Melon parade singles and doubles, ALL the Classic baits, Great bass tub times

Sorry for the 1-day delay in getting this to you. Doing ALL the baits of all the Classic dudes was nuts! But fun.

Gotta say this real qucik: Bold. That’s my word for the year. I get a word every year from this book, “One Word That Will Change Your Life.” Whole family does it. Deal is you pray, get a word, then apply it to every aspect of your life the whole year. It’s GREAT.

So what does “bold” mean exactly? Do I wear a bold color like K-Pink every day? Do I tell my kid’s coach what I really think (lol)? Probly not either of those, but part of the deal is figuring it out. Tellin’ this cuz a guy emailed and asked for less God stuff in the Blaster. No can do because a) not gonna shy away from anything in Blasters and 2) bold’s my word for the year.

Appreciate the feedback, all good, just hippin’ you to where I’m comin’ from.

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

Today’s Top 4

Gitcha back on the melon parade 2XLs!

Dos melones companeros!

Two 13 ShareLunkers caught in TX — Barry Prince (left) got a 13.73 from Fork “on a shallow-diving crankbait in 4.5 feet” and Cole Turner got a 13.36 “on a Texas-rigged Beaver bait in 3-4 feet.”

Two 10+ ditchies were part of a 39+ KY Lake sack caught by Chase Hudnell and Tyler Patterson:

@cobi.pellerito smashed 2 giants somewhere in FL last week — I’m thinkin’ it was his lucky sweatshirt…. Startin’ to think Cobi can’t take a bad pic of anyone, includin’ himself:

Rollin’ out some solo bigs!

Austin LeJeune got this 12.02 (25.5″ long, 21″ girth) at Caddo Lake, LA. Crossed her eyes with a Missile D-Bomb (b/b):

Thinkin’ ’bout moving to T-Bend again after reading this’n on LA Sportsman: “Chance Vicknair’s 5 best fish last Friday totaled a whopping 39.76 lbs,” includin’ this 10.43 on a Strike King 6XD (chart):

> “A lot of people crank on certain stuff, but I crank really fast with high-speed reels. And boat position was pretty key because they wanted it a certain way.”

Jonathan G yakked him up a big 10-11 on a b/b jig somewhere in AR:

Ain’t a DD but close — @bass_assassin_772 smashed this 9-10 slab o’ melon outta FL on a Lunkerhunt Lunker Stick:

Classic baits 6th-12th, and ALL the rest of the baits!

6th: Brandon Lester

> “First 2 days it was mainly just covering water with a 1/2-oz bladed jig, X-Zone Lures Muscle Back Finesse Craw trailer (gp).

> “Caught the big bag the final day all on a 3/8-oz hand-tied brown jig with an X-Zone Muscle Back Craw trailer (gp).

> “I ran pockets with the bladed jig, but caught all the jig fish on main-river bluffs.”

7th: Wesley Strader

Fished 3′ or less, long bars, secondary points, stumps, laydowns and docks.

Day 1
> PH Custom Lures Lil Guy crankbait (golden craw) on a prototype 754CB Max Powell Rod.> Strike King Red Eye Shad 2 Tap (gold) on a 755CB Powell Endurance Rod.> 3/8-oz Zorro Flippin Jig (b/b) with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk (blue).Day 2
> Zoom Fluke Stick Jr on a Ned Rig head, Powell 732 Endurance Spinning Rod, Lew’s Custom Pro Reel.

> 3/8-oz Zorro Bango Blade (chart/white, white-pearl Zoom split tail trailer), 755CB Powell Endurance Rod, Lew’s Pro Ti Reel.

> 3/8-oz Zorro Flippin Jig with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk, 795 Powell Endurance Rod, and same Lil Guy setup.

Day 3

> Jig, Little Guy, Bango Blade, Fluke Stick (gp).

8th: Edwin Evers

> “Main bait day 3 was the new Berkley Fritts Side (special red craw). Shallow points, 2-3′, in current eddies.”

