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In the world of bass fishing, seemingly every lure wants to claim they can out-fish the competition. There's no question the advertising behind many lures can get a little cheesy and gimmicky at the end of the day. In fact, many lures, especially those "as seen on TV" types, seem designed more to catch fishermen than the fish themselves. How can you possibly know what lures are the real deal and which ones are phony? It's hard to tell without testing them out yourselves, which can get expensive in a hurry. The other option is to look at what the pros are using on the bass fishing tournament circle, and take their lead. These guys don't throw just anything. They need to make a living, and that's why they fish with lures they know and trust to catch fish. They desire things that will help them earn a spot high at the pay window at the end of each tourney.
It would be easy to just do a rundown of the most recent endorsements by the pros. However, talk is cheap, and we want to see results. That's why we decided to look at the lures that earned the pros endorsing them actual prize money on the professional bass fishing circuit. If the lure didn't produce a big payday, it didn't make the cut. It's as simple as that. These lures have each proven themselves in a big way and they'll work for you on your next fishing trip.
1. Jason Christie's Bassmaster Classic Difference Maker
The 2022 Basmaster Classic was a tight contest on Lake Hartwell, but the YUM FF Sonar Minnow ended up being the difference maker for Jason Christie by a mere five ounces, winning Christie over $300,000 in prize money. Designed by Christie himself for use with forward-facing sonar like the Garmin Live Scope, the soft bait was in development for five years prior to his Classic win. Christie caught many of his fish using the minnows on a 3/16-ounce jighead fished on deep drains in the early morning. After his big Classic win, it didn't take long for YUM to get the FF Sonar Minnow to the market. They are offering these soft plastic baits in ten different color schemes to help match the baitfish in your area.
2. The Most Popular Jerkbait on Tour Right Now
Two-time Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry is known as the "jerkbait guru" on tour. So, when Berkley decided they wanted to design the ultimate jerkbait, they knew just who to turn to for input. Working in tandem with Cherry at their Iowa fish lab, Berkley went through a staggering 38 prototypes of the Stunna before Cherry would put his seal of approval on it. The extra work was worth it. The versatile jerkbait has proven incredibly popular on both the Bassmaster and Major League Fishing trails. It has a tungsten weight transfer system that makes for superior casting without backlash, and the EWG Fusion 19 hooks ensure you're rarely going to miss a fish. This is the bait for anyone wanting versatility. The Stunna darts, shimmies, and produces tantalizing rolls depending on your retrieval speed, and bass find it hard to resist. This is the lure that helped Cherry win his first Bassmaster Classic victory. Enough said.
3. A Pitching and Flipping Bait Worth a Cool $100 Grand
Major League Fishing Pro Bradley Roy used the Missile Baits D Bomb to finally claim his first tour victory at Stage One of the MLF tour held in Louisiana. Roy made his move on the final day with a five bass limit of 26 pounds, 2 ounces. An 8-pound, 14-ounce lunker helped to cement his victory on Bussey Brake Lake. The winning color pattern was black and blue and Roy caught all his fish on a midday bite flipping and pitching into the woody cover that the lake is famous for. The Missile D Bomb is a 4.5-inch creature bait with large tail flaps and produces a lot of vibration while it sinks, helping it resemble a crayfish. Adding to the presentation is the ribbed body which creates some extra vibration that stimulates a fish's lateral line. Roy's victory earned him a cool $100,000 purse in the event.
4. A Finesse Option Perfect for Drop Shotting
While some anglers might have been quick to pass off the members of the Googan Squad as just a bunch of YouTubers, there's no doubt these guys know how to fish and design baits. Further proof of that came when Dustin Connell used the Googan's Drag N' Drop to win a cool $100,000 during a recent MLF Bass Pro Tour win on New York's Lake Cayuga. Connell found his fish holding in cover at depths of 20 to 30 feet eating gobies. He utilized the Drag N' Drop in green pumpkin on a dropshot rig to perfectly match the forage. The Drag N' Drop may look like an incredibly simple design, but it's got a great, realistic swimming action. This bait is available in four- and five-inch lengths as well as six different color schemes so you can perfectly match the forage in your home waters.
5. The Top Crankbait on Tour
It's safe to say Bassmaster Classic, Angler of the Year winner, and Forrest Wood Cup Champion David Fritts knows a thing or two about crankbaits. He's been a master of fishing them for nearly 30 years. Once again, Berkley worked directly with Fritts to develop this lure which has an extremely tight action. Berkley offers this crankbait in several different sizes and diving depths, plus you can find it in more than two dozen different color schemes, so there's sure to be one ideal for whatever scenario is at hand. The Frittside most recently proved its worth at MLF's 2022 Redcrest tournament when Bobby Lane took home a mind-blowing $300,000 for winning the tournament. The bulk of Lane's catch came from an HD brown Frittside 5.
6. A Crawfish Bait for the Bassmaster Elite
This soft bait helped produce a $100,000 payday for Lee Livesay on Lake Fork during a Bassmaster Elite event back in May. The lure helped contribute to a hefty 113 pound, 11-ounce total weight for Livesay. He fished the Paca Craw on a 6th Sense Divine Hybrid jig. This soft bait is five inches long and has two large paddle claws that churn up the water and stimulate a fish's lateral line quite well. NetBait loaded this lure up with anise and salt for a taste that bass find hard to let go once they've grabbed it. The midsection is also hollow, allowing anglers to add extra scent or a rattle. NetBait offers more than a dozen color schemes so you can match it to the crayfish at your favorite fishing spot.
7. The Worm That Earned a Heavy Hitters Title
MLF's Heavy Hitters event was a tight race on Lake Palestine back in April. However, fan favorite Ott Defoe came away with a narrow margin of victory and a $100,000 prize even though he only caught four fish on the final day using the Fin-Eke worm. Defoe used the "Sooner run" color to find a midday sight fishing pattern to land a final day total of 16 pounds, 6 ounces, earning him the win. The Fin-Eke is a simple, six-inch worm with a cupped tail that gives it a tantalizing dancing action. It can be rigged in several different ways, but we recommend wacky style. Bass Pro Shops gave it a salty flavor that fish are going to have a hard time resisting.
8. A Creature Bait That Contributed to a 100+ Pound Winning Total
Our last bait on this list helped lead Drew Cook to a whopping 105-pound, 5-ounce winning total at Santee-Cooper Lakes. That win earned him a $100,000 purse; not a bad day's work at all. This bait was made to be versatile, having been designed by Dean Rojas, a legend in topwater fishing circles. Cook rigged this soft plastic bait Texas-style, which helps it look more like a crayfish. However, it can also be rigged Carolina-style or even weightless for topwater fishing. Big Bite also built a hook slot into the bait which is going to help with better hookups on fish that fail to take the bite completely. This bait is available in three-, four-, and five-inch sizes and dozens of color patterns so you can pick the one that works best in your home waters.