Lake Barkley challenged the 49 boaters and co-anglers who competed in the 2016 FLW Bass Fishing League All-American, which was hosted by Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism. Hot weather and slow current didn’t help the situation either.
Most of the top 10 anglers slow-fished with jigs and soft plastics in natural colors, either by flipping bank cover or dragging through brush piles or on hard-bottom structure. If you’re fishing a shallow reservoir with current during the postspawn period, you might consider bringing a few of these baits along.
1. All-American champ Jeremy Lawyer used a combination of soft plastics and a crankbait. The crankbait was a Bandit 200 that he had custom-painted in a herring pattern by Fallcreek Lures. For plastics, he used a green pumpkin Zoom Magnum Trick Worm with the tail dyed chartreuse and rigged on a homemade 3/8-ounce football head with a Gamakatsu hook and a Texas-rigged green pumpkin Zoom Brush Hog, also with the tails dyed chartreuse.
2. North Carolina’s Todd Walters finished runner-up with a homemade 7/16-ounce jig with a hand-tied green pumpkin magic craw skirt and either a Zoom UV Speed Craw or Zoom Super Chunk trailer. He fished the jig on Lew’s rods and reels with 20-pound-test Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon.
3. It was one bait and one bait only that earned Clabion Johns a top 10. He threw a SPRO Bronzeye Pop 60 in the natural red color.
4. John Vanore of Mullica Hill, N.J., flipped a 1/2-ounce Keitech jig in green pumpkin blue with a Reaction Innovations Twerk trailer in the same color. He also flipped a Texas-rigged Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a 1/2-ounce weight, cranked a shad-colored Lucky Craft 2.5 square-bill and dragged a green pumpkin blue Zoom Magnum Trick Worm on a 1/2-ounce homemade jighead.
5. Ohioan Kyle Weisenburger finished fifth by fishing a 3/8-ounce black buzzbait with a silver blade and a 3/4-ounce peanut butter and jelly Slong’s jig with a green pumpkin Zoom UV Speed Craw trailer.
6. Local favorite Drew Boggs flipped all week with a Big Bite Baits Tube Craw in either green pumpkin or black and blue. He weighted his Texas rig with a 5/8-ounce Jiggy Weight – standard or skirted – and used a Mustad wide-gap hook.
7. Mike Devere climbed from 10th to seventh on the final day by fishing a green pumpkin Zoom Magnum Trick Worm on a 1/4-ounce shaky head and a 3/8-ounce Stan Sloan’s Zorro Bait Co. Booza Bug jig with a green pumpkin Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer.
8. Nelson Walker began the week cranking a red Luhr-Jensen Speed Trap but lost it and ended up switching to a Rapala DT6 in pearl/green back. He also threw a 1/2-ounce white spinnerbait, flipped bushes with a black and blue Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with a 5/16-ounce weight and 20-pound-test Sunline fluorocarbon, and fished a 1/2-ounce Yo-Zuri lipless crankbait as shallow as 18 inches on flats in the creeks.
9. Ninth-place finisher Thomas Helton fished a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin Brush Puppy Jig from lurepartsonline.com. He paired the jig with a Strike King Rage Tail Chunk trailer. Helton also used a green pumpkin magic Zoom Trick Worm on a 1/4-ounce shaky head.
10. Rounding out the top 10, Jim Eakin of Clarksville, Tenn., flipped a green pumpkin Reaction Innovations Kinky Beaver with the tails dyed chartreuse. He used a 3/16-ounce weight.