Top Lures

At each Bassmaster Elite, Open and Classic we compile the best baits used by the top competitors. Here is a look at the locations and times of year that these baits worked best for them. If you are planning on fishing a lake on this list, this is a great start to see what worked for the pros. Note: Some lakes border two states — we have generally chosen the state where the event was held for this list. 


Smith Lake June 2024 Summertime, fireworks and spotted bass — all three were in play during the Bassmaster Elite at Smith Lake. The northern Alabama lake renowned for its spotted bass fishing didn’t disappoint during the late June visit.

Wheeler Lake June 2024 The bass fishing on the famed Decatur Flats heated up like the mid-90s daytime temps at the Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake, and the flats were where a majority of the playing field slugged it out.

Logan Martin Lake May 2024 An early morning shad spawn and bass in all phases of the spawning cycle — those were the opportunities in play at the Bassmaster Open at Logan Martin Lake in early May.

Wheeler Lake May 2023 The spawning cycle transitioned toward postspawn as largemouth migrated to the offshore bars and ledges at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Wheeler Lake. See the finesse and other approaches the top finishers used in Alabama.

Lay Lake May 2023 The postspawn funk was in full effect, but the Elites found a way to land big bites during the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite at Lay Lake. Find out how the pros located and loaded up the late spring bites on this Coosa River impoundment.

Lake Eufaula March 2023 Prespawn was underway at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake Eufaula, prompting the anglers to intercept staging largemouth as they began migrating toward primary and secondary points.

Smith Lake October 2021 In this early fall tournament, Alabama's Smith Lake fished extremely tough. See the lures the top finishers used on a stingy fishery. 

Lake Guntersville May 2021 The bass were in the grass and pads at the Berkley Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville. Find out what lures caught the biggest bass during four days of competition at the Berkley Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville.

Neely Henry May 2021 A postponed day, near-flood conditions and falling water — the pros faced all these conditions that set up a challenging Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Neely Henry Lake.

Pickwick Lake April 2021 See all the baits the top Bassmaster Opens Series anglers called on during a tournament when all phases of the spring spawn were underway. 

Pickwick Lake March 2021 A series of storm systems dumped 4 inches of rain the week of the Elite event. The tournament becamse a test of mental and physical endurance after a two-day delay in the start following practice. 

Lay Lake December 2020 An uncharacteristically late Open event led to some cold water baits finding success in Central Alabama.

Neely Henry Lake October 2020 When every keeper going into the livewell was worth celebrating at the Bassmaster Central Open at Neely Henry Lake, here's what the Top 12 used to find success.

Lake Guntersville October 2020 See the lures that landed the top finishes at the NOCO Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville during the pre-fall transition.

Lake Eufaula June 2020 Peek inside the tackleboxes of the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers, and see the best patterns from the DEWALT Bassmaster Elite at Lake Eufaula.

Lake Guntersville March 2020 Lake Guntersville put on a show for the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. See the lures used by the top finishers over three days of spring competition.

Lake Guntersville June 2019 Lake Guntersville in late June should be a classic ledge fest, but the Elite Series pros had to adapt when it turned out it wasn't the case.

Smith Lake April 2019 Rising and falling water, post-frontal conditions, and postspawn largemouth and spotted bass. This tournament had it all and it took a mixed bag to win. Lures covering the entire water column from top to bottom were the difference makers. 

Logan Martin September 2018 Power-generated current and spotted bass have a symbiotic relationship during summertime. The bite goes hot during generation periods and turns cold during slack water. Learn what lures worked best under both conditions.

Lake Martin February 2018 Periodic rains and warm water runoff inundated the lake to create ideal conditions for a prespawn largemouth bite. These baits scored big for the top finishers as the bass moved in from deeper water.

Smith Lake October 2017 The offshore spotted bass bite was on as those fish were feeding on roaming schools of Blueback herring. There was a viable largemouth bite also in play. Top lures covered the gamut from shallow to deep coverage baits. 

