UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Ward takes command in Kentucky

Ward takes command in Kentucky
Mike Ward of Paris, Tenn., widens his lead in the Stren Series event on Kentucky Lake by over 5 pounds after day three.

MURRAY, Ky. - After two days of a tight leader board at the Stren Series event on Kentucky Lake, Mike Ward of Paris, Tenn., put some distance between he and his competitors on day three.

Ward took a 5-pound, 9-ounce lead in the event with a 19-pound limit this afternoon for a three-day total of 61 pounds, 10 ounces.

Ward continued his blistering pace today while other leaders fell back.

Michael Wooley brought in a solid limit to grab second place and Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Ky., brought in just one bass to fall out of the top 10.

But coming up through the field with a head of steam are George Jeane, Jr., (3rd) and Terry Bolton (4th).

As for Ward, he was pleasantly surprised by a lack of fishing pressure and traffic in the Paris portion of the lake today. He was able to move around and get on his spots much easier than yesterday.

"I don't know what happened to everyone that was fishing down there," Ward said. "Maybe those who were not doing well did not go back down there for a third day because of the amount of gas you have to burn to get there. All I know is there were not near as many guys fishing down south as there has been and that really helped me. I thought I was going to have to go to back up stuff today - and I did a little bit - but for the most part I could fish just about everything I wanted to."

Ward mentioned that he is just "basically ledge fishing" and that he is not doing anything special.

"I'm fishing a big worm and a ¾-ounce Strike King football jig with a Rage Trailer on shell beds in about 13 to 14 feet of water," Ward revealed. "I've found the fish to still be on shell, which is surprising because usually they have gone to wood by now."

He caught a total of 15 keepers and had a decent limit by 9:30.

"That's something else that surprised me," he added. "Things have been really tough on me in the mornings. I have not been catching fish until about 10:30. But today, they bit earlier."

As for tomorrow, Ward feels like he can catch a limit of 15 inchers, but he's not sure about continuing with the quality.

"I'm not kidding when I say I'm shocked every time I catch a fish over 3 pounds," he added. "I've been real lucky to get that kind of quality so far this week."

Wooley second

Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., had a tougher day of it in Paris today. Pro Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., brought in 13 pounds, 13 ounces on day three for second place with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 1 ounce.He brought in 13 pounds, 13 ounces for second place with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 1 ounce.

"I think the fishing pressure and the weather kind of caught up to me today - especially the weather," Wooley said. "I really struggled just to get eight keeper bites. I had to hit just about all my best places just to catch that."

"It was cloudy, windy and a little rainy this morning and that hurt me," he said. "I need sunshine. Those bright skies help bring the shad up to the surface and that makes those bass feed on the ledges. We didn't get sun down there until real late this afternoon. Hopefully it will be sunny first thing in the morning."

Jeane third

After a slow start, Abu Garcia pro George Jeane, Jr., of Evans, La., is coming up through the field with a vengeance. He is now in third place with 55-13.Abu Garcia pro George Jeane, Jr., of Evans, La., is coming up through the field with a vengeance.

After a slow start with 13 pounds, 9 ounces on day one, he has upped the ante and brought in 22-12 and 19-8, respectively, the last two days for a three-day total of 55 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I've discovered that I was fishing up just a little too shallow the first day," Jeane explained. "My boat was right on top of the bigger fish. Yesterday, I backed out just a tad and caught 23 pounds in about 10 minutes. Then 10 minutes later my co-angler caught 21 pounds. That's about 44 pounds of bass in less than a half an hour.

The first day Jeane was flipping grass in the 7- to 8-foot range. On the second day he backed out and started fishing the edge of the grass in 10 to 12 feet when he hit the mother lode.

He is catching his fish on a Berkley 10-inch Power Worm (plum) with a 1/2-ounce weight on the grass edges and pitching a 1-ounce watermelon jig with a Berkley Chigger Chunk trailer into the clumps.

Bolton fourth

Yamaha pro Terry Bolton of Jonesboro, Ark., is in fourth place with a three-day total ofYamaha pro Terry Bolton of Jonesboro, Ark., is in fourth place with a three-day total of 54 pounds, 9 ounces. 54 pounds, 9 ounces.

Each day Bolton's limits have increased by a pound. He weighed in his best limit today for 19 pounds, 1 ounce.

Bolton is bucking the Paris trend by fishing up on the north end of Kentucky Lake around his old stomping grounds.

"I knew going into this thing that Paris was the place to be and if I was going to fish up north it would be like going to a gun fight with a knife," Bolton said. "So I'm pretty pleased with the way things are turning out. I've done a good job of figuring out the timing of my places a little better each day. During the mid-morning hours I've got my timing down perfect, but by afternoon I lose my rhythm and things go down hill."

Bolton's key baits have been a Zoom Ol' Monster worm and his new namesake Ledge Houdini Jig that he just introduced at ICAST last week.

"Since I don't live here anymore I don't get out and play around as much as I used to," he added. "But I've been out to some of my old places and learned some new things about them that I never knew, so it's been fun to get back into the groove a little bit."

McMullin fifth

Pro Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., is in fifth place with a three-day total of 53 pounds, 9 ounces.Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo., is in fifth place with a three-day total of 53 pounds, 9 ounces.

McMullin won the last Stren Series on Kentucky Lake event back in May.

"I'm not really fishing the same way I was when I won," McMullin said. "I'm throwing a Senko to shallow grass to get a limit early and then I back out to the ledges and drag a football jig around to upgrade."

Big bass

Steve Stone of Paducah, Ky., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day three weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Stren Series event on Kentucky Lake after day three:

6th: Zack Bull of Lakeland, Tenn., three-day total of 53-0
7th: Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., three-day total of 52-4
8th: Lloyd Pickett of Bartlett, Tenn., three-day total of 50-1
9th: Ramie Colson of Cadiz., Ky., three-day total of 49-14
10th: Scott Brummett of Brentwood, Tenn., three-day total of 49-7

Darby takes over as co-angler leader

Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark., moved into the lead in the Co-angler Division today Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark., moved into the lead in the Co-angler Division today with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 5 ounces. with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 5 ounces.

He now enjoys a 7-pound cushion going into the final day.

Ben Jackson of Paducah, Ky., is in second place with a three-day total of 37 pounds, 5 ounces.

Justin Swast of Pevely, Mo., holds down the third place position with 34 pounds, 15 ounces.

Bobby Wade of Sedalia, Ky., is in fourth place with 34 pounds, 7 ounces.

Roger Walters of Madisonville, Ky., rounds out the top five with a three-day total of 34 pounds, 4 ounces.

Big bass

Andrew Thiesse of Forest Park, Ill., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day three weighing 6 pounds.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the Stren Series event on Kentucky Lake after day three:

6th: Shawn Murphy of Nicholasville, Ky., three-day total of 33-12
7th: Keith Whipple of Iuka, Miss., three-day total of 33-3
8th: Andrew Thiesse of Forest Park, Ill., three-day total of 32-12
9th: Chad Kerr of Burlington, Iowa, three-day total of 32-7
10th: Alan Johnson of Crestwood, Ky., three-day total of 32-3

Day four of the Stren Series Central Division event on Kentucky Lake will begin Saturday at 5:30 a.m. from Kenlake Marina located at 888 Kenlake Marina Lane in Hardin, Ky.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-07-23-ky-barkley-lakes 

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