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

Maples Family Wins Marshall Strong Event

Maples Family Wins Marshall Strong Event

There are a lot of winners in western Kentucky today thanks to the generosity of about 150 bass anglers who competed in the 2018 FLW Foundation Marshall Strong charity bass tournament on Kentucky Lake. The tournament was organized to raise money to support the victims and their families of the Marshall County High School shooting that took place in January. Altogether, participants raised more than $13,000.

FLW actually hosted two events in one – a boat division, which allowed up to three anglers per boat and fielded 49 entries, and a kayak division. Several side pots were also available to enter.

In the boat division, the father-son team of Randy and Parker Maples of Amory, Miss., won first place with a five-bass limit of 22 pounds, 10 ounces. The Maples won $2,000 and added two more $500 prizes for winning the high school division (at least one boater in high school) and the family division, for a total purse of $3,000.

Parker, age 15, fishes for the North Mississippi Student Anglers High School Fishing Team, and participated in the inaugural Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp at Murray State University and Kentucky Lake during the week. He put his skills learned at camp to good use to pocket the first-place prize

“Everything came on a ChatterBait. The Jack Hammer. Solid white,” he says, adding that they used Yamamoto Zako trailers. “The key was burning it as fast as you could reel.”

Parker and his dad fished gravel points. Most of their fish came in about 4 feet of water along a one-mile-long stretch on the east side of the lake south of the bridge at Aurora, Ky.

“We were right off the main lake, in a cove that had bait,” adds Randy. “We practiced one day earlier this week and found bait in the back and fished the points out in front.

“We had it to ourselves. There was nobody else on it.”

Using 1/2- and 3/4-ounce ChatterBaits helped to keep the bait down during the fast retrieve. The Maples duo relied on 20-pound-test fluorocarbon, Shimano Curado K (7.4:1) reels, and 7-foot, 3-inch, heavy Hammer rods.

Their weigh-in mix included two smallmouths and three largemouths, though they landed three other keeper smallmouths that didn’t help their weight.

Another family duo cracked the 20-pound mark to finish runner-up. Wayne Joyce and his daughter, Alexis, weighed in 21-2.

Though they didn’t win, for the Joyces, today’s tournament was more about a homecoming than chasing any prize. Wayne, who serves in the U.S. Army and is stationed in nearby Clarksville, Tenn., returned less than two weeks ago from deployment overseas. This was the first trip he was able to take with his daughter, who fishes for the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) fishing team. Their catch was anchored by a 7-2 kicker.

To catch their stringer, Wayne and Alexis ran clear to New Johnsonville, Tenn., totaling more than 100 miles round trip, and pitched, flipped and cast a Texas-rigged creature bait in one key area.

“It’s a cool-water spring,” says Wayne, “The water temp was about 80 degrees.

“I’ve had that spot for a while. It’s my backup summertime hole. Luckily no one was on it.”

For finishing second, they earned $1,000.

The third-place team included Bill Schroeder and his son, Billy, along with Shawn Penn. The local trio weighed in a five-bass limit worth 18-2 to win $500. They added another $500 for winning the optional mens division. The anglers generously donated their $1,000 prize back to the Marshall Strong cause.

“My niece was in the school when the shooting occurred,” Billy says, “so for us this hits close to home.”

Rounding out the prizewinners in the boater division was the team of Kenneth Meyers and Landon Kokenzie, who weighed in a 10-pound, 12-ounce drum to win the $500 any-species big-fish award. 

Money raised for the Marshall Strong caused came from tournament entry fees, donations and bids in a silent auction held the previous evening. Many of the participants were campers who were part of the inaugural High School Fishing Summer Camp, and tournament entries came in from 18 states and as far away as California.

 

Top 10 teams (boater division)

1. Randy Maples and Parker Maples – 22-10 (5 fish)

2. Wayne Joyce and Alexis Joyce – 21-2 (5 fish)

3. Bill Schroeder, Shawn Penn and Billy Schroeder – 18-2 (5 fish)

4. Terry Bolton, Evan Bremmerkamp and Nathan Steele – 17-8 (5 fish)

5. Alan Marksber, Carter Marksber and Puggy Debeery – 17-6 (5 fish)

6. Ramie Colson Jr. and Harold Knight – 17-4 (5 fish)

7. Andrew Wright, Steve Wright and Carsten Raney – 13-15 (5 fish)

8. Larry Bailey and Keith Bailry – 12-7 (4 fish)

9. Landon Kokenzie and Kenneth Myers – 10-1 (3 fish)

10. Drew Morgan and Kent Watson – 9-13 (2 fish)

 

Jackson wins kayak division

FLW Tour pro Eric Jackson won top spot in the kayak division, which featured eight entrants. His total catch was 45 inches, which included a 20-inch smallmouth. In fact, all of his legal fish were smallmouths. He caught them using Strike King Rage Swimmer swimbaits. Jakcson bested Nathan Reeves with 29.5 and Darrell Olson with 18.75. First-place prize was $1,000 and a Jackson Kayak that was donated by Eric Jackson. Rather than accept his own prize, Jackson gave the kayak to Reeves, a high schooler who participated in this week’s summer camp.

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