Teener caught! Spinnerbait fish sniffers? Kevin VanDam squarebill tips

Haven’t had the boat out yet cuz a) not registered yet and b) running kids around. Went to get the rig registered yesterday and the entire NJ state computer system was down, plus I was told I couldn’t register the boat at the DMV office I was at, I had to go 30 miles in the other direction to do it at a different location — because the state split functions due to Covid. I was like, “#2020.”

Please remember to register to the AMart benefit tourney here. His family can use your help if you’re able.

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

Today’s Top 5

Teener caught in TX!

Dang! Dude named Tuffy Wood caught it on Fri at Twin Buttes — 13.15 lbs and 25.75″ long. No bait info. Fave comment in the ShareLunker FB post:

> Looks like the one I got but my phone died that one day.”

Lol thought that only happens with bigfoot!

5 Qs with Rayburn Open champ Masayuki Matsushita.

Thanks much to B.A.S.S. shooter Seigo Saito for translating — and JO for the pic ^:

1. Before the tournament started, in practice, did you think you could win?

> “I had an idea where to fish for tiger fish [I think this means bigs?], but never thought I could win.”

2. Please describe the area or areas you fished — depth, cover, structure.

> “Timbers [wood] and brushpiles in 20-30′ of water in the main lake.”

3. Can you please give us your baits and colors, and everything else you fished with?

> 8″ Deps Sakamata Shad, heavy weight model (golden shiner), 7/0 Owner Jungle Wide Gap Hook, 20-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro, Shimano Metanium MGL XG Reel, 7′ 1″ MH Deps Gain Element Rod.

4. How did it feel to win a major US tournament?

> “I am still excited. I feel like I am in a dream.”

5. What has been harder than you expected coming to the US to fish, and what has been easier than you expected?

> “In the US, almost every lake is bigger than Japanese lakes, so I do not know where to start. But once I find fish, it seems like they will bite easier than in a Japanese field.

> “However, once tournaments start, fishing pressure is high and it becomes harder to make them bite here.”

Spinnerbaits used as fish-sniffers at Dardanelle.

First congrats to AR’s Jason Lieblong not just for winnin’ the Dardanelle FLW ‘Yota, but cuz you know he had to beat a field of absolute hammers which he did…though the presence of two OH anglers in the top 10 — Steve Floyd (5th) and Kyle Weisenberger (8th) — is makin’ me wonder? On the other hand, if you grow up fishing the Ohio River, everywhere else has gotta be like Disney World….

Even tho Jason used a HiteHammer (white), a Paycheck Baits The One walker (bone) and flipped a Zoom Brush Hog (gp), quite a few guys fished spinnerbaits — and not just for bites. Excerpts from FLW’s notes on the top 10’s patterns/baits:

> Kevin Riney (2nd): …a War Eagle Wake spinnerbait (white/chartreuse) with #5 and #6 CO blades. Fish that missed the spinnerbait got a follow up cast with a Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss pitched on a 3/8-oz weight. Riney would hop the bait quickly to try and provoke reaction strikes on the bottom.

> Billy Doak (7th): Doak worked the cover with a spinnerbait and jig. The spinnerbait is actually a locator…fish that missed got a look at the jig….

Interesting — so it ain’t just topwaters that can be locators. Quick top 10’s bait breakdown:

Flip plastics = 60%Berkley Pit Boss 20%, Zoom Brush Hog 20%, Strike King Rage Bug 20%, Missile D Bomb/Ish’s Winningest Bait 10%.

Spinnerbait = 50%

Bladed jig = 20% — both JackHammer

Jig = 20%

10% each = Topwater, Frog, Lipless crank, Big worm

Lotta shout-outs in this deal:

1. That spinnerbait Kevin Riney used would’ve been illegal in AR were it not for the undue influence of OK.

2. Joe Bennet (4th) fished like he was at a highland rez and it somehow worked — props to FLW for outin’ it:

> …[fished docks with a] 1-2 combination featuring a black short-arm spinnerbait with small gold CO blades. “It thumps like crazy.” He used an old 5′ 8″ G. Loomis rod to cast the spinnerbait. The short rod delivery is a forgotten tactic that Bennett pioneered decades ago at Lake of the Ozarks. [Does anyone even MAKE a rod that short now??]

