Special BB Issues

BassBlaster Special Post-Spawn baits and stuff issue!

Here’s you a special issue that rhymes with the above. Bonus points if you guess the ‘lectric fiddle player behind the BassBlaster logo.

Is it the post-spawn where you are? Yep…probly. But fish may also be a-spawnin’, especially since Ish Monroe and other pros believe bass spawn over a lot longer period than we think.

Anyhoo, here’s the BassBlaster Special Post-Spawn Issue — with a little spawn stuff thrown in too. So drop into yer bean bag chair, pull up yer Doritos or Funyuns and get ready to get ready to git after ’em!

One more thing: Before you hit the water, make sure you check your BassForecast — for the best days to go, and the peak and minor “feeding” times (I call ’em “hitting windows”). Lots of folks using it and saying it works, so….

Topwater funs!

Don’t need to tell ya that topwater can be the funnest way to catch ’em, so leadin’ off with it.

Possibly the hottest topwater bait not made by River2Sea or named Tickle….

> Colors: Bone, night train, shad frog

> Technique: Reeling it through grass or other cover — don’t be shy about where to drop it!

> Rod/Reel/Line: 7′ H casting rod, 7:1 or higher-speed reel, 50-lb or higher braid.

> Stuff: First, this bait is DIFFERENT than the Tickle Sprinkler. Yep, same concept, but if you side-by-side ’em, you’ll know what I mean. For starters, you can shape the tail on the ToadRunner to get on the fish’s noise preference for the day. Little educational vid for ya.

If Brandon Palaniuk, Ott DeFoe and Jacob Wheeler had a love child, this would be it. Oops, I mean if they had a love child that was a TOPWATER BAIT hahaha!

> Tail-weighted for a silent tail-first entry into the water that doesn’t spook bass.

> Its weight distribution and a high line tie in the mouth allow it to walk side to side virtually in place, keeping it near the target.

> Sticky VMC trebles and a nice tail feather.

> Colors: Ghost pearl shad is dy-no-mite on shad lakes. Otherwise use your fave.

> Rod/Line: A shorter-than-average casting rod, less than 7′, can be better for casting accurately and keeping the rod tip above the water to work the bait. Use mono because of the stretch, and a loop knot to maximize the action.

Gitcha edumacated and watch it in action in this short vid.

…or KVD Sexy Frog. Shaw Grigsby talkin’:

> “Cast your lure out, past the bed and then bring it back until it’s right over the top of it. Stop your lure and let it sit dead still until you can’t stand it any longer. If a bass doesn’t crush it, move it just a little bit, but not much. Then let it sit some more and wait for the explosion. Bass can’t handle something sitting right over the top of their bed, their eggs or their fry.

> “As the bass progress towards their postspawn phase, you need to move your lure out further and work it a little faster. They’re feeding after a tough ordeal. They’re aggressive. They’ll crush anything that looks like an easy meal.

> “When I want a popper, or something a little smaller, I grab a KVD Popping Perch or a KVD Sexy Frog. They’re both hollow-body plastic baits that’ll go through the toughest, nastiest slop you’ve ever seen.”

> Rod/Reel/Line: 6′ 8″ Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Topwater/Jerkbait Rod (“the shorter length lets me get more action out of my lure”), Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Victory II Reel (6.3), 40-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid….

FLWer Brandon Cobb talkin’:

> “This popper imitates bluegill perfectly, so it’s great for targeting fry-guarders immediately after the spawn. It’s also great around bluegill beds when the big females are feeding on bream.

> “You can fish it 2 different ways: It can be twitched quickly and shortly to walk erratically, or it can be methodically popped like a traditional chug-style bait.This presentation is perfect for targeting shade lines.”

> Rod/Reel/Line: 6′ 10″ M Ark Invoker Rod (“short rod allows for roll casts under docks, trees, etc”), Abu Garcia STX Reel (7.3), 30-lb Yo-Zuri Super Braid.

Do I really need to tell you about this frog? No. No I don’t. The 65-size Bronzeye is the gold standard for frogs, as I told Dean Rojas before he’d ever heard of SPRO! Okay that’s totally not true….

Anyhow, got 2 words for you: rainforest black (pictured). Or pick a color, any color. Then love ’em. Dean talks to his frogs, he drives with his frogs, he keeps his frog box pampered in his truck and makes a special trip to bring it out to his boat. I mean, BOND with your frogs like:

Naw man, not a James Bond 00F Frog! Like this:

Yeah that’s how Dean rolls….

