Can bass see? More electronics shy fish? Weekend tourney baits

Got out for a few hours Sunday. Wind was crankin’ so bad I almost got dumped outta the bow. A first for me – troller was on auto, wondered what would’ve happened if I went in. Didn’t occur to me to wear a PFD because it wasn’t a big lake and maybe just a 200-yard stretch of serious wind. Dumb of me, never again. More on (moron?? ) my lil trip further down.

At my daughter’s practice on Saturday I took about 15 minutes to read our US (since peeps from other countries read the BB) Declaration of Independence and Constitution + Amendments. Been a looooong time. Amazing stuff. Highly recommend it.

Gotta shout-out Sea Foam Marine PRO is now at Wally-mart! But not all Wallys – just the sexy ones…lol. Okay basically the ones in major boating areas….

Today’s Top 5
“Bass can see.”
– Please lmk if you find a way to disagree with that statement – made by Chris Zaldain OR his bassin’ ‘stache, which does have a mind of its own as all of ’em do…pay real close attention to Seth Feider, Todd Auten, Jared Lintner, etc when they talk.

HAHAHA just messin’! Quote is for-real, from a GREAT post on the Bassin’masters about swimbaitin’, about which Chris is very Zaldaingerous and maybe even genius/savant. Here’s a few excerpts, worth a full read fo sho:

> I especially like the first break out from where they spawn. That’s a good spot to find all, or at least most of them. Maybe the best spot of all is the first point going into the backwater areas. And, when the wind is blowing that’s even better.

> Some of the breaks and points will be just a few yards from the likely spawning areas. Other might be as much as a quarter-mile away. It doesn’t matter. That’s where the prespawn will hold, and it’s where the postspawn will hold.

> The first thing, whatever swimbait you choose make sure it has all the details — fins, gills, mouth, eyes and everything else. The water at this time of the year tends to be clear. Bass can see. The more your bait resembles the real thing the more bass you’ll catch.

> Do not buy swimbaits that are packaged loose in plastic bags. Buy only those that are in a bubble wrap or that are in a secure box.

^ Last deal makes me think Zaldain is channelin’ his inner Aaron Martens. Told you these guys are OCD…oops I mean CDO….

Also, if you fish big swimbaits, you need big rods AND big sunglasses:

How XD “Keith” Combs won the Rayburn ‘Yota.
Been a few tries to ban Combs from Rayburn tourneys. One case got all the way up to the Supreme Court – folks claimed him fishing that lake in tourneys with a 6XD in chart/powder blue back violated everyone else’s 1st Amendment right to “peaceably assemble.” The Court refused to hear the case, but Clarence Thomas DMd Keith and asked him for a couple cranks….

Bahahahaha could happen! Anyhoo, here’s how Keith conquered Rayburn’s basses again:

> Strike King 6XD (chart/blue back) on a few offshore spots in 12-16′, mostly points and hard spots. But mostly a Strike King 4.0 Magnum Squarebill (TN shad) and Strike King Bottom Dweller Spinnerbait (blue shad) on main-lake flats and points in 4-7.’ I was keying on stumps and hard spots with the Hummingbird 360.

> “360 imaging and focusing a little deeper than most guys was the main deal.”

> Cranking gear: 7′ 2″ MH glass Shimano Zodias Rod, Shimano Curado DC, 15-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro (heavier line than he usually cranks with).

> Spinnerbait gear: 7′ 2″ H Shimano Zodias Rod, same reel, 20-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

Will ‘lectronics make fish ‘lectronics-shy?
Can’t say for sure, but at popular lakes and community holes my bet is yes – already there. Got to thinkin’ ’bout this from talkin’ to Lee Livesay about his comment about fishing quiet at Fork, then readin’ what he said on the ‘Bird site:

> “These mature fish in Lake Fork are very smart, making them very difficult to catch. They hear countless boat motors and trolling motors every day. Once they hear that, they’re usually not going to bite. Maybe you can catch one, but once those big fish hear the boat noise, they just shut off.”

Okay he’s talkin’ ’bout trolling motors there but:

> “Once I had my Raptors anchored, I would put all my fish finders in standby mode and let the area settle for a couple of minutes before I started casting.”

