Cali teener caught! Smallies spawning now?? How to spoon now

Yep yesterday was Sept 11. If you don’t know, I live in NJ and the entire northern half of the state is basically a suburb of NYC. So we still feel 9/11 here…when we think about it. Not looking for sympathy at all, just want to say I deeply appreciate first-responders and military folks everywhere. To me, what you do and your desire to help folks you don’t even know show the light of God. Thank you.

Will say that I deeply do NOT appreciate any person or company that uses that day or pics/video from that day for any kind of gain or eyeballs or whatever. Not cool at all. Also re-realized that I have issues I still haven’t dealt with from that day. Really gotta pray about that….

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

Today’s Top 5

Dude caught a Cali teener!

Lake Camanche:

That’s Andrew Schmidgall on Sept 2 with 14.71 lbs of large. Post says he was fishing a Wicked Weights Jig on a ledge in 25-30′ on the main lake:

> “It took about 10 minutes to bring in. It was the fish of a lifetime — I don’t know if I will be able to beat it.”

10 minutes or just felt like it?! Or maybe because he was being gentle — said he was using 12-lb Berkley Big Game, a good choice around such giant fish:

> …it was the 2nd biggest landed at the reservoir this year to date. Tim Wells of Clovis caught and released a 15.01-lb largemouth while using a dropshot rig on Mar 16.

Lake record is 18.17. Sounds like an insane place….

Zona says smallmouths spawn now??


> For those of you who head into northern states this fall to chase big, aggressive smallmouth, pay attention to what you might see around traditional spawning areas. Look for what appears to be a freshly dished out area, and you might see smallmouth sitting on a bed.

> …I’m telling you, there is a weird thing that I and some of my nut-bag brethren have seen firsthand: a fall — albeit, false — spawn.

> …I have seen giant male smallmouth creating beds and locking onto them the same way they do in May and June. It typically occurs when the water starts dropping into the mid to low 60s and those conditions collide with a full moon.

> Now, I’m not saying the spawning ritual goes beyond the male’s activities. Yet, there obviously are some confused, if not misguided, male bass. They go through the motions only to be heartbroken when the girl of their dreams fails to show up.

> …I’ve had these discussions with some well-respected and experienced smallmouth anglers who confirm they’ve seen the same thing.

Hmmm. Z’s a bud so 2 facts:

> He’s much, much crazier and stranger than he seems on TV. Seriously.

> BUT he’s deadly serious about bass fishing, meaning he doesn’t really joke about it.

Honestly don’t know how he separates both things in his brain. Anyhow, I weigh in my mind “nutty brethren” vs “experienced smallmouth anglers” — “spawn” vs “false spawn” — “full moon” vs “regular” Zona. I’m like:

It’s not Apr 1 in NJ, but maybe it is in MI? Next to that mushroom farm?? Z???

“…got to the pro level and I was blown away by how sharp and amazingly efficient successful competitors are.”

– 2nd-yr FLW pro Cody Hahner talkin’ TRUTH. Will say it over and over: You truly have no idea how good these guys are til you’re in their boats and, even more, if you compete against them. Cody also be sayin’:

> “The first time I got to see real pros like Bryan Thrift and David Dudley get to work, I immediately realized I had to step up my game. They have so much confidence and their approaches were incredibly fine-tuned from having spent countless hours on the water. It was really impressive — and somewhat humbling.”

All you guys n gals who aspire to the pro ranks, remember that. Almost everyone has been humbled. One dude who comes to mind who started off hot and never stopped was Brandon Palaniuk, which prolly means he’s got one of these machines:

Is MLF buying FLW (finally)?

Big-time RUMOR all year, got hotter after Irwin Jacobs passed on, now real hot. I’ve not mentioned it here cuz there’s so many rumors in this biz, includin’ about acquisitions and especially about B.A.S.S., FLW and MLF. BUT last week and this, heard from folks who swore to me that the deal’s on.

If it really happens, to me it seems to make a lot of sense for MLF. FLW’s greatest asset — in my opinion — is the BFLs, the old Operation Bass Red Mans. They also have an Opens-level trail: the Costas. Question is, what would happened to the FLW Tour under the MLF? Would it become THE qualifying trail for the BPT or would the Costas be that somehow? Or does it even matter because the MLFers will invite whoever they dang well want hombre?

Who knows man, and until we get an announcement of officialness it’s still all rumor…that bassin’ biz folks have been hearin’ about and ponderin’ all year. I have too, a little, so I have a couple more thoughts I’ll save til we hear more…IF we do….

Btw, if the deal’s on but not done, guess it could still go either way….

What else will modern electronics reveal?

Sooooooo sophisticated now. Check ’em, click the pinks for the links:

1. Fish laugh at us?

2. What do your tracks tell you?

Hahaha love that one! Congrats! Reminds me of these weddin’ flowers (@allenluckfishing shot):


1. Great post about Scott Martin fishing with a sick young dude.

Beautiful man. Hope….

2. A bunch of BPT pros are coming out with an app?

Bass Force? CEO is Alton Jones? What up fellers?? If/when I get deets, will share….

