Browning Barnett baits, Cheater cage found, Prom date bass bait

Today’s Top 5

How Browning won at Barnett. 

Here’s how big a hammer Elitist Stephen Browning is on rivers:

That’s right, Thor-level. Come to think of it, when the Avengers are in town, you can never find Browning anywhere #suspicious — check it:

Lol that shot always cracks me up. Anyhow, here’s all the reasons Stpehen won the Ross Barnett Open — taken from the full pattern write-up on

1. River hammer and 2. Experience

> Barnett, where he finished 5th at the 2015 Open and 2nd at the 2013 Open: “The way it’s laid out reminds me of the lower Arkansas River where I grew up tournament fishing. The whole lake…looks identical to it, all aspects…old oxbow lakes off the main river, spawning flats — everything just sets up like the lower Arkansas River….” [Note: Barnett fishes “riverine” — in BassGold terms — because it’s an impoundment of the relatively shallow Pearl River.]

> “[That means] for me it’s easy to analyze it, to read it. I can eliminate a lot of water before I even get there. I didn’t mess around with a lot of the lake. I got it narrowed down to 3-4 places [before he got there]. Those fish relate to certain areas at certain times of the year. I’ve fished 5-6 events there, and fished the same general areas — I can just relate to those areas.”

3. Risk-taker

Deets about this in the full pattern, but the bottom line was: He committed to one way to fish before he even showed up, fished the same flat other top finishers fished but in a different way, for few bites (just got 5 fish a day) and with a moving bait during a cold front.

Props to Browning…who likes fishingING BROWN water….

Browning’s baits. 

Super-size all the deets on the BassBlaster website, but here’s the beef:

> “12 of the 15 keepers I weighed came on the Jack Hammer Chatterbait — black/blue in the morning, and at about 10:00 when the sun got up, I’d switch to white. A lot of shad were in the areas, but I felt like that darker bait in the morning was something they could find a little better.”

> Both were 3/8-oz Jack Hammers with a Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ (black blue lam) in the morning and Z-Man Razor Shadz (b/b and pearl).

Innerestin’ Browning stuff. 

Stuff from the write-up thought you’d dig — not all the juice, but some goodies:

> “When those pre-spawn fish eat that Chatterbait, a lot of times they’ll swim away with it as fast as they can — when pre-spawn fish hit a Chatterbait, they truck with it. It’s hard to keep up with them and it’s virtually impossible to get a good hookset. I had a 6.4 gear-ratio reel the first day and literally could not keep up with them [his back-seater had a better day 1 than he did]. With a faster reel, I got a better hookset….”

> “A lot of people were dragging baits, like how the guy won it the last time. If you went to any one of the sporting goods stores around there, they were sold out of junebug lizards — so I felt like the fish would see a lot of those.

> “There’s something about that Chatterbait that gets that reaction bite. Every time I’d catch one, it would have the bait back in its crushers. It blew my mind I couldn’t get more bites — you’d think eating a bait like that, all you had to do was get it around one.”

Cheater cage found? 

@jerrygarciafishing says he found this on Percy Priest Lake, TN:

I can’t say for sure what the purpose was for it, but dude said:

> I cut it off the tree and threw it in about 30′ of water. This is the 3rd time I have found evidence of cheating. This is also the reason I do not fish the local weekend tournaments anymore on #percypriestlake.

> …looked like a jug line but I could see the top of the cage it was tied to.

‘Nother dude said:

> Guess I’m not the only one! I’ve been fishing Priest a few years and ran across a couple of these as well. Shallow water deep [back] in the rivers seems to be a common hiding place. Been tempted to hide a trail cam in the trees….

What’s going on there?? Could those cages be use for anything else?

Proof bassin’ helps the USA. 

Lotta bad stuff in the news, but here’s a little evidence we’re gonna be okay:

Yep, that’s a senior prom invite on a Strike King 6XD. Somewhere in KY. Props to the young man for giving her the right bait in a great color to catch ’em in that state — not sure if the first word of the color was intentional lol! — and for the young lady for apparently bein’ completely cool with it.

Very appreciative for sharing this awesomeness, thanks much to them and Mark Menendez who hipped me to it!


