Gitcha BassBlaster ICAST tour, How to Spoon Jack and….

Today’s Top 3

Here’s your BassBlaster vid tour of ICAST!

Just like last year, gave all the Elitists, FLWers and whoever else 5 seconds to say whatever about a new product — because I can’t shoot or listen to another “I’m [insert name] here at ICAST 2018 and this is the new [product name].” Nothing wrong with it, just not my deal so:


> It’s about 10 minutes, with great info and fun all the way through. Ends with a bang!

> Couldn’t believe Randy Howell actually did it it 5 seconds — typically Howell doesn’t even know what he’s going to talk about in the first 5 seconds. HAHAHA Howell! He actually kinda raps in the first one….

> Zona’s were a little long but they’re money so…. Dude who couldn’t get it done in anywhere remotely close to 5 seconds: David Fritts, even after multiple tries. But his “5 seconds” are in the vid. #waitforit #toofunny

> One of my fave lines was Wes Strader on a Lew’s reel: “It looks like a spaceship and it spins.” Never heard that before….

> All this stuff and then some is on Tackle Warehouse already, for order or pre-order! Here’s the link or click you this:

> Bummed I missed getting Greg Hackney on vid, but he did sell me one of these for $500 — I think I got a good deal?

Next year after ICAST we’re a-headin’ out after the skunk ape….

Biggest deal for me at ICAST.

Electronics will change the way we fish…even more. Garmin’s new Panoptix LiveScope is ridonkulous (here it is on TW), and stuff like Humminbird’s Mega Down Imaging plus the whole all of it linked together stuff is crazy.

Given all that, wondering if:

> With more video-game fishing, will “drop” techniques like the dropshot and Neko become a bigger deal?

> Will fishing for suspended fish now be a higher-percentage deal?

> I assume bed-fishing will never be the same because now (with Panoptix) seems like you will know 100% if/when a fish bites?

> With watching being more important in vid-game fishing, will that decrease our feel (feeling bites)? I think it has to but some folks disagreed with me on that. In a few years I’ll tell them ‘I told you so” lol.

> If you now can see exactly what species are down there, how does that change tournament fishing…meaning no more wasted time fishing for carp, catfish, walleyes, etc?

> What’s the line between extra-fine sonar and video — or is there one anymore?

Noteworthy: Jim Lindner of the famous Lindner feeshn clan told me he feels techniques like the dropshot and Flanders Rig could be making it easier for more folks to get into fishing — cuz they’re a whole lot easier to do than flipping or skipping docks or whatever. Innerestin’.

My ICAST observations.

General stuff

1. Wow there’s a lot of fishing rod companies. Crazy thing is, pretty much all the rods are good. BUT there’s still some that are better…for you individually. Remember, your hookset is unique to you so find what works best for it — rod/line/hook.

2. Wow there’s a lot of sunglass companies. Keep your eye out for Mako, coming here from Australia. Have worn the Mako glasses for a bit and a) they’re dang good and b) call me crazy but I think their infrared blocker helps big-time with eye fatigue…which I didn’t even know I had before? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hangin’ up my Costas but check ’em out and lmk.

3. Seems like more and more companies are getting into rain gear.

4. Say it every year so here you go again: Pro bassin’, and especially the Elites, drive most of the freshwater market. That’s a big statement and a big deal.

5. Interesting that the Googans are now selling baits — and FLWer Scott Martin is a partner in the deal. If that works, I guess Elitists can try the same thing. You hear that Johnny Crews? Timmy Horton? Boyd?? Just an idea for ya….

6. Mossy Oak Elements seems to be catching on.

7. Economy is up, biz is good so everyone is:


1. Raymarine has a new drone. Maybe I’m just gonna be dragged kickin’ and screamin’ into drone world, but man the last thing I want when I’m a-feeshn is a drone (or 2 or 3…) buzzin’ around. Aerial lake views are great but….

2. Swimbait bassin’ scene was big-time missing from the show. Did hear that the folks who make the Davinci swimbait were there, my guys found ’em but I didn’t dang it!

3. No Megabass booth. 🙁

Other stuff

1. Best hard bait winner was Westin’s Freddy the Frog. Interesting win because Westin is a Euro company new to the U.S. market and didn’t do any pre-ICAST product seeding/lobbying, which is often how the game is played (nothing wrong with that either):

Slow-mo vid of it swimming.

2. Best Terminal Tackle was the VMC Neko Skirt, and if you haven’t seen Swindle’s 5-sec video on that one you need to here.

3. Other beeg weeners:

Best rod and reel combo: Team Lew’s Custom Black LFS Combo

4. Huk might have had the coolest “booth” — was a walk-through deal. Did not take a pic (doh) and can’t find one so you’re gonna have to picture it….

5. Most Elitist feedback I got on the 2019 schedule was about the time and cost involved. No one I spoke to was outright negative about it.

6. The American Sportfishing Assn puts on the ICAST show, and the new-ish head of the ASA is a guy named Glenn Hughes. When I met him, I told him every time I hear his name I think of the former Deep Purple bass player/singer who still has pipes.

