Christie talks tin boats ‘n baits, Pre-spawn cold fronts good, Bait breakdowns!

Comin’ atcha soon:


– Pre-Spawn Baits ‘n Stuff Special Issues!


– The best TOURNEY baits of all time – launchin’ next week I think. Will be askin’ for your suggestions so be thinkin’! (Pls do NOT email me with suggestions!)

Today’s Top 5
“You’re lucky we only brought 3. Imagine if we brought 10 Canadians down there. You guys would hardly win.”
Dave Mercer talkin’ half funny, half crazy and full Canadian ’bout the 3 possibly illegal Elites , 2 of which now have won. Says in that deal he thinks Canada has 10 guys who can compete at that level and:


> “When I was a kid watching, there were no Canadians but it was still my dream to be a part of that one day.”


Does this mean when Dave was a kid no one lived in Canada…including him? How old is Dave?? Did he used to be a trapper??? So many questions to ask when I see him next…including what’s this “we brought” stuff? Is this an infiltration invasion?


Here’s why we will never invade north:

5 Qs with Jason Christie.
Is Jason back? Back on the Elites, check. Back doing what he does and finishing high, check. New Christie family secret spinnerbaits, check. Here we go:


1. Why the switch to a tin boat?


> “For me, in making the switch back to B.A.S.S., I kind of wanted to get back to what got me where I am – fishing shallow and bumping around up there on the bank, pushing logs out of the way, that kind of stuff. That’s not to say that I don’t expect to do good in this boat out deep. It’s more of a mentality than even the boat.


> “Just getting up there shallow, and honestly just one of those things where it was time for a little bit of a change.


> “…I can get this boat on plane in 1.5′ and save me a little more time and hopefully catch me some more fish.”


2. You regretting going back to this whole 5-fish deal yet??


> “Absolutely not. I’m back in my comfort zone, whether I catch ’em or not. There’s guys that excel at one format, guys who excel at the other and guys that excel at both. To me, this is how I was raised and how I was taught, and honestly this is how I want to fish.”


3. Are the new BOOYAH Covert Night Time Spinnerbaits also Christie family secrets?


> “Yeah – obviously it’s the same head, wire and blade. I used to fish a lot at night. In college and when I was coaching, that’s how I made a living. As a teacher/coach I didn’t make that much money, so I supplemented my income by fishing night-time and weekend tournaments.


> “When it got dark outside, that’s what you picked up – a black spinnerbait. I caught a lot of fish on that over the years.


> “…8-10 yrs ago I was fishing in the daytime, and the water was super muddy. I just felt like the fish weren’t able to see my bait. I pulled out a black spinnerbait with a black blade and started catching them. Other guys do it too, but we’ve kind of kept it under our hat. It’s funny – guys throw a black vibrating jig a lot, but you hardly ever see a black spinnerbait.


> “Most people think when it’s super muddy to use bright chartreuse and it does work, but I think the darker the color in dirtier water, the more they can see it.”

4. Why do they look so sexy – do they have to look that sexy to catch fish or fishermen?


> “[Laughs] It’s a little bit of both. Look at some of the spinnerbaits I’ve put on the market – orange heads, red heads, [whether you like how they look or not] they just catch fish. That’s kind of the same way with the Night Time spinnerbaits…colors that tend to work best over the years. But they’re not intended to catch fishermen, just to catch fish.”


5. The key to a spinnerbait seems to be the retrieve (duh!). What insight can you give bass-heads about that?


> “A very good rule – like if you took an alien out who never threw a spinnerbait – is keep it in the middle of the water column. Like if you’re in 2′, keep it in 1′. If you’re fishing 5′, keep it in 2.5′. I usually keep it in the middle unless I’m fishing 15′ deep, then I’m in the bottom 4-5′.


> “That’s the cool thing about a spinnerbait – it’s just an all-around bait. You can do anything with it. Other than a jig, there’s really not another bait where you can control it like that…can control it any depth.”


Bonus Q: When is a spinnerbait better than a Chatterbait?


> “I think the colder the water, the better the spinnerbait is. I can just feel it – there are days when I want that bait to hover above them, and those are the days when spinnerbaits tend to shine.


> “In the spring I have both baits laid out. If I’m getting around wood, laydowns…I’ll pick up the spinnerbait. If I’m covering a bunch of water…rocks, grass, I’ll probably pick up the Melee [BOOYAH’s bladed jig].


