Oldest topwater frog? Is the state killing Okeechobee?? Zona blade bait tips

Merry Christmas to ya bass-heads! Hope you and your fams have a great one, and you have some bassy stuff under the tree. Couple things:

1. Just to remember the reason for the season, here again is a link to the Reel Faith vids on YouTube. Just a couple there now but more comin’ soon.

2. Is it me or do sonar images sometimes look like Christmas trees:

Gittin’ ya at least one Blaster between now and New Year’s so look fer it! Peace and thank you for a-readin’!

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

Today’s Top 5

Was this the first topwater frog/mouse?

You can see it there, called The Fish Nipple — cuz it was made out of a rubber nipple (??) in 19-and-11. “Filled with lead, feathers and horse hair.” Check those hooks and hook placement!

By Moonlight Bait Co. of Paw Paw, MI, a town I guess named after someone’s grandfather…from KY….

Here’s another oldie topwater, Cotton’s Topwater made by Cotton Layfield (not Cordell) of Kerens, TX. Check those paddle wheels that I assume made a “plop” sound. The fur is skunk hair “which the makers deemed the best for flotation and durability.” Take your word for it mang:

Notice that both baits were dark colors. Remind yourselves that many pros prefer black over any other color of any topwater, in any conditions.

WTHeck happened to these bass??

After lots of Dorito-fueled contemplations, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only possible causes for bass damage like this are:

1. Ticked-off bald-headed eagles that have to wear rugs:

2. That weird unidentified wolf thing a guy shot in MT:

3. Constantly cold, and thus constantly ticked off, hairless cats:

4. Lego Wolverine:

5. Slash — cuz of his name and cuz of stuff like this:

Anyhow, you tell me what you think:

Drew B. Flandersed him this Melvern Reservoir, KS slashed smallie with half a Z-Man Zinkerz (PB&J) on a custom-poured Ned head:

Billy D. Chatterbaited (white/chart) this slashed spot (I think?) outta the Wolf River, TN:

Is the state of FL killing Lake Okeechobee?!?!

Every time I’ve been there I’ve been blown away at how everything looks so good — it’s all so bassy. But here’s Mary Ann Martin talkin’ recently, ex-wife of Roland Martin and current long-time owner of the well-known Roland Martin’s Marina and Resort on the lake (Clewiston):

> “I saw this lake 40 years ago when I first came to Clewiston, and it was the most impressive piece of water I had ever seen in my life. As far as you could see was peppergrass, standing grass and lots of fishermen. The [boat] trails ran through the peppergrass and it was beautiful.

> “I want to tell you that Lake Okeechobee is not well. We are so worried about our lake. We have lost 70% of the grass….”

> She said due to the excessive chemical spraying on the lake, the habitat is gone. “We would like to have 40,000 acres of submerged grass on the lake, but right now it is at 5,000 acres and it is declining.

> “We need to spray less, and burn more.”

She was talkin’ at a public hearing, where a guy made a scientific case that lots of chemical spraying is not only messing up Okeechobee, but is likely a cause of all the red tides that hammered FL coasts this year. Another guy said:

> “It’s a big mystery to a lot of biologists, why the frogs have gone … Whenever these guys are spraying they are wearing industrial gloves and hazmat suits. What do you think happens when frogs are in contact with that stuff?”

Word, man. The FL DNR does the spraying…

…and FL bass fishermen are feelin’ kinda outraged about it like:

A petition to stop vegetation spraying across FL has 170,000 signatures already.

War. Got to Win. Fight.

Roland Martin wrote that on the brim of his visor after day 2 (of 3) of the Bassmaster Invitational on Okeechobee in 19-and-85. Think the dude wasn’t intense??

Also from that article:

> Roland was making $500,000 a year then, including endorsements. Rick Clunn was making about $150,000.

> 150 hp max back then, and: “An equipped bass rig — boat, outboard motor, electronic detection gear — costs from $15,000 to $20,000….”

> Rick won the Invitational because Roland had a dead fish, but Roland won Angler of the Year (again), beating Larry “Bee Branch” Nixon.

