Palaniuk’s fall colors, Klein talks BPT year 1, Thrift’s brushpile electronics

Today’s Top 4

Brandon Palaniuk’s south vs north fall colors.

Talkin’ hardbaitin’:

> “To me there can be a big difference between the primary forage up north vs down south. Keep in mind like anything else in fishing, there’s a lot of grey area here as some lakes may have all forage types.

> “Fall is when this seems to be the most noticeable. The baitfish start to make their fall transitions, with the bass soon to follow or in some cases already set up and waiting. These colors are selected based on what I would consider the primary baitfish during this fall transition given the respective geographical location.

> “For the southern regions the key player is the shad…. I tend to lean towards colors with more flash, and silver or white hues with a touch of color.

> “For the northern regions, I see a lot of fish following perch as they get on outside weedlines and transitions that lead into deep water. This is where my color selection goes more towards those greenish hues, often with vertical bars to imitate those perch.”

Deets on those baits and his fishin’ rigs:

1. Storm Arashi Glide (blueback herring and green gill)
– Rod: Alpha Angler Wide Glide
– Reel: Daiwa Tatula 150 (7.1:1)
– Line: 20-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro

2. Storm Arashi Topwalker (pro blue and ayu)
– Rod: Alpha Angler Tophammer
– Reel: Daiwa Tatula Elite (7.1:1)
– Line: 40-lb Seaguar Smackdown Braid to 20-lb Seaguar Rippin Mono leader

3. Rapala Shadow Rap Deep (moss back shiner and BP’s haymaker perch — “my own Sharpie job on the color Haymaker”)

– Rod: Alpha Angler Slasher
– Reel: Daiwa Steez A (7.1:1) [Brandon pretty sure that’s my reel man, pls ship it…lol]
– Line: 10-12 lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro

4. Rapala DT-6 (not shown — blue back herring and HD live bluegill)
– Rod: Alpha Angler Rebound
– Reel: Daiwa Steez A (7.1:1)
– Line: 12-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro

Btw that Alpha Angler Wide Glide rod is brand spankin’ new, deets down below in the News section.

5-ish Qs with Gary Klein about the MLF-BPT-FLW.

Had a dozen Qs off the top of my head but limited ’em to these. In case you don’t know, pretty sure Gary’s brain — for some reason goes by the name of “Louis” (possibly) — thought up most of this MLF deal. He has a LOT more kickin’ around in his head too:

1. Honest answer: On a scale one 1-10 how did this year go for the BPT?

> “A 10. Because everything we set out to accomplish [they did]. …a groundbreaking year, a very historic year in the sport of professional angling, and for us to pull off what we pulled off without really too many bumps in the road…I was really proud of our team.

> “We had things thrown at us during the course of the season you just deal with. The biggest notable thing was stage 6 and 7 at Table Rock. When we as a league made the decision to go back to Table Rock because Grand was flooded, it was amazing the comments we received on that. …was the best decision and we rolled with it.”

[Fwiw I give ’em a 10 too. Very tough to launch something with that many moving parts on that short a timeline and have even 50% of stuff get checked off. Btw little-known fact: They couldn’t go to Bull Shoals instead of T Rock cuz they were going to film the Cup there later.]

2. What was one thing you were surprised by this year?

> “…I mingled with all of the anglers and listened to their comments. The greatest satisfaction I had is watching them all have a grin on their face. The atmosphere was totally different than in the past. Guys were…just more relaxed…I think they enjoyed themselves more. That was very rewarding for me.”

3. What’s 1 thing you’re cool sharing you’d like to see done better in 2020?

> “The viewers have to understand this is a process. …a lot of our anglers have never been exposed to this type of mega media platform. I’d like to see them take better advantage of it. …I feel very comfortable we’re all learning, and I think our anglers will get a lot better at it. This platform is provided by the league for the anglers to take advantage of.”

