Winning and Losing on Kentucky Lake

After leading two days, Tom Redington fell from the top stop into 6th place with a 18 pound final-day limit.

Editor’s Note: The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW.

So there I was, near the Blood River, leading the Walmart FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake after days two and three, trying to concentrate and bring home the trophy and $100,000 top prize. Standing in my hip pocket was a cameraman, to my left were a dozen spectator boats, in front of me were 3-foot waves that periodically crashed over the front of the boat, and above me were clouds that intermittently threw rain and wind gusts my way. Oh yeah, and behind me, and I mean right behind me, were nine top pros who were all within a few pounds of my lead. Brutal conditions, a slow bite and a rapidly ticking clock … not exactly the meditative environment Plato or Aristotle would have chosen for contemplating the mysteries of life.

After my primary spots went dry on the final day, I focused on one spot that I’d found more than 10 years ago, a spot that wasn’t productive when I’d stopped there on days one, two and three. In contrast to the distractions in every direction, to my right was a familiar sight – the resort where I stayed during my first trip to Kentucky Lake.

Flash back to about 1997. I was a few years out of college and living in Wisconsin, winning a number of local tourneys by fishing grass beds or beating the bank and boat docks. A partner and I qualified for a championship tourney on Kentucky Lake, and we were ready to show up and take home the top prize. Oh, brother, was this cocky know-it-all ever in for a surprise at that tournament! While we struggled to bring in a few little ones for one of the last checks, a number of guys with deep-fishing knowledge brought in big bag after big bag of offshore toads. Humbled, I knew I needed to learn to fish offshore if I was ever going to be competitive in summertime events.

Learning to fish deep structure has been a long process, and I’m still figuring out a lot more each year. Some instruction from old-school gurus on Lake Fork years ago gave me a head start, but most of it has come after countless hours of graphing for fish with my Lowrance, then figuring out how to make them bite once located. Current, the season, new baits and fishing pressure continue to add a lot of variability to the equation, so things evolve day after day, and year after year.

In that moment of looking at the old Kentucky Lake resort, realizing how I’d come from a kid who wasn’t nearly as good as he thought he was to a fisherman who isn’t nearly as good as he’d like to become (though much nearer to it through a lot of hard work), all my nerves went away. I went to work on the fish, culling through most of my small early limit and getting one nice kicker.

Alas, I averaged more than 21 pounds per day but didn’t win. I wound up in sixth. Based on my practice, I had hoped to catch about 20 pounds a day, and I exceeded that, so I felt that I maximized my fish and executed well, never losing a bass that would have helped. In this case, I didn’t lose it, others just flat-out beat me, and I congratulate them for doing so well. Skip Johnson did a miraculous job of managing and adjusting to a killer school of fish and blasted 24 pounds the last day for the win. The rest of the top 20 reads like a who’s who of TVA fishing and some of the hottest sticks in the sport, including Jason Lambert, Jim Moynagh, Randy Haynes, Clent Davis, Brett Hite, Andrew Upshaw, Scott Canterbury, Tim Malone, John Voyles, Michael Neal, Scott Martin, Andy Morgan, Cody Meyer, Jason Christie, Ramie Colson Jr., Charlie Ingram, Alex Davis and Mark Rose.

Prize money and trophies are great, but measuring yourself against the best in the business is why most of us do it, me included. In addition to my success, my day-one co-angler Jason Johnson would have won the Co-angler of the Year if not for an inadvertent rule infraction, and I was really happy that my day-three co-angler Cody Kelley won the tournament. Mainly I was hoping to win it for all the friends and family who have supported and helped me, as well as for my sponsors, most of whom have stood by me since my fishing career began. These are companies that I truly believe in, such as Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine and the Boy Scouts of America. Not winning really stinks, but having the opportunity to win on the final day is awesome, and I eagerly await another chance.

You can follow Tom’s fishing tips and updates at and For fishing articles and videos, check out his website

Tags: blog  tom-redington 


Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »


So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »


A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »


A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »


Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »


3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »


East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »


From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »


Here We Go

The 2015 bass tournament season is officially underway and I am super-excited about the changing dynamics. There is no doubt that the economy is improving and the 250-boat field that fished the first Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee is testament to that. READ MORE »


Are You Taking Care of Business?

My dad started taking me fishing when I was two. My very first job was at Hi’s Tackle Box and after that I spent a few years working for Fisherman’s Choice. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to spend my life doing what I love and enjoy doing. READ MORE »


The Ebb and Flow of Sponsorships

Many of the readers who follow FLW know me as one of the pros who fishes the Walmart FLW Tour. What many of you don’t know is that I also work in the industry. I get to see what happens behind the scenes more than the average fisherman or fellow fan does. I get to see the sponsor contracts, and the ins and outs of how business works. READ MORE »


Ish Monroe Travels to China

Among the benefits of having sponsors are the unique opportunities that they provide to you. For instance, during this offseason I got to travel to China for the first time in my life to work with one of my main sponsors, River2Sea, designing and perfecting the Ish Monroe Series. I stopped in Hong Kong on my way there and back. It’s so high-tech and advanced; it’s amazing. READ MORE »


5 Must-Have Knots

Most anglers, pros included, look for any little edge to increase their catch, and that includes even the knots they tie to attach lures to their lines. With that in mind, picking the best knot to use with all of today’s lines can be a challenge. READ MORE »


Offseason with the Blaylocks



How to Approach a Potential Sponsor

For a lot of FLW anglers, it’s crunch time in regards to sewing up sponsorships for 2015. Whether you’re fishing at the high school or college level, in BFLs, the Rayovac FLW Series or on the Walmart FLW Tour, gaining some form of sponsorship is critical to enabling you to make a profit from competitive fishing. READ MORE »


The Future of Bass Fishing is in Good Hands

It’s been a couple months since I fished my last FLW event, the Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., where I got to watch history in the making. The championship weigh-in was very exciting as it featured the local favorite Anthony Gagliardi taking home the top prize with a 1-ounce margin of victory. READ MORE »


Changes in the Air

Another year gone, and another off-season flying by. I’m still trying to catch up on all the stuff around the house that I let go during the season. Chores like painting the garage or little fix-it-up jobs around the house and yard seem to never end. By the way, I am currently fighting it out with fire ants, and even though they seem to have won most of the battles so far, I guarantee they will not win the war. READ MORE »


When More is Better

Today’s Lowrance sonar/GPS combos are so powerful, even the entry-level units are waaaay more advanced than what was available just a few years ago before we had GPS, SideScan or DownScan. READ MORE »


Relaxed, But Reloading



The Realities of Sponsorships

Right now a lot of tournament fishermen are trying to land sponsor deals for 2015. Consequently, I guess it’s pretty accurate to say that the No. 1 question any long-term pro angler gets asked this time of year is, “How do I get sponsors?” READ MORE »