UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Kentucky Lake's Top-10 Patterns

Clent Davis went for the win this week by relying on the magnum spoon.

To earn his first Walmart FLW Tour victory Skip Johnson went old school with a big worm.

PARIS LANDING, Tenn. - Skip Johnson put together a day-four best 24-pound stringer on Sunday to climb his way to the top of the leaderboard in the Walmart FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake presented by Evinrude and hosted by Henry County Alliance. 

Johnson relied on a Western Plastics 8-inch worm in crawdad color and a footbal jig. His competition threw every tool in the ledge angler's arsenal at the fish this week. 

The stories of the rest of the top 10, along with their go-to lures, are detailed below.

To read more about Johnson's winning program, click here.

 

To help take the Rookie of the Year title and make a top 10, Jason Lambert lobbed the magnum spoon around.2nd place – Jason Lambert – 87 pounds, 8 ounces – $30,000

Over a span of about a month, Jason Lambert has spent 11 days in competition on the Tennessee River system with FLW. That includes top-10 finishes in the Rayovac FLW Series on Kentucky Lake (second place), Walmart FLW Tour on Pickwick Lake (eighth place) and Walmart FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake (second place). 

In every event, Lambert applied his run-and-gun strategy to find and fish as many schools as possible. Now that the grueling stretch is over, Lambert is the 2014 Tour Rookie of the Year, and he’s headed to the Forrest Wood Cup.

“I’m tired,” he says, “but today was pretty good.”

It took a few hours for Lambert to get dialed in today. He had a limit by 11:30, but spent most of the early hours catching one or two fish here and there.

Then at 1:45, when he made his third stop on a particular school, Lambert lit up the live on-the-water feed at FLWOutdoors.com.

“I pulled in and fired one [a school] up,” he says. “I caught a 5 1/2, a 5 and a bunch of 3 1/2s. I had that hole to myself. I could pull in and fish it whenever I wanted. When I fished it the last time, they were hungry.”

Today was actually a bit of a slower-paced day for the Pickwick Dam, Tenn., pro, at least by his standards. He only fished 20 spots and burned 38 gallons of gas. His schools this week were spread nearly from Kenlake State Resort Park near Aurora, Ky., to New Johnsonville, Tenn.

Lambert was one of the pros who mopped up on Kentucky Lake with the breakout new Ben Parker Signature Series Magnum Spoon (8 inches long, weighing 3 ounces) this week. He also caught fish on the Castaic Jerky J series of soft-plastic shad lures, which he rigged on a trio of vibrating jigheads. The lures produced a final-day stringer of 22 pounds, 14 ounces.

In the end, this summertime season couldn’t have been scripted better for Lambert. He was able to finish out on the system of fisheries where he’s most familiar, and in the time of year when he can apply his expertise at ledge fishing. In the process, Lambert stepped up under the pressure of major competition and proved that he can hang with the biggest names in the ledge game.

 

Snickers pro Jim Moynagh used the All Terrain Tackle Jim Moynagh's Football Jig and a swimbait to dredge up over 86 pounds of bass and third place. 3rd place – Jim Moynagh – 86 pounds, 13 ounces – $25,000

It’s no surprise that a football jig was one of the key lures for Snickers pro Jim Moynagh this week. After all, All-Terrain Tackle makes a football jig that’s named after the Minnesota pro. He also caught some of his fish on a swimbait.

The biggest hurdle for Moynagh was figuring out how to sustain the action once he was able to get a school to fire.

“Today I got off to a good start, and I couldn’t finish it off,” he says. “The fish I caught late in the day were all small.”

Moynagh spent a few hours this morning on his first spot near Moors Resort at Kentucky Lake’s northern extreme. He managed to get a limit there from a stretch of ledge with a couple of key sweet spots.

After bagging a limit, Moynagh rotated through his remaining waypoints, but the bite just shut off midday. At point, he checked five spots before he even marked fish again. Despite the afternoon lull, he still brought 23 pounds, 2 ounces to the scale. It just wasn’t enough to keep up with Skip Johnson’s pace.

“I’m not sure what was going on,” he says. “They didn’t ‘re-fire.’ I’d catch them, then they’d be done [when he came back]. A lot of my schools were gone this afternoon.”

 

For Haynes, the magnum spoon and a crankbait were the deal on Kentucky Lake.4th place – Randy Haynes – 85 pounds, 11 ounces – $20,000

Many fishing fans expected 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Kentucky Lake champion Randy Haynes to go back-to-back on the famed ledge fishery when the Tour rolled into Paris. And at a few points this week, it looked like he just might do it. But Haynes ended slightly less than 3 pounds shy of defending his Kentucky Lake crown.

It was somewhat of an up-and-down final day for Haynes, but it ended with what he says was some of the best fishing he’s had on the lake in awhile. Haynes weighed 22 pounds, 9 ounces.