Lunkerhunt made its name with the Lunker Frog and has continued to spool out fun topwaters like they don’t take this bassin’ thang as serious as your average bass-clubber lol. But seriously, the latest offerin’s from the Lunkerhunters are likewise topwater fun.

The Prop Frog, Propfish Shad and Propfish Sunfish basically are all soft prop frog-like baits that can be buzzed over stuff, and are most effective when you’re going for numbers — which we all do til our bud catches a big one by accident and then we’re all about beatin’ him!

Lol anyhow, all 3 of these baits are 3.25″ and 1/2-oz. So they’re in that sweet spot of anything can eat it AND — here’s the important part — get hooked by it. Because limit bass’ll hit that giant frog, but unless you’re Rojas you probly won’t get a hook in it.

Bottom line is the StutterStep is different than frogs, walkers or poppers. It can walk, but also can stay in place like a good popper but with different action — plus a couple more actions — and looks different.

If your bass are fat and lazy, or if you feel like you’re better off keeping your bait over a bass’ head longer — whether they’re on beds or around docks or whatever — learn to fish this bait:

> No other topwater has the ability to hold its place so well in a targeted area. Due to the curve of the belly and the tail shape that creates drag like a braking system, an angler can make the StutterStep pop-kick and rotate multiple times in one zone.

Check the vid here.

One of my favorite topwater walking baits of all time, in this size:

> Colors: Bone (pictured) or clear

> Rod/Reel/Line: 6′ 6″ to 7′ M rod with a soft tip, 7:1 or higher-speed reel, 30-lb braided line with a short mono leader.

> When bass finish spawning throw a Spook because bass are suspended and typically looking up to feed on shad. Bone works best in dirty water or low light, and clear is hard to beat in clear water.

> When bass are chasing aggressively on the surface, work the bait as fast as possible to where it almost skips across the surface and you’ll be amazed at how hard they smash it.


Lined Up

Zona says (vid): Seaguar Smackdown braid to a Seaguar AbrazX fluoro leader for walkers, Seaguar Rippin Mono for poppers. FLWer Cody Meyer likes the Rippin Mono for walkers.

For frowgs, Z actually prefers the Denny Brauer-designed Seaguar Flippin Braid, 50-lb, because “it casts far.”

Los plasticos blandos!

Finesse Category

Sometimes gettin’ subtle — not necessarily small — is the deal.

1. YUM Finesse Worm (5″ and 6.5″)

> Colors: plum, gp, cranberry (pictured) — darker colors for fishing deeper. I like ghillie suit too.

> Techniques: Dropshot, shakey Head, Carolina rig

> Rod/Reel/Line: Good combos are a 7′ M spinning rod or 7′ 6″ casting rod with moderate-fast action, 6:2 spinning or 8:1 casting reel, and 8-lb fluoro or 20-lb fluoro with a 15-lb fluoro leader

> Look for areas that hold bass down deep in the summertime like ledges, points, humps and brushpiles. Work them slowly.

2. VMC Weedless Neko Hook

…and nail weights (Neko and half moon), plus the VMC Wacky Rigging Tool.

The VMC Weedless Neko hook has become pretty much the go-to hook for wacky- and Neko-rigging because it gits ’em. (For more about what makes the VMC Neko Hook all that, check the recent Bass GEEK #3.) Add a pair of invisible-in-the-water fluorocarbon strands to keep the hook from snagging and dang, that’s some hook!

Use the Wacky Rigging tool to place an O-ring on your bait, and either style of nail weight to fish it deeper.

Here’s a vid with Mike Iaconelli talkin’ ’bout the weedless Neko Hook.

3. HAVE TO mention…

…the YUM Dinger in the “Elder’s magic” color. Dang that’s a good bait. Color named after AR bass-head and Ouachita hammer Chris Elder, who when he was younger was still Elder if that makes sense:

And in case your spawn’s still on, here’s Elitist Drew Benton givin’ the juice on his 3 bed-fishing techniques:

Go Bigger Category

> Colors: Blue fleck, camo, grape red flake (pictured)

> Technique: Dragging over deep structure with a Pumpkin Head Jig or Texas rig. With the YUM Pumpkin Head Jig, the Ribbontail can be stood up along the bottom to provide a better profile when dragging through less-dense cover. Use the Texas-rig option when fishing really gnarly cover that needs a weedless presentation.


