David Fritts transcendent cranking tips, Jigging deep weeds, More pro smallie baits

Here’s the Vexus folks workin’ on my boat!! Yep that’n’s mine! Could I be more stoked? I don’t think so. Thanks fellers!

Decided on the AVX 1980 — not much different than the 2080 and WAY cheaper. Dual console, crappie rod holders, tiller steer — hahaha no way!

REALLY wanted to pick it up in person and fish Bull Shoals, but I ain’t gonna be able to do that…. 🙁 Have a great bassin’ weekend folks!

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

Today’s Top 4

Has David Fritts transcended us all?

When I was talkin’ to David about the new Frittside cranks, he said a couple things that made me think I was either losin’ it like Arnold here…

…or I was thinkin’ David’s like this now:

Or both. Dead serious. Check this…he’s tellin’ me about his crankin’ gear for the Frittside 5 Biggun and says this about line:

> “…if I’m in heavy, heavy cover I’ll use up to 14, but the bait’s a lot more fish-friendly with 10 and will get more bites with 10. I’ll compromise and fish 12 [if in lighter cover]. Not that you can’t catch them with 17, but you’ll shallow the bait up with a big line.”

All good so far and then:

> “I’ll probably use X5 or Berkley Sensation — low-stretch mono or braid.”

Hole up — mono or BRAID?? No fluoro?? What he said about braid:

> “They don’t see your line well, and you can feel every move it makes. …makes you a better fisherman [cuz] you can feel the bait so well. And there’s no stretch so you don’t have to rare back and set the hook — just twitch your rod a little and it’s on.

> “I’ve been using braid for a while — it’s the ticket for keeping fish on. I’d always used low-stretch mono. But with braid you won’t lose near as many as you will with mono.”

What. The. Heck. Then he said:

> “With mono and especially with fluoro, there’s so much stretch you don’t even get a hook in a fish, especially if it’s on the end of the cast.”

As a Yankee, I’ve been played before by Southern bassers so I was like, “Are you jacking with me right now David?” He said no…so? Anyhow, later in the convo he serves this up about his reel, a 5:1 Lew’s BB1 — I think it’s this one:

> “…with multi-stop…doesn’t have infinite anti-reverse. When you stop the handle, it goes back a little bit. It makes the reel a lot more sensitive and you can feel that bait a lot better…night and day difference. …can feel it vibrate — it brings everything back to life.

> “…go out there and do it, and you’ll know immediately how much better it is.”

Does anyone even MAKE a reel without anti-reverse? Besides that Lew’s reel I mean, cuz as he said peeps think a reel’s broken if the handle goes backwards. Anyhow, asked why he thinks it’s better and he said:

> “When you have [the anti-reverse] clutch, it actually puts pressure on the spool. So you have to forfeit some feel and some distance. That’s the big downfall.

> “You just have to do it yourself and then you’re going to say wow.”

Study, ponder, contemplate and chew on that man wow!

2nd-5th Sturgeon Bay BPT baits.

Wasn’t able to get Mark Daniels Jr’s (2nd) stuff in time but hope to for the next one:

3rd: Josh Bertrand

> “I caught everything on a Berkley Maxscent Flat Worm in gp, black or ‘brown back.’ #1 Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hook, 1/2-oz Bass Pro Shops XPS tungsten weight, 8-lb Berkley X5 Braid to 6-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro. 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Rod and Abu REVO Premier 30 spinning reel.
> “Keyed on rocky structure with baitfish [alewives] present. Garmin Livescope was very beneficial to see the fish as they moved around on the shoals. It was windy on the days I fished, and with the Garmin Force trolling motor being brushless I was able to run it on high speeds without sonar interference which was huge.

> “15-25′, rock size didn’t matter…more having a piece of structure with baitfish around and bottom structure [contour].”

4th: Jordan Lee

Since he won the points, did a full write-up on how he fished — on the BB website. Here’s the bait deets:

Just like his roomie and Sturgeon Bay winner Justin Lucas, Jordan caught all his fish dropshotting a Berkley Powerbait Maxscent Flat Worm:

> “Colors didn’t seem to matter…I would throw whatever I had. I’d throw it out there and give it a couple shakes, and it also seemed like those fish would eat it on the direct fall. I didn’t let it soak for a long time.”

> #1 Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hook, 5/16 – or 3/8-oz tungsten weight, 8-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon leader to 8-lb Berkley X5 Braid (flame green), Abu REVO MGXtreme 30 spinning reel, 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Rod.

5th: Alton Jones

> “My baits were a dropshot and a tube, both rigged with a 3/16-oz weight. Tube color was perch with copper flake, dropshot colors were gp and goby.

> “My rod was critical — a 7′ ML Kistler Helium 2 spinning rod. Also crucial was my Garmin LiveScope, which allowed me to spot the individual fish before making the cast. Line was 15-lb braid with an 8-lb fluoro leader.

> “Day 1 I caught a few off beds, but after that it was all post-spawn transitions in 8-20′. I fished different areas each day because the fish kept moving on me.”

