Opens winning baits! Trip about to retire? Wheeler’s bow electronics

Like to just say a quick word to our law-enforcement folks and military: Hope you stay safe and THANK YOU for doing what you do.

Also, this issue brought to you by Van Halen’s “Up for Breakfast” — cranked over and over yeeeeeeeah buddy!

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

Today’s Top 4

“I do think in life you have your runs and mine with B.A.S.S. is close to the end.”

– Trip Weldon talkin’ about him being AWOL lately because he found out he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Whoa — I’m surprised and very bummed, but I feel like a jerk for saying that because this is about Trip not me (duh). More from his post on the Bassin’masters:

> Many know I have been contemplating retirement early next year as I will turn 65.

> Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a good cure rate. It is in God’s hands, and I put my trust in Him and the medical professionals.

Trip and I have had our professional (not personal) run-ins over the years. Kinda inevitable: pushy Yankee independent media guy vs southern B.A.S.S. boat yard gatekeeper/rule man. We each won sometimes — he might have won more times but only cuz I’m a nicer guy (hahaha!). Anyhow he knows I respect him.

You might not know he’s had one of the hardest gigs in bassin’ — even more than TD sometimes (I’d love to make a Chris Bowes joke here but won’t!). He’s also a good sport (sometimes) and a good fisherman (I hear, at certain AL lakes anyhow…lol Trip!).

Yep he’s only the 3rd TD B.A.S.S. has ever had after Harold Sharp (reminds me: Harold loved back in the day) and Dewey Kendrick.

Whether you pray or not, please pray for Trip. Prayer IS effective! Just ask him:

> I have a bunch of prayer warriors and trust me you can feel it. Somewhere in your world someone needs prayer. Be that prayer warrior.


How On Em “Matt” Robertson won the Cherokee Open.

Well first of all he had the right hat:

Then again he’s always had it, seems like, so here’s what else was going on to get Matt to his 2nd Classic by just 1-10 over TN’s Josh Roark:

> “I fished there once 15 years ago. I caught them on a marina boat dock back then, but I couldn’t even find the thing.

> “Practice was pretty brutal, only 2-3 keepers a day. On the Wed half day of practice, I idled over this hump, saw a couple fish — caught one 15-incher that had a few more with it. I think, I’ll stop sometime here throughout the day.

>”…19-25′, scattered boulders on it…on LiveScope I noticed they really liked these 3 boulders…about 30 of them there, and they really liked those 3 for some reason. You’d see a group of smallies swim through, but a few would always stay hanging around those 3 boulders….

> “I stopped there 9:00 the 1st morning, caught 3 [right away] and ended up sitting there the rest of the day.

> “[After day 1] I thought, Heck I’ll go back there the next day and sit there all day, which I did…all I got. The lake was fishing brutal…could only get 2 bites a day doing anything else.

> “[Day 3] I told myself that I give it til noon and see what I had. I had no fish at 11:45. I’d gotten some blowups on a topwater in practice, on a walking bait. I talked with my co-angler, Jon Jezerski — I’d actually fished with him [also as a co] at Rayburn. He said he’d caught some on a Sexy Dawg…Vixen-style bait. He got one from Kenta Kimura [who had] done some modifications on it.

> “At 11:45 I have that [modded] Sexy Dawg tied on, rolled into a pocket within eyesight of where I was fishing deep and caught a 3-lber. The next pocket I caught another keeper. I saw the pattern and just ran with it.

> “…creeks with 2-3 little necks…and anything different, like some little chunk rock in each arm, a boat dock, piece of wood…something a little different the fish would get on. I was running and gunning with the trolling motor on 10. I had business to take care of.

> 1/4-oz Outkast Ned Head (black), Strike King Ned Ocho (gp), Lew’s TP-1 Spinning Rod, Team Lew’s Custom Pro Spinning Reel (3000), 10-lb Strike King Tour Grade Braid (yellow) to 6-lb Strike King fluoro.

