Giant bass just as easy to catch? Ike’s winning baits, Blade baits in warm water??

Drove past a local lake this weekend, around 8 pm so starting to get dark. Bunch of boats out there — includin’ yaks — NO ONE had running lights on! It’s only a 9.9-hp limit, but dang a tin rig can get some speed with a 9.9. Maybe boats need an “auto” lights feature like cars? And ‘yaks need lights man — not just the bass-heads, even just the paddlers.

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

Today’s Top 5

Giant bass just as easy to catch as small ones??

From a FL study involving the above lakes:

> About 1 in 8 to 1 in 4 trophy bass were caught by anglers in the state each year. This range of catch rates for trophy bass is quite similar to catch rates for smaller or average-size bass in FL, suggesting that trophy bass are no more elusive to being caught than smaller bass.

Don’t know if that’s unique to FL, and maybe it’s cuz there’s more big fish there? Just speculatin’. Some more innerestin’ info from that study:

> Researchers estimated that 11% of the at-large tagged bass were documented by anglers in Season 4 of TrophyCatch, suggesting that the season total (~2,200 accepted bass) was 11% of the trophy bass population in Florida. This also indicates that there might have been 20,000 trophy bass swimming in FL during TrophyCatch Season 4.

This goes along with what some biologists have said and what I personally believe: We have NO IDEA just how many fish are in a lake…how many bass watch our baits go right by ’em. Maybe the new sonars will change all that….

> Anglers consistently caught more tagged bass via artificial lures (74-92%) than on live bait (8-26%). Interestingly, that pattern was mirrored by TrophyCatch data.

Shocks me, especially in FL. But cool.

> More tagged bass were caught by anglers during recreational fishing trips (75-85%)…whereas 15-25% of the tagged bass were caught during tournaments…tournament fishing trips [probably] represent a small fraction of overall bass fishing at the state-wide level.
Given how efficient most tourney guys are with maxing out their casts per day, this does surprise me a bit.

Ike’s James River winning baits.

How ’bout that! Been a little bit since Ike was in a 5-fish derby, but seems like he hasn’t forgotten how to git ‘er done. Dude is a HAMMER on a tough East Coast tidal bite — hol’ up: “tough” and “East Coast tidal” are redundant. How he caught ’em:

> “Used a 1/2-oz Missile Mini Flip Jig (b/b) with a Berkley PowerBait Meaty Chunk (blue, with both claws, the pic has just one) around wood. Fished that on a 7′ 2″ MH Abu Ike Power Series Rod with a 8.1 Abu Revo Ike Casting Reel, with 20-lb Trilene 100% Fluoro.
> “Used a 1/2-oz Molix Lover Vibrating Jig (b/b) with a Berkley PowerBait Chigger Bug (Ike sapphire blue). I fished that around scattered laydowns and fished it on a 7′ M Abu Ike Power Series Rod on a 8.1 Revo Ike Reel with 17-lb 100% Trilene fluoro.
> “…especially on the last day I used a Rapala DT-6 in the Ike’s Custom Ink color ‘old school.’ I fished it in the higher incoming water around the deeper (non-visible) wood. Fished it on 17-lb Berkley Sensation mono, a 7′ Abu Ike Series Delay Rod with a 6.6:1 Revo Ike Reel. This is the bait that won it for me on the last day.”

Here’s the native range of largemouths?

If this was a test I would’ve failed…how ’bout you:

The native range is that dog-puke-brown blob in the middle of the country. Would’ve thought for sure they were native to the Northeast at least. And look at Lake Superior — it’s largie nekkid!

Here’s the smallmouth native range map, which to me makes more sense — tho once again I would’ve thought they were native to the Northeast:

Reminds me: Here at the house (NJ) we saw this hummingbird moth thing — looked it up and the internet said it’s only found in Asia and Europe. So I guess these “native range” things can be wrong sometimes?

Thank you survey-takers!

