How Clunn caught ’em, Sickest limit so far, Bigger blades bigger fish

Today’s Top 4

How Clunn caught ’em at the St Johns.

After talkin’ to him, really here’s all we need to know:

1. Rick doesn’t think he’s old and about to retire, so we shouldn’t either. He said:

> “Most humans are addicted to human timelines that are falsely created. Everyone wants to retire me…. On the water I feel like I’m 28-29 yrs old. I love every minute of it.”

2. He knows 90% more about bass fishing, baits, etc than just about all of us EVER WILL. Scary and amazing.

3. He’s won a good many tourneys on spinnerbaits and just did again so I’m thinkin’ it’s time for a spinnerbait REVIVAL:

Hahaha yeah the one and only James Brown! Anyhow, tellin’ you right now that I don’t like spinnerbaits except in very particular conditions. But after talkin’ to Rick, I WANT to throw a spinnerbait. A lot more. Maybe.

Anyhow, here’s what he used — full pattern story on the BassBlaster website:

[Seein’ those shots feel like I should tell Rick not to reel up to the top guide…heehee!]

> Spinnerbait: 3/4-oz Luck E Strike Trickster Spinnerbait, 7′ 6″ H Bass Pro CarbonLite Rod, Johnny Morris signature Reel (6.3), 25-lb BPS Excel mono.

> “…what’s unique about that spinnerbait is the heavy Long Drop blade. The Long Drop is a cross between a willow and IN. [With it] you don’t have to have as big a blade [key for big fish but tough to cast]. The key is water displacement — the more water you displace, the better fish you catch.”

> His bait had 2 blades — “a small blade up front and the smallest long drop on the back, a #3.5 [both silver]. The smaller blade came through the dollar pads better…. It had a perch-colored skirt and Ringworm (firecracker — sparkly red — with chartreuse tail).” He said he was using an older-model worm, but it’s probably something like this one. The spinnerbait had a trailer hook.

> Why the spinnerbait was so heavy even though he was fishing shallow: “It has to be that heavy to carry that blade…so much water displacement [so it doesn’t roll].”

> 6″ Gator Tail Worm (junebug) — “made years ago, it’s my favorite FL worm.” 5/0 Owner hook (“because I do swing them”), 1/2-oz weight, same rod, same reel, 65-lb braid. [Here’s a Zoom gator tail worm.]

More deets and how he decides whether to swing fish (which he seems to do 90% of the time) on the BB website.

Side note: The bladed jig he had custom-made that he won the 2016 St Johns Elite with — that he said would NOT be produced — is for sale on TackleWarehouse here.

Sickest limit of 2019 so far?

Check Alex Niapas at the Wild West Bassin’ Trail derby at Lake Shasta — his day 2 limit of 30.22 included a 13.58 largemouth and 8.32 spot!! Caught ’em 10-15 mins apart. Click the pic to see the FB vid:

Props for the Kuiu huntin’ wear…. Alex said he won it throwing bigger line-thru swimbaits in 8-10′. Didn’t say exactly what baits but you swimbait freaks might be able to tell from the vid. Here’s a screen cap:

Top 10’s baits from the Toho FLW.

The top 10 broken down by bait type — here you go. Btw Buddy Gross won it because of his outstanding beard fishing a 5″ Scottsboro Tackle Swimbait (natural shad) on a 3/8-oz belly-weighted 8/0 Owner Flashy Swimmer Hook with a blade, and a 1/2-oz swim-jig (white) with a 4″ Scottsboro swimbait (natural shad):

Worm/Stickworm = 40% — Shout out to the BioSpawn ExoStick used in a major top 10 finish…Josh Douglas (5th):

Lipless Cranks = 30%BOOYAH One Knocker (ghost — pictured, Joe Webster, 7th), SPRO Aruku Shad, 6th Sense Quake Thud:

Bladed Jig = 30% — ALL were Jack Hammers…which is Brett Hite’s fault….

Flip Plastics = 30%

10% each = Swimbait, Swim-Jig, Football Jig, Soft Jerkbait

More BPT #1 baits.

Dang finally gettin’ this in. Usually just do the top 5 but Michael Neal’s stuff’s in here cuz I could swear the standings said he was in 5th, but then he was in 7th.

4th: Anthony Gagliardi

> Berkley Skinny Cutter 110+ jerkbait (ayu), 7 M Level Rod, Abu Garcia Revo MGX HS Reel (8.0), 14-lb Gamma fluoro. Open-water schooling areas (8-9′) when wind was blowing.
> Berkley Power Swimmer (bluegill flash), 3/16-oz Buckeye G-Man Finesse Swimbait Head, 7′ 4″ ML Level spinning rod, Abu MGX spinning reel, 8-lb Gamma Torque braid to 10-lb Gamma fluoro. Same areas when calm and fish were coming up breaking.
> Berkley Power Jerk Shad (baby bass and green flash), single and double rig (aka, double Fluke rig), 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 belly-weighted swimbait hooks, 7′ 2″ MH Level Rod for the single, 7′ 10″ MH for the double, Abu Garcia Premier Reel, 16-lb Gamma fluoro. Double rig I fished fast in those same schooling areas when calm and fish were not really breaking. Single rig when I fished Garcia around grass and pads.
> Wacky-rigged Berkley Power Bottom Hopper (gp), 7′ 4″ ML Level spinning rod, Abu Revo MGX, 8-lb Gamma Torque braid to 10-lb Gamma fluoro. Fished on Garcia around those shallow ridges (1-2′) where bucks were coming up making beds.

