If you’re down right now, just think — you could be down in Mexico instead:
That @denalifishing pic looks like torture man…not! #jelly Get some this weekend to stop the hurty — I plan to too!
Please excuse any issues with the formatting — we had to switch to a new tool, still working out some bugs….
Today’s Top 5
”The Livescope makes it so much easier, but if you don’t have one you can still catch fish….”
– Alton Jones Jr talkin’ winter bassin’ BUT that statement could apply to a lotta bassin’ now, offshore particularly.
Most telling phrase: “you can still catch fish.”
I haven’t come close to figuring out how to best use mine yet so it’s gotta take some practice.
Why does Randy Howell give away his boat every year?
Okay yep charity, yep he’s nuttier than a Snicker’s bar (lol Randy!), but what else? That’s my 2nd-biggest question for Randy so let’s start with the 1st:
1. Why do you always have a flat top? Is it a head shape deal?
> “Well my flat top started at like 14 yrs old, and my head and my hair are just so bad it’s the only thing I can do with it…. Anytime I’ve tried to do something else with it, was so bad….
> “It’s kind of become my brand now, so I just live with it. My boys wear me out with it all the time though.”
2. Why do you give away your boat every year? What started this whole thing?
> “It actually started at the 2007 Bassmaster Classic in Birmingham I was fishing in. I got a random email from one of the directors at King’s Home [about] if me and some of the Bassmaster people could visit when I was in town for the Classic. I asked [ESPN owned at the time]…they said, ‘No we’re the Jimmy V Foundation only,’ so…just went and did it my myself.
> “As soon as I got there, I totally fell in love with the ladies and the people who ran the ministry there. I could just tell the people cared so much about the kids and the ladies — you could see how dedicated they were to rehabilitating all these kids and all these people who come from abusive situations.
> “We knew that what we saw and were feeling was the Lord showing us…happened for a reason…we’re supposed to use our platform and voice to help that group be successful….
> “They asked me afterwards if I could come back…use fishing as a resource for a lot of the boys there….
> “…slowly evolved into them asking, ‘Could you be a national spokesperson for us.’ Then…what if we could give my boat away and use it as a way to get attention for their ministry and their funds. I talked to Triton, Mercury, everyone I’ve worked with for years, and told them what we wanted to do — everyone jumped on board.
> “We raised almost $100,000 that year, and we just kept doing it and pushing it…. The Lord shined on it bright…at the Classic in B’ham [the one he won]…ESPN highlighted them and the ministry on the show…. Now it’s 10th anniversary….we’ve raised over $1.5 mil in 10 years with 9 boats.
> “I want to do this as long as I fish. That’s my trophy. That’s bigger and better than the Classic or any other trophy I have in my case. That’s the trophy that’s going to go to Heaven with me.”
3. Has Laker beat you yet? How about Robin?
> “Oh man. Robin [his wife] has beat me multiple times over a lotta years. There’s no shame at all in that.
> “Here’s a good story that just happened last weekend. A lot of pros live here at Guntersville, and they don’t allow pros or guides to fish the wildcat afternoon tournaments on the lake. One guy just started up a new tournament on Sunday afternoons — 12:30 to 4:30 — and pros and guides can fish it.
> “So…Chris Lane and [son] Cal fished it, Duckett and his son fished it, me and Robin fished it, and Laker and a buddy fished it. Laker won, so he beat 3 Classic champs in 1 day — and he’s let me hear it all week too. We’re coming after him this Sunday.”
Bet the Lanes and Ducketts are too…. This is the last week to maybe win Randy Howell’s Triton: ’20 Triton 21TRX-Elite, 250 Merc Pro-XS, all Lowrance, lots more stuff cuz Randy likes his stuff (lol). Here’s what it looks like — does not come with Randy, the flat top, or way too many rods/reels:
> Primary: 3/8-1/2 oz double willow, “white silver scale” — White/silver matches shad in slightly stained water. Blade combo is perfect for the slight stain because you can keep it higher in the water column if fishing shallow, and it gives off a little vibration from the kicker CO blade while still provides a bright flash from the willow.
> Secondary option 1: 3/8-oz tandem IN, same color — …if the water is a little more stained…IN blades provide an added thump over willow but don’t vibrate as hard as CO….
> Secondary option 2: 1/2-3/4 oz. double willow, same color — 2 situations…#1 is if the bass seem to be schooling or really aggressive, you can burn it without rolling over…#2 is if the water is a little cleaner and you want to fish deeper, the willow blades have less drag so you can reach deeper with the upsized head.
Woodrow Fields says this bait and this color are “all that right now.” Said the color he first made for himself:
> “I like blues and purples and wanted something with just a faint hint of purple and still stay with a natural shad look. This does that, especially with the white/silver scale skirting in bottom. Basically a prototype color that I took out and smoked the fish on, on a lake that gets more pressure than than a bass boat trailer tire lol.”
> “I’m fishing it in areas with flats across the top of grass beds where grass is dying off, and in the open pockets in grass beds in clear water between 3-8′.
> “Use a steady retrieve on top and between grass beds with and without a trailer. If I use a trailer, it’s either a 4” white grub or paddle-tail Fluke, both in pearl colors.
> 3/8- and 1/2-oz — you have to burn the 1/2 a little faster to keep from getting down too deep in the grass. Been using tandem or a single willowleaf blade set up.
