UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

CF: Top 3 Patterns from KY Lake

CF: Top 3 Patterns from KY Lake

The FLW College Fishing Central Conference Invitational tournament on Kentucky Lake was all about the shad. The top three teams in the two-day event found success by focusing on bass chasing schools of shad in the massive lake – a typical late-summer pattern. Each of the teams relied on different areas and techniques, but the key ingredient was the same.

Here’s how each team made it happen:

1st Place

Winona State University

Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout

10 bass – 28 pounds, 1 ounce

Winona State University made an impressive comeback on Kentucky Lake, vaulting from 14th place after day one to become the eventual winners of the tournament.

The duo of Wyatt Stout of Winona, Minn., and Cade Laufenberg of Stoddard, Wis., had good fortune on their side in practice as they were able to locate large schools of shad and the aggressive bass right behind them in a location that turned out to be the winning area.

“We got lucky. We were driving down the lake and saw seagulls diving on shad everywhere,” says Stout. “It was just like how we fish back home on the Mississippi River – locate the birds, and then you find the bass. The fish were on a flat with shell beds in 3 to 5 feet of water, just chasing the shad everywhere.”

The team was committed to making a long run south on the first morning despite rough, windy conditions that nearly doubled what would have been a 45-minute trip in calm waters. Stout and Laufenberg caught 12 pounds, 4 ounces on the first day to land just inside the top-15 cut to fish day two.

“We didn’t have a Plan B, so we fished the same area all day, throwing a SPRO Aruku Shad lipless crankbait in a shad pattern,” Stout adds about the first day. “We would just go back and forth between two key areas on the flat that were maybe 200 yards away from each other and keep watching for the bass and birds to get active.”

Upsizing to a 3/4-ounce lipless crankbait helped maximize the team’s effectiveness at reaching the bass from a distance.

“You could really launch it and get good hookups from a distance,” Stout explains. “We were reeling it really fast too, bouncing it and bumping it off of the cover and then giving it a good rip. That’s when the strike would come.”

Once the wind died down about midday, they were able to catch fish on a Carolina-rigged worm.

The second day was much calmer, and the team switched to fishing a Strike King Sexy Dawg walking topwater bait with a quick retrieve. An erratic action proved best, and Winona hauled in a 15-pound, 13-ounce day-two bag, which tied for the biggest of the event and was enough to seal the come-from-behind win.

2nd Place

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Ryan Gilbert and Brett Daggett

10 bass – 27 pounds, 9 ounces

University of Wisconsin-Platteville anglers Ryan Gilbert of Sterling, Ill., and Brett Daggett of Cottage Grove, Wis., had never seen Kentucky Lake before the Invitational, but they uncovered a bass paradise.

“We were fishing a small bay in the back of a creek that we found in practice,” says Daggett. “It had a bank that transitioned from rocks to grass with some docks mixed in. In a little deeper water there was a roadbed and a bridge foundation with remaining debris in the water.”

The magical spot had everything a bass would want, including large schools of shad.

“In practice, we were catching them with swim jigs right on the bank, but the fish had moved out away from the bank [during the tournament],” Daggett explains. “Toward the end of the first day, we started throwing an XCalibur Xr50 lipless crankbait in the sexy shad pattern and quickly filled out our limit.”

Daggett and Gilbert never managed to cull, but their five-bass limit weighed 13 pounds, 1 ounce.

They started day two armed with a better understanding of how to approach their spot and had a much better round in terms of total fish.

“We caught between 20 and 25 keepers on the second day because we knew where the bass were and what the fish wanted,” says Daggett.

Platteville culled up to 14 pounds, 8 ounces on day two to finish 1/2 pound behind the winners from Winona.

3rd Place

McKendree University

Dustin Pendegraft and Phillip Germagliotti

nine bass – 26 pounds, 6 ounces

McKendree University is located in Lebanon, Ill., which is about two and a half hours from Kentucky Lake. Despite its proximity to the famous fishery, the McKendree team of Dustin Pendegraft of Summerfield, Ill., and Phillip Germagliotti of Highland, Ill., had only fished the lake a handful of times. The duo decided to go into the tournament with an open mind.

“We really had no game plan for the first day,” Pendegraft says. “We practiced and found out they really weren’t on the ledges, and we seemed to catch our biggest fish on points.”

With that knowledge gained from pre-fishing, the team decided to cover as much water as possible when the tournament arrived.

“We just stayed on the trolling motor and let the wind drift us as we fished every main-lake point we could come across,” Pendegraft says. “We were fishing everything on the windy points, but the key areas were pea-gravel points where they transitioned into bluff walls or bigger rocks.”

The team fished a variety of lures and caught fish on swim jigs, shaky heads, spinnerbaits and jigs. McKendree weighed in a day-one total of 15 pounds, 13 ounces to take the early lead.

The second day dawned with much calmer conditions. As a result, McKendree’s wind-blown point pattern deteriorated, and the team struggled – it hadn’t landed a keeper by noon.

Pendegraft and Germagliotti hung tough and managed to grind out four keepers for 10 pounds, 9 ounces, but it wasn’t enough to maintain the lead. They slipped to third place.

Tags: tyler-brinks  article 

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