Pig melons! Pattern within pattern, Antler boat ornament? Name that species

Today’s Top 5

Heeeeeeeeere piggy pig melons comin’ at ya!


1. New KY state record largemouth.

Excerpts from here and here:

> Mark Ward went fishing after work on Good Friday, Apr 19, at 6-acre Highsplint Lake in Harlan County…he saw a nice-sized 4-pound bass in the shallows.

> “I pitched a lizard in there and the 4-lber showed interest. Then another came in and looked like a big log. The 4-lb fish triggered her to pick it up. I set the hook and it was on. Good Friday turned into a great Friday for me.”

First cast! 14 lbs 9.5 oz (26.8″ long and 22.5″ girth), caught on a 6″ lizard (junebug) and 14-lb mono.

Previous state record was a 13-10, caught outta Wood Creek Lake in 19 and 84.

2. Here’s you a $100K feesh!

That’s MO’s Tom Smith with his winnin’ $100K 7.93-lb bass at the Lake of the Ozarks Spring Big Bass Bash on Sat:

> Tom caught the fish around the 54 mile marker…using a Crock-O-Gator Swamp Bug….

Sounds like 7 and change is the magic # to win that deal:

> His 7.93-lber was the biggest one caught at the Spring Bash since Jeff Debus won in 2014 with a 7.96-lber. In 2018, John Odom III won with a 7.59-lb bass. Bob Neuman won in 2017 with a 6.95-lber. In 2016, Jesse Waters won with a 7.56-lb lunker. And in 2015, Justin Swast won with a 7.56-lber.

Post says total payouts were $250K?! Believe the same derby will be there in the fall too….

How to track swimbaits…

…if the water color’s dirty and/or you have some chop, I guess — check this pretty cool little deal:

HI-Viz Tracking Stickers, get ’em here. Guess a bonus is those colors should make the baits automatically more attractive to smallmouths….

Santee Costa baits breakdown.

Congrats to local Bradford Beavers who won it with 54-09 — just 10 fish cuz day 2 was canceled (wind). The whole field fished day 3. He used a Senko and swim-jig with a Keitech Fat around cypress trees, which is how most of the top 10 fished. Here’s how the top 10 baits broke down:

Stick worm = 60% — Senko = 50%

Worm = 30%

Swim-jig = 20%

10% each = Swimbait, Crankbait, Hair jig, Frog (BOOYAH Pad Crasher in “swamp frog”), C-rig, Spinnerbait, Buzzbait

Notice all the spinnerbaits so far this year?

In my trippin’ ’round the interwebz, weein’ way more spinnerbaits mentioned in top finishes this year than in years before. Why? Thinkin’ it’s high water.

Let’s take some recent BFL finishes fer instance — stasrtin’ with 2 on Eufaula, OK lake last weekend (Sat and Sun):

> Brett King slow-rolled a 1/2-oz BOOYAH Blade Single Colorado Spinnerbait (black/chart) with a YUM Pulse swimbait (pearl) and a 1/2-oz BOOYAH Blade Double Colorado Spinnerbait (white/blue/chart) with the same trailer.

> Justin Lille won at Eufaula, OK with 3/4- and 1-oz Nichols Pulsator Metal Flake Double Willow Spinnerbait (chart/white) with a Zoom Fat Albert Grub (chart).

Okay you’re like: Well of course that’s OK — so:

> Robert Walser won at Kerr Lake, NC with a 1/2-oz Rush Lures Spinnerbait (white, double willow) with a Zoom Split Tail Trailer (chart/silver glitter).

> One of the baits Kyle Smith used to win on Douglas Lake, TN was a 1/2-oz Dobyns D-Blade Beast Spinnerbait (chart/white) with a FoolinBass Custom Baits twin-tail (glimmer blue).

You get the picture. Lot of bladed jigs this year too, which I once again blame on Brett Hite, as well as wacky and Neko-wacky rigs.

Pop quiz: Name you these basses.

I got a 25% out of 100% — maybe you can do better:

From the Black Bass Conservation Committee. Answers, clockwise from top left…

…they’re all named Bob — what’re the chances of that! Lol okay you’ll never guess:

> pure (or mostly pure) Bartams bass, aka redeye bass
> hybrid of Bartrams and spotted bass
> smallmouth
> hybrid of Bartrams and spotted bass — “…much more Alabama [spot] than Bartrams, but note the eye crescent and slight white in the tail, showing that it is certainly not pure.”

