> >

Top lures at Lake Fork 2019

It was a scene of personal bests that played out all week on Lake Fork at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. 
<p>
<em>All captions: Craig Lamb</em>
It was a scene of personal bests that played out all week on Lake Fork at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

All captions: Craig Lamb

Brandon Cobb added more personal bests than he could have imagined. Those included a personal best largemouth weighing 11 pounds, and joining the Bassmaster Century Club with a winning weight of 114 pounds. See what tackle he and other top finishers used on Fork.
Brandon Cobb added more personal bests than he could have imagined. Those included a personal best largemouth weighing 11 pounds, and joining the Bassmaster Century Club with a winning weight of 114 pounds. See what tackle he and other top finishers used on Fork.
<b>Drew Benton (83-8; 10th)</b><br>
Drew Benton began each morning along seawalls and points with a walking bait. Later he switched to bedding fish.
Drew Benton (83-8; 10th)
Drew Benton began each morning along seawalls and points with a walking bait. Later he switched to bedding fish.
A one-two punch with a topwater frog and a soft plastic craw did the trick for spawning fish.
A one-two punch with a topwater frog and a soft plastic craw did the trick for spawning fish.
Lure choices: A Bagley Knocker B for the shad spawn. For bedding fish, he chose a Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog 60. For sight fishing it was a Doomsday Tackle Devastator Craw fished on 4/0 Owner Extra Wide Gap Hook and 3/8-ounce Elite Tungsten Weight.
Lure choices: A Bagley Knocker B for the shad spawn. For bedding fish, he chose a Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog 60. For sight fishing it was a Doomsday Tackle Devastator Craw fished on 4/0 Owner Extra Wide Gap Hook and 3/8-ounce Elite Tungsten Weight.
<b>Cory Johnston (85-7; 9th) </b><br>
Cory Johnston made the finals cut a third time for the season at Lake Fork. He alternated between a swimbait, topwater frog and a soft plastic stick worm.
Cory Johnston (85-7; 9th)
Cory Johnston made the finals cut a third time for the season at Lake Fork. He alternated between a swimbait, topwater frog and a soft plastic stick worm.
Lure choices: A Livingston B Viper Swimbait MultiTouch, a topwater frog and a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko rigged weightless with a Gamakatsu B10 S Stinger Hook.
Lure choices: A Livingston B Viper Swimbait MultiTouch, a topwater frog and a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko rigged weightless with a Gamakatsu B10 S Stinger Hook.
<b>Chad Pipkens (90-12; 8th) </b><br>
Chad Pipkens lead the first two days by fishing offshore transition areas used mostly by postspawn bass.
Chad Pipkens (90-12; 8th)
Chad Pipkens lead the first two days by fishing offshore transition areas used mostly by postspawn bass.
A crankbait worked wonders. Morning was best when in a span of 30 minutes on Day 2 he scored with bass weighing 4-7, 5-6, 5-11 and a personal best of 8-11. 
Lure choice: Pipkens’ key lure was this Damiki DC Series 300 crankbait, Real Shad.
A crankbait worked wonders. Morning was best when in a span of 30 minutes on Day 2 he scored with bass weighing 4-7, 5-6, 5-11 and a personal best of 8-11.
Lure choice: Pipkens’ key lure was this Damiki DC Series 300 crankbait, Real Shad.
<b>Keith Combs (93-7; 7th) </b><br>
Keith Combs ran a milk run of postspawn transition areas located outside spawning pockets.
Keith Combs (93-7; 7th)
Keith Combs ran a milk run of postspawn transition areas located outside spawning pockets.
The strike zone ranged in depth from 3- to 18-feet of water. He rotated through six key areas, allowing each to rest and reload before cycling back through to fish them again. Covering the water column required crankbaits of varying depth ranges.
The strike zone ranged in depth from 3- to 18-feet of water. He rotated through six key areas, allowing each to rest and reload before cycling back through to fish them again. Covering the water column required crankbaits of varying depth ranges.
Lure choices: Strike King Pro Model 6XD, 8XD and 10XD crankbaits. Also, a Strike King Pure Poison Vibrating Jig with a Strike King Rage Minnow when the crankbait bite slowed.
Lure choices: Strike King Pro Model 6XD, 8XD and 10XD crankbaits. Also, a Strike King Pure Poison Vibrating Jig with a Strike King Rage Minnow when the crankbait bite slowed.
<b>Drew Cook (94-1; 6th) </b><br>
Drew Cook found success along shorelines. Encountering a dock was a bonus for the shade used as ambush points by the bass.
Drew Cook (94-1; 6th)
Drew Cook found success along shorelines. Encountering a dock was a bonus for the shade used as ambush points by the bass.
During low light in the morning he used a jerkbait where the shad spawned against seawalls.
During low light in the morning he used a jerkbait where the shad spawned against seawalls.
Lure choices: Spro Mike McClelland McStick 110 retrofitted with No. 4 Gamakatsu G Finesse Treble Hooks. Also, a Spro Aruku Shad.
