Gear Top lures at St. Johns 2020 Posted on February 12, 2020 Photo: Thomas Allen - Plunging temperatures in the 60s during the day and 30s at night all but shut down the anticipated big bass spawning bite on the St. Johns River. The place to be, like the manatees, was in warm water springs surrounding Lake George, at the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at the St. Johns River. All captions: Craig Lamb Photo: Thomas Allen - Another place to be were the canals far to the south of Palatka, where the prespawn bass began to migrate later in the tournament. Photo: Thomas Allen - âI knew those areas would receive most of the pressure,â said Paul Mueller. Instead, he headed north and found unpressured largemouth staging for the spawn. Photo: James Overstreet - The game plan worked. For the second February since 2019, Mueller hoisted the coveted blue trophy after winning the tournament with 47 pounds, 6 ounces. Muellerâs son Waylon also has a head start as a Bassmaster emcee. Check out the lure his dad chose to win, along with the choices of other top finishers. Photo: Andy Crawford - Jay Yelas (32 pounds, 2 ounces â 19th place) Jay Yelas used a 1/2-ounce MGC Custom Tackle Spinnerbait, featuring chartreuse/white skirt,with tandem nickel and gold Colorado and Oklahoma blades. A Texas-rigged 6-inch Yamamoto Senko on 5/0 hook was another top choice. Photo: Andy Crawford - Drew Cook (32 pounds, 6 ounces â 18th place) Drew Cook relied on a 4-inch Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog rigged on a 4/0 Gamakatsu G Finesse Heavy Cover Worm Hook, with 1/4-ounce Titan Tungsten Weight. Photo: Andy Crawford - Clark Wendlandt (33 pounds, 10 ounces â 16th place) Clark Wendlandt kept it simple with a 5-inch Strike King Shim-E-Stick on 4/0 Owner Wide Gap Plus Hook, with 1/8- or 3/16-ounce weights. Photo: Andy Crawford - Harvey Horne (36 pounds â 12th place) Harvey Horne used a 5-inch Big Bite Baits Jerk Minnow rigged on a Gamakatsu G Finesse Wide Gap Hook. Photo: Andy Crawford - Another choice was a 5-inch Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog on 3/8-ounce custom poured swing jig with 6/0 hook. Photo: Andy Crawford - Buddy Gross (36 pounds, 10 ounces â 11th place) Buddy Gross mixed it up with a spinnerbait and two swimbaits. The first choice was a 3.8-inch Zoom Z Swim on 3/8-ounce Scottsboro Tackle Swim Head. A 5-inch Scottsboro Tackle Swimbait on 3/8-ounce Owner Flashy Swimmer with 8/0 hook was another choice. Photo: Andy Crawford - So was a 3/4-ounce Nichols Spinnerbait featuring tandem willowleaf blades and Zoom Z Swim trailer. Photo: Andy Crawford - Patrick Walters (38 pounds, 13 ounces â 10th place) Patrick Walters used a Rapala Shadow Rap with VMC Hybrid Bladed Treble Hook up front. Photo: Andy Crawford - He also used a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, with 4/0 VMC Ike Approved Heavy Duty Flippin Hook and 3/4-ounce VMC Tungsten Flippin weight. Photo: Andy Crawford - Kyle Welcher (39 pounds, 11 ounces â 8th place) A 5-inch Yamamoto Senko on 3/0 Gamakatsu G Finesse Hook and 1/8-ounce weight was a top choice for Kyle Welcher. So were a variety of creature baits rigged on 5/0 Eagle Claw TK130 Trokar Flipping Hooks, with 1.5-ounce Titan Tungsten Weights. Photo: Andy Crawford - Scott Canterbury (40 pounds, 9 ounces â 6th place) Scott Canterbury rotated through a jerkbait, jig and soft plastic rig. That choice was a NetBait Salt Lick Worm, on 4/0 Owner 4x Jungle Straight Shank Hook, with 5/16-ounce Titan Tungsten Weight. A 1/2-ounce Dirty Jigs No-Jack Swim Jig with NetBait Kickinâ B trailer was another choice. Photo: Andy Crawford - So was a Bagley Bang O Lure. Photo: Andy Crawford - Jake Whitaker (41 pounds, 1 ounce â 5th place) Jake Whitaker kept it simple with a wacky-rigged Bizz Baits Sassy Stick rigged on 2/0 Hayabusa WRM962WG Special Wacky Wire Guard hook. Photo: Andy Crawford - Cliff Prince (41 pounds, 6 ounces â 4th place) Cliff Prince alternated between a Bomber 7A crankbait, Fat Free Shad and Rapala X Rap Jerkbait. Photo: Andy Crawford - Kelley Jaye (41 pounds, 10 ounces â 3rd place) Kelley Jaye alternated between Berkley Skinny Cutter and Berkley Cutter jerkbaits, both rigged with No. 4 Owner Stinger ST-36 Treble Hooks. Photo: Andy Crawford - John Crews (44 pounds, 4 ounces â 2nd place) A new Missile Baits soft plastic lure to be released at the Bassmaster Classic in March was the secret trick used by John Crews. Called the Quiver, it is designed mostly for Neko and Tokyo Rigs. Photo: Andy Crawford - For the latter, Crews rigged it on a VMC Tokyo Rig 3/0 with tandem 1/8-ounce weights. He also made a drop shot with the lure, adding a 3/0 Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Hook with 1/8-ounce sinker. Photo: Andy Crawford - Paul Mueller (47 pounds, 6 ounces â 1st place) Paul Muellerâs key lure was a 3/8-ounce Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Swim Jig, with Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw trailer. Photo: Andy Crawford - âThat was the horse that brought me here, no doubt about it,â said Mueller, who earned $101,000 for his second career Elite Series victory. âA big bite is the best thing you can have on the final day. I knew I was leading, but I got off to such a bad start, throughout the entire day, I didnât think I had enough.â Of course, he did and with a winning margin of about 3 pounds.