UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Okeechobee

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour

Winning Baits from the 2019 FLW Tour
Terry Bolton's Rapala DT Series Crankbaits

It’s tough to believe that the FLW Tour season is already a wrap and it’s only Independence Day weekend, but that’s exactly the situation. Last week the FLW Tour finished up at Lake Champlain with Casey Scanlon earning the W.

What a season it was in 2019. David Dudley won a record fourth FLW Tour Angler of the Year award. There were six first-time Tour champions, two events won with smallmouths, a smattering of double-digit bass brought to the scales and plenty of drama on FLW Live. 

Before we shift our focus to previewing the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, let’s start with a look back at the baits that were used to win the seven FLW Tour events this season. Lucky for you, TackleWarehouse.com is running a holiday sale that ends Friday evening, so you can stock your tackle boxes at a discount. In the process, you might want to consider adding some of the winning gear from another great year on Tour.

 

Terry Bolton

1. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Jan. 10-13

Rapala DT10, DT14 and DT16 crankbaits were all crucial in Terry Bolton’s first FLW Tour win. To target prespawn bass on the big Texas reservoir, Bolton opted for the demon and Caribbean shad colors and threw his crankbaits with Lew’s BB1 Pro Speed Spool reels with the 5.1:1 gear ratio. The man nicknamed “Blade” for his spinnerbait prowess also caught some quality fish on a white 3/4-ounce Accent spinnerbait and mixed in a few on a Carolina rig with a 5-inch green pumpkin Zoom Lizard. Bolton targeted bare spots on inside grass lines in the mornings. Then, after 11 o’clock, he fished 15 to 18 feet deep on outside grass line drains.

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

2. Lake Toho, Feb. 7-10

Buddy Gross found the winning fish in clumps of grass between two ditches on the main lake. The ditches were situated in a large V-shaped notch in a grass mat. The bass Gross caught were prespawn and postspawn. All but one of his keepers came on two baits: a 5-inch Scottsboro Tackle Co. Swimbait (natural shad) on an 8/0 Owner Beast Flashy Swimmer 3/8-ounce belly-weighted hook with a blade, and a homemade white 1/2-ounce swim jig with a 4-inch Scottsboro (natural shad) trailer. Gross fished with 50-pound-test braid on a Daiwa Tatula SV reel (7.3:1) and a pair of 7-foot, 3-inch Fitzgerald Rods All Purpose Series sticks – extra-heavy for the swimbait and heavy for the swim jig. 

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

3. Lake Seminole, March 7-10

Brian “B. Lat” Latimer got on his way to his first Tour title by cranking a current seam in the Flint River on day one with a Bill Lewis MR-6. That bite faded, and he turned to a main-river flat in the Flint for the remainder of the tournament. There, he flipped grass clumps to target prespawn fish with a Z-Man Palmetto BugZ on a 1/2-ounce weight. To get ’em out of the grass, Latimer used a 7-2, medium-heavy Favorite Phantom rod and an Abu Garcia Revo STX (7.3:1 gear ratio).

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

4. Grand Lake, March 28-31

Falling water and changing conditions throughout the Grand Lake event made it one of the toughest Tour events of the season. Jeremy Lawyer figured out the winning pattern by running new docks every day. He keyed on the backs of docks, particularly where he found wood cover. A spinnerbait fanatic, Lawyer cycled through five different spinnerbaits on any given day, including ones from Freedom Tackle and Nichols Lures, along with a host of homemade versions. Regardless of the spinnerbait, he swapped out all the blades to Hildebrandt blades of varying colors.

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

Andrew Upshaw

5. Cherokee Lake, April 11-14

Andrew Upshaw wacky-rigged a 4-inch Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics Ocho in green pumpkin to catch most of his fish. He was targeting spawning smallmouths behind boulders on main-lake islands for most of the tournament. Key spots were where the bank made a turn. On the final day, he used a 3 1/4-inch Strike King Rage Swimmer for the kickers that he pulled off a rock pile not far from the takeoff ramp.

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

6. Lake Chickamauga, May 2-5

Once again, John Cox made the case that he might be the best bed-fisherman in the world right now by winning on Lake Chickamauga with spawning bass. Cox caught some of his bass sight-fishing, but he also fished around cypress trees and other shallow cover where he couldn’t see the bass but assumed they would be setting up to spawn or actively engaged in the process. When Cox was trying to tempt bedding bass to bite, he did it with a wacky-rigged 6-inch Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General in the baby bass color. He also caught some key fish on a white Dirty Jigs Swim Jig with a white Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk trailer. 

Full top-10 baits gallery

 

7. Lake Champlain, June 27-30

To win the Tour finale, Casey Scanlon made the hour-long run to Ticonderoga at the lake’s south end each day and fished for largemouths that were mostly postspawn, though he figures a few were spawning. Scanlon dialed in on a series of rocky points and shallow inside grass lines to catch most of his bass and used a handful of baits and techniques to catch them. He fished rock and milfoil with a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white Z-Man ChatterBait with a white soft jerkbait trailer, fished rock and lighter grass with a Luck-E-Strike Series 3 (green copper shad) square-bill crankbait, Texas-rigged a Luck-E-Strike Pow Stik with either a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce Bass Pros Shops tungsten weight, flipped a black and blue Bass Pros Shops tube, and targeted pencil reeds and dollar pads with a Trophy Bass Company 1/2-ounce Trophy Swim Jig.

Full top-10 baits gallery

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