Wheeler Lake April 2016 Wheeler Lake was predominantly a shallow water bite – very shallow. Topwater lures, buzzbaits and swim jigs were the keys for several top finishers.


Lake Ouachita February 2024 Challenging conditions faced Opens anglers competing at Lake Ouachita in late winter, and while many of the out-of-towners elected to fish deep for bass still in their winter holes, the winner went shallow to catch early prespawners.

Lake Dardanelle June 2017 Late spawning and mostly postspawn largemouth in a funk proved no easy ticket to winning. No sight fishing. No ledge fishing. Mostly junk fishing. Just grinding it out on a muddy, fluctuating Arkansas River. 

Bull Shoals/Norfork April 2016  This double-header was all about spawning bass. During the first round the water temperature hovered in the high 50s, and then shot up into the low 70s by the final round. Enhancing the spawning conditions was a full moon. 


St. Johns River April 2024 Something special unfolded along a picturesque stretch of water at the Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River as the Salt Springs — a natural mineral spring that attracts a plethora of fish and wildlife. This area was packed with spawning largemouth bass.

Harris Chain April 2024 Expectations for the two-event Florida Swing were uncertain with the tour typically visiting Florida much earlier in the year, but big bass were still caught during the Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain — even postponed a day for weather.

Lake Okeechobee February 2024 A gradual warmup following a cold front had the largemouth moving towards a spawn on Lake Okeechobee, with water temps rising into the upper 60s. The big girls came in, and the bite turned on for those lucky to be in the right place, at the right time.

Harris Chain October 2023 The final Open of 2023 at Harris Chain of Lakes was tumultuous with dirty water and falling water temperatures making practice tough for competitors. Then, severe storms forced the cancellation of the first competition day, and the event evolved into a two day shootout.

Lake Okeechobee February 2023 While most thought the event would be won in the community holes of the main lake, one angler capitalized on a hunch to do otherwise during the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Okeechobee.

Harris Chain February 2022 A full moon, warm, sunny weather and water temperatures in the mid-60s all combined for the potential for a full-on spawning event.

St. Johns River February 2022 By Florida standards, wintry weather marked the start of this Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River with overnight lows in the 40s and daytime highs in the 50s.

Kissimmee Chain February 2022 Anglers made adjustments for water clarity and targeted grass and reed areas during this Bassmaster Open held in early February.

Harris Chain March 2021 The scale of the spawning cycle tilted more towards postspawn at the Bassmaster Southern Open at Harris Chain in 2021. That made timing everything when anglers were setting up to intercept bass on the move. 

St. Johns River February 2021 Warm weather arrived as the Bassmaster Elite Series rolled into town, but the bite was still challenging. Find out how the Top 10 landed the biggest limits of the week during this season opener on a familiar fishery.

St. Johns River February 2020 Plunging temperatures in the 60s during the day and 30s at night all but shut down the anticipated big bass spawning bite on the St. Johns River. The Elites at the top of the standings for the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River share the baits that worked in Florida.

Kissimmee Chain January 2020 Anglers would think a full moon in January on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes would mean heavyweight catches of spawning largemouth. See top lures that succeeded during Open competition early in 2020.

St. Johns River February 2019 A prespawn matchup showcased the trophy bass potential of this vibrant fishery. Wave upon wave of big females staged on transition areas in the main river, while more aggressive fish had advanced into the spawning areas. 

Harris Chain January 2019 Cold front challenged? Nowhere else are those conditions any tougher than during winter on Florida impoundments. All it takes is a north wind to shut down the bite which happened at this event. Anglers adjusted with numerous baits as reaction lures and slowly fished soft plastics dominated. 

Kissimmee Chain January 2018  A full moon and prespawn bass were a no-brainer for success on this trophy lake. Punch baits and finesse tactics proved the best mix for this matchup. 

