Tourney Patterns

ALL the baits of the Guntersville 50th Bassmaster Classic!

Please make sure y’all understand this: I asked the Classic guys to pick the ONE main bait they fished most. Pretty much 100% used more than one bait, and the few guys who mentioned 2 in here did it cuz they were about 50/50 on 2 baits. So if someone says they saw a pro using a different bait than what you listed here, it’s probly true.

Thanks to all the guys for taking the time to give me the deets, and apologies if I got anything wrong.

1. Hank Cherry

Hank’s full pattern with all the deets is here on this website, but here’s just his baits:

> Megabass Vision 110+1 jerkbait (GP stain reaction OB = opaque white back, clear sides, orange belly).

> The key to that bait was changing the hooks to #5 medium-shank EWG Berkley Fusion19 hooks because it added the extra weight I wanted — so when you stopped jerking, the bait was sinking. Not like a rock. 95% of my bites was when it was sinking.

> I just had a feeling [the bait should sink from] the way the fish were acting and from fishing bridges at home. …think they see it fall by them, then when I rip it it brings it back up to where it came from. When I got those first bites and saw how good they were getting the bait, I just stuck with it.

> The 110+1 has a longer lip on it so it goes a little deeper [to] target the area where I kept seeing most fish suspended. Throughout the day they might have gotten a little higher [in the water column], but I don’t think I got one shallower than 6′ and no deeper than 10′.

He fished that bait on a 6′ 10″ ML Abu Veracity Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel (7.3) and 15-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

> 3/8-oz Picasso signature Dock Rocket Jig (gp) with a Berkley Maxcent Power Chunk (gp, tips dipped chartreuse), 7′ 6″ H Abu Fantasista Regista Rod, Abu Revo EXD Reel (8:1), 20-lb Trilene 100% fluoro.

> 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (Hite’s hot craw) with several grub-style trailers (gp/red flake), 7′ 4″ MH moderate Abu Veracity Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel (7.3), 20-lb Trilene 100% fluoro.

> Said he only had 1-2 keeper fish on the crank.

2. Todd Auten

> 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (fire craw) with a Zoom Z Craw Jr (cajun craw — orange with flake special run color), 7′ 1″ 5-power Douglas Rod, Daiwa Tatula 100 Reel (6.3), 20-lb BPS mono.

> Flats in the backs of creeks, stained water, 4-5’…slight drop, scattered grass, mostly eelgrass with some milfoil.

3. Stetson Blaylock

> Norman Speed N crankbait (chili bowl — bait’s not out yet), 7′ 4″ H2O Express prototype cranking rod, H2O Express Ethos HD Reel (H2O is an Academy brand), 20-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

> Pre-spawn areas in 4-7′, going into creeks and in creeks, mostly eelgrass.

[Stetson and Micah (5th) both used that Norman bait. One deal with it was they said it came through the grass well. I think the bait’s an ICAST release.]

4. Seth Feider

> 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (clearwater shad) with a 3.25″ BioSpawn ExoSwim (Feider shad and pro blue red shad), 7′ 4″ Daiwa Tatula Glass bladed jig rod, Daiwa Tatula SV Reel (7:1), 17-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.

> Main river bar, drop on the outside edge, strip of hydrilla in 6′. Worked down the strip of hydrilla about 10′ wide.

5. Micah Frazier

> Norman Speed N crankbait (chili bowl — bait’s not out yet), 7′ 4″ MH Abu Veracity Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel, 20-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro. Also a BOOYAH One Knocker lipless (Rayburn red).

> Deeper submerged grass edges in pre-spawn areas, mouths of big bays and creeks.

6. John Crews

> 1/2-oz Missile Mini Flip Jig (b/b) with a full-sized Missile D Bomb (bruiser), 7′ 6″ MH Cashion Rod, Daiwa Tatula 100 Reel, 20-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro.

> 6-10′ brush or rock in creeks.

7. Brandon Lester

> 1/2-oz Strike King Red Eye Shad Tungsten 2 Tap (Rayburn red craw), 7′ 3″ MH moderate cranking rod, 7:1 reel, 30-lb Vicious No Fade Braid. Scattered eelgrass on a huge flat, back side of a main river bar, 3-5′.

> 1/2-oz Spotsticker Jig (brown/olive — “I just love the head design and the 5/0 Mustad hook”) with an X Zone Muscle Back Craw (gp). Fished on docks and rock.

