Who is Jeff Sprague? Flip like a boss! Neko right, When Clunn’s cold

Before gettin’ goin’ just wanna say from 1 bass-head to law enforcement and other first-responder peeps – you are loved and appreciated, please take care. Seems like so much stress in that job right now. Sincerely hope none of you are feeling unsafe or are getting sketchy orders or anything else tough to deal with. Please be safe out there.


Stuff like this must be why God made bass so dumb/easy to catch right? Lol, not hardly! Or maybe He did…which means we’re… Hahaha let’s go mang!

Today’s Top 4
5 Qs with Jeff Sprague.
Sprague is a hammer. He just finished 2nd at Heavy Hitters, he’s #1 in the 2-year BPT point average (half a point above Jacob Wheeler), and was 4th in the 2020 BPT points race behind Jordan Lee, Ott DeFoe and Jacob Wheeler. Gettin’ the picture?


Backstory is Jeff was fishing in semi-obscurity on the FLW Tour, then got invited to fish against the ultra-stacked Bass Pro Tour field, and here he is beating most of ’em on a regular basis.


Do you know who he is? Would you recognize him…if you saw him loitering after hours at dark boat ramp?? Lol, Jeff’s a good dude and is someone every bass-head should be payin’ attention to. BUT I can say from personal experience he’s a terrible Lake Fork guide…HAHAHA Sprague! Anyhow here we go:


1. Are you the best kept secret of the Bass Pro Tour?


> “Not anymore! [Laughs.] I think I hit my stride – I’m really confident in what I do, the format fits me and I really enjoy it. I can’t say I’m the best kept secret but I think I’m highly underrated.”


2. Be honest: Is Boyd Duckett in any way preventing you from being a household name?


> “No he’s not. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the BPT helped put me on the map more than anything else.


> “At FLW [where he’d fished the Tour] they had Scott Martin, Bryan Thrift [and a few more hammers they hyped]. I wasn’t in that group yet, but they were kind of grooming me for what was to come. But I never had the opportunity….”


3. Is it true that you were talking to James Watson one day about a new nickname you were going to use –”Worldwide” – and then he went all “Worldwide” the next day on social?


> [Laughs] “That may be true. Worldwide – I love him to death. He’s been there for me even before I was bass fishing professionally. I wish we had more people like Watson, even though he’s real opinionated sometimes – it’d be a better place.”


[Sometimes?? Just kiddin’! And if not obvious I made that whole deal up….]


4. Do you have a specialty – like are you a jig fisherman or whatever?


> “No. That’s one of the things I really feel helps me be very competitive on the tour – I honestly will do whatever it takes to get the job done. I feel like I’m very proficient with all of it with the exception of the fairy wand. You have to use way too light line. I don’t understand that….”


[Hahaha word on the wands man!]


5. How the heck did you get sponsored by spark plug company?


> “It just kind of fit – SPrague, SPark plug…they were like, ‘That’s a good rhyme right there, let’s make it happen.’ No actually that brand [NGK Spark Plugs] approached MLF and asked for a list of anglers…we’re ranked and at that point I was ranked #1 over the 2-year avg. I received a phone call, they asked if I was interested and I was very interested.”


Bonus Q: What’s one thing Kevin Short doesn’t want anyone to know about himself?


> “I don’t think his hair is really blonde anymore – I think he’s dying it.


> “And he has the lightest winning stringer ever weighed in an Elite event…. Get you some 65-lb braid and a flipping stick son.”


That was the ’09 Elite on the Mississippi River outta Fort Madison, IA – Kevin weighed 43-03 over 4 days, which I believe works out to 5 lbs a day? Congrats K Short!

2nd-5th BPT Heavy Hitters baits.
Could not catch up with Michael Neal (4th), here’s the rest.


2nd: Jeff “Ree” Sprague


> Strike King Ocho (blue swirl), 5/0 hook, 20-lb Strike King Tour Grade Fluorocarbon, Lew’s Hyper Mag Reel (7.5), new 7′ 1″ and 7′ 2″ MHF Lew’s Mark Rose signature TLS72H Pro Series Rods. Cane/reeds, 1.5-3.5′, mostly spawners, some post-spawners.


> “Heavy line because we were fishing for big fish and I feel more confident with that heavier line, plus the water had a lot of stain to it.”


> Strike King Rage Menace (honey craw), 5/0 hook, 3/8-oz Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten weight, same rod/reel/line. “…if I was able to see them and catch them off a bed. Used that natural color because it resembled a bream, and I’d seen them running bream off beds…real aggressive.”

