Record smallie caught twice? Massive derp explosion! Boat n trailer wintering tips


Today’s Top 5

Was the IL record smallie caught 3 years ago?

Check it — first pic is Joe Capilupo with the new IL record (7-03) caught Oct 14, 2019, and below that is Stray Casts’ Ryan “Capt Crunch” Whitacre with a near-record 6.15 caught Oct 19, 2016. Unfortunately doesn’t look like there’s pics of the same side of the fish, but check that tail:

Who knows…BUT both were caught from shore, 5 miles apart:

Props to Dale Bowman at the Chicago Sun-Times for pointin’ all this out. Few more thangs from that post:

> 7-03 on a 1/5-oz Z-Man Ned Rig Jighead and Finesse TRD (CA craw), Oct 2019 from shore — and that fish tail-walked!

> 6.15 on a 3″ watermelon tube, Oct 2016 from shore.

> 6-05 on a Bomber Fat Free Shad, 2 oz short of the then record, Apr 2009 from a boat but fishing a Chicago breakwall.

> 23″ possible 8-09 (that’s right) on a dropshotted Berkley Gulp! Minnow, May 14 from shore near where the new record was caught.

So…to catch a huge smallie, fish the Chicago shoreline in the spring or fall and throw just about anything as long as it’s not live bait.

It’s derp time again!

SO many roll in, can’t run ’em all (sorry peeps). First up is an incredibly derpy story from Chuck Reynolds of Seaguar:

> Prior to BassBlaster, I wouldn’t have even photographed this fish. Now I’m wearing it like a badge of honor. [Hahaha great!]

> Caught on a green pumpkin Z-Man Ned Rig — my fave. 20-lb Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid with an 8-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro leader.

> The best part…I caught this fish, took a photo, 3 casts later I caught the same fish.

Hahaha I believe it! Okay some more:

1. Micheal B caught this outstandin’ green derp on the Verdigris River, OK with a BOOYAH Poppin’ Pad Crasher (leopard frog).

2. Stephen H dropshotted this stout brown derp outta 20′ in Lake St Francis, ON.

3. Clayton W from KS: “Caught her flipping a sapphire blue Big Bite Baits Yomama to a cedar tree in 3′ of water. Hardest-fighting bass I’ve caught in a long time. I was positive it was a big catfish or drum. Maybe that snub nose gave her more torque or something?”

4. Dustin E: “Got me a Pickwick derp.” ‘Nuff said! Grande Bass Rattlesnake (junebug).

5. Tom G “was out practicing for a derby on Oneida Lake [NY] last week and managed to catch this once in a lifetime chandelier rig derp! Cashed a check in the tournament, but this takes the cake!” Picasso School E Rig Finesse with Keitech Easy Shiners (sexy shad).

6. Cory W smacked this’n outta the Umatilla Pool of the Columbia River, WA/OR: “I finally did it! I am very proud to be able to say I caught a derp! He attacked a beat-up white squarebill crank I accidentally stole from my father-in-law. My wife asked me if this fish has been swimming into rocks.” [Lol!]

7. All Andrew S said: “Bubba Gump!” Rice Lake, ON on a black hair jig.

8. Jordan D dropshotted a Berkley Twitchtail Minnow (gp) on an Alpha Angler DSR Rod while visitin’ the Tri-Cities Wallula Pool On the Columbia.

Then this’n: Ben F had him a near double in IL: “Caught my first derp bass ever today and then 2 casts later caught another!” Snag Proof Phat Frog (papa midnight).

Last one: FLWer Ryan Salzman tryin’ to make a derp face with this Lake Hamilton, AR derp — love the #derpnation tag man!

All for now! Here’s the latest version of the BassBlaster derp sticker comin’ soon — whachoo think? ‘Bout ready to start printin’ ’em….

Couple national deals to keep your eye on.

Mentioned in a Fishing Tackle Retailer post about a sport feeshn industry sesh:

1. Excise tax dollars need to be reauthorized next year

The federal excise tax on fishing tackle kicks out about $600 mil back to the states for fish management. Safe to say it’s uber important. If there’s 1 thing you wanna weigh in on with your congress peeps it’s this.