Lake Okeechobee February 2017 The lake was in its seasonal prime with all spawning phases underway during the tournament. The lineup not surprisingly is dominated by heavy tackle and lures designed for fishing in heavy cover. 

Harris Chain January 2017 All phases of the spawn. An unseasonably sunny, warm mid-January in central Florida. It all set up for remarkable fishing and the lake did not disappoint. Going to combat in heavy cover took the tackle and lures required to get the job done without fail. 


Lake Seminole February 2023  Finding the right combination of clear water, prespawn staging habitat and forage were keys to victory during the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Seminole. 

Lake Lanier February 2019  Prespawn conditions for largemouth and especially spotted bass dictated choosing copycat baits mimicking the abundant baitfish in the lake, including Blueback herring and shad. Top lures were soft plastics fished on dropshot rigs and small swimbaits used to coax bass staging in deep water. 

Lake Chatuge September 2018 Hunting big largemouth on the shoreline or going offshore for spotted bass gorging on Blueback herring. This fall matchup showcased topwaters, swimbaits, wacky rigs and dropshot rigs. 


Toledo Bend Reservoir February 2024 A full moon and moderating temperatures set the stage for the big girls to migrate toward the spawning areas during this Bassmaster Open. Creek channels bordered by shallow ridges were transition zones, before the fish moved into secondary creeks to spawn.

Toledo Bend Reservoir April 2023 Toledo Bend showed out for the 2023 St. Croix Bassmaster Open. The weather conditions changed every day of the event. The water rose in practice and then fell midway through the tournament.

Red River September 2022 The main river channel or the backwaters. Those were the two options at the Red River. The backwaters were the clear-cut favorite, as those areas provided abundant vegetation and shad, and power baits and tactics were used by the top anglers.

Red River June 2018  A tough river bite during the dog days of summer proved the ultimate challenge during this tournament. It took a lure lineup spanning the water column to gain success. From topwaters and crankbaits to soft plastics and spinnerbaits, all in play on the Red River. 

Sabine River June 2018 The tournament played out in a river, along with hundreds of miles of coastal and tidal-influenced water. Junk fishing and patience paid off with myriad textbook summertime lures doing the trick. 

Toledo Bend January 2018 Need to sort through myriad options and dial into winter time bass on Toledo Bend? This lure lineup shows you how.  

Sabine River June 2017 Guerilla bass fishing in the marsh summed up the top lures chosen by the anglers to coax fish from heavy cover. From frogs and spinnerbaits to square billed crankbaits and worms, what worked in these coastal waters can work anywhere during summer. 

Toledo Bend April 2017 A lunar phase nearing the full moon. Big bass staging on textbook transition areas between deep water and the spawning areas. Some fish already in spawning mode. When bass are on the move in spring making wise lure choices is a must. 

Atchafalaya Basin October 2016 Punching mats with heavy tackle and baits to match the mission are a must in this swampy fishery. Think outside the box with these lures that dominated a fall tournament on a tidal fishery. 

Red River October 2016 Crankbaits and jigs capable of penetrating heavy cover proved the best choices in this post-flood event. 

Toledo Bend May 2016 The winner used an ultra-deep crankbait and the runner-up a pair of topwater lures. From shallow to deep and in between the fish fell to lures capable of working the entire water column. 


Chesapeake Bay August 2022 A full moon pushing tides higher than normal, scattered fish in prefall transition and the sheer magnitude of dialing in the bite on a massive playing field — find out how the top finishers handled challenging conditions.

Potomac River August 2016 You could nearly fill a tacklebox with different types of lures used in this summertime contest on a tidal fishery. High tide, low tide and in between required versatility to keep a pattern alive. 

Chesapeake Bay August 2015 When the going gets tough on a tough tidal fishery it takes changing to conditions. And going junk fishing. Find out how to match lures with this run-and-gun tactic that proved most productive. 


