UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Chappelear, Colson knotted up in Kentucky

Pro leader Glenn Chappelear holds up part of his 23-pound, 5-ounce stringer with his son Caleb and daughter Rachel.

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. - Like always, Kentucky Lake churned out several 20-pound-plus sacks on day one of the fifth Walmart FLW Tour Major. This year the magic number was eight. But not all eight came from Kentucky Lake. In fact, the day's two biggest stringers weighed exactly 23-5 and were caught on separate lakes.

Glenn Chappelear fished Kentucky Lake and caught his 23-5 early. Early is relative as the Acworth, Ga., pro waited for the field to pass him before he started fishing. In other words, he fished the north end of the lake near Kentucky Lake Dam Marina, which is where takeoff is held.

"I made my first cast at 6:20 a.m., and then I had those fish 20 minutes later," said Chappelear. "I think I had a limit after my first seven casts. I did cull one out in the early afternoon, but I came in early and weighed my fish in early."

Chappelear's primary area is a creek channel ledge in 15 to 18 feet of water. He found this spot on Sunday, the first day of practice, and checked it again Tuesday just to be sure. While it's a pronounced ledge, the fish are following the shad on it, which means Chappelear has to relocate the sweet spot every time he fishes it.

"I honestly think there are hundreds of fish in this school. We probably caught 25 or 30 fish in just 30 minutes. I feel like I can go there tomorrow and catch enough for the cut. After that I don't know, but I do have other places."

Chappelear started this morning by throwing a 5 1/2-inch Strike King Sexy Spoon. That fired the school up, and then he switched to a 3/4-ounce football-head jig with a Rage Tail Lobster trailer. He also mixed in a Strike King 6XD crankbait in "sexy shad" color.
Pro Ramie Colson Jr. is tied for the lead after catching 23 pounds, 5 ounces on day one.
Colson, the local pro from Cadiz, Ky., on the other hand ran to the midlake section of Barkley Lake for his 23-5. He, too, is fishing creek channel ledges. But his have something special on top of them - homemade brush piles.

"It seemed like everything was working like it should," said Colson, who fished 15 or 20 spots located in one general area. "When I did get a bite, it was a decent fish - a 4- or 5-pound fish. I've got other areas I could have fished, but I thought, `What's the point of going and busting up those fish to catch keepers?' So I figured I'd save some."

Colson used two baits, a homemade 1/2-ounce Arkie-style jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer and a 10-inch plum-colored Zoom Ol' Monster worm, as he fished each pile thoroughly.

"I'm aiming for 20 pounds a day. Anything over that was a bonus."

For Colson, one nice thing about Barkley is that there is generally less traffic, both from tournament boats and recreational anglers.

Christie struggles early, rallies late

Third-place pro Jason Christie holds up part of his 23-pound, 1-ounce stringer.In third place is Diet Mountain Dew pro Jason Christie, who caught 23 pounds, 1 ounce Thursday. Christie has been on fire as of late and really likes Kentucky Lake. The last time the Tour visited he placed sixth.

"I have 10 schools with good-quality 4- and 5-pounders," said the Lake Hartwell champion. "But I ran all 10 twice this morning and never caught one. I was stunned, shocked really. I finally caught a 5 1/2-pounder at noon and then a 4-pounder at 1 p.m. But in that last hour, it got stupid; we just crushed them. I filled out my limit and caught another 18 or 19 pounds."

Christie said he fished both Kentucky and Barkley lakes today. He decides to fish one or the other based on which has the most water coming through. The Park Hill, Okla., native said he caught all his fish on the new BD8 Fat Free Shad crankbait, which dives down 15 to 19 feet.

"What makes me mad is I can't quite figure out when it's going to happen. The fish are there, but getting them to bite is tough at times. It was a stressful day."

Rose fourth
Fourth-place pro Mark Rose holds up a pair of Kentucky Lake largemouths with his daughter, Hannah Grace.
Ledge master Mark Rose made what he termed "a bad decision" this morning as he opted to make the 75-mile run south to New Johnsonville, Tenn. Fishless after an hour and a half, he aborted the situation and came back up. From there, he cobbled together a 21-pound, 12-ounce limit.

