Bill Weidler’s winning deets, LiveScope now a must, Best tourney trail name?

Woohoo another week in the world o’ bassin’! Let’s get after it peeps!

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Today’s Top 5

How Bill Weidler got the blue trophy at St Clair.

How in the heck did Bill Weidler come outta nowhere to snatch that trophy in a drive-by smash ‘n grab?? More on that in #2, but here’s what he used and a little on how he caught ’em — full pattern on the BB website:

> “[His spots were in] 14-15′ and really needed to be bare. When I started catching the fish…did not see any vegetation at all. I got in the middle of a bare area that was surrounded by really thick cabbage grass. I didn’t want to see any grass on my electronics…then you’d catch them. Most of the time they were roaming….

> “One key too was I saw bait in all these areas. Small bait balls. When you found [a fish], if he was up off the bottom 1-2′, there was a 95% chance you’d catch him.”

> 100% dropshot: Strike King Baby Z-Too (grey glimmer shad), 1/0 Owner Mosquito Light Hook, 3/8-oz cylinder dropshot weight, 20-lb Vicious braid to a 10′ 6-8 lb Vicious fluoro leader, Daiwa spinning reel, 7′ 6″ ML Temple Fork Outfitters TFO Rod.

> “…in practice had a couple packs of [that color Z-Toos], but I went through them because I caught so many. …started throwing something else, but wasn’t getting bit as well. …I got on Tackle Warehouse and they were sold out, so l started looking around and couldn’t find any.

> “Then I called Marks Outdoors, which is local to me in Birmingham…6 packs of them. I called my son and said, ‘Go to Marks, get the baits and…next-day them to me.’ …next-day air is $80 and they won’t guarantee they’ll get there, and I said, ‘I don’t care.’ So they were shipped to me and it cost me $100 for 6 packs of Baby Z-Toos.

> “When they came in, I felt a lot of pressure leave me…something about that bait they really liked. I went through every one in the event. …just nose-hooking them — they’d get tore up and I’d still nose-hook ’em looking all scraggly….”

5 Qs with the Champ.

Bill’s a good dude — sense of humor!

1. Does it make any kind of sense that you’ve had 2 top 10s as an Elite and one’s a win?

> “No. It doesn’t make any kind of sense. And both events I was using frickin’ spinning rods, and I never circled either as an event felt like I could do good in.”

[His other top 10 was 1 6th at Lanier, GA in 2019.]

2. What business does a dude from AL have winning a smallmouth tournament against some of the biggest brown-fish hammers in the country?

> “It doesn’t make sense. It totally came out of left field. None of the guys thought Bill Weidler would make a run at this thing — it was on nobody’s radar…was a total fluke. I know some guys right now are shell-shocked, like ‘Where’d this guy come from?'”

3. You mentioned God’s role in the win. What’s the whole story?

> “It’s the craziest thing that ever happened to me. I’m a believer in Christ…found a song by Crowder called Red Letters. When I listened to it…this guy looks like a hillbilly but has a voice of a rock star. I watched the video and started laughing — what a set of pipes on this guy.

> “I enjoyed listening to it — it started really moving me. For some reason, during the [tournament] I decided I wanted to listen to that song. I started playing it and was singing out loud on day 1 and 2 out there.

> “I noticed when I played the song I’d start seeing fish…put my headset back in, I saw fish. Day 2 I started playing it a little bit more. On the Live video, you can see me tap my headset to start the music playing. Every time I’d do it, I’d see [a big one] within a minute….

> “I’d play it when I was fighting fish to help me calm down to execute and get the fish in. It was surreal.

> “No doubt in my mind…thank the Lord for directing me where to go, what to do and to keep calm. It was the wildest thing in the world.

> “A lot of times a believer can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit — my body gets real tingly. When I played that song, I’d get real tingly…intense chills through my body. It was absolutely phenomenal man, the most incredible thing.

> “I give all the credit to God Almighty because He really is the One who did this…. My track record speaks for itself when you look at what I’ve done on smallmouth fisheries.

