5 to watch at Kentucky Lake

Jacob Wheeler sets the hook on a rocky point.

The Walmart FLW Tour wraps up its season this week on Kentucky Lake – which is presented by Evinrude – for the sixth and final qualifier of the year. This is the last chance for anglers to make a move in the points race to try and clinch their spot for the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray taking place Aug. 14-17.

FLW Fantasy Fishing players also have a shot at cashing in on great prizes this week. At each event of the Tour season – six regular-season tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup – more than $7,000 in cash and prizes are awarded to the top 50 Fantasy Fishing teams. There will even be cash prizes awarded to the top 10 teams at the end of the season based on cumulative point totals, including a $10,000 top prize.

Just like the previous tournament on Pickwick, most of the attention will be focused towards the ledges this week. One of the nice things about Kentucky Lake is its size. With over 160,000 surface acres of water anglers will have a chance to spread out a lot more than on Pickwick. Being that the tournament is held out of Paris Landing in Tennessee many of the anglers will choose to fish on the south end of the lake. However, the north end presents some phenomenal offshore fishing that could be exploited so long as the weather allows the pros to make the haul up there. The other variable that could play on Kentucky Lake is the shallow bite. The time-consuming run up into Barkley Lake from Paris seemingly takes it out of the question, but some good grass fishing can be found on the south end. The biggest factor for this pattern to play is weather. If storms and wind make it tough for the anglers fishing ledges then the shallow patterns could carry angler to the weekend – just like it did back in 2011 when names like Jay Yelas, Tom Monsoor, Ramie Colson Jr. and Jason Christie made the top 10 by fishing near the bank. With that in mind, below are five pros that bear monitoring as competition begins Thursday.

If you haven’t finalized your Fantasy Fishing team, do so now at FantasyFishing.com.

Jacob Wheeler – While this Forrest Wood Cup champion is known for his skills in shallow water, Wheeler is beginning to flex his muscles with his offshore talent. Most recently, the Rayovac pro sacked up over 90 pounds of bass to claim victory in a BASS event on Lake Chickamauga. That victory is a prime example of how he has proven to be a quick study of the game and when he gets something figured out – like offshore fishing – then there seems to be no stopping him. Wheeler also holds a top-10 finish from the 2012 FLW Tour event held on Kentucky Lake which should help reinforce his confidence for this tournament. Wheeler has an unbelievable knack for adapting on the fly and thinking outside the box to find unpressured fish. These two characteristics should prove extremely valuable for him this week.

At a modest $33 in Fantasy Fishing you can’t go wrong with this pick. Wheeler carries all the tools he needs to make some noise in this event.

Michael Wooley – When you consider that four of the last five FLW tournaments Wooley has fished on Kentucky Lake resulted in 14th place or better – including seventh place in the Rayovac FLW Series event held back in May – then you might want to pay attention to this guy. At just 27 years old, Wooley is having a solid rookie season on the Tour as he stands poised to qualify for his first Forrest Wood Cup. The Collierville, Tenn., pro has waited for the final two tournaments (Pickwick and Kentucky) all season to show the bass fishing world what he can do. He succeeded on Pickwick with a top-10 finish by fishing the way he loves to – offshore. If you combine Wooley’s background on the lake and the Cup qualification dangling in front of him then it seems to make the perfect recipe for him to have a strong performance.

For this tournament, Wooley carries an $18 price tag. He is a great addition to help support the tail end of a Fantasy Fishing team.

Brent Ehrler – The Meter Man is an absolute machine. He tore it up back on Pickwick with over 92 pounds of bass in four days of fishing to claim third place. And naturally, he did it with the help of his electronics. It’s actually kind of scary how good this guy is with his “meters” – which is what Ehrler calls his electronics. The scarier part is how comfortable he has gotten on the TVA system. It is sort of similar to how Ehrler used to have tough tournaments (finishing near the 100s) in Florida until it finally clicked for him in 2013 and he took second on Okeechobee. Skip ahead to 2014 and the California pro started off the season with an 11th-place showing on the Big O. That same type of thing is happening with Ehrler and the TVA. It has clicked for him. He has become more comfortable on the system and trusts his instincts – which usually lead to big paydays for Ehrler.