4. What’s the purpose of the MLF Anglers Association?

> “…the future is having an entity that is representing the anglers and taking advantage of the number of anglers that are part of the association…group insurance and other benefits that individual anglers don’t have access to on their own.”

5. Given the vision I know you have in your head for this deal, where is MLF now — 10% there? 20%?

> “Percentage-wise I really don’t know. Our vision is grand, and [the FLW] acquisition is just part of that vision — it’s not all of the vision. It’s just us doing business moving forward. This is not the end of our vision. It’s just the beginning.”

Bonus Q 1: In the short term, what will be the toughest thing about the FLW acquisition?

> “You have to remember that FLW and their management team has been engaged with our management team for quite some time. Our MLF management team has always been a family. We’re very blessed to have what we have. Same thing with the FLW family. So this acquisition transition has been very easy because we’re basically merging 2 families that have the same interests and the same goals.”

Bonus Q 2: What can you say to folks who might not be stoked about fishing the MLF format?

> “For the guys who’ve never competed in this format, I will say to them — because I have lived everything they’ve lived and probably a little more — this is the most intense form of competition I’ve ever competed under.

> “You can take any experience you’ve had in the past and multiply it by 10…just amps it up. There’s so much going on during the course of a day and the course of a week…every fish truly does count. It forces you to make cleaner decisions…and become more efficient on the water.

> “People will never be able to make a good judgment call until they’ve actually played the game. Our responsibility as we develop the format is to give everybody access to it. Once we get more people playing…I think a lot of the nay-saying will take care of itself.

> “What I appreciate about this format more than anything else is it’s pushed me to be a better angler. To have a better understanding of who I am as an angler. And to better understand how I approach a body of water under certain conditions.”

Bonus Q 3: As a guy who has fished the 5-fish format longer than most on the BPT, what was the hardest thing for you to change?

> “How I handle the fish. Catch, weigh, release and fish-handling penalties. I’ve found myself to be conditioned different when fishing 5-fish limit tournaments vs when fishing the MLF format. I’m not a high penalty angler, but when I’m at a conventional event then [fish a MLF], it’s hard to get in rhythm. You have to create a whole new system of landing fish to avoid penalties.”

5 fun Qs with Gary.

Hahaha here we go! Gary was cool with the BassBlasterin’:

1. In your opinion what animal is Boyd most like: a grizzly bear stung by a hornet, an elephant seal someone is poking with a stick, a wiener dog puppy or D all of the above?

> “Oh my gosh. I would have to say none of the above. He’s very focused — almost like he’s on a scent trail. Very positive. He doesn’t get his cage rattled and just keeps plowing forward.”

[Based on that he MAY BE a grizz, but also could be a bird dog or I guess one of those machines that picks up golf balls at the driving range? Heehee Boyd!]

2. Who will you recruit to sabotage Edwin Evers next year so the BPT is more of a fair deal?

> “Man I’d like to say Jason [Christie]. Maybe so he could have a year like Edwin. They’re close — he knows how Edwin ticks.

> “We were all very excited for Edwin, knowing what he went through [personally] this year. It was very cool to see it all come together for him.”

[I’d hate for anyone to have Jason after ’em. Even if you never saw him it’d be scary. Kinda like this:]

3. Did you hire JT Kenney and his hair to balance out Marty Stone’s shiny dome on camera or was there another reason?

> “How do I add to that…. Let’s just say that JT has a little extra that he could give to Marty. Whether Marty would accept or not I have no idea.”

[Lol! JT, think that may be a hint about needin’ a certain type of shampoo…?]

4. Is it true that all the MLF owners have to do 1 week as a butler at Johnny Morris’ mansion?

> “Does Johnny Morris have a mansion? If he does, I’ve never seen it.”

[Long silence followed…guess Gary was done…. BUT I did hear Johnny was real frustrated with his current house staff:]

5. Chicken, ribs or brisket?

> “Without a doubt ribs. Because the meat falls off the bones.”

