Jacob Wheeler winning cranks, 15-lber caught! Frog off the bank

Even though I don’t consume the mass media “news,” at times it somehow gets to me anyway…and bums me out. Not just what they say, but how they say it — the gossip-like “joy” about bad news or hurtful things in people’s lives is just stinky dirty to me man. So here’s a little good news. Not making a statement of any kind and believe these are apolitical — just stuff I found interesting:

Getting realistic about the coronavirus death rate

Covid-19 is weakening, could die out without vaccine, specialist claims

One more piece of good news — a VT teenager got a bass boat through Make-A-Wish! I’m sure Covid is real scary for folks like Noah and his parents. Lord please keep him safe. Hope this virus just goes away already….

2nd to last PSA to bassin’ biz peeps

Gettin’ ready for the BassBlaster ICAST “show” of all the new and cool stuff…so if you have somethin’ new and cool but you’re not a BB sponsor, no problem — send it! Shoot me a SHORT description of what it is and why it’s all that, a good photo and a video link, and it MIGHT get included! Just respond to this email with the details, thanks much!

And now to Blastin’!

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Today’s Top 5

What up with Wheeler man, come on!

Jacob Wheeler won another one — dang son! This time it was the FLW Demolition Derby/Boat Pileup — aka Super Tournament (heehee!) — on Chickamauga, TN, which in no way was a cakewalk with that many boats and hammers in the deal.

Sounds like Jacob’s biggest thing was almost approaching the lake like he didn’t already know it well — keeping an open mind is the easy way to say it. Lots more deets in the winning pattern post on the BB website, but here’s the bait info:

> His most effective technique was cranking — mostly with a Rapala DT20 (citrus shad), but he also caught some on a Rapala DT16 (big shad). Neither color is out yet but word is Rapala hopes to have ’em out this summer. Here they are:

> Cranking gear: 7′ 11″ MH Duckett Micro Magic Pro Crankbait Rod, Duckett 320 Reel (6.3), 12-lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon.

> “I normally crank with a 5:1 gear ratio out deep, but [in this tourney] I realized that the faster I cranked, the more bites I got.

> “The key with the crankbait — the big key…could generate a bite out of [schools] and fire them up and catch them so much more efficiently than with any other bait. Like with a jig, it’s hard to get the biggest ones to bite. But a crankbait comes through so fast…get the biggest ones in the schools to bite faster.

> “That was really the key. If I threw the worm in there, I would’ve caught 10 little ones before maybe I caught a big one, and I might have pulled the school to me…. [Crankbaits] could generate a lot of bites and the biggest bites, and that was the key for the whole week.

> “…you gotta be hitting bottom. If you’re not hitting bottom, you’re not catching them.

> “Each spot had a different [retrieve]…depending on the spot…. It all depended on the angle of the cast. …one of my best casts was sitting upriver and casting downriver. That defies the whole lifelike action with the current. Angles were key, and the angles changed every day.”

> Most of his fish were in 12-22′, but as shallow as 10′ and as deep as 35′. Didn’t seem to be much consistency: “Main river, secondary stuff, inside creeks….”

> His other baits:

– 5/8-oz hair jig
– 1/2-oz Picasso Aaron Martens Suijin or similar scrounger-type head with a Fluke-style bait (shad)
– 8″ Worm (gp) with a 1/2-oz weight
– 5/8-oz Arkie-style Jig (magic craw) with a Googan Bandito Bug (blue baby)

5 Qs with the champ.

Kinda running outta Qs for J-Wheels! Couple fun ones, couple semi-serious ones:

1. If you couldn’t talk in the boat, do you think you’d do as well?

> “Heck no! I talk myself through decisions.”

2. Okay sorta serious then — does talking help your fishing?

> “I think it’s a huge deal. When you hear yourself…that’s a big deal for me. You hear it, talk about it, think about it…lets you process the information a little bit faster, at least it does for me. It lets me process it differently than if I just think about it.”

