Santee winning and top baits, Couple 30+ limits! Quicker braid fluoro knots

LOT o’ tourney stuff up top, let’s goooo!
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Today’s Top 5

How Brandon Palaniuk won at Santee.

Need you to understand that Brandon was leading this deal after 2 days, then came in on day 3 with LESS THAN 10 LBS (9-09), then went out day 4 and caught what I think was the 2nd-biggest bag of the tourney (22-11) to WIN BY 8 LBS — on a day when almost half the top 10 guys (who’d been catching ’em all week duh) didn’t even weigh a dang limit!

Guess it’s just another day in the life of the Idaho Kid. Shoot maybe one day he’ll have his own superhero figure like the guys on the ID Potato Commission:

Maybe? Anyhow, here’s his baits and some more info — DETAILED fishing deets in the full post on the BB website:

> “The best mats seemed to be 1.5-3′ hyacinth mats with giant salvinia blown up against them.”

> Bladed jig: 1/2-oz no longer made Fish Arrow (Japanese) bait (white) with a 4″ XZone Swammer (pearl white swimbait), 15-lb Seaguar fluoro, Daiwa Steez A Reel, 7′ MH Alpha Angler Rebound Rod.

> “…only about a 50-yard section of submerged grass. I could never figure out exactly what it was. It had that slime grass on it. If you were at a really healthy grass lake, there’d probably be no fish in it. But because it was the only submerged stuff within miles, I think it held some bait and some of those fish. It wasn’t far off the main lake so it allowed those bigger fish to move in and out pretty easily.

> “…in 3-4′, the grass was 4-6” tall — springtime-looking stuff on the [Humminbird] 360.”
> Dropshot: 6′ 10″ M F Alpha Angler DSR Rod, Daiwa Exist Reel (3000), 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid to 10-lb Seaguar Gold Label fluoro, 1/4-oz VMC tungsten teardrop weight, #1 VMC Finesse Neko Hook, 6″ XZone Deception Worm (gp blue finesse worm).

> “The brushpile [for that big day 4 fish] was in 6-7′ and I was probably only like 40′ off the brushpile. I thought I could see 2 fish sitting in the brushpile. I flipped to the left side, fished it, nothing. I flipped to the right side, it hits bottom and starts swimming off.”

> Soft swimbait: 5.5″ XZone Mega Swammer (bream), 1/2-oz VMC Swimbait Head, 17-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, Daiwa Tatula Elite Reel (7.1), 7′ 6″ H F Alpha Angler Hitter Rod.

> “…deep hole there. I think they used it to sit in, then pushed up on the flat when they wanted to feed…couple hard spots and some stumps. One day they’d be sitting on a stump, the next day they’d be sitting on a little hard spot…just seemed to transition and move.

> “…4-6′, casting it out and letting it hit the bottom. I was able to reel it at a fairly decent pace because it was so shallow. I was trying to keep it right there on the bottom and bounce it off a little bit of shell or stumps. It seemed like when it deflected off something I’d get bites.”


> “Lakemaster got [Santee] cards done for us in time for this event. They’d never had mapping on Santee before and that made navigation and everything much easier.

> “[Humminbird] Mega 360 because that’s how I found that brushpile the last day.”

5 Qs with the Champ.

1. At this point you obviously must regret the decision to leave MLF to fish B.A.S.S. again?

> “I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in life. At this point.”

2. Can you win a tournament by fishing horizontally or is it just vertical?

> “I mean I kind of did on this one. I did at Rayburn. Heck my first one caught them deep cranking — come on.”

[Lol got me!]

3. Do you do other things vertical, like sleep and pushups?

> “I wish I could sleep vertical, and I don’t do vertical pushups daily but I have done them. Like wall pushups.”

4. Were you fishing size 20 wet flies with a strike indicator on day 3 and if so why?

> “It was actually a 16. I was going for the big bite.”
[Hahahaaaa love it!]

5. Do you feel bad you got Carl’s hopes up so big?

> [laughs] “Honestly the battling it out and trading blows with Carl is part of what made the week so much fun. It was like a friendly rivalry. …competitiveness but we still ate dinner together every night, we still joked.

> “The moment on stage was special because I was standing up there next to one of my best friends. But one of the hardest parts — I wanted to celebrate because I was excited I won, but I also was bummed because one of my best friends just lost. So it was a really weird balance of emotions…and that was the first time I’d ever experienced that.

> “I’m friends with pretty much everybody on tour, but Carl is one of my best friends on and off the water. That’s the first time I’ve been in that situation with someone I’m that close with. It made it more special but also that much tougher.”

That’s 2 wins with a 2-lb forgot to cull penalty.

Of course cuz it makes sense…if you’re from ID? I mean, is ID even a real place — has anyone actually been there other than trout, elk, mule-deer hybrids and some immigrant potatoes? I mean, I’m pretty sure even Lewis and Clark gave up on it??