Program’s also called “Wallop-Breaux,” after the 2 senators who originally sponsored the bill, and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. New bill just intro’d to reauthorize it.

2. Amazon is stalking us?

> For the 3rd year in a row, representatives from attended the Sportfishing Summit. Keynote speaker Peter Sheahan told a tragic tale from the grocery industry, in which multibillion-dollar grocers Costco and Kroger saw their stocks tumble when Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017. Their response? “We never saw it coming.”

> …Amazon was clueing grocers into its ambitions as early as 1999. The signs had been there for almost 2 decades…at some point Amazon is going to start taking fishing tackle very seriously.

Have heard mixed reviews about Amazon from bassin’ industry folks. To me it all sounds Walmart-ish — meaning Amazon sells a lotta stuff but at thin margins and some sketchy pricing stuff thrown in there too. But I don’t know for sure.

Personally I’m happy to pay a little higher price — if I have to? might not — so all the companies that support bassin’ stay healthy. Where I’m at right now anyhow.

Celebrate you a couple bassin’ weddin’s!

First we have Elitist Carl Jocumsen — guess he was waitin’ to win before they sealed the deal? Just kidding, great timing on that Elite win tho:

You ain’t never goin’ back Down Under now mate! #stuckhere

And here’s bass-head Allen L’s nuptials in VA — check this ceremony entry:

Love it! Can hear the banjos a-playin’ from here hahaha! Lovin’ the official pic with the bass tub behind ’em:

Gotta hand it to the ladies. My wife said N-O — with a small swear word — to any “redneckery” in our weddin’ so you guys gotcha some keepers! (Still got mine too…she’s a little more redneck now….)


Best bassin’-related sign ever?

Posted by Opens angler @brent_homan_fishing and Dave Mercer. Doesn’t look like it’s ‘shopped, but either way it’s money:


1. Big-time ‘lectronics tip from KVD.

> The first thing I do when I get to a lake being drawn down is to adjust my Humminbird LakeMaster digital mapping with a setting called “Water Level Offset.” This might be one of the most overlooked tools in digital mapping.

> …allows me to calibrate the contours to the current water levels. If the lake is down 3′, with one adjustment I can essentially pull all the contours down to reflect that 3′ drop so I am now looking at a true representation of the new water level.

> If a lake is falling hard, I’ll check the lake level each day and adjust day-to-day if I need to. I follow that by adjusting my “Shallow Water Highlight” to 5′ so that anything that is 5′ or less is in red.

> These 2 steps now give me an accurate look at the “new” lake after it has been pulled down. This is not only a tremendous advantage in finding fish during drawdown, it’s also a huge safety measure in navigating an unfamiliar, dewatered lake.

Great post, worth a full read.

2. Matt Herren’s fave squarebill options right now.

> Gizzard shad — A fat-bodied hard-thumping bait like the PH Custom Lures Mag Hunter Squarebill.
> 2-3″ normal-sized shad — This is my most often used category…PH Custom Lures Matt Herren 2.0.

3. Mark Davis doing better after Rocky Mntn Spotted Fever.

Not sure why he didn’t get Ouachita Mntn Spotted Fever? Kidding, glad he’s doing better….

His sons and their buds just got a $1K state grant for their HS feeshn team after doing a habitat project on Ouachita this summer. Assumin’ the waypoints won’t be shared widely…lol, congrats to ’em.

4. Matty Lee says versatility is overrated.

Points he makes are 100% on the $$$. BUT let’s see if he only has a couple rods on deck next year….

5. MO: Dion Hibdon will be at bass/golf deal at Ozarks.

Also MLFers James “spoon jackin'” Watson and Mike “rock crawlin'” McClelland, along with other hammers. So sharpen your sticks if you’re gonna fish it….

6. Jarrett Edwards likes his Ghost troller.

> “681 hours on my prototype Lowrance Ghost trolling motor since March. No issues and super quiet!”

7. Few nuggets from the MLF on the FLW Tour.

> The FLW Pro Circuit will retain the former FLW Tour’s traditional four-day, five-fish-limit format for the 2020 season, but will feature a Major League Fishing-style championship [not called the Cup]….

