Top baits, techniques on Arkansas River

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- There were similarities among several of the top five pros at the Elite Series Diamond Drive on the Arkansas River. 

Denny Brauer, Gerald Swindle and John Murray fished in Pine Bluff Harbor, while Aaron Martens stayed close to launch and Ish Monroe did the frog thing.
Here are the details.

1. Denny Brauer

Brauer focused on a series of rough spots in an otherwise sandy area in Pine Bluff harbor. A football jig earned him $100,000.
Bait: 3/4-ounce green pumpkin Strike King Tour Grade football jig tipped with a green pumpkin Strike King Rage Chunk
Rod: 7-4 medium heavy
Reel: Ardent XS1000
Line: 15-pound-test Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon

2. Aaron Martens

Martens used light line and finesse gear on rocky banks along a stretch close to the launch ramp.
Bait: 4 1/2-inch Roboworm ST in bold bluegill
Rod: 6-10 Megabass Hedgehog spinning rod
Reel: Shimano Stella
Line: 7-pound-test Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon

3. Gerald Swindle

Swindle focused on rough spots in the same harbor as Brauer that were near dropoffs. Lowrance StructureScan was key to his finding the rough patches on the ledges
Bait: Plum Apple Zoom Trick Worm on a 1/8-ounce shaky head
Rod: 6-10 Quantum Shaw Grigsby Signature Series
Reel: Quantum PT30 spinning
Line: 10-pound-test Vicious braid with an 8-foot section of 8-pound-test Vicious fluorocarbon

4. Ish Monroe

Monroe used his Phat Frog along grass, rock and other detritus that lined rocky banks. The key to its success was sticking with it all day long.
Bait: Ish’s Phat Frog
Rod: Team Daiwa Steez XBD Frog Rod
Reel: 7.3:1 Daiwa Steez Type R
Line: 55-pound 

5. John Murray

Murray was in Pine Bluff harbor and fished isolated brushpiles out from the docks where other competitors were. He used a 10-inch leader on a drop shot rig with a 3/16-ounce River2Sea weight. He Texas rigged the worm on a 2/0 worm hook.
Bait: 7-inch Roboworm, Margarita Mutilator (purple)
Rod: Powell 714 Endurance, medium action
Reel: Daiwa Fuego
Line: 8-pound fluorocarbon