More Texas hawg melons! Best tourney baits ever? Crazy ways to Trap

What’s more dangerous to a bunch of pro fishermen – bein’ out on Pickwick or bein’ inside a Waffle House?? Maybe they’ll pack their big-boy pants next time…KIDDING fellas hahaha!


Anyhow, heavy current and heavy winds sounds like a good excuse for heavy 25′ boats with 450s, 48-volt trollers and 4-5 24″ screens so let’s go! You know they would if they could!

Today’s Top 5
More TX melon-head lunkerage!
3 of the 4 from the now mythical OH Ivie:
> …600th ShareLunker was landed at OH Ivie by Jason Gaston (top right) of San Angelo and weighed in at 13.76 lbs. #601 quickly followed as Jim Smith (top left) of Weatherford landed his 14.42-lber also at OH Ivie.


> The historic day was capped at Coleman City Lake when C.R. Stevenson III (bottom)…set a new lake record with…a 14.83-lb beauty.


Back on Mar 1 guide Wyatt Frankens caught what he thought was a 7.6-lb smallie but turned out to be a meanmouth, meaning a largemouth-smallmouth cross. New lake record, state record and maybe a new world record too:

Thanks to bass-head Bill P for the heads on that last’n….
5 Qs with Greg Hackney.

1. Seems like it’s been real tough for you to get used to the 5-fish format.


> “It has taken a little adjustment, I’ve had to slow down a little bit.”


Are you serious?


> “No [laughs]. I fell right back into the groove. But regardless of what the format is, it’s still hard. Fishing’s just like it’s always been.”


2. What’s the best thing so far about being back at B.A.S.S.?


> “Going back to that same ol’. Just going to work every day, the same way I really have for the past 20 years. I’m truly enjoying being back to myself. Just being me.”


[I asked him what that meant.]


> “Maybe at the other deal I was trying to be somebody else, and now maybe I can just be myself.”


3. Is it true the US military asked you to return to B.A.S.S. because too many Canadians had infiltrated and were threats to win blue trophies?


> “Yeah I came back over here to be on a snow leopard hunt.”



4. How do you use your sonar fishing shallow?


> “I think it’s just as important shallow as in 50′. I’m always looking for a subtlety. A shallow fish is just like the fish that lives deep.”


5. If someone said to you “bigfoot ain’t real,” what would you say to them?


> “Neither is Santa Claus.”




Bonus Q: Now that you’re back on the Elites, will we see your column on come back?


> “That’s a good question. No one’s mentioned that so I don’t know. I would hope so – maybe I’ll be like a bigfoot and make an appearance on there.”


Lol love it! Btw Hack texted me this pic while we were talkin’. Said he took it in practice. Real?

“Shallow fish are harder to catch than deep ones.”
– That’s Hack talkin’ – I had to pull that quote outta the Q&A. Why they’re harder:


> “Because that fish to me is much more in tune with his environment. And most of the time he’s solitary. He doesn’t eat out of aggression because he’s competing with other fish [like deep fish do]. You’re just fishing for individuals.”



The best TOURNEY baits of all time?
Been some “best baits ever” lists over the years, but don’t think there’s been one zackly like this. We – all of us, should you care to accept the mission – are gonna try to narrow ’em all down to the best 10…in order.


Spend any time thinkin’ ’bout it, that’s a TALL order. But so what – so is fishing slow (heehee!).


What we’re looking for is baits that have stood the test of time into right now – in tourney fishing at all levels. So we’re not talkin’ the Mann’s Jelly Worm, Big O crank, Westy Worm, etc. – this is stuff bass-heads still fish, still win derbies with, and that’s in pro boats regardless of sponsors.


Anyhow, here in no particular order is a starter list…which I only had a little input on. Posted it on FB and the BB site, pls leave comments there – do NOT email me please cuz I am not collatin’ it and that would be WAY too many emails! Thank you. Have at it!


Hard Baits (non-topwater)


Lucky Craft RC 1.5 >> Strike King KVD 1.5

Rapala DTs

Excalibur XR50 lipless >> BOOYAH Hard/One Knockers

Strike King 6XD and 10XD

Storm Wiggle Wart

MegaBass Vision 110

Duo Realis Spybait





SPRO Bronzeye Frog (BOOYAH Pad Crasher too?)

