Rick Clunn got the thumb bar? Do you orange? Trash panda quiz


Today’s Top 5

Rick Clunn invented the baitcaster thumb bar??

Sorta — never knew this:

> …the best reels in those early days were the Abu Garcia baitcasters built in Sweden, but like other baitcasters, they didn’t have a “thumb bar.” To release the spool, an angler had to reach on top of the reel and push a button.

> After I won my second Bassmaster Classic [1977], I contacted Garcia and inquired if they could come up with a better way to save anglers from reaching across the reel to push that button. Their next introduction had a thumb bar on it, and Garcia became the first company to ever offer that feature.

Wow — huge thanks to Rick. Can’t imagine bassin’ without that. Here’s a ’79 Abu reel with that new thumb thang:

In that post he also says he thought Gary Klein was crazy for fishing a crankbait on a 7’+ rod…til Rick tried it himself….

“One of the things I’m best at is one of the things that scares me most…fishing for just 5 bites.”

BPTer Dave Lefebre talkin’, back when he was on the FLW Tour. Dave sounds completely serious here — that’s rarer than a chartreuse chicken so here’s the rest:

> “This usually means using a weird or bigger-than-normal bait, or fishing places where smaller fish just don’t hang out. This is scary in a big tournament because points are so important, and coming in with only 3 or 4 fish can literally ruin an entire season.

> “…are times when you figure out a certain deal that triggers those bigger fish, but you have to cover tons of water to achieve enough opportunities, and then you have to capitalize on them when they happen. With as many uncontrollables as are in this sport, coupled with my luck, this scenario really scares me.”

You read that right — ONE day with 4 fish or a bad weight can make or break a pro season = true. That’s pressure yo! Dave’s lookin’ pretty chill here on the BPT:

Here’s a couple ideas Dave gave about fishing differently…but don’t know if he’s sandbaggin’ or what:

> “…might be an orange spinnerbait or jerkbait when everyone’s throwing baitfish colors, a white Wiggle Wart when you’re supposed to throw craw patterns, a brown swimbait — just something stupidly different from the norm, but when you get a bite it’s a better than average fish.”

Why no-info rules are so important.

Little commentary:

You heard about the Astros’ sign-stealing deal? For sure cheating, and shows how powerful having good info is for winning. (Duh!)

Numerous pro fishermen in the past made a good living off getting local info. Not everyone and not necessarily every time, but it wasn’t illegal back then so all good, no foul. And all that info wasn’t necessarily good, though a bunch was, especially when we got into the waypoint era.

Some of those guys probly always did it, some just here and there, but either way I really feel it hurt the instincts of those guys — unlike, for example, KVD who’s said that he’s never gotten info because he wanted to fish instinctively all the time — same reason why, as he got older, he wasn’t really even practicing. #instincts

Only questions I see for bassin’ are:

1. What’s “info”/”help”?

Like if a fan walks up to a pro and says something, is that really info? If a fan wants to talk fishing with a pro, is that info? What about Facebook/Insta comments left on pro pages? If pros want to pool info, is that “info”? Is there a way to distinguish between all that and actual “help”?

2. How is it enforced?

Biggest deal. Seems like there’s no way to poly every guy every tourney, so then what? Does enforcement depend on guys who will report others or self-report? Does it depend on whether the TD or league officials choose whether to investigate or punish someone?

If so, is that really enforcement? That’s why this is the biggest deal for me: Right now it’s really kinda the honor system — which, now that I think about it, is pretty much the same in all sports. I mean, I’m assumin’ every team isn’t doing what the Astros and Patriots do/did?

FWIW thanks from this idiot to the TDs and pros who keep it clean. Much appreciated.

Does this sound like bassin’?

“…if I don’t win a match, I’m actually in danger of losing money for competing.”

Of course it does! But it’s US tennis pro John Isner talkin’. Check this:

No $$$ amounts there but they do travel worldwide.

Here’s more of what he said that’s 100% true in fishing:

> …players need to find a sponsor among the finite number of companies that want to reach a tennis audience, and to do so through an individual player or 2 rather than, say, sponsoring a tournament. Often, it comes down to an executive having a deep personal interest in either that athlete’s game specifically or tennis more broadly.

> Brands are paying you to get their logos on televised show courts, so if your matches aren’t being featured on broadcasts because your play has fallen off — or because the ATP Tour or a Grand Slam event has struck a broadcast agreement that diminishes visibility, or because you’re injured and not playing at all — they’re going to stop calling.

