Dropshot dominated Costa, What Russ Lane is fishing, Finesse jigging

Today’s Top 4

“The fish are seeing 100 baits a day.” 

Alton Jones talkin’ ’bout when the Elites fish smaller ponds that fish small. Dang, could that be true? If so, I’m guessin’ Guntersville bass see like 1,000 baits a day!

But seriously…at that point it probly ain’t about makin’ ’em eat. Need to make ’em mad. But Alton says:

> Essentially, you have to carve out a manageable area and figure out how to catch every fish within that space. And when you’ve exhausted your area, it’s important to go more finessey than the next guy.

Fish get picky and are like:

Champlain Costa Top 10 baits breakdown. 

MI dude Ron Nelson won it by 1 lb over some northeasterners (mostly) with 54-09. As usual, just brown fish wouldn’t do it — a mix was the deal. Word was Champlain was tougher than normal, so guess that’s why Nelson finessed the heck outta ’em:

> For smallmouths, Nelson primarily fished a Poor Boy’s Erie Darter on a small jighead. For largemouths, the Michigan angler used a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver on a jighead as well as a wacky-rigged 4-inch Yamamoto Senko.

> Nelson fished for smallmouths mostly in the main lake between Plattsburgh and Carry Bay, but he caught his largemouths in The Gut, Carry Bay and far north near Rouses Point.

Here’s how the top 10 looked — bear in mind most fish weighed were brown:

Dropshot = 70%Jackall Crosstail Shad = 30%, Keitech Swing Impact = 20%

Callin’ out GA’s Shayne McFarlin (6th), the only southern boy in the top 10, who caught spawning smallmouths dropshotting a 3.5″ Keitech Swing Impact (sight flash) and fishing a finesse ball-head jig rig: a 3/8-oz 2K Jigs Power Lock Ball Jig painted chartreuse with a 3.8″ Keitech FAT:

Also, VT’s Tom Lavictoire Jr. (3rd) is a stud on that lake so pay attention to what he was doing. If he fessed up truthfully, he dropshotted a Crosstail Shad and flipped a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw:

Finesse jig = 40% — Either a soft-plastic on a jighead or a small jig.

Flip plastic = 40% — Some was sight-fishing.

Senko = 30% — All were Yammy Senkos.

Swimbait = 20% — Small ones.

Jerkbait, Spinbait = 10% each

Another MI guy, Scott Dobson, was the only one to fish hard baits — a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 (looks like chartreuse shad) and DUO Realis Spinbait 90 (prism gill):

Heard the derby had 194 boats??

What Russ Lane is fishing now. 

Actually what he’ll be doing soon:

> We’re getting close to the time of year when the Elite Series heads north. That means fun fishing and if it’s a lake with good largemouths then I really get pumped. My two favorite things to do are skip boat docks and flip any kind of matted grass. Largemouths key on shade up north and those are the two most dominant covers that provide it.

> I really like the new Buckeye PitchnSkip Jig [which he designed] with a Big Bite Real Deal Craw for skipping docks. The jig has a short but stout Gamakatsu hook and flat-bottom head that when paired with a bulky trailer like the Real Deal Craw is super-easy to skip. 1/2- and 3/8-oz are good choices and color doesn’t matter as long as it’s green and purple.

> When flipping matted grass up there I use the same craw in the same “sprayed grass” color and pair it with a 1.5-oz Hawg Tech Tungsten Weight. The best mats are usually dry and scummy with lots of bream popping underneath. Quiet but quick long pitches seem to get the most bites.

> Whichever technique you go with just remember, it’s all about the shade.

Dock-pitch setup: 7′ 2″ MH Denali Kovert rod, Daiwa Tatula R reel (6.3), 20-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro.

Mat setup: 7′ 11″ Denali Lithium rod (Russ: “the best mat rod I’ve ever used”), Daiwa Tatula R (6.3) with Hawg Tech Carbon Fiber Hawg Handle, 60lb Sunline FX2 braid.

“Miss it by a couple of feet and all you’ll get is exercise.” 

J-Lee talkin’ in a dang good post about precise bait placement. But the exercise part…not sure how many calories that’ll burn. Turns out his definitions of exercise include:

Unscrewing the top off one of these…

…and watching the Shake It Off aerobics vid over and over (which is pretty dang hilarious):

He and Matt now have serious 6-pack abs, and told me they learned how to get ’em from these guys:

Hahaha Lee bros!


1. KVD says ‘lectronics don’t spook bass.

> I’ve also heard some anglers talk about turning off their electronics when around fish, claiming that the constant “pinging” sound coming from the transducer will spook the fish.

> I’ve never seen that. In fact, I’ve watched bass swim casually by my boat when I was in shallow water with the two depthfinders pinging away.

> In my mind, my electronics are too critical so I’d rather take the chance of spooking a few fish than go without them.

Okay but how ’bout when there’s 30 spectator boats pingin’ the spot?

2. New Swindle junk jig.

Not sure why they didn’t call it that, but it’s the Buckeye Lures G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig, a “multi-purpose jig.” Here ’tis in watermelon red:

Check all the new stuff on TW here. And btw Pop-Rs on sale TODAY only!

3. Watch out for Cliff Prince’s son.

Syler won the TBF Jr FL state championship on the St Johns River, and will be fishing the TBF Jr World Champeenship on Lake Wateree, SC in August:

Dang a better fisherman AND better-lookin’ than his dad…seriously….

