that the company put it in its catalog lineup where it became one of Bandit’s best selling/most productive lures ever. The color pattern was designed to let anglers show bass two different looks without changing baits – a fish under a laydown sees the chartreuse side when the angler casts on the right side of the brush, and the red side when cast to the left side. The same logic applies to Bandit’s new dual-pattern baits.

The new Crossbreed, Malfunction and Mistaken Identity color patterns are available in Bandit 100, 200 and 300 series crankbaits. For more information go to www.banditlures.com.

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Frabill: New Stow Series Raingear
NEW FRABILL STOW SERIES GEAR EASILY THE BEST PACKABLE RAINGEAR
PLANO, IL (July 8, 2015) – Wikipedia defines a raincoat as, “A waterproof or water-resistant coat worn to protect the body from rain. A rain jacket may be combined with a pair of rain pants to make a rain suit.” (My times have changed….citing Wikipedia as an “official” source of information.)
 
In fishing, we prefer the term “raingear” – a matched top and bottom. And at the core of raingear performance is this simple little notion of keeping you dry – raindrops outside, happiness inside. Beyond that, differentiators from suit to suit and brand to brand range from multiple layers of space-age fabrics to a precious little viewfinder on the wrist to apparently Snap Chat while you’re fishing.
Frabill says never mind the bullocks. New for 2016, the company that redefined fishing-specific raingear, ushers in the most sensible, peak-performance and light-on-your-wallet raingear to date: the Stow Series.  
 
As the name implies, it’s stowable. That doesn’t mean cramming a moldy suit back in the clear plastic bag it came in – Frabill saves that torture-treatment for the other guys. Rather, the Stow Series literally packs back into itself. The left-hand pocket of the pants becomes its own storage. Same goes for the left-hand pocket of the jacket. Easy as that.    
   
So, you know the Stow Series packs like a pro and travels like a champ. But that’s only the icing on the cake…
New Stow Series jackets available in Coastal Blue, Black and Brown; sizes S - 3XL
 
 
At the root of all Frabill outerwear is fabric selection. Frabill uses the highest-quality and most technologically advanced materials across all of its outerwear models, raingear and winterwear. The Stow Series marries a trio of technologies to create total waterproofness and breathability. The outer shell is constructed of durable Nylon ripstop fabric. Beneath that lies a waterproof and breathable membrane. Sealing the deal is a topical treatment of 3M™ Scotchgard™, providing a powerful first line of defense against moisture. All told, with seams 100% sealed, Stow Series is a veritable safe-house for anglers.   
 
Features on the jacket abound. Large outer pockets with zipper closures accommodate fistfuls of gear. The main zipper is protected by a pair of storm flaps, the innermost with a rain gutter to stream water droplets away.
A-grade accoutrements continue with an adjustable bungee cord at the hem for a precise fit and internal elastic sleeve cuffs to keep comfortably snug at the wrists. A side-seam D-ring is perfectly placed for tethering your corded kill-switch or trolling motor remote. Augmenting safety, the Frabill Stow Series features 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material on the front and back. Last but not least, all Stow Series zippers are branded YKK or SBS, not nameless bargain-bin componentry.  
 
The Stow Series pants are equally as exceptional. Like last year’s revolutionary F-1 Series Storm Gear release, the Stow Series pants feature removable, full-elastic shoulder straps. So if you prefer the feel of pants over bibs, simply shed the shoulder straps. The pant cuffs are also adjustable with cuff-to-knee, half-length leg zippers for easy in and out.
 
Other standout components include Frabill’s signature ergonomic, articulated knees. None of that straight-legged (aka “linear patterning”), starchy feel. The Stow Suit kneels and flexes with you. And like the jacket, the bottoms feature large hand pockets with zipper closures and a handy D-ring.   
 
Stow Series jackets are available in Coastal Blue, Black and Light Brown. Pants come in universally matched Black and Light Brown.
 
Sizes span from S to 3XL. And, the Stow Series is backed by an impressive 2-year warranty.
 
Wear it. Stow it. Stay dry. That’s how Frabill fishes.
 
 
#frabillstowseries
Frabill Stow Series raingear conveniently packs into its own storage pockets
Stow Series Jacket
  • Two Layer waterproof, windproof, breathable light weight rip-stop shell
  • 3M™ Scotchgard™ durable water repellant treatment
  • Waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane with 6,000 MM hydrostatic resistance
  • 100% seam sealed
  • Large pockets with zipper closure and storm flaps
  • Dual external storm flaps with rain gutter over main zipper
  • Two-way adjustable, waterproof hood with reinforced brim/sun visor
  • Ergonomic curved sleeves
  • Internal elastic sleeve cuffs
  • Side seam D-ring for tether cord kill switch
  • Adjustable bungee cord at hem
  • 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material on front and back
  • Packable into stow pocket (left-hand pocket) for convenient transport
 
Stow Series Pants
  • Two Layer waterproof, windproof, breathable lightweight rip-stop shell
  • 3M™ Scotchgard™ durable water repellant treatment
  • Waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane with 6,000 MM hydrostatic resistance
  • 100% seam sealed
  • Removable, full elastic shoulder straps
  • Gusset behind front zipper provides superior waterproof protection
  • Large hand pockets with zipper closures
  • Ergonomic articulated knees
  • Adjustable pant cuffs with cuff to knee half-length leg zippers
  • Side seam D-ring for tether cord kill switch
  • Packable into stow pocket (left-hand pocket) for convenient transport

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Steyr Arms Announces the Availability of the SSG Carbon Rifle
Steyr’s SSG Carbon Is Now Available in the U.S.

BESSEMER, Ala. (July 21, 2015) — Steyr Arms has announced that its newest SSG rifle—wearing an advanced carbon-fiber stock—has landed in America. Initially introduced at the 2014 SHOT Show, the exceptionally accurate, innovative and moderately-priced SSG Carbon rifle was met with an unprecedented number of orders from the law enforcement community that took the last 16 months to fill, but the latest shipment of rifles now makes the SSG Carbon available throughout the U.S.
 
Unlike conventional carbon-fiber stocks made from woven carbon fabric that often suffer from side-strike structural failures, the SSG Carbon’s stock is made using the same “chipped-carbon” Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) construction used to create load-bearing structures in Formula 1 racecars and high-performance aircraft. The SSG Carbon’s chipped-carbon flakes combine thermally with the binding agent to form the SMC for a distinctive appearance to the stock, but like the spirals on the rifle’s cold-hammer-forged barrel, they aren’t just there for looks. The carbon chips interlock with each other to create an unparalleled tension net that is superior to steel in every direction, yet weighing a fraction of steel and aluminum.
 
Due to the unique recoil absorption properties of its SMC technology, the SSG Carbon is surprisingly lightweight, and its recoil absorption is unmatched. Utilizing the same barreled action and muzzle brake as the famed SSG 08, the SSG Carbon is based on Steyr’s Safe Bolt System (SBS) action, and it utilizes its direct trigger, legendary for its crisp, clean and repeatable break. A detachable box magazine functions either as a constant-feed magazine or it can be placed in a second position that acts as a magazine cutoff to single-feed the rifle over the top of a loaded magazine.
 
The stock of the SSG Carbon has multiple mounting points for sling attachments. It also features an adjustable cheek piece, an adjustable butt plate, rubber-wrapped pistol grip, a heavy bipod and an integrated finely adjustable rear-elevation pod. The cold-hammer-forged barrel measures 20 inches and features a twist rate of 1:10.
 
The suggested retail price is $3,695. To find a dealer near you, visit the Steyr website atwww.steyrarms.com.
 
Established in 1864 in Steyr, Austria, Steyr Arms is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious firearms manufacturers. Steyr’s comprehensive lines of premium hunting rifles and precision sporting and tactical firearms are technically mature, and their subtle elegance also communicates the harmony between appearance and substance. Steyr’s legendary SBS actions and cold-hammer-forged barrels are distinctive and unparalleled. For more information, contact Steyr Arms at 2530 Morgan Rd., Bessemer, AL 35022; call(205) 417-8644; or visit www.steyrarms.com.

