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2024 Bassmaster Elite Series - Strike King Top Baits

The ability to adjust to current conditions is key to any successful bass fishing angler. The breadth and depth of Strike King’s lure options are virtually limitless, giving anglers across the country an option for whatever conditions they are facing. 

To showcase the variety of bait options from Strike King, we went through the entire 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series and highlighted a few baits that could play in each tournament depending on the lake and time of year. 

*The following technique and bait choices are best guesses based on previous conditions/tournaments fished and are not depictions of what happened.

If you want a chance to win every bait mentioned below, consider signing up for our Strike King Elite Series giveaway that runs from 2/19/24 - 3/10/24

Enter Giveaway

Toledo Bend Reservoir, Many, Louisiana

February 22–25

For the first stop of the Elite Series in February at Toledo Bend Reservoir, chatterbaits could be the bait of choice due to the potential for pre-spawn conditions and warming water trends. Strike King's Thunder Cricket and Tungsten Thunder Cricket are excellent choices for this time of year. These baits are designed to mimic forage and can provoke reaction strikes from bass that are starting to move into shallower waters in preparation for the spawn.

Strike King Thunder Cricket

3/8 oz / Black/Blue

Color: Black/Blue

Black/Blue
Blue Craw
Blue Glimmer
Bluegill
Bruiser
Chartreuse/White
Falcon Lake Craw
Fire Craw
Green Pumpkin
Mouse
Olive Shad
White
Weight: 3/8 oz

Stock: 5+

$12.99

Quantity:
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Strike King Tungsten Thunder Cricket

3/8 oz / Black/Blue

Color: Black/Blue

Black/Blue
Black Widow
Blue Craw
Blue Glimmer with Black Flake
Bluegill
Bruiser
Chartreuse Blue Glimmer
Chartreuse White
Falcon Lake Craw
Fire Craw
Green Pumpkin
Mouse
Olive Shad
White
Weight: 3/8 oz

Stock: 1

$17.99

Quantity:
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The Thunder Cricket, with its vibrating action, works well in the submerged vegetation and around the timber that Toledo Bend is known for, making it a go-to choice for covering water and triggering strikes from active fish. Its design allows for a good hookup ratio and the ability to pull big bass out of heavy cover. 

Pairing these baits with Strike King's Blade Minnow as a trailer can enhance their action and appeal, adding a more lifelike movement and vibration that can be irresistible to bass, especially in the clearer sections of the lake or during periods of higher activity, such as warmer parts of the day or when the fish are aggressively feeding in preparation for the spawn.

Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics Blade Minnow

Bluegill / 4 1/2"

Color: Bluegill

Bluegill
Carolina Chrome
Fire Craw
Ghost Shad
Green Pumpkin
Green Pumpkin Chartreuse Belly
Green Pumpkin Pearl Belly
KVD Magic
Pearl
Pearl Flash
Watermelon Red Flake
Length: 4 1/2"

Stock: 5

$5.99

Quantity:
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Areas with significant cover, such as submerged trees, brush piles, or the edges of vegetated areas, where pre-spawn bass might be staging or actively feeding will be key areas of focus.

Lake Fork, Yantis, Texas

February 29–March 3

For the second event at Lake Fork during the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series, jerkbaits will be a factor given the conditions and behavior of bass during this time of year. In late February, Lake Fork sees a lot of big bass starting to show up as they prepare for the spawn, making it an ideal time for jerkbait fishing​​. The water temperatures can range in the low to mid-50s, and targeting main lake areas or secondary points at the mouth of major creeks can be productive. Fishing in slightly warmer water, where temperatures are on a warming trend, can lead to more active fish​​.

Incorporating baits like the Strike King KVD 100, KVD 200, and KVD Elite 300 Deep into a jerkbait rotation could increase the chances of getting bites. These baits are designed to target different depths and water conditions, making them versatile for the varying environments Lake Fork presents. The KVD 100 and 200 models are great for shallower areas where bass might be staging, while the Elite 300 Deep can reach those deeper, pre-spawn bass lurking around structure.

Strike King KVD 100 Jerkbait

Chrome Sexy Shad / 3 1/2"

Color: Chrome Sexy Shad

Chrome Sexy Shad
Natural Shad
Phantom Perch
Pro Blue
Sexy Ghost Minnow
Strobe Shad
Sugar Daddy
Size: 3 1/2"

Stock: 1

$8.99

Quantity:
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Strike King KVD 200 Jerkbait

Chrome Sexy Shad / 4 1/2"

Color: Chrome Sexy Shad

Chrome Sexy Shad
Crystal Shad
Natural Bream
Pro Blue
Sexy Shad
Strobe Shad
Size: 4 1/2"

Stock: 1

$9.99

Quantity:
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Strike King KVD Elite 300 Deep Jerkbait

Phantom Bluegill / 4 3/4"

Color: Phantom Bluegill

Phantom Bluegill
Pro Oyster
Pro Phantom Perch
Pro Shizzle
Pro Siren
Pro Table Rock
Pro TN Shad 2.0
Sexy Shad 2.0
Size: 4 3/4"

Stock: 4

$14.99

Quantity:
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Given the lake's conditions, where fish might be holding in shallows and deeper structures, adjusting the presentation to match the depth and activity level of the bass is key. Anglers will need to pay close attention to the water temperature and utilize their electronics to find warmer areas or active schools of fish.

