Bass GEEK 4: Best hawg baits, Customize small rigs, Swimbait tails

Welcome to Bass GEEK #4! Because you know you are one…. Hope you dig it. Still lookin’ fer some more GEEKs, so if’n your innerested hit me back with:
– Your area of GEEKy expertise and why
– Your Insta handle
– Ideas on somethin’ that you might want to read in this-here GEEK issue

Today’s Geekin’ Out

1 Lunker Lore

by Josh Alwine, scribbler of the rad books Lunker Lore and High Percentage Fishing
Some panda monkey fence donkey melon wisdom:

> The graph has a sample size of over 1,000 10-lb+ bass and shows the distribution of the lures used to catch them.

> Approx 550 of the data points are from the TX ShareLunker program. Another 500 are from the Bassmaster Lunker Club. Most of the data is 1990s to 2016.

> Key takeaway: Only a few baits catch a majority of DD bass.

2 Proving Grounds: Japan


Real serious about small bassin’ tubs

From our anonymous bassin’ GEEK bro in the top secret world o’ Japanese bassin’:

> In Japan, a trolling motor is a critical boat kit rather than 200+ hp motors as lots of fisheries do not allow use of a big engine.

> There’s a bunch of mid- and small-size “trolling-motor-only” lakes where famous finesse techniques were invented and developed, therefore lots of peeps are competing to customize use of trolling motors.

> The real problem they face is they need to bring a heavy motor and batteries out of their cars, and bring them onto the empty rental boat every time they go fishing. They want to change a poorly equipped rental boat [12-14′ long] like this…

…into a competitive bass boat. Now what? Lots of crazily designed detachable custom boat kits. One example is the so-called “high deck:”

With that you’ll get a flat cozy carpet deck with a higher floor position — a great advantage for pitching or sight fishing. This one has a wider and higher deck zone:

[website =]

Did you notice the trolling mount length was shorter than what you have in your bass boat? They cut down the original…

…making for less effort to carry around and more space on the deck.

Some guys are custom-wrapping these decks:

Check out Norio Tanabe, the first international Bassmaster winner (a legend!), explaining how to set up his boat:

3 YouTubers

OH high school bass-head Zach Stacy talkin’ vids:

> In this episode of @TylersReelFishing, Tyler goes in depth on learning a new lake. He is fishing Gull Lake in central MN.

> He starts his day off fishing a stretch of tall, thin milfoil with a jig and shakey head. Simply put, he was trying to find the grassline and fish as close to that as possible.

> I find this video very entertaining and helpful for 2 reasons. First is that when I am practicing for a tournament, I frequently find myself not knowing where or how to start. Tyler starts by doing the thing that is the most obvious.

> The second thing is he makes the point that it’s not always about what you are fishing with and more about where you are fishing. Before he was out on the water, he spent time looking at his Navionics, looking for points that you can’t see otherwise.

> At the end of the day, they (Tyler and his friend JP) had put together 2 patterns: fishing a jig or worm through the milfoil, and punching through the grass. They talk about starting with what you are confident in, which is something I often do myself. If the fish will not cooperate with that, start switching things up until you find a pattern.

4 Bankin’ it

Here’s IN bass stalker Brian Waldman tippin’ you off:

> The end of summer can be one of the tougher periods of the year for bank-bound bassers. Here’s a few tips to help you deal with less than ideal conditions:

> Early morning is often depicted as being an ideal time to be fishing, but in small lakes and ponds this isn’t always the case. That’s because sunlight fires up aquatic vegetation and algae, helping to produce lots of oxygen. But overnight, these same processes reverse, and oxygen gets depleted, often bottoming out around sunrise and potentially making for lethargic bass. So, if the bite seems off in the mornings at your local lake, try fishing instead in the evenings when oxygen is at its maximum. It often makes a big difference in fish activity.

> If you have a choice, fish waters that have fountains. They help by keeping the water circulating and moving, adding oxygen and offsetting stagnation.

> Thick vegetation and algae mats can take over the shallows, making many baits ineffective. In these situations, don’t fight the weeds. Instead, grab a topwater frog or toad depending on thickness, and simply concentrate on fishing from the open water edge to the bank. This can be especially productive during the day when bass are more likely to be huddled under the slop.