First, if you filled out the BB survey, make sure you check your emails cuz a random few of you are getting some GREAT stuff just as a random thank you.

Really appreciate the encouragement, muchas gracias, and cool to see the huge variety of folks who dig the Blaster — includin’ some teens fillin’ out an emailed survey! Love the passion.

Few quick highlights from the responses:

1. It’s ALL good! (mostly)

Amazing to me how a lot of folks read into things — like I’m not a fan of this or that or I “should” say/do something about this or that. C’mon man. It’s all good! (Mostly.) Even Ned-riggin’ with a swizzle stick — I’d do it but I’d have to make sure my stomach was empty first…hahaha!

Hey — the head dude at Z-Man and I laughed about that stuff at ICAST because he knows it’s just funnin’:

One reason the Blaster is the way it is is everyone everywhere takes all kinds of stuff WAY too seriously. My 2c is bass fishing is a gift…starts as a free gift but then not so much…hahaha!

2. Less derps??

Gotta say the most negative comments I got — not a ton but — were about the derps, which I know tons of folks love. My faves:

> The derp photos gross me out. A sissy comment from a retired Marine but they really do! I’ve never caught one and hope I never do.

> Less derps — freaks me out.

> Set the derps free dude!

HILARIOUS that derps freak folks out! Gotta admit the derps have taken on a life of their own….

3. Favorite overall comments

> Mr. Yelas has a great sense of humor. [I think that means me?? Cuz Jay’s a great dude but not this kinda funny…and pretty sure he’s not workin’ for me?]

> Write in correct English. [Did that for a long time, it was BORING! Besides, why does an English teacher get to define what good writin’ is? My kids can write circles around their teachers man….]

> Less slang (derp, mang, etc). You are turning more people away than you think with that crap. [Okay mang! Conundrum: If I don’t think I’m turning anyone away, then what? And if I’m not writing for everyone, then…?]

> Please less “funny” stuff. [LOVE the quote marks around “funny” hahaha!]

> You do real good Jay, don’t shortchange yourself. [Uh, okay thanks man but this was just a survey…?]

4. Deepest comment by far

> I like what you have, but sometimes someone else could have an idea that you never would have thought of.

Thank you all for givin’ me a laugh! And believe me, I’m a-takin’ ALL the comments to heart.

You done this yet?

If any of y’all got them there fancy ‘lectronics…was wonderin’ when someone would post something like this. This one’s by FLWer Joey Cifuentes:



1. What’s KVD’s net worth??

ZERO idea how I tripped over this on Google, but for some reason he’s on the site Btw, no idea how they would know or how accurate that site is, but KVD is refusing to release his tax returns (heehee!).

2. FLWer Randy Blaukat says Ott’s onto something.

> I also suggest fishing barefoot. You are much more agile in the boat, and once you start doing it, you won’t want to fish in shoes unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Starting to wonder how important toe freedom is in high-level bassin’. But if this whole deal moves to kilts — Huk kilts? AFTCO kilts? — I’m out:

3. Rick Clunn sellin’ tees to help the Ava, MO HS bassin’ team.

Love it.

4. AR: FLW Cup coming up on Hamilton.

Outta Hot Springs again, but the last time it was on 7,500-acre Hamilton was ’05:

> “…George Cochran won the event literally in his own backyard, catching key fish on a buzzbait about 300 yards from his house.”

George was an incredible fisherman man. Bet he MADE that bass bite.

5. Check out these James River-altered props.

That’s Aussie Elitist Carl Jocumsen (right) and former Elitist John Hunter:

Carl did John a solid and took him back after John spun a hub, but then Carl’s prop got chomped by a rare James River titanium gator…or something.

