New pro trail? Kentucky Lake not so bad, Do frogs imitate gophers??

Today’s Top 4

Another pro trail?

Didja hear about the new National Professional Fishing League yet? Had heard rumors, not a whole lot, but they announced it for real today. Few deets below from info sent to me plus a convo I had with Brad Fuller, one of the owners — first time I’ve ever talked to him:

1. Who/ownership

> Majority owner: Al McCulloch, owner of Elite Anglr apparel, emcee for the Anglers in Action trail and the Big Bass Bash, was a marketing guy for major trucking company, has sponsorship background.

> “Second majority” owners: Brad and Michele Fuller, owners of Omega Custom Tackle. Brad is ex-Air Force…so he sees everything from 20,000 feet (lol).

> Minority owner: Paul Benson, sales manager at Cashion Rods.

They ^ apparently are funding the whole deal, no outside $$, no sugar daddy.

2. Why and How

Brad talkin’:

> “More people want to be pros than the 310 professional spots available [Elite, BPT, FLW]. The Costas and Opens are doing well — we just want to be that 3rd or 4th option.

> “We’re not B.A.S.S., not FLW, not BPT. We want to be a more appealing tour for guys who do have full-time jobs. We think there’s a market for it, we think we can run a really good tour….

> “They take 12 guys to the Elites from the Opens. [Other Opens/Costas-level guys] are probably pretty good and want to go [pro]…. Well, they can come fish with us. There are guys out there — if you didn’t get an invite to fish FLW or the Elites but you’re at a point in your life where you want to do it, those are the guys we want.”

Asked him if this is a Triple-A deal then:

> “It’s hard to call something triple-A when anglers are paying $5,000 to participate [per event, 6 tourneys]. I think it’s [higher level] than [triple-As] because of the purse.”

Some info about $$:

> 125-angler field with a 2-year contract, includes an option for a 3rd year.
> No requalification for the first 3 years.
> 6 qualifying tournaments: 2 spring, 2 summer, 2 fall. $5,000 entry fee per event.
> No entry fee for the Championship.

Payout in regular-season events: 1st = $50,000, 2nd = $30,000, 3rd = $20,000, 4th = $15,000, 5th = $14,000, 6th-25th = $10,000, 26th-44th = $9,000.

Everything they’ve released so far is here and here on their FB page — no website yet.

3. Media

They’re only planning to live-stream, no plans for TV. My 2c is that’s smart tho they (and everyone) do need a comprehensive digital approach:

> “The #1 way bass fishing is consumed is live-streaming over the internet. Personally I haven’t watched a bass fishing tournament on TV over the last year and a half or 2 years. It’s all over the Internet.”

Are bass tourneys on TV?? lol, kidding. Couple more tiddybits:

> No jersey requirements other than the logo.
> They hope to pay 1 out of 2 anglers by year 3.
> If you’re innerested, you have to apply by email by the end of Nov.
> No current plans to make guitar picks in the shape/color of the logo. (I made that one up.)

All for now. Keep your [big eyes emoji] on the deal.

Recent KY Lake BFL Regional weights were okay.

Got some good perspective on this recently, which boils down to this…KY Lake usually ain’t great in the fall:

> 2002-2019 = 15 fall BFL 2-dayers
> Low winning weight (2002) = 25-06
> High winning weight (2013) = 65-06
> Avg winning weight = 40-12
> 2019 and 2010 winning weights = 31 lbs

Also was told that:

> Some of what we’re seeing is from a few poor year classes of bass, natural causes, nothing to do with the plague carp.
> Guys are seeing more bait clouds and more smaller bass this year (good!).

> Part of the issue fishing-wise is the carp might have moved the bass off where they’ve been for decades, and some/most fishermen haven’t figured that out yet. Guess it makes sense because carp don’t eat bass….

VERY relieved to hear that about Kentucky Lake, historically one of the most important lakes in the country/world when it comes to bass fishing. Anyone around there, give it a run and lemme know if you find the bass somewhere where they “shouldn’t” be.

Largemouths are impervious to cold…AIR.

I guess like Captain Cold:

Seriously tho — check it:

> Numerous catch-and-release studies have been conducted during warmer months, with little work during winter, when ice anglers in temperate regions target fish.

> We conducted an ice-angling simulation that quantified the impacts of air temperature and air exposure duration [30 secs or 5 mins] on swimming performance and gill physiology of bluegill and largemouth bass.

> Results showed bluegill subjected to 5 min air exposure at -7º C suffered impaired swimming….. Treatment had no impact on burst swimming or gill damage in largemouth bass.