Anyhow, I’m sure you’re asking what the other derb was that Brandon won with a 2-lb penalty and it was this’n:

The 2013 St. Lawrence River Elite, which he won — also by almost 8 lbs — before he even had to shave every day! Okay maybe not but you gotta admit it’s pretty dang weird how a) it first looks like he shoots himself in the foot and then b) destroys everyone like those 2 lbs never mattered…which I guess they didn’t….

Few more deals:

1. Could you just sit there and wait on a 7+ fish? From the full pattern story:

> “When I set the hook, the head shakes were so big I thought it was a catfish rolling…then peeled off sideways and ran back into the brushpile…thought it might not be a catfish. Then it got me in the brushpile and I just had to hold it — just held my rod tight. She was just down there head-shaking. I actually think the bigger ones area easier to get out — the head shakes are big enough where as long as you don’t break the line…it broke a branch and I brought the branch and the fish up.”

Lookit that fish!!

2. If that ain’t a testimonial on that new Seaguar smaller/stronger/more abrasion resistant Gold Label fluoro — he used 10-lb! for a 7-lb fish! in a brushpile! — don’t know what is….

3. When I say bass pros are nerds for deets I’m not kiddin’:

> “The lower end of the lake was the only place I found any submerged vegetation. There’s a pretty heavy vegetation management plan on that lake. I actually read nearly the entire document on the [veg] management plan for that lake, trying to figure out where the grass was and wasn’t.”


Believe he’s sportin’ the SIMMS ProDry jacket and bibs.

5. Before this tourney, Bassin’ Bryan Brasher — or B cubed I guess — wrote a deal about guys who close out tournaments, aka win ’em. He mentioned Brandon (another B) — as 1 such guy. Not sure why Bryan, you sure got that one wrong hahahaha!

^ pics are from another great gallery shot by Dalton Tumblin “Weeds,” who I’m beginnin’ to think is James Overstreet’s neighbor or apprentice or whatever. Dude’s got skillz — it’s WAY harder to do what he’s doin’ than you might ‘ppreciate.

2nd-5th Santee baits.

Congrats to ’em, here we go:

2nd: Carl “Fisho” Jocumsen

Fisho = Aussie for hardcore fisherman. Maybe he’s a “basso”?

> Punch rig (most of his fish): Molix SV Craw (b/b), 4/0 Owner Jungle Hook, 1.25-oz Woo Tungsten Weight, 65-lb Power Pro Super8Slick Braid, Shimano Metanium Reel (8.5), 7′ 10″ power 1 Millerods FlipFreaK Rod.

> “Punch deal was hyacinth mats with salvinia blown up against it. Had to be in 2′ of water, and pulling the bait to the top of the mat and shaking it was the real key.”

> “…grass depression, 5′, I found in practice. They were chasing shad in there.”

3rd: Cory Johnston

After his bro won one, Cory’s gotten real close — a 2nd and 3rd:

> “I caught most of my fish flipping mats and cypress trees in 1-5′.” Creature bait (b/b), 4/0 Gamakatsu Super Heavy Cover Flippin Hook, 3/4- to 1.25-oz Woo Tungsten weights, 65-lb Seaguar Smackdown Braid, Daiwa Tatula Elite Pitch/Flip Reel, 7′ 6″ Daiwa Tatula Elite flipping rod.

4th: Austin Felix

1st Elite top 10 for this MN rookie — picked a tough one to do well in, congrats to him:

> “Texas rig did all the damage on main-lake docks for my big bag day 1. Days 2, 3, 4 I caught a good early fish schooling over a deep shell bar. Once the sun came up it was all shakey head.

> “Typical ledge hole — point sticking into the main river channel, 10-16′ with scattered stumps.”

> Shakey rig: 7″ Roboworm (margarita mutilator), 1/4-oz shakey head, 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, 13 Fishing Concept A Reel (8:1), 7′ 6″ MH 13 Fishing Omen Rod.
> Texas rig: same bait, 5/16-oz weight, 17-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, 13 Fishing Concept Boss Reel (8:1), 7′ 4″ MH 13 Fishing Envy Rod.
> Swimbait: 3.8 Keitech Fat (sexy shad), 3/8-oz All Terrain Swimbait Head, 15-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro, 13 Fishing Concept Boss Reel (6:1), 7′ 4″ 13 Fishing Envy Chattercrank Rod.

5th: Bernie Schultz

Bernie’s last top 10 was in 2015 and this is his highest finish since 2003! If that doesn’t tell you to keep at it well then…:

> “3/8- and 1/2-oz Hildebrandt SqueakEasy buzzbaits around lilypads.” 30-lb Sufix 832 Braid, Shimano Calais Reel, 7′ MH Shimano CI-4 Rod.
> “Wacky rig on cypress trees.” 5″ Senko (gp watermelon laminate), VMC Ike Approved Neko Weedless Hook on a VMC Crossover Ring, 10-lb Sufix 832 Braid to 10-lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, Shimano Sustain Reel, 7′ M Shimano Expride Rod.

