Niagara River winning baits, Hite dropshot tip, Elites at Comicon

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Today’s Top 5

KVD’s winning baits.
The situation Kevin VanDam and the rest of the bracketeers faced: The Niagara River is a good fishery, but not this time of year. So small and few fish, heavy current, and the guys were limited on what they could fish: a limited area, and only the U.S. side — because the formerly-nice Canadians don’t want us anywhere near their shoreline. Check out this view of their border crossing:

Here’s a little on how KVD fished and the baits he used. Full article as usual at

> “That river has extremely strong current, so with the history I have fishing smallmouths on the Detroit River and St. Clair River, I knew I had to find current breaks. A lot of those were sea walls or the bank itself. The other thing I looked for was current-swept flats, where they would have clean stretches on them….

His two main baits were a Strike King KVD Jerkbait and Strike King KVD Deep Jerkbait, and the new Strike King Half Shell dropshot bait.

Here are the ones he used. The top to bottom colors are: chrome blue and crystal shad (“my favorite color”), then clearwater minnow and pro blue.

Here’s his Half Shells — colors are edge (top two), KVD kick, KVD magic and green pumpkin purple:

> “I caught 80% of my bass dropshotting KVD kick and KVD magic. When the water got clear, I threw the KVD kick.”

Hite’s dropshot rig.
VanDam’s won three now this year, and Brett Hite has gotten close the same number of times. This time Brett didn’t use a bladed jig — he dropshotted. Here’s his rig:

> “I caught all my bass on a 4” Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm in light green pumpkin candy with clear belly on the bottom [color 938]. Pretty much every kind of baitfish looks like that — it’s a good all-around color. The leader was about 18″ with a #1 nose hook, and I used a 1/4-oz Reins tungsten dropshot weight. If I was closer to Erie where the current was a little stronger, I’d use 3/8-oz.


> “I used braid to fluorocarbon. The braid is brand new from Sunline [called TX1]. The biggest thing is it’s super-smooth. It almost feels like a nylon line. It casts really well, and you don’t hear it in the guides. You can definitely see a considerably greater casting distance out of it.

> “I had some yellow spooled up and some green. In low-light conditions I really like the yellow so I can see it. Plus in current you can get a loop in your line, so it was really nice to see where the line was all the time. I used 12-lb TX1 and a 6′ of 7-lb FC Sniper fluorocarbon for a leader.”

He actually stole the TX1 he used — sorta. Full story, and full pattern, on

What just happened? 1

KVD fished an off-limits area and boated a fish from it. Hackney did the same thing. Each was handled differently. Good explanation why on

> When the out of bounds fish cannot be verified, the whole day’s catch may be disqualified. In Hackney’s case, he continued to fish throughout the day, and his catch couldn’t be verified whether or not the fish were caught from the off-limits area. The format of the Bassmaster Classic Bracket tournament, with officials in the boats, made it easy to verify the legitimacy of every catch.

Other than that:

> B.A.S.S. covered it…sorta. No quotes from KVD, Hite or Hackney (or Trip), so it was more like an official statement, but glad to see it.

> Props to Brett for protesting to get clarity. That helps everyone — pros, sponsors, B.A.S.S. and fans.

> Don’t buy any KVD vs Hack conspiracy theories. Trip don’t play that. But some of you will believe it:

> Gotta give it to KVD and Hite. The last thing I’d want if I was driving a car would be a traffic cop in the passenger seat. But wait — guess it wasn’t enough to have tourney officials in the boat:

> Has to be a record year for DQs/near-DQs of top finishers: Clausen, Hackney, VanDam — am I forgetting someone? Smellin’ a busy off-season for B.A.S.S. with a red marker and the rule book.
What just happened? 2

Sunday I got a call from a couple friends, long-time folks in the fishin’ biz. They had one question: Do you understand the Classic bracket tournament? The format, the reason, anything else. Here’s what I said:

Not really, no.

I mean, the format? Yes. The reason? Uh…. Left me confused — kinda like this ref but in a different way:

I get that the MLFers have done well with their thang. Happy for ’em. But don’t get changing B.A.S.S. formats (including mid-tourney!) for TV, the interwebz, radio, aliens, the wildebeest migration, National High Five Day and whatever else. One example, from a Bassin’Fan story:

> On Friday, every legal bass caught will count rather than just the biggest five. Some may think that will favor VanDam since it’s basically the same format used in Major League Fishing events.

Absolutely 100% love trying new (new?) things . Absolutely 100% respect the B.A.S.S. folks. But absolutely 100% no entiendo este. No lo necesita homies!

What the other Elitists did.
A few of them went to the Comicon convention…
…as “Chewie’s Angels!”Guess who they are. Here’s a hint — they’re all sponsored by Berkley….

HAHAHA your secret’s out fellas!


1. Brett Hite visited by future self.

Not many people know that the Canadian gov’t opened up a wormhole last week during more evil experiments. One outcome: While the time rift was opened, the future Brett Hite was able to watch the current Brett Hite fish. The older Brett was heard muttering and tsking til Chris Bowes told him to shut up.

Look how scared those dogs were of Bowes man!2. AR: Slot changes for Mallard and Lower White Oak lakes.

3. MN: Zebras confirmed in two lakes.

East Spirit and Osakis.

Word is the MLFers are up in MN this week….

4. LA: Memorial tourney this weekend, West Monroe.

5. KY: Basser finds human remains on Green River.


6. New ALX Ben Parker spoon rod.

Love the idea.

7. Ranger calls out two dealers.


Frankie’s Marine for dealer of the year.

Vic’s Sports in OH for top dealer.

Personally I’d like to call out Angler’s Port Marine, which is now having their model year-end savings event!

Tip of the Day

Brett Hite: Dropshotting in current.

Shorty but a goody from our convo:

> “The biggest key for me fishing like that — I learned it fishing the Columbia River, St. Clair and the Detroit River — is finding the right-weight dropshot weight.

> “You want the dropshot to tick the bottom, to flow along the bottom at the same speed as the current. If it’s too heavy, it gets hung up. If it’s too light, you don’t get bottom contact.

> “So it’s kind of like trout fishing — you want the bait to flow at the same speed as the current or close to it, and still have bottom contact.”

Do people actually purposely fish for TROUT?? Anyone heard of this before???

Quote of the Day


We’re not done yet.

– What KVD told me after his second win this season. I was asking him why two after a win drought, and that’s what he said.

I’ve heard that tone of voice and whatever else it is (confidence, conviction, etc.) from him before, and when I heard it was like: Uh oh here we go. Sure enough, now he’s got three. And…they’re not done yet.

Asked him about it yesterday and he said:

> “For this one I knew I had a 1 in 8 chance [to win], and I had a high comfort level there [with that type of fishery]. It’s a whole lot harder to beat a 107-angler field.

> “The big thing there was the guaranteed Classic spot. That will change the way I approach all the tournaments from here on out. I can take chances now. So we’re not done yet.”

Would you fish against this man:

Shot of the Day


Givin’ this one to Steve “don’t care if I am near your house Kumar, I ain’t visitin'” Bowman. Looks like a line at the Porta Jon, and check where the camera guy is lookin’ hahahaha!
Fish the best!
You NEED this stuff!
Git on these yo!

Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin’. Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best in bassin’, and is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass. Get the Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster app:

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