DeFoe and other Rayburn baits, Swim-jig trailers, Free Auburn bassin!

Couple quick deals:


1. Took the dog out the other morning, something caught my eye, looked up and saw this shape in the sky moving real slow behind a tree. I thought, WTHeck a UFO?? Kept watching and…ended up being one of those Spongebob foil balloons. I was like, I gotta stop listening to those podcasts lol.


2. Y’all know I don’t do rumors unless they pretty much aren’t rumors – they just haven’t been announced yet if you know what I mean. Well, word is there’s gonna be a HIGHLY controversial MLF announcement in the next couple days about rules – maybe involving a bait or baits??

Today’s Top 5
How Ott DeFoe won -again!- in TX.
Not sure if Ott DeFoe likes TX more or if TX likes him more, but either way he won another Bass Pro Tour even there, in March again, with a crankbait in his hand again – and he also won that lil Classic tourney in March with a crankbait too. Seeing a pattern yet??


Here’s some bait deets from this’n, full meal deal is on


> “My key [post-spawn] spot was in a back-channel of the river – just a cut that didn’t have water coming through it…had a little bit of grass in the back of it. But more than anything it was just a void.


> “So many trees were up there…not buck bushes or willow trees. Some type of tree that grew up when there was a drought or something – acres of them. Most of them were from no water to about 2′. This [spot] was just a void in those trees in…1.5-3′ water.


> “I think the fish just liked that open area [mud bottom], and they also liked to be in that ideal depth range. I think it was an exit route for fish post-spawn. …ton of bait – a lot of shad there but you wouldn’t see them balled up…fish would come up on the surface chasing bait and stuff.


> “I rotated through a number of different baits – a squarebill, a DT4, a bladed jig… The DT4 was the penguin color, the squarebill close to penguin – it was hand-painted. The squarebill will be in the [Rapala] OG line but a few years down the road. The bladed jig was 3/8-oz chart/white with a Bass Pro Super Shad trailer (white ice).


> “I also caught a couple on a bone-colored walking bait, and something that’s a really good cleanup deal – a Bass Pro Wacky Stick-O (black/blue) on a #1 VMC Weedless Neko Hook.


> “My plan B deal [swim-jig and frog] I was fishing in an area where the fish were still spawning…couple shallow places I could get into…[where the] trees were not overgrown…grass…flooded trees. Some of that was on an island…little islands…water was over them. Other areas were small pockets.


> “The the biggest deal with that bite was you had to get where it was shallow – where your trolling motor would stir up mud. 1.5-2′ of water was too deep. You had to get really shallow. That was more important than what cover you were fishing around or anything else.


> Swim-jig setup: 3/8-oz Terminator Heavy Duty Swim Jig (“OD” = black/blue/chart), bigger “flappy craw”-style trailer (gp/blue flake), 7′ 1″ MH Johnny Morris Platinum Rod, Platinum Reel (8.3), 50-lb braid.


> Frog: Terminator Popping Frog (cocoa camo), same setup as the swim-jig.


> “Day 4…he used the crankbaits and wacky worm “…retrieved with the current and cross-current.” He drifted the worm – Bass Pro Magnum Fin-Eke Worm (purple brown) – rigged both wacky weightless and TX-rigged with a 3/0 VMC Heavy Duty Worm Hook and a 3/16-oz weight.


> Cranking gear: 7′ MH Bass Pro Shops Cranking Stick, Johnny Morris Platinum Reel (6.8), 14-lb BPS XPS fluoro.


> Bladed Jig gear: 7′ 3″ H Bass Pro Shops Cranking Stick, BPS CarbonLite Reel (7.5), 17-lb XPS fluoro.


> That looks like too-heavy action for those baits, but Ott said they’re not as heavy as they’re rated.


> Wacky worm gear: 7′ 1″ M Johnny Morris Platinum Spinning Rod, Johnny Morris Platinum Spinning Reel, 10-lb Bass Pro Hyper Braid to 12-lb XPS fluoro.


> Electronics: “…wasn’t a major focus in this one except for the mapping.” And also Spot-Lock.

5 Qs with the Otter.
1. How do you keep your focus and energy up for such a long time to win these deals?


> “These are long, drawn-out events but I guess the off days kind of help with that. Winning the 1st round, I ended up with 2 off days in a row. Some people think it’s a good time to rest, but I had to stay moving…went fishing the whole day, and the next day I had to re-rig and do everything I’d put off the day before [laughs]. I kept myself busy the whole time.”


[He fished at “a small unnamed lake Kelly Jordon recommended.” Said he’ll have some video from it so sounds like it was good?]


2. Why do you fish a bunch of different baits just to end up at crankbaits to win? Shouldn’t you just maybe start with crankbaits??