The biggest challenge came midday when he lost a pair of bass that weighed more than 5 pounds each.

“I went through a little meltdown for about four hours,” he says. “I lost it mentally. I just couldn’t see what I was looking for [on the sonar].”

Thankfully, Haynes was able to pull it together in kind of an unusual way. He landed a brute striped bass that was swimming among some keeper black bass. When he caught that fish, it clued him into what he needed to look for with the depth finder.

“I ended up getting a 4,” he says. “The next spot I got a 4 ½, then a 5 and a 4 1/2. I had the lake to myself. I was calling the shots. Everything was right. It was some of the best fishing I had all week, once I figured out what I was looking for. I just ran out of time.”

Haynes was among the contingent launching the new Magnum Spoon. He also used a Profound Outdoors Z-Boss 20 crankbait and a 1-ounce Profound Outdoors Swampers jig.

 

Clent Davis went for the win this week by relying on the magnum spoon.5th place – Clent Davis – 84 pounds, 3 ounces – $19,000

Clent Davis was also launching mega metal this week. Like the other pros that were in on the Magnum Spoon release, he had a few issues keeping fish hooked up, particularly on one school – the only school he says he could make fire today, getting four bites in as many casts.

“I caught two weigh fish with it and lost two very big ones that I would have weighed in,” Davis says about the flurry.

His other go-to lure was a swimbait that he prefers to remain nameless.

Davis spent his tournament fishing from about a quarter-mile north of the Paris Landing takeoff site to Kentucky Dam.

“I probably ran 40 to 50 spots this week,” he says. “I spent a week searching before the Rayovac and probably found another 12 or so schools this week. I spent my practice flat out idling from daylight to dark.”

Like Moynagh, Davis had good success early but couldn’t maintain the pace all day. He brought in a final-day stringer of 21 pounds, 8 ounces.

“I caught them from 8:30 until 12,” he says. “After that I didn’t catch anything that I put in the box.”

 

Redington relied on a white jig tipped with a Lake Fork Tackle Boot Tail Magic Shad.6th place – Tom Redington – 83 pounds, 12 ounces – $18,000

For two consecutive days, it looked like deep-water expert Tom Redington had figured out how to consistently unlock Kentucky Lake’s ledges no matter if the fish were active or dormant. He just couldn’t maintain the momentum today. The Texas pro, who led the event Friday and Saturday, brought in a final-day limit of 18 pounds, his smallest limit of the week.

The first two days, Redington had a limit spot where he could go and get five quickly to take off the pressure. But the last two days, it never fired, and he had to scramble.

“My starting school was totally gone,” he says. “[Today] it was blown out on the east side of the lake from the wind. The west side was more protected. I had to focus on that side, and I didn’t have as much there. It took until 9 to get a limit.

Redington keyed on shallow ledges that topped out at around 8 to 10 feet. He says he had to hunt and peck his way from takeoff to the Moors area this morning just to find a few schools of fish spread out through 15 to 20 spots that he graphed with sonar.

“I saw two that were in the right formation, like they were when I was able to blast them before,” he says. “It was in the last hour. But I just caught little ones.”

Redington caught his fish this week using lures and techniques that he felt the fish hadn’t seen – not the same spoons and crankbaits others were using. His better ones came by slow-rolling a bladed jighead with a swimbait trailer and by stroking a jig.

 

A jig and topwater carried Hite through the Kentucky Lake event.7th place – Brett Hite – 83 pounds, 2 ounces – $17,500

Brett Hite made a lot of noise on the first day of the tournament with a first-place, 24-pound, 14-ounce limit. But he fell off on day two with just 16-13 and was never able to make up the difference.

On the final day, he weighed 18 pounds, 12 ounces.

“I went to the spot where I caught them yesterday and the day before, and they weren’t on bottom. They were all scattered out,” Hite says.

He caught just two keepers from the spot in the morning.

“I came back at 11:45,” Hite continues. “They were fired up. I stayed there the rest of they day. They were biting every cast. I just could not dial in on the cast to consistently catch those 4- to 5-pounders.”

Hite fished only two spots the entire week, both at the far southern end of the lake. The spot where he camped and caught all of his day-one weight is a point formed where a creek channel connects to the main river channel.

His second spot, which Hite unlocked on the second afternoon and relied on through the rest of the tournament, is located where the river makes a bend. A “blow-through,” or depression, along the face of the ledge creates a current funnel, and Hite set up on the point formed at the downstream side. A mussel bed sweetened the top of the point.

“It’s a half-moon depression,” he says. “I was sitting on top casting out onto the point and bringing it back. With my 10-foot [Minn Kota] Talons, I was able to ‘Talon down’ and cast out.”

Hite relied on a 3/4-ounce Evergreen Reaction football jig with a Yamamoto craw trailer on the first day. A drop-shot and 10-inch Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm worked better in the later rounds. Hite even worked in a topwater.

