Cobb and more winning baits, Best leader length? Derps of the week!!

Today’s Top 5

Brandon Cobb won another dang Elite!

And he only had 114 lbs! Lol. Don’t know what kind of cookies Brandon’s wife is making him, but dang they’re working…2nd Elite win in 30 days:

Kinda growin’ into bein’ a supah-stah ain’t he? Here’s a bit on how he caught ’em, full meal deal on the BassBlaster website:

His main bait was a DUEL Hardcore Minnow Flat SP 110 jerkbait (ghost pro blue):

> I did my normal shad spawn bait rotation and caught an 8-lber on my first cast with the jerkbait.

> “The fish were so shallow…on Live it seemed like I was constantly adjusting my bait, but I was was scraping mud off the bill with my finger. I think the plowing the bottom thing actually made the fish bite it better. Kind of the same concept of a diving crankbait in 6-8′ water.

> “I used Yo-Zuri Top Knot fluorocarbon — by the last day I was fishing 16-lb. That was the best…heavier than normal jerkbait line but I was throwing it so shallow.
> “…Abu Revo MGX reel (6.4) and a 6′ 10″ M Ark Lancer Pro Rod that will be out in 2 weeks. That’s kind of small [rod] and it was kind of scary catching 8-9 lbers on it, but I was working that bait so fast and hard that if I had a bigger rod I would’ve worn out too fast — and [that rod] could still handle them. That [effort is] also why I was using the MGX, which is a lighter reel.

> “…basically no pauses and not really ever reeling it. My retrieve was really fast and all jerks, no pauses. I was keeping it moving the whole time. I never even really felt them bite it — I’d just go to jerk and they’d be there.”

He was cleaning mud off the bill of that bait! Once he figured out the timing on his main spots, he’d kill time by fishing shallow:

> “It was kind of junk fishing, but mostly it was a SPRO Frog (green back/yellow belly — “green tree?”) — it didn’t really matter though because I threw other colors throughout the week as well.
> “That was for covering water. Then when I saw fish on beds, I’d flip a Zoom Z Craw (tilapia).”
> Frog gear: 7′ MH Ark Tharp Series Hammer Rod (“that’s a small rod for a frog but I was making really short casts with it”), Revo STX Reel (8.0), 65-lb Yo-Zuri Superbraid.
> Z-Craw gear: 4/0 Berkley Fusion flipping hook, 3/8-oz Ark Tungsten Weight (pegged), 25-lb Yo-Zuri Top Knot fluoro, Revo STX Reel (7.3), 7′ 6″ MH Ark Lancer Pro Rod.

> “I’m not the only one who was doing what I was doing — it’s not like I had the magic pattern. I really think the key to my success last week was timing…starting to understand the timing.”

5 dead serious Qs with Cobb.

He laughed before answering every Q so I guess I asked the right stuff lol:

1. Why did you wait so long to start winning tournaments and when did you decide to win?

> “The only way to answer that question is just things haven’t gone right on final days [til now]. And this year, I think it’s momentum man. I’ve just made the correct decisions on final days.

> “I’ve been in position [to win] so many times over the years, and this year I’ve made the correct decisions on final days.”

2. Why did you sandbag so long on the FLW Tour?

> “Let me think about how to answer that…. Once you get a win or get in contention, you start building confidence to compete. Fishing is so such a mental game, people don’t realize it. I think it’s just a mental thing.

> “And this year a lot of tournaments have set up for me [his style of fishing]. The two wins and Lanier [14th], it’s the style of fishing I’m comfortable doing. I didn’t feel like I was learning as I was going this year.”

3. Be honest — how many more tournaments are you going to win this year?

> “I really like Guntersville but I know nothing about OK — I just hope to have good finishes…. We’re getting out of tournaments I feel good about, where I feel like I’ve been able to catch them with my style of fishing. But at Lake Fork I didn’t think going in it would be [his style], but turned out I was real comfortable with it.”

[Told him he sounds like he’s still sandbagging lol.]

4. Would you say you model your fishing more like Thanos or Doctor Doom?

> “I can’t think of what Doctor Doom is but Thanos is pretty bad a**.”

[Uh Mr. Thanos, I’m sure he didn’t mean to use the word “pretty” there….]