 

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Humminbird® HELIX™ 7: Jaw-Dropping Screen Brightness, Speed & Value

Humminbird® HELIX 7® voted ICAST 2015 “Best of Electronics” by dealers and outdoors media

 

Eufaula, Al. (July 22, 2015) – According to recently-released statistics from the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), ICAST 2015 shattered all previous attendance records, drawing nearly 13,000 sportfishing industry professionals to Orlando, Florida, July 14-17.

One of the most anticipated events of each ICAST is the New Product Showcase, sponsored byFishing Tackle Retailer, which rewards innovation through “Best of Show” new product competition. Voted on by outdoors media and buyers, winning products often reveal industry trends well ahead of marketplace movements.

And this year – for the fifth year in a row – Humminbird® took top honors in the show’s Electronics category, as the attending community of dealers and outdoors media voted the new Humminbird HELIX 7 the best example of fishing electronics for 2015.

Let’s recap the past five years:

2011: Humminbird’s 1158c DI Combo earns the popular vote.

2012: 360 Imaging™ follows suit as the biggest thing since the introduction of Side Imaging®. 

2013:  Bow 360 is championed for bringing around-the-boat underwater imaging to boat bows. 

2014: Humminbird’s ONIX® Series takes top honors.

2015: Humminbird’s HELIX 7 is crowned “Best of Electronics” for it’s ultra-bright, nearly glare-free screen and top technologies at a real-world price.

The accolades are always well received, but Humminbird remains focused on creating technologies like patented Side Imaging®, LakeMaster™ cartography and 360 Imaging® that help anglers find and catch more fish.

This year’s win may be the most satisfying yet for the Eufaula, Alabama-based company and the overall marketplace.   

“Our goal was to combine our leading-edge technologies with solutions to the real-world problems anglers and boaters face each day on the water. The result is a bigger, brighter, nearly glare-free screen with numerous proven, fish-catching features and innovation at these price points,” says Jeff Kolodzinski, Brand Manager, Humminbird®.

Kolodzinski continues: “This is a profound achievement for our entire team – from engineering to our American manufacturing to customer service. It really underscores where we are headed as a company, bringing anglers what they want: units that are easier to use and that help them catch more fish.”

Along those lines, anglers and boaters can choose exactly the HELIX 7 that is right for how they fish, whether that means a sonar-only unit all the way up to the full complement of Side Imaging®, Down Imaging®, Dual-Beam Sonar with SwitchFire®, and chartplotting. HELIX 7 is also compatible with Humminbird® LakeMaster® AutoChart® and AutoChart® PRO, which make real-time user-generated high-definition mapping possible, no upload to a server or cloud required. 

Suggested Retail Prices


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Old Town® introduces the Loon Angler™ kayak

OLD TOWN, MAINE (July 10, 2015) — Old Town has expanded their lineup with the new Loon Angler kayak. This one-of-a-kind fishing craft is an evolution of Old Town’s original and extremely popular Loon that made its debut 20 years ago. Old Town will unveil their new Loon Angler at ICAST 2015, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show.

An exciting feature that’s exclusive to the Loon Angler is the innovative, removable workdeck that’s positioned at arm’s reach in front of the paddler. In addition to tackle trays and bottle holder it has a built-in storage compartment with a latched lid to keep gear secure and organized. The incorporated Slide Track mount makes it easy to quickly attach accessories.  The workdeck also includes a USB port to keep phones, action cameras, hand-held GPS units and other electronics fully charged.

The Loon Angler is a sit-inside kayak for anglers who want the comfort and shelter from the elements that an enclosed design provides. Both the 10’6” and 12’6” models are engineered with extra width and volume in the 3-layer hull for optimum stability, roominess and comfort.

Adding to that comfort is the kayak’s Active Comfort System 2.0 (ACS2) seat that combines aesthetics, ergonomic comfort and performance. ACS2 features easy and intuitive adjustments, under-leg support, premium padding and flow-through ventilation, making it the most advanced kayak seating system on the market.

For convenience and fishing efficiency, the Loon Angler has two integrated, flush-mount rod holders located just behind the cockpit. They’re perfectly positioned for trolling applications or to quickly grab a rod and cast. For storage of tackle and other gear, the kayak features bow and stern deck bungees and a rear click seal hatch with bulkhead.

According to Old Town’s Marketing Communications Manager Luke LaBree, “The Loon Angler is easily the most comfortable sit-inside fishing kayak on the market. It’s easy to paddle, designed for performance and has all the fishing features our customers have asked for.”

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of award-winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Gear. Johnson Outdoors’ familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® Canoes and Kayaks; Ocean Kayak™ and Necky® Kayaks; Carlisle® Paddles; Extrasport® Personal Flotation Devices; Minn Kota® Motors; Cannon® Downriggers; Humminbird® Marine Electronics; LakeMaster® Electronic Charts; SCUBAPRO® and SUBGEAR® Dive Equipment; Silva® Compasses; Jetboil® Outdoor Cooking Systems; and Eureka!® Camping and Hiking Equipment. Visit Johnson Outdoors atwww.johnsonoutdoors.com

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Photos from the BASSFest Collegiate Division
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Things to See at BASSFest
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BASSFest Photos
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What's Happening at Discovery Park!

 
Riders & Rockabilly Fish Fry!
 Beat the July heat July 24th and 25th at Discovery Park of America!
Face painting, Inflatables, a Train and Water Slide will keep
the whole family entertained! FREE Live Music!
 
Thursday, Friday & Saturday
July 16th, 17th & 18th- Libation Station 5:00-9:00 
Sponsored by Davis Wealth Services, Williams Country Sausage
& Snappy Tomato Pizza.
Free snacks available and entertainment provided by:
 -July 16th*- Jason Webb
 -July 17th*- Jordan Skoda & Mallory West
 -July 18th*- Joe Griffith
*Discovery Park grounds will also be open for walking and fishing
 
July 16th- World Snake Day
Come learn all about SNAKES!
Snakes of Tennessee 11:00-11:30 in the Reelfoot Room
Venomous or Non Venomous? 1:30 - 2:00 in the Reelfoot Room
Live Feeding Demonstration 3:00 in the Regional History Gallery
 
July 17th- Wine & Paint Class
There are still tickets left for this month's Wine & Paint Class! Learn to paint a masterpiece while sipping wine! Click here for more information.
 
July 24th & 25th- Riders and Rockabilly Music Festival & Fish Fry
Sponsored by J.D. Distributors, National Guard, & First Choice Farm & Lawn, Inc.
Bring your family out for an evening full of fun! Fish dinners will be available to purchase from Blue Bank Resort.
FREE Grounds Admission after 5PM!
 
For more information on the Riders and Rockabilly Festival, click here! 
July 24th Music:
BulletTown  6:30-9:00 
July 25th Music:
BoomerNation  5:00-6:00
Chad Karnes & the Missing Fifth  6:30-8:00 
New Summer Arrivals!

The Gift Shop at Discovery Park of America has new items for the summer! Remember that members get a 10% discount!   
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Bass Pro Shops teams up with National Rifle Association for NRA Freedom Days in-store event

Free event will offer seminars, giveaways, and a chance to win a NRA Freedom Days experience

