RARE mud bass! Walleye bait wins Table Rock?? BFL All-American baits

Please pray for Aaron Martens and Trip Weldon. Both are battling. Don’t read anything into that, just prayer helps. Gracias!

Tentative plans are a lotta bait/tip stuff in the next BB…stay sane til then bass peeps!

Today’s Top 4
Ultra-rare dirt bass caught!
Jay Yelas landed this INCREDIBLY rare TX “dirt fish” — aka “grinnel bass,” “MS mud melon,” “hawg wallower” — at the Fork der-bay:
Believe it’s the first one ever landed in Elite competition so not sure why Jay didn’t get an award? Yet? Huge congrats from me Jay wow man!

HAHAHA that amazing or what! Looks like Jay landed it ON LAND!

A walleye-eye bait won the Table Rock ‘Yota.
Keep a real close eye on Classic qualifier and now 2x ‘2- Yota winner Cody Huff. Qualified for the Classic in the ’19 College Bracket as a Bethel Uer, and this year now won 2 significant tourneys, the latest being the Table Rock Yota — against a field of ridiculous sticks USING A WALLEYE FEESHN TECHNIQUE.

Seriously. You’d say there might be somethin’ wrong with him except…he won:

> Huff’s primary pattern was dropping a chrome blue #9 Rapala Jigging Rap on a 6′ 8″ MH Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Rod with 12-lb fluorocarbon down to fish he saw on his electronics.

His electronics huh? Check this shot — wonder what’s on that unit he’s holdin’ up:

> …for bigger largemouths sitting in 40-70′ over anywhere from 50-100′ from Indian Point down to the dam. A hop or two at most was all it took to trigger them, and oftentimes they’d pounce on it as soon as it got to them.

> “Most of the fish I caught this week were in creeks and if you could find one that had a really deep, defined ditch it was perfect.”

> Day 3: “I never found the largemouths, but when I got farther out I ended up finding some smallmouths suspended really only 10′ under the surface over 100′. The shad were up high and the smallmouths were singles, and I made long casts to them with a little swimbait….”

Here’s what a Jigging Rap looks like:

If you’re not from wally-eye country and it looks familiar, that might be because Jacob Wheeler — one of Cody’s heroes — fished one in the 2015 Hartwell Classic (got 7th) and when he won the 2017 Cherokee Elite. In fact that pic ^ is his Cherokee Jigging Raps.

Anyhow, only weird thing is that Bethel U is the “Bass Cats” and Cody runs a Nitro?

Here’s the what the top 10 fished:

Football jig = 30%Jewel, Cumberland and homemade Hibdon

Jigging Rap = 20% — Cole Breeden (7th) fished one too

Spoon = 20% — both War Eagle

Swimbait = 20%

10% each = JackHammer, Whopper Plopper, Dropshot (Roboworm), Jerkbait (Hardcore Minnow Flat 110SP), Tailspinner, Jig (Jewel), Crankbait (Bomber and Xcalibur lipless now BOOYAH). Here’s that Hardcore Minnow Flat chucked by Spencer Shuffield (3rd) — looks real nice:


1. AR’s Jason Lieblong (2nd) fished a JackHammer and a Whopper Plopper — so pretty much the exact opposite of how Cody was fishing.

2. Hibdon clan member Lawson Hibdon finished 4th. Amazing how good the Hibdons are oput there, now at least 3 generations of ’em. Too cool.

3. AR’s Aaron Hodge (7th) is like, I just need 1 rod, 1 reel and piece of metal with trebles:

4. Seems like AR’s Nicky Parsons (8th) — with a 3/8-oz War Eagle Heavy Finesse Jig and Zoom Critter Craw — is part of the bassin’ plaid club:
BFL All-American baits broken down.

Big props to MO’s Chris Macy for winnin’ the BLF AA. Huge V for victory in that deal. Here’s what he did to win the Hartwell, GA spotted bass rodeo:

> “I was targeting brushpiles. That Garmin LiveScope…was crucial — every fish I caught this week, I watched it.”

> On days 1 and 2, Macy cast his swimbait over brush in 20-30′ and wound it back, doing best on brushpiles with a group of fish over top….

> On the final day…all morning, they were kinda down in the brush, or halfway in the brush, and for the swimbait I needed those fish to get up and sit on top…in little wolf packs. Once the sun positioned those fish, I could get them to follow the bait, but I couldn’t get them to eat it. I was getting pretty frustrated, and honestly, I burned a lot of time, because I could see fish there, but I could not get any kind of reaction out of them.”

