DeFoe’s and Daniels’ baits, 41-lb limit!! What baits should be banned…

Quick NJ Wuhan update — I think my 16-yr-old daughter has it. She wasn’t around anyone who’s had it that we’re aware of so who knows. Pretty much the symptoms you hear about, friends of ours here in NJ have had the same: started with little “dilution at the rear,” if you know what I mean, then bad headaches, also a little achy, a little coughing. Doesn’t seem to go in a straight line. My bud’s deal lasted about a week. Hopeful it stays relatively mild and we all get it so mildly…or not at all, symptom-wise. The Lord’s given me peace about it so…I just have to receive it!

Huge THANK YOU to everyone out there working. We had a possible furnace carbon monoxide issue (crazy timing), and the dude had to come into our house in a full bio suit with glasses and a mask to test it. Ultra grateful for him, and for all of you still out there serving all of us. Bless you folks.

Here’s a little info from a Nobel prize scientist — a more-rational perspective than most. Stay safe peeps! Now back to bassin’….

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

Today’s Top 5

How Ott DeFoe won the Fork-Athens BPT.

Too much info for here, full pattern/baits story is on the Blaster website. Here’s the bait info:

Fork baits — fish were spawn and pre-spawn:

> “…pink wacky worm…wanted something that wasn’t natural. I felt like everyone down there throws a wacky worm in watermelon or green pumpkin, so I wanted something other than that. So I went pink.”

> Bass Pro Shops Fin-Eke Worm (pink), #1 VMC Weedless Neko Hook, 7′ 1″ M BPS Johnny Morris Platinum Rod, BPS Platinum size 30 spinning reel, 10-lb BPS Hyper Braid to 6-8′ 12-lb BPS XPS fluoro leader.

> “The swimbait is something I’ve used on beds before. Sometimes it really gets ’em aggravated.”

> 4″ swimbait (shad), 5/0 VMC Tokyo Rig wide gap hook, 1/4-oz Swagger Tungsten weight, 7′ 1″ MH BPS JM Platinum Rod, BPS JM Platinum Reel (8.4), 40-lb BPS Hyper Braid to 2.5′ of 17-lb XPS fluoro.

> “The Tokyo Rig with that little dropper keeps that swimbait right off the bottom. It’s not something I’ve done a lot — I think those are the first ones I’ve ever weighed in competition on it.”

Athens baits — his fish were post-spawn:

> Rapala DT10 (Biggs shad, new ICAST-debut color ^), 7’6″ MH BPS cranking stick, BPS JM Platinum Reel (6.8), 12-lb BPS XPS fluoro.

He swapped the stock trebles with #4 VMC Hybrid Trebles:

> “It’s a hook I’ve got a lot of confidence in. I don’t use a treble-hook bait without that hook on it. A #3 is coming [possibly ICAST] which is what I’ll use in the future.”

> Finesse wakebait (black back/foil sides with VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble), 6′ 6″ M BPS CarbonLite Rod, BPS CarbonLite Reel (6.8), 40-lb BPS braid to 17-lb BPS Excel mono leader.

> 3/8-oz bucktail jig (white), 7′ M BPS JM Platinum Rod, BPS JM Platinum Reel (6.8), 12-lb BPS XPS fluoro.

ALL the deets on the BB website here. Gotta shout out 3 deals:

1. This is the first top-level win where the Tokyo Rig factored. Could it really replace a bunch of TX rigs? Sorta like the Chatterbait replaced a bunch of spinnerbaitin’…?

2. Ott says that bass for-real focus on VMC bladed trebles so it’s not just hype:

> “One key — I should’ve done differently looking back, lesson learned — was using the VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble. I was putting the Bladed Hybrid Treble on the back of it, and I could actually watch the fish target that back blade. I should’ve put it on all 3 of them. They would target that one, which caused me to miss some because they were only targeting the back of the bait…dumb on my part. No question that bladed hook was getting the bites.”

3. He fished one of several not yet released DT colors. Believe that one was developed in a DIFFERENT top-secret TN lab, not the one in/under Ott’s garage…. Feels good to out that below-ground thing, here’s how I found out:

5 Qs with the champ.

This mic on? Okay cool, here we go:

1. Why did you wait til the last minute to win this thing? Were you just messin’ with the fellas?

I’m really not a fan of drama but it did make a better story that way.

2. Now that you’ve won all these tourneys, you think you maybe need or deserve a more deadly nickname — like “mako” or “cape buffalo”? Or staying in the weasel family, how ’bout “wolverine” — Wolverine DeFoe?

The thing people don’t understand with otters is that that they’re one of the few animals that catches fish just for the sport of it. All other predators…only do it cuz they’re hungry. Otters actually do it for the fun of it.