9th: Dean Rojas

Dean fished a variety of crankbaits — squarebills, flat-sides, medium-runners — all in shad patterns (chart/blue and TN shad). He fished shad colors to be different than what the other guys were throwing, and because his fish were keying on shad more than crawdads.

Areas were “little drains, little rock stuff that comes out, mainly that had access to deeper water, 8-10’…rock, and if rock and wood were mixed in it was really good.” Areas were no deeper than 6′.

7′ 3″ Duckett White Ice Rod, Duckett 360 Reel (5.3), 16-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro.

10th: Brandon Palaniuk

> Rapala DT-6 (brown crawfish), Alpha Angler Rebound Rod, Daiwa Steez A (6.3), 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

> #6 Rapala BX Brat (Homers buddy), “switched to pearl grey shiner on final day with the cleaner water. Same rod, Daiwa Steez A (7.1), 15-lb Seaguar InvizX.”

> Zoom Z3 Trick Worm (Z3 edge) on a 1/4-oz shakey head, Alpha Angler Wrench Rod, Daiwa Exist 3000 Reel, Seaguar Smackdown Braid to 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro leader.

> “Fished the crankbaits on shallow offshore hard spots in 2-4′ and riprap banks. The shakey head was for a underwater culvert I found day 2 on my Humminbird 360.”

11th: Roy Hawk

> 1/2-oz Pepper Custom Baits Spinnerbait (Hawks secret) slow-rolled on laydowns/docks in 3-5′.

> Duo Realis 110 jerkbait — “slowly REELED along the bottom on gravel bars. Tried ripping, but the fish reacted better to it on a straight wind.” 12-lb Yamamoto Sugoi fluoro.

> 1/2-oz Pepper Jig (crawfish) with a Yamamoto Flappin Hog (#955), 20-lb Sugoi flouro. Clearer skies and clearer water, laydowns and chunk rock in 3-5′.

> 1/2-oz Pepper Jig (blueish) with a Yamamoto Double Tail Grub (custom blue dye), 20-lb Sugoi. Dirty water, laydowns, chunk rock.

> SPRO Little John MD (nasty shad), 12-lb Sugoi. Gravel, rock, points, docks, 3-7′. “This was my backup crank that would always dig me up some fish when it got tough (still and sunny).”

> SPRO Fat John (fire craw) custom-colored a bit to darken it, 14-lb Sugoi. 3-5′ — gravel, rocks, points, docks. “This bait caught the biggest and most weighed fish.”

> “All on Loudon, lower lake, mostly main channel or just inside a creek/pocket.”

12th: Chris Zaldain

> 6″ Megabass Magdraft swimbait (albino, left). “Fished it on 15-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro and a 7′ 2″ Megabass Orochi XX Perfect Pitch Rod. I caught 75% of my weight on this, throwing it on shallow 20-yard stretches of rock transitions (bluff to chunk rock, or chunk to gravel). Had to have current or wind, 2-6′.

> “For the bluffier banks, the 3/8-oz Santone Z-Spin Head with a 5″ hollow-belly killed it, especially the smallmouth. I’d cast it parallel to the bluffs and let it flutter AGAINST the current. Same rod and line combo.”

ALL the Classic contenders’ patterns are on the BassBlaster website, ogle it here.

Shoutin’ out the most $$$ voice to text, from Skeet:

> “Are used a Skeet Reese crank bait rod with 12 pound praline hundred percent for carbon in the Skeet Reese real 63 to one of your ratio.”


Couple cool Classic bassin’ tub deals.

1. Vexus’ mic drop.

Feast your eyes on the new Vexus glass boat — it’s the Ferrari-est, the Gulfstream jet-est bassin’ tub fo sho. (“Tub” might not work for this boat, even in the Blaster — might have to call it a bassin’…Jacuzzi?) It’ll give bass-heads everywhere a major case of GAS (Gotta Acquire Syndrome):

The reveal of this boat on day 1 of the Classic had the second-biggest crowd next to the weigh-ins — even bigger than the BBQ food truck, which is sayin’ somethin’. Here’s a little-less crowded tour of it by Keith Daffron. Just him, me and a camera so if you’re ‘xpectin’ fancy, don’t:

Learn ya more about that boat here.

