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Classic Gear Part 1: Winning Lures

The tricky part — the part that makes analysis incomplete and sketchy — is the fact that the Classic has been held in all four seasons of the year. From its inception in 1971 until 1982, it was a fall event fished in late September through early November. From 1983 through 2005, it was held in the summer — July and August. And since 2006, it’s been a winter derby — mid-February to early March — except for one year (2018) when it was technically in the early spring. When you spread the timing out like that, you also impact the types of lures that will be successful.

Add to the mix the fact that the Classic moves around geographically — from Lake Mead in the west to the St. Lawrence River in the north to Chesapeake Bay in the east and the Kissimmee Chain in the south — and that it’s been held on man-made reservoirs, natural lakes, tidal waters, and rivers … well, you have a hodgepodge of factors that defy much analysis.

Sure, spinnerbaits and crankbaits generally did well in the fall championships. Soft plastics won their share of summertime events, and spoons, jerkbaits and jigs have strutted their stuff in the winter, but there’s no clear trend here.

Here are the top baits and the number of Classics they helped to win:

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