“Hammer toad” condition? Maybe best braid cutters? New TIE fighter

Word is my boat’s ready. A new boat. Never owned a new one before. I feel like a little kid…a balding, achy, just slightly outta shape (lol) little kid. Hope to get ‘er in the next couple days, can’t wait! My wife’s only statement: “Where are you gonna park it?” She doesn’t believe that’s what a driveway is for? HAHAHA we’ll work it out man!

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

Today’s Top 5

This man may have a condition called “Hammer toad”?

LA’s Benny Fruge was out on Toledo Bend — aka “where the jolly green giants roam” — in Aug and caught this 11.43-lb monster:

Then 20 days later — in a tourney! — he caught this 12.35:

Only deet I could find is both were caught at night. That 2nd fish is the biggest T-Bend lunker hawg donkey slaunch panda (borrowed ’em Z!) of the season so far…BUT is only the 76th-biggest large ‘n in charge caught on that lake since record-keeping started in ’93. 1,000+ DD bass have been recorded there! Insane.

If anyone reading this lives near that lake, just know it ain’t worth trailerin’ anywhere else. Seriously.

Couple #girlpower PB giants!

Trait Zaldain caught this 9.98 practicing for the Rayburn Open, her PB. I was thinkin’ she maybe should’ve dunked it in the water a couple times and/or kicked her scale for that extra 0.02?

FLWer Tyler Woolcott and @rebeccamccoyy made the trip to the newly-opened Headwaters Lake, FL, and the beeg feesh of the day was Becky’s very healthy-lookin’ 8-lb PB:

Tyler posted:

> …me and @garrett_rocamora also had some fun. So many fish [in] the 3-5 lb range with so much more water to explore.

Sounds like it’s worth a trip fo sho….

Can your braid cutters do this??

Whoa! 2 pairs sent to me, so I gifted 1 to Brett McComas at Target Walleye (he’s a bass-head too) who texted:

> “Dude! These things are legit. Been using it all summer — thousands of cuts — and she still rips through 1 snip. Don’t even have to pull the line tight to cut your tag ends.”

Not on TW but here’s the website.

Watch these 8 minutes.

Cried today watching the Wade Bourne tribute vid ^. Cried cuz I miss him, because I self-pityingly still am not even half the man Wade was, and because of the immense love he had for everyone, which shows in that vid even if you never knew him.

Wade is and always has been one of my heroes and one of my mentors…which he wanted to disavow at one point — pretty sure he was joking lol. For some reason it really hit me how much he LISTENED, then had a thoughtful response.

Few things from the vid:

> Reelfoot guide Jackie Vancleave (pretty sure I fished with him once): “He’s the person everybody wants to be, you know. He’s one of them.”

> Wade’s son Hampton said, “Sharing is conservation.” Profound, wow.

> His wife Becky: “It was just so interesting to see how little it takes to introduce and encourage somebody else, and after all that’s what we’re all here to do.”

> She also said: “Creation is given to us to be a joy.”

Amen to all of it. Thank you DU and much love to the Bournes. When this Covid stuff is over, visiting his home office is on my bucket list…if they’ll have me….

Also take 8 minutes to read this Bassin’masters post on college bass-head Jarred Jones. Amazing.

Okuma came out with a new TIE Fighter.

Had to do that for some reason, not sure if it was the Force or baby Yoda or what. Those are Okuma Helios SXs….


1. Worldwide Watson gets Smoked.

Well that happens all the time in derbies (lol kidding man!) but seriously he’s now with Quantum Reels, and as you may know their reels are called “Smokes.”

2. Why is Jacob Wheeler so good?

Innerestin’ post on the FLW site:

> J-Lee: “…I think Wheeler is one of the absolute best with his electronics right now. He runs multiple units and seems to understand what they are showing him better than just about anyone.”

> MDJ: “His absolute strength is anything topwater. He blows my mind with how much he understands about the itty-bitty nuances of topwater fishing.”

> Big Show: “Wheeler’s decision-making and willingness to change what he’s doing in the middle of a tournament day set him apart.”

Interesting to me are the common threads there: confidence and a ridiculous attention to detail.

3. Here’s ONE of Jason Christie’s rod boxes.

Either that or it’s someone’s lifetime supply of bassin’ stix stuffed in a locker:

4. New Ike colors of Berkley soft-plastics.

Chigger Craws and Los Generales.

5. How Gerald Swindle ties the FG knot (vid).

Gives David Mullins credit (I think?). Interesting. Bottom line for this knot or any knot is to keep trying it and eventually you’ll get it.

