UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Hawkes soars into Cumberland lead

Hawkes soars into Cumberland lead
Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, leads the FLW Series on Lake Cumberland after day two with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 10 ounces.

SOMERSET, Ky. - Keeper smallmouths, those that are at least 18 inches in length and weigh 3 to 5 pounds apiece, continue to steal the show at the Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland.

Today, Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, jumped into the lead by bringing another 14 pounds, 6 ounces - made up mostly of smallmouths - for a two-day total of 28 pounds, 10 ounces.

The forecasted thunderstorms never developed in the Cumberland region Thursday, and anglers were once again forced to fish in bright sun and partly cloudy skies.

When talking smallmouths, many of the leaders are using the words "very specific places" to describe their best areas. Of course they don't want to give the details of these specifics for print with two days of the tournament still remaining, but there apparently is a strong pattern going on for the smallmouth bite.

Hawkes, for example, noted that he has four of these specific areas located throughout the lake. He described these areas as being about 40- to 50-foot stretches that feature spawning smallmouths in 8 to 12 feet of water. He fishes each place extremely slow, spending about an hour on each one and using finesse tactics on 6-pound-test Bass Pro Shops fluorocarbon line.

"I definitely think they're spawning," he said. "If I miss one, I can usually make the same presentation later in the day and get the fish to bite again, and that tells me they're guarding nests. But if you miss the cast by a couple feet, you won't get the bite, so I'm working at a snail's pace, covering every inch of water."

Hawkes also said he has been trying to spend two or three hours of each tournament day "practicing" to find new places that fit the bill. He located another place today that might figure into his plans for the rest of the week.

Wendlandt holds on to second

Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, bolstered his 16-14 limit yesterday with 10-12Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, is in second with a two-day total of  27 pounds, 10 ounces. today for a two-day total of 27 pounds, 10 ounces.

Yesterday, Wendlandt discovered one of those "specific" smallmouth haunts holding spawning smallies for the bulk of his weight, but that place was not as good for him today.

"I did catch my best smallmouth there today, but it was the only keeper that place gave up," he said. "I'm done with that area now, and I'm going to move on to something new tomorrow."

Wendlandt said he has a bunch of "pound and three-quarter spotted bass" located on bed, but he wants to gamble on another smallmouth area tomorrow.

"I'll probably sight-fish for the spots until I get about 7 or 8 pounds, and then I'm going to make a long run to a place where I caught a few smallmouths in practice," he said. "I haven't been there in the tournament yet, so I really have no idea what to expect out of it tomorrow."

Yelas moves to third

Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, shows off a 5-2 smallmouth. He is in third with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 9 ounces.Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas, improved his position from ninth to third today with a 14-pound limit, which gives him a two-day total of 25 pounds, 9 ounces.

Yelas also has "one specific spot" producing his better smallmouths, but his fish are coming from depths of 19 to 23 feet.

"I'm fishing a deep point, and I think most of these are postspawn fish," he said. "I can see a bunch of them on my Lowrance graph, but getting them to bite is pretty difficult."

Yelas did trick three of the deep smallmouths into biting, including one weighing 5-2, by employing 6-pound-test Vanish fluorocarbon.

"It took me about seven minutes to get that fish in the boat," he said. "It's one of the biggest smallmouths I've ever caught in a tournament, and it was definitely the meanest smallie I've ever tangled with."

Yelas captured his three smallmouths by 10:30 a.m. and then scrambled to catch a couple of spotted bass off beds.

"It's definitely a morning bite," he added about his smallmouth hole. "If we ever get some clouds and rain in here, though, I think I could catch them all day and have a better chance at weighing a bag of solid smallies."

Hoernke fourth

Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, is in fourth place with a two-day total Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, is in fourth with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 6 ounces.of 25 pounds, 6 ounces.

Although Hoernke reported catching more fish than yesterday, he ended up with three keeper smallmouths, weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces today.

"I'm catching a bunch of smallmouths, but so many of them are just under 18 inches, it's sickening," he said.

In language that sounded almost verbatim to Hawkes' pattern, Hoernke described his smallmouth holes as "very specific places" that require slow, tedious fishing with finesse tactics.

Hoernke did reveal he is fishing about 10 feet of water in the backs of creeks and that he, too, thinks his fish are spawning.

"I'm fishing so slow, it would put you to sleep to watch me," he said. "Since this lake is so big, it's easy to get caught up in fishing fast and covering water. But it seems the slower I go, the better I do. I'm literally picking these little areas apart inch by inch."

Salewske holds on to fifth

Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., is in fifth with a two-day total of  24 pounds, 13 ounces.Talk about big smallmouths - Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., has not weighed in a five-bass limit yet, and he still managed fifth place with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 13 ounces.

Salewske caught four bass Wednesday and three today, but six of them have been giant smallmouths.

Salewske is fishing 20 to 25 feet deep with a Spot Remover and a drop-shot on 6- and 8-pound-test line.

"I've got about a two-mile stretch in one creek, and I just keep fishing it slowly, back and forth," he said. "I found the fish on a rainy day with a reaction bait and really caught them good. But I haven't been able to fish that bait again since it got so sunny and calm."

Rest of best

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

6th: Steve Wright of Oskaloosa, Iowa, with a two-day total of 24-2
7th: Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., with a two-day total of 21-12
8th: R.J. Bennett of Roseville, Calif., with a two-day total of 21-10
9th: Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., with a two-day total of 19-15
10th: Johnny Crase of Lexington, Ky., with a two-day total of 19-7

The big-bass leader in the Pro Division continues to be Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., with a 6-pound largemouth he caught Wednesday.

Koone not letting up in Co-angler Division

Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., caught just one bass today, but it was a 4-pounderKevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., continues to lead the FLW Series on Lake Cumberland with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 1 ounce., enough to hold the Co-angler Division lead with a two-day total of 14 pounds, 1 ounce and set his sights on a second FLW Series victory in row.

Koone collected $20,000 for his first win at Lake Lanier several weeks ago, and now he is poised to collect another $20,000 when the co-angler winner is crowned tomorrow.

"I'm pretty excited," Koone said. "I just have to go out there, fish my best and let the chips fall where they may."

What's the secret to Koone's success?

"I'm just sticking with what I have the most confidence in," he said. "Right now that's a watermelon-candy finesse worm rigged on a 1/8-ounce jighead with 8-pound line. I committed to that one bait most of the day, got one bite and it was a 4-pounder."

In second place, roughly a pound behind Koone, is John Wilson of Hazelwood, N.C., with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 15 ounces.

David Hudson of Jasper, Ala., is in third with a two-day total of 11 pounds, 5 ounces.

J.B. King of Byrdstown, Tenn., is in fourth with a two-day total of 11 pounds, 3 ounces.

Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., is in fifth with a two-day total of 10 pounds, 8 ounces.

Rest of best

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

6th: Bill Stewart of Moore, Okla., with a two-day total of 10-2
7th: Kelly Barrett of Richmond, Ky., with a two-day total of 9-11
8th: Arch Cornett of Huntsville, Ala., with a two-day total of 9-2
9th: Jim Smith of Georgetown, Ky., with a two-day total of 9-0
10th: Kenny Botts of Tompkinsville, Ky., with a two-day total of 9-0

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

Day-three action resumes at General Burnside Park at 7 a.m. Friday.

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

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