Jones repeats again, Jason Christie swim-jig tips, How to get recruited for bassin’

Hope dad’s day was great for all the dads! Went to a bud’s lake house in PA, full of dumb bass so let’s just say it was…unsafe for bass. My dad’s day present was paddling my 18-yr-old son around the lake while he slayed ’em — and I re-learned why I don’t like canoes…got outta that thing with an 88-yr-old back.

Anyhow, few things:

1. My son doesn’t have a real-educated thumb, but cast the new matte Army green Abu Zata Reel (7.1) no prob. Put it on a 7′ M XF Kistler Helium 3 and strung it with 14-lb Sufix Advance Mono — the thing cast farther than a spinning rod and pretty much never backlashed. So…every time we fish together, I don’t get to use that rig!

2. My bud Dan’s favorite bait is STILL a Hula Popper. Seriously. And danged if he didn’t catch the far outta ’em. Forgotten how HUGE those blowups are. Told him about the new Hulas, he’s skeptical. Seriously. Cracked me up man….

3. Intro’d him to the Plopper-like Berkley Choppo and the Berkley Spin Rocket (prop bait) which he also just reeled in straight. His eyes got real big real fast!

More about all that comin’ on Thursday.

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

Today’s Top 4

Chris Jones got into the Classic the same way again!

AR hamma Chris Jones won the Central Open on the AR Reever so he’s in the 2021 Classic — for sure great but kinda no surprise since he literally did the same thing 7 years ago! Same Open, also outta Muskogee, OK, only difference was it was in Sept.

Got to fish the ’14 Classic on Guntersville where he finished 39th…outta 38 anglers…hahaha just kiddin’ man! This time it’s gonna be closer to home on Lake Ray Roberts, TX, which does have some river-lookin’ parts so who knows….

And get this — his other 2 highest Bassmaster finishes were at the ’16 (10th) and ’11 (9th) Opens ON THE ARKANSAS RIVER OUTTA MUSKOGEE.

Me too Mr. Bean! Wonder if Chris is runnin’ a boat he got from Ott DeFoe…. Anyhow, this derby was FULL of great fishermen. Here’s what the rules meeting looked like:

For real! So — Chris beat a field full o’ hammers, beat the home “lake” jinx, beat the “fishing history is bad” jinx, and beat the “astronomical odds to get back in the Classic” deal. He’s like:

All the deets about how Chris got himself into the Classic this time are on the BB site, but here’s the bait info:

> Day 1: He caught 1 on a BOOYAH Poppin Pad Crasher (dart frog = black/yellow), and the other 4 were on the plastics which he flipped after fish swirled on a prototype white BOOYAH swim jig (white) with a 3.25″ YUM Craw Chunk (pearl silver flake).
> Day 2: “…flipping a Christie Critter and Bad Mamma, black/blue and bama magic.”
> Day 3: All his day 3 fish came on a 3/8-oz prototype BOOYAH swim-jig (b/b/purple/chart) with a 3.25″ YUM Craw Chunk (black neon). 7′ 4″ H swim-jig rod, BPS Johnny Morris Platinum Reel (8:1), 60-lb Vicious Braid.

> “You had to pump it…shake that jig when you got around a little clump of water willow. When it was matted, I’d reel it up quick, give it a little pause, let it sink and they’d get it.”

> “My Garmins were key. I was running stuff that was real hairy [so the maps were key] but the most important part was that new Garmin Force. It’s so fast and so quiet — I could keep it on high and go point to point [without starting the big motor].”
That BOOYAH swim-jig will be out sometime next year. It’s based on an AR “secret” jig that Chris and a few other guys wanted modified. Word is it comes through hard and soft cover real well and it doesn’t roll over. Will be 1/2- and 5/16-oz.

^ Yep the heads are hidden and apparently the pic on shows a prototype head, not the final. Chris’ full fishin’ deets are in the BB winning pattern post.

“Knowing I could earn an extra $50,000 with a single cast was hard to even think about.”

