Lake Cumberland Day 1 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Lake Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Scott Martin has the unofficial lead
Image for Lake Cumberland Day 1 Coverage
Jeff Gustafson Photo by Kyle Wood. Angler: Jeff Gustafson.
April 6, 2017 • MLF • Archives

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2:10 We’re shuttering the blog for the day

We’re getting off just a touch early today, partly due to the long travel times down to the lower end and partly due to the terrible weather. There are sure to be some fish caught in the next few hours, but for now, our focus is on weigh-in starting at 3 p.m. ET. For that, you can brave the elements at General Burnside Island State Park or watch online from the comfort of your couch. 


Bryan Schmitt

1:55 More limits

Besides Martin, a number of other pros have now checked in with good limits. Bryan Schmitt has 14 pounds, Cody Meyer and Matt Arey have about 12 pounds and Terry Bolton has a limit of largemouths for about 13 pounds. 


1:30 Martin has the unofficial lead

Scott Martin has had a pretty meh year, but he might be about to turn things around. He says he’s got 18 pounds, which from what we know is god for the lead. We’ll see what else happens, but right now his day is pretty transcendent.

Also with a decent limit, Braxton Setzer says he’s got about 13 pounds. 


1:10 More updates

Lendell Martin has two keepers and just lost a big smallmouth. Mark Fisher has one small keeper and Charlie Evans has a spot and a smallmouth. Also, Timmy Thompkins has a limit for about 10 pounds. 


12:50 Kendrick report, missing persons

Jay Kendrick has a small limit. He’s fishing down the lake.

There are a lot more mysteries than usual today, mostly because of the terrible weather and the size of Cumberland. Chief among them are Larry Nixon and Matt Arey. The two are reportedly on a similar pattern and both had excellent practices. We also haven’t heard from Thrift since his first fish, Brandon Cobb, Jeff Sprague and others. Some will turn up later, but it’s going to be an interesting weigh-in. 


12:40 Water level musing

The water level in Cumberland has risen about an inch so far today, but with the amount of rain rolling in today it might rise quite a bit overnight. A big rise would affect the fishing in a couple of ways – the most obvious is that the water would be higher and likely more colored. That figures to change patterns a little, but the fish around here don’t mind quick changes too much. The other effect will be on  the navigation – if the water really gets up takeoff tomorrow could be pretty hazardous and it might take a long time for pros to make it down the lake. 


12:33 Checking back with Hays

Dylan Hays has about 12 pounds. He says it was pretty fast and furious early, but he’s had a slow go of it since. 


12:10 Montgomery has some good ones

Drew Montgomery has checked in with a limit for about 14 pounds, and he says all he’s got left to do is cull a little spotted bass. 


11:57 Zippo for Buck

Fishing down the lake, Grae Buck hasn’t caught a keeper yet. 


11:54 Thomason has a limit

Rodney Thomason has a limit with one smallmouth and four largemouths. Jason Reyes has four, including a representative of each species. Scott Suggs also has four, but we’ve no idea the species or quality, though word is he was on ‘em in practice. 


11:34 Jocumsen update

Carl Jocumsen is fishing way up a creek and has three in the boat. Elsewhere, Troy Morrow has three for about 8 pounds – one smallmouth and two spotted bass. 


11:29 Gussy has a limit

Jeff Gustafson said this morning that he figured he’d get about five chances at a quality bite with how he’s fishing. He’s got a limit for 10 pounds now and just culled a bit, so it looks like he’s at least figured out the numbers a little. 


Mark Rose

11:15 Rose update

Mark Rose has three small ones caught from the back of a creek on a spinnerbait. He’s glad to have them, but he’s leaving now for fresh water. 


Kurt Mitchell

11:10 Mitchell is doing pretty well

Kurt Mitchell is off to a pretty good start. He’s culling, and just replaced a spotted bass with a big smallmouth. He won’t say a total, but he’s fishing a jerkbait down in the clear and seems to be on a bit of a roll, having caught three in the last 10 minutes or so. 


