Fish cams now a must? How to make the same cast, Get inside frogs’ heads

Couple deals below about NFLers feeshin’ for the basses so quick story: My daughter and I ran into a couple Jets players the other night at the field she was training at. Steve McLendon’s (DL) truck — blacked out, lifted, the whole deal — made me a little jealous, and I told him so which is how we got to talkin’. DB Marcus Maye was so dang shredded I was like, “Yeah man I used to be be in shape too….” Hahaha! Both were great dudes. We did NOT talk bassin’ — for which I blame myself….

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

Today’s Top 4

Are we at the point where fish cams are a must?

Good question. Been watching underwater cameras for years, wondering if/when they were gonna get to where they’d have a practical, user-friendly bassin’ benefit. Seems like we’re there. So I called Elitist Jeff “Gussmaster” Gustafson — who has one of ’em mounted on his boat — and Q&Ad him a little about it:

What happened at the St. Lawrence with these things?

> “I bet the majority of the top 20 guys were using it [the Aqua-Vu cam]. It’s phenomenal at that place because the water being really clear makes using it better, and the current there keeps the camera under the boat all the time so you can cover a ton of water…can be so much more efficient doing drifts with the camera.

> “…not a lot of big groups [of smallmouths] this time. Last year there were groups 8-12…see them, put a dot on them, drift over them and catch them. But this time…lot of 2 here and 2 there…[cam was] phenomenal for practicing on that body of water.”

What about in largemouth lakes?

> “In a normal lake situation it’s hard to cover that much ground because if you’re trolling and moving too fast, the camera [on a cord] will fall behind. But it’s deadly for catching them out of a brushpile and for species identification.

> “When you don’t catch them, often you can drop the camera down and you’ll see they’re walleyes, suckers ,crappies…makes you more efficient in a lot of ways.

> “It’s not that expensive and has a lot of benefits so I always have one in my boat now.”

Do you use it in every practice for every tournament?

> “No but I probably use it 75% of the time at some point during practice. I don’t know if I’ve ever used it in FL. That said, there’s a little adapter you can put on the end of a pushpole…look under docks and lawydowns….

> “If you’re not fishing deeper, you’re not necessarily using it. But anytime you’re fishing offshore — like at Eufaula, I used it a ton to check brushpiles. It saves burning a fish or 2 in practice….”

When I’m looking at a fish out of the water, I can usually tell within a few oz what it weighs. Is it as easy to tell fish fish size with the camera?

> “…it can be a little bit deceiving because you can see [the fish] from different angles. But like at the St Lawrence…can tell by just the shape of the body on those big ones, the big thick neck, big fins and also the color. That little video clip — no question that’s a big king 5-lber.

> “It takes a little figuring out, but in that clear water you can tell. Same with largemouth. When you drop it down around a brushpile, you have branches and stuff for perspective so it’s pretty easy to tell [size].

> “If you see 5 bass [in/around the brush] they’re all usually the same size. A big one will usually either be by itself or with a few small ones.”

Has it ever helped you to pattern habitat?

> “Absolutely. At Champlain, a lot of big smallmouth were hanging around deep boulders. You’d want to catch one and see if it was a bass — lot of drum were there as well — but you could go and drop [the camera] down [instead].

> “At the river, it was amazing to go over some areas with big, chunky rocks…so good and no fish. But there could be a big sand spot in 30′ of water and that’s where all the fish were. You get a much better sense of what your electronics are telling you.

> “Carl [Jocumsen] said, ‘I learned more in an hour of using this thing than I could in a whole year just using my electronics. It blew my mind.'”

[Here’s a shot of Gussy’s electronics with the same view on the cam:]

> “It’s a pretty efficient tool for someone who’s a serious tournament angler or who wants to learn more about the places they fish. Like why fish are always on this corner of the point or a hump.

> “I do a fair amount of guiding at home, and when the kids in the boat are getting bored and the adults want to fish for couple more hours, I’ll bust the camera out and set [the kids] up to use it and they’re good. It’s fun — you see a lot of stuff with it.”

Okay, if someone wanted to get started with one on their boat, what do you recommend?

> “The Auqu-Vu 7HDi. They make a 10-inch version that’s nice as well, but the 7″ has a big-enough screen for me and is fairly compact. It’s super-easy to use. It comes in a little kit with a battery inside…you can bring it in whatever boat. I have mine mounted in my boat just because I use it a lot.

> “When you find those little gem spots offshore, you don’t need to stand up and fish them in practice [so other guys see you]. Mine’s mounted…so I never have to stand up. It makes you a little bit more sneaky.”


> “We’re going back to the St Lawrence next year — you’re crazy if you don’t have it.”

> “[Some] electronic companies have plugins for it” so you can see the pic on your main screen, not sure about split screen with it.

> Sounds like they’re hoping for a screenshot and/or record function in the future.

“Color does not matter one bit as long as it’s green pumpkin.”