> Rod/Reel/Line: 7′ or longer MH or H rod, 7:1 or faster casting reel, 15-20 lb fluoro.

> When bass get grouped up on deep structure like brushpiles and river ledges during the hot parts of the post-spawn, dragging a big YUM Ribbontail by them usually coaxes a large bite.

Obviously designed — by FLWer Matt Arey — to look like a baitfish, the Fetch is made to track well fished fast or slow, and swim well whether weightless or on a swimbait head. Sounds like a recipe for the feesh! Matt likes the Fetch in Tennessee shad and bluegill, but I wonder if he has a secret color like…greenback (pictured)….

Lined Up

If you’re a-goin’ small, check Seaguar Finesse Fluorocarbon:

> …uses an exclusive double-structure process that combines 2 custom Seaguar fluorocarbon resins. This creates a line with smaller diameters and exceptional knot and tensile strength…supple with low memory….

If you’re goin’ big, you can go with the best fluoro Seaguar makes — Tatsu — or if that’s too much coin, lots of folks love Seaguar Red Label fluoro.

If you’re in brush or anything else angry, Seaguar AbrazX fluoro is the deal.

DEEP crankin’s!

Sometimes you just gotta crank down to where they live. And I learned one time fishing with Randy Blaukat — don’t be afraid to fish a WAY bigger crankbait than you think the fish will bite. Because they will eat it, and usually will be bigger.

> In the post-spawn, bass begin congregating around major breaks in creek channels like ledges, humps and other drops that provide areas for baitfish to congregate around. Best point of attack is to look at a topo map, or use your electronics to find these areas and crank to find deep schools.

> Colors: Emerald moon, gizzard shad, silver blue citrus (pictured)

> Rod/Reel/Line: 7′ 6″ or longer MH or H crankbait rod, 5:1 casting reel, 10-15 lb fluorocarbon.

> Unique foam bait. Has a fused lip and rattle chamber, so it sounds different and acts a little different from pretty much all other deep cranks. Gets down to 22-25′.

2. Strike King 10XD and 6XD

Few years back, I woulda listed the 6XD first — and it’s fer sher still a must-have in the box — but this year been seeing quite a few wins and high finishes on what a couple years ago bass-heads thought was tooooo beeeeeg. The 10XD IS huge, but more folks seem to be crankin’ ’em now, and with success.

What KVD says about fishing it:

> “It’s miserable to throw on the wrong tackle and surprisingly easy to throw on the right tackle.”

> He prefers a 7′ 11″ H KVD Tour Composite Rod…pairs that with a Quantum Exo 200 series reel that holds a lot of line, which is vital for long casts and retrieves when using 17-lb fluoro. The lightest line Kevin uses is 14-lb fluoro and the heaviest is 17, which is his preference.

Pick a 6XD in any color and get your Keith Combs on….

FLWer Clent Davis loves him that color — gizzard shad — and that 3″, 3/4-oz 4+ dives to 12-15′. Clent talkin’:

> “With all of the technology these days and everyone being able to find the bass that are in the 10-25′ range on the Tennessee River lakes and other offshore lakes, there’s one way to find that ace in the hole — cranking the tops of bars, humps, shallow ledges and points with a DUEL 4+.

> “It will run down to 15′. I like to put it on 12-lb Yo-Zuri Top Knot fluorocarbon and really grind it on those 5-10′ places. It has a lot less wiggle and it’s quieter than most of the plugs on the market.

> “It doesn’t pull very hard so I always throw it on a 6.2:1 reel so I can move the bait faster if that’s what the fish are wanting. The Phenix X12 is my go-to rod for this bait.

> “If I’m fishing clear water, my favorite color is gizzard shad. For more off-colored water, I usually throw citrus shad or blue back chart.”

> Will hit 16-20′, bill pointed slightly down so it bounces off cover without losing depth and tracks straight along the bottom, tungsten weight-transfer system for casting, sticky Gamakatsu hooks.

Here’s Little John himself learnin’ ya about the bait (video).

Lined Up

You’ve got basically the same line options as plastics, but if it’s me diggin’ a crank on the bottom, I’m gonna go with Seaguar AbrazX fluoro. Takin’ no chances and that line blows me away man.

Gitcha fish sticks!

What’s your favorite Favorite rod? Maybe one o’ these? Couple price points for ya:

> Lunkers TV Defender Rods for heavier fishing styles. New weights and lengths made especially for Lunks TV and fans.