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Bass Pro Shops stores across the country are teaming up with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to host NRA Freedom Days July 20 – August 2, 2015. The event will feature firearms seminars, giveaways, and the chance to win a NRA Freedom Days experience and a NRA Lifetime Membership. In addition to great deals on firearms, optics, and gun safes, shoppers can earn triple and quintuple rewards points.
Participating Bass Pro Shops stores* will offer need-to-know advice at the following free seminars. The first 15 seminar attendees will receive a free mug:
Saturdays July 25 & August 1
11 a.m. – 3-Gun competition basics: Participants can learn basic information about MSR’s, handguns, shotguns and ammo.
2 p.m. – Accessorizing your MSR: Learn the basics of MSR’s and how to outfit them with the latest accessories.
3 p.m. – Women and self-defense: Women can learn how to train and defend. They’ll learn about handguns, revolvers, and gun cases.
Sundays July 26 & August 2
2 p.m. – Choosing the right home defense system: Review home defense methods to select the right one for your family.
3 p.m. – Gun safety in the home: Proper gun safety is a must in any home. Learn about the best gun safes, handgun vaults, and cleaning accessories for your home.
Kids’ Corner**
Free kids’ shooting range and workshop on Saturday, July 25, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 26, at noon will teach kids safety skills and the basics of shooting and hunting. See store for more details on seminar times and topics. 
Everyone 21 years of age or older is invited to register for a chance to win a NRA Freedom Days experience. The winner and seven guests will receive a one-night-stay at Big Cedar Lodge, near Branson, Missouri,  private shooting experience with Gould Brothers Exhibition shooting at the exclusive Bass Pro Shops shooting academy, and a visit to the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum in Bass Pro Shops, Springfield, Missouri. Plus, one winner per store will receive a NRA lifetime membership. See store for details.
During NRA Freedom Days, July 20- August 2, shoppers can earn triple reward points on select advertised Hornady and Federal Premium ammunition and quintuple reward points on select advertised Hornady Storage, Smith & Wesson knives, and Magul products at participating Bass Pro Shops stores. Shoppers can also enjoy instant savings of up to $150 on in-stock firearms. While supplies last, shoppers will receive a free Plano firearm case with the purchase of a handgun $300 or more. (While supplies last).
For more details, visit http://www.basspro.com/freedomdays
* Event is not available at Islamorada location or Canadian locations.
** Kids’ Corner will not be available at the Branson, Missouri, location. Kids’ Corner Shooting Range will not be available at Atlantic City, New Jersey location.
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Redbirds And BPS Partnering To Get More Kids Outside; Learning to Fish

Free Catch-and-Release Pond To Be Featured At Thursday’s Homestand Opener

WHAT: Media are invited to experience kids and families catching a fish for the first time at
Bass Pro Shops Memphis’s “Gone Fishing” event.

WHEN: Saturday, June 13, Noon – 2 p.m.
Advance interviews are available upon request

WHERE: Bass Pro Shops Memphis
6140 Macon Rd.
Memphis, TN 38134

The nationwide program is part of Bass Pro Shops’ commitment to inspiring young people to put down their digital devices and discover the outdoors. Last year, 100,000 people caught a fish at Bass Pro Shops, many for the first time.

The free events take place on weekends June 13-14 and June 20-21 from noon to 5 p.m. with the goal of introducing people of all ages to one of America’s favorite pastimes —fishing.

Free, in-store offerings include:

  • Catch-and-release ponds: Kids and families will have the opportunity to catch their first fish, learn easy techniques or fine-tune their fishing skills
  • How-to seminars: Local destinations, choosing the best gear & equipment, how to make fishing fun for the kids!
  • Giveaways: The first 100 customers per day to visit the fishing department will receive a special gift
  • Special discounts: Customers who bring in a used or new video game will receive a discount on a rod and reel combo

For more information, visit www.basspro.com/gonefishing.

WHO: Kids and families
Bass Pro Shops fishing experts


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Catfish & Comedy: A Fish Fry and Comedy Festival Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015 Wayne Jerrolds River Park Stage Savannah, Tennessee

Savannah, Tenn. (June 12, 2015) -----Let’s celebrate the catfish capitol of the world, Savannah, Tennessee at the first ever Catfish and Comedy Festival. This event will feature a mix of mouth-watering catfish and a side of Savannah’s southern sense of humor. You can relax on the banks of the Tennessee River and be entertained by an eclectic group of both well-known, and up-and-coming comedy performers from across the nation.
 
This one day of fun, Saturday, June 27, 2015, will showcase headliner Sara Schaefer. Sara is a critically-acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer, and producer currently based in Los Angeles. She was recently the co-host of MTV’s late night show Nikki & Sara Live. Sara has appeared on @Midnight, John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Best Week Ever, and Inside Amy Schumer. She won two Emmy awards for her work at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and has written for BestWeekEver.tv and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
 
Festivities will begin on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., at the Wayne Jerrolds River Park in Savannah. Fans will experience hilarious, side-splitting humor from some of the nation’s best up and coming comedians. The performance line-up taking the River Boat stage includes ANDRE CHURCHWELL, BRAD HINDERLITER, BRANDON SAMS, MICHAEL BROWN, CHAD RIDEN, and FOUR IMPROVISERS FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: SARA CRAVENS, JUDILIN BOSITA, DOMINIC BURGESS, IAN GARY.
 
Gates open at 3:00 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs and appetites to enjoy this outdoor fun-fest with catfish food vendors, cool drinks and vendors of sorts sitting on the banks of the Tennessee River.
 
Hosting the event is Savannah Arts Commission. For more information and to purchase tickets on the Catfish and Comedy Festival, please visit www.catfishandcomedy.com. Vendors may contact the Hardin County CVB at 731-925-2364 or the Hardin County Chamber at 731-925-2363. Presenting event sponsors are City of Savannah and Hardin County Resort Board.
 
SAC president Joseph Thomas says, “Our goal is to create a fun time for people to experience a taste of the Savannah and Hardin County area. Laughter is good for the soul and bringing people to our area is good for the economy.”
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The 25th Arkabutla Lake Physically Challenged Deer Hunt

Arkabutla Lake – Arkabutla Lake will hold its annual Physically Challenged Deer hunt in December of this year (2015).  The dates will be the 4-7.  There will be two hunts each lasting two days; 4-5 December and 6-7 December.  Applicant must be quadriplegic, paraplegic or ambulatory with the use of leg braces or crutches.  Applications are available now at the Arkabutla Lake Field Office.  The deadline for receiving applications is 3:00 PM, 28 August 2015.  A public drawing will be held on Wednesday, September 9th at 10:00 AM at pavilion #734 in the South Abutment Day Use Area.  If you have any questions about the hunt or need an application, please contact Ernie Lentz at (662)301-4561.

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Fishing’s Future Announces Catch-Photo-Release Contest For Youth Anglers

Non-profit fishing outreach organization to launch contest on Friday, June 26th … Lucky youth anglers could win dream vacation, boat and much more!

 
South Padre Island, TX (June 29, 2015) –  Non-profit organization Fishing’s Future has nearly 60 chapters in more than 15 states with the primary mission of getting kids and adults outdoors. In 2014 alone, Fishing’s Future chapters worked with over 100,000 participants – all by unpaid chapter organizers and volunteers. This year the organization anticipates reaching 250,000 youth anglers and parents.
Now, after 10 years of conducting FAMILY FISH CAMPs (FFCs), Fishing's Future is growing and gaining national recognition. Through unique concepts like parental inclusion, Leave-No-Trace philosophy, and environmental stewardship, Fishing’s Future has helped make profound changes in families and communities across the nation, while building the next generation of anglers.
 
“Positive people bring positive change and that’s what Fishing’s Future is all about,” says founder Shane Wilson. “All across America, families are turning to electronic devices to communicate. Family communication, as it once was, is decreasing and the human connection is slowly being replaced with digital neutrality. Our goal is to get kids and parents back on the water, forging bonds and creating memories that will last a lifetime!”
Along these lines, Fishing’s Future is proud to announce the launch of national Catch-Photo-Release contest for youth anglers on Friday, June 26th, 2015. The contest is not species-specific and is free for any youth ages 16 and under across the nation.
 
Contest requirements are simple. All a young angler has to do is catch a fish, photograph it, release it, and write a 200 word (or under) reflection on their angling experience, then submit the photo and mini-essay via Facebook between Friday, June 21th, and photo submission end, Friday, August 28th, 2015. On Saturday, August 29th, all submissions will be open to public voting. Be sure to SHARE your submission for public voting between August 29th and contest end on September 4th to compete for the grand prize, second prize and third prize packages!
Grand prize, second place and third place winners will be based on maximum votes via Facebook between Saturday, August 29th, and contest end on Friday, September 4th, 2015. Winners will be notified via e-mail and Facebook.  
Grand prize winner will receive a week-long, vacation at beautiful Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort on South Padre Island, Texas, for a family of four, airfare courtesy of South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. Grand prize package will also include Black Dragon Pirate Ship cruise, a guided shark fishing excursion and much more! Airfare, hotel and activity expenses covered; food & drink not included.
Second place winner will receive a 2015 Tracker Topper 1436 riveted Jon boat and trailer courtesy of the Tracker Marine Group!
Third place winner will receive a Humminbird Helix SI GPS and Old Town Vapor 12 Angler kayak with paddle and PFD.
And each week four random selected winners will be drawn from all entries to receive rod/reel and tackle prize packages courtesy of Fishing’s Future sponsors Shakespeare and Plano
For more information, please visit fishingsfuture.org.
Enter the contest here!
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Nashville, Tennessee, a.ka. Music City USA, home of The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole Opry, will be pushing aside it's cowboy boots and multi-gallon hats to make room for the 2015 NASP® (National Archery in the Schools Program) World Tournament.

