New type of hook could come to bassin’? Big melons caught! Best punch rig?

Today’s Top 5

The bigs are startin’ to come in!

Gitcha all goggle-eyed at these bloat-melons:

Corey Harris caught this 13.57-lber outta Caney Lake, LA on a 3/8-oz jig (gp) on a shallow hump. Caney’s the site of the state record 15.97 caught in ’94. Corey — who with a bud caught a 36-lb string there last year — said the grass being back in the lake (after grass carp took it all out) is the reason.

Paul S. smacked this 10.86 on Rayburn, TX with a custom-painted red 3/4-oz bait that looked a lot like a BOOYAH One Knocker painted by Brad Shuflin of Brad’s Baits:

Check James J with this Hensley Lake, CA 10, caught on a magnum Neko Rig. That’s a 10″ Magnum Baits MagStick in “gp/lite gp laminate” — man I LIKE the mag Neko idea:

@blackwaterkayakanglers caught this 10.2 sooooweeeee pig melon on some kinda swimbait, I’m assumin’ in CAli — great pic, love the w-i-d-e bloat that happens with the GoPro-like cams:

Don’t think this was a DD but as they say in Italy, it’s-a-nice-a-one — ketched by Elitist Cliff “jigs or nuthin'” Pirch:

Could this type of barbless hook come to bassin’?

Called Gripz, made for Euro carp fishing:

> Made from high-grade Japanese wire…series of minute horizontal grooves on the inside of the specially designed arrow-shaped hook point, where…the barb would have been. These grooves allow the hook to hold securely in the fish’s mouth when pressure is applied, as the flesh presses into the grooves resulting in a firm hook hold with no slippage.

Innerestin’ fo sho. Not sure if it’ll only work for buglemouths (doubt it?), but either way it’s one of those “believe it when I see it” deals.

Watch this jig bomb a brushpile full o’ smallies.

^ Jason Christie’s Garmin ‘lectrics:

> Watch the fireworks in this brushpile as I drop my jig on this school of smallmouth.

Oh mama that looks fun…and so does this — this is Jason’s bud Chad (bud of mine too) with a chunk jerkbait fish in Jason’s boat the other day:

Pretty sure I was supposed to be invited to that deal, not sure what happened…. Somehow I missed my invite to this Russ Lane boat-flip clinic too:

How ’bout this bassin’ poetry.

‘Gram post by Hiroshi Nishine of Nishine Lure Works:

> Many time I get no fish in winter time. Cold weather, snow, ice, big wind, muddy water, fingers were froze and no bites but I don’t care because I love fishing. I’m happy as long as I fish, and believe you are same.

How great is that! Heck yeah we’re the same! Here’s the pic he ran with it, a prototype lipless crank he said he hopes to release this summer or fall:

Looks like TW is gradually adding more Nishine baits….

G-man and this dude are my new home designers.

Let’s go with the interior design first — Gerald Swindle’s garage:

Dang son! Just get an outhouse and a mini-fridge, and you’d only have to leave to go fishin’! #jealous

My exterior designer’s gonna be this dude — Man Builds Home Over Pond So He Can Fish From His Living Room:

Thanks to Charlie Hartley for gettin’ the info on that’n ^.


1. KVD only uses finesse rigs for cleanup.

To get the last few bites outta a spot:

> I realized just how effective these techniques were at revitalizing a worn-out fishing spot. Since then, cleaning up with finesse has become a regular part of my game.

Dropshot, Neko, Shakey, Ned. Hole up — NED? KVD??

> I’ll never give up my trusty tubes in the Great Lakes, but I have certainly made room for a dedicated Plano Edge Utility Box of Ned Ochos and Tour Grade Ned Heads in my boat.

> The Ned is also a huge player in Central U.S. lakes and Ozark Mountain impoundments. If you’re facing clear water with clean, rocky bottoms on mixed-species lakes, the Ned rig is a cleanup king.

2. Kinda emotional post from Matty Herren.

It’s about the Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver.

Okay, no, it’s about reflecting on his 2019:

> The 2019 season has been a roller coaster of a year that, in many ways, became the best year of my career. I’ve built closer relationships with sponsors and B.A.S.S., built friendships that have become more like brotherhood and learned a lot about the industry along the way.

3. Stacheman “Seth” Feider says he still shoots his old shotgun best.

Pretty sure that could never be true with feeshn rods, but if you’re still killin’ it with a 100% fiberglass wiggle-stick lmk!

4. Brent Chapman fixed his shoulder without surgery.

Body alignment and some training. Outstanding. My daughter had a ton of leg pain in sports, got her some insoles to even out her feet, pain gone. #works

5. Larry Nixon 2 days ago.

Hope you’re all healed up soon Larry!

6. Spotted: Rick Clunn smilin’.

Makes at least 2x I’ve seen him smile in 20+ years:

Hahaha you know it’s true! Love ya Rick….

7. You watching Zona’s and Mercer’s new shows?

DVR ’em yo! Outdoor Channel…and selected bus stops…HAHAHA kiddin’!