All caught from Lake Jocassee, a highland rez in SC.


1. Check Zona and Elitist Clark Wendlandt crush ’em…

…at an undisclosed location in AR, click the pic for the full goin’s downs:

Heard Clark needed some extra love so there you go Clark!

2. Elitist Keith Combs will be peeped a lot at Fork.

Says he has a few strategies to deal with it includin’ this savage disguise:

3. Check the new Garmin maps Hank Cherry’s running.

Hope you can color them differently else I’ll be lookin’ fer huntin’ spots instead of feeshn:

4. Lookit this cypress tree Elitist Derek Hudnall found.

Asked him if he flipped it and he said he didn’t think his baits were big enough.

Kidding — OF COURSE he flipped it! #basshead

5. Scott Martin selling a 2019 Ranger 520L.

6. Jamey Caldwell rescued a family of ducks.

He was all stoked — I texted him back, “You know those aren’t real, right?” Man was he ticked…at Kevin Short….

Happened at the Bassin’ Cat owners derby on Beaver Lake. Some folks say Beaver’s not so bad, but the winners of that deal — Dan Busch and Ted Carter — had 10 for 31.86 lbs over 2 days.

7. Dude from WI won the Smith Lake, AL Open!

Congrats to Caleb Kuphall, who probly couldn’t bass-fish in WI cuz it’s iced up or ain’t legal yet so he went down south yonder and won it. Shame on you AL guys (heehee):

> …used homemade 3/8-oz jigs, one shaped for swimming and the other for flipping, and both tipped with soft-plastic crawfish trailers.

Green pumpkin was the all-around choice….

That last part’s innerestin’ cuz he went with gp even around herring/clear water for spotted bass…which makes me think ANY BAIT in gp will catch ’em ANY TIME.

8. BPT most penalized anglers so far…

…plus my reactions to ’em. Check mark = yep, not surprised:

9. I’s gonna be on Stray Casts TOMORROW evenin’.

No idea what we’re gonna talk about and I doubt Pat does either but I’m sure it’ll be a time! Tune in at 7 pm Central Wed on or Facebook @StrayCasts. Loved this graphic — Hackney’s in the passenger seat:

10. TX: Country dude singing on Sunday at the Elite.

Guy named Chris Knight, but he doesn’t look too stoked about it:

Hahaha! Someone give that guy back his ice cream cone man, dang….

11. Fork guide James Caldemeyer shows what’s up on Fork.

That’s a gizzard shad that looks bigger than that 3:16 Lures Beat glide bait:

12. MLF BPT gets Lithium Pros batteries.

Check ’em on Tackle Warehouse.

13. Zimbabwe, Namibia latest to be sanctioned by FLW.

I like this whole international deal. So what if they don’t even have bass?

Kidding about the bass part….

14. FLW announced first yak tour sponsors.

One’s Polaris, which as you might remember owns a minority interest in FLW.

15. TX: Bass Champs Cedar Creek winners had 30.76 lbs.

16. LA: MS River marsh bass population lookin’ good.

BUT if everywhere’s “private” water, so what?

17. FL: Algae bloom happenin’ on St Johns.

They’re not sure if it’s serious yet.

18. DC: Supreme Court rules TVA does not have immunity…

…in boat accident case:

> The dispute arose when Gary Thacker and his wife, Venida, sued the TVA for negligence after he and another man, Anthony Szozda, riding in a [bass] boat on the TN River were struck by a conductor while crews attempted to raise a partially submerged power line in 2013. Szozda was killed. [I believe Gary was seriously injured.]

> Thacker and his wife argued that the TVA failed to exercise reasonable care in the assembly and installation of power lines across the river. They also said it failed to exercise reasonable care in warning boaters of hazards it created.

My 2c — this next part is true and also disturbing:

> “The federal government today is involved in far more activities that used to be primarily private and plays a bigger role in various markets than ever before,” said Sisk, the Laghi Distinguished Chair in Law at the Minneapolis school. “As the federal government becomes more involved in such activities that parallel the private sector, the doors of the courthouse will open more widely as well for those who are harmed by the government’s conduct.”
Bless you bassin’ folks.

19. AL: Mayfly time so I’m thinkin’…

…the Lunkerhunt Dragonfly? 3″, not mayfly-sized but maybe cut it down?

20. WV: Dude leased a 5-acre rez and opened it to the public!How #stout is that!

21. CA: Bass being removed from Tahoe?

Maybe old news but largies are an “aquatic invasive species of most concern” and:

> “Proven methods are being used to systematically remove aquatic invasive species…. These projects contribute to improving natural lake habitats and the quality of recreation.”

