Strader is a fist, Norman winning baits, Klein likes medium rods, New invasives

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Today’s Top 4

Did Jordan Lee’s alien leave him and enter Wesley Strader??

Or maybe we’re in a bassinalien invasion?? Askin’ cuz Wes went and won the dang Norman Open! With basically no practice! Right after he won the Kentucky Lake Elite! Dang, son!

As a result of this crazy success, Wes said he’ll no longer go by “Wes” or “Wesley” but instead will be represented by one of these pics:

Told me he’s a hit an unprecedented level of confidence, so here’s how he’s “practicing” at Travis this week:

Chuckin’ ya some Norman baits.

1st: The fisherman formerly known as Wesley Strader

Dude’s got him an entourage now so while I get thru ’em here’s the shot B.A.S.S. ran:

That’s a 5/8-oz Zorro signature Bango Blade spinnerbait with a Zoom Split Tail (white):

> Strader frequently cycles through these when the thin .030 wire gets bent after several fish catches, but he simply transfers the blades, swivel, etc to another spinnerbait blank. He said the same blades…were used at both lakes: a Hildebrandt silver No. 3 CO blade and a Hildebrandt gold No. 4.5 IN blade.

Fished current seams below Lookout Shoals Dam with that and this, a 5″ Zoom Swimmer (hitch):

7th: Andy Montgomery

Not sure if Andy had to tape a cup to his chin or what, but he had to be doin’ some serious droolin’ thinkin’ ’bout feeshn Norman. He’s won there before, mostly cuz it’s dock after dock of jig-skippin’ and not sure anyone can do it better — so here’s what he used:

> 1/2-oz Strike King Skipping Jig (blue craw and custom color), Strike King Rage Bug (gp), 20-lb fluoro, Daiwa Tatula SV Reel (8:1), 7′ 1″ H Daiwa Tatula Andy Montgomery Skipping Rod.

> “Mostly real shallow docks all over the lake. Burned 35 to 40 gallons of gas a day.”

10th: Chris Lane

Good to see Chris back up top:
> River2Sea Top Notch 1-prop topwater (bone) and River2Sea Lane Changer (2-prop bait): “Worked it and let it sit 1 to 3 seconds. By the bushes for fry-guarders.”
> Luck E Strike Chris Lane Pow Stik (gp): Wacky-rigged by docks.

I git the Elitists’ baits who finish high cuz I have their #s. If you finish high in an Open, send me this stuff! Tryin’ to git Elitist Jared Lintner’s 2nd-place baits….

Are younger tourney anglers LESS aggressive now?

General feelin’s been younger bass-heads are more aggressive on the water than ever before. But maybe that’s cuz you didn’t have BASSin’ Live back in the day. Bernie Schultz talkin’ — not sure if he means it the way I’m seein’ it:

> The rest of us learned to bump rails — fighting for fish that most of the field had patterned. And on some occasions, those battles were heated.

> I could write a book about the ones I witnessed or was personally involved in. Some felt justifiable, others I’m ashamed of today. But that was part of the learning curve back then. We learned by trial and error, and by example. Turf wars were a common example.

> Guys like Hank Parker, George Cochran, Denny Brauer — all nice guys off the water, but total intimidators during battle. And that made me a tougher competitor, as it did for many of my contemporaries.

Wait…Denny was nice off the water?? HAHAHA! Just kiddin’ Denny! More Bernie:

> These young guns…I’ve observed each of them many times during competition, and all display good sportsmanship. In fact, on several occasions, I noticed these same anglers fish up to other competitors and, in a show of respect, pull up their trolling motor and leave. And that’s how it should be.

> Of course, not all young, aspiring pros display these qualities, but most do.

Case yer wonderin’, here’s Elitists on the water (left) and off the water:

Anglers asked to watch for new aquatic invasive species.

Turns out all the state paranoia over invasive aquatic species is NOT about veggies and such. That’s just a federal coverup for what’s really going on. Inside word is the states AND feds are really all about these:

Word is Aquaman’s kin have been showing up all over the place, not sure what the deal is there….

Better check your wells just in case. Hackney told me once he found a baby water ape trapped in one of his wells. Always thought it was the chili dogs talkin’ but now I’m not so sure…?

[This post motivated by the constant warnings about aquatic invasives during fishing season…which to me is like trying to stop it from raining. Might be good but dang it’s like fighting gravity man.]


1. FL: Nik Kayler Memorial Tourney this Sat.

Believe it’s a fundraiser for his family, on the Big O. Launch is Okee-Tantie Park. Hope you can make it…and be safe.

2. B-Rad Roy gets Covercraft.

They’re…covers. Boats, trucks, seats and such.
3. Lee bros will offer help at Gville college derby.Ranger Cup University Team of the Year Champeenship:

> Ranger pros Matt and Jordan Lee will be at the disposal of the finalists to offer hints and advice on topics ranging from dissecting the fishery itself, to pursuing a pro fishing career and procuring sponsors.

