Shout-outs for the year, Baits Brian Latimer is fishing now, Don’t be negative

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and yours!
Starting this’n off with a little year-end deal — don’t usually do it but WTHeck I’m motivated.

LOTS of good stuff coming next year in bassin’. That’s part prediction and part common sense cuz every year (every day?) is Christmas-like in bassin’ man! But…there’s only one real Christmas. Thank you Lord!

100% sure I’m fergettin’ somethin’ ’bout 2019 — sorry about that. What happens is, I have thoughts and then they hide and I can’t find ’em…. Plus what I’m writin’ is just one idiot’s 2c — please don’t overvalue it.

Next Blaster will be in 2020 — get ready for blastoff!

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

Today’s Top 5

Shout-outs for 2019: Top STUFF.

1. The Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour.

Easily THE biggest thing that happened in bass fishing in 2019. Up to you what level of Chungus you wanna give it:

Hahaha! Whether you love/hate the MLF/BPT format, put aside any judgment — here’s the great stuff the BPT did:

– No-entry fee pro tournaments = huge.

– Shook up bass fishing, and made Bassmaster confront itself (needed and always healthy).

– Provided new opportunity for its own anglers AND new Elites.

– Saved FLW.

That’s a dang strong list for 1 year, and it’s not even everything.

2. B.A.S.S. stuck to what it does.

Props to new head man Chase Anderson staying the course. Don’t know him, haven’t met him yet, just sayin’ a steady hand is a good sign…and so are these boots (James Overstreet shot):

Love that hotel carpet lol.

3. St. Clair.

That Elite was one of the most ridiculous — maybe “the” mostest ridonkulous — catch-fests I’ve ever seen. Seth Feider for sure wasn’t the only one who blew ’em out, even tho at some point he wasn’t even tryin’ — maybe cuz of some crazy mullet power deal:

Don’t mean to neglect MLF derby lakes, just a little hard to track all the fish catches with that format (for me anyhow). That said, Johnny Morris’ lake — aka Table Rock — must have a BUNCH o’ fish in it with 2 back to back BPT catch-fests there.

Btw, all this year’s tourney patterns — BPTs and Elites — are here on

4. Tennessee.

YOOJ turnout at the Classic in Knoxville. Then B.A.S.S. and Knoxville Tourism lucked out when a barefoot local with a heart condition, named after a cute river mammal — remember the tourney was on a river — won the whole deal. What’s the chances of that??

Crazy…and glad Ott’s okay.

5. Texas.

Not sure what’s up with Cali, but TX keeps churning out stupidly huge bass every year. Runners up are OK and FL.

Shout-outs for 2019: PEEPS.

I’m sure I’m forgettin’ some (sorry) but these come to mind:

1. Jerry McKinnis and Irwin Jacobs — We lost ’em, 2 men whose influence will probably remain forever in the sport of bassin’. Big thanks to ’em both.

Also gotta mention Dave Precht retiring from B.A.S.S. His steady hand, mind and heart can’t be replaced but I hope they get close…somehow.

2. Edwin Evers — Won every-MLF/BPT-thing by a lot: tourney, AOY, Championship, bathing suit contest, pie-eating deal, Fish Jeopardy and probably other stuff. Seriously insane season, big congrats to him:

Asked him how he did it — he texted me this vid and said, “Be that one dog:”

3. Runners-up: Brandon Cobb and Jamie Hartman, who each won TWO Elites this season. Insane and they’d be #1 were it not for a pea-can farmer from OK:

4. Rick Clunn — 16th B.A.S.S. win happened at the St Johns, plus he was 72 at the time (he’s younger now). Think about all the peeps you know who are 70+ — are they traveling the country winnin’ top-level bass derbies??

5. Jordan Lee — How ’bout Jo-Lee winning the first BPT. No one was surprised — says something pretty big about his rep….

Props to all the BPT winners. Field is STACKED for sure so any win there in any format is great, even for Eddie Evers.

6. Ott DeFoe — Won the Classic and then got like 10 trophies for it. How does that happen??

7. Scott Canterbury — Won what might’ve been the tightest AOY race ever. Here’s how the top 4 finished up points-wise:

1. Scott Canterbury: 848
2. Stetson Blaylock: 840
3. Cory Johnston: 840

4. Chris Zaldain: 838

Zaldaingerous finished 2nd in like every tournament the 2nd half of the season and somehow got 4th in AOY…?