[Not sure he answered the Q but it’s a good answer! Don’t know if this is a sign, but Ott dressed up as the Wolverine for a photo shoot last year:]

3. Sea otters keep a rock in their pouch to bang their food on. You keep anything in your pocket when yer a-fishin’?

ChapStick. And this time of year, allergy eyedrops.

[Guess Ott doesn’t identify as a sea otter….]

4. How much of this whole winning deal has to do with that secret Area 51 bassin’ lab you have in your garage, where the illegal boats and stuff are made?

Illegal boats, tweaks on baits, new colors…a lot of it.

5. If you didn’t have crankbaits, would you even fish?

No. If you ain’t crankin’, you ain’t thinkin’.

There you go! Gitcha feet bare and yer crankbaits tricked, and git er done!

How MDJ “won” Fork.

Wellllll sorta “won” it. He fer sher slayed ’em there, part the area and part how he fished. Here’s a little from the full deal on the BB website plus his bait info:

> …trying to be as quiet as I possibly could…always utilizing Power-Poles [8′ Blades]. That Garmin Force trolling motor is so quiet…on low and constantly Power-Poling down. I was minimizing trolling motor noise and chopping up grass. I made sure to try to creep along.
> “Another thing…had my HydroWave on. I more or less used it as a distraction…walking around the boat, the boat official, any noise you might generate with your boat, the HydroWave puts out ‘positive distraction noise.’ Anytime I’m shallow, I have it on. …love the pattern called ‘bait blitz.'”

> Floating worm (merthiolate) — “It’s just an old-school color…growing up on the CA Delta, it’s always been a springtime thing.”

> 4/0 Owner All Purpose Worm Hook — “That’s key…the [wire] gauge and size of that hook. …if you use a heavier-gauge hook, it will get down [8-12″] more natural on its own.”
> 7′ 2″ MH Favorite Hex Spinning Rod, BPS Johny Morris Platinum 3000 Reel, 15-lb Seaguar prototype braid — “it’s a bright pink color we’re testing” — to 10- and 12-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro leader. Leader length was 7′ — he likes a leader the length of the rod.

> Flip bait — “All those fish caught off beds, all but 2 came on a prototype [Z-Man Elaztech] craw [gp — he didn’t want to show the bait yet]…don’t even have a name for it yet. I had 4 of them and [mistakenly] broke the claws off 2. I caught 17 bass over 2 days on one.

> “It’s a 4-inch craw-style bait that has 2 big oversized pinchers on it that swim [and floats]. It’s not ribbed [like a Beaver but has] subtle ribs, It holds a big flipping hook very well, but the action is what separates it from any others out there.”

> 3/0 Owner Jungle Flippin Hook, 3/8-oz Woo Tungsten weight, 25-lb Seaguar Flippin Fluoro: “I was flipping reeds and bushes, and it’s Lake Fork where any given hookset is an 8- to 10-lber.” 8′ flip stick, high-speed reel. He also flipped a Z-Man Turbo Crawz (gp, pictured).

He caught a couple on a 1/2-oz Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap (46R red crawfish) with #4 Owner ST-56 Short-Shank Trebles, 17-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro, 6′ 8″ BPS JM Platinum Reel, 7′ MH Favorite Rush Rod.

Watch the whole thing go down on MDJ’s YouTube channel — here’s the link.

41-lb limit!!!

Kinda makes it a double bummer the Chickamauga Elite was canceled. Here’s Cory Vetten and Kevin Drake with a 41.10-lb 5-fish limit at the Chattanooga Bass Association tourney there — also had ’em the 12.32-lb big fish:

Didn’t see any bait info. 2nd place had a stout — but distant — 26.94.

Sounds like from the trail’s FB page they took some great precautions for the launch and weigh-in.

What 1 bait or technique should be banned from tourneys?

We went around the Classic askin’ some pros what they’d ban if they could and:


1. Some Covid stuff.

Startin’ with a representation of what the virus is doing to the carefully constructed Elite and BPT schedules:

Brunswick (including Merc) is shutting down. Yamaha too. Prolly everyone sooner or later.

Lot of derbies rescheduled in TX, I’m sure everywhere else too.

Tackle Warehouse is/not shutting down.

At first me ‘n the Rangers were like:

But then we read:

> Our customer service and fulfillment departments will remain open, and we will continue to do our best to get all orders out promptly.

Yeeeeeaaaaahoooo! Be safe TW peeps! (BassBlaster HQ will remain open…unless I get it, then we’ll still be open just not sure how much will be goin’ on….)

NJ tackle shops doing curbside pickup. Saltwater but I’m sure it’s comin’ to bassin’ if it hasn’t already….