> “[Laughs] It’s really about promoting all my sponsors. Rapala is a great sponsor, but there’s other stuff out there than crankbaits that I need to promote.”


[He’s KIDDING literal peeps!]


3. What role did Biggs have in this win. Had to be something?


> “The prototype OG crankbait was hand-painted by Biggs so he absolutely had a big part in this win yet again.”


[Biggs is Ott’s secretive weapon!]


4. Other than the letter T and a bunch of awesome redneck bass-heads, what do TN and TX have in common that you’re so comfortable there?


> “Sweet tea. You can bet anywhere you go in TN or TX you can order sweet tea.”


[You heard it tourney bass-heads, start gettin’ your Ott ‘n Uncle Si on with the tea!]


5. Do you have a lucky BUFF and why do you wrap yourself up in one all the time?


> “I actually don’t have a lucky one. I have a rotation I go through. I’ve always got a few in Mossy Oak Elements I wear and try to coordinate that. But some do smell worse than others.


> “‘Why’ is definitely the functionality. At Eufaula this year, RedCrest, our only day of practice was the first time I’d seen the sun since Oct. I thought I’d be cool and not wear one and get some sun, and I paid for it dearly. So I relearned the lesson I already knew…because I want to do this for a long time and you just can’t rub enough sunscreen on.”

Bonus quote:


> “It definitely was a fun week. TX has been really good to me. March has been a really great month for me – 2 Bass Pro Tour wins and a Classic win in 3 years in the month of March. As good as that is, what we have coming up – Easter and what we celebrate there with Christ’s resurrection…I love this time of year.”

2nd-5th baits from the Rayburn Bass Pro Tour-Ney.
2nd: Luke Clausen


> “I fished shallow all week, skipping a 3/8-oz JackHammer in ‘clearwater shad’ and ‘spot remover’ with ‘pearl’ and ‘smokin shad’ Z-Man Razor Shadz trailers under cypress trees. My rod was a G Loomis MBR 844 which is heavier than I normally throw but the cover required it. I used a Shimano Curado K 200hg Reel (7.4) with 17-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro.


> “The last day it was slick and sunny and I caught and about half my fish on a wacky Z-Man Zinkerz in gp and ‘sprayed grass’ with a 2/0 Owner Weedless Wacky Hook.” G Loomis NRX 852 JWR Rod, Shimano Stradic CI4 3000 Reel, 20-lb Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid to 12-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro.


> “2-4′ deep cypress trees on the main lake and pockets.”

Btw if it looks like they were looking at a bigfoot in that pic ^ here’s another one when Luke first saw it…which mysteriously was not mentioned by MLF:


3rd: Gerald Spohrer


> 7′ H Quantum Smoke Rod, Quantum Smoke HD Reel (8:1), 50-lb Seaguar Smackdown Braid, 3/8-oz homemade white swim jig with a Missile Twin Turbo Grub (white).


> Fished cypress trees and bushes on the north end, 2′ water, 66 degrees.

4th: Tommy Biffle


> Flip plastics: Biffle Bug (smoke silver) and YUM Dinger (gp chart), 4/0 flipping hook, 5/16-oz Elite Tungsten weight for the Bug and 3/16 for the Dinger. 7′ 6″ Quantum Flipping Stick, Quantum Smoke Reel (8.1), 25-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro.


> Spinnerbait: 1/2-oz BOOYAH Covert Series Spinnerbait (white/chart, double CO, #5 silver, #4.5 gold). 7′ 2″ MH Quantum Smoke Rod, Quantum Smoke Reel (6.1), 20-lb Sunline Shooter.


> “Cover was buck brush…some kind of big bushes, I don’t know what type, and cypress trees were the key. Fished in 1-3′ water – it was dirty, 6-8 inch viz.”

5th: Justin Lucas


> 4.5″ paddletail swimbait (white), 3/8-oz jighead, 17-lb fluoro, Abu REVO STX Reel (7:3), 7′ 6″ H Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier.


> Dropshot: 6″ worm (gp), 6-lb Berkley X5 Braid to 10-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, Abu REVO Premier 30-size spinning reel, 7′ MH Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Spinning Rod.


> Grass edges in 3-4′ close to spawning areas.

Auburn U suspended bass team over “covid violations.”
Lot of folks not happy about it, including Auburn alums Steve Kennedy and I believe Matty Lee:
That’s a huge statement by Steve and obviously he means it and it hurts.


Is this deal unfair for the team? You bet it is. Does it make sense, especially given all the other team sports happening there (and those “non-violations”)? No. Is it dumb? In my 2c yes, for several reasons including the fact that younger people are at almost no risk with this deal…which I think the other sports at Auburn have proven.


