BPT bait ideas, Best ever cold water finesse bait, Winning Costa baits

Give ya a largie and in chargie bass-head welcome to AFTCO, who’s been kickin’ out some #winner stuff like the s’posed to be all that Reaper Fleece:

Gitcha bassin’ ninja on! Or…gitcha Jason Christie o’nry but crazy good at bassin’ on (heehee Jason!) with his custom-designed AFTCO hoodie — he says it’s a fo sho #win.

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

Today’s Top 5

“If that’s what the anglers want, we’re all for it.”

– B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin talkin’ ’bout uppin’ the day 3 Elite field from 20 guys to 35, which in my 2c is a good thing. When the anglers heard that line from a B.A.S.S. exec they were like:

Lol! Couple more things from that post:

> Elitists will now get a day off, whenever possible, between practice and competition. This is to stock up on local baits and share information. Just kiddin’ about that last part….

> Steve Bowman was listed as “angler relations manager.” When the anglers found that out they were like:

HAHAHA Bowman!

FLWer John Cox finds fish on solid ground.

Check it: #offroad #4×4

He’s gotta be fishin’ the red squirrel pattern…which has nothing to do with Jeff Kriet…that I’m aware of anyhow.

Ray Hanselman smashed ’em at Amistad.

I always expect the first FLW derby of the season to be Okeechobee, but this time it was Amistad, TX — which judgin’ by the weights still ain’t “back” but was okay. Ray “I am the destroyer of TX bassin’ worlds” Hanselman won yet another one. I think he’s won like 105 TX Costas?

Anyhow, his 38-00 over 2 days (day 1 was canceled) was WAY above the rest of the field: Tyson Patrick was 2nd with 25-15 (Ray’s weight on day 1 alone), and some guy named Jeff Kreet or Krite or something was 3rd with 25-04 lol.

Ray-Ray caught ’em a Strike King 5XD crank (shad color), suspending jerkbait (same) and dropshot. Day 1 was friendlier, so he cranked most of ’em — grass in a spawning bay, 15-25′. Day 2 the bass shut down a bit.

Here’s the top 10 baits broken down:

Crankbait = 40% — 1 lipless = Rat-L-Trap

Dropshot = 40%

A-Rig = 30% — Couple look like the YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr, believe it’s the #1-sellin’ A-Rig in the US of A.

Jerkbait = 30%

Swimbait = 20%

10% each = Underspin, Shakey Head, Ned Rig


1. Gotta give one to Crazy Jeff Kriet for finishin’ 3rd with his own bait, a Big Bite Shaking Squirrel Worm (Kriet’s magic). Once asked him why he didn’t come out with a Quivering Squirrel Worm — he said…”What?”

2. One of the jerkbaits used by OK’s Lance Crawford (10th) — 1 of 3 Okies in the top 10 — was the Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue, runs deeper than a regular Rogue (which is still $$$) but not mentioned often:

3. Most-mentioned brand in the top 10: Strike King.

Does your youth league team rep the basses?

If you’re on this hockey team coached by bass-head Lee Erickson, dang straight:

The back shows him running down the lake in his bassin’ tub. Cool man!

MLF/BPT baits I’d be using.

Lemme say for 1 serious second that there’s NO WAY I could ever fish against the MLF/BPT guys and have a shot at finishing anywhere other than last. That outta the way, here’s some gimme baits — a little old skool but not this old:

Beetle Spin — Just need the right gear to keep it from rolling:

In-line spinnerMepps (pictured) or Luhr Jensen:

Pre-rigged wormKelly’s, Ike-Con (pictured — merthiolate!) or Creme:

Small crankbaitBandit 200 (pictured), Bomber 2A, Rapala DT-4 or DT-6, Bagley B2 (Tak!), Luhr Jensen Speed Trap, Norman Little N, Broken-back Rapala:

Floating Trick Worm — Money!

Shakey head finesse worm — Gp, black or old-school faded purple, doctored with chartreuse Spike It.

