BassBlaster

Gerald Swindle’s great junk intel! Live’s not magic? Swim a grub

What’s happening right now:

 

1. Sleeting here in NJ. This is the time of year where I truly question my sanity for living here, not including our taxes which are obscene. Anything below 30 degrees is nuts man. Maybe it’s not nuts way north cuz when the ice finally breaks the fish eat like they’re starving for 6 solid months, but here that doesn’t happen…unless maybe you’re Greg “magic touch” DiPalma?

 

2. Elite pros are scrambling – late end to the season means not much off-season time for all the sponsor, gear and other stuff they have to get done. It’s a lot, more than you’d think. Crazy Covid year for sponsors means sponsor changes (MLF guys too), plus lots of folks are getting through the virus and hoping they don’t get it during the season. Bunch going on for sure.

 

Hope you and family are doing at least okay. Enough o’ that, let’s gitcha some bassin’ fun mang woohoo!

Today’s Top 4
5 Qs with Gerald Swindle about REAL junk-fishing.

Ever see a serious Q&A with Gerald? Me neither but that’s what this is – partly cuz G is dead serious about fishing (duh!), partly cuz he’s real good at passing along info about how to do it, and partly cuz junk fishing isn’t understood real well. He’s also in my 2c kinda a dang genius about some fishing stuff as you’ll see right here:

 

1. How would you define junk fishing?

 

> “…it’s twisted because people think junk fishing is the guy with 50 rods on deck. No, he’s the confused fisherman. The guy with 4-5 rods there – a shakey head, a Chatterbait, a flipping stick…knows when to pick that up, catch a fish and put it back down.

 

> “It’s a guy who knows what to lay out and can identify something when he’s coming down the bank, pick up [one of those baits], catch a fish on it and put it back down. Could be 5-6 rods, could be 7, but it ain’t 20.

 

> “I think you can compare it to a pitcher in baseball…a junk fisherman has great curve ball, fastball, change-up, slider, and he knows when to throw the right pitch. A power fisherman has a 101-mph fastball, and throws it over and over. “

 

2. Is it just a last-resort deal?

 

> “I think it’s survival. For me it’s from years of just trying to get checks, back when sponsorships aren’t where they are now and you needed a check to survive. To get a check, you needed to pick up a flatside or whatever…start mixing it up just to get paid.”

 

3. To me, junk fishing is hard. Because I’ve got 500 baits in my boat, what I wanted to do or thought would work isn’t working so now I’ve gotta put only a few rods on deck and get to it. What’s my decision process to narrow all that down?

 

> “That’s the most confusing part for most people…[to be] focused about junk fishing. At a Bass U one time, I said to this gentleman, ‘Go to your squarelip crankbait box, the one with the most teethmarks on it, that’s the one you throw.’

 

> “When they open the box, they see 50 baits. I see 1 [the beat-up one]…when I tie him up, I don’t have any Qs [about it].

 

> “Those 4-5 baits aren’t necessarily the best ones. They may not be the best for the situation I’m in, but they’re the ones I believe in the most. If you fish with confidence, sometimes you can outfish knowledge. Think about that.

 

> “…throw it. Fight your way through a struggling bite. You can change up to funny-looking baits when your’e really catching them.”

 

4. Do you refine your junk-fishing as you go?

 

> “I will. Sometimes during the day I’ll be making notes to myself…. I might not have time that day to change everything, but I’ll thinking on day 2 that I might replace that Pop-R with a Fluke because it fits the situation better.”

 

5. I feel like you can get to a pattern junk-fishing – you think so?

 

> “You can actually junk-fish your way into a top 12 and have a shot to win the tournament. …you may see a pattern develop. Go down through there…if you pull up on the corner of a rock and catch a 3 and a 4, and on another corner of a rock down the bank you catch another 3, now you can start running that…into the top 12. Yes sometimes a pattern can be developed junk-fishing.

 

> “Sometimes [it’s] reversed. You try to find a pattern, but then if you don’t find a pattern, you don’t find anything. …try to find fish more, instead of trying to get dialed in right off the bat.”

 

Bonus Q: How ’bout electronics in junk fishing – is there any role for them?

 

> “I think there is. As electronics have gotten better, like a LiveScope, you can see things coming, you can prepare for it. I do think that electronics will be a bigger factor junk-fishing down a bank than what people think.

 

> “If you’re going down a bank and you see a stump [on your electronics] that’s not visible, and you throw your jig out there and catch one, that’s very valuable. Electronics are a valuable piece of the puzzle. This year I’m going to use LiveScope more than last year.”

 

Some of his fave junkin’ baits:

 

Rapala DT-6 (disco shad)

 

– Shakey head with a Zoom Trick Worm (gp)

 

– 3/8-oz G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig (brown) with a Zoom Z-Craw Jr (gp) – “great for getting bites”

 

– 1/2-oz regular jig (brown) with a Zoom Big Salty chunk (gp) – “if I can’t get many bites, I’ll fish this to try to get 1-2 bites”

 

– Chatterbait (black/blue and gp) with a Zoom Z-Craw Jr or Fluke – “the more I understand that bait and the versatility of fishing it, the more I understand how good it can be”

 

All on Sunline Shooter fluoro.

“…believe me, it’s not the silver bullet some think it is.”
Jacob Wheeler talkin’ ’bout Sherry VanDam’s cookies – oops, I mean Live sonar (heehee!). Personally I think J-Wheels is sandbagging but whatever man.
“…the electronics themselves aren’t the entire solution. They’re just 1 more piece in the puzzle, although I’ll admit that it’s a very important piece.”

Pat/Rick Wa[l]ters talkin’ – here’s the meat:

 

> Almost every fish that I caught at Fork was the direct result of observing my screen. I’d pull up on a tree and see 5 fish suspended around it. I’d make a cast and none of them would move. My first assumption was that they weren’t bass at all, but I couldn’t leave it at that, so I’d adjust my cadence, or choose a lure that runs deeper or shallower, or perhaps a different color.

 

> When I finally dialed it all in – and…it wasn’t the same for every fish or every group of fish – you’d jerk that bait by the tree and they’d come out after it like hornets after you stepped on their nest.

 

Big-time interesting. Here he is at Fork:

Here’s the best Uncle Bernie bassin’ stuff!
Too funny how this took off – few of my faves:

 

MLFLWer Case.E Scanlon:

@splashoutdoors (Sam Lashlee):

Made from a very cool Berkley underwater IG vid of a largemouth literally sipping on a little ice jig – def watch it:

This one is actually 100% real! From bass-head Mike Boyd on Lake Austin, TX:

News

 

Huge. Was Ranger, still Yamaha of course.

 

2. Seth Feider will go Ballistic.

 

Believe he was Bass Cat.

 

3. Skeet Reese gets Power-Pole.

 

4. Bernie Schultz caught a whale and…

 

…sounds like he will be endorsin’ a different hard-bait brand than Rapala:

 

> She weighed 11.88 lbs on a digital scale and was caught from a small lake near the FL-GA line – not Bienville Plantation and not a phosphate pit either. It was 45 degrees with light winds. Water temp was around 50 degrees. The fish felt like an ice cube when I finally got my hands on her. The battle was epic.

 

> My setup included an Shimano Expride 170M-G composite rod with Chronarch reel. …the lure was…a prototype of a new brand I’ll be representing in 2021.

5. Brandon “Birthday” Card is gettin’ with the program.

6. Randall Tharp gets Fish Monkey hand covers.

 

7. Fletch Shryock running a Caymas.

 

Was Nitro. Here’s the new minimalist rig:

Just messin’…but I like that rig….

 

8. Matty Reed says a crankbait bite happens mid-winter.

 

On Falcon Lake, TX, where it’s warm, but bass do act the same in similar lakes (BassGold proved it over and over). So anyhow:

 

> “The big fish tend to get in that 10-15′ range, and before they may have been in 15-20′. I think that may be a precursor to the pre-spawn, but it’s in the dead of winter when it happens. I also think it may be about warmth…that shallower rock may have a little more heat, even in colored water.”

 

9. Dave.e Hite gets 13 Fishing.

 

All I have to say is: Bacon Rind!!!! (Who remembers….)

 

10. Trip Weldon will be retired as of this Mon, Feb 1.

 

Please take the time to read his post. Trip is as much a part of B.A.S.S. over the last 30 years as anyone. Wait – that doesn’t sound the way I wanted it….

 

He’s been a huge part of keeping B.A.S.S. where it is, holding B.A.S.S. to a high standard, and helping B.A.S.S. be resilient. I’m grateful to him

 

I also enjoyed sparring with all the peeps he’d send after me trying to kick me out of the boat lot at the Classic – good times Trip! And yes it’s true – there’s a couple B.A.S.S. rules cuz of me, wonder if they came from Trip. Might ask him one day….

 

11. MLF is rolling out a new tackle subscription.

 

I like the idea…I mean “ideal.” If they do it right, it could be great. They do have a model to sorta foller: Mystery Tackle Box is the best at it.

 

12. MLF Pro Circuit (FLW Tour) now has 2 practice days, not 3.

 

13. WV B.A.S.S. Nation makes attractors from memorial wreaths.

 

That’s kinda beautiful man….

