Special late fall/early winter baits and stuff issue!

It’s late fall or early winter wherever you live, and if you live way south just remember: the FISH think the weather’s changed even if the trees don’t. So anyhow, here’s some baits, gear, tips and whatnot to gitcha out on the water or…vistin’ Tackle Warehouse hahaha! (Black Friday sale is ON mang!)

Mimic you some shad! (Except for crankbaits)

Heck yeah it’s about the shad bite in the fall! The rocket-scientist basses will even bite shad-colored baits in lakes that don’t have shad so don’t be a-hatin’ the shads! Here’s some learnin’ for ya:

How does YUM spell “shad?” T-I-N-F-O-I-L. Or at least that’s how Jason Christie spells it, and no one wants to argue with Christie so…. Either way, that color is the dealio for mimickin’ flashin’ shad, and gotta love the fact that it’s made in plastics:

If you like to flip more than burn or crank, there you go. Here’s Alton “Al Jr.” Jones talkin’ briefly about flippin’ a tinfoil Christie Craw — why and how:

Linkin’ it up for ya:
Christie Critter
Christie Craw
Break’N Shad

You know when you’re lifting something heavy for your neighbor and yer pants riiiiiiiiiiip — and you suddenly freeze up? Well, that’s what the Rapala RipStop jerkbait does. Sorta….

Here’s what you need to know: NOT a traditional jerkbait. Or it is, but that’s not all it is — it hard-flashes (and can fish) like a swimbait, then slams on the brakes like a possum late to a hound party. Elitist Randall Tharp calls that stop the “death quiver.”

Right now the RipStop only comes in one size: 3.5″. Good for smaller shad, but you might need a medium-action rod to sling it. Bait dives to about 3′, and is supposed to be all that when fish are on shallow flats or feeding up. Check it in Elitist action:

Have you forgotten to Fluke when it’s cold or when the bass are misbehavin’ or when shad’s around? Hopefully not. Lemme excerpt a true story about KVD, scribbled by a guy who can fo-sho fish:

> I was first introduced to the power of the Caffeine Shad about 6 years ago while filming a fall show with KVD. We were throwing Burner Spinnerbaits around grass…. Everywhere we stopped, Kevin would unstrap his rods on the front deck, and would always unhook a rod with a Caffeine Shad tied on it and lay it where is was easily accessible.

> …I finally asked, “What’s up with the Caffeine Shad rod?” He replied, “You’ll see.” …wasn’t very much longer before a bass rolled on his Burner and he quickly reeled it in and grabbed the [Caffeine Shad] rod. …[cast] the Caffeine Shad exactly where the bass missed his spinnerbait. He twitched it furiously for a few feet and then stopped it, allowing it to fall. You can guess what happened next…nice 4-lb largemouth.

> I’ve had experiences in the fall in pressured areas where the bass just wouldn’t eat a topwater. They would boil on it, slap at it, or follow it. …pulling the Caffeine Shad out of my bag of tricks has saved the day.

“Bulbous” (Mercer word!) tail means it likes to be twitched. Comes in 4″, 5″ and 7″.

When I first saw the Lunkerhunt Bento Minnow — also called the Lunkerhunt Bento Bait — I thought a Japanese company made it. When I found out it was made by a bunch of Canadian guys, I started to doubt my sanity. Had to excuse myself from an ICAST meeting to count my marbles, make sure I had ’em all…all 5 of ’em….

So the Bento Minnow looks Japanese-good, is a killer a shad/baitfish imitation, and like any good soft-jerk it’s easy to make look wounded with a few twitches and pauses.

Tip: Find ’em with a topwater, like maybe a Lunkerhunt frowg or Kraken Popper, and if they just…don’t…commit, then get ’em to chomp with a soft-jerk.

In case you don’t look at tourney results all over the country like I do, I’m here to tell ya — spinnerbaits still catch ’em. Chatterbaits and swimbaits have knocked spinnerbaits to the bottom of the box, but not for everyone. And if Bassmaster Elite tourneys still happened in the fall in largie water, you’d see those guys throwin’ ’em.

Gotta confess that I’ve never been a big spinnerbait guy EXCEPT in tannic/stained water. Just a confidence deal for me. But Jason Christie grew up slingin’ blades, and told me the BOOYAH Vibra Wire is the real deal. Good components and more vibration git ‘er done. Check it:

Can get ’em in willow-CO, willow-willow and if your shad’s smaller, try the 1/4-oz finesse version.

