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Entries in Bass Pro Shops (21)


Bull Shoals Gets Habitat Upgrade From Arkansas Game and Fish

Nearly three dozen biologists and technicians from across Arkansas converged on Bull Shoals Lake in late fall to improve fishing.

“As part of the Fisheries Division’s strategic management plan, we do two major habitat projects like this and at least eight smaller ones per year,” said Jeremy Risley, regional fisheries biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). “This one was supposed to have happened in May and June, but due to high water at that time, we transferred that effort to Lake Chicot.”

Through a special agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the White River impoundment, AGFC staff cut both oaks and cedars from the shoreline to make the attractors for about 80 locations. "If we can find a few good oaks, they'll last a long time," Risley added. "But cedars offer a little denser, more complex cover to the brushpile and can last up to 10 years or so.

"We're looking for 8- to 12-inch diameter cedars so they'll last much longer than Christmas trees that are good for about a year or so."

Using three barges, including one donated by Bass Pro Shops in 2005, staff placed the brushpiles in areas that will be 20 to 30 feet deep when the fishery is at full pool. The cover will offer draw baitfish in search of shelter and provide bass, crappie, and walleye with ambush areas, with anglers benefitting, the biologist explained.

"People will be able to get the GPS coordinates for these attractors when the fish move off the banks and hopefully find them out there," the biologist said.

Placing cover along the shoreline, meanwhile, does provide cover for young-of-the-year fish, but studies have not shown a substantial increase in survival as a result in large impoundments.

"Spawning success during high-water years really drives the system," Risley explained. "Through our population samples, we can see nearly 10 times the productivity as average years."

The biologist said fish attractors and deep-water habitat have been added to Bull Shoals since at least 1988, with AGFC and its partners placing more than 500.

 Locations of the new attractors have been added to an interactive map on the AGFC website.


Former Presidents, Legendary Anglers, Celebrities Help Celebrate Opening of Wonders of Wildlife Museum



With two former presidents in attendance, Johnny Morris opened his Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, a tribute to fish and wildlife conservation, in late September.

Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush joined the founder of Bass Pro Shops (BPS) for the festivities, along with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. Additionally, actor Mark Wahlberg did a little SCUBA diving in one of the aquariums, while a "Concert for Conservation" featured Kevin Costner, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bently, and John Anderson.

Fishing legends Bill Dance, Roland Martin, and Jimmy Houston also attended, as did racing's Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Billing the new facility as "the largest, most immersive, wildlife conservation attraction in the world, a major new destination in the heart of America," Bass Pro shops reported that more than 400 conservation leaders came to the opening, "along with significant donors and guests."

Morris added, “Wonders of Wildlife is an inspirational journey around the world that celebrates the role of hunters and anglers as America’s true conservation heroes.

"We proudly invite families and sportsmen to come share the wonder with an unforgettable experience meant to inspire generations of future conservationists.”

Located next door to BPS national headquarters, the museum features 1.5 million gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums, along with 1.4 miles of trails spread across 340,000 square feet. About 35,000  fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds representing more than 800 species from around the world bring life to the exhibit. Plus, 4D dioramas highlight fully immersive wildlife galleries, providing sights, sounds, smells, and climates from around the world.

"You'll feel the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Himalayas, the dry sun of the African Savannah and more," BPS said.

The aquariums honor legendary anglers, with boats from Earnest Hemingway and Zane Grey, and personal fishing artifacts and mementos from U.S. presidents and some of fishing’s most accomplished sportsmen and women at The International Game Fish Association’s Fishing Hall of Fame and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

Also, with assistance provided by more than 40 conservation organizations, the museum shares the story of American conservation, from Native Americans to modern-day wildlife management.

"Johnny’s signature creativity and attention-to-detail ensures there are surprises around every corner to amaze guests of all ages," BPS said. "From stepping inside a massive 'open ocean' ring-shaped aquarium, trekking across a sprawling 50,000-square-foot re-creation of the African Savannah and going underwater and eye-to-eye with piranha, the entire adventure is full of special touches you’ll have to see to believe."


Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium Opens at Bass Pro Shops Headquarters

Former President George W. Bush is in center and former President Jimmy Carter on far right.Johnny Morris opened the new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium at his Bass Pro Shops world headquarters in Springfield, Mo., in late September. The massive property is a tribute to fish and wildlife conservation  in our country, as well as entertaining tourist attraction, and education facility.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush attended the gala opening, as did celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Costner, along with fishing legends Bill Dance, Roland Martin, and Jimmy Houston.

Mark Wahlberg in Wonders of Wildlife aquariumFollowing is a description of the museum as provided by Bass Pro Shops:

Massive: 340,000 square feet with 1.4 miles of immersive trails, interactive surprises and creative exhibits, including 1.5 million gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums;

Global: 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds represent more than 800 species from around the world;

Immersive: Fully immersive wildlife galleries feature 4D dioramas that transport guests to the wildest places on earth through sights, sounds, smells and climates. You’ll feel the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Himalayas, the dry sun of the African Savannah, and more.

