Top lures at Wheeler Lake 2024

Big worms made a comeback on the Tennessee River ledges. See all the top lures from the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake.

The bass fishing on the famed Decatur Flats heated up like the mid-90s daytime temps at the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake. The flats got hot where a majority of the playing field slugged it out on the long trail of signature flats and ledges.
For some, fishing off the beaten path paid off. Leave it to John Cox to find a hidden gem of a backwater pond, sans forward-facing sonar, and instead catch all his fish on a topwater frog. 
By Championship Sunday, a good old fashioned Tennessee River duel played out on the flats between two veterans, Ray Hanselman and Cliff Prince, neither owning a blue trophy. 
That luck changed for Floridian Prince, fondly known as “the Prince of Palatka.” The 12-year Elite Series pro now deserves a name change, perhaps more befitting of a king. 
Prince won the tournament with 80 pounds, 15 ounces, earned his blue trophy and a $100,000 payday. Summer patterns are in full swing, and the lures used by the top anglers can help you catch more and bigger bass, wherever you are. 
Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops.
Alex Redwine (10th; 57-12)
Redwine covered all the prevailing bites with a topwater, crankbait and shaky head. 
To imitate the shad forage he chose this Berkley J-Walker 120. 
For the ledges and flats he used this Berkley Dredger 120
Redwine rigged a 4.5-inch Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm on an All Terrain Tackle Mighty Jig. 
Justin Hamner (9th; 58-10)
Hamner spent time in the tailrace of Guntersville dam during discharges, using baits appropriate for those situations and for other areas down lake. 
A primary bait was this Netbait Twitch Jr. infused with Baitfuel, rigged on a No. 2 hook. The Electric Shad color will be introduced at the ICAST trade show in July. 
Alternatively, Hamner used this Clutch Swimbait Co. Darter Glide Bait. 
Hamner also used this Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil Popper 110
Logan Parks (8th; 62-11)
Parks used a crankbait for active largemouth and then switched to a shaky head when that bite ceased. 
The Berkley Dime in sizes 10 and 6 was his primary crankbait. Parks switched out the stock hooks with larger No. 5 Ryugi Pierce TC Treble Hooks. 
Parks also fished a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm on a 1/4-ounce shaky head jig. 
Wesley Gore (7th; 62-14)
Gore rotated through a jerkbait, shaky head and drop shot, all depending on the timing of his bite. 
For reaction strikes he used this Jackall Rerange 110mm Jerkbait
When that bite slowed, he switched to a 3/8-ounce Owner Shakey Ultrahead with an 8-inch Xcite Baits Slim Gem. 
Alternatively, he made a drop-shot rig with a 6-inch Roboworm on a 1/0 Owner Cover Shot Hook with a 1/4-ounce weight. 
Jay Pzrekurat (6th; 64-9)
A drop shot and Texas-rigged worm did the trick for Pzrekurat. 
He made the drop shot with this 5-inch Strike King Filler Worm on a 1/0 hook with a 1/4-ounce WOO! Tungsten Drop Shot Weight. 
For covering bottom structure, he used this 9.5-inch Strike King Zeus Worm, rigged on a 6/0 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Hybrid Worm Hook, with a 3/8-ounce WOO! Tungsten weight. 
Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops.
Alex Wetherell (5th; 66-13)
Wetherell found a package of 16-inch worms in his boat, tied one on and immediately caught a 4-pound largemouth. That discovery made him add the unknown brand monster worm to his arsenal. 
He rigged the 16-inch worm on a 7/0 hook with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. 
Wetherell also used a 1/2-ounce jig with a 3-inch Caperlan Yubari CRW
John Garrett (4th; 68-9) 
Primary baits for Garrett were a Texas-rigged worm and shaky head. 
For probing bottom structure, he used this 9.5-inch Strike King Zeus Worm on a 3/8-ounce weight. 
Alternatively, he used a 6.5-inch Strike King Finesse Worm, rigged on a 1/4-ounce Owner Shaky Head
John Cox (3rd; 70-8)
Not surprisingly, Cox skipped out on the popularity of the offshore ledge bite in favor of what he likes to do the most, which is fish off the beaten path with a frog. 
That choice was a Berkley Swamp Lord, fished fast over the top over matted vegetation. 
Ray Hanselman Jr. (2nd; 77-0)
A crankbait, hair jig and Texas-rigged worm covered the water column for Hanselman’s strike zones. 
For cranking over shell beds, he chose this 6th Sense Crush 50X Squarebill Crankbait. 
For swimming through the water column, he used this 3/4-ounce 6th Sense Flock Hair Jig. 
Alternatively, he made a Texas rig with this 9.6-inch 6th Sense Boosa Ribbon Tail, rigged on a 6/0 Owner Haymaker Hook. 
Cliff Prince (1st; 80-15)
Prince maximized a sweet spot on a flat featuring two prominent hard spots surrounded by submergent vegetation. Alternating between a bladed jig and worm enabled him to catch a limit, some days within 30 minutes of his 6 a.m. takeoff time.
He used this 7.5-inch Bass Assassin Tapout, rigged on a 3/16-ounce Greenfish Tackle Casey Ashley Clean Up Shakey Head. 
Prince also used a Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammer, with a 3.5-inch Bass Assassin Lit’l Boss for a trailer.