8. College Classic angler Cody Huff fishes the Jigging Rap.

Like I’ve said, this “secret” is getting out:

> A Jigging Rap is great for getting in the face of bass that are chewing on really deep schools of bait in say 40-90′ of water. Jigging Raps are small finesse-looking lures but pretty heavy at 5/8- and 7/8-oz – so they fall vertically below the boat fairly fast.

> I tie mine to 12-lb line…the whole key is spotting the deep schools of shad on your sonar screen with bass feeding on them. I usually look for this kind of mid-winter action in the biggest creeks on the reservoir.

9. TX: First BFL had record number of boats.

Rayburn, 230 boaters x 2 = 460 peeps. Community holes were like:


Congrats to LA’s Kevin Lasyone who won the deal innerestin’ly with the only 20+ limit (20-08). Caught most of his fish on a Rat-L-Trap and a V&M Thunder Shad on a Lazyman weighted swimbait hook.

[Post on FLWFishing, could not link it….]

10. CA: Now’s the time for giants in NoCal.

Clear Lake:

> The lake record of 17.52 lbs was caught on a bitter cold day in Feb 1990. For some reason these trophy bass feed when the water temperatures drop to the 45-degree range.

The lake can’t be named but rhymes with Gullards Gar:

> …Bullard’s Bar Reservoir is our best winter fishery. The world record for spotted bass has been broken here at least 3 times in the last few years. These record fish have all been caught between Thanksgiving and late Feb. Typically these fish are caught deep, 30-60′, on soft-plastics. …is known to give up some of its bass to red/brown-colored plastics.

11. DC: Lead okay in fishing tackle bill passes Senate committee.

America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, supported by the American Sportfishing Association which is the tackle biz industry group and our friends.

12. Sea Foam Marine PRO now available at NAPA.

Tough to get ahold of last year, now should be easy. Helps your motor run better, last longer and stabilizes fuel too….

13. Seaguar sponsoring TBF’s Student Angler Federation…

…and the National High School Fishing Program for 2020. Btw, kids this is what you wanna aspire to — Gene “Master of Flukes I’m pullin’ yer striiiiiings” Jensen’s stash:

14. Learn ya about ConnectScale.

How and why it was invented. Innerestin’ post. Check their stuff here on TW.

15. TN: Folks got married at a Bass Pro.

16. Asian carp updates.

> Labeled the Unified Method, the strategy involves systematically driving the fish into a confined area and then netting them. Sometime in early- to mid-Feb….

But they’re not there yet:

> The Reimagine the Canals Task Force also called for further study of a bioacoustic fish fence…near Tonawanda to scare Asian carp back to Lake Erie.

To experiment with ways to keep non-native fish out.

17. ‘Rude has a new 150 TILLER motor.

Jonboats will never be the same:

18. Skeeter says it has a new new ZX150.

No pics available..??

19. Brunswick working on voice recognition boat control.

If under power, that sounds truly scary. Voice control of a trolling motor could work….

20. Personal watercraft sales been growing.

21. Gander Outdoors closing 27-32 stores by end of Jan.

Just focusing on stores that can do RV biz too. Gander owner also owns RV superstores.

22. AR: Lake Columbia has giant salvinia.

23. Slaughterhouses discharge most pollutants?

> …”contributed the highest nutrient loads across the nutrient discharge rankings analyses for both total nitrogen and total phosphorus” of any other industries.

Tip of the Day

Why Ike likes the Tokyo Rig for punchin’.

> The original Tokyo Rig was designed as a pre-made set-up for “punch-shotting,” a technique Iaconelli first learned on the waters of Japan. Punch-shotting is best explained as heavy-duty dropshotting through thick vegetation mats.

> “I love to fish this thing as a punch-bait. That big, heavy weight below the bait is going to act as a ball and chain, and it will suck it under that mat. Once it’s under the mat, that bait is free-flowing — something they’ve never seen.

> “I can’t tell you how many times before when I was punching, had a killer bite, set the hook and came back with nothing. I missed the fish because I pried its mouth open — that big weight on the rig hurt me on the hookset. That doesn’t happen with a Tokyo Rig.”

> The original Tokyo Rig can carry enough weight to punch through a thick mat or just enough weight to get down fast to bass buried in thick grass. When Iaconelli is punch-shotting, he favors two back-to-back VMC Tungsten Worm Weights. They slide in and out of heavy vegetation easily, and “tick” when they collide.

More pro info on other Tokyo Rig techniques in the full post.

Quote of the Day

“I fished like an idiot and paid the price for doing that.”

– Could be me EVERY TIME I wet a line (hahaaaaaa) but it’s Bill Lowen talkin’ on Bassin’masters ’bout how he fished last year at the St Johns River, FL Elite. Love the transparency, man. Guess what: we all do it, even the pro dudes!

Shot of the Day

Another levitating/abduction-in-progress bass spotted, this time in Cali (I think?) by @electric_fishing: #Area53


Fish farm operator says most of escaped salmon likely eaten

Ya think?? Lookit how lively these salmon look lol:

Based on that, guessin’ that trout swimbaits are made to emulate STOCKED (farm raised) trout?

Ya got me

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