An estimated 5,140 kids who topped the leaderboards at nationals, from five countries, including the USA, Canada, United Kingdom (UK), South Africa, and Namibia, are signed up to attend. Another 1,159 of these students are registered to shoot in the NASP®/IBO 3D Indoor World Challenge. In the World NASP® tournament, 190 archers will be shooting during each hour-long flight. In 2014, the world tournament entertained 2,425 students from 198 United States' schools. This year's student archers hail from 295 schools around the world. The youngsters will break NASP®'s world tournament record by more than 2,000 young archers, a 77% increase!

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) is the hosting agency providing the majority of volunteers for this event including an estimated forty plus lane officials. Like usual for NASP®, Morrell Targets will be providing the archery targets. For archers needing to borrow arrows, Easton Technical Products will be providing those approved by NASP®. Academy Sports and Outdoors is sponsoring the awards ceremony. Finally, souvenir t-shirts will be provided by Electronic Awards Promos. Other important NASP® partners who help make this world event happen include; Mathews Archery, Easton Foundations, National Wild Turkey Federation, Gordon Composites, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Rinehart Targets.

Events for the world tournament are set to begin on Wednesday evening, July 22 at 6pm lasting through 7pm, July 25. Following the world tournament, 16-student teams from five counties will stay over for 3 days of double elimination match play. The United States all-star team has one each of the past two years' all-star championship. Other countries are coming on strong though and expect to give the USA Team top-flight competition. The All Star Championship will begin the following day, July 26 at 9AM and conclude Wednesday, July 28 with the awards ceremony. The all-star event will also take place at the beautiful Music City Center.

NASP® is a program credited for bringing kids together, building confidence and friendships, all the while, allowing them to excel at a sport they love. In roughly two weeks, kids from different cultures and homelands, will be coming together for with a common goal; to shoot archery.
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It’s back – the annual Mid-South Hunting & Fishing Extravaganza

For more than a two decades the Mid-South Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza has served as the kick-off event for the fall hunting and fishing seasons, a three-day get together for area sportsmen to forget about the summer heat and humidity and talk about hunting, fishing, camping and the multitude of other fall outdoor activities within easy driving distance of the Memphis area.
The Expo South produced MSHFE will roll out its annual outdoor showcase on Aug. 7-8-9 at Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road in East Memphis. Show hours are 2-9 p.m. on Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Aug. 8 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 9. Tickets are $7 for adults; $5 for youth (5-12) and 4 and under free.
As promised, this one will touch a lot of outdoor bases, such as competitive duck calling and a big buck contest.  And, of course, we’ll have the trout tank and vendors from not only the Mid-South but across the nation.
The MSHFE’s biggest and best duck calling competition is set for Aug. 9, featuring three classes with registration from 10 a.m.-noon and competition set to start at 12:30 p.m. Competition will include Main Street (90-second limit), Senior (any age/$20 registration fee), Youth (16 or younger/$10), Meat (Arkansas Style, 90- second limit); Teams (anything goes for 90 seconds) and Single Man ($10 per person/4-man limit).
This year’s judges included Champion of Champion caller Buck Gardner and Bill Cooksey, a former judge at the World Duck Calling Championship in Stuttgart and editor of the Mid-South Hunting & Fishing News. Other judges will be Greg Brinkley and Ronnie Turner.
Award-winning taxidermist Jody Shults of Como, Miss., will conduct the show’s annual Mid-South Big Buck Contest. Shults, owner of Whitetail Classics & African Classics Taxidermy in Como, Miss., is a professional wildlife artist and master taxidermist who in his 25-year career has won more than 125 awards in taxidermy competition, including first place at the National Taxidermy Convention competition with white-tail deer (twice) as well as the NTA Award of Excellence in the white-tail deer and game head divisions. He’s been scoring deer antlers for 15 years and is five-time Southern Regional champion and official judge for the National Taxidermy Association (NTA).
This year’s MSHFE Big Buck Contest winners will be decided by popular vote. That means show visitors will be part of the decision making process. All winners will be determined by popular vote by the MSHFE attendees, not by the highest score. Prizes will also be awarded. The awards will be announced about 2 p.m. on Aug. 9. For more information on the BBC contact Shults at (662) 526-9111 or Josh@ExpoSouth.com.
And, of course, there will be 15-plus hours of seminars (all included in your show ticket), hundreds of exhibitors with everything you’ll need for the hunting season and a live trout pond.
Did we tell you that parking is FREE? Well, it is.
Among the show specials:
Trophy Club Outfitters – Giving away free hunt (conducted on 2,500-plus acres of private one-family owned grain/cattle farm 45 minutes west of Indianapolis; three-day bow hunt (arrive on Oct. 4, hunt Oct. 5-7). Hunter may upgrade to a five-day hunt for an additional; archery or crossbow.
World Outstanding Whitetails (WOW) Goliath and the Giants Display – Stunning collection of 16 of the biggest white-tail deer ever on display. These deer are the absolute most monster deer to ever walk the planet, including the first whitetail to score more than 500, the X-Factor, along with the Kniesly Buck, Kansas King, Amish Buck and others.
For additional information go to www.memphishuntshow.com or call (901) 867-7007.

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Costa Sunglass Casey Ashley Event

 

Event Date:                                           Saturday, August 8, 2015

Event Time:                                          11am – 1pm (Costa Team to arrive at 10 am)

Location:                                               6140 Macon Road, Memphis, TN

Event Description:                               Casey Ashley, Costa Pro & Bass Master Champion, Personal Appearance
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Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips for July
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips presents free, seasonal how-to advice from Larry Whiteley, host of the award-winning Outdoor World Radio show. Each weekly tip offers practical advice to improve your skills.
Tips offered for July include:
Tricks for Boating Bass
Tips and tricks for hooking big bass.
How to Create Happy Campers
Get your family off the couch and into nature this camping season!
Tips for Bagging Big Cats
Location is the key to bagging big catfish this summer. Follow Larry’s favorite recipe for a delicious catfish dinner!
Where’s Walleye? Tips for Finding Their Summertime Hangouts
Follow these tips to find where walleye are lurking.
What Great Deer Hunters Do  
Deer season may seem far away, but great deer hunters are beginning to prepare now.

CLICK TO SEE THIS MONTH'S TIPS
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Dr. Allan Houston: Here is bird number two …………

