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Classic special: Lee’s win in memes, ALL the Classic baits

Gitcha Classic special-like issue on! Lot in here, back to the regular BB format on Thursday…. Thanks for readin’ bass-heads!

Today’s Top 3

J-Lee’s crazy win in memes.

Heck yeah it was crazy: 3 fish day 1, 4 fish day 2, mega-limit day 3 — that wins a Classic?? WTHeck? So:

And then:

Jordan being such a young Classic winner, asked him how he learned to fish so well. Said he started early with:

Okay last one — He was going to hero or zero on his one spot so:

3 quick J-Lee Classic memories.

1. One of the Tulsa/Grand Classics I was sitting at the hotel bar eating dinner next to a college kid I’d met that day, Jordan Lee, and his bud (sorry don’t remember his name). Supposedly Lee was a stick. Guess so!

2. Day 2 at this one he told me he had this spot that had a pile of 5-6 lbers on it, and no one else was fishing it. Ruh-roh.

3. Saw his bro Matty Lee at the Expo the afternoon of day 3: We talked about the spot, the fact that J-Lee’s Classic pattern (Gville too) is to stank it day 1 and crush it on day 3…laughed about it. Matty was nervous as heck for his bro = cool. Both of us thought it was impossible for Ehrler to have five 16″ fish that weighed anything less than 12.5 lbs. Guess not….

All the baits of the Classic.

Top to bottom, just missing Swindle. Here you go:

1st: Jordan Lee

> The beeg weener found a point with a hard spot on it that for some reason had a giant school of 5-6 lbers on it. At first he cranked a Strike King 5XD (citrus shad) and fished a Strike King Bullworm (plum) on a 1/2-oz shakey head, then day 3 switched to a 1/2-oz football jig with a Strike King Rage Craw (summer craw) or Strike King Space Monkey (gp).

2nd: Steve Kennedy

> Fished wood (willows, stumps) with a 5/8-oz D&L Advantage Jig (white) with a Zoom Super Chunk (white) — lighter version of the jig he fished to finish 4th at the 2016 Wheeler Elite. Weighed one each day caught on a Dirty Jigs Swim Jig (gp) with a Zoom Super Speed Craw (gp).

3rd: Brent Ehrler

> Flipped shallow wood mostly with a Yamamoto D Shad (gp), weightless and with 1/4- and 5/16-oz weights and a 3/0 Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Flippin’ Hook with weights. Also used a weightless Senko (gp) with a 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook. Said rigged right, the D-Shad will slowly fall diagonally which he said was key to getting bites.

4th: James Elam

> Elam found something most didn’t: He was flipping in front of bushes, not in them. He used a 3.5″ Jackall Chunk Craw (gp) with a 3/8-oz weight and a 4/0 Owner Wide Gap Plus Hook, and a 5″ Senko (gp/black flake) with a 1/8-oz weight and 3/0 Owner Offset Shank Wide Gap Worm Hook. All on 17-lb Seaguar InvizX.

> Here’s those baits — don’t think he used the strawberry glazed Daylight Donut….

5th: Ott DeFoe

> Day 1 fished the new Storm Arashi Cover Pop popper (ghost pearl shad) around bedfish and stickups. Here’s a shot of that bait:

> Days 2 and 3: Fished riprap with a homemade swimjig (white/chartreuse) with a Bass Pro Shops Sassy Sally swimbait (light hitch), and fished stickups with a wacky-rigged BPS Fin-Eke worm (gp) with a #1 weedless VMC Neko hook (not yet released). Also caught one on a 6″ swimbait (shad) off a bed.

6th: Mike Iaconelli

2 patterns:

> Fished deeper rocky funnel spots with a Carolina rig and shakey head. Rig: 6″ Berkley PowerBait Lizard (redbug and green pumpkin, changed on each pass), 1/2-oz barrel-shaped tungsten sinker, short leader, 3/0 VMC Ike Approved offset worm hook. Shakey: Berkley Bottom Hopper (gp), 3/16-oz VMC Rugby Jig.

