How to fish like Brandon Palaniuk, What is Maxscent? Monsoor swim-jig tips

Wonderin’: Are BassBlasters getting too meaty? Do they need a side of beans and a nice cucumber ‘mater salad? Reminds me — I was talking to Aaron Martens the other night. He sounds good (please keep lifting him up in prayer) and was talkin ’bout how he’s in great shape, like 3% bodyfat shape. Listenin’ to him I was feelin’ like fat Thor — time to get back to runnin’!

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

Today’s Top 5

15-lber caught in FL!

FL DNR says this bass was “recently caught” but its website says Dec 14, 2019 so one of ’em is wrong…but either way I’ve never seen it before and it ain’t often you get all these pics to show how massive these fish really are. So here’s Vance Mccullers’ bass — says it was caught in Polk County, no other info:

Math problem: What’s the volume of a bass that’s 28″ long and 24″ around?? Someone can maybe figure that out?

How to fish like Brandon Palaniuk.

KILLER gallery from B.A.S.S. shooter Dalton “I gotta get to” Tumblin tells you all you need to know. First, vertical rod position:

Second, stick your arm entirely underwater to land your feesh:

Third, make sure you try to kiss ’em so they relax a little (I think?):

Last, better look cool doin’ it or what’s the point??

Lol! Rainsuit is the SIMMS ProDry, the one all the pros wear (jacket and bibs). Great but pricey, so the Challenger suit (jacket here, bibs here) is great if you can’t afford it. BUT word is the new ProDry actually is designed to keep your arm dry if you stick it in the water to land a spicy fish like Brandon is doing. If they pull that off that’s insane man wow….

Oops almost forgot — Brandon’s dog watching the final weigh-in on TV:

2nd-5th Champlain Elite baits.

Didn’t get info from Jason Williamson (5th) yet so here’s 2nd-4th:

2nd: Seth Feider (also finished 2nd at the last Champlain Elite)

He jigged largies but also cranked smalls. Here’s the jig info:

> “Targeted milfoil in 5-7′ and boat docks.”

3rd: Jamie Hartman

Had 3 deals:

> Jig: 1/2-oz Riot Baits Lil Creeper Jig (gp and pb&j) with a gp trailer, 15-lb Hi-Seas Fluoro, Shimano Chronarch Reel, 7′ 4″ MH Cashion Rod.
> C-rig: Riot Baits Little Fuzzy Beaver (gp), 3/0 Owner Wide Gap Hook, 1-oz weight with black bead, 3′ leader, 15-lb Hi-Seas Fluoro, same reel, 7′ 6″ Cashion flipping rod.
> Dropshot: “Shad-imitation bait,” #1 Owner Cover Shot Hook, 3/8-oz weight, 10-lb braid to 8-lb fluoro, Shimano Stradic Reel, 7′ 3″ M Cashion spinning rod.

> 12-18′ breaklines and flats with grass.

4th: David Mullins

> Dropshot in 20-30′ — 3″ goby-imitation bait, #1 hook, 3/8-oz weight, 12-lb Sunline SX1 braid to 7-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro, 7′ prototype Doomsday spinning rod.
> Cranking in 8-10′ — Didn’t want to name the bait, 12-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro, 7:1 reel, 7′ 3″ MHC Doomsday cranking rod.

What’s the deal with Berkley Maxscent?

Y’all know that Justin Lucas, who co-designed the Berkley Maxscent Flat Worm, used it to dropshot like a million lbs of smallmouths at the Sturgeon Bay Bass Pro Tour derby, which he won. Josh Bertrand (3rd) and Jordan Lee (4th) also used that bait — guess your first name had to start with J and be sponsored by Berkley to have a good shot of doing well in that deal lol.

The week after that, the Elitists were at the St. Lwarence River/Lake Ontario, and 3 guys who are NOT sponsored by Berkley and whose names don’t start with J also finished in the top 5 using the Maxcent Flat Worm. That was winner Chris Johnston, almost-winner Paul Mueller and Chad Morgenthaler (4th).

MLF did a couple deals on the Maxscent, includin’ havin’ Berkley scentmaster Mark Sexton on their Live, which I thought was cool. I wanted to see what was up with this Maxscent stuff too, so I got with Mark — here’s some of our Q&A, full meal deal is on the BB website:

What exactly is Maxscent, and how is it different from regular PowerBait and Gulp?

> “PowerBait is PVC plastic [like I believe all soft-plastics]. We learned how to flavor PVC plastic in the ’80s and it turned out to be really good. Gulp is a water-based material…literally dissolves in the water. If you leave it in long enough…it’s gone.

> “Maxscent is a type of PVC very similar to PowerBait, but it can accept some liquid [scent] and doesn’t dry out like Gulp. …[scent] put into Maxscent isn’t that different than PowerBait [but how Maxscent baits are made] puts it into the water so much faster…draws fish.

> “Remember those pieces of gum where you bite it and you get quick shot of liquid in your mouth? It’s like that…a way better tool.”

Okay sounds like Maxscent is similar to PowerBait and similar to Gulp. So why is it so good — or better?