> Sick Stick, a fave of Fave fans — Has an IM24 ton carbon blank with a solid tip that gives the rod an super-fast action and great sensitivity.

> Summit, Favorite’s top o’ the line — One solid piece: no handle, no seat, it’s all one. Ultra light-weight graphite and Kevlar cloth technology.

Gotta hit this lid, pretty cool:

The deal with Alpha stix is they do more than one thing well — for real. So you’re only limited by your:

Okay sorta. Here’s a couple rods you need to know about:

> Alpha Angler Zilla — This 7′ 3″ MH fast rod is a great spawn rod, a great post-spawn rod, topwater rod, under-the-water rod, whatever. TX rigs, jigs, topwaters, whatever. But don’t believe me, here’s Brandon Palaniuk talkin’ ’bout it (click for the vid):

Couple more real quick:

> Mag-Rebound — 7′ 6″ MH mod-fast balanced and lightweight stick for bigger cranks like the XDs.

> Clutch — What’s not to like about a baitcaster that COULD replace your egg-beater setup. 7′ 5″ M fast power-finesse rod.

Trey Kistler told me once that the secret to his crazy lightweight and sensitive rods is each blank has a unicorn tail hair in it. Wasn’t sure if he was serious or if the fan in the resin room was broken…. Anyhoo:

> 7′ MH KLX — Called a Texas/Carolina worm/jig rod, but Trey calls it “the lightest, most sensitive 7′ rod in your boat” so you can feel “the slightest change in weight and set the hook before she spits it out.”

If 2.5 Benjamins are too much for you to handle right now, you can step down a couple presidents to these still-killer stix:

> Kistler Mag 2s — How ’bout sensitive: Using a casting Mag 2 I’ve actually out-caught dropshotters…at least that’s the way I remember it! Lovin’ the BassBlaster neon green wraps too.

> Kistler Graphite Series — Designed to get you in a Kistler without getting the wife mad (or less mad lol). Haven’t used one yet but I ain’t bettin’ against Trey…or his unicorns….

Why we need fishing gloves.

Alright this is sorta a PSA, sorta education. Gotta say — when I’m in the boats with these Elite guys, and they’re covered up like a dang hairless cat in a snow storm…


…I’m like: Okay, guess if I fished as much as them I’d be more serious about the sun too. Then later I think how dumb of me that sounds. So when I saw a post about why this dude started wearin’ feeshn gloves, I was like, okay. Few excerpts:

> Though I have done a much better job protecting my skin around my face, neck and the top of my head, until recently I had still neglected my hands, which are also high-risk areas for sun damage — even skin cancer.

> …we all know that spending time outdoors can have damaging effects on unprotected skin. It has made many anglers ask themselves, Why didn’t I just cover up all those years?

Ugh, that’s probly me! Also found this innerestin’, if you have big paws:

> …reels these days keep getting smaller and smaller in profile, which is great for weight reduction, but when it comes to someone with bear claws for hands, it’s increasingly difficult to keep a good grip.

> With a pair of lightweight BUFF gloves, the addition of an extra layer of fabric allows me to hold a smaller reel more comfortably, and the non-slip material present on most models also allows me to maintain a solid grip even when my hands are wet.

All you need right here:

BUFF Aqua Gloves

BUFF Arm Sleeves

BUFF Buffs

Insect Shield BUFFs — Gotta git me one for the yard! #gnatssuck

More stuff!

G-Force Eliminator Nut — Less prop noise and vibration. Boom — git it!

G-Force Culling System Weights

> A quick and easy way to help stabilize the fish in your livewell…built for use with the T-H Marine G Force Conservation Cull [clip] System. …the G-Force Culling System Weights attach to a small molded hole on the T-H Marine G-Force Conservation Cull System’s cull tags. This added weight helps tame tagged fish, especially when they are having hard time remaining upright on their own. A quick and easy remedy for struggling fish….

G-Force Grass Goat

> …cutting tool for your trolling motor that slices through vegetation and keeps your trolling motor clear of debris.

Tried yelling at the Grass Goat to see if it was one of those fainting goats, but nothing happened…. I would LOVE one (or a couple) of those fainting goats, man….

2. YOLOtek stuff

You Only Live Once so gitcha YOLOtek POWERStick to always be recordin’ your adventures. Listen to bassin’ nut @mikeybalzzfishing ’bout it:

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 BassFan.com, 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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