8. Brandon Cobb’s smooch — The bassin’ world will never be the same since Brandon won his first blue trophy then steamed up everyone’s polarized lenses and phone/computer screens with that smooch:

HAHAHA! Honestly love it — it’s love! Bassin’ musta gotten some good clicks on that deal cuz Elite smooches have mostly replaced random shots of birds in the Bassmaster photo galleries (heehee dot-com dudes!).

Shout-outs for 2019: BAITS.

Just thoughts that popped up over this year…ones that I remember:

1. Z-Man — About halfway through the season I thought, Man, Z-Man’s doing it right. They have a “thing” that’s been hot and I believe will be hot next year (Ned). They have THE Chatterbait that’s named more than any other at all levels of fishing (Brett Hite’s bait). They do media well, they’ve got some good dudes. Good job.

2. Berkley — Been comin’ out with some good baits, but mostly here because their plastics are mentioned a ton at the Triple- and Double-A levels of tourney fishin’ (Strike King too, and Zoom of course).

3. YUM Ned Dinger — Who woulda thunk that YUM would’ve gotten the first major Ned win with the new Ned Dinger, thanks to Micah Frazier winning on it at the St. Lawrence River…which I believe was also the first major smallmouth win with a Ned:

4. Lunkerhunt Phantom Spider — Still blown away that someone came up with a new category of topwater that wasn’t a weird mammal or whatever. Super fun:

5. Spinnerbait: BOOYAH Covert Series — I’m for-sure not a spinnerbait guy but dang they’re so good. Actually might be the best spinnerbaits ever made….

6. Cranks: Rapala DTs — Is it my imagination or are these baits making a comeback? Or maybe peeps are finally talkin’ ’bout ’em again. Either way seen ’em mentioned more this year.

And 6th Sense cranks — Regionally, mostly, but a lotta tourney guys have been using the 6th Sense stuff.

“The fishing industry doesn’t like what we have going on. There has to be some change.”

BPTer Randall Tharp talkin’. Full quote from the Bassin’Fanatic post:

> “I signed up for this deal for 3 years and I want it to work, but’s it’s been a tough offseason financially. The fishing industry doesn’t like what we have going on. There has to be some change.”

Believe he’s referring to the fact that some BPT guys have gotten hit sponsor-wise this offseason, which mystifies me a little. I mean, #1 they’re great and well-known fishermen, and #2 the BPT is new and will take a few years to get real legs, just like anything else new does. Not sure if too much hype happened behind the scenes or what….

Will say this as a long-time media guy: Metrics hardly ever are truly accurate and NEVER tell the whole story. Maybe half of it. Sales of course is a different deal.

Anyhow, I also like this Tharpous quote from the post:

> “I was pretty vocal about not changing to suit the new format, but at the first event I was catching big ones and going backward on the ScoreTracker.”

Marty Robinson’s innerestin’ findin’s from feeshn the BPT.

These basically are fishing tips for all of us — from another good Bassin’Fan post:

> “One thing I learned is that you can never catch them all from an area. A lot of guys, in a 5-fish deal, will catch 5 or 6 in an area and think they’ve done all they can do. This format makes you go back through an area even after you beat it to death and you’ll catch 2 better-quality fish.

> “(The format) teaches you to be current in what you’re doing constantly. You can never fish the tail end of a bite and say, ‘They’re slowing down.’ You have to constantly be willing to change and that really ups your level of pattern fishing.

> “… like a lot of guys who thought early in the season that we would be throwing a lot of finesse baits, but what I’ve learned is downsizing has hurt me getting bites rather than changing with the conditions.

> “I’ve gone back and watched all of the events and I saw where guys didn’t have to downsize. They just changed patterns. It’s all about staying current.”

Wow, downsizing HURT the number of bites!


1. Johnston brothers get Merc, SPRO.

Used to be ‘Rude…but since Canadians can’t be rude they had to change (hahaaaaaa!).

2. Check Chris Zaldain’s new hand rail.

Okay not a hand rail:

That plus his ‘stache, wonderin’ if he’s gonna be a volunteer lawman now….

