Rojas talks 15 years of Bronzeye frogs, How to sneak up on giants, New handle material?

Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs,” talkin’:

> “There’s something tricky with the language going on here because with regard to an economy, I don’t think there’s any such thing as a non-essential worker. This is basically a quilt…and if you start pulling on jobs and tugging on careers over here and over there, the whole thing will bunch up in a weird way.”

Amen to that. While I’m 100% grateful the folks out working, I 100% believe everyone needs to work! Which according to God is what we’re made to do…so when you see anyone who promotes the opposite of that, guess what side’s behind it. Seriously! Think about it….


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Today’s Top 5

4 Qs with Dean Rojas about the SPRO Bronzeye frog’s 15th.

It’s the 15-yr anniversary of arguably the first “modern” frog — the SPRO Bronzeye 65 — and the start of the topwater frowg craze. So a good reason to call Dean about it:

1. How did the whole Bronzeye Frog thing start?

> The 2004 Classic at Wylie [Dean led going into the last day and finished 4th] is when I showed everybody what I was doing [with the frog], but I’d already been doing that for 2.5 yrs on tour — sporadically. In 2004 there was a lot of hype in bass fishing…ESPN purchasing B.A.S.S. and the outdoor block [on ESPN Saturday] mornings. So we had a tremendous amount of exposure at that time, so the timing was really good to introduce a bait — it really just had to be refreshed, like a 2.0 frog — and technique.

> The economy was good, things were rolling — everything was positive at that time. At the Classic…that night I got approached by Sumo [the frog he was throwing at that time]. It was the best one on the market at that time, but I knew I could make it better. That’s when SPRO came around….

> It was a 15-month project — they said they just wanted me to build the best frog on the market. They already had the [Gamakatsu] double 4/0 superline hook, which intriguged me [believe Gamakatsu owns SPRO]. We desiged the bait around the hook…previous [companies] had a lot of baits made and [then] would attach a hook to them.

> [The SPRO frog] was specifically designed to collapse and get out of the way of the hook points, disputing the myth that frogs were a low hookup ratio bait. I wanted to change that.

> I’m not claiming to be the main frogger because I wasn’t…were a lot of great froggers before me. I just feel like I changed the technique, stuff like skipping it and wrapping it around trees. [Here’s me and Dean on the boat doing that — I mean, HE is doing it, I’m being an idiot…]

> From drawing it on a piece of paper to actually having samples at the ICAST show and winning the Best Soft Bait category and Best of Show, that was huge for us and started the whole thing. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years. It seems like it happened yesterday.

2. Has the Bronzeye changed over the years?

> No, we’ve kept that same design. [That’s pretty amazing.] We’ve adjusted to different models and different sizes.

> We build them for the masses because we don’t want people to have a negative experience with it…. You could make alterations to it to increase the hookup ratio even more, but you may get hung up more or grab some grass with it….

> But that’s the beauty of the bait — you can alter it, color it, alter the legs…. Have fun with the bait — everything’s visual, the blowups are explosive, and it’s probably the most favorite way to catch a bass, on topwater.

3. Do you in any way feel responsible for all the money bass fishermen have spent on frogs over the years and how many have ended up waterlogged? (heehee!)

> No I don’t because usually when they sink it’s because they’ve already caught 15-20 bass on it and it’s already worn out!

4. SPRO frogs have like a zillion colors. Why have we not seen any named after Star Wars characters?

> That’s a great question man. I’ll have to come up with one. Let me ask you — what would be a good one, Jabba the Hutt? It could be Ewok, we could do a probe droid, we could do Salacious Crumb, a Gamorrean from Return of the Jedi — I could go on and on man, I love my Star Wars.

Hahaha we’ll be a-lookin’ fer it Dean! SPRO does have this anniversary t-shirt which does reference it:

Dean says he was responsible for that — that T first came out when the Bronzeye was launched. And btw, that’s the Darth Vader-like “midnight walker” color, Dean said — black with red eyes.

Here’s Dean and his son Austin heading out to do a little froggin’ in a local derby:

How to get around “motorized boat” restrictions?

@zhoward7 hit me on the Insta with this:

Yep a dock with a trolling motor on it — genius! That’s in TX, which doesn’t have the restrictions, but there’s an idea for ya anyhow.

“New” rod handle material?

Ever heard of Syncork?

Apparently developed in 2005 by Gregg Thorne — who I think is one of the Thorne brothers of Thorne Bros tackle in MN? — but don’t think I’ve ever seen it:

> …made in the USA, is synthetic-based duplication of natural cork. It’s lighter in physical weight, extremely sensitive and durable enough to last many lifetimes.