3. Are you finding more fish than other people, or finding better quality, or just getting more bites, or what is it?

> “I really think it’s…getting better and being more efficient with my time in practice. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else, I’m just better than I used to be. I know the potential of a place faster than I ever have.”

4. Has fishing the MLF format helped your 5-fish tourneys?

> “Oh no doubt. Where I would sit on a spot and just milk it before, you can’t win like that in MLF. You have to adjust and run around, and get the best thing going. I think it just changes your mindset. I think it helps every angler become way more versatile.”

5. Is it true Johnny Morris asked for your signed photo and said he was gonna take Evers’ and VanDam’s off his wall?

> [Laughs] “I’m gonna say no comment.”

One mo’ — J-Wheels went back out on the Chick and put a bud on a DD:

Of course he did.

Have we seen this before?

Some folks have been talkin’ like Jacob Wheeler is at some new level of dominance. So axin’ the Q: Have we ever seen this before?

Of course we have. Such like:

Jordan Lee — What hasn’t he won, including one a couple weeks ago. Back to back Classics and a lot more….

Edwin Evers — Last year no one could touch him, not even his red teddy bear named “Jalapeno.” (Sorry I outed that Edwin.)

Kevin VanDam — Pick a decade, any decade, and start countin’. You will run outta fingers.

Denny Brauer — Good luck beating Denny back then. He was so grouchy when he didn’t win, little storm clouds would form over his head (heehee Denny!).

Mark Davis — Classic winner and Angler of the Year in the same year. Someone else did it too…?

Rick Clunn — Been a while but for a while he fer sher was The Man.

Aaron Martens had a run or 2, Jay Yelas was on fire for a bit, Greg Hackney, Mike Iaconelli, David Dudley, Bryan Thrift, Larry Nixon, Roland Martin, Scott Martin — 100% sure I’m leavin’ some peeps out (sorry fellers!) but you get the point.

So yep, dominance happens. Only question is, will someone win often enough to be thought of as highly as KVD? Super-tall order, but guess it could happen.

Having said all that, not sure if we’ve seen this before:

AL young’n caught a 15-lb mule!

Lovin’ the bent knees in this shot — sucker’s heavy!

13-yr-old Emory C at a private lake, 6″ TX-rigged Senko, 14-lb mono. Great quote:

> “It jumped about a foot in the air, and I thought it was 10 lbs. I didn’t know what a 15-lb bass looked like.”

Got it for his YT channel too.

Most paranoid fish post ever?

Gotta ask: Why even post then?? But this might be more confusing:


1. Ish Monroe’s latest frowg color-c-lection.

> …in dark water, an overcast day or location under shadow, use dark browns, blues, purples or blacks. In clear water, middle of the day or high sun, you want a white or chartreuse — and you will want a bluegill pattern when casting off the beds.

He uses his own frog — the River2Sea Phat Mat Daddy. Kinda diggin’ the “crystal” (top) and “ghost” colors:

I always pay serious attention to anything Ish says about froggin’ and flippin’.

2. BPTer Jeff Sprague skipped the FLW Supers to work.

Grocery distribution company. Here’s why — trainin’:

3. Gussy Gastafson was quarantined for 14 days…

…cuz he’s Canadian, which totally makes sense, with an American boat. Or not:

> I was told by the Canada Customs officer at the border that I would have to do a 14-day quarantine at my home because of Covid-19 concerns.

Sounds like he couldn’t even fish?

4. Win a chance to fish with BPTer B-Rad-Lee Roy.

5. Brent Chapman’s son’s team got a huge scholly offer.

Brent’s son Mason and his teammate Ryder Mains got 12th at the TBF Champeenship on the Upper MS River, and still got:

> …the final spot eligible to earn a 4-year, $80,000 scholarship offer from Kentucky Christian U — $40,000 apiece to each angler.

Amazing! Brent skipped the Chick FLW to be there, love it.

6. Mark Davis’ son Fisher signed with East TX Baptist U.

Looks like he was named right, congrats!

7. Gary Clouse uses the Lobster Craw around big fish.

4.5″ Strike King trailer.

