State of bassin’ electronics, MDJ on squarebillin’, Prime your bucktails?

Back to back to back Elites! Who wishes they did 8 in a row! (No one at B.A.S.S. is raising their hand lol.) Anyhow, fun while it lasted and props to everyone there for making the second half of a season happen…in the fall!

Whoda thunk 4 Elites in the fall, or that Chickamauga would be a little stingy (for the Chick), or that a Fork guide who used to clean out a Minnow Bucket would win the deal! Couldn’t get the deal done with Lee Livesay on short notice, will have his winnin’ deets for the next’n….

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

Today’s Top 5

“I find myself praying for horrible weather before I get to my destination.”

Zona talkin’ ’bout fall feeshn on the Bassin’masters. More:

> Extreme weather does something to those big fish this time of year, especially when cold nights send the water temperature tumbling. …draws them into the shallows where they are not only vulnerable, but they have an attitude to disintegrate everything they see.

Okay now I have zero excuses not to fish in nasty weather…but if I don’t get on ’em in that stuff I’m callin’ you on the way home Z!

You may not know Zona uses many a rainy day to drawl his show graphics such like:

The state of bassin’ ‘lectronics.

Few things:

1. Yep electronics are real important now. And fun: Shoot just looking at the screens on the water are fun enough to do for hours (my 2c).

2. Yep lots of choices, and many functions are similar across brands.

3. Yep guys are using multiple brands on their boats now…even though the ‘lectronics companies don’t want that.

4. I searched for a while to find someone who knew a lot about all the different brands to get some insight but struck out…til now.

Talked to Justin Russell of Russell Marine Products, a boat-outfittin’ and ‘lectronics shop outta KS. They work on lots of bass boats, Justin is a bass fisherman…

…he gets it and he’s plugged in — not sure how many pins on his plug tho (12? lol). Anyhow, here’s a few Q&As from a call we had last week:

What’s the most important thing about bassin’ ‘lectronics?

> “The big thing we see is that people who are willing to invest the time to truly learn more than turning them on…they reap the benefits…regardless of the brand….

> “We outfit probably 500 boats a year. I’ve got guys that swear by Humminbird, by Garmin, by Lowrance, some that mix and match brands. But the guys who are truly successful with fishing, brand doesn’t matter as much as truly using their electronics to find and catch fish. They’re willing to dedicate the time it takes to [understand their units]…tend to be more successful than guys [who swap brands].

> “I will say that in the Live technology realm, Garmin is light years ahead of everyone else currently on the market. We see a lot of stand-alone [Garmin] units. Like if a guy is Humminbird…just wants a single LiveScope unit on the front of the boat.

> “Guys know they are getting beat by not having LiveScope on their boats, so they’re buying a single unit just for that on their boat.”

Who’s the best at what right now?

> “For side scan, it’s Humminbird Mega 360. For 2D, it’s Lowrance. And Garmin for Live.

> “That’s different than it’s been [in the past], where one [brand] used to be dominant. And in the future I think [all brands’] tech will be very very close…. Every manufacturer we talk to, they kind of know their weaknesses.

> “I think within the next year, Humminbird will have a Live out, and Lowrance will define theirs better. So I think moving forward we’ll probably see less combinations of brands…around 2022 guys will probably will run all one brand for everything. We’ll see a transition to all Garmin, all Lowrance or all Garmin, especially seeing all these trolling motors….

> “For companies that have not developed trolling motors in the past, a lot of market research [was done]…. We were introduced to trolling motors on the Lowrance side almost 4.5 years ago [well before they came out].

> “Spot-Lock [aka GPS anchoring] has changed the way we fish for sure. Not just tournament guys, but also crappie and walleye guys recreational fishing. …someone a little older or with health issues or physical limitations might have difficulty operating a trolling motor on a windy day or maybe at all. Now they can get out to fish. So it’s been great to see these advancements….”

If you bought a new boat today and needed 3 graphs and a trolling motor, what would you pick?

