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

College Open Kicks Off on Kentucky Lake

College Open Kicks Off on Kentucky Lake

Finding fish in practice was one thing, but being able to return to them once the YETI FLW College Fishing Open began this morning on Kentucky Lake was the dilemma facing many of the nearly 390 collegiate anglers vying here for the title.

A northwest wind rode the coattails of a cold front that drifted across Kentucky Lake Wednesday and early Thursday morning as the first flight took off at 6:30 a.m., and, while the rain that accompanied it is gone, the wind was forecast to build throughout the day. Whitecaps splashing over the bow on a chilly April morning tend to slow boats down and make their occupants think twice about making long milk runs.

That’s the bad part; the good part for the majority of the 194 teams representing 80 colleges and universities competing is that the wind likely poses the same problem for such local teams as Bethel University of McKenzie, Tenn., and Murray State University of Murray, Ky. If anything, it could level the playing field a bit and make for an exciting weigh-in, which begins at 2:30 this afternoon (you can watch the weigh-in live at FLW's Facebook page) at Moors Resort and Marina in Gilbertsville, Ky.

Typically, Bethel and Murray State boats race southward to Blood River and beyond, which puts them closer to their home fishing grounds, but the wind-lashed lake could force a change in plans. That still might not be such a big disadvantage, however, as there are plenty of options closer to takeoff in the mid-lake area.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to have much of a home-team advantage in this tournament,” notes Bethel University Coach Garry Mason, who has a dozen squads entered in the two-day event. “Wherever they’re from, these college kids are so good with electronics nowadays that any one of them could go out on a lake like Kentucky Lake, find fish and then catch them.”

Indeed, some did catch plenty of bass in practice earlier this week, as they confessed at registration Thursday afternoon. Joe Bardill, a Murray State University senior, and his partner, Luke Ripple, a sophomore, reported that they spotted and caught good several fish that were cruising the backs of coves. Savannah (Ga.) School of Art and Design Coach Isaac Payne says that his anglers had enticed a number of fish from brush piles and other cover in water 8 to 10 feet deep.

“Except for the wind – and that’s gradually going to calm down some – I don’t think the fishing conditions are that bad at all,” observes Ripple. “Based on what I’ve seen and heard, it might take 22 pounds a day to win it. Two weeks ago there was a one-day tournament here that took just over 30 pounds to win. The fish are there.”

No doubt he’s right, providing an angler can get to them.

Details

Location: Kentucky Lake/Lake Barkley, Gilbertsville, Ky.

Date: April 7-8

Takeoff: 6:30 a.m. CT

Weigh-in: 2:30 p.m. CT

Takeoff/Weigh-in location: Moors Resort and Marina, 570 Moors Rd., Gilbertsville, Ky.

Tags: kentucky-lake  flw-college-fishing  college-fishing-open  colin-moore  morning-story  2017-04-07-kentucky-barkley-lake 

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