Salewske winning deets, World record dog walk? Bass air-swim?

Here’s your encouragement for the day: still 3 (I think?) Elite tourneys left, and they’re all largemouth tourneys!
Get after ’em this weekend! Our fish are made for catchin’!

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

Today’s Top 5

Who is Rusty Salewske and how did he win the MLF-style FLW Title deal?

Rusty’s a CA stick and for a while did pretty dang well on the national scene. Then he disappeared for 10 years. Some guys said he became a beet farmer, some said he was raising dwarf chihuahuas, others hinted he got a little too obsessed with finding bigfoot. All decent but nowhere near bassin’….

Anyhow, I caught up with him to get his champeenship-winnin’ deets so here you go. Just the bait stuff, rest is on the BB site:

> “[His areas] all had a good break. Some the breaks were maybe 7-8′ down to 14′ ish, some were 11-12′ down to 20′. Just natural rock formations. I called it a ‘curve break’ — something to break up the current.

> “[The bottoms on these spots had] no commonality to them…some were a 100′ long sheet of rock, some were cobblestone-size, some were bowling ball-size. It wasn’t all that important. But one key was to have bait [alewives] around.”

> Dropshot baits: Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm (light crystal clear belly, and when darker out gp or gp green purple flake). “The last day I caught all but my 2 biggest ones on the MaxScent Flat Worms. They were key. I got them from Wade [Strelic] — he was out of the tournament so I took all his stuff. Maybe with the real windy conditions they could find [the MaxScent] because of the smell. Low light and heavy wind — maybe [the fish] start relying on [scent more].
> #2 dropshot hook, 3/16- (preferred if the wind allowed it) and 3/8-oz Kanji or Ark teardrop weight, 7′ 4″ Ever Green Brett Hite Combat Stick Spinning Rod (“that thing was amazing, it was still fairly new to me”) and Daiwa spinning rods, Daiwa Steez Reels (2500), 12-lb Sunline FX2 Braid to 7-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro (10′).

He said he didn’t really drag it because of the mussels and gobies, so he’d make a cast, let it hit the bottom and soak it for a good 30 seconds. He might move it a little, but otherwise he’d reel in and cast 20-30 yards off the last cast. More stuff:

> “One of the biggest surprises was just how professional and well-managed everything was. I dIdn’t see it going that smoothly. Boat officials, camera guys, the normal [FLW] people I’m used to working with plus all the MLF people there — it was unbelievably smooth. It was really really good.

> Shout-outs: “Ranger, Mercury, Humminbird, Power-Pole — the people who do what they can for me. Also Tackle Warehouse and Anglers Marine: I’ve been with them for over 25 years and they always help me out.”

> Follow him on the ‘gram at @Rusty.Salweke.Fishing.

Rest of the deets at the BB site….

5 Qs with the Champ.

1. Going into the Sturgeon Bay tourney, did you feel at all…rusty?

> [Laughed] “Yes.”

[I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that he probly feels rusty a lot.]

2. Do you usually show up without enough baits or tackle to last a whole tournament?

> “Yes.”

[Possibly genius because if you win with the other guys’ tackle:]

3. Where in SoCal did you learn how to fish for smallmouths?

> “I didn’t. In my opinion I’m not really that good at it. Lake Mead, though it’s not in California, and Havasu are the closest smallmouth lakes. And usually they get me.”

4. Why did you return to the FLW Tour after a 10-year break — did you miss eastern food?

> “Yes. Perch sandwiches and walleye sandwiches. I forgot how good they were.”

5. Has Brett Hite convinced you to use his Chatterbait all tournament long yet?

> “Oh he tries but I wasted half a day of practice throwing that thing. Smallmouth don’t like ’em.”

[Hahaha gotcha B-Hite! Rusty and Brett are long-time buds….]

Been a loooooong time since I last talked to Rusty. He was an FLW stick back then. Guess he still is….

Bonus Q: Did you have LiveScope on your boat?

> “I was the only guy [in the top 10] not doing that. If it’s a calm day, I probably don’t win. Those guys had an advantage — I was blind-casting. The weather played into my hands and let me rise up.”

World record dog-walk?

Elitist Stetson Blaylock throwing a giant Heddon Torpedo:

Always thought Stets was pretty straight-up normal but it appears I was mistaken:

Do bass swim through the air?

Looks like it — the fish “swims” back into the water:

That’s a very cool Off DeFoe largie vid….