> Neko rig: Strike King KVD Finesse Worm (gp), nail weight, #2 Gamakatsu Circle Hook, same rod, reel, line.
> Strike King Sexy Dawg (chart sexy shad) modified with Ryugi Pierce trebles (“those hooks are bad to the bone) and Storm SuspenDots front/back of the front treble “to make it sit lower in the water…[fish] less apt to knock it out of the water.” 6′ 5″ topwater rod, Lew’s Custom Lite Reel (7.5), 30-lb Strike King Tour Grade Braid.


> “I thanked Jon a bunch — I honestly don’t believe I would’ve won the tournament without Jon giving me that bait. And I really gotta thank Kenta. I don’t even know him — whenever I see him I’m gonna thank him.”

Bonus Qs

1. When’s the last time you won a tourney on borrowed tackle? [He had all his tackle stolen recently.]

> “At Cherokee tackle was given to me. For the stuff on Neely Henry [where he got 2nd] I literally went to Wal-Mart and spent $50 — line, everything. My line was 700 yards for $1.88. That’s what I grew up fishing, and know whenever I go to the river I don’t need nothing fancy.

> “I had so much taken from me. I knew I had anything I needed in every situation — I didn’t have to go to any tackle store. Now whenever I go anywhere I just buy what I need. It’s a slow process to get back to where I was but I think I’ll get there.”

[Btw Matt got 2nd at Neely Henry with a spinnerbait he bought that week from Wally-Mart…on line he nought from Wal-Mart. 100% true.]

2. Do you wear the On Em hat even when you’re not on ’em or are you always on ’em?

> “I’m always On ‘Em.”

How Bird was the word at the Neely Henry Open.

Talkin’ an ultra-rare species of TX rodeo bird called the Cody:

Tourney was so tight fish were being weighed by the thousandth of an ounce! Not really but Cody won it by 1 lb over On Em, and the next 5 guys were all within 1-14 of each other. Crazy. Here’s what Cody did: he cranked shallow.

Hahaha basically that was it! He kinda even made it sound that easy. You might recollect that Cody’s a stick — was a longtime Tour pro before hangin’ up that lifestyle ‘n expense to fish the triple-A level…and now he gets to fish the Classic only a couple hours from his house:

> “I’d fished 2 PAAs there at Neely Henry and did pretty well there. This time I was wanting to catch them in the backs of creeks…lake kinda small for an event that size. People were everywhere. I found a hump on Google with a school of spots on it and a few other places I could catch them, but I knew I wasn’t gonna win on them.

> “Last [full practice] day…decided to run that river…kinda narrow. I ran up to where they were blowing the current …every current break I’d fish there was 1 on. I knew in the tournament they wouldn’t be running current in the morning….

> “The next morning I ran up there while they weren’t running current and caught 4 keepers before 11…told me I could catch some up there.

> “The first morning I was fishing new water…figured out where the drains [runs-ins] were. I’d make 2-3 casts…then take off. That first day fished the mouth [and]15-16 miles up that river. I found 1 drain and caught 4 good keepers out of it. Then I ran back down to a set of docks with a good current break…caught a 4-lber there.

> “The next day I ran straight to that drain where I caught 4 good keepers…never got a bite. I started running other run-ins, caught a spot, then caught a largemouth…kind of died up there. The water wasn’t right for squarebilling — it was too clear. But when it got a little murky from those boats running up and down it…I could catch 1-2 in that dirt. Boats running all over the place actually helped me.”

> “[He got a couple good fish] but then missed a big fish 20 minutes before we went in…stayed there the rest of the time, fishing for that 1 fish. I beat the bark off them stumps, but never could get it to bite. I went in and was leading it.

> “The next day I run up there to try to catch that fish…beat the bark off them again….nothing.”

He caught one suspended off the end of a boat ramp, then hit a bunch of drains and caught a big spot off some stumps. He ended up with a decent limit though his co-angler might have caught that big fish he’d been trying for all day.

