BassBlaster

Hammer alert, Odd prespawn staging areas, Blimp mules of the week

Today’s Top 5

Blimpaliciousness water mules o’ the week!

Mike Long. Mike DDang Long! He did it again, probly like the 2,351st DD he’s caught. This time a 16.1…in 43.9-degree water (!!) at “one of our [CA] mountain lakes at 4,600′ elevation:”

Tiddybits: 15-lb Seaguar Tatsu, signature Airrus Beast rod — no bait named but possibly this new, unnamed glide bait? Also said, “I like 2-3 days before and after a full moon and new moon.”

John LaBove smashed this 15.48-lb blimp outta Lake Fork, TX, believe it was put in the TX ShareLunker breeding program. Sounds like someone said it was caught on a jig (black/blue) with a Baby Brush Hog in 4′:

Hammer alert: Phil Marks wins AGAIN on Rayburn.

Tip for all you Rayburn fishermen: If Phil Marks is signed up to fish, hand him your entry $$ and just go fun-fishin’. Seriously, WTHeck.

Phil — who designs baits for Strike King and last year changed his middle name to “XtraDeadly” — won what I believe is his 3rd or 4th Rayburn tourney already this year at least weekend’s BFL. And won by 5 lbs. Crazy.

But he got WAY outside his comfort zone, by not crankin’ something with XD in the name:

> “They were spawning in the bushes mid-lake and I caught them using a blue-colored Hack Attack Jig with a blue Rage Craw trailer. Some fish I could see and some I couldn’t, but they were definitely on beds.”

Phil even looked like he was still in a little bit of a daze from not crankin’:

Hahaha Phil! Srsly tho — pretty dang #stout:

“Cashmere hammer” might have to be Phil’s new nickname….

B-Rob, gotta auction off a boat with Phil in it for your Rayburn charity derby man….

Seminole Costa baits breakdown.

GA’s Matt Baty won it with 45 lbs — kind of a combo winter and shad-spawn pattern thisaway: “targeted prespawn staging fish on a creek channel turn with grass growing about 2′ off the bottom along the adjacent flat.”

Here’s the top 10 finishers’ baits broken down — lots o’ different baits be workin’:

> Crankbait = 40%Strike King 5XD (20%), 6XD, Rapala Shad Rap, Jenko Silent CD 20 (winner fished it)

Shoutin’ out Bradley Enfinger (9th) for fishing the Shad Rap on casting gear…so you don’t have to chuck it on the spin:

> A-rig = 30%YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr only one shown

> Swim-jig = 30%

> 20% each = Bladed jig (including winner), Senko-type, Flip plastics

> 10% each = C-rig, Punch mats, Topwater (Vixen), Lipless (‘Trap), Worm, Spinnerbait

If bass fishing had a combine.

NFL combine stuff is kinda weird. Seems like how these guys do in actual games would matter a whole lot more than measurements and drills…but I guess NFL execs get little man-crushes on giant dudes running around in their skivvies…. #weird (Check what current Giants corner Elite Apple was asked in one of his interviews.)

ANYHOW…If we had NFL measurements in bassin’:

> Weigh-ins — Not of fish but of bass-heads. What’s the ideal weight for a pro bass-head — less than 200 lbs? Up to 225? If you’re too light does that mean you’re at risk of bouncing outta your seat in rough water? If you’re too heavy, does that mean you won’t be able to run up to the bow fast enough?

> Height — Can you be too tall in bassin’? Doubt it. David Kilgore is like 6′ 8″ and he’s qualified for multiple Classics so…. Can you be too short to use a 7’+ flip-stick? Nope.

> Hand spread — Can your hands be too big? What if your hand completely covers a casting reel?

> Arm length — Do longer arms increase casting distance? Probly…an advantage for flats and frog mats? Doubt it but….

> Vertical jump — Love to see some Air Ike along with the yell.

So…what if we had bassin’ measurements. Can’t be physical, so skills:

> Flip splash — Bigger the splash, smaller the chances of success in the big leagues.

> Casting accuracy — You mess up the spot or get snagged or hit a boat or dock, no good.

> ‘Lectronics Wonderlic — If’n ya can’t answer super-detailed questions about your units, you ain’t gonna make it. Keep sayin’ it: the Elites are nerds — they know EVERYTHING there is to know about their equipment.

> Map study — Don’t think for a sec all you do is run to GPS points in the Elites. You study maps, you study water levels, you study shad migrations, you study cloud movements, heron body language, you name it — but you must know how to break down a physical map fast and thoroughly.

Okay bottom line: There’s NO WAY any physical measurements can predict success in bassin’, or in my opinion any other sport. You get there because of natural ability (yep, some fishermen are just better), work ethic and — here’s the big one — what’s between the ears. Case in point:

Here’s what green pumpkin mimics.

I know you know but this shot makes it ultra clear:

That craw is under-lit — interesting how much light gets through that shell. [chin-scratch emoji]

News

1. Brent Ehrler was on Jeopardy.

Sorta:

Category was “People whose names start with B.” But maybe he’s changing his name to “Rent?”

2. Jo Lee got hisself a triple.

3.74 spot, 4.40 smallie, 5.70 large. Said he was on Guntersville — don’t think I knew that lake had spots?

Even weirder, he was feehsn hot dogs for channel cats!

Okay, that one I made up.

If one’s green and one’s brown, what do we call the other kind? Breen? Gr-own? Chucky?? [Tempted to make a politically incorrect joke here…resisting….]