Lowest-tech tow vehicle ‘n boat trailer?

Amish folks in ME. When you’ve got the feesh addiction, ain’t nothin’ stoppin’ ya….


1. Cliff Crochet has to be less emotional.

I’ve seen him cryin’ many a time…HAHAHA kiddin’. Says in that link he’s gotten spun out by ScoreTracker, so he’s gonna ditch his trolling motor and use a paddle instead to get some nervous energy out.

Okay not the last part.

2. Keith Poche says he needs to be less stubborn.

> …still need to be willing to make adjustments. It’s not always going to go my way. I’ve got to fish on the fly and keep an open mind. I need to realize I’m not in total control.

Exactly. Boyd is in total control, not you…heehee!

3. Bid on Jared Lintner’s jersey (eBay)…

…to help JT Borofka, Jason Borofka’s son. Jason is a West Coast basser. Also check What a cute little dude, hopin’ for ’em.

4. Taku’s hero is Takahiro.

Takumi Ito said it about the Japan-to-US OG Takahiro Omori on StrayCasts. Very cool! Tak also talks to Taku in Japanese and they both laugh — so pretty sure that was about Pat….

I love Tak — great guy and he’s got a great sense of humor as you can tell from that vid. Don’t know Taku yet but lookin’ forward to meetin’ him.

5. Clark Wendlandt’s motivation now is a blue trophy.

Also said:

> “When our kids were young and playing sports, I didn’t want to leave home and head up north to fish tournaments. But they’re married now, and I just think about catching the next bass.”

The first part is my life right now except the getting to fish part….

6. Jacob Wheeler gives serious thought to his cranks.

I knew that but didn’t think it was this serious:

That’s a Rapala DT in the new color “green gizzard shad.”

7. Dave Lefebre plays the drums??

Can’t believe I didn’t know that! Very cool — and if true it explains a lot, if you’ve ever been in a band (lol y’all skin-beaters!):

8. Listen to Aaron Martens talk about the Duo squarebill (IG vid).

I think it’s this bait? Always fascinating to hear him talk about fishin’.

9. How the Chapmans roll with their camper.

Hitches and such (IG vid). Pros are experts on that kinda stuff too.

If you have a cam trailer or RV and run a generator, make sure you put some Sea Foam Motor Treatment in it from time to time. #reliability
10. Dean Rojas’ son Austin got a bassin’ schollie.Simpson U in Cali. Congrats! Word is the decision came down to being able to only fish frogs…kidding.

11. Welcome to the first episode of “Elite Series nutrition.”

Chris Zaldain shot, I think he’s the guy with Minn Kota on his face but hard to tell without a ‘stache:

12. Opens angler Andrew Upshaw says Insta-stalk Elites…

…for bait/pattern hints:

> One little trick is to find an Elite Series pro from that area, follow their social media, and see what they are up to. Most of the time, said angler will post pictures, videos and general fishing information about the place you are visiting.

If you start knowin’ their birthdays and weddin’ anniversaries, you need to back off some….

13. Zona talks more about smallmouths sliding.

14. Flukemaster talkin’ MG Xi3 troller for ‘yaks TODAY on Insta.

9 pm EST on @bassthumbsfishing

15. PA: Microplastics in smallmouths NOT from baits.

Good to hear — Susquehanna smalls:

> The most common microplastics pulled from the fish innards were microscopic fibers, which could come from synthetic clothing, twine, plastic straws, tarps, diapers, wipes, fabrics or cigarette butts.

> Other types…included foam from food containers and cups; industrial pellets; film from plastic grocery bags, bottles and candy wrappers; and jagged fragments of plastic.

Also mentioned they found a chipmunk in one — new topwater!

16. AR: Lake Ouachita water levels are way up.

Above flood level and apparently more rain coming. Hope everyone’s okay there.

17. Lookit this bait!

“Citrus shad” BOOYAH XCS squarebill…pic makes me want it pretty bad:

18. “Real-life” shot of the new Yo-Zuri 3DB deep jerkbait…

…spotted in Brandon “birthday” Card’s boat — lookin’ good! I think that’s “ghost sexy shad:”

19. New BUFF stuff for the cool/cold.

Stuff that I like:

L to R:

1. Polar BUFF (concrete) — BUFF with PrimaLoft fleece. My experience is that fleece around the neck helps keep me warm big-time.

2. Lightweight Merino Wool Balaclava (black) — Merino is the best, and I like the longer balaclava for the same neck reason….

3. Polar Neckwarmer (hunter orange) — I wear a lotta hunter orange in the fall/winter, and if it gets cold enough this PrimaLoft Fleece deal once again on the neck is money.

There’s a reason BUFF makes all this neck stuff for the cool temps!

20. Gitcha underwater vid of the Lunkerhunt Finesse Frog!

Could be a frog, a toad or a fat craw:

Now on Tackle Warehouse yo!

20. They wear robes at Bill Lewis??

Can’t tell if he’s wearin’ slippers too:

Btw that’s Wes Higgins, Bill Lewis head man. Possibly alarming….

21. Cool shot of a Okuma Helios SX.

These are legit good in my experience, though haven’t long-termed ’em yet. Come in 6.6, 7.3 and 8.1, and are on the TW.

22. What a YOLOtek rear light pole view looks like.

Gotta have it! That’s Carl Jocumsen’s boat…but Carl’s mysteriously not there:

23. Wally-mart fishing tackle sales up.

Seems like Walmart keeps wanting to decrease the amount of fishing stuff it offers — at least in some areas — but maybe needs to think the other way?

24. Shimano 9th-richest company in Japan?

Not sure if that’s more surprising or that Nintendo is #1?

25. TN: TVA getting ready for more anti-carp bubble walls.

Asian carp. They’re clearing the bottom below the locks which is causing “intermittent” lock closures.

26. MN: Jumping worms now in the state.

I blame Seth Feider’s Mntn Dew stash leaking….
27. ON: Locals opposing Huron cormorant cull.

> The group has already managed to get some concessions from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, which dropped the limit from 50 birds per day down to 15.

28. Fortnite has a new feesh pole and…

…your digital self can get thermal vision and other powers from certain fish. Not sure why that one fish is floating? (I don’t play Fortnite so….)

Line of the Day

A ‘white guy’ sport gets more diverse as people seek a hobby to replace attendance at live sports or escape from home offices

From Ad Age talkin’ ’bout “millions” who started fishing because of Covid. Don’t know if the dude who wrote that line fishes, but whenever I go to the water I see peeps of all colors…not that color matters so that’s 2 reasons I don’t like that line man!


Head-Scratcher of the Day

Boat company names their new boat the “Outboard”

Salty boat but ain’t that like naming a new outboard the “jonboat”?? Like: “You have a 150-hp jonboat??”



Just in case you think Yammy’s don’t need maintenance too:

Note that Sea Foam Marine PRO is apparently better for outboards than regular Sea Foam Motor Treatment tho both work….

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

Don’t mean your braid-to-fluoro leader, talkin’ the weight to hook. Dave Mercer makes a reeeeeal good case for having like a 3-4″ leader — in smallie waters — based on videos of gobies not ever being much higher than that off the bottom. Says in this vid, which has very cool underwater vid of the Berkley Water Bug:

Dave says in another vid that goby movements typically are 1-3″ so….

On the other hand, sorta, here’s a tasty tidbit from my up-north bud Jim Gildea:

> I am 100% convinced that with a 1/2-oz weight and a long, high, bomb cast, the weight makes a sound when it hits the bottom. Smallmouth hear it and turn/swim toward the noise, then sees a small Senko floating down..

> I use a 1/2-oz weight and 3-4′ leader and let the thing sink on totally slack line. I usually chuck it out before I drop the trolling motor. I can’t tell you now many times I cast, leave the bail open, drop the trolling motor, close the bail, and have a fish on. My co is usually still getting his rod out.

> We can’t drop on them as much now because the fish are used to the boat noise and sonar, so a bomb cast is better.

Here’s Jim in a blind squirrel moment (lol!):

Quote of the Day

“Those are dramatic fish. They all think they’re in a frickin’ movie — they just don’t give up.”

– “I ain’t” Rusty Salewske talkin’ to me ’bout the Sturgeon Bay smallmouths, but you can say it about all big-water smalls I’m aware of. Once you hook ’em, don’t think you’re automatically gettin’ ’em in the boat. They’re kinda like the opposite of largemouths — smallmouths being generally easier to hook and harder to land. Fun as heck!

Shot of the Day

Pics of the day — couldn’t just “pic” one cuz they all rock! Top to bottom:

– Smile on Seth’s face says it all! @biospawn lures shot
– Weird perspective cuz of the camera lens but GREAT fish for the little wader dude! @simmsfishing shot
– Not a bass or a bass boat but great! @fishseaguar shot

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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