Money quotes from the article:

> A big-money bass tournament is a combination boat race and scavenger hunt. [Love that! Hey — look, I found one! lol]

> …Clunn, who listens to taped readings from Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” to prepare himself for tournaments. [Who doesn’t??]

> When Roland Martin heard about Ray Scott’s tournaments, he saw them as a good way to help build his reputation. [Still the case now…,]

> “Memo billing” for boats and motors, an arrangement whereby the pro essentially is loaned the equipment for a year, is common. [Well at least now pros get a free boat…HAHAHA pro peeps!]

> Restless, a gambler, Martin may decide after just 3 casts that the fish aren’t biting, and move on. [That was always his rep, seat of the pants feeshn.]

If you’ll miss bassin’ at Christmas…

…this may remind you of comin’ back from a long day on the water:

HAHAHA that’s GENIUS!!!!

Mickey D’s has to do one o’ those…maybe Chick-fil-A too….


1. Justin Lucas baptized his new boat with a huge smallmouth.

Dang that’s a nice’n:

2. Alton Jones, Mark Davis, Todd Faircloth, Russ Lane get B&W.

Hitches. Good to’s the pic that ran with the announcement:

Highlighted the basses so you can see ’em (heehee!).

3. Ott DeFoe’s fave BUFF stuff.

Here ’tis:
> UVX Mask in Mossy Oak Elements. “Makes me a ninja basser like no other.”
> Aqua Gloves or FullFlex Gloves for colder weather,

4. Seth Feider’s on BassEdge Ray-dee-eau.

5. Paul Mueller found his own Flanders version.

Can’t believe he outed it but here you go:

> I call it the Freestyle Rig because you can fish it at any depth of the water column. It’s the best technique that I know of for suspended fish, and it’s deadly for cold water fishing when fish are hugging the bottom.

> …in the summer along a deep weedline with a 3″ Reins Bubbling Shaker rigged on a 1/13-oz Zappu Cocho tungsten jighead with 5-lb fluorocarbon. I started catching smallmouth in the 4-lb class.

> I was casting it to the outside edge of the grass, counting it down 6 seconds and then shaking the rod while the bait slowly would pendulum back to the boat. Bright skies and no wind tend to make smallmouth suspend around those grass edges and are very spooky when the conditions are like that. After that day, I realized that this technique cleans up in tough conditions.

6. 3 Canadians traveling together on the Elites.

Check this line from the post:

> Canadian bass scene is serious.

Bet it’s not more serious than this in Canada:

USA peeps, that’s not Tim Horton the bass fisherman. I think it’s a coffee place. Anyhow, here’s how you can recognize Canadians at the ramp:

HAHAHA Canadian bass-heads!

7. FLWer Bryan Thrift gets Catch Commander scales.

Here’s the CC website.

8. FLWer Randy Blaukat gets Cumberland Pro Lures.

Cumberland Pro Lures website here.

9. BPT vs MLF.

Click it to see the breakdown on the MLFers website. Helpful but will take a while for some of us to really get the hang of it…or maybe it’s just me?

10. Aussie angler of the year is boat #1 in all next year’s derbies.

How ’bout that idea!

> As the best angler he has earned a complimentary place on the start line at all [tournaments] next year in the #1 starting boat.

> “I haven’t got one of the fastest boats, so it means that I might be able to get to my spot first. It is only about 4 minutes from the first to the last boat but it all makes a difference.”

Dang straight!

11. IL govn’r wants to use Asian carp money now.

Doesn’t want to wait for everyone to get on board with a plan or whatever. Word. Article is on — I can’t link it. More on what IL is doing:

> Kevin Irons…at the IL DNR, has traveled to the Asian carp’s native China 3 times, most recently in Oct. There he learned how teams of fishermen methodically captured the fish each year by strategically casting their nets to divide waterways and scoop up carp sector by sector in multiday campaigns.

> Irons has shared this technique with commercial fishermen contracted by IL who have added their own twist. In China, they fish quietly, but IL “carp cowboys” are exploiting the species’ fear of loud noises using golf clubs, baseball bats and even plungers to bang on the sides of their boats, essentially herding the fish into their nets…. “Our fishermen didn’t quite have the patience. It’s kind of like a cattle drive in the water.”