Stuff that seems worse than fishing:

> Tournaments and tours could make some small changes to let us sell the small amount of space we have to work with on our hats and our sleeves to give my colleagues and future players a better chance of finding sustainable financial success.

> …even the “old-timers” of tennis are retiring before 40. You’d better hope you made enough money and managed it well enough that you can support your family for the next 50 years of your life.

Just in case you think that when you get to the top bassin’ trails you’ve got it wired….

Not sure which one’s a real trash panda?

Maybe you can help me:

HAHAHA! For at least one of ’em I guess you gotta use the new GameChanger Lures Trashmaster Jig — dig the “blue craw” color:


1. Please say some prayers for Forrest Wood…

…and the Wood family, including Miss Nina. Apparently Forrest is in the hospital, not sure what’s up but it sounds serious. I posted this yesterday on the ‘gram:

> Not sure what’s going on but @rangerboats said Forrest Wood was in the hospital…. Please lift him and his family up in prayer. If you don’t know, Forrest is the founder of Ranger and is one of the founding fathers of bassin’, he’s who FLW is named after, he’s the dad and granddad of some of the folks who founded @therealvexusboats, and way more than that. Most importantly he is a tremendous man. Love from this bass-head.

2. Several Elitists get AFTCO.

All are Elites: Gerald Swindle, Mark Menendez, Chad Pipkens, Matt Arey, Shane Lehew and 2020 rookie Wes Logan.

AFTCO already has Elitists Cliff Pirch, Micah Frazier, Greg Dipalma, Ray Hanselman, 2019 ROY Drew Cook and Garrett Paquette’s boat has an AFTCO wrap.

3. Here’s KVD’s spinnerbait box.

Notice the WIDE color c-lection — lol! Tells you what you need to know mang!

Btw that’s the new Plano Edge spinnerbait box….

4. Justin Lucas likes braid to fluoro for lipless baits (vid).

For fishing in/around grass: 30-lb braid to 15-lb fluoro for longer casting and no stretch, which also equals knowing if there’s an grass on the bait and getting it off with a quick snap.

5. This is Brent Chapman’s riggin’ table.

Please join me in feeling jealous:

6. Several sketchy characters in VA tomorrow and Sat.

Angler’s Choice in Martinsville, VA. Looks like 9 pros, mostly MLFers, plus Marty Stone — whom you can recognize by his aggressive dome — and the hardest workin’ man on bassin’ Insta, Fattin’ Cattin’ Newton.

7. BPTers thought about going to limits.

> [Bradley] Roy said anglers debated whether to implement a daily limit to increase the emphasis on catching bigger fish. They ultimately settled on…a variable minimum weight rather than counting every fish weighing 1 lb or more.

Not surprised. Also remember this: Back in the day the FLW Tour tried a bunch o’ different formats and eventually settled on the 5 fish/total weight format we all know, partly cuz of pressure from FLW anglers. We’ll see if that happens on the Bass Pro Tour….

8. A and B groups are posted for the first BPT at Eufaula, AL.

If your first name is Brent, you’re in group A. If your last name is VanDam, you’re in group B. Rest was random.

Lol was all random…supposedly…heehee!
9. Brian Latimer rollin’ out Straight Up Fishing School.In Anderson, SC Feb 29. I’m very curious about this for 2 reasons:

> What he’s going to do/teach.

> Will it be the start of something huge cuz Brian’s got that in him so it’s coming at some point (my 2c and I don’t say that every day).

10. Dave Mercer’s gonna update the Float N Fly…

…this weekend on his show, Sat and Sun morning. Dave, I’m very curious (and like the idea), and I smell a Bassin’master magazine article on it….

11. Bill Taylor’s no longer a TD at FLW.

Heard he was let go after insisting that FLW build him a houseboat office at the Paris Landing marina on Kentucky Lake, something about “separation anxiety”?

Hahaha kidding! (I think?) Just wanted to wake up the FLW folks reading this lol. Here’s the real deal:

> At the registration meeting for this week’s [FLW] Pro Circuit season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, FLW announced that Daniel [Fennel, son of FLW EVP and GM Kathy Fennel] had been promoted to senior director of tournament operations for the Pro Circuit, FLW Series and Phoenix BFLs, with responsibilities to include directing the Pro Circuit.

> Bill Taylor, who served as TD for the FLW Tour from 2001 through 2019, has been promoted to senior director of operations, where he’ll lend his expertise acquired through more than 2 decades…toward logistics, angler relations and event-planning for all FLW circuits.

