Foggy final day - Major League Fishing
Foggy final day
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Foggy final day

Takeoff delayed on final day of College Fishing Central Regional Championship
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Fog delayed take off on the final morning of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship. Photo by Will Brantley.
November 2, 2009 • Will Brantley • Abu Garcia College Fishing

MURRAY, Ky. – A heavy fog seemed to build a relaxed mood among the top five National Guard FLW College Fishing teams competing on the final day of the Central Regional Championship this morning. Although the fog prevented seeing much of anything on Kentucky Lake outside of Kenlake Marina and convinced tournament officials to delay takeoff until some of it burned away and visibility improved, few of the teams seemed especially antsy about it. On the contrary, most were thrilled to have qualified for the College Fishing National Championship next April by making today’s cut. The prospect of winning $25,000 and a new Ranger boat today seemed to be a nice bonus.

Of course, that relaxed demeanor doesn’t mean there isn’t still a competition under way. On the contrary, a single pound separates first-place Eastern Kentucky University from second-place Ohio State. Throw a little college rivalry into the mix, and you can bet the competitors will be talking more of productive fall fishing patterns today than of difficult professors and upcoming parties.

“We have the same plan this morning that we’ve had the last two days,” EKU’s Tyler Moberly said.Tyler Moberly and Richard Cobb V with EKU have a 1-pound lead over Ohio State heading into the final day. “We’ll be flipping around a few lay-downs and things, but we’re chasing schooling fish for the most part. Our schools have been shallow, usually around 5 feet. We hope the wind will blow some today because they’ve been a lot more active when it’s been windy.”

“We’ve caught a few on spinnerbaits and things, but our best luck has been fishing right under them with a little shaky head,” added Moberly’s teammate, Richard Cobb V.

Murray State University, no doubt aching for a win on their home lake in front of their home crowd, was sitting in fifth place this morning with 15-4. They have a lot of ground to cover to get that first-place prize.

“We dug ourselves into a pretty big hole yesterday,” said Steve Miller with MSU. “We’re going for the win today. We’re already qualified for the National Championship, so we’re going to be headed down south to fish some grass. It’s a 10-mile run, and the fish aren’t always there, but when they are there, they’re big. It’s usually a topwater bite.”

Fall offers many ways to catch Kentucky Lake bass, including flipping, fishing grass and working a shaky head. Indiana University has caught most of their keepers on slow-moving presentations this week, such as a Texas-rigged Sweet Beaver. Of course, classic schooling patterns – crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits and other reaction-type lures – work too. Sometimes it’s just a matter of experimentation, even something as subtle as changing the skirt color or blade size on a spinnerbait, or switching to a crankbait with a tighter wobble, that proves to be the magic ticket.

Southern Illinois University’s Richard Dunham and Travis Gould confirmed that yesterday when they stumbled onto a hot crankbait bite by accident. One of them got snagged on some old fishing line and pulled in a Strike King Redeye Shad lipless crankbait along with it. Tying that crankbait on later in the day proved near magical, as the team caught 10 pounds, 3 ounces worth of bass and sealed their fourth-place slot for the final day. Here’s hoping they don’t break off that crankbait today – it’s the only one they have, and it’s pretty chilly to swim for it.


Today’s final weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. at Murray State University in front of Roy Stewart Stadium. Weigh-ins are open to the public and free to attend. MSU’s Reel Life Festival, which has been running in conjunction with the tournament weigh-ins, continues today from 4 to 7 p.m. Reel Life Festival visitors can register today to win a MacBook Air, and Murray State students also receive a free meal as part of the festivities.

Monday’s conditions

Sunrise: 6:18 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 36 degrees, foggy

Expected high temperature: 65 degrees

Water temperature: 59-61 degrees

Wind: SSW at 4-7 mph

Max. humidity: 75 percent

Day’s outlook: sunny