> For anglers in boats, the base of a deep outside weed edge is often a key area for bass. Shore anglers can still take advantage of this situation by learning to fish this deeper edge from the inside. Instead of reeling baits in as they approach the thick weeds, try working traditional weedless baits (like jigs, TX-rigged soft plastics, wacky rigs, etc.) with your line draped over the weed edge. Let your bait eventually fall all the way to the base of the weeds, even working it up the back side. You’ll pull in a lot of weeds, but you’ll be surprised how many bass will grab your bait working its way up to and along that weed wall before contacting the thick stuff.

> When fishing larger reservoirs, focus on causeways and other extensive stretches of riprap shoreline. In most cases, these areas catch plenty of wind and stay a bit cooler, and more oxygenated, than bays and coves. The rocks also have good algae growth, attracting all kinds of invertebrates and minnows. During sunny days fish deeper areas with jigs and worms, but during cloudy or rainy periods make parallel casts shallower with topwaters, spinnerbaits or shallow cranks.

5 Soft-Plastics: Swimbait Tails


This’n by 19-year-old Jake Haas — owner of NJ-based Leading Lures, and a sho-nuff state team champ who also qualified for the B.A.S.S. Nation National Champeenship:

> Swimbaits are one of the most versatile soft-plastics categories on the market. Weedless, line-thru, AL rig, swim-jig trailer — the list goes on and on. I make the decision on which one to use by looking at the back of the bait. Every tail style has a purpose. I tend to separate them into four categories.

> Finesse swimbait tail (e.g., Keitech Easy Shiner) — Has a tail that produces well in open water. It does not thump, but rather has a subtle side to side action. I prefer this style for cold weather or heavily-pressured lakes due to its smaller size and slim shape.
> Paddle-tail (i.e., Basstrix Paddle Tail) — The paddle tail is the “do everything” tail. It can be slow-rolled across the bottom on a jighead in 20′ and also burned through a pad field on a weedless EWG hook in 2′.

> Paddle-tails vary slightly in thickness. A tail of the same size will react differently with a 1/16″ of change. The thinner tail will maintain a tight side-to-side action, keeping the movement to the last 10% of the bait. The thicker tail will move around 20-25% of the bait, giving off more action throughout the body.

> Boot-tail (e.g., Optimum Baits Boom Boom Swimbait) — When I think about a boot-tail swimbait, only one thing comes to mind: “Thump, thump, thump, BOOM!” A boot-tail is an oversized thick tail usually connected to a wide-bodied swimbait. The tail kicks hard and moves the entire bait. Anglers can feel every body roll in the rod tip.

> Although most think of a boot-tail as a big-fish bait, it can be used to fill limits as well, as Fred Roumbanis showed in a top 5 at Kentucky Lake.

> Natural tail (e.g., Huddleston 8″ Trout) — This tail is found on large swimbaits and looks different from any other style. While the three other styles end in a flat and rounded tail, the natural tail ends in a V-shape and is also thicker to provide a hard kicking action.

> Another thing that separates this style from the others is the thickness of the body. The tail moves while the body swims straight creating that natural profile of a baitfish swimming passively. These baits are sold pre-rigged or weedless, and in different fall rates, so their uses are limited to each model.

6 Alternate Universe: Salt


Check this thing made for salty boats:

It’s a gyroscope that stops boats from rolling, like:

Called the Seakeeper, says “the flywheel spins at speeds up to 557 mph generating enough force to…stop a boat from rolling.”

Looks too big for bass tubs, but if they could find a way to make it smaller, might save a lot of strained backs for guys who fish big water…maybe? Either way, love the idea…

You a GEEK?
Still lookin’ fer more GEEKs! If you’re obsessed in a GEEK way (fine deets) with ANY part of bassin’ — jigs, cranks, line, whatever — hit me back. But fer sher lookin’ for:- TX, FL and Gville what’s hot/not experts
– Bass boats and ‘lectronics geeks
– Yak bassin’ geeks
– etc

STILL no Bass GEEK apparel yet [cryin’ emoji]…but should be ready for the next GEEK.

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’!

Gitcha BassBlaster apparel right here!

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