UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Rising to the occasion

Rising to the occasion
A flooded playground adjacent to the launch site bespoke the high water greeting Stren anglers on Kentucky/Barkley Lake.

Gilbertsville, Ky. - They may feel like they're fishing in a pinball machine, but the high-water conditions on Kentucky-Barkley lakes will offer Stren Series Central Division anglers the potential to tally a high score.

As boats launched for day one Thursday, a dense fog hung over The Moors Marina, a subtle contrast to the voluminous precipitation that has made its way completely into local waterways. Indeed, recent heavy rains have kept the Tennessee Valley Authority busy regulating water levels, but there's still a lot of flooded cover, and that gives bass plenty of new feeding areas. Anglers report that the fish are numerous and scattered.

Florida pro Matt Greenblatt has been practicing for several days. He reports murky water littered with Florida pro Matt Greenblat hopes to fool the right bass with a Gary Yamamoto Swimming Senko rigged on a shaky head.debris. Nevertheless, he's encouraged by the high numbers of bass he's been finding.

"The water is really high, and the fish have moved back into the bushes," he said. "I've been catching 30 to 40 fish a day - I've just had to weed through the small ones to get to the big fish."

Greenblatt said he's had some luck with swimbaits, but the majority of his action has come from fishing vertically in the bushes, mostly with a Texas-rigged Sweet Beaver and a Yamamoto Swimming Senko on a shaky head.

Marion, Ark., pro Mark Rose said the high water offers diverse opportunities. He'll try a mix of baits and tactics on day one to determine what the fish prefer.

"I'm going to do a little bit of everything," Rose said. "I'm fishing everywhere from on top to 20 feet deep. There's a lot of small fish in there, but who knows? Any day now some big ones could pull up."

Dense fog hung across the Moors Marina launch site on the morning of day one.He'll spend some time with a topwater and a crankbait, but Rose will likely concentrate on flipping flooded brush with a Strike King Rodent. Decreased visibility from fluctuating water levels has left the shallow scene noticeably turbid. However, Rose said that's not as much of a limitation as it may seem.

"That helps the shallow bite," he said. "People think you need the clear water, but the fish get up there and stay tight to that cover when the water's dirty."

Bill McDonald of Indianapolis said the water level is changing daily, so fishing with an open mind is essential. The lakes currently hold a mix of prespawn, spawning and postspawn fish, but the weekend's lunar phase should spur a wave of big females.

"The full moon's coming so there will be fish bedding," he said. "I'm going for bedding fish. Not that I can see them; I'm just going to go where I think they should be. I'm going to live and die with what I came down here to do."

Targeting the 3- to 5-foot zone, McDonald will be pitching and flipping green-pumpkin plastics. Like many With so many bass feeding in the flooded cover, flipping baits will be a popular tactic.of his competitors, McDonald plans on making a big run of up to 90 miles, so time management will be paramount. Calculating running and fishing time is always a challenge, but incoming water brings lots of floating hazards, so boaters must allow plenty of time for safe navigation.

Rose said he anticipates good catches across the board, with a handful of heavy bags: "I look for there to be a 25-pound bag and a few 20s. Overall, if (an angler) has 15 pounds a day for a couple of days, he'll have a good tournament."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from Moors Marina located at 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, Ky., at 6:30 each morning. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins also will be held at Moors beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 310 W. Main St. in Benton, Ky., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Headgear and rain jackets will come in handy today, especially with afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast.The Kentucky-Barkley lakes Stren Series tournament is hosted by the Marshall County Tourist Commission. The entire field competes for the first two days of Stren Series events. The top 10 professionals and co-anglers continue competition on day three, and the winner in each division is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.

Pros will fish for a top award of $25,000 plus a 198VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard and equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. If the winner is not a Ranger Cup participant, Ranger will award $7,500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant in the contingency program.

Co-anglers will cast for a top award of a 177TR Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard and trailer. If the co-angler meets the Ranger Cup guidelines, they will earn an additional $5,000. If the winner is not a Ranger Cup participant, Ranger will award $2,500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant in the contingency program.

On the Web

For those who can't catch the weigh-in action in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live, an online application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results. Today's weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. CDT.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 5:51 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 63 degrees
Expected high temperature: 81 degrees
Water temperature: 66 degrees
Wind: SW at 6-8 mph
Humidity: 65 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy with afternoon thunderstorms

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2009-05-07-kentucky-barkley-lake 

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Changes Afoot at Grand Lake

Fall is a time of change and movement; two notions bound to impact the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Typical fall migrations are underway, but an approaching cold front will likely complicate the already challenging nature of autumn’s transition. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Farage Earns Fourth Co-Angler Win

Weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta, Jack Farage totaled 37-2 to edge ahead of Cesar Laguna for the co-angler win. The win is Farage's fourth as a co-angler at the FLW Series level and he took home a brand new Ranger boat because of it.  READ MORE »

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Wire-to-Wire for Dyer

Blake Dyer set the pace on day one with a 27-pound, 3-ounce bag and he never relinquished the lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Weighing 15-8 on the final day, Dyer totaled 62-13 to stay ahead of a final-day charge from Jason Borofka. For his win, which is his first with FLW, Dyer takes home $31,114 and a trophy that will last forever. READ MORE »

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Cal Delta Midday Update – Day 3

Tournament fishing is full of highs and lows and today, the latter may play a key role in determining the outcome of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event resented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. Specifically, several anglers expressed their hopes of doing their best work during the afternoon low tide period. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the Cal Delta – Day 2

Blake Dyer has dominated through two days of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the Cal Delta. With a total nearing 50 pounds, he’s also one of just two pros to bring in back-to-back 20-pound limits. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of the crew hasn’t been doing work, and with the big fish in the Delta, anything is possible on the final day. READ MORE »