3. Legend Dicky Newberry finished 6th, and former Bassmaster pros Cody Bird and Kevin “Pink Shorts” finished 9th and 10th. Kevin swears that fishing tourneys is required in his Bass Cat gig — I was like, “Is that really work man?” He sent me this back:

4. FLWer Spencer Shuffield has been near the top of several recent derbs, excited to see Dion Hibdon in 19th (wonder if he’s sharpenin’ his national skillz?), his son Lawson finished 65th, and Stephen Browning’s son Beau finished a respectable 49th.

Ever layered your soft-plastics?

This post by Elitist Harvey Horne got me thinkin’:

Did he layer up 2 plastics?? Nope that’s a Big Bite Fighting Frog in the “confusion” color — sure got me lol. But…could we layer certain plastics…for crazy action/look…without messing up the hook gap? Super glue ’em??

Funny/weird stuff from my boating safety test.

Have to pass it to get your boat license in NJ — now required, I used to be exempt/grandfathered. This actually is from the course before the test:

1. Boater’s Tip — Novice boaters should practice towing, especially backing up, in an open field or empty parking lot before their initial launch and retrieval.

[I’m sure 0% of new boaters do this. Or less than that.]

2. Prepare for the drive home well away from the boat ramp so that you don’t block ramp traffic.


3. Use at least 2 experienced people to launch and retrieve the vessel — 1 to drive the towing vehicle and 1 to operate the vessel.

[If BOTH need to be experienced, what’s a new boater dude do?]

4. Vessel operators who are boating in the vicinity of fishing boats should:
  • Slow down when approaching fishing boats or give them a wide berth.
  • Never run over anglers’ lines. Be aware anglers may have lines out to the sides of their boats or trolling behind them.
  • Never disturb fishing boats by making a large wake. An angler at anchor could be swamped by another vessel’s cruising wake.

[Hahaha yeah right! Pro anglers can testify for days on that stuff, dang.]

5. Symptoms of Hypothermia — They are listed here in order of severity:
  • Shivering, slurred speech, blurred vision
  • Bluish lips and fingernails
  • Loss of feeling in extremities
  • Cold, bluish skin
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Rigidity in extremities
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

[Death is a SYMPTOM??]


1. MO: We lost 2 folks at Table Rock.

> Two people died in a collision involving 2 bass boats Friday morning on Table Rock Lake. The MO State Highway Patrol reports that “an unknown factor” caused an eastbound 1993 Ranger 392V, piloted by 55-yr-old Ted S. Dossett of Gentry, AR, to cross the path of a westbound 2018 Bass Cat Caracal…3/4 of a mile west of Point 24 at 7:40 am….

> Barry County coroner Gary Swearingen pronounced Dossett, as well as a 14-yr-old male juvenile (also from Gentry), dead at 9:05 am. The bodies were taken to Fohn Funeral Home in Cassville.

Please pray for the families.

2. Chris Lane tip for the Elites (sorta) fishing Gville.

But they probly know it already:

> “On Lake Guntersville we have a lot of bridges with roads passing over them. Anglers can access both sides. If water is falling, the flow is going to be going toward the river. If water is on the rise, you’ll want to be on the other side. That’s the important thing to remember.”

Who knew Gville had tides-ish….

3. Credit Shaw Grigsby for Power-Poles.

KVD talkin’:

> …at some point in the early 2000s…sight-fishing expert Shaw Grigsby showed up at a tournament on Lake Seminole with a long tube strapped on the back of his boat. We were all asking: “What’s that pole deal on the back of Grigsby’s boat?” When he “activated” it, a fiberglass stick on a mechanical elbow lowered into the water and pierced the bottom to hold his boat in place.

Seems like Shaw and runnin’ mate Paul Elias have brought significant stuff to bassin’ over the years….

