Limit of the year? Biffle on the Hardhead/Bug, Zona spies on panfishers??

Today’s Top 4

Is this the limit of the year?

Okay have a seat. You ready?

Yep — 37.21 lbs, 5 fish! BPTer Terry Scroggins and his son Jonathan weighed two 9+, two 7+s and I guess a 5+. PLUS he said they “threw back 5 more that weighed almost 30. We had a fun day.” No doubt!

Happened at the Glenn Browne Memorial tourney on the Harris Chain, FL, which honored the FL and FLW pro who recently passed on. More on it from Terry:

> “…181 boats in it, we were boat 161. Basically all we did was fish offshore grass. They killed almost all the hydrilla in Harris and Eustis, but there’s still some eelgrass patches. That’s basically where we caught ’em.

> “We used 2 different baits: a 1/2-oz Red Eye Shad (chrome sexy shad) and a bladed jig (1/2-oz, white with black scale) that I make myself…prototype trailer (4″ long, white, spade tail, very erratic, “I probably will come out with it at some point, there’s nothing on the market like it”). I felt [the trailer] was key — they’d never seen it before because you can’t buy ’em.

> “…from 4′ to 8’…pretty much ripping it out of the grass. It was crazy throwing a cranking rod…with 15-lb line, and 8- and 9-lbers are burying up in the grass. It was pretty intense. Just a day you never forget about.”

I bet. Such an amazing day I had to ask whether Terry knew Glenn:

> “Glenn and I used to fish team tournaments together before both of us turned pro. He actually taught me how to flip. When we teamed up, he taught me how to flip, and I taught him how to fish offshore structure.

> “I thought it’d be really cool — because he was so well-known as a flipper — if it was nothing but a flipping tournament.

> “Most tournaments down here anymore you have 30-40 boats, so a tournament that has 181 boats in it shows you the friends and support Glenn had. It was a very cool event.”

Tx much to bass-head Kyle G for the heads up, and I hope the tourney accomplished what it set out to.

Tommy Biffle talks the Hardhead/Biffle Bug rig.

Like it says in the full post on the BB website, a few things got me on this topic:

1. Guys are doing great in tourneys using the Hardhead/Bug, and not just in OK.

2. Gene Larew — which makes both — was sold.

3. Hadn’t talked to Tommy in a while.

Few excerpts from the full post, which talks how it came to be and the particular deals about the Bug and Hardhead. And remember, Tommy’s won 3 derbies on this rig:

If the Bug wasn’t designed for the Hardhead, why is it so good on it?

> “I don’t know why it’s so good. A lot of companies have made a lot of different baits to put on a Hardhead or something like a Hardhead, but I don’t know of any that can out-catch it. Maybe it’s the design and action — it has a real good swimming action….”

What’s up with the middle flat tail on the Biffle Bug? It’s not like any other creature or craw — what’s it for?

> “The tail’s concave. It kind of catches the water when it’s going down and makes it glide around.

> “The inside of the Bug is hollow. That makes it soft, but also makes it so you can put scent in it, a rattle in it, or a piece of earplug foam in it to make it float and fish it like a Carolina rig. I put scent in that hollow cavity all the time — the scent stays in there. I don’t put a rattle in it a whole lot because they’re usually biting it.”

[He swears by Bug Juice. His fave flave for the Hardhead/Bug is crawdad and garlic.]

How do you fish the Hardhead/Bug combo?

> “Throw it as far as you can throw it.

> “They like it better when you’re reeling it pretty quick. I tell everyone, ‘The faster you can reel it and keep it on the bottom, the better they like it.’ …one of the easiest baits in the world to fish — throw it out there and reel it back. The fish will pick it up and swim with it a long ways before they ever drop it. So it’s a real easy bait for anybody to fish.

> “…if you reel it slow then you get hung up more. If you reel fast, it hits those rocks and ricochets and bounces.

> “It’s really good-looking as it’s running along the bottom. When that head hits something, the Bug just hops up.”

Way more here, including what rod/reel/line he fishes it on.

How Zona finds winterin’ holes.

Innerestin’, from the Bassin’masters site:

> To be honest, some of my best wintering holes were found by watching panfishermen during the late season. On our lakes, bass like to live where the perch, bluegill and crappie school.