Conservation-focused: Partnerships with more than 40 leading conservation organizations help share the story of conservation from  Native Americans to Lewis and Clark and modern-day wildlife management. Countless artifacts make it real, including Hemingway’s boat and personal possessions from our conservation president Teddy Roosevelt, to name a few.

Fun: Johnny’s signature creativity and attention-to-detail ensures there are surprises around every corner to amaze guests of all ages. From stepping inside a massive “open ocean” ring-shaped aquarium, to trekking across a sprawling 50,000-square foot re-creation of the African Savannah and going underwater and eye-to-eye with piranha, you will encounter special touches and experience adventures that must be seen to be believed.


FTC Approves Merger of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's

The merger of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s has received the go-ahead from antitrust regulators, according to Fox Business and other sources.

In a filing with the SEC, Cabela’s said Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission informed the company earlier this week that it concluded its investigation of Bass Pro’s $4.2 billion buyout. Cabela’s shareholders will vote on the deal July 11.

The transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter, is also contingent on the successful sale of Cabela’s financial unit to Synovus Financial, a bank based in Georgia, and Capital One Financial.

Bass Pro and Cabela’s initially agreed to a deal worth roughly $5.5 billion, but the outdoor retailers amended the merger after Capital One ran into regulatory hurdles over its plans to buy all of World’s Foremost Bank, a Cabela’s subsidiary.

Cabela’s agreed in April to be bought for $61.50 a share, down from the original purchase price of $65.50 a share. Under the new plan, Capital One will buy Cabela’s credit card business. Synovus will acquire the assets and deposits of World’s Foremost Bank.

In October, 2016, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said the following:

"This morning it is with tremendous pride and humility that I share with you the great news that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's have agreed to combine our two legendary brands to create a truly premier retailer in outdoor sporting goods. This merger of resources, experience and passion for the outdoors represents a unique opportunity for both organizations and their respective team members.

"For many years I have believed there is a remarkable strategic fit between our companies. The prospect of bringing together our time-tested, iconic outdoor brands: Cabela's — a leader in hunting, Bass Pro Shops — a leader in fishing, and White River Marine Group — a worldwide leader in boating, is very exciting!

"In my view this really is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for both of our companies and clearly provides the foundation to create a "best of the best" shopping experience for all outdoor enthusiasts worldwide for generations to come. I truly believe combining our two companies in this transaction will benefit our collective associates and our vendors while enabling us to enhance our service and expand our products to better serve our valued customers.

"I have enormous admiration for Cabela's and the remarkable brand and business they have built. Cabela's is a great American success story. Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela started the company at the family kitchen table when Dick decided to place an ad to sell fishing flies. From that humble start, the Cabela's family, along with a remarkable team of "outfitters" has grown to become one of the premier specialty retail companies. Today Cabela's nearly 19,000 outfitters operate 85 stores across the United States and Canada, offering merchandise and equipment for hunting, fishing, marine use, camping and many other outdoor activities as well as a best in class direct and e-commerce business.

"Both of our companies share a remarkably similar heritage, each starting very small and growing over time thanks to the hard work and passion of many remarkable team members. The combination of our two companies will honor and build upon this legacy. Bass Pro Shops has every intention of celebrating and growing the Cabela's brand. We will work hard to foster the qualities that customers love most about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's. The spirit of this agreement is about adding to our great brands and creating increased stability and opportunities for our team members."

What will happen to Bass Pro Shops and/or Cabela's stores?

It is business as usual at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's and there will be no immediate impact to our stores.

What will happen to my existing Bass Pro Shops and/or Cabela's rewards, program points, and credit cards?

All Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards and Cabela's CLUB points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction.

Bass Pro Shops recognizes the strength of Cabela's CLUB loyalty program, intends to honor Cabela's customer rewards and sees potential over time to expand the program in the combined company.

Following the transaction, Capital One will service Cabela's credit card business.

Where can I use my Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's gift cards?

At this time, Bass Pro Shops gift cards can be used at Bass Pro Shops stores and Cabela's gift cards can be used at Cabela's stores.

What will happen to the Cabela's brand?

Following the closing of the transaction, we intend to celebrate and grow the Cabela's brand, and will foster qualities that respective customers love most about both Bass Pro and Cabela's.


Svebek Overtakes Broussard to Win Bassmaster Central Open

ORANGE, Texas — Carl Svebek III has been a professional angler for most of his life.

