Special BB Issues

Pre-spawn cranks ‘n gitcha geared up and boat ready!

Here we go, part 2/grand finale of the BassBlaster Seuss-ish 2021 PRE-SPAWN issue! Kickin’ ‘er off with some deep fishin’ thoughts from “One fish two fish red fish blue fish:”


We see them come.

We see them go.

Some are fast.

And some are slow.

Some are high

And some are low.

Not one of them

Is like another.


Could that be true? Could we pull a bait by one fish that jumps on it, but next cast there’s others sittin’ there are like “Nah”? Dang straight it could! Which is why different baits ‘n colors ‘n stuff are NEEDED. Plus they’re pretty man…! Baits plus other sttuff you need to know right here!

Today’s Top 5
Can you crank from here to there?
Gitcha lipped crankin’ on!


1. Berkley Frittside

Is the Berkley Frittside the best crankbait ever? No, that’s like picking the best dog ever, can’t do it. Is it ONE of the best ever? Possibly (eventually), judging by:


  • How fast it caught on with the pros
  • How blown away some long-time crankers are by it
  • David Fritts designed it, and every crank he’s designed is money
  • It’s pretty much outta stock everywhere lately


If you’re late to the Frittside deal, you got some decisions to make cuz there’s now 5 sizes. Good news is it seems like the regular 5, Jr and Bigguns are the ones to get, tho David says they’re all good. David also chose colors I would never fish in a million years, which is why he’s David Fritts and I’m not even close:


> His fave color is “honey shad” [^] but if he wants a big bite he’s all about “long ranger” (L below) and “rubbertail” (R below) — “they will get a big bite,” he said.

I WOULD fish those 2. Here’s Fritts himself talkin’ ’bout ’em:

2. Rapala OG Slim

You probly already know the deal: Balsa flat-side with a thin circuit-board lip designed by Ott DeFoe and loved by pros who managed to get one off him before Rapala made it available to everyone. Dives to 6′ and real importantly has a pair of good #3 VMC 1x Strong Hybrid Trebles.


Word is Rapala’s having trouble keeping ’em in stock, wonder why…. Good vid from Ott’s Garage (the OG in the name), where Ott says he’s built balsa baits since he could fish. The action of this’n is between wider and real tight:

3. Norman Speed N

Here’s another bait that also has real-deal proof it works like:


  • At the ’20 Bassmaster Classic, Stetson Blaylock got 3rd with it and Micah Frazier got 5th.
  • Those guys said the baits pull through grass real well, and they sound good – maybe cuz they’re made of that magical butyrate plastic
  • Jason Christie just used one in his 5th-place finish at the TN River.



– Runs 4-6′, hunts, made for colder water (tighter action)

– Same size and weight as the Deep Little N, with the sweet Norman gelcoat finishes

– 1/2-oz with #4 trebles


Thinkin’ I gotta have the color Jason used (“diamond craw”) plus “ghost pepper” (^) and “lavender shad.”


Check former Bassmaster pro and now bait designer Frank Scalish talkin’ ’bout it:

4. Bill Lewis MR-6

Mark Daniels Jr is the biggest problem Bill Lewis has. But it’s a good problem. What I mean is, MDJ’s always in the ear of head man Wes Higgins sayin’, “We need this bait! We need that bait!” And I guess Wes doesn’t know how to say no?


HAHAHA! Yep this bait was developed pretty much because Mark insisted on it, and hits that Rapala DT-6 ish range which holds more ‘n a few pre-spawn bass:


> …compact body that contains an internal weight transfer system…casts like a bullet while its flattened sides and tapered tail combine to create an extreme vibration and tight wiggling action.


> …also perfectly weighted to slowly rise when paused, and produces a low pitched knocking sound….


Comes with 2 #4 Mustad Triple Grip trebles = great. Don’t know if you tend more to red with gold or bright red, so here’s “Rayburn red craw” (top) and “strawberry craw:”

5. Honorable lipped mentionables


Sooooo many but here’s a few:


– Always gotta include one of my faves, the Luhr Jensen Speed Trap…great in colder water.


