Top lures at Sam Rayburn Posted on May 24, 2017 Photo: Nate Sims - Sam Rayburn Reservoir showed why it ranks as one of the nationâs top bass fisheries at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefitting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. All captions: Craig Lamb Photo: Nate Sims - Postspawn largemouth were on the move. Brandon Palaniuk dialed into the bite fishing from top to bottom of the water column. See what lures the winner and others used to intercept those moving targets on Rayburn. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Jason Williamson âI flipped cypress trees and cast to shallow water cover from 8 to 12 feet,â said the 12th-place finisher. Jason Williamson relied on this 1/2-ounce Buckeye Lures Mop Jig, Brown pattern. For a trailer he used a 2-inch Zoom Super Chunk, Green Pumpkin. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Gerald Swindle âI kept it simple all week,â said the 11th-place finisher. Gerald Swindle used this 1/2-ounce Evergreen Jackhammer by Chatterbait, Green Shad. He added a matching 4-inch Yamamoto Zako Swimbait specifically designed for the jig. Key areas were hydrilla beds in 3 to 6 feet of water. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Kelley Jaye âI fished points with chunk rock for postspawners,â said the 10th-place finisher. Kelley Jaye used this Megabass Ito Vision Oneten FX jerkbait, Pro Green pattern. Photo: Garrick Dixon - He switched to No. 4 hooks for a reason. âThe larger hooks made the lure sink down faster into the strike zone in 6 feet of water.â Photo: Garrick Dixon - Cliff Crochet âIt was just like fishing back home in the swamp,â said ninth-place finisher Cliff Crochet. The Cajun Baby used this Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppinâ Frog, Midnight Walker pattern. Cypress trees and brushpiles were targets and especially during the bluegill spawn. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Alton Jones Jr. Alton Jones Jr. keyed on a shallow water bite using these two categories of topwater lures. Doing so helped the Bassmaster Elite Series rookie finish eighth. Photo: Garrick Dixon - âThis one has been around since before I was born.â For feeding bass he chose this Heddon One Knocker Spook, Foxy Mama pattern. Photo: Garrick Dixon - âI also fished heavy cover over a bluegill spawning area.â When hearing the telltale popping sound of bluegill spawning activity he used this Booyah Pad Crasher Frog, Bullfrog pattern. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Jason Christie âI fished grass beds over spawning areas that funneled back into the main lake,â said the seventh-place finisher. Jason Christie chose a selection of walker, popper and swimming frogs to catch his bass. Photo: Garrick Dixon - The two main choices were a Booyah Poppin Pad Crasher Frog and the Booyah Pad Crasher. For both baits he chose the Shad pattern. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Greg Vinson Greg Vinson went video game fishing to finish sixth. âI found specific isolated targets in 18 to 20 feet using the Panoptix feature on my Garmin.â Find the target and drop the bait on the bass. He did that with this 11-inch NetBait C-Mac Worm, rigged with 5/0 Owner 4x Jungle Flippinâ Hook and 1/2-ounce Reins Tungsten Weight. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Hank Cherry âI fished over hydrilla beds extending into the deepest water in the backs of pockets,â said the fifth-place finisher. Hank Cherry intercepted postspawn bass using this Livingston Lures JerkMaster 121 (Cherry Picker), AYU pattern. A key was the EBSMT Technology and specifically using the EBS Shad tone. He also switched to Mustad KVD Elite Series Short Triple Grip 4 Hooks for the jerkbait. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Jordan Lee Jordan Lee targeted transitional bass returning to deeper water using these baits. He used this lineup to finish fourth. Photo: Garrick Dixon - For deepwater bass he used a 10-inch Strike King Rage Thumper Worm, alternating between Carolina and shaky head rigs. For the Carolina rig he used a 1-ounce weight and 5/0 offset worm hook. He also fished the worm on a 1-ounce Strike King Jointed Structure Head Weight. Photo: Garrick Dixon - For an early morning bite in the lily pads he chose this Strike King KVD Popping Perch, Green Pumpkin Gill pattern. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Jacob Wheeler Jacob Wheeler keyed on bass holding around isolated stumps and wood cover to finish third. âGuys were saying no way could I fish a big jig in heavy brushpiles without getting hung up.â Photo: Garrick Dixon - Wheeler proved them wrong and the evidence are these teeth marks. He used a 9/16-ounce ENR Jig, black/blue. To give the fish a bulkier or smaller profile look he alternated between two trailers. Those were a 3.75 inch Gene Larew Wheelerâs Junior Punch Out Craw and a soft plastic chunk. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Brent Ehrler Brent Ehrler fished shallow and deep using two lures to finish second. Photo: Garrick Dixon - For shallow bass Ehrler chose this Lucky Craft Slender Pointer 127, fishing the lure over hydrilla beds. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Alternatively, Ehrler used this 1/2-ounce bladed jig, green pumpkin, with a matching 4-inch Yamamoto Zako trailer. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Brandon Palaniuk Shallow and deep. Brandon Palaniuk fished both strike zones to win the tournament. Using sonar he discovered bass near tight bottom contour lines from 5 to 30 feet of water. To cover that broad water column he chose three lures. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Palaniuk intercepted postspawn bass migrating back to deeper areas for summer. During an early morning topwater bite he chose this Storm Arashi Top Walker, Pro Blue pattern. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Palaniuk found bass holding on the deeper side of the contour lines near brushpiles. The weedless feature was key for this Neko-type rig. He made it using a 5-inch Zoom Magnum Finesse Worm, Green Pumpkin. To that he added a 1/32-ounce VMC Neko Weight at one end of the worm. He completed the rig with a prototype VMC Weedless Neko Hook. Photo: Garrick Dixon - Alternatively, Palaniuk fished deep using this Texas rigged 10-inch Zoom Olâ Monster, Plum pattern. A VMC Sinker Stop ahead of a 1/2-ounce VMC Tungsten Weight and 5/0 VMC Heavy Duty Wide Gap Hook completed the rig.