8. Davy Hite’s on the Christian Outdoors podcast.

Can’t link it, at

9. NY: Will Covid restrictions kill the NY Elites?

New 14-day quarantine for folks from some states. I sincerely hope this gets resolved and the guys can fish…but FLW just moved its tourney scheduled for the St. Lawrence to Erie instead.

Since I sorta have an unavoidable front-row seat to the NY/NJ stuff, I can tell you that these governors can change what they’ve promised or said literally any day. In other words, you 100% can’t bank on what they say. Those are easily verifiable facts, not political opinions.

Also, it seems like NY Gov. Cuomo (D) is being groomed for a Prez run at some point. Only mention it because that level of politics tends to override state biz, which is what former NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) did a few years ago.

10. CA: Clear Lake best bass lake of the decade?

Bassin’masters says so. Makes sense. The guys at Tickle Tackle Bassin’ have been ketchin’ DDs outta it for that long so…. Warning: Link ^ is a Bassmaster slide show, NOT a list, but here you go:

1. Clear Lake, CA
2. Guntersville, AL
3. Lake Erie
4. Lake St. Clair, MI
5. Cali Delta
6. Toledo Bend, LA/TX
7. Sam Rayburn, TX
8. Falcon Lake, TX — still good but somewhat surprising it’s this high
9. Coeur d’Alene, ID — very surprising to me it’s in the top 10
10. Okeechobee, FL
11. Champlain, NY/VT
12. St. Lawrence River, NY
13. Pickwick Lake, AL — only if the water’s moving
14. Grand Lake, OK
15. Chickamauga, TN
16. Lake Fork, TX
17. Havasu, AZ — in the top 20??
18. Oneida Lake, NY
19. Candlewood Lake, CT — [sound of screeching tires]
20. Columbia River, OR/WA
21. Mille Lacs, MN — should be eye-opening for the MN DNR
22. Seminole, GA/FL — okay?
23. Santee Cooper, SC
24. Lake Charlevoix, MI — say wha?

25. Sturgeon Bay, Lake Michigan, WI — hmm

11. IA team won the TBF HS champeenship on the upper MS.

Come on IA peeps! Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School won it by almost 2 lbs. No bait info released cuz I guess there’s another HS derby there.

12. GA: Now there’s a Minor League Fishing.

Teams, every legal bass weighed.

13. VA DNR’s real unhappy about spotted bass in more lakes.

Fishermen might be too cuz those things can explode and then stunt in a hurry:

> …confirmed to be present in Lake Gaston, Claytor Lake, Philpott Lake and Martinsville Reservoir. They are suspected to be present in Diascund Reservoir and possibly other lakes.

> …represent a tremendous threat to largemouth and smallmouth bass fisheries. Alabama [spotted] bass are capable of outcompeting largemouth bass, causing declines in abundance. For example, in Lake Norman, NC, the relative abundance of largemouth bass decreased to less than 8% of their former abundance following the introduction of Alabama bass.

> Systems in VA such as Smith Mountain Lake, Lake Anna, South Holston Reservoir and Lake Moomaw are likely to see declines of largemouth bass…if AlabamabBass are introduced….

14. AR stocked 36,000 smallmouths in Lake Catherine.

15. Yo-Zuri has a new Pencil Popper.

135 mm 3DB Pencil Popper, not on TW yet but I believe coming soon. Click the pic to watch bass-heads talk about it:

16. Minn Kota has a new Power-Pole type anchor.

Hydraulic, called the Raptor, but seems like with more tech. Here’s a couple deets about it, vid here:

> Control Raptor from anywhere on your boat at the push of a button — whether it’s the included wireless remote, optional wireless foot switch, your smartphone, your Humminbird fishfinder, or i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link system

> Select Raptor models feature Active Anchoring, This revolutionary anchoring technology continuously monitors anchoring force and adjusts to keep you pinned to the bottom.

Seems like all the electronics companies want to have a total boat tech system — like Apple products and many others — so don’t be surprised if you see other companies rolling out similar products or alliances that accomplish similar things.

