Jason Lucas winning deets, Frogging myths? Proof smallmouths insane??

Hope you got ’em this weekend and all’s good! Let’s git to it!

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Today’s Top 5

Justin Lucas won another one!

Dude! What. The. Heck! Justin Lucas is RICH! He’s an animal! He’s faster than Usain Bolt! Okay not the last one…but what a great tournament man wow.

You had guys like Alton Jones Jr (6th) running like 1,000 miles to get on the clearer water/more bites deal, and dudes like Justin and bud Josh Bertrand sluggin’ it out in the cloudier Erie water for a few bigger bites. Not to mention Jacob “so hot I’m the human torch” Wheeler actin’ like he’s a great white around seals.

To top it all off, Justin ended up beating Jacob by 1 dang oz! That means just one more spit-up crawfish or goby in Justin’s well and Jacob wins it. Plus Justin didn’t think he’d win when he left on the final day, and didn’t think he’d win when he checked in either. So…surprise!

Here’s some feeshin’ deets from Justin, lead singer of the smallmouth power trio of Justin, Jacob and Josh:

Okay a mariachi band, but for sure Justin was on the bajo sexto…or cinco. Here’s what he said about fishin’:

> “Based on the wind, I really just had to hit several spots a day. The spots changed based on the wind — that was the big thing. …always current on that lake whether there’s wind or not….

> “I hit a bunch of spots in a small area and was able to squeak out enough bites a day — 7, 7, 7 and 9 bites, so 30 bites the whole tournament. I knew it’d be tough like that, but where me and Betrand were fishing…really good quality if you could catch 5 a day.

> “My best spot…I think it was an old sunken channel marker or a UFO, not sure.”

> “That was where I caught half of my fish, but only on the 3rd and final days. On the other 2 days I bounced around a lot…couple sand patches, couple gravel patches, couple rock stretches or boulders. I had to mix it up between all that stuff.

> “Everything was like 16-22’…just really hard to get bit deeper than that. The water clarity…could only see a couple feet on Erie where I was at. Maybe 3′ at the most. Visibility on Erie was nothing like St Clair or the Detroit River…helps keep those fish shallower. Smallmouth are visual feeders more than anything else, so if you can cast your bait and they can see it 5-6′ away, the odds of getting bit are much better than 2-3′ visibility.

> “I don’t think the numbers on Erie are nearly as good as those places…. I didn’t want to make the [long] run, and felt like because of the time constraints it would be won on Erie anyway. I said that before the tournament started…before practice.”

He used the same exact bait/rig as at Sturgeon Bay except for the reel:

> Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm (mostly gp, a little black too), #2 dropshot hook, 3/8-oz tungsten dropshot weight, 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Spinning Rod, Abu Zenon Spinning Reel (30 size — reel is ultralight and high end, and not out yet), 8-lb Berkley X5 Braid (crystal) to 8-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

> “…Abu Zenon, 30-size — weighs 5 oz and has an incredible drag…by far the best spinning reel I’ve ever used. The drag and lightness of it, just how smooth it is — it’s a very nice high-end reel.

> “Really more than anything [the light weight] is about sensitivity. The [Zenon] reel doesn’t dumb down the sensitivity of your rod. A lot of that sensitivity gets absorbed by a heavy reel. It’s a luxury reel, so it’s just a pleasure to fish with all day. When I’m using it, I don’t question if I get bit or not.

> “I’d rather have less-expensive baitcasting gear and high-end finesse spinning gear.”


> MaxScent Flat Worm — “My confidence in that stuff [MaxScent] was completely through the roof 2 years ago.”

> Why he and Josh seem to do better than other guys fishing MaxScent Flat Worms for smalls: “It doesn’t magically find fish for you. You still gotta put in the time and find the fish. But in my opinion it’s the best smallmouth bait I’ve ever used.”

> Since Flat Worms are pretty much sold out everywhere and goin’ for insane prices on eBay…

…asked him if any other MaxScent baits are as good for smalls: “The Flatnose Minnow is still available some places [not sold out] — it’s really good.”

