Top Lures at Lake Norman Posted on May 15, 2018 Photo: Andy Crawford - Wesley Strader may have accomplished the unprecedented last week when he held a Bassmaster Elite Series first-place trophy on Monday at Kentucky Lake and a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series trophy on Saturday at Lake Norman. Two championships in six days. Needless to say, the Spring City, Tenn., resident is the hottest man in bass fishing right now. All captions: Steve Wright Photo: Chris Mitchell - Staderâs victories at both lakes were accomplished primarily with the same lure â a Wesley Strader signature Zorro Bait Co. Bango Blade spinnerbait. At Norman, it was a 5/8ths-ounce model. As has been detailed since Kentucky Lake, Strader frequently cycles through these when the thin, .030-wire gets bent after several fish catches, but he simply transfers the blades, swivel, etc., to another spinnerbait blank. Strader said the same blades â the exact same blades, not identical replacements â were used at both lakes: a Hildebrandt silver No. 3 Colorado blade and a Hildebrandt gold No. 4.5 Indiana blade. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Strader weighed in what he described as âa key fishâ each day on a 5-inch Zoom Swimmer hitch-colored swimbait. Stader's key area was the current seams in the area below Lookout Shoals Dam, which he described as âa typical Tennessee River tailrace bite.â Photo: Chris Mitchell - Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn. â 12th place, 27 pounds, 15 ounces Moynaghâs key bait was a wacky-rigged worm. While the bulk of the spawn was over on Lake Norman, there were still enough spawning beds to make it a successful pattern. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Moynagh was in third place after Day 1 with 14-9. It includes a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass that missed by an ounce of being the big bass of the tournament. Moynagh caught that spawner, which heâd found the day before in practice, on a 6-inch sour grape-colored lizard (not pictured). Photo: Andy Crawford - Whitney Stephens, Waverly, Ohio â 11th place, 29 pounds, 0 ounces Stephens was in 38th place after Day 1 at Lake Norman, but shot up to fourth place with a 13-14 limit on Day 2. He had a one-two combination punch working for him. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Stephens used âan old schoolâ Rebel Pop R topwater lure in baby bass colors followed with a wacky-rigged Yamamoto 5-inch Senko in green pumpkin with a chartreuse-tipped tail. The Pop R produced half his catch on Day 2, Stephens said. He was fishing Lake Normanâs numerous docks, exclusively. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala. â 10th place, 29 pounds, 8 ounces Lane, who was coming off a 14th place finish at Kentucky Lake, relied on a one-two punch like Stephens â a topwater bait, followed with wacky-rigged soft plastic stick worm. He targeted fry-guarding and spawning bass. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Laneâs topwater lure was his new signature bait from River2Sea, which comes in three sizes â from the 1-ounce, 6 3/9ths-inch Big Mistake, to the 3/4-ounce, 5-inch Top Notch, to the 7/16ths-ounce, 6-inch Lane Changer. It was the middle-sized Top Notch in a bone color that produced Laneâs topwater fish. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Like almost every angler in the tournament, a wacky-rigged worm was also key for Lane. In his case, it was a 6.5-inch green pumpkin Luck E Strike Pow Stick. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Patrick Walters, Ladson, S.C. â ninth place, 29 pounds, 11 ounces The 23-year-old Walters was a highly-successful angler in the college ranks at the University of South Carolina. He seems to have a bright future as a pro. Walters was leading at Lake Norman after Day 1 with a limit weighing 15-12. Photo: Chris Mitchell - One of Waltersâ key lures was a Rapala Shad Rap Shad jerkbait. Photo: Chris Mitchell - His other key bait was a 4-inch, neko-rigged, green pumpkin/black flake Yamamoto Senko. Walters caught largemouth bass around bushes up the Catawba River on Day 1, then targeted main lake docks and brushpiles after that. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., - eighth place, 29 pounds, 14 ounces Mitchell noted that heâs one of the only pro anglers from his home state of Delaware. He seemed plenty comfortable at Lake Norman. His Day 2 bag of 13-4 vaulted him from 43rd place on Day 1 to eighth on Day 2, and he maintained that spot in the final. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Mitchell used two swimbaits, primarily as fish locators. On the left is the Little Creeper Trash Fish. On the right is the Megabass Magdraft. âI did weigh in one on the first day on the Magraft,â Mitchell said. âThe spots seemed to follow the Magdraft and the largemouth followed the Trash Fish, for some reason.â Photo: Mitchell’s follow-up bait, which produced most of his fish, was a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko. - Mitchellâs follow-up bait, which produced most of his fish, was a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C. â seventh place, 31 pounds, 5 ounces Montgomery loves Lake Norman, and he won the last Bass Pro Shops Open here in 2014. But Montgomery noted that fishing was as tough as heâd ever seen it here, due to a combination of most bass being in the postspawn phase and heavy fishing pressure on the lake. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Montgomery loves to skip a jig under boat docks, and he did it with two 1/2-ounce Strike King Tour Grade jigs at Lake Norman. This one is a custom-colored jig paired with a blue craw Strike King Rage Bug for dirtier water. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Montgomery used the same Strike Tour Grade Jig and Rage Bug trailer in green pumpkin in clearer water. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Cody Pike, Powhatan, Va. â sixth place, 33 pounds, 4 ounces Pike had a strong, consistent three days at Lake Norman, placing a close second on Day with a 15-6 limit and never falling below his sixth-place finish. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Pike said he caught 90 percent of his fish wacky-rigged watermelon/black flake Yamamoto Senko around boat docks. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Pike also combined a Daveâs Tournament Tackle swim jig with a Keitech Swing Impact swimbait to catch some key fish under docks. Both were in green pumpkin colors. Garrett Paquette, Canton, Mich. â fifth place, 33 pounds, 9 ounces Paquette had a strong second day at Lake Norman to rise from 28th place to fifth, and he maintained that on the final day. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Paquette relied a two lures: 1) various colors of Keitech Swing Impact swimbaits on a 3/8ths-ounce jig head, and 2) a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver on a 3/8ths-ounce Arkie jig head. He flipped and skipped boat docks and shade lines. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Will Evans, Winter Haven, Fla. â fourth place, 34 pounds, 7 ounces Evans was the one angler in the Top 12 who concentrated offshore. He fished points and shoals, starting in about 9 feet of water early, then moving to depths of about 17 feet as the sun got higher. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Evans said he caught about 80 bass during the three-day tournament and about 70 of them came on this copperfield-colored Gambler EZ Swimmer paired with a 1/4-ounce jighead. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Sam George, Athens, Ala. â third place, 35 pounds, 0 ounces George had a consistent three days, staying among the top eight in the standings. He said he started each day with an open mind, as the bite seemed to change by the day. Photo: George’s primary lure was a wacky-rigged Senko. - Georgeâs primary lure was a wacky-rigged Senko. Photo: Chris Mitchell - George also caught some key bass on a new Salmo square-billed crankbait, which will debut at ICAST this summer. Photo: Andy Crawford - Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif. â second place, 36 pounds, 6 ounces Lintnerâs second-day bag of 14-6 put him in second place going into the final, but Wesley Straderâs 5-pound, 2-ounce lead was just too much to overcome on what proved to be the toughest day for everyone on Lake Norman. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Lintnerâs primary lure was a Zoom Super Fluke, âtwitched like crazy,â around boat docks and shade lines. Lintner didnât have the lure in the bubble gum color he wanted, so he colored his with Spike-It Dip-N-Glo. Photo: Chris Mitchell - Lintner also had success with a wacky-rigged Jackall Neko Flick Worm in prism gill colors. Lintner used to bigger baits to help locate fish, then he followed up with the Fluke and the Neko Flick to catch them. His locators were a Jackall Mikey wake bait and a now-discontinued Evergreen jointed swimbait.