> …switching to a heavier 3/8-oz head and a slightly faster presentation…. “On the LiveScope I could see my swimbait come across the top of the brushpile, and if I could get those fish to follow it, which most of them did, I could just kill it and let it go straight to the bottom. Every one of those fish would nose down on it, and as soon as I popped that swimbait up off the bottom they would eat it every time.”

Dang LiveScope being a deal, who woulda thunk? [crying laughing] Chris fished a 2.8 Keitech Fat (TN shad or sexy shad). Secondary deal was dropshotting a 6″ Roboworm Straight (morning dawn or Ehrler’s edge).

Here’s what the whole top 10 fished — a lot of finessin’:

Swimbait = 50%

Shakey head = 40%

Dropshot = 30%

20% each = Topwater, Horny Toad, Jig

10% each = Jerkbait, Spybait, Spinnerbait, Football jig, Crankbait, A-rig, Jackall Riser Bait (not sure how to classify that deal)


1. Check what Bryan Dowdy (5th) fished along with a dropshot: a Duo Realis Spinbait Alpha 78 (ghost m shad) and a 1-oz SpotSticker Mini-Me Spinnerbait (double willow), which to me seem like wildly different baits:

2. Roger Fitzpatrick (6th) was the lone power ranger, fishin’ a 1-oz Omega Football Jig deep and an Omega Flippin’ Jig shallow with a Zoom UV Speed Craw on both:
3. MO had 4 guys in the top 10.

[Nation Champeenship baits comin’ next time….]

“Those of us who fish for fun…do not need a $50,000 fishing boat.”

– Guess the key thing in this deal is the definition of “need.” I mean, do we need pepperoni on pizza? I would say yes, but some folks not from Jersey might say no. Do we need 10 rods? Same deal.

So do we need a $50K bassin’ tub? Some of us for sure do, and lots of folks in AR, TX and need jobs building bass boats so the answer is YES — and thank you bass tub peeps!

100% of us NEED 2 units on the bow…and 1 should rhyme with “chive soap”….

1. Ed Loughran lost a DOZEN JackHammers at Fork!
Heard from him after my boo-hoo story about ONE lost HiteHammer. I was like, Did you feel like Luke when he found out who his dad was?
He didn’t answer that deal (lol!) but did say:

> I lost about a dozen at Lake Fork because of how and where I was having to cast to get bites. The docks at Fork ate them like no others I’ve fished…tons of diagonal and horizontal cross-members several feet under the water that you can’t see and that don’t play well with slow rolled JackHammers.

> Fortunately [couple Elites] loaned me a couple for the last day…lost most of those too!

…sorta. Says it can be pre-ordered on the TW. The Green Fish Badger Flip Jig is ornery and loves to fish for tarpon. Oops nope that’s Randall…lol kiddin’ man! (a little)

3. Gary Clouse says there’s FEWER fish offshore in the fall.

> …our electronic units aren’t as useful as they are at other times of the year. Sure, our electronics will find them on offshore areas if there are some schools still out there. In my experience there are less schools out offshore, and less fish in them.

4. Good Bernie Schultz post on jack plates.

I’ve got a T-H Marine Atlas on my boat and it’s already been helpful even tho I haven’t burned across shallow flats or anything.

5. FLWer Billy McDonald now running a Bass Cat.

Another pro jets from Ranger to Bass Cat. Know for a fact Kevin Short hasn’t run outta buds yet so gonna assume more are comin’.

6. Here’s FLWer James Niggemeyer’s secret fall bait (vid).

The white blades:

Won the Neely Henry Open, had been a national pro, looking to get back to it.

8. FLWer Chris McCall now guiding on Rayburn.

9. FLWer Darold Gleason is on Bass Edge Radio.

10. Good Trait Zaldain spin ‘n gear tips.

Might be the most comprehensive, solid, basic vid I’ve ever seen on the right spinning gear and how to use it — which should be to LEAVE IT IN THE ROD BOX AND ONLY BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY HAHAHA! Okay that’s just me. Good job Trait!

– I’m with her on longer leaders with a knot in the spool bein’ okay, but I am not a pro basser — AND NEVERMIND I DON”T FISH SPINNING GEAR lol. (I did rig up a spin-rod for a spinbait tho. No idea how else to cast that deal, weighs as much as a tater chip.)

– Yes, flip the bail over by hand BEFORE you start reeling. Else you’re asking for “wind knots.” Ask surf fishermen, who partly because of that fish bail-less spin-reels.

Startin’ to think Trait’s thing in bassin’ might be more media than tourneys, we’ll see….

11. B.A.S.S is jumping from ESPN to Fox next year.

Interesting. End of a loooooong relationship with ESPN that started with a guy named Jerry McKinnis. For that matter, almost all (all?) fishing TV started with him.

