Top 10 baits from Eufaula, Oklahoma - Major League Fishing

Top 10 baits from Eufaula, Oklahoma

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Dragging and moving baits both worked at Eufaula. Photo by Jody White. Angler: Charley Slaton.
May 22, 2024 • Jody White • Toyota Series

EUFAULA, Okla. –The final Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Southwestern Division event of the season was a pretty old-fashioned tournament. With a lot of muddy water in play and difficult LiveScoping conditions, most pros seined Lake Eufaula with vibrating jigs, crankbaits and other old-school staples.

One thing that that was notable about the tournament was how much the overcast weather on Day 1 affected the bite. Most pros that ended up doing well were able to start strong, then adapt successfully to the sunny and slick conditions that anglers saw on subsequent days.

Here’s what got the job done on the big Oklahoma lake.

1. Jones frogs and then some

Winning the event with a run to some more secluded water, Chris Jones did what he does best and fished shallow. His top bait was a BOOYAH Poppin’ Pad Crasher, and he also flipped a YUM Spine Craw and swam a BOOYAH Mobster Swim Jig. Fishing muddy water, he pretty much exclusively fished dark colors, with junebug being his soft-plastic hue of choice. 

2. Local Brumnett runs two-pronged pattern

One of many locals who excelled in the event, Eli Brumnett fished deep and shallow, bouncing back and forth between the two.

Up shallow, he ran with a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer in white with a gold blade and a matching Yamamoto Zako trailer. He also threw a Strike King 1.5 in black and chartreuse. When targeting deeper water, he dragged a homemade black-and-blue, 3/4-ounce football jig with a matching Strike King Rage Craw. He used FX Custom Rods for all his baits.

Staying in dirty water, he changed tactics depending on conditions.

“When they turned the water on and started running water, I would get out there on those points and throw the jig around,” he said. “I was pretty much checking my phone all day long, and when they cut the water off, I would get up on the bank and throw the ChatterBait.”

3. Lugar grinds shallow

Leading after Day 2, Jeff Lugar couldn’t connect with the same quality on Day 3 and slipped down to third place. All week long, he threw moving baits up shallow, targeting rock and behind docks.

Lugar’s primary bait was a 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait Elite EVO in glitter bomb, which he trailered with a Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ in pearl blue glimmer. He used 20-pound Gamma Edge and a Dobyns Champion XP 683.

Fishing shallow rock all week, mostly in the Porum area, Lugar felt that the EVO was the superior option to the JackHammer.

“There’s a reason I was throwing the EVO,” he said. “It has a different vibration than the JackHammer. It’s an aggressive vibration. It’s almost like the JackHammer has a little more thump to it, and the EVO has a little more rattle to it. It definitely is a different vibration, and the trailer keeper on it is different – I like the trailer keeper setup better on the EVO. I have a pile of JackHammers, but so many guys are throwing the JackHammer, I’m finding I can go behind guys throwing JackHammers and get bit.”

4. Parker cranks and ‘Scopes

Making his second Toyota Series Top 10 of the year, Zane Parker combined old-school and tech for his finish.

His primary baits were a drop-shot with a 6.3-inch 6th Sense Divine Shakey Worm, a spinnerbait and a 6th Sense Crush 50X squarebill. He used 15-pound Seaguar InvizX for his crankbait and a 10-pound leader of the same for his drop-shot.

“The first day, I was running some rip rap with the squarebill, with the cloud cover. When that slowed down, I went down the same stretches and ‘Scoped them,” he said. “The second and third day,  I LiveScoped around with the high, sunny skies and caught solid limits. I was looking for the fish in between the rocks. I would see good-looking spots in the rocks and just cast at the spots – I didn’t know if there were fish in the rocks or not. I also marked a couple stumps in practice that had big fish and ended up catching one, so I incorporated that a little bit too.”

5. Town of Eufaula pays out for Faber

Tied by weight for second after Day 2, Ty Faber basically did one thing the entire event. After being sick in practice, he didn’t have much time to expand on things, which ended up being a good thing.

For Faber, the main strategy was throwing a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a silver blade and a Rapala CrushCity Freeloader as a trailer. He spent almost the whole event near takeoff, which is known as a highly productive area.