 

Andrew Upshaw made the top 10 with a swimbait and a crankbait.8th place – Andrew Upshaw – 82 pounds, 4 ounces – $16,000

Today was about new scenery for Andrew Upshaw.

“I didn’t catch a fish off any spots where I caught them the previous three days,” he says. “I beat them up for three days. So I decided to scrap my early stuff and run north.

“Yesterday I had an early morning deal, and I caught them pretty good before 9,” he continues. “I didn’t see the potential there to win today. I had three more schools that were really good, and I knew it was risky to save them.”

He made the call to lay off those final-day schools the first three days because he knew how much potential his southern spots had this week. It turned out to be a profitable gamble.

“I pulled up to one spot I’d saved and probably caught 15 to 20 fish on it,” he says. “When I looked at my SideScan, I knew it was on. No doubt about it. I stopped fishing stuff where I didn’t see them.”

Upshaw sacked up a strong final limit of 19 pounds, 14 ounces to increase his total to 82-4.

His list of lures included a Strike King 6XD crankbait, swimbait, Mega Spoon and Outkast casting jig (his own brand-new signature series) rigged with a Gene Larew HooDaddy.
 

Scott Canterbury utilized a jig and a big worm to produce his catches.9th place – Scott Canterbury – 18 pounds, 7 ounces – $15,000

Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury came into the final day in 10th place. With nothing to lose, the Alabama pro decided to swing for the fences and completely scrap the program that got him to Sunday.

The first three days, Canterbury fished a dozen 16- to 23-foot-deep spots at the north end of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, which is connected to Kentucky by a canal up north near the two reservoirs’ dams. Today, he flip-flopped and ran to Kentucky Lake’s shallower upper end, far down south in Tennessee waters.

“It was a grind for me,” Canterbury says. “I was 90 miles away from where I’d been fishing, trying to catch a big bag. I just never had a big bite. I knew I needed 24 pounds to have a chance.”

The spots he ran today were among a handful he found on the final day of practice, which is the only day he spent scouting the lake’s southern end.

His Barkley pattern also developed during a short window in practice, and it produced two keepers per day through Saturday.

“I spent a half-day of practice there trying to find a big school,” Canterbury says. “I knew I needed 17 pounds a day to make the Cup, and I knew there’d be fewer people there.”

Canterbury relied on the entire ledge-fishing arsenal: Dirty Jigs football jig, Bruiser Baits worm, swimbait, crankbait and Magnum Spoon.

His day-four limit weighed 18 pounds, 7 ounces.

 

A Luck E Strike Sneaky Snake did the trick for Tim Malone this week.10th place – Tim Malone – 14 pounds, 8 ounces – $14,000

While some pros prepped their boats for a long morning run each day, Tim Malone had it easy. He drove out of the marina, rounded the corner under a bridge and shut it down on his best spot.

“My primary deal was one area,” he says. “It’s a stretch of rock ridge in shallow water. The top was 4 feet deep – 2 in some areas. That [the depth] was the death of me today. I had 3-footers blowing on it all day. I think it just pushed them off it.

“It’s not on any map,” Malone adds. “It’s not something you can find on a map chip. I found it by idling a shallow flat and looking for something different. I never had another boat on it all week.”

That spot produced about 15 of Malone’s weigh-in fish this week. When it failed to fire up the final morning, he scrambled to a pair of back-up spots: a grass spot upstream that churned out a 7-pounder earlier in the week and a deep-water point. He just didn’t have enough in reserve to catch the leaders and brought in only 14 pounds, 8 ounces the final day.

Malone’s key lures this week were a Luck-e-Strike Sneaky Snake worm, a Yum Money Minnow swimbait and a homemade jig.

 

For complete results, click here.

Tags: curtis-niedermier  post-tournament  2014-06-26-kentucky-lake-paris-landing 

/tips/2016-07-28-flw-podcast-128-mark-rose

FLW Podcast 128 - Mark Rose

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-23-1000-islands-day-3-midday-update

1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-22-1000-islands-midday-update-day-2

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-19-flw-podcast-126-icast

FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-14-2017-walmart-flw-tour-schedule

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-12-si-se-puede-yes-we-can

Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-5-rookie-lessons-learned

5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-flw-podcast-125-scott-martin

FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-review-lew-s-custom-speed-stick-lite

Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-reunited-and-it-feels-so-good

Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-2016-icast-preview

2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-07-flw-canada-kicks-off-at-tri-lakes

FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-tour-pro-cooksey-recovering-after-accident

FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-podcast-124-jeremy-lawyer

FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-29-stetson-blaylock-s-recipe-for-a-wacky-rig

Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-28-morgan-claims-third-flw-tour-angler-of-the-year-title

Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-24-three-things-by-dd-kentucky-lake

Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-23-how-to-catch-smallmouths-with-hair-jigs

How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-22-two-exciting-events-to-look-forward-to

Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-21-tagging-along-with-sprague-in-kentucky

Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »