Woo-hoo someone won a smallie derby without dropshotting! Big congrats to the Zaldainger-man.
Here’s his winning bait (3″ Megabass Spark Shad):
Read the deets here on BassBlaster.rocks.
One question: Chris wins against the other top 49 Elite dudes and gets a smooch from Dave Mercer, a couple bucks, a coupon for McDonalds and a set of lawn darts. No six figs, not even a trophy?? No entiendo yo!
Btw he said he was inspired in this tourney by the ‘dos of fellow hockey players:
So…mullets are cool in Canada?
Dudes were rippin’ it up on Sturgeon Bay — wheeeeee!
Original B.A.S.S. tourney director, passionate about bass fishing, good guy. RIP bassin’ brother.
Very cool. Highlights:
> Brandon uses the word “dreadful,” which I think my Irish grandma used to use. Maybe still used a lot in Idaho?
> “Most of you probably don’t know much about him, except that he’s strong on northern smallmouth lakes and that he has a hair salon for this title sponsor.” [Guilty!]
> “…I’ve never heard him complain about anything. There’s a lot of negativity on tour, but as far as I know he’s never said anything less than positive about the venues, the conditions, his own performance or anyone else.”
That last one argues pretty strongly that Chad is not a bass fisherman at all but a:
…during AOY derby. Reminds me of the day I met Jerry in person, to talk to him and Stevie “Hall of Famous” Bowman about a crazy idea I had called BassFan.com. Jerry’s yelling at someone big-time and I thought it was Bowman, but turns out his dog had done something, you know, wrong for the indoors.
Turns out Jerry does yell at Bowman quite a bit…lol.
For the record, I and a big chunk of my family love Jerry and the whole dachshund thing. I wonder if this influence is why Zona has wiener dogs. Z?
Highlights: TX Division now Southwestern Division with two derbies in OK and one in TX, champeenship on Rock.
Lotta good places to feesh on that schedule.
…BOOYAH, YUM and Bandit. Dude is a hardcore bass head = good!
But…they are also sex-changing.
Guides + wounded soldiers = awesome.
Tip of the Day
…at the FLW Cup on Ouachita. J Wheels led days 1 and 3 but ended up 4th:
> “When the bass came up schooling, with bait breaking the surface, I didn’t even stop to put the trolling motor down. I literally jumped on the front deck, grabbed the rod with the Top Walker, made a cast in the middle of the schoolers and caught a 3-pounder. And that was my first fish of the first morning.”
> Making long casts with the Arashi Top Walker to schooling bass was productive from about 7 to 9 a.m. on the first 3 days. His best color pattern was ghost pearl shad.
> In the mornings, he targeted offshore fish suspending at about 20 feet in 50 feet. Shallower pockets with really clear water saw the Top Walker too.
> Wheeler threw his Top Walker on 17-lb Sufix Siege mono…because mono floats, keeping the bait running true and on the surface. It also has a good amount of stretch, which helps to keeps from tearing the hooks from fish as they near the boat.
> “That Top Walker shines better than anything, a lot of times, when it’s calm. It doesn’t have a real crazy, over-the-top, spitting, sputtering action. It’s a subtle but still very attracting action that gets those fish to really commit to it.”
> Available in both a 4-1/4″ and 5-1/8″, the Arashi Top Walker walks the dog even when retrieved fast, having been purpose-built to eliminate the missed opportunities all too common with lesser topwater options. Partially flattened sides prevent it from rolling as it changes direction on the retrieve. “It’s something just a little bit different than anything else on the market.”
> …switching out his Top Walker’s rear treble hook and replacing it with a #4 Dressed X-Rap Treble, which features feathers. “Sometimes when I would throw the Top Walker out when the bass were blowing up on shad, they weren’t getting it. But instantly after I put that feather-treble on, those fish would come up and start committing to the bait so much more.”
Quote of the Day
I told my camera guy, ‘I’ve been in this position before, been in the lead,’ and I told him, ‘I’m not going to go down in flames being stubborn.’
– Chris Zaldain talkin‘ to me about his honey hole going dry the morning of the third and final day at the AOY Champeenship. He moved, caught ’em and won. Big congrats mang!
Shot of the Day
Almost looks like a painting:
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: