Classic-Winning Bait: Make Your Predictions

If you had to pick one bait or technique that’s going to win the 2011 Classic, what would it be? Anglers will ply the fertile brackish waters from New Orleans to Venice with dozens of different lures and presentations, but every year one bait or style seems to outshine all the others. So what’s it gonna’ be this year?

Strike King has an article up with Classic competitor Mark Davis focusing on which baits he plans to have in his arsenal exactly one month from now. Of course all his selections are Strike King offerings, but we can still get an idea for what type of bite Davis is expecting based on his Top 5 baits.

Here’s a look at Davis’ picks:
1. Creature bait (Rodent)
2. Creature bait (Rage Hawg)
3. Spinnerbait (SK Tour Grade)
4. Shallow crank (1.5 KVD square-bill)
5. Finesse jig (Bitsy Flip)

That’s three flipping baits and two moving baits. No surprise there. The Louisiana Delta has no shortage of grass and wood, so flipping is likely to be a dominant technique, especially if the field gets caught under bluebird skies behind a front and the Delta largemouth are pinned tight to cover. On the other hand, if the competitors get a couple days of wind and clouds, which is completely feasible in mid-February, this thing could turn into a spinnerbait fest in a hurry.

Another big factor to watch for is the rainfall along the Mississippi watershed, which, if you haven’t looked, is a pretty freakin’ big area. It can rain in Minnesota or Wisconsin and that frigid runoff will make it all the way down to Venice. The water temperature can easily fluctuate 10-15 degrees in either direction depending on when and where it rains throughout the month of February, which will play a big part in determining the dominant presentation most pros end up relying on to get their bites.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this event will NOT be won in the grass. I believe the winner is going to amass most of his weight by cranking shallow roseau cane stumps. Katrina and Rita blew away thousands of acres of roseau cane patches, leaving only stumps of roots and stalks behind. Those little stumps harden and turn black, and they hold a lot of heat. I’m banking on a warming trend leading up to the event and I’m hoping a cold front starts making it’s way down to New Orleans just as the competition kicks off. As the cold front approaches, this will pull some moisture and warm air off the Gulf of Mexico and make conditions ideal for mopping up some toads on a little square-bill.

Anybody else care to make a prediction of what the winning bait or pattern is going to be?



  1. Steve vonBrandt

    January 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    This is going to be won a jig or other soft plastic punched through grass.

  2. Jody White

    January 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Chatterbait. They are due for an elite series win and an outstanding choice around grass and wood. If a chatterbait does win, a swim jig will be part of the winner’s arsenal as they are great to re-fish a chatterbait spot more subtly.

  3. Jordan Embry

    January 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I think the classic will be won on Strike King’s new KVD silent Red Eye Shad or Perfect Plastics Rodent.

  4. Chad Keogh

    January 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    My guess is shallow crankbait. Likely a square bill to deflect off wood.

  5. Clark Reehm

    January 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    My guess is it will have some sort of skirt as well as a plastic trailer. How is that for a cop out answer…

    • Jason

      January 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Clear as mud, Clark. The REAL question is, will that skirted bait with a plastic trailer be on the end of YOUR rod. 😉

      Good luck, dude!

  6. Odom

    January 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Ripping traps.!!!!!!!

  7. Larry Jr from Tn

    January 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I am astonished that SK would put Mark on the burner to promote KVD and ALL his baits. He is striving to promote to keep his sponser. KVD may very well win the Classic but he (Mark D) Is not one to fool when money is on the line, but who would bet against the giant from another tour? Think about it. Strike King (SK) is in the spot light once again and will do well. Good luck Gary Klein. I wish I could help you brother since you helped my father in “92” on Guntersville. C’mon 7lber!

  8. Jacob Robinson

    January 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Ive gotta go with a swim jig this time of year down thre.

  9. Greg Huff

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    flat-sided cranks … lipless over/through grass; lipped around wood. … it will be in the mid to high ’60s the week before the Classic, then abruptly fall to mid 50s on the first two days, then warm up the last two days … plus it’s going to be a full moon … pitchers/flippers that find uncrowded spots will do well, but i’m feeling that the crankers are going to triumph … that said, Evers wins it on a spinnerbait

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