8. Lee Livesay

> 1/2-oz Finch Nasty Thumper bladed jig (red/black and white) with a NetBait Little Spanky swimbait (sun perch on the red and white on the white), 7′ 3″ MH Halo TI Rod, 18-lb fluoro. Also used a HogFarmer WarPig underspin head with a NetBait Big Spanky.

> Shallow hydrilla (1-3′) in the first pocket in a major creek, and shell beds on the main river (3-8′).

9. Brandon Card

> Jerkbait (shad), 7′ M Abu Fantasista Premier Rod, Abu Revo MGX Reel (8:1), 12-lb DUEL Hardcore T7/Elite fluoro.

> Mid-creek riprap, most fish coming out of 5-7′.

10. Matt Herren

> 3 lipless baits: Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe, BOOYAH One Knocker, Strike King Red Eye Shad (5/8- and 1/2-oz, red, chartreuse, chrome/blue). 7′ 3″ Kistler Feel N Reel Rod, Daiwa reel, 16-lb Gamma Edge fluoro. Mostly used the custom-Sharpied One Knocker (Rayburn red).

> Little depression, ditch ran through a flat, deepest part was about 7′ with the lip about 3′. Fish were sitting on isolated patches of coontail on that ditch…all kinds of vegetation in there.

> Also used a 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (clearwater shad) with a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper (white trash) on the same setup and in the same areas as the lipless baits, and flipped docks with a 3/8-oz Dirty Jigs signature Flippin’ Jig (gp) with a Reaction Innovations Spicy Beaver (gp), Kistler 765 Zbone Rod, 20-lb Gamma Edge.

11. Jason Williamson

> Custom-painted 1/2-oz BOOYAH One Knocker (demon-ish) with #4 Owner ST36 trebles, 7′ 2″ MH Phenix M1 Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel (7.3), 14-lb Gamma Edge fluoro.

> Flat off the main river, high spots where milfoil and hydrilla mixed in with eelgrass. Boat in 7-8′, bites coming in 4-6′.

12. Skylar Hamilton

> 1/2- and 3/4-oz Buckeye Spinnerbait (2 gold Colorados) with 3.3 and 3.8 Googan Saucy Swimmers (white), 7′ H Favorite Big Sexy Rod, Favorite Soleus XCS Reel (6.6), 20-lb Vicious Fluoro.

> Boat docks in a major creek, 2-5′ along an eelgrass edge.

13. David Mullins

> Day 1: 1/2-oz Chatterbait (white) with a Z-Man Razor Shadz (white), 7′ 3″ MH Doomsday Tackle 47 Series Rod, 6.3 reel, 18-lb Sunline Shooter fluoro. Grass clumps and drains in 2-6′.

> Day 2: Rapala DT6 (demon), 7′ 3″ MF Doomsday 47 cranking stick, 14-lb Sunline Shooter. “I had 2 cranking holes, both in 6-8′, grass clumps on the edge of a hard spot. Specific one-cast deals.”

14. Keith Combs

> Strike King 1.5 Flat Side (Rayburn red craw and TN Shad 2.0) and a few different lipless baits including a Strike King Red Eye Shad Tungsten 2 Tap (TN shad 2.0), 7′ Shimano Curado Crankbait Rod, Shimano Metanium MGL Reel, 12-lb Seaugar InvizX fluoro on the Flat and 15-lb on the lipless baits.

> Shell beds with milfoil and eelgrass in 3-5′, and riprap and natural rock banks in 6-7′.

15. Luke Palmer

> YUM Bad Mamma (b/b), 1-oz weight, 4/0 Vector straight-shank hook, 7′ 6″ Abu Veritas Rod, Abu Revo Beast Reel, 60-lb Sunline FX2 braid. Punching mats in 1-3′ way upriver.

> BOOYAH Hard Knocker (Rayburn red), 7′ ML Abu Veritas Rod, Abu Revo Premier Reel (6.6) 12-lb Sunline FC Sniper fluoro. Hydrilla and milfoil in 2-5′.

16. Chris Zaldain

> Neko-rigged 6″ straight-tail worm (redbug), #2 Trokar Neko Hook, 1/16-oz weight, 6′ 11″ M Megabass Destroyer Addermine Spinning Rod, Shimano Sustain 3000 Reel, 15-lb Seaguar Smackdown Flash Green Braid, 10-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro leader. Drops in 12-15′, main channel, rock.