By now bettin’ we’ve all heard about pros wanting electronics shut off (like on spectator and media boats). I’ve also heard that brushpile fish in 1 lake seem to be getting used to LiveScope – or it could be the approach, or cast angle, or something associated with a LiveScoped boat I guess.

Here’s just my 2c for whatever it’s worth:

– Critters sense the world way differently than we do. In many ways better, I think.

– Can we really know how a fish perceives its world? I don’t think so.

– Do they see/hear/smell/otherwise perceive things we don’t and in ways we don’t? No doubt.

So will ‘lectronics alter fish behavior? Yep. Will it be because of the ‘lectronics themselves or because those ‘lectrical gadgets alter our behavior? Not sure yet.

NOTHING will make bassin’ easy, which is why it’s great!

Baits breakdown from the Pickwick Open.
Congrats to AL’s Joey Nania who won by 1 lb with 58-02:

> All week Nania had been fishing main-river bars between Koger Island and Seven Mile Island, where he focused on a mix of grass and stumps. …key to his presentations was making precise casts that hit the tops of stumps and triggered reaction bites.

> The first 2 days saw a 3/4-oz gp shad Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammer with a smoky shad Z-Man Razor ShadZ….

Also fished a Carolina-rigged Z-Man Finesse TRD, and the last day fished a shakey head with Z-Man Mag FattyZWorm.

Craziest thing he said:

> “I saw a lamprey stuck on some of the fish I was catching and they would get thrown off when the fish jumped. I figure this thing [shakey head] looks like a lamprey – I’m going to throw it.”

Coolest thing he said:

> “I’m a believer in Jesus and when it’s your time, it’s your time.”

What the whole top 10 feeshed:

Shakey head = 30%Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General, Zoom Trick Worm, Z-Man Mag FattyZWorm

Crankbait = 30% – deep divers were a Berkley Dredger and Strike King 6XD

Bladed jig = 20% – both JackHammers

Flip plastics = 20%

Jig = 20%

Carolina Rig = 20%Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Critter Hawg and the TRD

Topwater = 20%Berkley Cane Walker and Zoom Horny Toad

Wacky rig = 20%Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General, 4″ Senko

Soft swimbait = 10%


Douglas Open winner Daisuki Aoki finished 6th and this was 1 of his baits, a Dstyle SVSB 1.8:

Think maybe he found it stuck to the wheel of his truck…
“…Denny Brauer once told me that a small bait dropping in front of a bass is too tempting. They cannot resist even if they have just eaten….”
Guy talkin’ here. That might be true but here’s my only question: How the heck would Denny know?? Be willing to swear in a court of law that Denny’s never tied on anything that weighed less than 1/2-oz (not including the trailer) and doesn’t know what anything under 20-lb line even feels like….

You know that’s right Denny hahaha! Believe this is the smallest bait Denny’s ever fished:


Betting you heard but if not, it was 77-yr-old Pete Lammons, a Super Bowl winner with the ’68 NY Jets:

> …told The Enterprise that Lammons, who was fishing as a co-angler in the tournament, had stopped for lunch on the water with his boater and was reaching back to grab a sandwich when he tripped and tumbled into the water.

> “When he went into the back seat he tripped and went overboard into the lake. The water was deeper than his head, so his (boater) tried to get him in the boat.”

> After unsuccessful attempts to get him into the boat, the fisherman had Lammons hold onto an anchor as he tried to steer towards shallow waters. When he turned back, Lammons was gone.

Sounds like he was not wearing a PFD. Not real surprised because it was lunch, but it’s making me think what I take for granted in a boat, maybe you too. Please pray for his family and his boater. Bless you bassin’ brother.

2. Gary Clouse outta rest of the Elites, medical hardship.

> …has been dealing with severe pain in his back and shoulder since the first event of the year on the St. Johns River.

> After the Tennessee River event, Clouse received treatment to help relieve the pain but ultimately it had little to no effect.

> “I really want to be out there, but I know I can’t even be close to 100% right now.”

Translation: The other Phoenix execs are mad Gary was having all the fun so they had a board meeting and here we are.

Lol just messin’ Gary, feel better man!

