How Palaniuk won, Brown and green needed again, Finesse jerkbaiting

Today’s Top 5

How Brandon Palaniuk won the Champlain by-ounces Elite.

Crazy how you need 5 fish that are just a teeny bit bigger than the next guy to climb the standings at Champlain. Makes for a great tourney to watch…well they all are but you get what I mean.

Brandon won this deal finding and catching those little bit bigger feeshes — here’s his baits and some more info, but the full fishing/pattern info is on the BB site:

> “I want sun with smallmouth, but it seemed like the biggest factor was the wind. The combination of wind and clouds was okay — the fish would seem to roam more but it pushed the bait up on the deeper flats.

> “When it slicked off, the bait would roam wherever in the lake. But it seemed like when the wind blew…pushed bait to the edges of deep flats, and smallmouth would pull up and get on rocks and stuff on those flats.

> “…20-40′ so it wasn’t a specific depth, but it seemed like 25-32′ was where those flats set up and seemed to hold the best average of quality fish.

> “…flats, sand to rock transition — gravelly rock stuff, and a lot would have giant isolated boulders mixed in. Sometimes they’d be set up on boulders, other times they’d be scattered out across the rock.

> “…just went around using Mega 360 boulder to boulder or followed rock veins…looking for them on 2D sonar so could drop on ’em.”

> Dropshot: X-Zone Finesse Slammer (first 2 days “big limit,” days 3-4 “gp blue”), #2 dropshot hook, 3/8-oz VMC Tungsten Drop Shot Weight, 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro leader (15′) to 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid (“15-lb is super small, 6-lb equivalent diameter, it’s what I always throw”), Daiwa Exist 3000 Reel, Alpha Angler DSR Rod.
> Swimbait: Storm Arashi Glide (oikawa mesu), 25-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro, Daiwa Zillion HD Reel (7.3:1), Alpha Angler Wide Glide Rod. “When I caught the fish I was doing the standard 3/4 handle turn…. When you do that 3/4 turn that pulls the bait to the side, then a 1/4 turn and stop, and that allows it to glide.”

Crazy story about running in the last day and way more at the BB site.

5 Qs with the Champ.

1. Why did you wait 3 years to get your 4th win? Were you just being polite or was there another reason?

> “It was not by choice but seems to be the timeline I’m on. I won in 2012 and 2013, then it was almost 4 years and now 3 years.

> “When I started this [being a pro], I thought, If I can win one every 3-4 years I think I can stay relevant in this game. For whatever reason, I’ve been on that timeline.”

2. Do you think it makes any kind of sense that a guy from ID can win even 1 national bass fishing tourney??

> “If you’re from ID, it makes sense. If you’ve never fished in ID and don’t know where the state even is, then it probably doesn’t make any sense at all.

> “I still have some people come up to me who think that ID is next to IL and OH. I’m like, No that’s IA!'”

3. Would you rather fish more tourneys in FL or more in NY? (Brandon’s last 5 FL B.A.S.S. finishes are: 15th, 108th, 105th, 37th and 89th. His last 5 NY ones are: 1st, 10th, 7th, 3rd and 3rd.)

> “I’d rather fish more tournaments in NY, but I’d rather get more practice in FL.”

4. How many times have you seen or heard bigfoots on those elk hunts?

> “Me zero, but my stepbrother swears he’s seen one at least once. Maybe been around them multiple times.”

[Heck yeah! They even ride in pickup trucks out there!]

5. What’s one thing you don’t want anyone to know about you?

> “How much I actually enjoy dancing snd singing but I’m terrible at both.”

HAHAHA! Well you can’t be as bad as these NFLers:

Largemouths needed to win on Champlain AGAIN.

Brandon Palaniuk might not have needed largemouths to win on Champlain, but he weighed 2 of ’em so there you go. Seth Feider (2nd) definitely weighed some nice largies. So once again it seems like to win a big-time multi-day tourney on Champlain, you need some green — maybe because it’s an ounce by ounce deal.