Lake St. Clair July 2024 Lake St. Clair validated its fourth-place ranking in the 2024 Bassmaster Best Bass Lakes list with an incredible showing at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open presented by SEVIIN, and the biggest daily limit weighed in at 27-12.

Lake St. Clair July 2023 Since the smallmouth bass had transitioned into their summertime patterns, see the winning drop shot and other finesse rigs used by the top finishers to up their summertime smallmouth game.

Lake St. Clair August 2020 Sixteen anglers broke the 60-pound mark after three days of fishing on Lake St. Clair. See the lures the Top 10 called on to make the Championship Sunday cut.

Lake St. Clair September 2019 Shallow, deep and mid-range depths produced the 20-pound-plus daily limits of smallmouth that it took to make it to the top of the scoreboard. Find out what smallmouth lures ruled the three-day Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship.

Lake St. Clair August 2017 A simple old school tube jig was the winner’s choice, but topwaters and swimbaits worked too in this smallmouth whack fest on one of the nation’s top fisheries.


Mille Lacs September 2017 Need ideas about which drop shot lures work best in fall? Look no further than in this gallery. The deep water rigs were the top choice of the winner and best finishers. 

Mille Lacs September 2016 Drop shots, jerkbaits and crankbaits. They all caught smallmouth, from shallow to deep in this early fall smallmouth fest. 


Lake of the Ozarks September 2023 Docks with brushpiles emerged as the prevailing pattern at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake of the Ozarks. The largemouth population was transitioning to docks in tributaries, using them as ambush points for shad beginning to migrate into the creeks. 

Table Rock Lake October 2018 Fall transition was the buzz word of the week. The fall transition was in full swing, and that made intercepting bass movements the name of the game. See what lures were used to home in on the moving fish. 

Table Rock Lake March 2017 The winner had success fishing in water up to 50 feet and throwing a finesse swimbait to bass holding in standing timber over 25 feet of water. Find what choices worked best in this textbook scenario for a highland lake. 


Ross Barnett April 2022 Call it a case of postspawn funk or high fishing pressure — the largemouth population was in a state of flux at this Bassmaster Central Open on Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Ross Barnett March 2018 Unseasonably warm weather, rain, cold fronts and a full moon. That all happened in this textbook prespawn event with the bass on the move. Find out what lures worked best to intercept them in this early spring lure lineup. 

Ross Barnett May 2017 Shallow patterns ruled the week on this lowland reservoir. From buzzbaits and spinnerbaits to frogs and plastics, use these lures to dial into bass in all spawning phases. 

New York

St. Lawrence River August 2023 Forward-facing sonar and finesse soft plastics accounted for the patterns of the Top 10. See what the pros used as they looked to land record-breaking limits of smallmouth bass.

Lake Champlain August 2023 See how the Elites responded when boat positioning and keeping baits on vertical targets was a challenge, as strong mostly southerly winds ran directly up the north-south oriented lake. 

St. Lawrence River July 2023 Although postspawn conditions made fishing a little tougher than normal, learn how Bassmaster Opens anglers still found big bags of smallmouth to hit the scales as well as some quality largemouth.

St. Lawrence River July 2022 Calm weather and shallow smallmouth ended up ensuring two anglers landed the first ever Century Club belts for catching more than 100 pounds in four days of Elite competition.

Oneida Lake July 2022 The smallmouth were scattered largely between a postspawn and early summer pattern, plus different wind and cloud cover every day, meant the top anglers were constantly making adjustments.

1000 Islands September 2021 Take a look at the lures the top anglers used to bag huge smallmouth during the Bassmaster Open at 1000 Islands.

Oneida Lake July 2021 Oneida Lake’s smallmouth population was spending the summer where it always does — around offshore rockpiles covered in aquatic vegetation. See the lures that caught the best limits during this July Bassmaster Open.