That is the only school that Z studied carefully (in)…hahaha Z! Just kiddin’ kids. Study hard in school even tho somehow it’s easier to learn fishin’….

Top baits from the Ozarks Costa.

Gettin’ to this a little late:

Congrats to FLWer Dylan Hays ^ who squeaked by Woooooooorldwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide “James” Watson by just 7 oz to win the deal. Crazy how it went down:

> “I’m throwing my football jig around, and I broke it off with 3 minutes to go. So I said ‘I guess I’m going to throw a crankbait for 3 minutes.’ I threw it and threw it, and I said ‘one more cast,’ and I knew I hit [the brushpile] good. It came over that brush, and it just ate it.

> “My co-angler netted it, and it came off in the net. I threw it in the livewell, pulled my small fish out. The crankbait is still in the net on the floor. I strapped the rods down, pulled the trolling motor up and checked in at 2:29:36. You cannot make that up!”

Well actually you can make that up but then there’s a witness in the boat and the recorded check-in time so…. Hahaha! He mostly fished a 3/4-oz Jewel Football Jig (PB&J) with a Zoom Super Speed Craw (gp), and that last fish hit a Strike King 6XD (blue herring). Here’s how the baits of the top 10 fineeshers break down — looks like a deal any power fisherman would loved to have fished:

Jig = 70%

Buzzbait = 40%

Crankbait = 30%

Worm = 20%

10% each = Football jig, Swim-jig, Jerkbait, Flip plastics


1. Jewel Baits — The winner and James Watson both threw Jewel jigs. James’ was a Jewel Special Ops Tactical Flip’n Jig with a Tackle HD Hi Def Craw.

2. Crock-O-Gator baits — Owner James Dill (5th) fished his Head Knocker Buzzbait and Crock-O-Gator Jig, and Cory Steckler (7th) fished that buzzbait too.

3. Lance Williams (6th) “has been wearing out Ozark fish in the fall on a special crankbait, which he used again this event. The lure is a Bomber Flat A (shad colors), which he’d cast around the ends of docks up the river.” Innerestin’.


1. Chris Zaldain says he’s way more confident now.

And he should be after this season:

> When I made decisions this year about what lures to prep for the next day or what rod and reel to pick up I did it with confidence. I believed, more than knew, that what I was doing would get me a bite. There was no hesitation and no second-guessing myself.

> It’s a head thing. I’m in the right place now. I hope so, anyway.

Hope so or KNOW so? Lol, kidding man, good to hear!

2. New Justin Lucas vid: Topwater spotted basses.

Good video. I always feel he needs to do more — he’s good on vid.

3. Excerpt from Seth Feider’s L’Oreal audition.

Whole vid is HILARIOUS! From @bass_nation on Insta.

4. Elitist Harvey Horne not afraid to ask questions.

Love the humility, which in my 2c is an undervalued sign of character:

> As a rookie, you have all the freedom to ask all the questions. No one ever teaches you about the business side of things. …you don’t really know about how to market yourself. And unless you have lived there, not everyone will teach you the secrets of how to catch smallmouth bass up north. You will never have all the answers even as a veteran, so surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are in the things you need to learn more about.

Some real good advice in that deal.

5. BPTer Fletch Shryock moved from OH to AL.

Said it was cuz OH didn’t have enough fish but word is Bubble Bass ran him off:

6. Elitist Patrick Walters selling his Falcon.

2019 Falcon F215, Yammy, Lowrance, Ultrex and more.

7. Kim Stricker going into the Freshwater Feeshn Hall of Fame.

Kim is a former pro basser who now hosts the Hook n Look underwater bassin’ show. Congrats man!

8. One interesting slide from the MLFLW deck…

…presented to FLW Tour anglers. This ain’t the whole slide but fyi:

My 2c is the slide deck was well done. Few more factoids from it:

> The deal still is NOT done. Likely will be, but not there yet. If I had to guess, I’m thinking the sale is waiting til Irwin Jacobs’ estate is worked out.

> “Upon execution of the acquisition, FLW, LLC will be closed and a new company will be established, MLFLW, LLC.”

> Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is 50% owner of MLF and MLFLW, and Pro Bass Tour (PBT) is 50% owner of MLF and MLFLW. “PBT is an angler-owned company that facilitates the Major League Fishing Anglers Association.”

