More about Forrest, David Fritts’ crankbaits, Fishermen got smarter?

Today’s Top 5

More about Forrest.

Gitcha a box of tissues, squirrel up where no one’ll see you and watch this vid tribute to Forrest, posted by Vexus Boats yesterday:

Powerful — great job whoever did it. I’m making my kids watch it. Here’s one of my fave of several great “Forrest-isms” in there:

Also couple things I gotta shout out from a good FLW post:Mark Rose:

> If I had to sum up Forrest with one word, it would be authentic. He was something you don’t see anymore. He brought out the good in the business that he was in, the industry he was in, and everything about him he tried to do the right way and be positive.

Denny Brauer:

> One thing I’ll always remember is he always had a notepad with him. Anytime somebody mentioned something he needed to follow up on, whether it was to get somebody a hat or sign an autograph, as soon as they’d leave he’d write it down so he wouldn’t forget. He always did that, and it taught me a lot just about how to treat people. But that’s just how Forrest operated.

George Cochran:

> I’ve never heard one person in 40 years say one bad thing about Forrest, and you can’t say that about many people. Everybody loved him, and he’s an icon. Wherever I went, all over the world — and I’ve been to Japan and all over — everybody knew who Forrest Wood was.

Dion Hibdon:

> …man, if we all could just live the life he got to for a little bit. I look at my dad and Forrest and they each lived a h*ll of a life. Everybody should hope that they get to do something like that. They touched a lot of people.

Charlie Hoover, former FLW prez and Ranger VP:

> In working with him, you didn’t work for Forrest — you worked with Forrest. He made sure it was that way. I never did know of him asking anybody to do anything that he hadn’t already done himself, especially in the boat-building business, from loading the chopper gun to moving boats to sweeping the floor. Everybody worked and did his best job, and he set the example for that.

> [On naming FLW:] …I called Forrest…and asked what he thought about it. He said that if FLW doesn’t work out we can always say it stands for “fish like water.”

Northern fishing media dude Dave Csanda:

> I was covering an Operation Bass tournament in Hawaii. They put about eight small Rangers on a ship and shipped them out there, and they had a tournament on Wahiawa. It’s by Pearl Harbor. I remember seeing guys flipping the edges of pineapple fields to catch bass…. …I was at Waikiki Beach one morning, and I actually saw Forrest on a surfboard. It wasn’t big giant waves — it was pretty modest. But I saw Forrest taking a surfing lesson, and my joke was that his hat never came off once.

John Cox won a junky deal at the Rayburn FLW.

WTHeck’s John Cox doing? I’ll tell ya what he’s doing: He’s taking people’s money!

Far as I know John’s fishing the Elites, but I guess he’s fishing other stuff too and why not? Dude led the Rayburn FLW Pro Circuit deal last weekend the entire time so….

John had 65-15, about 2.5 better than 2nd place. Sounds like he was kinda junk-fishing — runnin’ and gunnin’. Started off thisaway (from FLW):

> He took the lead on day 1 when he found a special 1-cast spot right near the 147 bridge — a 3′ high spot with little bit of sand and rock with hydrilla all around it right at the mouth of one of the best-known spawning creeks on Sam Rayburn.

> A #5 Berkley Frittside crankbait in the “lone ranger” color in the morning and “ghost morning dawn” when the sun came up…. He threw both on a 7′ 6″ Abu Garcia Veritas Winch Rod, Abu Garcia Revo EXD Reel and 15-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line.

But then:

> Unfortunately, after 11:00 Friday, he never caught another fish on the spot, forcing him to scramble and grind the final 2 days up in the shallows. …figures he hit more than 100 spots, just running around up shallow, fishing anything that looked good.

> “Laydowns, grass, a point coming out or something that looked really fishy, I’d just swing in and burn it quick…no fish came off the same thing.”

He caught ’em cranking, 2 on a prototype Berkley frog, and the last couple on a Z-Man Chatterbait (b/b) with a Berkley PowerBait Grass Pig trailer.

Here’s how the top 10’s baits broke down:

Bladed Jig = 50% — Several different ones and the Z-Man baits were listed as Chatterbaits, not Jack Hammers, which is odd.

