New era for electronics, Jamie Hartman winning baits, Big bass nightmares

Today’s Top 4

Jamie Hartman went from 46th to 1st to win the Gville Elite!

How ’bout that ride! Dude’s had a couple close ones on the Elites, notably a 2nd and 3rd in 2017, and he had a top 10 (8th) at Hartwell this year, so his time was coming. Full pattern story on the BassBlaster website, here’s his bait/rig deets for Guntersville:

> [One spot] “…was a shelf off the main river, just a cut in the grass. The fish were going up onto it from the main river channel chasing big gizzard shad. That was my starting spot each day.

> His main rig for that spot was a light Carolina rig with a Fluke-style bait, 7′ 6″ MH Cashion flipping stick and 20-lb Hi-Seas fluoro. He also threw a Pop-R, a football jig and a Spook-style bait there.

> [Another spot] “I was punching main-river grass where it topped out. It wasn’t really matted — wasn’t super-thick. I was staying more toward the edge of it. All my bites were within the first 3′ of river edge. I was sitting in 9-10′ and it probably 4-5′ [where he was fishing].”

> 7′ 6″ MH Cashion Flipping Stick, 65-lb Hi-Seas braid, 1.25-oz weight, 5/0 Owner Jungle Flippin’ Hook, Riot Baits Fuzzy Beaver (blue steel).

> [His deep spot was] “…a long ridge that ran out…22′, made a turn…creek channel against it. The fish must pull up on that point as soon as the wind blows.

> “It was easy to get bit with a dropshot, but they’d also bite stroking a football jig.”

> Football jig: 3/4-oz custom football jig (“I have them made”) in gp with a Riot R Craw (gp), 7′ 3″ MH Cashion Rod, 20-lb Hi-Seas fluoro.

> “…2′ on the stroke. I wasn’t really cracking it, it was more of a high hop. If I cracked it, they wouldn’t respond to it that well. But if I made a pretty sharp hop…they’d hit it right then or as soon as it hit the bottom.”

> Dropshot: 4.75″ Riot Baits Synth (new bait, in morning dawn), 1/0 Owner Offset Worm Hook, 10-lb Hi-Seas braid to 12-lb Hi-Seas fluoro leader (10′), 7′ 4″ MH Cashion spinning rod.

Jamie actually knew he’d win…sorta.

Lettin’ him tell it:

> “I had this crazy intuition before I started practice that I’d win this event. Don’t ask me where it came from, I don’t have a clue. I’d never fished Guntersville before, I idled around the place [before the off-limits] for 3 days, never fished.

> “I told my girlfriend [about the feeling] and I never ever say that. It was unexplainable.”

Then there was the day 2 fish:

> “Day 2…I had a fish die on me. I kept it alive for 7 hours. At the end of the day I went flipping mats…checked my fish and one’s dead. I freaked out…added water and jumped back up fishing. I was ticked…didn’t think I’d make the top 35 cut….

> “…was on a dead stretch. I thought about firing up the motor, but something told me to just stay. I went to set my rod down but I picked it back up, turned back around and saw this little grass edge in front of me. …something came over me…made this long pitch, picked it up and it was heavy — it was a 5+.

> “It was just crazy how this whole thing went down — that’s what put me into the top 35 cut. From there on out, it was like it was just meant to be.”

Then there was the last day:

> “Absolutely not in a million years did I think I had a shot at winning. I was 7 lbs back on Guntersville and wasn’t on the winning fish. It wasn’t going to take much for the 9 guys in front of me to knock me out.

> “It came across my mind how awesome it would be to make that kind of comeback, but I was just hoping to get in the top 5. I thought I had no chance. Before the weigh-in, I didn’t think I had much of a shot. We made a pact not to look at BassTrakk after we checked in.

> “My 2 friends and my girlfriend were right there [in a spectator boat] the whole time, and I was just having a ball catching ’em. They never said a thing throughout the day. They knew the whole time I’d jumped into 1st…never indicated anything. It was cool man.

> “Then there was that crazy storm came in at the [weigh-in]. I was on the hot seat thinking, Is this really the way it’s going to go down? It was nuts…pushing everyone through as fast possible. It was like, Here’s your trophy, everybody take cover. It was white-out from the rain, and the wind tore that place apart.

> “The way the whole thing went down from day 1 right to the end…something’s going on.”

Welcome to the next new era of electronics.

Or is it the “new new era” or the “newest new era”? Whatever it is, here it is — it’s here. To my eyes, we’ve gotten here because of 2 things:

1. Electronics manufacturers deciding sometime back to go the Apple/iTunes route of a closed system — meaning “we have everything you need/you don’t need to go anywhere else/we won’t play well with others.” In other words, use our units, our tech, maps and whatever else we can make ours.

2. Johnson Outdoors linking their Humminbird and Minn Kota units into a system that’s almost a must-have.

That’s why yesterday Lowrance announced a new trolling motor:

Rumors have been swirling for some time about a few new trolling motors coming out so we’ll see…. And I assume at some point soon MotorGuide will either announce the addition of electronics or some kind of partnership with an electronics company.

Stay tuned in to the #lectronicswars….