Note that Johnny Morris/Bass Pro Shops does not share ownership in anything. That was said when the whole BPT deal went down but a lot of folks still think he owns some of it. Johnny’s like:

9. Canada beat the US in bassin’??

Even though it happened in Canada — where the fish are so dumb they actually stump US anglers (lol) — and was ultra tight (Team Canada’s weight avg was 38.98 lbs and Team USA’s was 38.97) it’s still a dark, dark day for US bassin’….

Hahaha! Congrats to the Canadians. Besides, looks like Mark Daniels Jr and Brian Latimer decided to go snowboardin’ instead:

Wait — guess it was just that cold up there? I’d call those conditions that favored the host team…. Anyhow, sounds like those two won the “individual” (team? doubles?) part of the competition, probly by staying warm. Congrats fellers!

10. OK: Donnie Ray Crawford derby on Fort Gibson SATURDAY.

11. AR: AFTCO college basss derby on Dardanelle THIS WEEKEND.

Register at that link.

12. FL: Locals want Harney Pond Canal to be no-wake.

On Okeechobee.

13. NC: Dude killin’ it making Trump rods.

14. TX: DNR might get revenue from state sales taxes.

Under proposed state constitution amendment. Could be huge.

15. Siren boat security system offered on Bass Cat Jaguars.

16. Yammy has a new tourney contingency program.

Called “Power Play.” Have to be an original owner with an engine 5 years old or newer.

17. What happened to Scout.

Remember Scout from a couple years back, supposed to roll up all these outdoors media properties (including Wired2Fish) and be all that? Well…it went under. Never really thought about it til I looked into who just bought Sports Illustrated. More deets on how they’re related here if you’re curious.

Line of the Day

Bass fishing is angling for gamefish known as the black bass.

No…way. But it is from a Zimbabwe news site so….

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

Randy Howell squarebills nothing in the fall.

Nothing-looking areas — full post on the MLFers site:

> “A lot of times, bass fisherman are drawn to something that looks good to the eye like a shallow dock or a fallen tree. However, with everyone fishing those types of areas, they may not be as good after a while. A lot of the fish that get overlooked are behind your boat and in the middle of the creek you’re fishing.”

> Howell targets shallow offshore flats with the squarebill…. He says that if you can find a sandbar with bait, bass will frequently hover around or suspend beneath the bait.

> “I cover a lot of water throwing at what looks like absolutely nothing. There might not be anything out there but a sandy or muddy bottom, and you’re cranking your bait fast. If you see the bait near the surface, that’s where you’ll find the bass suspended underneath them.

> “Remember, though, that it’s important to make really long casts and to try and get your bait as far away from the boat as possible so that you don’t run up too close.”

Quote of the Day

“If they’re not eating the frog and the flipping stick isn’t working, I need to put those down….”

– That’s Ish Monroe hintin’ at less froggin’ and flippin’ next year. Don’t do it mang! Said he’s been more of a big-bites guy so needs to adjust a little. Full quote from the Bassin’Fan:

> “I have to make a couple of tweaks, but they’re things that I already realize and understand. If they’re not eating the frog and the flipping stick isn’t working, I need to put those down and pick up something that they are eating. Whether it’s a spinnerbait, a crankbait, a ChatterBait — I need to give them what they want to eat, no matter if they weigh 10 lbs or 1.”

Notice Ish didn’t mention anything that could be fished on a spin-pole…lol.

Ish ain’t one to hold back on the verbals — here’s a good one from that post:

> “I’ve heard some of the complaints and rumors [from some other MLF anglers] and I just laugh at these guys. You’re fishing for the most money with the biggest [media] platform and you’re not paying an entry fee, and yet you’re complaining? Those are the guys who aren’t using the platform to their advantage.”

Weirdly Ish is campaigning for the reinstatement of entry fees….

KIDDING hahaha!

Shot of the Day

When a smallmouth looks like one o’ those hams hangin’ up in a meat store — @milliken_fishing with an 18.25-incher that weighed 6.26 lbs:

Caught it on a Ned-rigged truffle….


The San Fran 49ers have an emotional support dog.

Zoe, a French bulldog. I’m all for dogs anywhere and everywhere, but back in the day team critters were called “mascots.” Now they’re “emotional support animals”? I mean, is that what my dog is? Is it no longer a pet or a hunting dog?? Do I have an emotional support toothbrush??

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

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