3rd: Jacob Wheeler


> “I was targeting spawners around reeds at Sheron Harris with the pearl Bandito Bug Jr. I normally try to fish natural colors when I’m bed-fishing, but those fish actually seemed like they preferred white over a gp or other natural color.


> “At Falls I caught a my last 2 key fish that got me into the knockout round on a Bandito Bug in ‘CA craw.’ I was targeting freshly flooded laydowns and bushes.”


> Flipping: 7′ 6″ H Duckett Wheeler signature rod, Duckett Paradigm Wheeler signature reel (8.3) gear ratio, 3/8-oz VMC Tungsten Flippin Weight pegged, 4/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flippin Hook.


> Bed-fishing: 7′ 3″ H JW Duckett Wheeler signature rod, same reel, 3/8-oz VMC Tungsten weight not pegged, and a 4/0 VMC Heavy Duty Flippin Hook.

5th: Bryan Thrift


> Baits: SPRO Frog (white), TX-rigged 5″ Damiki Stinger (watermelon candy/black and red flake), wacky-rigged 5″ Damiki Stinger (baby bass). All fished in less than 4′ of water – bushes, laydowns and grass.


> Frog gear: 7′ 2″ Fitzgerald Thrift signature Frog Rod, Abu Garcia REVO STX Reel (7.3), 50-lb P-Line TCB-X braid.


> TX-rigged Stinger: 7′ H Fitzgerald Stunner Rod, Abu REVO STX Reel, 15-lb P-Line Tactical fluoro.


> Wacky-rigged Stinger: 6′ 10″ MH Fitzgerald Thrift signature Shakey/Wacky Rod, Abu REVO Premier Spinning Reel (30 series), 15-lb P-Line TCB-X Braid to 10-lb P-Line Tactical Fluoro, Berkley Fusion19 wide gap weedless hook.

How Brandon Palaniuk moves his wacky hook points.
Was checkin’ this Seaguar IG vid on how Brandon Nekos, and in it he makes a very good point, which is:


– When wacky rigging with no weight, the hook should be perpendicular to the bait so the hook point is up on the all and hookset.


– When Neko rigging with an inserted weight, the bait will fall weight down so the hook should be rigged in line with the bait with the hook point facing up like this (click the pic to see the whole vid):

The VMC Crossover Ring (O-ring) which he uses has holes in it so you can rig it both ways:
That’s gp, also comes in white and black. Here’s BMP’s full Neko gear:


7′ M Alpha Angler Wrench Spin Rod


Daiwa Exist Reel (3000 size)


15-lb Seaguar Flash Green Smackdown Braid (6-lb line diameter) to 8- or 10-lb Seaguar Gold Label fluoro depending on the cover – remember Gold Label has a real small diameter but high strength


VMC Weedless Neko Hook


Xzone Muscle Back Fat Finesse Worm


VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight


VMC Crossover Ring

How to be a flippin’ boss.
Start like this – Survey the water. You are the master of your domain:
Step 2 – You know there’s a fish there. You’re not impatient. You are waiting for the perfect time:
Step 3 – Set the hook so dang hard you bend your 9′ 11″ XXH 2″ diameter flip stick like it’s made outta rubber:
YEEEEEEEEEEAH! That’s how you be a BOSS yo!


Btw that’s from Heavy Hitters which Ish won after landing that fish!


Oops, he didn’t win…and he didn’t land that fish so….


Lol sorry Ish but that sequence is boss!



> …an ingenious power management system that takes all of your batteries (no matter the kind or size) and basically combines them into 1 power source that runs everything in the boat and recharges the batteries to appropriate levels anytime the big motor is running.


> Charge is 3 devices in one: an at-home plug-in charger/maintainer, an on-the-water charger that distributes power from the outboard’s alternator to all of your batteries, and an emergency jumper box for starting your outboard with a low cranking battery without having to touch a single wire.


Sounds like the Power-Pole folks scored some alien tech…


Also I read the whole post 2x and not one JackHammer mention. I’m disappointed Hite!


2. Real “James” Worldwideson won a BFL.


Table Rock, got 3rd at a BFL the day before, same lake. Asked him how he did it and he said, “My co-angler put me on fish I’d never seen before!”


Lol totally kidding, here he is:


It it me or does he look grossed out:



4. Is Derek Hudnall winning Fork practice?


Looks like he thinks he is?

love it!


5. Britt Myers is selling his ’19 Bass Cat Cougar.


If you dig red ‘n white that might be your rig.


6. Trip Weldon, Gene Gilliland are in the Bassin’ HOF’s next class.


> …Trip Weldon, current B.A.S.S. conservation director Gene Gilliland and the late fishing writer Jason Lucas make up the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Class of 2021….