Matty Lee talkin’ ’bout the BPT Heavy Hitters deal. That is pretty dang cool. Looks like Matt wanted to make sure he had a long-enough rod to land a giant:

Lol! Here’s the cat who won that $50K, taking it from Jordan Lee who took it from Jeff Kriet:

Michael Neal with an 8-15 which he caught with 20 mins left to beat Jordan Lee’s 8-14. Said he “caught this on a 1/2-oz vibrating jig that has a lot of miles on it.”

How McKendree U recruits bassers.

Never seen a post like this, lovin’ it all — just as hardcore as any sport:

> Prospective anglers send emails and resumes, allowing [coach Jon] Rinderer to pick and choose. When he finds the best candidates, he invites them for a visit, which in this case means a 5- to 7-hour fishing trip.

> “I take them on the water and fish with them to see what they’ve got and how dedicated they are. I’m watching if they can make the casts needed, are they watching everything around them for signs they need to switch baits. Mechanics are huge. Some kids don’t have it yet and some really do.”

> Rinderer needed 10 additions for his team last year and made his selections based on about 25 1-on-1 fishing trips.

Looks like they’re pretty good:

McKendree is in IL.

You don’t see this shot every day…in a tourney.

Or ever?

That’s Zack Birge leavin’ the boat to land (LAND) that fish:

He said it was a tough decision — to lip the fish or take a pic of the bigfoot that was holding it…possibly….


1. Drew Benton won a BFL on Eufaula, AL.

Finished 3rd at the Eufaula Elite, then won this deal. 3-bass limit so he had 3 for 17-08:

> …during his practice he noticed a lot of mayflies hatching, so he decided to take advantage of that during the tournament. He started up the river throwing a frog and a Bagley Knocker B topwater….
> “I caught one really big one on topwater, then as the day went on we went down the lake towards the dam and I fished ledges. I isolated the schools with my Lowrance LiveSight and caught them all on a Nichols Mini Magnum Spoon.”

2. Jay Yelas bassin’ trip being auctioned off…

…among other items, to support the super-awesome C.A.S.T. for Kids charity.

3. Bryan Thrift says BPT’s biggest difference is practice.

> …I had to figure out how to practice. Since practice is less…with just 2 days, I had to break down each lake ahead of time.

> There’s no time to get lazy in practice, you can’t waste any time. Previously in practice, I could get no bites for 30 or 40 minutes, and I may have stayed longer to get 1 bite. Now, I get out fast and go to find active fish.

4. Did Seth Feider just manage to make this hat look cool?

The SIMMS Cutbank sun hat in “toffee:”

5. Here’s the baits Greg Hackney used at the AR River.Gotta say it was fun seeing him lead day 1….

6. Japan’s Ken Iyobe fished this tube color in the AR River Open.

He didn’t do so hot in the tourney but don’t believe I’ve seen that color before:

7. Watch Stray Casts tomorrow night.

Looks like a high likelihood of nonsense…right up my alley, maybe yours too:

Kinda a fashion show too? Time TBA, StrayCasts/Facebook or

8. Is Dave Mercer doing the Facts of Fishing FYIs again??

I think the last time he did ’em was 19-and-72?

9. 2 Bassmaster events in a row with 6 fish in the well.

Heartbreakers for those dudes. Because of this, Cheezy Dibbles will no longer be allowed in the B.A.S.S. TV/Live production trucks…not sure why but this might be a clue:

10. AL: Bryan College team won the Boat US college champeenship.

Bailey Fain and Preston Kendrick of Bryan College, TN led both days on Pickwick to win it with 35.99 lbs, little over 1 lb better than Dalton Smith and Bradley Dunagan of Campbellsville U, KY.

> “I just got to thank the good Lord. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have done nothing,” said Fain. “Practice was terrible, and I don’t know what to say.”

They stumbled onto schoolers early on day 1, fished the same spot on day 2 and that was it. Unnamed topwaters and swimbaits.

11. CA: Clear Lake had its first derby in months.

Glad they’re back at it!

12. VA: “Tiger bass” stocked in Claytor Lake.

12,500, 3rd year in a row. “Tiger bass” is just a marketing term for FL-northern hybrids.

