Deadstick a swimbait?? Fishing citadels? Speed reeling lipless cranks

Not sure when I’ll get you the new “ICAST” stuff, some of which you’ve probly already seen. Hopefully next week but it’s taking way more time than I thought to corral all this stuff vs it all being in one building. But it’s all a-comin’ soon! Have a great bass-filled weekend peeps!

Last “ICAST” reminder to bassin’ biz folks: If you have somethin’ new and cool you want bass-heads to know about, send it! Shoot me a SHORT description of what it is and why it’s all that, a good photo and a video link, and it MIGHT get included! ASAP, thanks much!

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

Today’s Top 5

BPTers might pay entry fees next year?

Dang! On the one hand understandable because looks like their sponsor $$ took a hit from Covid, but on the other hand that to me was one of THE greatest things about the Bass Pro Tour — not fishing for their own money. Boyd Duckett talkin’ on Bassin’Fan:

> “This is a short-term economic challenge for MLF and these participation fees are necessary in this environment.

> “When we all voted on it, my vote was to continue entry fees because I think our sport needs better payout.”

Tough deal for those guys — I’m sure they’re bummed. Some I bet are okay with it, others are probly like:

Heehee! Post says other changes are in the works, and that all the BPTers can fish the 2021 FLW Pro Circuit tourneys next year….

Fishin’ “citadels” and yo-yoing your jig.

Never heard that term in bassin’ before? Guide Chuck “halls of” Justice talkin’ in the AR Dem-Gazette:

> …he looked for small, shallow points that provided easy access to deep water in channels or troughs. Spindly trees marked the points, but Justice looked for small clusters of 3 or more trees that formed small horseshoes or triangles. These formations constitute small citadels just big enough to hold a bass. They offer protection from 3 sides and an open window in front through which to dash to safety if necessary.

> The best citadels have at least 1 small limb that stretches horizontally across the top of the opening. From a distance, Justice pitched his jig over the top of the horizontal branch with a soft touch that allowed it to splash down gently. That is important because a hard splash would spook a bass and send it rocketing to deep water.

> “I use that horizontal branch as a fulcrum to lift the jig up and down. It allows me to keep it in front of his face, up and down, up and down. Eventually, I’ll aggravate him enough that he’ll get mad and eat it.”

This is similar to what happened to Elitist Jamie Hartman:

5 Qs with Brian Robison.

What do you do if you retire from the NFL with all your limbs and faculties operational, and grew up in TX as a diehard fisherman? You gitcha large self a boat and hit the water hard mang! Which is what Brian’s doing — fun-fishing, tourneys and other fishy stuff. Here he is with a 4-lber — he’s just such a large dude he makes it look small:

Lol! Brian’s a good dude, caught up with him recent-like, asked him some Qs, here we go:

1. From the perspective of a professional athlete, what do you think about pro bass fishermen who go dawn to dusk for a whole week in brutal heat and pouring-down rain — are they athletes?

> “Yes they’re athletes. Most people are gonna argue and say they’re not because they don’t do athletic things. But at the end of the day, when I think of athletes, I think of stress mentally and stress physically, and I think of how these guys…push through it, the adjustments they make.

> “While it’s not as strenuous physically on a boat as a football field, if I go fish for a full day on the water, in the middle of the night I’m getting cramps in my calves…it’s brutal. And talk about that compounded with mental stress.

> “If you’re not a fisherman, you don’t understand. It’s not relaxing fishing…. When you go out and fish a whole day, your mind goes places it probably should’t be going on a tournament day. …to stay mentally in tune with what’s going and still read and react to what you’re seeing is pretty tough.

> “It’s just as mentally frustrating on a boat as on a football field, so do I think the guys are athletes, absolutely.”

[100% agree. Hand-eye coordination, stamina, stress, weird camera dudes in the boat — lol cam dudes!]

2. Has having a D lineman’s physique helped you in bass fishing?

> “I think so. But I also think it hurt me at times too. …powerful guy, so a lot of times when I lay the wood to the fish, it’s probably not always a good thing…but when I’m flipping heavy cover and things like that, I think it helps.

> “But being in shape and still working out every day I think helps me on the boat as far as being up on that trolling motor for a full day and not having to worry about things like your back hurting and stuff.

> “I think it does help me being in shape — I can push through some things a lot of people aren’t able to because they’re not in shape.”

