Kentucky Lake Top 5 Patterns Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Kentucky Lake Top 5 Patterns Day 2

When it comes to fashion in fish schools on Kentucky Lake, “mega” is out and “mini” is in.
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Jason Lambert Photo by Patterson Leeth. Angler: Jason Lambert.
June 10, 2016 • Rob Newell • Archives

When it comes to fashion in fish schools on Kentucky Lake, “mega” is out and “mini” is in.

After day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake by Mercury and hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, it has become apparent that those atop the leaderboard are no longer sitting on giant megaschools of hundreds of bass, catching dozens of fish at a time, but rather searching out minischools consisting of five to 20 fish in hopes of catching one or two per group.

Tournament leader Terry Bolton referred to them as “clusters” of bass in explaining his pattern and others just behind him in the standings are describing the same phenomenon of smaller pods of bass that have jettisoned away from the larger school.

Bolton's leading pattern

Complete results 


Jason Lambert

2. Jason Lambert – Pickwick Dam, Tenn. – 42-13 (10)

After catching 18 pounds, 9 ounces on day one, Jason Lambert sacked up the biggest bag of the tournament on day two – 24 pounds, 4 ounces – for a two-day total of 42 pounds, 13 ounces.

Lambert refers to the bass he’s catching as “outliers” from the main school.

“A lot of the big schools are scattered,” says Lambert. “I’m actually fishing for itty bitty pods – the outliers that fragment off from the bigger schools. I’m looking for five-fish pods, six-fish pods that are out away from the main group. Today there were four boats fishing a megaschool, and I was 200 yards away catching them from a small pod, I guarantee you, that were part of that bigger group at one time. So my goal this week has been to fish around people, not with people.”


Bryan Thrift

3. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 42-6 (10)

Bryan Thrift caught 20 pounds of bass in the last 10 minutes of the day to jump from seventh to second with a total of 42 pounds, 6 ounces.

“At 4:25 p.m. this afternoon I idled over a spot, and it was loaded,” Thrift recounts of his major flurry. “I saw them on the graph, and I told my co-angler, ‘We are fixing to absolutely wreck them.’ By 4:35 p.m. I had culled every fish in the well and had 20 pounds – it happened just that fast. It was unreal.”

Thrift says his best guess that the TVA started to move some water late in the day, and that grouped the fish up in a feeding mode.


Brandon Hunter

4. Brandon Hunter – Benton, Ky. – 41-14 (10)

Brandon Hunter held on to his fourth-place spot from day one with a catch of 19 pounds, 3 ounces on day two.

Hunter is circumventing pressure and lack of current by fishing places that are off the river and a bit more remote.

“These fish are not affected as much by current, and they’re off the beaten path,” Hunter says of his primary spots. “But I’m afraid there are a lot of little fish moving onto those spots and the big ones may be moving out.”


Andy Morgan

5. Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 39-14 (10)

Andy Morgan jumped from 27th place to fifth thanks to a whopping 23-pound, 3-ounce catch on day two. His limit was anchored by a 7-pounder.

Morgan, too, is focusing on smaller pods of fish relating to shallower targets off of the main river. Instead of scanning his way to fish, he is simply fishing his way to fish.

“I’m not messing with those big schools out there on the river that are relating to bait,” Morgan says. “I’m fishing more old school – submerged stumps, big root wads and other junk that has not been washed away by the current. I’m just fishing – using my Garmin mapping to follow contours in shallower places. I don’t know that I can win that way, but it fits my style of fishing. I fished everything to the max today, and left nothing unturned.

“There is a big tournament going out of Paris tomorrow, and I’m sure there will be a lot of anglers on the water. So I went ahead and caught everything I could today.”