Micah Frazier win deets, So many firsts there, Ned rig mistakes?

Hopin’ to get to the Cayuga Elite this week for a little bit since it’s drivin’ distance, not sure yet but if so the next Blaster might be on Fri rather than Thurs. VERY bummed can’t be at the BPT Redcrest Champeenship. Really want to be there, first one and all, just don’t have the time to travel to it (ain’t an easy spot to get to…) and come back. Any locals wanna be me there?? Can’t wait to hear about it and watch, good luck to all the fellers!

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

Today’s Top 5

How Micah Frazier caught ’em.

Yep, Micah got his first blue trophy at the St. Lawrence Elite, but hole up — let’s get this straight:

> 10th to 1st??

> 5 lbs outta 1st after day 3???

> Made up that margin over a BUNCH of sticks on a SMALLMOUTH river, meaning no chances for 8-lb bites to do it with????

Just more proof of “when it’s your time, it’s your time.” Things go your way or they don’t. And sometimes they happen like that…in this case cuz of gamma rays:

Micah smash! Guess ol’ green-head can fish a lil-bitty spin stick cuz that’s how he caught ’em. Fished the brand spankin’ new YUM Ned Dinger in gp and a 2-tone prototype color that YUM’s Chad “cray man” Warner poured. Here’s gp:

> Micah: “…gp is just a good all-around color. Smallmouth aren’t the most intelligent fish in the world…they see that little thing scooting across the bottom and they just want it.”

> Prototype color: “The bottom is purple and the top is gp. The thought process behind it was gp in the morning and deeper — lower-light situations — and as the sun got up [and fishing shallower] I started using the other one…don’t think it mattered….

> “I used all kind of generic mushroom Ned heads — 1/8-oz up shallow and 1/4-oz deep…black and gp. They all had good hooks…not sure what hooks they were….”

Heck no they weren’t generic — check it, look custom-poured to me:

Bahahaha! Okay back to reality (a little):

> “I caught every fish on a 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Rod, 30-size Abu MGXtreme Reel and 12-lb Sunline SX1 braid (hi-vis yellow) to 8-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro.

> “Those rods and reels were key — I think that’s the lightest spinning reel on the market. Drifting my bait in 40′ and 50′ of water, if a fish picked up my bait I could feel the difference.

> “I was fishing shoals…like 90 degrees [to the current]…with the current flow across them. I can’t explain [why those ones] — the ones that [were perpendicular to the current] — got the bigger bites.”

Click it to get his full winning pattern deets on the BB website.

5 Qs with the champ – get to know Micah a little.

Known Micah for a few years now so…was stoked to hear him say more words after winnin’ this deal than he has literally over the past 3 years combined (Mercer, GREAT friggin’ job btw dude). Since the floodgates are open I axed him some mo questions:

1. Did you ever think your first Elite Series win would be with a spinning rod?

> “Yes — honestly some of my best tournaments have been on a spinning pole. I have a lot of confidence doing finesse-type stuff now, so I feel like I’m at home fishing with a spin pole.”

2. What was your breakfast all week?

> “Granola mixed with Fiber One.”

[Cracked me up…said, “Sounds pretty risky if you’re gonna be out on a boat all day man!”]

> [He laughed] “It’s not so bad when takeoff is at 9:00 [late at the St. Lawrence] so you have 3-4 hours to sit around and chill. When [takeoff is] early, it is a risk.”

[Hahaha lovin’ the sense of humor dude! Here’s one for ya:]

3. What do you do to get psyched up?

> “I don’t know man — I like to drink me a little coffee I guess. I don’t have any kind of morning routines or anything like that. I normally get up with my wife [she wasn’t at this one] and sit with her — we ride to the ramp together and hang out. I don’t have any morning music routines.”

[Don’t think the Hulk rolls like that, but maybe Dr. Bruce Banner does so….]

4. Give us 3 words to describe you when you’re out on the boat.

> “I don’t know. I always just try to be thankful to be out here and not take it for granted. I’m not sure what words describe that. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to do good and wanting to and all that, but I try to never lose sight of that [gratitude].

> “I cried for an hour to myself on and off after I caught that 6-lber [on day 4]. I couldn’t shake it — I just kept getting teared up. …just knew that’s what it takes [a big bite], and if there ever was a time [to win], that might’ve been it. I’m naturally not the most confident person in the world….

> “I think He’s given me an opportunity to do this in the first place, not necessarily to catch fish and be a superstar but to be a good example.

> “There’s no other explanation for [the win]…. I fished the same holes I did all week but caught almost 26 lbs on the final day. I think it was a God thing…no other explanation I can give it. A lot of people at home were praying for me. It was just a crazy deal.”

