Rojas’ winning baits, Disappearing Fork pattern? World’s easiest topwater?

Give you some hand-clappin’ enthusiasm for Vexus Boats joinin’ the Blaster hayride! Yep, no secret I believe the boats are all that BUT doesn’t mean I don’t love me all kinds o’ bassin’ tubs and the folks who make ’em. That said, you’d be nuttier than a rabid squirrel not to get your backside into a Vexus for a ride mang! Check ’em out here.

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Today’s Top 5

Dean Rojas’ dub-ya baits.

Bass Pro Tour #5 was at at Smith Lake, AL last week, and Dean Rojas won it (won = W = dub-ya) kinda convincingly. With the conditions it was like:

Hahaha Dean! I mean, if you were a froggin’ sensei wouldn’t you be thataway too? Anyhow, full pattern deets are on the BB website, here’s his bait info:

> “The first round I was fishing around flooded willows and some buck brush…shad spawn so [the bass] were busting in and around the bushes. I caught 3 of the bigger fish — including the big bass of the day — on my frog, the rest on a swim-jig and flipping a tube in and around the bushes.

> “When everything settled down [from the shad spawn nuttiness], the bass were still hanging around the brush so I could flip them the tube.

> “The frog was actually our [SPRO] Spit Shad model (killer gill)…all the colors in that [bait] are all baitfish so I didn’t throw traditional frog colors. Killer gill…I have a lot of confidence in that color and the bottom of that particular bait is silver. In my experience that color really shines when they’re feeding on baitfish like that, around bushes and trees.
He fished that bait on 80-lb Sunline FX2 braid, Duckett 360R Reel (7:1) and 7′ MH Duckett signature frog rod.
> “Whenever they stopped blowing or weren’t really feeding but were still in the cover itself, I flipped a 4” Big Bite Tube (smoke sparkle) with a 3/8-oz Epic Tungsten weight, 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Superline Hook, 20-lb Sunline FC Sniper, Duckett 360R Reel (7:1) and a 7′ 6″ H Duckett Black Ice Rod.

> “The tube emulates shad — it has a distinct action to it. It darts in different directions. They weren’t feeding on crawdads so I wanted that erratic action coming in and out of the cover which draws the strikes.

> “Tubes are old-school, but in this circumstance it was critical. The bait slid through cover effortlessly and the action made them eat it.”

He also fished:

> A 3/8-oz swim-jig (silver/blue/pearl) with a Bite Bite Suicide Shad (shad) on 16-lb Sniper, a 6.3:1 Duckett reel and a 7′ 3″ Duckett Micro Magic Rod.

> “…a Ned Rig-style bait and fishing it deeper, anywhere from 9-25’…dropoffs, secondary points and main lake points that had shoals that came out where the fish could move up and down on. I threw up on top of and worked it on the edge of the drop….

> “…the original Ned Rig bait, switched up with a Big Bite Trick Stick I cut in half. I used 2 different colors: gp/purple flake and was a shad pattern, half silver/half grey.”
> “When I saw them suspended, I’d throw a little 4” Big Bite Finesse Swimmer on a 3/8-oz Gamakatsu bullet head jig with a 2/0 hook in it. I’d make casts with that over the points, over deeper water when they were suspended.”

> “The final round I ended up catching a lot of fish on a squarebill…cross between a shad pattern and golden shiner…dull finish. With the cloud cover and low light I think that color was good.

Dean’s BPT lesson: Don’t save fish.

Asked him about the new format, what it’s like:

> “I learned a lot at the Chick event. I led and then backed off and shouldn’t have — I learned important lessons there. It carried over in this event where I just caught everything I could. Every round was just catch as many fish as I possibly could.”

In other words, he learns just like the rest of us:

Also said:

> “…[being] able to win at this particular format, along with the previous format, is very rewarding…competing against this group of fishermen, at the highest level of pro angling, and coming out at the top.”
This all begs the question: Can a person “save” bass? Like in a savings account or a Roth IRA? To be addressed in a future Blaster….

More Smith Lake baits.

Here’s a couple, hope to have the other 2 guys in the top 5 on Thurs, as well as the Elitists:

4th: Jason Christie

> “I was fishing post-spawn, hard spots, 5-15′ deep. Using Garmin LiveScope.”

> 3.5″ YUM Pulse swimbait (pearl) with a 3/8-oz prototype Scottsboro Tackle head with a Trokar hook. Lew’s Pro Ti (7.5), 7′ 3″ H Falcon Cara Amistad Rod, 14-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro.
> 3/8-oz shakey head, YUM Finesse Worm (ghillie suit), Lew’s Hyper Mag Reel (8.3), Falcon Cara Amistad Rod, 12-lb Sunline Sniper.
> “Also caught some on a dropshot.” YUM Warning Shot (morning dawn), 1/0 Trokar Drop Shot Hook, 3/8-oz weight, 16-lb Sunline FX2 braid to an 8-lb Sunline Sniper leader, Lew’s Custom Pro Spinning Reel, 7′ Falcon BuCoo Rod.

5th: Todd Faircloth

> “For the morning shad spawn I fished docks with a 3/8-oz Strike King Swim Jig (white) with a Strike King Menace Grub (white). 7′ 4″ H Denali Lithium Rod, 7.4 gear ratio reel, 18-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro.
> “After about 9:30 I would switch to fishing points and humps with a 3.25” Strike King Rage Swimmer rigged with a 3/8-oz Strike King Tungsten Swing Head and a 2/0 Gamakatsu Offset Round Bend Hook. 7′ MH Denali Lithium Rod, same reel, 10-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro.”

Fork baits/patterns comin’ but check this strangeness.

Will have the Fork Elite Festivus stuff in the next BB, but for now check this killer pattern Elitist Lee Livesay got on at Fork:

Was producin’ great, but then the cover/structure disappeared. Turned out a gang of cattle rustlers were tryin’ to steal the herd, possibly just for vittles:

Maybe? lol

Meet BassBlaster contributor Chuckles.

Dude’s stupid good at what he does, but sometimes lookin’ at fish for a while gets him a little amped:

Seen several top pros have the same reaction, couple can go bat-guano crazy. Wanna see a bunch o’ pros go all catnip on ya, dangle a few waypoints out there….

HAHAHA kiddin’ fellers!


1. BPTer James “Watsonwide” World’s on BassEdge Radio.

2. FLWer Aaron Britt was on the Million Dollar Mile TV show.

Did he win? Is there a winner? Never seen it but cool if they mentioned bassin’.

3. Boating industry guy talks about Irwin Jacobs.

Interesting insight on the man and how he did things.

4. Dude won over $300K in cash and prizes at Rayburn.

Sealy Big Bass Splash at the end of Apr, Michael Fesco won it with this 10.4-lber:

Dang that’s a TON of coin. Wow.

5. SC: 2020 BFL All-American will be at Hartwell.

Look for spots marked, “Brandon Cobb’s, keep out” lol.

6. OH River bass population is “doing better.”

Vs historically, though they’re talking #s (possibly not keeper #s??) not size.

7. TN: Bassmaster College Championship on Chickamauga.

Aug 1-3. Time for me to re-enroll, maybe you too….

8. AZ: 1+ mil FL bass stocked in 3 lakes in 1 weekend.

Apache, Canyon and Saguaro:

> …expect a survival rate of around 2%, or 20,000 fish, that could survive into adulthood.

9. TX: Giant salvinia gone from Fork and Athens.

10. Someone’s bringing college athletics recruiting stuff to bassin’?

Anyone heard of Not recommending it since I don’t know anything about it, but I at least like the idea of having a college commits list. Anyone else do such a list? Lmk if you know.

11. IA has new ways to buy licenses.

Coolio: You can access your license with their app, so I guess you don’t need to carry it with you.

12. Tech info on FLW’s live streaming.

Ton involved in doing this stuff.

13. KY, TN, AL want more fed $$$ for Asian carp measures.

Post also says 2 mil lbs of carp have been pulled out of the area in the last couple months. Great, but truly scary how much there must be.