Carolina rig = 40%

Jig = 40%

20% each = Crankbait, Swimbait, Flip/punch plastics

10% each = Frog, Tail-spinner, Dropshot, Lipless crank (yo-yoed BOOYAH Hard Knocker in “Rayburn red” of course), Stickbait


> Cuz of the muddy water, TX’s Tommy Dickerson (2nd) used an ORANGE swimbait on the back of his bladed jig, and said after doing that he didn’t miss a fish. Picasso Shock Blade (black) with a Lake Fork Live Magic Shad. Pay attention to that deal cuz on day 4 everyone’s weights in the top 10 went down (1 stayed about the same) except his.

> IN almost had a guy in the top 10! Billy “not old” McDonald was 11th. Did it with a 1/2-oz Strike King Thunder Cricket (gp) with a 3.75″ Strike King Rage Swimmer (gp). 20-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, Lew’s rod and reel.

Can David Fritts design a bad crankbait??

Guess it should be: Can Fritts design anything other than a great crank?

First it was the Poe’s wood baits, like the 3″ Poe’s 400 (chart/brown back) he won the Kerr Lake, NC BASS Top 100 on in 1990:

And these baits which he used to win the ’93 Classic on Logan Martin, AL:

> His primary weapons were 5 crankbaits, including [2.75″] Poe’s 300 and 400 Series deep-divers, a Poe’s 400 Plus [weighed wooden deep-diver], a modified 400 Plus (to dive even deeper), and a shallow running flat-sided crankbait made by a friend. All the Poe’s lures were chartreuse and blue.

> …precision casting to a special group of places he pinpointed with his depthfinder. These were usually…things like individual rocks, logs or even tiny channel beds that are easily missed. Rarely were his key targets as large as a boat.

Not sure if Poe’s baits are still made? Looks like the brand is still owned by Yakima Bait Co.

Anyhow, then David designed the Rapala DT Series baits, which are still made and still kill — if you don’t have one yet, get your fave color DT6 and have at it. And even tho the DT has Mike Iaconelli-designed “faded” colors, David and other guys had said for years that they’d let the sun bake their baits to fade the colors. Not takin’ anything away from Ike’s very tasty colors at all, just sayin’:

Lately he’s had a big hand in helping design the new Berkley hard baits, and while he hasn’t won a major derby on one yet, here we start the season with a win on the bait named after him, the Frittside:

A little about how David got so cranky:

When he first started, he was given a crankbait and caught his first bass — a 5-lber on it — on High Rock Lake, NC — form a good Midwest Outdoors post:

> It took me 5 to 7 years before I even caught a bass on something besides a crankbait.

> A guy in our club kind of took me under his wing; his name was John Wayne Leonard. He’s passed away on us, he’s been gone 5 or 6 years, but he was probably the best fisherman in our club. He liked to structure-fish, he liked to fish away from the bank, and I’d never done that.

> He showed me, with the old flashers and stuff, how to find those spots and fish ’em. I really liked doing it, and it’s probably because of him that I developed my skills in that area.

> You couldn’t see what you were throwing at, but when you caught one fish you usually could catch four or five, because they hadn’t been fished for very much. I saw right quick that was what I wanted to do, was get away from the bank and fish. He was very instrumental in me learning how to do that.

Fishermen are as smart as scientists??

Say it ain’t so hahaha! Check it — talkin’ pike fishermen but the same applies to bass fishermen. Or actually, since we’re the smartest fishermen in the world, guess this means we’re WAY smarter than scientists hahaha!

> Michigan State University researchers…demonstrated that anglers can produce accurate and complex environmental models similar to those of trained scientists. [Are there UNtrained scientists??]

> The study…shows that fisheries stakeholders can accurately predict pike populations, predator abundance, habitat and fishing pressure. “This is a novel and potentially revolutionary way to estimate the status of the environment.”

New for you maybe, but dang we KNOW what’s goin’ on man! There’s no dang fish in [insert your favorite lake name here] lol!

Apologies to all the professional biologists reading this who actually do fish (thank you), just gotta say that not enough of your peers do the same…or what they say a lotta times doesn’t indicate that they do. Maybe because they’re like:


Would you fish this jig.

That’s the 1.5-oz Reebs Terminator Jig, with an actual Terminator skull. For Western Coast salty fish, but invented by a guy who was a bass fisherman before bringin’ bassin’ tactics to the salt.

Crazy-lookin’. Shoot I’d fish it!

Tx to bass-head Zeth K for the heads up.


