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King Kenney holds court on Okeechobee

King Kenney holds court on Okeechobee
BP pro JT Kenney reeled in 23 pounds, 2 ounces on day two of the FLW Series BP Eastern event on Lake Okeechobee to take a commanding lead with a two-day total of 40-05.

CLEWISTON, Fla. - J.T. Kenney of Port Charlotte, Fla., is the Pied Piper of Lake Okeechobee bass. His past Okeechobee accolades include an FLW Tour win, a BASS Open win and three other FLW Outdoors top-10s.

Today he once again displayed his inherent ability to lure bass to his BP Ranger livewell - 23 pounds, 2 ounces of bass to be exact - to take a commanding lead in the Wal-Mart FLW Series BP Eastern Division event.

In fact, Kenney's BP Ranger livewells actually contained 46 pounds, 10 ounces of bass - that's because his co-angler, Carl Norris of Hodgenville, Ky., sacked up 23 pounds, 8 ounces for himself.

All week long, FLW Series pros have talked about finding the mother lode of big bass on Okeechobee, and today Kenney struck pay dirt.

What's his secret?

"Basically, what I understand about this lake is that there are four or five general areas out there where there are major concentrations of bass, year after year, no matter if the lake is 18 feet (lake level) or 10 feet," Kenney explained. "Just because the water fluctuates, the fish do not swim 30 miles away. They're in those same general areas this time of year.

"But the areas are huge - five miles or so in size - and you have to spend the time to find the new sweet spots each year," he continued. "Like the fish we caught today, it took me a day and a half on the trolling motor only to find just three way points. But it's stupid how many fish are on those spots. This afternoon, I hit one spot where my co-angler and I caught them cast after cast for 50 minutes straight - it was unreal."

With northeast winds up to 25 mph on tap for tomorrow, Kenney said he is definitely concerned about his area getting trashed by wind.

"I just hope it doesn't blow until later in the day," he added. "I had about 20 pounds pretty quick this morning, so hopefully I can catch a few before it gets too bad."

Lane second

Day-one leader Russell Lane of Prattville, Ala., slipped to second place today Day one leader Russell Lane of Prattville, Ala., slipped to second place on day two with a 13-pound, 13-ounce limit of bass that gave him a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces.with a 13-pound, 13-ounce limit of bass that gave him a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces.

"I caught a limit on a crankbait in the rim canal first, then I went out looking for the big ones on the lake and I never found them," Lane said. "We're all looking for what J.T. found today, and you can see what happens when you find them like that."

Lane's game plan for tomorrow will be the same as today.

"I'll stay in the rim canal until I get a decent limit, then I'm headed out to the lake to see if I can find the big ones."

Grigsby jumps to third

Prilosec pro Chad Grigsby of Maple Grove, Minn., rocketed from 77th to third place on day two thanks to a 22-pound, 8-ounce limit of bass, which gives him a two-day total of 32 pounds, 15 ounces.Prilosec pro Chad Grigsby of Maple Grove, Minn., rocketed from 77th to third place today thanks to a 22-pound, 8-ounce limit of bass, which gives him a two-day total of 32 pounds, 15 ounces.

Those who follow the Wal-Mart FLW Tour closely likely know that Kenney and Grigsby are good friends who work together to find fish, which begs the question about the two pros sharing the same fish.

"No, I'm about three miles from J.T.," Grigsby confirmed. "I actually found these fish in practice when the water was clear - I could see them bedding everywhere. But then the wind came in and really muddied the place up, which is why I did not go there yesterday. I just figured it needed another day to clear up, so I stayed in the rim canal on the first day."

Grigsby said his catch came on a lightly weighted Venom Hollow Hog, a Brush Hog-style bait featuring a hollow pocket in the body for inserting rattles.

Brauer fourth

Chad Brauer of Osage Beach, Mo., brought in a 14-pound, 9-ounce catch today for a Chad Brauer of Osage Beach, Mo., brought in a 14-pound, 9-ounce catch on day two for a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces for fourth place.two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces for fourth place.

Brauer's plan each day has been to secure an early decent limit outside the lake and then run into the lake looking for one of those schools of giant bass.

"The biggest difference between today and yesterday was the 7-pounder I had yesterday (he weighed in 18-1 on day one); other than that, I've pretty much run the same game plan both days," Brauer said. "The whole deal is finding that big bite out on the lake, and I just have not found it yet."

Biffle fifth

Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., brought in 17 pounds, 14 ounces on day two to move into the fifth place position with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 5 ounces.Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., brought in 17 pounds, 14 ounces today to move into the fifth-place position with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 5 ounces.

Biffle maintains that he is fishing in the lake and that the difference in his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 7 ounces and today was that the fish bit much better today.

"I'm not working one area; I'm running a pattern," Biffle said. "It's pretty much a run-and-gun type of deal. I've got a lot of areas and spots to hit in the course of a day, and I'm catching about eight or nine keepers in the process."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Series Eastern on Lake Okeechobee after day two:

6th: Mark Shepard of Clewiston, Fla., with a two-day total of 30-9
7th: Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, with a two-day total of 30-1
8th: Jason McKinnie of Umatilla, Fla., with a two-day total of 29-12
9th: Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., with a two-day total of 28-15
10th: Glenn Chappelear of Acworth, Ga., with a two-day total of 28-14

Big bass

Chris Daves of Hopewell, Va., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day two weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces.

Wood leads co-anglers

Robert Wood of Jupiter, Fla., who was in second place yesterday, moved to the front Co-angler Robert Wood of Jupiter, Fla., who was in second place yesterday, moved to the front of the co-angler pack on day two with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 14 ounces.of the co-angler pack today with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 14 ounces.

Yesterday Wood relied on a shaky head but switched to a Carolina rig today.

"It was a lot tougher on me today," Wood said. "They quit biting that shaky head, so I had to go to a Carolina rig and I caught three of my better fish on it."

Norris an ounce off lead

In second place is Carl Norris, the co-angler who caught a whopping 23 pounds, 8 ounces behind Kenney, for a two-day total of 25 pounds, 13 ounces.

"It was an awesome day; I don't know how else to describe it," Norris said. "I'm from Kentucky and this is my first trip to Okeechobee - to get paired up with J.T. and experience what I did today is the kind of thing you dream about.
In second place is Carl Norris, the co-angler who caught a whopping 23 pounds, 8 ounces behind Kenney for a two-day total of 25 pounds, 13 ounces.
"All total, I probabaly caught 50 keepers. Right at the end of the day we hit a little stretch where we were both catching them every cast - it was unreal - I just don't know what else to say about a day like that."

Rest of the best

Jason Sherwood of Damascus, Md., is in third place with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 7 ounces.

Day-one co-angler leader Mark Heatwole of Harrisonburg, Va., is in fourth place with 25 pounds.

And Derrick Snavely of Rogersville, Tenn., rounds out the top five with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 7 ounces.

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Okeechobee after day three:

6th: Robert Carathers of Columbia, Tenn., with a two-day total of 24-4
7th: Matt Greenblatt of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with a two-day total of 22-15
8th: Michael Burrell of Marietta, Ga., with a two-day total of 22-14
9th: Brent Cantville of Plantation, Fla., with a two-day total of 22-10
10th: Cleveland Stephens of Lebanon, Tenn., with a two-day total of 22-7

Big bass

Chris Weber of Fort Myers, Fla., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day two weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces.

Day three of the FLW Series BP Eastern on Lake Okeechobee will begin on Friday at 7 a.m. at Roland & Mary Ann Martin's Marina & Resort located at 920 E. Del Monte Ave. in Clewiston.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-01-23-lake-okeechobee 

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