St. Lawrence River July 2021 The weather was steady and the competition was strong at the season-ending Elite stop on the St. Lawrence River. See the lures that landed the biggest limits during four days in Waddington, N.Y.

Lake Champlain River July 2021 Another year, another great Bassmaster Elite Series stop at New York's Lake Champlain. Find out which lures topped the leaderboard and whether smallmouth or largemouth were the best option.

Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River Opens anglers were greeted with cooler temperatures and giant smallmouth in the final Bassmaster Northern Open of the 2021 season. 

St. Lawrence River July 2020 This July 2020 edition of the annual St. Lawrence River swing added Lake Ontario to the playing field. Take a closer look at the lures that ruled the leaderboard in New York.

Lake Champlain July 2020 Lake Champlain’s largemouth and smallmouth showed out at the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain. See the lures used by the Top 10 at the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain.

Oneida Lake September 2019 It can take smallmouth and largemouth to win late summer tournaments on Oneida Lake. See the best lures for catching those big bass on during an Eastern Open in New York.

Cayuga Lake August 2019 Largemouth and smallmouth. You could choose one or both to weigh-in at the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. Check out the choices and rig up for summer. 

St. Lawrence River August 2019 Another smallmouth whack fest unfolded at Bassmaster Magazine’s Top Bass Lake for 2019. Take a closer look at the Top 10's lures from this exciting Elite event.

St. Lawrence River August 2018 Drop shot rigs ruled at this summertime event when the big smallmouth were tightly school on offshore structure, seeking baitfish swept past by the current. Check out the choices and rig up for summer. 

St. Lawrence River July 2017 Topwaters early, drop shot rigs later in the day. Both worked for smallmouth out deep and largemouth up shallow in a derby that showcased how lure choices can be matched to the conditions for both bass species. 

Lake Champlain July 2017 A Championship Sunday with scoreboard weights so tight that anyone in the top 10 could’ve won. See the lures that lit 'em up during a week in New York.

Oneida Lake June 2017 Smallmouth in feeding mode on offshore humps where the baitfish spawned and schooled, making them prime for getting ambushed by hungry predators. Jerkbaits dominated and you can see why in this show-all lure gallery.

Niagara River July 2016 Offshore smallmouth staged on current breaks was the setup for this contest. Drop shots worked best and you can tell by the lures chosen by the top finishers.  

Cayuga Lake June 2016  Sight fishing or staying offshore and focusing on luring bass from grassy shoals. Both patterns were in play in this summertime event that showcased the best lures for smallmouth in such conditions. 

St. Lawrence River August 2015  “I had about 20 rods on the deck.” You heard that a lot in this summertime derby that took a lot of lures and patterns to get the job done right. Find out the narrowed-down choices that can work for you in the summer. 

North Carolina

Lake Norman September 2021 The bite was tough during late September in North Carolina. Get a closer look at the lures that caught the biggest limits during the 2021 Bassmaster Open at Lake Norman in North Carolina.

Lake Norman May 2018 Spinnerbaits and topwaters filled in where drop shots did not at this postspawn tournament on an urban fishery that receives lots of pressure. 


Lake Eufaula June 2024 After heavy rains moved through the previous week, the water fell dramatically during practice. These conditions left anglers wondering if a consistent pattern could be found as Bassmaster Open competition began.

Grand Lake March 2024 Boat docks rarely fit heavily into the narrative at the Bassmaster Classic, but in 2024 they did. Anglers targeted prespawn largemouth that used docks as staging areas in creeks and pockets.

Lake Eufaula June 2023 Late postspawn conditions prevailed at the Bassmaster Open at Lake Eufaula. During the tournament, large groups of anglers gathered in several areas, but less-pressured areas proved most successful.

Grand Lake October 2021 The fishery was in a fall funk, but there was plenty of activity on the leaderboard. See the Top 10's best lures from the final Bassmaster Opens event of the 2021 season.