> Flipped shallow wood with a Berkley Devil Spear (black/blue), 3/8-oz VMC Tungsten Flippin Weight and 4/0 VMC Flippin hook. Key was flipping with 25-lb Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon instead of braid because of the fishing pressure.

7th: Bradley Roy

> Fished road beds (primarily) and sunk brush on hard cover in 12′ with a 3/4-oz D&L football jig (bluegrass craw) and Cabin Creek Express Craw (gp).

8th: Bobby Lane

> Fished shallow flipping and dropshotting (wacky) a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss (junebug) with Flat Out Tungstens 3/8- and 5/16-oz weights, a #1 Trokar finesse worm hook (dropshot) or 4/0 and 5/0 Trokar 135 hooks. Also used a new/not yet released Yo-Zuri hard bait around the shad spawn.

9th: Jared Lintner

> Flipped shallow with a Jackall Flick Shake Worm (red/orange/green flake, a JDM-only color) two ways: dropshotted with a 3/16-oz Eco Pro Tungsten weight and 2/0 Trokar round-bend worm hook, and wacky with a 3/64-oz nail weight in one end and a 2/0 Trokar Light Wire Finesse Worm Hook.

10th: Kevin VanDam

> Jerked a Strike King KVD Deep Jerkbait (river shiner) and a regular KVD Jerkbait (crystal shad) over rocks in 8-12′. No special retrieve needed. River shiner is a custom color that Strike King painted for KVD:

11th: Edwin Evers

> Majority on 1/2-oz War Eagle spinnerbait (silver shiner, mostly double willow) around docks and sea walls. Also fished a 5/16-oz Andy’s E Series Finesse Jig (green craw) with a Zoom Little Critter Craw (gp) in the same spots.

> Caught a few Carolina-rigging a Zoom Baby Brush Hog (gp) on hard, rocky spots in 10-13′ — 3/4-oz weight, 3/0 hook.

12th: Jacob Powroznik

> Flipped bushes and beds with a V&M Flat Wild (watermelon red) with a 3/8-oz Elite tungsten weight and a 4/0 Mustad Denny Brauer Grip Pin Max Flippin’ Hook.

13th: Brett Hite

> Day 1 he didn’t pull out the bladed jig but after that he did: a 3/8-oz “EverGreen Jack Hammer by Chatterbait” (green shad) with a Yamamoto Zako (white). Fished it around sticks and stumps in 1.5-3′.

14th: Dave LeFebre

> Fished a prototype 5/16-oz Terminator jig (rootbeer/green flake) with a matching chunk. Check out how heavy the skirt is:

> Fished specific targets (“tiny ditches” around seawalls in 2′ or less. Key was fishing the jig really slow, ticking the bottom.

15th: Tim Klinger

> Fished shoreline cover with 1/2- and 3/4-oz Phenix spinnerbaits (lightning shad, Colo/Ind blades, no trailer), and flipping a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog and NetBait Paca Craw (gp and b/b) with a 3/8-oz Swagger Tackle weight, and 4/0 Trokar wide gap and Gamakatsu Heavy Cover hooks. 25-lb Sunline Shooter line for both techniques.

16th: Ryan Lavigne

> Flipped flooded wood (bushes and sticks) Missile Craw Father and D Bomb (both gp) with 3/16- or 1/4-oz Kajun Boss tungsten weight and 4/0 Owner and Gamakatsu hooks.

17th: Randall Tharp

> Targeted spawners around sticks (sticking out of the water) and willow bushes with a Zoom Z Hog (gp), 3/8-oz Reins tungsten sinker and 5/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flippin Hook.

18th: Drew Benton

> Flipped shoreline wood (bushes, laydowns, etc.) with a Tightlines UV Hy-Brid craw (gp) on a 3/8-oz weight and 4/0 Owner Wide Gap Plus Hook.

19th: Cliff Crochet

> Fished isolated shallow grass with a SPRO Bronzeye Frog and a black/blue creature bait on a 3/8-oz tungsten weight and 6/0 Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Hook.

