Patrick Walters Fork deets, Greg Hackney’s fave casting jig, Ray Scott update!

Today’s Top 4
Little ‘lection bassin’ stuff.
Anyone inclined to get tweaked, please do not — tapolitical and is about BASSIN’ fun:

1. President Trump swimbait!

From @calcoastfishing’s Insta:

> Erik Martinez and I are proud to show you a sneak peak of the “large mouth boss.” We’ve done a lot of swim testing and we’ve finally found the guy to help refine the bait and add the details you don’t get to see yet. The boss will come in at 6.5” when completed, due early 2021. Three color patterns will be available and it will be a hand-poured bait. Side note his hair flips back when you swim him.

Lol! I think outdoorsman Donald Trump Jr would be cool with it…he seems to have a sense of humor.

2. Did smallies vote in MI?

HAHAHA maybe? Actually that’s bass-head Andy N somewhere in MN….

3. Is this the clam before the storm?

Yep, those are soft-plastics…@yunique baits posted….
Why smallmouths shouldn’t smoke.
Bass-head Gary D caught this one loitering outside a gas station on the upper Allegheny River, PA:
On the other hand, maybe that fish is 18? Maybe fish years are like dog years? I don’t know man, either way the whole smokin’ deal seems dumb for a critter with exposed lungs…?
5 Qs with AOY Clark Wendlandt.

Was this the skinniest winnin’ margin in Bassmaster Angler of the Year history? Maybe: Just 3 POINTS between winner Clark Wendlandt and runner-up Doomsday “David” Mullins! Crazy nail-chewin’ stuff. (B.A.S.S. unfortunately doesn’t have much of an AOY archive but does.)

Whatever the margin is, there’s only 1 winner and this year’s it’s Clark. Here’s 5 with him:

1. Did you ever have a thought that you were gonna go out this year and win AOY?

> “Every year I want to win AOY. Really it was the 3rd tournament this year, at the St Lawrence River, that I really started realizing I had a real good chance.

> “I think every angler that fishes, if you could ask him what his biggest goal of the year is and he was really honest with you, he’d say, ‘I’d like to win AOY this year.’ I don’t care which circuit it is. Bassmaster AOY is the best one to win so I’m glad I won.”

2. What things did you do to try to sabotage Mullins in the last tourney? Did you call him in the middle of the night or unplug his batteries or anything?

> “David and I actually talked a lot…we have some of the same passions for hunting. We sat there actually before we went out on day 2 [at Fork], right before we went out, and didn’t talk fishing….

> “I didn’t sabotage him in any way.”

[Pretty sure Clark has a sense of humor, but it was on vacation in our convo lol. But seriously, Clark is serious about doing things right and fairly so that’s what you’re seeing.]

3. Did you ever have a feeling you would win it or were you uncertain right til the end?

> “I thought I had a really good chance to win it. But certainty never came in until I got to the weigh-in on the last day and they told me, ‘Yeah you won,’ that I had enough.

> “…thought all along that if I kept fishing really well, I felt like I had a good chance.”

4. You won FLW AOY 3 times. Were they easier or harder than this’n?

> “There’s different things about them — the points are different. [FLW had a] 175- or 200-point basis, so you could gain a lot more points easier. But all of them came down to the last tournament, the last day, every time.

> “Last time I won, Luke Clausen and I both made the top 10 and we were just a few points apart so I knew I had to beat him. Right before that, Rick Clunn and I were close together, he won and I [made the top 10] — we both had the pressure that we had to do well.”

5. Is it true that after you won this deal Johnny Morris put your picture on his wall and moved Evers’ and VanDam’s to the hallway?

> “Absolutely not. That’s ridiculous. I mean absolutely not.”

[HAHAHA! He sounds mad there, but he wasn’t. Probly just frustrated…with me..!]

Bonus Q: What role did God have in this win for you?

> “He had had a great deal…. My faith has been strong for a long time. What God did for me this year is He just gave me that calming feeling.

> “…there is a lot of anxiety in tournament fishing [and AOY] is the award everyone wants to win. So there is a lot of pressure on you. When you start feeling that ratcheted-up pressure, God is the place I turn. He’s the one I look to, and He’s the one who gets me through it.”

One more deal:

> “This win has…been amazing in the amount of response I’ve gotten industry-wise. I’ve been pretty taken aback by the amount of response I’ve had. It makes me feel real humble about it. It’s been pretty cool.”

Little reminder that Clark had a heart attack in 2014 when he was practicing for an Open. Super cool to see him come back from that.

