The Walmart FLW Tour Invitational on Lake Norman wrapped up with a tight race for the title and a bid to the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. Spotted bass and largemouths fell victim to a variety of baits, from shaky heads to topwaters. Below are the baits that got the job done for the top 10.
1. Bryan Thrift was heavily favored in this event, and he did not disappoint. For the win he threw a Damiki Anchovy Shad on a 3/16-ounce jighead, a 1/2-ounce Damiki Mamba 2 Jig and a buzzbait with a white Zoom Horny Toad. He paired the jig on his signature series Fitzgerald 6-foot, 9-inch Heavy Skipping Rod and the others on Fitzgerald Stunner HD rods.
2. Local ace Scott Beattie tossed a Zoom Horny Toad, a 1/2-ounce Shooter Lures Jig tipped with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub and a homemade 5/16-ounce shaky head with a Yamamoto Senko or Zoom Mag Finesse Worm.
3. A 3/8-ounce Zorro Baits Head Knocker Buzzbait with a Zoom Horny Toad along with a drop-shot featuring a Zoom Swamp Crawler and a 1/4-ounce Reigns Tungsten Down Shot Sinker did the job for Wesley Strader.
4. Todd Hollowell netted his highest Tour finish thanks to a 3/8-ounce Red Dirt Baits Buzzbait with a Zoom Horny Toad and a 1/2-ounce Yank-Um Tackle jig. Hollowell spooled up 17- and 20-pound-test Vicious Fluorocarbon for the buzzbait and jig, respectively.
7. Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury threw a variety of baits, including a 1/4-ounce Dirty Jigs Tackle Scott Canterbury Pro Buzz, Net Bait Contour Worm (thrown on a drop-shot and shaky head), wacky-rigged Net Bait Salt Lick and Roboworm Fat Straight Tail Worm on a drop-shot.
8. Tracy Adams caught some good fish on a buzzbait with a Zoom Horny Toad, an 1/8-ounce shaky head with a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm (Spanish Fly color) and a 7/16-ounce jig with a YUM Mighty Craw trailer.
9. For his first FLW Tour top 10, Michael Stephens utilized a 1/2-ounce Shooter Lures Jig with a Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer, a Tackle Town jigging spoon and a drop-shot with a Roboworm Straight Tail Worm.
10. John Cox, the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup champion, kept his hot streak alive with another Tour top 10 thanks mostly to spinning rods. He used a 3/16-ounce shaky head with a Zoom Swamp Crawler and a 1/8-ounce Texas-rigged Zoom Finesse Worm.