Lawrence in Command - Major League Fishing

Lawrence in Command

Tennessee angler ahead by more than 8 pounds on Barkley/Kentucky
Image for Lawrence in Command
Jake Lawrence Photo by D. W. Reed II. Angler: Jake Lawrence.
June 8, 2018 • Gary Garth • Toyota Series

Dropping 28 pounds on day one is great, but Jake Lawrence really took control with another 23-10 on day two. With a total of 52-9, the Paris, Tenn., pro is cruising toward the win in the Costa FLW Series on Lake Barkley presented by T-H Marine.

On day three, he’ll be looking for his first win with FLW and may have a shot at some history. As of now, Randy Haynes owns the biggest three-day winning weight on Kentucky Lake with 75-6, set back in the 2014 Costa FLW Series Central Division event. Sam Lashlee topped 86 pounds in a four-day Costa FLW Series event in 2006, but actually averaging 25 pounds or better on Kentucky Lake has only been done by Haynes and Jason Lambert in last month’s FLW Tour event.

Complete results

Top five patterns 

Lawrence’s closest competitor is Garrett Paquette of Canton, Mich., who vaulted from 11th to second with 24 pounds even on day two.

Through two days, Lawrence has been running out of Lake Barkley and fishing south of Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake. It’s a stretch of water well known to him and has yielded some good fish.

“I do know that area of the lake very well,” says the Paris, Tenn., pro. “But I know the lake well from the dam to the Duck River.”

Lawrence has been pretty tight-lipped about exactly how he’s catching his fish but says that a unique combination of conditions have put them there.

Conditions that are changing.

“That area this week … the fish are setting up in a certain way,” he says. “But it’s changing. It may not be as good tomorrow as it was today.”

The field been shaved to 10 pros and 10 co-anglers for the final round, but regardless of where they fish the anglers are likely to find plenty of company. Tournament Director Ron Lappin noted that five tournaments had registered for action Saturday on Barkley and Kentucky lakes. Registration is only required for events with a minimum of 100 boats.

The water may be crowded, but Lawrence plans to stick with the strategy that put him in the lead.

“I’ve been catching them on a worm, and some on a hair jig that is made locally,” he says. “I don’t plan on changing. I just hope the fish are still there.”

The weather forecast for Saturday is for hot, sunny conditions with light wind and a minimal chance of rain, essentially mimicking the week’s weather.

Heading into the event the general prediction was that 70-75 pounds would be needed to win. Lawrence is on track for that. “I’d feel good with 20 (pounds) tomorrow.”

Launch is scheduled for 5:35 a.m. CT from the Lake Barkley State Park. Weigh-in will begin at 2 p.m. at the same location.


Top 10 pros

1. Jake Lawrence – Paris, Tenn. – 52-9 (10)

2. Garrett Paquette – Canton, Mich. – 43-15 (10)

3. Brandon Hunter – Benton, Ky. – 43-8 (10)

4. Cody Harrison – Tuscumbia, Ala. – 41-13 (10)

5. Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 39-11 (10)

6. Marcus Sykora – Osage Beach, Mo. – 39-6 (10)

7. Mike Roller – Purdy, Mo. – 39-3 (10)

8. Ramie Colson Jr. – Cadiz, Ky. – 38-14 (10)

9. Adam Craig – Buchanan, Tenn. – 37-13 (10)

10. Stacey King – Reeds Spring, Mo. – 37-1 (10)

Complete results


Howard blasts ‘em

Co-angler Mark Howard soared from 25th to first going into the final round on the strength of a massive 23-14 limit on day two. The Mesquite, Texas, angler leads the co-angler pack by nearly eight pounds heading into Saturday.

His secret?

“It was all drop-shot for me,” says Howard. “We fished ledges on Kentucky Lake. I caught the majority of my fish in one place.”

Complete results