Reaction Innovations Vixen

Rebel P70 Pop-R

Evergreen Shower Blows

Original Super Spook

River2Sea Whopper Plopper




Sweet Beaver (maybe the Missile D-Bomb too?)

Keitech Fat paddletail swimbait

Roboworm (maybe the Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm too?)

Zoom Horny Toad (on a buzzbait)

Zoom Ultravibe Speedcraw

Zoom Trick Worm

Zoom Fluke

Strike King Rage Craw

Yamamoto Senko


Other Stuff


Chatterbait >> JackHammer

War Eagle Spinnerbait

Z-Man Ned Rig with TRD

Mann’s A-rig >> YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr

Ever wake a craw?? For spawners???
Innerestin’ little deal from Nate Gloria, winner of the Bassin ‘ Nation ‘Yak Thingamajig Tourney on Lake Fork:


> Alternating between two small coves, Gloria looked for a mix of new and older lilypads that had recently started turning green. In practice, he noticed the fresher habitat seemed to attract the bigger fish.


> Gloria said he focused on fish that were moving up to spawn…. “I figured everyone would be bed-fishing, so I wanted to approach things a little bit differently. I would skim a little Texas-rigged craw across the water until I saw them wake after it and then I killed it. It was more of a finesse topwater presentation.”


> Gloria used a gp craw with a chartreuse belly. He said rigging his bait with that brighter side facing downward was more enticing to the fish.

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And if that ain’t enuff for ya, MotorGuide has rebates on a buncha motors too.



Post says their boats collided and “neither of the men were wearing life jackets.”


Bless you bassin’ brothers. Please be careful out there folks.


2. Why you can’t argue with Patrick Walters.


Excerpts from that ^ Bassin’masters post:


> Anytime you lead an event and don’t manage to win it is disappointing.


> …there are no rearview mirrors on bass boats.


> You can’t win by staying at home….


You can take all of those to the bank lol! Patrick love it man!


3. Why Clark Wendlandt doesn’t like to prefish.


> …if you spend too much time fishing before official practice begins, those experiences will be embedded in your mind, and you’ll want to see if those patterns and areas still work during tournament practice. You can waste a valuable day when you should have been learning what the fish were doing under existing conditions.


> That’s why sometimes fishing a tournament on your home water can be tough. You tend to fish history.


4. You can watch ScoreTracker in real time now.


Gotta have a free MLF membership tho.


5. BC closing entire lake to fishing because bass found.


Sounds crazy – why not let people fish for ’em and take ’em out??


> “Provincial policy is to close any fisheries with new detections of invasive species. By prohibiting the use of illegal fisheries created by illegal introductions, we remove that incentive for people to transport fish between water bodies.”


6. Check the new Jewel Pee Wee VersaCraw.



> Jewel Bait Co and Jonny Schultz of Fish the Moment partnered together…. “I came to Jewel with the idea for a jig trailer that would work for all jigs and in all applications…tried to incorporate as many actions and applications as possible so that the angler could use it as a chunk, craw, finesse trailer, creature bait or beaver.”


> The bait comes out of the package ready to be used for any finesse application. It has 6 small tabs that hold the appendages in place to allow anglers the freedom to adjust for the conditions they are fishing. By removing these tabs, the action of the bait can be controlled…[and] both the inside and outside appendages can be removed….


> The Pee Wee VersaCraw (2.5″) comes in 3 colors: b/b, gp and “basswhacker.” …will eventually be available in 3 sizes, with the Pee Wee…being the first size….


Not on TW yet so right now you can only get ’em on the Jewel site.


7. Abu’s top 10 fisheries are out and are…


…all bass waters except 1:


1. St. Lawrence River, NY (NOT Canada lol)

2. Lake St. Clair, MI

3. Lake Erie, OH/PA Y/MI

4. Red River, ND/MN

5. Santee Cooper, SC

6. Lake Guntersville, AL

7. Sam Rayburn, TX

8. Clear Lake, CA

9. Lake Fork, TX

10. Chickamauga, TN


Cool interactive map – check the utter lack of anything in or around NJ:


Big congrats to ’em, love it!


