Humminbird Live deets! Jordan Lee’s winning baits! Dirty-water jerkbaiting

Gettin’ this’n out a little late, sorry — a lot rollin’! Have a great Thanksgiving — hope you get out after ’em. I’m tryin’ to fish Thanksgiving morning and improve my ratio of 1-2 bites every 5 hours…obviously I’m a hammer lol.


Thankful for all of YOU. Much appreciated!


Be expectin’ a pre-Friday sales special BB you can absorb after your overeatin’ turkey coma.


Quick Q: Anyone know if @codeofvets on Twitter is legit? Looks like folks that help vets pay bills, but I don’t think there’s a good way to tell if any Twitter fund-raising is legit? Pls lmk if you do.

Today’s Top 5
Git you a peak at ‘Bird Live Imaging!
Yep called Mega Live. Posted on the Russell Marine Products FB — you can see the graphic bigger there, plus they said:


> Works with Helix G4N (of course) and G3N

> Works with Apex models [and] all Solix models

> Mega+ LIVE Imaging range up to 150′

> $1499.99 and shipping in March

> 3 options/views in one mount

> No black box! Uses ethernet connection so you can still use with Mega 360…find structure and watch the fish in real time


If that means you can have both Live and down on 1 screen that sounds cool BUT we might need the real estate of 1 screen for Live. I think that’s true now, so we’ll see mang!



Jordan Lee won something AGAIN.
You surprised? Me neither. Were Jacob Wheeler and Edwin Evers fishing too, along with some more hammers? Yep — I think another 13 guys for 16 total? One of those delayed MLF events, happened in July so no one remembers if the vote inspectors were there or not…oops sorry, wrong deal.


Anyhow Jordan ended up tradin’ bass with Casey Ashley right up til the end and won by less than 1 lb. Believe the guys fished 4 lakes so not really a pattern, but here’s Jo-Lee’s smallmouth and largemouth tactics. What he fished for depended on the lakes and the conditions.


Smallmouthin’ tactics


> “On Turtle Lake I was dropshotting a Flat Worm on some deeper rockpiles, 20-25′. Just natural boulders — the bigger the better usually. I’d just graph around with my SideScan set to 80-100′, look for a bigger rock and go drop a Flat Worm on it.”


> Dropshot rig: Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm (“my favorite is ‘goby,’ gp, and at the end it was whatever I had”), #1 Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hook, 3/8-oz weight,8-lb Berkley X5 Braid (flame green) to 8-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, Abu REVO MGXtreme Reel, 7′ Abu Fantasista Premier Rod.


> [Different lake] “I caught them really good on a jerkbait on sandy flat shoals. The wind was blowing like 30-40 mph….


> “You could see these really sandy flats…probably 2-4′ on top with real sharp breaks. I had the boat in 8-15′ and the smallmouth were just right on those breaks. I’d cast with the wind….”


> Jerkbait rig: 6′ 10″ ML Abu Fantasista Premier Rod, Abu REVO AL-F Reel, 10-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro, unnamed jerkbait (shad).

Largemouthy tactics


> “At Pokegama I caught most of them on boat docks with a jig and a little Chigger Craw trailer, skipping it under docks [and shallow pontoon boats].


> “The last [championship] day I caught ’em on 3 different baits. …lily pads, reeds and a lot of grass, so I knew it’d be largemouth gig. I caught ’em on a white swim-jig, a frog and a Berkley MaxScent The General.”


> Swim-jig rig: 1/4-oz homemade white swim-jig with a Berkley Chigger Bug (white), 50-lb Berkley X9 Braid (low-vis green), Abu REVO Premier Reel (7.3), 7′ 3″ H Abu Veracity Rod.


> Why white in a natural clear lake: “I had a bluegill color on, and that morning it was really overcast and anytime it’s really dark…that white jig shows up a lot better. Normally when it’s a dark day I like throwing white. I get more bites on it.”


He was fishing a frog (brown) then too — on a 7′ 3″ H Abu Fantasista Premier Rod — but then the sun came out and he switched to a TX-rigged MaxScent General in pads:


> “…pegged with a bobber stop, 1/4-oz weight, flipping [in pads] like I would a Beaver. I went with a stick bait just because it gets more bites and for some reason up north just works really well…[plus it] slides into those pads really good because there’s no appendages.”


> Sitckbait rig: Berkley MaxScent The General (black and junebug), 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 Heavy Cover Hook (snelled — “I feel like I land more fish on a straight-shank hook when snell it”), 50-lb Berkley X9 Braid (green), Abu REVO Premier Reel (7.3), 7′ 6″ H Abu Fantasista Premier Rod.


All his final-day rods had braid:


> “[The fish] were in the lily pads or in the reeds — nothing was on the outside.”




> Lowrance SideScan: “It’s still a huge tool and is one of my favorites.”


> MN: “I felt like a kid again, going to these lakes I’d never seen or even heard of, dumping in and you don’t know what to expect. It was a lot of fun, a really good vibe.”

5 Qs with the champ.
1. What’s up with you and 3s? Seems like you win every 3-day tourney there is, this time it was a 6-dayer (2 x 3), and you won 3 things this year??


> “That’s definitely a good question. I hadn’t thought about it…definitely something to it. I won a 4-dayer at Toho, but most of the time in my career I’ve not been good at 4-day tournaments. I’m trying to change that.”


2. Is it true you texted “#owned” to Jacob Wheeler after you won this deal?


> “No I texted him #ding.”




3. You win just about every tournament format that comes up, like the Heavy Hitters deal this year. How do you explain that?


> “I don’t know. People ask the question about how different is it to fish 5 fish or [MLF] — I really approach it the same. It seems different from a viewing standpoint, but I’ve always fished for bites and try to find the bigger fish long the way…that’s what I still try to do.


> “Typically when you’re catching the bigger ones, you’re catching the numbers too…. I’m just doing the same thing…seems the same to me.


> “[All formats are] fun in their different ways too.”


4. What new tourney formats would you like to see so you can win those too?


> “My dream tournament format would probably be catching 8 fish, because that’s usually all I’m good for in a day, then weigh ’em and let ’em go. I’m not really good at catching 20-30, so 7-8 bites a day would be my preferred Jo-Lee format.”


5. Do you think calling a bass “unscorable” makes it need therapy later in life?


> “If it’s unscorable, it’s going to have to put on some lbs. It has to go a few more Thanksgiving buffets, then maybe it can make the team. A 1-15’s not gonna cut it — it has to do some eating.”


[Word! Maybe we need a national trout-stocking program??]

Are 5 guys going to the Elites from the Bass Pro Tour?
According to this list of who’s fishing the Bass Pro Tour next year, these 5 guys will not — alpha order:


Justin Atkins — Not sure what he’s doing, maybe qualifying by the Eastern Opens?


Jason ChristieHe’s fishing the Elites.


Greg Hackney — He’s fishing the Elites.


Mike IaconelliTold Bassin’Fan maybe no tourneys in’ 21, wants to be a video stah. Maybe B.A.S.S.’s Legends exemption is possible?


Jacob Powroznik — Not sure what he’s doing.


Word is protestors showed up at B.A.S.S. HQ after the Hackney/Christie deal was announced:

Dang everyone’s got their skirt in a twist these days. Anyhow….


Related: After just 1 year on the Elites, John Cox will fish the Bass Pro Tour next year. Word is that will enable John to fish 6 trails next year instead of just 5…lol kidding, dude can’t get enough!




> Sounds like 4 more guys will be getting on the BPT from the FLWs?


> Word is the BPT = $45K entry fee to fish 7 events in 2021. If so, hate to no entries to away 🙁


> Will the 2021 Elite field size be close to 100? 85 returning (if they all do) + 12 from the Opens = 97

We lost Phil Marks.
Ah dang it. Cancer and he was just 55. Phil was a great dude who designed REALLY good baits for Strike King. He also worked at Stanley, I believe, and was a heck of a tourney angler. Whether you know it or not, he had a huge impact on all of us regular bass-heads.


Off the top of my head I can think of at least 20 people I should call to get thoughts about Phil. Sorry I didn’t call you. Just not enough time, so here’s excerpts from a few — full post is here on the BB website.


Gotta say: One of the most interesting things — because it’s so unusual — is how much respect KVD, Keith Combs and Denny Brauer had for him as a competitor. I mean, THOSE guys respected him so you know he could catch ’em.


Kevin VanDam


> “Phil was pretty special to me and we did a lot together. He was such an impactful person on this industry — a lot of people don’t know or appreciate everything he’s done.


> “He’s like a brother. A passionate bass fisherman, outdoorsman, hunter — we loved the same things. He was a really top-notch tournament fisherman, as his record proves, and also really sharp at a lot of other things. He was great at business, a great lure designer….


> “He and I developed a lot of really great baits together for Strike King. The majority of the Strike King line, what it is today, has a lot of his input. All the XD series, the KVD 1.5s, Perfect Plastics, Red Eye Shads, my jerkbaits, on and on — jigs, spinnerbaits, everything.


> “Because he was a fisherman and a really good one, he had an understanding when it came to designing baits that honestly you can’t replace. it’s hard to find a guy who has all the talents he had…


> “One of the most gratifying baits we designed was the KVD 300-series deep jerkbait. I gave him some input on what I thought it should be — bill design, weighting and things like that. He had the first prototype built and sent it to me, and it was like magic.


> “It never works that way. It always takes multiple renditions to get everything where I think it should be. But he sent me that jerkbait, I tied it on and it was just magical. Right out of the gate it was at 95%…one of those that was meant to be, so to speak. For us…it was comical to get that lucky right out of the gate.


> “It’s hard to come up with words. We had this unspoken, un-thought-of — our relationship was almost like mind-reading at times…. We definitely had a kinship and relationship that’s very different…I just feel lucky for the relationship I had with him.”


Denny Brauer


> “He was just a great outdoorsman. He was a fierce competitor, a great fisherman — one of those guys who could have been successful on tour if he chose to got that way. He had a lot of success fishing regional tournaments.”


[Here’s Phil (left) with long-time tourney partner Tim Reneau:]

> “…a good businessman — probably one of a few people in the industry that knew top to bottom, all angles….


> “The last project we did was the Denny Brauer Structure Jig. It took a while because of what we were trying to do with the hook angle and a style of head that had never been done before. It was a unique project, and one of advantages was that Phil wasn’t only a great fisherman, he was also a great power fisherman. That was a tremendous asset in jig design. I didn’t have to educate him — he knew what I was talking about.


> “You hear the phrase ‘larger than life’ — that was Phil…. The disease really took a toll on him the last couple years. He fought a hard fight — he fought as good as anybody I’ve ever been around. He approached the disease the same way he designed a lure: wide open.”


Keith Combs


> “…I knew him before I knew him, fishing around east TX and stuff. Phil was always at the tournaments, always did good…certain kind style. He was gonna catch them doing his stuff. I had a lot of respect for his style….


> “He had an uncanny ability for developing [baits]. The thing that Phil really understood…big-fish power-fishing lakes, and the baits and techniques to trigger those fish. For fishing for big ones on those kind of lakes, I’ve got to credit him for giving us a lot of the tools to get the job done.


> “For Phil to want to come out with a bait, it had to be something he thought he could put in his hands and win a tournament on. It had to be a home-run hitter for him to want to put it on the market.


> “We’re gonna miss him.”


Crispin Powley


Crispin is a regional sales guy for Strike King, is heavily involved in bait development and was mentored by Phil:


> “It’s really hard to put a measurement on it. There’s a lot of guys who know how to change the position of the line tie and the angle of it to achieve this or that. But Phil just had a really uncanny ability to design stuff — a lot of his 1st- or 2nd-run prototypes were perfect. His understanding of how to make a bait do what he wanted it to was unlike anyone I’ve ever met.


> “I think that really stems from application [fishing]. He was director of R&D for Strike King, but he also won like 20-something boats. He was a hammer.


> “The XD series, and especially the 10XD, were his babies. I think his design and his ability to get a deep-diving crankbait to do what he wanted it to changed the whole market.


[In my 2c the XDs had a huge impact in certain regions too, like TX and KY Lake.]


> “If I could brag on him in any way…he always had a lot of confidence in me, he took me under his wing and poured into me…but when he got his diagnosis until last Saturday, when he passed into eternity, I’ve never seen anybody like Phil — it just didn’t stop him. He didn’t let his circumstances dictate what he was going to do.


> “He set the bar for me for what it means not to give up — to fight, and to not let your situation dictate your life.”


A small tribute to a man who deserves far more than this. I hope his family and the larger Strike King family are doing okay. Love from one bass-head.


If you have any Phil stories you’d like to pass along, please leave ’em as comments on the full BB post here.



> [Sam] Morin…sustained a traumatic brain injury from an IED explosion during his second tour of Iraq with the Marine Corps, which caused him to occasionally have seizures. “He happened to have a massive seizure at the top of a flight of stairs. He fell and hit his head very hard, essentially causing his death….”


Hate hearing it. Bless you and thank you bassin’ brother.


2. Mike Iaconelli gets AFTCO.


My only Q: Did AFTCO run background checks on the south Jersey bassin’ mafia?


HAHAHA love ya fellas (even Brian).


3. Aaron Martens hogsnatched a hog.


Thing looks like a bodybuilder! On an NC lake:

> “It was on my new [not out yet?] 5/8-oz Picasso Hog Snatcher Pitching Jig (gp) and the trailer was a 4” Strike King Menace. The jig is awesome — titanium brush guard.”


4. Keith Poche bonus Qs.


Couldn’t get with him in time for the last BB so here you go:


How many jack plates is too many?


> [Laughs] “I don’t know. I got 2 and that’s kind of pushing it — those transoms aren’t really built for multiple jack plates. That’s just an old boat I fished the Opens out of for years. I remodeled the whole thing.


> “The transom kinda moves a little [hahaha I bet!] but it’s been holding up so far. I have a Bob’s Low Water Pickup on it….”


[I think this is that pickup?]


Will you be fishing that boat on the Bass Pro Tour next year?


> “No. I’d love to. It’s crossed my mind a couple times. But…doesn’t take waves too well…don’t think it could handle a boat official and a cameraman….


> “I’m actually running a new boat next year, a Gator Trax [tin boat]. I’m real excited. They have a lot of different models. I’m running the Strike Series, the bass model — 20′ with a 250. It’s thicker than your average aluminum boat — not a whole lot but it’s a well-built boat, solid. It’s as wide as any other…and still floats shallow.”


How many wins do you have when you’re surprised to find out you won?


> “Guess that’s be one.”


Aaaaaaand he’ll take it! Keith will be running a black rig like this’n…

…but not sure why if he could be runnin’ this purple/gold gator-skin beast!
5. Jared Lintner and Chad Grigsby now running Vexuses.


Vexuses? Is that the plural of Vexus? Anyhow, congrats to ’em! Jared post here, Chad post here. Bet more are comin’…?


6. Randy Blaukat says the best treble for the Vision 110 is…


…the Gamakatsu G Finesse. I think it’s these ones?


7. FLWer Andrew Upshaw is selling his Bass Cat Eyra.


Looks like a Merc Pro XS, Garmins and Power-Poles.


8. How Zona uses the Humminbird app to find spots (YT vid).


9. Have you heard/watched “LD and the MC” yet?


Keep forgetting to mention — Dave Mercer and Luke Dunkin yakkin’. They want feedback so let ’em have it bass-heads lol!


10. MLF cancels Redcrest Expo but tourney still on.


Feb in Tulsa, tourney is at Grand. Hate to see things getting canceled.


11. TX: Fork tracking data vs the recent Elite.




> TPWD latest tracking effort on Fork coming just 2 days before the [Elite].

They found 75% of the fish located were on timber, up about 25% from Oct.


> …showed 2/3 of the fish they tracked prior to the tournament reacted to [boating] activity. “…how many fish are reacting/moving when our boat gets near them. I don’t think this observation is special to the fall….”


This is kinda funny — talking about tourneys:


> “I would speculate more often the fish are still around and simply more challenging to be caught than the previous day.”


Ya think??


12. AL: McKendree U’s Trevor McKinney is Classic-bound.


Won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic Bracket deal on Lay Lake, and beat his teammate and former best bud (kidding) Blake Jackson by just 1 lb to do it. Congrats!


13. Bassmaster ‘Yak champ only frogged on the Chick??


IA’s Tyler Cole won the B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series deal at Chickamauga Lake with 6 bass that measured 89.5″ fishing only a BOOYAH Pad Crasher:


> Cole used his grass-fishing experience on the Mississippi River. “Frogging is my forte back home so I stuck with something I know.”


14. ON: Tourney organizer fined $9K after dead bass found.


Yikes this is bad — from the post:


> On July 15, 2019, conservation officers responded to several tips about a bass fishing tournament that had been held on the St. Lawrence River near Gananoque. The conservation officers were told there were dozens of fish killed over the course of the 2-day tournament.


> An investigation discovered 195 dead bass, including 188 dead bass in plastic bags found in the garbage.


> …was fined $9,000 and had his recreational fishing licence suspended for 5 years.


15. NY wants to go to a 12″ min size for all “black bass.”


Would nix the 10″ min and “any size” regs now in effect here and there. Btw, if you don’t know what a black bass is, Denny Brauer caught one the other day:

Lookit that thing! Denny caught it on Amistad, TX, said he’s never seen one that color before. Sunburn maybe??


16. Kistler now has casting reels!


Huge! In that ^ Insta vid, Trey Kistler says a) the prototype reels are 3 years old and are still like new and b) it is “one of the nicest reels ever.” Trey was in the military but not sure he has a license to drop bombs like that….


Available for pre-order on the Kistler site. Looks like 2 reel types ($250 and $150), 2 RH per type, 1 LH per type:




18. Suzuki restructures, Marine now its own division.


Will be based in Tampa, FL.


19. Coasties want paddle-craft labeling.


Sounds like yaks are being found adrift, then $$$ searches, then they find out all’s good.


20. LA: The DNR is giving Covid advice??


If there’s still Covid differences of opinion among actual Drs and scientists, which there is, and us regular peeps are now well-informed, which we are, and the CDC shows a 99+% recovery rate for almost everyone, which they do, not sure why a DNR is giving infectious disease recommendations or why B.A.S.S. is publishing it? #CmonMan


Just gotta push back sometimes….


21. Ireland: Cows don’t like jet skis either.


> She told me of an incident on her family farm, which adjoins a lake. A cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf.


> “…jet skis are very different from a young lad doing a bit of fishing in a boat on a lake. He can ramp up the outboard engine as much as he wants but he will not cause much nuisance.”


Dang straight no nuisance at all hahaha!



Headline of the Day


Team wins TNT with 153 lbs of bass


First I was like, What up Patrick Walters! But then I read it was over 28 tourneys….

On right now… 


RARE mud bass! Walleye bait wins Table Rock?? BFL All-American baits


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


Watched this new Hardcore vid which is innerestin’ cuz Spencer talks about fishing these jerkbaits in cold MUDDY water. So I had some Qs for him:


1. Why do you like this bait so much?


> “Magnetic weight transfer is the biggest thing. It gives the ability to throw that thing in a wind…. A lot of [jerkbaits] are so bad about wanting to helicopter when you’re throwing it into a wind or a cross wind. With the magnetic weight transfer system, the weight snaps back to the tail end and magnetically locks in place, allowing it to really go through the wind like an arrow….


> “But the most unique part in my opinion is it almost makes that jerkbait like a silent jerkbait. When you go to snapping it…yanks that weight system back to the forward position…almost like a silent jerkbait. That Minnow Flat is pretty quiet and fish really inhale it well, especially in more-pressured lakes.


> “[The fish] have heard those Megabasses and Pointer 100s and RC Sticks and SPROs — they’ve heard them so much [where he fishes locally] that they know that sound. That Hardcore one‘s got a little racket but it’s not overpowering like the rest of them.”


2. Why do you fish it in dirty water?


> “Because they just don’t see it a lot. It’s something I learned a long time ago — about 7-8 years ago….


> “Megabass [Vision 110] was the first jerkbait I ever had had much success with. It exploded the world when it came out. I had some in really loud colors, and threw them on a lake that was really muddy. I didn’t know was muddy til I got there — I was 18-19 yrs old and was just trying to learn by myself…had 1 tied on and went to whackin’ ’em on it. I mean big’ns.


> “I’ve always done it since, especially around docks or brush…snapping it around isolated pieces of cover, maybe let it sit a little longer…gives fish a little more time [to] find it better.


> “…most of the time it’s a river channel swing, creek channel swing, where fish can sit close to rocks and get deep…the same places you’d fish a squarebill or something of that nature.


> “When you get into a bay, pocket or creek, one side is the deeper side. [That’s] where I try to throw it….


> “[If fishing it near a bank]…transition-type bank, I parallel them a little bit — more like a 45-degree angle, that way it can stay in the strike zone longer. …little subtle twitches, keep it from gettin much deeper than 4′.”




> Rod, reel, line: 6′ 10″ MH Phenix Feather Rod (“which is more like a M”), Daiwa Tatula SV TW Reel (6.3), 8-lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluoro or 10-lb Yo-Zuri T7 fluoro (new, not yet out), 12 in shallow dirty water.


> “It sits barely tilted down.”


> The flat sides “reflect light really well but I can’t tell if it makes that much of a difference or not.”


> “You don’t need to change anything…split rings and hooks are ready to go. You can upsize the hooks on it too and won’t affect the action….”


Lookit this water!

Says his dad — bassin’ legend Ron Shuffield — is way into crappie fishing now. Happy for him but also sad…cuz although crappie taste good and I hear LiveScopin’ ’em is all kinds o’ fun, they fight like a paper plate.
Quote of the Day
“It’s true that I didn’t have all the latest sonar options on my boat in 2020, but I did have solid electronics.”


– John Crews with some insight — from a post he wrote about his year o’ bombs…which might be why he is officially changing the name of his company from Missile Baits to Bombs Away Baits. HAHAHA Crews!


Seriously, always love the transparency…and wouldn’t be surprised Johnny is rockin’ a Live of some sort next year….

Shot of the Day
This pic cracks me up every time I look at it. Loooooong post by Carl Jocumsen that involves a bent prop/quick change, running through sketchy areas on pad, then “some of the biggest waves I’ve ever seen on a lake” — which is why his camera dude looks like he’s just been abducted by aliens or something:
Ya got me!
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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