> 6″ Megabass Magdraft swimbait (albino, pre-rigged), 7′ 2″ Megabass Orochi XX Perfect Pitch Rod, 15-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro. “When the water warmed up, the fish would be higher in the water column — 6′ or less.”

17. Bill Lowen

> 3/8-oz ProLuresOnline signature Flipping Jig (gp) with a Strike King Chunk (gp, believe this is the chunk that’s no longer made), Lew’s Custom Speed Stick flipping rod, Team Lew’s Lite Reel, 20-lb fluoro.

> Flipping main-river docks, 1-4′.

18. Clent Davis

> 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (spring craw) with 2 trailers: Mister Twister Buzz Bug (black/red flake) and Yamamoto Zako. Phenix Recon Elite 764 Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel (6.6), 16-lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluoro.

> Drains and humps in 3-7’, scattered eelgrass.

19. Caleb Kuphall

> 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (gp and Hite’s hot craw = red bottom/gp top), Missile Shock Wave (gp), 7′ 1″ MH St Croix Mojo Rod, Piscifun Phantom Reel, 17-lb Sunline Assassin fluoro.

> Grass in 2-5′ — mostly eelgrass, some milfoil — in the backs of creeks.

20. Grae Buck

> Rapala DT6 (demon), 7′ M 701 Favorite Rod, Ardent Grand Reel (7.3), 12-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

> Mostly riprap in creek mouths, 4-8′.

21. John Cox

> 1/2-oz Berkley Warpig lipless (summer craw), 7′ 6″ MH Abu Veritas Winch Cranking Rod, Abu Revo EXD Reel, 15-lb Berkley Trilene 100% fluoro.

> Small ditch on the main river channel with eelgrass and shells, 3′.

22. Drew Cook

> 1/2-oz SPRO Aruku Shad (mudbug red), 7′ 6″ Dobyns Champion XP 764 Rod, 6.2:1 Reel, 15-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro.

> Shallow ditches in 2-4′, and secondary points leading into spawning pockets.

23. Greg DiPalma

> 1/2-oz Strike King Red Eye Shad (natural shad), 7′ 2″ MH Shimano Expride glass rod, new Shimano Metanium 150 Reel, 20-lb Hi-Seas fluoro.

> Submerged eelgrass, very patchy, 3-4′.

24. Cody Huff

> 1/2-oz Queen Tackle Jig (chameleon = chart/brown) with a Strike King Rage Craw (gp), 7′ 4″ MH BPS Johnny Morris Platinum Rod, BPS Johnny Morris Reel, 17-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.

> 6-10′ shell beds in creeks with clearer water.

25. Hunter Shryock

> Berkley Maxscent Creature Hawg (gp), 5/8-oz weight, 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 Hook, 50-lb Spiderwire braid, Abu Revo AL-F Reel (8:1), 7′ 6″ MH Abu Veracity Rod.

> Flipped wood and grass with the same bait, just changed the line for wood. 2-4′ in creeks.


The rest of the guys only fished 2 days.


26. Caleb Sumrall

> 3/4-oz SPRO Wameku Shad 70 (Rayburn craw), 7′ 4″ MH Kistler Helium 3 Rod, Bruin Paul Elias Series Reel (6:3), 16-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro. Eelgrass edges in drains, 5-6′.

> 3/8-oz Kajun Boss Swim Jig (b/b) with Missile Craw Father (bruiser flash), same rod, same reel but 7.3:1, 50-lb Sunline Xplasma braid. Shallow gator grass way upriver.

27. Bob Downey

> Rapala DT6 (dark brown crawdad), 7′ MH St Croix Avid Rod, 14-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.

> Transitions from bluffy stuff into flatter banks — when the channel swing would bump against the hard bank on either end of the bluffs…transition into flats. 2-6′.

> Also used a Chatterbait up shallow later in the day.

28. Shane Lahew

> 1/2-oz Berkley Warpig lipless crank (candy apple red craw), 7′ 4″ MH Abu Veracity Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel, 15-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro.

> Eeelgrass in 3-6′, mostly in creeks or mouths of creeks.

29. Drew Benton

> 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (gp) with a Big Bite Kamikaze Swimon (gp), and a Bagley Rattlin’ B Minus lipless crank (shad). 7′ 2″ H Phenix M1 Rod, 20-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro.

