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Bill Babler

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Durn I’m old.

Followed 3 guys today Raber, Mrazek, Wagner.  Scopers baby. 
Initially on Mrazek. He was struggling at 10 o’clock nothing in the boat so my videographer switched to Wagner. 50 Mile run. I’m not doing this again. 

Mrazek was fishing ditches. He calls them drains. Cuts coming out of the backs of coves. 10’ to 40’. Dimiki rig. Thrown, dragged and fished up and down. 

Wagner was fishing smallmouth flats. 10’ to 60’. Same deal with the Dimiki rig. 

Here is the caveat. They don’t fish….  Let me clarify. They don’t see them, they don’t cast. Every fish these two caught all week they were looking at them.   It does not matter if the fish is in 5’ of water or 100’. They can see them shallow or deep. 29C69349-5FC6-4698-AE73-27BDB559EE6A.jpeg

Did have one of the other competitors tell me his two best LM were on the bottom 120’. I’ll show some photos. 

Don’t know if you watched Live, but Justin Lucas gave the best explanation of what’s taking place.  We all think of him as a young gun deep water guru. He said he is not.


Compared to this generation of 20 something’s he said he has a lot to learn. He is 37. He said the best explanation is power fishing with finesse tackle. 

I watched 7 or 8 guys today and everyone was fishing a Dimiki rig. Wagner was fishing it at times under 10’. 

Here is the deal. They crank the Force or the Ghost up to 10. Set the livescope or the active target to 100’ forward and auto on depth and hit the gas.  Constantly looking, just standing there.  When they see one they slam on the breaks and catch it. Really the durnest thing you will see.   They don’t catch fish, they shoot  fish. 

I saw some guys early up the White fishing locations I would not have dreamed of. Boat in 120’ plus, catching them both off the bottom and suspended.  All 3 bb varieties. Jaws included out there in the great expanse. 

Heard several guys saying the caught 40 to 70 fish today. Couple said 20 plus keeps a day, all 3 days. Yes they waded thru some K’s. 

Spoke to Raber’s camera boat operator. Jig, crankbait, topwater, dimiki rig. He said the guy will not and did not throw if he was not looking at a fish. 

Probably takes the guess work out but holy creepers. It is getting totally crazy. 

I didn’t get any pictures but I had them on the bottom 120’ coming up and shooting thru Shad schools. 

Had to have my graphs off most of the day to not interrupt their machines. 



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I used to watch these pros fish and think “I can do that…”. (Not I could be a pro, but I could learn the technique they were using and replicate it in my own weekend warrior kinda way).  By no means do I mean to diminish what kind of fisherman they were- I couldn’t be that good.  BUT- it felt relatable, like I could learn something by watching them and be a little bit better myself.

Not now.  I watch them and think I could never do that- I don’t have $10,000 of electronics.  And I would want to do that- I go to the lake to fish, not drive around for hours to find one.

It’s like they are doing something completely different than the average Joe.  I don’t blame them- that’s how you gotta play the game at this point.  But I question if it’s good for the sport long term.  

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I will add to this. Not taking anything from these guys but I will not and refuse to fish the way most of these did. Video game was the way. My dad and I were fishing the island by point 1 both days had two guys pull up on us but way out in over 100ft plus both days scoping in the middle of the deepest part of the lake. I would hate to be a co angler. Could not have been fun. Fishing was tough for us but we did (my dad)  had some good fish just not the numbers of fish like these guys reportedly were catching. Bite was dead slow for us on jigs and some top water fish we saw some blow up. I had the worst weekend I’ve ever had fishing here. Broke off 3 big fish and had several unbuttoned by the boat. In fact worst 2 days I’ve ever had on the rock. I got  SKUNKED both days. Neve could get one in the boat. Hats off to those guys but I can’t fish that way. 

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27 minutes ago, Quillback said:

Pretty much lost interest in this one once it became clear it was an FFS show.  Those folks gotta do what they gotta do to compete, but it doesn't make for anything worth watching for me.

Could you imagine the status of most of these dudes in the bass fishing tournament world without FFS?  Only a select few could survive. 

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

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Time of the year had a lot to do with it as we all know our Fall dispersal is in full swing. 

You can catch them in a foot of water or as I learned on the bottom in 120 ft. Of water. 

We always wonder where in the heck do they go. Now we know. 

What got me is the style of I don’t see them or it I don’t fish. Also how adept they are with FFS fishing shallow. 

I can remember Heartland banned Aqua View.  In layman’s terms Aqua View wasn’t $h-t.  These kids can tell you if it’s a perch, crappie or a crawdad in 1 ft. Or the deep end of the pool. 

As for Co-Anglers Dakota Ebare apologized to them saying it had to be terrible for them. 

I think what’s really going to tell is next Spring when guys are cranking and throwing jigs.   If this FFS has progressed to the point that you just cannot be a go down a great bank power fishing anymore regardless of depth. 

A very scary note is that even theses kids are saying they have not unlocked the total technology or capabilities of their Garmin and Lowrance machines.  

As J. Lu said power fishing with finesse has changed the tournament game. 


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I don't know if it is because of FFS or not, but the BASS schedule for next year is for the most part on lakes where you'd think guys fishing "old school" will have a chance.  

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Emil Wagner fished most of the locations I love. He fished where big smallmouth live. 

I followed him for 3 hours. He was fishing a Dimiki rig. I drag or stroll  a football jig. He was going in a pattern with his boat at full trolling motor speed. He would slam on the brakes flip the tiny bait out and reel one in. 

Never made a cast that he wasn’t looking at one. 

He was literally fishing a grid with the GPS and the Livescope. 

I’ll tell you where. The flat at Coney Island, Berganns, the bouy point across from Cow Creek.   The flat at point 7 and the flat in front of Mill Creek ramp.  Totally took them apart with GPS and FFS. Used the track function on GPS to create the grid.  

He wasn’t out in the deep blue for the most part catching suspended fish, he was fishing my junk, way better than I have ever fished it. 

Raber was doing the same GPS Grid on cemetery  I bet zero to none of us have ever fished that through, I know I have not  

On another note I don’t want to do that. 


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