Wheeler and Lane baits! Too much rule following? New fish holds?

Sorry this is late – chasin’ the Travis BPT stuff, plus I have a TON to get in…and leave out. I gotta get another issue in sometimes mang!

Quick note: Stories about the zebra mussels in Travis are crazy. Jacob Wheeler said it was the harshest lake on line he’s seen yet. He actually RE-SPOOOLED 2x on the final day! Other stuff like bushes/trees braking line, crazy eerie sound of wind whistling through dead (?) zebra shells. But good fishin’!

Fwiw, 2 best non-braid lines I’ve ever personally used around mussels are Seaguar AbrazX fluoro and the Sufix Advance Mono and Advance Fluoro. The Sufix stuff is a little thicker if that matters to you.

Let’s go!

Today’s Top 5
How Jacob Wheeler squeaked it out at Travis.
Dos ouncos – that’s all Jacob beat Bobby Lane by, but wouldn’t have mattered if it was 0.00002 oz cuz it’s a win! Here’s a little of how it went down, full deal on the BB site:

> “I think they just live on boat docks, and they’re really good there regardless. When you pull up to the docks, they have bluegill, shad swimming around, crappie that live on them – they have it all. That’s a big reason why those places are so good. With that buffet of food sitting right there…no reason for [bass] to leave.

> “…90% of them came on a white vibrating jig [in dirtier water] or a translucent [skirt] vibrating jig [when the water was clearer], and a white jig…pitching places where I couldn’t get the vibrating jig.

> “The first couple days [his electronics] helped me understand what they were doing. The last day I didn’t really utilize it at all – I sort of knew what they were doing at that point.”

> Bladed jigs: 1/2-oz Z-Man JackHammer and 2 other custom bladed jigs, Fluke-style trailers (white/shad), 20-lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, Duckett Wheeler Paradigm Reel (7.5 – Academy only), 7′ 3″ MH Duckett Wheeler Rod.

> 9/16-oz E&R Jig (NC company? white) – “it has that modified Arkie-style head for skipping.” Googan Bandito Bug Jr (white) – “most of those fish were eating theadfin in the mornings so I used a smaller trailer.” 20-lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, same reel, 7′ 3″ H Duckett Wheeler Rod. “For real that’s the free-est Duckett reel – the line just comes off. It’s the best skipping reel I’ve ever used.”


> “I’ve gotta shout-out my wife. She’s unbelievable. She does so much for our family, she’s a great mother – I couldn’t do it without her.”

5 Qs and some truths with the champ.
1. Is it true you stopped fishing early to go heckle Bobby Lane?

> [Laughs] “I mighta shoulda because I only caught 2 that last period. I might’ve been better off.”

2. Is it true MDJ and Dustin say “dang” now instead of “ding” anytime you catch one cuz they can’t believe it’s happening again?

> [Laughs] “Nah I think you can see they’ve been catching plenty. Dustin won Redcrest and MDJ almost won it yesterday – they have plenty of dings going their way. They’ve been doing just fine.”

[I did see that someone filed an application for an LLC based in Tuskegee, AL name of “No More Dang Wheels” tho… Just messin’…]

3. Is it true that bass fishing is so easy for you that you listen to “how to speak Latin” tutorials in practice to keep your brain sharp?

> [Big laugh] “Oh my gosh. That one’s a good one. No.

> “It’s awesome to be on a roll and have a lot of momentum. Some days you make it look easy, some days you go out there and come back scratching your head. I’ve been fortunate to have several days all come together…blessed to have several tournaments where I’ve gotten dialed in.”

4. Since you’re so versatile, how do you narrow down what you’ll fish in a tourney?

> “Look at anglers like Fletcher – he keeps it super-simple…it works out. When you hear about generalists vs specialists…as a specialist you have a couple things you know, you understand…you have that super uber confidence to know you’re doing the right thing.

> “It’s a very fine line…a generalist can get messed up very quickly in practice by doing too many things.

> “I very seldom get dialed in in practice, especially in tough tournaments. I let the tournament play in…get multiple ideas and dial it in in the tournament.

> “In a single-day event you have to be dialed in. In a multiple-day event you have to dial it in in the tournament. That’s why guys who win consistently make adjustments in the tournament better than everybody else.”