> “It was one of those times when I didn’t want to try to be a hero on my own. I just humbled myself and asked for some help.”

[Fwiw I get tingly too — my arms, back and neck for whatever reason. That’s how I know when I’m “praying in the Spirit.”]

4. Before this one started, if someone said to you, “Bill you’re gonna win this one” would you have believed him or kicked him outta your dream?

> “I would’ve kicked him outta my dream and said, ‘Come to talk to me when we get to Guntersville.'”

5. Which one is true: bigfoot or UFOs?

> “Dude no doubt bigfoot. I watch a lot of documentaries on it — I’d like to see it.”

[Word hahaha love it!]

Did Bill have a vision issue?

Check this great shot by I think Stevie Bowman:

Not sure what sports Bill played growin’ up, but guess he didn’t figger out that you gotta LOOK AT what you’re tryin’ to catch lol!

Garmin LiveScope is now a must-have. Period.

A must-have for the pros anyhow cuz word is Garmin LiveScope has been a HUGE advantage in smallmouth country this season. Massively, massively huge. In the Elite, somewhere around 35 of the top 40 dudes used it, including guys sponsored by other ‘lectronics companies. Believe Bill was one of ’em….

Look at the standings of the smallmouth tourneys. See any guys up high that surprise you? See guys down lower that surprise you? I do. Not taking anything away from the folks who did well at all, just pointing it out.

Is the LiveScope advantage a surprise? Kinda yeah but kinda no. Yep because it was a surprise to peeps who are, let’s say, way better fishermen than most of us reading this — they were blown away by how much of an advantage it was. On the other hand, LiveScope continues to amaze so….

Bear in mind that some guys — notably Jacob Wheeler and I think Justin Lucas, among others — don’t have an electronics sponsor because they have several different brands of units on their boats. Why? Because they feel they need ’em to win. Jacob won’t even talk about why he has the different units and how he sets ’em up….

Remember a couple years back when Spot-Lock was the deal? Sounds like LiveScope’s the new deal.

South Africa has the world’s best tourney trail name.

Check it:

Joey’s Towing Bass Tournament Trail

COMPLETELY one-ups any name we have over here man hahaha love it! Reminds me of this Little League team:

If you fish a trail with a name that comes close to either of those, lmk!


1. Hank Cherry withdrew at St Clair…

…cuz he had vertigo:

> “I’ve got bruises up and down my arm where I’ve fallen since I’ve been here. It’s been really bad. Rough water I don’t do well with. I’m going to go to every doctor and specialist I can to get this solved.”

Whoa hope he gets that licked.

2. Jay Yelas burned a Chatterbait at St Clair.

Love to hear that! Who needs a dang dropshot! Jay finished 9th using a variation on the olde skool burning a spinnerbait deal for smallmouths:

> “I fished in 5-7′ of water all week on a flat with scattered vegetation that had current flowing across it. I put my trolling motor on high, made a ton of casts and burned that [3/4-oz] vibrating jig on a fast 7.5:1 Lew’s baitcasting reel….”

Trailers were a Yamamoto Zako and a Kickin Zako, looks like all white. Sounds like a time!

3. Still a few hours left on David Mullins jersey auction…

…on eBay to help St Jude.

4. Terry Scroggins says smallies are like grouper.

Yes! I’ve thought the same — smallmouth fishing, and how they act, is like saltwater fishing.

5. Elitists Randy Pierson and Cody Hollen get Spearpoint.

Spearpoint hooks. Can’t link the site but it’s:

6. WI: FLW championshippers are fishing MLF format.

Most/all have never done it before….

7. Clay Dyer gets SPRO and Gamakatsu.

Huge congrats to ’em all!

8. TN: David Walker’s daughter got 4th at Douglas.

Championship derb, watch out for the new Walker! They have the same smile:

9. AR: Old-school blade baits working at Beaver now.

10. NY: Gobies “invading” Hudson River.

Not sure if zebras are already there, but either hopefully it means bigger smallmouths…. Goby activists are saying the proper terms are “colonizing” and “enhancing”…lol.

