We lost the Spook master, Zona on the boat ban, Target the catfish spawn?

Please join me in lifting up our bassin’ brother Aaron Martens and his family in prayer today and especially tomorrow, when he goes in for more brain surgery. The “more” part means he REALLY needs our prayers. If you don’t usually pray, no prob — like learning how to walk a frog, you just start doin’ it! Here’s a quick Facebook vid Aaron did on what’s up: #prayforamart

Much love my man.

Quick deal: Heard from a couple — just a couple — peeps who felt stuff about fishing bans or governor political parties is “political” even tho I always say it’s not. I’d call this stuff the biggest news in fishing, period. You can make it political if you want, but that’s your choice man.

Why include the political parties? I’m looking for patterns, same as in bassin’. You figure out a pattern, it tells you something. If you refuse to see what it shows you, then you can’t catch ’em!

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

Today’s Top 5

We lost the Spook master.

Charlie Campbell has passed on at age 87. Like all the guys who had been around bass fishing from the beginning, he did way more than most folks realize, like:

> Fished 5 Classics, the latest in ’84 — earliest was ’74.

> His 1 Bassmaster win was the ’74 B.A.S.S. Chapter Championship on Table Rock, MO — 55.15 lbs of bass on a Spook — but he had 30 top 10 finishes total.

> Designed the first Bass Tracker boat for Johnny Morris.

> Multiple Halls of Fame includin’ the Bassin’ Hall of Fame.

I’m 100% sure way more than that. He also was a dieHARD Zara Spook fisherman, and I believe helped develop the bait early on. Check some tidbits from a really good In-Fisherman post about him that was written by the Ned of Ned Rig fame. Warning: You might need a dictionary for some of it:

> Charlie Campbell is revered by Rick Clunn. …Clunn…says the world of professional bass fishing would be in a state of perfection if all its participants and managers were able to acquit themselves as gracefully and honorably as Campbell has done throughout his life.

> According to Campbell, when the line tie is under the nose, it adversely affects an angler’s ability to consistently execute straight and accurate casts — especially if there is some wind.

> [About the One Knocker Spook, which is a lot of pros’ favorite Spook version] …after he made a dozen casts and retrieves with it, he declared that it worked better than he had anticipated.

> Campbell likes to work his Zara Spooks on a 5.5′ ML-action rod. 2′ of the butt section of the rod are made of graphite — the top 3.5′ of the rod are made with fiberglass. His reel has 5.4:1 gear ratio and it’s spooled with 14-lb monofilament line. He attaches a #3 Interlock Snap to the line.

> “Bullfrog” and “black shore minnow” [color] Zara Spooks had gold hooks.

> …a properly retrieved Zara Spook can allure a bass from depths of 15′ or more in extremely clear waterways, while in stained conditions, he suspects that its alluring abilities is no more than 6′.

> …says the biggest error many anglers make when they work with a Zara Spook is that they overwork it and move it too rapidly. The ideal retrieve pivots around subtle or short twitches of the wrist, and it is devoid of any movement of the forearm. He calls it “one twitch of the wrist and one rotation of the reel handle.”

^ From this YT vid.

A LOT more great info in that post. Charlie was also a spinnerbait pioneer. He loved to fish both baits around wood.

Bless you Charlie and thank you.

3 Qs with Zona about the MI boat ban…and trampolines.

Quick fessin’ up: One of the most fun things in the world for me is getting and seeing Z riled up. Not just cuz we’re buds, but because we share the same twistedness in that way — he’d say the same thing about me and probly many other folks hahaha!

Anyhow, since he lives in MI and I know ain’t too stoked ’bout his gov’nor banning motorized boats, had to call him about it and have some fun:

1. How do you feel about this boat ban deal in MI on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being it’s beyond dumb and 10 being it totally makes sense.

I’ll throw a 1 at it. I think the absolute best place for us to be, whether alone or with our immediate family right now, is on the water or in the woods. And when that’s no longer an option, it’s pretty damn scary.

