GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – The 286 tournament anglers who prowled Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley Thursday during the opening of the FLW Tour stop didn’t have much trouble catching bass.
A few did struggle a bit landing big bass.
Not Casey Martin (pictured), who is fishing as a co-angler.
Martin, who is from New Market, Ala., had a five fish limit that weighed 22 pounds 12 ounces, the best of the day.
“I only caught eight or nine fish,” said Martin, who was teamed with pro Chad Grigsby (13-9 and 59th place). “But they were the right fish.”
Martin and most of the other anglers were fishing ledges and drop offs, tried and true holding areas for early summer bass on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the twin sprawling, lowland reservoirs separated by the 40-mile-long and 10-mile-wide Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area www.lbl.org.
George Cochran was not one of them.
Tournament veteran Cochran stayed away from the ledges, an approach that surprised no one. Cochran likes fishing shallow and rarely does anything else. He found his first fishing spot muddied and struck out with a worm and a crankbait before switching to what he described as a “Strike King chatterbait.” It must have worked. Cochran brought a 16-8 limit of bass to the stage – good enough for 23rd place.
Ask if he was going to test the ledges on Friday, the personable Arkansan said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Todd Hollowell is the Day 1 leader at 19 pounds 5 ounces, two ounces better than Terry Bolton, who is from Paducah, Ky., and who grew up fishing Kentucky Lake.
The tourney continues Friday, when the field for the pros and co-anglers will be trimmed to 20 fishermen each.
More at www.flwoutdoors.com.