Far as I know Bill had a stellar rep as a TD so Daniel has some big shoes to fill. Congrats to ’em both.

12. AR DNR will have Jan 20 hearing about Grand Lake.

Public meeting, 7-9 pm Thurs Jan 30 at the Eudora Chamber of Commerce Building, 125 S. Main St:

> Discussion…will focus on water levels and their effects on anglers, landowners, the Grand Lake Watershed and public access to the lake.

13. Johnny Mazurk is the new Bassin’ Hall of Fame prez.

Looks like all the bribery and stuff worked:

Lol Mazurk!

14. Seaguar’s giving away $100K and line!!!

Apparently you CAN’T trade the “go fishing with Z” win for the $100K so might as well enter both….

15. Check this Battles Shad Headcase Harness (vid).Not sure how the harness is rigged in the head, but sure looks like it’ll help soft swimbaits last 10x as long.

16. Dig these X-pattern Rod Gloves.

Preeeeeetty cool, and they’re at TW:

17. Gammy makes fluorescent hooks.

Teeny weeny ones for fly feehsn — chartreuse, pink and red versions — but innerestin’ and they say they offer that in their octopus hooks? Might help in certain bassin’ situations?

18. You see this wels catfish Plopper vid yet??

The wels catfish is a giant Euro catfish and you know what a Plopper is. Clip:

Crazier thing is the dude’s in a belly boat!

Tx for bass-head Chance H for hippin’ me to it….


Let-Down Headline of the Day

Getting Florida Fishing Tips from Terry Scroggins on St. Johns River

Not a single tip in the whole deal…tho Marty Robinson says he wants to keep ’em all for himself, which I guess I understand….

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

Do you orange?

Before you answer, check these excerpts from a real good deal typed in by Guck “Big Al” McGuckin on the Bassin’masters from a while back:

> [2015 Classic] winner Casey Ashley leaned on a jig with orange strands in the skirt, and this year’s…winner Edwin Evers included a spinnerbait with the once secret orange/red front kicker blade in his 3-day arsenal.

> “Gary, Bill and Dick Storm [who used to own Storm Lures] actually talked to MO…biologists in the late 1960s to research crawfish colors,” remembers Jim Morton, a former B.A.S.S. pro who worked closely with Storm for 31 years. “They learned there were 26 different species of crawfish in the White River drainage basin around Table Rock, Beaver, Norfork and Bull Shoals, and most of them had orange on their pinchers, and elsewhere on their bodies.

> “That’s why the earliest and most popular V62 and V63 green crawfish and brown crawfish-colored Wiggle Warts were painted with orange paint on the diving bill. The Storm brothers also learned that instead of leaving the belly of the lure white, that adding orange to the bellies triggered far more bass to bite.”

> Replacing the…front blade of a spinnerbait with an orange/red kicker blade was largely a secret among anglers in OK, AR and MO until the success of top regional spinnerbait assaultants like Ron Shaw became hard to hide. [“Assaultants” is now a bassin’ word!]

> “It was pretty much a secret when I started throwing it in the early ’90s, and then I shared it with [former Bassmaster pro] Ken Cook, and eventually it became a big part of the product line that Hart Tackle Co. offered back then,” remembers Shaw.

> “Ken always said it was an all or nothing lure — either they’d hardly hit the orange/red kicker blade — or you’d wear ’em out on it. And I agree with him, but when the water temps are in the low 50s, I lean on it hard.”

Quote of the Day

“It’s like a baitfish swimming along with a blindfold on….”

Aaron Martens talkin’ ’bout…spybaitin’. Rest of the quote:

> “…totally oblivious to what’s going on as it swims by itself. The bass watches it and starts to follow it, and then it just eats it.”

I think Aaron is forgetting the whole lateral line deal, but whatever — I get what he means…which doesn’t happen all the time…because Aaron is way deep man. One time I texted him a reel question, and he hit me back with this:

I THINK he was actually answering the Q, but since you only get a limited amount of texts with Aaron I didn’t wanna ask what he meant….

Shot of the Day

Lookit this TUB ketched by swimbait painter @bassjak_. Said it was 22.5″ and 9.2 lbs, looks crazy thick and bulbous:


Fortnite is now a college and HS “sport”??

Bet the $$$ pours in to it because, you know, it’s not even real…. All good, just give me bassin’ any day.

Ya got me
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