I feel we’re all smart-enough outdoorsmen and women that we can be safe and smart and enjoy the outdoors, especially in this dark time. I really believe that. I stay up at night thinking about that.

[He laughed at the next 2 Qs.]

2. What makes even less sense than the motorized boats ban? Could be anything, like a canoe paddle made outta lead or maybe a public hot tub.

I’d get in trouble for saying that [what he was thinking at first], hold on….

To me it’s those — literally I’m staring at one right now — it’s those yard trampolines. Who in their right mind would let their children go on one of those ever in the history of life? If you look at a yard trampoline it’s screaming, “Accident waiting to happen!”

So I would say having a yard trampoline is right up there with making as little sense as this state order we’re in right now. It is a mousetrap of pain.


3. Has anyone or anything made you madder than this deal, not including your wife, your kids, KVD, me, soft-boiled eggs or someone asking you for free baits?

No. You know me — I can be upset but I can get out of it really fast. I can’t get outta this. I can’t put together how irrational this truly is.

Here’s what that’s not — that’s not being selfish, Democrat or Republican. To me it’s just a lack of common sense. That’s all this comes down to.

Muddy spawn feesh: Look for their tails.

Innerestin’ post on the MLFers site about Justin Atkins — here’s the one big gold nugget I saw:

> “A lot of people want to look for a fish and just see that fish swimming around out there. If the water isn’t crystal clear then that’s hard to do. [His bud Gene Brown, a BFLer] taught me to look for just the tip of their tail. It’s usually a different color than the rest of their body, and once you find that, the fish will reveal itself.”

> “I find myself always looking for the tip of the tail or the black line on a bass’ back because that’s what I had to look for in MS.”

I just look for a guy gettin’ frustrated up shallow and run over there when he takes off…lol just kiddin’!

I hit up Justin for some bait info:

> My favorite [dirty water bed] baits are a Berkley Chigger Craw or a Berkley Pit Boss Jr in gp or blue sapphire. I don’t really ever use white. You can watch your line and the bass to know where your bait is and how he’s relating to it.
> I use a 7′ 6″ H Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Rod, 8.0:1 Abu Revo STX Reel, and 20- or 25-lb depending on water clarity Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. 3/0 Berkley Fusion19 flipping hook and a 5/16- or 3/8-oz tungsten weight depending on depth.

Can we target the catfish spawn?

Saw this post about the catfish spawn, made me think — anyone ever try fishing for bass around that time? Sounds like it could be a deal:

> The water temperature range for flathead catfish [spawning] is 66 to 75 degrees, and 70 to 84 degrees for blue and channel catfish.

> The spawn will always begin at the reservoir’s headwaters, which tend to be shallower and receive warm inflow spring rains.

> Catfish tend to spawn in a nest or bed located in some type of cavity, which could be natural areas between rocks, undercut banks and hollow logs. Anything that creates a secluded nesting site for catfish, including an old car tire, a barrel or a stump…offers protection for the nest and protection from any strong water current.

> The male catfish plays the prominent role…selects the nesting site, clears the nesting site of any debris and then attracts the female…. Once the eggs hatch, the male catfish guards and protects the small catfish fry until they leave the nesting area after a few days.

So…gotta shout out the Nishine Namazu again (Japanese for “catfish”)…

….and recently got these super-innerestin’ tips from Hiroshi Nishine about catfish and fishing that bait:

> They coexist in almost same place [as bass], catfish fry can’t swim quickly, and they don’t have poison, hard scales [and] big spines when they small. I have felt that the average size of bass are usually good where there is a good number of catfish — maybe because catfish are high-protein?

> The biggest surprise when I fished this bait [for the last 2 years] was the bait has been never spit out when a bass bit. [And] I always waited to set the hook 3 to 5 seconds after I felt the bite because bass need time to inhale it completely. I guess bass believe the Namazu bait is real, more than common soft-plastics, and I have caught many big largemouth on it.

> For smallmouth in the Great Lakes…it amazingly works good when smallmouth are guarding their nests. I just deadstick it around the nest and it’s very easy to get smallmouth to attack.

When an obsession with big worms gets outta hand.

