VanDam and Lane baits, Feed bass with electronics, Fish near carp

Chasin’ giant smallies this week — stay tuned! Shoutin’ out BUFF, which has gotten onto the crazy BassBlaster ride. Check their new UV Arm Sleeves if you’re sun-sensitive….

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Today’s Top 4

Team VanDam’s baits and patterns.

“Yuge” props to Dustin Connell, who apparently knows enough folks that his phone blew up and I can’t get him. Will at some point connect, but til then here’s what the VanDams did. Yep, plural – they finished 2nd (KVD) and 3rd (JVD), knocked heads together and fished the same way…which was a bit different than most guys were a-feeshn.

Full write-up on, but here’s some highlights:


> “Everything I threw was a shad-imitating bait. I caught them on a 3/8-oz Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait (white), on the KVD Splash (summer sexy shad), a 3/8-oz Strike King Pro Model Spinnerbait with double Colorados — “old-school” — and a 3/8-oz Swim Jig (sexy blueback herring) with a Rage Craw (pearl).

> “But the jerkbait was my most consistent bait day to day — a KVD 300 Series jerkbait (sexy blueback herring and sexy shad).”


> “Most fish were in 5-7′. I was throwing a jerkbait — a KVD 300 (chartreuse sexy shad) — on 17-lb fluoro, which helped the bait stay a little higher and helped rip it through the lily pads.

> “I also fished a 1/2-oz vibrating jig with a Menace Grub (pearl) and a black Strike King KVD Sexy Frog. With the water color, black was a better silhouette. I tried a white frog and Popping Perch — they’d slash at it but didn’t eat it. With the black frog they’d have it choked. I was looking for scattered gator grass and patches of duckweed.”

B-Lane is fishing in Florida.

So far Bobby Lane has fished in Florida every Elite tournament except one: Cherokee. The next one was Okeechobee, then the Conroe Classic (stocked with Florida bass), then Toledo Bend (Floridas), then Ross Barnett (Floridas). What he told me about the last one, where he finished 4th:

> “Conroe and Ross Barnett both have FL-strain bass, and I’m adapted to fishing FL-strain bass when cold fronts come through, like happened in both tournaments.”

Believe B-Lane is 11th in the AOY standings. Here’s a bit of how he fished at Barnett, full report on the BB website:

> 3/8-oz 4×4 Swim Jig (white) with a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss Jr (white).

> When windy: 1-oz and 3/4-oz 4×4 Bobby Lane Signature Jig (b/b) with Pit Boss (junebug/claws dipped chartreuse with JJ’s Magic).

> Flipped a Pit Boss (dipped chartreuse) on a 4/0 or 5/0 Trokar TK 135 hook, various Flat Out Tungsten weights as high as 1.25-oz depending on the wind.

> Also flipped a Berkley Bottom Hopper (junebug) day 4. “They wanted something without action — the bite was very tough.” Fished with a 4/0 TK 135 hook, 3/8-oz Flat Out Tungsten weight, and downsized from 65- to 50-lb Spiderwire because it wasn’t as affected by the wind.

Props to Johnny McCombs.

Won the Beaver/Sahara Desert FLW. Don’t know him but when he won he said:

> “I was hooked on drugs for 12 years. I’ll be clean a year come Mother’s Day. It’s just awesome to be able to be out here again doing what I love and fishing for a living.”

Stoked for you bassin’ bro, and for anyone else who mashes the demons under their heel.

Dude ran a carp pattern!!

I see carp, I’m out. Not Johnny McCombs:

> …catching several of his best bass this week around carp that were rolling and muddying up the water in the shallows. While other anglers tended to stay away from the carp, McCombs threw his buzzbait right by them.

> He says that as a kid in Alabama, when the bass weren’t biting, he’d try to catch carp. Often, he also caught bass. McCombs isn’t sure why the two run together, but it became a secondary story line that intrigued reporters on Beaver Lake this week.

Uh…carp run with bass?? That’s like:

And he won it on a dang buzzbait!

> McCombs spent his week fishing in the mid-lake section of Beaver Lake…ran a simple pattern of targeting open areas within the flooded shoreline cover where he could cover water quickly with a buzzbait. He often worked behind bushes and other types of woody cover on waterfront lawns, behind boat docks and along roadways — any clearing or area of lighter cover.

> “All the good ones I caught were on a buzzbait except one that I caught on a jig the third day.” McCombs tweaked his buzzbait — a white War Eagle with a Zoom Horny Toad — by swapping the blade for one that spins in the opposite direction than what comes stock. He fished it on 25-lb Seaguar fluorocarbon line.

> …used a 7′ 2″ Shimano rod to redirect the buzzbait alongside each piece of cover, sometimes steering left then right on one retrieve, so he could keep the bait in the strike zone the maximum amount of time.


