How Ish chooses colors, Trolling motors in pressured water, Bass scare weiner dogs!

Bought 2 licenses online (me and my 17 yr old son) from the NY DEC. Site gets a C at best cuz several issues trying to buy 2 licenses with the same credit/debit card. Since all DNRs depend mostly on license sales, surprised it was so bad. Fix it state peeps!

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

Today’s Top 4

How things have changed up north.

Cool perspective from Sensei “Rick” Clunn on the Bassin’masters:

> When I won on the St. Lawrence River back in 1992, it was the first time a B.A.S.S. angler won there exclusively with smallmouth. I averaged around 14 lbs a day.

> In the current era with [zebra] mussels and gobies, that’s so weak you don’t even want to take a 14-lb limit out of the livewell. Last year, I averaged more than 20 lbs a day and still finished 21st.

That’s crazy!

I was at the Elite Brandon Palaniuk won at the St. Lawrence (he fished Lake Ontario). I’ll never forget him showing me his fish when he was in the weigh line — they were the biggest smallmouths I’d ever seen. They actually looked like a different bass species, crazy.

Now this might be the biggest smallmouth I’ve ever seen, reposted by Dave Mercer:

Eeeeeeew! Here’s a legit 7-15 brownie caught by @joefordfishing on Lake Simcoe in Canada. The ones Brandon had looked this big to me but weren’t quite (6+):

Ish Monroe’s color c-lections.

So I asked Ish to show me the different soft-plastic colors he uses in the Southeast vs Northeast vs West. He was like:

I was like, “Okay then.” Turns out the question is what colors does he use no matter where he is. So here you go:

Regular flippin: Missile D Bomb, top to bottom: candy grass, PB&J, bruiser flash.

> “All 3 of those colors are laminates. Candy grass is what I use for a bluegill pattern all across the country, PB&J is what I use to for crawdads all across the country, and then black/blue is everything else.

> “The majority of baits I have are those 3 colors — I don’t carry 20 different colors of everything.

> “Black/blue is the most universal color across the country — I’ve won tournaments in FL, CA and NY on it. The candy grass color — I’ve won tournaments in NY and CA on it. PB&J is a great universal color — brown and purple works anywhere in the country, particularly in places like MO and TX. I’m covering all the bases by simplifying colors.

> “The Craw Father is a small crawdad — a compact flipping bait when you need to downsize and finesse a little bit.” [Colors are candy grass, gp and bruiser flash.]
> “Then you have to have a swimbait whether by itself, on a swim-jig or a vibrating jig.” [That’s the Missile Shockwave in pearl white, bombshell and candy gill.]

> “That’s how I cover the bases if you want to simplify. Obviously I have other baits, but if I had to have 3 baits that would be it.”

What about matching the hatch?

> “It’s very important. I can remember winning the [Bassmaster] Busch Shootout…. I caught a bass on a shakey head. I was catching them, but not fast and furious, just one here and there. This bass had a crawdad in it that had a little green, a little blue and little green pumpkin. I had a jig that matched that exactly. I threw it out, and the 3rd or 4th cast caught the biggest fish of that day that won me the tournament…and caught them faster.

> “…includes size. It’s hugely important.”

Does simplifying colors increase your confidence in those colors?

> “I think it’s more not being confused. The biggest thing for a lot of anglers is having a starting point, whether it’s a lake they normally fish or a new lake. So when I go to lakes, these are the colors I’m picking to start with because it’s simple.”

Random Q: What do you think black/blue mimics?

> “I think it’s a shadow thing more so than the actual black and blue. The black is darker than the blue, but they’re really close to each other. So I think it’s a shadow thing. They say fish don’t see colors…shades they see better….”

Only after we went through this did I realize all the soft-plastics he uses are designed by John Crews. Don’t know if you’re aware that Crews got into the soft baits biz because of his obsession with rubber finger puppets:

Just something to bear in mind. Maybe it’s a good thing…?