10. DC: Interior opens 2.3 mil acres to fishing and hunting.

11. GA HSer signs scholly with Emmanuel College.


12. TX: Giant striper caught on Stillhouse Hollow.

Not only is it big and to me looks more like a full-on striper than a hybrid/wiper, the last time that lake was stocked with stripers was 1982. Pretty sure no way that can be a 40-yr-old fish:

13. TX regs are all digital this season.

No paper book.

14. Daiwa has a new $39.99-$49.99 spin reel.

Already on TW. If you get one, pls lmk how you like it.

15. CA: 30% bill supposedly paused til next session.Wants to set aside 30% of state land and waters for no good reason and to align with United Nations goals…crazy man wow.

16. Thomas Allen leaves Bassmaster for In-Fisherman.

That’s 2 bassin’ dudes who have moved to In-Fish. Hope this means a needed revival for In-Fish, once a huge force in feesh media.

TAllen cooks a mean parking lot steak btw….

17. MS: Shotguns finally rolled out for Asian carp!Okay safety first, no doubt, especially shooting on or across water…which honestly I’ve never done. But ever since I saw my first jumping carp vid, as a shotgun dude I thought, Wow that could be some fun with the ol’ shot-chucker. Well, turns out MS folks are doing it — only on private water:

> “We shot 500 shells in 2 hours last week. You spend more time putting shells in the gun than shooting.

> “You stick the gun barrel in the water to cool it off. It’s very active. It’s the most fun thing you can do. It’s a sport now. We’re talking a world-class sport.”

500 shells in 2 hours!! Little sore and spendy….

18. KY has jellyfish??

> Many of the reports also mentioned that their loved ones did not believe them when they said that they saw the animals….

Same as with bigfoot!

19. How Honda car engines become outboards.

20. Bald eagle knocks drone outta the sky.

> …theorizing that the big bird went after the drone because it resembled a tasty seagull.

My theory: It hated the dang thing. No way are eagles so dumb they think a drone is a seagull.

On right now…
Note: The TackleWarehouse links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase I might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in the BB.

Tip of the Day

Great quick big-river breakdown from Eddie Evers.

From the MLF site:

> The main river channel usually has cover or structure in the form of rocks, wing dams, jetties, laydowns and sand bars. There are lots of baits that can produce here, but my go-to lure types are generally crankbaits, topwaters, Carolina rigs and football jigs.

> The secondary channels can have a lot of the same structure and cover, but they’ll also often have some vegetation. These areas are a little shallower than the main channel, and the presence of vegetation and shallow cover brings flipping and swim jigs into the mix.

> Backwaters are usually all about the shallow cover, and there are two approaches I like here: generating a reaction bite with square-billed crankbaits and hollow-bodied frogs or flipping the grass and wood.

But all you need to know is:

> The bass in the backwaters are typically the biggest available in the river system.

And…fishing frogs and flippin’ are the most fun too so….

Quote of the Day

“I haven’t earned a check all year.”

St Clair champ Bill Weidler talkin’. For real. Full quote:

> Actually, to be brutally honest about it all I came back in on the first 2 days about 30 minutes early each day. The 1st day I was just being careful. On the 2nd day it was to make sure I got back. I haven’t earned a check all year. I knew I had enough weight to make the cut for Saturday. I wanted to make sure I got a check.

He also told me he checked in early on the 3rd day, thought he had enough weight to make the 10 cut but wasn’t sure…. Gotta love the faith it takes to leave early, glad it worked out for him.

Shot of the Day

4 reasons this is the Shot of the Day:

1. 10.7 lbs and looks even bigger
2. Dude’s name is Jordan Pickles, a GREAT bassin’ name that fits with the whole ditch pickle/melon thing.
3. 1/0 hook!!!
4. gp blue YUM Dinger = money


Cuz you’re a bass-head I know it’s not IF you’ll eat one o’ these new hot snack masterworks, but which one you’ll like the best: #flaminhot

HAHAHA! But seriously — I can’t keep my hands off the “organic” Cheetos, which I share with my black Lab…when I have enough….

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’!

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