Justin Lucas winning deets, Cool/odd smallie stuff, Ultra-shallow jerkbaiting

Got a bunch more ICAST stuff to get through, not sure when that’ll happen. Crazy process this year, plus some companies rolled out late and also rolled out more than what they had “at ICAST.” Weird. Anyhow, I’ll get to it mang! In the meantime here we go!

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

Today’s Top 4

How Justin Lucas loaded his boat at Sturgeon Bay.

Here’s the un-Photoshopped shot of Justin’s boat during the derby:

Lol but that’s what it was like! You might say he got…BassBlasted? Full pattern deets on the BB site, here’s the bait deets and a few other tiddybits:

> “I was looking for grass that was more isolated…didn’t want to be around huge, giant clumps of grass because there’d be too many places they could be and they’d be harder to target.

> “…areas of less grass, run into a few little patches in a row and that’s where they’d be around. …2-3′ diameter but 6′ tall.

> “I already had all my waypoints marked that I wanted to fish, so I really just ran as many waypoints as I could. If they were there and on, you’d catch them right away. If it wasn’t on, you needed to move.”

He caught every fish on a dropshot rig. He had a bunch of the same ones tied up:

> Berkely Maxscent Flat Worm (gp, smoke black/purple flake, black) — “I don’t think it mattered, but for my own confidence I used black when it was cloudy and the other colors when it was sunny.”
> #2 dropshot hook, 3/8-oz tungsten dropshot weight, 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Spinning Rod, an Abu REVO Premier or REVO MGXtreme or REVO MGX spinning reel (“didn’t really matter — all that matters is that they’re 30s because 30s pick up more line than 20s), 8-lb Berkley X5 Braid (crystal) to 8-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.
> He made 1 cast with a different bait: a Berkley Powerbait Lugworm on a Ned-type head.

> He wanted to shout-out his Yamaha and Phoenix 921 ProXP: “I truly love my boat, and fishing on big water doesn’t bother me at all. Every camera guy and boat official talks about how much they love my boat, especially on big water.”

> Like Jacob Wheeler, Justin is running a mix of electronics — intentionally — and doesn’t have an electronics sponsor.

5 Qs with the champ.

I think (?) the last time Justin won a big derby was the ’16 Potomac River Elite. He’s been close a bunch of times since then, but close don’t gitcha a big trophy. So had to start there:

1. Why’d you wait so long to decide to win one of these deals?

> “I just got tired of watching Jordan and Wheeler winning every one, so I figured I’d put my name on the list too.”

2. What’s harder: Winning one of these tourneys or rooming with Jo-Lee who wins everything?

> “I room with Tharp and Jordan…2 really good fishermen. Tharp is really confident, and Jordan…he’s a fish…just expect every time he gets off the water he’s in the top 5 or top 10.

> “I needed to step it up this week — he’s been kicking my butt this year since he won Heavy Hitters and I was 4th, and this one I won and he was 4th.”

3. What was more important, soaking your brain in Mountain Dew or your baits in it?

> “Soaking my baits in Maxscent.”

[Okay but that doesn’t explain this?]

4. Does this win have anything to do with the fact that smallmouths are dumber than largemouths?

> “Yeah maybe I understand how the dumb fish move better than the smart ones.”

[Lol but serious for a sec: Figuring out smallie movement is a LOT harder for most folks…cuz they do move more than the green ones.]

5. What’s more like your pregame meal — bacon or Fruit Loops?

> “Jordan will be Fruit Loops for sure — probably actually Lucky Charms — but I would be bacon and eggs.”

The Flat Worm, the color black, #noshutdown smallies, Westerners and smallies….

Few things I gotta highlight:

1. The Berkley Maxscent Flat Worm

This is the same bait Josh Bertrand won the St Lawrence Elite on back in Aug ’18. Guess who was 2nd in that deal — by less than 1 lb — and dropshotted the same bait. Yep, Justin. And btw, Josh finished 3rd at Surgeon Bay.

Should also mention — when MDJ won the Oahe, SD Elite, which was just before that St Lawrence Elite, Josh and Justin finished 8th and 9th dropshotting the Flat Worm also, I believe.

So seems like these guys are significantly better at finding smallies than most of the other serious hammers they’ve been fishing against — guess it’s possible? — and/or there’s something about that bait? What Justin said about it:

> “It’s the science behind it. …you can only do so much with a dropshot shape, but that scent dispersing underwater, it really gets away [from the bait].

> “Any other plastic, if you watch the scent come off the bait, it barely comes off. It’s really more of a taste than a scent — fish can taste it and hold on longer. But it’s hard for them to find.

> “Maxcent has thousands of little pores, and scent just comes through the bait like crazy and leaves a trail underwater. Smallmouth are #1 visual and #2 is scent. I always feel like…if I miss them by a couple feet and they don’t see my bait, they might find it by smelling it.

> “It doesn’t matter if it’s smallmouth or largemouth, like with the Maxscent General — it’s really good.

> “I had a pair of pliers right there next to me because I had to get pliers to get the hook out. You hook them way deeper in the mouth…didn’t lose nearly as many fish.”

