UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

What Went Down at Kentucky Lake

What Went Down at Kentucky Lake
One hundred ninety-four teams competed in this KY Lake Open, and these ten teams climbed to the top of the ranks over the two day tournament.

Save for the contrarian crankbaits used by the eventual winning team from the University of Arkansas-Fayettville, it seemed that the vast majority of teams in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake relied on umbrella rigs.

Here’s a rundown on what the top 10 used to catch most of their bass. Each of these teams is now pre-qualified for the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

 

1. University of Arkansas-Fayettville – Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto – 43-12

XCalibur Xcs200 square-bill crankbaits – that was it for the winning pair. By Friday afternoon, Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto had settled on a 30-yard stretch of rocky bank up the Big Sandy River in Tennessee and stayed there the rest of the time. For reasons unknown, gizzard shad were abundant there, and bass were patrolling the ledge and occasionally rolling up to feed. Porto notes the action wasn’t consistent, but ran in spurts for periods of about 20 minutes at a time. They would cast their chartreuse-and-blue or chartreuse-and-black crankbaits upstream and carom them off rocks as they angled downstream over the lip of the ledge. The bass appreciated their attention to detail.

 

University of Alabama's Ethan Flack

2. University of Alabama – Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy – 43-5

Nothing fancy here – just umbrella rigs running Reaction Innovation Skinny Dippers. A photographer observed Konnor Kennedy fishing a hard jerkbait Saturday afternoon, but he switched back to the umbrella rig within 15 minutes. Kennedy and partner Ethan Flack alternated between the north point at the mouth of Jonathan Creek and a bluff wall washed by water about 10 feet deep near Paris Landing.

 

3. University of Illinois – Qiurun Chen and Luke Stoner – 43-0

The Fighting Illini team of Qiurun Chen and Luke Stoner found fish about 10 miles north of Paris Landing and used a variety of baits, including Rat-L-Traps, to boat their two limits. For the most part, however, the two chucked YUM YUMbrella Flash Mob or Flash Mob Jr. rigs with Trigger X swimbaits. SPRO crankbaits also accounted for a couple of keepers. Stoner notes that they fished “more offshore” than most of the other boats they saw, but perhaps that’s more because there are a lot of shallow bars in the area they fished.

 

4. Northwest Missouri State University – Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi – 41-14

The Show-Me State anglers showed ’em on Friday when they brought in a tournament-leading stringer of 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi were victimized by two coincidences on Saturday, however: Because they were in a later flight, other anglers beat them to their best spot that morning. Also, the area apparently didn’t replenish with fish – or perhaps the fish moved on to greener pastures, which is something for which prespawn bass are notorius. The Missourians nevertheless turned in a solid performance using umbrella rigs in tandem with Tightlines UV 5-inch swimbaits. Their pattern was about as bland as one can be: They made parallel casts down the riprap jetties at Kentucky Dam Village and Moor’s Resort & Marina to catch most of their two-day haul – who’d a thunk it?

 

5. Bethel University – Ty Dyer and Joseph Huggins – 38-16

According to Ty Dyer, he and teammate Joseph Huggins “threw everything but the kitchen sink.” In other words, where they were fishing was more critical than what they were using. As it was, they used umbrella rigs running Keitechs, Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Juniors and Gambler EZ Swimmers as well as Strike King jigs. Interestingly, Dyer says it wasn’t enough to fish the flats between channel swings and the bank, but that the belly of the curve, which was scoured out to hard bottom by current, was the magic spot.

 

SIU-Edwardsville Dalton Wesley and Zach Hartnagel finished sixth with a total of 37 pounds, 4 ounces.

6. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville – Zach Hartnagel and Dalton Wesley – 37-4

Zach Hartnagel and Dalton Wesley were among the anglers who ran to the dam Saturday morning and fished riprap jetties with umbrella rigs. They used whatever swimbait was handy and, says Hartnagel, never took their trolling motor out of the water until it was time to return to the weigh-in. On Friday, it was a different game, as they fished banks in the middle portions of coves and bays with Storm Wiggle Warts.

 

Finishing in seventh place, Grant Rutter and Kristopher Queen of Bethel University weighed in 36 pounds 2 ounces during the two day event.

7. Bethel University – Kristopher Queen and Grant Rutter – 36-2

Crankbaits cast to shorelines and secondary points were the lures of choice for this Bethel pair, but Kristopher Queen and Grant Rutter demurred from saying much about the baits, other than that they were in crawfish patterns of red or yellow-brown. Queen explains that the crankbaits aren’t well-known, and he and Rutter want to keep it that way. He is from North Carolina, however, so hmmm. They kept their boat offshore and cast to flats just beyond the first drop-off, then cranked their lures down so they were “banging off rocks” when they hit the ledge.

 

8. Bethel University – Kyler Chelminiak and Alec Piekarski – 34-9

It was rumored that every tackle store between Murray, Ky., and Paducah ran out of Keitech swimbaits of a certain color Friday night. Maybe the rumor wasn’t true, but Kyler Chelminiak and Alec Piekarski were among the anglers using Keitechs on their Picasso umbrella rigs. They had a couple of 3-inch sizes at the top for dummies, a 5-inch model in the middle and two 4-inch Keitechs on the bottom.

 

9. University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Dillon Falardeau and Patrick Hoskins – 34-6

An umbrella rig baited with a variety of swimbaits and a Rapala Shallow Shad Rap did the trick for the Chattanooga anglers Dillon Falardeau and Patrick Hoskins. They fished bluff walls with the umbrella rig and flats and points 4 to 8 feet deep with the Shallow Shad Rap. Falardeau’s first fish on Saturday was a 5-pounder, but in the excitement of the moment, after he unhooked it he kicked his $300 rod-and-reel outfit overboard, with rig attached.

“I didn’t mind losing the rod and reel as much as losing the A-rig,” says Faladreau.

 

Finishing tenth with a solid 32 pounds 14 ounces is Zac Beek and Zachary Hartley of Iowa State University.

10. Iowa State University – Zachary Hartley and Zac Beek – 32-14

Zachary Hartley and Zac Beek think that slow-rolling their umbrella rigs along the bottom was critical to getting bites. They employed five-arm Lake Fork rigs with Big Bite Baits Cane Thumpers or Striker Fish swimbaits, with the top two arms being decoys. Hartley and Beek could muster only four keepers on Saturday. Like a lot of other rig-flingers, they expected Saturday’s sunnier weather to help add the flash and dazzle to their spinner blades that would make the fish bite better. Apparently Kentucky Lake’s bass didn’t get the memo.

 

Tags: college-fishing  kentucky-lake  march  colin-moore  post-tournament  2015-03-20-kentucky-lake 

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