Palaniuk & Combs bait deets, Baitcaster wins again, Search with a frog

Booooooooooooo — oops sorry, still booing the Giants from last night. Would take any one of a dozen college teams to be our local pro team at this point. Maybe your local high school team. Lemme know what you got….

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Today’s Top 4

Palaniuk punches out smallmouth, wins AOY.

Brandon won it man! Soon as I heard I called Marshawn at the game and he was like:

Hahaha! Ball-beast givin’ props to a bass-beast for takin’ it home…

…or sweating it out cuz looks like it would’ve been pretty much impossible for him to lose. Nor should he have lost: BP had a win, 3 other top 5s and his worst finish was a 29th (St. Clair) in this year’s Elites. But thumbs up to Jason Christie and Jake the Snake Wheeler for dang good years too.

Asked BP if his life was any different now, he said: “Nope, it’s exactly the same — I’m sitting in my camper eating a grilled cheese and some tomato soup.” The diet of a CHAM-PEEN kids!

Here’s how he caught his fish — had Zoom bring back a color for him:

> Zoom Super Fluke (purple smoke), 2/0 straight shank hook, 3/8-oz dropshot weight, Alpha Angler DSR rod, Daiwa Exist 2510 reel (ZPI handle), 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid, 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu leader.

Zoom currently doesn’t make the Super Fluke in purple smoke (but does in smoke purple?!) so:

> “That color came about because I’d been throwing purple smoke Z Drops recently, mixing it in with the green weenie color, and when I went to order some more from Zoom I asked if they could pour me some Super Flukes in purple smoke. I had some confidence in that color, and knew last year from Mille Lacs I could catch bigger fish on a minnow-style bait profile. So I was meshing 2 things I had confidence in and putting it to work.”

All the deets on Btw did you know BP hates catching smallies? B.A.S.S. cut off the vid right before he punched this one:

Shimano release boat put the smallie in concussion protocol til Trip got mad about it, but that’s a whole ‘nother story….

Real man Keith Combs wins it.

Couldn’t find Keith Combs anywhere on the Bassin’ homepage yesterday or today, but pretty sure he won a tourney on Sunday? Anyone?

Lol here’s deets on that WIN, but first of all gotta point out — Keith’s a Real Man:

Yeeeaaaaaaah boyyyyyyyyy! 2nd smallie derby in a row where dropshot/wimpy stick NOT needed to win it! Check Combs boat-flipping 5-lbers by his manly self:

Was yelling at Combs on the water, “Hey Combs, dang fairy wand ain’t needed bro!” He was like:

Hahaha love it!! Okay back to the feeshn stuff. Full where/how/what pattern deets on the rockin’ website — super-interesting — but here’s the bait info:

> 1-oz Strike King Tour Grade Football Jig (gp) with a Rage Craw (bama craw). “In practice I was using just straight green pumpkin, but I noticed that every fish was spitting up crawfish…. They had a lot of orange on them so I changed to that bama craw. I didn’t experiment much at that point — I felt pretty dialed in.”

The AOY tournament is weird…

Who won it? Palaniuk? Combs? Both? Been in the middle of pro fishing for like 20 years but confused by the AOY tournament. Maybe it’s me (probly lol) but:

> First of all, not sure why it exists other than a Toyota deal. Seems petty much impossible to lose the AOY lead in this derby, and I think this is the only fruitjar where there’s two winners?

> On the AOY side, this one was really Brandon’s to lose. I mean, Swindle won AOY last year after finishing almost dead last, and still was almost 30 points ahead of Combs in the final points. A-Mart won it in ’15 and all he had to do was catch 1 fish to do it….

> The guys fish 2 days, have 1 off, then they fish the “final round,” “playoff” or whatever sports term gits slapped on it. That’s weird to me. If it’s a hockey game like the Classic (3 “periods”), then just git ‘er done.

> Do all the guys fish on the last day? Yep…aaaaaaaaaaaand it’s the only Elite derby where that happens — right?

> There’s drama that’s #nodrama. Each day I watched the standings and points, and couldn’t figger it. Finally had to reach out to a buddy who gets it and was like, “BP was ahead by this much yesterday, and Wheeler made up X ground today but BP is still ahead of Wheeler and Christie by that much?” He ‘splained to me that the points don’t matter til the derby’s over. Then Stevie Wright and Stevie Bowman confirmed that with a helpful but also confusing and looooooong post about the possibilities.