> …cannot absorb water, dry out or rot, and is resistant to UV rays and other chemicals and products commonly used in fishing situations. It also provides a far superior grip — especially when your hands are wet from rain, cold from frigid temps or slick with fish slime….

Whole cork deal is reminding me of this “alternate map” of Ireland:

My mom’s from Cork, tough ol’ Irish gal…speakin’ of which it’s my wife’s birthday today — HAHAHA! Thank the Lord she doesn’t read the Blaster….

Do you backpedal or reel down?

This quote (from — can’t link it) — got me thinkin’:

> First, he starts backpedaling across the front deck of the boat. Then he unleashes a ferocious hookset that sometimes launches even a 3-lb bass airborne.

Gotta say I’m more of a reel-downer than a backpedaler, which to me is like:

Not even sure my feet can actually move when I feel that thump. On POINT, you know?

Caught one with a Power-Pole??

How does this happen??

@albassguide_memelord lil vid showin’ it here. Said it was a floater that happened to get caught, still crazy-lookin’….


1. LA: We lost a 19-yr-old bassin’ brother.

Single-car accident, sounds like — Wesley Rollo:

> A 19-year-old Natchitoches man who survived childhood cancer and went on to become a tournament bass fishing champion….

> He was one of 12 high school students across the country selected for the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team in April 2019, his senior year at Natchitoches Central High School. A month later, Rollo was awarded the 2-year $20,000 Dylan Kyle Poche Memorial Scholarship to Northwestern State University.

So incredibly tough. Please pray for his folks, family and friends.

2. Keith Combs says this about the Elite schedule.

> “…they intend to finish the season and fish into the fall. If we don’t go to the Sabine, they are saying here is what the schedule looks like. If we don’t go to Fork, here is when it will be….”

Normally I’d bust on the Sabine, but honestly just want to see the guys fish, even there…. What Keith didn’t say is that the later the Elites go, the more deep-crankin’ might play so he’s like:

3. The Johnston bros started a YouTube channel.

Just 3 vids so far but ya gotta start somewhere eh?

4. Jay Yelas talks why he left B.A.S.S. originally.

Was a crazy tough decision for him and everyone else at the time:

> “I left in 2006 and went to FLW. The reason was I didn’t like the way ESPN was changing the culture of bass fishing by owning Bassmaster. They tried to make it into a TV spectacle. They wanted it to be the next NASCAR.

> “Fishing is just fishing. That is what it is. You are not going to turn it into NASCAR. It is a sport for fishermen, followed by fishermen.”

100% agree with that….

5. What Freddy Boom Boom would look like with a ponytail mullet.

Would look soooooo $$$ — who knew:

6. Watch Elitist Jake Whitaker sight-fish a 7-lber.

Believe that bass is bigger than every bass in the states of NJ, RI, MA and CT combined. But…I’m not sad…nope….

7. Cool donnie barone piece about Steve Donis.

Illustrator for B.A.S.S. Times and I think other stuff. His fam dealt with the Covid, glad all are okay.

If you ever wanted to be a writer or thought you were a good one, read that. That’s how you do it.

8. MD lifted motorized boating ban.

Good! Meanwhile here in NJ our gov’nor locked us all down for another MONTH — after saying he wouldn’t if he saw 14 days of decline and we’ve seen 21 days of decline…and folks are hurting financially big-time. Hope your gov’nors are doing better.

9. AL: Eufaula charity derby on for May 23.


10. TX: Falcon Lake levels crazy low.

> Water levels…have steadily declined over the last year, dropping by 20% since May 2019. As of Wed, water conservation storage was 25.9% of the reservoir’s conservation capacity….

11. FL: Environmental groups want less water in Okeechobee.

So sugar farmers can’t have it, which then allegedly causes pollution downstream from the Big O.

12. FL: Work just started on a new reservoir?

I think that’s what it’s saying:

> Site work has begun on the $1.8 billion Everglades Agricultural Association reservoir project’s 6,500-acre stormwater treatment area, a “critical milestone” in Florida’s plan to restore Everglades water quality and quell toxic algae blooms.

> The EAA reservoir is among a suite of Everglades restoration projects approved by state lawmakers in 2017, including three additional above-ground reservoirs. The federal America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 requires the 10,000-acre EAA reservoir’s $1.8 billion cost be split between the state and federal government over 10 years.

In FL, if you put a tub of water in your yard at 6 pm it’ll have bass in it the next morning so….

13. AL: Guntersville State Park is packed.

Good to hear and not surprised!

14. OK DNR will suffer with less donations from groups…

…like Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, etc. Wonder if that’s true of other/all DNRs.