By Dr. Allan Houston

I had been after this bird before, maybe even last year; and if not him then an apprentice because he pulled the same tricks.  But I felt good this morning; optimistic in an unusual and unbidden way. Even before I left the house my socks and shirt seemed particularly suited, as if bought especially for this one hunt, lucky somehow and like I was going to Church and knew the coat and tie looked good. This morning’s outfit seemingly ordained for this particular morning and anticipating something.
I felt the ambience, the subtle but tangible encouragement from these inanimate things, but tried not to put much stock in the feeling. I sat aside from it like a team sits away from the pitcher when he is late in the game and throwing a no-hitter … afraid to jinx him.  I put it all down to the good weather, rising barometer, fair winds and sky.  A man feels good on such a day and thankful he is going to see it.
But, it was, indeed late in the game. The gobbling season was cranking down.
This bird had already pulled several tricks out of his bag.  I had him roosted one night, cold-sure to the single tree and I knew the route he’d use to get to it. And I knew where his hens were.  With luck, stealth and the moon behind a cloud I felt sure I could get nearly between them next morning, a shallow lover’s triangle with me at the apex.
And, I did.  As the eastern skies began to whiten he began to grumble a little on the perch, not the manic gobble of a desperate bird, but the low pitched threats of a mature bird not accustomed to being challenged.  It was a warning to everyone within earshot he was at the height of his game and not something easily defeated. The volume was mostly for his hens.  The tone was for everything else.
I should have listened.
The hens flew to the field and I heard him hit the woods behind me.  The best pathway to the field, the path of least obstruction and the open-wooded air turkeys like was all around me.  I called just enough to encourage him to use it and he answered.  Almost immediately I saw a head bobbing toward me, suspicious as a cat in the dog pound, but the hen came to me and then by me.  The gobbler was behind her, surely, not yet in sight, but everything I knew about turkeys was falling into line for him to come walking into the shotgun’s bead.
Then I heard a gang of hens cackling a fuss and I knew he’d been intercepted, fifty yards away and just ten more yards from sight. They led him to my right.
After a bit I moved slowly, several steps at a time and kicking the leaves to mimic scratching.  After about seventy-five yards he thundered in the woods, a sound so close and so intense I almost gobbled back.  I scrambled for a tree and sat facing the woods, the field at my back, everything perfect, everything as sure as it could be with spurs this big coming my way.
I called very lightly, more a satisfied purr as opposed to a suggestive yelp.
He is an acoustic genius, a magician with the airwaves and resonance; and he’d thrown the sound ninety degrees away from where I thought he was, a trick not too hard to perform on my slow ears, more-so nearly mere appendages now days as opposed to good receivers, easily fooled and generally unreliable.  He came behind me and stood, studying the woods with those goggle eyes, knowing within a few feet of where the call had originated and he waited still as a statue, a mere thirty yards away; he waited until I moved then he popped his victory and ran away.
He did this to me in one form or another and he’d done it two years running.
But this morning was different.  The omen of socks and shirt seemed solid.
I sat up opposite his side of the field.   I stopped short of where I thought I should be because I imagined a turkey sound ahead of me.  Bad hearing means you pay attention to sudden imaginations.
The tree I had to lean against was too little, not much more than six inches, but near enough the edge of the field, and I had a bit of a leafy screen in front of me.  I realized suddenly that he was already on the ground, a good fifteen minutes ahead of expected arrival, pacing back and forth the complete picture of a professional late for an important meeting and having to wait on someone. 
I called and he gobbled.  I waited until the sky had tinged with more light, gaining some color like a dead man coming gratefully back from the edge of death; then I showered down on the call, a new one made by a local craftsman, raspy as a crow and almost irresistible to a fired up bird. 
A hen’s head appeared at the edge of the woods and I decided not to antagonize her.  I purred and made a few soft clucks. It was clear the gobbler wanted to come this way. He ran to the hen and began to insist she hurry up.  Hen-like and maybe woman-like she ignored him until she could start without it seeming like she was in obedience as opposed to agreement. He thought she was late.  She thought she was on time enough.  But suddenly here they came, on a line and with him not so far behind that the hen would have time to discover me and scurry away.
The socks had been right.
Two hundred yards, 150, 100, 90 … then a gobbler from the right burst into the field, between me and the big bird.  He cast hurried looks at him and quick glances my way trying to find the hen.  He began to march across my line, too far out in the field, but purposely and with no seeming intent to stop, quick choppy gobbles.  He wanted to see around the corner.  I was at a quandary’s doorstep, should I shoot and if so when?  A little high-school geometry came to mind and I found the point where he would pass closest to the front of the gun. Slowly I pivoted the barrel and laid the bead on where his head would appear. 
He walked to the spot and as if on que, like a performer hitting his mark he stopped.  He grew exponentially nervous with each passing moment and turned on that dime turkeys have about them, the uneasy twirl showing the back of the head that says I may be about to run.  I pulled the trigger and he went down in a pile.  As I hurried out, I caught sight of the big bird and we made momentary eye contact before he ran.
It was clear and he wanted me to know it; he could see the entire field of battle and had clearly outmaneuvered me.  He’d sent a point man, a good one who had probably figured me out hunkered down in such a feeble hide.  But I sent a message back. 
Wars are won battles at a time.  And generals learn from each other.
And too … it was OK; after all, it was late in the game.
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Dr. Allan Houston: Turkey Season Recap

