Ike’s latest rig, Jo-Lee’s cold-water hardbaits, Latest stuff from Japan

Today’s Top 4

Here’s Mike Iaconelli’s latest rig idea.

If you’re a-wonderin’ whether Mike thinks up all this stuff on his own, yes and no. Yep he’s obsessed by this stuff, nope cuz like KVD he now has minions — says his minions love ’em some rutabagas so I think maybe they’re garden gnomes and not minions but who knows. Anyhoo:

It’s the spinner blade — calls it the “bait chaser” rig:

> …use only the swivel. One ring should be attached to the blade. You can use a split ring here if you want. Your line should run through the other. When you’re done, you’ll have a blade held in place between two weight stops. With a good, high-quality swivel, you can hold the blade tight between the two stops.

> I use #3, #4 or #5 willowleaf blades for my rigs. I think the longer profile makes them look more realistic. But you can use whatever gives you the most confidence.

> Most of the time I put the blade somewhere between 4″ and 12″ in front of my lure. That’s far enough away that it won’t foul the lure but close enough to make it look like a chase.

More deets on the MLF site. Ike’s got solid ideas about new stuff (new to him, maybe new to us) — like the Tokyo Rig.

MLF makes innerestin’ changes to Bass Pro Tour.

First of all, they kicked out KVD and Greg Hackney.

KIDDING hahaha!

Okay, seriously now. What happened was, Terry Scroggins and Bobby Lane felt so strongly about changes that had to be made to the format that they went on a hunger strike. For an hour…which freaked everyone else out.

HAHAHA! Just kiddin’ fellers! Okay here’s the info:

> Under rules approved this week by the Major League Fishing Anglers Association (MLFAA) and drafted into the official league rulebook, MLF will introduce a variable minimum weight system for Bass Pro Tour competition waters in 2020, starting with a 2-lb minimum weight for a scorable bass at the season opener at Lake Eufaula, AL (Feb 7-12).

> Minimum weights will be determined individually for each competition water to follow, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

I like the direction for sure, and I love that they’re not stuck on one unchangeable format (yet), but the 2-lb thang ain’t that big a deal cuz:

> The Lake Eufaula 14″ minimum…translates to a 1-lb 8-oz bass….

Call it 25%, which sounds like a lot, or 4 oz, which doesn’t — either way it’ll cause heartache for some guys. Skeet Reese says you still need to catch all you can, whatever they weigh:

> “It’s still going to be about catching as many fish as possible in a given day whether they weigh 1, 2 or 6 lbs.”

The other BPT changes:

> …an automatic berth in the 10-man Championship Round for the 2 anglers with the heaviest combined weights in their individual groups (Group A and Group B) in the newly renamed Qualifying Rounds (formerly the Shotgun and Elimination Rounds).

That’s 2 changes: they simplified the rounds terminology (good!) and now 2 guys get in with heavy weights which might get some to sack more lbs earlier. We’ll see….

What’s new in Japan.

New to me anyhow — check it:

Clockwise from top left — these are all at “,” can’t link it sorry:

1. 3.2″ Dancing Osteopath (if Google translate is right). Short vid here on the ‘gram.

2 and 3. Dig the different-color eyes on the crayfish bait — where’s my Spike It Markers? And how ’bout the head on that jighead?? No info on it I could find….

4. Avenge Prop 80 — Apparently the props fold down when you cast, come out when you pull/reel.

5. 1.5″ Baby Chin — For all you phinesse phreaks…. Floats, if that doesn’t catch ’em don’t know what will. Plus…baby chins are sooooo cuuuuuute….

6. Those Bull Flat-type plastics are now evolving — here’s the Bull Slender.

Couple football thangs gotta swing at ya.

“We’re the hillbillies from Tennessee.”

TN Titans coach Mike Vrabel talkin’ ’bout the Titans’ “underdog” perception. Listen man, hope y’all do well but til you show up at a launch ramp with a boat, no shoes, and can crank the fire outta something with a lip on it, don’t be throwin’ out that hillbilly thang yo!

“While y’all at it right now, take care of your bodies, take care of your chicken, take care of your mentals, because look, we ain’t lasting that long.”

– Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch deliverin’ some heartfelt advice to young football players — BUT it’s great advice for pro bassers and all of us. Love that he’s being himself. He had a 3.2 at UC Berkeley, and a 3.5 GPA and 1200 SAT in high school. So no doubt he can talk like a college prof, just doesn’t want to. I be gittin’ it my man hahaha! And that chicken line is 100% $$$$. I’d LOVE to stand in front of national media and say “take care of yo chicken” with a straight face. How great is that!

Here’s Marshawn after/before with a few well-known bassin’ pros:

Didn’t know about that reggae deal for the Cajun…lol!

One mo’ — was a time a while back when I wondered if more rules could be good for bassin’. But then you gotta enforce those rules or they’re not rules…. Anyhow, watching football makes me think that too many rules and slow-mo replays aren’t things any sport really needs man. Just my 2c as usual….


1. Couple charity derbies.

TN: Benefit tournament Jan 25 at Cherokee.

Dam ramp, 7:30-3:30. Young mom has passed on. Tourney hosted by Elitist David Mullins.

AL: Firefighter Scott Woodruff needs a heart transplant.

Can make a donation here and/or fish the Scott Woodruff Heart Transplant Tournament on March 28 at Lakepoint State Park, Lake Eufaula, AL.

2. Jeff Kriet’s tired of “being a middle-of-the-pack guy.”

Good! Maybe he needs a new nickname instead of “squirrel,” like:
– Big tuna
– The Rock (oops)
– or maybe…Max Power:

3. Matt Lee gets Common Sense.

I mean 6TH! 6th Sense. HAHAHA!

Seriously tho:
– That’s big.
– Don’t we all need more common sense?

4. 5 guys get Garmin.

Brent Ehrler (BPT), James Watson (BPT), Brian Latimer (Opens), Jeremy Lawyer (FLW) and Kyle Walters (FLW). Also Jimmy Houston.

Remember Garmin ain’t just screens anymore, so let’s see if all of ’em have the Force. Gotta be careful with that deal:

5. Elitist Luke Palmer gets Nexgen Batteries.

He says they’re big in the golf cart and camping worlds….

6. FLWer Chad Grigsby gets Ranch House Coffee.

Cool and surprised more guys don’t have a coffee sponsor.

7. TX: Meet some pros this SATURDAY.

Looks like 7 of ’em at First Baptist Church in Pineland, starts at 4:30.

8. Go feeshn with Zona.

Win ya a day on the water with Mr. Himself, the Zona — courtesy of the fine folks at Seaguar:

If you win, believe you WILL learn some of his secrets, possibly including:
– When it’s okay to wear socks with flops
– Why Kevin VanDam won’t play him in checkers (anymore)
– Why he refuses to acknowledge Sasquatches are real

Good luck yo! Runners up get a spool of Smackdown braid (flash green or stealth gray).

Don’t make me enter Z!

9. Jimmy Houston not fishing derbies this year.

But says he’s not retiring.

10. Vexus has a new contingency program: REV Rewards.

Deets at the link ^.

11. TN: Asian carp are in Chickamauga.

Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad news:

> …in October. The angler, Dustin Hinkle, said the invasive fish “jumped into the boat as I deployed my trolling motor.” Hinkle encountered the fish near the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, and stated he “saw 15-20 more fish near the surface” exhibiting a feeding behavior.

Have heard rumors of Asian carp in other good bass lakes, hoping they turn out false. Need to find some kinda poison for these dang things.

12. has a new look.

It’s better, good job — maybe except for 1 thing: Stuff has disappeared from the homepage too fast, hope they change that.

Oops, also hope they have more Elite photo galleries featuring different types of birds…hahaha! (The shooters do that to tick off Steve Bowman, always a good thing.)

13. More features in new Lowrance Hook units.

> …features like FishReveal and Genesis Live…. Available in 9″, 7″ and 5″ models….

Retail is $299 – $799.

14. T-H Marine’s annual scratch n dent sale is on!

Gitcha deals while they last yo!

15. TX: New team trail sponsored by Phoenix and Huk.

Same format as Team Trail Outdoors, just with “higher stakes” — like, if you lose, you lose either a finger or your boat.

Kidding about the finger/boat deal….

Can’t link it but site addy is:

16. Nominate someone for the CAST for Kids award.

Very cool organization:

> Do you know a B.A.S.S. member who is making a difference in your community through volunteer work?

17. DC: Senate passes America’s Conservation Enhancement Act.

The ACE Act includes: lead fishing tackle protections, fish habitat restoration programs, and conservation programs/research about the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes.

18. NY: Niagara Fishing Expo THIS WEEKEND.

19. FL: St Johns BFL winning baits.

Elite won’t be there for a few weeks yet but here’s what winner Eddie Carper — of OKLAHOMA!? — won with this weekend:

> “I caught one fish early on a War Eagle Finesse Spinnerbait, but the rest of my fish came on a junebug-colored Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Worm. I was fishing in Lake George, and the key was definitely staying in that one area. I caught every one of my fish from one 30-by-30-yard area.

> “I had to drag my worm extremely slow, and they seemed to shut down when it got cloudy. But once the sun would come back out they’d feed again.”

Gotta shout out Yo-Zuri marketing dude Theron Asbery who co-angled himself a 2nd with a 5/8-oz Yo-Zuri Rattl’N Vibe (chrome blue) and a worm on a Do-It molds Wobble Head (aka, Swing Jig):

20. VA: Guy started cleaning up trash in creek…

…so his daughter could fish — Conococheague Creek:

> “The more trash I saw, I did what everybody else does — say, ‘Why isn’t somebody doing something about this?’. About 2 weeks later it hit me, so I did something about it.”

#stout, love it

21. 2 Cabela’s stores closing.

Fort Oglethorpe, GA and Bristol, VA.

Way I’ve always heard it is that Cabela’s is more northern/hunting and Bass Pro is more southern/fishing, but we’ll see if the Cabela’s brand survives at all.

22. Big Rock will buy Maurice…again…sorta.

In Oct 2017 distributor Big Rock Sports offered to buy financially troubled Canadian distributor Maurice Sporting Goods, then withdrew that offer. Now Big Rock again has a letter of intent to acquire Maurice.

Oops actually Big Rock owner Peak Global Holdings LLC — which also owns Head Quarters Taxidermy Supply and Bluefield Brands (salty baits) — will be the company doing the acquiring…if it happens….

23. KY: Dude says Asian carp tastes good.

In other words, not like other carp. Send me some, I’ll try it…maybe….

24. GA: Is Georgia Power polluting spotted bass water?

And drinking water? Long and scary article.

On right now…

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Tip of the Day

Jordan Lee’s winter grass baits.

Full tip on the MLF site:

> “This time of year, I am looking for the deeper edges of grass that are in that 6-9′ range. When the water is cold, I want to be fishing the deepest water I can that still has green grass.

> “I’m always going to start looking close to a creek channel or a ditch. For all grass, I want to find that defined edge. At the deepest point that it grows, there will be depth where it stops growing, and I’ll keep my boat in that depth zone because that’s where the fish will be.

> “If the water is ultra-clear, it is pretty much just a jerkbait or Alabama-rig bite. The problem with jerkbaits around eelgrass is they hang up so much, so I like to upsize my line to keep them from diving as deep.

> [In dirtier water] “I shy away from the (traditional) squarebill-style baits and prefer a flat-sided crankbait like the Berkley Frittside…has boxes full of different lipless crankbaits that he cycles through.

> “The biggest thing with the diving crankbaits is to tick the top of the grass. You will feel it and know that it is right; if it is diving too deep, you will get be constantly removing grass from the treble hooks. Lipless crankbaits are a lot easier to rip free from grass, and that’s when many bites occur.”

Jo-Lee texted in these baits and colors for this time of year:

Top: Berkley Skinny Cutter 110+ (TN vapor)

Left: 1/2-oz Berkley Warpig lipless (blood orange craw)

Right: #5 Berkley Frittside (special red craw)

Quote of the Day

Some in your class may have asked friends for the answers to the homework assignment. They looked good for a day. Others read the assignment and figured out the answers on their own. They looked good every day.

Dude talkin’ ’bout those who figure ’em out instead of listenin’ to dock talk. My only questions:

> What about the kid who doesn’t go to class and goes fishin’ instead? I’m thinkin’ of guys like Larry, Denny and George…and I’m not for certain the Lee bros actually ever went to class at Auburn…? (heehee!)

> What about the tech/computer geek who reads the ENTIRE ‘lectronics manual and can find ’em better than everyone else? I’m thinkin’ of…many a B.A.S.S. and BPT pro.

Shot of the Day

Cahl “Carl” Jocumsen banged a big in FL (Toho?) — love the angle on this shot:

Carl’s all, “Fear my heart!” and the bass is like, “Okay man, I feel ya, just drop me okay?”


Matty Lee says Cahl is out there slingin’ big swimbaits….

Ya got me
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