> “…takeoff is almost in the river, and from there I probably fished 15-16 miles up. The main river’s not real wide…couple-hundred yards…has drains coming off the side…little bitty tributaries, some are 15 yards wide. I was fishing the mouths — a lot of times the spots were suspended in front of them….

> “Back home where I live can we can catch them up in the drains, but these fish were up in the corners [of the mouth]…either way [upstream or downstream]….

> “Weirdest deal of the whole thing was the most beautiful laydowns were all up and down the river, but I never got a bite off them…fished hundreds of them.”

> “I love to fish a squarebill in the fall. I have 3-4 colors I keep tied on, shads and perches. I had a chart/black back I had painted…water was way too clear for it I thought til I started catching them. The other colors I normally catch them on they didn’t bite.”

> Custom-painted vintage/discontinued Lucky Craft RC 1.5. “Takahiro said don’t ever have them painted, but I thought whatever, you know, and had ’em painted — and ruined [most of] them. The paint somehow is too heavy.”

> 6′ 9″ Castaway composite soft-tip rod (“I don’t lose as many fish on it — it was a spinnerbait rod I took an inch off it after I broke one and started noticing I wasn’t losing as many”), Abu REVO Reel (6:1), 15-lb Berkley 100% fluoro.

> “All shallow…all I was fishing was current [breaks]. …a seam or something like that…if you see 4 docks in a row, usually there’s a fish on the end, the down side of it…big old tree, fish will be 30′ behind that on a current seam….”

> “When the] water wasn’t running, they still live around there….


> “I had a brand new FXR Skeeter — I broke it in in the tournament…flawless, everything in it.”

“When I got close to those drains or stumps where I thought fish were on, I would cut ’em off — put ’em on standby. A lot of times fish come to them like a HydroWave.”

– Cody Bird talkin’ to me ’bout his ‘lectronics. Super interesting. So instead of electronics being bad in certain sitches cuz they turn bass off or make ’em skittish, maybe they can turn bass ON sometimes?

Caution…might be risky to believe a bird, especially one like this’n:


1. David Dudley has the Covid and…

…says in the YT vid ^ his bloodwork showed he also has diabetes. Dang man — maybe a blessing that the Covid visit told another story too? Not sure but David is an inspirational (to me) Christian man. Please send up some prayers for him. Get better DD! You will beat Covid!

Personal note: Every time I see the word “diabetes” I hear it as “diabeetus” in my head cuz of that dude on TV years back.

2. Cliff Pirch is winning Fork practice.

Biggest one I’ve seen yet:

3. Bassmaster AOY standings going into Fork.

Tight at the top, Doomsday now is in the lead, and Austin Felix was caught on a hidden camera sneakin’ up there like:

Lol! Top 5:

1. David Mullins — 623
2. Austin Felix — 618
3. Clark Wendlandt — 607
4. Jake Whitaker — 594
5. Kyle Welcher — 592

This might explain why Doomsday Mullins is doing so well: OCD?

Or if I see that as OCD maybe I have the opposite…?

4. Chris and Cory Johnston would rather be hunting right now.

I would too…not really….

5. WON Bass Open champ Timmy Klinger on BassEdge Radio.

The BassEdgers guys ask good fishing questions….

6. Melinda Hays won the co side of the Table Rock BFL Regional.

Melinda’s in the biz, was at Costa, then Huk. First time a gal has won a Regional, I think on either side? Congrats!

> “I knew that if I could slow down and try to do something that a lot of people weren’t going to be doing, my odds would go up…did that by throwing a Carolina Rig. Hays’ go-to bait was a candy craw-colored Strike King Game Hawg, and she dipped the tails in chartreuse die with garlic scent.

> She’s the daughter of 2 bass pros: Jimmy and Lucy Mize. Her father is a 4-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, while her mother fished the Women’s Bassmaster Tour from 2006 through 2009 and is in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

7. TX food drive named after Ethel the bass.

Ethel was the first ShareLunker. This is really great to hear coming from a state gov’t:

> “We wanted to do something for the anniversary of the day Ethel was caught. Her catch date was Nov 26 which falls on Thanksgiving this year, so we decided in the spirit of the season of giving and sharing great bass genetics, we would hold a food drive in Ethel’s name to continue the act of serving our community.”