BPTer Jesse Wiggins talkin’. Okay but…no b/b?? Rest of it:

> “Now that’s for deeper fishing. If you’re fishing stained water in the shallows, you need to switch it up, but for deeper stuff green pumpkin, or some variation of it, is what I use. If there’s a bait color they always bite, you might as well throw it.”

Baits breakdown from the Wheeler FLW ‘Yota.

2 weekends ago, some innerestin’ stuff in it. First, congrats to GA’s Kip Carter for winnin’ it by almost 5 big lbs — using a tunnel-hulled tin rig, the same kinda boat B.A.S.S. asked Ott DeFoe never to fish outta gain cuz he was just too danged good in it with his bare feet and all. Kip talkin’:

> “To be able to just run in out of creeks — over those big silted-in flats…without worrying about hitting anything makes it an invaluable tool here on these lakes in the Southeast.

> “Wheeler gets really tough in the summertime. You can catch a few fish in the creeks, but you have to check so many creeks to find out which ones are good. That’s really when getting around in a tunnel comes in handy.”

He stuck to the basics:

> …a 3/8-oz Dirty Jigs buzzbait teamed with a black Zoom Horny Toad, and a 3/8-oz white swim-jig with a Zoom Super Chunk, also white. “The first couple of days the swim-jig was the key player…[day 3] was all about the buzzbait. The wind and clouds probably helped that bite….”

Here’s how all the baits of the top 10 broke down — cool to see the buzzbait bite figure so big in a multi-dayer:

Buzzbait = 60%Lunker Lure = 20%

Flipped plastics = 40%

20% each = TX rig, Bladed jig (both JackHammers), Spinnerbait, Senko (regular and Swim)

10% each = Swim-jig, Frog, Popper, Crankbait (Rapala DT4 in “pearl grey shiner”), Shakey head


> Lookin’ at his FLW stats, Kip is a sho-nuff stick.

> AL’s Harry Peyton (2nd) out old-schooled ’em all by fishing a TX-rigged Zoom Lizard:

> Check how AL’s Bill Spratlin (10th) — props for the bassin’ ‘stache — fished: “…choosing to fish lily pads with just one lure, a 1/2-oz spinnerbait (chart/white) paired with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail trailer.” When’s the last time you did that?? Love it!

How the pros got so good at frog-fishing.

Not just fishin’ ’em but studying ’em like it’s an obsession man….

Dean Rojas’ living room a few years back — says it all…his wife must be a real gem to put up with this stuff:

Ish Monroe closely observes frog behavior…or is is the other way around? Looks like he overfeeds that thing a little:

Fred Roumbanis’ tried to bake some rectangular bread and this happened — his wife was kinda mad bro:

How Jason Christie got his weighted frog idea — and btw here’s how he alters his BOOYAH Pad Crashers to fish smaller and faster…unlike this dude:

Guess while we’re on it I’ll out the giant-brained alien frog Lunkerhunt gets all its frog ideas from. I asked to see it once — and was promptly escorted outta the building:


1. GoFundMe still up for Aaron Martens.

Please help if you can.

2. Casey Ashley likes subtle vibes.

Like from the ribs on the Zoom Z Craw and Z Craw Jr:

> “It’s really hard for us as anglers to mimic the vibration these fish feel in the water…we have blades on jigs, bills on crankbaits and stuff like that, but it’s the subtle vibration that makes the most difference. That’s what this bait gives you that I think a lot of other baits can’t duplicate. That subtle vibration from the ribs and tail….”

I asked him if he could explain that subtle vibe deal and he sent me this:

3. Jeff Kriet fishes a tube for suspended schoolers.

Let’s temporarily put aside the fact that Kriet is a couple hotdogs short of a picnic, if you know what I mean. He is a heck of a fisherman regardless so:

> The “normal” thing to do is to throw a topwater or work a swimbait through schooling fish. However, I prefer using a tube on a 1/8-oz jighead to cast at those schoolers.

> I’ve probably won near 100 tournaments on Lake Murray using a tube with a jighead like that, and I’ve caught largemouth and smallmouth with it. I like a watermelon-colored tube for this just because that seems to work the best….

4. Stephen Browning: Go where a technique will work.

How to learn — go to a place where they’ll bite it:

> My son recently mentioned to me that he’s had some success fishing a big spoon offshore. It got me thinking about my spoon setup, so I spent some time in my garage working on tackle, and then made a day trip to a lake where I could put in some time with my electronics and a spoon.

5. Episode 3 of Zaldaingerousness is up.

Still have not seen any husband/wife competition ‘n such (that’s a hint Zaldains!).

6. Rick Clunn talks through the history of the squarebill (YT vid).

Love these videos.

7. How Elitist Garrett Paquette tests hooks.

Looks like there’s easier ways to do it? Lol glad he’s all good…sorta:

8. Chris Johnston’s and Brandon Palaniuk’s leader info.

Both used Seaguar Tatsu fluoro. Chris used 6-lb fluoro around the St Lawrence’s rocks to catch 5-lb smallmouths, and Brandon used 8-lb around zebra mussels in Champlain. Pretty serious testimonials man….