> “There’s days when conditions are right for one, and others when they’re right for another. That’s just part of fishing.”

No real bait surprises at the Harris Chain Open.
To me this looked like a clinic on what baits work, but before gettin’ into that, props to Jason Tuma of BRAINERD, MN for jumpin’ from 10th to win the deal by 2 lbs over Alex Wetherell of CT – how ’bout those northern boys? Jason caught an insane 26-02 to do it.


Brainerd?? That’s where the Lindners live – can’t tell you how many “coincidental” serious fishermen and fish things continue to come outta that town. How Jason caught ’em:


> 1/2- to 3/4-oz white Z-Man JackHammer with a Castaic Jerky J….


> “Everybody else who was in the area was throwing ChatterBaits with paddletail trailers, but I think that the little subtle difference in my trailer made the fish want to eat. I was getting bit when other guys weren’t.”


What the top 10’s baits looked like:


TX-rigged worm or Senko = 50%


Bladed jig = 30%, all JackHammers (2 white/chart, 1 white)


Shakey head = 20%, both Zoom plastics


Flipped plastics = 20%


Carolina rig = 20%, both with worms or stick worms


10% each = Jerkbait (Megabass Vision 110), Swimbait (Keitech Fat on an Owner Flashy Swimmer), Wacky rig, Topwater (Berkley Cane Walker), Jig, Crankbait (Berkley Frittside)




  • Patrick Walters finished 3rd. Dude is en fuego .


  • Past college bassin’ champ and Classic qualifier Jacob Foutz finished 4th, and looks 10 years older with that beard than when I met him at the ’17 Classic (looked about 16 there!). Glad to see him still at it.


  • Great to see Jacob Powroznik back at it – he got 8th.


  • Most often used plastics: Zoom.
Just a couple baits rule at the MLFLW derbs.
Means basically 1 bait/rig dominated each tourney, the Lake of the Ozarks ‘Yota and the Grand Lake Abu college tourney:


Ozarks Toyota

Local Michael Harlin won this deal by an amazing 15+ lbs using an A-rig around staging areas. Big deal for him was LiveScope:


> “I watched just about every fish I caught this week eat the bait. It takes a lot of practice with it, but you can learn to interact with the fish. It helps you get them to bite when they aren’t really biting that good or just following it. It gives you a clue to change your retrieve a little if they are not committing to it.”


Fished a YUM YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr with 1/8-ounce Crock-O-Gator jigheads and 3.8 Keitech Fats (“French pearl” and “pro blue red pearl” depending on light level). Used a Megabass Vision 110 (stain reaction OB) on the last day too.


What all the top 10 fished:


A-rig = 80%YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr = 60%, Jenko J-Pod Flash – Swimbaits: Keitech Fats = 50%, BioSpawn ExoSwims, Tackle HD Swimmers, Berkley PowerBait Power Swimmers


Jerkbait = 50% – Vision 110 = 40%, 110+1 = 10%


Crankbait = 30%Berkley Frittside, 6th Sense Crush Flat 75x and Curve Finesse squarebill, SPRO Fat Papa 55


10% each = Spinenrbait (3/4-oz War Eagle Gold with white/chart skirt and willow/orange CO), Flip plastics


Gotta shout out Russ Lane (10th) who cranked and flipped! Around shoreline ice?? Amazing – looks stoked about it too :

Grand Abu College tourney


Drury U’s Cole Breeden and Cameron Smith won it by just 1-05 – and I thought selfies are out now but:

Sure wasn’t cuz they were using a secret bait because 8 of the top 10 teams fished a Vision 110. Seriously!


Contrarians were Murray State U’s Harbor Lovin (GREAT bassin’ name!) and Zachary Martin (2nd) who fished a Jenko Persues 110, which looks a heckuva lot like the Vision 110, and Adrian College’s Zach Manneback and Gunner Wilson (10th), who fished a Rapala Shadow Rap and Shadow Rap Deep (imposter and blue back herring).


Other baits fished: Strike King KVD Jerkbait, Jackall Rerange 110, A-Rigs, Crappie jig, Spinnerbait (Accent River Special).


BIG props to Jody White ‘n Kyle Wood for getting ALL the jerkbait colors! Have ’em to do the big-time events MLF! Shout-outs:


– Stephen Browning’s son Beau was half the 4th-place team.