3. I think John Cox is fishing 2 tourneys at once right now?

Sorta? Fishing the Bass Pro Tour AND practicing (too? somehow?) for the Kneeling Hank Elite.

4. Bill Lowen is on BassEdge Radio talkin’ post-spawn.

5. Chad Morgenthaler fished a gp tube at Fork.

With a chart tail – that bait is money! Yet another bait that’s caught me a ton of feesh over the years but I somehow forgot about.

Reminds me of this post by Kevin Baxter – Gambler Flipping Tube:

They’re in-stock at TW, but please don’t buy any til I order mine…lol.

6. Does Dave Lefebre have the only teal-colored boat in pro bassin’?

Appears so – is it the first one ever?

Parkview Baptist Church in Eufaula, 5-7 pm. Murray winner Matt Becker will be one of ’em – get his secrets!

8. MN: Vermillion locals want largies released.

Other species too because Canadian lakes are “still off-limits,” which I guess means meat-hunting up there can’t happen?

9. KY: Charity virtual tourney this weekend.

FCA Outdoors Virtual Bass Fishing Tournament in memory of a boy who was killed on Dec 20. Raises funds for a scholarship that “is geared toward high school graduates who show a love for the outdoors.”

10. PA: The 2 biggest bass caught (reported) last year.

> Bob Suchora…caught the top largemouth bass on Sep 5 on a Senko lure in Bessemer Lake. It was 22.5″ long and weighed 8 lbs.

> Stephen Sawyer Jr…reeled in the largest smallmouth Oct 12 in Lake Erie. He caught the the 21.5″ 6-lb 9-oz fish on a spoon.

“Reeled in” lol…nice one tho!

11. PA: Residents leapfrog state lake reno list with local $$$.

Small lake named Meadow Grounds:

> “The problem at the time was the [lake renovation] list was so long and the commission went chronologically. …by getting a community group together and raising some money, it leapfrogged a lot of the other projects that didn’t have that local energy….”

Reno cost $5.2 mil, locals raised $120,000, state paid the rest. Not a bad deal!

12. New US angler stats.

Hopefully this means folks who have gotten outside will stay outside. I don’t want crowding either, but it’s way better than them sitting home and watching screens:

> Fishing participation rate rose to 18% of the U.S. population, the highest rate in over a decade.

> Youth participation in 2020 grew 53% to 13.5 mil total participants.

> Hispanics participated at an all-time high with 4.8 mil participants, a 13% increase from 2019.

> 19.7 mil female participants represented a 36% of total participants, an all-time high.

> First- time participants climbed to 4.4 mil, up from 3.1 mil last year [in ’19].

> Reactivated participants [was] 9 mil compared to 6.8 mil [in ’19].

13. Keith Drahman new sales mgr at T-H Marine.

> …aftermarket sales mgr…from external sales representative….

14. CA: Bad bacteria bigger issue this year in Clear Lake?

Drought, power issues, etc. Doesn’t sound like it’ll affect fishing tho. Any good news come out of CA media?? I know some good peeps are there! #bassheads

15. Field & Stream and Outdoor Life now only digital.

End of an era, also sort of inevitable – not because print will disappear (it won’t and hasn’t), just the way they do it meaning national:

> The economics of the print business can no longer support our legacy title.

16. Fish have had microplastics in ’em since plastic has existed?

Guess it’s no surprise – this is plastics from litter and trash, not fishing:

> “We found that the load of microplastics in the guts of these fishes have basically gone up with the levels of plastic production.”

17. New Zealand gov’t after fish/hunt power/resources?

Don’t think there’s any bass there but innerestin’:

> “This is a blatant attempt to disinherit the fish and game public of its over 150-yr-old right to administer the sports. Would the government dare to make a state grab for control of rugby union, lawn bowls or other sports?”

> “It’s a fine example of user pays/user says. Why would government want to take it over?”

Guessin’ “lawn bowls” is that grass bowling deal?

18. Nice little deal: Saying bye to a fishing dog.

Little yorkie owned by Jordan Rodriguez, just passed on. I get the deep sadness man, very tough. Fave line:

> Winston was a good luck charm. He was there the day I caught my personal-best largemouth bass. It was comical how small he looked next to that lunker.

