UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Hawkes leads Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland

SOMERSET, KY. - Yamaha pro Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, caught a five-bass limit Thursday weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces to give him a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 28 pounds, 10 ounces to lead day two of the Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland near Somerset, Ky. Pros are competing for a first-place award of $100,000.

The bite has been tough on Lake Cumberland this week, and many anglers feel blessed to land three solid keepers each day. The minimum length limit for bass at this event is 18 inches for smallmouth bass, 15 inches for largemouth bass and 12 inches for spotted bass. Despite the trophy length limit placed on smallmouths, they have contributed to a vast majority of quality keepers. Smallies in the 4-pound range have been common this week.

"I decided yesterday to fish for smallmouths and go for the win," Hawkes said. "I went out and practiced for three hours this morning before I went to my best spot. I caught one keeper smallmouth and one keeper spot and found a couple more places to go. At 10:30 a.m. I had a limit and picked a new creek and went practicing some more. There are very isolated spots about the size of a pontoon boat in about 8 to 12 feet of water that are holding fish. But those spots are rare. I fish these spots slowly - for about 20 minutes - working my way all around them. Then I let them rest for an hour and come back to them. The fish are there, and you just have to beat those spots to death to get the bites."

Hawkes is using finesse baits on 6-pound-test line. It takes him several minutes to land each keeper smallmouth.

Kellogg's pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, maintained his second-place position with a five-bass limit weighing 10-12 His two-day total weighs 27-10. Wendlandt is sight-fishing and fishing cracks in bluff lines.

Yamaha pro Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, jumped up six places to third with a limit weighing 14 pounds, including his biggest smallmouth ever weighed in a tournament - 5 pounds, 2 ounces. His two-day total of 10 bass weighs 25-9.

"I'm using 6-pound-test Berkley Vanish, and it's taking me forever to land these big smallmouths. It took seven to 10 minutes to land the largest. It was like fighting a giant salmon.

"I caught bedding fish yesterday but just went fishing today for smallmouths. I caught all three of my big smallies on one point. I'm totally out of bedding fish, but that point is loaded with fish. I think they're postspawn fish, because they're not very active. They're just sitting on the bottom 19 to 23 feet deep recovering from the spawn. It was an early bite. We're going to need some clouds tomorrow to catch them later in the day."

Rounding out the top five pros are Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas (eight bass, 25 pounds, 6 ounces) and Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. (nine bass, 24 pounds, 13 ounces).

Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., the $20,000-winner of the season's first FLW Series event on Lake Lanier, leads the Co-angler Division for the second day in a row with four bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce. Koone, a college senior who won a boat fishing a tournament when he was 16 years old, leads by 18 ounces.

"I was doing the same thing I did yesterday and the same thing I did at Lanier - 1/8-ounce Shaky Head on a watermelon-candy worm. You have to pick up something you are confident in and stick with it."

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are John Wilson of Hazelwood, N.C. (six bass, 12 pounds, 15 ounces); David Hudson of Jasper, Ala. (five bass, 11 pounds, 5 ounces); J.B. King of Byrdstown, Tenn. (five bass, 11 pounds, 3 ounces); and Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C. (four bass, 10 pounds, 8 ounces).

The new $6.5 million FLW Series features five $900,000 qualifying tournaments, each with a top award of $100,000, that advance anglers to the $2 million, 2007 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million cash.

Anglers fishing the FLW Series tournament on Lake Cumberland will take off each morning at 7 from General Burnside Island State Park. Friday's weigh-in will also be held at the park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 177 Washington Drive in Somerset beginning at 4 p.m. Children will be treated to the Fujifilm trout pond and rides in the Kellogg's Ranger boat simulator beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday prior to the final weigh-in at Wal-Mart. All events are free and open to the public.

The entire field competes for the first three days of FLW Series events. Co-angler winners are determined on day three by the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.

Coverage of the Lake Cumberland FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing June 4. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely viewed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006. FLW Outdoors also recently announced the addition of a striped bass circuit, which will debut in May.

Tags: press-release  2006-05-03-lake-cumberland 

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