3. How much has the word “tackle” shaped your life?

> “Oh my goodness. I’ve had the word ‘tackle’ involved in my daily life since pretty much I was 4 yrs old. Between football and fishing…have to put the over/under for ‘tackle’ being mentioned 47 times a day.

> “Between fishing tackle, tackling running backs, tackling quarterbacks and running a business called Tackle Addict, that’s 4 times right there in the last 15 seconds.”

[Tackle Addict is the store on Rayburn that Brian has a piece of.]

4. What’s the best kind of tackle, a sack or bassin’ baits?

> “Wooooo man that’s a tough one. I’ll answer it this way: If you get enough sacks, you can buy all the bass baits you want.”

[HAHAHA for real!]

5. If someone said to you, ‘You’re a tackle addict,’ would they be talkin’ ’bout to the football side of you or the bassin’ side?

> “Probably the bass-fishing side. Don’t get me wrong — I like tackling guys on a football field. But if you went and looked in my shop right now…all the totes and everything I have [full of] fishing tackle…the first thing people would say is, ‘Holy crap you have a lot of lures.’

> “No doubt about it I have more fishing tackle than I do sacks in my career and that’s saying a lot!”

Here’s Brian and a bud winnin’ a recent Thursdee-nighter. Looks like if you can’t bench 295 3x you ain’ gonna be his tourney pard:

Check Brian’s stuff — YouTube, Insta (@ brianrobison96), Facebook.

Drop tubes for suspended thermocline bass?

Innerestin’ technique — think I’m gonna try it:

> …Bull Shoals Lake [highland rez, so clearer water] in summer when temperatures averaged 95 degrees and occasionally climbed higher. I thought we were going to night-fish, but started casting about 1:00 that afternoon.

> …graphed out a submerged creek channel about 12′ deep. Buoys were dropped every 15′, and when finished we could see an exact outline of how the long creek channel twisted and turned. We fished salt-impregnated tube-jigs slowly across the creek channel at different depths.

> Bass were suspended in the thermocline at about 8′ and grabbed our jigs on the drop. Bites were light taps…easily was detected through our lightweight rods and thin 8-lb mono….

> By day’s end we had caught and released 27 largemouth and [spotted] bass. We constantly caught bass until evening. …You will see clouds of newborn baitfish this time of year, the reason why small lures catch big bass.

Btw, “tube jig” is an older-school/regional name (sometimes) for a tube on a jighead, aka a tube…and is a TOTALLY different deal than the parrot jig:

Found a swimbait anyone can fish!!

HAHAHA it’s for real! It’s the Mattlures Upside Dead Stick (dark rainbow) — for Cali lakes that get stocker rainbows:

> …designed to replicate the few trout that didn’t make it through the planting process — and usually the first to get eaten.

> …works with a true deadsticking action — just cast it out and let it bob in the ripples of the water. …precisely weighted to produce a unique belly-up appearance that sits just under the surface. Additionally, the white underside makes it very easy for anglers to spot from a distance.

That genius or what! Seriously! Wonder if that’d work with shad or bluegills — Mattlures doesn’t make those upside down baits tho.

Weird deal is Mattlures ain’t owned by a guy named Matt? Kidding man…. Btw here’s what trout do to Cali bass:


…ly beautiful….


1. We lost Yoshizo Shimano.

Born in 1934, was the 3rd son of company founder Shozaburo Shimano, and was a former president and chairman of the company. God Bless the Shimanos.

2. GA: We lost a brother on Lake Tobesofkee.

According to the post, sounds like two bass boats tried to avoid each other but swerved in the same direction. One man passed on. Bless you bassin’ brother.

3. Rick Clunn fished injured on Eufaula.

Had shoulder surgery, supposed to take 8 weeks to recover, he fished 4 weeks later. Sounds like Rick! Hope he’s doing okay.

4. Jacob Wheeler now running a Merc.

Was Evinrude, which no longer exists.

5. Nines has new Ike sunglasses.

Looks like 2 models, believe I do see some purple ‘n green on ’em like his Abu stuff…. Can;t link it, at

6. B-Rad-Lee Roy got a marina sponsor.

State Dock, a Suntex Marina on Lake Cumberland, KY. Bradley grew up on that lake and has his annual High School Open tourney there.