Hole up — REMOVING largies IMPROVES the quality of recreation?? Usually my bud Grump’s all chill but when he heard that he was like:

22. MI: History of Heddon lures talk TOMORROW.

Dowagiac Area History Museum. See you Heddon offerin’s on the TW. Right about this time of year, lots of pros like the One Knocker Spook in “Okie shad” as a catch and search bait:

23. Gitcha a Vexus ride — Vexus Tour dates.

24. Manatees moving north from FL.

Maybe expect speed limits in NC and such?

25. NY: 3 charged with poaching 3,740 fish [!!] in Niagara River.

Dang that’s gotta be a record:

> Most of the fish survived and were returned to the river, the DEC said.

26. Ford wants to invest $500 mil in Rivian…

…the ‘lectric pickup/SUV startup. Sounds like GM missed its chance so Ford got in on it.

Pretty soon guess we’ll be able to sneak up to the ramp in our quiet vee-hickles….


Headline of the Day

Soft-plastic baits are currently effective

Are they ever not effective??


Line of the Day

“The dam is filled with vegetation structures in the form of reeds, weed, lily pads and grass….”

From a South African bassin’ article. Sounds like “dams” are what they call dammed reservoirs, but they gotta get the difference between structure and cover right…and what up with that “weed” reference??



> For some reason the link to the Jewel DockStix didn’t work. Sorry ’bout that, pls try this one. Here’s how they work (YT vid).

> Dustin L from CA won the SIMMS Challenger Insulated Rainsuit giveaway, congrats mang! Check the jacket and bibs on Tackle Warehouse….

Tip of the Day

Do you look for patterns within patterns?

First, lest you forgot, PATTERNS are way better to know than SPOTS to catch bass. But with the whole electronics deal, lots of folks either focus on spots/waypoints and/or have never even learned to find and fish patterns…which is weird.

Anyhow, here’s Elitist Bernie Schultz on the Bassin’masters tellin’ a story about Ricky “the kid” Clunn findin’ and fishin’ a pattern WITHIN a pattern, next-level stuff:

> This was in 1986, and Rick had just won the U.S. Open on Lake Mead using a spinnerbait in ultra-clear water — on a desert impoundment with virtually no cover.

> Rick found his fish holding in submerged bushes well away from the bank. It was while trying a variety of lures and presentations to coax those fish that he made his discovery — which was how to use the cover to conceal his lure throughout most of the retrieve. …a spinnerbait proved to be the most efficient….

> …the key was determining the fish’s position as it related to the bush, then plan his casts so that the spinnerbait remained unnoticeable until it reached the target. Once it became visible to the fish, he would then accelerate the retrieve — making the lure appear as though it was trying to escape. That triggered the strike.

> He explained how the fish could “feel” the lure approaching. Even though they couldn’t see it, through vibrations they sensed its presence. When the spinnerbait would appear, then streak away elusively at a high rate of speed, they would chase it down nearly every time.

> That, my friends, is a pattern within a pattern.

Seen lots of times in all kinds of stuff that most folks tend to stop at the first insight or “a-ha moment” they get. But the real juice often is goin’ past that.

Quote of the Day

“My dad didn’t fish so I didn’t really have anyone to teach me about bass fishing — so what I did was go on to YouTube and Google constantly, and research all kinds of stuff, anything I could get my hands on because I was addicted….”

TN HSer Seth Moser talkin’, who was recently named a Bassmaster HS All-American. Just in case you bassin’ biz folks somehow don’t think YouTube is ridiculously important….

‘Nother great quote from Seth:

> “…I bluff dive all the time and that little pit in your stomach that shakes a little bit right before you jump off the cliff or out of the airplane is the same feeling I get when I’m constantly waiting for a bite, waiting for one to come up and eat it.”

Love it! Congrats to him and all the other HS All-Americans, as well as all the HS kids who aren’t HS All-Americans. All good!

Shot of the Day

You’ve seen horns on pickups, so how ’bout KVD rollin’ thisaway now:

I friggin’ LOVE that look man!

Dang why does KVD look like he’s always havin’ so much FUN? Oh yeah…the whole fishin’ all the time and best bass-head ever kinda deal. Guess that could be pretty amazing….


Russian Navy is putting GoPros on beluga whales.

Great line:

> The whales were used for security work during the Sochi Olympics….

Ya got me

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