Top Lures at Buggs Island Open 2023

See the top lures that were used at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Buggs Island.

Heading into the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Buggs Island, the Roanoke River impoundment was relatively unknown by much of the field. Rapidly rising water at the end of practice and colder-than-normal temperatures made figuring out the bass bite even more challenging.
Even with the conditions stunting the shad spawn and the rest of the bass spawn, the field of 224 brought 327 total limits to the scales. With the water flooding the numerous bushes and gum trees that line the banks on Buggs Island, shallow water anglers held the advantage.
With more the 20 years of experience on Buggs Island, North Carolina pro Powell Kemp knew exactly where to go when the water rose to 3 feet above full pool and put together bags of 19-8, 16-12 and 12-9 to take home the victory with a total of 48-13.
When the lake level rises and the bass get into tough to reach places, you need the perfect setup to generate bites and get them to the boat. Bass Pro Shops is your one stop shop for all of your bush flipping and tree pitching needs including baits and terminal tackle. Visit and take a look at their full selection. Find the baits the Open pros used to cash checks at Buggs Island.
Evan Barnes (10th place, 37-12): Evan Barnes utilized one bait most of the week at Buggs Island.
The new to the U.S. Yamamoto Yamatanuki in heavy green pumpkin/black caught the majority of his bass. Barnes rigged it on a 3/16-ounce Ark Tungsten weight and a 5/0 Owner extra wide gap flipping hook.
Shayne Berlo (9th place, 38-7): Shayne Berlo rotated through several different baits to land in the Top 10.
He rigged a Yamamoto Senko on a 3/8-ounce Queen Tackle Hammer Shake tungsten jighead.
For a quicker presentation, he tossed a 5/16-ounce Missile Baits Mini Swim Jig with a Missile Baits Mini trailer.
Berlo also used a 1/2-ounce custom made jig in Buggs Island Killer made by Steve Roberts. He paired that with a green pumpkin Zoom Super Chunk trailer.
JT Thompkins (8th place, 40-7): JT Thompkins utilized two main baits to catch his bass on Buggs Island this week. 
Thompkins used a prototype 1/8-ounce shaky head by Outkast Tackle with a green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko. The bait spirals when it sinks, and he thinks that has gotten him a few extra bites.
He also tossed a 5/8-ounce Strike King Thunder Cricket in green pumpkin shad with a white Strike King Z Too trailer around flooded cover.
Casey Smith (7th place, 41-0): Casey Smith fished shallow cover most of the week with three main baits.
 A 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait in the mouse color was key to getting bites around a shad spawn. He added a 1/0 trailer hook to the back for increased hookup ratio.
He also pitched a Missile Baits D-Bomb in green pumpkin/purple. Depending on the density of cover, he used either a 3/8-, 1/2- or 3/4-ounce weight and a 4/0 Gamakatsu hook.
A 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen Jackhammer in the spot remover color with a 3.8-inch boot tail shad-colored trailer was also a key moving bait.
Joey Cifuentes (6th place, 42-1): Joey Cifuentes utilized his forward-facing sonar to target fry guarders with a Damiki style presentation.
The Elite Series pro rigged a 4-inch Berkley MaxScent Flat Nosed Minnow on a 1/16-ounce jighead.
Click here to buy these lures at Bass Pro Shops.
Ryan Broughman (5th place, 42-7): Ryan Broughman notched a Top 10 finish by using several different shallow presentations.
A 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen Jackhammer in clearwater shad with a gold blade was a key bait. He used a Yamamoto Zako as a trailer.
He also threw a white Dirty Jigs swim jig with a Z-Craw Jr. around flooded bushes.
Broughman also flipped a green pumpkin Berkley Pit Boss and dipped the tails in chartreuse dye. He rigged it on 4/0 flipping hook and a 3/8-ounce weight.
Jack Dice (4th place, 42-11): Jack Dice targeted a shad spawn and postspawn bass with a mix of baits on his home lake.
His primary bait was a shad-colored 1/2-ounce homemade spinnerbait with double willow blades with a Yamamoto D Shad in pro blue.
Dice caught key bass on Day 2 with a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko in bubblegum on a No. 1 weedless wacky rig hook.
 He also pitched a Neko rig with a 1/16-ounce nail weight and a 5-inch green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko on a No. 2 wacky rig hook.
Casey Scanlon (3rd place, 44-13): Casey Scanlon notched his second Top 10 of the season at Buggs Island using three moving baits.
In shallower water, Scanlon used a 1/2-ounce Trophy Bass Company Ozark Flash spinnerbait with white willow leaf blades and a Zoom Split Tail trailer. He also used a 3/4-ounce Tackle HD CS2 spinnerbait when he saw bass out a little deeper. Each spinnerbait had a 2/0 Hayabusa trailer hook.
Later in the day, Scanlon switched to a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen Jackhammer with a Tackle HD Minnow Fluke.
David Williams (2nd place, 45-11): Elite Series pro David Williams threw two different baits to notch a Top 10 finish on Buggs Island.
A white 1/2-ounce homemade spinnerbait with an Indiana and Colorado blade combo was his best moving bait this week. He used a Zoom Split Tail as a trailer.
When he needed to slow down, he flipped a Zoom Z-Craw on a 3/16-ounce weight and a 3/0 Owner hook.
Powell Kemp (1st place, 48-13): Twenty years of experience on Buggs Island pointed Powell Kemp in the right direction. He targeted shallow cover to get the victory
To get a reaction strike, he tossed around a 1/2-ounce Lunker Lure Hawg Caller spinnerbait in blue glimmer with willow leaf blades.
He also pitched a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog in green pumpkin/blue to flooded cover. He rigged it on a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight.