UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Crase leads Cumberland

Crase leads Cumberland
Johnny Crase of Lexington, Ky., leads the FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland with 18 pounds, 3 ounces of smallmouth bass.

SOMERSET, Ky. - Despite a morning fog delay lasting two and a half hours, clear blue skies reigned the remainder of the day, and the Wal-Mart FLW Series weigh-in on Lake Cumberland saw a steady parade of anglers with plenty of fish Wednesday afternoon.

Spotted bass, which only need to be 12 inches or more in length to be deemed keepers, put a lot of names on the board in both the Pro and Co-angler divisions. But it was those anglers who targeted smallmouths, which must at least 18 inches to keep, who ended up on top of the leaderboard.

Johnny Crase of Lexington, Ky., was the only angler to bring in a limit of keeper smallmouths, and he currently owns the lead with 18 pounds, 3 ounces.

Although Crase can't actually see the fish, he is targeting what he believes to be spawning smallmouths in about 15 feet of water.

"The water has come up over top of them, but I think they're still on beds," he said. "I'm using a drop-shot on 8-pound-test to catch most of them, and then I've got a little something else figured out when it gets cloudy and rainy. I think clouds and rain would actually help me."

Crase added that he has about 10 productive spots located, but only visited four of them today.

Wendlandt second

Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, landed the Lake Cumberland triple crownClark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, is in second with 16 pounds, 14 ounces. today, which included three smallmouths, a spotted bass and a largemouth for 16 pounds, 14 ounces to take second place.

While sight-fishing took the largemouth and spotted bass, Wendlandt said the three smallmouths were on beds that were too deep to see.

"I know those smallmouth were on bed because I got all three of them to bite in practice, and I went right back to those same exact spots today and got all three of them to bite again," he said. "They were all in crevices or cracks in the bluffs in about 10 feet of water."

The problem is Wendlandt doesn't think he can catch the same kind of fish tomorrow.

"Those smallmouths were bedding in a real unique area, and I haven't found anything else like it on the lake," he added. "I think I can still catch some largemouths off beds, but as far as those big smallmouths go, I don't know where any more of those are located. I might visit that smallmouth spot again tomorrow, and unless some new ones move up, I'm pretty sure I've taken all it has to offer."

Hoernke third

Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, is in third place with 14 pounds, 11 ounces.Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, boated three smallmouth and two spotted bass for 14 pounds, 11 ounces and third place.

Hoernke, who made a long run this morning, was left with about three hours of fishing time today.

"I finally figured out the real specific stuff that the smallmouths were on this afternoon, and that helped me a bunch," he said. "In practice, I've been fishing down long stretches of bank and just getting a bite here and there. But today, it all came together and made a lot more sense. Once I started running the more specific stuff, the keeper smallies came a little easier."

Hoernke noted that he did catch one spotted bass off a bed to finish his limit, and he predicts that cloudier, windier conditions, which are forecasted, would likely help the overall smallmouth bite on Cumberland.

Hawkes fourth

Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, also reeled in a Lake Cumberland trifecta today, Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, is in fourth place with 14 pounds, 4 ounces.which included three smallmouths, for 14 pounds, 4 ounces, and he now stands in fourth place.

"I started the day sight-fishing and caught one keeper largemouth that way," Hawkes said. "But with such a short day, I decided to abandon the sight-fishing game plan because they take so long to catch. It's too easy to get hung up on one sight-fish and spend an hour on it and never catch it. So I went out deep with a little worm and a jig for smallmouths, and it ended up being the right thing to do."

Salewske fifth

Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., is in fifth place with 13 pounds, 3 ouncesRusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., landed four bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces for fifth place. His bag included three smallmouths and a spotted bass.

Salewske reported catching his fish on a Spot Remover jighead with a finesse worm on 6- and 8-pound line in 15 to 18 feet of water.

"I had been catching some good ones earlier in the week on swimbaits," he said. "But with the bright sun and high skies today, that bite went away, and I fished the same areas with the finesse worm and it seemed to work better."

Rest of best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Wal-Mart FLW Series on Lake Cumberland:

6th: Al Little of Greensboro, N.C., four bass, 13-1
7th: R.J. Bennett of Roseville, Calif., five bass, 12-15
8th: Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., five bass, 12-10
9th: Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, five bass, 11-9
10th: Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, five bass, 11-7

The big-bass leader in the Pro Division is Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., with a 6-pound largemouth.

Koone continues co-angler roll

If you don't believe in momentum in tournament bass fishing, consider the case ofLake Lanier winner Kevin Koone once again leads the Co-angler Division with a day-one catch of 10 pounds, 1 ounce. Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark.

Koone won the inaugural FLW Series tournament on Lake Lanier as a co-angler, and today he took the lead in the second FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland with three smallmouths for 10 pounds, 1 ounce.

Koone reported catching his bass near the dam in 10 feet of water while fishing with Bill Stutzman of Nampa, Idaho.

"I should have had a limit of those big smallmouths, but I broke several off," Koone said. "Light line, big smallmouth and big rocks don't mix."

Jim Smith of Georgetown, Ky., holds down second place in the Co-angler Division with five bass for 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

Ken Cothran of Locust Grove, Ga., is in third with four bass weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

Arch Cornett of Huntsville, Ala., is in fourth place with three bass at 6 pounds, 1 ounce.

Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., is in fifth with two bass totaling 5 pounds, 11 ounces.

Rest of best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the Wal-Mart FLW Series on Lake Cumberland:

6th: John Wilson of Hazelwood, N.C., three bass, 5-6
7th: Mike Miller of Somerset, Ky., one bass, 5-5
8th: Fred McCormick of Greenville, Ind., one bass 5-0
9th: Jared Ballard of Fayetteville, Ark., three bass, 4-12
9th: JB King of Byrdstown, Tenn., two bass, 4-12
9th: Bill Stewart of Moore, Okla., two bass, 4-12

The big-bass leader in the Co-angler Division is Mike Miller with his 5-pound, 5-ounce smallmouth.

Day-two action of the FLW Series resumes at General Burnside Park at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2006-05-03-lake-cumberland 

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