opens Top lures at Red River Posted on September 26, 2022 Photography by Andy Crawford Captions by Craig Lamb The main river channel or the backwaters. Those were the two options at the St. Croix Bassmaster Central Open at Red River presented by Mossy Oak Fishing. The backwaters were the clear-cut favorite, as those areas provided abundant vegetation and shad, and power baits and tactics were used by the top anglers. Keith Poche’s winning weight came from an isolated backwater, where he caught 37 pounds, 12 ounces, and punched his ticket to the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic. Power fishing baits come in several categories that you will see in this gallery. Find the soft plastics, jigs and terminal tackle you need for battle at basspro.com. Dane Thibodeaux (10th; 23-8) Thibodeaux chose three baits designed for heavy cover. The first choice was a Zoom Horny Toad, rigged weightless with a 5/0 Mustad Impact Straight Keeper Hook. Thibodeaux also used a Yamamoto Senko, tail dipped in chartreuse dye, rigged weightless with a 4/0 hook. He also used a custom bait called the Jack-Some, 1/4-ounce size, with a C&W Baits custom skirt, and rigged with a Zoom The Fluke. Terry Peacock (9th; 25-7) Peacock rotated through a crankbait and two soft plastic rigs for flipping and pitching. The first choice was a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, rigged on a 3/0 hook with a 3/8-ounce weight. The other soft plastic rig was a Zoom Baby Brush Hog, rigged on a 3/0 hook with a 1/4-ounce weight. For covering water, Peacock used an Xcite Baits XB-1 Squarebill Crankbait. Kyle Norsetter (8th; 26-8) Norsetter relied on three baits, all designed for heavy cover. The first choice was a Strike King Rage Bug, rigged on a 4/0 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Heavy Cover Worm Hook, with a 1/2- or 1 -ounce Jig Shack Tungsten Weight. Alternatively, Norsetter used a 3/8-ounce Z-Man Original Chatterbait, with a Z-Man RaZor ShadZ. Norsetter also used a Strike King Rage Toad, rigged on a 5/0 Mustad Plastic Frog Double Hook. Jimmy Washam (7th; 26-13) Washam rotated through a swim jig, heavy cover jig and a punch rig for his top lure. A top choice was a Black Bass Tackle Industries 3/8-ounce Swim Jig, with a Klone Soft Plastics Crawsome trailer. He also used a Profound Outdoors Swampers Jig, with a Klone Soft Plastics Crawsome trailer. Washam made a punch rig with a Klone Soft Plastics Crawsome. A key of success with the soft plastics was adding Craw-Cane to the bags. The fish attractant is granular and designed to be added to resealable bags of soft plastics. Kenta Kimura (6th; 28-4) Kimura rotated through a buzzbait, crankbait and soft plastic rig. Kimura caught most of his keepers on a 1/4-ounce buzzbait, with a Berkley Japan Power Flutter. His next best bait was a self-designed Deps Evoke 1.2 Squarebill Crankbait. Lastly, Kimura used a Berkley Japan Powerbait Jago Rocket. Joey Nania (5th; 29-2) Nania used a power-finesse jig as his top lure. The choice was a 3/8-ounce Z-Man Cross EyeZ Power Finesse Jig, natural craw, with a Z-Man TRD BugZ for a trailer. Late summer and early fall bass fishing require a fresh approach. By then, wary bass have been pressured throughout the summer, and it takes using baits they’ve seldom seen. Find the latest baits and tackle you need for the fall at basspro.com. Randy Sullivan (4th; 29-7) Sullivan rotated through a trio of baits for fishing a variety of heavy cover. His first choice was a Spro Bronzeye Frog Jr. Sullivan also rigged up a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, on a 3/0 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Heavy Cover Hook, with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. He also made a punch rig with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, rigged on a 5/0 Haybusa FPP Straight Heavy Duty Cover Hook, with a 1.5-ounce tungsten weight. David Gaston (3rd; 31-1) Gaston alternated through a selection of jigs, frogs and a flipping rig for his second-consecutive Championship Saturday appearance. A top choice was a 3/8-ounce Nichols Lures Sledgehammer Jig with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw. He also used the flipping tactic with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, rigged with a 4/0 Haybusa FPP Straight Heavy Duty Cover Hook, and a 1-ounce weight. Gaston also used a Spro Bronzeye Frog Jr. Greg Hackney (2nd; 35-4) Hackney did what he does best, using his favorite bait for flipping and pitching. He also used a spinnerbait and frog to supplement his primary game plan. Hackney's primary rig was a Strike King Rage Bug, rigged on a 5/0 Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Flipping Hook, with 1- or 1.5-ounce weights. Keith Poche (1st; 37-12) Poche relied on a heavy cover rig to catch bass from the thick cover. That choice was a 3" Berkley PowerBait Pit Boss, rigged on a 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 Heavy Cover Hook, with a 3/8-ounce weight.