UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga
Wesley Strader

It was February, so low temperatures were the norm for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Water temperatures were in the high 40s, which meant the bass were generally not overly aggressive or active. Not all, but most fish were taken in shallow water where the bass were moving up to feed and/or take advantage of warmer, shallower water.

No matter where anglers fished, most had to slow down presentations compared to what might be normal for whatever lure they were using.

What were those lures?

Here’s the rundown.

Jim Neece Jr.’s winning pattern

Complete results

 

Jim Neece Jr.

1. While many boat decks were covered with a laundry list of rods and lures, winner Jim Neece Jr. stuck with the exact same bait all week long – a Zoom Swimmer in chartreuse and blue. He threw it on a 7 1/2-foot Abu Garcia Fantasista rod and Abu Garcia Revo 8:1 reel outfitted with 17-pound-test Trilene 100 Percent Fluorocarbon line.

 

Brian Elder

2. Brian Elder admittedly threw nearly everything in his tackle box at some point, including a craw pattern tungsten “slither rig” made by Jig Shack. Besides the red lipless crankbait, he called upon a SPRO Fat John 60 crankbait. He also relied on a 3/4-ounce black/blue jig made by Z Lures.

 

Steve Barnes

3. Steve Barnes was almost exclusive fishing a True Bass 4.5 swimbait on a 1/4-ounce head. “They make a 4.5 and a 5.5. I’ve had better luck on the 4.5,” says Barnes. He threw it on a Lew’s Speed Stick with 17-pound-test line.

 

Josh Norris

4. Josh Norris was catching his bass on a custom-painted Rapala DT-6 and a 3/8-ounce white Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer. “I was just really crawling them through treetops,” he says. Norris was using a Team Lew’s Pro-Ti Speed Stick rod and 15-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon line.

 

Brent Butler

5. Brent Butler focused on shallow fish using a 1/2-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad, and when he moved deeper he used a Lucky Craft Flash Pointer jerkbait. He preferred using a Douglas Outdoors LRS spinning rod with 8-pound-test fluorocarbon line. 

 

Tommy Brown

6. Tommy Brown relied on a SPRO Aruku Shad Jr. (size 60) in mudbug red. “I did go to the smaller size for this tournament because if I’d used the heavier weight it would have buried up in the grass,” says Brown.

 

Ricky Robinson

7. Ricky Robinson caught all his fish on a 5-inch Driftwood Custom Baits Swimbait in shad color on a Berkley Fusion19 Swimbait Jighead. “I’ve not seen a lake yet that bait won’t catch fish on,” says Robinson.

 

Wesley Strader

8. If you want to follow in the footsteps of FLW veteran Wesley Strader, tie on a Stan Sloan’s Zorro Wesley Strader Bango Blade spinnerbait. Strader says he also caught fish on a Strike King Red Eye Shad and a Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer.

 

Gavin Ainslie

9. A 1/2-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad in Sam Rayburn red craw was Gavin Ainslie’s go-to lure on Lake Chickamauga. 

 

Wayne Cook

10. Wayne Cook relied mostly on a HogFarmer Baits BFL Rig. He rigged it with Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbaits on Buckeye Lures J-Will Swimbait Heads. Cook was casting it on a Cashion Sledge rod with a Lew’s reel loaded with 50-pound-test braided line.

Tags: richard-simms-and-jacob-fine  post-tournament  2020-02-27-chickamauga 

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

The top finishers in the recent Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn caught the lake when the shallow bite was just picking up. Sticking shallow around hydrilla with a wake bait, Aaron Johnson stayed consistent and won the event. Behind Johnson, there was a lot of room for pros to fish to their strengths, though there’s no doubt that shallow eventually won out. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Jigs and topwaters – that’s pretty much all you need when it comes to fall in the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Five straight years of Lake of the Ozarks hosting a Toyota Series Plains Division event in October usually takes the guesswork out of what to expect. Anglers pretty much did what they’ve come to know as tried-and-true patterns on the historic fishery. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Norman

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Norman

Fall fishing in the southeast can be a challenge. Cold fronts, rainfall, rapidly cooling water and turnover can shake things up and make getting a bite much harder than normal. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

The Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman was a fall grinder. With the lake in fall transition and turnover occurring throughout the lake, some of the popular lure choices included shaky heads, jigs, buzzbaits and jerkbaits. Here is a closer look at the best baits of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