Bandit 200. ‘Nuff said.


BOOYAH Flex 2 squarebill – More durable than other squarebills.


Black Label Cliff Pace Hickster Flat Balsa Crankbait – I know zero about this bait but it’s called the “Hickster” so it gets points for that, and also “excels in cold clear water conditions.” Plus Cliff is a little OCD about baits…I mean he won’t even let anyone else paint ’em!


Did you know Brandon Palaniuk designs Alpha rods? Kinda goes like this: After he gets sick of arguing with Alpha’s Jake Boomer about fractions of an inch and fiberglass resins and whatnot, they usually wrestle and Brandon usually wins because he used to be a wrestler. There’s a look at the Alpha underbelly…


Anyhow, the Rebound was THE best crankbait rod I’d ever used til cold weather made me stop using it. Can’t wait to pick it up again. I love the Alpha rods man.


Brandon and Jake are both in this vid talkin’ ’bout the rod – no wrasslin’ but worth a watch/listen:

Oh the places you’ll go…and fish a lipless!
Got 2 questions for ya:


– What color was George Washington’s white horse?

– How many rattles does the One Knocker have?



Lol, this bait is consistent $$$ – recent proof is half the top 10 at the recent Guntersville MLF Toyota Series derby fished it, almost all of ’em in “Rayburn red” (^).


2. BioSpawn RattleBot

The first hardbait from BioSpawn is a lipless. I’d call that unusual just cuz lipless cranks usually ain’t as sexy to fishermen. But this one’s different:


> …comes in 2 body styles, meant to mimic two of the most universal bass snacks, the crawfish and the baitfish.

Has those “bot”-looking cut-outs. Not sure yet what that means to the fish but it’s gotta cut the water different and sound different? Brian Latimer breaks it down:
BioSpawn recommends a M to MH moderate-action rod, a 6.1-7.3:1 gear ratio reel and 10-15 lb fluoro.


3. Lunkerhunt Reactor

New bait from Lunkerhunt, 1/2-oz, 2.5″ long, 6 colors and TW has 4 – I actually like the “shock yellow” (^) which isn’t as gold shiner-looking as you might think. Word is this bait has an ultra-tight wobble even on a slower retrieve.


Rod/reel/line is personal preference, but Lunkerhunt recommends a 7′ MH rod with a fast tip to help rip it out of weeds or yo-yo it.


The Lunkerhunt dudes usually make stuff that’s either new or not the same ‘ol so I want to fish this bait see what they’ve done this time.


4. Honorable lipless mentions


Likewise too many to mention but here’s a few:


Rat-L-Traps – Duh! Biggest color c-lection too. Gotta shout-out some new ‘Trap colors: “Gracie’s goldfish” for the spring, “young sunfish” for all the time, and “HB copper” – don’t know ’bout you but the only times I’ve seen copper kill it is in stained water. Not dirty, like stained by veggies breaking down.


Storm Arashi Vibe – A local with the nickname “Otter” won a Classic with this bait.


Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe Lipless Crankbait – Poppin’ more on the AAA and AA tourney levels.


Azuma Shaker Z just won on Gville so….


Cotton Cordell Super Spot anyone??


Strike King Red Eye Shad and 2-tap version are must-haves. Good for yo-yoing.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Yep a bunch o’ different stuff:


1. Berkley MaxScent plastics.

If I’m gonna soak a jig with a soft-plastic trailer or fish a soft-plastic sloooow in early spring in cold water, it’s gonna come in a purple package – unless they don’t make the style of bait I’m wantin’. I already have confidence in it.


PSA – Looks like MaxScent Flat Worms ain’t in stock on TW til late Apr so either make you a calendar reminder or see if you can stick ’em in your cart now? Plan ahead mang!


Other than that, the MaxScent The General stickworm is a no-brainer, and fwiw I love the MaxScent Power Chunk – even on bladed jigs . Honestly gettin’ excited just thinkin’ ’bout it.