What Brandon said:

> “I thought I could win with just smallmouths. I knew [the big largemouth bite] would be somewhat volatile — would you get enough of those 4-lb bites? So guys like Seth catching a 6-lber each day for the first couple days, I knew that was going to be hard to beat but it’d also be really hard to keep that pace, to catch one like that every day.

> “…because I always want to break the mold…I remember you writing [about] when Aaron [Martens] won the last time here [that he needed both species]….

> “…someone’s odds were better if they had both, but I felt like the possibility was there that you could win with all smallmouths.”

The fish 5-0 know:

Lol — here’s a little insight from Alton Jones a while back:

> “There’s a time on Lake Champlain from about mid-June to the end of July that you’ve really got to target largemouth if you’re going to give yourself a chance to win. The smallmouth bass in this lake for some reason go into a post-spawn funk. You can catch a lot of them, but you don’t catch big ones. Come mid to late Aug and Sept, you can win here on smallmouth.”

Best bassin’ ‘n bigfootin’ states!

This map came out with all the best ‘foot states, so add a GREEN check for the best bassin’ + bigfoot states and a PURPLE check for the 2nd best:

With the exception of the West Coast, seeing it thataway makes me wonder if there’s something ELSE to how B.A.S.S. and MLF pick their tourney locations…like maybe this dude’s a consultant?

In all seriousness, I do NOT recommend going out lookin’ fer those critters man. Listening to SquatchChronicles has really changed my opinion on ’em…not that I spend a lot of time doing that…that anyone knows about anyhow….

Evinrude tunes that no longer make sense?

Because they’re no longer:

Larry Fleet: Where I Find God (thanks to bass-head Matt S for the heads)

> From a bar stool to that Evinrude, Sunday mornin’ in a church pew

Craig Morgan: Redneck Yacht Club

> Take your Johnson, your Mercury or your Evinrude and fire it up, Meet us out at party cove

Josh Thompson: Wanted Me Gone

> When you threw me out the back door, Screamin’ like an Evinrude outboard
[That deal might need some Sea Foam Marine PRO….]

The Lacs: Black Moon

> Got the ghost mare runnin’ and the hooch still comin’ hope that old Evinrude don’t stall (don’t stall)

Also TX geetar wizard Eric Johnson has him an instrumental called Evinrude Fever….


1. Bradley Hallman is recovering from Covid.

Sounds like he had the symptoms, whole deal. Glad he’s okay — can’t link it, at

> …included fever, headache, cough and loss of smell and taste. He recovered at home and didn’t have to make a trip to the emergency room….

> “I’m 45 and I really didn’t think I would have this hard of time with it when I first got it.”

Will mention: Several pros think they might have had it earlier in the year…. Another tiddybit from that post:

> …left the FLW Tour after it was bought by Major League Fishing…. “I have no interest in fishing the MLF style, what those guys are doing.”

2. Gotta shout out Jacob Wheeler for a 2nd on the upper Miss.

Also Tom Monsoor for winning it, WITHOUT a swim-jig…kidding. More on that derby in the next one….

3. Buddy Gross will replace a prop anywhere.

Looks like MLFer Cody Meyer was in the same boat — not literally — on the upper Miss. Either that or he was tryin’ to turn rocks into gravel:

4. Win a Worldwide bassin’ trip.

Worldwide = Jimmy “James and the Blue Flames” Watson….

5. I’m diggin’ these Brian Latimer lids!

VIBES man — so many meanings:

6. FLWer Ron Nelson is on BassEdge Radio.

7. FLW explained the Keith Poche horsepower DQ.

Interesting parts: In the comments someone says there was a 1-hr fog delay…and someone else wondered why it wasn’t mention in the inspection….

8. TX stocked 28,000 ShareLunker fingerlings this year.

ShareLunker = 13+ lbs largemouths.