3. Brett Hite’s got the funk.

Was like, “Dude what funk do you have?” He was like:

I was like, “Don’t look so bad?”

Hahaha Soul Train was AWESOME man!

4. Braxton Setzer’s fave fall baits.

Yo-Zuri 3DB 5″ Pencil and 3DB Squarebill, and a Nichols Swimjig in his signature color. Asked him about that not-all-white color, called “Braxton’s olive shad:”

> It was to get as close to a universal color as possible. I went with the green back because it can match the shad in most lakes as well as blue back or even hitch out west. Most people have a misconception of what the baitfish in their lakes look like in the water — green matches better than most colors.

5. Part 1 of Brandon Palaniuk’s Redcrest vid is up.

Brandon has at least 3 camera people on him at all times, so when you text or call him you’re automatically on a reality TV show. I was like, What happens when you go to the Dr man??

Yep, they filmed it…. Hahaha! Great vids on his YT channel.

6. How Gerald Spohrer is going after the world record.

I was like, “I’m pretty sure it has to be with artificials.” He said, “Who said that?” Had to admit I didn’t know if anyone ever said it….

7. Elites at Tenkiller…so is bigfoot?

Supposed to be a Squatch hotspot. Here’s a story about a “bear” that “stomped” around a dude. Don’t think bears stomp man….

Anyhow, called the Hack Attack to ask if he’s ever been Squatchin’ there, went something like this:

> Hack: “Who’s asking?”

> Me: “Me.”

> Hack: “Who else?”

> Me: “Just me.”

> Hack: “No who else did you ask? You talk to Christie yet?”

> Me: “JASON Christie??”

He hung up. Then I called Jason but he didn’t answer. #suspicious

8. B.A.S.S. 2020 schedule announced.

Most waters, not all:

  • Feb 6-9, St Johns River, FL
  • Feb 14-17, TBA
  • Mar 6-8, Classic @ Guntersville, AL
  • Apr 2-5, Eufaula, AL
  • Apr 16-19, Santee Cooper, SC
  • May 29-Jun 1, Sabine River, TX [nooooooooooooo!]
  • Jun 5-9, Texas Fest, TBA
  • Jul 23-26, St. Lawrence River, NY [more small fish lol]
  • Jul 30-Aug 2, Champlain, NY
  • Aug 13-16, Elite makeup date [TBA?]
  • Aug 20-23, St. Clair, MI

Not bad! At least 3 smallie waters, kinda like seein’ that….

9. NY: FLWer Grae Buck won the Oneida Open.

Won the Oneida BFL there a month ago, heard he’s changin’ his middle name to “Oneida:”

> …fished the same pattern that earned him last month’s win. “I was fishing between 6′ and 9′ [mixed rock and grass]…throwing a dropshot with a Cornerstone Baits Shimmy Shot. It’s been a strong pattern here for a month. When you get around the fish, they eat it.
> “The only difference from how I won the BFL is that this week I switched to the ghost color…. …before they were eating a lot of perch fry and gobies. Now they were probably focused more on shad. I also caught quite a few yesterday on a Ned Rig, which was a Shimmy Shot on a 1/10th-oz Hayabusa Brush Easy Jighead.”

> …used a size 2 Hayabusa DSR Hook, 1/4- and 3/8-oz Eco Pro Tungsten Dropshot Weights, 18-lb Ardent Gliss braid [hi-vis yellow] and 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro….


– Dean Silvester sold his house in Australia to be here to fish the Opens and finished 2nd. Ha $8K left but needs a boat to finish. Someone help a brutha! Dude fished a Z-Man ChatterBait the whole time (gp).

– Jamie Hartman, who knows a little tiny bit about Onedia, finished 3rd, guess cuz he was sick of winning…?

– Jamey Caldwell was 4th, has fished the Opens for a long time, and before this is best finish was…4th, at…Oneida. You might wanna move up north there bud! Jamey used an M4 in gp camo with a bunch of infrared doodads on it….

10. T. Boone Pickens, FLW minority owner, passes on.

Noted oil tycoon and other stuff too.

11. MO: Tix still available for Bassin’ HOF inductions.

Oct 3 and Johnny Morris’ castle in Springfield. Wonder if invites were sent out? (Hint!)

12. TX: Dude caught a black gun at Lake Arlington.

Wonder what he thought he had on before he saw it hahaha!

13. Check the new BioSpawn ExoRibbon.

7″ available, 10″ soon, good colors, funky tail I wanna see in the water:

Not on TW yet but you can get ’em here.

14. Learn ya about CatchCo…

…and head dude Ross Gordon, who’s good people. Company owns Mystery Tackle Box, BioSpawn, the Karl Von Dibble thing and various brands o’ stuff. Honestly one of the most innerestin’ companies in fishing — very different and smart. Here’s a quote from Ross in that post everyone in the fishin’ biz should really think about:

> “As long as we continue to not conform to the industry, I have no doubt that we will continue to grow.”

