Top lures at 2023 College Championship

Tough, late-summer conditions greeted the 131-boat field competing in the Strike King Bassmaster College National Championship at Pickwick Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops. Though a grind for most, the Top 12 teams were able to catch big bags of bass and find consistent bites.
In the end, Tucker Smith and Hayden Marbut’s offshore strategy led them to victory on Pickwick. The Auburn duo caught the biggest bag of the tournament on Day 1 with 20-8 and never relinquished the lead.
Along with a $5,000 first-place prize, Marbut and Smith punched their ticket to the College Classic Bracket presented by Lew’s.
A multitude of patterns unfolded across Pickwick Lake, and the top finishers caught bass in all sections of the water column. No matter what style of fishing you prefer. Bass Pro Shops has you covered. You can find all the baits used by the college anglers this week at Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops. 
Kyle Zainitzer/Avery Whitwell, University of North Alabama (12th place, 41-8): Making the longest run of anyone in the Top 12, Zainitzer and Whitwell used three primary baits.
Whitwell tossed a bone-colored Reaction Innovations Vixen with Gamakatsu G-Finesse treble hooks.
Zaintzer also utilized a topwater walking bait, a bone-colored Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil.
When they needed to slow down, the duo tossed an 8-inch Klone Big Bear Worm rigged on a Gamakatsu 5/0 hook and a 1/4-ounce sinker.
Tallis Morrison/Jonathan Hanna, Erskine College (11th place, 44-3): Morrison and Hanna earned a Top 12 finish by power fishing in dirty water with three different baits.
This Megabass squarebill crankbait produced bites around laydowns and wood.
When fishing around grass, they utilized a Spro Poppin’ Frog 60.
They also threw a purple Zoom Trick Worm on a 5/16-ounce shaky head around bluff walls.
Hunter Suchsland/Cade Ludwig, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (10th place, 46-6): The Nebraska duo fished to their strengths during the College Championship and used three slow presentations.
A 1/2-ounce LS Lures Riddler MOP Jig in the mud bug color paired with a Strike King Structure Big in green pumpkin triggered some of the duo’s bigger bites.
A 3/8-ounce LS Lures flipping jig with a Structure Bug also produced important bites.
They also threw a Structure Bug on a 5/16-ounce Texas rig with a 4/0 Gamakatsu hook.
Evan Sutton/Grant Olsen, McKendree University (9th place, 46-9): Three baits caught the majority of Sutton and Olsen’s bass at Pickwick.
The McKendree team called up bass using a bone colored Duo Realis Pencil 110.
A 7-inch ABT Suicide Glide in the hitch color was key for getting bites around docks in the afternoon hours.
Sutton and Olsen also caught bass with a 3/8-ounce Z-Man Jackhammer paired with a Lake Fork Magic Swimmer trailer.
Blake Bullock/John Mark Berry, Blue Mountain Christian University (8th place, 47-0): Using three baits, Bullock and Berry notched a top 10 finish.
They rigged a Scottsboro Tackle Sniper Shad on a 3/4-ounce Davis Baits Shaky Fish.
Their second choice was a Zoom Watermelon Red Ultravibe Speed Worm dipped in chartruese dye on a 1/8-ounce tungsten weight.
They also rigged this Driftwood Custom Baits swimbait on a 1/8-ounce jighead.
Adrian Urso/Cole Hadlock, Murray State University (7th place, 47-8): Three baits helped this Murray State duo catch bass on offshore ledges.
Urso targeted bass sitting under bait balls with a Z-Man StreakZ rigged on a 1/4-ounce tungsten jighead from Keitech.
To catch their kicker bass, they utilized this Texas Swimbaits Texas Shad.
They also dragged a 1/2-ounce Oneida football jig paired with a Strike King Rage Craw.
Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops. 
Joey Bissing/Jackson Paden, University of Tennessee (6th place, 47-11): Bissing and Paden rotated through several different baits on Pickwick.
A top choice was a 3/4-ounce Dirty Jigs football jig in the super mat brown color paired with a 4-inch green pumpkin Berkley Chigger Craw.
A 5-inch Scottsboro swimbait in lavender shad was also a key bait. They rigged it on a 1/2-ounce Buckeye Lures swimbait head.
A Yamamoto Slinko rigged on a 3/4-ounce Carolina rig was also an important bait.
Easton Fothergill/Nick Dumke, University of Montevallo (5th place, 48-1): The 2023 Team of the Year rotated between three different baits to notch a top five finish.
Fothergill tossed a Strike King Z Too rigged on a 1/4-ounce jighead.
The duo also threw a 3/32-ounce Neko rig using a Strike King Fat Baby Finesse worm and a 1/0 Gamakatsu split shot/drop-shot hook.
To get reaction strikes, Dumke threw a Rapala DT-20 in Helsinki shad.
Parker Guy/Tyler Campbell, Emmanuel University (4th place, 48-9): Guy and Campbell fished offshore ledges on Pickwick to notch their top finish.
Campbell caught key fish on a 1/2-ounce Greenfish Tackle Brandon Cobb All-Purpose Jig paired with a green pumpkin Zoom Z-Craw.
A Zoom Magnum Trick Worm in plum apple was also generated strikes. They rigged it on a 1/2-ounce Greenfish Tackle Crawball Shakey Head.
Guy also drug a 3/4-ounce Carolina rig with a Zoom Z-Craw.
Brody Robison/Jack Alexander, University of Montevallo (3rd place, 49-3): Robison and Alexander fished primary offshore to punch their ticket to the College Classic Bracket presented by Lew’s.
To maximize their forward-facing sonar, Robison threw a 3/8-ounce VMC jighead with a Hog Farmer Spunk Shad in blue gizzard.
They also threw a Strike King 10XD in powder blue back/chartreuse.
Alexander also drug a 1/2-ounce Omega Custom Tackle football jig paired with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer.
Matthew Cummings/Levi Mullins, Bethel University (2nd place, 50-13): To qualify for the Classic Bracket, Mullins and Cummings skipped docks with two baits.
Mullins flipped a 3/8-ounce Missile Baits Ike Mini Flipping Jig with a Missile Baits Mini D Chunk.
Cummings followed with a Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin. He rigged it Texas style with a 3/16-ounce Picasso tungsten sinker and a 4/0 Gamakatsu flipping hook.
Tucker Smith/Hayden Marbut, Auburn University (1st place, 53-12): To claim the victory, Smith and Marbut used two primary baits to catch bass offshore.
A 3/4-ounce Picasso tungsten football jig with a Yamamoto Yama Craw trailer was a top choice for Smith.
A 3/8-ounce drop shot with a morning dawn colored Roboworm FAT straight-tail worm also produced important bites.