Arkansas River June 2020 High water expanded the strike zone in the backwaters, or an angler could sacrifice time and lock through to the Kerr Pool. Check out the lures used by the top finishers at this Open event.

Lake Tenkiller September 2019 The fish were in a late-summer funk when 75 Bassmaster Elite Series anglers headed to Tenkiller. Find out how the top finishers approached the finiky bass who were shallow, deep and all points in between.

Grand Lake September 2019 Get a close look at the lures that the Top 12 used during fall Open competition on Grand Lake.

Grand Lake April 2018 What began as a prespawn bite for staging bass ended as a shoreline slugfest for spawners. No secret baits ruled the week, just a textbook lineup of springtime favorites chosen by the top finishers. 

Arkansas River April 2018 Prespawn bass moved inshore each day on this river that is known for its productive backwater areas and main river channel ledges and flats. Reaction baits ruled the week and you can see the choices that can help you be successful. 

Grand Lake October 2017 Largemouth in the fall transition dictated the lure choice match their mood. That was feeding on roaming baitfish from shallow to deep. 

Lake Texoma June 2016 The tournament was dominated by anglers flipping an abundance of flooded vegetation, but there were other tactics in play. Most notably the anglers choosing to find alternatives to the flipping bite. See what their choices were and add those to your summertime arsenal. 

South Carolina

Lake Murray May 2024 The bass feasted on blueback herring at the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Murray, and early morning was prime time for surface feeding until the bite diminished with the rising sun.

Santee Cooper Lakes March 2024 A Championship Saturday shortened by 1 1/2 hours due to forecasted severe weather set up a challenging set of fishing conditions, but the winner called on his local knowledge and mental perseverance to target staging largemouth and pull off the win.

Santee Cooper Lakes April 2023 The conditions were set for something special to happen at the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at Santee Cooper Lakes. A spawning cycle leaning more toward late spawn and into postspawn provided plenty of big bass opportunities for everyone.

Lake Murray April 2023 Favorable weather warmed the water to the magical temperature that stimulates spawning activity. Combine that with spawning blueback herring, and the sum of the whole were prime bass fishing conditions at the Marathon Bassmaster Elite at Lake Murray.

Lake Hartwell October 2022 Impressive numbers of bass were caught during the final Bassmaster Southern Open of 2022 at Lake Hartwell, but finding better-than-average-sized bass proved to be a challenge for much of the field.

Santee Cooper Lakes March 2022 As the spawn was underway, that meant a combination of sight fishing for bedding bass, and searching for those fish moving to their beds.

Lake Hartwell March 2022 The 52nd Bassmaster Classic played out in both ends of the water column on Lake Hartwell with some of the pros opting to fish deep, focusing on spotted bass and largemouth around the lake’s many islands.

Santee Cooper Lakes October 2020 See the lures used by the Top 10 finishers during a fall tournament where punching grass was the name of the game.

Lake Hartwell September 2020 The spotted bass were roaming during the early fall of 2020. ake a look at the lures that topped the leaderboard during the Bassmaster Eastern Open at Lake Hartwell.

Winyah Bay April 2019 Stay close and fish backwater areas in a river or make a 100-mile run to nutrient-rich waters in a brackish fishery. Find out which approach worked the best and the lures used to emerge most successful. 

Lake Hartwell April 2019 A weeklong wacky rig fest for spawning largemouth. Not surprisingly the top lures were dominated by finesse tactics. See which rigs worked the best and use them for spawning conditions on your favorite lake. 

Lake Hartwell March 2018 Rods piled up on front decks of anglers boats provides a clue on what it took to be successful in this spawn matchup. Not surprisingly junk fishing was a popular pattern, and so was using lures to match the tactic.

Winyah Bay April 2016 Vibrating jigs were the ticket for the Top 3 finishers. From there it was a wide variety of springtime lures used to be successful on this tidal bass fishery. 

