Cold-water cranking and blading, Let’s bless AMart! DD smallmouths?

Not much to say other than let’s get after it!
Today’s Top 5
Let’s blow up Aaron’s Insta and FB on Saturday.
Aaron Martens ain’t much of a digital dude…unless it’s a depthfinder. Seriously: Insta, Facebook, not really his scene. So he’s not gonna see this, and that’s the point — y’all can surprise him.

THIS SATURDAY Dec 5th is Aaron Martens — aka A-Mart, A-A-Ron, The Hawg Snatcher — Appreciatin’ Day. Please go on his Insta (@amartfishing) or FB (@AMartFishing) and pour out the love. Here’s the message to you, scribbled by Pat Renwick of Strange Cats:

> Aaron Martens is a Warrior, A Proper Bassin Man and Dec 5th is “International AMart Appreciation Day!” Please Share…and join in sending prayers, good thoughts and positive vibes Aaron’s way on this special day. “The Goal” For Aaron to FEEL THE LOVE from the entire Bass galaxy!! Please understand this is a continuation of the long and enduring battle of the next round of treatments. This is purely to give Aaron additional strength, all of our strength and fight with him in his continuing battle ! Thank You all and God Bless

Just to be clear, this is NOT a goodbye or anything like that. Like Pat says, Aaron’s in another round of treatments, strong meds, and for sure those anti-cancer drugs can take it outta folks…though so far Aaron’s busted up all the symptom charts with his fishin’ ‘n runnin’ ‘n such. We (including you!) are just rallying for him, to build him up, stand in the gap, petition the Lord, love him, whatever you can do and want to do to for him.

Gonna ask a personal favor: Whether you typically pray or not, will you please get on your knees in a private place and ask God for Aaron to be restored, healed, be made whole or whatever else is on your heart to say — because all prayers are heard, and because even if you don’t know Aaron personally I can tell you that if you can picture the nicest person you know and add another 50% minimum, that’s Aaron. Not to mention that fact that he’s a dang bassin’ genius….

Thank you!

“I’ve caught ’em really well with a crankbait when the water has been in the mid-40s and other anglers are…jigging spoons.”

Elitist, weight-lifter, post-man and Lab-owner Johnny Crews talkin’ to Legend “Louie” Stout on the Bassin’masters. John also said:

> …he’s casting to vertical rocky banks or slowly winding his lure through brush piles and tree tops on banks near dropoffs where a lot of the baitfish suspend.

> He also prefers mono…handles better in cold weather than fluorocarbon.

> …believes crankbaits with yellow and/or red colors…get more bites in cold water.

“I try to fish water with a little bit of stain, but those colors seem to work well for me in clear, cold water, too. Regardless of what color the lure body is, make sure the bait has an orange belly.”

> Crews will remove the stock hooks…and replace them with 2 short-shank #2 hooks that add just enough weight that the bait will suspend…. “When I’m winding the bait and feel it hit cover, I will stop for a second or 2 and maybe twitch it once or twice, then resume cranking. I’ve caught a lot of good fish in cold water by doing that.”

Johnny’s got him soft-plastics kinda named after himself (#ego — lol not really) but too bad no one makes hard baits for him…like maybe named “John” or “Fat John” or something? Crews?

Any 10+ smallmouths out there anymore?

Accordin’ to this list, here’s the last time 10+ smalls were caught:

TN/KY — Dale Hollow — David L. Hayes — 11-15 — 1955

AL — Wheeler — Owen F. Smith — 10-08 — 1950

NC — Hiwassee — Archie Lampkin — 10-00 — 1951

All in the ’50s, all in the South. BUT a dude named Robert Bruce caught the MI state record in the Indian River in 2016 and it was close — 9.98 lbs. Next closest was in 2007, Harold Hardin caught a 9-13 in Pardee/Amador, CA — and from an In-Fish post:

> Hardin told ESPN he’s lost “significantly larger” smallies there. 

For some reason I can’t find a good pic of a huge smallmouuth — meaning not a real-old pic or a dead bass pic or whatever, and one that shows how huge the fish is. Here’s the best one I could find — Harold’s fish:

Gotta be some 10s swimmin’ in the Great Lakes….
This bait look far-fetched to you?

I love that thing! Okay how does it look to you now:

That ^ is from a vid Dave Mercer posted — yep a chipmunk pulled outta a bass’ maw.
Best names for that crazy orange-finned bass!
Some of my faves from the BB IG and FB — thanks for ’em!

> Finny dip

> Fire fin

> Fire tail

> Carrot fin

> Fire tip water hog

> Sunkist bass

> Tropicana tips

> Micropterus Chernobyl

> Bonsai bass

> Tangerine bass

> Sunny D [B?]

> Dorito dusted

> Mabile’s border jumping half-breed dock creature [most random – love it!]

> Mudfire bass

> When you’re a largemouth but you identify as a peacock bass [bahahaha!]