Did you read/watch the stuff on Mike Long??

Betting a bunch of you have already, but if not take some time — it will take time — to read and watch the article and vid on Cali big bass guy Mike Long. No words for it other than: Wow.

Few quick thoughts:

1. I’m not gonna judge or give an opinion here — up to you to form yours. The whole thing looks well-researched and’s Kellen Ellis seems to know what he’s writing about, but ultimately you gotta reach your own conclusions. Would be nice for the bassin’ community to hear from Mike Long, tho his Insta and FB pages (and website) are gone right now….

Personally hope it’s somehow all NOT true so we don’t have to be suspicious about big-fish catches, but the stuff SDFish/Kellen put out there is pretty disturbing…and I bet required a whale-load of effort. Speaking as a former-life investigative-type reporter, my 2c is it’s obviously not just something he threw together.

2. I have no idea why anyone would want to do anything dishonest in any way in fishing. I honestly don’t get the mentality — it’s just fishing man, it’s pure joy! So anytime I hear about stuff like this I’m totally surprised.

(I MIGHT consider cheating in a 1 on 1 for-fun deal vs KVD just to see the look on his face when I “won.” I’d fess up to it…after getting it on video lol. But that entire scenario is unrealistic so….)

3. Is Instagram bad for fish? Couple sequences in the vid look to me like the fish are outta the water way too long. It’s like the fish aren’t a priority. Whole time I’m thinking, Get that thing back in the water! Wonder if other insta-fish-famous folks do this??

All for now….


1. Ott DeFoe had heart surgery.

Looks like it happened fast, musta been scary, but he looks/seems okay:

Take your time healing brother! Before the procedure, Ott and Jennie gave a video explanation of everything — pretty wild.

Told Ott after the Classic that his heart was too dang BIG! Remember he gave Mike Iaconelli a homemade bait for that river that Mike actually coulda beat him with (Ike finished 4th)? I was like, “Ott, dude you gotta get that sucka checked.”

HAHAHA! Just kidding — he DOES have a big heart, in the Jesus sense meaning spiritual heart, but of course that’s not why he went into the hospital. Just hopin’ this post brings a smile to his face. Here’s the real deets:

> …condition involves a torn mitral valve, which controls the flow of blood between the left atrium and ventricle of the heart. The tear in the valve causes improper blood flow through the left side of DeFoe’s heart, and contributes to the buildup of fluid in his lungs, causing shortness of breath, chronic cough and exhaustion.

> DeFoe first felt symptoms of the condition immediately after winning the Classic the 3rd week of March. He experienced shortness of breath, and feelings of tiredness bordering on outright exhaustion heading into Bass Pro Tour Stage 3 in Raleigh, NC, the week after raising the Classic trophy. “I just couldn’t breathe good, couldn’t get comfortable.”

Heal fast bassin’ bro, bless you.

2. Former Elitist Derek Remitz was in a bad wreck…

…near Guntersville. Sounds like he’s doing as okay as he can be (glad to hear), and will have a long recovery. Bless you bassin’ bro.

3. Looks like Gary Klein is dialed in?


4. WTHeck did David Dudley catch??

Lookit this fish from Champlain:

I’d say it was a joke except some peeps say it’s a “tench?” Believe a tench is a European fish? Whatever, never seen one before….

5. FLWer Blake Smith saw Nessie/Champ.

Check it — only thing I added is the arrow:

6. IN: Slot at Big Long Lake has helped.

7. LA: Iatt Lake stocked with 551K FL bass.

8. OK: Larew/Garland baits up 10 mil.

And more machines are coming online:

> …production has jumped from 15 mil to about 25 mil in the past few years.

9. MT looking for comments on fish regs.

10. Looks like Teckel will have a walking bait soon.

Didja fill out the BassBlaster survey yet?

If not, here’s the link — your chance to influence this-here deal so have at it and thank you! One random person who fills it out will get some baits….

Tip of the Day

How to tell if those bottom fish are right.

Good basic rundown from college bass-head Ty Cox of the Blue Mountain College bassin’ team:

> “If they’re tucked into the bottom really tight, or if they’re suspended high above it, that’s not good. When you find them about a foot off the bottom and grouped tightly together, that’s what you’re wanting to see.

> “When they’re ready to eat, they’ll set up on the crown of the structure they’re holding on. They’ll get right on the edge of the current just over the top of the crown and crush the shad that wash by. Water flowing over up and over the face of a rock creates a void, and they’ll nose right up into that void.

> “Many times I’ve found fish that wouldn’t bite, then come back to them 90 minutes later and caught them like crazy.

> “Even in feeder creeks, you can find the same current-affected situations. Current can be dam-driven, it can be wind-driven or water rise-and-fall-driven as well.”
Really wish I coulda studied bassin’ in college….

Quote of the Day

At schools across America’s mid-south — KY, TN and other areas — the guys on the bass fishing team are better known than the guys on the baseball, tennis or golf squads.

Guy talkin’ college bassin’ — if true that’s GREAT! And it should be true because bassin’ is the #1 SPORT IN THE UNIVERSE mang!!!

Shot of the Day

David Walker‘s like:

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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