> …”if MLF had not purchased FLW, the FLW Tour would likely not have survived.”

> Polaris…formerly held an ownership stake in FLW….

Also new/expanded FLW Series deets just came out.

8. KY/TN: Kentucky Lake choked again.

First, congrats to IOWA’s Mark Myers for winnin’ the 3-day BFL Regional. Believe there’s more corn in IA than bass but somehow he can fish? Hahaha IA peeps! Anyhow, bad news was:

1st: Mark Myers, 12 bass, 31-00
2nd: Sam Caron, 8 bass, 28-00
3rd: Kerry Frey, 9 bass, 27-10
4th: Mark Flick, 10 bass, 27-02

5th: Troy Stokes, 9 bass, 24-04

No one had a limit every day. At KENTUCKY LAKE! We should all be concerned, no matter where you live. What if your lake was that way? Clear Lake? Okeechobee? Erie?? That’s how bad the Asian carp plague is man. SUPER bad.

9. FL: Seminole BLF Regional almost won on shoal bass.

Crazy ain’t it. Deal was won by NC’s Bryan New, but 2nd-place dude Randall Allen weighed 12 shoal bass from way upriver somewhere (Flint River?):

^ For a sec I thought he was wearin’ waders….

10. Blue Mountain College anglers on new Rapala college podcast.

Rudy Worley and John David Nowlin.

11. AL HSers have won 3 tourneys in a row.

Hudson Choquette and Aaron Cherry of the Headland Bass Team:

> Cherry has already received multiple college scholarship offers for his fishing expertise. Choquette, a sophomore, is starting to draw some interest from colleges as well.

Very cool! But…they’re doing so well Trip Weldon is starting to investigate…lol.

12. WY DNR hoping Renner will be a good bass lake.

Sounds like a 3-yr lake renovation there is done.

13. MN: 2020 MN Fishing Hall of Fame class named.

Couple names to call out are Steve Pennaz, who’s done too much to list in fishin’, and occasional bassin’ scribbler Tim Lesmeister. Also would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the most recognizable names in outdoor media: Babe Winkelman, who I believe was named after a mythical lumberjack.

14. How to fish the Jewel PeeWee Football Jig right now.

From the man hisself, Gayle Julian:

> On the PeeWee we use the Jewel Finesse Craw, some of the new Ned TRD Bugz and small twin-tail grubs mostly. We typically just want everything really compact so we shorten the trailers way up.

> As always, the action is more important than the color. Post-front conditions call for little to no action so the Jewel Craw works great. Bulkier twin-tails when you want to move more water and have tail action for conditions like stained water, wind, cloud cover and darker days.

> Favorite colors for clear water are rootbeer, watermelon and green pumpkin. Stained is usually smoke blue flake and black/blue.

15. How to preserve your swimbaits.

From SIMMS’s Patterson Leeth who loves him some swimbaitin’, talkin’ the SIMMS Dry Creek Gear Pouch (not yet out yet, coming soon):

> This is the perfect tackle storage solution for expensive baits that need to hold shape and form before fishing. Nothing more frustrating than baits deteriorating before they hit the water. [The Gear Pouch has] multiple colorways for color coding in boat storage.

> Great solution for the CA swimbait shore fisherman to the kayak angler that wants to keep tackle, personal items, etc dry and accessible for easy access. I’ve been keeping my everyday carry gear in it: Backup battery charger, chords, phone, headlamp, wallet…all the stuff I need for a day on the water but generally forget.

Looks like the pouch floats as well:

16. KastKing launching new reel with Indiegogo.

The Speed Demon — 10.5:1!! Anyhow, the innerestin’ part is how they’re doing it: pre-orders, referrals, a chance to fish with Brent Chapman. Indiegogo is a crowd-funding platform.

17. New Garmin Ultra lake maps.

Or “cartography products” as Garmin calls ’em:

18. FL: CDC wants help from Okeechobee fishermen.

To see if there’s any health effects from bad algae. If you look at bad algae under a microscope you see this:

Seriously. Maybe.

19. FL: Toho being dropped for habitat work.

> …will be dropping at a rate of approximately 1′ per month until the target low-water level elevation of 53′ is reached in mid-Feb. East Lake Tohopekaliga will be maintained at this stage while habitat enhancement activities are conducted including the scraping of dense plant and organic material, herbicide treatments, controlled burns, and planting of native vegetation.

20. UT: Milfoil found in Bear Lake.

Seems like the lake’s got trout so I guess the only thing left to do is stock bass?

21. SD: Zebras found in Francis Case.

22. MI: US EPA announced $10 mil in grants for Great Lakes.

For stuff includin’ keeping Asian carp out.

23. KY/TN: New Asian Carp Aid website.

No idea if legit, sounds like Farm Aid — they should have an anti-carp music festival. Serve all the partiers carp!

24. The Great Lakes are big water.

Duh, but check this shot posted: [big eyes emoji]


Couple fixes:

1. Yammy contingecy program is called PowerPAY, not PowerPLAY.

2. Brandon Palaniuk DID show the Rapala DT-6s he uses — here’s the shot we shoulda run:

On right now…

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

Cool boat n trailer maintenance tips.

In case you’re puttin’ ‘er up for the cold:

1. Here’s a real good and educational vid on how to use Sea Foam Motor Treatment (or you can use the new Sea Foam Marine PRO) to clean and lube your outboard for storage. Not a bass boat but Brian from Sea Foam (in the vid) has a bassin’ tub and is a diehard bass-head:

Here’s instructions you can print out (pdf).

2. Some cool trailer maintenance tips from — few excerpts:

> Loosen and tighten your wheel lugs annually or semiannually. This is a good safety measure to make sure the wheels are properly tightened, and it lets you “break free” any corrosive buildup so you can loosen wheels later without much trouble.

> When the lugs are off, spray the threads with a corrosion-inhibiting spray to prevent the lugs from seemingly welding themselves onto the bolt after you put them back on. Don’t forget to do the same process to your spare wheel if it’s also mounted on threaded bolts.

> Most trailer wiring systems use a trailer ball as a ground connection, and it’s prone to rust. Use a wire brush on a drill to clean both the trailer ball on your vehicle and up inside the coupler on the end of the trailer tongue to ensure a clean contact. Adding a little bit of grease on both parts afterwards is messy, but necessary, and will reduce the number of times you’ll have to repeat the process in the future.

> The trailer electrical plug that connects into your vehicle’s hitch can also give you problems, and most of the time you can blame it on poor (or blocked) connection points. If you’re not getting a solid connection, spray a few light squirts of electrical contact spray on the male and female parts and spread the liquid around with a Q-tip.

> After the lights are working again, slide a plastic sandwich bag over the trailer connection and secure it with a rubber band whenever the trailer isn’t being used. It should severely reduce the number of times you have to deal with dirty connection fittings.

Quote of the Day

“When kids at my high school talked about one day getting a bass boat and a shore house on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, I sat quietly.”

Lady talkin’ ’bout why she moved to CT from MO, and why she prefers CT — including the higher taxes and other Northeast “benefits.” All I can say is: Her high-school friends had their priorities straight and prolly still do mang! #stout

A little proof — here’s the Grand Lake record, a 12.3 caught by Billy Lemon in a tourney in March 2013 on a YUMbrella Rig with Gene Larew Sweet Swimmers (AL shad) on 1/8-oz Larew High Tide Jigheads (black). Try n catch that in CT! Believe that’s a 5-lber in his other hand….

Shot of the Day

Here’s a bass-lookin’ critter I’ve never seen before — jungle “perch” from Australia. Wild-lookin’! Like a smallmouth with measles or carp scales. Love to catch a few. Caught on a Baby Bull Shad:


“There is no one solution that is going to allow for people to be safe should they choose to enter the water.”

– Conclusion of a $50K study about great white sharks off the cost of MA. Pretty sure it shouldn’t take $50K to realize that? Reminder that’s the area near where Jaws was filmed. #irony

Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated 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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