Gene should definitely get an A in that class, Trip probly an A-…


7. Lovin’ the blue cheek on this “river bream” Bandit.


Always good to stick to what you know in my 2c:


> Pure Fishing Inc. announced the close of its purchase of Plano Synergy Holdings Inc. As part of the closing…also announced it had closed the sale of Plano Synergy’s archery and hunting accessories brands to GSM Outdoors.


> Pure Fishing will retain ownership of the Plano and Frabill brands…will also retain ownership of Plano’s storage and fall storage business and its Creative Options and Caboodles brands.


> This strategic acquisition is the 3rd for Pure Fishing in 2 years under the ownership of private equity firm Sycamore Partners.


9. Merc Racing has a new 200-hp 6-cyl motor.


> …expands its Apex Series of competition outboards with the introduction of the Mercury Racing 200 APX, a V6 4‑stroke model designed for…tunnel boat racing


> Rated at more than 200 horsepower, the 200 APX outboard offers racers a very durable powerhead and the latest in four‑stroke engine technology, while reducing exhaust emissions by 50% compared to the Mercury Racing 200 XS OptiMax model and by 90% compared to the legacy SST 120 model.


> The 200 APX is the first V6 four‑stroke outboard produced by Mercury Racing…raises the compression ratio from 10:1 to 11:1, increases peak RPM from 5800 to 6800, and fits a lightweight carbon fiber cowl that incorporates forced cold air induction. “…produces about 20% more torque than the 2‑stroke motor, but at a lower RPM.”


10. Q1 boat loans way up.


11. Big Frogg Toggs giveaway.


12. Dicks’ opens first outdoor/indoor sports experience store.


Tryin’ to get peeps in the door.


13. Jumping worms spotted in TX, OK.


Would think they’d be hard to miss?


14. Seaweed offsets carbon emissions?


Kinda sounds like an argument for NOT getting rid of hydrilla? #nospraying


15. Keep an eye on….


From last week’s DeerBlaster:


Sounds like many (several?) “news” outlets/magazines and others are now using the term “climate emergency” instead of “climate change.” Related – this screencap from a Project Veritas vid:

[Note: If you take that “politically,” it’s your choice – not meant thataway, just fyi re environmental stuff. My standard on this is: Would Ray Scott and Matt Vincent (former long-time B.A.S.S. Times editor) want to get word out to bass peeps about it?]



Headline of the Day


100 fishermen ticketed for catching too many fish or fish of wrong size


Salty stripers in NJ but dang that’s some tickets!




On right now… 


How Alton Jones Sr won the Shearon Harris Heavy Hitters


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


Okay not the roast beef thing, but how to fish in tough conditions. Few excerpts from a Bassin’masters deal here, and the weirdest part of it all is that Rick says he makes mistakes?? Rick???


> You can catch fish with power fishing as the front approaches, but understand that when the wind dies and you get bluebird skies and a high barometer, you’ve got to slow down.


> When the forecast calls for a cold front, don’t waste practice time running around looking for that sweet spot. Remain focused on the stuff that’s going to be your best bet when the front shuts down the aggressive bite.


> Go to key areas, be it points, fallen trees, jetties, bridges, etc – places you know hold fish, then bear down on those places. Try slow-rolling a spinnerbait, flip a jig or cast a worm, but do it methodically and repetitively.


> Don’t fish anything that is not a prime target. When you find it, hit it from various angles. Be persistent and precise.


This is from a man who can fish all day multiple days in a row for the right 5 bites. Not 5 fish, 5 BITES!


That ain’t me! This is the only dude who ever told me I was patient and it just never felt right man:

Never got a good vibe from that dude….
Quote of the Day
“The thing about fishing at the professional level, or any level…is that you have to compete in your comfort zone.”


– Real innerestin’ quote from Jason Christie. Observing these deals for like 20 years, I’d say he’s right: When the fisheries and conditions line up for a guy’s particular strength, look out. Jason also said this about his return to B.A.S.S.:


> I took all my sponsors input into consideration as well when making the decision on coming back. They felt B.A.S.S. was where my fishing style and brand would benefit us both the best. You won’t be around very long if you’re not making money. 

Shot of the Day
You answer the door at Fred Roumbanis’ house and:
Raisin’ ’em right Freddy! (Okay it’s really Julie….)


> …people are asked to place each live tick in a plastic zip-top bag with a piece of damp paper towel or moist cotton ball, then fold the bag and place it inside another plastic zip-top bag with a completed submission form.


I mean, I would if they sent me a T-shirt? “Tick donor!” or something….

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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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