> Blaze tipped swamp donkey

The winnahs — which kinda go together — you’ve been notified on social:

> Ta-bass-co

> Spicy ditch pickle


Knew him well. Wonder if Ron’s brother Al knows about:

> …he would reward me if I beat him. It might have been a fishing rod, a $100 bill, pick 10 lures out of Al’s tackle box.

2. Skeet Reese is working on his own line of rods/reels.

> …definitely better than I’ve ever used previously…take our time to make sure the products are excellent. The best-case scenario is a launch in late 2021.

3. How Brandon Cobb likes to catch ’em in the winter.

Talkin’ mostly Murray, Greenwood, Wateree, Hartwell and Clarks Hill which is really a lake not a hill:

  • 1/2-1 oz white jigging spoon
  • 3/8-1/2 oz white bucktail jig
  • Sometimes an A-rig
  • Hot dogs soaked in Dr Pepper

Okay not the last one.

4. Brent Chapman walks you through LiveScope (YT).

Even catches a bass in real time. I think his Scope is more aLive than mine…

5. Tank Talley’s cold-water wake bait choices (IG vid).

Jointed in clear water.

6. ’21 Elite schedule is up.

Lotta TX and AL:

  • Feb 11-14 — St. Johns River, FL
  • Feb 25-28 — Tennessee River, TN
  • Mar 19-21 — Classic — Ray Roberts, TX [don’t cancel it man!]
  • Apr 8-11 — Sabine River, TX
  • Apr 22-25 — Lake Fork, TX
  • May 6-9 — Neely Henry, AL
  • May 20-23 — Guntersville, AL
  • Jun 10-13 — Pickwick, AL
  • Jul 8-11 — Champlain, VT
  • Jul 15-18 — St. Lawrence River, NY
  • Aug 19-22 — Make-up date

7. MLFLW added 4 more ‘Yota tourneys.

Called the Wild Card Division. Fish all 4 and be in the top 12 in the points in your best 3 and you make the championship. No entry fee info in the post.

8. Italy’s Jacopo Gallelli finished 4th in the FLW Series Southern points.

He fished the ’18 Classic and is bit hard by the bassin’ bug. Just in case you think it’s only guys from Japan and Australia who are doing well here.

9. Chris Daves has been tearin’ up in the BFLs.

Been meaning to mention this — won the 2-day Potomac River Super Tourney in Sept, then the 3-day Regional on the James River in Oct. Here’s his pic:

He remind you at all of this guy back in the day? At the Potomac:

Woo! Tx much to the bass-head who sent that pic in!

10. Check the rod locker shelf in the Vexus VX.

> We know how aggravating it can be when a big bass starts busting shad, and you’ve forgotten to take your favorite topwater bait out of the rod box. Trying to wrestle all those treble hooks through a maze of fishing line is frustrating and, more importantly, time-consuming. That’s why we engineered the Quick-Draw Shelf in the port rod box of our VX bass boats.

Drool ya over some VXs here.

Man they all look good too. Here’s “bama shad:”

First gotta give you one great Google translate from the post: “Mr. Bladed Jig Brett Height.” HEIGHT! Anyhow, the two new colors are “secret white” and “cold shad,” neither of which are on TW. Here they are.

Looks like the “secret” is the low-light glow:

“Cold shad” looks amazing:

Maybe just Japan initially? Reminder that the JackHammer is an Evergreen (Japan co) bait co-designed by Mr Height and Morizo Shimizu.

13. Rapala is taking 13 Fishing worldwide.

14. Catch Co gets another $6 mil in funding.

> …it has closed a $6 million funding round, led by existing investor Listen Ventures. 

> Catch Co continues to see rapid growth…year-over-year growth rates approaching 100%. Catch Co expects to deliver over 2.5 million Mystery Tackle Boxes in 2021 and anticipates membership to its Karl’s Bait & Tackle ecommerce site to surpass 50,000 anglers in 2021 — a 500% increase since its 2018 launch.

> Part of the capital raise will go toward investing in new product categories, like…expansion of its first-ever fishing rod….

As I’ve said many times, the Catch Co folks are real good and real smart. Fyi Listen is also Chicago-based (like Catch Co) — here’s what else they’re invested in.

15. TackleTour’s fave 2020 stuff.

Lil spendy but a good rundown….

16. MN says ice fishing tourneys can be “spreader events.”

Just wondering if any of them have even fished an ice tourney? Or whether the virus can live in -45 temps?

17. MS: Cool little family deal.

Ol’ bud of mine Jason Pittman (center) fished the MS B.A.S.S. Nation qualifiers this year with his dad Floyd and son Trenton. Jason ended up AOY, Trenton finished 6th on the boater side and Floyd finished 2nd on the co side. Jason:

> That qualified 3 generations on the same state team to move on to the Nation Divisional Championship next year….all because my dad took the time to take me at a young age and instill the love of tournament fishing that we’ve both passed down to my son Trenton as well. Truly blessed.

> This time of year, the crawfish will molt and turn red, and the bass go crazy feeding on them.

