Lewis Smith is known for its dock bite, and that held true this past week. However, high water and spawning activity created plenty of other shallow opportunities for many of the top 10 anglers.
Here are the baits they used.
1. The tournament was as good as over once David Williams realized a shad spawn was happening on docks. He skipped a white Queen Tackle Tungsten Swim Jig with either a Bizz Baits Cutter Craw or Zoom Z Craw trailer. He also mixed in a True South Pro Shimmy Jig and threw a True South V-Twin Buzz buzzbait some around flooded cover in between docks.
2. John Cox played to his strengths, staying close to the bank and sometimes getting lost deep in the forests of flooded cover. His main tool was a black-and-blue 1/2-ounce Dirty Jigs Swim Jig with a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Meaty Chunk trailer. He also mixed in a wacky-rigged Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General worm.
3. California’s Cody Meyer used two spotted bass staples around docks and bridge pilings: a wacky-rigged Strike King Ocho in ghost minnow and a Strike King Rage Swimmer on a 1/4-ounce Owner ball-head jig.
4. Matt Arey did a little bit of everything, but his main two deals were pitching a wacky-rigged stick bait to docks and tossing a Lunkerhunt Fetch swimbait around shallow flooded cover.
5. One “crazy” area accounted for the majority of Jordan Osborne’s weight. He plied a roughly 60-foot section of transitional flat in the back of a creek arm with a Ned rig, shaky head, Keitech 3.8 Swing Impact FAT and vibrating jig.
6. Jason Reyes dedicated himself to throwing a Keitech 3.8 Swing Impact FAT on a homemade jighead to suspended schools of spotted bass.
7. Clent Davis made it back-to-back top 10s thanks to tossing a Ned rig with a Mister Twister Poc’it Fry and other plastics on a Nichols Lures Clent’s Toadstool head around docks.
8. Matt Becker was also on the swimbait game, casting a Keitech 3.8 Swing Impact FAT on a 1/4-ounce Bass Cave Tackle Dead Head Screwlock jighead to suspended bass on channel swings. He figured they were schooling fish that were “taking a break” from schooling.
9. Much like his fellow Carolina competitor David Williams, Todd Auten was also on the shad-spawn bite around docks. His weapon of choice was a white homemade vibrating jig with a Zoom Salty Super Fluke trailer.
10. Jimmy Reese employed several approaches. He skipped a Yamamoto California Roll or Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm on a Frenzy Baits Nail Shakey Head. Around docks he also swam a swim jig with a Yamamoto Heart Tail Shad Swimbait trailer. Finally, he mixed in a Boing Lure topwater or Heddon Super Spook on day three.