When it might be too cold to fish?
@rapalausa shot. Looks like it’s not a bass boat which might ‘splain things….

Sounds like he sank into a pond INSIDE a Bobcat. So glad you got out man! Dang scary.

2. David Dudley is doing better.

Covid + asthma + diabetes. Yikes. Oops forgot the most important + >> God!

Hope anyone else dealing with it is doing okay.

3. Buddy Gross spent a day on Ray Bob.

Site of the upcoming Classic:

> “I never pulled a rod out,. I just idled around and looked. It’s going to be dangerous. There’s timber all over the lake and it’s not marked. I’ll probably pick out an area and just live in it.”

4. Here’s what Seth Feider won a Tundra with.

Got the beeg feesh at Fork:

> “Shallow flat point with stumps, fish in 4.5′.”

Was fishing a 3.5″ YUM Pulse swimbait — on Chickamauga.

6. Zack Birge was fishing a bluegill lipless (vid).

Might seem like an odd choice now but that was the bait he saw being chased and then he started ketchin’ ’em so…. Believe that’s the Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe in “ghost bluegill:”

7. Check a couple Ned-riggin’ tips with Chris Zaldaingerous (vid).

He likes 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid to 8-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro.

I’m lookin’ forward to trying that new smaller-diameter Seaguar Gold Label fluoro — hope to have it when the water T gets cooooold….

8. Great Gussy “Jeff” Gustafson bag line post.

What most folks don’t see, just shoutin’ out a couple:

> On Gerald Swindle: “…it was pretty much a 10-minute comedy show. He’s exactly the same behind the stage as he is when he gets up there with Mercer.” [100% true.]

> “Clunn loves to talk fishing and is always willing to share his thoughts on different situations.” [Beginning to think Rick treats us media dudes different…or just me lol. He knows I love him.]

Just realize that all these guys are great — when they’re OFF the water. On the water it’s usually way different…as it should be.

9. I think I missed that Jeff Kriet is running a Caymas now.

Was Triton for I believe 20+ years.

Seems to me like a buncha pros have been getting out of Ranger and Triton, not sure why….

10. Scott Suggs says he used to be a terrible shallow fisherman.

Isn’t Suggs from AR?? If so, might be an actual violation of a century-old state statute requirin’ all AR bass fishermen to be shallow-water hammers. Dang Scotty what up??

Next thing we know bears’ll start using nunchucks:

Oh snap.

11. Michael Neal likes a critter bait on a swinghead…

…when he absolutely needs a bite:

> “My favorite time to use it is around rocks with a 1/2-oz swinghead. Those fish really mistake it for a crawfish around rocks.”

His fave is a Big Bitin’ Baitin’ Fightin’ Frowg.

12. Matt Herren needs a rotator repair.

Get better brother!

13. Stray Casts show tiddybits.

Been binge-listenin’/watchin’ — kinda like the BB, zaniness and a LOT of good fishing info. Paddy O’Renwick knows his bassin’ info ‘n tackle ‘n such:

Aaron Martens likes red…but says he’s color-blind?? So my question is: How the heck are his colors — like Aaron’s magic — so good then? Is being color-blind an ADVANTAGE??

The “orn’ry” episode — Brauer, Hackney, Christie — proves a) fishing shallow pays, b) how much respect Jason and Greg have for Denny, c) sometimes we don’t see the good stuff like:

> Greg: “Biffle would try to run you outta places by telling you to leave, but Denny would just give you that look….”

On Em Robertson decided to fish differently, had a dream that he won Neely Henry, then went out and won Cherokee. Didn’t know about the dream, amazing. He also has his own word for “mojo,” which is “wojo.”

14. NC: Norman will have world’s biggest Santa bass tourney.

Ugly Stik and Fishers of Men behind it, can’t wait for the pics:

> The Ugly Stik World’s Largest Santa Claus Bass Tournament, set to take place Saturday, Dec 12 on NC’s Lake Norman, will give anglers the opportunity to set a world record for the largest bass tournament comprised of anglers competing in Santa Claus costumes. The event, which will benefit Toys for Tots, will see hundreds of bass anglers competing for big payouts and prizes….

Kinda hope everyone has to say ho-ho-ho every hour or whatever….

15. ABA launching new solo trails in Feb, 150 boats.

16. New CatchCo 10% discount for vets/1st respondersurses.

Love to see this kinda thing. #stout

17. New Vexus model: AVX181.

18′ 1″, 60-75 hp, 8′ rod box, 94″ beam, starts at $23,399:

Kinda a stronger version of chart/black back — the CatchCo Bubonic Squarebill in “x-ray yellow:”

Check it — light color but dark markings, not washed out:

That’s @empfishing on the @alphaanglerfishing ‘gram. Not sure what jerkbait that is (lol) but he’s got the Alpha Angler Slasher jerkin’-bait rod.

