5 Favorites: Wong’s big bass baits

Winning the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on the Ouachita River, Matty Wong earned a spot on the Bassmaster Elite Series roster, and he made the most of his debut by making the Semifinal Saturday cut in his first event on the St. Johns River.
One thing that’s clearly recognizable is Wong’s admirable blend of confidence and competence. He likes catching big fish and makes no bones about swinging big when the time’s right. That requires big-fish baits, so Wong gave us a rundown of his favorite toad-getters. 
Freedom Structure Jig. Wong’s favorite scenario for this bait is a laydown next to a steep rock bank with deep water close. This makes the structure ideal for big fish moving up to feed, and jigs imitate the bream and crawfish they seek.
A Netbait Paca Chunk is Wong’s trailer choice, because it carries the natural forage ruse well, but it does so with plenty of action — a good bet for tempting toads in all but the chilly months.
Megabass I Slide 175 Glidebait. A good choice for visible targets, as well as long casts, this glidebait accommodates interchangeable tails. Wong prefers chartreuse tails, which mimic bluegill.
A cool feature about the I Slide 175 is the magnetic belly. Holding the trebles close to the body not only minimizes snags. When a fish bites, the hooks easily pull free for a solid connection.
6-inch Megabass Magdraft Swimbait. Calling this one his top choice for big fish, Wong believes the 6-inch model is a good choice for tournament fishing because giants eat it just as well as 2-pound limit fish. 
Rigging his swimbait with a 1/0 Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Treble, Wong said bait placement is key, so he’s big on precision casting. If he has a non-committal follower, he finds that making his bait surge with a quick partial reel turn often triggers a big bite.
Basstrix Boottail Swimbait. Wong rigs this bait on a Megabass Body Balance head, which sports incredibly detailed lifelike features and a keeled body that helps keep the bait running true — even on a long cast.
Wong’s favorite color is the Wong Gill — his personal creation, which features an orange belly and a chartreuse tail. Mimicking top-tier big bass forage is the intent here.
Megabass Vision Oneten +1. Wong considers the jerkbait a year-round player, and he’s particularly keen on targeting isolated cover on a mud flat or specific grass clumps. It’s the triggering appeal that Wong favors, and the jerkbait does it in every month of the year.
Wong rigs his jerkbait with No. 5 Gamakatsu G-Finesse trebles and fishes it on braided main line with 15-pound Sunline FC fluorocarbon leader.