Harris Chain Of Lakes, Leesburg, Florida

April 11–14

For the third event at the Harris Chain of Lakes, focusing on Texas-rigged worms could be an effective strategy, especially during the April conditions when bass are most likely in the final stages of their spawning cycles. During this time, fishing in the shallows can be particularly rewarding as bass move to warmer waters for spawning​​.

Incorporating Strike King products like the KVD Zeus Worm and Rage Cut-R-Worm into their Texas rig setup can be a great choice. Given the conditions and patterns observed during previous tournaments, these baits can be particularly effective around hard-cover areas such as seawalls, docks, and cypress trees, as well as in areas with noticeable drop-offs and near patches of hydrilla or edges of eelgrass​​​​.

Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics Zeus Worm

Dark Green Pumpkin Green / 9 1/2"

Color: Dark Green Pumpkin Green

Dark Green Pumpkin Green
Dark Whiskey
Green Pumpkin
Junebug
Melon Bug
Plum Crazy Craw
Length: 9 1/2"

Stock: 1

$5.99

Quantity:
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Strike King Rage Cut-R-Worm

6" / Black Blue Flake

Color: Black Blue Flake

Black Blue Flake
Blue Craw Red Flake
Green Pumpkin
Junebug
Moon Juice
Watermelon Red Flk
Red Bug
Length: 6"

Stock: 5+

$6.99

Quantity:
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Anglers have found success with a variety of baits on the Harris Chain, but the key seems to be targeting areas where post-spawn bass are moving back to deeper water but are still looking for meals in shallower areas. Fishing a little off the shoreline and looking for structure can prove to be effective​​.

St. Johns River, Palatka, Florida

April 18–21

For the fourth stop at the St. Johns River, focusing on pitching/flipping Texas rigged baits can be particularly effective in April. During this time, largemouth bass are nearing the end of their spawning season, with bass moving back to deeper water after spawning, looking for meals in areas with hard shell bottoms close to canals, points with drop-offs, and deep water nearby. Targeting the edges of eelgrass or patches of hydrilla is key​.

Anglers should look to incorporate baits like Strike King’s Rage Punch Bug and Rage Menace into their Texas rig setup. These baits are designed for punching through thick vegetation and flipping into cover, which is abundant in the St. Johns River, especially around lily pads and canals that are prime areas for bass in the spring​​. The St. Johns River is known for having an excellent pitching/flipping bite for largemouth bass, making these baits ideal choices​​.

Strike King Rage Punch Bug

Black/Blue Flake / 3 1/2"

Color: Black/Blue Flake

Black/Blue Flake
Black Blue Swirl
Blue Craw
Crawdaddy
Green Pumpkin
Summer Craw
Watermelon Red Flake
Length: 3 1/2"

Stock: 1

$6.99

Quantity:
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Strike King Rage Menace Grub

Black Blue Flake / 4"

Color: Black Blue Flake

Black Blue Flake
Black Blue Swirl
Blue Craw
Blue Craw Red Flake
Blue Sapphire
Bluegill
Candy Craw
Crawdaddy
Delta Red
Falcon Lake Craw
Fire Craw
Glacier
Green Pumpkin
Green Pumpkin Purple
Green Pumpkin Purple & Gold
Green Pumpkin Purple Swirl
Green Pumpkin Sapphire
Hard Candy
Honey Candy
KVD Magic
MM Moonlight
Moon Juice
Motor Oil Red
Pearl
Pearl Flash
Smokey Shad
South African Special
Summer Craw
Sungill
Tequila Sunrise Orange Flake
Watermelon Red Flake
Length: 4"

Stock: 5+

$6.99

Quantity:
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Lake Murray, Columbia, South Carolina

May 9–12

For the fifth stop at Lake Murray, deploying shallow crankbaits could be highly effective, especially in May when bass fishing conditions are prime due to warming waters and spawning activities. Utilizing Strike King baits like the Hybrid Hunter and KVD 2.5 Squarebill could give anglers an advantage.