22. Bucket-list fish for me — you?

Phat Cali spot — and apparently balding guys can catch ’em too, even from the shore:

23. Revive your jonny boat motor.

Sea Foam has a TON o’ customer testimonials like this’n:

> Travis R in SC’s #SeaFoamWorks story: “I own an 8-hp 1998 Mercury that I run on a small jonboat. Sea Foam Marine PRO has totally turned this engine from an anchor into an engine that runs like it was just purchased! It used to burn tons of fuel and smoke like a freight train – when you could get it started. Now it starts on the 1st or 2nd pull, idles great, no more smoke, and has definitely increased the power on the top end! I love this product and will continue to use it in all my marine applications. Thanks Sea Foam!!!”


1. Plug knockers — Was reminded that if I had a plug knocker — like the Jewel Hound Dog — I coulda saved myself the $$ and the pain losin’ that JackHammer. Dang — head-slapped myself. Shame on me fo sho. Gettin’ one!

Btw Jewel has new hoodies. I might get the purple one?

2. Tough lakes recommendations — Thanks for the suggestions — seems like most folks fish lakes that are better than the one near my house lol. Anyhow, a small tube might be the deal AND it struck me that I haven’t tried a spin/spybait yet…like this’n, the Berkley Spy, co-designed by Josh Bertrand, his chin fuzz and I’m sure the group of mad scientists Berkley has underground in IA somewhere:

3. BUFF Filter Tubes — Can’t tell for sure if the Covid is coming back or what, but if it is where you live or think it is and you want a mask that might actually do something (I am not a Dr!), check these out — a BUFF with a replaceable filter.

4. Pork — Got some leads sent in, haven’t had time to check ’em out yet. Also heard not to write off Uncle Josh just yet….

On right now… 

> How Patrick Walters won the Fork Elite in 3 days

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

Casey fishes things and ways some of us might not — and catches ’em. That’s stuck with me over the years. Here’s a few excerpts from an older Bassin’masters post on late fall into winter baits:

> …no matter where you go in the country, [fish] like to get on flats out in the middle on isolated cover like stumps, brushpiles, grass clumps.

> Whatever the lake has, the fish will be on a flat with a ditch running through it. That’s where the bait goes because running water coming into the backs of the creeks brings oxygen and that’s what the bait’s looking for.

> I like a shad pattern [lipless crank], white or chrome, and I like to match my bait size to the depth and the size of local baitfish.

> Spinnerbait: I use this in a similar application as the lipless bait…. When the fish are schooling on a flat, a lipless bait will get under them, but I can keep that spinnerbait up in the water column.

> Fish love to feed up in the fall, but they may not want a topwater. With a 3/8- to a 1/2-oz…you can keep that that spinnerbait high and you can even wake it….

> I love a double-willowleaf spinnerbait, but in the fall I always seem to do best with a #3 CO blade on the front and a #4.5 willowleaf on the back. I call that combination “bread and butter.” …90% of the time, I go with a silver CO blade and a gold willowleaf. 

> Flat-sided crankbait: This is actually what I’d call a wintertime bait, something that will run 6-7′ deep with a tight wobble. I’ll use this…when the water temperature gets down into the 50s.

> The fish are still keying on bait and they’ll suspend a lot in 5-8′.

Quote of the Day
“I saw many co-anglers complain about bad draws over the years…but the fact of the matter is your mind dictates so much of your experience.”

Elitist Destin MeMarion talkin’ some deep stuff on the Bassin’masters. Full quote:

> I saw many co-anglers complain about bad draws over the years, and I really tried to adopt the mindset that there was not such a thing. That may seem a bit warped, but the fact of the matter is your mind dictates so much of your experience.

> People love to complain all the time about other people, circumstances and variables outside our control — I’m no better as there have been times in my life that I’ve fallen into this trap too. But, every time you go fishing, regardless of the outcome, if you catch 20 lbs or zero, the way you react ultimately dictates what kind of experience it is or was.

Deep dude!

Shot of the Day
Little meme — not all flshin’ shops are the same man lol! From an @simmsfishing shot — I love dogs…I mean dowgs:
Gasquatch spotted in southeastern OK. They’re gettin’ bigger all the time man….
Ya got me!
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