Throw out your hooks every day?? Steaming crank lips and Ned rig tips

Today’s Top 5

“I take the hooks off of my lures when I’m done for the day, and then I throw those used hooks away.”

Elitist Hank Cherry talkin’. Beginning to be like this about what Hank says:

HAHAHA Cherry! Anyhow, more from Capt. Contrary — which can be a real good thing to be in bassin’ at times:

> That’s not something that most anglers can do…I know that. It’s too expensive….

> The solution to replacing your hooks is to keep a good file handy and touch up your points throughout the day. …I will suggest you practice before the next time you go fishing. It’s that important.

> Something else I do is bend the point out a few degrees — not much, just a little — on every single point hook in my box. This will radically increase your hooksets.

“Honestly, we tied on some crappie jigs.”

KC Choosakul talkin’. KC and pard Tim Penhollow caught 26-08 on day 2 of the Bassmaster Team Championship (on Hartwell, SC), which zoomed ’em from 96th to 2nd in the derby! Did I just say crappie jigs should be a thing in bassin’ or what?? (Sorta.)

Anyhow, Tim said, “They’re eating minnows that are an inch long, and we just went with it.” Also had this $$$ quote:

> “A lot goes through your mind when you’re fishing with a little-bitty hook and 8-lb test line.”

You heard that Nedders!

Brad Jelinek and Brock Reinkemeyer won the team deal, and o’ course a HUGE congrats to Josh Busby (from MO?) who won the fish-off and got the last spot in the Classic:

> Busby used Wiggle Wart and Rk Crawler crankbaits to entice his best bites this week. He opted for a variety of colors, but shad, phantom green and watermelon/chartreuse belly were most attractive….

Super innerestin’ tiddybits from THE Ned.

THE Ned as in:

Hahaha every time! Nope I o’ course mean Ned Kehde, el padre de el Nedo Rigo — stuff from here:

Ned history stuff

> …in 2006…”I was in Japanese angler Shinichi Fukae’s boat at Beaver Lake. What immediately struck me were Fukae’s methods, which mirrored the finesse tactics my friends and I had adopted back in KS. Using a 3/32-oz jig and shad-style worm, Fukae retrieved the lure a few inches off bottom, reeling and shaking as it went along.”

> “A lot of folks think finesse bass fishing started in CA, on those deep clear reservoirs, back in the 1970s and 80s. Actually, in the 1950s, a Kansas City angler named Chuck Woods was already fishing a soft lure called the Beetle on a spinning rod. Woods designed the Beetle, Beetle Spin and Puddle Jumper…and also created the first TX-rigged jigworm.

> “Guido Hibdon…regularly wielded a spinning rod rigged with a light jighead and soft-plastic bait long before western anglers. The first time Midwest finesse met western waters was when Drew Reese fished the first ever (1971) Bassmaster Classic at Lake Mead. Reese finished in 7th…fishing a jig-worm and Beetle Spin.

Here’s the late, great Guido with a TX-rigged jig-worm, known now as a shakey head:

> “…during a 1980s trip to Mille Lacs, MN, Ron Lindner put a Gopher mushroom jighead in my hands. I was amazed by how you could drag this jig over rocky terrain and rarely get hung up.

So…Shin and KVD, which the post says showed Ned the ElaZtech stretchy plastic, are partly to blame for this whole Ned deal…. And I’m amazed once again at the influence the Lindners have had on ALL freshwater fishing. Really incredible.

How-to stuff

> “…a no-feel retrieve. Most anglers prefer to fish a jig so they’re in constant contact with it…But the way we prefer to fish, if you’ve got constant contact it means you’re using too heavy of a rig.

> “…sort of let the soft ElaZtech material naturally shake, shimmy and do its thing without getting in its way too much. It sounds more complex than it really is because when coupled with the right line (Kehde prefers 15-lb braid), you immediately detect any resistance the lure encounters.

> “I know a lot of anglers think a #4 hook is too small, but to me, a bigger hook doesn’t slide through brush or vegetation nearly so well as a #4, which is almost snag-free.