> “I fished the mid-lake area and concentrated on drains and guts leading into spawning pockets in the 2-5′ range. The key for me to get bites was milfoil.”

30. Jake Whitaker

> 3/8-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (green shad) with a Reaction Innovations Little Dipper (white trash), 7′ 2″ MH ALX Zolo Toad Face Rod, Abu Revo MGX Reel, 15-lb P-Line Tactical Fluoro.

> 2′ or less under boat docks in creeks and pockets.

31. Jeff Gustafson

> Jackall 110 Rerange jerkbait (blue pearl shad), 4-8′ in the back ends creek where it was clear.

> Big fish on day 2: 1/2-oz Z-Man Sling Bladez spinnerbait (chart/white) with Z-Man Split Tail Trailerz (white). 7′ 5″ G. Loomis NRX 893 Rod, Shimano Metanium Reel, 20-lb fluoro. Shallow wood.

32. Patrick Walters

> 9/16-oz Storm Arashi Vibe (“craw”), 7′ 4″ MH Daiwa Tatula Elite Rod, Daiwa Tatula SV TW Reel, 17-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.

> Also a 1/2-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (fire craw and chart/white) with a Zoom Swimmin Super Fluke Jr, and a 1/2-oz Zorro HD Booza Bug jig (barren river craw) with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk (gp). All with the 17-lb Sufix Advance Fluoro.

> “I fished the mid-lake area, from Seibold to Goose Pond. Fished hard spots with stumps and scattered eelgrass on secondary channel swings before spawning pockets.

33. Brian Snowden

> 3/8-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (chart white) with a Zoom Z Swimmer (chart blue), 7′ 2″ H St Croix Legend Glass Rod, BPS Johnny Morris Platinum Reel (6.8), 17-lb BPS XPS fluoro.

> Flatter banks, pockets with laydowns and eelgrass, 2-4′.

34. Chris Johnston

> 5/8-oz SPRO Aruku Shad 75 (red crawfish), 7′ ML Daiwa Tatula Elite Randy Howell Rod, Daiwa Tataula 100 SV Reel, 17-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro. Eelgrass in 4-8′.

> 9/16-oz Punisher Flipping Jig (black and gp), Zoom Super Chunk Jr (matched jig colors), 7′ 4′ H Daiwa Flip Stick, same reel, 20-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro. Marinas, 3-8′.

35. Darold Gleason

> 1/2-oz Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap (didn’t know color but said gold with orange stripes), 7′ 3″ MH Falcon Expert Amistad Series Rod, Shimano Curado Reel, 15-lb Hi-Seas fluoro.

> Irregularities in eelgrass, especially if patches of milfoil mixed in. 6-8′, points and backs of drains.

36. Jamie Hartman

> 1/2-oz Riot Baits Raptor lipless crank (seibold red), 7′ 5″ Cashion RT Rod, Shimano Chronarch Reel, 15-lb Hi-Seas fluoro.

> Mostly fished around high spots in creek mouths and channel bends.

37. Whitney Stephens

> 3/8-oz bladed jig (orange/red) with a Lake Fork Magic Shad (gp).

> Scottsboro Swimbait (natural light) with a 1/2-oz Blue Rock Custom Tackle Swimbait Head.

> Mid-lake, focused on drains in 3-6′.

38. Josh Busby

> 6″ Basstrix swimbait (hitch #1) on a 1-oz head, Lew’s Ledge Series Swimbait Rod, Lew’s Custom Lite Reel, 20-lb Strike King fluoro.

> Mouths of creeks on the lower end of the lake, mainly 15-20′.

39. Cliff Prince

> Xcalibur/BOOYAH One Knocker (chart, Sharpied the sides red), 7′ 3″ M Fitzgerald All Purpose Rod, Fitzgerald Reel (7.3), 15-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

> 2-6′ mixture of eelgrass and milfoil, some main river.

40. Brock Mosely

> 1/2-oz NetBait football jig (bama craw) with a NetBait Paca Slim (gp, orange tips), 7′ 6″ Ark Reinforcer Rod, Shimano SLX Reel, 17-lb P-Line fluoro. Staging areas 12-16′ with big rock, some funnel areas like blown-out bridges and stuff.

> 1/2-oz Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap (Rayburn red craw), 7′ Ark Crankbait Rod, 15-lb fluoro. Ditch in 6-8′.