 

14. PA: Only public ramp at Carey might not be public anymore?

 

> …located at Frank’s Marina. Frank Biondollo, who owned the marina for 48 years, died Dec 2, and the future of the boat access is uncertain.

 

Bless you Mr. Frank. Sounds like the ramp never really was public?

 

15. BassCashBash tagged $ fish in LA, TX, AL.

 

16. WA sold 45K more fishing licenses last year.

 

Doesn’t sound like much?

 

17. Lew’s/Strike King is buying Zebco/Quantum?

 

Sounds like there’s an agreement but not a done deal yet. Includes Zebco Euro stuff. Lew’s/SK owner – called Rather Outdoors – is gettin’ biggerer in a hurry:

 

> Rather Outdoors, previously known as Lew’s Tackle, has not stopped flexing its muscles since being taken over by Peak Rock Capital and then BDT Capital.

 

Not much detail in that link fyi….

 

18. Abu wants your vote on the top 100 freshwater fisheries.

 

In honor of its 100th anniversary. Abu was making stuff in 1921! What else happened that year? The Green Bay Packers, in their 3rd season but 1st in the American Professional Football Association, beat the Minneapolis Marines 7-6.

 

19. Is Uncle Josh back??

 

This was posted on FB…

…BUT nothing’s on Acmetackle.com. Heard ol’ Josh retired and has been learnin’ how to smoke meat and play the banjo – that finger-pickin’ is hard man! Love to see him come back.

 

Tx to Popcorn ‘n Pat for the heads.

 

20. Chesapeake: 40% of bay grass is gone?

 

21. TX: Zebras gone from Lake Waco?

 

Says they choked ’em out with plastic sheets on the bottom. Not sure if biological pollution is ever really gone tho….

 

22. New ‘lectric motor co has floating batteries??

 

> E-Series batteries provide consistent performance and smart operation, delivering up to 3,000 charging cycles. For added convenience, the Spirit battery is the first floating battery on the market.

I KNEW they’d make batteries out of marshmallows one day

 

 

PSA/2c

 

EVERY bass-head “fits” man.

 

Read this quote:

 

> “What’s unique about the Chicagoland fishing scene is it attracts people you wouldn’t typically think would fit into the bass fishing world,” says Matt Kestufskie, director of brand and product development at CatchCo.

 

My 2c – doesn’t matter if you fish from the bank or a boat, wear a flattie or a curve (or are total dark side with a visor), fish huge swimbaits or Neds, like rap or country, whatever. We’re all brothers and sisters in bass…even spinning rod people (heehee!). There’s no fittin’, there’s just fishin’! Love from me man!

 

Btw that quote’s also in this new vid about that crazy good-lookin’ Popcorn-JayPee-CatchCo jig I posted about last week. Love the vid – worth a watch fo sho. Funniest part is where JayPee is talkin’ and his overweight cat is lickin’ its belly.

 

Here’s those guys runnin’ around a downtown “Chicagoland” corner no-wake zone:

Props to the CatchCo folks, great vid. Popcorn and JayPee could be stars – let’s see what happens.
On BassBlaster.rocks right now… 

 

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Tip of the Day

 

Man I’m so ticked at myself for not rememberin’ this before hangin’ it up for the winter. I’ve caught MANY a bass with a curl-tail grub on a 1/4-oz jighead – when I was younger, most of the time without a boat. It’s caught fish everywhere. Now I guess I know too much and my head gets cluttered, if you know what I mean.

 

Anyhoo here’s Z with 2 minutes on it. It ain’t sexy, but it’s simple and works, and you don’t have to fish painfully slow:

Quote of the Day
“Oh man, Rayburn was a tremendous lake back in those days.”

 

Shaw Grigsby talkin’ ’bout Rayburn in the ’80s. It’s tremendous now, so guessin’ back then it was…stupid good?? Doc Brown’s like:

Shot of the Day
Meet Jim Thomas – that’s the fish’s name and she’s a girl. She’s worth $5K in Lake Apopka, FL, and dang what a nice fish. Guess there’s a good reason why BIOLOGISTS would give a female fish a male name? I woulda just named her “Oink:”
Random
Might have seen that an OK representative proposed a bigfoot hunting season. Well…on the one hand would be cool to own one of the first licenses. On the other hand, it’d be stone cold crazy to do that – to have the season, folks out in the woods with huge calibers. So hope it don’t happen mang! Besides we all know ‘foots are real anyhow….
Ya got me!
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best and funniest (sometimes worst) stuff in bassin’, picked by me — Jay Kumar. I started BassFan.com, 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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