Things are really starting to heat up at the Walmart FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake presented by Mercury and hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau – literally and figuratively.
Not only have the daytime temperatures reached 95 degrees, but Tennessee River ace Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tenn., is also bringing the heat in the form of giant bags of Kentucky Lake bass.
Yesterday, Lambert weighed in the biggest limit of bass to that point in the tournament – 24 pounds, 4 ounces. Today, he cranked up the thermostat even higher with a whopping 25-pound, 5-ounce catch that earned him the day three lead with a total of 68 pounds, 2 ounces. He now leads the event by a pound and a half going into the final day.
Today, Lambert remained committed to what he has dubbed the “outlier pattern,” referring to his program of idling around the fringes of traditional megaschool locations to find fragmented groups of bass that have pushed away from the main school to seek safe haven from the constant barrage of fishing pressure being applied on Kentucky Lake.
“The best way I can put it is that the outliers are freshening up faster,” Lambert says. “The main megaschools out here get hit every 10 minutes. Everyone knows where they are. The fish in those main schools are extremely wary and difficult to catch. So instead of fooling with them, I’m idling areas 75 to 150 yards away from the main school. If I see five or six dots suddenly pop up on my Garmin, I spin around and fish for them.”
His “outlier pattern” seems to be hotter than Kentucky asphalt. He fished about 20 places today and caught fish from most of them. His theory is that those smaller pods on the outsides “freshen up” and feel more comfortable than those dodging lures in the primary school.
“But I only catch one or two fish per stop,” Lambert says. “I mean, to catch three fish from one group is a huge flurry for me. The outliers are constantly on the move. But if they ever stop and sit still somewhere for a minute, they seem to be more vulnerable than those in the big school.”
Another big key for Lambert is his lure, which he plans to reveal in full tomorrow.
“It’s something I’ve been throwing for few years, but I have really developed a good cadence with it here this week,” he says. “It’s not just the lure, but the way I’m fishing it that I think is bringing the better quality bites.”
Lambert and Hunter recap day three
Top 10 pros
1. Jason Lambert – Pickwick Dam, Tenn. – 68-2 (15)
2. Brandon Hunter – Benton, Ky. – 66-10 (15)
3. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 63-2 (15)
4. Terry Bolton – Paducah, Ky. – 61-11 (15)
5. Walmart pro Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 58-8 (15)
6. Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 55-4 (15)
7. Jayme Rampey – Liberty, S.C. – 54-13 (15)
8. Jacob Wheeler – Indianapolis, Ind. – 54-0 (15)
9. Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury – Springville, Ala. – 53-14 (15)
10. Brad Knight – Lancing, Tenn. – 53-10 (15)