HUGE ditch melons! Best time to go shallow is now? Hair jigs and Rogues

We’re fishin’!! St Johns and the Okee, let’s go!! After the Elite fog delay and me shoveling snow yet again this morn (thumbs down), I now know there’s only one good form of water: liquid. Solid and gas, no thanks man. You can’t run a squarebill through snow or vapor, you know what I mean?
Crazy experience, short version: Monday I went to an alternative mostly-eastern medicine doc because he’s helped many folks including my daughter. I’ve had a bad back for a long time, surgery 18 years ago, been getting worse, been sleeping on the couch for about a year (bed makes it worse), done every normal thing you can think of (phys therapy and all that), etc. Anyhow, I was there for 3.5 hours – when I was there I could actually feel my back getting better. Now it’s better than it has been in many years. Absolutely amazing.


If I told you how they did it, guarantee you never heard of such a thing. No weird/bad stuff – the doc is a Christian and MD – just diagnose and treat outside the box. Blew me away. Makes me wonder how much we don’t know about stuff…and why. Like why can’t B.A.S.S.’s first derb of the year be on OKEECHOBEE dang it! Lol glad the fellers are out there. Let’s go!

Today’s Top 5
BIG ditchies comin’ atcha!
Startin’ with this 13.65 from Orange Lake, FL caught by Cal Gillen:

How ’bout a 13-11 from Lake Hernando, FL (never heard of it?) – Blake Briscoe:

YTer Mikey Balzz caught this 13-05 pre-spawner on a Strike King 10XD (green gizzard) and 12-lb Seaguar Red Label fluoro in 22-24′, Lake Placid, FL. Can’t believe he found water that deep (catch vid here):

Showed Fat Skittles that fish and he was all:

I think I missed these 2 TX ShareLunkers somehow? First up is a 13.62 caught by the guy who’s only caught insane weights of fish on Rayburn this year, Derek “Mr. Rayburn” Mundy. Bass looks like it has eyes the size of tobacco tins:

Here’s Dan Ramsey’s 13.07 from Palestine:

Windin’ ‘er up with Falcon Lake, TX guide Jimmy Steed with an 11.40 caught on a 5″ Big Bite Tricky ‘n Sticky (watermelon red) with a Kistler KLX Rod:

What up with Cali??

“It’s an excellent time to be a shallow-water angler.”
– Might not have gotten that exactly right but it’s Greg Hackney talkin’ at a Bass U deal, as remembered by Pete Gluszek – and the context is modern ‘lectronics. In other words, while everyone is falling ion love with the Live ‘n 360 and messin’ with that stuff out deeper, they’ll be leaving some fish up shallow. Love how Hack thinks differently a lotta times.


Pete said that on the Strained Gas show he was on last night along with me, Steve Bowman ‘n up-n-comer Nolan Minor. Keep your eye on Nolan – enjoyed getting to know him a bit.

Check these cold water hair-jig tippin’s.

The pro dudes fish hair jigs. They carry hair jigs. Why? Do you? When? Rhetorical – check these infos from an older Bassin’masters post:


> “The modicrylic and acrylic fibers in my jigs have more action than living rubber,” claims [Steve Headrick of Punisher Lures]. “It swells out and floats in the water. It looks alive.” …legendary smallmouth angler Billy Westmorland…tied with this material for many years. In fact, it was Westmorland who put Headrick on to the synthetic hair….


> Headrick scores especially well on one of Westmorland’s presentations when the water begins to warm in the spring. He lets the jig fall to the bottom, holds the rod straight out in front of him, and moves the jig by cranking two times on the reel. This makes the jig dart ahead and drop back to the bottom like a crawfish.


> “Cranking doesn’t pull the jig as high off the bottom as lifting it with the rod tip. It’s a more realistic action. And when a bass taps the jig, the rod is in the perfect position to set the hook.”


> Few people noticed that hair jigs anchored a 2nd-place finish for Aaron Martens at the 2002 Bassmaster Classic on AL’s Lay Lake. When the bass refused to respond to jerkbaits and crankbaits, Martens tied on a hair jig and cleaned house. 


> “Hair jigs show bass a slim minnow profile. It’s stiffer than rubber or silicone and responds with a sharper action. It drops faster, which may trigger reflex strikes. Most bites come as the jig falls.”


> Hair jigs produce for Martens when the water clarity is 3′ or more…relies mainly on white, white/black and white/chartreuse. At Lay Lake, with a marking pen, he put a black dot on each side of a white jig to emulate shad.


> “I was pumping the jig pretty fast with a high rod tip at the Classic. I bounced the bottom with it most of the time, but I also caught bass swimming it up high. Sometimes bass like it when you just crank the jig straight in.”


How much does Aaron believe in hair? Well, his Picasso Shock Blade vibe jig comes in a hair/feather version…

…and prolly had a hand in Picasso’s Special FX Hair Jigs.


I keep runnin’ into AAron stuff…

“Try being out on the water for 8 hours a day with your stress level and mental awareness elevated at the same time.”

Greg Vinson talkin’, and that’s why my 2c has alway been that these guys are athletes same as anyone else. Put some ball-sports guys out there for 8 hours a day (first 12 hours/day in practice) and they’ll see that real fast! Rest of Greg’s quote:


> “When it’s hot and you’re tired and your arm is starting to hurt from casting so much, you’re going to understand exactly what I mean by ‘fishing shape.'”