10:57 LeHew checks in

Shane LeHew has a limit now as well. His is pretty skimpy, and he says he’s got maybe 10 pounds. 


Andy Morgan

10:50 Morgan has a limit

Down by the dam, Andy Morgan has a limit of largemouths. He says he doesn’t have any big ones, but they have to be at least 15 inches to keep, so he’s not doing too shabby.

Cody Bird doesn’t have any keepers, but he’s whooping up on 16- and 17-inch smallmouth with a drop-shot this morning. Up the river, Jimmy Houston has one keeper. 


10:45 One Johnston so far

We’ve found Cory Johnston fishing in the back of a creek. He’s got one small one so far and is chunking a spinnerbait. 


Jay Yelas

Cody Meyer

10:35 Yelas has four, Meyer is culling

Jay Yelas has added a fourth keeper. Meanwhile, Cody Meyer is culling and has about 10 pounds in the boat. If he can mix in a kicker or two he’ll be sitting pretty. 


Buddy Gross

10:25 It’s pouring, Gross has four

A fresh band of rain just moved in. Though the chance of rain decreases the rest of the day, it’s already been a wet one.

Buddy Gross has four keepers now, and his fourth is a spotted bass that he caught from under a dock on an underspin. No word on his total weight. 


Jason Lambert

10:17 Lambert culls

Make it about 13 pounds now for Jason Lambert. It’s pouring, and he just added a 3-pound largemouth to cull up. He’s down the lake and throwing a moving bait up shallow.

Up the lake, Zack Birge has three – two decent largemouths and a little spotted bass. 


Jason Lambert

10:12 Lambert limits

Make it five for Jason Lambert. He just added a 2-pound largemouth to fill things out. He’s got an estimated 12 pounds at the moment, which is for sure a good start to the day. 


10:09 Three for Yelas

Jay Yelas finished 6th in the 2006 FLW Series event on Cumberland and he’s off to a good start today, with two largemouths and one spotted bass in the livewell.

Dylan Hays is culling, but we don’t have a weight estimate because he’s next to a noisy waterfall. We ought to be able to get a little more info in a bit. Elsewhere, Randy Blaukat has two small ones, and JT Kenney has three. 


10:03 Lambert is cooking

Jason Lambert just landed his fourth of the day, a quality largemouth. Now he’s just one away from a really nice start to the tournament. Fishing down the lake, the bad weather seems to have them biting where he’s at. 


Jason Lambert

9:45 Lambert has two smallies

Jason Lambert has a pair of keeper smallies in the boat to start off. Caught a moment ago, his third is a small keeper spotted bass.

Justin Atkins has his third now as well, a solid 3-pounder. He’s got a pair of largemouths to go with, so he’s off to a nice start as well. 


9:25 Alexander, Kilby

Dean Alexander is on the board with a solid largemouth that goes about 2 pounds. Rob Kilby has two, but they’re both small and only total about three pounds. 


9:15 Felix has two

Fishing in Fishing Creek, Austin Felix has two small ones for a total of about 2 pounds (so he says). Also of note – it's starting to rain really hard in places. 


9:10 Otter alert

It’ll take a minute to upload, but we’re about to have a photo of some otters in today's on-the-water gallery. Brace yourselves. 


Kyle Cortiana

9:00 Cortiana update

Fishing down near Beaver Creek, Kyle Cortiana started his day with a keeper spotted bass that looks like about a 2-pounder. We don’t have an update besides that, so he might have a creel of of giant smallmouths to go with it. More likely, that was his first fish of the day. 


Bryan Thrift

8:48 Thrift has his first

Bryan Thrift has caught his bedding fish and is on the board with a solid 2-pounder. 