5. Is there anything you do fishing-wise every competition day?

> “One thing I always do when I drop my boat in the water is just make sure all my equipment is working. I put my trolling motor down and troll around, make sure my electronics are working fine, put it all on standby…. Just go through the checklist…the main fundamental things. I’ve learned that from things happening throughout my career.”

“How can you tell the difference between a 2 and a 2-02 in the water?”
– B “Bobby” Lane talkin’ to me ’bout landing his last fish, which he thought was all he needed (2-02) to catch up to Jacob. On the one hand that’s a tough pill, on the other he was thankful he didn’t lose it cuz he woulda sworn that was the tying/winning fish!
Here’s how he caught ’em:

> “I caught 95% of my fish on that wacky Berkley PowerBait The General (gp, not MaxScent)…nail weight, #1 Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hook, 7′ M Abu Garcia Fantasista Premier Spinning Rod and the new 7′ M Abu Veritas Spinning Rod, Abu REVO MGXtreme and REVO MGX reels, 10-lb SpiderWire Ultracast braid to 8-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

> “I caught ’em from 1′ to 137’…several in a foot or 2 of water and I was fishing the outsides of marinas – my boat was in 100′ of water, and I was fishing the dock cables…. I could see the fish on my [Lowrance] Active Target on the dock cables. They would suspend in the 10-20′ range…knew where they were, so I could let the could wacky General sink right down to where the cables [and fish] were.”

He also dropshotted a little with the same setup, various baits including a Berkley Bottom Hopper (gp) and Bass Addiction 1/4- and 5/16-oz dropshot weights. Says he loves his Cuda scissors for cutting his FG knot tag ends ultra-close.

> “5% of the fish prior to the final day were on Berkley Jointed Surge Shad [he didn’t know the color name but I think it’s Kentucky blue?]… 7′ M Abu Ike Rod, Abu REVO MGX Reel and 15-lb Berkley Big Game mono.

> “When it would get calm, the fish would come up and school on the outsides of those marinas. I would throw it to the schooling fish and they’d come up and pop it. It’s a wake bait… I like mono because it floats.”

Bobby lost by 2 oz to Jacob, but is leading Jacob by 1 in the BPT points:

> “It’s my first time leading AOY in a long time and it feels really, really good….”

“…the first time they went fishing and he brought her a push-button reel, she told him no and wanted a baitcaster.”
– And that’s when he knew he had a keeper mang! Great story ’bout GA’s Amanda Parker who caught a 14.60 at GA’s Tired Creek Lake:
> They headed out early Saturday morning, stopping for breakfast along the way. At the end of the blessing, Amanda said, “I humbly asked God to let me catch a big fish.”

> “Once I had her in the boat, I lost it! I hit my knees, was shaking, hyperventilating, crying…the whole 9 yards,” Amanda said. “It was so bad that my 6-year-old said, ‘Mama stop, people are going to think you’re having a seizure.'”

Lol heck yeah! Congrats to her and the fam, what a day – they caught a bunch of 4s and 6s too!

New fish holds happenin’ – we got us a trend?
Some unsual fish-holds breakin’ out this year:

1. Caleb Sumrall kicked ‘er off with the “Axel hold,” named in honor of his boy:

2. Then Justin Atkins did a Stone Cold Steve Austin hold:

3. Then Paddy Walters was doin’ the pigskin/football/small dog hold at Fork:

This actually might be a new sport? Looks like Micah Frazier is teaching his son to do it:

…from spinnerbaits. Course he’s talkin’ his BOOYAH Coverts. IG vid, shows you the difference in how the tip of his rod moves:

To heck with camping, git you some of that! Wes did say he put his caviar on a Ritz cracker tho…

3. Suspicious individual reported at Neely Henry.

This dude was walkin’ around askin’ personal questions and possibly tryin’ to DQ folks:

Great to see him out there! Bet when Trip first walked up Chris got worried for a sec…

4. Pickwick Open champ Joey Nania’s beeg feesh story.

> “…a massive 8-02 largemouth ate the [JackHammer], spitting up an 8″ gizzard shad…. The fish was a total freak of nature, probably 10 inches tall, 6 inches across the back, probably right at 23 inches long.”

Sounds huge! I think it’s this’n:

He also had a great post on – kind of a life + “will he fish the Elites” deal.

5. MLFLWer Joe Cifuentes gotta unique look goin’!

Says cowboy to me, diggin’ the pattern ‘n colors too dude!