4. Rapala bait designer Mark Fisher retiring.

What?? Dang! Fish retiring is like this guy leaving the chocolate biz:

Who’s gonna take care of the oompa-loompas man?

Found this pic of fish — fits! lol Fish!

5. NC: Dude using size to his advantage.

Marketing-wise, that is. Khris Williams is 4′ 1″ and is catching ’em! The fish don’t care who’s holding the rod, mang!

6. TX: 2 guys arrested for alleged cheating.

Can’t figure it out exactly but here you go:

> Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens arrested two men last week in connection to allegations that they worked together to fraudulently claim a cash prize at the BassCashBash tournament on Sam Rayburn lake back in March.

> Joe Carl Loftin Jr., 58, of Diboll, and Tanner Neal, 23, of Chester, were both arrested and charged with third-degree felony fraud in a freshwater fishing tournament with a prize more than or equal to $10,000.

> According to the arrest affidavit…Loftin tried to claim a prize in the BassCashBash tournament on March 11. He allegedly took two polygraph tests, and they both showed he was being deceptive.

7. KY/TN: SC kids win B.A.S.S. HS Champeenship.

On KY Lake. South Florence High School’s Tommy Floyd Jr. and James Gibbons had 43-03 over 2 days, pretty darn stout. Not only that:

> Before [day 1]…Floyd contracted a gastrointestinal infection and taken to the emergency room…Gibbons had to fish by himself that morning.

> The team got a break when a forecast of severe weather from tropical storm Cindy caused tournament officials to postpone the second day….

Caught ’em on ledges in 22-23′ deep with a 3/4-oz Go Get Em Jig and Strike King Rage Craw, both in gp.

8. CA: WR spotted bass vid, cast to catch.

Dude was fishing from the back of the boat. Is it even legal to catch a record fish from the back deck?? lol

9. AR: Here’s a $50K fish.

Officer Ricky Cantrell won the Simmons Big Bass Bonanza with that 6.76. Caught it on a 3/8-oz crappie-colored Jig Sooie swim jig. Has a baby on the way and is donating some of the $$$ to his church. #stout

10. New prez for Bass Pro boat division.

It’s Randy Hopper!

Hahaha gotcha bass biz peeps! Kidding:

> Les Crawford is the new president of White River Marine Group, which until now was known as Tracker Marine. Crawford succeeds Bass Pro president and COO Jim Hagale, who led the division along with his other duties since 2009. Hagale will stay with Bass Pro, working with the retail side and merger with Cabela’s.

11. New Freedom Swing Buzz Buzzbait.

ICAST debut:

> …Freedom swing hook technology anglers can now completely customize their buzzbait…available in 7/16-oz and 4 colors.

12. CA: Bass Pro Shots donates 500 rods to at-risk kids.

Love to hear that….

Tip of the Day

Jim Eakins talkin’ finesse jiggin’.

I don’t do this much (or ever) but it sounds interesting and different. If you recognize the name, Jim came up with the Eakins jig Jewel Baits used to sell:

> In the mid-1990s, Eakins wanted to create a jig that he thought best imitated a crawfish. The result was a 5/16-ounce, round head jig that, when paired with 10-pound fluorocarbon line, sank at the same rate as a live crawfish.

> …pitch or flip the jig close to the cover as quietly as possible, let it fall on a slack line, then once on the bottom he will reel in the slack and begin crawling it slowly back to the boat. Fish will sometimes follow the jig without striking, so he crawls it until it is under the boat, then hops it before bringing it up….

> A slack line is crucial to making the jig appear as natural as possible. When he feels a fish, he will jerk straight back, careful not to break the light line. Eakins leaves the reel’s drag fairly loose to prevent line breakage.

> …says the most difficult part of finesse flipping and pitching is feeling a strike. There’s no “thump” to speak of most of the time. The strike is very subtle as fish pick it up and start swimming with it, so watch the line for any sign of movement. If something feels different during the retrieve, set the hook!

> …Eakins says he has landed many 7- and 8-lb fish out of the heaviest cover using his lighter tackle. If you cannot get a lunker out of the cover, he advises that you simply hang on, motor over and dig the fish out.

> 6′ 10″ MH rod optimized for this technique…with 10-lb Seaguar fluorocarbon….

Seaguar now makes a Finesse Fluorocarbon that sounds dang good for this technique.

Quote of the Day

They’re fun because you’re not stressing about getting five bites….

– The one and only KVD talkin’ ’bout headin’ up to smallie country. So…Elite largie derbies are stressful? And not fun? And Kevin worries about getting 5 bites??

Not saying that’s a sign of the world coming to an end, but man when I read it I was like:

Shot of the Day

Dave Mercer shot. Uh, Dave, think it’s time to be headin’ to the ramp dude:


States with the fattest pets.

So many gems here — just a few for ya:

> …found nearly the opposite patterns for people and pets: LA, AL and MS — which have some of the nation’s highest rates of human obesity — all ranked in the bottom 5 states for overweight or obese pets. [So…what is the correlation between top bassin’ states and pet weight??]

> Topping the list for both chunky dogs and fat cats: MN… [Hahaha!]

> …the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)…. [You’ve got to be kidding me.]

Sign up another bass-head!

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Use the best!

Git on these yo!

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Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin’. Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best in bassin’, and is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass.

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