That’s awesome! Also cool will be to see what happens — possible outcomes:

a) College kids receive any and all feeshn advice.
b) College kids only listen to Jordan (who doesn’t say much).
c) College kids only listen to Matt (who talks more).
d) College kids refuse any help from the Lees.

e) Lees sandbag the kids…which I suspect they’re good at (lol fellers!).
4. Jared Lintner taking over @aftcofreshwater Insta……tomorrow: @aftcofreshwater

5. Chad Pipkens wears pink…pants.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…but he might have to get an official waiver from Kevin Short?

6. Seth Feider sees dead people cats.

Dead-serious story on the StrayCasts show. Crazy fun stuff like that on every StrayCats show — I mean Casts — which actually is a continuation of this once-popular web series:

Tomorrow night (7pm CST) Wayne and Garth will have on the angler formerly known as Wesley Strader along with KY Lake guru and tackle freak Kevin “The Baitman” Baxter, who is hilarious…unintentionally.

7. Ike Foundation gives 5 scholarships.

Love it, I’m applying next year cuz KVD told me he’s “takin’ me to school” so….

8. Missile/Crews hires new sales dude.

Byron Childers of TN. Congrats mang! Tho Johnny Crews can be a tough boss I hear, maybe a Jekyll/Hyde deal…lol….

9. Elitists back in biz at Lake Travis, TX.

Couldn’t find anything about who that lake is named after so let’s go with Travis Tritt…who was from GA but so what. Here’s his first hit, delivered with an excellent mullet.

10. MO: High water at Bull Shoals means less fishing.

> “We have no parking lot. We have no launching ramp. We have two launching tramps…a high water…recently built…which is out of commission. And we have a normal ramp…it’s out of commission.”

11. AL: Selma bass-heads help women’s medical clinic…

…through a charity derby. More bass-heads doin’ good, love it. #stout

12. LA: 12-yo twins win night derby.

Adults fished it too — #stout boys!

13. DC: Will farm bill deregulate pesticides?

That’s what the green folks say. Don’t know if it’s true but if so, wow. Maybe we just need more beavers:

Beaver dams can filter pollution and sediment from water, study says

14. Bass Pro, Cabela’s will have Sunglass Huts.

Huh. From what I’ve seen those things aren’t exactly all about fishin’ eyewear so what does that mean?

15. Mustad has new Americas prez.

Dude came from Remington, which I believe is coming outta bankruptcy now.

16. Gun case company SKB gets into tackleboxes.

Ain’t the best-lookin’ box but that’s what stickers are for:

17. TX running low on new F-150s.

Pretty sure if you’re gonna run low on pickup trucks, you don’t want that to happen in TX.

18. CT: Dude who caught WR striper is the son of a mob guy.

Don’t hear that every day. Ike might have some south Jersey mafia genes too, not sure…. Srsly tho: The mob is fo’ real out here on the East Coast — don’t think it was just some show on HBO.

Tip of the Day

Why Gary Klein loves his medium-action rod.

Saw an Insta post from Gary sayin’ he loves a M-action rod…and as you know that’s been sort of a mission of mine, to find out whether we all might be using rods that are too heavy too often. So I asked him about it. Super-innerestin’ stuff, especially the part about bait action:

> “That particular 7′ 1” M-action Duckett White Ice II is what I refer to as my utility rod because I use it with so many different techniques: All moving baits with treble hooks, topwater lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits. I also use it a lot with braid, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and crankbaits.

> “This rod has a true parabolic bend with a perfect recovery rate. As a bass angler, this action offers me in my opinion some key things. 1) It allows the lures to work better during the retrieve 2) The action allows the bass a better shot at getting the lure. 3) I use the load of the blank to cast the lure, not my body.

> “The parabolic bend on this action and rod gives the lure the ability to use all of its movement, less restricted.

> “Anglers understand light weight and balance. Where most get lost is having an understanding of the materials used to build these light-weight sensitive rods. A very sensitive light rod is built with a high-modulus material that reacts quick (fast recovery), and that fast recovery can work against you if used for the wrong technique.”

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Quote of the Day

“It’s not a good thing. These fish could cost the region a lot of money — a whole lot of money.”

Marina owner on Pickwick Lake, AL talkin’ Asian carps. Most worrisome quote in the article, from an AL DNR guy:

> “It’s an issue that we’re aware of, and one that several agencies are closely monitoring.”

Dude, the time for monitoring is over. It’s gone. Adios. Time to get this guy:

> Asian carp are also hurting fishing in the OH River.

> FLWer Greg Bohannan says bass fishing has been hurt in KY Lake by the carp, and Mark Menendez is urging everyone locally and who fishes the lake to bug the heck outta their state reps to get something done there.

> IL is trying to weaken a proposed barrier to Asian carp getting in the Great Lakes — which would be REALLY bad — cuz of fears about slowing the cargo shipping biz.

> MI just finished up an anti-carp challenge where it offered $200K to whoever came up with the best idea for repelling these pests.

Shot of the Day

About a billion mom’s day posts on the Insta, this one caught my eye as #outstanding: The fish, the hair, mom holding the fish like a boss: @jdblackamore


24K gold chicken wings are NYC’s latest weird food craze

Aaaaaaand that’s reason 1,327 I don’t go to that place. Ain’t no city boy mang….

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