Pro Staff name their top lures for 2021

Now that we’re solidly into the new year, we here at Connect Outdoors decided to find out what the best baits of 2021 are going to be. To do this, we polled members of our Pro Staff to get their recommendations.

One of the top recommended lures were jigs.

“This year it will be and has been a 3/8 oz football jig in the PB&J color, the dropshot and a DT10 crankbait,” said Ray Ortiz.

“I used the jewel jigs and put them together myself. The dropshot I use 10lb Vicious Moss Green Braid with 8lb Vicious 100 percent fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot Hook with a Palomar knot, then add a 3/8-ounce weight, crankbait rapala DT10 demon color.”

John Wilhite said he would also be using a 3/8 or ½ ounce black blue jig. He also recommended other lures such as a 7.5- or 11-inch red shad worm.

“Weight size is dependent on cover and depth, crankbait red in the early spring, swimbait on a jig head. Deep water a drop shot deep driving crankbait.”

Jason Gasper prefers a ½ ounce green pumpkin jig when dragging. When using a swim jig, he said he prefers white or shad colors.

“A jig is one of the most versatile lures out there,” he said.

Gasper also said chatterbait would be a top lure in the coming year because of its versatility and its ability to get in and out of cover. Another top lure for him is a drop shot because it is good all year, even on tough days.

Michael Knapp said an MK signature series jig and spinner bait from Lick Creek Custom Lures is all he needs to fish any lake in the country.

“The jig is extremely versatile for mimicking different forage and the spinner bait can be fished from one foot to 30 foot with no problems. Best one-two punch I know!”

For Chip Whitaker, there are three lures he thinks will be used heavily this year. Phenix Baits jig, Megabass Crankbait, and a BassReaper swimbait.

“Each of these allows me to cover the water column from shallow, suspended, to deep,” Whitaker said. “Once I target and pattern the fish, I can then slow down and fish it more thoroughly.”

Jigs weren’t the only lures making the list. Daniel Thomas said shads would be a hot lure in the new year. He picked Gambler shakey shad and a perfect shad shape worm in many colors.

Steven Dempsey chose the Lucky craft DRS 1.5 square bill, red eye Shad trap, and SD Fishing shaky head. Jacob Stephens chose a drop shot with Missile baits Quiver 4.5 or Roboworm and Woo Tungsten weight. Brent Bailar said the top lures for 2021 will be a Texas rigged Zoom Z Craw in Green Pumpkin, 110 Whopper Plopper in a customized Black Crappie pattern from #CrankWraps, or a Strike King KVD 1.5 Chartreuse Sexy Shad.

Brad Pelkey is looking to mix things up this year by using an A-rig and big glide baits.

“Why because it takes me out of my comfort zone and with an ever-evolving industry getting out of your comfort zone may lead to catching a fish that may pass up your go to bait.”

Mike Stridde plans to get back to baits he barely touched in 2020. He plans on using more lipless crankbaits over weed beds to perfect that skill. He also plans on using more drop shot in clear lakes because he’s lost the feel for those lures.

“My chatterbaits and swimjigs I love but going to change up some of the trailers to change up actions,” he said. “2021 will be a good year and have a ton of different ideas to change up presentations I currently use. My fallback is always when conditions are tough my Riot Fuzzy Beaver in black and blue Texas rigged flipping, weightless sassy stick in pads, and spinnerbaits and buzzbaits which did well in 2020.”