4. How Seth Feider gets his Chicken on.Always thought he was more a Chik-Fil-A dude but turns out it’s an Outkast Tackle Chicken Jig, which is a bigger-than-normal hair jig with a 5/0 hook…which Seth says hooks the bigs:

Possibly cuz of having a stache, Seth has a little obsession with feathered jigs. His Outkast Feider Fly is on Tackle Warehouse, but the Chick ain’t yet so here ’tis.

6. Here’s how Rick Clunn used to smile.

Okay I’ve poked some funnin’s at Rick for not smilin’ on stage even when he wins a derby, such like the St Johns last year:

But check this grin back in the day — looks like hs’ thinkin’, “I’m the man:”

This look with the shrunken hat is [3 fire emojis] and I hope it comes back:

Guys I could most see makin’ that look work are:

> MLFers: Adrian Avena, Greg Hackney, Andy Montgomery, Skeet Reese (with the fanny pack), Fletch Shryock, Jonathon VanDam.

> Elitists: Rick Clunn! And Todd Auten, Keith Combs, Greg DiPalma, David Fritts, Buddy Gross, Jamie Hartman, Matt Herren, Harvey Horne, Koby Kreiger, Bill Lowen, Clark Wendlandt.

Okay I think I overthought this whole deal….

7. David “Doomsday” Mullins highlights the grind.

Talkin’ to Bassin’Fan about 9 months of being an Elitist:

> “Some people don’t understand how much of a grind and intense it is.”

David I think Mercer doesn’t understand so please remind him….

8. Elite rookie Cody Hollen still fishes Slider heads?

What he said:

> “My dad gave both of us a spinning outfit, some Charlie Brewer Slider Heads and 5-inch Yamamoto single-tail grubs. That’s all my brother and I fished with then, and we caught bass after bass that way. To this day, I still have those baits with me wherever I go fishing.”

Such as…the St Johns River? Personally I’d L-O-V-E to see it won on that rig!

9. Here’s a new Bass Pro Tour wrinkle.

First of all, the MLFers voted that Edwin Evers will no longer get a head start in tournaments, and that throwing pecans and pecan shells in the water is now considered a form of chumming and is thus illegal.

HAHAHA! I know all your secrets Edwin! Okay for real. I read a post on the MLF site about “rule changes” — twice — and honestly couldn’t understand it. So I called Kelly Jordon and he ‘splained it to me — hope I got it right:

> Guys who win the 2-day opening rounds (or whatever they’re called now) will now get a free pass to the final round. In other words, they will not fish the first cut round that’s between the opening 2-dayer and the final round.

> Since that means 2 guys (1 winner from each of the 2 groups fishing the 2-day openers) get right in to the final, the guys fishing the first cut round are fishing for 8 spots — to make 10 total for the final round.

Kelly said:

> “It rewards guys for catching the heck out of ’em. It means something [now] to catch them really well on a different day than the final day.”


> “Other sports have different perks for round winners.”

I get it now, I like the thinking. Maybe make it each day?

10. Toyota is now sponsoring MLF and FLW too.

I think this is right:

> Official vee-hickle of both.
> The FLW Series — which is below the Pro Circuit — is now the Toyota Series.

Props to ‘Yota for stickin’ with bassin’. Do Chevy, Dodge or Ford want to sell trucks to fishermen??

11. Lindner’s Angling Edge now on WFN.

Now on World Fishing Network, Tuesdays at 8:30 pm ET.

12. MD/PA: Lots of theories about Chesapeake smallie decline.

> …generally agreed that suppressed immune systems are harming smallmouth bass in a variety of ways. Contaminants from 2 main sources are compromising their ability to fend off disease: pharmaceuticals running through sewage plants, as well as chemicals from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers running off the land.

> …fears that high river flows in the spring could be the new norm, devastating bass reproduction. Flooding and strong currents can wash away spawning beds, eggs and fingerlings.

> Other worries included invasive fish such as flathead catfish and snakeheads that eat and crowd out bass and forage fish, blue-green algae outbreaks, and increased fishing pressure from anglers using kayaks and other small watercraft that can access more shallow areas.

I KNEW it was the yakkers lol!

13. VA: Dredging ban on Smith Mntn to protect spawning feesh.

14. Sound like a stank brewing on repairing boat ‘lectronics.

> 27 state legislatures have introduced bills that would require manufacturers to release software information to allow independent retailers to repair electronic products. These efforts — commonly referred to as “right to repair” — are opposed by a wide range of stakeholders, including the recreational boating industry.

Can understand both sides….