Few more thangs:

1. Anyone recognize this sketchy character tryin’ to get a peek at the boat pre-reveal? Yep, he’s baaaaaaaack:

2. Believe the price was around $80K, so gitcha bake sales goin’….

3. Was curious to see if the new glass boat would kinda make my future boat — the Vexus glass/tin hybrid — look less cool, but…it didn’t! Gonna look too cool for my own self bassin’ this summer….

2. Bass Cat Eyra + Merc 300R = OUTSTANDING.

Got a text from Kevin Short, who couldn’t make it to the Classic, saying a friend of his named Don would pick me up and take me to the Bassin’ Cat demo rides. Here’s who showed up — also in the pic is one o’ the Classic Chicago Crew, Joe Bolbot — B.A.S.S. can’t do the deal without ’em:

As you could guess, was a heck of an innerestin’ ride there…and from a pure BOAT ride standpoint, that 10 minutes was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Probly THE best in terms of speed and handling — wow man — check it:

Honestly don’t know much technical stuff about boats and motors so all I can tell you:

1. The torque and speed were siiiiiiick, and the Bassin’ Cat cats said they actually had the boat propped down. Believe we went north of 80, all safe, all good.

2. Crazy smooth ride, even in chop and against the wind, and fast/sharp/safe turns. I assume that’s all the hull?

3. Probly never own/afford that Merc 300hp Racing engine, but if you can afford it, are a dang-safe driver and/or make your livin’ feeshn the bigs, I can’t imagine not wanting/needing/getting that thing. Wow.

Extry thanks to:

– Muchly appreciated the folks waitin’ for a ride who let me cut in front for a quick media deal so I could get back to the Expo — hated to do it, but much appreciated.

– Thanks to the Bass Catters there — shout-outs to KBD (which stands for?) and regular bass-head Bill Mayo who gave me a super-fast, super-safe ride — check that hair blowin’ back:

– Some dude who bent my ear at the ramp — not sure who he was, but for sure knew a lot about boats:

lol that’s Bass Cat head man Rick Pierce — yep, I know he sold the company but he still runs it…or at least acts like he does…?

– donny barone for the Uber rids, convos and pics. I was pretty giddy after the boat ride — don gave me crap about it the whole way back, too funny….


1. GA: We lost a brother on Chatuge.

> …Mark McKinnon, public affairs officer for the law enforcement division with the state Department of Natural Resources. He said initial information indicated that 2 boats collided during a bass fishing tournament just after it started at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds boat ramp.

Bless you bassin’ brother.

2. We lost Darrell Lowrance.

Invented the sonar fish finder, the integrated sonar/GPS and lots of other stuff. Bless you fishing brother.

3. BUFF stuff Ott wore at the Classic.

Click it to learn it:

4. How Brian Latimer caught ’em at Seminole.

Runs down the whole deal on the water post-win. Love it.

5. FLWer Scott Martin gets Lure Lock.

Scott’s got a huge media presence so makes sense, but dang that’s a huge pro staff…for tackle boxes….

And win a Lure Lock fishing trip with Brent Ehrler here.

Winner must wear all black…kidding….

6. MLFer/FLWer Scotty Ashmore gets Buck Knives.

Good to see Buck getting back into feeshn….

7. Cool Russ Lane crankin’ vid on the Coosa.

8. Meet some FLW pros TOMORROW night in Grove, OK.

Grace Harbor Baptist Church.

9. OK: MLF BPT #7 will be on Grand.

Will be interesting to see how the many Okie boys on that tour do there with a new format.

10. Some Classic stats.

Stats I compile after each of the first 2 days — % of guys using particular types of baits, where they fished, etc. Gives you a good picture of each day.

11. MO: Spotted bass limit at Stockton now 12″.

Was 15″, sounds like a classic case of spot overpopulation.

> “…spotted bass at Stockton Lake were rarely reaching the 15″ minimum length limit before dying of old age….”