– Jersey boys Zachary Potter and Alex Johnson finished 5th! If you guys ain’t from south Jersey hit me up!


– I’m assumin’ Josh and Justin Luetkemeyer (8th) are bros, which is cool…til you have to fish against each other…like the Lees and Lanes…who still don’t talk…kidding.

Italian bassin’ article is !
Excerpts from a deal focused on this dude, looks like a gangsta but apparently is a well-known Italian DJ name of Alessandro Villari:
Love thus stuff from the post:


> “When fishing in the open air, you relax and break social conventions.”


Social conventions? Like shaking hands, chewing with your mouth closed and not standing right next to someone in an elevator or..??


> The term “bass fishing” indicates a sport fishing technique, carried out with the sole use of artificial baits, both rigid and rubber….


Hey man, I think your problem is your bait’s too rigid…


> …a real dedicated industry, from the production of specific boats (the so-called Bass Boats)….


Does this mean we’re “so-called” bass fishermen??


> In recent times, the famous belly boat is also gaining ground among enthusiasts, which in Italian is called “donut,” a sort of armchair, which is equipped with two air chambers on the sides….


HAHAHA! Bassin’ from the famous donut!



When he said he saw other fish come up with ones he hooked, giving him confidence on his spots, I thought he meant he was looking into the water – but:


> “I could see everything the fish did right on my Helix unit thanks to the built-in Mega Side Imaging integrated into my Ultrex…. I was even able to watch other fish come chase the ones I was reeling up, which gave me additional confidence in my spot, knowing that there was a good number of fish in my little sweet spots.


> “The fish were fairly tough to see on electronics. They were literally belly to the bottom.”


I was like, “That sounds like bull shad man, got any proof?” And he was like:

2. Innerestin’ thinkin’s from Scott Martin.


Don’t think I could let ’em come to me fun-fishin’ but here you go – Scott talkin’ the TN River:


> The thing that hurt me was this was early, early spring, so the first wave of fish had just moved up on day 1 of the tournament. The water temperature had finally reached the point where some of those fish started migrating into warmer creeks, but it was so early that many of the smaller creeks weren’t quite warm enough.


> That meant there were a lot of dead areas on the lake where the fish were about a week behind. I spent too much time on day 3 thinking I could run a lot of new water. I should have gone to a few of the creeks I knew were holding fish and let the fish come to me.


3. New Aaron Martens-designed Gammy spinnerbait trailer hook.


Btw, Aaron’s fishing with Zona today, sent me this pic:

3. Watch the man responsible for the A-rig…


…Paul Elias, catch one on it (IG vid). Love and miss that hookset zing!


4. Bobby Lane.

That’s right.


5. Good post from Elitist Darold Gleason to Opens anglers.


Someone mentioned to me (Brian?) Opens seem to have a mix of real-hungry guys barely making it $-wise, wealthier dudes who can now get after it, and a few media-type guys who are giving the tourney thing a shot. I think htat’s about right.


No matter what, it’s a for-real tough road to get to the Elites…lot of good fishermen in the Opens.


6. TX: Sabine Elite back on for April.


Was April, then August, now April again.


7. OK has 20+ lakes to catch a 10+?


Edwin Evers likes Dripping Springs.


Apparently still a drought in western OK that’s keeping water levels down. I thought crazy rain had filled everything up but I guess not.


8. KY/TN: Lot of floating debris on TN River system.


Tons of rain, Corps releasing a lot of water, stay frosty.


9. MN DNR wants input on Mille Lacs.


Not sure it’ll matter since that lake is sketchily managed, but gotta weigh in anyhow. Says the DNR is putting together management plans for all major lakes, so keep on your toes there MN bass peeps.


10. New Garmin bottom hardness imagery.


Looks way cool but seems like they don’t have it for a ton of lakes yet:

Is it weird that bass AND bass fishermen both like hard bottoms?


11. FL says hatchery bass spawned outta season again…


…for the 12th year in a row at 1 hatchery:


> This practice allows biologists to produce twice as many largemouth bass per year than other state’s hatchery systems whose hatcheries produce spawn only once a year.


No details cuz they said they didn’t want TX finding out how to do it…


12. The American Sportsman Expo is still runnin’.


If your area ain’t havin’ one in person, this is the next best thing. New stuff, contests, giveaways – check it at the link ^.