Lure choices: Spro Mike McClelland McStick 110 retrofitted with No. 4 Gamakatsu G Finesse Treble Hooks. Also, a Spro Aruku Shad.
<b>Jeff Gustafson (94-5; 5th) </b><br>
Jeff Gustafson kept it simple all week, using similar soft plastic jerkbaits to imitate the shad roaming in his area.
Jeff Gustafson (94-5; 5th)
Jeff Gustafson kept it simple all week, using similar soft plastic jerkbaits to imitate the shad roaming in his area.
Lure choices: 7-inch pearl Z Man Scented Jerk ShadZ rigged on 3/4-ounce Luck E Strike Scrounger. Also, a 5-inch model in white rigged on a 3/0 Owner Hook.
Lure choices: 7-inch pearl Z Man Scented Jerk ShadZ rigged on 3/4-ounce Luck E Strike Scrounger. Also, a 5-inch model in white rigged on a 3/0 Owner Hook.
<b>Brandon Card (94-5; 6th) </b><br>
Brandon Card spent the afternoons cranking offshore spawning transition areas. Before the action heated up, he spent the morning with a topwater and wacky rig fished on the shoreline during the shad spawn.
Brandon Card (94-5; 6th)
Brandon Card spent the afternoons cranking offshore spawning transition areas. Before the action heated up, he spent the morning with a topwater and wacky rig fished on the shoreline during the shad spawn.
Lure choices: Wacky rigged Yamamoto Senko on No. 1 VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook. Also, a Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil.
Lure choices: Wacky rigged Yamamoto Senko on No. 1 VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook. Also, a Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil.
<b>Michah Frazier (96-12; 3rd) </b><br>
Micah Frazier took advantage of the shad spawn throughout the tournament. When it subsided he stuck with the same lure to stay in contention for the win.
Michah Frazier (96-12; 3rd)
Micah Frazier took advantage of the shad spawn throughout the tournament. When it subsided he stuck with the same lure to stay in contention for the win.
A classic topwater lure triggered reaction bites by bass in all phases of the spawn.
A classic topwater lure triggered reaction bites by bass in all phases of the spawn.
Lure choice: A 5-inch Heddon Super Spook.
Lure choice: A 5-inch Heddon Super Spook.
<b>Garrett Paquette (101-15; 2nd) </b><br>
Garrett Paquette’s tournament week was all about patience. Imagine fishing in the likes of this tournament and having to wait until your pattern turned on during early afternoon.
Garrett Paquette (101-15; 2nd)
Garrett Paquette’s tournament week was all about patience. Imagine fishing in the likes of this tournament and having to wait until your pattern turned on during early afternoon.
“Timing was key. Mornings were almost impossible to get a bite. Then they pulled out. I let my best areas rest until the latter part of the day and made the most of it.”
“I let them load up until about 2:30 and then tried to catch them as fast as I could.” He did just that, and mostly with a big crankbait.
“I let them load up until about 2:30 and then tried to catch them as fast as I could.” He did just that, and mostly with a big crankbait.
Lure choices: A white popping frog and Molix TW 110B topwater for the morning bite.
Lure choices: A white popping frog and Molix TW 110B topwater for the morning bite.
Lure choices: For the afternoon bite, a Strike King Pro Model 8XD, and a 7-inch Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad Swimbait on 3/4-ounce jighead.
Lure choices: For the afternoon bite, a Strike King Pro Model 8XD, and a 7-inch Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad Swimbait on 3/4-ounce jighead.
<b>Brandon Cobb (114-0; 1st) </b><br>
Threadfin shad, not blueback herring, are abundant in Lake Fork. Even so, Brandon Cobb made Lake Fork fish like his home lakes in South Carolina.
Brandon Cobb (114-0; 1st)
Threadfin shad, not blueback herring, are abundant in Lake Fork. Even so, Brandon Cobb made Lake Fork fish like his home lakes in South Carolina.
As fate would have it a shad spawn was underway. Just like home.
As fate would have it a shad spawn was underway. Just like home.
There was a bonus, too. Also spawning were the bass. A sharp eye revealed their presence on spawning beds. And when they showed, so did Cobb.
There was a bonus, too. Also spawning were the bass. A sharp eye revealed their presence on spawning beds. And when they showed, so did Cobb.
And just like home again, Cobb used a bait rig that works for sight fishing on the likes of Lake Hartwell, where he won last month.
And just like home again, Cobb used a bait rig that works for sight fishing on the likes of Lake Hartwell, where he won last month.
Lure choices: Early in the week a swimbait rigged on a 10/0 hook. For the 11-pounder a Zoom Z Craw with 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 Heavy Cover Hook and 3/8-ounce tungsten weight.
Lure choices: Early in the week a swimbait rigged on a 10/0 hook. For the 11-pounder a Zoom Z Craw with 4/0 Berkley Fusion19 Heavy Cover Hook and 3/8-ounce tungsten weight.
Lure choices: A Yo-Zuri Hardcore Minnow Flat 110SP, Ghost Pro Blue, was his top lure choice of the week.
Lure choices: A Yo-Zuri Hardcore Minnow Flat 110SP, Ghost Pro Blue, was his top lure choice of the week.