9. Is this a new color SPRO frog??


“Flamingo” color SPRO Bronzeye – might be a must-have for me this season:

Dean I’m still waitin’ on a Star Wars-ish color name man!


10. Little more on Pure Fishing’s buy of Plano Synergy.


Seems like all the 10+ brands they have are hunting except Frabill.


11. New Torqueedo ‘lectric outboard motor.


Small boats only, most affordable yet at $2K, built in battery, can run for 5.5 hrs. Can’t link it, at torqeedo com.


12. BC: Billionaire Stan Kroenke wins court case…


…that keeps anglers from accessing public lakes/fish on his ranch, which the post says “is larger than metro Vancouver.” This post has a little more info.


Believe Stan still owns the Outdoor Channel and a lot more outdoor media stuff, as well as several pro sports teams.


13. LA: Giant salvinia “probably” now in Cheniere Lake.


Folks are supposed to watch for it.


14. MO: Dude caught a 100+ lb Asian carp in the Osage River.


Not a good sign – wonder how much that thing can eat:

15. CA giving grants for zebra/quagga prevention.


All proposals must include use of garlic and white wine.



Line of the Day


…bluegill and shellcracker are biting crickets and red worms along the banks.


Always amazed when I see that in a fishing report. Are there people who don’t know or can’t figure out how to dig up some worms ‘n ketch fish on ’em??

On right now… 


How John Cox won the Smith Lake MLF Pro Circuit tourney


Pre-spawn special issue, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits! – part 1


Pre-spawn cranks ‘n gitcha geared up and boat ready! – part 2


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
2 crazy ways Boyd Duckett fishes a Rat-L-Trap.


Now that might be redundant – Boyd and crazy. Okay seriously, this is innerestin’ stuff, from a vid interview he did with InformativeFisherman on YT. Excerpts:


> …Lay Lake [Classic in 2007, which he won], water temps were 38-41 degrees….


He mostly fished a Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw in that, but also caught fish on a Rat-L-Trap:


> …fishing a gravel bar that started in about 2′, and the gravel went out to about 5′ deep.


> I like to take a Rat-L-Trap, throw it out and pull it along so it just kinda bounces along…. I’m willing to risk hangups all day long for bites, especially quality bites.


> …that bait bounces along – between the sound and the way it turns from side to side…I do kind of fish it like a worm. I let it come to a complete stop…pull it along and stop it. It’s such an effective technique when you can find a contour that will allow you to do that.


Says he’s tried a bunch of different lipless baits for that technique but the ‘Trap is the best:


> That is a phenomenal way to fish a ‘Trap, that particular bait…I just get more bites on it. I think it’s because of the square face…the Rat-L-Trap acts like a squarebill when you grind it…also draws strikes.


Here’s the 2nd deal – he uses the same retrieve in open water as he does in grass, meaning he pops it like he’s popping it outta grass where there isn’t any. Says the fish taught him they like that pop. “It makes bait come to life.”


Boyd’s fave color is 46R, the olde-schoool “red crawfish:”

Quote of the Day
“…pro tournament anglers clearly de-emphasized the long-time favorite in favor of more expensive offerings like the bladed jig and ‘chatterbait,’ both rather lame variations of the spinnerbait itself.”


Hmmm. Could go a lotta directions with this’n but will just say:


1. Is bladed jig vs Chatterbait a chicken or egg question? Because if it is, the Chatterbait came first.


2. Yes some bladed jigs are more expensive. It’s Brett Hite’s fault. It will also be his fault if he comes out with a better one and it’s $20.


3. Lame?? Gotta think the guy hasn’t fished one much?

Shot of the Day
Give it up for @chadsmithfishing for snatchin’ an 8.67 “post-spawn scrawn Megalodon” – lol love it man! Also lovin’ the SIMMS Cutbank Sun Hat makin’ it look like he’s bassin’ with Earnest Hemingway in Cuba or whatever. Wish I could rock that hat, also wish I was in that weather after those feesh!
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