Wonder if this has anything to do with the tanking of Disney/ABC-owned ESPN. In a way I hate to see it, but I think if they just stick to sports they should be okay?

Also interesting is all the B.A.S.S. references to buying on amazon rather than somewhere like Bass Pro Shops. Things are a-changin’….

12. Bass U’s Justin Kimmel won the BFL AA co side.

As with all things South Jersey this sounds suspicious BUT Justin lives in GA. Always innerestin’ to see how the back-boated back boaters do it:

> …caught a couple of bank-running largemouths on a 1/4-oz Damiki Vault Blade Bait, but that most of his fish came on finesse tactics.

> “The dropshot was the most consistent thing…a 1/2-oz weight, getting down to them fast. …variety of worms including a Roboworm Straight Tail Worm, a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent D-Worm, and a Missile Baits Bomb Shot (pink belly). …also says he caught a few fish on a Megabass Vision 110+1.

Justin’s role at Bass U is keeping everyone you see outta trouble…curfews, bail ‘n such…but you didn’t hear that from me (heehee!).

13. AR: Greenlee bass aren’t fat enough.

Word! Bass are too skinny in general! National crisis!

14. FL postpones Toho veg treatment due to feedback.


> …will reschedule the treatment in the near future once staff have gathered additional public input.

15. Lurenet/Pradco quietly doing limited-run custom colors.

Called the Paint Shop. Right now the Bandit 200 in “green craw splatterback” and the Super Spook Jr in “paradise” are catching my eye:

For some SC lakes:

> High-definition Precision Contour charts include: Hartwell, Marion and Moultrie (Santee Cooper), Murray, Strom Thurmond (Clarks Hill), Wateree and Wylie.

Looks like not on TW yet….

17. Yammy offering a repower deal.

> Zero down, rates as low as 3.99% APR for up to 180 months.

18. WI: BRP retooling Sturtevant plant for ‘lectric stuff.

> …1st-year hiring projections of 200 office staff and 120 direct labor employees…BRP’s move is expected to largely negate the company’s Sturtevant job losses earlier this year.

> Project Ghost aims to provide more usable space in the deck area of boats with an unseen and integrated engine…increased deck space due to unique architecture, flexibility in layouts, open rear access, and the outboard engine being completely out of sight.

> …revolutionize the recreational and fishing pontoon industry with a “family of boats under 20′ in length.”

Sounds crazy to me but what do I know. Was talking to a guy yesterday at my daughter’s game who’s had his high-$$$ ‘lectric Audi at the dealer getting “fixed” for months. No thanks man!

19. New Humminbird Apex Series comes in 13, 16 and 19.

High-rez, guessin’ it’s for salties, might help if your glasses look like this:

Doesn’t say in the post but I gotta assume some other species of sculpin is already in there?

21. PA: Dude charged for selling snakeheads and arowanas.

Just wondering how the heck these live fish get into the US in the first place?

On right now… 

> How Patrick Walters won the Fork Elite in 3 days

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Tip of the Day

Think i’ve said this before, but exactly 1 person is responsible for any US or Canadian citizen knowing that the Jigging Rap can catch the tar outta fish in open water: Al Lindner. For decades everyone thought it was just an ice lure, but Al showed ’em otherwise. It’s slooowwwwly been percolatin’ into bassin’.

Anyhow here’s a little info from Al on how to do it. He’s walleye-eye fishing, but you can learn a lot by what he says about it, seeing how the bait looks underwater (tho you can’t see the side-to-side darting too well), and how he works the bait — not too hard:

10 colors on TW, probly shoot for the #7 size (5/8-oz).

I think I have 4 of these baits in my boat, 2 of which are in the “fish this stuff” box I have on top of my other boxes…reminds me what to fish instead of just the same ol’s. Gonna try ’em the next time out.

Quote of the Day
“…’I’m not going to the Classic until I’m fishing in it.’ I’ve been saying that since I was 18, and now I’m finally going.”

B.A.S.S. Nation Champeenship winner Pat Schlapper talkin’. How cool is that man. And it only took him 60 years!

Lol kiddin’. CONGRATS ‘n see you there man!

Shot of the Day
To me this looks risky. Maybe not as risky as a snap-turtle in a kayak risky, but still a little knutz — or maybe it’s just #FloridaLife? FLWer @tylerwoolcott shot — said it ate a 13 Fishing Trash Panda frowg just like a bass would:

“Play it pretty for Oakland.” Play it for America man, not sure it gets any better….

Ya got me!
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, 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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