Blaylock’s and Morgan’s winning baits, Nasty is the time, Zona at the Masters

Wow what a weekend! One thing became crystal clear to me — we don’t have enough pro-level tournaments. So announcin’ my own trail called the Most Elite Major BassBlaster League Worldwide Tour that’ll have 25-hour-a-day live streamin’ (not 24!), 5-fish limits but weights zeroed every 2 hours, and cuts to 10, 2 and then 1 fisherman. That’s right — 1. Deal is if you can’t beat your own weight every 2 hours, you lose…vs yourself. But you could call a bud and ask him to guess your weight and if he’s within 5 oz you get a pass for that round.

Too much caffeine, sorry…. Gotta say it is pretty cool to have so much goin’ on in the Wide World o’ Bassin’ even if it is hard to keep track of it all…on the same weekend…!

Note: Please DO NOT read nuthin’ into the order of winning baits below. No trail favoritism here, just tryin’ to make it make sense in my head….

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

Today’s Top 5

Stetson Blaylock’s winnah Winyah baits.

Huge congrats to Stetson on his first blue trophy. Check how it went down — after finishing 2nd at Hartwell he:

> Got less practice at Winyah Bay, where he hadn’t fished before and didn’t really have a clue where to go
> Just hoped to finish in the top 35
> Fished the same exact baits he used at Hartwell
> Executed so-so on day 4
> Didn’t think he had even a long shot to win til after check-in on day 4…

…and yet he still won…which meant it it hadn’t really sunk in as of yesterday, when I talked to him:

> “…I’m telling you…you can’t win when you perform like that. To be able to actually walk away with that trophy, I’m still in shock.”

Full deets on the BassBlaster website, here’s some of it:

> “My main bat was wacky-rigged YUM Dinger (gp) with a 1/32-oz tungsten nail weight, 1/0 Gamakatsu G Finesse Drop Shot Hook, 10-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro leader to 20-lb Seaguar Smackdown flash green braid on a 6′ 10″ ML 13 Fishing Envy Black Spinning Rod.
> “On the baitcaster I fished a white YUM Christie Craw [head dyed red], the same setup as Hartwell — 7/16-oz sinker, 3/0 G Finesse Heavy Cover Hook, 20-lb InvizX, 7′ 3″ H Envy Black Rod and a Concept Z Reel (8.1).
> “When the tide was up I would blind-cast [with the wacky rig] to structure and open holes in the bushes and trees growing around the banks…. As the tide would fall, I’d make pinpoint casts to light spots I could see. As the tide fell completely out, I was looking for fish I could see.”

What up with Stets’ feeshn?

In the last 3 Elites he’s finished 1st, 2nd and 8th — quite a noticeable groove. I think his secret is this — dabbling, aka jigger-poling:

Okay not really. Here’s what he said:

> “I think a lot if it, the last couple years I let my mind wander from fishing the way I like to fish. I’ve made things too complicated…not been focusing where I need to…. It cost me a lot.

> “I do think the good Lord has been teaching me a lesson the last 2 years…patience and waiting on his timing…. Your life is a path, and you can’t control a lot of what goes in in your life. I always try to make sure everything I have control over is the way it needs to be. I feel like sometimes God will put you in a place in your life where you have to be completely dependent on Him to be successful in your own eyes. For me to struggle the last couple years…decisions have been making on the water have been hard, but finally the last few tournaments everything has been clicking…coming together, leading me to the win this week. And all credit goes to Him for sure.”

Stetson bein’ #bold! Btw, is there any evidence this was really Stetson?

I mean, doesn’t that dude look a little too muscular to be him? HHAHAHAHAHAHA Stets!

Andy Morgan won BPT #4 on his home lake.

He’s called the GOAT and seems like he for sure is on Chickamauga, especially when the conditions are what you’d call less than ideal — but he’d say:

> “…nasty days. That was ideal. It was literally the perfect storm.

> “I knew if the conditions lined up and the forecast held true for Sunday, if that system got here and it kept the boat traffic and fishing pressure down, I thought I could win.”

Did I mention he lives on a private island on the lake? He’s so focused on fishing that all he has — besides his boat and fishing gear — is his dog Chigger and a friend he calls Wilson:

Don’t EVER try to tell him Wilson ain’t real. Jacob Powroznik tried one time and let’s just say it got ugly….

Okay maybe not but Andy does live right there and knows the lake. So he had a plan:

> “I wanted to stay up close to home, in the river end, if at all possible. We had just enough water — they’re bringing the water up, raising the water out of winter pool…we’re halfway to summer pool. So we had a lot of water to fish in, but not a ton and it got crowded pretty easily.”

Here’s what he used, full deal on

> 1/4-and 1/2-oz Strike King Red Eye Shad (baby carp and chart sexy shad). “…chunk and wind. 1/4-oz because it was so shallow. I’ve caught more bass on a Red Eye Shad than any lipless baits…lot of confidence in it.” 7′ M Favorite prototype cranking rod, Lew’s Reel (6.8), 14-lb Gamma fluoro.
> 1/2-oz Strike King Thunder Cricket (chart/white) with a Zoom Swimmin Super Fluke (white), 7′ 2″ MH Favorite Big Sexy Rod, Lew’s Reel (6.8), 16-lb Gamma fluoro.
> Zoom Z Craw (b/b, b/red and tilapia), 1/4-oz Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten Weight, 5/0 Owner Jungle Flippin Hook, 7′ 6″ MH Favorite prototype flipping stick, Lew’s Reel (8.3), 20-lb Gamma fluoro.

