Finesse football jigging, Best cold weather clothes, Pigs of the week

Assuming you heard they found Nik and he’d already passed on. Guess the closure is good in a way, but I know his family and all of us would’ve loved to seen him back home.

From what the FL FWC (DNR) said, sounds like the boat ejected the guys in the morning rather than on the way back to check-in. If so, that’s a long time in waves, wind and cold water. Tough to think about….

Here again are the GoFundMes for Nik’s family — one and two. The love and effort from the bassin’ community (which is what we really are) was #stoutly awesome. Bless you guys.

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

Today’s Top 5

Heeeeeeere piggy piggy melons of the week!

Airboat bassin’ in the Stick Marsh area, FL, got “haulinbass” this chubby pre-spawner “on a swimbait in 7′ [with a] cold front passing.” That doesn’t happen every day:

Ott DeFoe tied on some Christmas tree ornaments and got him a fatty at the Chick:

Dang, check this IN pond bass! Couldn’t believe bass in IN got that big, but guess the state record is 14+?? Caught on a YUM Dinger. Not sure what color, but if you’re gonna get you some Dingers make sure you get Elder’s Magic = killer.

Lovin’ this shot of Brent Reliford — dude looks stoked, worn out and satisfied all at the same time, and we’ve all been there mang! Smashed that watery melon on a Kistler Rods Helium 3 MAD 7′ 11″ whompin’ stick:

Windin’ ‘er up with this shot, which should be called: When you know it’s on like…parmesan or a hair salon or…something. Anyhow, word is they were Yo-Zuri 3DR and 3DB cranks. My only question is, where do you keep all those fish til you take the pic??

“I couldn’t tell you how many crankbaits I own, but it’s certainly in the thousands. I love them.” 

Elitist Jared Lintner talkin’, and we ALL know what he means…tho in my case it’s soft-plastics. And frogs. And jigs. And okay I guess crankbaits too.

Actual pic of a younger Jared about to walk into his bud Rich’s place, a little spot called Tackle Warehouse:

“Bass fishing is…shirts with sponsor patches to rival those worn by NASCAR drivers and 150 mph professionally-rigged bass boats.” 

– Dang, whose rig hits 150 mph?? If I had to guess, it’d be Cana-dee-an JP DeRose — check his rig:

Quote from here.

What I wear in cold weather. 

Every winter I see random posts asking what to wear in cold weather. I’m a skinny (ish) guy, don’t like the cold much, wife won’t let me move to FL I guess cuz there’s too many fish there…. Dang, got off track hahaha!

Okay so here’s what I wear to keep warm — arrived at through years of fishing/hunting and a TON of trial/erroring gear in cold weather, including the pouring rain.

Few things I shoot for:

  • Even though I’m incredibly muscular (LOL), I like the lightest gear I can find that still keeps me warm.
  • Along those lines, I always layer up. Don’t like big bulky jackets and pants. Rather have 3 less-bulky layers than 1 fat, warm, blubberous layer (is that a word Mercer?).
  • Handwarmers (also for feet) can be key BUT I don’t like to use ’em unless I have to. When I do, they’re on the back of my hands, not the palms.
  • Merino wool is the shizzle. Hands down the best. Keeps you warm but not too warm, and — bonus — cuts down on B-O. Try that, polyester!
  • You get what you pay for so don’t skimp mang!
  • Gotta look good to feel good! I try not to look like a dang nerd…but sometimes can’t help it lol.

Here we go:

Baselayers (undies)Merino wool baselayers by Icebreaker. No one else I’ve found makes a merino baselayer that doesn’t shrink in the dryer (you can’t dry it on high tho), doesn’t pill badly and doesn’t fall apart. #winner

SocksFarm to Feet. Andy Montgomery, who’s a big dude, tackled me so hard in a pickup hoops game (yep, tackled) that he felt sorry for me and gave me some…socks. I was like, oooooooooo-kay? They were those Farm to Feet socks and they rock mang! Seriously — merino, warm and comfy. Can’t do synthetics on the feet cuz they make my feet sweat…. Who knew I’d have favorite socks one day.

Layers (upper body) — Some or all of these:

  • Icebreaker merino vest
  • Simms Axis Hoodie — The BEST hoodie I’ve ever owned…and it better be for $200!
  • BassBlaster black hoodie — Wearing it right now and wear it so much that it bothers my wife and kids, which I love. $40 all day long.
  • High-quality synthetic (because it doesn’t lose loft when wet) insulation vest or jacket — Used to wear Patagonia cuz it’s really good but then it became a fashion deal so I ditched it. North Face Thermoball is really good, but you can find other stuff too.
OuterwearSimms all the way. Not saying others ain’t good, but so far for me their stuff is the lightest and best. Outerwear in cool/cold boats or even from the bank is gonna be their rainwear. It’s expensive, so gotta save up for it. Pick your fave depending on what you like, but if I can get away with it I’m using the Vapor Elite jacket over a bunch of layers.

Neck and head — You can lose a lot of body heat here, so this is super-important. Been testing out the new BUFF cold-weather stuff and I’m sold on:

Gloves — Tough cuz everyone’s hands are different shapes, and sometimes, in my experience, I need to switch out gloves over the course of a day. Couple faves are:

  • Any half-finger wool gloves — here’s some made by Simms.
  • Simms Skeena Waterproof Gloves — These feel like rubber or neoprene, not sure what they are. I like ’em because they fit tight so they almost feel like fingers and are weirdly warm unless it’s insanely cold…in which case there’s a TV and chix wings.

I do wear pants (heehee) but didn’t bother mentioning ’em cuz you wear what you like. Same with shoes or boots. If it’s wet, mine are Gore-Tex.

