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Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake Day 1
Nicholas Czajka, Jack Hippe III

Adrian College’s Chase Serafin and Cody Batterson lead the field with 24 pounds, 15 ounces after day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky/Barkley lakes. They caught their fish by foregoing an obvious pattern of fishing flooded brush and sticking with a more intuitive approach that involved targeting staging prespawners. They caught their fish on a mix of reaction baits. 

Day 1 leaders’ pattern

Complete results

Here are the details of the rest of the top five.

 

2. Jack Hippe III & Nicholas Czajka – Adrian College – 23-12 (5)

Trailing the leaders and fellow Adrian College teammates by a little more than a pound, Jack Hippe III and Nicholas Czajka started their day with a red-hot rally that produced the second-place catch of 23-12.

“It was a crazy morning. We had all of those fish in the first 45 minutes to an hour,” Czajka says. “After we got our fifth fish off of our starting spot, we left that spot and planned on going back to it, but by 10 o’clock it was too rough to run back to it. We had to abandon that pattern and just try to be productive doing other things.”

The Adrian teammates relied on reaction baits, and Czajka says they were pleasantly surprised with their productivity.

“We really didn’t have anything dialed in during practice, but we just made some adjustments and kept a positive attitude,” he says. “I think we had the right idea; we just weren’t doing it in the right areas. We looked at a map and picked a different spot to start today, and it worked out. We were just moving up and down points and targeting different areas.”

A mixed bag that included a couple of nice smallmouths was no surprise for the main-lake spots they fished, Serafin says. Important, though, was making sure they had no trouble running back in today’s wind-whipped water.

“We just tried to pay attention to the wind. We’re from Michigan, and we fish big water like Lake Erie, so the big water [of Kentucky Lake] didn’t scare us,” Serafin says. “But we kept it in the back of our minds. That’s why when we caught our fish early, we left our main area and went and fished calm-water areas to make sure we got back in time.”

 

3. Pat Morrison & Dylan Rague – Iowa State University – 21-7 (5)

For Iowa State University’s Pat Morrison and Dylan Rague, success followed a well-defined formula that produced their third-place limit of 21-7. Included in that bag was a quartet of plump smallmouths.

“We just kind of stumbled on them,” Morrison says. “We expected to catch largemouths – and we did catch a keeper largemouth – but we ended up with four good smallies and culling a couple of smallies.”

Morrison explains that boat trouble during practice made the team uneasy about making long runs in the windy conditions. Remaining close to the Kentucky Dam Marina takeoff site, the anglers found what Morrison calls “a unique spot” and made it work.

Understandably guarded in the details, Rague says the sweet spot on their target is defined by a specific depth and a specific bottom make-up. The spot has the advantage of reloading several times throughout the day, so diligently working it kept them in position to capitalize.

“It’s bass fishing 101,” Rague says. “They’re pulling up to feed in waves. You’d pull up and get two of them quickly, and then it’d died off and you’d wait for them to come back up again.”

Morrison points out that today’s windy conditions worked in their favor by pushing bait onto the spot and creating a feeding opportunity. One particular reaction bait produced their day’s weight.

 

4 (tie). Brad Ableman & Kristopher “KJ” Queen – Bethel University – 20-14 (5)

Making a big run past Paris, Tenn., paid off for Brad Ableman and Kristopher “KJ” Queen, who sacked up a fourth-place bag of 20-14. Persistence and bait choice were equally essential to their success.

“We got on a stretch of bank that has some fish on it, and we used a Queen Tackle HAMMERHEAD jig to fish pretty slow around the bushes,” Queen says. “The jig has a rattle built into the head, so we’d flip it into those bushes and sit there and shake it, shake it, shake it, and all of a sudden a fish would bite. Sometimes, it would take, like, 30 seconds to get a bite.

“Up in the day, we went and cranked a square-bill down the bank and caught a few other fish, but our bigger ones came on that jig.”

Ableman surmises that the day’s post-frontal bluebird skies had the fish tucked tight to cover and generally less active. Keeping that rattling jig in their face probably helped coax more bites.

 

4 (tie). Cody Huff & Garrett Enders – Bethel University – 20-14 (5)

Matching Ableman and Queen’s weight, Cody Huff and Garrett Enders tied their teammates with 20-14. Their day started with a long run to waters south of the Paris, Tenn., area. Their action was spread throughout the day, so they had to be patient and effective with what came their way.

“We got our bites in bursts. We’d get three or four bites, and then we wouldn’t get bit for a while,” Huff says. “It was pretty tough. We didn’t get many bites.”

Working in 1 to 6 feet, Huff and Enders targeted isolated bushes. They caught their fish on ChatterBaits, spinnerbaits and Gene Larew Biffle Bugs.

“I think the biggest thing was adapting to the water level and knowing how to work with the high water,” Enders says. “Now that the water is in the bushes, we can flip the bushes, and we can throw spinnerbaits around the bushes. If the water wasn’t high, we couldn’t do that.”

 

Photo Galleries

 

Day 1 morning takeoff

Day 1 on-the-water

Day 1 weigh-in

 

 

Top 10 teams

1. Adrian College – Chase Serafin and Cody Batterson – 24-15 (5)

2. Adrian College – Jack Hippe III and Nicholas Czajka – 23-12 (5)

3. Iowa State University – Pat Morrison and Dylan Rague – 21-7 (5)

4 (tie). Bethel University – Brad Ableman and Kristopher “KJ” Queen – 20-14 (5)

4 (tie). Bethel University – Cody Huff and Garrett Enders – 20-14 (5)

6. Campbellsville University – Dakota Cantrell and Austin Moore – 19-11 (5)

7. East Texas Baptist University – Chad Poulsen and Jacob Sanders – 19-4 (5)

8. Adrian College – Alex Henderson and John Franko – 19-1 (5)

9. Bethel University – Hunter Louden and Seth Roberts – 18-7 (4)

10. Murray State University – Harbor Lovin and Evan Bramhill – 18-0 (5)

Complete results

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2018-03-06-kentucky-barkley-lakes 

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