UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2019 - Pickwick Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Kenney Connects the Dots

Kenney Connects the Dots
JT Kenney goes wire-to-wire for a season-opening win at Lake Toho.

JT Kenney has caught a lot of memorable five-bass limits in his life. As a resident of Florida and a touring pro, he has caught plenty of limits greater than 25 and even 30 pounds. But it just might be the five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces that he checked in on the final day of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Toho presented by Mercury that he will never forget.

Those five little scrappy buck bass were enough to hold off not one, but two valiant final-day charges from two of the FLW Tour’s best sticks: Wesley Strader and Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury.

Kenney entered the final day with a 12-8 lead and a seemingly bulletproof plan of combing through Kissimmee’s pad fields for big spawning females. As the day wore on, Strader and Canterbury, who were both fishing with no scripted plans and nothing-to-lose attitudes, began chopping big chunks out of Kenney’s lead. Strader and Canterbury were blowing up the FLW On The Water live feed and Twitter with bombs while Kenney’s little keepers seemed like sporadic gunfire in comparison.

By the time weigh-in started, fingernails from all three camps had been chewed to the quick. Human “scales” who stole a peek at each pro’s fish had recalculated the weights 100 times with no idea as to who might take home the hardware.

At first all eyes were on Strader as the show stealer. He weighed 21-5 on day three and started the final day with a huge bass on literally his second cast. Strader was all over the OTW feed after that fish, which he thought was a 9-pounder. Alas, it weighed less than 8. Strader took a swing at Kenney with 20-5 on the last day but came up 1-5 short.

As it turned out, Canterbury was actually a much truer threat to rain on Kenney’s parade, laying down his best effort of the week with 21-10 on the final day.

When Kenney laid the paltry 9-4 on the scale, he needed nearly every ounce of it to hang on to victory, giving him just 11 ounces to spare with a four-day total of 76 pounds even.

“That was the longest hour of my life,” said an elated Kenney when the weigh-in drama ended. “It’s been a long time since I’ve won a Tour event, and I put a lot of work into this one so this makes it all worth it.”

 

JT Kenney used a Gambler Fat Ace on a Texas rig and a Nichols Lures Pulsator Spinnerbait to earn the win on Toho.

Preparing the Program

In all, Kenney spent 26 days on Toho and Kissimmee in the off-season, prior to cut-off. He was looking for precise areas where big female bass would feel comfortable spawning. Those precise areas mostly included the corners of smaller, broken pad fields where bass could easily access the stems and roots as nesting sites. He identified nine key areas of pad fields, clusters and clumps that had the right symmetry.

During the official three-day practice round, Kenney combed the corners of the clumps with meticulous, precise casts. When he felt a hefty bass move off with his lure (with no hook) he immediately marked the exact corner with a red waypoint on his GPS. By the end of practice, Kenney had marked some 50 red dots of tournament-winning potential.

On days one and two, Kenney’s game of connect the dots worked flawlessly to the tune of 29-14 and 22-9, respectively. To activate the red-dot plan, Kenney eased up to the pad corner, cast a black-and-blue Gambler Fat Ace stick worm rigged with a 3/8-ounce Reins tungsten sinker and a TroKar TK130 5/0 hook. He slowly shook the Fat Ace into the key corner clump and waited for the bite. Kenney used 20-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon on a Halo Daylight 7-foot, 6-inch heavy-action flipping stick teamed with a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier reel.

“Those are all the right tools for that kind of work in Florida,” Kenney says. “The Reins tungsten has an insert, which is critical to protecting your line. The TroKar TK130 keeps the Ace in place and keeps the fish pinned, even when they wrap up in the pads. And then the Halo Daylight and Trilene fluoro do the heavy lifting.

“But above all, I can assure you this win would have never happened without my Power-Poles,” Kenney adds. “Nearly every one of my red-dot fish came with my Power-Poles in the ground, holding me at a perfect distance and angle needed to make repetitive casts to the pads.”

 

Kenney swings a small one toward the boat on the final day.

Day-Three Defense

On day three, Kenney ran into a little red-dot resistance in the form of a frontal passage that brought dark skies, chilly wind and falling temperatures. From years of experience, Kenney knew that such weather was not going to make Kissimmee’s big females very cooperative, so he wisely called in his contingency plan of spinnerbaiting on Toho.

“Everything I weighed in on day three came from Toho on a 1/2-ounce Nichols Pulsator spinnerbait,” he says. “I did try some of my red dots on Toho that day, and they did not want to play, so the spinnerbait really bailed me out.”

 

JT Kenney tries to decide which of these squeakers is heavier.

The Final Act

Kenney started day four on Lake Toho, trying to cinch down a few insurance fish. When the clouds scattered and the sun shined brightly by 9:30 a.m., he felt the time was right to deliver the knockout punch. Kenney locked into Kissimmee to run his remaining red dots, but to his dismay, his program began to fizzle right before his eyes.

“I caught a couple of little bucks as soon as I pulled into the area that held the most remaining potential,” Kenney says. “That really fired me up because you usually catch a couple of those little dinkers before a big one. In a way those bucks kind of point the way. But this time after I’d catch the bucks there was nothing – just nothing – from their bigger bedmates.

“I’m still stunned that I did not get one or two of those big ones to bite,” he reflects, proving that even $125,000 does not quench the desire of a champion to know more about his quarry. “But I can assure you of this, even if I did not end up holding this big cardboard check, I still would have no regrets about how I fished today. And big check or not, that’s what counts in this sport.”