Slather everything with MegaStrike, Smelly Jelly (which has an epic website) or YUM Spray, with a spray bottle like this one I saw at Kevin Short’s house:

Wait…if all that stuff catches ’em easy, why don’t I fish it all the time?? #derp


1. BPTer Jacob Wheeler gets Duckett.

Rods and reels, was Okuma. Look out for J-Wheels signature stuff out this spring.

2. BPTers Todd Faircloth and James Elam get Gamakatsu.

Todd also is now with Denali rods.

3. BPTer Keith Poche gets Abu/Berkley.

All the PowerBait you can sniff!

4. BPTer Freddy Roumbanis gets Six Gill reels.

Not sure if 6 gills means 3 fish or what, but here’s the website.

5. BPTer Justin “Time” Atkins gets Falcon Boats.

Believe he was Ranger.

6. Can BPTer Mike Iaconelli get cooler?

That’s a definite no (hahaha Ike!) but he did get A cooler…company: Wyld Gear. Never heard of it — here’s the website — but for a sec I thought it said Wylde and had to do with southern NJ homie Zakk Wylde:

7. BPTer Brandon Palaniuk got hisself a cold one.

Wasn’t thru the ice but was sho-nuff a “too dang cold to fish” one — water T 37-38. Smackered it on a Zoom Z3 Swamp Crawler dangled on an Alpha Angler DSR Rod.

Here’s how BP’s preparin’ for the BPTs.

8. BPTer James Watson likes the new Hail Mary.

New beefy Luck E Strike lipless crank:

> “The best thing about the new bait is the profile is the same for 3/4- and 1-oz, so now the 1-oz lipless crankbait isn’t too large. Another great quality is I can bomb it 100 miles wether it’s on fluorocarbon or braid.”

9. AFTCO signs BPTers and Elitists.

Josh Bertrand, Jeff Kriet and Wesley Strader on the BPT, and Cliff Pirch, Garrett Paquette, Drew Cook, Micah Frazier and Greg Dipalma on the Elites.

AFTCO already has Jason Christie, Dustin Connell, Todd Faircloth, Shin Fukae, Anthony Gagliardi, Russ Lane, Jared Lintner, Scott Martin and Michael Neal.

10. Elitist Jeff Gustafson gets Z-Man.

Gussy’s one of the Canadian invaders, much like these guys back in the day:

Gussy’s post “How I warm up for the season” can be summed up: Drive south.

11. Meet n Greet the pros info.

> Susquehanna Fishing Tackle (Columbia, PA) this Fri-Sat Jan11-12, listen to learnin’s from Ish Mornoe, David Fritts, Greg Dipalma and Jamey Caldwell (Big Bass Dreams dude Oliver Ngy will be there too).

> Bass and Saltwater Expo in Raleigh, NC, this weekend Jan 11-13, meet Brandon Palaniuk, Johnny Crews “Missile,” Tim Horton and Jamey Caldwell (he’ll be at JB Custom Rods on Sunday).

> Meet and get seminared at Bass U — this weekend in scenic NJ, the bassin’ capital of the world yo! I might go to get my bassin’ brain expanded and to check out the stylin’s of new Bass U emcee Pat “Travers” Renwick of StrayCasts fame/infamy.

> The all too dang real James Watson will be at The Angler’s Take (store?) in Peoria, IL on Jan 19 doin’ a seminar.

12. FLWer Miles Burghoff gets Fitzy Rods.

13. Donny Barone un-retired.

Good! The don’s like:

14. Here’s you your MLF/BPT live-streamin’ hosts.

> For the play-by-play coverage, MLF veteran announcer Marty Stone will team with former pro angler JT Kenney, outdoors communicator Rob Newell, college sports announcer Chad McKee and social media personality Natalie Dillon.

No idea on the last 2, but the first 3 should be good…except for Marty. Gotcha Stone! Dude is way too serious…to which he’d say, straight-faced, “Jay I’m really not.” Hahaha love it!

