No entry fees, Fork highlights, Secret jig, Need longer worms

Back from freezin’ my backside off at Fork, but still had a time! Some shout-outs below, but first — what up college bass-heads! James Elam said that when he speaks to y’all, you all talk about what you see on the Blaster. You git an A! Will have to look into the BB bein’ required readin’ in American Lit. HAHAHA yeeeeeeeeeeeeah buddy!

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

Today’s Top 4

5 things I learned at Fork.

Things I learned at the Costa/Vexus Boats media deal on Lake Fork, TX, which I hear can be — at certain magical times on the Mayan calendar — a trophy bass lake:

1. Lake Fork is way temperamental.

The basses were like this:

Guess the bigs live there, but if they ain’t on, you need to fish a different lake. Maybe all trophy lakes full of Floridas are thataway?

Best quote was from Lake Fork stud guide James Caldemeyer at the ramp: “You could not have hit this any worse.” Well brother James, happens every time media guys show up at a lake….

I’m sure the 1,150 anglers at the Bassin’ Champs big-bass derby on Fork last weekend were a factor. Then again, believe only one “over” was weighed?

2. “The Real” James “Worldwide” Watson ain’t right, and for that matter the whole Costa pro staff ain’t right either — except for David Mullins but he maybe didn’t show me that side of him….

Dudes have a dial that has 2 numbers on it: 9 and 10. Todd Castledine might only have a 10. In other words:

3. Justin Lucas is pretty dang fired up about the new Berkley topwaters, which are legit. Honestly didn’t think so, but after seein’ ’em and hearin’ Justin talk about all the finer design points (the colors are pretty sick too) as he fished ’em, gotta say I’m convinced.

He’s fired up about how good they are AND that some bass-heads think they’re just copies/knockoffs or whatever. He says no way, and had a big hand in designing ’em — even the Choppo, which is like a Plopper but different. Sounds different (the smaller one is killer), and has a hard-plastic tail that’s got highlights on it:

4. Vexus boats really are all that.

Got a ride in and drove 2 Vexus boats, the 2080 and 1980. Out-frickin’-standing. For sure for real. WAY for real.

My 2c: Calling it an aluminum boat is wrong. It runs like, sounds like and fishes like a glass boat. I call it a glass boat wrapped in tin. That’s probly technically wrong, but whatever — that description makes sense to me, maybe to you too.

Best deal is that the aluminum in it and lighter weight (but not even close to as light as an all-tin boat) means a smaller outboard, less gas, better towing mileage, etc. vs all-glass. And all that means less $$$…!

Check this: Take the Vexus 1880 — 18′ 10″, which with a 115 runs in the low 50s [!!]. Add 2 graphs, a trolling motor and a trailer, and it RETAILS in the high $30s. Ain’t lyin’. Get the 20-footer and it won’t kill your money tree in the yard either.

Plus the boats look suh-weet and also different. Gotta tell ya: I was blown away. Finally found me a boat. Orderin’ mine soon. #nobrainer #stoked

Here’s the on-the-water vid:

5. That new 4-stroke Merc is insane.

BPTer Jeff Sprague hit the throttle the first morning and I literally thought his outboard fell off the boat — it was so quiet. No one’s had one of these motors for long so we’ll see how it goes, but dang it was nice — here’s Jeff’s:

Biggest dang deal in pro fishing right now.

Ain’t the new trail, what B.A.S.S. is doing, an even-more Ploppier topwater or whatever, it’s this:

Apparently the BPTers are voting on whether to have entry fees or NO ENTRY FEES! As in ZERO.

Heard some guys are on the fence??

Probly missing some info the guys have, but gotta give my 2c: The ONLY vote is for no entries. That’s the first, biggest step in the whole pro deal. Next step from there is “appearance fees” like in other sports. Sound nuts? Well, when I had Bassin’Fan, we did it! For the Top Gun Championship: All the guys were paid to show up so their expenses were more than covered. Plus we had a huge check for the winner, weigh-in at a Cabela’s, national TV — so it for sure can be done and SHOULD be done. Key is keeping the field size smaller.

BUT if your startin’ point is some entry fees, guess what the next step is: LOWER entry fees. Plus you get a biz that operates by counting on those entry fees, and once that happens it’s like crack, man — tough to give it up….

One mo’: All you BPTers — you’re independent bidnessmen, right? Okay, so if you can cut one of your biggest expenses to ZERO, would you do it? If your answer is no, you prolly ain’t no bidnessman. Just sayin’….

Doesn’t matter to me what trail or trails do it, just as long as it happens….

So the NY Times covered bassin’….