“On the Elite Series there were always 3-, 4- or 5-angler groups that dominated, and if you weren’t in one of those you were at a disadvantage.”

– BPTer Britt Myers talkin’ to Bassin’Fan. Believe some of the names of these gangs were (maybe still are):

– The Florida Cartel
– Gville Killahs
– The Clan MacLeod (oops sorry that’s Highlander)
– Arkansas River Kings
– Mountain Dew Mullet Militia
– Jig n Pig Syndicate
– Head Crackers B.C.

Vicious dudes:

Hahaha! Innerestin’ quote from Britt tho….

Why do we breathe hard when we’ve got a giant melon on?

I mean, it ain’t like we just ran some sprints. Is it just adrenaline? Are we holding our breath too much at first? Do our pupils look like this??

Watchin’/listenin’ to this vid of MLFer Justin Atkins landing a 10-08 got me thinkin’ ’bout it….


1. Mark Menendez is out for the rest of the year.

Bad back, hate to hear it. Also issues with Trip but we won’t talk about that…kidding hahaha!

2. Scott Canterbury’s leading the Elite points again.

Dude won AOY last year too — that’s pretty dang impressive. But his lead is only 4 over Buddy Gross and 6 over Matt Arey.

3. How Justin Lucas changed his fishing this year.

> “I learned to locate an area and find a larger population of scoreable bass in the area. Instead of running around using one technique and attempting to run a specific pattern all of the time, I switched to fishing a larger area more thoroughly, using as many techniques necessary to catch as many scoreable bass as possible.”

4. Andy Morgan now with Strike King.

5. Cliff Crochet gets Buzbe Fishing.

New modular tackle box company. Not on TW, here’s the website.

6. Cory Johnston’s fave smallie spots.

Good post. Doesn’t sound like he’s sandbaggin’?

7. Brandon Lester says he’ll dropshot and Ned the St Lawrence.

8. Check all Mark Davis’ bassin’-related surgeries.

> “I’ve had 3 shoulder surgeries — 2 on my right, 1 on my left,. I’ve had surgery on my left elbow, a hip replacement, and I’ve had my neck fused. It’s all the wear and tear of fishing all day, every day for years and years.”

Says CBD oil is helping him big-time, glad to hear it.

9. NJ’s Lee Rogers won the Erie Toyota Series.

Just shoutin’ out an NJ hammah! Dropshotted a Strike King Half Shell (gp purple), a tube and a TX-rigged 3.8″ Eco Pro Swing Shad swimbait (gp). Notice the bassin’ ‘stache:

10. Z doctored up his Merc.

Merc’s callin’ ’em “accent panels.” I emailed and asked for ones with a Scottish accent, haven’t heard back….

11. LA: Bussey Brake has big, dumb fish.

Lake just re-opened, that’s a 10.84-lber bass-head Brandon Johnston caught on a Zoom Ol Monster worm (june bug red) and his son caught a 9+ 2 days later. Brandon said:

> “It’s been awesome. You’ve got fish that’s been in there for 3-4 years that have never been caught. Fish that have never seen a bait before.”

12. DC: Congress passed Great American Outdoors Act.

Couple highlights, still needs President Trump’s signature:

> First, it fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund…program for conserving and maximizing outdoor recreation access. Second, the bill tackles the maintenance backlog on our public lands and waters by investing in boating infrastructure like docks, ramps and parking facilities.

13. BFL happenin’s.

#stout — mostly on a swim-jig.

Dayton Scott, who appears to have a Feideresque bassin’ mullet:

> “I noticed in practice that the ledges were getting pounded, so I tried to key on shallow flats where they were pushing bait.”

Said his dad won the last BFL there so runs in the fam!

Winner Ryan Hochstetler fished a Duo Realis Spybait and dropshotted a Duo Realis V-Tailshad.

> “I had to troll in the last 2 miles. It was extremely tough, but I was very blessed.”

Amazing! What a tough fishery man, wow.

14. Is the new Abu Zenon the lightest-ever spinning reel?

Check it:

Lol! Nope here ’tis:

> …the Zenon is the lightest spinning reel ever produced, tipping the scales at an unbelievably light 4.9-oz for the size 20 and 5.4-oz for the size 30. Paired with a light spinning rod, the result is a configuration that brings unparalleled sensitivity and all-day comfort to serious anglers.

> At the heart of the Zenon’s weight-saving design…is the elimination of empty spaces commonly found in spinning reels. The Zenon body design is noticeably smaller than the spool and rotor — it features a one-piece gear box with no sideplate while the frame is integrated with the stem. Combined, these design features shrink the overall footprint and weight of the reel while providing a rigid system for the gears. The magnesium body is contoured to fit comfortably in hands and provides greater weight savings….

I’ve held the 20 in my hand and it feels…oddly light, meaning it’s a new/different feeling for me. Gonna fish it at some point, will let you know, but that increased sensitivity (like a light rod) apparently is the deal. MSRP is $499.99 so that kinda weight savings doesn’t come cheap….