"It did not happen down there; I think the lack of current and too much sun had something to do with it," Rose explained. "I did hit some hot schools on the way up."

Rose said he caught four of his five keepers on the Strike King 6XD crankbait, the fifth coming on a 3/4-ounce jig with Rage Tail Craw trailer.

"My 6-pounders didn't bite, and that's disappointing. But I'm thankful to have had a bad day and still be in it."

Tomorrow Rose plans to return to New Johnsonville with the hopes of reigniting the school.

"If it ever happens down there, it can happen big."

Mann fifth

Fifth-place pro Tom Mann Jr. caught a five-bass limit Thursday weighing 21 pounds, 10 ounces.Perhaps bolstered from the news that the Forrest Wood Cup would return to his home lake in 2012, Rapala pro Tom Mann Jr. caught a 21-pound, 10-ounce limit to finish day one in fifth.

"I had two good days of practice and thought, if everything went right, I could catch 20 pounds," said the Buford, Ga., pro.

Mann said he has six spots, and two of them accounted for most of his weight today. In total, he estimates he caught 60 or 70 bass, 30 of which were keepers.

"This place has so many fish. I put it right up there with any lake in the country."

Mann starts by throwing a 12-inch Yamamoto ribbontail worm in plum color. If the school slows a bit, he then switches to a Rapala DT 16 to reignite the bass before ultimately going back to the big worm.

"It seems when you pull up to a good place, the big ones will almost always bite on the first cast.

Rest of the best
Dion Hibdon holds up a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth, the Snickers Big Bass of day one.
Rounding out the top 10 pros at the FLW Tour event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes after day one:

6th: Blake Nick of Adger, Ala., five bass, 21-8
7th: Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, five bass, 21-7
8th: Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., five bass, 20-5
9th: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 19-15
10th: Chad Grigsby of Maple Grove, Minn., five bass, 19-11

Chevy pro Dion Hibdon won the $500 Snickers Big Bass of the day, which weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

Dumitras goes old school for co-angler lead

Paired with Blake Nick, co-angler Tony Dumitras experienced the type of day on Kentucky Lake that most fishermen only dream about. Nick tells it best.

Tony Dumitras leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 7 ounces."He got back there and old-manned me," said the sixth-place pro. "It was like I had Larry Nixon's twin brother in my boat."

While Nick threw more modern ledge fare like big crankbaits and spoons, Dumitras stuck with his big Texas-rigged worm. Dumitras made far fewer casts with the worm, yet the end result for the two anglers was similar. Dumitras' five best keepers weighed 20 pounds, 7 ounces and would have weighed much more if not for three dead-fish penalties.

"I could do no wrong," said the Winston, Ga., co-angler. "I'm just cherishing the moment, and we'll see what tomorrow brings."

Co-angler Chad Parks is in second place with 18-10.Parks second

Olive Branch, Miss., co-angler Chad Parks is in second place with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces.

Parks said he caught roughly 40 fish on the day. He tried a variety of baits, but a big worm worked best for him too.

"At our second area, I threw to the deeper side of the ledge in 19 to 22 feet," Parks said. "That made all the difference, and we never left that spot."

Rest of the best

Patrick Bone of Cleveland, Ga., is in third place with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces.

Mike Devere of Berea, Ky., is in fourth place with a limit weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces.

Jason Law of Waycross, Ga., rounds out the top five co-anglers with a limit weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes after day one:

Co-angler Mike Helton caught the Snickers Big Bass on day one. This Kentucky Lake largemouth weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces.6th: Mike Helton of Jeffersonville, Ind., five bass, 15-9
7th: Mark Denney of Somerset, Ky., five bass, 15-5
8th: Dakota Lucy of Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 15-3
9th: Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., five bass, 14-15
10th: Dan Thill of La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 14-3

The Co-angler Division Snickers Big Bass was caught by Helton and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces.

Day two of the FLW Tour event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes will begin Friday at 6 a.m. at the Kentucky Dam Marina located at 466 Marina Drive in Gilbertsville, Ky. Friday's weigh-in takes place at 2:30 p.m., also at the dam.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2011-06-16-kentucky-lake 

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