UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Ward wins in Kentucky

Mike Ward of Paris, Tenn., wins his first Stren Series event on Kentucky Lake with a four-day total of 78-5.

MURRAY, Ky. - As the old saying goes, timing is everything, and nothing could be truer in the sport of professional bass fishing - just ask Mike Ward of Paris, Tenn. Like dozens of other pros fishing the Stren Series Central Division event this week, Ward ran down to the Paris-Danville area on Kentucky Lake each day, chucked big worms and jigs on ledges, and caught fish. The only difference was, at the end of four days of fishing, Ward had amassed 78 pounds, 5 ounces of bass to win the Stren Series event worth $25,000 and a new Ranger boat and motor package. And why Ward came out on top is still a mystery to him. Sure, Ward knows the water well; he works the night shift at UPS so he can fish during the day. But many of Ward's competitors know the water around Paris well, too. Yet Ward was able to turn in daily weights of 22-2, 20-8, 19-0 and today's 16-11 without falling off the winning pace. "If I had to point to one thing, it might be timing," Ward said. "Every good place on the river has the right time to be there - it might be 8 o'clock, it might be 11:30, it might 3 in the afternoon - but every place has a time when fish start feeding, and I was very much in tune with that this week." It comes as no coincidence that the time frame Ward knew best was from about 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. "Since I work at night and early mornings, I don't get to the lake until about 10 o'clock on the days I fish," he mentioned. "I know the best places to be from about 10 until noon." As it turned out, many of Ward's competitors would run straight to some of his best holes first thing in the morning, fish them for a while without much luck and pull off at just A last-minute feeling to throw a crankbait produced these two tournament winners for Mike Ward. about the time when Ward was looking to get on them - and bingo, the fish would start biting. For much of the week, Ward fished a Strike King 10-inch Anaconda Rage worm and Strike King ¾-ounce jig tipped with a Rage Tail trailer. But one thing Ward particularly knows how to time well is a crankbait, and in the end that turned out to be his ace in the hole. "There are times out there when everything just gets right for a crankbait," Ward said. "I don't know how to describe it, but I can just feel it. The water, the wind, the current - things just get right. I got that feeling today and ran to one of my backup spots and caught two of my best fish on a DD-22. All I can say is it's all about timing." While other competitors were fishing matted grass edges in some of the same areas Ward was fishing, he chose to stay away from grass and focus completely on hard-bottomed ledges, specifically shell bars. "I fished the grass for a day in practice, but I couldn't get that going like some of the other guys, so I just chose to stick with bare ledges out away from the grass, and that's what I won on." Wooley second Finishing in the runner-up position was pro Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., who caught a four-day total of 70 pounds, 11 ounces worth $8,917. Finishing in the runner-up position was Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., who caught a four-day total of 70 pounds, 11 ounces worth $8,917. Wooley was fishing in the New Johnsonville area, and he focused totally on grass edges. "That place has turned into a little Lake Guntersville down there," Wooley said. "There is matted grass along the river channel for 40 miles, and the number of fish in it is incredible." Wooley made it clear that he was not flipping or "punching" the grass mats, but instead was backing way off in the river channel and casting a worm to the grass edges. "Anywhere the matted grass made a little point on the river channel was the key," Wooley said. "I was making long casts with a Zoom Ol' Monster in Bama Bug and a Trick Worm in green-pumpkin - both worms were weighted with 3/16- and ¼-ounce Tru-Tungsten weights." Bull third Despite a `small distraction' this week, Zack Bull of Lakeland, Tenn., finished third Pro Zack Bull of Lakeland, Tenn., finished third with four-day total of 70 pounds, 9 ounces for $8,026.with a four-day total of 70 pounds, 9 ounces for $8,026. Actually, Bull's `small distraction' was a huge gift in the form of a new bundle of joy. While he was competing in the Stren event, his wife went into labor back home in Lakeland, Tenn. In fact, Bull traveled three hours home last night to see his newborn then returned this morning just in time for takeoff and proceeded to fish the event on an estimated hour's worth of sleep. "I'm about to pass out right now," Bull said onstage after fishing in the ferocious heat and humidity all day. Bull's fish came from a single mussel bed-lined hump in about 14 feet of water located about 11 miles south of the takeoff. "My big mistake the first day was leaving that spot," Bull said. "I started moving around and only ended up with 13-8 on day one. So the next three days I just camped there and discovered that spot had a load of fish on it. I bet my co-anglers and I combined pulled a hundred fish off that place - it was unreal." To catch his fish, Bull relied on a Zoom Ol' Monster worm in red-bug with a 3/8-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight and a PJ's football-head jig (green-pumpkin) tipped with a Zoom chunk. And since fishing is a game of pounds and ounces, it would only be fair to mention that Bull's new daughter, Amelia Rose, weighed in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Jeane fourth Abu Garcia pro George Jeane, Jr., of Evans, La., finished fourth with a four-day total of 67-13 worth $7,134.Abu Garcia pro George Jeane Jr. of Evans, La., finished fourth with a four-day total of 67-13 worth $7,134. Jeane, too, fished the Paris-Danville area and focused on the grass edges lining the river. He probed the grass edges with a Berkley 10-inch Power Worm (plum) and a 1-ounce grass jig made by Oldham's, which included a new Berkley Chigger Chunk. "The edges of the grass were definitely the key for me," Jeane said. "I started the week by flipping the grass, but the second day I figured out the bigger fish were sitting out there in 12 to 13 feet on the edge of the grass." Lashlee fifth Pro Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., finished the event in fifth place with a Pro Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., finished the event in fifth place with a four-day total of 66-14 worth $6,242.four-day total of 66-14 worth $6,242. Lashlee fished from Danville to the Blood River and tried to avoid the grass by fishing strictly bare ledges that were 12 to 15 feet on top. His best baits included a 1/2-ounce Strike King football jig with a Rage Tail trailer in Texas Craw and a hand-poured 11-inch worm, which he favors on TVA impoundments. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series event on Kentucky Lake: 6th: Ramie Colson of Cadiz., Ky., four-day total of 66-5, $5,350 7th: Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., four-day total of 64-9, $4,905 8th: Lloyd Pickett of Bartlett, Tenn., four-day total of 64-6, $4,459 9th: Terry Bolton of Jonesboro, Ark., four-day total of 59-12, $4,012 10th: Scott Brummett of Brentwood, Tenn., four-day total of 57-11, $3,568 Coming up The fourth and final Stren Series of the Central Division will take place on Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 8-11.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-clothing-and-sunglasses-at-icast-2015

New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-three-new-finesse-worms

Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-14-dance-detweiler-and-east-win-icast-cup

Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »