The fishing was tough throughout in the Walmart FLW Tour Invitational presented by Quaker State on Norris Lake, but the top 10 pros separated themselves significantly from the rest. Topwaters played a big role, but they weren’t the only baits to get it done. If you’re fishing in the fall on a mountain reservoir, you might want to bring along some of the following baits.
1. James Watson earned the win with a 1/2-ounce War Eagle Buzz Toad with a Luck-E-Strike Frantic Frog on the back (all black), a River2Sea Whopper Plopper (130 size; loon color), a River2Sea Bubble Walker and a 7/16-ounce jig trailed with a Luck-E-Strike Baby Guido Bug.
3. Tracy Adams was a one-trick pony this week on Norris, catching all his fish on a 7/16-ounce Jewel Finesse Jig (green gourd and orange) trailered with either a YUM Mighty Bug or a NetBait Paca Chunk.
4. One of the more local folks in the top 10, Derrick Blake got it done with a 1/2-ounce Strikezone Grinder paired with a black Stanley Ribbit and a 1/2-ounce Lunker Lure Rattleback Jig paired with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub.
6. A trio of baits did the job for Michael “Real Deal” Neal: a 3/8-ounce True South Lures Beater Buzz with a small Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad, a 1/2-ounce True South Lures Shimmy Jig paired with a Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper and a 3/8-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait.
7. Matt Arey mixed a few topwaters into his fishing, but says he mostly relied on a 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait.
8. Moving way up on the final day, Ken Vicchio made it happen with a 3/8-ounce Lunker Lure Buzzbait.
9. William Campbell did all his damage with a buzzbait as well, using a 1/2-ounce custom model with a Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr. He actually broke the buzzbait in the final minutes of the event.
10. Finishing 10th, Scott Canterbury caught fish on just three baits the entire week: a 6.5-inch NetBait T-Mac on a 3/16-ounce Dirty Jigs Scott Canterbury Shakey Head, a 1/4-ounce Dirty Jigs Scott Canterbury Pro Buzz with a Zoom Horny Toad and 1/2-ounce spinnerbait.