“I really had to learn how to speed up.”

Greg Hackney talkin’ ’bout his <del>pie eatin’ at county fairs</del> bassin’ on the BPT:

> “I’m a methodical type of fisherman, so I’ve had to get used to needing to catch nearly 50 bass a day just to keep up.

> “This is the toughest thing that I’ve ever done. Between this format and this group of anglers, it’s been different for me this year.”

Toughest? Had to remind him of that other hawg-ketchin’ format the MLF tested this year…thought it was a TV home run but I guess most of the guys didn’t dig it:


Put crabs and shrimp in your tacklebox…

…if you fish tidal waters or are gonna fish a tidal tourney (from here):

> A large proportion of largemouth bass consumed blue crabs and mud crabs…also consumed grass shrimp, gulf menhaden and mysid shrimp.

> Prey diversity was greater at the lower estuary…than at the sites in the upper estuary….

> A principal components analysis based on the biomass diet data revealed that invertebrates were the most important prey resource…with finfishes playing a secondary role.

> Seasonal inputs of estuarine fish species, such as Gulf menhaden, represented an important prey resource…during both spring and summer.

Here they are, T to B, L to R: menhaden, blue crab, mud crab, grass shrimp (can be colors from clear to gp to white-ish), mysid shrimp:

All (not sure about the little shrimp) are in other Gulf and Atlantic tidal areas.

Btw, here’s the bass diet in the CA Delta (“Sacramento San Joaquin Delta”):

> Non-native red swamp crayfish were the most important prey for largemouth bass….

> Non-native centrarchids (including largemouth bass) and amphipods [shrimp] were important prey items as well.

> Prickly sculpin were the most frequently consumed native fish. Other native fish and pelagic fish species rarely occurred in largemouth bass diets.


1. George Cochran boat/fish tour of Hamilton (vid).

Cool deal by FLW. Great to see George again — he looks good! Can’t tell if Hamilton will fish bigger or smaller with better electronics now…meaning will the guys spend more time on all the brushpiles they all see or less.

2. WI’s Devin Teigen won the upper Miss Central Open.

Who is this ice water in the veins hammer who put together a 16+ bag on day 3 to win this deal by less than 1 lb? Don’t know but I know he loves him some frogs:

> …caught his winning fish on a SPRO Bronzeye Frog. He threw frogs with white, yellow and darker bellies, with the lighter baits producing most of his bites.

He switched to froggin’ on day 2. Accordin’ to Bassin’Fan he fished a Spook, Fluke and C-rig to catch smallmouths on day 1.

Lovin’ the t-shirt and Tackle Warehouse hat — looks like just a regular dude….

Hey Dean, your frogs WORK man wow! (Hahahaha!)
3. Great post about Gerald Swindle mentoring his nephew.Hope G teaches Trey some of his “country expressions.” Not sure where Gerald learned ’em — maybe he just makes ’em up?

4. AR’s Ronnie Everett will be honored by the Bass Fishing HoF.

> Known for his tireless efforts in directing the Mr. Bass of Arkansas Pro-Am Tournament Circuit for more than 25 years….

5. Little more info on the new Lew’s/Strike King deal.

From info sent in by Lew’s:

> Fox International, Europe’s largest privately-owned fishing tackle company, today announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Lew’s Holdings Corp.

> This combination will enable an enhanced route to market for both businesses. This will be driven by an expanded geographical footprint, deeper innovation, R&D sharing capabilities….

Not sure about that R&D deal. Looks like Fox is mostly carp so maybe they’re lookin’ at Strike King being close to KY Lake?? HAHAHA! (Okay, the Asian carp deal ain’t funny a’tall….)

6. TN: Bethel U team won Bassmaster College Champeenship….

…goin’ old skool with a big worm and spinnerbait. Here’s the winners, Carter McNeil and Cole Floyd:

A big worm (Zoom Ol’ Monster in plum and tequila sunrise) and spinnerbait (chart/white) — is it back to the future in bassin’?

