Spring is a great time for assessing your closet and buying your outdoor gear. Waters are warming up—faster in some places than others—and except for turkey season, there isn’t a whole lot going on. While we’ve been cooped up inside, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops have been planning their Spring Adventure Sale, which went live April 14. With an eye towards spring fishing and long summer days of camping, they’ve dropped a suite of good deals.
We’ve combed through the sale to find some of their best deals, as well as the can’t miss gear you’ll need over the next six months. But if you’re looking for something in particular, you can head straight to the sale’s homepage.
The water is warming up, and fish are starting to shake off their winter sluggishness. There’s deals to be had on rods, reels, and combos, but most of the discounts are in lures and clothing.
A crankbait is your Spring workhorse for bass fishing, and Berkley’s Frittside is an incredibly versatile flat-sided crankbait. Good for anything down to 10-feet the Frittside casts well, lands with a thump, and moves with a tight, realistic wiggle. These aren’t incredibly cheap as bass baits go, but with a bit of a discount you can grab a couple and see what works in your pre- and post-spawn waters.
But if you’re looking to grab more than a couple crankbaits to try out, take a look at the Bass Pro crankbaits. Deep, medium, shallow, and rattling lures are up for a buy five, get one free discount. You’ll see them marked in the sale with a banner saying as much. If you’re trying new spots and want a fleet of lures to test, you can’t beat the deal.
For those serious about finding underwater structure to target, you can pick up the serious Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra Chartplotter and Fish Finder on a deep 50% discount right now. This fish finder supports CHIRP traditional as well as Ultra High-Definition ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonars. It has plenty of preloaded coastal and inland charts and maps, and it supports optional Panoptix LiveScope LVS12 sonar, plus the full line of Panoptix sonar transducers. It has built-in settings to let you create personalized on-screen maps in real time, and you can upload those maps to Garmin’s online community, if you are feeling generous. Garmin’s fish finders are best-in-class, so picking one up on this deep of a discount is a serious steal.
If you’re in the Deep South, where Spring rolls on pretty quickly, lily pads start to creep in, and Summer lasts forever, go ahead and prep for those sluggish hot months. Walking a loud popping frog over and through heavy cover always has a chance to catch the biggest fish in a lake during the summer. This Bass Pro XPS Poppin’ Frog casts easy and has a great concave face to make a lot of ruckus. Grab one now, or you’ll running around to find one when the water gets hot.
If your Spring is spent in the surf, consider an artificial option to your springtime sea worms. While nothing artificial will match the scent of live worms, Berkeley’s Gulp Alive Bloodworms do the best job of hitting fish’s olfactory system. (We recently picked them as the only alternative to Spring sea worms.) But, the main benefit comes from how well these plastic worms hold up. They’re less mess than the real thing, and you can use them over and over. If anything, it never hurts to toss a pack in your tackle box, just in case.
Picked as our best surf fishing combo the Penn Battle III is more than capable of holding up to the tough conditions of surf fishing. With the 3000 reel size combo Bass Pro has in stock, you get a great one-piece 7-foot medium light power, fast action rod. With Penn’s Battle III reel, you get 15lbs. of drag and a proven HT-100 carbon fiber drag system; smooth 5+1 ball bearing system; and a surf-tough full metal body and side plates. Though the reel isn’t fully sealed, and only the 3000 is currently stocked, this is an incredibly tough combo that will serve you well if you’re planning on days in the salt this Spring and Summer.
If over the next six months you’re spending long days on the water, hate fooling with sunscreen, or always find yourself getting sunburnt, grab a quality fishing shirt. This one gives you everything you need with UPF 50+ protection, moisture wicking, and odor fighting. And though this shirt doesn’t have all the pockets and vents you get on a nicer button-down option, it has one big plus: raglan sleeves. When you’re in a boat sweating and casting for hours on end, your shirt can start to stick and pull in weird ways, especially around the shoulders. Raglan sleeves will give you a better range of motion and more comfort.
As the days get longer and you’re clocking out earlier and earlier, having a quick one-person cooler is invaluable. This little Engle 25 was our best small fishing cooler with good reason. It’s compact, easily fitting in the backseat of a car and in the bottom of a small boat. It’s tough, has excellent ice retention, and has a nice airtight lock. Its 21-quart interior (not 25-quart) is plenty big for drinks and lunch for two or three, maybe four. At 17 pounds empty, it’s lighter than competitors, and at $119, it’s much cheaper. It’s the perfect day cooler. But, if you want more space, the Engle 35 (actually 35-quart) is only 5-pounds heavier and also on sale.