1. We lost Ray Sasser.

Dang…so bummed to hear this, did not know he was fighting lymphoma. Ray was a really dang good outdoor writer — knew a lot, kept up with a lot, always had the critters and us folks who chase ’em in mind. He was a steady hand in Dallas, TX. Peace bassin’ brother.

2. Here’s Brandon Palaniuk’s Classic camera rig.

Believe he’s gonna add a couple more to it….

3. DeFoe, Palaniuk, Feider will have a bunch o’ rods…

…rigged up for the Classic, sounds like. For practice anyway.

4. What Ken Iyobe fished at Barnett.

Almost won it. Day 2 flipped a jig but day 3 was looking for reaction bites:

5. FLW expands membership bennies.

So: B.A.S.S. is a media company, FLW is a membership company — that fair? Though both have the other.

They’re not opposites, else they would…attract….

6. WV: No longer just 1 big bass at Stonewall Jackson.

Sounds like not final yet:

> Currently, anglers may keep only 1 bass larger than 18″ from Stonewall. That’s a pain in the neck for tournament anglers because they can only have 1 fish that size or larger in their boats’ livewells.

> That would change under the new regulation, which would allow anglers in registered bass tournaments to keep more than 1 18-incher….

7. CA: All ramps at Perris should be useable soon.

8. AL: Auburn studying Eufaula bass genetics.

> Researchers will be collecting DNA samples from fish that are 4 lbs or larger to determine how much of the Florida bass strain still exists in the bass in Eufaula.

> This information will be used to get GA and AL to stock more of those fish in the lake.

> Researchers are hoping fishermen will help them out and swab any fish over 4 lbs…. Kits for sampling are free and can be found at most tackle shops in Eufaula and at Lakepoint Marina.

Rumor is the Auburn researchers are going to insert anti-U of AL genes in the bass…lol

9. ON: Lake Niapenco largie and smallie pops “amazing.”

And underfished. You fished that lake Mercer?

10. TX: Sealy HS forms bassin’ team.

Git after it teen bass-heads!

11. Careco working with someone else for airtime sales.

12. Didja know Tackle Warehouse has a promotions page?

Check ’em all here.

Tip of the Day

More on cold-water Chatterbaitin’.

Got curious about it, Googled up an older post on the In-Fish, check this excerpt:

> “When everyone else is throwing a Rat-L-Trap, you can catch fish behind them on these baits because they’re very different from what the fish have been seeing,” [FLWer Tom] Redington says.

> He likes a Vibrator Jig better than a lipless crankbait for fishing over grass because it ticks the grass nicely and he can easily pull it free with the braided line he always uses with it. [That’s the Phenix bait that Elitist Brett Hite fished before the Jack Hammer.]

> Alton Jones favors a Boogee Bait for pre-spawn fishing when a hard cold front passes and the water temp drops. “The big females that have moved up and are almost ready to spawn strike Boogee Baits when almost nothing else is working,” he says. [The Boogee was made by BOOYAH but discontinued…tho I’ve seen a new prototype BOOYAH vibe jig so….]

> Jones and Redington generally rig with swimbaits for pre-spawn fishing, favoring the large profile of this big trailer and its natural swimming motion. They employ slow steady retrieves, often over vegetation, regularly hitting the tops of the grass with blade and jighead.

Yep, we all know vibe jigs are great in pre-spawn, but the whole pre-spawn WITH a cold front deal was innerestin’ to me. Alton’s description of that is dead-on to how Browning fished. [chin-scratch emoji]

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Quote of the Day

“Virginia Tech’s only national title is for bass fishing.”

Supposedly derogatory statement about the Hokies, from a handout given to Duke students before a Duke home hoops game vs VA Tech.

Don’t know ’bout you, but the way I read that, Duke’s got some serious catchin’ up to do….

Shot of the Day

Could these be a new “thing?” Crank/jerkbaits — almost saltwater-lookin’. From the post:

> Big bait = big fish. This is the Deps Balisong Minnow 130 SF, a big profile, natural minnow body combined with an oversized bill like you find on a deep-diving crankbait.


Apple employees are calling 911…

…after walking into the glass walls of their HQ. These are the “geniuses” designing your stuff.Not sure what’s more lame, walking into walls you know are there — because, you know, they’ve always been there — or calling 911 when you bump your head on ’em.

Ya got me

Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated by me — Jay Kumar. I started, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!

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