If your team needs one high-dollar guy then Ehrler is a good bet. He is fishing clean and comfortable and that is what you want to see for an angler heading into the last event of the year. His price for this event is $44.

Greg Hackney – Hackney is riding the momentum train as he is experiencing a phenomenal year fishing two tours. The last three major tournaments he has fished have resulted in top 10s – including his Pickwick win just a few weeks ago. He is truly one of the best shallow anglers in the game. Hackney won Pickwick by finding a school of unexploited fish up shallow and Kentucky Lake offers that same opportunity. Just look back to 2012 when Dave Lefebre won on Kentucky doing essentially what Hack did on Pickwick. There is some buzz that the south end of the lake which features grass and stump field could get hot this week which couldn’t play into the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup champion’s hand any better. Hackney is red hot and that means bad news for the bass in Kentucky Lake this week.

For $37, Hackney is a good pick to round out a team that needs some expertise in the shallow-water game.

Andy Morgan/Cody Meyer – Without a doubt all eyes will be one these two this week as they battle for the Kellogg’s Angler of the Year title. Adding to the drama between these two is the fact that they both have about the same average finish of around the top 20 on Kentucky Lake. Not only will this make for an intense dual for the AOY crown, but it will also mean there is a very good chance these guys could end up fishing through the weekend. They are such a stark contrast to one another in terms of fishing style, yet they both can put quality limits of the fish in the boat. Meyer will most likely spend the majority of his time looking at his electronics out on the ledges while Morgan will be bouncing around from bank to ledge and back. It will be interesting to see if the one of the best offshore guys in the sport – Cody Meyer – can surpass one the greatest anglers at fishing in the moment – Andy Morgan. Better get your popcorn ready.

Both of these pros carry a steep price tag, which should be to no surprise. Meyer is the less expensive of the two at $45. Morgan on the other hand is $52. If you can’t decide which to favor, it may not be a bad idea to pick them both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: article 

/tips/2015-07-03-scott-canterbury-fireworks-fanatic

Scott Canterbury: Fireworks Fanatic

If you’re looking to put together an impressive Independence Day celebration this year, you might seek the consultative advice of Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury. He happens to be a professional when it comes to fireworks. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-martin-earns-first-aoy-title

Martin Earns First AOY Title

Prior to the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season, Scott Martin had banked a total of three top-10 Angler of the Year finishes in his 15-year career as a pro. It was impressive, but not indicative of his greatness. The truth of the matter is that Scott Martin was a winner, always taking risks in search of equal reward. That risky fishing has led Martin to more than $2 million in earnings, a Forrest Wood Cup win and four Tour-level wins. But the gambles burned him often enough that he never earned AOY. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-30-birge-dominates-roy-race

Birge Dominates ROY Race

Zack Birge isn’t wasting any time filling out his tournament-fishing resume. The Oklahoman won the 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Wheeler Lake last fall then joined up on the Walmart FLW Tour for 2015 and went on a season-long tear that earned him the Rookie of the Year award. Birge, alongside his wife, Kristina, was presented with his ROY trophy this afternoon on the weigh-in stage at the Potomac River tournament, where he finished in 77th place. He finished 29th overall in the AOY standings to best a group of 18 rookies. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-27-flw-signs-contract-for-south-korean-tournaments

FLW Signs Contract for South Korean Tournaments

At the day-two weigh-in of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River, FLW signed a contract that inked an exclusive licensing agreement with MirooNamoo Media Group from South Korea to begin sanctioning FLW bass fishing tournaments in the Eastern-Asian country. South Korea will run a series of FLW tournaments that advance anglers, who are citizens of the host country, to a new International Division at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship beginning in 2016. Two anglers will compete as pros with FLW providing Ranger boats, and two will compete as co-anglers. The top pro award at the Rayovac FLW Series Championship is $95,000, including a Ranger Z518C if the pro is Ranger Cup qualified, and the top co-angler award is a Ranger Z117. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-26-hunter-captures-co-angler-of-the-year-title

Hunter Captures Co-angler of the Year Title

Things couldn’t have worked out any better for first-year Walmart FLW Tour co-angler John Hunter, who wrapped up a phenomenal season from the back of the boat to win Co-angler of the Year and the Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard that goes with it. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-26-aoy-update-martin-controls-his-destiny-