6. Good Mark Rose swimbait point.

Not a point like a main-lake point but this:

> “A shad doesn’t get a big thrust from its tail. It quivers. The body has a slight shiver. That’s what a swimbait does.”

He was contrastin’ swimbaits with other movin’, rattlin’, minnow-lookin’ baits. This pic was on the post:

Does the guy in Mark’s boat have:
a) a robotic arm
b) a little dog in a black sack
c) indigestion
d) all of the above

7. Jeff Kriet is keeping his surgery collection going.

Just had shoulder surgery, and neck surgery last year. Love his post:

> For all you “young bucks” that have decided to fish for a living, your time will come!

Wonder if Kriet does it for the anesthesia…kidding. Heal up brother Jeff!

8. John Murray jersey eBay auction.

Also to benefit Jason Borofka’s son.

9. FLWer Billy McDonald goes Bassin’ Cat.

Was a long-time Ranger dude. Kevin Short has many many friends…somehow? Lol Kevin!

10. 2021 FLW Pro Circuit schedule is out.

Pretty good mix, no surprises. Important #stout deet:

> Payouts for 2021 remain the same as 2020 qualifying events and the 2020 Title, but entry fees for qualified pros have been reduced by $10,000 to $30,000 for the season.

11. Happy 86th to Ron Lindner!

Fishing, bait and media pioneer, and still sharp! Reminder that the Lindners “discovered” and coined many of the concepts and terms we all use now.

12. Robert Montgomery’s got a new book about Sam Griffin.

On amazon. Robert’s a long-time Bassmaster senior writer — gave me my start and spoke at my weddin’ — who’s known legendary Okeechobee bait-maker Sam Griffin for many years. Long while back I spent a little time in the boat with both of ’em on Okeechobee — amazing time. I felt like Sam actually “knew” the bass, if you get my meanin’:

> Part I, Life on the Lake, provides a look into Sam’s formative years, growing up on the lake, helping out his father Joe with commercial fishing…how he transitioned into the lure business. You might be surprised to learn what Sam thinks about hydrilla on Lake Okeechobee, an invasive aquatic plant much prized by most anglers.

> Part II, Baits and Bass, examines his handmade lures and reveals the fish-catching expertise…especially with wooden topwaters, his specialty. As with the Big O, arguably no one knows as much about topwater fishing as he does. [This is 100% true!]

> Part III, The Man, the Myth, the Legend, takes a look at the life of Sam Griffin, as related by relatives and friends, including me.

13. NY: 50 lbs, 2 limits, 1 boat in Lake Ontario tourney.

Glenn Van Hoesen of smashed 25.97 with a 6.95 kicker, and his co had 24.55 with a 6.52! Glenn said his main deal was a Sammy Johns Finesse Football Jig (pb&j) with a Keitech Little Spider:

Only way that could maybe be better is if his last name was Van HALEN…!

14. BLF happenin’s.

> Chris Daves, Woo’s son, won the Potomac 2-dayer on a Zoom Speed Worm (gp).

> Matt Stanley won on Dale Hollow, TN fishing brush deeper than most (25-38′) with a dropshot and an 8″ Nichols Ben Parker Flutter Spoon.

> KY Lake winner Gary Singleton fished secondary bars with a 3/4-oz Hoppy’s Spinnerbait (white).

> A JackHammer and a War Eagle spinnerbait won for Richard Leadbeater at the Chesapeake Bay.

15. MO: Cops for Kids benefit tourney on Table Rock Oct 6.

Might be able to get a Vexus ride there too….

16. FL tourney fisherman uses a ‘Trap to find veggies.

> I use a Rat-L-Trap to search out vegetation. I can slow-crank that back to the boat and if there’s anything growing off the bottom, I’ll find it.

17. IL: Des Plaines River fishing better than ever?

18. Blown away by the B&W Trailer Hitches vid.

^ On the Bassmaster site. Had no idea. That’s a REAL business in my 2c — grateful to employ folks rather than all about the $$. I’m buying a B&W hitch this weekend.

19. Jeff Kolodzinski set a new 24-hr record.

I think? Caught 2,645 fish. Crazy! “Marathon man” moonlights as a marketing dude for Johnson Outdoors/Humminbird/Minn Kota. If you’ve met Jeff, you won’t be surprised at all about how animated he is after staying up for 24 straight hours…congrats man!

20. Mustad has a new CEO in Norway.

Post doesn’t say he fishes….

21. MI gov’nor signs bill with $8 mil for Asian Carp.

For the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project. The governor actually axed the funding but the state legislature put it back.

22. MI has the frogbit.

Invasive plant with a weird name for a small lily pad since I assume it could lead to more frog fishin’?

Line of the Day

The Hackney you describe is one of the past, a little more rough and ready, maybe even a little dangerous.

If anything he’s MORE dangerous now, in several ways. BUT that line’s not about Greg Hackney — it’s actually about Iron Maiden guit-strummer and fishin’ dude Adrian Smith’s hometown by the name of Hackney. Who knew. Adrian also said:

> “Unfortunately, like a lot of retail, the tackle shops are closing down, but I think it is really essential that we keep them because they are the soul of the angling community. People go in there and they meet each other and they have a cup of tea, talk fishing, and you can’t get that on the internet. Guitar shops are the same, exactly the same.”

100% true in my 2c, except I’ve never had a cup of tea in one…tho I’ve heard that when Jared Lintner walks into the Tackle Warehouse warehouse he gets his choice of tea, coffee, Red Bull, a peanut butter milkshake (for ‘stache dippin’) or some kinda healthy green shake deal. Not sure if I believe it…the green shake part anyhow….


1. Here’s that super-loud buzzbait Zack Birge used at Fort Gibson — the Blacks Toater. Big thanks to bass-head Gary R for the heads up!

2. Funniest response I got to seein’ those 2 spinning combos on the highway, from bass-head Steve S:

> “The spinning rods were mine, I am so done with drop-shottin’ in the hot weather! Don’t bother picking ’em up if they’re still there, they weren’t very lucky for me….”

Fort a second I thought Brandon Palaniuk wrote that…lol Brandon!

On right now…
Note: The TackleWarehouse links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase I might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in the BB.

Tip of the Day

How to keep your fish alive and kickin’.

From a good Chad Morgenthaler post on the Bass o’ masters site. It’s about tourneys, of course, but seen plenty of Insta shots where 3, 4 and 5 fish are held up at once so they are going on sleigh rides too:

> …B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland…suggestion was to cool the water down. …recent research has proven that cooling livewell water slightly below lake or river water temps can significantly improve survival of fish released….

> You have to be careful not to cool the water down too quickly or too much or you’ll shock the fish. …can be a serious problem when the fish are released…back into warmer lake or river water.

> My strategy was to bring three 10-lb bags of ice placed in an insulated bag in the rear compartments. I’d add about a half bag per livewell to cool them down, and then I’d check them every hour or so, or after running in rough water. If you really wanted to be precise about it, you could place a floating thermometer in the livewell.

[How great is it the guys care about the fish this much.]

> I’ve heard stories that store-bought ice has too much chlorine…but Gene confirmed that there’s nothing to worry about there — the small amounts present will not negatively impact your fish. As an alternative, you can freeze water in half-gallon milk jugs or plastic soft-drink bottles and place them in your livewell….

> Another step I took was more careful use of my cull balls. Of course I used punctureless clips, as required, but I used them sparingly. When I caught a fish that I was unlikely to cull, I just threw the ball in the livewell, untethered, so I could keep track of how many fish I had. I only actually attached them to smaller fish. All of my fish stayed upright all day and with the cooler internal temperatures they settled comfortably on the bottom of the livewell.

> One other key, if it’s possible…is to use both livewells to spread the bass out. This reduces stress on the fish and slows the consumption of oxygen in the livewell water.

All these Gene Gilliland drops lately are makin’ me wonder if he could maybe win bassin’ Jeopardy? Other contestants I’d like to see are Pat “pending” Renwick of Stray Casts, Ken “take me to your leader” Duke of Fishing Tackle Retailer, and B.A.S.S.’s Steve “secondary points” Bowman. “I’ll take ‘Fishermen not named Roland’ for a hundo Alex.”

Quote of the Day

“It was his first time (he) ever put his hand on [a fishing] rod but caught a little fish and…was just amazed.”

– Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC police officer Reginald Richardson talkin’ ’bout getting young folks fishin’ and doing other positive things. LOVE folks who help out of selfless love. Maybe some folks in that area can help him out?

Shot of the Day

Too funny + great shot of a young’n on Toledo Bend this spring. Never had that issue myself but really wanna experience it!


Great baptism story from a bass-head in France that’s also a GREAT idea. Check it, from Renaud T:

> “I wanted to share with you my story…. I’m in Normandy, France. I grew up in a Christian family but never paid that much attention. A little over a year ago I met an American missionary in my town here and long story short about 2 weeks ago I took him on a boat ride in my Ranger (sorry no Vexus yet!!) and I got baptized in my favorite spot. It was great day, looking forward to the rest of my life with Jesus.”

How great is that! Baptized in his fave bassin’ spot! Love it man, thanks for sharing and bless you!

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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