The birds are nesting in there and the bass eat them.
That’s how A-A-Ron described his winning pattern at the Havasu Elite — and I gotta say, in 20 years of covering top-level derbies, that’s the first bird pattern I can remember. Pretty cool:
> He said he’s been wise to the blackbird phenomenon for more than 20 years and knew it was occurring when he found feathers in his livewell after day 3.
> “I’ve had bass spit up adult blackbirds in the livewell before,” he said. “I’ve seen fish go after the birds and I’ve heard it lots of times. It’s something that’s normal at this time of year.
> “There’s places where the tules are matted up and folded over and it’s real thick. The birds are nesting in there and the bass eat them.”
> 7′ 8″ heavy-action or 7′ 6″ extra-heavy Enigma rod, Shimano Metanium casting reel (8.5:1 gear ratio), 30-lb Sunline SX1 braided line, 1/2- or 3/4-oz weight, 4/0 Gamakatsu Heavy Cover hook, Strike King Rage Craw or Zoom Speed Craw (both gp).
> He used the heavier rod, weight and the Speed Craw to penetrate the thickest vegetation. “The flappers on the Rage Craw were too big for that and they were grabbing onto stuff,” he said. “A lot of that stuff was hard to get through.”
[My translation: He WANTED to use the Rage Craw all the time, but couldn’t in the ultra-thick stuff. Pay attention to that stuff mang!]
Aaron also said:
Maybe it’s such a good pattern because so many people don’t believe it.
Let me tell you who believes bass eat birds:
That’s the Flip In The Bird topwater in blackbird, which you can get right here on TackleWarehouse.com.
Here’s Cali big bass buster Mike Long’s personal fave Flip In birdy color:
I wanna catch one on a Bird just to say I did — right Pete?
I even asked Kevin (VanDam) what he thought the deal was – why I had so many 2nds (13 in B.A.S.S. events) and so few firsts (six prior to Sunday). He said it was all mental.
First of all, if you — a fellow competitor — ask KVD anything during a derby, he’s gonna mess with you. Guaranteed. So if he said that to you, wouldn’t you be thinking: “Wonder what he means by that?” Score one for KVD.
Second, everything in fishing at that level is mental.
Third, it wasn’t mental. When it’s your time, it’s your time. The fact that Aaron has gotten that close so many times is the real story. That is not a bad thing!
Area 51 shot showing how Aaron fishes with his head….
Wade Curtiss, 15 bass for 61-13:
> …he fished “from the north end of the Delta to the south end of the Delta,” targeting grass beds and big flats.
> …two key baits for his success throughout the week — a Jackall MC 60 crankbait (red and brown/orange), and a 3/8-oz bluegill-colored swimjig with a Zoom Horny Toad trailer. …picked up a Jackall Iobee Frog Saturday and used it to boat his largest bass of the day.
> “In the mornings I would catch them real well on the incoming tide. I would just try to run the high tide each day as long as possible. The key for me was definitely finding the right fish along the grasslines.”
Rayovac, a stout 71-13:
> In practice, Redington relied on a plum-colored 10″ Lake Fork Trophy Lures worm.
> Once the tournament started, he fished the worm awhile on day 1, then switched over exclusively to a 6″ swimbait rigged on a 3/8- to 3/4-oz jighead, depending on depth.
> With two potential “ledge tournaments” at Lake Eufaula and Lake Chickamauga coming up in the Walmart FLW Tour, Redington declined to name the swimbait.
3. OK: May 16 Eufaula BFL moved to Grand.
4. 3 FLWers out for Eufuala FLW Tour.
Joe Gerard, Jeremy Starks, Mark Goines. Personal reasons. Awesome they are doing what’s right in their minds, seems strange that 3 are out.
5. Cabela’s Collegiate bassin’ news.
His family okay. God bless the folks in Van, TX.
Husband and wife…dang. RIP bassin’ brother and sister.
Not wearing a PFD…. RIP bassin’ brother.
RIP bassin’ brother.
Folks, let’s be super careful out there. They’re only fish.
RIP bassin’ brother.
Holy cow the MN DNR knows about bass??
Seriously?? Is that because they’re in 49 states and more people fish for them than any other fish? Oh wait…that’s right, that’s the BLACK BASS.
> …the experts at the US Climate Prediction have announced that the Tropical Pacific is creating warm El NiÃ±o conditions.
> NOAA…expects an event to occur which produces cool wet conditions ideal for crops and pasturelands throughout most of the United States. It even sees a 60% chance of the event lasting through summer.
> Here’s what NOAA isn’t saying – not all El NiÃ±os are alike.
Win $500 of tackle!
Tip of the Day
Randall Tharp: Fish the 11G.
> If you could only have one lure to catch a bass, what would it be? For me, the answer is easy: “11 G.”
> If you don’t know what that is, I’ll tell you. “11” is the size and “G” is the color. The lucky ones that know what I am talking about would never dispute the fish catching capabilities of the “Original Rapala Floating Minnow.”
> Long before I knew what the Bassmaster Classic or Forrest Wood Cup was, I had one rod, one reel, and one lure. Yes, that lure would be the “11 G.” To this day, I believe I’ve caught more bass on that lure than any other.
> I’ve caught bass on it walking the bank, and from a jonboat. I’ve put a beat-down on some nice bass wading rivers and creeks north of my home in Birmingham with the “11 G.”
> I prefer to use spinning tackle with the minnow because it’s made of balsa and it’s very light. I make a long cast and let it sit for a few seconds. I twitch the rod with a couple of short, crisp, twitches which will cause the lure to dive, then I simply let it rise back to the surface. The longer you can wait before twitching again, the better. Most strikes occur as the minnow is rising or sitting motionless on the surface.
> The simplicity of this lure and its undeniable fish catching attributes are part of the reason I am where I am today. Dad tied it on and I started catching fish. This lure was around about 30 years before I was born and it will be catching them long after I’m gone. All you need is some water, a rod and reel, and the “11 G.” Thanks Rapala!
Quote of the Day
Back then Skeet gets on my boat, he has a Vanilla Ice haircut, earrings, open unlaced sneakers….
– John Murray talkin‘, in another don barone masterwork. So…you’re saying not much has changed except for the yellow?? The rest:
> “…the first thing he says to me as he gets into my boat is this, ‘Nobody has ever beaten me in the same boat.'”
> “That day I had a monster day out here [Havasu], as we got off the boat all I said to him, just two words, said to him exactly this…’til today.'”
Shot of the Day
Carl “call me Kahl” Jocumsen went back out onto Havasu for some selfie-learnin’, looks like he did…learn, that is:
Jay Kumar is the guy who created BassFan, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin’. His BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best in bassin’, and is the #2 or #3 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass. Also available as an app: