Lucas’ big grouchy win, Wait or not on frog bites, Elam’s winning baits

Today’s Top 5

Justin Lucas wins a grouchy AOY!

How ’bout Justin Lucas being the best fisherman on the planet in 2018? Asked him how that went down and he said it was 3 things:

1. Blendered cupcakes for rehydration and energy
2. PowerBait kept in the truck with the windows up
3. Had a son yo!

First 2 are questionable (lol) so I’m a-goin’ with #3. Asked him how many AOYs he’s gonna win and he sent me this:

If it’s 1 kid per AOY win, guess that means 4 wins? I know him and Josh Bertrand are friends and all, but when Josh didn’t win AOY, this appeared on his vehicle:

HAHAHA! About the grouchy part, check these Lucas quotations during the derby:

> “I just want that trophy. That’s all I care about. I don’t give a damn about anything else right now.

> “I didn’t sleep worth a crap again last night. I got up at 3:00 again and started thinking about my gameplan. I can’t get back to sleep once I do that. I’m just running on pure adrenaline.”

Hahaha yep I bet man and a YUGE congrats!

Okay the real Lucas Q&A.

Here you go:

1. What happened this year to send your fishing to outer space and back?

“I just got back to really having fun — enjoying practice and sticking with the techniques that personally I’m good at. You can’t be great at everything, so I stuck with the things I’m good at.”

Apparently by “techniques” he means Tai chi:

2. Did it have anything to do with having a mini-you?

“I think having the baby just puts life into perspective. At the end of the day I’m just trying to fish. Holding Cooper at the end of a bad day, [Justin realizes] it’s not a big deal — I’m just going after some fish. You realize your whole life isn’t all about fishing, and I think that helped.”

[Heard that sometimes he has to put chartreuse Spike-It on his boy’s binky to get him to bite it…lol.]

3. What’s your AOY-winning diet? Please omit all vegetables, which are only empty calories anyhow….

“I wasn’t on a great diet throughout the year. A lot of protein and fat — meat, avocados and nuts — and the occasional gummy bear.”

4. Who was your bassin’ idol growin’ up and did you give him a big dang hug after winnin’?

“Skeet, Aaron, Ish, Brent — all the guys from out West that really made it. Because you’re on the complete opposite side of the country, to see guys make it, it’s hard not to look up to those guys.”

[No word on hugs…maybe cuz of avocado breath?]

5. How do you top this?

“As a fisherman, you obviously want to set really high goals for yourself. The 2 goals you really want to set are to put your name on the AOY trophy and on a Classic trophy. I’d rather have a Bassmaster Classic trophy than AOY for a second time.”

James Elam’s winning AOY derby baits.

Congrats to him fer his first big B.A.S.S. win! Here’s his baits, full rundown of his pattern — innerestin’ fer sher — is on the BB website:

> Molix Jugulo Jerk jerkbait (mx holo shad — black black/blue chrome). “It stays really high in the water column and you can rip it real fast. You had to work it fast to get one to bite it.” 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, 6′ 9″ M McCain Jerk/Rattle/Spin Rod, Shimano Metanium MGL (7.4). “I was only pausing to crank up slack. I was really working it hard and aggressive.”
> 1-oz 4.25″ Molix Lover Spoon (silver mirror), 17-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, 7′ 6″ H McCain Alabama Flipping Rod, Shimano Metanium MGL (8.5). “I’d cast it then kind of keep it high in the water column, rip it, make it look like a streaking herring. When they wouldn’t bite a topwater, I’d draw them out of the brush or school with that.” 5-15′ in 30′ water (deepest).
> Weightless Zoom Fluke (white pearl), 4/0 Trokar Mag EWG Hook, 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, 7′ MH McCain Ultimate Worm and Jig Rod, same reel (8.5).
> Ima Little Stik (chrome), 50-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid (dark green) to 20-lb Seaguar Rippin Mono, same rod as the Fluke, same reel (7.4). “I was walking the dog, trying to throw it on busting fish. If that didn’t work, I’d throw it over them, over brushpiles to draw the fish out of the brush, stuff like that.”

Other AOY high-finisher baits.

Few of the other high finishers:

2nd: Chris Lane

> “Whopper Plopper fast, Top Notch slow and steady (bone and chrome). Bass Pro Shops rod/reel, 50-lb braid, 17-lb mono on the Top Notch.”

3rd: Jacob Wheeler

> “My main 2 baits this week were the #11 Storm Chug Bug [saltwater version, metallic silver mullet] and a Rapala Shadow Rap Deep (ghost shiner). Mostly fishing schools on points and around brush.

> “Most of the fish were suspended, so when I pulled up to each place my first cast would always be with that Chug Bug. It makes a lot of noise and commotion, and normally gets them fired up, regardless if they came up and ate it.

> “If that didn’t work, I would throw the Shadow Rap Deep for the fish that didn’t want to break the surface. The key with that bait was to jerk it really fast to get them to react. The last day I ended up catching all my fish I weighed on that Shadow Rap.

> “I was fishing 12-22′ — most of the fish were suspended 10′ down. One of the biggest keys was throwing 30-lb Sufix 832 braid on that Chug Bug. The reason for that was the longer the cast you could make, the better chance you had to call them up and have them eat the bait. On the Shadow rap I was throwing 12-lb Sufix fluorocarbon.”