The turkey season has come and gone; and the red-rimmed, bleary eyes are perhaps clearing up after several weeks of trying to beat daybreak to the field.  As I went through the observation forms I could see that some of you had tremendous seasons and others had some hard luck.  That’s the way it goes.  I have never had the same turkey season two years in a row. 
The final tally was 25 mature gobblers.  The harvest is summarized below and represents our best guess at age classes.
__________Average___________
Age                  Beard Length              Spurs               Weight
2-year-old       9”                                ¾”                    19.1 lbs
3-year-old       9.7”                             1.2”                 20.3 lbs
Hunting pressure was never very heavy; and there were days when only one or two people were afield.  Toward the end of the season, there were a few days when no one was on the place.  One hunter told me he walked half of Unit 4 and never saw another hunter … he did see 3 gobblers.
Of the 25 birds killed, Ames employees or guests killed 4 gobblers.  The rest were killed by Members or their guests.
We have already seen poults and I expect the cicada population should provide good nutrition for little ones and adults alike.  If my dogs are any indication, cicadas must taste pretty good.  Or, maybe they just give a fellow a little buzz.
I am sure some experiences were perhaps not the best, but the comments we received on the observation forms were always positive and some made for enjoyable reading.  The thing I noticed was a consistent thread of simple joy in being “out there.”  Some of the comments radiated a delight in not just the idea of killing and seeing turkeys, but being able to do get out into the “wilds,” seeing the once- in-a-lifetime events or places that are private and also universal.  They are private because they are so special and individually unique and they are universal because as you describe them my appreciation comes alive alongside something similar I once saw.
I remember several years ago sitting in an old graveyard in Unit 1, deep in the woods and listening to a gobbler grumble, both of us waiting for the sun to make its way up the hill and over the horizon.  It was cold, below freezing that night, and as the light slowly filtered through the trees, the place where I sat began to glow, all around me, like a fantastic movie where the plants come alive with eerie iridescence. Ice and frost had covered the periwinkle, a luxurious carpet of evergreen that was gleaming as if it were a sleeping Christmas tree draped in nature’s best imitation of icicles, literally a’glimmer and glittering like a lake in the dawn’s breeze.  I have no recollection about that morning’s turkey business, where he went or what I did about it; but I will never forget the platinum, ice-clad periwinkle in that graveyard.  
These are the small things that make being out there worth it.  Nowhere else on earth, on that morning, could I have seen anything so beautiful as was the shimmering graveyard, a gobbler making comment in the background and me wishing I had a camera to at least try to capture the scene.
These were the flavor of some of your comments, even if said in just a few good words.  Of course, some of you told about a morning’s shot and trophy.  Good stories all ‘round.  Do more.  I’ll put them here.
Parting Shot (once again, literally)
I had been after this bird before, maybe even last year; and if not him then an apprentice because he pulled the same tricks.  But I felt good this morning; optimistic in an unusual and unbidden way. Even before I left the house my socks and shirt seemed particularly suited, as if bought especially for this one hunt, lucky somehow and like I was going to Church and knew the coat and tie looked good. This morning’s outfit seemingly ordained for this particular morning and anticipating something.
I felt the ambience, the subtle but tangible encouragement from these inanimate things, but tried not to put much stock in the feeling. I sat aside from it like a team sits away from the pitcher when he is late in the game and throwing a no-hitter … afraid to jinx him.  I put it all down to the good weather, rising barometer, fair winds and sky.  A man feels good on such a day and thankful he is going to see it.
But, it was, indeed late in the game. The gobbling season was cranking down.
This bird had already pulled several tricks out of his bag.  I had him roosted one night, cold-sure to the single tree and I knew the route he’d use to get to it. And I knew where his hens were.  With luck, stealth and the moon behind a cloud I felt sure I could get nearly between them next morning, a shallow lover’s triangle with me at the apex.
And, I did.  As the eastern skies began to whiten he began to grumble a little on the perch, not the manic gobble of a desperate bird, but the low pitched threats of a mature bird not accustomed to being challenged.  It was a warning to everyone within earshot he was at the height of his game and not something easily defeated. The volume was mostly for his hens.  The tone was for everything else.
I should have listened.
The hens flew to the field and I heard him hit the woods behind me.  The best pathway to the field, the path of least obstruction and the open-wooded air turkeys like was all around me.  I flipped on the tree, easing around as quietly as possible and called just enough to encourage him to use “this way” … and he answered.  Almost immediately I saw a head bobbing toward me, suspicious as a cat in the dog pound, but the hen came to me and then she went by me.  The gobbler was behind her, surely, not yet in sight, but everything I knew about turkeys was falling into line for him to come walking into the shotgun’s bead.
Then I heard a gang of hens cackling a fuss and I knew he’d been intercepted, fifty yards away and just ten more yards from sight. They led him to my right.
After a bit I moved slowly, several steps at a time and kicking the leaves to mimic scratching.  After about seventy-five yards he thundered in the woods, a sound so close and so intense I almost gobbled back.  I scrambled for a tree and sat facing the woods, the field at my back, everything perfect, everything as sure as it could be with spurs this big coming my way.
I called very lightly, more a satisfied purr as opposed to a suggestive yelp.
He is an acoustic genius, a magician with the airwaves and resonance; and he’d thrown the sound ninety degrees away from where I thought he was, a trick not too hard to perform on my slow ears, more-so nearly mere appendages now days as opposed to good receivers, easily fooled and generally unreliable.  He came behind me and stood, studying the woods with those goggle eyes, knowing within a few feet of where the call had originated and he waited still as a statue, a mere thirty yards away; he waited until I moved then he popped his victory and ran away.
He did this to me in one form or another and he’d done it two years running.
But this morning was different.  The omen of socks and shirt seemed solid.
I sat up opposite his side of the field.   I stopped short of where I thought I should be because I imagined a turkey sound ahead of me.  Bad hearing means you pay attention to sudden imaginations.
The only tree I had available to lean against was small, not much more than six inches, but near enough the edge of the field, and I had a bit of a leafy screen in front of me.  I realized suddenly that the old boy was already on the ground, a good fifteen minutes ahead of expected arrival, pacing back and forth, the complete picture of a professional late for an important meeting and having to wait on someone. 
I called and he gobbled.  I waited until the sky had tinged with more light, gaining some color like a dead man coming gratefully back from the edge of death; then I showered down on the call, a new one made by a local craftsman, raspy as a crow and almost irresistible to a fired up bird. 
A hen’s head appeared at the edge of the woods and I decided not to antagonize her.  I purred and made a few soft clucks. It was clear the gobbler wanted to come this way. He ran to the hen and began to insist she hurry up.  Hen-like and maybe woman-like she ignored him until she could start without it seeming like she was in obedience as opposed to agreement. He thought she was late.  She thought she was on time enough.  But suddenly here they came, on a line and with him not so far behind that the hen would have time to discover me and scurry away.
The socks had been right. Maybe.
Two hundred yards, 150, 100, 90 … the hen grabbing a bite as she walked … then a gobbler from the right burst into the field between me and the big bird.  He cast hurried looks at him and quick glances my way trying to find the hen.  He began to march across my line, too far out in the field, but purposely and with no seeming intent to stop, he was worried and making quick choppy gobbles.  He wanted to see around the corner before the big bird got there.  I was at a quandary’s doorstep, should I shoot and if so when?  A little high-school geometry came to mind and I found the point where he would pass closest to the front of the gun. Slowly I pivoted the barrel and laid the bead where his head would appear.  Forty full yards.
He walked to the spot and as if on que, like a performer hitting his mark and he stopped.  He grew exponentially nervous with each passing moment and turned on that dime turkeys have about them, the uneasy twirl showing the back of the head that says I may be about to run.  I pulled the trigger and he went down in a pile.  As I hurried out, I caught sight of the big bird and we made momentary eye contact before he ran.
It was clear and he wanted me to know it; he could see the entire field of battle and had clearly outmaneuvered me.  Again. He’d sent a point man, a good one who had probably figured me out hunkered down in such a feeble hide.  But I sent a message back. 
Wars are won battles at a time.  And generals learn from each other. Next … would be another year.
And too … it was OK; after all, it was late in the game.

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A Furry Crown: What is Velvet?

Antlers. They have fascinated man since the beginning. Going back thousands of years, one can see man's love for animals with antlers etched and painted on the walls of caves. Antlers were a trophy in a different way before they were used to decorate walls of our hunting camps and game rooms. Before modern civilization, antlers were used to make tools, ceremonial wear, and weapons just to name a few. So how do these intriguing bones grow? What are they made out of?  How do they go from this soft looking, furry velvet, to a durable set of rock hard fighting gear?
 
Antler genesis is an amazing process and is one of the fastest growing tissues known. The antler growing process for whitetails is an annual event and is regulated by hormones which are controlled by the photoperiod or length of day.  The primary hormones responsible for antler growth are testosterone and IGF (insulin like growth factor). The rise and fall of testosterone levels initiates the peeling off of the velvet and the casting or shedding of the antlers, while IGF that is produced in the liver promotes actual growth. The longer days correspond with a drop in melatonin production; this kicks off the hormone cycle for antler growth. You can get very scientific and complicated with all the glands and organs involved in this process, but basically a buck's brain measures the length of day by the amount of melatonin produced. This in turn influences testosterone and IGF levels. If you have ever noticed the bucks that are late in the velvet shedding process are often the yearling bucks and older bucks that have survived and are past their prime. This is directly related to the lower levels of testosterone output.
 
To fully understand antler, and more specifically, velvet antler growth we need to start at the beginning. In a whitetail's case, the beginning would be the pedicel. The pedicel is the base from where the antlers will form and are located on the frontal bone of the skull. Buttons begin to grow from the pedicels somewhere around 6 months of age in male whitetails. During the growing season (spring& summer) a whitetails antlers are covered in a very fine and soft membrane most commonly called velvet. Underneath this furry membrane, the antlers are supplied by a very rich supply of blood and nutrients by veins that run on the outside of the antlers and back down to the base. During the growing stages, antlers are high in water and blood content and low in dry matter. The dry matter at this stage is around 80% protein and 20% phosphorous and calcium. Conversely, in the hardened stage, antlers are about 60% phosphorous and calcium and 40% protein. While in the velvet stages, antlers feel alive and warm to the touch because of all the activity taking place inside. I was lucky enough to feel this first hand while helping raise whitetails for a couple years.
 
When antlers are in velvet, they are very vulnerable to being injured. Bucks seem to be very aware that they have this fragile treasure on their head and are very careful in their actions through antler genesis. Bruises, cuts, or tears to the velvet can all have an impact on the formation of the antler. These injuries often result in abnormal points or in serious injuries complete deformation.  It is worth noting that leg and pedicel injuries can also lead to deformed antlers. Vehicle collisions, bullet or arrow wounds, and fighting injuries to the legs, shoulders, or hind quarters can be seen sometimes in the following season's antler growth by abnormal points or deformed main beams. Injuries on the rear legs affect the opposite side antler, where front leg or shoulder injuries will affect the same side. Research shows this oddity may be from the buck's ability to pull or redirect nutrients for healing the injured leg. Pedicel injuries can happen during the numerous fights during the rut causing part of the pedicel to shed with the antler. If the pedicel injuries are bad enough, they can sometimes affect antler growth for several years.
 
With the days of late summer getting shorter, testosterone levels begin to rise and the growth cycle begins to slow down initiating the process of hardening or mineralizing of the antlers. So how does the velvet come off?  The velvet ceases to be fed by blood by the formation of what some call the base or the burr on the antler. When the buck grows this burr at the end of the antler cycle, it puts a "kink in the hose" so to speak, cutting off the blood supply to the velvet. In as little as a few hours, the drying velvet is rubbed off on trees and bushes the buck is left with a blood stained rack that he will continue to polish for several days. I think many early fall rubs that are seen are areas where bucks use sapling trees and bushes to scrub the drying velvet from their newly hardened set of headgear.
 