Thought he was gonna say cuz he likes to eat with his hands? Anyhow, props to Gary — there you have it bass peeps!

Smallies hate bluegills too.

Or maybe they love ’em? Anyhow:

B. Simon found that fish on Pelican Lake, MN — oddly what looks to be out a ways, not near the shore. Anyhow:

> Several attempts were made by this bass…jumping out of the water and shaking violently. After about 20 mins of fishing, with this bass coming to the surface every so often, it finally laid on the surface completely stressed. …I removed the bluegill from its mouth and sent her back on her way.

Innerestin’ comment from the post:

> Funny you say that ’cause I was out there a couple of weeks ago and one smallmouth had a crappie in its mouth.


> Did you have to do mouth to “mouth”?

> Maybe he identifies as a largemouth?

That last one cracked me up big-time!


Guess I shouldn’t 2nd-guess the Attack of Hack but:

> “…what I do a lot of the time with a chartreuse/white spinnerbait, I use a white trailer. With a white spinnerbait, I use a chartreuse trailer. It’s a confidence deal for me, and it works.”

2. Brian Latimer is on BassEdge Radio.

3. 3 FLWers going to Elites next year.

From a BassFan post:

> John Cox, Buddy Gross, Bryan Schmitt, Wes Logan and Austin Felix all qualified for the 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series…. …Gross, Logan and Felix said…they’re headed to the Elite Series. Schmitt said he’s made his decision, but wasn’t prepared to reveal it, while Cox is holding out hope that he might be able to compete on both circuits [Elites and FLWs] next year.

4. Gerald Spohrer has a couple new color swimmyjigs.

Here’s “Rayburn red” — the Beast Coast Gerald Sporher Gorilla Swim Jig:

Doesn’t look like the new colors are on TW yet….

5. Is it me or does Bill Lowen look disgusted here?

Like: Eeeeew we have to fish with these things??

Hahaha just kiddin’ Bill!

6. IL: New state record smallmouth…

…caught from the bank! Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. Big props to Joseph Capilupo, who caught that 7-03 Mon at 10:50 pm, no word on bait. His fish — 22.25″ long, 16.5″ girth — beat the old IL record by 12 oz. That fish was caught at a strip pit in 1985.

7. WA wants to nix bass limits…to help killer whales??

> The possible management change is in response to new legislation aimed at increasing Chinook survival in hopes of helping struggling orca populations. The proposed change would remove limits statewide on waters connected to salmon.

8. AL: Academy is sponsoring the Classic.

9. NV: CA’s Nick Salvucci won the WON Bass US Open.

Lake Mead. Sounds like it was a tough deal:

> He did enough the first 2 days in posting consecutive 11-lb limits, and his more than 2.5-lb lead allowed for a margin of error seldom seen in a U.S. Open on Lake Mead. [He only had 4 fish on the last day]…and when the screen hit 9.44 lbs, he had what he needed and more.

Junk-fished with a bunch o’ baits and said:

> “The real key to this week was to keep a positive attitude and just keep my head down.”

I bet. Lots o’ pro sticks still fish that deal. Highest finishing were Brett “Jack Hammer” Hite in 6th and Cliff “I ain’t yellow” Pirch in 8th. Some dude named Kevin Short from AR apparently got lost on the way to Dardanelle but still finished a respectable 29th.

WON Bass please upgrade your website….

10. NY: New launch on Seneca River.

> …provides convenient access to the Seneca River and Onondaga Lake.

11. CT: Politicians pushing for Candlewood management plan.

Great bass lake. I’m sure it’ll work out cuz politicians fix everything….

12. Oh snap Alpha Angler has a new glidebait/swimbait stick.

Called the Wide Glide, 7′ 9″ H fast, also for A-Rigs:

> …the glass-infused carbon blank has the perfect “parabolic power” to throw 2- to 6-oz baits and keep trebles in place. Every detail critiqued, this rod will compliment any arsenal, from the swimbait enthusiast to the hardcore tournament angler.