> “I was already a fan of red jigheads when I fished with Shin Fukae…. He was using red and doing a number on the fish, which really reinforced my beliefs and confidence in the color. Fukae also used red nail polish to paint polka dots on his crankbaits and topwaters.

> “Years before that, Gopher Tackle owner Conrad Peterson would constantly urge me to fish ‘red, red, red’ regardless of water clarity.”

Here’s an actual red gopher which might have inspired the deal:

> …when red isn’t going, I like blue and chartreuse…. A blue jig[head] is especially effective during the bluegill spawn. A flash of blue really mimics that super vivid hue present on a bluegill’s pre-dorsal area. Another hot [color] pattern lately has been a junebug-colored Finesse TRD with a chartreuse jighead.

Winter bassin’ tips (sorta) from Roland Martin’s mid-’80s book…

…”101 Bass-Catching Secrets,” which if it was written today would be called “R-Mart’s 101 Feesh-Ketchin’ Tips on the Down-Low.” Check it:

> …the jig-and-eel [aka jig-worm] is best as a winter and early spring bait….

> In the winter I position my boat directly over the brushpile and vertically jig it with a spoon or jig.

> …the colder the water, usually the more pauses you need [with a crankbait] because the bass are more lethargic and will follow something halfway, and when it stops in colder water they have a greater tendency to strike.

> Bass generally like high spots in the summer and creek channels in the winter.

> In winter bass avoid the current so you’ll find them holed up in the upper ends of tidal streams and creeks, far from any structure such as a sandbar that speed sup the flow.

> …cold-water bass don’t strike hard — they just sort of stop the lure. I use fluorescent line and watch for the slightest twitch….

> Winter bass are very logy and you have to work to make them notice your lure.

And for those of you guys still using a flasher, here’s you a tip:

Who needs an 12″ screen?? Lol. Few things:

> Had to look up the word “logy,” comes from the Dutch word for “log,” which I guess makes sense for winter basses…some of ’em….

> Often some real tidbits — forgotten stuff, or stuff that leads you to other stuff in your bassin’ mind — in these older books. You can get one of Roland’s books for $4 on amazon so….

> Looks like you can read the whole deal on Google Books.

Roland wasn’t afraid to wade-fish with khaki long pants:

A dude this did to his 12′ bassin’ tub.

Vid’s got more than 1 mil views! Believe those are 3 Coleman 9.9 hp putt-putts.


1. Stetson Blaylock got Academy.

Academy seems to be gettin’ after it more in bassin’.

2. Ish Monroe says it took him 2 days to organize…

…his Missile D Bomb boxes for this season. 2 days for 1 bait type = whoa.

3. Is this Chris Zaldain’s nickname for smallies?

“War pigs,” which I assume he got from the Black Sabbath tune…because everybody does…. Anyhow, love the name, maybe I’m just late to the party….

Big Q: Will Zaldain keep his battle ‘stache for the ’20 season?

4. Andy Montgomery teaches us how to bite and spit…

…a jig skirt:

Wonder if they teach that kinda stuff in bassin’ college?

5. Lookit Gussy’s purdy symmetrical hookset.

Jeff Gustafson:

Looks like a backwards S. Not sure but I think ballet is required in school in Canada. Don’t believe me, ask Mercer to show you some moves man, it’s wild.

6. Brett Hite outed (sorta) the new Evergreen Flat Force.

Color might be called “Hite loves bubblegum ice cream.” Bait’s already on TW.

7. Zona thanked Carl Jocumsen for staying positive (mate).

Always good to see someone look at the bright side of everything. (Wish I did — gotten easier since knowing the Lord but still not all the way there….) Anyhow, I don’t know many Aussies but the only time I’ve seen ’em ticked is when they get soaked:

8. Scott Martin on BassEdge Radio.

9. James Worldwide Watson’s boat for sale possibly worldwide.

2019 Ranger Z520L, Merc Pro XS 250 4-stroke, Ultrex, Lowrance screens.

10. More pro jerseys being auctioned for St Jude.

In addition to Chris Groh, also “Cahl” Jocumsen and Jonny VanDam. Love it.