41. Taylor Smith

> 1/2-oz BOOYAH One Knocker (gold shiner), St Croix Legend Tournament Magnum Cranker Rod, 17-lb P-Line Blue Label fluoro.

> Eelgrass in 5′.

42. Cliff Pirch

> 1/2-oz jig (gp) with a Big Bite Craw (gp), finesse worm on a dropshot and a big swimbait (shad) on a 8′ MH Phenix Recon Elite 804 Rod.

> Creeks, mix of grass, some around docks, 2-5′.

43. Matt Arey

> 1/2-oz bladed jig (gp) with a LunkerHunt Finesse Swimbait (TN Shad), 7’ 3” MH Lew’s Custom Pro Rod, Lew’s Pro-Ti Reel (7:1), 17-lb P-Line Tactical Fluoro.

> Secondary bar off main channel in 4-6′.

44. Ray Hanselman

> 1/2-oz Strike King Thunder Cricket (white) with Strike King Blade Minnow (white), 7′ 10″ M Power Tackle Pow-R-Point 550 Rod, Shimano Curado Reel, 17-lb Strike King fluoro.

> Inside grasslines in 2-4′. Current breaks behind points, anything that would break the current. Flat grassy points on the back side.

45. Mark Menendez

> 3/8-oz Strike King Jig (b/b) with a Strike King Rage Craw (sapphire blue). 7′ 6″ Lew’s Custom Speed Stick, Lew’s Custom Lite Reel, 20-lb Seaguar InvizX fluoro.

> Pitching and skipping docks closest to the main river, in short pockets, 2′.

46. Scott Canterbury

> 1/2-oz bladed jig (b/b) with a swimbait trailer (b/b), 7′ 3″ XMH Halo signature rod, Ardent Apex Grand Reel (6.3), 17-lb P-Line Tactical Fluoro.

> Eelgrass in 3-7′. Creeks and back channel of the river.

47. Cory Johnston

> SPRO Wameku Shad (said “red,” guessing one of the red craw colors), 7′ Daiwa Tatula Elite Crankbait Rod, 40-lb Seaguar Smackdown Stealth Gray Braid.

> Reeled it across the top of the grass, ticking it. Day 2 he switched from fluoro to braid, “definitely helped, you could feel it ticking the grass better.” Fish in 7′.

48. Chad Pipkens

> 1/2-oz Chatterbait (white) with a Fluke-style bait (white). 7′ MH Swate Rod, Abu Revo MGX Reel, 20-lb Sunline Sniper fluoro. Also a Damiki Tremor lipless crank (real shad).

> Clean clumpy grass, 4-6′, midway back in creeks.

49. Mike Huff

> Berkley Frittside crankbait (#7 and #5 in redbug), 7′ 6″ MH Abu Veritas Cranking Rod, Abu Revo Winch Reel, 10-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro.

> 1/2-oz Cumberland Pro Spinnerbait (white/chart), 7′ 3″ MH Abu Veracity Rod, Abu Revo Premier Reel, 17-lb Berkley Trilene 100% Fluoro.

> Riprap and grass in the backs of creeks. Also fished boat docks on the channel side of creeks. 5-7′.

50. Brandon Cobb

> 3/8-oz Z-Man Jack Hammer (gp) with a Zoom Z Craw Jr (tilapia), 7′ 4″ MH Ark Rod, Abu Revo STX Reel, 20-lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluoro.

> Shallow grass in creeks, 1-3′.

51. Cody Hollen

> 5/8-oz lipless crank (craw color), Irod 763 CC Rod, Daiwa Tatula 100 Reel, 15-lb P-Line Tactical Fluoro.

> Rock and grass in 3-6′.

52. Paul Mueller

> Rapala DT6 (demon), Dobyns Champion 764 Rod, Lew’s BB1 Pro Reel, 14-lb Gamma Edge fluoro. “Up north, steep rocky channel swing banks, 6′ but dropped into deep water.”

> Basstrix Paddletail Swimbait (TN shad), 1-oz Do-It Swimbait Head, Dobyns Champion 764C Rod, Lew’s BB1 Pro, 16-lb Gamma Edge fluoro.

> Long point dumped into secondary channel.

53. Cam Sterritt

> Strike King Red Eye Shad (Rayburn red craw), Dobyns 736C Rod, 15-lb P-Line fluoro.

> 6-8′ eelgrass clumps in the main river and backs of creeks.

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