Kentucky-Barkley Lakes on tap for Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 3 on Kentucky Lake Presented by Phoenix Boats - Major League Fishing

Kentucky-Barkley Lakes on tap for Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 3 on Kentucky Lake Presented by Phoenix Boats

Field of 150 professional anglers to compete for top prize of up to $115,000 and qualification into REDCREST 2025
Image for Kentucky-Barkley Lakes on tap for Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 3 on Kentucky Lake Presented by Phoenix Boats
April 10, 2024 • MLF • Invitationals

CALVERT CITY, Ky. – The third Tackle Warehouse Invitationals event of the season kicks off next week, April 19-21, with Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 3 at Kentucky Lake Presented by Phoenix Boats. Each Tackle Warehouse Invitational features a roster of 150 anglers competing for a top prize of up to $115,000 and an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2025 – the Bass Pro Tour championship – for the chance to win up to $300,000.

Hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, the three-day tournament also showcases competitors competing for valuable points to win the coveted Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) title – including a $50,000 payout – and to qualify for the 2025 Bass Pro Tour, MLF’s premiere circuit.  

“The Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is thrilled to be hosting Major League Fishing’s Tackle Warehouse Invitational tournament in Marshall County,” said Elena Blevins, Executive Director of the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This event not only signifies a thrilling moment for our local fishery, but also highlights the vital role the fishing industry plays in our community’s economic prosperity.

“The economic benefits stemming from this event are substantial, with increased tourism traffic translating to heightened revenue streams for local businesses, bolstered job opportunities, and amplified community engagement. As we welcome anglers, spectators, and enthusiasts alike to Marshall County, we anticipate a ripple effect of positive economic impact that will resonate throughout our region. We look forward to showcasing the return of Kentucky Lake’s unparalleled fishing experiences to the world.”

Kentucky and Barkley Lakes both have plenty of history with MLF (and FLW), as the fisheries have played host to a whopping total of 253 events since 1994 – the most popular fishery in MLF/FLW history. The last big MLF tournament on the lake was March’s Toyota Series event, in which Invitationals rookie Jake Lawrence of Buchanan, Tennessee, won after leading wire-to-wire on the strength of 20-plus-pound limits on two of the three days of competition.

That early March event was pretty much entirely prespawn – likely different circumstances from this time around. Lawrence expects to see bass caught in a variety of different phases and tactics, with forecasted rain and changing water levels this week being a big x-factor.

“The lake has been fishing very well – there was a BFL (Phoenix Bass Fishing League) there last weekend that had several 20-plus-pound limits weighed in, and the weights were very good all the way down,” Lawrence said. “But we’ve got some rain coming, and that is going to affect the water levels and 100% determine how the lake is going to fish. The lake is going to fish really big, though. Guys are going to really spread out.

“If water levels are high, above normal summer pool and up in the bushes, I think the largemouth will be the predominant species and we’ll see around 70% largemouth, 30% smallmouth weighed in,” Lawrence said. “If the water levels stay down and don’t get above summer pool, it’ll be more like 40% largemouth and 60% smallmouth. It all depends on the water levels, and regardless we are still going to see a lot of fish get caught.”

Lawrence said that anglers targeting largemouth would be frogging and flipping – he mentioned he’ll have a Jenko The Bird, a Spro Poppin’ Frog, and a swimjig tied on – and that anglers targeting smallmouth would be throwing drop-shot rigs, swimbaits and jerkbaits. 

“Another big factor in this event is where we are in the stage of the spawn,” Lawrence said. “We’re still fairly early in the spawn, but we’ve had an unusually warm spring with no major cold fronts. Looking at recent tournament results, I suspect that there will be some fish spawning as well. And if that’s the case, it’ll be a really interesting tournament. The lake is clean enough to sight fish now, and there are areas where that could really play. 

“I think it’ll likely take at least 63 to 64 pounds to win over the three days,” Lawrence went on to say. “Lake Barkley is also going to be a big player – I expect that lake to show its hand next week. It’s a great fishery but usually it has a hard time competing with Kentucky Lake, other than a three-week window every year later in the spring. And this tournament just happens to fall right in that window. I absolutely think we see a couple of guys that finish in the Top 10 fishing in Barkley next week.”

Anglers will launch at 6:30 a.m. CT each day from the Kentucky Dam Marina, located at 466 Marina Drive in Gilbertsville. Weigh-ins will also be held at the Marina and will begin at 2:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and weigh-in events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 2024 Tackle Warehouse Invitationals feature a field of 150 professional anglers competing across six invitational tournaments around the country, for a total purse of $3.9 million and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points to qualify for a coveted spot on the Bass Pro Tour, the sport’s top level.

In Tackle Warehouse Invitational competition, the full field of 150 anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Friday and Saturday in a five-fish, weigh-in format. Only the top 30 pros, based on their two-day cumulative weight, advance to the final round on Championship Sunday, where they will compete for the grand prize of up to $115,000. The winner of Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 3 at Kentucky Lake Presented by Phoenix Boats will be determined by the heaviest three-day cumulative weight and will receive an invitation to compete at REDCREST 2025 on Lake Guntersville in Huntsville, Alabama.

The MLFNOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee and Rob Newell will break down the extended action live all three days of competition from 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. CT. MLFNOW! will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals Stop 3 at Kentucky Lake Presented by Phoenix Boats will air as a two-hour episode, premiering at 9 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 19 on CBS Sports Network.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak Fishing, Onyx, Phoenix Boats, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated information on Major League Fishing and the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Tackle Warehouse Invitational updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the MLF5 social media outlets at Facebook,  Instagram and YouTube.