6. Pro boats for sale.

Elitist Bill Weidler’s 2019 Triton TRX 21 Elite

Elite rookie Patrick Walters’ 2019 F215 Falcon

7. Did you know that Vexus boats can do anti-gravity?

Didn’t either but wouldn’t put it past those guys

8. Peek at the 2020 Xpress tin rig.

9. Lowrance is the official trolling motor of MLF Cups.

Will confess I still don’t fully understand all the MLF and BPT format stuff, but am workin’ on it….

10. AR: 1.3 mil FL bass stocked in AR this year.

Just finished on Millwood and White Oak.

11. MD: Bass up, snakeheads level in Chesapeake.

> …in the wake of its initial population boom, snakeheads outpaced the carrying capacity of local waterways. Now things are trending toward equilibrium….

Okay but are snakeheads really fish?

> “I’ve had them sit in a refrigerator for 3 days [not in water] and still be alive.”


12. New Dude Perfect bassin’ vid has almost 6 mil views.

No idea why? Seemed average to me…. Notable: Vid is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops.

13. Innerestin’ stuff I tripped over at Tackle Warehouse.

Haven’t fished any of it, just caught my eye/brain — but first, looks like Seaguar Tatsu fluoro is on sale?

Top 2 bottom:

> Creme Lures Speed Scremer — Looks like a combo goby, lizard, creature, frog.

> Lucky Craft LC DRX crank — TO green craw color has an orange-tinted bill? Anyone else tint their bills?
> A3 Anglers ShudderBlade — Like the TX rig thing, for sure a different-looking deal.
> Magnum Baits Smauler — Dig the compact body.
14. MN: Scientists mapped the zebra mussel genome.

> The map, pieced together from hundreds of millions of lines of genetic code…. [For a dang mussel??]

> The genome sequence could make it possible to find ways to genetically modify zebra mussels in a way that could slash their populations here…. That could mean manipulating their genes so they essentially self-destruct….

Suggestion: Dump the mussels and jump on Asian carp asap.

15. Lake MI: Record water T drop??

Check this:

> A buoy…about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee reported a water temperature of 68 degrees F late Friday afternoon. Just 24 hours later…the water temperature had plummeted to 48 degrees F.


Line of the Day

“…baitfish busts are a dead giveaway that fish are feeding in an area.”

Read that to my bud Bill and he was like:

Tip of the Day

Dave Lefebre: Blade baits in WARM water.

Disclaimer: Dave has a different take on a lotta stuff because he ain’t right, which prolly is how he got onto this? Innerestin’ for sure, from the MLFers site:

> “There’s a preconceived notion that blade baits are only for cold water in colder weather. I’m one of the only guys to carry them in my boat at all times and it’s kind of a little trick up my sleeve.

> “When it’s in the dead of summer, you might not be able to just pull up and dropshot on a school of fish. But, if you use a SteelShad, they eat it at first sight.

> “It’s also a good casting bait to use when you’re waiting for topwater fish to blow up because it’s so heavy and you can throw it far.

> “A lot of guys like that kind of quick action a spoon can give you. Anywhere that you would use a spoon, a blade bait would work just as well because of how erratic it can be.”

Doesn’t look like SteelShad baits are on Tackle Warehouse, but plenty other good ones are.

Quote of the Day

“…my wife threw a fit. Her and my mother-in-law talked me out of it.”

Edwin Evers talkin’ ’bout this:

> …when a tornado ripped part of the roof off the Evers home on May 1. “I was an hour into the drive [going home early from a tourney because of it] and my wife threw a fit. Her and my mother-in-law talked me out of it. Her family took care of everything.”

Very cool but makes me wonder whether they’re tryin’ to tell you something’ Edwin hahaha!

Serious for a sec: The Everses have had a year…a tough one and a good one at the same time.

Shot of the Day

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang. @humminbirdfishing Mega units [heart eyes emoji]:

SERIOUS case of the wants…not “coveting” I hope…but whoa.


This ain’t rain — it’s bugs:

Bugs swarming around Las Vegas, not (just) cuz Vegas is bad but because apparently all those lights attract swarms. #bugpocalypse

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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