The Hybrid Hunter is designed for versatility and can be effective in covering various shallow water habitats where bass might be actively feeding or guarding nests. Its unique action can trigger strikes from bass that are keyed in on blueback herring, a primary forage in Lake Murray during this time.

Strike King Hybrid Hunter Crankbait

3" / Blue Craw

Color: Blue Craw

Blue Craw
Bully
Chartreuse/Black Back
Chartreuse Perch
Chrome/Blue Back
Clearwater Minnow
Delta Red
Fire Craw
Gold/Blk/Back
Green Gizzard
Oyster
Smooth
Sweet Shad
Size: 3"

Stock: 2

$8.99

Quantity:
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The KVD 2.5 Squarebill is another excellent choice for shallow cranking on Lake Murray. Its ability to deflect off cover and maintain an erratic swimming action makes it ideal for targeting bass around shallow points, docks, and other structures where bass may congregate in pursuit of baitfish or during post-spawn recovery.

Strike King KVD 2.5 Squarebill Crankbait

Black Back Chartreuse / 2 3/4"

Color: Black Back Chartreuse

Black Back Chartreuse
Blue Craw
Bluegill
Brown Craw
Bully
Citrus Shad
DB Craw
Delta Red
Fire Craw
Fire Tiger
Gizzard Shad
Green Gizzard Shad
Green Pumpkin Craw
Neon Bluegill
Phantom Perch
Sexy Shad
Summer Sexy Shad
TN Shad
Size: 2 3/4"

Stock: 3

$6.79

Quantity:
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Given the conditions at Lake Murray in May, with bass and blueback herring spawning activities overlapping, focusing on areas where these conditions merge could lead to success. Shallow cranking around main lake points, pockets, and creeks where baitfish are prevalent can yield productive results​​​​.

Keep in mind the versatility and action of these baits to adapt your retrieval speeds and techniques based on the observed behavior of the fish and the conditions of the day.

Wheeler Lake, Decatur, Alabama

June 13–16

For the sixth stop at Wheeler Lake, there is a good chance we will see topwater blowups. During this time of year, bass are recuperating from the rigors of spawning and engage in a major feeding spree lakewide. The presence of thick and matted aquatic weeds like hydrilla offers excellent opportunities for topwater fishing. These weeds provide shade, cooler water, and ambush spots for bass, making topwater lures like the Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg and KVD Sexy Dawg Jr. effective choices for enticing strikes along weed edges and over submerged weed patches​​. The walking action of these baits will allow anglers to cover water and locate the most active fish.

Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg Topwater

Black Lab / 4 1/2"

Color: Black Lab

Black Lab
Bluegill
Bone
Carolina Chrome
Chartreuse Sexy Shad
Clearwater Minnow
Green Gizzard Shad
Natural Shad
Oyster
Phantom Perch
Sexy Ghost Minnow
Sexy Shad
Summer Sexy Shad
Size: 4 1/2"

Stock: 5+

$8.99

Quantity:
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Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg Jr Topwater

Black Lab / 3 3/4"

Color: Black Lab

Black Lab
Bluegill
Bone
Carolina Chrome
Clearwater Minnow
Chartreuse Sexy Shad
Green Gizzard Shad
Phantom Perch
Sexy Ghost Minnow
Sexy Shad
Size: 3 3/4"

Stock: 5+

$8.99

Quantity:
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From fishing topwater on the main river channel to exploring the backs of major creeks, anglers can find success in various habitats. The spread of eelgrass in areas like the Decatur Flats has changed the fishery, with some anglers finding it a nuisance due to its tendency to foul lures. However, this can also concentrate fish in specific areas, depending on the day's conditions. 

Anglers who incorporate topwater lures like the KVD Sexy Dawg and KVD Sexy Dawg Jr. into their strategy at Wheeler Lake can yield exciting fishing experiences, especially in areas with less floating eelgrass or along the edges of thick weed mats where bass are looking to ambush prey.

Lewis Smith Lake, Cullman, Alabama

June 27–30

For the seventh stop at Lewis Smith Lake, the Damiki rig could be highly effective, especially when incorporating Strike King baits like the Baby Z-Too and KVD 4" Caffeine Shad Jr. Lewis Smith Lake is known for its clear waters and abundant fish populations, with spotted bass being a popular target for anglers. The lake's diverse structure, including submerged brush piles, fallen trees, and bridge pilings, provides ideal conditions for finesse techniques like the Damiki rig​​.

Strike King Baby Z-Too Soft Jerkbait

Arkansas Shiner / 3 1/2"

Color: Arkansas Shiner

Arkansas Shiner
Green Pumpkin
Grey Glimmer Pearl Belly
Morning Dawn
Pearl
Pearl Blue Glimmer Back
Siren
Smokey Shad
The Deal
The Juice
Length: 3 1/2"

Stock: 5+

$3.99

Quantity:
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Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics 4" Caffeine Shad Jr.

