Lawrence sacks 24 pounds on Day 1 at Kentucky Lake   - Major League Fishing

Lawrence sacks 24 pounds on Day 1 at Kentucky Lake  

Image for Lawrence sacks 24 pounds on Day 1 at Kentucky Lake  
Jake Lawrence has been on a tear lately and he didn't let up on Day 1. Photo by Matt Pace. Angler: Jake Lawrence.
March 7, 2024 • Jody White • Toyota Series

CALVERT CITY, Ky. – To the surprise of nobody, Jake Lawrence came out firing on Day 1 of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Plains Division event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. Hauling a verifiable satchel of bass to weigh-in, the Tennessee pro weighed 24 pounds, 2 ounces to take the early lead. Behind him, Ethan Fields put an even 23 pounds on the scale, and the rest of the top five also caught 20 pounds or better.

On the Strike King co-angler side, Todd Adamitis weighed 15-14 for the lead and is narrowly ahead of Zavian Smith.

Overall, the fishing was good on Day 1, and it looks like we’re in for a good one, especially if you like prespawn smallmouth.

South end produces for Lawrence on Day 1

Smallmouth keyed the day for Jake Lawrence and many others. Photo by Matt Pace

Weighing four smallmouth and one largemouth, Lawrence planned out his tournament to accommodate the approaching weather, and it is looking good so far.

“I played a strategy deal; I ran south today and tried to burn everything down there,” he said. “I did better than I thought I would, but I was trying to survive today. With the weather we have coming in, I wanted to burn everything I could down that way and save what I have up here.”

Not everyone has the luxury of ignoring half their spots and still catching 24 pounds, but that’s about what Lawrence did on Day 1. Running current breaks, it sounds like he’s got more in the tank.

“It’s standard current break fishing,” he said. “The majority of these fish don’t seem to be schooled up — it’s honestly an odd deal. Usually, these current breaks, you might fish three or four or five of them and not get a bite, and when you land on ‘em there’s 50 of them and they’re ready to bite.

“But, that’s not really the case,” he continued. “I’m actually having to ‘Scope these current breaks – I’m catching more individuals than I am seeing schools. I was fortunate; I did get on one school this morning that I cannot believe I got on – I caught 20 pounds in about 30 minutes.”

Fishing his fifth Toyota Series event on Kentucky and Barkley this week, Lawrence has already won two of them – if he wins this one, he’d go back-to-back. Additionally, he’s blasting them as a rookie on the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, with two Top-10 finishes under his belt already. So, you could say he’s fishing well.

“It’s a really cool feeling,” he said. “It feels a lot harder than what these weights look. I am human, but it is really cool. This week, I had one of the most challenging weeks I’ve ever had. Not necessarily on the fishing side, but man, I lost my waypoints, not all of them, but a large portion. I had some electronics issues, I borrowed a boat one day in practice, the list goes on. To have an excellent start to this, after the week I’ve had, is remarkable.”

Of course, lately, remarkable is the standard for Lawrence, which is really fun to watch.

Top 10 pros

1. Jake Lawrence – 24 – 2 (5)               

2. Ethan Fields – 23 – 0 (5)   

3. Nick Ratliff – 21 – 1 (5)      

4. Bill Schroeder III – 20 – 9 (5)           

5. Toby Corn – 20 – 6 (5)         

6. Matt Robertson – 19 – 12 (5)             

7. Taylor Umland – 19 – 10 (5)                

8. Clint Knight – 18 – 14 (5)     

9. Sam Lashlee – 18 – 12 (5) 

10. Levi Kohl – 18 – 6 (5)

Complete results

Fishing Clash AOY

Toyota Series Plains Division pros are competing for the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year award and a $5,000 payday. Fishing Clash – an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s been downloaded by more than 80 million people worldwide – will reward the pro AOYs in all divisions of the Toyota Series, and is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. 

Download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.