17. Jewel limited edition star/stripes DockStix.

Genius idea. Here’s how they work — don’t need a dock cleat either. Click the pic to see the short vid:

18. Bassmaster released some “ICAST” stuff.

If you wanna take a peek…”ICAST” in quotes cuz no ICAST this year….

19. WA is furloughing DNR employees.

Hate to hear it, not surprising since that gov’nor seems to be short quite a few marbles….

20. DC: FCC frequency decision might mess ups GPS.

> BoatUS believes that as the Ligado network is rolled out, instances of signal interference will increase. This will give current GPS users no choice but to either purchase new GPS units or potentially suffer continued interference. The loss of a GPS signal at a critical moment is a significant safety concern….

This edition of the FCC seems a little bizarre overall….

21. MT looking to ban drones for fishing.


22. AL has a middle school state bassin’ championship!

100% great! Big congrats to Oakman Middle School for takin’ it home this year.

23. You can see a thermocline on your ‘lectronics?

Don’t know if I’m late to this deal or what, but pretty cool:

Reminder that below the thermocline is the dead zone — fish above it.

24. IL: Dude says he saw a gator in Chicago-area lake.

If so the reptile’s gonna be toast about January….

Line of the Day

I am not, in any way, labeling the smallie an easy target. I spend many adventures trying to outsmart them and only do so with modest success.

Well…I guess they can be tougher to find sometimes, but hard to catch??

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

Some cool frog tips I think from bass-heads.

On Bassin’masterin’.com — a lot more tips:

> I can bring my frog right to a blade of grass that comes out of the water. If I can get my frog to catch on the blade and get up out of the water it will make a big splash when it falls back in. I think it mimics the natural action of a frog jumping off the bank. It takes some time to learn the “technique” but I have caught a lot of fish this way.

> I went back to some of the spots that were not productive previously but this time I just let my frog sit motionless at least one minute before starting a retrieve. Well, before I got to retrieve on most of these casts a bass would explode on the frog, and I hooked up with many bass that day. In each case the frog was just sitting motionless for at least one minute before I started the retrieve, and I caught bass only while it was sitting still.

I hear those stories ^ and I still can’t make myself do it if they don’t bite it the first time I try it!

> To make the frog hop you use short, hard, fast, sideways jerks of your rod, four or five at a time followed by a short pause. The short jerks tend to make the frog plane up on the water, giving it a hopping motion similar to a live frog. Usually the strike will occur on the pause.

> I like to squirt a little of Berkley’s Power Scent into the hollow cavity of the frog. In my experience, it seems to make the bass hit harder and really engulf the bait. [I think this means Gulp! scent?]

Lotsa folks like cast it on the bank and work it off — here’s one:

> If your regular method of fishing your frog seems to not be drawing interest, try casting to the waterline and reeling your frog in two or three fast spurts with a quick pause between each. If the bass blows up on your frog, STOP, and don’t reel the lure out of the strike zone. A bass will blast the frog as if to disable it and will hit a second time if you don’t reel it away.

Quote of the Day

“When you think you’ve learned everything, you’ve learned nothing, you’re going to get behind, you have to keep learning.”

FLWer Alex Davis talkin’ bassin’. He finished 5th at the Chick. Not bad for a guy from CO:

> “Without living in the state of AL [where he moved] we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now. You cannot bass fish in CO and make it as a professional fisherman. AL is the best state in the country to learn.”

Don’t think we’ve ever had a top pro from CO so would be cool if he makes the bigs.

Shot of the Day

I think this is a @southernliteled shot — not…real…sure…what up here but thinkin’ it’s brianwave-related?


From TX game warden notes:

> In Cameron County, game wardens received a call regarding an alligator that was roaming around inside a detention center facility. A facility staff member had reportedly stepped on its tail while exiting his vehicle in the parking lot.

> With the assistance of the facility staff, the wardens were able to safely relocate the almost 11-foot-long alligator.

How on earth do you not SEE an 11′ gator??

Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

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