6th: Micah Frazier

> “Chug’n Spook (okie shad) on the new Abu Revo Rocket and 30-lb Sunline SX1 braid, no leader. Revo Rocket was key to fish the Spook super-fast and get it back in quickly to cast at any schoolers I might see. Rod was a 7′ M Abu Villain.

> “Chuggin’ version [of the Spook] spits water and calls the spots up better.

> “I was running a milk run of 6-7 brushpiles, 15-20′. Fished ’em multiple times per day.”

Working on Ehrler and Christie — did see Christie wore a good luck charm in this one:

Is the NFL now more country than bassin’ derbies??

Check this shot from the recent Thursday night Browns-Jets throwdown:

VERY disappointed that bassin’ didn’t have even one dang possum shot this year. What up with that — JO? Bowman? Wright??

Guess I’d settle for a pic of an armadillo — can they swim?


1. I think Dave Lefebre won a yak derby?

On Erie? Dave does that even make sense?? Wait — it’s Lefebre so nothing makes sense anyhow….

2. Latest Brent Chapman Pro vs Joe is up (vid).

“Missouri Smackdown.”

3. Fish with Keith Poche contest.

Register by Oct 1.

4. Seth Feider, Josh Douglas talk top 5 baits.

MN seminar on Oct 10.

5. FLWer Mike Surman and son okay after boat fire.

Glad to hear it. Guy named Jesus was there to save them (seriously #stout), and the Ranger still floated:

6. FLWer Buddy Gross gets Fitzgerald Fishing.

7. Shots fired by top pro leagues.

Not gonna go into detail cuz those of you who care probly already read it all but here’s a quick update. The guys are making their decisions this week, some have already announced.

2. Then MLF/BPT fired back with more deets.

3. Then FLW said it was optin’ outta the arms race, which makes sense to me but didn’t make its anglers happy.

4. Bassin’Fan posted an interesting breakdown of BPT vs B.A.S.S. vs FLW $$$.

A lot to take in, but the bottom lines to me are:

> 3 tours next year, all different.
> Some of the guys have really been wrestling with what to do — for themselves and for the future of the sport. Especially the “younger generation.”
> No pro sport — no matter how much or little $$ in it — has completely happy athletes, and everyone thinks they should be paid more…and maybe they should be! In pro bassin’, to me the issue has always has been entry fees. Dump ’em. Entries can and should be zero at the top level…with a smaller field size.
> Anyone who’s NOT a top pro angler who thinks they know what’s best for those guys doesn’t and can’t know. Fine to have an opinion tho….

> Tournament bass fishing will be fine, and I’m sure the effect of the BPT will be additive in some ways, like FLW, ESPN and others have been. All good.

Meanwhile Johnny Morris was finishing his HQ:

He said it’s operational tho…LOL!

8. B.A.S.S. exterminated the 2 western Elites.

Scheduled for 2019, cancellation now officially outed. That’s what this “bassin’ map of the US” I ran was about — get it??

9. TX: TPWD wants help with rez habitat.

10. Ranger is the official boat of USA Bass team.

And Favorite is the official rod.

11. Alpha Angler topwater rod sale ends TONIGHT.

12. NC: 16yo signs with Bethel U.


13. College anglers: Check the ACA logo contingency deal.

14. England: Koi herp virus killing carp.

Is anyone finding out whether it kills Asian carp??

15. Only 25% of anglers use phone apps.

Not surprised because most stink…but BassForecast is LEGIT bruh!

16. Folks workin’ on tin feeshn tub with electric propulsion.

Only problem is, it’s already been invented — here’s one that comes with a secondary form of propulsion that’s entirely organic:

17. Outdoor recreation generating big coin.

Not that much for just fishing/boating but a lot:

Hope those numbers convince people to do something about Asian carp….


Several bass-heads wrote in and said that Buck Perry, not the Lindner bros, was the guy who came up with the terms “cover” and “structure.” You’re right, tx much. Couldn’t recall exactly what blew me away readin’ Al and Ron’s old writin’s in their Catching Fish book, but may have been pattern fishing info that was WAY beyond Buck’s trolling patterns.

Tip of the Day

Wait or don’t wait to set the hook on a frog?

Dean Rojas told me, “Normally I set the hook as soon as I see the explosion or see the fish take the bait.” Got that? NO waiting a second or whatever.

Okay, when I saw science-type dude Jimmy Liao’s latest vid talkin’ ’bout how it’s literally impossible for us to react fast enough to jerk a frog out of a fish’s mouth, Dean’s statement made total sense. BUT then Jimmy said he advises you to wait a couple seconds. You decide what works for you:

Quote of the Day

“I never really had a tournament where everything went perfect.”

– Bassmaster Open angler 24-yo Patrick Walters talkin’ ’bout tourney feeshn. Gotta say — never had a single fishing DAY when it all went perfect lol, but:

Shot of the Day

FLWer Randy Blaukat is either the best bassin’ parent ever or the sketchiest with this setup — I kinda love it cuz it’s somethin’ I’d do:

Ya got me
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