“I get a feeling before making a cast and I know what’s fixing to happen.” 

Randall Tharp talkin’. I get a feeling too, just…guessing it ain’t the same feelin’ as Tharp tho. More like I’m spacin’ out a bit and then:


1. TN: Bass team advisor missing on Center Hill.

Advisor to the Tennessee Tech bassin’ team. Article says folks found his boat and life jacket. Hope he’s okay….

2. Casey Ashley gets Realtree.


3. Brandon Palaniuk gets Mossy Oak.


Here’s his latest vid, in which he says he’s been fishing for 22 years. Those must be dog years because don’t think he’s that old yet? Btw, his vids are outstanding.

4. B-Rock Mosley gets Bill Lewis.

> …promoting the brands Rat-L-Trap, StutterStep, Echo 1.75 and there are talks of new products to come.

Trivia: Brock’s from MS, same as founder Bill Lewis.

5. Zona calls Combs a “big bass hunter.”

Not sure if he’s referring to Keith’s physique or the bass’s (hahaha Z and Combs! wonder if they’re both self-conscious now….) but either way you need to watch this weekend to find out:

6. Zaldains get Santone.

Chris said he liked their “skirts.” I was like, “You like skirts?” He said: “Yeah, secretly, for a while.” I was like, “I hope we’re talking about bass baits right now.” He said, “What do you mean?” I just left it there.

HAHAHA! Okay, says he’s been flipping Santone jigs for a while, loves their components, thinks it gives him more confidence and said Trait kept stealing his stuff so….

My fave line from the release:

> The Zaldains don’t agree on much, but both agree that Santone is the best jig company in the business….

7. Elite rookie Bill Weidler gets Battle Born Batteries.

Never heard of ’em. Check their website here.

8. TX: Phil Marks cranks Rayburn again for another win.

Q: Does Phil Marks know how to fish anything other than a crankbait? A: Doesn’t matter cuz that’s all he needs, seems like — on Rayburn anyhow. Phil’s the guy who won the 2012 FLW Open on Rayburn with a prototype Strike King 10XD, and last weekend won again there with the 10XD (18-24′) and an 8XD (16-19′).

The 8XD was on 12-lb fluoro, 16-lb for the 10XD, and he used chartreuse powder blue back early and splatterback later. More deets from FLW:

> “I don’t think the water temperature on Sam Rayburn has been below 55 in a few years, so the fish were really lethargic.

> “It’s funny — just about every bite was on the initial descent or when the bait was up under the boat. I started making shorter casts so I could maximize my time in those strike zones.”

That whole thing sounds bizarre, props to him for figuring it out — though what choice did he have because he only cranks XDs hahaha!

Notable: Todd Castledine finished 9th.

9. Abu now a big-time B.A.S.S. sponsor.

Sister company Berkley has been one.

10. NJ: USO will benefit from auction THIS WEEKEND.

USO = United [military] Service Organization. Will go down at the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show Jan 13-14 at the Raritan Center, auction on Saturday at 2:30. Sounds like The Bass Federation (TBF), MegaStrike and the Bergen Bassmasters are behind it. #stout

11. TX: ‘Trap Open THIS WEEKEND on Rayburn.

12. MN: New bass regs at a few lakes.

Looks like mostly slots maybe cuz a lot of meat anglers in MN?

13. ID: Bass most popular on Coeur d’Alene.

Northern pike 2nd!? Believe Coeur d’Alene is pronounced “Core deLane.”

14. Distributor Maurice out of financial trouble?

15. New Seaguar Pink Label Fluoro.

Not on TW yet:

> “…the biggest advantage of Seaguar Pink Label is its higher visibility out of the water, particularly in low light conditions…it will share the proven low-visibility characteristics of Seaguar Premier or Blue Label once under water….”

Believe it’s just leader lengths for now, but sounds like it might be good for spawning fish, weightless soft-plastics and some other stuff.

16. Rojas’ SPRO Spit Shad comes in golden shiner.

Oh snap lookit that thing! Pretty sure Dean uses a hand model for these shots:

Here they are on TW. Blueback herring color looks sick too.

17. Is this a killer color ‘Trap or what?

Called “black bone nova,” never seen it before. Looks like bassin’ dynamite, a good bluegill imitator and smallie color:

Don’t see that color on TW, but I do see it on the ‘Trap website tho the pic doesn’t do it justice.

Btw, here’s ‘Trap/Bill Lewis head dude Wes Higgins talkin’ in a short vid about how the ‘Trap got its name.

18. T-H Marine Atlas Awards program is back.

Sign up to win some $$! Ain’t just about Atlas Jack Plates either, here’s the rest of the T-H stuff eligible for payouts:

Lid of the Day

Johnny Crews was a-sellin’ these outta his Missile bait shack — pretty dang funny!

Tip of the Day

How Clark Wendlandt fishes a finesse football jig…

…this time of year. Good vid from the FLWer, check out the hookset: You don’t have to “cross their eyes” every time, and maybe not most times. Experiment with hooksets — don’t be afraid to lose a fish or two to figure something out (failure is okay! Kumar tip learned from experience lol):

Clark’s using a 1/2-oz Strike King Tour Grade Finesse Football Jig and a 3/4-oz regular-size Football Jig with a Rage Craw, all gp, and 12-lb fluorocarbon.

Quote of the Day

It’s not like you have to change them every day….

David Fritts talkin’ ’bout the Berkley Fusion trebles on his signature cranks in this vid. Uh yeah…of COURSE we all change ’em out every day, right fellers??

Shot of the Day


That tree-lookin’ frowg’s on a BOOYAH Pad Crasher, and I’d be trimmin’ those legs if it was me….

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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