14. FL might have a new boat titling law.

To protect buyers, like a Carfax for boats.

15. Ranger’s new Operation Troop Salute sales deals.

16. Merc owner Brunswick now focusing on marine.

Sold off its fitness bidness for $490 mil. But I wonder if they’re still in the billiards and air hockey biz (seriously)?

Also Merc is expanding its prop facility in WI.

17. OH: Erie weather buoys can text you conditions.

Guess it’s not a new thing but coolio:

> Each one can monitor, in real time, water temperatures, wind speed and direction, and wave height.

18. Canada removed boat import tariffs.

Guess this is a big deal cuz Canada:

> “…accounts for the largest share of U.S. boat exports at nearly 35%….”

19. TX is the home of the pickup, no doubt.

Might have thought so but check these figgers:

> TX buyers account for 15.7% of the nation’s half-ton pickup market…. That means 1 out of every 6 half-ton pickups — like the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 — are sold in TX.

Yet another reason to move there or act like you live there hahaha! That post is on why Texans might not be into the whole ‘lectric pickup truck deal.

20. Win a Bote Board and bike.

Shoot you don’t even have to be into SUPin’ for this to be cool — heck yeah I entered:

Tip of the Day

No skillz needed to fish this topwater…?

…which makes me wonder if that’s why BPTer Dave Lefebre fishes it — heehee! Anyhow, some innerestin’ tiddybits ’bout fishin’ the Rapala BX Waking Minnow:

> “…fish are so pressured and so hard to catch. But when they hit a bait that’s so big [5.25”] and bulky like that — and they’re just convinced it’s real — I think sometimes it’s the only thing you can throw to get a bite.

> Unlike many of the baits bass pros throw on tour, a BX Waking Minnow does not require professional skills to retrieve effectively and catch fish…. “You just throw it out there and just literally reel it in. You don’t have to worry about rod position…and doing different things. You just cast it out and reel it in.

> “The slower you can reel that thing the better. When it’s calm, you want to see that V on the water — the back of it just barely sticking up out of the water.”

> …retrieve it slowly along fish-holding cover like brush, laydowns, weedlines, docks and the edges of lily pad fields.

> …purpose-built for drawing big bass out of heavy cover, featuring a durable co-polymer shell encasing a balsa core. The balsa provides the buoyancy you expect in a Rapala bait, while the shell ensures unrivaled toughness.

He fishes it on 30-lb Sufix 832 braid in big-bass/cover places like Chickamauga, 12-lb Sufix Advance Mono otherwise. 7′ 3″ MH 13 Fishing Envy Rod. Tweaks:

> Changes hooks to VMC Hybrid Short 1X Trebles.

> Remove split ring at nose and uses a small 30-lb snap.

Here’s Dave with his pet bass he calls “Waldo” and the Waking Minnow in “Ike’s blue back herring:”

Here’s Jacob Wheeler talkin ’bout why the Waking Minnow is the first topwater he fishes each season:

Quote of the Day

“…either way whatever happens I think is going to happen.”

Elitist Chad Pipkens bein’ all psychic(ish) ’bout the outcome of the Fork Elite during the Saturday day off deal.

His 1-armed self also said:

> “I was happy for a break just because my dang forearm burns. They fight so hard. …I looked at one of my videos and it took me 2 minutes 23 seconds to land a fish.”

Dang I wish I was there right now with a serious forearm burn….

Shot of the Day

Check B.A.S.S. legend Bob “OG” Cobb (right) shakin’ the hand of another bass-head at the TX Festivus at Fork. Notice Bob big-time one-uppin’ Classic champ Ott DeFoe — Ott only wears his feet bare when he’s a-feeshn, but Bob’s not a-feared to barefoot it in mud while meetin’ folks — a fo sho bass-head lol!

Also, suspiciously, Ott posted an Insta story where he went bassin’ with his honey and they were both wearin’ flip-flops?? Course since it was a story I can’t show you dang it….

Btw, went to buy Bob’s book but it’s $50? Anyone read it yet? Worth the $$?

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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