> “The lipless was an early thing when the fish schooled up feeding in the mornings…first 1 hour of the mornings. Then it was the Thunder Cricket — my bait of choice going down stretches of bank, covering water — and flipping the Z Craw [to] anything you saw that one might be bedded beside.”

Andy had a testimony about his tournament too:

Appreciate him letting us use it for the #ReelFaith project.

2019, year of the home lake curse blessing?

For years — decades — we’ve heard about the home-lake curse in big-time bassin’ derbies. Even seen it, where a dude knows too much about his lake, fishes too many spots, spins out. But not this year, such like:

Ott DeFoe — TN River @ el Clasico

Brandon Cobb — Hartwell, SC

Andy Morgan — Chickamauga, TN

Knowing too much is a for-real temptation — heard those guys went to a special therapist to get right:

Was gonna tell you the dude’s name but strangely I can’t remember it now….

Seriously tho — this “home lake blessing” a 1-year or part-year deal? Guess we’ll find out.

When Zona and Sanders tried out for the Masters.

You already know how that turned out, but man what could’ve been…for the golf world. Would’ve actually made golf fun to watch….

Totally serious trivia: The Bassmaster Classic was actually originally named the BASS Masters Classic by Ray Scott, to mimic the status-sounding name of the Masters golf tourney. When ESPN owned B.A.S.S. they renamed it the Bassmaster Classic.


1. MI: Lot of big-name dudes at D&R Sports Fri-Sat.

Have heard of em all before except one: Kevin VanDam? Heehee! Btw, D&R I believe is owned by the VanDam fam and stands for “Duck & Run,” something to do with moonshinin’ in the hills of MI? Maybe?

Okay I made that all up EXCEPT the part about top pros bein’ there this week/end!

2. FLWer Terry Bolton will be speaking against carp TONIGHT.

Asian carp in KY….

3. BPTer Randy Howell needs to be on a diet?

Never thought of Howell as portly but:

4. FLWer Joseph Webster on BassEdge Radio.

5. Stories about Irwin Jacobs’ love for bassin’.

Good stuff I hadn’t heard before like:

> [After he won a team tourney] Irwin was exhilarated and told my dad that he was going to make a lot of professional fishermen rich.

> Irwin told me one day he would get TV to broadcast a bass fishing tournament as a lead-in to a National Football League game. He did that…

FLWer Randy Blaukat also posted his thoughts on Irwin.

6. B.A.S.S./Cracker Barrel supporting military fams.

Membership discount and donation for each to Operation Homefront.

7. CA moving to 12-month licenses.

8. MN: Fish in or support the St Jude derby, May 3-5.

9. FL: Fishers of Men 2020 Championship on Harris Chain.

10. First-ever official MLF college derby…

…was last week at Watts Bar, TN. Good and interesting. Congrats to John Garrett and Kyle Palmer of Bethel U.

11. KY: HS students propose new bassin’ format.

> Bass and Go is a bass fishing tournament business concept consisting of 7 separate tournaments for high school students. …each tournament awards scholarship money to the 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place finishers….

12. Largies have been found in Bulgaria!


Headline of the Day

Mosquito yields booty of bass on first foray

Bass…booty? Is that a medical condition? From mosquitoes?

Wait…do bass even have booties? I know they have vents but that’s a different deal, right?


Clayton W in KS won the big BOOYAH giveaway — congrats man! We run the giveaways on social, so make sure you’re there.
FB: JayKumarsBassblaster
Insta: @bassblaster

Tip of the Day

Andy Morgan: Nasty is the time.

Andy was practically drooling over the windy, stormy, rainy dirty-water conditions at Chickamauga. In other words, stuff that would keep most people home is the same stuff he was mega lookin’ forward to — which was partly the point. Asked him why he was so stoked about the conditions and he said:

> “Opportunity. It’s the bass rut — that’s what’s going on right now. It’s April on the TN River — you don’t get any better a time, and it’s an opportunity to get to come out here and fish when nobody’s around.

> “That’s when they bite. When it’s 80, sunny and slick, you don’t catch them those days very well. Spring time, some kind of conditions it what it’s about.

> “If you want to catch big ones and have those days, it’s never when it’s 80 and sunny, I promise you.”

So gitcha bassin’ selfs out there mang!

Quote of the Day

“When the frog bite is on, it can almost be like playing self-defense out there.”

FLWer Jim Tutt talkin’. Not sure where “there” is but I can tell you this: Never been there…and learning of it makes me feel this:

Shot of the Day

Great edit by @lunkerlab — #daydreaming #officebite #anybassdreams


Gitcha some authenticated Clarksdale, MS blues with Kingfish! Christone “Kingfish” Ingram — dude not only has a great nickname, he can flat RIP on that fiddle!

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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