AR says no licenses needed for spring break. ME and maybe some other states are suspending license requirements too.

Other than that, a little amazed how many pro bass-heads are fishin’ for crappie. I know they taste good, but it’s like pulling waterlogged Pop-Tarts outta a kiddie pool man…. Hahaha! I said it!

2. Our new normal’s just normal for Elitist Cliff Pirch.

> “I’m a germaphobe to begin with because I get sick so severely when I catch things. So getting gas using hand sanitizer, Clorox-wiping motel rooms or rental houses, and keeping a safe distance is pretty normal for me. It’s the folks that don’t normally pay attention to that stuff that are having to do things a little differently.”

Normally that’d be great stuff for messin’ with him a little, but not right now….

3. How J Lee figured out Fork (Insta vid).

First time he was there.

4. What Luke Clausen found at Fork.

NEED some! But a different color:

5. Did Mike McClelland make it?

Weird photo angle makes it look a little tougher than it maybe was? Either way a little risky man:

6. UT: Couple dudes charged with cheating…

…I think in 2018? From the article:

> …charged in Kane County’s 6th District Court with bribery or threat to influence a contest, a third-degree felony; unlawful release of wildlife, a class A misdemeanor; and unlawful captivity of protected wildlife, a class B misdemeanor.

> UT [DNR] conservation officers received a report of the illegal activity on Oct 21, 2018…. Organizers of a 2-day Lake Powell largemouth bass fishing tournament noticed that some fish turned in…looked much different from the other bass being turned in during the tournament.

> “Some of the largemouth bass they’d turned in had little heads and fatter bodies, indicating a different diet than the fish at Lake Powell, which were more lean,” DWR Lt. Paul Washburn said. “The fish also had red fins, which indicated they had undergone some stress.”

Here’s a pic of one of those red-finned bass:

> These fish put the men in 2nd place after the 1st day of the tournament, and also gave them the prize of the overall biggest fish.

> During the investigation, conservation officers also learned that the men had taken 1st, 2nd or 3rd place at 8 other bass fishing tournaments earlier that year.

7. Sports Illustrated covered the MLF tourney.

Sorta a virus take on it —, not the magazine.

8. TX: 15+ lb floater found on Nacogdoches.

9. MO: Guy’s boat sinks on Ozarks, he survives.

Great to hear, good job on that PFD:

> The Lake water temperature is about 48 degrees currently. But Barton was wearing a life jacket and was able to escape unharmed.

10. Ike Foundation scholly app deadline is Apr 1.

11. AL: Live-baitin’ tip might help us too?

Guide talkin’ ’bout fishing below Wilson Dam on Pickwick:

> When fishing with live shad…sometimes attaches a small splitshot sinker to the line to hold the bait near the bottom in swift current. Ideally, the bait should hover just off the bottom and move downstream at the same speed as the water flow.

> “I match the weight to the current flow. I want the bait to flow along with the current just off the bottom. If I use too much weight, it will stay hung up. If I don’t use enough weight, the bait will float above the strike zone.”

12. KY: Chinese carp-related businesses coming.

Delayed right now because of the Wuhan but:

> The International Fisheries Industrial Park is being built near Wickliffe, KY next to carp-processor Two Rivers Fisheries. Lots have already been sold to several Chinese-based businesses, including those that will use fish waste products for fertilizer and purveyors of smoked and dried food products.

Headline of the Day

Chapman, Coulter Scored With Non-Visible Fish

Not sure if “non-visible” and “invisible” are the same thing? Can you weigh a non-visible fish??

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

Ticky-Tacky-Toe Bassin’ spring jerkbaitin’ tips.

Some gems in this deal, especially the part about SLACK. Don’t be afraid of slack! Not only can you catch up to a bait quick — most of us sometimes too quick — check the underwater footage of how long it takes (sometimes) someone to realize a fish is on there…and they still catch it:

Here’s the full vid:

Quote of the Day

“…those guys are so humble and giving of their time. They want to share with everybody, and they’re just good ol’ boys.”

– KS B.A.S.S. Nation conservation director Steve Hausler talkin’ ’bout the pros who were feeshn the Classic and at the Classic Expo. I’d say yes, MOST of ’em are good…heehee kiddin’ fellers!

That’s 100% true about the guys. They’re regular dudes — but NOT regular fishermen….

Shot of the Day

Would you fish this or not? Ultra-TIGHT abalone swimbait by @ds.customz:



Chris Wells, the Bass Chaplain, has been posting that he’d love to talk to anyone about anything and/or pray with you. Here’s his #: 864-414-9453.

If you’ve got fear, uncertainty or anything at all hittin’ you hard and want to talk to a guy who knows Jesus and bass fishing — and has more energy than 20 mules on Red Bull — call or text him.

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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