9. The Tactical Bassin guys are moving to TN??

Wow! Guess that means Chickamauga can kick out the bigs as good as Clear Lake? Anyhow, congrats to ’em and hope all goes smoothly. Gotta say — the bassin’ and the taxes/cost of living are real good in TN…especially compared to CA….

Rumor is one too many NorCal ‘Squatch incidents is a reason for the move….

10. Couple Ravens DBs gettin’ their bass on!

Love to see it! Pretty hilarious Marlon Humphrey commentary about Marcus Peter’s little bass — click it for the Twit vid:

Thanks to bass-head Davin G for the heads!

11. Washington WR Terry McLaurin is lookin’ for a pro…

…to teach him bassin’, kinda new to the fishing game but seems ate up:

> …hoping that soon he’ll be able to get connected to some professional bass fisherman in the DC area. Feel free to send him a direct message, he says. He’s willing to exchange an afternoon on a boat talking football for some real expert angling advice.

12. Win Chris Wells’ Nitro Z-18.

Bassin’ chaplain raffles one off every year, here ’tis — ShopVac not included lol:

13. VA: Hospice charity tourney on Smith Mntn Sept 11-12.

Multi-species, catch/measure/release.

14. Good underwater vids of a bunch o’ CatchCo baits.

Soft-plastics — on Insta.

15. Check this overhead shot of a Vexus VX.

Whoooooa man. Huge, wide decks — check out the width at the bow — and I’m diggin’ that tan color:

Lookit the VX specs here.

16. YETI has 2 new greens.

First is sagebrush green — if you’re even remotely interested, might wanna jump on it cuz they sold outta chartreuse in a hurry:

Related: I think the new Toyota Tundra might have a similar color?

Other new YETI color just announced today is Northwoods Green — dark green — looks very “hunting” to me….

17. New Gammy trebles going for longer-lasting sharpness.

> Gamakatsu’s new Treble SP Medium Heavy hook utilizes their Hypershield technology making it more corrosion resistant than standard hooks. …features Tournament Grade Wire…thinner, stronger and sharper…ensures the hook point stays sharper, longer.

I wish I was sharper longer too, so will be looking to get Hypershielded myself…lol.

18. PSA: Buck Knives is having some sick specials.

19. FL: How big a bass can an osprey catch?

At least this big:

20. CAN: Tackle retainer Canadian Tire killed it in Q2.

Stores were closed but still:

> …its digital and e-commerce business…reached CN$600m in the quarter, far exceeding its full-year digital sales in 2019.

21. CAN removed retaliatory tariffs on US boats.

The Canadians are always nicer than us…except in sports, those guys are vicious man….

22. IL biz working to get Asian carp from IL River.

Could be 15-20 mil lbs per year?? Dang, kinda hope there’s not that many?

23. DC: Sportfish hatcheries can now get federal Corona $$.

I assume it means private hatcheries….

24. Less sulfur in air means more in fertilizer?

Which can also cause acid “rain”?

25. This hat has zero to do with fishing but it’s a 10.

If you have such facial hair…and the hat fits:

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

Great boat position/marking tips from Gary Clouse…

…who allegedly runs Phoenix Boats when he’s not fishing/practicing for the Elites — from Bassin’

> I’ve got offshore spots on lakes I fish often where — for whatever reason — that perfect cast will catch them when other angles don’t. When I find those spots, I save a waypoint where the boat sits and another icon where the structure lies so that I can get the perfect line and have a better chance of making that precise cast. It might take a couple, but it’s better than just blind casting to the structure.

[Why didn’t I think of that??]

> When you do use waypoints to fish a specific spot, note the location of the antenna that controls the GPS. I have my antenna up front where I stand, but some boats may have them located near the console or on the back deck. If yours is located near the rear, factor in the distance from where you are standing and the positioning of the antenna when determining where the target lies.

[My head hurty…but amazing advice.]

> Repetitive casts matter too. When we fished the Elite event at Lake Eufaula, I was targeting manmade brushpiles…. During practice and the first couple days of competition, I was getting bit on the 1st or 2nd cas…by the 3rd day I not only had to make multiple casts from different angles, but I found that showing them different baits got me more bites as well.

I was like, “Gary, why do the Phoenix folks say you’re not gone that much? I know that can’t be true man.” He texted me this back:

So…I guess they’re used to Gary wearing the same thing to work every day? HAHAHAHA!

Quote of the Day

Bass fishing has been up and down depending on whom you speak with and what times you choose to fish.

– Hahaha no way that can’t be true! More like a Line of the Day but it was funny so….

Shot of the Day

SIZEABLE double by @redbeardangling on the Yo-Zuri 3DB 1.5 Squarebill:


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Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

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