There are rare cases where a buck does not shed his antlers, and instead keeps a velvet covered rack that continually grows throughout the year.  The condition is referred to as cryptorchidism. These "cactus bucks" are the result from an injury or castration of the testes at some point which alters their testosterone levels. The age at which the injury occurs will determine the severity of antler deformation or interruption in the normal antler cycle. Fawns that are castrated will likely not develop a pedicel and therefore never grow any antlers. An older aged buck that has a testes injury or castration while he is hard antler will likely shed his antlers early due to the sharp decrease in testosterone production. The following season the buck can grow a rack that is permanent and stays velvet covered and growing.
 
The antler growing process is very interesting and one of the most unique cycles in the animal kingdom.  Whether it be whitetail, mule deer, or elk, antlers are a large part of hunters fascination with these big game animals.
 
Would you like to learn more about improving your hunting and get discounts on the products you need? Learn from the experts by joining the new Mossy Oak GameKeepers Club at www.gamekeepersclub.com
or call 662-495-9292
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Two Common Chores for Diesel Boat Owners

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 8, 2015 – They are the lasting workhorse of many a cruising or sailing vessel, the inboard diesel engine. Some say they have a reputation for being finicky while others swear by their never-ending reliability. Either side you choose, there are two common chores that the owners of diesel engine boats need to be able to easily perform. Changing a diesel fuel filter and bleeding the fuel line of air are topics shown in two new helpful “how-to” videos by BoatUS Magazine. They can be found at:
How to Change a Fuel Filter on a Marine Diesel: https://goo.gl/IC6pz0
How to Bleed a Marine Diesel Engine: https://goo.gl/9P8bdq
“Bleeding a diesel engine of air is a misunderstood ‘black art’,” said BoatUS Magazine Associate Editor Mark Corke, “But it’s very easy to learn when we show you how to do it.” The videos are part of the magazine’s Practical Boater series that offers skills building, techniques and best practices to get the most out of boating.
###
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.
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Day of Fun

An impatient wait for the month of May
Brought the lake water temperatures up.
So I hauled myself up to Reelfoot Lake
Being as anxious as a playful pup!

My goal was to find some bluegills
As well as shellcrackers in the lake.
Then drop a line into those bream beds
And see just what they would take.

I rigged up my faithful old cane pole
With some trusty monofilament line—
A light split shot above the hook
And I looked forward to some action time!

Instead of a red-and-white bobber
I used a veteran porcupine quill
Which responds very well to nibbles and bites
And a well-hooked bull gives quite a thrill!

I trolled out to some cypress knees
Under some towering cypress trees
In hopes of finding a bed or two
Around lilly pads and some floating leaves.

After finding the bed of bluegills
They went after three kinds of bait!
They hit crickets, waxworms, and redworms—
For awhile they were caught at a steady rate.

I forgot all about the time of the day
And I didn’t even notice the hour.
In just a short time I caught ten or twelve
Enjoying their fight and feeling their power.

Later that evening shellcrackers were hooked
As I offered them crickets to eat.
I even hooked three on a bream killer “fly”
With my fly rod which proved quite a treat!

I trolled back to shore, my ice chest full,
And the fish were now frozen and stiff.
What fun I did have with those feisty bream
But my hands now gave off a fishy whiff!

Charlie Covington     May 19, 2015

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Big Bass Lessons From An Offshore Whiz

Western Bass Pro Brent Ehrler ‘Messes With Texas’ -- Wins Toyota Texas Big Bass Championship

EUFAULA, AL (May 29, 2015) – Redlands, California-based Humminbird pro Brent Ehrler thrives on fishing deep – beautifully demonstrated on the proving grounds of the recent Toyota Texas Big Bass Challenge on Texas’ famed Lake Fork.

The win typifies how offshore know-how – Ehrler’s dangerous blend of intuition, fishing electronics know-how and full fathom five experience – can manifest big weights and payout. Not only did Ehrler win the tournament, he captured the Tundra Big Bass of the tournament, a 10-11 stud, earning him a $35,000 Toyota Tundra, in addition to first place winnings. 

“Growing up fishing bass in California teaches you a lot about clear- and deep-water fish. We’re typically fishing offshore in 20 to 30 feet instead of 5. Sure, we have some shallow water stuff, too, which makes West Coast anglers versatile. But me? I’m most comfortable in clear, deep water, especially with finesse tactics.”

But Ehrler says the deep-water situation he encountered on Lake Fork had little in common with his West Coast waters. For starters, his offshore program involved looking for high spots: humps, points, and the ends of long, extended points.

“When the bass finish the spawn on Fork they move out onto long, extending points near deeper water where there’s food: shad, bar fish, gizzard shad. But not just any long, extending point. You couldn’t just scratch one or two off every point. You might have to try 50 points, then one point would hold 50 fish!”

Utilizing the Depth Highlight feature on the LakeMaster chart view of his Humminbird ONIX 10ci SI, Ehrler found his best fish in the 18 - 25 foot zone. “I’d zoom out my map, run down the lake and pull up on what I thought looked good. LakeMaster made dialing into the right areas incredibly fast.”

He continues: “I’ve been a fan of LakeMaster mapping since the start. What I see via LakeMaster is better than anything out there. Plus, I can highlight what I want to highlight and make the map do what I want it to do, especially for offshore fishing. You can find fish faster by running to those colors.”

Ehrler credits the Humminbird ONIX for helping him take his game to the next level.  “Overall, the ONIX is better and more clear than anything I’ve ever used. The 2D sonar has the best picture and clarity I’ve ever seen.”

He adds that the latest 2.300 software update has taken performance through the roof, including the GPS, which he says is  “super clear and very true.”

“I really relied on the GPS during the TTBBC. I had to stay true on my spots. I would judge my distances with casting rings on 1199, but then the boat would blow a bit, yet I knew exactly where I was by watching my trail on my ONIX’s LakeMaster map. I knew exactly where I needed to cast.”

Those familiar with Ehrler know that Humminbird 2D sonar and Down Imaging are integral to his “video gaming” techniques for vertical-fishing deep-water structure and cover. He footnotes this technique when talking about the new ONIX transducer, which has dedicated crystals for Down Imaging, Side Imaging and 2D sonar.

“The Down Imaging on the ONIX is perfect. Humminbird did exactly what they needed to do. We now have a true Down Image and Side Image. On Lake Fork I could idle through the trees and see the schools of the crappies plain as day. If I was a crappie fisherman, it would be ugly. Seriously, if I lost everything, I would never go hungry on a lake with crappies. I can hardly wait for a tournament where there’s deep-water drop-shotting. It’s going to get real.”

Recounting the TTBBC, Ehrler says the Memorial Day win exceeded all personal expectations.

“Last day of the tournament I had one specific spot that I was catching fish on and I told myself that I’d fish there all day and hit one more spot later in the day. When the first spot went stagnant I ran down the lake and eased in real slow to my second spot. Then my line jumped and I set the hook on that little swimbait. It was a giant! 10-11! I knew I needed to catch a giant fish or two bigger fish to get over 30 pounds for a shot at the win. Just proves that any cast on Lake Fork can yield a fish big enough to win a Tundra! I went from 23 pounds to 29 pounds in one cast … pretty amazing!”

Ehrler says what’s even more amazing is what happened right after he boated the tournament’s biggest fish.

“Right after I got that fish in the boat, I slid off the spot a little bit and quickly reeled in my swimbait, then glanced at my ONIX. My jaw kind of dropped when I saw two big marks swimming back down to the bottom. Based on that behavior, I knew right then and that they didn’t want to bite but could turn on later. So I ran and fished another spot for 20 minutes, came back, and on my third cast I caught a 6 and got rid of my last 3 pounder. That wouldn’t have happened without my ONIX.”

Although Ehrler had experience and technological know-how on his side, he’s quick to point out the serendipity of his win.

“Everything just came together. I made the right decisions, but the way it came together, it’s not something you can do everywhere. Pretty difficult to duplicate. I’m very thankful.”

He adds: “I caught a glimpse of Keith Combs’ TTBBC ring before the event and thought, wow, that would be cool, but never thought it was something I’d win. It’s like being a Super Bowl champ. I’m incredibly humbled.”

Ehrler’s advice for anglers looking to sharpen their offshore game?