NO IMPACT. Makes me wonder whether it really is all that bad to have largies outta the water in the summer or whether that’s just more interwebz hysteria. Okay yes we wanna get them back in the water (or well) as fast as possible, but freaking out about it ain’t needed?

Is this really the “ugliest lure ever”?

Ever see the Evolution Lures GrassBurner:

I don’t think it’s the ugliest bait ever, but Chris Schwerin, who won a boat on it on the Clarks Hill/Thurmond Big Bass Tour deal this weekend, said it was “the ugliest lure you have ever seen.”

> “I got that lure in a tacklebox some years ago and never used it and really don’t know why I tied it onto my line.”

Gonna go with: The bass never saw it before and that’s important as heck man! Congrats to him. Here’s the 7.37 that won it:

Bait looks fine in the water (vid) and sure as fire ain’t as ugly as this guit-box, which KVD bought at Johnny Morris’ yard sale. He was like, “Johnny said it was owned by Eddie Van Halen,” and I was like, “Man I really don’t think so….”


1. Randy Howell’s raffling off his boat again.

To benefit the King’s Home charity. Love it man. Gitcha a entry at the link. Hopin’ you’ll distribute the weight better than Randy did when he owned it:

2. MLFer Worldwide James goes big in the fall.

> “I’m mainly looking for a late bluegill spawn…[or] I’m looking for big ol’ grizzly shad [big gizzards]. If I see those big grizzlies get spooked by my trolling motor, then I know the bank bite is going to get strong.

> “I need a big rod, big braid, big River2Sea Whopper Plopper, big Tackle HD Worldwide Buzzer buzzbait, big spinnerbait, and a big jig. I do a lot of my work with the Wopper Plopper on 50- to 65-pound Maxima braid spooled on a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier high-speed reel. Add in a Cashion JW 92678 rod and that’s what I use for topwater.”

Post calls ol’ Watson a “shallow-water bank beater.” Switch those words up a little and he could be a “shallow bank water beater,” which I think is a type of water bug?

3. Elitist Jeff Gustafson’s gotta have 2 sets of depthfinders.

Scales too. Listen to this:

> He said most of the fish at this time of year are in 6 to 9 meters of water.

> …what a way to start — a nice, plump 2-kilogram fish….

Gotta ask Gussy what they call Bigfoot in Canada then. Big…meter?

4. B Hite designed a new paddletail Zako.

Yamamoto bait, not out yet. And just so you know, Brett always refers to himself as “B,” which is why you should always call him Brett:

Called Angler’s Happy Hour, 2 episodes up already, 1x/week from here on Josh says. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.
Josh and his chin fuzz are joined by Rob Vanderkooi (former western pro, won an Open a while back) and bass-head bud Nic McMurry. Josh: “It’s a laid-back roundtable style deal, all for fun.”

Not sure what up with all the lip pushups this year, but I blame Brandon Cobb for startin’ the whole steamy trend. After St Clair, James Overstreet told me his lens had to go for therapy man….


7. FLWer John Hunter is selling his boat.

2019 Falcon F205 with a ’19 Suzuki 250 SS, MK Ultra, Lowrance screens, a lot more.

8. AR: Record low turnout for Big Bass Bonanza.

“Just” 1,200 anglers but the lowest # ever, not enough for hourly prizes. Apparently tourism is in the hole for expenses. Weather might be partly to blame. Hard to turn down a chance to win a $50K or a $10K fish….

9. WV looking at adding access along the Tug Fork River.

Seems like they want more folks sampling the smallmouths.

10. Sounds like tourneys do NOT hurt bass populations.

From a recent study:

> …medium bass had higher tournament capture probabilities than large bass, and capture probabilities of both size groups increased with air temperature.

> Medium bass experienced higher survival rates than large bass at tournaments and tournament survival rates of both groups were inversely correlated with water temperature.

> Simulations indicated increases in tournament capture probability and reductions in survival of large bass resulted in minor reductions in population size-structure whereas changes in tournament capture probability and survival of both size classes had little effect. Thus, reducing the number of large bass weighed in at fishing tournaments may result in only minor increases in bass size-structure.

11. Famous Christian author basses with her hubby.

Michelle Medlock Adams:

> An IN native, Michelle is a NY Times bestselling ghostwriter and the author of over 90 multiple-award-winning books, including earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing with her hubby Jeff….

She kinda sounds a little overqualified for us bass-heads…?