7. Watch Jason Christie bang a 1-oz bait off a bud’s head…

…laugh and keep fishin’ [cryin’ laughin’ emoji]. Wasn’t this bait — a BOOYAH Streak IV deep-diver — but I think it was the same trip:

8. Fletch Shryock avoids ledges.

> “Advances in electronics, information-gathering and individual angler skills have all made the ledge fishing thing very popular, so there are a lot of people fishing offshore now and it’s become a zoo. Every group of fish you find, someone else has found, too. Anglers are fighting all the time.”

Fighting? Maybe they’re just mad at his black socks?

9. Paul Elias can’t hear the fish anymore?

> “…I can’t hear as good or I can’t see as good as I used to but I can still cast as well and I still understand the fish.”

But Paul — if you can’t hear ’em or see ’em, how can you understand ’em??

Lol! Reminder that Paul’s responsible for “kneeelin’ ‘n reelin'” to get crankbaits deeper, outin’ the Alabama Rig, and also the all-sauce Subway sammich:

First 2 of those deals were great, not sure about the last one….10. Rookie Elitist Destin DeMarion has a dirt sponsor.

Specifically baseball field dirt — a bassin’ first!

11. NY: B.A.S.S. canceled the Cayuga Elite.

I’m sure you heard already, not surprising just because of the NY political sitch moreso than health — which is my 2c being here in NJ and seeing almost the exact same stuff. I bet the guys could’ve fished and been fine since that’s nowhere near New York City which has way more cases than a bunch of fishermen showing up at a semi-remote lake, but all good.

Anyhow, that Elite will be moved somewhere else and the other 2 NY events still MIGHT happen:

> At this time, both B.A.S.S. and local hosts believe the required testing can be arranged so that the remaining two Elite Series tournaments in NY — the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River July 23-26 and Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain July 30-Aug 2 — can continue as scheduled.

12. MLF got CBD brand Medterra.

Word is the deal got done in a van:

HAHAHA kidding! Name that movie! Serious for a sec — this is a good point if the stuff works:

> From a recovery standpoint, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce muscle and joint soreness associated with the repetitive motions in fishing.

Also standing on a boat all day man….

13. BPT Heavy Hitters replacing ’21 Championship?

I think I’m reading that right?

14. TX: Cool quick story from legend Tommy Martin’s boat.

> “We heard a racket behind us and when we looked back William’s rod was gone. I knew a fish had hooked itself and jerked the rod overboard.”

> Lucky for Lawson he was using on of Martin’s custom-made rods. The rods are built with premium components, including high-quality cork handles. The cork is buoyant enough to keep the rod afloat with a reel attached. [Whoa!]

> Lawson…scanned the perimeter and spotted the runaway rod rippling the surface about 20-30 yards away. “It was barely moving,” Martin said. “I trolled over to it, but the fish pulled it under about the time we got there. At that point I figured it was gone.” Moments later Lawson spotted the rod again and managed to get his hands on it. He eventually landed the fish. It weighed nearly 9 lbs.

Of course it happened at Rayburn, where giant fish hook themselves, rods float and:

15. TX biologists tracking TBend and Fork bass.

Started cuz of Fork complaints —

> Despite anglers reporting a reduced amount of slot fish, the electrofishing data biologists gathered has remained consistent. “This is where the project started to come together. What better way to answer this question than to track fish movements over the course of a year and have better answers to where slot fish potentially disappear?”

> Researchers plan to track 20 fish on Toledo Bend and 30 on Lake Fork. The expected life span of the transmitters is 1.5-2 years so researchers anticipate it may take up to 2.5 years to complete the study and generate the results.

Or you could just get Keith Combs, Kelly Jordon and their buds out there, and they’ll tell you where they all went in a couple days….

16. CA: Ultimate Frog Challenge on the Delta…

…July 25-26, FishLab just announced their Rattle Toad is gonna challenge at it.

17. DC: Congress moving to reauthorize hugely important deal.

> …the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund) — a program that supports about $650 mil annually in fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access and infrastructure, as well as fish stocking programs important to recreational anglers….

18. MotorGuide has a new ‘yak-specific motor.

Pretty cool for all you yakkers — Xi3 kayak trolling motor:

Fill out a short survey for a shot at winnin’ one right here.