> “The Ghost trolling motor. We were involved with early-on prototyping and idea stuff with Lowrance, and I really truly feel [Russell Marine has not seen service-wise] as many issues as we have with Ultrexes. We’re an authorized service center for Garmin, Lowrance and Minn Kota, and we’re still seeing the same repeated issues with Ultrexes now as when they first came to market. I’m not saying they haven’t tried to fix them….

> “Garmin has had some issues with new Force trolling motors, but I will say Garmin has been extremely helpful with swapping out whole trolling motors no questions asked…’get your customer taken care of.’

> “Lowrance has had some very minor issues but is the exact same way. They want to see what’s going on [with a bad motor] and are sending our customers brand new trolling motors and are paying us to install them.

> “I feel like both companies know they need to have great customer service, but we’re seeing way less issues on the market with Lowrance Ghost by far.

> “I’d have [Lowrance] 12 Live units front and back. I love the Lowrance 2D sonar — I’m used to it. I was a Lowrance guy for a long time. It’s actually how I got into this industry…. When I was young, I had aspirations to be a pro fisherman and was trying to fish the Opens…really dove into Lowrance products a lot…guys at the events always came to me with questions….

> “I’ve gotten so used to…how [Lowrance] screens function and how they work. …a lot of advancement with mapping…if you’re lucky enough to have [a C-map] for your lake, the mapping is incredible. Side-imaging is good, but Humminbird is definitely better.

> “I can drive back to a waypoint much easier when it’s Lowrance because I’m used to it.

> “I’d also put a Garmin 1222 LiveScope…on the bow.”

Why Trait Zaldain fishing is important.

Many folks including me have pointed out that BASS don’t care about your age, sex, race or whatever distinction someone wants to make between us peeps. (The fish DO care about your castin’ ability tho!) But that’s in the context of anyone can be a pro angler. PEOPLE do care about those distinctions, for inspiration — example:

So whether Trait ever makes the Elites or not is a separate deal from her inspirin’ girls everywhere. Quick story: Back when my daughter was younger, I brought her to the Mike Iaconelli Donation Fund Tourney (aka Delaware River Elite) and the ONLY person she wanted to meet was Trait. And she’s never forgotten it.Keep doin’ it Trait, and we need to see a vid of you out-ketchin’ Mr Stache!

Do you prime your bucktails?

Guy who makes and fishes surf-fishing “tins” — aka metal spoon-type baits — says it’s important to “prime” the bucktail. Meaning wetting it and then pulling it back to get it into its minnow shape before fishing it, else it won’t flow right, could mess up the action and hooking ability. Never thought about it but makes sense:

He also carries a toothbrush with him to smooth out/reorient feathers and skirts after a fish messes ’em up.


Clearly. Almost made me cry it’s so good:

Not sure who a) created that boat and b) posted this, but I salute you both. This truly is an 11 outta 10. Well done redneck bros!


1. Jordan Lee says punching is the most efficient way…

…to fish lots of grass. Good to know now:

> “The bass will go to the thickest stuff as the water starts to cool. Those fish that are on the outer edges will start to gravitate to the mats because that’s where all of the life is. The bluegill will start moving in because it is typically a little warmer inside of the center of those mats.

> “The key is to be able to make a lot of casts in a day and be efficient and one of the best ways to do that is by punching with a big weight. That’s probably the best way to catch them where there’s a lot of grass because you can drop it right in their home. Vegetation makes the water clear and when that happens, they usually want to be right in the middle of it.”

Pic shows him with a Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw.

2. Randall Tharp likes a popping frog in open water.

> “….if it’s strictly an open-water situation, I like a popping frog I’m making a lot more casts and working the bait a lot faster.”

> …the Terminator Popping Frog and [also] the 2.5″ Terminator Walking Frog Jr [bluegill or black]….
> …7′ 3″ MH Ark Tharp Series Money Maker. “The rod is pretty parabolic, different compared to the H fast-tip rod I use in cover. And I use 50-lb braid (Sufix 832) instead of the 65-lb. The 50 performs better, especially when you’re skipping docks, where 65-lb will get you a bird’s nest.”