I don’t doubt it either. Crazy thing I learned from that is he’s originally from MN. SO MANY peeps/companies in the fishing biz are from MN. The fishing’s not even good there…hahaha! #MilleLacs #whatever

15. DC: EPA supposed to repeal Obama-era Clean Water Act rule…

…that extended federal authority of what waters can be federally regulated. Everyone’s got an opinion on everything, here’s 1 from the Farm Bureau site about what the Obama EPA rule did:

> …vastly expanding EPA’s and the Corps’ regulatory authority beyond the limits approved by Congress and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Says a bunch of folks sued and the rule was “never implemented nationwide” so not sue how big a deal this is.

16. It’s pre-spawn! In South Africa.

Not sure if they speak the same English…

> …Driekoppies and Vygeboom dams are the most sought after, producing hawgs well over 3 kilograms….

…but the bass there speak ‘merican:

> Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits or TX-rigged creatures, lizards, frogs or crawfish imitations can all be productive during this phase. Watermelon-red Flukes have proven to be very successful too…. Staging females in deeper water can also be goaded with Carolinas, dropshot rigs or deep-diving crankbaits.

Do they really say “crawfish” there? Lemme hear it South African bassin’ bros!

17. More Vexus walkthru vids.

Learn ya and be amazed:

Livewell Advancements and more (part 3 of 4)

Hull design (part 4 of 4)

Does this silvery Vexus VX all-glass boat look sick or what:

18. WI: Starry stonewort found in 3 lakes.

> Though the specific impacts of starry stonewort are largely unknown, anecdotal evidence suggests that the macro-algae can grow in thick mats at high densities, adversely impacting the fishery and recreational and aesthetic uses.

19. NRA called out NASCAR.

Puttin’ this in here cuz over the years folks have talked about the big crossover between fishermen and NASCAR fans, and also Bass Pro and a few other outdoor companies are/have been involved in car racin’:

> NASCAR’s official media sales agent told K-Var (as well as other potential advertisers) that the racing organization is undergoing a “gradual shift in (its) position on guns”….

On right now…

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Tip of the Day

Quick lesson on deep spooning.

Deep spooning in the fall? Sorta. Just cuz you think the shad are GOING shallow, doesn’t mean they’re all there…or that they’ve magically attracted all the bass in the lake up shallow. Here’s a little deal from LA Sporstman about deep spooning on Caney. FLWer Tyler Stewart talkin’:

> “We’ve been catching them suspended around the standing timber where the schools of shad are hanging out. The best baits for the big ones seem to be spoons…. Not a lot of people around here fish spoons, but the 6th Sense Crush Flutter Spoon in the regular silver finish has been really good for me.”

> The bigger fish are in deeper water, mostly around 17-20’…. The fish suspend at different depths, but your best bet is about 5-7’off the bottom.

> “What we do is just idle around areas that we think will hold fish and when we see them on the graph, we’ll stop and either cast out the back or turn around and fish where we see them. I wouldn’t fish anywhere that I don’t see fish on the graph. We tried a few spots where I had caught fish, especially around brushpiles, but we didn’t catch them unless we saw them.”

Key line: “Not a lot of people around here fish spoons.” If that’s true where you live, or this time of year where you live, try ’em. Here’s all the spoons on Tackle Warehouse. Or you can try a secret-ish bait of some pros, the Rapala Jigging Rap.

Quote of the Day

“You either need to not go fishing at all and get your mind right, or you need to be going every [dang] day.”

BPTer Dustin Connell talkin’ what he said to another pro bud who struggled this year. I’ve never been a pro (duh) but from what I’ve observed of ’em over the years I think it’s good advice…with a couple Ifs:

> Seen time off do well for guys who’ve been grindin’ hard for a while and fishing well.

> Seen time off hurt guys who have not been fishing well. I think it’s kinda psychological — they want to turn their backs on it for a bit.

> Seen guys who fish a lot in the off-season do well if they fish with a purpose rather than just fish. On the other hand, sometimes just getting back in touch with the fun of fishing helps some dudes. Their mental state is important, and often has a ton to do with their financial situation.

> If a guy’s in the zone, he’ll probably stay in the zone without having to fish a ton. Not sure why that is, just seen it a lot.

Btw, if it takes not fishing at all to get your mind right, that might explain Zona…and Mercer…and JT Kenney…not sure ’bout how Tommy Sanders got that way tho….

Shot of the Day

Alien probe dog found in bass boat:

Hahaha! That’s a YOLOtek PowerStick sticking outta its head (not really).


A 550-million-year-old worm was one of the first animals to move and make decisions, a new study says

First I was gonna say that this may be why bass hate worms — cuz they been movin’ and makin’ decisions so long. But then I read it:

> The tracks indicate the animal was moving toward or away from something. And the ability for animals to move, and move with purpose, transformed the Earth, study author and Virginia Tech geochemist Shuhai Xiao said.

The tracks indicate the animal was moving toward or away from something. For real?? Pretty sure ANY track made by ANYthing — or a lack of tracks, like fish moving in the water — indicates that man, sheesh….

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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