AOY Update: Martin Controls His Destiny

Scott Martin is on the verge of winning the only major FLW title that has escaped him to this point: Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year. As John Cox and Bryan Thrift stumbled in the Walmart FLW Tour season finale on the Potomac River, Martin steamed ahead and made the top-20 cut in 11th place with 26 pounds, 9 ounces. The way the math checks out, if Martin finishes 19th place or better, he’ll win AOY. If he finishes 20th, he’ll be tied with Cox. The tiebreaker awards AOY to the angler with the most total weight for the season. If he finishes 20th, Martin can still win by bringing at least 11-13 to the scale on day three. Anything less and Cox survives to win. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-25-on-the-bubble-for-the-cup-

On the Bubble for the Cup

By rule, the top 35 anglers in the Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings make the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita Aug. 20-23. However, when a Tour pro pre-qualifies through another of FLW’s tournament circuits and also finishes in the top 35, an additional Cup invitation is extended to the angler in 36th place, and on down the list in the event of additional double qualifications. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-24-a-bass-fisherman-in-need

A Bass Fisherman in Need

Friends of FLW College Fishing angler David Cosner have established a fund to help the Texas fisherman pay medical bills associated with his long battle with Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a debilitating disease that gradually destroys the organs. Cosner, who founded the Texas State University Bass Cats and was named to the 2010 FLW College Fishing All-America team, was diagnosed with the rare disease in 2009 when he was 17 and since has had to undergo 215 surgeries. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-22-coy-and-roy-on-the-line

COY and ROY on the Line

FLW is hauling a lot of hardware to Maryland this week for the final stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The world’s largest tournament fishing organization is also going to be writing some fat checks. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-18-father-of-david-dudley-passes

Father of David Dudley Passes

James Dudley, the father of longtime Walmart FLW Tour pro David Dudley, passed away June 17 after a lengthy illness. He was a lifetime resident of Lynchburg, Va., and a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church. Like his son, James Dudley was also a tournament fisherman and competed in 73 FLW events. He finished in the top 10 in eight of them. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-12-is-this-the-new-bass-fishing-capital-of-the-south-

Is this the New Bass Fishing Capital of the South?

Dayton, Tenn., is situated on Richland Creek, a tributary that flows into the western side of Lake Chickamauga, one of the hottest bass fisheries in the country. Local officials with a flair for marketing – and good business sense – believe that Chickamauga can be the sellable “brand” that attracts bass fishermen to come and spend their time and their money in Dayton. They believe that old-fashioned Southern hospitality and small-town charm, plus trophy bass, are just the recipe for turning Dayton into “The New Bass Fishing Capital of the South.” READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-09-bass-bbq-is-back

Bass & BBQ is Back

Bass fishing and barbecue are favorite Southern pastimes, made even better when you spice them up with a little competition. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-04-bfl-payouts

BFL Payouts

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-01-2015-flw-tv-schedule

2015 FLW TV Schedule

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-01-miss-nina-wins-more-accolades

Miss Nina Wins More Accolades

When the letter that notified Nina Wood that she was being inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame came awhile back, she was a bit surprised. None of the rest of us was. In a sense, it was a restatement of the obvious, another in a long line of awards and recognition earned by the co-founder of Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-19-missed-opportunities-at-beaver-lake

Missed Opportunities at Beaver Lake

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-strader-maintains-lead-at-halfway-mark

Strader Maintains Lead At Halfway Mark

Midway through the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, Tennessee pro Wes Strader is in first place in the Angler of the Year race, and his prospects for winning it are as good as anyone’s. Two upcoming events, at lakes Eufaula and Chickamauga, “fish” in a way that suits his style, and he has a good track record on the Potomac River, the last Tour stop of 2015. A good finishing kick could earn the veteran his first AOY title. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-10-mother-of-ramie-colson-jr-passes

Mother of Ramie Colson Jr. Passes

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-07-community-outreach-sportsmanship-award-

Community Outreach (Sportsmanship Award)

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-tornadoes-sweep-across-oklahoma

Tornadoes Sweep Across Oklahoma

2014 Rayovac FLW Series Champion Zack Birge, whose appears in the Central Division Tournament on Kentucky Lake was cut short by tornados at his home town in Oklahoma, characterized the damage to his house as “a near miss.” READ MORE »