> He had big props for his Phoenix 921 ProXP/Yamaha rig again: “…gives me a lot of confidence when I go on big water like that.”

5 Qs with the champ.

Feels like I’ve asked 5 Qs to the same guys a bunch of times this year and last….

1. Is it true your son’s middle name is “Max” for MaxScent?

> “It should be now, but it’s Jack after my grandpa.”

2. At this point do you just stop at random places, soak the MaxScent and wait for the fish to bite?

> “I wish it was that easy, but you gotta put a little more effort in. It’s ALMOST that easy!”

3. Did you ever think growing up that smallmouth bass would be some of your best friends?

> “I never did. I never really grew up fishing for them. The first I ever fished for them really was the Columbia River [WA]. I was a co-angler in 2007. I fished there twice actually, and won both those events as a co-angler.”

4. After the last 2 tournaments, does Bertrand still talk to you?

> “Yes! Hey — he beat me at the St Lawrence River 2 years ago by a couple ounces, so at least one of these is payback. But we love being able to battle it out.

> “As much as we’re competitive on the water, we’re good friends. And it’s fun people are taking notice…Bertrand and Lucas always battling it out on smallmouth.”

5. Would you rather have ScoreTracker or not when Jacob Wheeler is comin’ at you?

> “Ummm…not. Just cuz right now he’s the best fisherman in the world, and you don’t want to know that the best fisherman in the world is coming up the leaderboard from behind. You just gotta expect he’ll always be there though.”

Top 10’s Erie/Detroit River baits.

No surprise it was a dropshottin’ MaxScentin’ brown-fishin’ deal all the way around. Here’s how the top 10 finishers caught their smallmouths:

Dropshot = 100%Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm = 60% but couple guys didn’t say what they used so maybe more than 60%.

Crankbait = 20% — Spencer Shuffield (5th) fished I think the new Hardcore 4+ (citrus shad), and Russ Lane (9th) fished a SPRO Fat Papa 55.

10% each = Ned (Jacob Wheeler, 2nd) and Jerkbait (Scott Dobson, 4th)

Largemouth baits: David Dudley (7th) cranked an OSP Blitz MR (vanilla chartreuse) and OSP Blitz Max DR (tasty shad), and Russ Lane flipped a Big Bite YoDaddy (gp), cranked a SPRO Fat Papa squarebill (55, chart black back), and used the new/not yet out SPRO Papa Glider walking bait.


1. Here’s Jacob Wheeler’s baits — #becauseWheeler and he almost won it so:

> …main two [rigs] were a Googan Baits Rattlin’ Ned [worm that has a rattle in it] on a 1/4-oz VMC Finesse Half Moon Jighead and a dropshot with the Rattlin’ Ned and “some fluke-style baits and worm-style baits.” …7′ 2″ MH Duckett Wheeler Series Spinning Rod and 8-lb Sufix NanoBraid.

2. How ’bout Scott Dobson usin’ a dropshot as a throwback bait after smallies would chase his jerkbaits — a Duo Realis Jerkbait 100DR and a Lucky Craft Pointer 100 Deep Diver (chart shad).

3. Check out how long Jason Lambert’s dropshot bait is — a BioBait Leech. That yellow braid is 20-lb Yo-Zuri SuperBraid with a 6- or 8-lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon leader:

4. Believe this was the 1st top 5 either ever or in a while for a Hardcore bait.

Proof that smallmouths are legit insane.

Insanely aggressive 95% of the time…and maybe not so bright:

Bottom one’s Brad Knight’s. Pretty dang good match with that goby/party color….

How bad do you want to catch a bass?

This bad??

That’s Japan’s Ken Iyobe. I’m gonna say…no way am I doing that man. Sometimes the cover’s just too heavy I guess….


1. NC: Please pray for a couple bass brothers who crashed…

…on Lake Tillery in a night tourney. From the article:

> “They first struck a tree that was sticking out of the water, and then the boat careened into the bank and went airborne. The boat came to rest upside down and trapped the operator…under the steering wheel. The passenger…was ejected from the boat.”

