St Lawrence winning baits, Junk-shotting, Dropshot beats Carolina?

Today’s Top 5

Fear the fuzz! Josh Bertrand wins it junk-shotting.

Was gonna call it “junk-dropping” but that sounded a little…risque. Anyhow, YUGE congrats to Josh “that’s really my real beard color” Bertrand, who won his first Elite by the weight of a couple craws in a dang FREAK SHOW PARADE of fat smallies:

> “This is pretty unbelievable, a humbling week for me. I was pretty much in shock….

> “I definitely had a good practice and felt like I could have a really solid tournament — I knew I would, honestly. I’d never caught that many fish over 5 in practice….”

Full pattern rundown is on the BB website, but here’s a leetle bit:

> “Every time [at the St L], I’ve fished deep. I’ve survived, but there were still a lot of shallow fish. This time we were here a month later, and more fish were out where I was fishing. I knew it the first day of practice — I had 2-3 times more bites than I had the last couple times we were here. But by the sheer amount of bites I had on the first practice day, I knew it’d be a good tournament for everyone.

> “It wasn’t a pattern. I know junk-fishing is a bunch of rods on the deck and you fish everything in front of you, but this was a 1-technique junk-fishing pattern. I hit a lot of different spots. It was chaotic. I had similar weights other than the 1st day so it looked like I was consistent, but I fished a lot of places…random stuff.”

> Dropshot baits: “In the morning I fished a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm (gp). It looked like a goby. Periodically I switched it out to a smaller bait — a 3″ Gulp! Minnow (emerald shiner). That’s a tried and true bait for me there…when fish get a lot of pressure…around other boats or when [bites] slowed down….

> #1 Berkley Fusion 19 Drop Shot Hook, 1.5′ leader, 3/8-oz BPS XPS tungsten dropshot weight, 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier spinning rod, Abu Premier Reel (30 size), 8-lb Berkley Nanofil mainline, 8-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon leader.

> Josh runs Garmin 7612s and 7610s: “I feel like Garmin has the best mapping of this place…able to know exactly where all dropoffs are on the shoals. The sonar was so good and crisp it was easy to see fish hiding down in the rocks.”

How to be like Josh Bertrand.

Okay all you Bertrand fans, here you go! Some of these may not be true — will leave it up to you to decide:

1. He dyes his beard — I mean, if his beard was really that red he’d have to use Frank’s Hot Sauce to make it thataway…which he might.

2. He listens to Crazy Mule a lot, and might name a bait after ’em.

3. He’s a huge baseball fan, and duct-tapes one of his roomies — Elam, Pirch or Roy — to a chair once a tourney to make ’em watch the slowest sport on the planet with him.

4. Loves making things with mashin’ taters and sometimes puts that on his Insta:

5. He’s a big-time doubles sumo-suit wrestler — had no idea that even existed:

Justin Lucas’ and Brandon Lester’s baits.

Dudes were 13 oz and 18 oz off the winning weight. Dang. Good derbies for’ em though:

2nd: Justin Lucas

Justin said he was catching them around current breaks, so I was like, “What created the current breaks?” He said, “Not going to say.” Pretty sure that’s cuz he doesn’t know — heard he practiced with a local friend’s Boston terrier, name of Vito, who’s a current-break expert:

Believe there’s nothing in the Bassmaster rules about practicing with a local’s dog so…. KIDDING Trip, dang man easy son! Anyhow, here’s what Justin used and did:

> Dropshotted current breaks in 35-45′.

3rd: Brandon Lester

> Xzone Slammer (“309” = gp purple and copper flake on top with an iridescent bottom — “really good goby imitation”), #4 Mustad Titan X Wacky/Neko Hook (“the longer shank on that hook keeps them pinned better”), 3/8- and 1/2-oz weights depending on current, 6′ 9″ M MHX Rod, 2500-size spinning reel, 10-lb Vicious braid, 8-lb Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon leader.

> “I was targeting shoals and current seams in 25-40’…30-35 miles from launch.

> “Only one I lost all week was the big one [the final day] that cost me the tournament and he just didn’t eat the bait good.”

Berkley’s stank plays again.

We all know “stank” is a legit bassin’ term. Can mean what won’t come off your hands after a day of bassin’, what your livewells start to smell like with bass barf, all kinds of things. In this case, it’s why you store Berkley PowerBaits in your garage — they got some serious stank…

…which smallmouths seem to love. Asked Bertrand what up with that:

> “Well I think largemouths like it too, especially MaxScent….

> “Gulp! definitely…smallmouth fishermen all over the north swear by it and I do too. They soak whatever baits they like in jars of Gulp! in these tournaments. When I first started coming here 5-6 years ago I heard it was a big deal, and I’ve seen it for myself now.”

This is totally unscientific and just one bassin’ idiot’s (me) opinion but maybe:

> Berkley’s PowerBait and Gulp! haven’t (to my knowledge) caught on big in largie world, but have in saltwater and smallie world.

> Does this have anything to do with the fact that smallies act like saltwater fish? They’re way aggressive/dumber and roam a lot…?

One of these is not like the other….

Check Greg Hackney’s weigh shots — notice anything?

Heard 2 rumors about this:

1. Every time Hack went to sleep, KVD would play “The Freaks Come Out at Night” and it brainwashed Hack into thinking the smallies were only feeding during the full moon, so he fished for largemouths.

2. In practice Hack kept having nightmares about these guys in charge of a big ship on the St. Lawrence, gave him a lot of anxiety, so he wanted to stay shallow and close to the launch:

Hahaha fellas!

Related: David Fritts seemed to have a little confusion about catching fish that weren’t green — looks like he’s not sure exactly what he was catching:

Doesn’t look too stoked about it not being a largie….


1. Fish with an otter!

BUFF’s got a new contest up, get to fish with an otter, which we all know are super-friendly critters:

Okay, guess not that one but this-a-one is:

> Enter to win a trip to fish for a day with Bassmaster Elite pro Ott DeFoe on his home water in east TN Sat Nov 10, 2018. Grand prize includes airfare voucher and free lodging — plus $1,600 in new gear from BUFF, Mossy Oak Fishing, ONYX, Costa Sunglasses, and Rapala.

Yeah mang! Ott always fishes covered up in BUFF stuff…

…so don’t be afraid to pull down his facemask to make sure it’s him and not this dude:

Ott does make that face when you’re fishin’ with him and jump one off…. Click it here to enter.

2. Fletch Shryock couldn’t wait to get the party started…

…but mebbe shoulda waited just a few more minutes to launch his rig:

Only funnin’ here cuz apparently all was okay with the boat — lucky dude!

3. Morizo Shimizu has retired from the Elites.

Not sure if this is permanent or a Brett Favre deal, but either way THANK YOU Morizo! Why I’m sayin’ thanks: heck of a fisherman, sacrificed to be here in the US of A, fished at the highest level, and could be a poster child for having joy in all things while bassin’. #stout

4. Josh Bertrand, Chad Grigsby on StrayCasts…

…tomorrow night 7pm Central on Facebook Stray Casts and Pat and the krazy nutz will rock you like a smallmouth hurricane with the latest 2 brown bass beeg weeners.

5. FLWer Barry Wilson gets Fitzgerald.

6. VT adding high school bassin’.

#stout cuz there’s only like 2 bass lakes in VT other than Champlain….

7. Larry Rencken new Duckett VP of ops.

Larry had been head of sales at Raymarine. Boyd ain’t playin’!

8. FLW’s Colin Moore gets Wade Bourne media award.

Fitting, deserved, awesome. Congrats Colin!

9. TW has the Lunkerhunt Prop Turtle in stock.

Totally want to fish one to see:
> If a bass will bite it.
> Can I make other turtles question reality by how fast I make it swim.
> If a hawk or deer sees a turtle moving that fast, will it pass out…or start building a nuke fallout shelter.

10. New BassBlaster apparel FINALLY in stock!

Check it here. Wearin’ my “Chasin’ Ditch Melons” tee right now…. Still waitin’ on Bass GEEK stuff…comin’ soon….

11. Phoenix making a Chevy edition boat?

Looks like a legit post? 2018 Silverado Centennial Edition:

12. Latest Bass Angler Mag is out.

Tip of the Day

Using a dropshot as a search rig…

…like a Carolina rig but better? From an In-Fish post again, guess their SEO is rockin’ cuz they’re coming up in my searches. Kota Kiriyama again too:

> “I’ve always believed Carolina rigs were great search tools when bass are pinned to bottom, but I can do the same thing with a dropshot rig and lose fewer fish. You’re less likely to break off because the weight is under the hook. The line above the hook is rarely on bottom, which means less abrasion and fewer problems.

> “It’s almost impossible to swim a dropshot at extreme depths. At 50′ you’re vertical no matter what you do. You can fish 20-25′ deep while steadily retrieving, but that’s about the limit.

> “If the sinker leaves bottom, I pause until it hits again. It’s easier to keep the weight on bottom with the rod tip down. Hold the tip up and it makes the bait rise. You can set hooks better with the rod tip down too.”

But if you’re rigging it for searching for largies, you might want to use a light (M or ML action) casting rod….

Quote of the Day

“Are there any realtors here? I want to live here.”

Mike Iaconelli talkin’ from the weigh-in stage this weekend. WORD! But…only 4-6 months. The rest of the year it’s like:

That’s literally the St Lawrence River….

Shot of the Day

Aaaaaaaand that’s how you do it peeps! @trevorlofishing poppin’ the big Q (and possibly a Pop-R) — congrats yo ya both dude! Did she get suspicious when you cleaned your boat for 2 straight days…lol!


World coon-hunting champeenship coming to Kentucky Lake area.

Who knew…. Sounds like a good reason to start a pest-control biz there.

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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