And still caught a dang chunk! #notfair #SouthJerseymafiahoneyholes

7. Catch Co got $38 mil more.

Ruh-roh! Everyone in the tackle biz should read the release on this very carefully. These folks are smart…and ahead in many ways…my 2c….

8. WI: Get a Vexus ride next Wed!

The Revolution Tour is stopping at Sturgeon Bay, WI. If you want eed a new bass rig but your wife ain’t on board yet, bring her! #sold

9. The 2022 ACA college bassin’ schedule is out.

10. Gitcha President Trump swimbait!

Got mine! Much tx to @tozinthewater80 and his bud, as well as Cal Coast Fishing for makin’ it happen. Haven’t fished ’em yet, prolly won’t, but they seem to be legit for feeshn!

Should mention Cal Coast has some innerestin’ stuff – check the multi-rod Rod Mule for one.

11. This has been a hot Southeast inshore color.

Salt Life’s “Alabama leprechaun” – they say all that gold flake draws in predator feesh. Might be somethin’ for tidal bassin’?

Dude didn’t tow anything and not sure if he’s much of a truck guy – he said it was “a darling” to drive lol – but got “723 miles to a tank and 24.2 mpg combined.” MSRP of the truck was $65,256…$20K over the base price??!! What’s the $20K of options, an actual motor??

13. FL: Check these items for the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival.

From the FWC:

> …take a few safety precautions to stay safe. This includes designating a sober boat operator, wearing a life jacket, using an engine cut-off switch lanyard, and paying attention and keeping a proper lookout.

I would hope so! From the lanyard part it looks like they’re not dealing with real pirates…. Anyhow, glad they’re not allowin’ this kinda stuff to happen:

They needed Power-Poles back then mang!

Headline of the Day

Bassmaster Elite anglers hitting Neely Henry at perfect time

Line of the Day

He owes his success to both his net and his fishing rod.

That was about a bass tourney. Never heard that before….

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
Do we follow “the rules” too much?

There’s rules in bassin’. Don’t mean tourney rules, stuff like:

– You have to retrieve a bait with the current.

– Fish only spawn during an X-week period.

– When the water temp is Y, fish won’t bite a [bait name].

– Pink baits are only for girly-men and the Lindners.

– Etc.

Really? How did these rules get made in the first place – peeps figured something out! (Then they were repeated for 50 years in Bassmaster Mag – for real tho! Guilty of it myself!) Anyhow, couple Elite posts got me thinkin’ about this.

Here’s Mark Menendez talkin’ ’bout Fork, where he was fishing about 100 yards away from Lee Livesay but finished pretty far down:

> …[wind] doesn’t have to be all that strong, and it doesn’t always matter how deep the fish are holding. It’ll have an effect on the deep ones just like it does on the shallow ones. It’ll trigger a feeding response…it’ll also position the fish.

> At times bringing a lure at them is the way to catch them. At other times, though, bringing a bait over them from behind is the better option. There aren’t any reliable rules for this. It’s just different from time to time.

Bill Lowen:

> I haven’t been able to follow the fish when they moved. I honestly don’t know why. It would seem like if you can find them in practice you should be able to find them during the tournament.

> When bass move, for any reason or no reason, you have to move with them to where they’ve gone. It’s not their place to stay put.

No reliable rules. No reason. I think I’ve been fishing by the rules too much…maybe you too?

Turns out lots of questionable rules in the world. Of these, I would only pay attention to the bottom right:

Quote of the Day
“LiveScope moved everybody off the banks and out to open water. People like me, that fish shallow, have the banks all to themselves.”

Living legend George Cochran lovin’ his current sitch!

Shot of the Day
Spot the problem! Look real close… Hope everyone was good…posted by @badideaboating:
Tripped over a vid the other night, a guitar teacher got sent this live Van Halen vid by someone who wanted be taught what Ed is doing here. The teacher was BLOWN AWAY because it’s incredible! There’s more insane guitar and outright musicianship in this one tune – “Amsterdam,” one of my faves – than in entire rock ‘n roll music careers for most folks. For real.

Van Halen 2.0 at their best. Like a n F-35 jet engine on the back of a bassin’ tub. Gives me the same dang chicken skin as Zona got when I told him BassGold showed the winning weight at the 2012 Classic (Red River) would be around 51 lbs and Chris Lane ended up winning it with 51-06. True story….

Ya got me!
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best and funniest (sometimes worst) stuff in bassin’, picked 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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