Lures of the Top 12 at Winyah Bay Posted on April 14, 2016 Photo: Shaye Baker - Shallow water lures dominated the Huk Peformance Fishing Winyah Bay Bassmaster Elite presented by GoRVing. While vibrating jigs were a big key to success for the top three finishers, the remainder of the Top 12 used as wide a variety of baits as youâre likely to see in any tournament. The anglers were all over the map, literally, from the Waccamaw River to the Cooper River, and the lure selections were as well, from 5-inch bubble gum-colored Yamamoto Senkos to Spro Poppin Frogs. The following is a brief rundown of the baits each angler used. All captions by Steve Wright Photo: Shaye Baker - 12. Mark Menendez, 39-2 Cranking a Strike King 1.5 square-bill, casting a Strike King Compact Silhouette spinnerbait (sun perch) and flipping a Strike King Game Hawg were Menendezâ lures of choice. He used a variety of colors on the crankbait, including a custom-painted one, and a several colors in the Game Hawg as well. âI had one area (off the Maccamaw River) and I just ground it out,â he said. âI had a 5-pounder the first day, a 4 1/2 the second day and a 6 the third day, but I couldnât get a big bite (Sunday).â Photo: Garrick Dixon - 11. John Hunter Jr., 40-14 The Elite Series rookie found a frog bite near the same Cooper River area where Myers and Zaldain were fishing. He capitalized with Day 3âs biggest bag of 22-3. Hunter used both a Stanley Top Toad soft plastic frog and a Spro Poppin Frog. When the wind came up, Hunter switched to a Zoom Magnum Speed worm in watermelon red with a 1/8th-ounce weight, which he swam around aquatic vegetation in the same area. Photo: Megabass - 10. Chris Zaldain, 43-9 About 90 percent of his fish came on a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait in Tennessee shad. He was fishing shallow grass in the Cooper River. He got around 20 keeper bites each of the first two days. âThe thing about that jerkbait is it runs real shallow,â Zaldain said. âMost jerkbaits go down when you twitch them. This one swims side-to-side. I looked at my graph, and I was in water that was 2.5 to 3.7 feet the whole tournament.â Photo: Garrick Dixon - 9. Boyd Duckett, 45-5 Concentrating on aquatic vegetation in the Cooper River, Duckett caught fish on a Rat-L-Trap, a Castaic Boyd Duckett Series BD 1.5 crankbait and âa fewâ on a Senko. âI liked throwing the square-bill when I could, but some of that grass was too thick, so Iâd throw a Rat-L-Trap and rip it through there,â Duckett said. Photo: James Overstreet - 8. Jacob Powroznik, 46-2 He was another angler who relied on variety: a V&M J-Bug, a spinnerbait made by Cliff Pace, a Livingston Lures Primetyme Square 2.0 crankbait and a V&M Trickster worm (junebug) on a shakey head. He fished in the Waccamaw River. âI caught a limit early every day on the spinnerbait, then go looking for a big one,â said Powroznik, who caught a 6-pounder on Day 3. Photo: Garrick Dixon - 7. Gerald Swindle, 46-7 Also going the simple route was Swindle, who used two Zoom soft plastic baits â a Z-Craw in watermelon red and a Trick Worm in junebug. The Trick Worm he pitched on a 3/16ths tungsten weight. The Z-Craw he flipped on a 3/8ths tungsten weight. âI fished the same 400 yards of a backwater pond (off the Santee River) all week,â said Swindle, noting that the fish would move from the front to the back to the middle of cypress knees depending on the tide. Photo: Garrick Dixon - 6. Keith Combs, 46-13 At the opposite end of the variety success pattern was Combs, who caught every bass he weighed flipping a Strike King Game Hawg in candy craw color. He used a 5/16ths-ounce Strike King tungsten weight on a 4/0 Owner hook. âI rarely put it down,â Combs said. âI caught 10 to 12 fish every day. I just didnât catch a big one.â Photo: Garrick Dixon - 5. Randy Howell, 47-11 Bubble gum used to be a popular color, especially for floating plastic worms, in the springtime, but you donât hear much about it anymore. Howell said itâs a color that continues to be effective in this part of the country. He skipped a 5-inch bubble gum Senko â weightless on a 3/0 hook â back into flooded vegetation. Howell also caught bass flipping a Yamamoto Large Flappinâ Hog, and one âgood oneâ on a Livingston Howeller square-billed crankbait in Guntersville craw. 4. Brent Chapman, 47-11 Everything but the kitchen sink, thatâs what Chapman used at Winyah Bay. On Day 1, it was he flipped a Tightlines UV Beaver (pictured) and cast a Picasso Shock Blade. On Day 2, he used a Tightlines UVenco stick worm and a Beaver, a jerkbait and a variety of shallow-running crankbaits. On Day 3, it was shallow crankbaits again, fished on copolymer line that helped keep them higher in the water column, out of the pluff mud. On Day 4, the crankbait bite tanked and he went to âa worm.â Photo: Kelly Jordon - 3. Kelly Jordon, 55-3 It was a Reactions Innovations Sweet Beaver that Jordon caught his 8-pound, 5-ounce, bass on the first day â his only fish â that tipped Jordon about the potential of his area in the Santee River. It produced the big bag of the tournament â 24-7 â on Day 2, all of which came on a now-discontinued Phoenix bladed jig. He used Z-Man Chatterbaits as well, after a chain pickerel cut his line and swiped the Phoenix on Day 3. All his bladed jigs were trailed with a Lake Fork Live Magic Shad swimbait in green pumpkin. Photo: Garrick Dixon - 2. Brett Hite, 55-15 The Japanese manufacturer Evergreen is making a new bladed jig to Hiteâs specifications. Itâs called a Jackhammer, and Hite came within 4 ounces of winning the tournament on it. Hite used 3/8ths and 1/2-ounce versions trailed with a Yamamoto swimbait, also designed by him, which will be unveiled at ICAST this summer. Green pumpkin was his primary color choice, although he also used a trailer that was 1/2 black-and-blue (on top) and 1/2 green pumpkin (on bottom). Photo: Garrick Dixon - 1. Britt Myers, 56-3 A 1/2-ounce Z-Man Chatterbait was Myersâ primary lure trailed with a Keitech FAT Swing Impact 3.8 swimbait in sexy shad. Myers noticed the trailer was a big key. Not only could he not get a bite during practice on anything else, but other anglers around him during the tournament couldnât either. Myers went to a Zoom Super Fluke during the final hour of Day 4, when the bass werenât biting for anyone, and was able to cull up a few ounces, which might have been the winning edge.