19. Doug Minor now with American Baitworks.

Doug was the looooong-time (37 years) sales/marketing head for Strike King, and is well-known and well-respected in the biz. Big catch for American Baitworks — IF they can get Doug’s better half in the deal (Doug knows what I’m sayin’!). Here’s him talkin’:

> “I see such a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in and for the fishing industry with our brands and through our team. In my time in the industry I have been fortunate to have made lifelong relationships and friendships through a shared passion for the outdoors. I am excited and looking forward to continuing those relationships in my new role at American Baitworks.”

American Baitworks owns NetBait, Halo Fishing Rods and 4 other brands. Believe Valerie Dixon was the first former Strike Kinger to move there.

20. TX HS bassin’ championship canceled.

Understand but really feel for the kids. My young’ns got their seasons canceled too. Tough for young folks.

21. Bassin’ scholly news.


Football player going to Dallas Baptist, TX for bassin’

Dallas Baptist is a Catholic school…kidding hahaha!

NCer goin’ to GA’s Emmanuel College

Team is coached by lady hammer Pam Martin-Wells.

22. Bass Pro Shops hiring 5K folks?

If so a good sign for them.

23. Amazon says it’s fightin’ fakes.

Beware there and on eBay. Tackle Warehouse has no such issues…just sayin’….

24. GoPro Hero8 now can be a webcam too.

Just need to update the firmware.

25. TX: Apple snails in San Antonio River might hurt largies.

Because they eat veggies. Apples are invasives.

26. Great Lakes: Zebras won’t hold back Asian carp.

> “Some people have argued that the mussels essentially have beat the carp to the buffet table and have eaten up all the food.” But…mussels are bottom-feeders that only feed on nearby food while Asian carp swim freely throughout the water to fetch a meal.

27. UT: Non-rez anglers need to take a course…

…and pay $20 before launching a boat. Online deal about invasive species. So great when states add more and more regs…not….

28. NY/VT: Invasive water fleas being found in Champlain.

They clump up to look worm-ish — eeeeeew:

29. Europe thinking about banning lead in tackle?

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

Gary Klein: Speed-reeling a lipless crank.

If y’all remember this pic…

…from the Kissimmee Chain BPT, Gary finished 9th crankin’ a Berkley Warpig lipless (purdy shad). Sounded a little weird at the time since most guys — includin’ winner Jordan Lee — who were crankin’ were using regular lipped baits. MLF posted a little more about what Gary was doing and why:

> Klein spent his entire tournament on a handful of grassy spots on Toho, making an average of two casts per minute, “physically working as hard as I could.”

> …with the fish being as mobile as they were with current, I felt like I had to just keep hammering at it. Speed-reeling like that is something I’ve always really loved to do, because you’re actively triggering a strike. But in order to do that, you usually have to have relatively clear water — you can’t speed reel in dirty water, it’s way harder to pull the fish to you.

> “…that entire week in Kissimmee, the big ones would hit after 4 or 5 turns of the reel handle. It was almost like a piece of bait had landed on top of them and they just reacted to it.”

> …1/2-oz Berkley Warpig…a Duckett Fishing Paradigm CWx reel (8.3) with [17-lb] Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon…with a 7′ 10″ XH/XF Duckett Fishing Micro Magic Rod….

> …fish that bit 50-plus yards away from the boat. “The rod was a little out of my comfort zone — I usually prefer a rod with a parabolic bend, but I found out that I needed a faster rod when fish bit that far out or they would just throw the bait.”

Quote of the Day

“I was watching one guy a couple of weeks ago with his head in his graph working a jig under the trolling motor. I’m sorry, but that ain’t fishing. That’s playing a video game.”

– Word! (From here.) Which is why I’m starting to think that video games are..underrated. HAHAHA!

But it does make me think:
– Will we need sunglasses that are better for screens than water?
– Will we need headsets soon?
– Will bassers of the future look like this??

Shot of the Day

Lotta reasons to love this @official_stanley_jigs shot, startin’ with the beeg feesh smile and hat. Also take a close look — that’s the yak of a SERIOUS basser yo! Love it:


“Parts of the bunker are off-limits to all my children, like any of the security rooms, the weapons room, the food and storage room, the pantry.”

Dude in the Washington, DC area who had a bunker installed in his yard. Apparently the bunker biz is booming…they cost $25-35K.

Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

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