12. MS biologists predicting good bassin…

…in some lakes anyhow:

> “Supplemental forage stockings of bream and threadfin shad in 2018 should enhance the bass populations at lakes Lamar Bruce, Monroe, and Elvis Presley. Last year, Lamar Bruce…started producing bass over 10 lbs and we anticipate that Monroe will do the same in this year.”

13. TX has some new bass regs for 2019-20.

Just some lakes and areas, too many to show here.

14. TX: Common salvinia found at Kurth Rez.

> Common salvinia is related to giant salvinia but typically does not grow as large as its more invasive relative. Common salvinia can still create similar access and recreational issues just like giant salvinia, so TPWD will be aggressive with its control efforts at Kurth Reservoir.

15. MN fishing legends start new organization.

MN-Fish Sportfishing Foundation and Coalition. Doesn’t say in the release but I wonder if it’s motivated by some of the questionable stuff the state says about fisheries like Mille Lacs…and on that note the Mille Lacs Smallmouth Alliance ain’t exactly happy with this year’s regs there.

16. CA: Tourism might want more tourneys at New Melones.

17. AFTCO and B.A.S.S. giving out conservation grants.

18. MS: American Baitworks buys Southern Lure.

American Baitworks is the new private equity-funded company that bought NetBait and now owns Southern Lure, maker of the Scum Frog.

Scum Frog does make a Bigfoot version so….

19. TN: Laker Howell signs with Bryan College.

More proof he takes after his mom…hahaha Howell! Congrats to the fam!

20. TN: Bethel U fishing Shimano SLX rods/reels this year.

Check the $99.99 SLX stuff on TW: casting rods, baitcasters, spin rods.

21. HSers can apply for Ike Foundation scholly awards.

22. FL: Dough ball > bluegill > DD largie.

> …was fishing in Grasslands this week for bream and caught a bluegill on a dough ball. While reeling in the bluegill, the monster bass struck.


Tip of the Day

Mark Menendez: Falling and rising water.

Mark’s tips are some of the best you can read. Here’s an excerpt from the full deal on the Bassin’masters:

> Bass don’t like the roof over their heads to start dropping down on top of them. They move immediately when they feel the current caused by dropping water. …in my experience that movement almost always is to a point somewhere that’s made out of something.

> …keep in mind the idea that a point doesn’t have to be made out of dirt, gravel or rock and it doesn’t have to be shaped like an ice cream cone. Some of the best ones I’ve ever fished in dropping water were formed by grass, timber, drift and in a couple of cases manmade objects.

> The opposite of dropping water is rising water. It creates current, too, but its effect on bass is totally different. To begin with their movement is much slower. They’ll follow the water in, but it’ll take them 1 or 2 days to get started. It’s like they want to make sure that what they’re feeling is real.

> …when they do make that movement they can be difficult to find, pattern and catch. They scatter and that creates too many places to fish. There may be a hundred trees with water around them instead of just one or two along the shore.

> …as long as the water is still rising you should fish everything you can. Don’t stop and don’t be timid. A picnic table in a flooded parking lot or an outhouse might be just as good as a big tree stump or a huge boulder.

When Mark says outhouse he doesn’t mean one of these ingenious feats of engineering:

Quote of the Day

“It won’t be about saving face or protecting my image.”

– Elitist Seth Feider talkin’ pre-Classic about not just bein’ happy to be there but goin’ for the win. Never knew he had an image he needed to protect, but then I went on his Insta and saw what he meant:

Hahaha love it Feider!

Shot of the Day

Ketchin’ a big makes anyone smile, even guys who’ve caught a bunch! Here’s BPTer Randall Tharp with a 10.25 he caught on Santee Cooper, SC — said: “I haven’t been here in 7-8 years, but it’s probably my favorite bass fishing lake of all time.” I can see why! Deets: 7′ 6″ H Ark Randall Tharp King Cobra flip stick, 3/8-oz Ark tungsten weight, 4/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flippin Hook, Zoom Z Craw (b/b):

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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