3. Yakkin’ helping Keith Combs be a better angler.

Couple lines:

> …you need to be stealthy…. From the very first day I got into my kayak…I’ve caught multiple bass that literally bit at the rod tip…. That happens occasionally in a bass boat, but not nearly as often…has taught me that I need to make a greater effort to keep a low profile, shut off all of the sounds, and stay off of the trolling motor as much as possible….

> …how important it is to dissect what you have in front of you. When you’re in a bass boat, if you don’t feel your current spot is “on,” you can pick up and run 20 miles until you see something better.

4. Luke Clausen feeshn first Classic since he won it in ’06.

> I’ve been on [Hartwell] several times with FLW, fishing a similar time of year, so I have a pretty fair grasp of what takes place there.

5. Ike Foundation looking for HS seniors…

…for scholarships. Application deadline is Apr 1, which I don’t think is an April Fools joke?

6. Seminole Costa collision.

Forgot to mention this in the last Blaster. Sounds like everyone okay. Be careful folks.

7. GA/SC: Clarks Hill BLF winner fished loon pattern.

Most folks don’t like fishin’ around divin’ birds but winner Bart Blackburn said:

> “I look for loons diving for food this time of year, and the area had one loon that was really active. I culled 3 fish, and picked up another good keeper from similar structure to finish out my day.”

8. VA aquatic resources chief is a tourney bass-head.

Good! Wish that was true in more states…cuz more bass-heads than other fishermen nationwide.

9. AR wants opinions on bass regs…

…for lakes Dunn and Austell. 7pm at the visitor center of Village Creek State Park at 201 County Road 754, Wynne.

10. PA: What a shad dieoff looks like.

At Pymatuning Lake:

> “…gizzard shad. It’s quite normal for them to die off like this in a normal winter where we have good ice cover. They are very sensitive to sudden temperature drops.”

11. All 10 colors of the new BOOYAH ToadRunner in 3 seconds (vid).

Or you can check ’em slower on TW.

12. New Alpha Angler Clutch rod out soon.

Gitcha on the email list to get first shot at 1…or 3. Scroll down the the bottom of the Alpha homepage.

13. Glimpse the new Vexus tin rigs.

Looks high end, not surprised:

14. Why one bass-head uses Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

Props from @cobi_pellerito:

> “I spend a lot of time on the water using my outboard to get me from spot to spot, covering dozens of miles a day sometimes. Being that I have an older boat with a 1995 115hp Mercury, this amount of wear and tear eventually catches up.

> “I’ve been using Sea Foam as a fuel additive for 2 seasons now, and it has made a significant impact on how smooth my motor idles, powers up and powers down. It runs cleaner and faster with less issues overall. This in turn allows me to spend more time catching fish!”

Reminder that Sea Foam has a big rebate til the end of this month.

15. Canada tackle market stabilizing?

Also hit with brick/mortar store closings.

16. Zebra mussels are egg machines?

Find this hard to believe outta such a small critter but:

> A single zebra mussel produces about 1 million eggs a year.

Sounds tiring?

17. FL: Rabid otter attacked kayakers.

Believe that’s a first? Authorities said no relation to the DeFoe clan…hahaha Ott!

18. Ultimate wheelchair for outdoorsmen?

Don’t know anything about the company, just stumbled on it.

Line of the Day

“These [contaminants] were actually moving up through the food web, going from just being in the sediment, up to crayfish and then into baitfish like bass or walleye.”

Guy talkin’ ’bout Lake Ontario. Believe that’s the first time I ever heard of bass being called a baitfish.

How Make Sure you see Blaster stuff on social

Social changes make it harder to follow fan pages so here’s how not to miss posts, giveaways, etc.

Facebook — Hit “Following” and then “See First” and “On.”

Instagram — Go to the BB page, hit the 3 dots, then “Turn on post notifications.”

Tip of the Day

Ott DeFoe: Where bass stage pre-spawn.

A few upside-down views of bassin’ conventional wisdom he posted on the Bassin’masters:

> Something else I think is often misunderstood about the early prespawn is the idea that the females stage on breaks, things like channel swings and underwater crevices — quick changes in depth. They do stage on those areas but only because they’re there.

> They’re just as likely to stage on a stump, a rock, old fencing, a tire or anything else that happens to be around. A staging spot is about something different. It’s not about natural structure.

> Another thing about holding areas is that they aren’t always between deep water and the places where the bass will make their beds. Sometimes they stage shallower than they spawn. This is especially common during an unusually warm spell that lasts for several days. A weather pattern like that drives the baitfish shallow and, of course, the bass follow. When it’s time to actually spawn they turn around and move back out a ways.

Huh…inn-terestin’. Line that jumps out to me: “They do stage on those areas but only because they’re there.”

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Quote of the Day

“I use nothing but Tatsu and Gamma Edge because I haven’t figured out how to string my $100 bills together in a thin enough diameter to fish with them.”

– HAHAHA! Too funny. Dude on the TexasFishingForum talkin’ ’bout good but expensive fluoro lines. When it comes to line and just about everything else, you get what you pay for….

Shot of the Day

Dang lookit those big coot protectors! Startin’ to be embarassed that my livin’ room doesn’t look as good as some bass tubs:

Seen at @garminfishhunt

Random

Was gonna out the new cherry cola Oreos Aaron Martins told me about, but gonna give it up to Drake for his God’s Plan vid. What if we all spent our time and money helpin’ folks. Awesome to be in the bassin’ world where that’s the norm — bless you guys.

Reminds me of Matthew 6:21.

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 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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