2:30 Boyd isn’t done yet
Allen Boyd just caught a 4+. There’s no word on exactly how big we’re talking, but it’s big enough that he’s closed the gap on Bryan Thrift by a lot. There may be some drama at weigh-in yet.
2:02 Well, one more…
Bryan Thrift just caught a 5-pound smallmouth. He’s over 18 pounds now, so it’s about locked up. Additionally, he’s going to top Scott Martin’s winning weight from last year at Cumberland by around 10 pounds – he’s got a nice estimated total of 69 pounds and change at the moment.
1:45 that’s a wrap
Well, the flurry we anticipated hasn’t materialized. Darrel Robertson has added a 4-pounder to his smallish limit, but it seems like we’re stuttering to the finish line instead of racing to it. That said. Weigh-in is still going to be pretty great – the top five are truly very close, and Bryan Thrift probably has the edge, but there’s still time. So come back at 4 p.m. ET and see who wins!
1:15 Another for Davis
Clent Davis put another 3-pounder in the boat to get up past 15 pounds. He’s still off the pace that Allen Boyd and Bryan Thrift are on, but he’s got time for some big moves.
1:12 Flurry time?
Clent Davis just culled up with a 3+ to get around 14 pounds and Chris Johnston culled with a nice smallie as well. At about the same time, Bryan Thrift popped a decent one and tossed it back. The weather is as bad as ever, but the fish might be about to chew.
1:03 Speak of the devil…
Bryan Thrift just caught a 3+ to cull out again and we’ve got him up over 16 pounds now. He’s got an estimated total that is nearing 68 pounds, and he may have just locked things up with this cull. Of course, it may be the start of something epic that will really slam the door.
12:55 Nothing new for Thrift
There’s a bit of a lake-wide lull going on now (it’s really starting to feel colder though), and Thrift is in the same camp. So far, his move up the lake has not paid off like it did yesterday.
12:40 It’s wicked wet
It’s been raining all day and that’s starting to take a pretty good toll on our OTW crew and their associated equipment. Couple that with the bad cell service on Cumberland and things are beginning to fall apart. We’re still going to do our best, but there could be a little more mystery than usual come weigh-in.
12:30 Johnston and McCall cull
Chris Johnston has been going well today and he caught a 3+ to get up to the mid-teens now. He’s really in good shape to move up, but it’s not going to be enough for a win considering where he started. Also with 15 pounds, Chris McCall figures to move up a little by the end of the day.
12:15 Thrift is making a move
Bryan Thrift is running out of Indian now after a substantial lull. He’s headed back to where he smashed them yesterday afternoon. He may be about to ice this.
12:00 Watson has a good bag
James Watson has 16 pounds in the boat now. He likes his odds a lot today and is fishing just like he’s back home on Table Rock.
11:54 Boyd is still rocking
Allen Boyd is chipping away at Bryan Thrift now. He’s swapped to a swim jig now and just added another couple of ounces. He’s over 15 pounds now, and though there’s some slop in our estimates, he’s very close to Bryan Thrift on the day and for a total.
11:45 Bohannan goes brown
Greg Bohannan caught all largemouths on day three, but his second cull today is a solid 3-pound smallmouth. He’s up into double digits now.
11:27 Kicker alert!
Allen Boyd just caught a 4.5 that bit about a foot from the boat. It was pretty epic. He’s on the charge now for sure.
11:25 Boyd and Morgan cull
Allen Boyd has caught himself another spinnerbait bass to cull up over 12 pounds. Meanwhile, Andy Morgan has culled as well, but he’s still trying to fill out with 2-pounders.
11:20 Davis culls
Clent Davis added about a pound to his limit with another smallmouth. He’s still rolling along with his swimbait and catching fish at a pretty decent rate.
11:15 McCall and Milner cull
Chris McCall and Kerry Milner just culled up. Milner has a decent limit going, but McCall is real close to the 15-pound mark now. Otherwise, it’s been slow for a minute now and it’s starting to cool down pretty significantly now.