> “Maxscent allows attractants to come out of the bait way faster. We figured out a way to make the construction [of the Maxscent baits] different to make the flavorants come out of the bait faster.”

I thought he gave me more deets but then this happened:

What are the flavorants designed to do?

> “We’ve gone through 50,000 different chemicals and mixtures of all of them, and we’ve figured out what [bass are] actually attracted to.

> “Can they sense it — do they notice flavor in the water, if so do they find it positive, neutral, or negative. The first thing is smell. It has to attract them, and when they taste it that has to be positive. If it’s negative, you’re done — they spit it out and you don’t catch them.

> “Over the years we’ve plodded our way through…we’ve figured out what they like. It’s like grandma making the best cornbread on Earth — over the years she perfects it. That’s what we’ve done.”

Here’s Mark making the most of some flavorants:

How does the scent disperse and what is the pattern?

> “It depends on water temperature, depth and salinity…how far the smell will go. If you have any current or moving water, that scent will travel a long way. …fish can smell better than any bird dog: If 2 molecules hit their nose 100 yards away, they go seeking. All they do is swim and eat.

> “We study all 5 senses, and smell is the first thing they rely on. Bass chasing a school of shad…they can smell them before they can feel or see them.

> “…fish secrete all sorts of stuff. Bass get used to associating that [scent] with food. Smells get the bass close to the bait — then it uses other senses to finish the deal. And we understand all of that.”

Does it work better on smallmouths than largemouths or does it just seem that way?

> “No. The only reason for that [right now] is that [pros] are using it on smallmouth fisheries. In largemouth fisheries it’s a secret.

> “[Elite pro] John Cox loves Maxscent. He thinks they pound it way more than regular plastic and he’s been pretty successful the last couple years.

> “If you flip a jig in there and you’re soaking it, you’re creating a scent field. A fish on the other side of the brushpile will swim through the brushpile to get it….”

More on the matte colors and improving the formulas over time in the full post.

Top 10 baits breakdown from the Upper Miss FLW Super Tourney.

Long-time upper MS hammer Tom “swim-jig or nuthin'” Monsoor beat some dude named Jacob Wheeler by a little less than 2 lbs…and yep, Tom fished the bait he made nationally famous: the swim-jig. Big-time win, congrats to him. What he said:

> …Pool 8, hunkered down in the Black River and “just went fishing.” For him, that meant focusing on 2 things: gravel bars and drops with weeds.

> …white Humdinger Tom Monsoor Swim Jig with a 3.5″ Yamamoto Swim Senko…especially the first 2 days. …also caught some of his bigger fish on a football jig with a Yamamoto Cowboy trailer, and small homemade jig with a Yamamoto Fat Baby Craw….

This is innerestin’ — sounds like expertise is required:

> “It’s a deep break with weeds. You can’t see the weeds. So it’s tricky because if you cast too far it’s shot because your jig is in the weeds. You have to hit the edge mentally and let it fall straight down or else they won’t bite it.”

When I “hit the edge mentally,” it usually means something totally different hahaha! Anyhow, here’s how all the baits of the Top 10 finishers broke down:

Frog = 50%SPRO Bronzeye 30%, also BOOYAH Pad Crasher, Reaction Innovations Swamp Donkey, 13 Fishing Trash Panda and Jackall Kaera. Shoutin’-out Jacob Wheeler having 4 different frogs on the deck (SPRO, Panda, Donkey, 1 more) and Zack Birge (4th) for fishing the Kaera in “red frog.”

Flip plastics = 40%

Swim-jig = 30%

TX rig worm or Senko = 30%

Jig = 20%

10% each = Football jig, Toad, Crankbait (Yo-Zuri 3DB 1.5 squarebill), Shakey head, Dropshot (Cody Meyer, 6th).


1. MLFer Clent Davis harpooned him a brown whale.

Lookit this thing!

What he caught it with:

> Mister Twister Comida stickworm (gp) cut in half, 1/8-oz Nichols Toadstool Jighead, 15-lb Yo-Zuri SuperBraid High Vis Yellow to 8-lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluoro, Abu REVO X Spinning Reel, 7′ 1″ M Phenix Feather Spinning Rod.

2. Jeffy “Gus” Gustafson only uses braid on spin gear.

He also guides which in my 2c gives extra weight to his 2c:

> …also has a resistance to twisting and a much longer lifespan than other lines. When I take people fishing who are inexperienced, they can feel when a fish bites…. Beginner anglers sometimes don’t have the best hookset so this line helps with that as well.

> When I’m fishing in deeper water,…I can feel bites and get a good hookset with ease. I can make longer casts because the braid doesn’t carry any memory so it won’t coil up like the other lines.

3. Watch out when you’re around Mike Iaconelli.

Cuz he says:

> “I have one eye on my map and one eye on my sonar at all times.”

Sounds like:


4. Here’s Brent Erhler’s small jerkbaiting gear.

Didn’t get it in time for the last one but here ’tis:

Also changes the trebles on that Lucky Craft Pointer 78 DD to #4 Gamakatsu G Finesse Trebles.