19. VA: Rapidan dam might be altered to allow passage of shad and…

…stripers, blueback herring, alewife, eels, sea lampreys and swordfish.

Okay not the last one.

20. TN: Asian carp committee will meet Dec 8.

Can go in person or livestream it.

21. Snapping turtles affect herring migration??

Caught my eye and funny:

> The study showed how the snapping turtles used the culverts and quickly learned to target the naive herring over the experienced resident fish. The turtles also seemed to slow down the overall movement of herring as these fish eventually started avoiding culverts that had turtles. 

Many things I could say but will just ask: How many culverts and turtles we talkin’ — 10? 20?? #CmonMan

Headline of the Day

Invasive dog-sized lizard continues to spread in Southeast; ‘They eat just about anything’

WTHeck?? Shoot ’em!


Jay Yelas’ mud bass was landed from the water! I know that sounds like “duh” but that fish was COVERED in mud. Rick M, Jay’s marshal that day sent in this pic:

He said:

> Check out the floor…totally covered with mud including all my gear, his console, etc. When that fish came up he was spitting mud from a full mouth and slinging it everywhere.

> We spent the next five minutes trying to clean the mess up because Jay had a buyer for the boat right after the tournament. Live wanted to interview Jay as well…and they had to wait over 5 minutes while we cleaned it up.

Was that fish digging in the mud to try to break Jay off? And I gotta think that fish was even more muddy before it came through the water to the boat?? Wow weird man.

On right now… 

Gitcha T-bird day bassin shoppin list!

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Tip of the Day

In these parts it’s all about the Binsky, a blade bait not known everywhere but folks swear by it. Some of those folks are a lil sketchy like:

Lol that’s Brian el Carpintero WITH a Binksy feesh. Anyhow, was searchin’ up some tips and came across this post — tips from this year’s Detroit River ‘Yota winner Scott Dobson:

> “I always tell my buddies ‘less is best.’ The whole premise of the bait is to work it like a dying baitfish. It might kick up and flutter back down, but you don’t think of a dying baitfish that is flipping up 3-4′ and then falling back down. They might kick up a few inches and then lie there. That’s how I want my bait to work.”

> The presentation starts with a short cast or long pitch — about twice the distance of a “typical” pitching presentation. In deeper areas, Dobson might even drop straight down.

> “I always let the bait fall on a semi-slack line and watch my line because a lot of times they will hit it just when it starts to fall or just before it gets to the bottom.

> “When it is on the bottom I kind of check my slack and hold the rod at about 3 o’clock. Then I pick up the rod a few inches and then let it fall back down on a semi-slack line.”

In this YT vid you can see Scott workin’ it and it looks like he’s fishing a jig.

> “A lot of the bites come when it gets to the bottom. As you lift up to make your next hop you’ve got to be ready — not to drop your rod and set the hook, but to wind really fast and pull into them.”

> Dobson will also “park” the bait on bottom like a tube or shake it in place, especially if the fish are more tentative or the water is colder.

That’s backed up by this from the Binsky website:

> When the water gets real cold with surface temperatures below 38 degrees…moving your bait just fast enough to feel it vibrate a little bit and let it touch the bottom.

> It’s difficult for many veteran bass anglers to get their heads around this, but bass sometimes inhale a blade when it’s lying right on the bottom. You’ll be working that bottom area, pulling your rod back just fast and far enough to feel the blade “thup-thup-thup.” Let the blade settle, and after it’s…on the bottom you’ll feel that “tick.” Other times, the fish will just “be there” when you lift the rod again.

Scott’s talkin’ just smallmouths but the Binsky website is talkin’ all basses.

TW has gold ‘n silver Binskys, the Binsky website has more. Sounds like 1/2-oz is the deal unless you like 3/4.

Here’s all the blade baits on TW — says the Damiki Vault is the only best seller.

Quote of the Day
“He taught himself fishing by watching YouTube.”

James, dad of 11-yr-old Christian, talkin’. So takin’ someone fishin’ might not be needed all the time? Anyhow, Christian started bassin’ this year in FL, and this 8+ is his PB — congrats dude!

What his dad said:

> “Pre-COVID, no one [in the family] ever fished.” When the pandemic arrived, Christian and his friends were looking for something to do during the long, boring days of lockdown. In a lightbulb moment, [James] looked at the myriad ponds…and figured fishing could well be the answer.

> “He taught himself fishing by watching YouTube. He goes fishing every day for a couple of hours after he finishes his homework.”

> [Christian] earned his fishing gear by babysitting his sister and doing household chores. A $15 fishing rod from Walmart, some plastic lures….

SO much good stuff there man, love it! #bassin’

Shot of the Day
This fish is all BEEF! @war_eagle_custom_lures posted this @marshallarnwine shot of what can happen when you bank-fish before work (in TX maybe?). Anyhow, that’s STOUT 9-03 on a War Eagle spinnerbait:

Check this line:

> In Australia this year there have been 20 unprovoked shark bites (when humans don’t initiate contact)….

Who in their right mind would “initiate contact” with a man-eating shark??

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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