> Officers spent several hours Saturday documenting the shattered remains of the boat, which were scattered widely along the bank. They even found fiberglass shards embedded in nearby trees….

Wow. From the tourney trail’s FB page, sounds like both guys were in the hospital:

> As word has it both guys are in the hospital but in stable condition. If you would please keep them in your prayers as they start the road to recovery….

For sure. A fund was set up for at least one of the guys — more info here.

2. Will St Clair be stupid for Seth Feider again?

Remember last year when he couldn’t NOT catch ’em? I mean, at the end it looked like he could cast in any direction and reel at any speed and catch a big one. Crazy!

If that was a 4-dayer (was the AOY 3-dayer) he would’ve busted 100 lbs. This one’s a 4-dayer but he says it won’t get to 100. But…is he right? We’ll find out yo! And even tho Seth’s a straight-shooter, some sandbagging may be in play?

3. Justin Lucas on BassEdge Radio.

4. Terry Scroggins lent Fred Roumbanis his boat at Erie.

Big Show didn’t make the day 3 cut, Boom Boom did but his rig was down. Freddy talkin’:

> “Terry didn’t even hesitate when he found out I needed a hand — he was adamant. Listen, if you are going to let someone borrow your boat, you do not want to do it on Lake Erie — especially with a 15 mph wind. Big Show is truly a great guy and friend. I can’t thank him enough.”

Rumor is Terry insisted on a one-time $10,000 hold on Fred’s credit card before he could hook up the boat, and insisted that Fred not throw a single swimbait for some reason.


5. Good to see Shaw Grigsby ketchin’ ’em on Erie!

You might remember he had kidney surgery not too long ago:

6. Mark Menendez says no back surgery needed.

Good to hear! Rehabbin’….

7. Win a bassin’ trip with Gerald Swindle.

Mountain Dew contest, sign up here. Only thing is, the Gerald trip is the 3rd prize. I mean, I wonder if you could say “no thanks” to the Grand Canyon trip (1st prize — who wants to see a bunch of rocks?) and tickets to a NASCAR race (2nd prize — you can watch it on TV!) and be like, “I wanna fish with the G man!” Worth a shot anyhow….

8. Aaron Martens jersey being auctioned on eBay.

Fund-raiser for West Coast basser Jason Borofka’s son JT. Please pray for him, and for Aaron.

9. Check Randy Howell’s upper Miss FLW vid (YT).

One of my fave things about Randy is how little-kid excited (joyful) he is about just about every fish catch.

10. Good Scott Martin post on fishing FL.

Transitioning with the bass after the morning flurry is over — from the Bassin’masters:

> …as soon as that water temperature starts to rise quickly, you need to put those moving baits down and pick up a worm, a dropshot or go to flipping. You also need to switch areas by finding a little deeper water, some rocks or other subsurface structure, or find some heavy cover with some shade.

> These transition periods are great times to catch those fish when they first move under that mat, when they first move onto those rocks, because they’re still hungry. They’re setting themselves up for the rest of the day, and they haven’t gone dormant yet.

11. FLWer Blake Smith scribbles on his ‘lectronics.

Looks like black ‘n blue Sharpies?

12. TX: Charity scholly derby on Belton THIS SATURDAY.

13. B.A.S.S. jumped on the bigfoot wagon!

In a way — YETI’s sponsoring the St. Clair Elite so….

14. WI: This dude won the Bassmaster yak ‘n beard contest…

…on the upper Mississippi. That beard is a 10 man! SC’s Barry Davis:

15. Check the new Jewel Fish the Moment Offshore Jig.

> Combining all of the jig-fishing secrets of the Ozarks into one jig, the Fish the Moment Offshore Jig is one of the most unique and customizable offshore fishing jigs ever created.

> …unique football jighead design, which allows the jig to stand up on the bottom and to leverage itself over cover easier than standard football jigs. It also, features a double cable guard, designed to come through brush and cover better than standard fiber weedguards.