Weirdly, that post says Asian carp are declining in China. Since Chinese folks love those carp for food, they’ve come over here to see why these things are doing so well.

12. ID has new head of fish and game.

Ed Schriever, came from the fish side. Word is ID has shockingly good bass feeshn, which might be why Brandon Palaniuk can a) catch ’em and b) refuses to move from ID….

13. Ranger has new fishin’ pontoon boats.

14. DC: EPA/Corps Clean Water Act rollbacks would…

…take away protection for 50%+ of streams in the lower 48 states. Not sure how that would be a good thing but then I’m not an expert at that stuff.

15. The YOLOtek PowerStick Gen2 is out…

…and at Tackle Warehouse, selling for $99.99 which I believe is 24% off MSRP:

YOLOtek head man Christian Corley says Gen2 is top-down redesigned:

> The ball and joint is now a full 1″ — easier to use, stronger, similar to RAM mount.

> 20% more sturdy when fully extended.

> Even more waterproof with USB covers closed or silicone rainproof putty (redesigned power unit).

> Includes Attwood LightArmor Threaded Collar and several small changes that make it easier to use.

16. The winter 2018-19 Bass Angler Mag is out.

Pick one up yo:

17. Here’s a new-ish gal’s fishin’ fashion company: Fishe Wear.

Looks mostly fly-oriented, but you gals might dig it….

18. DC: Modern Fish Act passed by Congress…

…now headed to White House. It’s about saltwater, but if it reins in the feds from suddenly declaring huge parts of the ocean off-limits to recreational fishing — like they have under the last couple Presidents — good!

Post is on — I can’t link it.

19. 25 days of savings still on at Tackle Warehouse!

It’s not still 25 but you get what I mean:

Lines of the Day

Check this South African salty fish talk:

> Those fishing for edibles have caught some beautiful fish, while those targeting inedibles have landed some giants.

> Stumpies have been keeping the boys on the beaches busy while the gully hoppers have been having great success with the bronze bream.

Well, when bass-heads fish for edibles, they’re lookin’ under the center seat/step — and I’m sure we have some stumpies AND gully hoppers in bassin’…or at least gully whoppers….

Tip of the Day

Zona: How to fish blade baits in cold water.

Honestly, I’ve never fished these dang things right. Ever. This vid helped me (thanks Z!), like when he says:

> The colder the water, the more you want to let it sit.

Also liked the part about how the feesh get it off the bottom. Check it:

Quote of the Day

“More bass fishermen have died fishing like this than by any other means.”

– Sounds morbid but it’s funny — cuz it’s from a post on the TFF talkin ’bout Flukes/soft jerks bein’ versatile, one technique bein’:

> …will throw it weightless in 20′ of water and let it slowly swim to the bottom, giving it a twitch every now and then.

So here’s the full quote:

> More bass fisherman have died fishing like this than by any other means. They cast it out, fall asleep, fall over the side, and reach the bottom faster than their Fluke. At least they go doing what they love….

HAHAHA! I’m sure that’ll work, but how desperate and tired do you have to be to do it?? lol

Also, has Denny Brauer done this technique? Tommy Biffle? No…dang…way.

Shot of the Day

HahahahaHA! Wonder how many times we’ve all hooked and lost one o’ those lunkers/trophies/10-lbers/DDs! At least once a year….

Not sure where the shot’s from, if someone needs a tag pls lmk.


Sounds crazy but people are like shad in Australia! Check this, about a new shark warning poster:

> …advises swimmers…to avoid sandbars, river mouths and steep dropoffs where sharks could be present.

Uh…yeah! Here’s a gem:

> On Dec 9 a father of 3 was mauled while surfing near the Nambucca Breakwall where the Nambucca River runs out into the ocean. Mr. Mason had previously described himself as “shark bait” because he surfed alone early in the morning.

Calling yourself “shark bait” in shark water sounds like a death wish man. Dude pulled through…wonder if he was happy about it….

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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