Electronics: “Humminbird sonar is crucial … and get a LakeMaster map card. If you want to find and catch fish deep, you need the tools to see what’s down there. I run split-screen 2D and mapping from the bow on an ONIX 10ci SI and 1199 SI with my transducers set to 200kHz. The factory settings are right about where they need to be. I don’t do anything radical; pretty much turn it on and go.”

Deep-Diving Cranks: “Get out your deep-divers. My favorite is the Lucky Craft 3.5XD, which dives 18-20 feet. I use it to fire up schools into biting. I like standard forage colors and throw it on 12-lb. Sunline FC Sniper Fluoro.”

Swimbaits: “Deep fish eat baitfish, so add swimbaits to the list. I take a ¾-ounce BOSS jighead and thread on a 5- or 6-inch Basstrix or Yamamoto saltwater swimbait – I don’t use the crazy big swimbaits. Then fish on a slow roll.”

Pigskin: “The football jig is your friend. I always have a rod tied with a ¾-ounce BOSS green pumpkin football jig with a 5-inch green pumpkin Yamamoto Double Grub.”

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Best Paddling Towns: Memphis, Tennessee

With America’s great riverine artery pulsing through, Memphis (pop. 653,000) has always been a river town. The Mississippi carried influences from north and south, and stirred the pot that gave us such cultural delicacies as barbecue and the blues. The Big Muddy, with its intimate back channels and quiet tributaries like the Wolf River, also makes Memphis a first-rate paddling town. Each June, the city plays host to the South’s biggest paddling event, the Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race. The 34th running takes place June 20, with organizers expecting more than 500 people in everything from SUPs to war canoes. In the event’s trademark mass start, Olympic gold medalists rub gunwales with first-time paddlers, and everybody has a good time. — Katie McKy

See more: NORTH AMERICA’S BEST PADDLING TOWNS.

This story will appear in the June 2015 issue of Canoe & Kayak.


Photo: Joe Royer

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When Big Baits Are Best for Bass
When Big Baits Are Best for Bass

How up-sizing can work magic on heavily-pressured waters, especially during “heat fronts”

By Steve Pennaz

Fish studies confirm that bass can become conditioned through continual exposure to baits. Especially on heavily-pressured waters, bass do learn to avoid baits. Berkley’s Dr. Keith Jones covers the subject in his book Knowing Bass: The Scientific Approach for Catching More Fish. In it, Jones discusses research evidence that suggests bass remember lures for a long time – “for at least up to three months and perhaps much, much longer.” 

The challenge for the angler is staying ahead of the curve. One of the best ways is to fish outside of the box, choosing baits the fish have probably never seen before. Or fishing baits that have fallen out-of-favor for newer, trendier baits.

Or simply up-sizing the same baits we already know are effective.

I remember fishing a river system one spring day. We had started early to avoid the crowds, then battled skyrocketing temps throughout the day. I know a lot of anglers like to be on the water during those warm spring days, but I prefer more stable conditions.

Fishing was predictably slow under the changing conditions so I slowed down like you do during a cold front and went to smaller baits while casting to timber and current seams along the bank. We landed four bass running between 1.5 and 2 pounds.

There was another boat working the same bank behind us…with a lone angler in the bow. I saw him hook up a couple times, but didn’t think much of it at the time.  

Later, back at the launch, I asked the other angler how he had done. He said he caught five fish, including a 3-pounder and two 4-pound fish flippin’ the same river timber I had fished ahead of him.

I asked him, “What bait where you flippin’?”

His plaintive response: “Power Lizards.”

I hadn’t thought to go larger with my presentation and so this information was striking. But the more I thought about it, the logic behind it was too strong to ignore…how many other anglers would go in this direction during difficult situations like cold fronts or what I call “heat fronts”?

When you get a week of average temps and all of a sudden the temperature sky-rockets into the 80 or 90s (or higher), water temps change drastically. It’s like what happens during a cold front, but in reverse. And the effects on bass and other fish are the same; their movements slow. If you monitor the water temps on your electronics, there are situations where increases can be as much as 8, 10 or even more degrees in a day. Where I live, going from 40-degree overnight air temps to 80 degrees by late afternoon is not uncommon!

When faced with drastic temperature increases, I often hold off fishing my best spots until late in the day when temperatures stabilize somewhat. By this time, the biggest fish with the most mass will have had time to acclimate to the change and will be more active.  The bass that do feed during these dramatic shifts in water temperature often look for the biggest meal with the least amount of metabolic effort. Like any host of large amphibians, salamanders and the like.

Still, a lot of anglers are hesitant to fish lizards, thinking they’re only big-fish baits. In reality, a lizard doesn’t appear too large to bass, which typically track prey from behind. The visual cue is only part of the equation. What can really stimulate their feeding or attack response has to do with how they feel that bait. With its many appendages, a lizard displaces more water and produces more vibrations, which the bass picks up via its lateral line.

An angler needs to ask a few questions:

How big of a bait can I get away with on a given body of water? And secondly, what will be most appealing to the biggest fish in a school?

At times it makes sense to start smaller, but there are times when going large is the right move.  

If the waters have big fish and lots of pressure, I may start bigger because I can. And for the past couple of years, I’ve been fishing lizards … a lot.

Why more anglers aren’t fishing lizards is a real head-scratcher. But I can relate. The past decade we’ve seen so many new and effective creature-style baits and worm designs hit tackle shelves that it was easy to forget the proven performer.

Lizard Rigging Tips

When rigging lizards, hooks can make or break your day. I learned long ago that while great for compact, creature baits, EWG-style hooks are not the best choice for Texas-rigging lizards or big worms.

Instead, I use a 5/0 or 6/0 offset worm hook that provides great hook-up ratios and allows the baits to move fluidly, as designed.

Historically, my favorite lizard is the 6-inch PowerBait Power Lizard, although I’m starting to catch a lot of bass on the Gary Klein-designed Havoc Boss Dog, too. But given that bass will often grab lizards and big worms in the middle – rather than inhaling the entire bait – the PowerBait formula really puts the odds in your favor. They simply hold on to the bait longer, giving you more time for a solid hookset. 

In terms of color, my favorite is pumpkin with a chartreuse tail, which is based purely on nostalgia; it produced my first giant bass years ago and still works great today. But I also carry black/blue, black, green pumpkin and watermelon.

In terms of line…I fish 10- to 15-lb. Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon in clear waters; 15- to 17- lb. for stained conditions. And in waters with double-digit bass, I’ll go even heavier. I like the sensitivity you get with fluoro, the fact it sinks, and the near invisibility factor. 

Another cool thing about fishing heavy fluoro with lizards or big worms is it decreases the amount of tungsten or lead weight you need to use. You get some sinking factor with the line itself. That means I’ll often fish lizards or big worms weightless in shallow-water (1.5- to 2 feet) situations. Plus, the Berkley PowerBait Power Lizard is pretty bulky in the body. All this adds up to long casts and easy fishability.

Rod & Reel Setup

One of my secrets to fishing lizards is upping the speed. Rather than the typical “lift-drag” Texas rig retrieve, I’ll use a twitch-twitch-reel-reel-shake and repeat. This gets the appendages really pushing water. To those ends, I like a higher-geared baitcaster like the 7.0:1 Abu Garcia Revo MGX

Speaking to that reel, it weighs around 5 ounces, which means when combined with a feathery 7’6” fast action, medium-heavy power Abu Garcia Veracity, you can easily fish these big baits all day without fatigue. Plus, fishing lighter rods and reels gives you better sensitivity…important for detecting bites on the drop. 

Parting Words

This season pay attention to drastic temperature swings and fish them like cold fronts in reverse. Size up and try lizards for more and bigger bass, even during difficult situations on pressured waters. 

About Steve Pennaz

Steve is one of the most trusted voices in fishing. From 1988 until 2012, he served as Executive Director for the North American Fishing Club, including North American Fisherman magazine, fishingclub.com and the club’s daily enewsletter “Fishin’ Informer.” He’s also hosted several television series, including “North American Outdoors,” “North American Fisherman,” and “Fishing Club Journal.” Pennaz launched Knot Wars, now a successful app on iPhone and Droid. He excels at finding and catching fish on new waters, a skill that now drives “Lake Commandos.”

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