15. Mayfly population way down in northern Midwest.

> …a staggering 84% decline in Lake Erie Hexagenia abundance between 2015 and 2019. …sharp declines are also evident in Mississippi River populations, where results indicate a decrease of 52%….

> …culprits for the recent sharp declines in Hex abundance, including climate change, nutrient-laden runoff from agriculture, and pesticide use.

16. Innerestin’ factoid from the UK.

> Fishtec…the UK’s largest [fishing] mail order business, is…to cease trading. [Cease trading = the biz is closing.]

> “With the growth of low-priced sales on platforms like Amazon and eBay, the profit margins are too small. The only way forward is to focus on growing…brands….”

17. NC: Kid with magnetic fishing “set” pulls up live grenade.

Law enforcement actually blew it up later, glad the kid was okay:

Btw, not sure what a magnetic fishing set is but it sounds kinda fun.

18. YUM Dinger 100 packs!!

Dang! #newtrend $25.99 at Tackle Warehouse:

Excellent for birthday parties and all occasions….

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

Git you some crankin’ tips from sensei Fritts.

Seriously precise retrieve tips from Remember that David feels that you need to FEEL the wobble as much as possible — from

> “Everyone has a cranking speed that feels comfortable when they’re fishing a lipped crankbait, and there’s a certain speed that will cause a lure to dive to its maximum depth and have the greatest action. The key is to get those two things to work in combination. For me, it requires a reel that takes in 21 inches per turn of the handle.”

> …his favorite reel for fishing diving crankbaits as the Lew’s BB1 Pro Series Speed Spool Casting Reel with a 5.1:1 gear ratio. 21 IPT is strictly for his diving baits and especially for the deep-diving lures he uses to reach the bottom in 10 or more feet of water.

> “The two big mistakes that anglers make when they’re fishing a crankbait is that they under-wind or over-wind, and most of them over-wind. Either way, you’re not getting the crankbait to its maximum depth and you’re not catching as many bass as you should be catching.”

About crankbait color:

> “If the treble hook of my crankbait is barely in the mouth of the fish, that’s not the best color. If the fish has the hook deep in its mouth, then that’s the color I’ll keep fishing.

> “…at lakes all around the country…most of the time I catch my bigger fish with a crankbait that has chartreuse as part of its color scheme. I don’t know what it is but if I need a big bite, I’ll usually get it with a chartreuse crankbait.”

> Fritts said 2 colors that are effective year-round are honey shad and chartreuse/brown, also called spicey mustard. “I’ve made a living off of those colors. They’re really deadly in dingy water.”

> Fritts said fishermen should pay more attention to the color of the underbelly of a crankbait even more than its body color because fish often rise up to hit a bait and what they see is the bottom of the bait. “You can’t go wrong with a bait that has an orange, chartreuse or red bottom.”

Hey Classic peeps — David won an FLW on Gville in mid-Feb ’09 cranking. Info from Bassin’Fan:

> Fritts threw chartreuse/brown Rapala DT Series crankbaits (either a DT6 or a DT10 — color pictured up top) in the mornings, then switched to blue shad later in the day.

> He also designed the VMC Sure Set hooks [don’t think these trebles are sold anymore] employed on the crankbaits, but swapped out the standard #4s for #6s. “The bait performs a little better, but the main thing is if the fish aren’t biting it real good and they’re swatting at it, they catch them. I used to think just the opposite, but after many years I’ve realized that if you downsize the hooks and go with the smaller diameter, (the fish) get hooked easier.”

Downsize the hooks?? Is David sandbagging us all or does he know stuff that we can’t possibly know?

Quote of the Day

“This was a completely different feeling. It was amazing.”

– Bassmaster HS angler Christopher Kahrs of Barbe High School in Lake Charles, LA, talkin’ ketchin’ a 10-09 in the recent Toledo Bend derby vs a 5-lber he’d caught in a tourney before.

Hahaha I bet! The feeling is fear — instead of “I got this” and maybe a boat flip, it’s “Oh snap get the net! (please don’t come off, come on, come on, etc.).”

Gotta shout out Shamar Pierre and Khristian Rousseve for winnin’ the hair derb. Outstandin’ and I’m big-time jealous!

Congrats to all the HSers and keep after those feesh!!!!

Shot of the Day

How ’bout that! Elitists Carl Jocumsen showin’ that Australian bass can be derps too hahaha!

Ya got me
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