5. Have the Avengers made you an offer to join yet or do you need to win another 1 or 2 this year first??

> “I think I’ll have to win at least 1 more before I get that invite.”

Maybe not man. Word is these 2 folks were at B.A.S.S. HQ yesterday — not sure if that’s good or bad?

2nd-5th Elitist baits n such.

2nd: Garrett Paquette

Here’s how the only other guy to break 100 on the bench press lbs caught ’em:

> 7″ Big Bite Suicide Shad (blue gizzard), 1-oz Big Bite Swimbait Head, 18-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro, 7′ 11″ H rod.
> Strike King 8XD (citrus shad and chartreuse sexy shad), 14-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro, 7′ 11″ H cranking rod.

> “I’d start by burning the crankbait fast through the school to trigger a bite and get the fish fired up. Then I would switch to the swimbait to try and get a bigger bite.

> “All of my areas were 10-12′ hard-bottom areas in creeks the fish were staging on as they were heading back to the main lake after spawning.”

3rd: Micah Frazier

> “Very shallow on shad-spawn places…clay and rock.”

Asked him a few Qs:

> No Neko rig?? (As he’s been using….): “Finally no spinning rods lol.”

> Why that color Spook (which Jason Christie and other guys use all the time too): “Idk it just catches ’em.”

> How many times are you going to finish 3rd this year? (Since he did at Hartwell too…which is weird cuz Cobb finished 1st both times he finished 3rd.): “As many as I can get! Lol. Rather win one but I’ll take 3rds.”

Btw is Micah grossed out by the bass-feeshes or afraid of ’em??

5th: Jeff Gustafson

> 5″ Z-Man Jerk Shadz “fished weightless in the mornings on a spinny pole.” 7′ 5″ MH G. Loomis GLX Rod (893S), Shimano Exsence 3000 Reel, 15-lb Power Pro braid, 15-lb leader.

> “…a spinning rod but this is a heavy rod with plenty of power for landing big bass in open water. I could cast the weightless bait much farther and accurately on a spinning rod. A lot of the first-hour action [2-3′ flats on points, mostly clean] revolves around fish blowing up shad and casting to the explosions — FUN stuff. I was skipping the bait fast along the surface, making as much noise and commotion as I could with it.”

> “Later in the tournament I started using a 7” bait the same way and they liked that as well.

> “After the morning stuff I fished offshore the rest of the day and that was how I caught a lot of my big fish — 8-12′ points / ‘stick-outs along the bank. The fish weren’t loaded on these spots yet but they were coming, and when you hit a little flurry you were sure to put a couple of 5-6+ lbers in the boat.

> “I was using a 3/4-oz Scrounger head with a 7″ Z-Man Jerk Shadz, and a big, giant sqaurebill. I threw the Scrounger on a 7′ 5” GLX flipping stick (894C), Shimano Bantam Reel (7.0) and 20-lb fluoro. I fished the big crank [Lucky Craft] on a 7′ 11″ GLX flipping stick (954C) with the same reel and line.

> “I couldn’t catch anything good dragging on the bottom, which was odd — they wanted moving baits [big ones]: I saw some large tails sticking out the throats of some of these fish — gizzard shad, small white bass. The morning shad were actually mostly small.”

Where’s the bigs?

Nugget from Doug Hannon who’s no longer with us but glad his bassin’ wisdom is:

> “The whole idea of big fish being smarter than small fish just isn’t true – they’re just the fish that are the first to feed and eat the most,” he said. “Those fish haven’t been caught because they live in places too difficult to approach for most fishermen.”

> To prove his theory, Hannon has released many of the hundreds of 10-lb-plus fish he has caught in the 400-acre lake he lives on near Odessa. Those fish, which avoided capture for nearly a decade or more in their wild habitat, were caught again almost in a matter of days.

> “They had endured for 8 or 10 years in the wild with very heavy fishing pressure, yet in a small lake that is fished by only 3 or 4 fishermen they were caught within 3 weeks.” They hadn’t been able to find that impenetrable habitat in their new lake.

> Fishermen trying to find trophy fish must do more than just look for the densest vegetative “slop,” however. They’ve got to analyze each section of a lake or river, looking for the same characteristics that a bass seeks.

> Hannon has pared his list of preferences to 4 major characteristics: a place to feed, a place to escape, a place to spawn and a variety of vegetation throughout these areas.

> “Prime territory for a big bass must be close to a shallow flat. Because most of the food will be on that shallow, grassy flat.” Also important is a [nearby] deep-water refuge.

> Last on his list is a good plant mix. “The more variety, the better because each type of plant supports different types of organisms. The more organisms, the better the food chain.”

Doncha leave without a derp!

Derp’s’ the one and only reason to make one last cast:

Don W caught him this vampire-ish derp at a small FL lake on a 3″ Berkley Swim Shad (pearl red eye). His bud Bucky said, “He didn’t know what a derp was and…wouldn’t hold it for a picture so I did.” Hahaha!

Nick L shazammed this Lake Galena, PA yak derp on a homemade swim-jig with a with a Strike King Rage Bug, all gp:

Pete Gluszek wishes he caught one o’ these — Jonathan C got him a fish of a lifetime on the upper Chesapeake Bay (where Pete fishes a LOT) using a Harmony Punch Shot Rig with a 1/2-oz tungsten weight and a Biffle Bug (Okeechobee craw):

Matty W takes the prize with this MN (maybe?) ultra-derp caught on a wacky Senko:

Or maybe this is the one of the day, Adam M’s Rocky derp busted on the OH Reever with a 7″ Power Worm (blue fleck — $$$ in dirtier water for the smalls):

Nope, here’s the beeg weener — not a bass but just in case you didn’t think it was possible for a trout to look even dumber, that’s Tom F with a cutthroat derp he caught on…an upside down booger, or somethin’ that looks a lot like one:

Will someone please make a derp trout swimbait? I’ll pay for it….


1. Brent Chapman’s 2nd-place baits at the Smith BPT.

> 1.5 Shad squarebill with Trokar trebles, 16-lb Gamma Fluorocarbon, Kast King Bassinator Elite Reel (8.1), 7′ Kast King crankbait rod.
> Westin Babybite DR crank (gizzard shad) with Trokar trebles, 12-lb Gamma fluoro, same reel except 6.4, same rod.
> 1/2-oz Chatterbait (white), 20-lb Gamma fluoro, same reel (6.4), 7′ Kast King Chatterbait rod.
> 4″ creature bait (gp), 3/0 Trokar TK 130 Flippin Hook, 5/16-oz tungsten sinker, 20-lb Gamma fluoro, same reel (8.1), 7′ 5″ Kast King flipping rod.

> 3/8-oz swim-jig (white), 40-lb Kast King Kast Pro braid, same reel (8.1), 7′ 3″ Kast King jig/worm rod.

> Morning: shad spawn around bushes, rock banks and docks.

> Crankbaits on 45-degree rocky banks.

> Creature baits around buck brush, bushes and laydowns.

Btw, what up with this pic? Some kinda synchronized bassin’ deal? They tryin’ to make the letter M or…?

2. BPTer Bobby Lane gets Gravely Mowers.

He gon’ mow you down.

3. Ott DeFoe got another civic award for winnin’ the Classic.

Dang! Gonna need an extra room/shed for just Classic-related awards n such! Congrats to him and fam….

4. Elitist Frank Talley wrote him a poem.

Believe it’s called “Ballad of a Bassin’ Pro:”

I travel from state to state.
Day and night.
I left the last tournament on Sunday morning.
Went home and repacked my gear and clothes.
Came to Georgia.
I will leave Georgia Saturday and head to Oklahoma.

Seems he gets inspired to write at Waffle Houses, might be the reason for the dark tone….

5. BPTer Jon VanDam’s been playin’ hookey…

…and for dang good reason — found some mules:

6. BPS collegiate trail leaders will wear yellow BUFFs.

> In the Tour de France [bicycle race], each day of the prestigious bike race the leader of the event at that given time wears a designated yellow jersey while they are competing. And for as long as they are leading, the competitor will continue to [wear it]. The same principle will be in place for the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.

Cool idea. Will for sure help with the bent-rod pattern…hahaha! Btw, McKendree U (in IL?) is leading the School of the Year Race by 500 POINTS so guess they’ll be wearing yellow for a long time….