Texted Wright and was like, “Hey man thank you — maybe I’m stupid but can you send me a dumbed-down version of that AOY post?” He sent me this:

Okay, he didn’t but…think I saw something like that written on Steve Kennedy’s rear windshield once.

Last word: The AOY derby is a cool idea but not sure it’s 100% there yet. Big props to B.A.S.S. for giving Keith a blue trophy and upping the winning $$ to 25K.

As usual, all of the above is just 1 idiot’s 2c.

…but AOY is super-important.

Check what BP said:

> “Me and Swindle talked about this some yesterday… When I was sitting there waiting to weigh in I was like numb. I didn’t really have any emotion because at that point everything in the year was over. Everything is done fishing-wise that you can do, so it’s almost like all the mental stress or whatever you want to call it is over – and was kind of a weird feeling.

> “I didn’t know what was going to happen, I wasn’t nervous, I didn’t have a lot of emotion…’til I heard Mercer say I needed 9 lbs to win. Because I knew had more than 9 lbs.

> “I got emotional, was tearing up, couldn’t talk — that’s like when everything hit me. That’s when it became real.

> “I never knew what was happening outside of what I was catching. I didn’t know the points, I didn’t know what it was going to take — I wanted that to be the moment where [the emotion] happened.”

That’s why AOY is important. Yep it shows who fished the best, had the most points, etc., but what Brandon is describing is a championship feeling. A BIG win. So it’s a big deal. So an AOY event is…good? Important? Something like that.

Asked BP if he was emotional here — he said yep but it was cuz he just got a text from Trip all ticked off that he was out there punching smallmouths (heehee):
Please NO ONE take that literally….


1. Callin’ out B.A.S.S.’s anti-Yankee prejudice.

Lookit this! Two Jersey guys in the first round of the Poke-mana Classic bracket thingy. That’s messed up man:

Like to see B.A.S.S. come up here and try that lol. Ike they can’t mess with Italians from Jersey yo!

2. Ricky Morris on BassEdge Ray-o-dee.

James River Open winner and former Elitist.

Apparently that blue worm he used was an old Riverside….

3. AZ: River trout stocking will grow Havasu bass.

AZ doin’ some Cali tactics. Love it.

4. What the repair guys do at tourneys.

Post on the boat/motor/electronics guys at the derbies. Glad to see those guys gittin’ a little media love.

5. AL: SPRO frog derby at Gville Oct 7.

Oh mama. Make sure you register by Oct 2, and make sure you learn how Dean Rojas finds his frog fish and curves a frog around cover….

Gitcha SPRO frogs on the TW before you head down there.

6. Angler #s up, hunter #s down nationwide.

> …anglers in America have increased 8% since 2011 [to 35.8 million], but the number of hunters has dropped by about 2 million to around 11.5 million, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The news is part of a survey conducted about every 5 years by the agency.

7. VT: Watch out for neurotoxins in some waters.

From bacteria. It’s all the vegetarians up there man….

8. OK: Guy catches two shotguns on a jig.

In a gun case!

9. BC: Smallies creeping up Kettle River?

Tributary of the Columbia River.

10. MB: Winnipeg Jets (hawkey) defenseman likes his bass.

Dude’s biggest catch was a 6-lber, which up there was probly 40 years old….

11. DC: Interior Secy wants more fishing/hunting on public land.

Well…stock bass! And rainbow trout, of course….

12. NE: Can oscars survive in NE’s climate?

Tropical, vicious aquarium fish.

13. New ICAST stuff at Tackle Warehouse!!

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Tip of the Day

How Dean Rojas finds frog fish.

You roll into a cove or backwater filled with pads, grass, laydowns, etc. Your drool cup is full. Now what? Do ya just start fishing? Not Dean Rojas mang! Here’s what he does to find frog fish:

Quote of the Day

I’d see fish on the graph and drop on them, but never caught a fish in the tournament on a dropshot.

– Keith Combs PREACHIN’ it mang hahaha! Word is the Mille Lacs fish were dumb as a box of hammers last year but this year were a little more selective. Combs said that plus:

> “The fish weren’t reacting to it. I think they’ve just seen it a lot.”

So since smallies are always ticked off, guessing they’re so ticked off about wiggled baits they ignore ’em. It’s like a new level of ticked off. Or something.

Also local residents had some complaints about the dropshot:

Shot of the Day

Check this coolio shot of a Lunkerhunt Prop Fish Shad. Thing look attractive to bass or what?! (Want/need….)

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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.

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