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Top 10 baits from Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma - Epic Baits Stop 3 Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches

by Major League Fishing 26 Apr 15:57 UTC
Eufaula gave the pros a few springtime options, which made for a good mix of techniques in play © Major League Fishing / Rob Matsuura

The Tackle Warehouse Invitationals pros fishing Epic Baits Stop 3 Presented by B&W Trailer Hitches at Lake Eufaula broke some new ground from a tournament perspective, but their techniques weren't anything new.

With mostly prespawn fish in play, a bunch of typical Oklahoma baits worked, and pros found fish in all sorts of springtime situations.

Earning the win, Kelly Jordon targeted fish staging on rock patches on points, and the pros behind him cobbled together quite a few different patterns.

1. For the win, Jordon stayed fairly shallow, targeting rock with some timber nearby on staging points. A Lucky Craft Fat CB BDS 2 did damage, as well as a half-ounce vibrating jig with a Lake Fork Live Magic Shad. Plus, on the final day, he caught one on a swing head with a plum worm.

2. Rookie sensation Drew Gill did a lot of his best work with forward-facing sonar, almost always casting to fish in staging and spawning areas that he could see on the screen. His bait of choice was a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Hit Worm on a Neko rig. Using a 1/24-ounce nail weight, a No. 4 Gamakatsu Drop/Split Shot Hook and 6-pound test leader, Gill took a very finesse approach to the Oklahoma lake.

"The key to the Neko rig is you want it to spiral on the fall, and fall insanely slow," Gill said. "I was using 6-pound, usually I'd throw 5-pound on it, but I didn't have to get too tricky with it there."

For rod and reel, he rolled with a Daiwa Ballistic spinning reel and 7-foot, 6-inch, medium-light Ark Invoker Pro spinning rod.

3. Finishing up in third and opening up nearly a 40-point lead for Angler of the Year, Ron Nelson put together a bit of a combination pattern, fishing some rocky points, a shad spawn on rock and dabbling with bedding fish. His go-to baits were a half-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a Castaic Jerky J, a 5/8-ounce Jewel Football Jig with a craw trailer and a wacky rig. He used 13 Fishing Envy Black III rods throughout, and 18-pound Sunline Sniper for his baitcasting presentation and 8-pound Sniper for his wacky rig.

4. Arkansas pro Scotty Villines rolled with some springtime staples and fished a little off the beaten track, concentrating mid-lake and not in one of the popular creeks. His baits of choice were a 6-inch Megabass Magdraft and a 3/8-ounce, mean green-colored Santone M Series Spinnerbait with a Zoom Split Tail Trailer.

"I was targeting transition areas where prespawn fish would be coming to, and postspawn fish would be coming the other direction," Villines said. "I tried to hit the in-between places. I felt like I got more bites doing that."

Villines also caught some fish on standing timber, running his spinnerbait past the trunks.

"I think every dock in that lake had been hit 100 times," he said. "So, I targeted some of the trees. My last two fish came off standing timber in 10-foot or deeper, which was stuff that nobody else was targeting."

5. California transplant Cody Spetz mixed up a jig, a wacky rig and a vibrating jig got his success. Most of his big bag on Day 1 fell to a half-ounce jig from Precision Tackle (a store based in Arizona) with a Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw on the back. Outside of that, Spetz put 'em in the boat with a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko wacky-rigged on a BKK Predator W.G. Weedless Wacky hook or a 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a Yamamoto Zako.

Spetz started strong, but the wind ended up hurting him a lot.

"When I had 21 pounds, I had one Senko fish and four jig fish that day," he said. "The jig produced 90% of my weight on Day 1; Day 2 I had to adjust with the wind. My big fish areas got trashed by the wind, they were right in the brunt of it."

Spetz used Stealth Stixx rods for all his presentations.

6. Targeting a shad spawn and rocky transitions, Braxton Setzer mixed power and finesse techniques all week.

For his slow stuff, a 5/16-ounce shaky head with a Rabid Baits Shaker Worm in Hulk got the call. When he moved faster, he rolled with a Yo-Zuri 3DB Squarebill 1.5 in burnt orange craw. He fished both baits with 16-pound Yo-Zuri T-7 Premium Fluorocarbon, using a Phenix X-13 rod for his squarebill and a Phenix K2 765 for his worm.

7. Tai Au fished the lower end of the lake and mixed up his techniques. He caught fish on a Bill Lewis ATV 2.5, a 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a Yamamoto Zako, a 6-inch Yamamoto Senko (watermelon red) and a 6-inch custom Triple J swimbait he rigged with a treble hook on the bottom. Au primarily was looking for bigger pieces of wood, ideally on points, and threw a few different baits at them. Amazingly, one of his best logs produced seven bass over the course of the event.

8. Oklahoma hammer Jeff Reynolds knocked out another Top 10 in the Sooner State with a game plan high in variety.

He started the event fishing shallow, up in a major feeder creek. Then, he culled fish in the main lake, and did his best work on Days 2 and 3 in the main lake and other popular areas.

"I was either fishing a spinnerbait on rocks, really shallow, like a foot deep. Or, I was dragging (a) worm," Reynolds said. "In my mind, I was fishing for fish that were staging, or on beds you couldn't see. The second day, I happened to get lucky, and I saw a fish roll, and I caught her, and that was a 6-pounder."

For his worm, Reynolds used a Zoom Magnum Finesse Worm on a ¼-ounce Secret Lures J-Bend Tail Shaker Jig Head. His blade of choice was a half-ounce Santone Pretender Spinnerbait in a double Colorado model with an orange kicker blade.

9. Also mixing things up, Shonn Goodwin fished the main lake some, but made his home up in a narrow creek for the most part. Throwing a vibrating jig and a Carolina rig with a Zoom Midsize Brush Hog some, his best producers were a few flipping baits and a spinnerbait.

For flipping and pitching to wood cover, he used a 4 ¼-inch Bass Pro Shops Stik-O (black and blue) or a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. On Day 2, a half-ounce spinnerbait with Indiana and Colorado blades produced many of his best fish. He used FX Custom Rods across the board.

10. Finishing 10th, the unstoppable Michael Neal also mixed a shaky head and a power technique. For his worm, he slung a Big Bite Baits Skinny Stick (scuppernong) on a 3/16-ounce Big Bite Baits Limit Maker. On the stronger side, he used a half-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer with a Big Bite Baits Kamikaze Swimon for a trailer.

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