AMart is a magical dragon, Elite winning baits, Lighter gear for flipping

Today’s Top 5

Aaron Martens is a magical dragon. 

A-Mart’s a magical dragon cuz dragons are magical creatures at the top of the food chain, and what he does is maaaaaagic. Full deets on how he did it this time on, but here’s ya an excerpt:

> “I ended up fishing in 13-14′ the first and second [competition] days a little, and the quality was a just a little better.

> “It was all hard bottom and rock. It had a lot of grass…thicker grass…. Every type of grass in the lake was in that area.”

> Dropshot: 4.5″ Roboworm Fat (Aaron’s magic red flake), #1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Heavy Cover Hook [new Aaron signature hook, bait was TX-rigged], 1/4-oz tungsten cylinder weight, 8-lb Sunline FC Sniper Fluoro leader – FG knot – 12-lb Sunline Siglon PEx8 braid [new, not out yet], 6′ 11″ Enigma HPT rod, 2500 Shimano Stella reel.

Look at that middle shot — does that remind you of a handful of nightcrawlers or what? (Thanks to Ricky at Bassin’ East for the shots.)

Aaron’s win in dragons:

Climbing up the leaderboard:

Generating some Aaron’s Magic:

About to hammer the other Elites from 19th place:

Winning the derby AND helping Harry Potter escape:

Where do you think the name “Aaron’s magic” came from anyhow? Yep A-Mart IS a magical dragon — seriously! Hack, let’s set up some trail cams outside A-Mart’s camper at night and see if we can catch him changing form….

Why A-Mart dropshots. 

Clearly it’s insanity, the reason for all uses of a spinning rod…hahaha! Okay, no really. Said he could’ve caught fish multiple ways at Champlain but stuck with the dropshot cuz of one word:


Wait, no. Not that word. This one: efficiency.

> “It’s really efficient. They bite it quick. That’s really why I do it. I can do swimbaits, belly spins — that stuff will catch ’em. But you can’t beat that dropshot.

> “A lot of guys were Carolina-rigging — locals too…. I was like, why are they doing that?”

Dang it Aaron! Just told JVD that I avoid dropshotting whenever possible…guess that may be fixin’ to change. I mean, does this look like an exciting way to fish or what:

Woo-hoo what a time. Guess if I’m a-gonna do it, have to be with casting gear mang!

Aaron’s dropshotting heavier now. 

Aaron loves to talk about the intricate deets of fishing — cuz that’s where he lives — but just doesn’t want anyone to listen to him cuz then they’ll know his secrets. But here’s one he shared with BassBlaster bass-heads (thanx Aaron!):

He’s dropshotting heavier now. You know I’ve been harpin’ on how rod, line and hookset are HIGHLY individual. Well, been forgettin’ one thing: the hook. You can have too light a setup to stick a fish, and too heavy a setup to stick a fish. [More on this in future Blasters.]

Sounds like he’s been on the edge of dropshotting too light…lighter rod action, lighter line and still his dropshot hooks would open up sometimes. But now he’s nuts over his new — and literally years in the making — Gamakatsu G-Finesse Heavy Cover Hook, which has allowed him to upsize his line size and use a heavier-action rod.

> “I was using a stiff rod [at the last two derbies because] I knew the hooks I had. [Other] dropshot hooks would open up… [and] thicker hooks wouldn’t penetrate. This [new hook] changes the equipment and line I use. In the last 2 tournaments I only lost one fish that cost me.

> “That stiffer rod and higher line size gives me more confidence to pull on them really hard. That [new] tiny-wire hook doesn’t flex.”

Here’s the hook:

Tackle Warehouse says:

> Made from Tournament Grade Wire, which is 20% smaller but still retains the same strength as regular steel wire, it is also equipped with Gamakatsu’s Nano Smooth Coat finish that provides a slick coating for even faster hook penetration and a stealthier presentation as well.

This a big deal? Dang straight! Anytime A-Mart makes a big change like that — and it IS a big change — and only loses 1 fish and wins a derby, it’s huge. Even the fish know it:

About getting heavier — don’t get no heavier than the ol’ Mountain tune “Mississippi Queen.” Here’s my NJ homie Zakk Wylde doin’ it justice — plus some fiddle finger gymnastics — at a southern NJ mini-mall hahaha! Zakk talks like Ike, that south Jersey/Philly accent thang.

Feider almost grabs one. 