Top Patterns and Baits from the Detroit River

With the whole field boxed into the Detroit River for the first two days of the final Toyota Series Northern Division event, it’s natural that the main player was the river itself. But, on the final day, when folks could branch out, Scott Dobson actually ran to St. Clair and many of the other pros ventured into Lake Erie. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Dardanelle

Top Patterns and Baits from Dardanelle

The beginning of the fall transition coupled with dirty water from end to end created difficult fishing conditions at the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel, but anglers focused their attention to the backs of creeks and used a variety of baits to solve the riddle. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake has the potential to churn out some big bags – look no further than the 2019 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, when 21 teams weighed in more than 20 pounds on day one alone – but the 2020 iteration wasn’t as friendly to the college anglers who took to her waters this week. Here’s the skinny on how the top 10 teams caught their fish this week and what they caught them with. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac

Some of the top 10 pros chose a power approach to cover vast stretches of grass, while others slowed down with some of the finesse tactics that always seem to play on the Potomac. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Fort Gibson

Top 10 Patterns from Fort Gibson

The beginning of September helped mark the start of the fall transition in the south and that is exactly what the field faced in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Fort Gibson. From topwaters to soft plastics, the top 10 utilized a large chunk of Fort Gibson to catch their fish, with the Grand River paying the biggest role in the division’s second stop of the season. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Neely Henry

Top 10 Patterns from Neely Henry

Mark McCaig won the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Neely Henry casting a SPRO Bronzeye Poppin' Frog under overhanging trees, pitching a  Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog docks and cranking current breaks with a square-bill crankbait. Behind him, the rest of the top 10 mostly fished shallow grass, docks, rocks and laydowns by pitching creature baits and casting buzzbaits, ChatterBaits, and shaky heads. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Fort Gibson

Top 10 Baits from Fort Gibson

Low water and changing weather patterns meant tough fishing at for the second stop of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division at Fort Gibson. While day one brought in prime topwater conditions, days two and three generally saw anglers slogging it out for bass stuck somewhere amidst the fall transition. Fittingly, a few well-known baits are tailor-made for that kind of fishing—including a regional favorite named for the lake’s most legendary fisherman. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Neely Henry

Top 10 Baits from Neely Henry

With very little current being run through Neely Henry during the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event, offshore fishing was almost nil. Instead, most of the field had to survive fishing shallow shoreline cover like willow grass, docks, rip rap, laydowns and shade. Here is a look at the lures that helped score a top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sturgeon Bay

Top 10 Baits from Sturgeon Bay

Summertime smallmouth fishing makes having a drop-shot or two on the deck pretty essential, and the top pros in the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay basically all relied on the versatile finesse rig to get the job done. However, between them, there was a decent amount of variation in baits, and a few pros actually branched out from the drop-shot into other techniques. READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from the Cal Delta

Top Patterns and Baits from the Cal Delta

While a lot of things were different in the Toyota Series Western Division event on the California Delta – time of year, amount of time to fish and the odd haze from nearby wildfires – one thing remained the same: flipping, punching and frogging got the job done. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie presented anglers the opportunity to fish Erie or make a 100-mile run to Lake St. Clair. Pros found success doing both, with Justin Lucas taking home the crown by 1 ounce sticking it out on Erie. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Erie

Top 10 Baits from Lake Erie

The overwhelming majority of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament field at Lake Erie was throwing a drop-shot, with a good portion of them using the same lure on it. Yet, there were a couple of oddballs who switched up their offerings to give them an edge. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Mississippi River

Top 10 Patterns from the Mississippi River

Instead of limits coming in bunches, the top pros were often scrambling to get five keeper bites a day at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries event. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Wheeler Lake

As promised, Wheeler Lake turned out to be the stingiest of the two stops on the Toyota Series Southeastern Division so far this season. The dog days of summer put the kibosh on the main-lake bite, leaving Wheeler’s many shallow creeks and tributaries to supply the pounds and ounces at weigh-in. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

Top 10 Baits from Wheeler Lake

The Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake was a shallow-water power-fishing showdown in tough summertime conditions. Almost all the fish the top 10 pros caught came from 5 feet of water or less, and a fair amount of those were caught in 3 feet or less. READ MORE »