October 28, 2011 by Rob Newell
BUCHANAN, Tenn. - The Alabama rig frenzy has settled down at the EverStart Series Championship on Kentucky Lake. Apparently, old "has been" lures such as crankbaits and jigs are catching fish again.
Today the common theme among Kentucky Lake leaders was shad and/or current far down the Tennessee River.
After following up his 17-pound, 11-ounce day-one catch with a strong 16-pound, 13-ounce limit today, Lendell Martin of Nacogdoches, Texas, now leads the EverStart Championship with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 8 ounces.
While Martin has admitted to throwing the Alabama rig when he returns to the Paris area every afternoon, it's not his primary lure - or lures - when fishing down in Tennessee.
"I'm fishing suspended fish, off steep breaks that fall of into 20 to 25 feet of water," Martin said. "The last two days I've pretty much just fished two spots that keep replenishing. It's really all about the shad, when the shad show up, the bass start biting. The fish are not necessarily schooling - occasionally I do see one bust a shad - mostly they're suspended and when some shad come by it gets the bass active and I can catch one or two pretty quick."
Martin said he had about 12 keepers on the day and returned to the Paris area by about 1 p.m. today.
Jason Milligan of Shasta Lake, Calif., hauled in the biggest catch in the tournament so far - 20 pounds, 12 ounces - to jump into second place with a two-day total of 31 pounds, even.
Milligan is running far to the south where he is targeting shallow shell beds and clay ledges receiving current in 2 to 6 feet of water.
"It's really a bait deal," Milligan said. "There are a lot of shad washing into these places and it triggers the bite. I'm catching most of them on a Lady's Man Custom Tackle vibration jig, a Damiki Mega-Miki worm and a small square-bill crankbait."
Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn., moved up into third place today on the strength of an 18-pound, 5-ounce limit that gave him a two-day total of 30 pounds, 14 ounces.
"I camped on one road bed and cranked it all day with a deep-diving crankbait," Caraballo said. "I had one flurry for about 15 minutes this morning when I caught most of my weight. I think a bunch of shad got pushed up against the road bed and they just started eating. For a while there is was pretty amazing. My co-angler and I caught white bass, drum and bass. I guess they were all up there pinning those shad against the road bed. After that it slowed down."
Jeremy Guidry of Opelousas, La., holds down the fourth place spot with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 14 ounces.
Guidry also mentioned running far south and finding current to catch his fish.
"Every thing I'm catching is current related," Guidry said. "I'm fishing pretty shallow on specific current spots. Most of the time the fish are out suspended and I can't catch them. But when they move up to feed I'll catch one or two pretty quick."
Jeff Hippert of Hamburg, N.Y., rounds out the top five pros in the EverStart Series Championship with a two-day total of 29-14.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series Championship event on Kentucky Lake after day two:
6th: Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., two-day total of 28-6
7th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., two-day total of 27-15
8th: Scott Mansfield of McKenzie, Tenn., two-day total of 27-13
9th: Monte Knight of Quitman, Miss., two-day total of 27-9
10th: Charles Bebber of Willis, Texas, two-day total of 27-5
Strunk still leads co-anglers
Beecher Strunk of Somerset, Ky., wrangled nearly a 10-pound bass out of Kentucky Lake on day one to take a commanding lead in the Co-angler Division. Today he backed that up with 13-pound, 10-ounce catch to hold his lead with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 2 ounces.
"I'm throwing a Cumberland Pro Lures 3/4-ounce football head jig to catch most of my fish," Strunk revealed. "Dragging a football jig is one of my favorite techniques and that's how I caught the big one yesterday and all my fish today."
Russell Lohman of Pineville, La., is in second place with a two-day total of 30 pounds, 7 ounces.
Doug Caldwell of Kane, Pa., boated the big fish of the day in the Co-angler Division weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces, which helped put him in third place with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 7 ounces.
Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., is in fourth place with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 3 ounces.
Troy Anderson of Galesville, Wis., rounds out the top five co-anglers with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 15 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series Championship event on Kentucky Lake after day two:
6th: Vince Denina of Willis, Texas, two-day total of 23-2
7th: Jason Slagstad of Odenville, Ala., two-day total of 22-14
8th: Brett Rachal of Monroe, La., two-day total of 22-9
9th: David Underwood of Waco, Texas, two-day total of 22-6
10th: Kenny McGar of Crofton, Ky., two-day total of 21-13
Day three of the EverStart Series Championship on Kentucky Lake will begin at 7:00 a.m. at Paris Landing State Park.