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The FLW Tour Season Finale at Kentucky Lake

Posted by blake on July 3, 2014

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In any slugfest like Kentucky Lake, the difference comes down to one or two bites a lot of the time.  For me this past week at Kentucky Lake fell into that category.  Catching fish was not a problem and rarely is on Kentucky Lake, but generating those 4 lb plus bites is always the key.  I ended up finishing only 2 ounces out of a check and little over a pound out of a $10,000 one.  My FLW Tour season was a rollercoaster ride and one I definitely want to improve on.  Looking back a couple years to when I made the Cup, I’m really trying to identify the things that contributed to that great season and am working on putting a lot more energy into recreating that for the rest of the year and into next season.

 

My practice on Kentucky Lake went really well.  It’s an amazing fishery and I always like going there.  During practice I identified a number of spots that held good schools of fish and was able to get a handful of those 4-5 lb bites that are so important on Kentucky Lake.  During practice, I dialed in on a specific bait that really seemed to get me more bites.  This bait was a ½-3/4 oz Bucktail Jig.  It’s definitely more subtle than a lot of other presentations and with all the pressure the lake gets, seemed to be a great choice.  A lot of other guys I talked to were dialed in on that as well, but during the tournament I never weighed one fish on it.  It’s amazing how the bite and conditions change so quickly.

I felt very confident that I could get the bites I needed to do well in the tournament and Day one I was even lucky enough to draw the first boat out.  I had my pick of where I wanted to go and started up Big Sandy Creek.  It didn’t take long to start catching them, but the difference was instead of that bucktail jig, I caught all my fish on a swimbait.  Nearly every bite I had was in the 3-3.5 lb class, but not one over 4 lbs.  I did manage to hook up with an absolute giant later though, off a piece of standing timber and she got wrapped up in a limb.  I still had her hooked and had my co-angler hold my ankles as I went in head first to try and free her from the limb, but could never get her out.  Eventually, I tried pulling hard and hoping it may break the branch, but my line gave before that could happen.  That was heartbreaking considering I could see the fish and it was definitely in the 7 lb class!  I ended up weighing in 15-07 with at least one dead fish, but was still in the mix.  I knew I just needed to crack a little better bag the next day to get where I wanted to be.

Day two went very similar to how the first day had gone, with lots of fish in the 3-3.5 lb range.  Once again I wasn’t able to get any big bites which kept my just out of the money cut.  It’s always tough to miss out on a check, but when you are only a couple ounces out it’s even tougher.  All in all though, I feel like I fished a pretty clean tournament.  I don’t question my decision making and can’t really tell you what I would have done differently.  This season was a trying one.  I’ve got a lot to think about, but am definitely going to focus on the positive.

Although the FLW Tour season is over, I’ve still got two more Bassmaster Northern Open’s left to fish at Lake Champlain and Lake St. Clair.  Champlain is next on the list in a few weeks and the last time we went there, I had a really good chance to win on the final day.  At that place, it’s all about decisions and the biggest decision will be whether to make the 70+ mile run to “Ti” (Ticonderoga), or to fish closer to Plattsburgh.  I’m going to put in my time and give myself the best opportunity I can to put myself in contention once again.  Thanks to everyone for your support through this FLW Tour season and continued support throughout the rest of the year!