Headline of the Day

At least 10 fish species killed in drinking water spill on Comal River

Doesn’t sound good San Antonio peeps?? They say it was the chlorine but…

Line of the Day

We have fish spawning and post spawn, as well as the ever-present spotted bass.

So…spots don’t spawn??

Clickbait of the Day

Angler Catches Huge Invasive Species in a Utah Lake

It was just a koi/carp. Subheadline:

> UT DWR suspects the ornamental fish was released illegally

Oooooo. Der.

PSA (sorta): Lil more on my bass-less trip.

Yep I was bassIN’, but bassLESS. Tryin’ not to be ticked at myself. Fished the pre-spawn stuff, fished wind-blown main-lake points, fished wind-blown riprap, fished holes outta the wind, fished gp, gp/chart, red…obviously not doing something right?? Maybe pike short-striking – never seen it before, either they follow or smash it – was telling me something? Anyhow, lil photo collage:

Clockwise from top L:

Me and my fishing bud, Lucky – she always gets excited when I get hung up because she thinks I’m hooked up. ☹️

Sorry for the foot shot – told my teenage daughter I was gonna post it on Insta and she was so adamant that I “do not do it dad!” that I didn’t . Anyhow seems like I’m a real slow learner when it comes to latches. That’s my right foot, my left 2nd toe still hurts from where I latch-cracked it last fall….

Bought me a motor tote and steering locks from DD26 Fishing. Kept my outboard so stable and tight trailerin’ it’s actually taking some gettin’ used to! Real nice stuff. Got ’em green so they DON’T match my boat – so I’ll remember they’re there….

Jewel DockStiX doing what they do. Love those things.

On right now… 

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Tip of the Day

Believe he doesn’t have bait sponsors so this is good info. Strangely Gary is no longer sponsored by Phoenix Boats…EMOJ Just messin’:

> I pay retail for my tackle, so I base my purchases on how that tackle performs for me.

> I like tungsten when fishing a hard bottom because it makes more noise, and I can feel the bottom better. On the other hand…times when fishing soft-plastics that I prefer larger-bodied sinkers made of lead because they kick up more sediment.

> …you should note that lead falls differently than tungsten sinkers. I think it falls toward the angler faster because the same sinker is larger even though it may be the same weight as a tungsten sinker.

> One of my favorite trebles is the Aaron Martens Gamakatsu EWG Treble…they penetrate easily, and I find them to be very sharp, durable and strong. Since I started using those, the number of fish I’ve lost on treble-hook lures has dropped dramatically.

> I use Seaguar and Sunline Shooter depending upon my techniques. They’re both premium lines, and I’ve found I prefer the Shooter’s 22- and 18-lb but Seaguar’s line in the smaller sizes.

> The bottom line is quality tackle comes in various price ranges. It’s more about personal preference and whether it does the job for you.

That lead weights fall faster thing dumbfounds me. Anyone notice anything like that too?

Quote of the Day

“I’ve caught 200 of those 12-oz guacamole bass and a few of these in practice here on Lake Travis….”

– That’s Russ Lane with a dang good “ideal” for a new, appropriate and better name for Guadalupe bass. Love it! Here’s one of those “a few of these” fish he was talkin’ ’bout:

Shot of the Day
Check this MLF shot of Dustin Connell on Lake Travis. If that was my dock I’d either rig up some kinda motorized rope deal or fill a backpack like I’d be gone for 2 days before walking down those stairs mang!

This recent David Paulides of Missing 411/Canam Missing Project vid is extra-freaky man – to me anyhow. Deals with a few missing folks and animal mutilations, all entirely rational as you’d expect from a dude who’s ex-law enforcement.

If you haven’t heard of him or what he does, this is kinda jumpin’ in the deep eend. Might wanna check his 2 “Missing 411” movies first, I think they’re still on YT.

My standard warning with his stuff: The rabbit hole Dave is in is deep, it does not have an end (yet?), and if you love camping and the wilderness, it can freak you out big-time…but also gives important info you might wanna know, like what to have on you and where NOT to go.

Ya got me!
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best and funniest (sometimes worst) stuff in bassin’, picked 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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