7. This is pretty good!

Rapala puts up billboards in MN (where they’re HQd) — this is a good one:

8. Strike King has a new HS/college frosh program.

9. American Baitworks bought half of Freedom Tackle.

Owner of NetBait, Halo and Scum Frog now has 50% of Freedomm a Canadian company:

> …American Baitworks Co. will invest heavily in new product design and development, brand awareness, marketing and sales.

> [Freedom’s] Michael Tamburro has been named SVP of innovation and Nick Tamburro has been named SVP of international with American Baitworks Co. Tom Chopin has been named director of international sales.


> Can they still call it AMERICAN baitworks?
> Can you really “own” Freedom?
> Are the people who work at Freedom truly free?

> Not sure how this is gonna work out since that whole War of 1812 deal….

[This is the Blaster, what did you expect…lol!]

10. Garmin had crazy good Q1 financials.

> Record 1st quarter revenue of $766 million, an 8% increase, with marine [up 18%], aviation, fitness and outdoor collectively increasing 12% over the prior-year quarter.

> Gross margin of 59.0% compared to 60.0% in the prior year quarter.

11. Fly reel company made an AC/DC reel.

Costs only $1,355…and strangely is not made out of solid gold:

12. Why the BOOYAH ToadRunner is Alton Sr’s favorite frowg (vid).

Worth it to watch him go “bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh” [cry laughing emoji]. Don’t forget there’s a new Jr size ToadRunner [flame emoji].

Tip of the Day

What’s your leader length?

Talkin’ fluoro leaders. Here’s a few hammers tellin’ ya advices. Of them all, I’d be the most skeptical about Brandon — you know, for obvious reasons (heehee):

> Greg Vinson: “For weightless rigs…I like to use a 6-10′ Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader. That helps to get the most sensitivity but more importantly helps to get a solid hookset, which can be a challenge with weightless rigs…heavier fluorocarbon like 10- to 15-lb test. …in deeper, clear water I prefer a longer 20′ leader…. Sometimes I feel that the leader-to-mainline connection passing through a group of suspended fish can be a turn off if it’s too close to the bait….”
> Matt Lee’s typical fluoro leader length is about 10′ of 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu. He says that length typically keeps the Albright knot out of the spool to prevent the knot from catching a rod guide when casting. However, he sometimes ups the length…on lakes with greater visibility, going as long as 20′ with 8-lb and switching to an FG knot.

> Brandon Palaniuk: “My fluorocarbon leader is typically between 10′ and 12 feet long. I don’t have an exact measurement for it, but rather make sure that my knot is in my reel and then I make two more revelations [revelations?] with the reel and cut the leader next to the reel after it travels through the guides and back down the rod.”

He likes Tatsu too, 6-10 lb. Lookit this box — looks mean, in a good way:

If you noticed, they all those guys use the top o’ the line Seaguar fluoro because you don’t wanna be skimpin’ on your leader material mang!

Quote of the Day

“I’m going to make you eat this bait, and if I don’t, well, I’m not good enough.”

– LA B.A.S.S. Nation dude Howard Hartley talkin’ ’bout gettin’ into a fist fight with Mike Iaconelli his mental game vs the fishes. Guess that means some of us (me) ain’t good enough a lot…hahaha! Little more:

> …at Nicholls State. Using a solid black plastic lizard, Hartley caught his first bass. “I remember thinking to myself, I can’t believe I just did that. How could a bass eat something that’s not real? So it became a game to me….”

Howard’s in the Nation National Champeenship so his bud told him:

> “You’re 3 good days away from making the Bassmaster Classic.”

Pretty cool!

Shot of the Day

Yep, here’s you your “Brandon won so his wife plants a hot one on him” shot! Brandon’s like, “If you’re askin’ me right now, y’all can keep that trophy…” hahaha! Love it:

Btw that’s James “my lens got all steamed up again dang it” Overstreet takin’ that shot….


Listen to this story — dude had a Squatch encounter right where George Perry ALLEGEDLY caught the FORMER world-record largemouth…!
Story after that went down somewhere near-ish to where I believe Jason Christie played hoops in college. Wonder if he’s seen a Squatch — I will ask!
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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