UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Top 5 Patterns From All-American Day 1

Top 5 Patterns From All-American Day 1
Curtis Richardson lobs a big spoon to the key spot on his ledge.

Though they fished different spots with different lures, all the top contenders in the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American hosted by the Henry County Alliance on Kentucky Lake adhered to an identical theme: ledge fishing.

It was a near-perfect setting for it, as the heavy stringers attested. There was some current running most of the day, and though it was cloudy much of the morning, the early bite was good. The fish sulked toward midday, but then were active again in the afternoon, especially when a thunderstorm swept across the lake. At day’s end, 30 limits were weighed by the 49 boaters.

The top five were using the standard Kentucky Lake ledge baits: football-head jigs, swimbaits, Carolina rigs, oversized spoons and deep-diving crankbaits. As tournament leader Bobby Padgett notes, “it’s not so much the baits you’re using, as where you’re fishing them.” His opening-round performance can be reviewed here.

Full Results

 

2. Curtis Richardson - Belleville, Ont. - 24 pounds, 13 ounces

Richardson earned a berth in the 2015 All-American through The Bass Federation. The Ontario angler placed fifth in the TBF Championship on Grand Lake earlier this spring and topped the Eastern Division in that event. Richardson made a long run south on day one, but the journey was worth it. He has never fished Kentucky Lake before practicing for this event.

“I fished some in pre-practice, but mainly I just rode around and graphed,” he says. “Once the lake went off-limits, I went down to Pickwick and taught myself how to fish ledges. Really, it’s a lot like smallmouth fishing on Lake Ontario, my home lake, except we use drop-shot rigs for smallmouths, and the baits used here are a lot bigger.”

 

Dennis Middleton

3. Dennis Middleton - Madison Heights, Va. - 24 pounds, 10 ounces 

The Virginia angler’s limit was anchored by the tournament’s biggest bass: 10-6. Middleton caught the fish at his first stop of the morning.

“My little boy [Jared] told me to at least catch a fish decent enough so he could walk across the stage with me,” recalls Middleton. “I told him I would do my best, and this one was good enough.”

Middleton started south of Paris Landing, but then worked his way north. He has six spots he pinpointed in practice and on day one he rotated through them without trying any new water.

“I’m going to do my best to catch five more good ones tomorrow, but I’m not counting on catching another 10-pounder” he says.

 

Yeah, Chris Martinkovic has something to be happy about there.

4Chris Martinkovic - Hamilton, Ohio - 24 pounds, 9 ounces

The Ohio fisherman started out catching fish south of the takeoff and never felt compelled to leave. He visited various community holes and reckoned he went through about 50 keepers Thursday.

“I had to go through a lot of fish to get what I got,” he says. “So I’m going north tomorrow because that’s where I found my best schools and biggest fish.”

 

Billy Schroeder

5. Billy Schroeder - Paducah, Ky. - 22 pounds, 5 ounces

This BFL veteran never fished beyond sight of the bridge at Paris Landing, and rotated through three spots all day. He culled about 20 times, including three times within minutes when a school of bigger fish moved up on a bar. Not good enough, says the Paducah angler, so he’s moving.

“Twenty-two pounds a day will be close, but I don’t think it will get it done as far as winning this thing,” says Schroeder. “I really need more weight so I’m going to try some new ledges. That’s my plan, but sometimes the best-laid plans go astray. We’ll see.”

Friday’s weigh-in at Paris Landing State Park Marina begins at 3 p.m.

Tags: kentucky-lake  summer  ledge-fishing  colin-moore  headline-story  2015-06-18-bfl-all-american 

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