Smith Open winning baits, Double Palomar knot for frogs, Lure color secret

Today’s Top 4

Jesse Wiggins is an Opens BOSS!

How ’bout 3 Open wins the last 2 years for the rookie Elitist? Won Smith, AL in 2016, Harris Chain, FL in 2017 and now another Smith Open last weekend. He’s video-gamin’ it mang!

Okay, really more like:

Asked him what up with the Opens thing, and he said something very deep:

> “I don’t know.” [Sandbagging? Chin-scratch emoji]

> “It seems like they jump in the boat when comes to these Opens, but I’m thankful for it. I’ll gladly take it. Two I won on my home lake [Smith] where I feel like I can beat anybody, and the one in Florida I found the best place on the lake and was able to make it last for 3 days.”

Here’s what he did this time:

> 3/16-oz homemade jighead with Zoom Fluke Stick (green pumpkin purple green). 7′ MH St. Croix Legend Elite Spinning Rod, Shimano Stradic Ci4, 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid with and 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro leader. Fished around shady docks with brush.

> Jenko CD Squarebill (spring craw), changed the hooks to #4 Owner ST-36 trebles. 12-lb InvizX with a 6′ 10″ St. Croix Legend Glass Crankbait Rod and Shimano Chronarch (6.4). Rocky banks and shoreline cover.

> 1/4-oz Cumberland Pro Lures buzzbait with Zoom Horny Toad or Speed Craw (white and black). 50-lb Seaguar Smackdown braid, Shimano Citica reel, 7′ MH St. Croix Avid Rod. Shady banks in the morning.

What’s Wiggins like?

Don’t know him much at all, so I asked how he gets stoked, what music does he listen to, etc. Answers:

> “I love winning so I mostly think about what I could do to win the tournament. That’s what I go to bed thinking about. Places to fish, where I think I can catch bigger ones, ways to catch them, and trying not to do anything stupid during the day — like spending too much time in an area or losing a fish that would be my fault.

> “I try to look at stuff where if I’m in the future looking back at this week, I don’t want to regret making this next move.”

Got that? No tunes, dialed-in focus, thinks about the future. Didn’t tell him when we talked, but focusing on the present AND thinking about the future can cause this:

Asked him if he was the type who was hyper-organized as a kid, and he said:

> “No I wasn’t. Matt Lee makes fun of me all the time for how unorganized I am. I tell him I want to be like him when I grow up. His tackle is so detailed and organized it’s amazing. Every tournament he lets me look through his tackle — it’s so organized. I love looking at organized tackle.”

I picture that whole thing like this:

Hahaha! Also said:

> “I’ve always loved winning, even as a kid. I’d get so upset when I couldn’t win. That’s what I took into my fishing. I don’t fish just to go bass fishing — I like winning the most. It’s a lot more fun fishing tournaments to win them then it is to get beat every time.

> “I realize in this sport you get beat a whole lot more than you win. And when money’s on the line, winning money is a variant of winning in my mind — coming out ahead is winning also.”
Seems like a good dude…just like most bass-heads…most…lol

Lester’s and Lucas’ Smith Open baits.

Always try to chase down high-finishing Elitists in Opens, so even though Rick Morris finished 2nd (good derby man!), here’s what a couple o’ Elite boys did at Smith.

3rd: Brandon Lester

> “My main deal was a 3/8-oz buzzbait with a soft plastic toad on it. Just running pockets and flat banks, covering lots of water. Rod was a 7′ 2” MH MHX Elite Pro Series, 7.1:1 reel, 20-lb Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon.

> “Also weighed a couple on a 3/16-oz shakey head with a Mustad hook in it and an X Zone Lures Fat Finesse Worm (watermelon). I fished the shakey head around bluffs with brush and docks.”

4th: Justin Lucas

J-Lu didn’t have his greatest year on the Elites, but caught ’em at Smith. Word is he was gonna fish a buzz frowg after Lester, him and donny barone were jamming out to Stevie Salas’ tune “Hoochie Toad” a bunch of times, but then “Do Your Own Thang” came on the playlist so:

> “I used the new Berkley Maxscent The General [as in Larry “the General” Nixon] on a 1/4-oz shakey head. This counted for 12 of my 15 fish. 8-lb Fireline Ultra 8 to an 8-lb Trilene 100% Fluoro leader. 7′ MH Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier spinning rod with a Revo reel.

> Bait color was green pumpkin party. “Real clear water so a natural green pumpkin was best.

> “I focused on isolated pieces of wood in 19-23′ on the sides of points. I also caught a couple under docks that had brushpiles under them.

> “It was a really tough bite, so I thought keeping a shakey head in my hands for the most amount of time would give me the best chance to do well.”

Secret to bait color design revealed.

Check this:

That’s an orange bellied parrot and a Strike King KVD 1.5 Squarebill in powder blue back chartreuse. Hmmmm.

How ’bout a red tailed black cockatoo and a Rapala DT 16 in molting blue craw (discontinued color, now ole blue):

Crimson rosella and a BOOYAH Flex II squarebill in ruby craw:

So two things:

> We have just discovered a secret in bait design: mimicking parrots. Hooda thunk.