AND – here’s the biggie we all know – a lot of folks fished over the past year exactly BECAUSE it does the whole stay apart thing…in the healthy OUTDOORS.


Someone at Auburn – like Keegan Ashbee, Auburn’s asst director of campus recreation competitive sports – might wanna think hard about climbing down from their tree stump and realize who the paying customers are.


Confession: I say that with a little ticked-offness because I have a kid in college too (and know many), and these healthy young people are persecuted – I think that word fits – for no good reason in my 2c. If you don’t have a kid in college and found out what the colleges were doing, I really think you’d be shocked. It’s way more strict than literally anywhere else except maybe hospitals. One example: Stuck in a room by yourself for 14 days after a NEGATIVE test. That is not unusual. Crazy.


It’s super hard on these young people, for their parents too (yep me included at times). For sure the whole deal is heartbreaking….


Anyhow, Auburn please get over yourself, stay in your lane and LET THEM FISH. Thank you.


Love this pic because Matt seems to be like, “Shoot yeah I’m cooler!”

Disclaimer: If I don’t know something important here, pls lmk.


If any other schools aren’t LETTING ‘EM FEESH, pls lmk.

Bass fishing helped free that ship!
Wow amazing, who knew! First, a Berkley Dredger was employed on the shore…
…and then one of Ike’s several surplus Bass Cats was used as a tow vehicle:
Hahahahaha good job to ’em!


2. Josh Bertrand gets TrueTimber camo.


With all this camo, pretty soon it’s gonna be tough to see any pros out on the lake lol.


3. How Brandon Card fishes a squarebill.


In his case it’s the Yo-Zuri 3DB Squarebill 1.5, and only red ones because of his chin fur:

Okay he uses non-red colors too…and don’t be forgettin’ that literally all of Yo-Zuri’s colors are shweeet….


4. 4 MLFers helped clean up a Marine’s yard.

Outstanding in every way, especially doing yard work in tourney jerseys. Seriously tho, awesome and Lord please bless Kamron Slaydon and all our current and ex Armed Forces men and women and their families. You folks are DEEPLY appreciated!


I did hear one of the pros didn’t do a lick of work and was just ordering everyone around. Can you guess who?


HAHAHA kiddin’!


5. Does Gerald Swindle wear Squatch boots when a-fishin’??


I think so?

6. SC: 2022 Classic will be on Hartwell.


Was kinda hoping they’d have it in the summer again, but back to March. All 3 guys who have won a Classic there – Alton Jones, Casey Ashley and Jordan Lee – won’t be in this’n.


7. AL: Smith Open now in Oct.


Sooooo much flooding there that Smith Lake itself is actually floating….


8. TX: 15.47 weighed in a Fork tourney.

Tanner Spurgin at the Bass Champs Mega Bass. Daaaaaaang mang congrats!


9. T-H Marine buys BHP Marine.


Anchors, dock lines ‘n such.


10. BRP will have an electric everything by 2026.


Not sure if that includes Evinrude, but it’s implied?


11. Gill is going after Left Coast fishermen.


12. Tackle Warehouse spring sale is ON!

Lines of the Day


Couple head-scratchers to me, from here:


> Right now we have a great advantage over the largemouth in our area because we know they need a full moon to move up to the bank and spawn.


> The moon is a critical factor when fishing the spawn because it makes the fish want to go shallow even if it is too early so it makes them easier to catch.

On right now… 


> Lowen and top Pickwick baits, Learn from your swim jig, Released fish tougher?


> How Bill Lowen won the Pickwick Elite


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


For “regular” swim-jigs and finesse. Love to see the ol’ curltail grub for finesse swim-jiggin’ – that bait is deadly and I STILL don’t fish it enough even tho I used to kill ’em with it…why is that?? Anyhow:

Quote of the Day
“You need to fish in his boat – I’ll have NO PROBLEM finding someone to fish with in our boat.”
– Bahahahaha! That’s Amanda McComas, wife of our Target Walleye (like the BB but about junk fish ) main man Brett McComas talkin’, when he told her he’d be fishing a tourney with someone else. That’s what happens when you marry a hardcore angler fellas! Sounds like ol’ Brett’s in a no-win deal….
Shot of the Day
How ’bout this shot of Lake Fork guide James Caldemeyer’s 10-05 – how healthy does that ditchie look man wow:
Still available free on YouTube are the Missing 411 movies. Links to ’em below but a serious word of warning: If you watch ’em, you might look at the wilderness differently…maybe a lot differently. They are not about bigfoot, UFOs or anything else like that, and they are not graphic in any way. Just an ex-cop looking at wilderness disappearances (that the fed gov’t doesn’t want us to know about – for real) and the patterns he finds with them:


Missing 411


Missing 411: The Hunted

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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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