Topwaters May Win Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Event At Pickwick

The goosebump-raising explosion of a bass smashing a topwater surface lure remains the sport’s most magical moment for just about any angler who has ever picked up a baitcasting reel, and this coming weekend’s 12th annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners event at Pickwick may very well be won on a frog or Super Spook Jr. according to respected veteran guide, Jimmy Mason.

While the Super Spook Jr. will be a great tool for taming surface schooling smallmouth on shallow gravel bars, the frog will be the perfect snag-free utensil to pull weighty largemouth from miles of milfoil and hydrilla patches that are the most abundant they’ve been in at least five years, and certainly thicker than previous Bonus Bucks events held at Pickwick in 2019 and 2020.

“Not only will the frog bite around the hundreds of acres of grass we’ve got this year get stronger and stronger going into this Bonus Bucks event, but the abundant grass mats will also serve to erase some of the local advantages out-of-state guests face when there’s less grass, and specific local-known ledges or deeper water places play a bigger factor,” says Mason.

He also warns visiting tournament participants that river levels are quite low, and flow is minimal in the famous tailraces not far from tournament headquarters below the Wilson Dam. Mason says not only will the tailraces be far less of a player this year, but recommends extreme caution to anybody who chooses to take a left turn out of McFarland Park toward the tailraces, stating he’s seen rocks and boulders exposed this season that he hasn’t seen in years.

However, they’ll be no issues finding a patch of hydrilla or milfoil to fish. In fact, Mason says once particular grass mat spans roughly 8-miles in length from Seven Mile Island to Natchez Trace Bridge, and that the winning five bites could come from an area the size of an average front lawn if a team lands on the magical spot. He says the average water depth beneath most of the matted vegetation is 3 to 6 feet deep.

Mason’s favorite frog is a Booyah Pad Crasher in the color ole smokey, which offers hints of a shad color, and the time proven bone silver flash is his favorite shade of Super Spook Jr.

No major rains are expected in the days leading up to the event, so fishing conditions should remain stable and productive for Toyota Bonus Bucks guests. But they can expect a strong chance of topwater strike induced goosebumps that may very well result in a winning stringer of around 22-pounds and a guaranteed first place check of $5,000 at this no entry fee fellowship filled event.

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