Top lures at Lake Okeechobee 2024

See Scott Martin’s lures for his epic home-lake Bassmaster Opens win that broke two B.A.S.S. records.

A gradual warmup following a cold front had the largemouth moving towards a spawn on Lake Okeechobee, with water temps rising into the upper 60s. The big girls came in, and the bite turned on for those lucky to be in the right place, at the right time. 
Lake Okeechobee’s unprecedented high water had largemouth — and anglers — favoring concentrated areas of bass activity. Up to 80 boats fished this area during the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake Okeechobee presented by SEVIIN. Photo: Craig Lamb.
Clewiston, Fla., native Scott Martin was among them, and luckily he has big bass prowess in his family genes. “To win here in front of my mom, in this parking lot where my dad (nine-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year Roland Martin) won the 1991 Bassmaster Florida Invitational is a blessing.” Indeed. Like father, like son. 
Martin won with 90 pounds, 6 ounces, and even more he set B.A.S.S. records. With his victory, Martin set the record for the all-time heaviest winning total in a three-day Bassmaster event. Also, Martin’s Day 1 limit weighing 33-2 broke the record for the heaviest one-day catch in a Bassmaster Open.
“I just wanted to win a tournament here in front of the hometown crowd at some point in my career. But the records — I had no idea. To win here in front of my mom and dad and to break records, it was just God’s perfect timing.”
See the baits used by Martin and the top finishers and gear up accordingly at Bass Pro Shops for your spawning season, not matter where it plays out. 
Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops.
Brandon McMillan (10th; 53-7)
McMillan fished a Texas rig for punching through heavy vegetation, a lipless crankbait for ripping the bait through dead cattails and a popping frog for matted surface vegetation. 
For ripping through decayed reeds on hard bottoms, he chose an Ark Fishing LP58 Lipless Crankbait. 
For punching heavy cover he used a Bass Assassin Lit’l Skunk Ape, rigged on a 1.5-ounce Epic Baits Tungsten Weight, with a 4/0 Spearpoint Offset Worm Hook. 
McMillan also used a SPRO Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog. 
Beau Browning (9th; 54-1)
Browning used a one-two punch with a Neko rig for finessing, and then a Texas rig for heavier cover. 
He also used a Z-Man Bang StickZ on a 2/0 Ryugi Talisman Wacky/Neko Hook, with a 1/8-ounce Neko weight inserted into the head.
Browning made a Texas rig with this Z-Man Bang StickZ, rigged on a 4/0 flipping hook and 5/16-ounce weight. 
Sam George (8th; 55-5)
George used a weightless stickworm for open water and a weighted creature bait for thicker cover. 
His top choice was this weightless, Texas-rigged Strike King Shim-E-Stick, rigged on a 4/0 Owner Hook. George reasoned the bass were feeding up and the bait’s lighter plastic hung longer in the strike zone. 
George chose this Strike King Rage Bug with a 1/8-ounce weight in areas with heavy cover impenetrable to the stick worm. 
Easton Fothergill (7th; 58-15)
Fothergill relied on a Neko rig and jighead for finessing bass in shallow water. 
He chose a Strike King 3X Z-Too Soft Jerkbait, rigged on a 1/16-ounce Deps Midst Jighead. 
Fothergill also used this 5-inch Strike King Fat Baby Finesse Worm, rigged on a 2/0 Mustad Titanium Hook and 1/16-ounce weight. 
Austin Cranford (6th; 59-2)
Cranford used a wacky rig and jerkbait to target moving and stationary bass. 
To target moving fish, he used a 6th Sense Provoke Jerkbait. 
A primary bait was this 5-inch Yamamoto Senko, rigged weightless with a 1/0 6th Sense Wacky Hook. 
Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops.
Matt Adams (5th; 60-3)
Adams used a bladed jig, swim jig and Texas rig to cover his strike zone. 
For heavy cover he used a Bitters Worm rigged on a 5/0 Spearpoint Offset Worm Hook, with a 3/16-ounce weight.
Adams also used a Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer, with a Z-Man Razor ShadZ trailer. 
To cover water and intercept bass on the move, he used a 1/2-ounce Davis Bait Co. Davis Elite Swim Jig, with a Gambler Big Easy for a trailer.  
Paul Marks (4th; 65-6)
Marks used a one-two punch with a jig for targeting cover, with a jerkbait for triggering reaction strikes. 
He chose this 3/8-ounce Greenfish Tackle Bad Little Jig with a Keitech FAT Swing Impact 2.8 Swimbait. 
Marks also used a SPRO McStick 110 jerkbait. 
Randall Tharp (3rd; 68-8)
Tharp fished with great confidence in using tackle he designed, including his rod and new jigs just released by Ark Fishing. 
Depending on strike zone depth, Tharp used a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait Evergreen Jack Hammer. The difference maker was a new bladed jig trailer in the new Zoom Baits Shimmer Shad. Tharp designed the bait to perfectly mimic the lifelike action of a wild shiner, believing the newness of the bait allowed him to capitalize on more strikes. 
Also new is this 5/8-ounce Ark Fishing Randall Tharp Signature Flipping Jig. What makes it different is the 30-degree O’ Shaughnessey Hook for optimum hook-setting ratios. He added a Zoom Big Salty Chunk for a trailer. 
Tharp also used a 1/2-ounce Ark Fishing Wes Logan Signature Swim Jig, with the same hook, and with a Zoom Magnum Speed Craw for a trailer. 
Tucker Smith (2nd; 68-11)
Smith used a jerkbait designed for forward-facing sonar, and a swimbait for largemouth chasing baitfish. 
In the presence of feeding bass, he used a Keitech FAT Swing Impact 3.3 Swimbait, with a 1/4-ounce Picasso Lures Shakedown Jig head, favored for its tungsten head. 
His first choice was this Bill Lewis Scope Stik that is visible on a fishfinder screen using forward-facing sonar. 
Scott Martin (1st; 90-6)
Martin’s key strike zone was in 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet of water, where he targeted the submerged remnants of cattail clumps. 
The winning setup was this Googan Baits Bandito Bug, rigged on a 4/0 Lazer Trokar EWG Worm Hook, with a 5/16-ounce weight.
Martin’s next best bait was this straight-tail worm that he also rigged on a 4/0 Lazer Trokar EWG Worm Hook, with a 5/16-ounce weight.
Alternatively, he used a paddle-tail worm on the 4/0 Lazer Trokar EWG Worm Hook, with a 3/16-ounce weight.