12. Bunch o’ new Googan baits.

Filthy Frog (below in white), Thicc (flippin) and Juicee (all-round) jigs, Zinger spinnerbait and Hummer buzzbait, and the Scout jerkbait.

Pretty sure them bass-angerin’ words should be on the bottom? Baits aren’t on TW yet but I bet they’ll be there soon….

13. 2020 Bassmaster college and HS circuit deets.

> …the field size will again be capped at 250 boats for both college and high school. Each high school event will also include a field of up to 50 Junior boats for competitors ranging from 2nd to 8th grade.

Sounds like Hank Weldon is still in charge…#sketchy (heehee Hank!)

14. PA: 7th-graders win both Jr state tourneys.

> The team of Kaitlyn Bridge and Josh Stroud, 7th-graders from Mifflinburg and South Williamsport, respectively, won both the PA B.A.S.S. Nation Jr. High State Championship [and] The Bass Federation Jr. State Championship. Bridge is the first girl from PA to win both tournaments.


15. NJ kid wins Big Bass Jr Champeenship.

Big congrats to Aiden Elmore. Looks like his secret was dying his hair black/blue, which hopefully will become a thing on the pro tours. Love to see A-Mart with margarita mutilator hair, or maybe Steve Kennedy with light blue tiger stripes.

[Info is at — I can’t link it.]

16. AR is digitally mapping its own lakes.

Very smart and good! Get peeps fishin’ man, what it’s all about….

17. TN: Strike King laying off 18 in Collierville.

Hate to hear it, you probably shouldn’t read anything into it since it’s now rolled up into a bigger company and these things tend to happen in such deals.

18. In Dec Stanley Jigs will be 40 yrs old.

That means Lonnie Stanley is only 53 hahaha! Congrats to ’em.

19. AFTCO hires Robby Gant for tackle.

No link 🙁 but sounds like it’s mostly saltwater. And even tho you know AFTCO as apparel, that stands for American Fishing TACKLE Co. Robby used to work for Shimano.

20. MI wants Great Lakes perch to only be gamefish.

Meaning no more commercial harvest.

21. SC says: If you see a snakehead, kill it.

Line of the Day

Is coyote killing different than fishing?

Uh…pretty sure. From a post on how the animal rights folks want Vegas to say no to betting on animal-kill contests, but it ain’t clear from that post that Vegas has anything to do with such things.

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

Ish Monroe fishes frogs all 12 months.

13 in leap years…. In case you think you need to give up your addiction, here’s supmin-sumpin from a way-back piece on the Bassin’masters:

> “Mar through Oct, bass will follow bait schools, which position near food sources like bugs and algae. Overhanging limbs, docks, riprap walls — they all have shade and algae and bugs for baitfish to eat.

> “All the same scenarios are applicable 8 months out of the year…the only time it changes is during the Nov through Feb period. During the fall-winter months, the fish are relating to the baitfish, but the baitfish aren’t relating to the algae — they’re moving into areas for warmer water, like the backs of creeks.”

That all sounds reasonable, especially coming from Ish who ain’t a-feared to do stuff that goes against the norm. Then he says this:

> “…walk the dog. There’s something about that action that triggers big fish into biting. Everyone thinks that a frog only imitates a frog — but it also imitates a bluegill, it can imitate shad, a mouse, even a gopher. It imitates anything that’s in the water…that a bass is going to eat.”

Did he really say GOPHER?? Don’t think I’ve ever heard of a bass eating a gopher, maybe cuz gopher live, you know, nowhere near a bass, but they fo sho have some good action to ’em:

What up Ish!

Quote of the Day

“There were times when I was sitting out there wondering, Is there even a fish in this lake?”

Jared Lintner talkin’ ’bout [insert your home lake here] — I mean Lake Mead, location of the WON Bass US Open he recently fished. Here’s another $$$ quote from that post by the man with the most intimidatin’ ‘stache on tour:

> The problem with fishing for reaction bites on Lake Mead is that you have to commit to it and the fish have to be committed to your bait.

The fish…have to be committed…to your bait. Jared, bro — couldn’t that be said about all bass feeshn? I mean, I seldom stick one that’s not committed, you know what I mean? Told my tournament partner — we call him “Mr. Incredible” — ’bout your comment and he was like:

I feel you bud….

Shot of the Day

After much thought and consideration involving the dudes from Hangover…

…we’ve come to this conclusion:


HAHAHA! How great is that shot! @JoshDouglasFishing posted it, sent to him by couple buds fishing on Kissimmee, FL. Sick shot!

Ya got me
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