Day one of the Costa FLW Series on Barkley Lake presented by T-H Marine has mostly gone down on Kentucky Lake so far. Most are expecting a ledge bite and conditions for ledge fishing are nearly perfect: sunshine, water temperature near 80, little or no wind and strong current.
For most of anglers with whom we’re chatting, action is less than perfect. By 8:05 a.m., Matt Robertson had two fish. Two hours later Jeff Defew, working a ledge near the 68/80 bridge, was still looking for his second bass.
With one eye on his electronics and one on the water, Todd Goade echoes the frustrations of many.
“They’re here,” says Goade, who was reporting a single smallmouth for his morning’s work. “You can see them on the screen.”
Odds on favorite Jason Lambert, who won the FLW Tour stop here last month with a whopping 101-pound 9-ounce four-day catch, reportedly headed to the upper end of Kentucky Lake – about a 100 mile run from the Lake Barkley State Park launch site – and has boated “about 15 pounds.”
Plenty of other anglers have roughed up limits as well. Mark Russell was culling before noon. Both Hensley Powell and Stacey King had early limits as well. Around 9 o’clock, Logan Thomas reported about 15 pounds in the ‘well. Duke Jenkel had an early limit in the low teens too. Marcus Sykora got off to a good start, with a 14-pound limit in the boat before 10 o’clock. Finally, Cody Harrison had a small limit when we found him.
Plenty of anglers were shy of limits as well, and many of them seemed to have some decent quality. Local favorite Brandon Hunter had four for about 14 pounds. Barry Wilson only had one when we found him, but it was a 6-pounder. Adam Lynn started early with a 5-pounder and 4-pounder. Kyle Schutta has two in the box early and caught his third as we watched early. Also early, Tom Redington checked in with one 3-pounder. Michael Neal was one of the first boats through into Kentucky, but his starting spot was fishless when he arrived – late in the morning he only had one keeper.
With the current still flowing and the sun shining, the bite should stay good as the day goes on. Though we didn’t sniff out a 20-pound bag this morning, it’s almost a sure thing that we’ll see some come weigh-in.
Weigh-in begins at 2 p.m. CT at the Lake Barkley State Park Marina or live online.