5. Alton Jones Jr has a great big bass name: Chungus!

Hahaha love it! Here’s one:

Here’s what an interwebz Chungus is:

6. If you’re doubting swimbaits on smallie waters…

…check this yella perch livewell treat posted by Hunter Shryock from Champlain:

7. Who is Taku Ito?

Elite Series rookie I believe from Japan, qualified thru the Opens last year and this year on the Elites has finished 21st, 42nd, 6th and 10th. On the Central Opens last year he finished 2nd, 8th, 66th and 10th. Dude is a sho-nuff stick!

8. Trip Weldon possibly looking into pilot licenses for pros.

Based on what’s been happening in derbys lately — here’s Doomsday “David” Mullins in a Seigo Saito shot: #airborne

This is what it’d look like if bassin’ tubs could fly as high as a jet…

…which would mean it’s a jet…boat? lol

9. This is B.A.S.S.’s new head of security.

For a sec I thought it looked like Dave Mercer but either way another great James “it ain’t Over” street shot:

10. Johnny Morris bought a theme park.

35 minutes from Big Cedar Lodge:

> …a 400-acre former theme park in northern AR [formerly called] Dogpatch USA.

> …Bass Pro says that the future development will be an extension of the group’s signature experiences that help families connect with nature.

Got a flashback to when the Helen Sevier-owned B.A.S.S. was thinking about building a theme park in Sevierville, TN….

11. DC: President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act.

> …the bill renews our national parks and protects local lands, while also serving as a jobs and infrastructure package that will create over 100,000 additional infrastructure-related jobs. Furthermore, the legislation will provide $900 million a year in permanent funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund [which includes boat access stuff]….

12. AR stocked 350K bass in the AR River…

…so far this year:

> …an average of 34,091 stocked in each of 11 pools of the river. The most stocked in any 1 pool were the 67,000 fingerlings of northern largemouth bass that went into the Dardanelle nursery pond to grow out and eventually be released into the lake….

13. YUM Spine Craw’s lines — why don’t more baits have ’em?

In this vid Micah “the Hollywood machete” Frazier points out that because the new Spine Craw has lines down the middle on both sides, it makes riggin’ ’em up perfect way easier…should be mandatory (for peeps like me anyhow):

14. T-H Marine has a new program for guides.

Discounts and more, hit the link ^.

15. Garmin Q2 down overall but marine up 4%.

16. Johnson Outdoors’ Q3 revenue down overall.

But sounds like ‘lectronics was strong. Must be Q3 fiscal, not calendar….

17. SD: Zebras found in Lake Cochrane.

18. MB: Muskie attacked swimming lady angler.

Not bass-related but dang:

> “Once it bit me it started flailing me through the water and then took me under.”

Says she’s an angler, and now has nightmares from it. I say, go back there and catch that sucka! Hope she is okay….

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

Learn ya more about swim-jiggin’ from Tommy Monsoor.

FLW vid on YT. Few gems:

> B/b, gp and white are his main colors, but says if he could only have 1 color it’d be b/b — BUT he also says black/purple is a must-have too.

> 1/4-oz 90% of the time, 1/2-oz for as deep as 30′.

> In slop he’ll fish it like a frog?? “I won a lot of tournaments doing that.”

> Looks like he winds straight in, but also reels, lifts, reels, lifts. “I always like to fish it as slow as I can.”

> Says do NOT set the hook or you will miss fish: “Just gotta make sure your hooks are sharp.” From a different FLW interview: “There’s a right way to sharpen a knife and sharpen an ice pick. There’s a right way to sharpen a hook. If it doesn’t stick in your thumbnail on its own at a 45-degree angle — not pushing it in, on its own — then it’s not sharp.”

Shocked there’s not way more info out there with him. I’m gonna call him!

Quote of the Day

“This victory was confirmation that I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

Brandon Palaniuk talkin’ ’bout Champlain. Love the transparency, just always amazes me that pros — the best fishermen on the planet — still look for confirmation of their profession, and still have times of low confidence or whatever (or maybe he was talkin ’bout B.A.S.S. vs MLF?). I’ve seen these guys fish, in their boats, and they are legit amazing. A whole ‘nother level, or 10. But…they’re also just like us: peeps!

Anyhow, to all the pros out there, from one dude — whether you win or not, you rock. Go get ’em, do not doubt (Matthew 21:21), have fun, see you at the finish line, love and hugs.

And for whatever it’s worth, always felt winning is kinda like happiness. It’s a line you step over and feel good about, but then when you look ahead there’s always another line. Internal JOY is an entirely different deal….

Shot of the Day

First thought was, Wow how cool is it that Bridgford put a bass on their packaging. Then I read @blaukatrandy’s post — that’s an actual bass…which I think weighs less than the jerky?


Dude says local legend is there’s a giant octopus that lives in Lake Tenkiller, OK?? Should also mention — in that interview says he’s also seen a goat man, chupacabra and ‘foot. Maybe…time to move!

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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