15. Don’t forget your G Juice.

Especially this time o’ year — sick shot by Silo Creative:

16. YOLOtek + GoPro giveaway.

Anyone who enters must commit to get a Randy Howell flat-top.

Not really….

17. Rapala’s biz doubled during lockdown.

> “European e-commerce for the first six months doubled compared to the same period last year and the same was the case in the US despite the closure of our warehouses.”

18. Have you seen B.A.S.S.’s Keeping Bass Alive guide (pdf).

Thanks to Chad Morgenthaler for the heads up.

19. CA had to kil 3.2 mil hatchery trout.

Wonder if Cali bass-heads will have to catch normal-sized bass for a while?

20. VA/MD: Chesapeake grass was way down last year.

> …largest drop since surveys began, with acreage plummeting at least 33% from 2018.

21. OR: All non-motorized craft need new permits.

Including stand-up paddleboards?

22. Asian carp updates.

DC: Joliet, IL dam project funding passes House committee.

KY: 65-lb bighead carp caught in KY River.

Not good…but glad they got one outta there.

SK: Prussian carp invasion?

Here’s one — looks like a regular carp?

23. Can zebra mussels be turned into blue glass?

Shoot if they end up being worth $$ then good:

24. LA: Invasive apple snails impacting crayfish.

Not sure if it’s just crayfish harvest, but the snails seem to be competing for food with the craws. #notgood


More new “ICAST” stuff

Still have a bunch stocked up, gettin’ it out a little at a time for now:

1. New Lew’s KVD rods.

23 rods that each retail for — wait — $99.99, which is pretty cool:

> “I really wanted to be able to produce a rod that would retail for around $100, but felt and performed like a high-end rod. Everyone on the project was committed to that goal, and the results speak for themselves….”

2. Scott Canterbury new signature Halo rods.

6 casting, 1 spinning:

> …built with high-end Japanese Nanofiber Graphite for unmatched sensitivity and durability. The blank is matched with stainless steel guides with zirconia inserts for maximum performance.

3. New Megabass Vision 110 Jr.

3.85″, 3/8-oz — I thought 110 was the length? Anyhow new size….

4. Is the Teckel Bladewaker 4 baits in 1?

Buzz/Chatter/Wake/Crank? Here’s a little, full vid here, on TW here:

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

Matty Herren: Drop on ’em now.

Matt loves hot summer bassin’ because he’s nuttier than a Snickers bar. Lol okay no, cuz this is how he likes to catch ’em — from the Bassin’masters and a quick after-practice call:

> …as soon as they seek shelter from constant fishing pressure or the heat and bright sunlight, the fishing is about to get good.

> Every species of prey that a bass feeds on seeks shelter in the vegetation, creating an all-you-can-eat bass buffet. Couple that with the cover and the ability to ambush prey and it’s bass heaven.

> …for those anglers that learn the subtleties of dissecting deep grass, it can be very rewarding. …no different than any other type of offshore fishing in that the key areas are high spots, points, ditches, depressions, ledges…use my Humminbird Mega 360 to quickly locate subtleties like points, ditches or hard spots within the grass.

> …I like to key on walls or edges within the grass. Bass use the outside edges of a deep grass line like a highway. They travel up and down the edge to feed and take shelter. These areas are typically found where…hard bottoms that prevent weed growth.

Here’s the gear he likes:

> Rods: Kistler Z Bone 765 (7′ 6″ 5-power) and 764 (7′ 6″ 4-power): “The 4-power is a little softer tip. If I’m flipping braid, I still crack ’em but go to a softer rod….” Uses 50-lb braid with that rod, and 20-25 lb Gamma Edge fluoro with the 765.
> If he wants to go even heavier, he uses a 7′ 11″ 5-power Kistler KLX Rod with 65-lb braid.

> “The biggest thing is to remember that a fish’s mouth is meat. If you use the biggest rod and heaviest line, it can only stand so much. It’s a fine line — you can overpower…need to avoid overpowering if you can.”

> Jigs: 3/4- and 1-oz Dirty Jigs No-Jack Flipping Jig, and a 3/4-oz Dirty Jigs Scott Canterbury Flippin’ Jig. The Canturbury jig has a lighter-wire hook so he uses that when he doesn’t have to rip through heavier grass, All are b/b or “some kind of gp.”
> Trailers are all Reaction Innovations Beavers: “Depends on what style I want — a Spicy Beaver if I want a little kick or swim to it, or if I’m trying to get through heavy stuff I’ll put a Smallie Beaver on it….” He uses all models of Beavers.

> “With this technique you can do a whole lot with a little — take 2-3 rods, and you can mix and match and do a whole lot.”

Quote of the Day

“My father…always said he would relax fishing but with me ‘it was too much like work which I came out here to get away from.'”

– HAHAHA love it! That’s Elitist Buddy Gross talkin’ in a cool post on him by the one and only donny barone. You never know, but I really believe Buddy will win some more….

Shot of the Day

When someone asks you what your favorite color is — @okappari_ninja shot:

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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