For some reason known only to him (I hope?), Elitist Garrett Paquette has 20″ worms:

Wonder if he got ’em from Carl Jocumsen since this is how big worms can legit get in Australia:

Wonder if Carl and Garrett are holdin’ out on us man…..


1. TN: Teen saved dude who swam to his bass boat.

Some highlights, worth a full read. Grainy vid here:

> They thought the man made it to the boat — he was a strong swimmer…. But they couldn’t understand why they didn’t see him climb in or why the boat was still drifting away.

> “I kept asking my buddy, ‘Dude, do you see his head? Can you see his hands?'”

> He had surfaced on the opposite side of the boat, away from the dock, where the boys couldn’t see him. But even with the boat as a lifeline, he wasn’t out of danger. He had tried several times to pull himself in, with no success. Exhausted by the effort, chilled by the 50-degree water….

> Then he felt the boat jiggle and heard a voice, this time distinct and overhead, say, “Are you still down here, Mister?”

> Not knowing what was happening to the man in the water, Beason had shucked down to his boxers and dove in.

> He asked the teen if he knew how to run the boat’s trolling motor, thinking Beason could taxi them back to the dock with him still in the water. He knew that wasn’t an option when Beason told him, “No, sir, this is the first time I’ve ever been in a boat.”

How great is that! Here they are — Stan Sumrell, left, and Braylon Beason:


2. GREAT Edwin Evers post about the current times.

For sure worth a-readin’.

3. BPTer Brandon Coulter listening to instincts this year.

Didn’t realize he was a Romeo Void fan….

Lol but seriously, good to hear. EVERY time us fishermen trust our instincts it works out….

4. Seth Feider said he’s “perfected spaghetti”…

…in the lockdown. I hear you man, that boiling water deal is tougher than it looks.


5. Matty Lee has fallen in love with a skid steer.

For a sec I thought that meant a cow but it’s a tractor so that’s better at least….

6. Zaldains on Stray Casts tomorrow night.

I’ll be watching to see some good-natured husband/wife sparring and to see who’s the more competitive one (I already know but…) — heehee! Here’s a hint:

7. Is Jacob Wheeler squincherin’ his eyes here?

Appears to be the case:

8. Mike Iaconelli is doing online family fishing vids.

Like the idea:

> 2 p.m. (Eastern) daily beginning on Mon, April 20 and running through Fri, April 24. Each episode will last approximately 1 hour.

> …Facebook Live on the Mike Iaconelli Fishing Facebook page (@MikeIaconelliFishing) and the Mike Iaconelli Instagram page (@mikeiaconelli).

9. State fishing/ramps updates.

WA fishermen protested the total fishing ban, but hasn’t made an difference yet.

MI still not allowing motorized boats. Great line:

> “What is the difference between a public boat launch, which seems to be a main concern, and a Walmart parking lot….?”

For that matter, why can 100s of peeps go to a depot-type home store and not a local hardware store? Also, the MI United Conservation Clubs sued the gov’nor and the DNR director.

TX: Port Aransas banned shore fishing — salt only I think but i goes against the TX governor saying that fishing is “essential.”

NJ/NY/CT gov’nors open marinas and boatyards.

Good! Let’s GO! And don’t forget to open the state parks with ramps….

SC allows ramps to re-open but kicks the can down the road a little:

> …public boat landings and associated parking areas can now be opened at the discretion of the local government or other managing authorities….

10. TX: Hatchery fish can’t be spawned cuz of Covid.

Hatchery peeps would be too close together. Happening in other states too. Maybe just put the males and females together? With a chaperone of course….

11. FL: ICAST is off.Dang. Seems like they held out as long as they could — props to ’em. The BB definitely WILL bring you news of all the the latest n greatest anyhow so be lookin’ forward to it peeps!

12. Do BUFF-style masks work for Covid?

Here’s what BUFF says, here’s a way-detailed post by a fly fisherman. Biggest takeaway on masks is that they’re NOT to stop you from getting it, it’s to help stop you giving it to someone else.

Also AFTCO is donating a mask for every one folks buy….