11:00 Another Thrift cull
Bryan Thrift culled again a minute ago. It was another swimbait smallie and he’s got over 15 pounds in the livewell now.
10:42 McCall is getting up there, Johnston has some weight
Chris McCall overestimated his weight a little on day three, but he’s got a lot of good ones today. He’s just culled again and has about 14 pounds in the livewell. The way he’s going, he’ll be moving up for sure.
Chris Johnston is also having a pretty good morning. He’s only got one real good one, but the rest of his fish are all decent quality. Unfortunately for the Canadian pro his comeback is only going to be worth so much with everyone else in the top 10 catching them too.
10:38 Boyd culls, has a feeling
Allen Boyd just culled with a fish that’s around 3 pounds and has caught something on like half of his recent casts. He says he’s really starting to feel it, and based on his practice he believes he’s got a chance at another 19-pound bag today.
10:15 Thrift is culling
Bryan Thrift is starting to roll. He’s back on the swimbait deal and just smoked two of his bigger fish on the day. He’s got over 15 pounds now and is probably a fish or two away from really closing things down.
10:05 Davis limits in style, Boyd rolls
Clent Davis finished his limit off with a 3-pound smallmouth. He’s got about 12 pounds in the livewell and seems to be getting pretty dialed.
Allen Boyd is also on a bit of a roll – he’s caught a few in the last couple minutes and is close to double digits now.
9:55 Boyd limits
Allen Boyd has wrapped up a limit now for about 8 pounds. His last fish was a chunky largemouth, so things could be looking up for him.
9:50 Bohannan get’s a good one, Thrift culls
Greg Bohannan just culled with a 3-pounder. He’s off the blistering pace he set on day three, but it seems to be coming together for him. Bryan Thrift just culled out a spotted bass with a smallmouth and seems to be back to his swimbait game now.
9:33 Watson with a big one
James Watson just smoked a big smallmouth way in the back of a “holler.” He’s into the low teens now. Based on where he started, winning is a longshot, but he’s on the path to make a big move for sure.
9:25 Davis is doing things
Clent Davis is having a pretty good morning. He’s got four now for almost 9 pounds and seems to be on a bit of a good thing. He’s fishing all new water today, and though his first three fish were smallmouths, his fourth was a largemouth.
9:20 Bohannan has five
Greg Bohannan put his fifth in the boat a second ago. He’s assembled a limit of absolute dinks so far.
9:10 Thrift and Morgan limit
Bryan Thrift has wrapped up a limit now. He’s got a pair of 3-pounders and then three keepers. He’s back in the lead now. Andy Morgan has a limit as well, but none of it is over 3 pounds.
9:10 Milner, Boyd
Kerry Milner is culling now – he’s over 10 pounds. Allen Boyd is on the board now too, getting going pretty fast, and he’s started without about a 2-pounder.
9:00 Boyd is fishing
Allen Boyd has made it down to his stuff and just got started a minute ago. No fish yet, but he’s ready to roll now.
8:55 Three for Thrift, limits for Johnston, McCall and Watson
Bryan Thrift has a Cumberland slam now, but none of them are big. Chris Johnston, Chris McCall and James Watson all have limits now – McCall’s is the biggest at about 12 pounds.
8:53 There’s a ton of water coming in
Cumberland has a ton of streams and waterfalls that flow into it and it’s been raining all night and all morning. It’s a warmish rain, and it’s staining the water a little and warming it up a little. Thrift and Watson are running some pockets with stain now, and it looks like that inflow pattern could be one to watch today.
8:40 Thrift gets one, others have a bunch
Bryan Thrift just put a spotted bass in the boat on a spinnerbait to start off. He’s doing things a little different so far this morning.
Chris Johnston has four keepers now, but none of them are giants. James Watson has a limit now too, and one of them is a 3-pounder.
8:33 More fish
Chris McCall just added his fourth keeper to the boat. Fishing with terrible cell service, Greg Bohannan has two spotted bass in the boat. Andy Morgan and Chris Johnston each have three now as well.
