Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bizzy, Bizzy, Bizzy!

Wow! A little nice weather combined with a big holiday weekend, and everyone is running every which way getting folks set up for spring fishing and enjoying the outdoors! I'm taking a quick lunch to just make sure that you get the word on a couple of topics -

- Fishing is heating up!
Given the winds we've been seeing recently, it's just as well that ocean salmon fishing has been put on hold this year. I think we've all avoided "those trips" where you motor out the Gate, feel those swells start lifting the boat and then get hit with the wind chop that means either a messy day on the water or time to turn the boat around.

The smart die-hard ocean anglers have had a chance to relearn what a diverse and vibrant fishery they have right inside the SF Bay and Delta. Between striper, sturgeon and halibut, there are all kinds of fish to be found. And, you can usually locate a good spot that isn't overrun by other boats. Joe and Richard in our San Rafael store get the up-to-the-minute reports, so drop by to get set up right for this weekend.

The Marin Watershed lakes have been doing well. The warmer weather has brought the panfish to life a bit, and as you can tell from Joe's recent report, if you aren't hooking bass, you aren't trying. The trout experts have been quietly getting good results as well, working the edges of weed growth and dropoffs with Panther Martin lures and Powerbait.

Up in Santa Rosa, last weekend was the Rohnert Park Kids' Fishing Derby, which brought out almost 350 young anglers. Huge thanks to Debbie, Rickey and Tom who volunteered to spend the day setting up the enthusiastic anglers and untangling the odd bird's nest or two. One of the hot tickets turned out to be the new Berkeley Power Trout Worms - it kept producing fish after the bite turned off.

Lake Sonoma should be just about perfect this weekend, and we're still hoping to see a nice slug of shad moving up into the Russian River.

- Hunting Licenses
The 2009/2010 California Hunting Licenses and Deer Tag Applications are available in both stores. If you are going to be applying for premium deer, elk, antelope or bighorn sheep tags, those applications must be received by 5 p.m. June 2 at the California Department of Fish and Game License and Revenue Branch in Sacramento. Drawing results will be available June 24.

To purchase licenses, you must bring in a prior year's license or proof of Hunter Safety Course completion.

Copies of the DFG's California Hunting Digest Big Game Book are available, though they tend to go fast.

More information is available via the DFG website -

- Browning Safes Have Arrived
We had a truckload of safes dropped off at our San Rafael store a week ago. These fireproof safes are one of the best ways to secure firearms and other valuables during those times when you might be gone on vacation. Since they always sell faster than Browning can make them for us, we've had a few requests to mention it here when they arrive.

- Ammunition Still Problematic
Quality centerfire ammo has been arriving steadily, but we are still receiving it one load at a time - as I mentioned earlier, the best thing is to make sure that you get your name and phone number on file at the Western Sport Shop location near you. The first few shipments that arrived were completely sold by the time we finished going through the people on file.

You can call the store directly or just speak with anyone in the hunting department the next time you are in the stores.

- Fishing and Fly Rod Sale
Although the response has been significant, we still have a few of "last year's" models of conventional and fly rods priced at up to 50% off the original price. These deals are only available in our stores, and are limited to stock on hand. Also, while you are poking around the rod racks, make sure to graze through the sale tables - there's a bunch of stuff we found during audits, cleanups and organization - all priced ridiculously low.

So - head into the shops, get set up, then go enjoy this great long weekend!

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