Lake Murray May 2011 Sight fishing and a Blueback herring spawn were in play in this springtime spawning matchup. Drop shot rigs and swimbaits ruled as a result. 

South Dakota

Lake Oahe August 2022 The smallmouth staged on offshore points and irregular bottom features between shallow and deeper water, and many Elites targeted fish using finesse soft plastic rigs.

Lake Oahe July 2018 Drop-shot rigs and swimbaits ruled the week in this summertime tournament when the fish were schooled in deep and shallow water. 


Watts Bar Reservoir August 2023 Cooler overnight temperatures opened an opportunity for a topwater bite. Many anglers were hitting heavy vegetation throughout the lake or capitalizing on the lake’s classic Tennessee River ledges for bigger bass. 

Pickwick Lake August 2023 Tough, late-summer conditions greeted anglers in the 2023 Bassmaster College National Championship. Find out how the top teams were able to still catch big bags and find consistent bites.

Tennessee River March 2023 Weather conditions changed and temperatures fluctuated between practice and Day 1. Even so, take a look at the lures that worked for the top 25 anglers at the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota.

Pickwick Lake June 2022 This Bassmaster Elite event at Pickwick Lake proved to be an offshore beatdown, as the majority of the field roamed the main river ledges and outer thirds of creek arms to find schools of offshore fish.

Chickamauga Lake April 2022 In early spring, some bass were spawning, but many were migrating along textbook staging and transition areas toward the spawning areas.

Douglas Lake April 2021 The second Southern Open of the 2021 season rolled into Tennessee and set up on Douglas Lake. See the Top 10's baits in a derby occured during the spawning cycle.

Tennessee River February 2021 A Canadian came to Tennessee and adopted a common ice fishing tactic to redefine how smallmouth can be caught in the South. Find out more about the cold-water baits that topped the leaderboard in Knoxville.

Cherokee Lake October 2020 Tropical Storm Zeta moved through the area with its wind and rain, but it was followed by bluebird skies and post-frontal conditions. The sum of the whole was tough fishing.

Lake Chickamauga October 2020 Another weird fall tournament took place in Tennesseee with a topwater frog and unique swimbait/frog combo rig winning an October event.

Lake Chickamauga May 2019 Most bet on the come for postspawn largemouth to show up on Lake Chickamauga’s signature river ledges. See the lures used by the top anglers that made the right bets during spring competition.

Tennessee River March 2019 Rising and falling water. Warming, stained and clearing water. Lots of rain and post frontal conditions. All were in play during a prespawn tournament held under challenging conditions. Choosing lures to match the changing conditions proved most beneficial to the top anglers. 

Douglas Lake September 2018 Choose the lake or venture far up into the headwaters. You could do both but choosing the right baits to match the water conditions was a must at this early fall tournament. 

Kentucky Lake May 2018 Prespawn, postspawn and even shad spawn. All were in play as the lake’s famous ledges were cold and the shoreline action was hot. 

Douglas Lake September 2017 The cooler, current- and nutrient-rich waters of the barely navigable upper lake was the ticket for the winner and top finishers. Reaction and finesse lures were the top producers. 

Chickamauga Lake April 2017 Sight fishing and spinning tackle. Add that pattern and tackle together for the sum of how the anglers fished in this tournament underway during the spawn. 

Cherokee Lake February 2017 High-definition screens with high tech features made this event a “video game” fishing kind of tournament. Find the fish, dial into them with the right bottom coverage baits. That sums up this wintertime tournament. 


Lake Fork February 2024 The perfect storm of a post-front warming trend and the backside of a full moon triggered an epic big bass migration on Texas' big bass impoundment. All of the Top 10 anglers caught over 100 pounds and earned the coveted Bassmaster Century Club belt. 

Sabine River June 2023 There would be fewer long runs to the best fishing at the 2023 Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River. Instead, remaining nearer the host city of Orange, Texas, and keeping baits in the water was the wiser move. 