> …unique lead bait-keeper that redistributes the weight of the jig down the shank of the hook allowing for a smaller-than-normal head design, and giving the jig a unique horizontal gliding action on the fall….

> …double-coned system that allows soft plastic trailers to stay on longer. Featuring the Jewel Flop Top Skirt, which is a premium skirt that has a mixture of thin and thick silicone that pulsates in the water. The skirt is extra long allowing the user to customize for any situation.

5/8-oz, 2 per pack, $6.99 at the Jewel site (backordered), not on TW yet.

This is pb&j:

16. NC: Greensboro banned all motors on Lake Higgins.

Including ‘lectric motors, supposedly to stop the spread of hydrilla. NC DNR says it was not involved in the city’s decision.

17. WV: 14-22″ slot on New River starts Jan 1.

> …biologists proposed the slot limit for the New after seeing the positive effect it had on VA’s section of the river. “Studies conducted since then show that the bass there are larger and healthier than they were before the regulation went into effect.”

18. New Rapala #WeAreCollegiateBass podcast.

Jameson Simion and Cameron Wilt from Bowling Green State U, who won the FLW Regional on Lake Erie.

19. PA: ‘Yak derby on the Susquehanna won with spinnerbait.

Won by WV’s Jody Queen with a spinnerbait with a big Colorado blade, and another spinnerbait with Indiana and Colorado blades. Unless I’m mistaken the Susquehanna right now is real low and clear so that sounds odd but it worked!

20. NY: New public launch at Otisco Lake.

21. CA bill to “protect” 30% of land/water still advancing.

> Weeks of negotiations with the bill’s author by the coalition that includes NMMA [National Marine Manufacturers Assn] and dozens of other associations supporting boating and fishing did not result in amendments that would retain existing fishing access….

Raise your hand if you’re surprised…love that the NMMA and others tried.

22. VA: Angler-bought EPIRB leads to Coast Guard rescue.

Saltwater, but if you fish big water or sketchy conditions you should really consider getting one. EPIRB = emergency position-indicating radiobeacon, like a personal locator beacon.


Line of the Day

Been bass fishing 3 years. Not a single bass. Looking for some help….

Title of a post on Maybe he’s been fishing the Ohio River? Heehee! Someone help that dude!


Insanity of the Day

Lux brand Hermes makes a $13,790 fly rod

Love to see someone bust the tip off that deal then take a pull from their $8,000 Chanel water bottle [eyeroll emoji]. Ridiculous man, dang.

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

Todd Casteldine’s frowg-feeshn myths.

Let’s start with this one, the pic he posted:

So obviously one myth is that frogs need to be actual frogs. Lol. Before watching the vid, please know that Todd is a) a little crazy, b) pretty dang intense/wide open and c) a heck of a “frog” fisherman. Few highlights:

> “It’s impossible to set the hook faster than a fish can eat [a frog].”

> Fish a lighter-colored frog to see it better.

> “There are times when you can hear them eat it.”

I think you get what I mean. Here’s some vid excerpts:

Todd waiting on the hookset:

The frog telling Todd when to set it:

Close enough to a frog anyhow? When Todd hears “that” sound:

HAHAHA! Okay here’s the vid:

Btw that’s the “bottoms up” color of Strike King Popping Pad Perch, which I kinda think is genius cuz it helps us see the bait better.

Quote of the Day

“I’m a big math guy, and fishing is all based on calculations, so the two work pretty well together.”

– Uh…say wha? Lol! That’s 16-yr-old bass-head Nick Seitz talkin’. Actually kinda made sense til he said he watches Bassmaster Live. I mean, what can you learn from that deal??

HAHAHA! Kiddin’! Shout-out to Tommy, Z, Davy, Ronnie and Mikey. They kill it every time (most of ’!) and honestly a lot of folks take it for granted…maybe I’m talkin ’bout myself….

Shot of the Day

David Walker’s well full o’ big bronze — man how fun does that look:

Ya got me

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