Seems like a bunch of people were thrilled it happened. My 2c:

a) Let’s not forget that the NY Times wouldn’t know a bass from a hammer, and like all “news” outlets is self-serving — so how does this article help them? Think….

b) When’s the last time you picked up the NY Times? Yep.

c) The article calls KVD “avuncular.” Pretty sure that’s a city-boy cuss word. Also said he has “cherubic cheeks.” Would they say that about Brett Favrerer or Tiger? You gonna take that KVD??

d) The whole dang article is like one big vocab test — one that takes a full hour of class time. Readin’ it I was feelin’ like this guy:

> Fave line: “Mr. VanDam’s sustained success seems to dispel the notion that luck plays a significant role in fishing.” Der! Obviously the dude scribblin’ this deal did enough research to fool his editor, but not us man!

> Last but not least: Bassin’ has hit the mainstream media before, notably when FLW and ESPN were throwin’ $$$ at each other, when Denny was on David Letterman, when ESPN bought B.A.S.S., etc. — even when a little startup called Bassin’Fan had a brand new thing called the Bassin’Fan World Rankings. Did it set the feeshn world on fire? Not really….

If at some point “non-endemic” media gives bassin’ a good, sustained boost, cool, but ain’t seen it yet….

[Dang I got more opinions than your average granny in this one…but then, your average bass-head has WAY more opinions than your average granny so….]

Do we need longer worms??

Check this earthworm FLWer Clark Reehm saw in LA:


> I have never seen earthworms this big and there are hundreds of them covering my driveway! That is a size 11 shoe!

Let’s say that shoe’s about 11″ — so that’s about a 24″ worm! No self-respectin’ largie would say no to it….


1. We lost a brother on Lake of the Ozarks.

> According to the MO State Highway Patrol, 78-year-old Ronald Miller fell overboard from a 2001 Skeeter bass boat at around 3 pm on Wed, Oct. 17, around the 30.8 mile marker.

> Miller was wearing a life jacket, according to the report, but was “unable to stay afloat and drowned.” MSHP Sergeant Scott White explained Miller did have a life jacket on, but was unable to keep his head above water.

Article says his bud tried to save him. Bless them both.

2. Jared Lintner’s Open Champeenship winning baits.

Won it by a fish or two at T-Rock — congrats man! Here’s his winnin’ baits:

L to R:
> Jackall MC 60 MR custom painted by Tackle Kraft
> SPRO Rk Crawler 55
> 3/4-oz homemade flip jig (camo) with a Strike King Rage Bug (blue craw)

Cranked gravel chunk-rock banks in 8-15′, and pitch/flipped the jig in isolated cedar trees in 8-18′.

3. Greg Hackney gets Mossy Oak.

Hack gets mossy a lot so….

4. Everything you wanted to know about FLWer David Dudley…

…in one pic:

5. Couple pro angler updates.

> Clark Wendlandt went from FLW to the Elites, and declined a BPT invite.

> Ex-FLWer JT Kenney is no longer fishing the BPT but will be a BPT commentator.

6. Bassmaster Opens going back to win = Classic spot.

> B.A.S.S. TD Chris “I dare you” Bowes talkin’: “While those who competed in last week’s Opens Championship really enjoyed the event, most who compete in one of the Opens divisions let us know that the additional postseason event created time and travel constraints for most of the field.”

7. NV: Reggae star Bub Tosh wins US Open.

Okay he’s not a reggae star (I don’t think?) but every time I see that name that’s what I think of — love that name man! Anyhoo, he won it in 2 days instead of 3 cuz wind canceled day 1. Used a double Fluke rig with Yamamoto D-Shads, and his own Paycheck Baits topwaters (the One and the Repo Man) as search baits.

8. TX: Fish for a Cure on Ray Hubbard THIS WEEKEND.

9. SD: Guy who allegedly shot at bass fishermen…

…now charged with assault.

10. MI: Grand River-Lake MI boat channel proposed.

Don’t know if it’s a solid idea or what, but amazing to hear of a big connection project only for boats — meaning not cars.

11. AL lovin’ stockin’ FL basses.

All good but they better make dang sure the Asian carp apocalypse doesn’t get into Gville….

12. President Trump signed a new water law.

Up to you how to value it, but sounds like some good stuff in there for fishin’/boatin’.

13. ATFCO has new youth clothing.

They continue to relentlessly roll out new stuff….

14. Warren Miller ski films buys fly feeshn film company.

Not bassin’ but innerestin’….

Tip of the Day

Check Bradley Hallman’s “gitcha paid” jig.

Called the LBJ, which means “Light Bulb Joke” and was inspired by this one:How many rednecks does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Three. One to hold the bulb, and two to turn the ladder.

HAHAHA! Okay, LBJ really stands for “Little Brown Jig” — here you go:

Quote of the Day

“…fishing against 70 to 80 guys as opposed to 150 or 170 seems like a no-brainer to me.”

– Word. That’s Clark Wendlandt talkin’ ’bout moving from the FLW Tour — which really has too big a field — to the Elites.

Shot of the Day

Not sure if this is the cover of the new Skynyrd album or Bassmaster mag, but either way it’s as close to bassin’ fine art as you’ll find — Fat Cat Newton doin’ what he do. One of the most outstanding pics I’ve seen this year, maybe ever:

Fat Cat I will buy a print of this dude, I’m serious!

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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