Turn Black Friday into a good experience

For most Bassmaster Elite Anglers, dealing with the shopping crowds on Black Friday is about as painful as walking onto the Bassmaster weigh-in stage with an empty bag.

But it doesn’t have to be. You can turn this into a positive experience since a lot of major outdoor retailers offer some mind-blowing pre-Christmas savings on this day as well.

Bass Pro Shops is a good example. Black Friday sales rank only with its Spring Fishing Classic promotion when it comes to great bargains. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that all of the large outdoor retail outlets do the same. It’s a big day for anyone in the tackle business.

These holiday sales can benefit you as well. Go do a quick assessment of your tackle to see what items needs restocked. Running short on a specific brand, color or size of soft plastic? Need to replenish your deep running crankbaits, or is there a rod/reel combo you’ve been dying to have?

Next, visit the website of your favorite retailer see what’s on sale today. I’ve been blown away by some of the Black Friday prices I’ve seen; you may find as much as $2 off on your favorite crankbait or a rod/reel that you’ve wanted sold at prices you won’t see the rest of the year.

In addition, a lot of the new tackle for 2013 is just becoming available. I know for a fact that Bass Pro Shops has pushed manufacturers to make the hot items available for the Christmas season. Now’s the best time to get the colors and sizes of lures you need because those inventories may dwindle by the time the fishing season arrives.

When you see something you want, print it out, hand it to your spouse and tell him/her what a bargain it is and where to find it. That simplifies a shopping experience and you get something you really want. Secondly, those big stores are a good place to hang out while your spouse is shopping elsewhere. I know my wife likes it when I go shopping with her, so I always ask her to drop me off at the Bass Pro Shops while she’s shopping there or elsewhere.

In fact, we are visiting my brother in Charlotte, N.C., this week and you can bet that I will take my boys to the Bass Pro Shops there while Sherry is shopping at Macy’s.

If you have younger children, take them with you, too. Bass Pro has a special “Santa’s Wonderland” that offers cool displays and the kids can get their photo taken with Santa for free.

That’s one of the neat things about visiting a major retailer this time of year. There’s so much cool outdoor stuff to see and there’s something of interest to the entire family.

So think about it; you can make Black Friday a positive experience, even if shopping isn’t your thing.  And with a little research and by planting a few thoughts in a love one’s mind, you could easily wind up with some cool packages to open Christmas morning.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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