3. Elitist Luke Palmer’s A-rig storage thing.

Office-clips his YUMbrella Flash Mob Jrs:

4. Elitist Frank Talley is…something…for Christmas.

Honestly Frank you remind me of a Christmas bassin’ ‘Squatch hahaha! Bless you man:

5. TX: TPWD studying where bass go in Toledo Bend.


> The bass will be implanted with battery-operated transmitters…to monitor movements of the fish and document how they react and where they position under varied conditions during changing seasons. Tracking sequences will take place every 2 weeks over a period of 2 years.

Personally I feel that since T-Bend is known as one of the best bass lakes in the known universe, this happens pretty regularly — photo credit Greg Hackney:

6. NY: Smallie poachers got $2,425 in fines.

Article says the guys were fishing for the bass to sell them in NYC.

7. MN has a new Outdoor Recreation Task Force.

Kind of a trend for states lately, sound good on paper but we’ll see. Strangely the MN announcement doesn’t mention Mille Lacs [eyeroll emoji].

8. Would you crank a rainbow rat?

Believe this is a Rago Baits Crankin Rat in “rainbow trout:”

Cool — wonder if we’ll see more “hybrid” baits like this in the bassin’ future….

9. Leupold is coming out with sunglasses.

Primarily for shooters but:

> All five styles share…features like infused polarized lenses, which eliminate glare and keep your eyes fresh whether you’re on the water or in the field. Leupold’s Guard-ion hydrophobic coating sheds dirt, water, and fingerprints for a clear, crisp image, while Diamondcoat-hardened lenses reduce surface scratches. Daylight Max technology, meanwhile, provides UV protection for optimal performance in bright conditions. Each style is compatible with prescription lens requirements.

And for you close-quarters flippers:

> …3 of the 5…designs go a step further by offering an ANSI Ballistic Rating.

10. DC: Aurelia Skipwith is the new USFWS director.

US Fish and Wildlife Service. She’s the first African American ever in the position, which is great. But the info doesn’t say whether she hunts or fishes which is kinda important in that role:

> Skipwith has served as deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Dept of the Interior since Apr 19, 2017.

11. Asian carp updates.

That was the goal so good! Make it 10 mil in 2020.

Not signed yet….

12. TX: Zebras now in Lake Marble Falls.

13. Tackle Warehouse 25 days of savings are still on!

14. BassBlaster year-end apparel sale is still on!

Runs thru Dec 23, all items are 20% off Use the code HOLIDAY at checkout. Please note: The last ship date for USPS Priority Mail is Dec 21 (but don’t wait til the last minute).

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

2 baits Brian Latimer is fishing right now.

Asked him for 1 soft and 1 hard, so here you go:

> Hard bait: “Bill Lewis MR-6 in my custom color, ‘take my money’ [can only get that color on his site]. 6′ 8″ Favorite Pro Series Rod, Lew’s Custom Pro Reel (6:4:1), 10-lb mono. Bang it into every rock on the lake.”
> Soft-plastic: 3.75″ Z-Man Streakz [believe that’s “smokey shad”]. “On a dropshot or 1/10- or 1/5-oz Finesse Shroomz Head. 8-lb line, 7′ 1″ Favorite Sick Stick, Lew’s TC 3000 Spinning Reel. Dropshot in 25-50′ and I also use it for schoolers. Yes we do have schooling fish in Dec here. On the Ned head it can be dropped vertically or cast at the schoolers.”

Check this Brian vid on “How to Catch Bass Deep.”

Quote of the Day

“The pros, the fans and even to some extent the organizations are wasting energy by focusing on the divided nature of the sport.”

Mike Iaconelli talkin’ — for what it’s worth I 100% agree and am glad someone said it. Stop being friggin’ negative! Also agree with what he said next:

> “I think it’s great that at this point in time we have 2 really strong leagues and that anglers are getting opportunities that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

I texted him and was like, “Dude! Where you gettin’ this wisdom???” Here’s what he texted me back — 4 separate texts:

Shot of the Day

The talented @casey_yoern with a siiiiiiiiiiick release shot:


Check Rival Sons’ “Pressure and Time.” Musta listened to it 50x today. Dang man, I wanna play with that drummer! Dude hits the skins hard, the way you’re supposed to.

Dig the SPACE in the tune. Important…in everything, not just music….

Ya got me

Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

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