Here’s a good vid of Zona doin’ some deeper jerkin’ for colder-water fall bass. Tells how he does it, uses 10- and 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon — 12 if they’re over grass and 10 if they’re over deep water:

Z loves to jerk him some baits, and of course they’re Strike King KVDs (ayu, crystal shad, natural bream). Rod and reel are: 7′ M Daiwa Tatula Elite Randy Howell Jerkbait Rod and Daiwa Tatula SV Reel (7.3).

Mimic you some shad! (Crankbaits)


Talkin’ to a college bass-head the other day who said 2 things he likes about the BOOYAH Flex are it sounds different than other squarebills — because of the foam and “bill-through” construction — and he can throw it fearlessly at all kinds of structure…cuz it won’t break. Super-important because college kids have some thin funds man!

Wait…we ALL have thin funds so…. Here’s diehard bassin’ head Chad “Capt. BOOYAH” Warner talkin’ it in a good vid:

Check this sneak peak at the upcoming Flex III squarebill — unpainted prototype. It’s bigger and it catches ’em:

The 1.5 is like cool kicks (or flops) — a must-have when a-feeshn. In fact, when I say “1.5” to you, you know exactly what I’m talkin’ ’bout so what does that tell you?

If you somehow don’t already own a few, click the pic and see ’em on the TW:

Yo-Zuri baits are different. Kinda like this, which I hear is the deal in Nebraska but:

Sounds kinda nasty but…. Hahaha! Okay not exactly — what I mean is, Yo-Zuri has different baits in different sizes than you have in your box. Which means a different look and vibration/sound for the fishes. This-here’s a shallow-running, deflection-oriented crank — the 3DR Flat Crank in “real gizzard shad:”

> …built with a “slab-sided” profile, which helps deliver super-erratic wobbling that shallow bass can’t resist.

> …internationally patented 3D Internal Prism that sends out natural flashes of light that closely resemble the natural reflections of a swimming baitfish.

> …”shovel-lip” design to erratically bounce off underwater structure while avoiding snags….

Maybe it’s a cinnamon roll for the bass? Or a mini-muffin??

If the shape of the Flat Crank is too far outta yer comfort zone, gitcha lipless on with this bait. Same color, “real gizzard shad” — temporarily sold out on Tackle Warehouse when I checked, which should tell ya something:

Elitist Mike McLelland grew up doing plenty o’ colder-water bassin’ in highland lakes, and cranked the Storm Wiggle Wart a BUNCH. But he wanted it a bit different, so he and SPRO created the Rk (“Rock”) Crawler — which if you don’t know about it, here’s Mike tellin’ it:

I like the more-subtle sound…. Those-type cranks are must-haves in cold water, period, and especially (but not only!) around any kind of rock.

Cranking is fun, mang! Just crank that handle and…bam! You can do it from the shore, you can comb shallow flats and creek arms from a boat, just do it.

A dang good rod for this is the Alpha Angler Rebound — called that because it recovers SLOWLY when ditch melons surge against the trebles. Told Jake Boomer at Alpha he shoulda called it the “Surge Protector” but that’s a different story….

Anyhow, the Rebound has this fancy fiberglass that’s way more sensitive than regular stuff, and is best-suited for fishing squarebills of all weights, 1/4- to 3/4-oz lipless cranks AND spinnerbaits and bladed jigs. Here’s Jake and some AOY feller talkin ’bout it:

Haven’t fished with one of these rods yet, but like the Rebound the Feel N Reel Rods are specifically designed for moving baits. They fuse fiberglass and graphite, making them light but also softer. I love this line:

> …this innovative blank composition compensates for recent innovations in the fishing industry, like surgically-sharpened hooks, zero-stretch lines and high-speed reels….

Word! THAT’s why I miss so many fish hahahaha! But seriously, I’m all about tryin’ new stuff and these rods fer sher qualify.

What I’d be fishing…


…if I wasn’t hunting. But I do get out a little (not enough!):

Would fish all of the above and also these cold water and/or late-season faves:

> Luhr Jensen Speed Trap — Most under-the-radar awesome cold-water crankbait. #secretweapon

> Rapala DT4 and DT6 — At times money in colder water.

> Rapala Shad Rap and the similar Strike King Lucky Shad — both dang good for cold-water bass.

> YUM Dinger in Elder’s Magic — Believe this color is named after Ouachita guide Chris Elder’s magic show involving bunnies, funny hats and an assistant named Bruce. Or maybe not. Whatever the reason, it’s $$$$, so it’s in the boat always.

> BOOYAH One Knocker — Sometimes that one deeper knock is IT.

