FLW Cup winning baits, Spin rod self defense? Power pole fishing techniques

Today’s Top 4

Bryan Thrift won the FLW Cup…every day.

Well, this happened…wire to wire deal:

Who’s surprised? Anyone? Me neither. Was watchin’ the weigh-in with Seth Feider and his buds and they were like:

(Just an excuse to use that pic hahaha!) Anyhow, big congrats to Bryan for now winning every type of tourney FLW’s ever had, includin’ the trollin’ fer walleye deals (not really but he probly could).

FLW says he was fishin’ brushpiles with a crankbait, dropshot and a topwater. But Bassin’Fan says:

> His first cast [to brush] was always with a Damiki Rig Underspin Head paired with a [4″] Damiki Armor Shad [paddle tail]. “That would catch the fish suspended over or around the brush.” He’d then follow up with a crankbait to tick to top of the brush. His clean up offering was a 10″ worm dragged slowly through the brush.

> A buzzbait was his best option around docks and bank-related shallow cover while a small walking bait landed the majority of the schooling fish.

[Btw a little conflicting info ain’t uncommon from pros who win, depending on if you catch ’em when they’re tired, stunned, distracted, etc. All good.]

Based on the top 10’s baits, safe to say this was kinda a junk-brushin’ deal:

Big worm = 60% (brushpiles so….)

Dropshot = 40%

Buzzbait = 40%

Topwater = 30% (various types. — walker, frog, popper)

Swimbait/Fluke = 30%

Weightless worm or Shakey head = 30%

20% each = Crankbait (1st and 2nd place), Stick worm

10% each = Underspin, Glide bait


> Most often-mentioned soft-plastic brand = Zoom (Ol’ Monster and regular and Magnum Trick Worms).
> Believe this was the first mention of a BioSpawn ExoSwim swimbait in a major tourney. Josh Douglas (9th) fished it on an Outkast Tackle Goldeneye Swimbait Jighead, which he designed.

Andy Morgan carries a spin rod for self-defense.

Pretty sure a flip stick would work better but here you go, from the MLF site:

> “I have pistols, but I don’t go hunting with them. I just carry them because sometimes you gotta have one for self-defense. That’s a spinning rod to me — it’s self-defense.”

HAHAHA I love that! For some reason reminded me of this:

You know these night bassin’ tips?

Here’s what I bet most of us know about night bassin’: black. Use black. But not necessarily, accordin’ to this MS night basser:

> “I’ve gone to a big white spinnerbait with a silver blade, especially if I’m throwing it around boat docks or around anything with a light on it. That silver reflects the light better than the black or gold blades. That silver one is going to flash better under water. There is absolutely a time for a straight up white bait or chartreuse, and time fishing the areas with lights shining is that time.”

How ’bout that — makes sense! And:

> “I was fishing in the same boat with a friend, same equipment, same worm, same everything. …he was getting strikes left and right and I hadn’t had one. We were working the same structure so it wasn’t a matter of him being on the front of the boat and getting to the aggressive fish first. I was changing lures, changing worms, trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting a strike, until he finally tore up the worm he was using.

> “He opened his bag to replace it, and the garlic wave that rolled out nearly knocked me off the boat. I took my worm off, put one of his on, cast and immediately caught a fish, then caught fish consistently right along with him the rest of the night. Scent absolutely matters at night.”

Brandon Palaniuk stole my fishin’ trip!

Got a text a while back from Z, saying he’s gonna have his boat in NY when the Elites are there and do I wanna go out and catch some. Of course I do. Fast forward to this week and guess who took my dang spot:

What up with that Palaniuk??!! Z??!! I said, “I’m callin’ you guys out.” Z says, “We deserve it.” Then to either make him or me feel less bad, he texts, “It was ROUGH bumpy.”

Suuuuuuuuuuuure it was man. Sure — just look at that pic, I can see it how rough it is, wow.

Then Z texted:

> “It took divorce to bring me and Brandon together.

> “It’s been a rough year but going on this date seemed right to both of us.

> “It was strange at first, with giggling and awkward pauses, but somehow magical at the same time.”

At that point I kinda felt fortunate not to be on the boat, if you know what I mean.

Instead I went to some redneck horsehoes deal — almost won it too but this one dude was way too good:

Was pretty sure I saw a couple bassin’ pros there, but every time I looked for ’em to make sure, they gone. Maybe just my ‘magination….


1. Jeff Kriet having neck surgery TODAY.

If you pray, pls send up a few words for him. Also pray he’s not too ornery with the nurses….

2. Josh Bertrand is at the Mesa, AZ Bass Pro Shops TODAY.

3. MLF helped Bobby Lane be more versatile.

Makes sense:

> “Back when I first started in MLF, I would only fish a certain area on a body of water for a little bit with 1 or 2 techniques. I’ve learned over the years that just because the fish aren’t biting one bait or one technique, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t biting at all. I just have to stay mentally sharp and adjust to what the fish are telling me.”

4. Check out Chris Zaldain’s desk.

Looks like he’s buyin’/sellin’ stocks with all those screens:

Nice ‘stache man! I’m grownin’ a fu manchu….

5. Seth Feider says he mostly fishes for largies in MN.

Guess it’s up to us whether to believe him…is it ko-inky-dince that he’s sayin’ that just before a smallmouth tourney? #sandbaggin?

6. Worldwide “James” Watson gets Tackle HD.

Check their offerin’s on the TW. That Hellgrammite (5″ version and 8″ version) looks VERY innerestin’….