Berkley if you’re listenin’, would love to see a MaxScent Chigger Craw…which I would not be surprised to learn has already been secretly made for one Joe R Dan Lee.


PSA #2 – Boat dawgs like to lick MaxScent so keep rigged baits away from ’em!


2. Fish Lab Bio-Shad Wake Bait

Brand new bait (not on TW yet) from a new-ish company, and it IS wake bait season either now or soon, depending on where you’re at. If you’ve never done it before, as Jacob Wheeler says in this BB vid on the BX Waking Minnow:


– 50-55 degree water, first topwater bite of the season

– Calm conditions (usually), slow and steady retrieve


The Bio-Shad comes in 4 colors, that’s ^ “shad.” Short YT vid has a look at the action (sorry could not gif it).


Experienced bass-heads be rememberin’ that sometimes wake baits are used as search baits for spawning fish or ones that are just about to move up.


3. Storm Largo Shad / VMC Hybrid Swimbait Jighead.

Jacob Wheeler uses this combo. If that’s not enough for you, some deets:


> Storm Largo Shad – Good body roll, exaggerated tail swing, durable plastic. Comes in a 3″ and 4″, and 16 colors including 6 brand new asked for by Jacob [wonder if 1 of ’em was “electric chicken”].


> VMC Hybrid Swimbait Jig(head) – A hybrid wider gap maximizes hooksets, while a hybrid bend also adds extra strength…. VMC utilizes a 60-degree jig eye to provide the perfect pulling point for sure hooksets and fish-pinning…. 5/16- to 1/2-oz.


Here’s Jacob showin’ ’em on YT:

4. 10,000 Fish Head Hunter

Interesting-lookin’ rigged swimbait with a dorsal that protects the hook from snaggin’ and:


> The magnetic hook harness system (patent pending) has the ability to swing upwards once a fish is hooked, giving the fish less leverage to throw your bait.


I have a couple of the baits – haven’t fished ’em yet but they feel soft and it looks like the tail wags pretty easily, which is good. Real curious to skip ’em around stuff. Seem heavy enough for it.


3 1/4″ size has a #1 jig hook, and the 4 1/3″ has a 2/0 jig hook. Not on TW yet, can only get ’em here for now.

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.
And that’s why the Cat in the Hat was never a bass fisherman…fishercat I mean. But I get it man. Being warm ‘n dry is always KEY for a good feeshn experience – and we gotta look good doin’ it!


1. New SIMMS CX Jacket and Bibs

AHA! Was wonderin’ what camo SIMMS jacket Gussy was wearin’ when he won the TN River Elite, and now we know – it’s the new CX stuff. Looks like from the SIMMS site it also comes in black ‘n orange. Deets:


> Men’s CX Jacket (MSRP $399.95) – Engineered to outlast the others, the CX Jacket is built so you can…keep cranking in any condition. The hood is built with high speeds and driving rain in mind, and features a 3-point adjustable hood and high front closure. The dual horizontal chest pockets are constructed with TRU Zip waterproof self-healing zippers for 100% submersible pocket protection.


> Men’s CX Bib (MSRP $399.95) – …features adjustable suspenders and a stretch back panel for comfort, belt loops for the option of securing a tool belt, and a kill switch attachment D-Ring. Designed for advanced durability, the CX Bib features articulated leg seams with a reinforced seat, as well as knee and bottom hem panels with zippered leg opening for easy on/off and additional ventilation.


Little-known factoids:


– Not made with Gore-Tex but new C-FLEX3 = waterproof, breathable AND stretches a little. Proprietary fabric for SIMMS.


– TruZip fully submersible zippers used on the 2 jacket chest pockets and left thigh pocket in the bib = waterproof pockets.


The CX is just rollin’ out now – save yer pennies!


2. BUFF yo’ bad self up for thermoregz!

I don’t leave the house without a BUFF. Got a couple in the truck to deal with the mask stuff, and in the cold weather I’m always wearing a Polar fleece (left ^) or Thermonet one (right ^).