5. So with the no pressure / relaxed thing and fishing the Ned, can you say whether you were conscious the whole time or maybe took a nap in the boat…?

[The line went dead so not sure if he heard the question….]

So many firsts #wins.

Here you go:

> First Micah win.

> First all-Ned win of a tour-level derby…I believe? (If so, how nuts is it that it wasn’t Z-Man?)

> First Ned win at the St. Lawrence (has been a dropshot festivus).

> First win with the new YUM Ned Dinger…but 2nd YUM Elite win this year which I believe is a first for them? Stetson Blaylock won at Winyah Bay with a YUM Dinger and Christie Craw.

More about the Ned Dinger — already on Tackle Warehouse RIGHT NOW yo! — in the next BB. For now, here’s some insight on how something as — let’s say — “boring” as a Flanders rig motivates fat fish to crush it:

One more thing — how ’bout all that joking (including by me!) that a Ned would win an MLF BPT, but it won an Elite first! Hahaha who woulda thunk!

Keith Combs and Jay Yelas St. Lawrence baits.

Keith’s are for-real — there’s no sitch where he won’t fish an XD…. Hopin’ to get the 2nd and 3rd dudes soon:

4th: Keith Combs

> “Main-river shoals in 10-30′, covered lots of water.”

> Cranked a Strike King 6XD and 5XD (both yellow perch), jerked a Strike King KVD Deep Jerkbait (summer sexy shad), dragged a Strike King Tube (gp purple tube), dropshotted a Strike King Z Too (AR shiner).
> Jerkbait gear: Same except 6′ 10″ M Shimano Zodias 1610 Rod.

5th: Jay Yelas

> “Fished current eddies 3-15′ deep.

> “Caught most dropshotting a Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm (gp black flake). Caught a few big ones on a Berkley Spy Spinbait (stealth minnow?).

Are you this bassin’?

Quick story: Years back was gonna have a vid series featurin’ a few bassin’ die-HARDS, and one was Seth Feider before he was mustache/mullet famous. Here’s why:

EVERY pro is some version of that nuts about the feeshes, but Seth is fo sho his version…keep on keepin’ on my man! Also props for showin’ JOY no matter what. Can be tough to do for anyone, much appreciated….


1. Quick pro dude health updates.

Ott DeFoe said he’s doing pretty well — maybe low on energy/stamina a bit? — and as far as I know is fishing the Redcrest this week. Last major champeenship he fished he did pretty well….

Jeff Kriet I think is doing better than he looks in this shot — a little gruesome, but hope he recovers quick and has way less pain.

2. Jordan Lee Redcrest practice shots…

…show him wearin’ bibs and a hoodie. So if it’s that cool, the fish should be chewin’?

Brandon Palaniuk’s bundled up too….

3. Will frowgs be a big factor in the Redcrest?

Gerald Swindle, Ish Monroe and WI hammer Tom Monsoor say so in this post. TONS of frog water on the upper Miss — that’s where these BB vids with Dean Rojas were shot: how he finds frog fish, and how he curves a frog cast.

Asked Freddy Roumbanis about the frog deal and he texted back, “NO way.” Then he posted this on the Insta:

Dude! Well…Tom Monsoor I don’t think ever doesn’t throw a swim-jig, and that’s what bass-head Joe Pollak used to win this weekend’s BLF on pool 9:

> …fished in 1-5′ feet…1/4-oz white/chartreuse-colored Dirty Jigs Swim Jig with a 4″ white Zoom Paddle Tail swimbait…as well as some reaction baits including a white [bone?] Heddon Zara Spook Jr.

4. No such thing as skinny water to Jason Christie.

5. Check what BPTer Jeff Sprague did this year.

Finished 2nd to Edwin “can’t lose” Evers in the points:

> …started the season with 7 straight Knockout Round qualifications, the only angler in the field of 80 to do so.

Hugely #stout for sure. Wonder if Jeff even knew he was such a hammer? He said:

> “I work really hard to stay fundamentally and mechanically sound when I’m not fishing competitively. I fish every evening if I can, just for a couple of hours to stay sharp. I’ll get out there and try to catch them a certain way one day and then a different way the next. I feel like because I’m on the water so much, it helps me stay focused on how much fishing can change from day to day.”

6. Good donny barone post on Bill Lowen and Matt Herren.

Both in the top 10 of the Elite AOY points — 2nd and 5th respectively.

7. Berkley releases new Ike and Skeet Powerbait baits.

Brief rundown — 3 Skeet baits first, all named by a famous rap artist and weirdly NONE are offered in yellow:

> Ca$h Out — 3″ Ned Rig bait, rudder tail, ribbed belly. Diggin’ the gp orange color….

