BP and Ehrler winning baits, Fish hold conspiracy, Fewer rods

Beeg welcome to Alpha Angler Rods! Alpha’s a new company and has this guy named Brandon Palaniuk using their stuff. Not sure if you’ve heard much about Brandon lately…. Okay, okay — because he won this weekend’s derby, you’ll see a lotta Alpha stuff in this one. Just timing and a little luck (a lot for Brandon lol).

Today’s Top 5

Brandon Palaniuk’s winning baits.

Dang he won another one! Good job dude! LOT of good info on about his winning pattern and baits, but here’s the bait deets:

> Topwater: #13 size Storm Arashi Top Walker (pro blue, stock hooks), 40-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid, 6′ 10″ M Alpha Angler Slasher rod. “When you’re throwing braid, something has to give so that rod has a really good tip to walk that bait — it creates a ton of action but has enough backbone fight big fish and the right bend to keep them pegged.”

> Neko rig: Zoom Magnum Trick Worm (gp), 1/0 weedless VMC Neko hook [weedless version coming out at ICAST], 3/16-oz VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight, 15-lb Smackdown braid, 10-lb Seaguar Tatsu leader, 7′ M Alpha Wrench spinning rod.

> He said he caught “all the giants” on the Neko rig, but lost giants too. “I just knew [losing fish] was going to be part of what I was fishing — it was such nasty cover. It was kind of an odd game of getting more bites and hopefully landing the majority of them. I had an 8-04 stuck in a tree for 3 minutes.”

> He fished it “in and around brushpiles, and flipped it to the isolated trees that the fish were sitting in. On my 360 I could see fish suspended around standing timber — I would specifically target the trees I saw the fish in.”

> Why a Neko rig: “In practice I was marking fish I swore I knew were bass. I was throwing big cranks, football jigs — but I wasn’t getting bit. So just to figure out if they were bass, I dropped the Neko rig — and the first fish I caught was a 9+. So that told me what I was looking at were bass, and there might be something to that Neko rig. When I kept it in my hand, I could go to every single brushpile and catch one.”

> He’d never fished a Neko rig in a tournament before.

> Texas rig: 10″ Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm (plum), 1/2-oz VMC Tungsten Flipping Weight, VMC Sinker Stop, 5/0 VMC Heavy Duty Wide Gap Hook, 15-lb Seaguar InvizX (17-lb the final day), 7′ 3″ MH Alpha Angler Zilla rod.

Re: the Neko…asked him if he felt less manly after fishing a wimp stick most of the derby — like did he have to eat a steak, lift weights and watch football after winning it — and he said…no. And pointed out it was his second wuss-noodle win. So I was like…oh, okay man, gotcha….

How ’bout that boxing match?

Check these weights:

Really a 2-man deal. Unlike this bass race in Mille Lacs:

MLF format but still….

Brent Ehrler’s 2nd-place baits.

Brent is fishing hot and was cool with finishing 2nd this time — more about that and of course great deets about his pattern and baits on the BB website:

> Jerkbait: Lucky Craft Slender Pointer 127 (ghost minnow in clearer water, aurora black in darker water), 14-lb Sunline FC Sniper fluoro, 7′ ML Daiwa Cronos rod, Tatula SV reel (6.3).

> He got on that jerkbait “because of John Murray. When we were at T-Bend, John said they really bit that Slender 127. I had one of them with me, but I had a giant Plano box of them at home. So when I went home, I dug through my garage and brought that box out for this one. It had dust on the top because I hand’t used it in a long time. I’m kicking myself right now — it should’ve been in my boat the last couple years.”

> Vibe jig: 1/2-oz Z Man/Evergreen Jack Hammer (gp), Yamamoto Zako (gp), 20-lb Sunline Sniper, 7′ 4″ MH Daiwa Tatula Elite glass rod which he designed for bladed jigs, Daiwa Steez A reel (6.3).

Fish hold conspiracy?

Okay, we all know it was a one fish per angler weigh-in at Rayburn, but take a look at these pics — notice anything?