S’pose if you had to lose, losing to a magic dragon coming out of 19th friggin’ place is the way to do it. Way better than losing by an ounce or losing a fish or whatever, none of which happened to Seth “the brown velvet hammer” Feider. How he caught ’em:

> Smallmouth dropshot: Unnamed tube (2.5″ clear with green and purple flake), #2 VMC Neko Hook, 1/2-oz VMC Cylinder Drop Shot Weight, 6-lb Sufix 832 braid to 8-lb Sufix Fluoro leader [he might have those weights reversed], 7′ 1″ Daiwa Tatula Elite Brent Ehrler Dropshot Rod, Daiwa Tatula 4000 reel. Targeted larger rocks in 16-30′.
> Largemouth: New, not out yet 5/8-oz tungsten Outkast Tackle “Stealth Feider” Jig (blue craw and Texas blue craw) with BioSpawn VileCraw trailer (gp), 40-lb Sufix 832 braid with 20-lb Sufix fluoro leader, 7′ MH Daiwa Tatula Elite Brent Ehrler finesse rod, Daiwa Tatula SV reel (8:1). Flipped topped-out milfoil in 8-9′ with hard bottom.

That new jig should be called “Seth’s ‘Stache Jig” — never too late to rename a prototype man!

Good insight on how Feider was fishing in this-here post by Steve “ain’t never been” Wright.

BP’s piling up the points. 

How ’bout two 3rds in the last 2 Elites for Brandon Palaniuk? (BP, do NOT read this next part man, it’s about the points!) That means BP now has a 40-pt lead over J-Wheels and Casey Ashley (tied) in the AOY standings, 43 over Jason Christie.

Here’s how BP caught ’em this time — gittin’ his perch on:

> Dropshot: Zoom Z-Drop (gp), #2 dropshot hook, 1/4-oz weight, Alpha Angler DSR spinning rod, Daiwa Exist 2500 reel, 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid, 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro leader.

> Spibait: Storm Arashi Spinbait (green gill), Alpha Angler DSR, Abu Garcia MGX 30, 6-lb Seaguar Tatsu.

> Jerkbait: Rapala Shadow Rap Deep (haymaker — he put perch bars on it with a Sharpie), Alpha Angler Slasher rod, 12-lb Seaguar Tatsu.

> “Fished them all around sand/rock/grass again [like on the St. Lawrence] in 10-20′ where the perch were hanging out and schools of smallmouth would ambush them.”

BP finished 3rd in the last 2 Elites, Alton Jones finished 11th in the last 2. This phenomenon may be a result of getting too close to…Aaron’s magic.


1. LA: Cancer benefit derby this Saturday.

Out of Somme’s Marina in Des Allemands.2. LakeForkGuy has a brain tumor.

Dang it. Justin man, props for having the stones to live your life on social media, even the toughest parts. Am hopeful for you dude! And praying…. #faith

3. How Ehrler caught ’em at the St. Lawrence.

Finally chased him down:

> Jerkbait: Lucky Craft Pointer 78 (chartreuse shad), Daiwa Tatula Elite Seth Feider Jerkbait/Topwater Rod, Daiwa Steez A reel, 10-lb Sunline FC Sniper. “Shallow grass and sand in 6-8′.”

> Hair jig: 3/32- or 1/8-oz homemade hair jig, tied by Canadian angler Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, Daiwa Tatula Elite Seth Feider Hair Jig Spinning Rod, Exist Reel, 12-lb Sunline TX1 to 8-lb FC Sniper. “Fished shallow rock and grass.”

4. Zona gets Seaguar.

Good match. Weird photo with the announcement tho:

5. New bassin’ hall of fame members.

Wade Bourne, Shaw Grigsby, Bob Sealy, Morris Sheehan (founded the ABA), Louie Stout.

Very cool, so glad to see Wade in there. Shocked there’s an award that Louie “the Legend” Stout still hasn’t won??

6. What an Elite costs.

What B.A.S.S. gets paid to bring an event to a town:

> “…it’s anywhere between $150,000 and $200,000.”

7. AR teen going to college after winning scholarship $.

Awesomely #stout:

> “Winning all these scholarships kind of put me into a position where I said, ‘Whelp, looks like I’m going to college.’ I planned on getting out of high school and just working hard.”

8. TX: Skeeter about to start building their own trailers.

9. New “Breaking Bass” series on go90, whatever that is.

10. U.S. anglers up by 1.5 mil?

Cool if true.

Tip of the Day

Mike McClelland’s finesse flipping gear.

A lot of people flip with gear — rod, reel, line, hook — that’s too dang heavy. Too heavy to set the hook – seriously! Here Mike talks about the lighter gear (18-lb line, MH rod) he likes for flipping isolated targets for bass. Think about it:

Believe that rod is one of his sig series Falcons.

Quote of the Day

I used to kind of be scared of spinning rods….

Jason Christie talkin’ in a vid ’bout things like line twist. Word. Can’t believe no one has fixed that yet… #R&D

Shot of the Day

Pretty funny!


Fly fishing for carp on flats is now a thing.

> …chasing carp is one of the fastest growing scenes in the sport, that it’s the challenge the seen-it-all, caught-it-all guides of WY and MT seek on their days off, that having caught a carp on a fly is an indisputable badge of honor, indisputable because there is no such thing as a lucky fish.

Sounds fun…except for the carp part.

Sign up another bass-head!

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Use the best!

Git on these yo!

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Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin’. Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best in bassin’, and is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass.

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