11. FLW Pro Circuit field set.

155 anglers = 150 + 5 hardship waivers, including Larry Nixon. Looks to me like a good field, kinda like the Elites were last year — some well-known guys plus a bunch of new names: 28 rookies in the FLW field.

Some shout-outs:

> Jason Christy — who is NOT (I don’t think?) Jason Christie. Looked for a Kevin VannDamm but didn’t see one…hahaha!

> Only 2 guys from MS but 5 from MN! What up with the relative lack of pros comin’ outta MS?

> 7 guys from Cali, 2 from OR (1 of whom is 19) and 1 from WA.

> 22 outta TX, 17 outta AL, 11 from FL, 9 from OK.

12. G. Loomis’ Bruce Holt is retiring.

GOOD dude, heck of a bass fisherman, knows more about rods than most living peeps and is 100% no-nonsense. Plus his wife makes some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, and I’m saying that as a guy raised in Jersey….

Happy for him, also sad cuz it’s sad losing good folks in the biz. And I’m gonna miss him. Will get him to send me a bunch of rods before he’s out (heehee!). Love and hugs Bruce — you better be at the Classic so we can send you off proper dang it!

13. FL DNR wants your ideas for managing aquatic plants.

Don’t be afraid to tell ’em what NOT to do too….

14. WA liberalizes bass limits cuz of “orca crisis.”

You read that right. Thinking goes like this: less salmon, killer whales hungry, so less bass (and walleye) MIGHT mean more salmon so the orcas are happy-happy:

> The new rules, which will go into effect mid-Feb, remove size limits and daily limits on rivers and streams throughout the state — the rules also double the daily limits for most species on 77 lakes….

Is it a big deal? Doubt it — most guys will still C&R bass. BUT did just 500 people make this happen??

> According to a WDFW presentation to the commission Saturday, 500 people supported liberalized bass and walleye limits. Those in favor were concerned that the nonnative fish were killing salmon and hurting endangered native species, like orca. They also believed broadly that protecting native fish and wildlife is more important than protecting nonnative predators.

500 people — that’s it?? Was any actual data or evidence involved? Has anyone ever in the history of the world seen a skinny killer whale??

15. TX: Stanley Jigs is 40 this year.

Here’s their new HQ:

Oops sorry that’s where Lonnie started the whole deal. Hahaha! Congrats to ’em!

16. Shout-out to @swimbaitculture…

…for all the autism awareness and support it’s been doing. Don’t believe I know the dudes behind it, just cool to see.

17. WY claims burbot eat smallies in Flaming Gorge.

Burbot are like freshwater ling cod. I find it hard to believe that they do much damage to smallies because burbots are all over MN where smallies do great, but I’m not a biologist so….

18. BC has a weird way of controlling/not controlling smallies.

Can’t make this up:

> “Smallmouth bass are a very aggressive and predominant predator,” [Martina Beck, invasive fauna unit head, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy] said. “They are introduced in a number of regions in the province, some more recently than others.”

> Unfortunately, she added, the challenge is that smallmouth bass are a popular sport fish.

> Area F director Maureen LeBourdais…”One of the questions my constituents ask is if there are too many of them, why aren’t we allowed to fish them because that will help control the population.”

> Beck: “We have to balance if we did open it to fishing could it potentially create the opposite effect and have people introducing them to more areas.”

19. Fish stress hormone could accumulate in scales.

Sounds like it doesn’t really get there if a fish is caught/stressed once. Either way not sure how useful the info is, just sounds like a new discovery?

20. Random bait shout-outs…

…from spendin’ too much time on Tackle Warehouse (again):

> FMTC Wedding Crasher Weedless Swim Jig — Looked at it cuz of the name…their Crasher Craw looks interesting.