Carolina Chrome / 4"

Color: Carolina Chrome

Baby Bass
Carolina Chrome
Ghost Shad
KVD Magic
Pearl
Pearl Blue Glimmer
Smokey Shad
Watermelon Red Flake
Length: 4"

Stock: 5

$5.99

Quantity:
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The Damiki rig, known for its vertical presentation, could be particularly useful in targeting spotted bass in deeper parts of the lake, near points, ledges, and drop-offs, where these fish are often found. The Baby Z-Too and KVD 4" Caffeine Shad Jr., with their realistic baitfish profiles, can mimic the forage that spotted bass feed on, making them excellent choices for this technique.

Lewis Smith Lake, with its extensive shoreline and depth, offers a variety of fishing opportunities. From the main lake to feeder creeks and the Elk River area, anglers can explore different habitats where bass might be holding. The lake's clear water demands a stealthy approach, making the subtle presentation of the Damiki rig an ideal choice​​.

Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh, New York

August 8–11

For the eighth stop at Lake Champlain during August, the drop shot technique is a smart choice given the lake's diverse bass habitat and the abundance of both largemouth and smallmouth. Lake Champlain, known for its clear and deep waters, offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to target bass with finesse techniques like the drop shot. Incorporating Strike King baits such as the KVD Half Shell and the KVD Filler Worm into your drop shot rig can be particularly effective, given their subtle action and forage-matching color options.

Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics Half Shell Dropshot Worm

Bold Bluegill / 3 1/2"

Color: Bold Bluegill

Bold Bluegill
Desert Craw
Green Pumpkin
Green Pumpkin Purple
Magic
Morning Dawn
Siren
Triple Magic
Length: 3 1/2"

Stock: 3

$5.29

Quantity:
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Using the KVD Half Shell and the KVD Filler Worm on your drop shot rig offers a lifelike presentation that can mimic the small baitfish and other forage that bass feed on during the summer months. The KVD Half Shell, with its quivering action, is particularly effective when fishing over hard bottoms or around deep weed edges. Meanwhile, the KVD Filler Worm, known for its versatility and appealing action, can entice bites from both smallmouth and largemouth bass that are hunting in the lake's deeper sections or around its abundant underwater structure.

Strike King KVD Perfect Plastics Filler Worm 5"

Blackberry Jam / 5"

Color: Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam
Bold Bluegill
Desert Craw
Dingleberry
Dirt
Fire Crawler
Green Pumpkin
Lightning Bug
Magic
Morning Dawn
Natural Shad
Red Bug
Sexy Shad
Tequila Sunrise
Watermelon Red Flake
Length: 5"

Stock: 5+

$6.99

Quantity:
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Given the expansive nature of Lake Champlain and its varied habitats, from the shallower, weedier southern end near Ticonderoga to the deeper, clearer waters of the main lake and the Inland Sea, anglers should be prepared to adapt their drop shot technique to different conditions and depths throughout the day. Paying close attention to the lake's topography and targeting areas where bass are likely to congregate during the summer, such as deeper rocky points, ledges, and weed lines, will increase your chances of success.

St. Lawrence River, Waddington, New York

August 15–18

For the ninth and final stop at the St. Lawrence River going out of Waddington, NY, the Ned Rig will be a player, especially when targeting the abundant smallmouth population in the river. The St. Lawrence River, particularly in September, presents an interesting dynamic between choosing to fish shallow versus deep, with both strategies proving successful in past tournaments. The river is known for its excellent smallmouth bass fishing, with anglers often needing to decide how far to run and whether to target deeper or shallower waters​​.

Incorporating Strike King baits like the Tour Grade Ned Head and KVD Ned Ocho provide a deadly combo to fish the rig effectively. The Ned Rig is ideal for the clear waters of the St. Lawrence River, where smallmouth bass can be more finicky. This finesse approach can be particularly effective in areas with rocky shorelines that transition into weed beds at depths of 6 to 10 feet, a common feature throughout the Thousand Islands region of the river. Such areas provide a prime habitat for smallmouth bass​​.

The river itself, including areas with significant current, points, and ledges, has been the site of many tournament wins. However, bays off the main channel are also popular, with the river fishing somewhat like a mix between a river and a lake. Anglers might find success targeting points and ledges where bass can lie in wait for prey, using the Ned Rig to entice bites in these areas​​.

In Conclusion: Picking the Right Bait

Each fishery has its own set of unique challenges and will require anglers to adjust on the fly. With an unlimited amount of bait options available in today's market, it's impossible to pick what techniques and baits will win a tournament... but we think these options could be a factor! To shop our large assortment of Strike King products, check out our Strike King Brand Page!