> Congratulations, you have just read the first thing ever in the history of bassin’ about parrots.



1. ME: We lost an 18-yr-old bass-head.

3-time state champ, single-car accident. Hate to hear it. Bless you bassin’ brother.2. Jason Williamson is on BassEdge Radio.

3. Jay Yelas gets SteelShad.

Thought it was a metal band, but turns out it’s steel blade blade baits that…bend. Interesting.

4. Here’s what David Kilgore did at Smith.

David “yeah I’ve fished some Classics” Kilgore was fo sho a threat at Smith, and finished 10th (Jordan Lee finished 8th). Always love to hear how David fished — cuz he’s a hammer — so here you go:

> 1/2-oz Strike King Pure Poison (black/blue) with a Rage Menace Grub trailer (black blue flake). Fished it “real slow” in 4-8′ on muddy banks from boat traffic and wind.

> 1/2-oz Strike King Structure Jig (gp) with Rage Chunk (gp). In brushpiles 6-25′ deep.

5. How many Zonas is too many?

If you ask Z’s lovely wife she’ll probly say…1. Hahaha! Seriously tho. She probably would.

Either way, Z and his boys — Hunter and Jakob — will be on the Stray Casts show live this Wed night on and Stray Casts Facebook page. Should be a time!

6. Tommy Sanders is unflappable??

Well…gotta say Tommy is a peach so it’s pretty tough to get him to “flap,” but he does get flappy now and again! lol

From a good Bassin’Fan post about why and how Davy Hite gave up competin’ to be “talent,” which is what they call the guys on camera.

7. AR: Carlton Wing is a state legislator?!

Used to host the FLW TV show, I think produced (maybe still does) Scott Martin’s show, and now defending bass anglers’ interests in the state legislature. You go Carlton!

8. 2018 FLW Costa info is out.

> The changes to the 2018 Costa FLW Series are highlighted by the addition of all-new Strike King Angler and Co-Angler of the Year payouts, with cash awards for the top 5 pros and co-anglers in each division. The Angler of the Year in each division now receives $5,000 with $4,000 going to 2nd, $3,000 to 3rd, $2,500 to 4th and $2,000 to 5th.

> The Co-angler of the Year now receives $2,000 with $1,500 going to 2nd, $1,250 to 3rd, $1,000 to 4th and $800 to 5th.

> Entry fees for the Costa FLW Series will slightly increase — $100 per event at $1,700 per tournament for pros and $25 per event at $575 per tournament for co-anglers.

9. TX: Falcon is filling up.

Sounds like it should help the fishing. Falcon has giants so if it can get even better…!

10. CA: What’s been killing bass in Clear Lake?

Sounds kinda bad — Elitist Jared Lintner:

> “The lake can rebound because it’s a natural lake, but if this keeps up we might as well stop going there.”

Bear in mind he’s talkin’ ’bout historically one of the best largie lakes in the country.

11. OK: Bassnanza derby Nov 4 on Kerr.

12. Gander Outdoors sending supplies to Puerto Rico.

13. Giant frog could eat dinosaurs.

> The frog, named Beelzebufo, was the largest frog ever to live on Earth….

Wait…how do they know what his name was?

Okay — does this explain vicious frog strikes? Do bass have an inherited hatred of the bufo? This is a question that should be addressed by serious bass-heads everywhere….

Subscribe to the BassBlaster YT channel yet??

You’re a bass-head ain’t ya?? Just click the YT logo to get there and make sure you sign up! Same as here: No junk, just beef.


Tip of the Day

Dean Rojas uses a DOUBLE Palomar for frogs!

Ever hear of a double Palomar? Me neither! Here’s how Dean ties the double Palomar (which he uses for ALL size frogs) and why a regular Palomar isn’t good enough:

He’s demonstratin’ usin’ a SPRO King Daddy frog, which looks ridonkulous huge but actually does some stuff that a regular frog won’t…and of course attracts the bigs/huges.

Quote of the Day

All I’ve done is show up for the official practice and then go with what I learned in the tournament. The days when that’s enough are over.

Shaw Grigsby talkin’ ’bout the need to prefish before off-limits. Pretty sure KVD does it thataway (show up and fish), a few other guys too, but I have to agree with Shaw: the Elites are so good now that it’s an all-in deal. He also said:

> You have to put everything you have into every cast if you’re going to be competitive, and that has to continue through every minute of the day.

I was so fired up after I read that that I practiced flippin’ off my deck for 10 minutes…but then I had to git back to Blastin’….

Shot of the Day

Givin’ it up for Roland Martin, 77 yrs old and still throwin’ down. Don’t think for a second that Roland is some TV/Helicopter Lure dude. He was a sho-nuff hammer back in the day: Heard many a story about him being “that good” and “that crazy” (when it came to gettin’ to his fish), so no surprise he’s still at it. Great shot by JO:


A remarkable new study claims that cow farts may be a much bigger factor in climate change than scientists previously realized.

> Direct measurements of methane emissions are not available for all sources of methane.

Direct…measurement? Of methane…emissions? Sounds like an episode of that Dirty Jobs show.

Word is scientists are contemplating measuring the effects of pre- and post- bass tourney BBQs….

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