9. New Googan rods are out.

> The Googan Squad & CatchCo fishing rods are composed of high quality composite carbon blanks and ceramic insert guides. The Green series features EVA Foam/cork composite grip, while the Gold series comes equipped with a 100% cork grip….

> The handle and real seat were reimaged from the ground up focusing on both ergonomic comfort and sharp looks. The product engineers at Catch Co. used 3D printing technology to create several iterations of various components for testing….

> Both series will feature 6 different rods…ranging in size from 6′ 9″ to 7′ 5″, and from M to H power and Mod to XF action.

> The Green Series is priced at $99.99, and the Gold Series priced at $149.99….

10. 2020-21 ACA college bassin’ schedule is out.

Git after it!

11. Lindner’s Fishing Edge now on WFN Tues at 8:30 pm.

12. Yammy repower deals right now.

13. This is a “PA porcupine” and it will help #morebass.

Being put in Lake Monticello, AR. Looks like a minnow safe zone?

14. WV: DNR trying to figure out how to make bigger bluegills.

> “It also helps if there is a dense population of predator fish to thin out mid-sized bluegill.”

Thinking…stock more bass!

15. TX: Ivie and Grapevine “infested” with zebras.

16. IL: 60 fish types in Chicago rivers…

…vs less than 10 in the ’80s. But who will be the first one to EAT a feesh outta those rivers:

17. CA: What the heck’s going on??

Bill AB-3030 seeks to:

> “…by 2030 to protect at least 30% of the state’s land areas and waters; to help advance the protection of 30% of the nation’s oceans; and to support regional, national, and international efforts to protect at least 30% of the world’s land areas and waters and 30% of the world’s ocean.”

Bass Pro Shops says the bill is anti-fishing and anti-hunting.

This post says it’s being driven by the United Nations??

> The United Nations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced earlier this year that the planet will need to be at least 30% protected by 2030 to avoid environmental collapse and to repair ecosystems across the world. If passed, CA would become the first state to have the guidelines up for consideration and possible implementation.

There’s also another REAL disturbing CA senate bill — nothing to do with fishing, SB 145 if you’re curious, look beyond the official narrative. Dang, Lord please save our country!

On right now…
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Tip of the Day

Brent Ehrler: Small jerkbaits get bites.

He’s talkin’ the Lucky Craft Pointer 78DD on the MLFers site:

> “Say you’re sitting there with a few M&Ms and a big Hershey’s bar in front of you. Would you rather just pop in a couple of M&Ms or try to devour an entire candy bar? Those little baits look a lot easier to eat to the fish, so they are more inclined to go after that than a bigger bait.”

> “It’s kind of a finesse-type bait, meaning that if the fish aren’t really active they still seem to bite it. If they are active, they bite it even more. That jerkbait is about 20 percent smaller than other jerkbaits on the market and I think that makes a big difference.”

> “…without any of the rattling. That’s why when it’s calmer on the water and the situation calls for a little more finesse, this bait is perfect for that.”

Sounds sorta spybait-ish?

Quote of the Day

“…if bass fishing is a sport, then this is a sport….”

High Point U faculty dude James Smoliga talkin’ ’bout competitive eating. Disappointed to see he’s at a southeastern learnin’ institution. Based on that quote I’m thinkin’ this guy has never spent a day chasin’ greebacks, or even seen anyone do it?

Quote was from an article on the fact that he took his own time to calculate the max hotdogs a competitive eater can eat. His answer: who cares hahaha!

Shot of the Day

David Walker‘s daughter’s teacher tried to sneak this one by lol:

I’m thinkin’ she might have had a substitute teacher that day…several pro fishermen come to mind….



“Shark a doo-doo” man sings as he’s airlifted to hospital with serious life threatening shark bites

Surfer, 16′ great white hit him 4 times — he was saved by a couple other surfers. Those guys have STONES man. #stout

Check his board — yikes — somehow he made it, thanks for his buds:

Ya got me
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