Some of the best deals in this sale are on tents, from walled units for hunting camp to single person backpacking tents. If you’re looking for a new tent or want to grab a backup at low cost, grab one of these or look through the rest of what’s on sale.
You need a wall tent for hunting camp, or just want serious luxury when car camping, picking up Cabela’s Outback Lodge on sale is a solid option. The tent sleeps six, or a few less and plenty of gear. The tent goes up quickly and is held up by a steel main pole with fiberglass corner poles. This tent should hold up well, as the walls and ceiling are made of a 75D polyester-taffeta, and they have a 1,500mm waterproof-rated coating. But, you’ve also got 68D polyester windows to keep everything ventilated. As with any wall tent, this model’s got plenty of horizontal and vertical space inside (dimensions are 10’x10’x8’5”), as well as a large door with an awning. The tent comes with everything you’ll need to get it up, as well as a bottle of seam sealer. With a carry weight of just over 23-pounds, and at this price, it’ll be hard to beat this as a three-season option.
If you’re looking for something better suited to four-seasons, the old adage remains true: Buy in the offseason. Cabela’s has its Ultimate Alaknak 10’x10′ Outfitter Tent, at a $200 discount right now. Where that 10’x10’ footprint slept six with the Outback Lodge, you’ll likely sleep four here when packing winter gear and a tent stove. Still, this wall tent is built for extreme protection. The tent is made of a waterproof 300-denier polyester oxford with 1,000mm polyurethane coating, and the body and roof deliver high tear strength with top fire-, abrasion-, and puncture resistance. The tent is held steady with 10 perimeter poles, one center pole, and an exterior vestibule pole. The 300-denier polyester oxford floor has a zip open panel, so you can safely place a stove under the roof’s stove jack. This tent offers great four season protection, packs in at 60 lbs., and the $200 discount means you can go ahead and grab a new tent stove as well.
If you’re looking for something more family friendly or just want a smaller footprint, I would always go for a dome tent. Adept at withstanding high winds, a dome should always keep you dry and reasonably comfortable, especially with a full cover rainfly. The Cabela’s West Wind comes with a full-coverage 1,000mm polyurethane coated 5-denier polyester oxford rainfly. The rainfly creates a nice front vestibule for shoes or dirty gear, and ventilation is still great with nylon mesh panels in the tent’s ceiling. The tent also has a gear loft, and mesh pockets along the sides to keep valuables off the floor. For a family tent, it’s a great option. (If you need even more space, the eight-person version is also on sale.)
Staying In or Heading Out
For those using their fairer months to spend time at home cooking out, the sale has some good deals on cooking equipment, whether camp stoves, pellet grills, or the smoker mentioned below. But, there’s also boots, bags, and boats for those trying to get away.
If you’re new to smoking, an absent minded cook, or just short on space, Masterbuilt’s 30” Electric Smoker should be your purchase for this year’s fast approaching cookout season. A good value before any discount, on sale it’s a great option to dip your toe into smoking. The digital thermostat, which controls your 800W heating element, takes the guesswork out of keeping it low and slow. You can set your desired temperature, load your wood chips and let it be until it’s ready, all without worrying about stoking your heat source or checking internal thermometers. The 30-inch smoker is compact but offers 711 square-inches of cooking space on four racks, so it is ideal for anyone that’s low on space. The smoker has an air dampener and comes with a water pan, drip tray, and grease tray. The only real drawback is that when you choose to open it, the door is one whole side of the smoker, which could result in a bit of heat loss. But, this model’s window door lets you check on things without opening the door, so that’s less of an issue. Plus, it’s a good lesson in patience. Trust your temperature.
Warming weather means the chance to spend more time on the water, afternoons on the lake, days offshore, or multiple days down the river. Anywhere you find yourself, the Simms Dry Creek duffel will be your go-to. The duffel style and waterproof design make it a spacious dry bag that works with you when you’re carrying or packing. That waterproof design comes from the 600-denier polyester ripstop body with dual-sided TPU lamination, as well as a dry bag waterproof roll-top. But if upcoming trips involve more time in airport lines than on the water, the Dry Creek duffel has an easy access exterior pocket to make the shuffling and document finding less painful. It’s a great dry bag or duffel, no matter where you’re headed.