Imagine you had to pick one lure — just one — to be your “go to” bait for a shot at winning $300,000 at the Bassmaster Classic. That’s exactly the question we asked Gerald Swindle, Brandon Lester, and Matt Arey on the eve of bass fishing’s biggest event.
Interestingly, they all chose some variation of a shad imitator with treble hooks, but that’s about where the commonality of their three picks ended.
Gerald Swindle – Rapala DT 6
“I’ve thrown what feels like about 127 different crankbaits in practice, and this Rapala DT 6 is the one that got me a couple good bites to get my confidence going. So, this Helsinki Shad-colored one is going to be my team captain on game day,” says Swindle.
He ties it on 10-pound Sunline Shooter to get it a little deeper, and his LiveScope shows it running about 8-feet deep.
Brandon Lester – ½-ounce Live Target lipless crankbait
“A lipless crankbait will be a major player for a lot of guys in this tournament because there’s so many shallow flats with 1 to 3-feet of water. Plus, a lipless bait is notorious for triggering bites in the colder pre-spawn water temps,” explains Lester.
Matt Arey – Tater Hog “Hog Father Jr.”
“It’s the Bassmaster Classic! Go big or go home!” laughs Arey. “No really, this is not a bait I’m going to throw all day long, but it’s a 6” bait that’s capable of getting the kind of bigger quality bites to help you win the biggest tournament in the world, so I’ll definitely be slinging it around,” he reasons.
All good logic. All hard-to-argue choices. But only one can go down as the 2023 Bassmaster Classic “winning lure.” Is it one of the three you see here?
Stay tuned. We’ll all know for sure by Sunday evening.
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