How-To Top lures at Pickwick Lake Posted on March 24, 2021 Photo: Dalton Tumblin - The flood gates were wide open below Wilson Dam at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake. The tournament was a test of mental and physical endurance, after a two-day delay in the start following practice. A series of storm systems dumped 4 inches of rain, causing the river to rise and fall above flood stage. All captions: Craig Lamb Photo: Andy Crawford - Some anglers chose to battle it out in the tailrace, where the smallmouth thrive. Others went down lake for the largemouth, as those prespawn fish were on the move. Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Bill Lowen, a veteran of 15 seasons on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour, opted to target largemouth in the main lake, where largemouth flourish, along with smallmouth. Photo: James Overstreet - In a roller coaster week of weather, logistical challenges and fishing conditions that literally changed daily, sometimes by the hour, a nice guy finally finished first. The long wait was worth it for Lowen and his family. See what lures played out during the tournament and use them for fishing success in high, muddy water conditions. Photo: Andy Crawford - Buddy Gross (10th; 64-11) Buddy Gross found success on pea gravel bars tapering off main river points. He used swimbaits, lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Photo: Andy Crawford - Gross chose a 6-inch Scottsboro Tackle Co. Swimbait, rigged on a 3/4-ounce with 7/0 hook Revenge Swimbait Headz. He also used a 5-inch Zoom Swimmer, rigged on a 3/4-ounce with 6/0 hook Ledgehead Lures swimbait head. Photo: Andy Crawford - Gross also used a Nichols Spinnerbait with tandem willowleaf and Colorado blades, with a Zoom Z Swim Trailer. He also used a 1-ounce Xcalibur XR100 lipless crankbait. Photo: Andy Crawford - Chad Pipkens (9th; 68-14) For Chad Pipkens, a bladed jig proved successful for catching bass staging on the current seams bordered by hydrilla, growing below an island on the Tennessee River channel. Photo: Andy Crawford - Pipkens alternated between a 3/4- and 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait Jackhammer, with soft plastic fluke-style trailers. Photo: Kyle Jessie - Bryan Schmitt (8th; 72-1) Bryan Schmitt used a crankbait and bladed jig for his primary lures. Photo: Andy Crawford - Schmitt used a Z-Man ChatterBait Jackhammer, with a Missile Baits Craw Father. He also used his 3/8-ounce signature Lilâ Schmitty Finesse Swim Jig, with a Missile Baits Shockwave trailer. Photo: Andy Crawford - Another top producer was a Spro Aruku Shad. Photo: Steve Bowman - Brandon Palaniuk (7th; 73-3) Brandon Palaniuk found success using a jig and crankbait around islands and shorelines at mid-lake. Photo: Andy Crawford - Palaniuk used a 3/8-ounce LurePartsOnline LOW53 Lowenâs Signature Flipping Jig, with a hand-tied skirt, and a X Zone Lures Rebel Chunk trailer. Photo: Andy Crawford - He also used the Rapala BX Brat06. Photo: Andy Crawford - Tyler Rivet (6th; 73-9) Tyler Rivet focused on the lower lake, finding success on pea gravel points used by the bass as prespawn staging areas, current breaks and ambush points. Photo: Andy Crawford - Rivet used a swimbait on a 1/2-ounce Owner InShore Slam Head. Photo: Andy Crawford - An Xcite Baits XB-1 Squarebill was another choice. Photo: Andy Crawford - He also rotated between a Rapala DT6 and DT10 crankbait. Photo: Shane Durrance - Hank Cherry (5th; 73-11) Hank Cherry focused on docks and other prespawn staging areas. Photo: Andy Crawford - Cherryâs primary bait was a 5-inch Berkley PowerBait Hollow Belly, rigged on a 1/2-ounce swimbait head. Photo: Andy Crawford - Steve Kennedy (4th; 77-4) Steve Kennedy spent productive time in the Wilson Dam tailrace, focusing on current breaks along the shoreline. Photo: Andy Crawford - A 6-inch Scottsboro Tackle Co. Swimbait with 1-ounce swim bait head was a top choice. Photo: Andy Crawford - So was a 1-ounce Strike King Bottom Dweller Spinnerbait. Kennedy rotated between three baits, including a 3/4-ounce D&L Tackle Jig with a Zoom Super Chunk (not pictured). Photo: Shane Durrance - Cory Johnston (3rd; 79-0) Cory Johnston (3rd; 79-0) Johnston charged into Championship Tuesday based on the strength of a 20-pound limit on Monday. Photo: Andy Crawford - Johnston used a 9/16-ounce Punisher Lures Jig, with a Zoom Small Salty Chunk trailer. Photo: Andy Crawford - He also used a 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait Jackhammer, with a Yamamoto Zako trailer. Photo: Kyle Jessie - Brock Mosley (2nd; 80-11) Current breaks in the tailrace and a swimbait were the pattern for Brock Mosley. Photo: Andy Crawford - Moselyâs primary bait was a True Bass Hollow Belly, rigged on a 1/2-ounce swimbait head. Photo: Dalton Tumblin - Bill Lowen (1st; 83-5) Bill Lowen did what he likes best, which is going to battle with a flipping stick. He used a signature jig, in a lighter weight, that proved most effective. âThe lighter weight is ideal for current, because it can be floated through the strike zone, and stay there longer, instead of quickly sinking to the bottom.â Photo: Andy Crawford - Lowen used a 3/8-ounce LurePartsOnline LOW53 Lowenâs Signature Flipping Jig, with a chunk-style trailer. Photo: Andy Crawford - Another choice was a Strike King Rodent on a 5/0 Haybusa FPP Straight Worm Hook, with a 5/16-ounce Reins Tungsten weight.