He cut his teeth fishing tournaments on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and he went on to fish in several major series as an adult. Eight years ago, Svebek dropped out of sight. He stopped fishing professionally. He had lost his title sponsor and was going through a divorce. So he decided to give up the sport he loved to spend more time with his children who hadn’t seen much of dad while he was on the road fishing.

Svebek returned to pro angling 18 months ago. He made the biggest splash of his professional career today by winning the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on the Sabine River here on the Texas/Louisiana border. Svebek weighed a limit of five bass on Saturday that totaled 12 pounds, 3 ounces. It gave him a three-day total of 36-12, which was just enough to vault over T-Roy Broussard, who led the tournament the first two days.

Svebek, who also moved to Orange last year, was in second place heading into Saturday’s competition, and he took the hot seat with only Broussard remaining to weigh-in. The Port Arthur, Texas, resident had only 10 pounds in his sack, which sealed the win for the 50-year-old Svebek. An ecstatic Svebek leaped into the air and pumped his fist repeatedly as the hometown crowd burst into celebration.

Svebek was choked with emotion as he spoke to the crowd, and he spent at least 10 minutes hugging family and friends before breaking free to discuss his victory.

“This is absolutely a dream come true,” he said. “To be able to win this tournament in front of all these people from Orange is really special to me. I’ll never forget it.”

He won’t have much time to forget the big win. Svebek now will prepare for the final Central Open of the season which will be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in October. If he fishes in that tournament, he will earn a berth in the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

No way he’s missing the final Central Open, he said.

“I’m fishing the Bassmaster Classic,” he marveled aloud to the large crowd who greeted him offstage. “Can you believe it?”

To get there, Svebek fished the marshes just on the Louisiana side of the Sabine River, which was about a 20-minute run downriver. He eased into an extremely dense area crowded with “just about every kind of grass you can imagine,” he said.

“There were a lot of lily pads, especially on the shorelines,” he said. “There was milfoil and hydrilla. I was in about a foot and a half of water, and it was clear. That was key; getting the clean water. There was very little tidal movement in there, and that kind of helped me.”

Svebek said his key bait for the week was a Zoom Super Fluke (bluegill color) rigged Texas-style with a Bass Pro Shops XPS EWG hook. He also put a swivel about 1 foot up the line to help keep his line from twisting on long casts he was making to open pockets inside the foliage.

“I really liked the way the bait worked with the swivel,” he said. “It sounds ridiculous, but it was just enough weight that when it hit, if I paused for a minute, it would give it time to go down. I know I caught two 4-pounders this week on the initial fall. After 12 noon, I would put on a Bass Pro Shops frog. I wouldn’t get many bites doing that, but when I got one, it was a game-changer. The 4-pounder I had today was on that frog.”

That kicker may have been the bass that pushed Svebek to the Central Open win. As he held the championship trophy aloft on Saturday, he realized just how far he had come since his return to professional angling.

“To be honest, I didn’t know where I was going a year and a half ago,” he said. “I was struggling. I was having a hard time finding a job in the oil business. And then my good friend David Jones (whose Orange-based Gopher Industrial sponsored the Central Open) called me up and offered me a job. And he gave me a chance to go fishing again. I missed it, and I’m eternally grateful for him for letting me do this again.”

Svebek won a Skeeter ZX200/Yamaha SHO200 boat and motor package worth approximately $45,000, as well as $7,893 in cash. He picked up an additional $500 by winning the Power-Pole Captains Cash Award.

Broussard seemed destined to win the Central Open after his strong start, but he finished a hard-luck second. He weighed a respectable bag on Saturday (the fifth heaviest of the 12 anglers,) but it wasn’t enough to hold off Svebek’s hard charge. Broussard did split the $750 Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award with Johnny Nguyen. Both anglers weighed a 5-5 bass, which tied for the heaviest in the tournament. Broussard also won the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $250 for holding the Day 2 lead.

The remaining pros in the Top 12 were third, Chad Morgenthaler, 34-10; fourth, Jeff Avery, 34; fifth, Shane Cormier, 33-12; sixth, Randy Sullivan, 33-10; seventh, Josh Bertrand, 29-14; eighth, Matthew Delaney, 29-9; ninth, Trey Smith, 29-8; 10th, John Garrett, 29-2; 11th, Jonathan Simon, 28-6; and 12th, Terry Luedtke, 26-8.

Michael Soliz of Orange won the co-angler division with a three-day total of 19-2. Soliz actually tied with Jordan Burks of Joplin, Mo., for first place, but Soliz won the tiebreaker as he had a higher single-day total than Burks. Soliz won a Triton 179 TrX Mercury 115 ELPT four-stroke boat and motor package with his victory.

In the nonboater division, Burks received the Phoenix Boats Big Bass award of $250 with a 5-15 bass. Mark Powers of Platteville, Colo., received the Livingston Lures Leader Award of $250 in merchandise for being the Day 2 leader in the co-angler division.