20th: Cliff Pirch

> Fished banks of spawning cuts with a swimbait (shad) and offshore brushpiles with 6″ straight-tail Roboworms (red shades) with a 1/4-oz weight and light wire Rebarb hook.

21st: Jason Williamson

> 1/2-oz Buckeye J-Will Heavy Cover Jig (brown) with a Zoom Super Chunk (gp), fished it around wood in 2′ or less.

22nd: Ish Monroe

> Pitched visible beds (couldn’t see the fish) with a Missile Baby D Stroyer (super bug) with a 1/4-oz weight and 3/0 River2Sea Ish Monroe New Jack Flipping Hook.

23rd: Chris Zaldain

> “Bubba-shakeyed” a Zoom Trick Worm (black/blue) on a 5/0 hook with a 1/4-oz weight, around brush on a hard bottom in 6-8′.

24th: Justin Lucas

> Bedding/spawning areas: Discontinued 4″ Berkley Power Hawg (gp), 3/8-oz Eco Pro weight, 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 hook.

> Skipping docks: Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper (gp), 1/8-oz shakey head.

25th: Todd Faircloth

> Power-shotted shallow (1.5-2.5′) wood with a Strike King Finesse Worm (morning dawn), 1/8-oz weight and 3/0 Hayabusa FPP Straight Worm Hook. Fish usually hit it on the first pitch, sometimes he shook and dragged it a little.

26th: Aaron Martens

> Fished sticks and brushpiles on points with a homemade spinnerbait (clear/green back with gold/silver willows) in 3 sizes depending on depth: 3/8-, 3/4- and 1.25-oz.

27th: Alton Jones

> YUM Bad Mamma (green pumpkin purple) with a 3/8-oz weight and 4/0 Zoneloc Wide Gap Hook. Mostly flipped willow sticks — a few boat docks and seawalls. 2′ or less.

28th: Wesley Strader

> Fished two moving baits, first around the morning shad spawn and then shallow, then deeper brush in 8-12′: 5/8-oz signature Bango Blade spinnerbait (#5 willow, #2 Colo, chart/white) with a Zoom Split Tail trailer (white); and a white Fish Head Primal Spin (bladed jig with a spinnerbait blade underneath) with a Zoom Super Speed Craw (white).

29th: Matt Herren

> Flipped “beanie bushes” in 2′. Used a prototype Reaction Innovations creature bait with a 1/8-oz weight and 5/0 Hayabusa straight shank hook.

30th: Greg Hackney

> Fished visible cover in 2 or less with a Strike King Rage Bug (summer craw and watermelon red) with a 5/16-oz Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten Weight and 5/0 Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Flipping Hook.

31st: Skeet Reese

> Flipped a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss (vampire orange) on a 3/8-oz weight and 5/0 Trokar Flippin Hook, and a discontinued 5″ Berkley Hollow Belly Swimbait (Tennessee shad) on a 5/0 Trokar Swimbait Hook. Fished seawalls, shallow flooded brush and the shad spawn.

32nd: Dean Rojas

> Flipped shallow shoreline grass and rock with a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog (watermelon red), 3/8-oz weight and 4/0 Gamakatsu Superline EWG Hook.

33rd: Jesse Wiggins

> Fished shallow spawning pockets with a wacky-rigged Zoom Magnum Shakey Head Worm (gp), and fished deep brush on points with a Zoom Trick Worm (gp) on a 3/16-oz shakey head.

34th: Jason Christie

> Fished a 1/2-oz BOOYAH Blade spinnerbait (tandem Colorados, chart/white) and flipped a YUM Christie Critter (gp purple). Fished the shad spawn early, then flipped.

35th: Keith Combs

> Focused on deeper (10-15′) brush with a Strike King 6XD (powder blue chartreuse) and a Carolina-rigged lizard (watermelon red flake).

> Day 2 he also flipped a Strike King Rage Bug (blue craw) around willows and flooded sticks in 2′ or less.