Josh talkin’:

> “It’s the scent. It checks all the boxes of what makes a good smallmouth bait — short and stubby, just the right amount of action, colors smallmouth like, and I think they like that matte color of it, it’s more natural.

> “But if you asked me about [scent] back in the day, I’d say, ‘I think it makes them hold onto it longer.’ But since [fishing] Maxscent and Gulp!, I think it gets more fish to bite.”

Huh. More coming on the Maxscent stuff soon….

2. The color black

As a northeasterner, black is one of my fave soft-plastic colors — in the CLEAR water we have up here. It’s a straight-up confidence color for me, and I’ve used it other places — like FL — where folks normally wouldn’t and it worked great. BUT it’s rare that pros use black soft-plastics so I had to ask Justin about it:

> “In 2007, I think it was, I fished with Pete Gluszek [of Bass U] on Lake Champlain. He was using black in crystal clear water in 15′, catching largemouth. I was blown away by that at the time, but northern fish they love black and I don’t think matters if they’re largemouth or smallmouth.

> “So that was one color that, when we were making Maxscent I said, ‘We need one black — no flake, just straight black. ‘ I always have it tied on for northern fisheries.”

3. #noshutdown smallies

How is it possible to spend all day on a school of smallmouths and catch ’em pretty much the whole time? I mean, all the top finishers did it.

Thank about that for a sec: Smallies are NOTORIOUS for, when you drop ’em back in, going down to tell their buds the party’s over. But not these ones, for some reason. Couple quick deals on that:

> Justin: “I think there were so many it didn’t even matter. I couldn’t believe it. I expected it to change — letting them go back down there, shutting the school down. But I think there were literally hundreds of fish around me on that spot.”

> Jordan Lee: “I think it was just the Great Lakes in general. They weren’t holding on one rock or anything. Just massive schools of fish — hundreds of fish. They would just roam around and weren’t really just sitting on one deal.

> “Just a different kind of fishing — I’ve never seen it before personally. Huge schools of fish that would be there and be gone. Wind and currents, stuff I don’t understand [up there], I think was part of the reason.”

Innerestin’ thing is Josh had a different, more-normal experience. He was fishing farther offshore too, although still on the Surgeon Bay side:

> “If I could get the fish really fired up, I might catch 5, 6 or 7, but then then [it would] stop. I think releasing fish back down there was the reason. So I would have to rest places…. Sometimes I’d fish a spot once a day, sometimes 3 times in a day. I wasn’t able to stay in one place.”

4. Westerners and smallies?

Is it me or do guys from the West seem to do better with smallmouths? Not all the time but check this: Justin (CA), Josh (AZ), MDJ (CA). Aaron Martens has done well with ’em too, Ish Monroe finished 10th at Sturgeon Bay, prolly other guys I’m forgettin’.

Not only Westies for sure, but that stuck out to me.

The NBA has become the National Bassmasters Association in the bubble

– Headline from one of several posts about those guys being down at Disney and doing layups with our fave green fish every day. Here’s the Clippers’ Paul George with a nice’n — yep he’s holdin’ it way out but bear in mind this dude is 6′ 8″!

Check this quote from the Sixers’ Ben Simmons:

> “The fishing conditions are very good. A lot of largemouth bass. I mean, I fish a lot, so this is what I do every day. I work out, play some video games, and fish, so that’s my day-to-day routine.”

Doesn’t sound so bad….


1. We lost Len Borgstrom, long-time Abu Garcia president…

…and the grandson of Abu’s founder:

> Borgstom joined ABU Fishing Tackle (as it was originally known) as an international marketer in 1954. He served the company as VP beginning in 1960 until he became president in 1970. In 1978, Borgstrom oversaw the merger between ABU Fishing Tackle and its U.S.-based importer, The Garcia Corp, when the company became formally known as Abu Garcia.

Sorry to hear it but a very cool story. Bless you fishin’ brother.

Cool story with him on the development of the baitcaster. Love this part:

> “One reason for our success is that both I and my father were very keen fishermen. We did not let anything out on the market unless we had tested it ourselves for at least 1 year. Every reel was tested by us personally before it was put on the market.”

2. We lost Steve Wakefield.

Steve was part of the leadership team of the Fishers of Men trail. Hate to hear it for his family…yet glad he is with the Lord. Bless you bassin’ brother:

3. Justin Lucas was on a CBS radio show (vid).

Good interview. Learn a little more about the dude.

4. Elitist Buddy Gross is on BassEdge Radio.

5. Zaldains now have a Zaldaingerous video series.

Some kinda partnership between B.A.S.S. and, like to see it. 1st episode is out but I haven’t watched it yet. Expectin’ some good-natured but serious in-the-boat fights — no fights, no viewers heehee!

6. Dion Hibdon will be on StrayCasts.

GREAT! Rumors about Dion maybe heading for the Elites — ask him about it Pat!

7pm Central on Facebook/StrayCasts or

7. NY: B.A.S.S. postpones Oneida Open.

Bet everyone’s bummed but no one’s surprised. Tough to move events around, sorry to hear it.