3. Mark Davis was a hillbilly?

B.A.S.S. legend Bob Cobb, talkin’ ’bout Mark winnin’ the ’95 Classic:

> Enter Mark Davis, a Mt Ida, AR hillbilly, who emerged from his guiding days on Lake Ouachita to quietly take center stage…. Despite the fact Davis was the reigning 1995 Angler- of-the-Year locals still favored “our boy” [David Fritts] from nearby Lexington, N.C. to “git her done” this time.

HAHAHAHA! Guess we’re all hillbillys Bob? Mark is one of the most intelligent peeps I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing….

4. FLWer Blake Smith is looking for churches.For Meet the Pros nights on the 2021 FLW Pro Circuit schedule.

5. Casey Scanlon is selling his Nitro.

2020 Nitro Z21, Mercury Pro XS 250, all Garmin.

6. LA: Dude still fishing after a guy took the time…

…to take him and others fishing as kids:

> “He was an avid angler, another mentor who used to take us fishing, keep us out of trouble and off the streets. I’m grateful for that man,” he said, noting he didn’t have time for the streets while playing high school sports but “was close to the other side of the world” after his collegiate basketball career.

Andre “Tank” Sampay fishes tourneys now, doing pretty well too.

7. NY: 75 lbs of smallies weighed at Chautauqua??

Supposedly over a 3-dayer. Anyone got the sauce?

8. TX: MaxScent HIT Worms rule at Bassin’ Champs.

Big bass deal — looks like TW has some:

Hopin’ Bass Champs will have a new website at some point…?

9. AR okays a bunch of new bass regs.


> Greers Ferry min length is down to 12″ from 15″.

> No more slot at Lower White Oak.

> Increasing the daily creel limit for spotted bass by 10 at lakes Ouachita, DeGray and Greeson.

> Removing C&R for smallmouths at Ouachita.

> Removing C&R for largemouths at Lake June and instead having a 16″ min size and creel of 5 per day.

10. MO researchers: You can’t just stock any smallmouths?

Based on genetics. Not sure it makes sense in reality tho?

11. WV restores catch/release on 12 miles of New River.

Guides wanted it back.

12. NC: Carp need gone for Mattamuskeet restoration.

Common carp — says there’s 1 mil carp in that lake. Whoa!

13. MT wants smallies removed from the Shields River.

To protect Yellowstone cutthroat swimbait models.

14. NY: New launch at Onondaga Lake is open.

15. T-H Marine’s week 3 deal: HydroWave stuff!

Pros have ’em on their boats so:

16. Rapala college angler stuff.

Good interview with East TX Baptist angler Josh Manuel:

> “If I were to offer just one piece of advice to my 15-year-old self it would be ‘stick with it.’ When it comes to fishing tournaments, there will be incredible days and there will be really down days. You just have to keep at it and not let those down days take you out of the game.”

Rapala #WeAreCollegiateBass Podcast with Cole Breeden and Cameron Smith from Drury U, MO. They won the recent AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open on Dardanelle, AR.

17. New Kistler Graphite rods most affordable yet.

$150 apiece, right now only on the Kistler website. I have a couple of ’em, so far really diggin’ ’em.

18. Fishin’ guides should be recordin’.

Interesting post/point about creating memories and using the YOLOtek PowerStick to help remember ’em.

19. Sunline selling JDM lines on its website.

JDM = Japanese Domestic Market (only). I think a few might be at TW too…?

20. MI: Sun Dolphin ‘yaks being made again.

> “The company has produced 64,000 kayaks since purchasing the liquidated assets of KLO Industries in June….”

Company now owned by GSC Technologies, a Canadian co.

21. GA: White vs non-white angler preferences.

My quick 2c on this is I’m wonderin’ why more non-white folks don’t fish from boats. Is it $$$-related? Something else? Can we do something about it or is it silly to think that boats are the deal if some folks maybe don’t?

> Nonwhite anglers more frequently targeted bream and crappie with live bait while white anglers tended to target bass with artificial lures.

> White anglers were more likely to fish from a boat, while nonwhite anglers were more likely to fish from the shore or a pier.

Can’t link it — it’s at:

22. DC: Fishing/hunting groups weigh in on UN 30 x 30 thing.

B.A.S.S. involved too, sounds like the groups want to make sure sportsmen/women are included in whatever might come from this deal, which is good…even tho the US isn’t “a party to the treaty” — which is supposed to be about “global threats to biodiversity.”

Personally I’d rather see our country formulate its own policies for itself, but glad these folks are being sorta proactive just in case….

23. AL: Salvinia found in Guntersville.

Not the giant version:

> TVA officials began immediately treating the salvinia with an EPA-approved herbicide after discovery. They hope to aggressively treat it now and kill as much as possible before winter. A cold, extended winter, especially with extended freezing temperatures, could help efforts.

24. Looks like Rather Outdoors = Lew’s, Strike King, etc.

In case you see that name around now….

25. 323 waterspouts seen on Great Lakes in 1 week??

Dang no idea that many mermaids lived in those lakes….

26. Buck Knives is having a kitchen knives sale.

Kumars use ’em in the kitchen every day — way nicer than what we had….

Headline of the Day

Aussie Fisherman Reels In A Massive Crocodile That Nearly Bends His Fishing Rod In Half

Not sure why the “cut the line” moment shoulda happened but didn’t? Only thing crazier than that would be someone in a rubber boat letting a great white bite it and then sitting there and videoing it:


Lines of the Day

A combination of art, science and animal psychology has gone into creating lures that will appeal to the mind and appetite of a fish.

Makes me wonder: Does Pure Fishing employ fish shrinks??

Fishing Rods Can Be Deadly Weapons and Shouldn’t Be Used Against Humans or Aquatic Animals….

Remember the headline I put in last week about a guy who attacked another guy with fishing rods? Well this is Peta posting about it (ain’t gonna link it). Maybe they only mean “assault”/AR rods??

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

MDJ’s squarebill total rig rundown.

Mark Daniels Jr says he designed the Bill Lewis SB-57 (Square Bill – 57 mm long) to be an all-purpose, year-round, always on the deck bait. In this BB vid he explains the bait, his fave rod/reel/line for it and why, and some feeshn tips.

One thing that stood out to me — using a slower reel for cranks, which we all know, but not just to not overwork it but so it stays in the strike zone a hair longer…which I guess I knew but just jumped out at me:

His squarebillin’ gear:

Bill Lewis SB-57 squarebill
– 7′ MH Favorite Rush Rod
– BPS Johnny Morris Platinum Reel (6.8:1)
– 12-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro

Quote of the Day

“It was so tough, you had to keep your bait in the water the whole time.”

Lee Livesay talkin’ ’bout his Vic-To-Ree. Wow, uh, Lee that does sound like a tough way to fish…lol!

Shot of the Day

This ever happen to you?

Lol love that pic! Young ladies from the Midlothian, TX HS Fishing Team….


Guess the World Health Overlords we (or at least I) never wanted or needed just said bacon is real bad for you. Dude — so is driving, moving appliances and friggin’ “soy milk.” Whatever. Anyhow, this one post on Twitter — where I get my world “news” info — said this:

> I’m from AL. Bacon is one of the 17 wonders of the redneck world. When it kills me, I’ll be with Jesus, so there’s that.

HAHAHA love it! Wonder if he’s a bass fisherman…. More bacon:

> Hormel is coming out with a bacon-flavored mask…which I’m guessin’ redneck docs could NOT wear in surgery? And maybe vets shouldn’t??

> Smoked, bacon-wrapped Oreos. Nuff said. Dip ’em in some Redneck Lipstick and you’re ALL SET for college footbaw! Glad to see this came from a redneck up north, in MN.

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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