EVERY fish was held up the same — dos manos. Gotta believe the guys were told to do that. Not too big a deal…but really hope B.A.S.S. is not following MLF’s unnecessarily over-the-top animal welfare-type treatment of fish. They are FISH!

Takes ONE HAND to hold up a bass. That’s part of the beauty of bass, aka the perfect gamefish. Hold it up, take a pic, put it back in the water. Has worked fine for decades.

Just one idiot’s 2c.

WTHeck is a kolache?

Sounds mouth-watering — a donut with sausage in it?? $$$!! — but it’s pronounced “coal ash” so…needs a new name. I’m thinkin’: “hawg trough.”

Very surprised Bassin’masters’ Jim Sexton wrote about it and not Overstreet, tho I bet JO was tryin’ to keep it a secret…. Hahaha JO!


1. TX: Why the BASSFest crowds were small.

Anecdotes from Texas bass-heads on the TFF.

2. MN: Largie and smallie pops increasing.

3. FL: Bassers raise $350K for children’s hospital.

#stout fellers!

4. WA wants bass out of the Columbia River.

> Last year, Washington removed the catch limits on bass, walleye and channel catfish in the Columbia river and its main tributaries as a measure to help reduce predation on young salmon and steelhead.

Warning — This photo not suitable for all viewers:

Don’t think removing smallies will help, but it sure will hurt.

5. New Hank Parker Solar Bats.

6. Camping World selling shares to fund Gander acquisition.

Tip of the Day

BP: Change lines more than rods.

Fewer is better, less is more, tastes great/less filling, have it your way, whatever you want to call it, we should all get more Zen or Kung Fu or Feng Shui in our bassin’…which I would do except I love bassin’ gear too much lol.

How this convo with Brandon happened: His new rod sponsor, Alpha Angler, has 7 rod models. Think about that. Pros have like 30 different rods for 60 different techniques. So I asked him, Are fewer rods an advantage or disadvantage? Pretty fascinating answer.

> For me, I think it’s an advantage to have a few rods that can cross over to several different techniques and that’s one thing I think makes [Alpha rods] stand out. They build rods that can do multiple things correctly.

> Not all 7′ 3″ MHs are built right, but with that rod [the Alpha Zilla] you can do a ton of different techniques just by changing the line you put on that rod. The way it’s built, the balance of it, the power of it — you can put braid on it and it’s frogging rod. Put 17- or 20-lb fluoro on it and you can flip light jigs. With 15-lb fluoro you can fish football jigs, worms and light swimbaits on it. The rod feels the same — you’re just switching lines for each technique.

> I think [having fewer rods is better] because it creates consistency. When I pick up a rod, the rod and reel feel the same. The only thing that feels different is the line.

> I remember back from watching a VHS tape of a bassmaster show…Curt Lytle winning I think Lake of the Ozarks [yep, in 2000]…. This is before everyone started building technique-specific rods and different gear-ratio reels. He had exact same rods and the exact same reels — maybe few different rod actions…. Talk about creating consistency. You just change the line for different techniques. To me that makes more sense, but it has to be the right blank.

> Before Alpha, I was trying to narrow it down more and more. I’ve done it across the board, not only with rods but even with my tackle. I’m trying to get it to where I have confidence in enough of the right baits that I can fish all the different scenarios but not have a ton of crazy colors, shapes and sizes.

Quote of the Day

How long will it take before we stop hearing things like hey, make sure your cigar ashes make it outside the boat, wipe your feet dude, don’t step there, did I hear a lure hit the boat, don’t let the fish hit the carpet, its bleeding don’t lift it in, and if it all doesn’t go in the water then don’t [censored] off the boat.

– HAHAHA! Dude talkin’ ’bout fishin’ in his bud’s new boat. Too funny.

Shot of the Day

Cool-lookin’ spotty largie from the Far East:


Tripped over this, sort of a bassin’ theme:

The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke- la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole.”

Lol! Searched for “tadpole” on Tackle Warehouse and…nothing. Surprised.

Sign up another bass-head!

If you’re forwarding every Blaster to other bass crackheads, tx much — or you can email me the addys and we’ll take care of it! We’ll never send spam, sell the list or anything else crazy….

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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