1. Ish’s new frog is…

…not out yet (after ICAST in July) but it’s the River2Sea Phat Matte Frog. He wouldn’t drop any deets on it except that “it’s special, doesn’t sink” and “every big fish I’ve cuahg tover 5 lbs [this year] has been on it” including his 19-lb Classic bag. Here it is in the “yellowhead” color from the Chick Open:

2. Hackney asks why fish come off when flipping.

Good dang question and I love that he asks it so he can learn from all your thoughts. Usin’ the interwebz!

3. Combs intends to crank more.

Yep more:

> A few decades ago, we saw several specialists dominate. Denny Brauer had a field day flipping a jig. David Fritts won lots of money with a crankbait. I know that both Brauer and Fritts can do plenty of other things…but…a jig and a big crankbait catch bigger than average fish, and they win tournaments. That’s why they stuck with them.

> Look at what Brett Hite has done with a Chatterbait in recent years — it’s not that he can’t do other things, it’s that he wants to consistently be in the hunt for the win.

> You could say the same thing about Greg Hackney or Jason Christie — when their bite is in play, they not only know how to stick with it but they understand how to make certain subtle adjustments that will lead them to a big blue trophy.

4. Lucas, EcoPro sued by Rago over swimbait.

Sounds like Jusdtin and Jerry Rago know each other so hope it all gets resolved without lawyers and courts.

5. TN: Percy Priest bassers okay after boat capsizes.

High winds, held onto buoys until rescued.

6. AR: Here’s $15K Big Al.

Not looking that big…. Try to catch him in Hamilton or Catherine by June 30 and get the $$$. Like that idea….

7. VA finding leeches in largie mouths.

A new thing. Leeches might be hitching rides on craws and crabs:

8. OK: Altus Lugert coming back after golden algae.

9. VT: Atrazine herbicide changing smallie gender in Champlain?

10. PA: Scientist finds way to break down bad chemicals?

If this is true, it’s huge. Pharmaceuticals in our water have changed the sexes of reptiles, fish and mammals (no scientist wants to talk about what they could be doing to people…I’ve asked), and existing wastewater facilities aren’t designed to handle them.

11. MX: What Comedero is like.

> The early part of the year has been spectacular on Comedero, with multiple fish over 12 lbs and dozens more between 8 and 12 lbs. Almost every angler on every trip will eventually catch a fish pushing 10 lbs and probably will lose more than one in the heavy brush.

Reminds me of a dream I had once:

Oops different dream, never mind….

12. LA: Bass will be stocked in Mercer Bayou.

13. New Savage Goby Tube…

…which you’re reading about here cuz of this line:

> These baits feature side and dorsal fins that make for a gliding action on the fall that triggers reaction strikes beyond expectation.

“Beyond expectation,” huh? Hope that’s not like this:

14. Camping World buys Gander assets.

Sounds like up to 17 stores may still be operated, the rest liquidated.

15. Pontoon, salt boats driving up outboard sales.

16. Use your kill switch and PFDs.

Tragic stories in that article.

17. Get your Yo-Zuri on!

Contest time mang! Dame deal, click it and do it!

Tip of the Day

How JVD used the HydroWave at Barnett.

Yep T-H Marine sponsors the Blaster. Not why I’m hittin’ the HydroWave. The thing fascinates me. Check this story from JVD about how he used it. Told me he “used the HydroWave to get them fired up…kind of pushed the shad to where fish were.” Super innerestin’:

> “I was running the HydroWave on a delayed schooling pattern. The fish were in feeding areas, and what I would do was actually get behind them a little bit so the shad were between me and the fish.

> “When I turned the HydroWave on, the shad would get fired up — the shad actually come to where you’re at. The noise gets the shad active, they get up to the surface a little more, you start seeing them flickering on the surface.

> “The big thing was getting the bass in between me and the shad — I’d turn it on to draw some of the shad toward me.

> “Many times there’d be nothing on my graphs, I’d turn that on and all of a sudden the graph would light up. Any time fish are feeding around shad, that HydroWave is a big factor.”

TW has the regular HydroWave and the “Uncle Kev” HydroWave…. At this point I must have one. #birthdayprez

Quote of the Day

It was a $10,000 fish, that’s what it was.

Shaw Grigsby tellin’ donny barone ’bout losing a fish and not making the first ($10,000) cut at the Barnett Elite by 1 lb 1 oz. THIS IS THE BEST thing I’ve ever read on making or not making a cut at the top level of our sport. Good job db.

Shot of the Day

Coolio Overstreet shot from Ross Barnett. Would you rather fun-fish or do this??


Abilene Men Use Hot Dog to Catch Near Record-Breaking Catfish

Okay I laughed too but does this or does this not resemble a hot dog:

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chuck Tyrrell

    May 4, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I’ve seen trout around feeding carpet. The carp will stir up the bottom, chasing out crawdads, nymphs, sculpin so the trout will pick them off. Cool to see this.

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