13. FL biologists found a live turtle in a bass.


Doin’ some samplin’ work and:


> Live turtles are not something biologists normally find amongst the stomach contents of largemouth bass.


Sounds kinda uncomfy for the bass, but I guess it was already dead so….


Only turtle bait on the TW is the 1/2-oz Lunkerhunt Prop Turtle – I bet it catches ’em!


Live turtles always remind me of:

14. Zebra mussels found in pet store aquarium moss balls.


“Moss balls” sound very bassy….


15. Asian carp updates.


TN: TWRA wants any Asian carp you catch.


Asian carp problem is because of climate change now??


Of course it is. Several problems with that, notably been tons of biological invasions all over the world and the successful ones always have the same story = no real predators and ample food. Because of that, the pops don’t necessarily crash way down (for ex: zebra mussels, rabbits in Australia) like they teach in biology class.


Southeast Asian fish, including carp, now decimating Brazil waters.


Gotta wonder who ever thought bringing these fish in anywhere was a good idea and worth the risk from the inevitable floods.


16. Scientists now talkin’ ’bout growing fish on the moon??


Maybe we should send all the Asian carp up there…tho I bet they survive….


17. North pole is still moving to Russia, away from Canada.


Is this weather? Is this geology? Energy?? Letter d, all of the above? My biggest question: Does Santa care?


18. MT: Dude caught state record brown on 4-lb line.


Lookit this thing! 32.43 lbs, 37″ long, 28.5″ girth. In a river?? On a Kastmaster with an ultralight rod, 15-min fight:

Fave quote:


> “I called my wife and told her I think I just caught the state record and she didn’t believe me.”


Shoot I wouldn’t have either! Old state record was 29 lbs and had stood for 55 yrs.





1. Thanks to all who said those banana-lookin’ things on the front of Jacob Wheeler’s troller were in fact stuffed bananas put there by (I think?) Dustin Connell and MDJ , I guess to unsuccessfully mess with J-Wheels’ mojo. Love the fact he left ’em there.


2. Few deals spotted on TW today:


Lunkerhunt Phantom Spiders on sale


CoolNet UV+ BUFFs on sale


Quick story: My wife says my stars ‘n stripes BUFF “makes some people uncomfortable.” An amazing statement and what’s crazy about it is it’s true – I’ve seen it! I still wear it all the time tho…

On right now… 


Note: The TackleWarehouse links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase I might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in the BB.

Tip of the Day


Check it:


> Pre-spawn bass are very sensitive to cold fronts, more than during any other season of the year. One day they might be up making beds, but then the weather turns cold and they’ll run back into the thickest cover around. It doesn’t take much. A drop in water temperature of 1 or 2 degrees will do it.


> This situation presents one of the best flipping opportunities you’ll ever have. In fact, it may be the only opportunity you’ll have to catch them under these circumstances. The bass are tucked back in heavy cover. You know where they are, and you know how to get a bait to them.


Then Denny says one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard:


> My lure preference for this type of fishing is a jig.


That’s Denny’s preference EVERY TIME hahaha! Anyhow:


> I always match the color [of trailer] to my bait. In my experience that’s more natural looking and will catch more fish. Weight is a matter of water depth. The deeper the water, the heavier my jig will be. At this time of year the fish are bottom-oriented.

Quote of the Day
“He is in the biggest league of bass fishing there is, but his life isn’t glamorous.”


– Word! Talkin’ ’bout Gussy Gustafson but true for many pros. Few more things I learned about Gussy from the post:


– Most he ever won in 1 lick before the TN River was $30K.

– After the TN River Elite he drove 1,300 miles to get home…almost hit a walrus….

– His dad and uncle were both big-time hockey players, and his dad was drafted.

– From a treestand he once saw a squatch smoking a cigar.


Made up that last one…far as you know….

Shot of the Day
Guess what this is! A lil FL bass fry. Hope it eats too much and ends up grossly overweight and dumb lol:
For all you imbibers of stained water-lookin’ alcohol:


WhistlePig releases two Sasquatch Select whiskeys


Outstanding! If I still drank, I would now want to try bourbon in a 10-oz YETI Lowball with 1 cube – never more than 1 cube, and not too big a cube either. Not a shameless YETI plug, dead serious cuz YETIs keep things colder longer, and when that ice melts too much the bourbon just ain’t as good.


Plus – you know – something magical might happen with some Squatch and a YETI:

Ya got me!
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