> Never heard of Warbaits, but their Slayer Swim Jig colors look pretty dang good. Here’s “bream” and “dark dayz” — and if you don’t know which is which, turn in your driver’s license lol:

21. Tackle Warehouse 25 days of savings are still on!

22. BassBlaster year-end apparel sale!

Runs thru Dec 23, all items are 20% off! Use the code HOLIDAY at checkout. Please note: The last ship date for USPS Priority Mail is Dec 21 (but don’t wait til the last minute).

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

How Kevin Wirth modded his crankbait lips.

Hope y’all remember Kevin, who left the Elite Series in 2012. Real good fisherman — few tips from Bassin’

> “A lot of crankbaits are good as is, but I want better than good. One of the easiest and quickest ways to customize any crankbait is to modify the angle of the bill. You can do it in a few minutes right in your kitchen.”

> He begins by holding the lure over boiling water [maybe with an oven mitt?]. The steam will soften the bill. Once soft, the bill can be moved up or down slightly. Pushing it up will make the lure run deeper; pushing it down will make it run shallower. Take care to keep the plastic level. Twisting it will cause the lure to run crooked and roll.

> One of Wirth’s favorite crankbaits is a Bill Norman DD22. He often bends the bill up slightly…makes this deep running crankbait run even deeper. “Never underestimate the importance of a slight change in running depth. Bouncing off a stump isn’t the same as running an inch over the top of it.”

> …will drill a small hole in the front of his DD22s, just below the raised bill. He then rolls the BB forward and uses Super Glue to secure it against the hole on the inside of the lure. This stops the rattling. More importantly, however, it gives his bait a different attitude and vibration.

> Bomber’s Fat Free Shad is another favorite. “It’s a great lure, it really is. But it’s better after I shave the corners off the bill to give it an even tighter wiggle. A bass’ lateral line is very sensitive. They can feel the slightest change in vibration. Taking a little piece off the corners makes a big difference.”

> …practice on old lures …don’t overheat the plastic. That’ll make it weak. Third, go easy. A small change is good, a big change is bad. Throw away the ones that don’t catch fish and wear the paint off the ones that do.

The DD22 and Fat Free Shad still are killer baits. Looks like DD22s are 30% off at Tackle Warehouse fyi…. Make sure you have ’em in at least “chart/blue” and “lavender shad” in the DD22, and for sure the FFS in “citrus shad.”

Update on Kevin: Seems he’s now a horse dentist — seriously — which he was before and while he was a bassin’ pro. Sounds like he has more biz than he can handle. Here’s an update on him and a recent pic — good to see him again:

> Wirth appeared in 13 Bassmaster Classics, reached top 5 in the world rankings and was sponsored by Early Times. He had career earnings of more than $2 million by competing in hundreds of tournaments.

> When Early Times ended its sponsorship with Wirth after 10 years, he decided it was time to return to equine dentistry. He wanted to support his son and daughter…as they grew up. “It’s a tough sport, you’re on the road a lot.”

> After competing in the Bassmaster Classic in 2012, Wirth sold his boat and put his fishing equipment in his garage, where it still sits today.

Quote of the Day

“What ice fishing helps you with is how to master that stillness so you can try to recreate it on open water.”

Dave “Hurricane” Lefebre talkin’ hardwater feeshn…for some reason. This whole “stillness” deal is innerestin’, partly because I don’t see Dave ever being still. Full quote:

> Fishing through the ice offers a unique stillness — it’s an overexaggerated stillness that allows me to fine-tune things. It makes you want to totally master the fishing techniques and electronics.

> When you fish open water, you can never recreate that perfect stillness in your technique. Even on the stillest day with no wind or current, there’s added motion. Just you moving in the boat creates more motion. What ice fishing helps you with is how to master that stillness so you can try to recreate it on open water.

If Dave sounds like a Kung Fu master, it’s cuz:

Shot of the Day

Looks like Brandon Palaniuk is landin’ a saltwater grouper fish — @alphaanglerfishing shot:

That’s a 7′ 6″ MH Alpha Mag-Rebound Rod, Daiwa Steez A Reel (6.3) and 10-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

Ya got me

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