Couple 30+ ABA limits?

Not easy to find this info so:

1. Looks like on Oct 3 Mark Abler and Ray Gauerke weighed 33.79 with a 8.66 kicker at Lake Isabella, CA — which might have been closed for a while due to fires? Impressive pic:

2. Gerry Johnson and David Homen weighed 32.92 2 days ago on “Lake TBD” and no pic??


1. TN: We lost a brother and HS bass coach.

> Michael Shaune Powell, 42, is being laid to rest on Monday. “Mikey” as he was best known, was the founder of the Whitwell High School Bass Fishing Team. Powell passed away of a heart attack Oct 9 while in Nashville awaiting a Whitwell High School team tournament on Old Hickory Lake.

Bless you bassin’ brother.

2. Does Steve Kennedy have too many sponsors now?

Trip is this legal:

Lol happy for him — he’s a fishing savant man….

3. Cliff Crochet’s spinnerbaits are on TW now.

Crusher Lures Petite double willow and Petite willow/CO. Little confused cuz ain’t nuttin’ petite about Cliff except that “Baby” nickname…lol Cliff!

4. Here’s you your 2021 USA Bass Team.

Cool! 9 guys, 1 Elite if I’m gettin’ that right? Not stirrin’ any pots, just observing. Also no idea what Jacob Wheeler is doing on there…JK.

5. Taku Ito’s fave US fast food: Wendy’s.

Take that dude to Five Guys!

6. TN: $1K 1st prize at charity tourney THIS WEEKEND.

I think it’s on Boone Rez?

7. PA: Charity tourney at Wallenpaupack Oct 25.

8. NY: Greater Niagara Fishing Expo date change.

Glad it’s still on. Was Jan 15-17, now Feb 19-21.

9. AL: Mud Creek Gville ramp closing Oct 18.

10. Design your own ‘Trap color!

And the 8 new ’21 colors can be seen here. I’m kinda diggin’ Gracie’s goldfish but they’re all sweet:

11. Yamaha is having a fall savings deal.

12. G. Loomis has new IMX Pro technique-specific rods.

Believe they’re on TW…?

13. CA gov’t continues to do weird stuff.

Guess the United Nations-agenda state bill to “conserve” 30% of the state’s land and water didn’t go through, so the governor did an executive order on it. Is it me or are all these executive orders by governors a little nuts — like what happened to the legislature and all?

14. KY: Pitman Creek distributors expanding warehouse.

Maybe for indoor paintball? Just kidding….

15. Guess you can’t chum in Ireland…even in the salt?

> …he was also using an unauthorized method of angling…known as “ground baiting” using sweetcorn and halibut pellets.

Wonder if any deer came in to that deal….

Headline of the Day

Man Charged After Fishing Rod Attack At Vernon Bus Stop

Thought it might have been Carl Jocumsen gittin’ some frustration out on BMP, but nope it happened in CT….

On right now…
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Tip of the Day

Options for quicker braid-to-fluoro knots.

FG, FG, FG. You’ve read about that knot here and seen it around but a) it’s not that easy to tie (but with practice not that hard either) and b) you might not need that knot. Far as I can tell, that knot ain’t as much about better strength, it’s about it going through guides smoother.

Now, if you’re a bassin’ pro that knot characteristic is probly way more important than it would be for a weekend-if-you’re-lucky warrior like most of us. And for sure I’m not at the point where I have enough patience to settle down and tie the FG in a boat. So I went a-lookin’ and here’s what I found:

1. Shaw Grigsby’s fast ‘n easy uni + improved clinch knot

2. Hunter Shryock and the Crazy Alberto knot

He mentions on there the #1 reason (for me) to use braid — way less friggin’ tangles. I can’t even use non-braid on spinnin’ rigs anymore.

Here’s surf fisherman “Crazy” Alberto Knie himself tying the knot (YT vid) he invented (for braid to mono) which he just calls the Alberto knot lol.

Quote of the Day

“I firmly believe the only difference between a good decision and a bad decision is a 4-lber.”

– Brandon Palaniuk talkin’ to me yesterday — he’s 100% serious. Innerestin’ way of lookin’ at it…from the POV of a pro angler.

For myself, I’d say that most of my decisions are bad — not many 4-lbers — and if I were to make a good decision my thumbs would have blisters on ’em from textin’ that deal OUT TO THE WORLD hahaha!

Shot of the Day

Shoutin’ out Jay “excellent first name” Striker for the smile in this pic — heck yeah that’s a nice spot man!

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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