I’d be trying:

> Yo-Zuri Knuckle Bait — Since the spinnerbait bite is on in the fall, why not try it? (I haven’t yet this fall…been hunting!)

> Medium-action rods — Gotta get over my MH obsession and make my hookset slower.

> Slower reels — Same deal on slowing down.

Tip of the Day: You ever “Stupid Tube”??


Pretty sure if you’ve fished a tube, you’ve stupid-fished it — cuz you fished right past some bass or blew a hookset or whatever….#stupid

Bahahahaha! Okay, no. This is kinda a do-nothing, TX-rigged, Flanders way to fish a tube — tip from almost-AOY Jacob “J-Wheels” Wheeler. Longer vid but you only need to watch the first minute:

Use any teardrop-style jighead (1/8, 3/16 or 1/4) with a 3/0 EWG-style jighead, and any 3.5-4″ hand-poured green pumpkin tube. He fishes it on a 7′ M Okuma Helios Spinning Rod, 30-size Okuma Helios SX Spinning Reel, 10-lb Sufix Nanobraid and a 10-lb Sufix Invisiline fluoro leader:

> “When you go to set the hook on them, you need to have low-stretch line — rigging it that way, you don’t have a lot of hook to really crack ’em.

> “In IN everyone throws it, but anywhere else in the country not very many people throw it.”

There you go bass-peeps!

Other bassin’ stuff you need know about!


Have said many times it’s hard to get a bad rod these days. So many are good, and WAY better than they were even 10 years ago. But you can also buy a 5-hunnert-dolla rod now (!!) so…if that ain’t in yer budget, check these offerin’s from Favorite. A couple are: AP Bassin’s Absolute Casting Rod for $79.99 or the White Bird for $49.99. I kid you not.

First of all, as a lefty, I’m profoundly hurt and disappointed that new Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spool SLP Reel is only offered in a right-hand version. Because it’s white and blue mang!

Clockwise from top left is that reel, the orange/black Mach Crush, the BB1 Pro Speed Spool and the top-o-the-line Hyper Mag Speed Spool:

They’re all new! It’s like Lynn Reeves sold his company and all he does is go fishing and develop new stuff…oh wait, that’s exactly what happened….All Lew’s stuff here on TW.

Can you let it soak? Well, if you plan on fishing cold water, you better put on your patience pants and tune up that fiddle while you let that plastic do its thing. Thing is, plastics and cover go together like chicken wings and football, so you know you’re a-gonna be soakin’ that bait around cover — docks and wood, usually.

You’re in luck cuz VMC’s weedless Neko Hook — a favorite hook of several Elites for several things — is finally out…after the Elitists had ’em, and in fact Brandon Palaniuk won the Sam Rayburn derby this year fishing this hook in/around brushpiles.

Here’s Ike jawin’ at ya about it:

When you need to be a bass “assassin” — would that be a great name for a bait company or what? hahaha! — when do you be a Sniper and when do you be a Shooter? Sunline, that is…2 different fluorocarbons for different situations. Here’s what Johnny Crews says about when he uses each — makes sense too:

5. BUFF ThermoNet Multifunctional Headwear

“ThermoNet Multifunctional Headwear” are big words which basically mean: a BUFF that’s 4x warmer with no added weight. I have one, haven’t tried it yet, but based on what I’ve seen from BUFF I’m bettin’ it’s gonna work. Technical-type talk:

> The ThermoNet collection featuring Primaloft yarn has a hydrophobic coating to resist ice and water buildup. What does this mean? You’ll stay warm and dry around your head, neck and face that often exposed zone even when wearing a rain jacket and fishing cap.

And don’t forget that BUFF has the best fishing gloves on the planet….

Gonna keep this to 2 things: Good braid and it’s blue, which I dig. Check it:

Does your boat look like a dang space ship? Or do you at least have one ‘lectronics unit you had to sell a limb for? If so, then check T-H’s Two Way Boat Alarm System. Has:
> A shock sensor to detect bad peeps
> Lights and sound to deter them
> An alert system for the boat owner, even if they are 3,000 yards away

Installation is s’posed to be easy too….

It’s getting dark earlier — unless you live way south — so if you’re a diehard basser or can only scrape out a few bassin’ minutes after work, check the YOLOtek Power Light:

Caught a guy singin’ “You Light Up My Life” to it once…. Okay, might have been me, but you ain’ never seein’ that vid hahaha!

Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin’. Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best in bassin’, and is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass.

Click here to see all the ways to get the BassBlaster, including by text!

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