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


Severe weather turns leaderboard upside down

Pro leader Ramie Colson Jr. speaks with Jason Harper at the conclusion of the day-three weigh-in.

MURRAY, Ky. - With the exception of the first and last hour, day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake was marred by severe thunderstorms. The constant rain, lightning and wind completely changed the complexion of the tournament as six pros are now within 4 pounds of leader Ramie Colson Jr.

Colson, who is fishing Barkley Lake, said he made a bad call this morning.

"I spent too much time offshore with that weather," said the Cadiz, Ky., pro. "I had some shallower ledges and road beds that I went to this morning that I hadn't fished and I thought they would pan out.

"Typically when it gets cloudy and rainy the fish go up shallower on the drops. I spent a little too much time trying to catch them on the shallow drops. When I finally decided to go back into the creeks, I ended up catching them and I wished I'd have just done that."

While his 7-pound lead shrunk to 1 pound, 4 ounces, Colson feels relieved to still be in the driver's seat despite catching only two keepers Saturday.

"I thought it was over when I left Barkley to come back for check-in, but it's still tough to give up ground like that. I'm just disappointed that I didn't make the decision to fish shallow earlier. I should have just fished a spot or two and then I would have had time to hit my other stuff in the back of the creeks. But now it's anyone's ball game. I need to catch at least 20 pounds to feel comfortable tomorrow."

Colson continues to fish his own brush with homemade 1/2- and 3/4-ounce Arkie-style jigs with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer as well as a plum-colored Zoom Ol' Monster worm. He's not sure whether he's going back shallow or deep tomorrow.

"I guess it will depend on the weather. Weather and timing and are big factors when you're going to Barkley."

Yelas flips bushes for second

According to conventional bass-fishing wisdom, a mid-June tournament on the Tennessee River must be won by offshore ledge fishing. But apparently, Chevy pro Jay Yelas didn't get the memo. He's flipping shallow bushes over in Barkley Lake. And he's one day away from completing mission impossible. Today he caught a 15-pound, 3-ounce stringer to push his total weight to 50 pounds, 8 ounces. If you're surprised by Yelas' performance, you're not alone.

"I'm surprised too, shocked actually," said Yelas. "After practice I was embarrassed to tell my friends that I was going to fish shallow. That's like conceding because everybody says it's impossible to win shallow here in June."

Yelas is targeting a square-mile area of bushes on the south end of Barkley, 60 miles from the Kenlake takeoff site. He described it as the best flipping bite he's seen in years.

"I'm catching 30 or 40 fish a day. And there's no one else fishing by me. The only problem is that the fish aren't schooled up in 2 feet of water. You catch one here or one there. And today I never got that good bite; they were all 3-pounders."

Yelas is mainly flipping a 1/2-ounce Berkley Gripper jig with either a black and blue Berkley Havoc Craw Fatty or a green pumpkin Chigger Craw. Occasionally, he mixes in a buzzbait or a spinnerbait.

"The only reason this is working is because the lake is at full pool. If it was one foot lower, it wouldn't be any good."

Grigsby rises to third

Starting the day in seventh place, Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby rose to third via a 16-pound, 1-ounce stringer. The Maple Grove, Minn., angler finished the opening round with 50 pounds, 6 ounces, just two ounces behind Yelas.

"I started out deep and had a limit with one big one by 7:45 a.m." he said. "Then the weather turned horrible so I went shallow and flipped and ended up weighing two of those. When the wind laid down I ran down south and caught a 5-pounder."

Grigsby has two productive ledges he wants to fish tomorrow. One is located on the north end up by the dam and the other is near Paris, Tenn. He considers one a crankbait spot and the other a jig/worm spot. Thus far, his best bait this week has been a Secret Lures football jig.

Grigsby will be one to watch tomorrow as his primary area has already churned out huge sacks. On day two, co-angler winner Richard Peek caught 20 pounds, 11 ounces from it while Straight Talk pro JT Kenney caught 21-9. This ledge tops off to a shell bed in 12 feet of water. If it produces again, Grigsby could have his first FLW Tour win.

"I was surprised by how much mine weighed today but I'm more surprised everyone else didn't catch them."

Kevin Snider fell to fourth after catching a limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces.Snider, Christie round out top five

Kevin Snider caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 11 ounces and slipped from third to fourth. His total weight stands at 49 pounds, 8 ounces. Snider has been fishing most of his tournament on the north side of Kentucky Lake. Today, he started running south but he quickly realized it was too rough. To wait out the storm, he retreated to a pocket and ended up catching three keepers.

When the weather is decent, Snider samples approximately 20 offshore spots in a day. He'll make five casts on the sweet spot and if he doesn't get bit, he's gone. He starts the morning with a jig or a worm and then switches to a crankbait in the afternoon.

Christie said he's fishing both Kentucky and Barkley lakes this week. He's using the new BD8 Fat Free Shad crankbait, which dives down 15 to 19 feet. Today it produced four keepers weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Christie finished the opening round with a three-day total of 48-8.

"I rode 4-footers trying to catch those," he said. "And I had the fifth keeper on twice."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros at the FLW Tour event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes:

6th: Tom Mann Jr. of Buford, Ga., 48-3
7th: Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., 45-14
8th: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., 45-9
9th: Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, 45-5
10th: Shinichi Fukae of Palestine, Texas, 45-2

The final day of competition will begin Sunday at 6 a.m. at Kenlake State Park Marina, located at 542 Ken-Lake Road in Hardin, Ky.

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


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