Top Lures at Harris Chain Open 2023

Check out all of the top baits thrown by the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens pros at the Harris Chain.

The final St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Harris Chain of Lakes was tumultuous to say the least. Dirty water and falling water temperatures made practice tough for competitors. Then, severe storms forced the cancellation of the first competition day, and the event evolved into a two day shootout.
With less than ideal conditions, competitors found getting a bite much tougher, much less finding the big bass the Harris Chain is known for. Kentucky’s Matt Messer weighed the biggest bag of the tournament at 24 pounds, 6 ounces and rallied late on Day 2 to claim his first career Opens victory, outlasting Louisiana’s Blake Sylvester.
Through the Elite Qualifier format, nine anglers also punched their ticket to the 2024 Bassmaster Elite roster at the end of Day 2.
Fall is generally a great time to pack up the boat and head down to the Sunshine State. From line, baits and hooks to rods and reels, Bass Pro Shops has everything you need to make your next trip to Florida the trip of a lifetime. Visit to search for the top baits from the week that was at the Harris Chain of Lakes.
Takayuki Koike (28th place, 25-3)
Koike tossed a 1/2-ounce Z-Man JackHammer with a Yamamoto Zako trailer. He also got key bites with a Zoom Magnum Speed Worm rigged on a 3/8-ounce weight and a 5/0 hook.
Ish Monroe (23rd place, 26-2)
Monroe’s top producing baits included a River2Sea Phat Mat Daddy Frog, a Missile Baits D Bomb in bruiser flash rigged on a River2Sea 5/0 New Jack Flippin’ Hook with a 3/8-ounce weight and a Z-Man Evergreen JackHammer paired with a Missile Baits Spunk Shad.
Trevor McKinney (21st place, 26-9)
McKinney used a gold-bladed 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen JackHammer paired with a Strike King Rage Menace and a Rapala Maverick jerkbait in ghost minnow.
Chad Prough (15th place, 28-0)
Prough flipped a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers in hematoma, pairing it with a 1-ounce weight in heavier cover. Offshore, he slowly dragged a 1/4-ounce Texas rig with a Reaction Innovations Magnum Flirt Worm.
Wesley Gore (8th place, 29-15)
Gore primarily used two baits to notch a Top 10. For shallow fishing, Gore used a Spro Bronzeye Frog 65 in midnight walker. When he moved out deep, he generated reaction bites with a Rapala DT-10 in citrus shad.
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John Soukup (7th place, 30-1)
Soukup’s best bait was a white 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen JackHammer.
Mike Mayo (6th place, 30-5)
Mayo tossed a 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait paired with a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Craw. He also pitched a 6-inch Yamamoto Senko rigged with a 1/4-ounce weight in the tail and a 5/0 hook. A junebug colored Zoom Magnum Ultravibe Speed Worm rigged on a 1/4-ounce weight with a 5/0 hook was also key.
Andrew Hargrove (5th place, 31-6)
Hargrove had a one-two punch of a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm Texas rigged with a 1/4-ounce weight and 3/0 Trokar Flipping Hook, and a 1/2-ounce Z-Man JackHammer ChatterBait paired with a Zoom Super Salty Fluke as a trailer.
Tyler Lubbat (4th place, 32-3)
Lubbat notched a top five by tossing a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen JackHammer in the golden shiner color paired with a rainbow shad Yamamoto Zako trailer. For fishing brushpiles, Lubbat used a 1/2-ounce Texas rig with a junebug colored Zoom Ol Monster.
Ben Milliken (3rd place, 32-3)
Milliken threw a 7-inch 6th Sense Devine Shaky Worm in blood apple with a 1/2-ounce free weight and a 5/0 hook. A 6th Sense prototype Hangover Swimbait and a 9-inch 6th Sense Draw glide bait also generated bites.
Blake Sylvester (2nd place, 38-1)
The Louisiana angler fished to his strengths with a combination of a 3/8-ounce Delta Lures Thunder Jig paired with a Missile Baits D Bomb, and a Texas rigged Missile Baits D Bomb with a 1 1/4-ounce Southern Punch Tungsten and a 5/0 Hayabusa FPP HD hook.
Sylvester also mixed in a Prototype Lures Smasher Pro Frog.
Matt Messer (1st place, 39-13)
Messer used two baits to win his first Open. A top presentation was flipping a black/blue Berkley MaxScent Creature Hawg rigged on a 3/4-ounce weight which he kept pegged to the bait. He also generated several big bites with a 1/4-ounce Boogerman buzzbait.