UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Kilby in control at Pickwick

Kilby in control at Pickwick
Pro Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Ark., caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces to take a commanding lead on day one of the $900,000 Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Pickwick Lake.

FLORENCE, Ala. - Every once in a while, Rob Kilby comes out of nowhere and pops a big bag of bass when nobody's looking. The pro from Hot Springs, Ark., did it again Wednesday at Pickwick Lake by catching a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces to take a commanding lead in the Pro Division on day one of Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition.

"I guess I got a little luckier than most people today," he said. "I caught some good fish in practice, but I only practiced two and a half days. One day I caught good ones, and the next day, not so good. A lot of these areas where the fish are coming out of, they're just 2-, 2 1/2-pounders."

Kilby's sack, which was almost 4 pounds heavier than second-place Brennan Bosley's, held a few fish better than 2 pounds. He said he caught seven keeper bass, mainly largemouth, and landed his bigger fish early in the day.

Given tough fishing conditions with water temperatures down into the 40s and water levels fluctuating heavily on the Tennessee River, top anglers were especially guarded about their techniques Wednesday. Kilby said he caught fish on jigs and jerkbaits in "both shallow and deep water" and admitted that he fished on Wheeler and Wilson lakes.

Beyond that, good fishing information is understandably hard to come by at this tough tournament. Just 17 pros caught limits, and no one was even close to Kilby's leading weight.

"I'm pretty much fishing for one or two kinds of bites," he said.

This was Kilby's first limit over 20 pounds in FLW Tour competition since he led day one of the Old Hickory Lake tournament in 2002. However, he's a consistent top-50 pro in the standings with seven FLW Championship berths to his name. Notably, his most recent big limit - 17 pounds, 12 ounces - came on day one at Wheeler Lake last year. So there's little doubt about where he plans to go tomorrow.

"Yeah, I just don't like fishing Pickwick," he said.

Brennan Bosley patched together a limit weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces, good for second place on opening day at Pickwick Lake.Bosley keeps bombing, claims second

Sticking to the game plan that earned him $100,000 for second place at Lake Murray, Bosley patched together a limit weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces, good for second place on opening day at Pickwick Lake as well.

"The Bomber Flat A (crankbait) is still working for me," the pro from Benton, Ark., said. "Only this time I'm throwing at wood instead of rock."

Bosley worked his crankbait in about 7 to 9 feet of water on Pickwick Lake and picked up a fish here and there throughout the day until he had his limit.

"They're pretty spread out. It's not like I can pull up to a spot and catch five of them," he said. "I've got about five or six areas holding fish."

Bosley is clearly on a roll. He said, along with the confidence he has in his trusty crankbait, his big payday last month has helped him coming into this event.

"I'm a lot more relaxed now," he said. "I'm not looking just to make the top 50 anymore; I'm looking for a win."

Gabe Bolivar tied Ramie Colson Jr. for third place on day one with a limit weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces.Bolivar, Colson tied for third

Fishing a relatively small stretch of bank on Pickwick Lake, Gabe Bolivar of Ramona, Calif., extended his streak on this waterway by catching a limit weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces. He placed third in the Pro Division.

"I've got an area that fishes really similar to an area on Lake Mead," said Bolivar, who threw crankbaits in water less than 3 feet deep. "You've just got to grind it out, make it through the tough times, and sooner or later you'll catch one here and there. I do like catching them here. With this type of deal where you have small weights, you can make up a lot of ground in one day."

Bolivar's last visit to Pickwick Lake ended in a 1-ounce decision for second place at last November's Stren Series Championship.

Coming in with 14 pounds, 4 ounces was pro Ramie Colson Jr. of Cadiz, Ky., who tied for third.Also coming in with 14 pounds, 4 ounces was Ramie Colson Jr. of Cadiz, Ky., who tied Bolivar for third.

"I was just pitching a lizard and throwing a crankbait around stumps," said Colson, who ran up to Wheeler Wednesday. "There are thousands of stumps in there. It's just a matter of trying to figure out which ones the fish are holding on."

David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, placed fifth for the pros with a limit weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces.Curtis fifth

David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, placed fifth for the pros with a limit weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces.

"I really outdid myself today," he said. "I have not caught them at all in practice. I just went to an area where I caught one keeper and one short fish in practice and just kind of tried my luck. Within a couple of hours, I had a limit. It was a really fortunate day of fishing."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on day one at Pickwick Lake:

6th: Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., five bass, 13-11
7th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 13-10
8th: Mark Pack, Mineola, Texas, five bass, 13-2
9th: Nate Wellman, Jenison, Mich., five bass, 12-8
10th: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., four bass, 11-7

Sam Swett of Covington, La., caught a 6-pound, 2-ounce largemouth to win the $750 Snickers Big Bass Award in the Pro Division.

Judy Israel of Clewiston, Fla., leads the Co-angler Division with four bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces, including this lunker bass weighing 6 pounds.Israel back in hunt, leads co-anglers

Fresh off an eighth-place showing at Lake Murray, Judy Israel wasted no time at Pickwick Lake. The co-angler from Clewiston, Fla. - the only female angler ever to win an FLW Tour event (Atchafalaya Basin, 2004) - grabbed the lead on day one with a four-bass weight of 13 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I'm focused and my heart is burning," she said. "I just have a burning desire to win."

Israel, who fished with pro Todd Auten Wednesday and caught her fish - including a 6-pound kicker largemouth - on spinnerbaits and jigs, credited a pair of local anglers for giving her bait tips for fishing the Tennessee River. That, plus she said she has newfound confidence in a new technique.

"I met them in Alabama many years ago. Once they heard we were coming, they told me what to throw under each circumstance," she said. "Plus, this year I decided to throw big jigs and go for big fish."

Second place on the co-angler side went to Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., for five bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces.

"I was throwing a chatterbait around shallow trees and lay-downs," he said. "I caught six keepers and four shorts. That 5-pounder I caught about 2:30."

Arch Cornett of Huntsville, Ala., grabbed the third position for the co-anglers with a four-bass weight of 10 pounds, 6 ounce.

Fourth place went to co-angler Alex Ormand of Bessemer City, N.C., for three bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers was Bill Gift of Alix, Ark., who caught five bass weighing 9 pounds even.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers:

6th: Trevor Jancasz, White Pigeon, Mich., three bass, 8-1
7th: Ken Keirsey, Owasso, Okla., three bass, 7-14
8th: Monty Yeager, Florence, Ala., two bass, 7-2
9th: Randy Duncan, Killen, Ala., three bass, 7-1
10th: Matt Scheipeter, St. Louis, one bass, 6-5

Scheipeter earned $375 for Snickers Big Bass on the co-angler side.

Three co-anglers caught limits.

Day two of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition at Pickwick begins as the full field of 200 boats takes off from McFarland Park in Florence at 7 a.m. Central time Thursday for the second half of the opening round. Following tomorrow's action, both fields will be cut to the top 10 anglers apiece based on two-day total weight.

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2006-03-01-pickwick-lake 

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