Can’t link it — at

15. WI: Is this study nutty or is it me.

Scientists decided to test whether bass catch rates can remain high — when ONLY fishing up shallow — when the number of bass in a lake is lowered. I’m sure you, just like me, would have a ton of questions about the lake, the forage, how they fished, water temp, etc., but here’s what they concluded:

> “It’s important for anglers to understand that what comes out of the water is not always representative of what lies beneath the surface. Even if the fish are biting, this doesn’t mean there are many of them. Anglers, fisheries managers and other stakeholders must work together to advocate for better monitoring and sensible limits on effort if we want to sustain good fishing opportunities now and in the future.”

WTHeck??? Uh…no. Gonna say it’s 100% that fishermen never even touch the majority of bass in a system. And what about electronics?? Also check this:

> “This study highlights the fact that good fishers will find fish, even when fish populations are low. We’ve seen this in Gulf of Maine cod fisheries and many others, supporting the conclusion that catch rates are not good indicators of underlying fish population numbers.”

Not only does this not make sense (catch rates ARE good indicators and sometimes low catch rates don’t mean Jack — muddy, cold water anyone?), how can bass fishing in a WI lake be in any way applied Gulf of Maine cod fishing??

Sometimes these people really make me wonder man…. #toomucheducation

16. DC: Senate committee bill proposes $$ to fight Asian carp.

Lock and dam infrastructure bill:

> An Asian Carp pilot program to address and prevent infestation of this invasive fish in the Great Lakes area would be authorized at $35 million, as well as a comprehensive study of the Lower Mississippi River System.

17. FL: Mussels being reintroed to Trafford to help water clarity.

Gitcha green-pumpkins ready.

18. 12 new Bassmaster HS All-Americans.

Huge props n congrats!

19. PA HSer gets bassin’ scholly to Bethel U.

Love it!

20. Lowrance has new C-MAP Contour+ maps.

> …feature high-res bathymetric 1′ contours, fishing points of interest (POIs), standard navigation data and updated custom depth shading. In an improvement over previous preloaded C-MAP charts, the new cartography includes a more consistent presentation of data through all zoom levels, improved icons for POIs on land and water — such as improved boat ramps and gas stations — as well as building foundations, submerged roadbeds and channel lines, which are redrawn in a new color for greater visibility.

> …include expanded coverage on 10,000 U.S. lakes and 8,900 lakes with 1-foot contours – more than twice the number included in the previous C-MAP US Enhanced embedded chart.

> Current HDS LIVE owners, as well as those who may purchase (or who have purchased) an HDS display without preloaded Contour+ mapping between Apr 1, 2020 and Aug 1, 2020, can learn how to claim a free Contour+ map card here. For HDS LIVE owners who purchased their displays before Apr 1, 2020, the C-MAP Contour+ map card is available for a nominal fee of $35…available to purchase here.

21. Could this be what outboards will look like?

If so, might have to dress ’em up a little and add some growl:

I’m not (yet?) in the ‘lectric vehicle/outboard camp. To me it’s like meatless McDonald’s burgers — why??

On right now…
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Tip of the Day

Go stealth mode for catchin’ the REALLY bigs.

From John Liechty, a norCal guide who’s caught some teens — on the Bassin’masters:

> As he nears his target, his approach becomes slower and slower, turning the trolling motor further and further down the closer he gets. He ensures his ultra-quiet entrance by taking an average of 1 full minute to slowly approach for the perfect setup prior to the first cast.

> “Opening and closing lids, clicking and stomping, even foot-tapping sends a pulse through the water [even deep water] that will lessen the chance of catching a giant bass. Your noise will let them know you’re there, and once they know you’re there, their mood to feed instantly changes.

> “Bass…get trained to the big motor sound, the wake crashing on their point and an artificial lure that comes splashing in. You can catch some fish with that approach, but again, the big ones don’t get to be big ones by getting caught — and a stealthy, hunting mentality is a huge factor in catching the big fish.”

Can say I’ve never fished like that…and I honestly don’t know if I can….

Quote of the Day

“Covid-19 is a backlash you can’t get rid of.”

– Gotta be the BEST bassin’-type line about this virus yet. KS BASS Nation VP Mike Turner speakin’ in this vid about how to deal with this and still tourney-fish:

Thanks to bass-head Brad V for the heads-up on the vid.

Disclaimer: Yep, people getting sick from this deal ain’t funny. I’m sure Mike didn’t mean it to be disrespectful and I don’t either….

Shot of the Day

Please join me in sayin’ “haaaaaaaaaaaail yeah buddy!” to this yella Castaic boot-tail swimmer. Of course you’d fish it, and no it doesn’t violate the “no bananas in the boat” deal:

Don’t think it’s on TW but here ’tis on the Castaic site — ayu??


The OR Office of State Fire Marshall knows something:

And doesn’t this clearly imply that ‘foots can get Covid:


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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