"I'm Freaking Out" - Major League Fishing

“I’m Freaking Out”

June 15, 2009 • Sean Ostruszka • Angler Columns




Forget all the “wows,” “unreals,” and “best place in the world to fish” quotes. No quote from last weekend’s Walmart FLW Tour event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes summed up the event like the one in the title.

The originator of the line was Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats pro Jim Tutt of Longview, Texas, about an hour into the first morning. He told us he had been catching them in practice, so we decided to follow him to try and get some good photos. Yeah, “catching them” was a ridiculous understatement! By the time we had the camera gear ready he already had two keepers in the livewell and his co-angler was landing a 4-pounder. It seemed like every cast the two made ended with a net job. I can still picture him hunched over his livewell, his body trembling with excitement as he raised his head at our camera boat and stammered, “I’m freaking out.” All we could do was laugh and yell back, “This is what fishing is supposed to be like.”

Yes, last weekend, mere minutes from the FLW Outdoors office, we watched exactly what every angler dreams about. We watched pros catch bass almost nonstop on crankbaits, worms, jigs, spoons and swimbaits. I’m pretty sure most the pros had the fish so dialed in they could have tossed rocks with hooks on them and still landed fish. There are so many 10- to 14-inch bass in the lakes right now it almost got boring watching pros set the hook. But there are plenty of giants, which is why most pros’ hands looked like they’d gotten into accidents with 10-grit belt sanders.

I’ve seen some pretty impressive lakes throughout my life, but Kentucky and Barkley lakes are some of the most bass-infested waters I’ve been around. And after watching the pros for a couple days, I can’t wait till it’s my turn to “freak out.”

Here are a few shots from my days on the water:

Jim Tutt’s day-one co-angler Lynn Baciuska Jr. of Afton, N.Y., battles a giant during Tutt’s “freaking out” morning.

Day two, Tutt continued to share the wealth with his new co-angler. However, his spot didn’t produce like it did the first day.

Keebler pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., swings in a keeper that began schooling behind his boat.

IAMS pro Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., wrenching on the fish. If I had a nickle for every time I watched this happen last weekend I could pay someone to write this blog for me. But what fun would that be.

Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky., gave us almost as good a show on day two as Tutt did on day one.