7. St. Lawrence Elites won’t launch til 9 am!

Jesse Tacoronte talkin’:

> Takeoff isn’t scheduled until 9 a.m. because a high St. Lawrence River means the locks just upstream of Waddington, NY will be in play. That’s something with which we Elite anglers have never had to deal: The gates at the dam were open during our stops there in 2017 and 2018 so we could buzz right through.

> This year it’s just going to be a crazy deal. Those of us hanging a left out of the launch and running to the Thousand Islands area of the river might not start fishing until 10 am — or later, depending on how the lock schedule works.

8. MLF Redcrest format deets.

Pools 8 on the upper Miss first, then pool 7…except for Boyd and Gary, who will get to fish pool 9 the whole time…heehee!

9. 2020 FLW Tour schedule is out.

Jan = Rayburn, Feb = Harris Chain, Mar = Martin, Apr = Cherokee, Apr = Hartwell, May = Dardanelle, Jun = Detroit River.

10. MI: Bighead carp can eat mussel…poo.

Makes Asian carp even more gross:

> …bighead carp…could fare a lot better than expected in Lake Michigan because scientists have underestimated the flexibility of their diet. In addition to plankton, the opportunistic eaters can sustain themselves by feeding on the feces and mucous-coated regurgitation of invasive mussels.

> By factoring in the luxuriant layer of mussel excrement that has accumulated on the floor of Lake Michigan, the new computer models show the entire lake would provide suitable habitat for bighead carp at certain times of the year.

Do any towns get their drinking water from that lake??

11. KY/TN: Check how ultra-bad KY Lake fished…

…last weekend at the Bassmaster HS Championships:

> Only 4 of the final 12 teams caught limits Saturday, and 3 of the 12 didn’t catch a weighable fish. On Friday, 129 duos failed to weigh a fish, and on Thursday, 97 teams zeroed.
Failed to weigh A FISH….

12. TN might start stocking largies in KY Lake.

> A disturbing decline in the number of bass in the waters of Kentucky Lake has led regional officials to think about solutions, such as stocking the lake with about 1.5 mil fish in the next 3 years.

Don’t forget to kill the carp….

13. CO anglers kill 1,498 smallies at Ridgway Rez.

Non-native species, but no one asks if they SHOULD HAVE been native or if they’re BETTER THAN native…lol.

Would you be in a catch/kill bass “tourney?” Don’t think I could do it….

14. Adrian College is leading BPS School of the Year race.

15. Guess who’s back at Vexus.

Yep, Randy Hopper is fully onboard. If you’re wonderin’, here’s what he was drawin’:

I was like, “Wow Randy that’s pretty dang good but not sure that’s what they’re lookin’ for….”

HAHAHA! Here’s the real-deal doodle:

Can’t wait to get my AVX…still saving for a motor….

16. Alpha Angler has a problem.

Guess it’s a good problem — named a rod the Chatterbound but it’s good for buzzbaits and all kinda stuff. Here’s Gerald Spohrer ‘splainin’ it:

17. 2020 boat vids.

18. New redesigned T-H Marine Hydraulic Steering Lock.

Steer Stop:

> Once installed, Steer Stop will help keep your motor centered, reduce potential damage to the motor supports, and prevent the motor from “clunking” left and right.

> With the new design, it’s not only easier to install Steer Stop, it’s also easier and safer for your hands when removing it. Simply grab the grip molded into the new clip and pull. For additional leverage, you may also pull on the tether cord.

Sounds innerestin’. Get it at T-H Marine.

19. AccuWeather founder/CEO says it’s no hotter now.

> …although average temperatures have been higher in recent years, there is no evidence so far that extreme heat waves are becoming more common because of climate change, especially when you consider how many heat waves occurred historically compared to recent history.

> Kansas City, MO, for example, experienced an average of 18.7 days a year at 100 degrees or higher during the 1930s, compared to just 5.5 a year over the last 10 years. And over the last 30 years, Kansas City has averaged only 4.8 days a year at 100 degrees or higher….

> …26 of the 50 states set their all-time high temperature records during the 1930s that still stand (some have since been tied). …37 of the 50 states have an all-time high temperature record not exceeded for more than 75 years.

Tip of the Day

Great Power-Pole tips from JT Kenney.

JT’s a talkin’ dude now so he’s not the hammer he once was…or I guess he is, just not so much with the bass:

Lol! Anyhow, here’s a couple good Power-Pole tips. If you’re already there, cool:

> “I never realized that more than one fish could be on a clump of grass or lilypads or a laydown, or one big rock along the bank. Now when I see a clump of grass and get a bite, my immediate reaction is to hit the buttons and ‘pole down, sometimes even before I jerk.

> “When you ‘pole down, those poles flex. Your boat moves forward a foot or so with the flex of the poles and then it stops. When the flex comes out of the poles, it’s pulling you back and you have momentum going backward. As it’s pulling you pack, you lift your poles and you continue to drift backward to help you put distance between you and the fish. It keeps you from back-washing with the trolling motor. I can’t count how many fishing I’ve caught doing that.”

You getting that last one?

Quote of the Day

“I feel like whenever you fish somewhere new for the first time, you really fish the moment instead of doing what worked in the past.”

– Yep. Elite rookie and AOY points leader Drew “Fry” Cook talkin’. Also said:

> “I don’t have any preconceived notions. I’m starting completely fresh.”

Here’s an actual shot of an Elite rookie around a bunch of Elite vets at the river:

Shot of the Day

This smallmouth was almost worth $1,500/oz — @stockton.fly2frame shot:


Ever hear of Tony Joe White or “Polk Salad Annie”? I hadn’t til I James Overstreet hipped me to it…which makes sense….

Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

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