15. Pure Feeshn/Berkley has a new CEO.

Dude says he fishes but nothing about bass, tho of course their biz ain’t all about the basses. He’s also on the Costa board.

Berkley and Abu have really gotten it together over the last 6 months or so. Hope the new owners don’t mess it up.

16. Missile Baits having no-entry derbies this year…

…with a 100% payback. HAHAHA kiddin’ Crews! Deets:

> The 1-day team events will feature a guaranteed $2,500 total payout with the winning team walking away with a guaranteed $1,000. The teams will only be allowed to have Missile Baits soft plastics and Missile Jigs skirted jigs in their boat, but any brands of terminal tackle will be allowed.

> The first event will be held on Lake Lanier, GA on Feb 24. The second tournament will be May 11 on Old Hickory Lake, TN.

Like getting the local dealers involved.

17. NetBait got a private equity shot.

Seems to be the thing nowadays, hope it works out for ’em. Got an email says the investment (doesn’t say it was a buyout) was by the Fingle Flagen Group, a “private equity company” which has no website I can find, includin’ the domain the email was sent from.

Hmm. Only other time I’ve heard that name is the first 2 seconds of the Def Leppard tune “Rock of Ages.”

HAHAHA! Jus’ messin’….

18. Garmin announced 2 things today.

Budget-friendlier Panoptix LiveScope transducer, and new merge of Garmin and Navionics maps.

19. New Ranger promo deals.

20. Merc $10 mil testing center is done.

At Fondue Lake, WI. Fondue? What’s up with the whole WI cheese thing?

Tip of the Day

Mark Menendez: Fish ya a curtly-tail grub.

Menendez! You outed something pretty much EVERYONE has forgotten about even though it ketches the basses all year long and may be the best cold-water finesse bait ever. Here’s the juice:

> “The grub is a cold-water special, particularly in lakes that you have threadfin shad in — that’s what you’re mimicking. [Not necessarily in northern lakes!].”

> …Strike King Rage Grub. “The 4-inch version on a 1/4-oz Tour Grade Jighead…but it has a flange on it, and there are times when that flange creates too much disturbance, so take my pocketknife and slice off the flange to create a much quieter bait.

> …sticks to 3 basic colors: pearl chartreuse, pearl white and…a pearl white with smoked blue flake….

> “I use 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon because it’s so soft, invisible and behaves so well on spinning gear.

> “…2 ways I fish a grub in winter: I’ll swim it suspended in the water column, or fish it on the fall. If I notice the fish are chasing shad balls in 10-12′ of water, I’ll count that grub down 7-10 seconds, point my rod at about a 45-degree angle and then I’ll start slow-reeling, keeping that bait with those shad and off the bottom.”

I can’t fish near a good as Mark, but in my experience it’s almost a “no wrong way to fish it” bait as long as that tail’s moving. Sometimes the fish want it slower, sometimes faster (warmer water). With today’s bigger/fatter grubs, you can also rig it weedless/rockless.

Dang I should fish it more….

Quote of the Day

“I’ve had tournaments where I could’ve been a hero, but didn’t do crap in the standings.”

Jacob Powroznik talkin’. Wellllll J-Pow, I’m thinkin’ pretty much ANYONE could say that man hahahaha! In fact, when Mercer interviews me I’m gonna say that every time. Then Dave’ll start saying it as soon as I walk on stage, and Trip’ll start givin’ me even more dirty looks….

A little context: Jacob’s talkin’ ’bout not showin’ out in some 5 biggest derbies cuz he might’ve had 5 7-lbers (in FL) instead of 5 8-lbers or whatever.

Shot of the Day

For a sec FLWer David Dudley was wondering if he was lookin’ at “the” bottom or “a” bottom:

6th-grade humor never gets old mang!


Woman claims to tell the future with asparagus.

> …claims she can peer into the future by tossing the vegetable in the air and interpreting how the spears land.

Some bass-head oughta try that with Senkos…just kiddin’. Stay FAR away from that tellin’ the future stuff. Big-time bad juju.

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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