Hi, this is Scott Ellison with the weekly FLW Fishing Report. Well, this is the weekend when the Big Bass Tournament comes to town. The Walmart FLW will make a stop at Kentucky Lake, and the best bass fishermen in the land will go at it for the $100,000 first place prize.
Saturday and Sunday, the doors of the CFSB Center open at noon for the FLW Expo, which is open free to the public. Then, at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the weigh-ins begin in the center.
Let me set the stage a bit. The lake is in good shape, with a surface water temperature in the high 70s, but it still is about a foot and a half low. The situation is about the same at Barkley, where some guys will be running through the canal to fish. Back to Lentucky Lake, though. Probably fishermen won’t be able to count on much current being generated through the dam, and that makes the fishing a bit more problematic. Current activates feeding. It concentrates shad and bass. In the absence of current, the fish are a bit more scattered on the ledges and it takes a lot more work for a fisherman to get them fired up.
So, what to do? Probably, a lot of guys are going to run south to the big weedbeds. Success there is less dependent on current, but even so it’s not a sure thing. We had a photo boat down there the other day trying to get some shots of pros catching or holding up big bass. It didn’t work out because hardly anybody was catching good fish. Larry Nixon said he was having one of his worst practices ever, and if it was tough for him, you can bet it was tough for a lot of pros.
Dock talk has it that a couple of 10-pound-class bass were caught last weekend from the hydrilla beds below Paris Landing. That includes the big sandy river area down to New Johnsonville. If the grass bite is on, look for some big fish to come in. There are some really good grass fishermen in the mix this weekend, pros like JT Kenney and Scott Martin of Florida, and Justin Lucas and Randall Tharp of Alabama. If a couple of those guys are in the running Saturday, you can bet the weed beds are producing.
Bill Taylor, the director of tournament operations for FLW, says that lots of bass are being caught on the ledges, but for the most part they’re not of a size that will win a tournament like this. Bill also noted that a good many fish are being caught in the backends of coves and pockets now on topwater lures such as the rebel pop-r, and occasionally that will produce a big bass or two. Perhaps the average fishing scenario in the tournament this weekend will be to catch a big topwater fish early, limit out on the ledges and then run south to the hydrilla beds to catch some bigger fish that might let you cull your smaller bass.
Sounds like a plan to me, and you can bet somebody will unlock the lunker code and bring in some bass that will have the weigh-in crowd oohing and aahhing. Any way it goes, the weigh-ins in the CFSB center Saturday and Sunday are going to be exciting. I hope to see you there.
Remember, the free expo opens at noon, and it’s a great show to take your kids or grandkids to. The weigh-ins begin at 4 each day.
This is Scott Ellison, signing off for FLW and wishing you and yours lots of good fishing and good times.