Woodrow says the spinnerbait uses American-made Sampo swivels, a Gamakatsu hook, “living eyes” from Fish Skull (not sure what that means but sounds weird man hahaha!) and a Hildebrandt blade. $8.99 for the tandem, gitcha 1 before Nov 15 and it comes with a free 2/0 Gammy stinger hook.
You remember the days when the water was cold and the DEAL was Uncle Josh chunks? No idea why someone hasn’t taken up making those (if you know an alternative lmk), but as a substitute maybe check these:
Stumbled onto ’em because salty guys up here in the Northeast used to use Uncle Josh on their hair jigs but now use this stuff. That “cow” name doesn’t say pork but does say beef…which it is not:
> Jig Strips are durable [for salty toothy feesh] and versatile baits developed using a unique flexible synthetic material. The Craw trailer Jig Strips add strike simulating action and scent while maintaining their usefulness. Leave Jig Strips on your hook and use it over and over again.
Comes only in 3″ and those 5 colors ^ which they call: b/b flake, gp, watermelon, watermelon/red flake, “white pearl.” How it looks on a jig:
> “We couldn’t get enough of the right raw product to keep up. The quality of pork fat we require for our products has been in short supply for more than 5 years. It got to the point where 90% of the pork we purchased to make product went to waste.”
What’s wrong with the pigs in this country dang it! Idea: Pretty sure wild hogs are an unlimited resource….
“I own a Tundra but would certainly like to have another one.”
– Uh…yep! That’s Brandon Lester talkin’ ’bout whoever gets the biggest feesh at the Fork Elite. I’m thinkin’ many of us feel the same way even tho we won’t have a shot at it. He says he’ll be fishing a jig the whole time, for that big bite. We’ll see man!
…while JT Kenney looks like he’s gonna hop on a pogo stick or make motorcycle sounds with that deal:
Serious tho, great to see Shaw gettin’ after it since if you recall he had cancer surgery this year.
2. Brandon Card’s fave squarebill right now and into winter.
> “I like throwing the Yo-Zuri 3DB 1.5 in fall and early winter because I can cover so much water with it and it works around a variety of cover options.
> “It’s essential to find baitfish first before ever making a cast. When I find bait in fall and winter, I know that bass will be nearby. On calm days, I look for bait flickering on the surface, and on windy days I use my Lowrance units to find the bait.
> “The 3DB 1.5 squarebill has a natural swimming action and deflects off of cover extremely well.
> “I always keep moving in fall and early winter because I know there’s active fish somewhere. The 3DB 1.5 is a great bait to cover miles of shoreline….”
He fishes “gizzard shad” and “green shad” in clear to stained water, “citrus shad” in stained to muddy water, on a 7′ M Abu Veritas Rod, Abu REVO STX Reel (7:1) and 12-16 lb (depending on cover) Yo-Zuri T7 Fluoro (believe this is a new fluoro not out yet).
> We are issuing a voluntary product recall of the Rambler 20-oz Travel Mug with Stronghold Lid after learning the lid’s MagSlider and mug contents can be expelled if the mug is filled with hot liquid, sealed with the lid, and agitated or inverted, which can pose an injury hazard.
> Existing algicides…sink too quickly, missing much of the algae bloom on the surface of the water. This requires more chemicals to be used, driving up the cost and adding potentially harmful substances into the water.
> BlueGreen’s Lake Guard pellet solution is tossed into the water — the active ingredients are released from their coating within 4 to 6 hours.
I got to talking to Dave Davis there cuz I have that motor on my Vexus. He did a lot of explainin’, so in case you’re like me (sorry to hear it lol) and don’t know much about this stuff, here’s some of it:
> The Mercury 4-Stroke 150 is the only model from 75 hp on up to 300 that does not have any pre-drilled holes…provides a significant challenge for anything [like a tote] to be attached to it.
So Dave and his engineers designed something that wouldn’t require any holes and would work well — and look cool:
> The customized 3D design allows for a perfect fit using the angles and cast structures as anchors to secure the tote and support the compression demands of the engine while in tow.
> …lets it all [boat, motor, trailer] move as one…lets the biggest shock absorber, which are your tires, absorb that shock vs having [everything] move independently.
He said a lot more I don’t want to get wrong, but believe me Dave sounds like he got his PhD in this stuff. Few more deets:
> …Mercury 4-Stroke 150-hp engine owners from the following families — FourStroke, SeaPro and Pro XS….
> Billet aircraft-grade aluminum (“probably overkill” Dave says), meaning no bending or warping, and painted with automotive paint with flake — because this is bassin’ yo!
> Biffle recalls fishing the Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake. Fast fishing the Hardhead/Biffle Bug…had him anticipating victory during practice…. But when the air temperature dropped to 11 degrees on the opening day of the tournament, his pattern died.
> ….switching to a shakey-head worm on a 3/16-oz Hardhead and…a significantly slower retrieve…got him back in the game. He continues to favor that combination in similar conditions today….
> “I can put a YUM Dinger on that jig during the worst month of the season, and it is like flipping a switch. For some reason in Sept they want something long and fished slow.”
> Another favorite cold-water adaptation is a switch to a smaller trailer. Tommy’s favorite…is the Gene Larew Biffle Bug Jr, a 3.5″ version of the standard 5″ Biffle Bug.
> “If they’re not hitting in colder water, I just put that tiny Jr Bug on. If you find the fish are not hitting it or you are just getting a bump, change to the Jr. You’ll catch ’em!”
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 BassFan.com, 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’!