Lake Cumberland Top 5 Patterns - Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Lake Cumberland Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

How the top pros are getting it done
Image for Lake Cumberland Top 5 Patterns – Day 2
Andrew Loberg Photo by Rob Matsuura.
December 4, 2020 • Justin Onslow • Toyota Series

While weights generally seemed to be down across the board on day two of the Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, several big bags still made their way across the weigh-in stage, due in part to the cold, soggy weather that had Cumberland’s big smallies chewing.

In the lead, Dakota Ebare is fishing for bank-oriented bass, and he's far from alone. From the upper end of Cumberland to the dam and pretty much everything in between, the key this week has been picking off individual fish up on the bank. They’re relating to a bit of everything and big schools are pretty much nonexistent, but they're biting a range of finesse and reaction baits. 

Here’s a look at how the top five pros caught their fish on Cumberland on day two and what to expect heading into Championship Saturday.

Ebare's leading pattern 

Complete results


Cameron Lineback

2. Cameron Lineback – Mount Airy, N.C. – 29 – 9 (10)

Cameron Lineback has been understandably cagey about how he’s caught his fish this week, but whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

Lineback, who weighed in 13-8 on day one (which he was thankful for considering mechanical issues to start his day), came to the scales on day two with the third-largest bag of the event so far. He caught that 16-1 bag “off rock,” – “imagine that,” he jokes about his well-guarded approach – with reaction baits.

While none of that is surprising, the fact that Lineback’s fish were hungry this morning was a pleasant surprise for the Mount Airy, North Carolina pro.

“They were chewing. They were absolutely chewing,” he says. “They were [everywhere] today. That’s a first.”

After a terrible practice by his own admission, Lineback’s pattern held strong on day one. On day two, with the wind blowing and rain coming down, that pattern reached another gear.

This is Lineback’s first time on Cumberland, and while he’s not a big fan of the way the lake has fished so far, he admits it’s been pretty good to him to this point.

“We’re figuring it out slowly,” he says. “It’s been really good to me so far. I’m going to love [Cumberland] if I win $200,000.”


Chris Malone

3. Chris Malone – Ironton, Ohio – 28 – 11 (10) 

Chris Malone weighed in 15-3 yesterday. Today, his total was just 13-8. That 13-8 came from the only five keepers he caught all day.

As such, Malone is convinced he’ll have to make some adjustments on day three.

“I’ve completely exhausted my area,” he says. “I ran new water today in the same area and I just don’t think there’s five [fish] left.”

Malone has been covering a lot of water – mainly steep banks and walls – with a SPRO RKCrawler and a spinnerbait. While that’s pretty standard stuff for Cumberland in the fall, it all comes down to the conditions for Malone.

“I’m playing the conditions with the water color, clarity and the sky,” he explains. “It dictates where I fish. If it gets clearer tomorrow, it’s going to hurt me in that most of my fish have been in a little bit dirtier water. I don’t think I can get five out of it tomorrow.”

As for location, Malone has been running tons of water in the Conley Bottom area, and he intends to do more of the same on day three.


Andrew Loberg

4. Andrew Loberg – Rocklin, Calif. – 26 – 1 (10) 

Western Division hammer Andrew Loberg has weighed in nine smallmouth this week (and one largemouth on day two), and he’s done so eschewing the predominant pattern of beating the bank in creeks in favor of main-lake banks around bluffs, channels swings and bank transitions.

That pattern has worked to the tune of a top 10, but it all comes down to the mood of the fish.

“I’ve stuck to like a four- to five-mile stretch the entire tournament,” he says. “The fish are there. It’s just whether or not they’re going to bite.”

Yesterday, Loberg’s fish bit better than they did today. He made a key adjustment, though.

“I was doing something all of practice, basically one bait, and they bit it a little bit yesterday,” he says. “That’s how I got my limit, and today I only got two bites on it and I had to kind to change it up and do something different. I did, and I squeaked out a limit.”

As for baits, Loberg has been leaning on some pretty typical highland reservoir staples in a jig, a crankbait and a spinnerbait.


Michael Caruso

5. Michael Caruso – Peoria, Ariz. – 26 – 0 (10) 

Michael Caruso’s bites this week have come in bunches, but they’ve been surrounded by periods of a whole lot of nothing.

“Around 12:30 or 1 o’clock today, I had one fish in the boat, and it seemed like in about a 45-minute period I caught three more and I finished out my limit shortly after that,” he says. “It’s coming in spurts. Same thing yesterday. I had one fish at 11:30 and then by around 12 o’clock I had my limit.

“It seems like when there’s one [fish] there’s more. When I find the right bank that they’re up feeding on at that time I catch multiple.”

Caruso has been winding a crankbait in one small area near the dam that he says isn’t reloading, but there have been enough fish there this week to boost him into the top 10. While he may need to expand his area a bit on day three, Caruso is encouraged about the lack of boat traffic he’s seen in the area and feels comfortable in the area.

“It seemed like that was where I was the most comfortable,” he adds. “The water is cleaner down there, and it just seemed like somewhere I could get bites. I was looking for an area I could get bit. It’s hard to stay focused when it’s a grind, but when you know the little flurries will come, that’s what makes you stick with it.”