> The Deal — bladed jig trailer. “It has a high-sided shad profile, adding bulk…and is available in 3.5″ and 4.5″….”

> Straight Money — straight-tail worm with a flat belly and spade tail, in 5″, 6″ and 7″.

2 Ike baits:

> Water Bug — “slender flat bottom finesse bait…a small tubular arm on each side designed to add subtle quivering action even when dead-sticking.” In 3.3″ and 4″.

> Flute Worm — “finesse worm with integrated O-ring locations primarily designed to be fished on a Neko rig. 4.7″, 5.7″ and 6.7” just cuz Ike doesn’t like round #s….

Ike also has a new 4-piece travel rod out, I have one in my truck — it’s pretty dang good for what it is, and if you can handle the whole purple/green/Joker color scheme. I’m more on the Batman side….

After bein’ in hibernation for a bit, Berkley/Pure Fishing continues to pour it on….

8. This the bluest frog you ever seen?

El Cajun Bambino posted it, says it’s the Scum Frog Chugger in “blue dog:”

9. Favorite has new glass rods.

Favorite Phantom PHAT Glass — Mark Daniels Jr and Brian Latimer have been talkin’ ’bout and I believe pushin’ for these for a while….

10. KS: Ned Kehde doesn’t like herbicides.

Ned of Ned Rig fame — here’s a good line from him about milfoil:

> “This bountiful and helpful aquatic vegetation was castigated as an invasive species even though it has been in the U.S. for more than a century. So when is a species no longer invasive? For example, bluegrass is not native to the U.S.”

But bluegrass IS native to KY…lol….

On the other hand, here’s an [eyeroll emoji] line about milfoil from a Canadian site:

> “It can even threaten fish if it becomes so dense they won’t swim in it.”

C’mon man….

11. Check the new NED lid!

Ned stuff reminded me of this new lid:

Pretty funny/cool but I’m waitin’ to see one that says…TRD.

12. IA QB loves him some bassin’.

Good to hear….

13. MO: 25-lb striper caught in Table Rock…

…but stripers were never stocked there. Go figger….

14. MN: Zebras found in Grant Lake.

They said they were just there on vacation but the wardens didn’t believe ’em….

15. TN: Here’s an issue with a carp bubble barrier.

Can they keep it running 24/7/365:

> …deployment of the [bubble deal] at Barkley Lock is going to be delayed during the months of Aug and Sep to accommodate navigation traffic during a required maintenance closure at neighboring KY Lock on the TN River. Installation…resumes in Oct and is expected to be operational this fall.

16. TN: Asian carp actually taste good?

Sure hope so:

> “It tastes like no other fish I’ve ever had and I’ve been…developing recipes for fish for 10 years now. I’ve never tasted a fish that’s as clean-tasting as this one.”

Tip of the Day

Couple Ned Riggin’ mistakes.

Had no idea but here’s a few from the Z-Man site:

> Initially many anglers scoffed at the small, light-wire #1 and #2 hooks on our Finesse ShroomZ jigheads and labeled them ‘crappie jigs’ that weren’t suitable for bass fishing…until they actually tried them.

> Ned Rig namesake Ned Kehde routinely uses tiny size #6 hooks in his fishing.

> While standard 2500- or 3000-size bass reels will work fine, we have found that smaller 1000-size spinning reels usually reserved for trout or panfish are even better, as they are built to handle fine-diameter lines. In addition, the smaller spools on 1000-size spinning reels take up less line with each turn of the handle and enable anglers…to slow down their presentations.

> …a lighter head will simply produce more bites. For general shallow-water lake or pond fishing, the 1/10-, 1/15- and 1/20-oz jigheads should be your mainstay.

> The key to generating…bites is to slow down your presentation. This takes discipline, especially when using lightweight jigheads. Let that bait sink all the way to the bottom. Deadstick it for a few seconds on the bottom before hopping, dragging or swimming it. Drag it very slowly along the bottom and then let it sit again.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t go to the gym, but I fish in all weather to prepare my body and mind to be able to withstand those elements during a tournament.”

Jordan Lee talkin’. That’s hardcore man. Makes sense but then he says:

> “Plus I do ‘normal people’ stuff and keep busy, like cutting the grass and doing household chores.”

Okay so he fishes in all conditions to get ready for that, but then does “normal people” stuff and doesn’t become more like that? Because normal people don’t win back to back Classics, the first MLF and all kinds of other stuff.

So here’s my Q: Can J-Lee ever be normal, or has that ship sailed?

Answer it this way — which cat would you say is more like Jordan:

Hahaha egg-zackly!

Shot of the Day

Do you salt your bass enough? ‘Nother great/innerestin’ shot by the talented folks at @silocreativeco:

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

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