Lures to Look for at the Classic
This year's Bassmaster Classic is being held on Lake Hartwell, SC. The lake is very large and presents a lot of options to anglers. Depending on the weather, fish can be caught deep or shallow. There is also an abundance of cover and structure throughout the lake.
One of the key factors in lure selection for Classic competitors will be the main forage species - blueback herring. This species forms large schools that roam through the lake. Catching bass consistently will likely mean imitating this baitfish. Below are several options that the competitors will likely explore.
Crankbaits are one of the best ways to imitate baitfish. Look for competitors to be using a variety of crankbaits for fishing both deep and shallow depending on the conditions. The crankbaits will likely be large and thin with a similar profile to blueback herring. The color selection will also match the herring with a preference for silver and blue color patterns.
Spinnerbaits are a great way to imitate blueback herring. Look for competitors to use ones with two or more blades in order to simulate the flash and vibration from a school of baitfish. Blueback herring travel in schools, so spinnerbaits could be very effective.
A spoon works well to imitate the flash from a blueback herring. They are especially effective when jigging in deep water. Look for anglers to use spoons if the weather is cold and the fish are deep.
Swimbaits, both hard and soft bodied, could account for some big fish in the Classic. There are many available that are shaped and colored to match blueback herring. Swimbaits aren't typically used for catching large numbers of fish, so look for competitors to switch to them after they have caught their daily limit. Swimbaits will likely be used to catch big fish in order to cull out smaller ones.
Dropshots could be deadly if the weather is cold and the fish are reluctant to bite. This finesse technique can trigger strikes from tight lipped bass that refuse to touch anything else. Watch for competitors to use a variety of dropshot baits that imitate blueback herring.
Jerkbaits can often trigger a strike from bass that aren't actively feeding. Look for competitors to use them in both shallow water and to catch suspended fish over deep water. Silver and blue will be the color of choice to imitate blueback herring.