8:30 McCall goes back-to-back
Chris McCall just caught a pair of keepers on consecutive casts and one of them was a dandy 3+ smallie. He’s loving this lake, and he’d like nothing more than to make a big move up the leaderboard today.
8:18 Davis, Milner and Robertson
Our only new fish catches are Clent “Big Baby” Davis, Darrel Robertson and Kerry Milner at the moment. Milner has three, but none of them are over 3 pounds, and Davis and Robertson have just started with keepers.
8:04 Boyd has restarted
Allen Boyd has restarted and is headed back down the lake. All in all, his mechanical issues cost him about an hour of fishing.
8:02 Morgan starts hot
Andy Morgan has caught two in about 2 minutes on a spinnerbait and just missed a decent one. The first two were just keepers.
We’ve got a few more fish on the board now, and pretty much everyone besides Boyd is casting. Early, Chris Johnston has a small keeper, Chris McCall got going with a stout 2-pound spotted bass and Kerry Milner has two now.
7:46 Milner strikes first
Kerry Milner just put a 2-pound smallmouth in the boat to get his day going. Pretty much everyone should catch a limit today, and a 2-pounder isn’t likely to be a huge deal, but it’s a good way to get started.
7:30 Bad luck for Boyd
Allen Boyd smashed 19 pounds on day three, but he’s off to a tough start today. On the run down, Boyd ran into a mechanical issue. He didn’t hit anything, but he’s out for the count at the moment. Now, he’s limping to a nearby ramp and we’ve got a backup boat headed to him so he can restart. With good luck, he’ll be back and fishing in a little under an hour.
7:20 Running low on blades
Spinnerbaits have been the deal this week – so much so that some pros are running low on components or baits. Allen Boyd is down to his last bait, and Kerry Milner is basically just swapping things around to get a few more fish out of his. If you ever want to throw a spinnerbait in the south, it sure seems like Cumberland in the spring is the place to do it.
7:14 The run down
With most of the field fishing down the lake, mostly in Wolf, Beaver and Indian, we’ll have at least a 30-minute wait for fish catches. On the way down, the pros will have to drive through rain and also keep an eye out for floating logs and other debris. Because Cumberland rises and falls so much, it tends to have a lot of floaters, especially in the bends around the Iron Bridge and Conley Bottom. Andy Morgan says he’s planning on following Bryan Thrift as far as he can, even though he could easily outrun him, and it’s likely that the pros will convoy down for much of the way.
7:00 Day four is going to be amazing and a little uncomfortable
Bryan Thrift is on the verge of earning his sixth FLW Tour win, but he’s got some stiff competition to get through to do it. Day three of the FLW Tour presented by General Tire on Lake Cumberland was pretty amazing – no less than three pros crossed the 18-pound mark. Though Andy Morgan fell off the pace a bit, he remains totally within striking distance, and Allen Boyd and Greg Bohannan are steaming up from behind with a ton of momentum.
Though quite windy, the first two days of competition on Cumberland were warm and sunny and set the basis for the massive weights on day three. Day three itself wasn’t half bad until the storms rolled through late in the morning. Today is going to be an endurance test. Starting out at 60 degrees isn’t too bad, but the temperature is only going to drop, and it looks like the rain is going to be pretty steady until weigh-in. It remains to be seen how the fish will stand up to colder weather, but most of the anglers seem to think they’ll keep biting and getting closer and closer to the spawn.
Outside of who wins, the most interesting thing to track today might be the species breakdown. Thrift has weighed all smallmouths so far and he figures to do the same today. Meanwhile, Morgan has weighed mostly largemouths, and Bohannan and Boyd have stuck entirely with green ones. I know there’s at least one bet among locals about the species breakdown of the winner, and it’s always fun to pit the species against each other, even though they’re both pretty radical.
Temperature at takeoff: 59 degrees
Forecast high: 59 degrees, dropping to the low 50s by weigh-in
Precipitation: 100 percent chance of rain
Wind: west at 13 mph
Water level: 724.24 feet (tracker)
Folgers Morning Takeoff: 7:00 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