Top lures at Sabine River 2023

There would be fewer long runs to the best fishing at the 2023 Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River. Instead, remaining nearer the host city of Orange, Texas, and keeping baits in the water was the wiser move. 
And this time, there would be no more bridesmaid finishes for an angler everyone cheered for after five near-miss wins on his tournament resume. Like always, the fans in Orange turned out to see if Brock Mosley could finally triumph after eight years of trying on the Elite Series. 
“What kept me going was the mental aspect of having grown up fishing (in Mississippi) where just a four-pounder can be a game changer in a tournament.” 
That four-pounder did matter, with a winning margin of 2 pounds, 13 onces, and overall weight of 44-3. Mosley claimed his first Blue Trophy, $100,000 and equally as important, the undeniable first-place performance in grind-it-out fashion. He wouldn’t have had it any other way. 
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Chad Pipkens (10th; 35-0)
Pipkens alternated between a topwater for early action, then a squarebill for wood cover, and a finesse jig for bass in trees and wood. 
He began the days with a Damiki Fishing Tackle D-Pop 70. 
For later action, Pipkens used this shallow-running squarebill crankbait. 
His confidence bait was this 1/16-ounce 4X4 Bass Jig with a trimmed down Perfection Lures Dudley Neko Worm. 
Kenta Kimura (9th; 35-4)
Kimura rotated through a crankbait for laydown wood, a spinnerbait for vegetation and a Texas-rigged worm as a backup for missed strikes on the latter two baits. 
A self-designed Deps Evoke 1.2 squarebill crankbait was a top choice. 
So was a 3/8-ounce Lunker Lure Hawg Caller Spinnerbait, with double blades. 
The backup bait was this trick-style worm, rigged on a 3/0 Ryugi Pierce TC Screwlock Wide Gap Hook, with 1/8-ounce weight. He fished it on a 25-pound leader to lessen breakage around industrial metal along the shoreline of his area. 
Alex Wetherell (8th; 36-1)
Wetherell’s primary baits were a topwater frog and the original soft plastic jerkbait. 
That choice was a Lunker City Slug-Go, rigged weightless on Lunker City Texposer EWG Hook. 
For topwater action, he used this Savage Gear Hop Walker.
For covering water, the choice was a 3/8-ounce Z Man SlingbladeZ Power Finesse Indiana/Colorado blades, with a Lunker City Swimmin’ Ribster.
Kyle Welcher (7th; 36-6)
Welcher’s primary bait was a self-designed jig, with a new trailer, the brand and details of which to be released in July at ICAST. 
A top bait was this 1/4-ounce Untamed Tackle Apex Swm Jig, with a Clean Up Craw.
Hunter Shryock (6th; 36-11)
Shryock’s key tactics focused on flippinig, while a bladed jig enabled him to cover water between those targets. His flipping arsenal included a Berkley PowerBait Power Tube, on a Berkley 4/0 Fusion19 Hook, with 3/8-ounce weight. 
Shryock also used this Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss Jr., on the same size hook and weight. 
Alternatively, Shryock used this Berkley Slobberknocker, with a Berkley PowerBait The Deal for a trailer. 
Matt Robertson (5th; 37-3)
Robertson used a creature bait, spinnerbait and frog to cover his areas. 
A top choice was this Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawg. 
For covering water, he used a 1/2-ounce Berkley Power Blade Compact Spinnerbait. 
For heavy cover topwater action, Robertson used this Scum Frog Launch Frog XS.
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Keith Poche (4th; 39-0)
Poche went to combat in heavy cover with baits dually suited for the job. 
He used this Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss, rigged on a Berkley Fusion19 Heavy Cover Hook, with a 3/8-ounce weight. 
For topwater action, Poche used a hollow-belly popping-style frog. 
Matty Wong (3rd; 39-8)
Wong fished heavy shoreline cover consisting of industrial metal, laydowns and rock with a trio of baits ideal for the job. 
A primary lure in the lineup was this Megabass Rock Hog, rigged on a 3/0 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Flipping Hook, with a 1/4-ounce Freedom Baits Tungsten Weight.
For covering water, Wong used this Megabass Z-2 crankbait. 
Alternatively, he used this 3/8-ounce Megabass SV-3 Double Willowleaf Spinnerbait. 
Clark Wendlandt (2nd; 41-6)
Wendlandt kept his tactics simple, using a jig to cover shoreline vegetation. 
The choice was this 1/2-ounce Strike King Compact Tungsten Casting Jig, with a Strike King Baby Rage Craw.
Brock Mosley (1st; 44-3)
Mosley created a strategy allowing him to maximize his time along the shoreline strike zone with a topwater, Texas- and drop shot-rigged soft plastics, and a bladed jig. 
A top choice was this Rebel Pop-R, retrofitted with Trokar Treble Hooks. 
For slower presentations, he used a Texas-rigged, 4-inch Yamamoto Senko, on 2/0 Lazer Trokar EWG Hook, with a 1/8-ounce tungsten weight. He made a power shot rig with the Senko, rigging it on a 2/0 Lazer Trokar EWG Hook, with a 1/4-ounce drop shot weight. 
Mosely also used this new 1st Gen Copperhead Bladed Jig, featuring BBs inside the head for strike-appealing loud, clacking noise. The bait will be release in July at ICAST. He paired it with a Yamamoto Zacko trailer.