Said before that neck warmth = overall warmth for me, but I’ve discovered that it’s more than that – BUFFs for me are THERMOREGULATION. Meaning, I’ll pull it up my neck and even onto my head for surprisingly more warmth, pull it down to cool down – I love these things.


You also get to look as cool doin’ it as Ott and his bud Biggs:

I was like, “Ott, you hear that UFO or was it silent?” He was like, “I didn’t hear a thing but I can’t remember about an hour of that day.”


Just messin’….

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! The water is waiting, So get on your way!
1. Drive you a Vexus!


5 good reasons:


  1. You’ve never done it before.
  2. You have more fun driving a bass boat than driving anything else.
  3. You’ll want to see and feel these boats firsthand to understand and appreciate ’em.
  4. The AVX aluminum-fiberglass hybrid is unique – nothing else like it.
  5. The Wood family runs the show.


Yep there’s lots of good bassin’ tubs, they’re all fun to drive/fish outta, and you might have a fave already, but why not check out a new one? Here’s the Vexus dealer list, and here’s some inspiration:

Top 2 are VX (all glass), bottom are AVX (bybrid).


2. Gitcha cylinders ready with Sea Foam!


Sea Foam has thousands of these #SeaFoamWorks stories. Real deal. Here’s one, Clint B from NC:


> “I had to break in a new Mercury 4-stroke and wanted to get it right from the start. My old boat was an ’88 Ranger and I had a lot of issues with the carburetor getting gunked-up and not running smooth. I added some Sea Foam Marine PRO to get it cleaned out and it worked wonders! So I figured it would be important to start off right with the new motor to keep things running smooth!”

You can find Sea Foam Marine PRO at TW, at Wally-Marts soon and various other places like some marinas, hardware stores and auto parts stores.


3. MotorGuide Tour Pro for ya?

Why you might consider the new MotorGuide Tour Pro:


1. Way better than the prior MotorGuide motors.


2. Either the least expensive GPS-locking troller or close to it.


3. MG says the Pro has the most accurate GPS Anchor (“Spot Lock”).


4. Only bass troller with true cable steering AND GPS Anchor.


5. 40% less effort to stow and deploy – huge for me and my back.


Also these Qs: Are you going to run just 1 sonar/troller brand? Should you? Does it make sense to? Right now the answers to those seem to be “maybe,” “I don’t know” and “probably not.”


Test ’em all out if you can, do your research and get which one speaks to you man!


4. Bassin’ tub ‘cessories.


Must-haves for me, maybe for you too:


1. YETI stuff!

The Hopper Flip Soft Cooler (don’t need more than the 12 size) and the new 46-oz Rambler Bottle. I was gonna put the 36-oz because that used to be the biggest – tho if you’re fishing in the cold that might be enough…and if you just put LiveScope on your boat you might forget to drink anyway .


Both of those deals will keep your stuff hot/cold, and they take a BEATING which is how I roll with stuff unfortunately….


The Ramblers might be too big for your boat cupholders, but if you’re like me you drop cut-off baits in those things anyway.


2. Jewel DockStix

No ropes. That’s right, with my new(ish) Vexus I have yet to use a rope on a dock cleat – I just use these. Keeps the boat steady and away from the dock, it can’t spontaneously get longer or “untie,” and for sure is a lot cleaner/drier than having ropes. Love ’em.


3. YOLOtek PowerStick


Always. Be. Recordin’. Or REGRET not always bein’ recordin’. Those are the only 2 choices we have. Else we might not be able to show off stuff like this, a 9.29-lber caught on 8-lb line in a tourney:

That’s all for the Pre-Spawn 2021 Special Issues, thanks much for readin’!
On BassBlaster.rocks right now… 


How Dustin Connell won the Eufaula Redcrest Championship


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.

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Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best and funniest (sometimes worst) stuff in bassin’, picked by me – Jay Kumar. I started BassFan.com, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!


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