8:42 Andy Young has two to start

Fishing a bluff near Fishing Creek, Andy Young is off to a good start with a 19-inch smallmouth and a spotted bass. Getting a few kicker smallies over 18 inches figures to be key this week, and Young has already gotten the hard part out of the way. 


Justin Atkins

8:38 Britt and Atkins on the board

Aaron Britt has a keeper smallmouth to start, and Justin Atkins has a pair of 2-pounders in the ‘well. Down by the dam, Bryan Thrift has started the day on a bedding fish. 


John Voyles

8:25 Voyles report

Fishing up the lake, John Voyles has one keeper largemouth to his credit and has had to toss back three really nice smallmouths that fell below the 18-inch limit. 


Luke Dunkin

8:10 LeHew with two, Dunkin with one

Fishing up the lake, Shane LeHew has boxed two largemouths to start his morning. Nearby, Cody Meyer has no fish. Also up the lake, Luke Dunkin has one keeper largemouth as well. 

Down the lake, the first boats are just starting to get to Beaver Creek. Hopefully we’ll have some smallmouth action in a jiffy. 


Barry Wilson

7:45 Wilson is the first on the board

Fishing near the iron bridge, Barry Wilson has the first recorded keeper of the day. Up the Cumberland away from takeoff, there are about 20 boats including Shane LeHew, Brad Knight, Wesley Strader, Cody Meyer and Todd Auten. Elsewhere, the first wave of pros should be making it down toward the lower section pretty soon. 


Dylan Hays

Clark Reehm

7:00 Stop No. 4 is underway amid extreme conditions

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cumberland is rolling. After three days of practice with decent weather (a fair bit of rain on Monday was the only real issue), a major cold front ripped over the lake on Wednesday night and is still working through the area. Wednesday morning was lovely, with temperatures reaching into the low 70s, sunny skies and light breezes. Today, pros launched their boats in spitting rain, the high 40s and a gusting wind. The forecast for the day is flat-out nasty, with not much of a change in temperature, increasing winds and rain that might not taper off until dark. Suffice to say, Cumberland will offer a challenge of epic proportions today.

Even with the bad weather, the fishing might be good. Though many pros complained during practice, some had pretty excellent days. The nasty weather might also help the bite – today could be the best day of the week to catch a really big bag of smallmouths or capitalize on a moving bait bite for a mix of species up near takeoff. One blessing is that thus far the water hasn’t risen much. Cumberland is famous for quick rises and lots of floating logs and debris in the water – though the water has come up a little, it hasn’t risen so much that navigation will be a major problem.

Cumberland offers quality fishing for all three species of bass, but the smallmouths are what might steal the show. Though the limit for brown ones is 18-inches, there are plenty of big ones in the lake, especially in the lower reaches. It’s not a sure thing, but many expect the day one leader to weigh all smallmouths – doing that multiple days in a row is the trick. Fishing for largemouths and spotted bass might be the more consistent pattern, and you can catch them throughout the entire lake. As for the phase of the fish, the water temperature ranges from the mid 50s to low 60s, and there are a few bass on beds. That said, the vast majority of the bass caught in practice were prespawn.

However the fishing shakes out, it’s going to be an exciting event. Bryan Thrift is looking for another top 10, and we’re into the second half of the season – the race for the Forrest Wood Cup is on. For anyone out of the hunt for the Cup, there’s hardly a better way to ignite a career or finish things strong than with a late-season surge. From the lake to the field to the fishing, it should be a fun week despite the weather.



Temperature at takeoff: 46 degrees

Forecast high: 48 degrees

Sky: overcast

Precipitation: 80 percent chance of rain

Wind: W at 20 mph with gust to 45 mph

Water level: 715.40 feet


Tournament Details

Folgers Morning Takeoff: 7 a.m. ET at General Burnside Island State Park, 8801 S. Highway 27, Burnside, Ky.

Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET at General Burnside Island State Park and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at General Burnside Island State Park

FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at General Burnside Island State Park

FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET

Details page