36th: Casey Ashley

> 1/2-oz jig (brown/orange) with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk (gp), skipped docks and fished seawalls and wood in 5′ or less.

37th: Charlie Hartley

> Was going to fish docks but the fish weren’t there so he flipped undercut banks and beds in 2-4′ with 3/8- and 1/2-oz D&L Advantage Jigs (gp) and a Smallie Beaver (gp) trailer.

38th: Darrell Ocamica

> Senko (blue black with large chartreuse flakes) TX-rigged with a pegged 3/16-oz weight. Pitched it in bushes, let it sink to the bottom. Said the fish crushed it but lost a bunch.

39th: Alton Jones Jr.

> Focused on shallow dock corners, seawall bulkheads, willow root systems and occasional spawners. Flipped a YUM Bad Mamma (gp purple) with a 1/4-oz tungsten weight and 4/0 Zoneloc Wide Gap Hook on 50-lb braid.

40th: Boyd Duckett

> Dropshotted shallow spawning areas with a wacky-rigged 4″ Senko (purple blue flake).

41st: Skylar Hamilton

> 3/8-oz Buckeye J-Will Swim Jig (white) with a 3.8″ Jackall Rhythm Wave swimbait (white), swam it in some grass he found in a canal. Also fished the same jig in green pumpkin with a Strike King Rage Craw (gp, tips dipped chartreuse).

> Caught the big one day 2 sight-fishing with a dropshot: wacky-rigged 4.8″ Jackall Flick Shake Worm (watermelon pepper), 1/4-oz dropshot weight, short leader, 2/0 Hayabusa flipping hook.

42nd: John Garrett

> Fished shoreline wood with a Strike King Ocho (watermelon red flake and black blue flake) with a 1/8-oz weight and 3/0 Owner Jungle Hook.

43rd: Hank Cherry

> Jerked a Livingston Cherry Picker (sexee shad) in 6-8′ down depressions leading to spawning beds. Retrieve speed cadence/didn’t matter.

44th: Andy Montgomery

> Flipped “a million docks and not a fish under them” with a 1/2-oz Strike King Skipping Jig (gp with matching chunk).

45th: Takahiro Omori

> Cranked a Lucky Craft 3.5 [not 2.5] DD (chartreuse/blue back) on rock humps in 12′. Key was hitting the rock.

46th: Randy Howell

> Skipped an unweighted wacky-rigged Senko (bubble gum) under overhanging limbs and around stickups.

47th: Bill Lowen

> 4″ Brush Hog-style bait (Cali 420) — discontinued but he had a mold made of it and:

> Fished it on a 1/4-oz Reins tungsten weight and 4/0 Mustad Round Bend Hook. Flipped “everything.”

48th: Shaw Grigsby

> Fished a Strike King Rage Swimmer (pearl flash) around docks, and fished spawners with a Rage Bug (blue craw) and 1/4-oz weight. Everything 2′ or less.

49th: Brandon Palaniuk

> Fished brushpiles and rockpiles in 12-14′ with a Rapala DT16 (Ike’s blue back herring) and a Zoom Trick Worm (gp/purple flake) on a 1/4-oz shakey head.

50th: Scott Clift

> Flipped willow bushes and other cover with a Tightlines UV Whisker Beaver (brown/red whiskers) and a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss (big Texan) with a 5/16-oz weight and a 4/0 Gamakatsu flipping hook.

51st: Will Hardy

> Fished docks and bushes with a Zoom Z Craw (South Africa special) and 3/8-oz weight, and a 1/2-oz Greenfish Tackle High Class Blade Michael Murphy Spinnerbait (willow-willow, no trailer).

Quote of the Day

And the finesse worm was a fat baby?

– Quoting myself, sorry — that was a text to Todd Faircloth about his Classic bait deets. Cracked me up how we all used these strange terms (rod “butts,” etc.).

Shot of the Day

Love this shot of Charlie Hartley, a guy who wears his love fer bassin’ not just on his sleeve but all over. To me it captures that and some of the crazy fish circus that is the Bassin’masters Classic:

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