13. Storm 360GT Searchbait now in 2.5″.

3/32-oz jighead with a #2 VMC hook, already on TW:

14. Learn ya a little more about the MotorGuide Tour.

15. New Raymarine Axiom+ and charts.

> …Axiom+ models feature a bright IPS LCD that is 25% brighter than previous Axiom models…improved touch-screen performance….

> Along with the upgraded Axiom+ line, Raymarine is unveiling a new electronic catalog of LightHouse Charts.

16. ‘Rude said it was losing so it folded.

> “We won’t comment or speculate on what our dealers had to say about this decision [they were unhappy], and we stand by our belief in the technology we produced. However, over the last few years, despite its innovative technology, our outboard engine lineup has been losing shares in a market that was already difficult.

> “As the current situation forced us to reduce our investment plan and review downward our growth expectation for the business, the path to profitability improvement for outboard engines was too long and it became apparent that we had to take the difficult decision to discontinue our outboard engine production.”

Says in there Evinrude launched 3 new motors in ’19. Also says the ‘Rude name might come back, possibly with electric stuff. Not sure how wise that would be cuz all the warm fuzzies for the brand might be gone by then…or might be gone already….

17. OK: Official fishing Grand Slam is…

…a bass, a crappie, a catfish and a sunfish. Pretty sure you could do that in an afternoon?

Can’t link it, at

18. MO: What koi can do to a pond bass-wise.

Guessin’ this applies to carp too, since koi are just pretty carp:

> “In a pond like that, we should have seen around 40 bass and 100 bluegill but we had 20 combined. The koi fish are more aggressive and they need more food than the young bluegill do. They were outcompeting the native species for food.”

19. BC: Biologists want smallmouths removed from Cultus Lake.

20. FL: Mechanical veggie harvesting on the St Johns.

Pilot project.

21. It’s National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

Who knew. Fishermen account for the most lightning deaths (pdf).

22. Earl’s Day Off = bassin’ horror video game (vid).

Not out yet…if vid games are your thing….


Headline of the Day

…rods and reels are selling like toilet paper

About MN folks fishing their brains out, which I’m pretty sure they do anyway so that’s sayin’ something.


Line of the Day

Non-powered motors are not allowed….

NON-powered motors? So I guess powered motors ARE allowed??

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

Why Jason Christie flips a swim-jig.

In May 2014 Jason won the Dardanelle Elite flipping, stroking and swimming a jig. Zona interviewed him about the swim-jig part on the Livewell show, here’s some highlights from it:

> “…when you’re throwing a spinnerbait and all of a sudden you get the feeling the spinnerbait doesn’t look right…[need] something more subtle….

> “…full moon — 3-4 days before and 3-4 days after — a swim-jig just catches ’em. Post-spawn is the best time….

> “I flip it a long ways, cast it if I need to. I want to use a flipping stick…will flip the jig into places I think there’s bass, and if he’s not there I’ll start swimming it back. That’s why I want to flip it.”

> He used 25-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro: “I’ve tried braid [for swim-jigs]…not a fan because you have to let ’em load it a little bit.

> “It’s like a frog bite on steroids…one of the best bites in bass fishing.”

He used a 1/2-oz BOOYAH Boo Jig (b/b) with a 2.75″ YUM Craw Chunk (virgo blue). Word is Jason likes the newer 3.25″ size Craw Chunk the best of ’em all.

Quote of the Day

“…we try to make it as real as possible — not just going to a pond and throwing in a bobber, actually going on a boat ride and going fast.”

Guy named Caleb Niedfeldt talkin’ ’bout the program he started for at-risk kids called Fishing For the Heart. Outstanding and love the boat ride part — we’re all still kids when we go fast!

Shot of the Day

Thinkin’ the @curlsthatfish page name says it all — outstandin’! Btw that YETI hat — the Mountain Trucker — is fire-hot right now:


For all you travelin’ bassers — innerestin’ post on how folks are running house rental scams on Craigslist. Amazing how far the scammers will go.

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

of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated 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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