4. Marty Robinson likes to rock.

Well maybe but what I meant is that he like rock this time of year:

> “Later in the fall, bass will move off the wood and transition to using rock…. I like to look for 2 types of rocky cover: subtle offshore rockpiles or riprap. About 90% of the time, I’ll use my Lowrance to scan for rockpiles up and down the creeks. As far as riprap, it’s tough to beat fishing around bridges.”

Says his fave baits are a 1/2-oz Buckeye Mop Football Jig (brown/orange) with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail (gp) for offshore rockpiles, and a regular Mop Jig (brown, no weight listed) with a Zoom Super Chunk (gp) for riprap.

5. LA: Bo Dowden going into the LA Sports HOF.

Outstanding! Congrats to him, and don’t think I knew his real first name is Villis:


> Dowden’s 1980 Bassmaster Classic win came on the St. Lawrence River after he was 2nd in 1976 and 3rd in 1977, highlighting 14 appearances in the Super Bowl of professional bass fishing. He was in the money in 57% of the tournaments he entered.

6. Opens angler’s last name is “Hamner.”

Maybe gives him an advantage? Guessin’ he pronounces it “hammer”??

7. UT: 2 guys plead guilty to cheating in ’18 tourney.

On Powell:

> “Some of the largemouth bass they’d turned in had little heads and fatter bodies, indicating a different diet than the fish at Lake Powell, which were more lean,” Division of Wildlife Resources Lt. Paul Washburn said in a March press release…. “The fish also had red fins, which indicated they had undergone some stress.”

8. DC: Senate passes bill protecting lead tackle.

Bipartisan support which is a miracle:

> …S. 3051, America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. …now moves to the House of Representatives, where a vote is expected as soon as next week.
> …protects lead fishing tackle from unwarranted EPA regulation for the next 5 years….

> …authorizes the National Fish Habitat Partnership, which brings together local, state and federal partners to coordinate and conduct on-the-ground aquatic habitat restoration projects for the benefit of recreational fishing….

> “…it’s important that anglers do their part to support this bill’s passage.”

9. New white Abu Veritas lighter and stronger.

Means less weight and more strength. Fyi Abu rods typically (not always) are on the heavier side of the ratings — so MH is more like a light H. Not sure about this series yet. Also, in case you think Duckett was the first with white rods, I think Abu was a long while back? If not just lmk:

> …Powerlux technology previously only employed in rods costing twice as much, the new Veritas rods offer uncompromising strength and durability…. Powerlux nano resin’s unique molecular structure fills in evenly around the 30-Ton carbon fibers as it bakes into the blank.

$99.95-$119.95 on the TW.

10. Alpha Angler’s having a fall rods sale.

Save $25 with this code: REACT25

Fall reaction Rods are the Chatterbound, Rebound and Power Skipper.

Sale ends this FRIDAY. Btw I told Jake at Alpha he should’ve named that one rod the Super Skipper after this dude:

11. New YETI color: ice pink.

For all you ladies…and Kevin Short:

12. ND ‘yakker: YT vids let him quit day job.

Pretty cool — tho not sure if I’d risk it all on one Google-controlled platform…?

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

Kevin VanDam’s 1.5 squarebill gear ‘n tips.

How amazingly good is KVD? This good: He’s just shootin’ a tip vid for all us bass-heads and he can’t help but catch a dang nice fish! I mean, what?? Too funny man. Anyhow, here’s a good rundown of all you need to know to fish his namesake squrebill — minus maybe a few things only KVD knows and wants to keep it thataway:

Anyone NOT own the Strike King KVD 1.5??? Well…guess it’s possible…here’s his squarebillin’ gear:

Strike King KVD 1.5 squarebill

– Lew’s KVD CC2 composite rod (7′ M) — not out yet
Lew’s KVD reel (6.2:1)

– 14-17 lb Bass Pro Shops XPS fluoro

Quote of the Day

“…you’d get the bites, but you had to keep your bait in the water.”

Clarks Hill BFL winner Joshua Rockefeller talkin’ ’bout Horny Toadin’/Ribbitin’/frowggin’. I’ve never won a BFL (or any tourney that I didn’t make the rules for lol) but after decades of coverin’ the sport of pro bassin’ I gotta say I think the keeping your bait in the water thing is pretty important.

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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