“It’s weird, the silver blade seemed to make a difference,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the timing of the bites I got or what, but it seemed to matter to me. It was weird. I think it was just timing. I did catch one the second day on a green one, but I think you just had to hit them in the head with it.”

6. Manmade rock key for local Lunceford

Knocking out a Top 10 on his home pond, Phillip Lunceford ran manmade rock for the most part, dialing in a pattern unique to the lake and the conditions.

His primary bait was a 1/2-ounce BOOYAH Covert Spinnerbait in the double Colorado configuration with either silver and gold blades or an orange kicker. He also flipped a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a 3/8-ounce Jigshack tungsten weight.

Lunceford said that normally fish would go offshore about now, but because of how muddy the lake was, the bass were shallower than they otherwise would be.  

“When the main lake gets muddy, the fish migrate to rock,” he said. “They’ll migrate to the natural rock, but they’ll really stack up on the manmade rock. Those fish in the main lake lose the ability to be sight feeders, so they’ve got to rely on vibration. They literally just hug the rock. That rip rap, you’ve got little piles, nooks and crannies.  That rock goes down in the water about 5 feet, and then it stops, then it is sand, clay or dirt. It’s really the only structure, so they’ll be on that rock.”

7. Schroeder rides topwater and drop-shot combo

Always a force in the Southwestern Division, Blake Schroeder fished the remnants of a shad spawn plus an offshore pattern to do his damage.

His shad spawn bait was a Strike King Sexy Dawg Hard Knock, and he also used a 6-inch Roboworm Straight Tail Worm on a 1/4-ounce drop-shot. For hooks on the topwater, Schroeder went with No. 2 Owner ST-36 trebles. He used Falcon Cara rods for both applications and a 10-pound Sunline Sniper leader for his drop-shot.  

“The first day, I had the remnants of a shad spawn with the overcast and rainy conditions,” he said. “I started out the morning on that — I caught one that was probably a 4 1/2 and a 3-pounder. The second day, that bite didn’t last as long with the sunny conditions, and the final day, it was solely the drop-shot.”

Schroeder targeted stumps with his drop-shot and chased the shad spawn on long, tapering, flat points. In both cases, he stayed in the clearest water he could find.

8. Moving and dragging works for Thibodaux

Almost winning Fishing Clash Angler of the Year, Levi Thibodaux improved his weight each day to move into the Top 10 by the end of the week.

“I was fishing a lot of rock points, and I’d pull up on the points and throw the crankbaits and ChatterBaits first, and then once it slacked off, I would drag,” he said.

Thibodaux’s crankbaits of choice were a Blackjack Lures squarebill and a Strike King 1.5 Hard Knock. He also employed a Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a Z-Man RaZor ShadZ trailer and a JaBoom Beaver Ballz on a 1/4-ounce Texas rig. Thibodaux threw everything on Zook rods.

9. Cranking the way to go for Crawford

A local to Eufaula, Lance Crawford rode the shallow cranking bite into the Top 10.

On the week, he mostly used a Strike King 1.5, a Berkley Frittside 5 and something he got at Walmart for about $1.20. According to Crawford, the key was a bright color, not any particular model.

“The first day, when I finally figured out how to catch them, I caught four keepers in 8 minutes,” he said. “I was fishing rock, all rock; I never caught a fish off a piece of wood.”

10. Slayton “flips rocks” with a C-rig.

Fishing probably the most interesting pattern of anyone in the Top 10, Charley Slaton caught most of his fish dragging on rock in 3 to 12 feet.

His key bait was a Carolina rig with a 1- or 1 1/4-ounce weight, 20-pound line and a Zoom Critter Craw. He also caught some fish on a shaky head and a wobble head with a Gene Larew Biffle Bug. He used Elite Rods for all his dragging, opting for the 7-foot, 6-inch model for his C-rig.

“That’s about the oldest-school bait you can come up with,” said Slayton. “I was flipping rocks all day — I was flipping rocks over. I was on rock, and if you really got hung up, you could pull on it and actually flip that rock over. It was about fist-sized rock. When you got hung, you could pull on it, and about the time it popped out, a fish would grab ahold of it.”