Level is his own rod company.

5th: Alton Jones Jr

> Cotton Cordell Hot Spot/Super Spot (gold/black), 7′ 3″ H Kistler KLX Rod, 15-lb fluorocarbon. Hydrilla beds in 2-3′. Yo-yoing it was a major key.
> 6″ YUM Dinger (gp purple flake), 5/0 flipping hook, 1/4 oz weight, 50-lb braid to 25-lb fluoro leader, 7′ H Kistler Zbone Rod. Flipping bushes in a canal on Kissimmee, 1-3′.

7th: Michael Neal

> Kissimmee: 3/8-oz Dirty Jigs Swim Jig (custom skirt) with a 4.25″ Big Bite Cane Thumper, 7′ 2″ H Denali Kovert Rod, 50-lb Sunline FX2 braid. In the lake in hydrilla and Kissimmee grass.
> SPRO Little John MD (chartreuse blue back), Denali Russ Lane AttaX Cranking Rod, 12-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro. In the canals on rock.
> SPRO Aruku Shad (wild shiner), same rod as Little John but 14-lb Sniper. Fished around hydrilla.
> Garcia: Big Bite Yo Daddy (b/b), 1.25-oz weight, 7′ 8″ XH Denali N3 Rod, 60-lb FX2 braid. Punching mats.


1. Great post for BPTer Paul Elias’ younger self (and us).

Tips from now Paul to back then Paul:

> “…I’d let myself know that I did a good job sticking to my style of fishing, and that it would pay off with wins and a Bassmaster Classic championship. But I’d also tell myself to change my personal life around. I was all about my career back then. I should’ve put God and my family first, but instead I put my fishing career above everything.”

GREAT post. Read it! Love the transparency Paul — #real

2. MI: In-state fishing generates $2.1 bil per year.

Post says “million” but that’s a typo.

3. VT bill wants to ban wake-surfing.

Ain’t a fan of too many gov’t regs but that could be sweet:

> The bill would also require the development of regulations to ban wake boats from specific public waters, taking into consideration existing opportunities for fishing….

4. Lindner’s Angling Edge on WFN Tuesdays.

8:30pm EST. Learn from Al, still the master of every fish.

5. Garmin adds high-rez shading.

Such like:

6. Merc has a 400hp Verado.

Several bassin’ pros are puttin’ their heads together about how to get a 250 cowling on it…lol.

7. Ranger owner used 3D printing for a new boat.

Not for bass tubs…yet. Here’s what it looked like:

Wonder if that things knows as many boat shapes as the Hopper bros…. #doubtit

Because politicians rock…not….

10. Uh-oh is it an El Niño year?

Not sure how there could be more rain than last year but:

> “Weak El Niño conditions are present and are expected to continue through the spring.”

> El Niño is a periodic natural warming of sea water in the tropical Pacific. It is among the biggest influences on weather and climate in the U.S…. It typically brings unusually wet weather across the US’s southern tier….

Tip of the Day

Why Rick Clunn likes bigger spinnerbait blades.

Okay — are most of your spinnerbaits double-willows or bigger willow/smaller CO? Bet most of the spinnerbaits sold are that blade combo. BUT that doesn’t mean they’re the best, especially for catching bigger fish.

Check what Rick said in our winning pattern convo — bear in mind that Rick is a long-time spinnerbait fisherman and big-time spinnerbait believer:

> “My 2 favorite blades fishing were willow-leafs and INs. IN and CO blades always caught bigger fish, and with willows you catch a lot. [I never knew that?]

> “For bigger fish you need #6 or #7 blades, but you can’t throw them in the wind.

> “The Long Drop [blade he designed] is a cross between a willow and IN. You don’t have to have as big a blade — the key is water displacement. The more water you displace, the better fish you catch.”

Quote of the Day

“It drug my pirogue all over the place…that thing was popping a wheelie.”

Dude who caught a 11.41-lb Toledo Bend largemouth outta a 12′ pirogue. Where I come from a “pirogue” is a Polish potato pancake, but down there it’s like half a boat. Not sure I’d be in one on water that big, but whatever it worked for him man!

All he’d say was he caught it off a cypress tree with a 6″ worm…too funny and love the Tak Omori-like secrecy!

Shot of the Day

Cliff Pirch is a pretty mellow dude. Never seen him ticked off. So when I saw this shot, I knew something was up, man. A lotta guys just yell at people encroaching on their area, but Cliff…Cliff likes to do the whole bass-boat jousting thing. If you don’t think it’s intimidating seeing a guy comin’ at ya thataway, you ain’t never been Pirched:

Of COURSE kidding! DO NOT try it kids, it won’t turn out good!


IL cops give public chance to get tasered for free at training event

100% support law enforcement, but I’m drawin’ the line there man!

If I remember right, that may be how B.A.S.S.’s Steve Bowman became a sheriff’s deputy tho….
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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