 

JT Kenney revels in his victory.

Yes! JT Kenney with the win in the Walmart FLW Tour presented by Mercury on Lake Toho.

Top 10 Pros

1. JT Kenney – 76-00

2. Scott Canterbury – 75-05

3. Wesley Strader – 74-11

4. Stacey King – 67-09

5. Luke Clausen – 65-06

6. Stetson Blaylock – 60-10

7. Randy Blaukat – 59-09

8. Troy Morrow – 56-08

9. Mark Daniels Jr. – 53-12

10. Ramie Colson Jr. – 50-09

 

Click here for complete results.

Tags: jt-kenney  lake-toho  flw-tour  rob-newell  headline-story  2015-03-05-lake-toho 

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Bedford, Brown Lead at Pickwick

Weighing in a three-fish limit of bass that averaged more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece has JD Bedford and Walker Brown of Lawrence County High School in the driver’s seat at the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake. Keegan Fort and Clayton Page lead the High School Fishing World Finals with a three-fish limit worth 14 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

High School Midday Update – Day 1

High School Midday Update – Day 1

Some things on Pickwick Lake were as expected, but some were less so during day one of the dual High School Fishing National Championship and High School Fishing World Finals. Predictably, offshore patterns seem to be dominating the day, particularly traditional ledge scenarios below the Natchez Trace Bridge. Crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and big worms were the common presentations. READ MORE »

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Samo Wins at Wolf River Chain

Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Illinois, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes with five bass weighing 15 pounds even. For his win, Samo took home $5,794. READ MORE »

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Weekend Sweep for Robertson

Matt Robertson of Kuttawa, Kentucky, swept the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division this weekend after winning back-to-back tournaments on Kentucky and Barkley lakes presented by Navionics, the first on Saturday and then again on Sunday. For his wins, Robertson earned a total of $7,842. READ MORE »

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Sentore Downsizes for Chesapeake W

Michael Sentore of Gloucester City, New Jersey, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on the Chesapeake Bay Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds even. For his finish, Sentore netted $3,362. READ MORE »

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Sullivan Frogs on Ross Barnett

Corey Sullivan of Brandon, Mississippi, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir Saturday after catching five bass weighing 17 pounds, 5 ounces. For his win, Sullivan pocketed $3,377. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Kris Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn Reservoir by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8.  READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

2019 Lake Champlain Preview

Champlain is such a fun location for a tournament in large part because of the unpredictability involved. Nelson winning last year’s Costa FLW Series tilt with all smallmouths was something of a surprise, but given the conditions, it made plenty of sense. Exactly what will go down this year is legitimately up in the air. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

On the flip side, Josh Bensema, who’s 4 pounds, 10 ounces behind Wilson, thinks he might have found the kind of Sam Rayburn motherlode that could earn him a come-from-behind victory. And while most of the rest of the top 10 are well behind Wilson, several of them hinted at being on the trail of some truly mammoth bags. READ MORE »

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

Wilson Still in Control at Rayburn

A 9-plus-pound bass anchored Kris Wilson’s day-two limit to help him stay in the lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Wilson weighed in 21 pounds, 12 ounces today to go with 26-11 yesterday. His 48-7 two-day total has Wilson 4 pounds, 10 ounces ahead of Josh Bensema and miles ahead of the rest of the top 10.   READ MORE »

FLW Tour Brings World’s Top Bass Anglers to Lake Champlain for 2019 Season Finale

FLW Tour Brings World’s Top Bass Anglers to Lake Champlain for 2019 Season Finale

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, will visit Plattsburgh, June 27-30, for the FLW Tour at Lake Champlain presented by T-H Marine – the seventh... READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

Wilson Waylays 26 at Rayburn

The second stop of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, which is presented by Mercury, has certainly lived up to expectations. Plenty of fish are out there to be caught, yet finding quality is the key to separating yourself from the pack. Kris Wilson of Montgomery, Texas certainly distanced himself after hauling in 26 pounds, 11 ounces to the Umphrey Family Pavilion stage. It may not be the Texas-sized bag Rayburn is known for, however, given the conditions it is absolutely impressive. Wilson will hold a 6-7 lead over Josh Bensema heading into Friday. READ MORE »

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Campbell Goes Back to Back

Brody Campbell of Oxford, Ohio, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River at Tanner’s Creek Saturday with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Campbell netted $6,718 for his victory. READ MORE »

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Shaw Drags Worm on Shelbyville

Wayne Shaw of Urbana, Illinois, weighed five bass Saturday totaling 13 pounds, 7 ounces, to win T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament on Lake Shelbyville. Shaw pocketed $4,071 for his day on the water. READ MORE »

Fox Claims No. 8

Fox Claims No. 8

Dwight Fox of Gainesboro, Tennessee, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. For his efforts, Fox netted $2,941. READ MORE »

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Ganey Cracks 20-11 on Big Sam

Rylon Ganey of Pineville, Louisiana, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. For his win, Ganey took home $6,362. READ MORE »

Walser Nets 13th Title

Walser Nets 13th Title

Robert Walser of Lexington, North Carolina, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) North Carolina Division tournament on High Rock Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. With his win – his 13th on the BFL circuit – Walser tied the BFL all-time wins record held by Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio. READ MORE »