13. Marine industry has a new Boating United website.

“Digital advocacy” for protecting boating rights, which all of a sudden is a thing.

14. MO: 2020 Bassin’ Hall of Fame class is out.

Jay Yelas, the late Bryan Kerchal (the only Federation/Nation guy to ever win the Classic, ’bout time!), late lure designer James Heddon, Ron Lindner and — I think I’m readin’ this right? — B.A.S.S.’s Steve Bowman?? Bowman’s real good friends with Mr Bean and even Bean was like:

Lol! Congrats to ’em all. Gotta add this since I’m proud of it (lol) — texted Bowman this haiku-type poem today when he was textin’ me from the turkey woods:

The redneck turkey
Is like the redneck turkey hunter
Both talk while hunting

Tell me that ain’t deep.

15. MI: New fish passage between Boardman River and Lake Michigan.

At Grand Traverse Bay. Construction starting in Oct, supposedly will allow good fish through but not the bad ones.

16. UT/AZ Powell updates.

UT 30-day boat drying time:

> Before the temporary boat ramp closure was implemented…nearly 1,000 boats launched at Lake Powell…. Because hot water decontaminations [if invasive mussels are found in boat inspections] were suspended for 5 days before the boat ramp closure, Lake Powell boaters who left the lake before the closure or who remove their boats after the closure are required to wait 30 days before they launch their watercraft at another UT waterbody.

AZ local boats sticker program — can’t link it but it’s at:

> By enrolling in this [local boat sticker] program [to stop invasives from getting into the lake], you agree to launch your vessel exclusively onto Lake Powell at Wahweap boat ramp, taking your boat out of the water only to return it to its current place of storage. Stickers are valid until Dec 31, 2020.

17. New VMC weighted willow swimbait hook.

Vid here, on the TW here:

18. MO: Lincoln U scientists raising largie/spot hybrids.

For aquaculture but wonder what’ll happen if/when some of those fish get out:

> …largemouth bass take longer than the spotted bass to feed train — teaching them to eat man-produced food pellets instead of their natural food. If fish eat the pellets, the facility can produce a lot more lbs of fish in a small area.

> The trade-off is that the largemouth bass grow faster, and researchers are trying to develop hybrids that capture the best of both types….

19. MLF looking for vid editor/producer.

Have to work in Tulsa.

20. UK: Wonder where they got this name.

England has the Guernsey Bass Anglers Sporting Society. Saltwater bass…sounds very familiar….

21. Gas prices should be low this summer.

Says they will be but they almost always go UP in the summer, I think cuz the oil companies know more folks are driving (don’t believe that oil futures nonsense).

22. OK: New beer named after Grand Lake…

…but there’s a PELICAN on the can?? There’s more pelican lovers than bass fishermen on that lake?

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

Detailed rundown of Ish Monroe’s pitch/flip/punch rig.

What and why! Ish is a flip master who’s crazy detailed about all the components of his rig, including how he sets up his REEL. Check it:

Quote of the Day

“I promised her an afternoon with no fishing…so we went on a walk…little does she know we walked the banks where I like to fish. ‘Cause I was looking for spawners.”

– HAHAHA love it!! Freddy Boom Boombanis talkin’ — so I’m surprised his wife, who I’m sure is hip to all bassin’ stuff AND to Fred’s, shall we say, schemes — wouldn’t be onto it. Bet she was like:

Shot of the Day

Not sure if this is a craw surrenderin’ or hitchin’ a ride, but either way a sick shot by Dave Mercer’s crew:


Well it happened…in India. Three newborns there were named Corona and Covid (twins), and Lockdown. This is so bizarre it actually makes some kinda sense, but still a way worse idea than Batman tryin’ to pole vault that bull:

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’!

Sign up another bass-head!

If you’re forwarding every Blaster to other bass crackheads, tx much — or you can email me the addys and we’ll take care of it! We’ll never send spam or sell the list or anything else crazy….

Use the best stuff!

Gitcha BassBlaster social at these links:

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Gitcha Bassin' Fix

To Top