Sam Rayburn Reservoir October 2022 Anglers had to work hard for the bass they did catch and for most anglers, not just one pattern, type of cover or depth range prevailed over another.

Lake Fork May 2022 Lake Fork’s largemouth population was mainly in postspawn mode, staging on points, submerged islands, humps and other textbook areas leading to deeper water.

Lake Ray Roberts June 2021 Put the world’s top bass anglers on the same lake and you throw away the textbook of bass fishing. That sums up what happened at the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

Lake Fork April 2021 Another tournament on Texas' Lake Fork and another Century Belt is awarded. Look at the lures that topped the leaderboard during the catch-weigh-release Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork.

Sabine River April 2021 The spring contest in Texas came down to two anglers, spread more than 200 miles apart, between Houston and far up the Sabine River, near Toledo Bend Dam. See the baits of the top finishers used in a stocked tidal fishery.

Lewisville Lake November 2020 During the final Central Open of 2020, largemouth were scattered throughout the water column due to the fall transition, making for challenging fishing conditions on the north Texas lake.

Lake Fork November 2020 The entire 2020 schedule was completed, and it went out with a bang at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest. Learn how the winner joined the Century Club during a late-year tournament in Texas.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir September 2020 Fishing conditions were tough, but the heavyweights still crossed the scales and the largemouth were active offshore. Take a look at the top lures from three days of Open competition.

Lake Fork May 2019 A shad spawn early, tracking down postspawn bass later in the day. That meant topwaters and reaction baits to catch the biggest bass swimming in this trophy impoundment. 

Sabine River June 2018 Get a closer look at the lures that caught 'em in the river during a hot summer week deep in Texas.

Lake Travis May 2018 One hundred bass days. Largemouth caught from inches of water to 40 feet deep. You could do it all in this tournament held during the spawn.

Sabine River June 2017 Guerilla bass fishing in the marsh including a maze of backwaters, swamps and sloughs. Take a closer look at the baits that dominated during tough competition.

Sam Rayburn May 2017 Postspawn largemouth on the move with the fish circulated throughout the water column. What to use when the bite is so wide open? Find out the top choices and use them on your favorite lake. 

Lake Conroe March 2017 All phases of the spawn, plus a shad spawn and rising temperatures provided plenty of options for the tournament week. 


Lake Champlain August 2017 Wacky rigs and drop shots proved their versatility in this tournament held when the bass were schooled on offshore structure. 


Buggs Island Reservoir May 2023 Heading into the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Buggs Island, the impoundment was relatively unknown by much of the field. Rapidly rising water at the end of practice and colder-than-normal temperatures made figuring out the bass bite even more challenging.

James River April 2022 Dissecting what stage of the spawn the bass were in and when they would bite in relation to the tide were major keys to success for the Top 10 anglers.

James River May 2021 The Bassmaster Opens return to Virginia for another exciting tournament on the James River. See all the baits used by the top anglers in a challenging tournament on an ever-changing tidal river.

James River July 2019 Success came on everything from topwater frogs and rats to spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs during this Open event. See what baits worked on during this summer tournament. 

James River August 2017 A sluggish bite during the dog days of summer on a tidal fishery. If you are faced with such challenging conditions get a primer on where to start with these lures chosen by the top finishers. 


Mississippi River August 2022 Flipping and pitching are the go-to tactics for vegetation, and at the Mississippi River, the venerable Carolina rig was a player during early fall in Wisconsin.

Mississippi River August 2019 It was no surprise that frogs were the top lures chosen by anglers during this Central Open. Find out which specific lures took the top spots.

Upper Mississippi River June 2018 Bass fishing went to the frogs in a tournament held during high water that flooded backwater areas and had the fish scattered throughout. 

Upper Mississippi River September 2016 Post-front conditions following heavy rain made this matchup a challenge. Current played a role in the patterns and lure choices of the top finishers. 

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