7. Lowrance and MotorGuide will still be buds.

Good to hear in this new electronics-exclusive world:

> Both brands will continue to collaborate on sonar compatibility and chartplotter integration between MotorGuide trolling motors and Lowrance sonar and chartplotter technologies.

Who still calls depthfinders chartplotters? That’s like calling a phone a “smartphone” or a “mobile phone” or a “cellular telephone:”

8. Couple delayed mortality tidbits…

…from a study. Not sure if it was actual or just using models (computer analysis) but:

> Results supported acute trends in survival of bass following tournament capture with little support for chronic trends. [Meaning it’s situation-dependent.]

> Bass survival post tournament capture was related to water temperature and number of prior tournament captures.

9. AR: Meet Forrest Wood, get a Vexus ride.

Trader Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Hot Springs on Aug 10, 8:00-10:00 am. Then Vexus demo rides at Brady Mountain Resort on Ouachita 11:00 am-2:00 pm.

10. TX: Lookit these crazy new “brushpiles.”

My only question: Does a hook get stuck in that stuff? If not, make ’em everywhere!

11. MX: No LMBV in Mexico yet.

Largemouth bass virus…no existo….

12. Couple tidbits from Johnson Outdoors Q3 earnings report.

> Fishing revenue increased 5% due to continued success of new products in both Minn Kota and Humminbird.

> Watercraft Recreation revenue declines reflect ongoing weakness in paddle boat markets.

Does “paddle boat markets” = kayaks? If so that sounds surprising….

13. Garmin Q2 revenue up.

> …Garmin announced a best ever revenue of $955 mil, a 7% increase compared to the same period last year. Revenue from its marine segment grew 12% during the period, driven by strength in the demand for its chartplotters and…Panoptix LiveScope sonars.

Tip of the Day

How not to use your trolling motor.

From a good post on the Bassin’masters about team tactics in crowded/pressured water, by my ol’ bud Johnny Storm, of the Fantastic 4:

> “…if we’re in a crowded stretch, we generally won’t fish right in line with the other boats. We’ll back off a bit, use the Power-Poles more than the trolling motor and fish the area thoroughly.”

> …even if big bass are conditioned to ignore big-motor or pleasure-boat noise, they could still have a highly negative association with trolling-motor noise. The lack of trolling-motor noise in a heavily fished area might thus minimize negative moods.

> “All it takes is someone getting a little too close to the grass or piece of wood and then hitting that electric — I think that makes the fish in the area extra cautious. That’s where the Power-Poles come in. They keep you from washing everything out.”

> Hurst prefers to run his electric on constant low, rather than starting and stopping, which can create bracket clangs, shaft creaks and startup water bursts. Probably 95% of the fishermen out there simply can’t stand to sit and fish, which is why the approach can be so effective against crowds.

Love this part:

> The subtle part of the success formula comes from their understanding that angler traffic can reposition fish. The fish are in a particular area for a reason, but they do react to traffic. That’s why it’s important to back off a bit, camp out and see what the fish want and where and how they want it.

Quote of the Day

“I hope I don’t have to fish like Mark Davis, but if that’s what I have to do, that’s what I’ll do.”

Ott DeFoe burnin’ his bud Mark Davis hahaha! I mean, would anyone want to fish like Mark?? Well…I would…. Okay just funnin’ — Ott means that in his first tourney back after heart surgery [big eyes emoji] he doesn’t want to have to fish sitting down.

However Ott fishes, look out for him at the Redcrest deal because let’s just say he’s been having a heck of a year fish-wise….

Shot of the Day

Contrary to conventional wisdom, weiner dogs don’t all dig bass man:

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Blades

    August 7, 2019 at 11:02 am

    If you think licenses are bad, how about gas pumps with $50 limit, trying to fill the diesel truck, 36 gallons, the boat 36 gallons and you can only use the same card ONCE in the pumps.

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