Funny stuff

1. Seems like the fly fishing crowd has the grunge/Pearl Jam/Seattle deal happenin’. Ragged beards, untucked shirts, sippin’ beers — the whole fly section of ICAST had that vibe. I kinda liked it…for them….

2. Closeup of Seth Feider’s ‘stache just because:


1. MLFers get Froggggg Togggggs.

2. 2019 FLW Tour schedule and no more cos.

Good bunch of lakes:

Jan 10-13 — Rayburn, TX
Feb 7-10 — Toho, FL
Mar 7-10 — Seminole, GA
Mar 28-31 — Grand Lake, OK
Apr 11-14 — Cherokee, TN
May 2-5 — Chickamauga, TN

Jun 27-30 – Lake Champlain, NY

And a smaller field:

> …the FLW Tour will also switch from a priority-entry system to a qualifying system with a 150-boat field starting with the 2020 season. This system will reward performance and ensure that the FLW Tour field does not balloon to 186 boats as it did in 2018.

And no cos:

> Starting in 2019, the longstanding FLW Tour co-angler program will be replaced with a new FLW Tour Marshal program.

But they make it kinda fun, like a walleye derby shared-weight deal:

> Marshals will be eligible for a top cash award of $2,500 at each regular-season FLW Tour stop based on the combined weight of the pros they are randomly paired with.

> Marshals will also receive one entry into an exclusive Ranger Z518C giveaway for each day they complete. One lucky marshal will be randomly selected to win the new boat after the season concludes.

And anyone who wears a T-Rex costume gets priority entry:

Only the last one isn’t true…I think….

3. Ish and MDJ on Stray Casts manana.

Live tomorrow night 7/18 at 7pm central,

4. FLWer Mark Fisher gets Elysian Fishing Rods.

5. AL: 300K FL bass stocked in Jordan.

> Over the last 3 years, a total of 992,316 pure FL largemouth bass have been stocked into the New Lake section of Jordan Reservoir.


6. FL: Blue-green algae covering 80% of Big O.

7. KY: Jimmy Houston was NASCAR race grand marshal.

Couldn’t find any pics..??

8. CA: Perris now 79% full…

…and full of new habitat.

9. WI/MN doing survey on upper MS River bass stuff.

Gitcha voice heard!

10. Savage Gear and Okuma part ways.

Got an email from the head of Savage that says:

> “After the recent mutual agreement between Okuma, former distributor of the global lure brand Savage Gear, [and Savage Gear] to part ways, we can announce that Savage Gear from Sept will open its own office and showroom in Miami, FL. ”

Btw, if you need a bigger trout swimbait, saw some 3-lber-sized ones at the Savage booth:

11. Tracker tin boat biz hurt by new import tariffs?

12. New global brand manager for Mustad.

13. National fishin’ trends.

Nothing bassin’-specific but:

> Freshwater fishing was once again the most popular form of fishing with a participation rate that held steady…from 2016 to 2017. …38.3 million participants, which was 3 times the amount of people that participated in saltwater fishing….

> In general, children ages 6-12 participated in fishing at a higher rate than teenagers, ages 13-17. Both groups fished more than they did the year before. Among children, fishing grew by half a million people to reach 7.3 million…or 24.2% of American kids. Teens added 200,000 participants to 4.3 million people or 20.1% of American teens….

> …Hispanic Americans continued to significantly increase…from 10.6% to a record high…11.7%, or 4.2 million people. …tended to be avid participants, embarking on 22.2 average annual outings per participant — nearly 4 more outings than the typical [angler].

This to me is a key graph:

To me that says “bass!” On the other hand, the #1 other reason given for fishing was to “get exercise,” which sounds weird, sketchy, abnormal and non-bassy….

14. Boat dealers still seeing lots of ethanol damage.

> 85% of our respondents said they have seen damage to engines or other components caused by ethanol in their business. That was down from 92% last year and 87% in 2016.
Still a crazy high figger!

Tip of the Day

Ever hear of “spoon jacking?”

Would you flip a spoon to docks, over cables and such?? Haaaaaaaail no you wouldn’t! Or…yes you would if you were a pro bass fisherman, or you got on this deal in one of the areas of the country that’s been keepin’ it a secret.Here’s Ish Monroe talkin’ ’bout doing just that, as well as a spoon made for that purpose — the new River2Sea James Watson Worldwide Spoon.

Quote of the Day

Loopy was a bad little turtle.

– Such a random line I had to write it down…. That was Costa shades bassin’ marketer and dang-good bass angler Melinda Hays talkin’ at our ICAST convo. Pretty sure we were s’posed to be talkin’ ’bout sunglasses and whatnot, but somehow Loopy got in there and who knew the shelled critters like taters?

Great line for a song too….

Shot of the Day

@Cobi_Pellerito was a good hand at the show — this is one of my fave shots he took, I believe at the Do-It Molds booth:

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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