Looks like Brandon Palaniuk is partly to blame for this development, and rumor is he an Alpha owner Jake Boomer had a couple near fistfights over the number of prototypes:

Will say again that Alpha rods to me feel like they have some sorta energy runnin’ through ’em. Think I saw a dude who looks kinda like Black Lightning workin’ there but can’t say for sure:

Black Lightning ROCKS dude! Gitcha Wide Glide here…before they sell out cuz Alpha usually does stuff in limited quantities….

13. BOOYAH Cover Spinnerbaits get distributor award.

Best new “hard lure” — get ’em at the TW.

14. What in the world is a Scam Shad.

Sounds like somethin’ a bass would get in email…. Never heard of it but apparently it’s one of the deals right now on Dardanelle, AR. Here it is — looks more squid-like than shad but:

15. ‘Rude’s the official engine of USA Bass.

No link 🙁 but there’s a Pan-American bassin’ derby happenin’ right now, I believe.

16. MN: Zebras now in 10 lakes.

17. VT: Zebras found in Lake Dunmore.

Shoulda dunmore to keep ’em out I guess….

18. IL: Dude’s guiding guys to arrow Asian carp in the air.Love it. Wanna do it!

19. DC: Administration wants to promote outdoor pursuits…

…to revitalize rural economies. Hope so!

What you missed in this week’s DeerBlaster yo!

See it here, click here to sign up:

Tip of the Day

How Bryan Thrift used his ‘lectronics in the FLW Cup.

Which he won, at Lake Hamilton, AR, fishing brush like everyone else. here’s how he did with his Humminbird 360 — fascinatin’. Excerpts:

> “…I could see exactly what I was throwing at. I was fishing brushpiles, so I’d pull up on a waypoint and immediately see the pile [on 360] and know exactly where to cast. Without 360, it might take me 4 or 5 casts to hit my target. Instead, I’d make the perfect cast, on my first cast, every time. And that made every stop quicker and more productive and allowed me to catch more fish.

> “I had 1 key spot where there were 3 brushpiles…. Because the Humminbird 360 Imaging was always updating, regardless of where I pointed my trolling motor, I could see all 3 at the same time and watch how the bait was set up on them.

> “Once I saw a pile of bait move onto a brushpile, I would make a cast to that target based on the direction and distance of that brushpile shown on the 360. This allowed me to capitalize on the spot because the bait would fire up the fish that were hanging on that spot and my casts would land right in front of those fish. Doing this, I could catch 3 or 4 quality fish real quick.”

How crazy is that? Maybe you 360 users are used to it, but that level of efficiency and catchin’ ’em quick is pretty durn amazing.

Quote of the Day

“The younger generation is a lot more concerned with looking cool and having sponsors and stuff.”

– That’s Elite rookie Mike Huff talkin’ again and he’s dead on! I blame guys like Brandon Palaniuk — okay almost all the pros — for lookin’ so cool and havin’ sponsors for everything. I mean, Gerald Swindle has a TP sponsor hahaha! Anyhow, what Mike said about it:

> “Put all the sponsors, and all of that stuff to the side. Just dedicate yourself to fishing and catching fish, and the sponsor stuff will come later.”

100% agree. If you’re a tourney dude, then fish hard and WIN. If you’re a social media dude, learn from guys who are good at it — you know who they are.

Shot of the Day

Alton Jones Jr posted this’n — love the shot, not just cuz it’s a dad and his son, but lookit that kid’s smile and lookit that bass’s belly!


Dude hires a clown for gettin’ fired.

He’s told by his bosses he’s about to get fired, they tell him he can bring an emotional support person (for real??) — so he hires a clown and brings him along:

> The clown mimed crying as Jack’s employers slid the…paperwork across the table, and created a balloon unicorn and poodle to lighten the mood.

> “It was sort of noisy, him making balloon animals, so we did have to tell him to be quiet from time to time.”

HAHAHA how great is that!

Ya got me
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