Start ‘n end of the tourney season.
HAHAHAHA you know it! Let’s goooooo!



No time for haircuts…or possibly other hygiene? Is it time to start worrying about John? No. It’s past time….


2. On Em Robertson is an Ugly Stik guy.


Knew he was Pure Fishing (Berkley, Ugly Stik, etc), now looks like he’s all Ugly…if you know what I mean . Love it, genius on the part of Pure Fishing in my 2c.


Rumor is even Mike Iaconelli can’t break an Ugly Stik…and neither can a garbage compactor:

S/o to Pat Renwick for rememberin’ that commercial, full version here (YT).


3. Why this is Tim Horton’s fave crankbait.


Signature Azuma Z Boss 20 (purple hayes):

> “My goal when designing this was to make it extremely hydrodynamic. I equate a crankbait cutting through the water like a steak knife cutting through a steak. You want sharp and jagged cuts that are made possible by the bill. The forehead of the lure is also hydrodynamic and shallow like a sports car, which allows it to cut through the water with less resistance.


> “…a full 1 oz in weight while others like it are only 3/4-oz. Since it’s heavier and has a weight-transfer system, you’re able to cast it farther which allows it to reach its maximum depth. We’re talking about 14-15′ for this particular model….”


4. Here’s why Austin Felix wears flannel jammy pants?


He says it’s a comfort thing but Elitist Brett Preuett outed this today:

Can’t nap without comfy jammies…?


5. MLFLWer Sonar “Miles” Burghoff gets Battle Born.


Was Radar Born, now Battle Born? EMOJ


6. Why the BioSpawn Rattlebots looks like they do.

Has those cutouts so I asked why:


> “…color on most lipless cranks is only skin deep…same canvas and various colorways are just thrown on there. Not with these genetically engineered cranks. …the unique body panels and plating of the RattleBot [gives] them a depth and dimensionality not present in the lipless market. Colors here play with light and shadow like no others, creating an added element of interest and intrigue to draw out that tentative bass.


> “We’ve developed 2 unique body styles to further tie these colors to the body forms, and paired them with rattles that best fit those natural forage: small multi-bb rattles in the baitfish, for a high pitch constant rattle, and a low-pitch single knocker for the craw.”


I like the thinking. The fish will tell us from here! Can’t get ’em on TW yet, and it looks like the site is sold outta a bunch already.


7. Bass U schedule is out.


Believe it’s virtual, either way WELL worth your hard-earned $$. South Jersey guys run it – please do not hold that against ’em. EMOJ


8. CT: Candlewood in danger of being overrun by zebras?


Just gotta point out that mussels can’t run so….


9. VA: Reminder new fees at state-owned ramps.


10. Asian carp getting a sexier name this summer.


To sell it as food. Has been done before:


> …rebranded the carnivorous deep-sea slimehead as the more palatable orange roughy. …rebranding the Patagonian toothfish as Chilean sea bass. …spider crabs will become Cornish king crabs.


Should we rebrand the largemouth bass to be “the greatest gamefish on Earth”…even tho we all know it is? Nah. If you know you know man….



Headline of the Day


Invasive zebra mussels found at Ashland checkpoint


Apparently the mussels were insisting they were clams but were acting real sketchy….





More on a TX-rigged Fluke, from bass-head William C:


> That’s been my go-to in winter in ponds for years. An older guy showed it to me when I was a kid. But you have to do it on a windless day so you can watch the line twitch or pause. If the bass feel any pressure from the rod at all they spit it every time!

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

Man the Smithwick Rogue ain’t ever gonna be 110 sexy, but it still fo sho catches ’em. Here’s some good tippage from Lake of the Ozarks, MO guide Keith Enloe:


> “I like to run these baits over brushpiles. When the water temperature is 38-39 degrees, I slowly bring my baits over the structure to imitate a dying shad.


> “Bass are lethargic in cold water and are not going to chase a bait. I literally pull the bait down slowly rather than jerk it. I drag it 12-18 inches and then let it sit for at least 30 seconds, and sometimes as long as a minute.”




> “…pay close attention after stopping the bait. Often the line only begins to feel heavy. Bites are usually light. Sometimes, the line sort of jumps. This bite is very difficult for beginners to adjust to.”


> As water temperatures climb into the upper 40s, Enloe adjusts his technique. “It may seem like a subtle difference, but it works – rather than drag the lure, I pop it and then let it sit.”


Had no idea. Gonna try it!

Quote of the Day
“You go to the water and start feeling it.”


Steve “I broke the dang mold” Bowman talkin’ ’bout how to get into bassin’ last night on our lil visit on Stray Casts. That a great line or what? Love it.


Dang, Bowman says somethin’ worthwhile every decade or so …or every other decade…takes him a lotta words to get there . He knows I love him, we’re bros….

Shot of the Day
Outdoorsgal @robynhizer with a whopper from last fall – beautiful shot and feesh!


> Wombats, incidentally, squeeze out nearly 100 of these 6-sided brownies every day.


> Wombats don’t have great eyesight and so they use their droppings to communicate with one another. As such, they like to poop on rocks, logs or other elevated places to make their message more visible. The cube shape might therefore assist poo-stacking.


Sometimes I think God really does have a sense of humor….


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Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best and funniest (sometimes worst) stuff in bassin’, picked 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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