Here she is, with the guy who caught her, Fork guide Mark Stevenson. She was 27.5″ long and 24.5″ around, supposedly caught on a jig/craw in a deep brushpile:

8. DC: President Trump signed new conservation law.

> …reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and codifies the National Fish Habitat Partnership, 2 of the most successful voluntary conservation efforts in the nation. The law also reauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Program and creates funding authorizations for other crucial conservation programs.

9. PA: Small boaters, paddlers have to wear a PFD.

Nov 1-Apr 30 it’s a requirement. Boats 16′ or less and paddlin’ craft.

10. If you need boat access near you, weigh in.

Link ^ is an online survey:

> With the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act this summer, the outdoor recreation community has an unprecedented opportunity to help identify boating access projects in need of funding.

11. YETI sagebrush green drinkware now available.

They run outta cool colors pretty fast so get on it if you dig it. I’m still bummin’ about waitin’ on chartreuse, which they ran outta pdq:

12. WI Fishing Expo canceled already.

Because of the venue — not sure if the Expo will find somewhere else to have it?

> …Madison’s Alliant Energy Center…have extended the closure of their facility until at least 4/1/21, possibly 7/1/21….

Expo was supposed to be Feb 26-28.

13. Boat shows being canceled/postponed already.

> The National Marine Manufacturers Association, representing North American recreational boat, engine, and marine accessory manufacturers…is canceling 9 shows in the 1st quarter of 2021 and planning to move forward with three shows at this time, either as currently scheduled or postponed to a later date.

14. AFTCO has gear for big specimens.

Y’all know who you are…vegetarians…hahaha! Love ya fellas!

15. AL dudes launch Black Creek Outdoors.

Apparel brand by African-American young men for everyone — love it:

> “We’re just trying to grow our brand and show that there is diversity in the outdoors. There are black people in the outdoors. There are Indian people in the outdoors. There are Hispanic people in the outdoors.”

Website not up yet but you can sign up to get notified here.

16. Never seen these before: $20 tangle-free kids poles.

Line goes through the rod:

17. TX: Richland Chambers now “infested” with zebras.

Headline of the Day

Endangered Sawfish Found Dead On Roadside in Florida Everglades

Never a good idea to try to hitch a ride, especially when you’re that low to the ground….


Heard from the one and only Ned “Rig” Kehde that folks in his area of the country been buildin’ their own versions of DockStix for some time. Here’s an In-Fish post about it.

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

Jacob Wheeler vid on his 3 bow units.

3 units, all 3 brands. Not too surprising — here’s a few quick deals I got from it:

Lowrance is mostly because he’s used it the longest and uses a complex waypoint management system with it.

Humminbird for the 360 — “it’s just more information.”

Garmin for LiveScope — “excited…just seeing fish behavior.”

– BUT said he felt like he’d rely on all that ‘lectronical stuff only for about 30% of his derbs this year…I guess including the ones that didn’t happen cuz of the China virus.

What he didn’t say but I do believe is true for him is the sheer amount of info 3 screens (with 2 split) are giving him.

His console units vid is here. Here’s a closeup of his transducer setup:


Quote of the Day

“I once had it as sashimi, and I can honestly say it tasted as good as maguro (tuna).”

Japanese person (can’t tell if a man or woman by what looks like a fake name?) talkin’ ’bout largemouth! Also said:

> “…it’s delicious and has a delicate, mild flavor.”

Don’t try that with pond bass! Or maybe any bass….

Shot of the Day

Looks like a smallie being chased by a muskie? If so would make sense that it was seen in WI. Posted by Brent B on FB:


Today this verse came to mind:

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
– Proverbs 21:31

Amen man….

Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

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