For what it’s worth from living up here, I recommend staying outta most Northeast states for the foreseeable future. Just can’t count on ’em for now…. Do states like AL and GA still have bass? (Heehee!)

8. FLW moves MI and NY Pro Circuit events.

Were the Detroit and St Lawrence Rivers, now Erie and Sturgeon Bay.

9. All current Elites get auto-requalified for ’21.

10. MS: Natchez Trace Lake reopens Aug 5.

Been closed for 3 years, might be some dumb hawgs in there….

11. OR allowing SPEARFISHING for smallmouths in 1 river.

> The use of bait, spears, and spear guns to harvest smallmouth bass is now allowed in the Coquille River system July 15 through Oct 31. The temporary rule aims to reduce impacts of illegally introduced smallmouth bass on native fall Chinook salmon.

> “Anglers have been asking for the option to use spears and spear guns to harvest smallmouth here, and now they not only have the opportunity to do that, they will also help our fall Chinook population,” said biologist Gary Vonderohe.

Hey Gary, I’m no expert on your sitch but I highly doubt ANGLERS ever want to use spears and spearguns…which would make them NOT anglers. Those bass are ticked, don’t blame ’em:

12. MO: Bassin’ Hall of Fame cancels Sept induction.

Either to re-examine the wisdom of Steve Bowman getting in (heehee Bowman!) or cuz of Covid…or both.

13. TX: 10.49 won the Bass Champs Mega Bass.

Props to LA’s Tommy Ellis who won a new Skeeter ZX 200, Yamaha 200 SHO and $15,000. Beat 1,800+ fishermen on Fork:

14. TX: More structure in Coleto Creek Rez.Here’s a map with ’em.

15. TX wants nominations for fishin’ Hall of Fame.

16. Jackson ‘yaks dude is Kickstartering a new fishing yak.

Carbon fiber, so I bet not cheap but sounds like a cool project.

17. South Africa: 100K Rand fishing derby = not so much?

Turns out 100,000 Rand = $6,076? Not bad but….

18. IA: Zebras found in Lake Manawa.

Can’t link it, at the IA DNR site.

19. DC: Some Senators want fed $$ to go to outdoor businesses.

All of ’em listed are Democrats fyi.

20. May new boat sales were highest in a decade.

Get out and fish!


Line of the Day

“…boating is one of the safest and most accessible atmospheres….”

Atmospheres?? Well…guess it’s safer than the atmosphere on Mars in that Total Recall movie:

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

More on Brandon Cobb’s “crazy” shallow jerkbait deal.

Mentioned this in the ICAST 5 fire hots issue along with the new Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait 110, said I’d follow up so here’s Brandon talkin’ ’bout smashing a jerkbait into the bottom, super-shallow:

> “…real shallow…1-2′ of water on points, jerking it into mud. Hit the bottom with it.

> “…something I do anytime any baitfish are spawning… not always the best option — in grass you can’t hardly do it.

> “The reason I think it works is when there’s 10 million baitfish, there’s nothing that makes the fish want to eat your bait. Even a topwater. But that jerkbait looks like an idiot, pounding into the rocks and mud as it goes by them.

> “I’ve caught a few around brim beds…but mostly shad and herring-type baitfish.

> “Basically no pauses and way more aggressive [than the typical jerkbait retrieve] — jerk the crap out of it.

> “I’ve lost a lot of fish doing it though.”

He also goes through baits — he breaks ’em (bills) doing this. BUT he says the new 3DB 110 is more durable than most…if you’re loco enough to try this deal:

HAHAHA that’s right! Here again is his jerkbait gear: 6′ 11″ M Ark signature rod (out in Sept), Abu REVO MGX Reel (6.4), 12-20 lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluoro.

Quote of the Day

“I think they might be biting on Skynyrd.”

– Heck yeah they are! That’s a dude named Ray Ruiz talkin’, whose job for the MN DNR is “to work with diverse metro area [urban] community groups to increase participation in fishing.” That’s a friggin’ GREAT idea — props to the MN DNR for that’n. More about Ray:

> …Ruiz meanders through fishing tales, beer industry gossip, music talk and movies. He’s obsessed with films directed by Martin Scorsese and…he can fish intensely….

> Ruiz calls Minneapolis home, but he grew up in a working-class Chicago neighborhood just west of Cabrini-Green, a drug-infested, gang-controlled public housing project that’s now demolished.

Anyone else know some Chicago guys who can talk a blue streak about bassin’ ‘n whatnot? I’m thinking of 2….

Here’s Ray — go get ’em man!

Shot of the Day

Elitist Carl Jocumsen with a super-cool #refraction shot:


In Australia a shark jumped out of the water, grabbed a 10-yr-old boy in a boat, and fell back in the water.

You’re reading about it here cuz the kid is okay but whoa man that’s spooky. FYI great whites are starting to be common up and down the East Coast, not just the Cape Cod, MA area….

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’!

Sign up another bass-head!

If you’re forwarding every Blaster to other bass crackheads, tx much — or you can email me the addys and we’ll take care of it! We’ll never send spam or sell the list or anything else crazy….

Use the best stuff!

Gitcha BassBlaster social at these links:

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Gitcha Bassin' Fix

To Top