KENNEY LEADS WALMART FLW SERIES EVENT ON LAKE EUFAULA
EUFAULA, Ala. (April 2, 2009) - Team BP pro J.T. Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday to capture the lead in the Walmart FLW Series® BP Eastern Division tournament on Lake Eufaula with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 40-13.
"Yesterday I caught a good limit quick down the lake in the clear water," said Kenney, who has won more than $698,000 in FLW Outdoors events. "I came back (near Lakepoint Resort State Park) just to mess around because I didn't have a whole lot of stuff down there. I didn't want to burn it up.
"So I came back up here and caught two nice ones and culled up to 17 pounds," Kenney added. "And I thought I had just happened to catch two nice ones."
Kenney said he started fishing Thursday where he began the first day of competition, but when he arrived at his spot, it was well populated with boats. Kenney said he managed to catch a 4-pounder and another keeper by 11:30 a.m., but knew he had to make a change if he was going to get his limit.
"So I went back up to the area where I culled yesterday and it was just on," said Kenney. "It was just whack, whack they were really in there."
Kenney said he and his co-angler pulled seven or eight keepers out of that spot in one hour before they relocated to find more of the same pattern.
"I think it's just that the water was high and then it dropped and I've found what the fish decided to pull to," Kenney said. "If you know exactly where to put it, they'll open their mouths and eat it."
Kenney now holds a slim 10-ounce lead over second place Team Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 40-3 during the first two days of competition.
"I never had to go to my flippin' stick," said Browne, who said he found success south of Lakepoint Resort State Park in the high water with a spinnerbait. "I caught one, then I caught another and just stuck with it. I caught about three limits of fish today.
"I caught my fish that I had yesterday in the same area, but I didn't stay in there as long," Browne added. "I don't know that I realized what I had there yesterday."
Rounding out the top five pros are Team Land O'Lakes pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn. (10 bass, 39-4); Tom Mann Jr. of Buford, Ga. (10 bass, 39-1) and Jimmy Millsaps of Canton, Ga. (10 bass, 37-13).
O.T. Fears of Sallisaw, Okla., earned the day's $500 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass.
Overall there were 462 bass weighing 1,368 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 139 pros Thursday. The catch included 52 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the $2.5 million, 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million - the sport's biggest award.
Chuck Thurlow of Auburn, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 36-4 followed by Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga., in second place with 10 bass weighing 34-0.
"I'm out of baits totally," said Thurlow, who said he relied on a finesse swimbait to catch his fish the first two days of competition. "I've got to go get some somewhere. There's none around here, so I guess Columbus, Ga., is my first stop.
"I've got some stuff I can make work, but the confidence factor I believe I'll be making a road trip tonight," Thurlow added.
Thurlow caught five bass weighing 22-3 while fishing with pro Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky., Wednesday and four bass weighing 14-1 while fishing with pro Roger Crafton of Boca Grande, Fla., Thursday.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Rob Hicks of Lula, Ga. (10 bass, 29-14); Day 1 leader Derrick Snavely of Rogersville, Tenn. (six bass, 28-5) and Chris Hults of Vancleave, Miss. (10 bass, 26-4).
Mike Tanksley of Crossville, Tenn., earned $333 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to an 8-pound, 1-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Nick Gainey of Charleston, S.C.
Overall there were 264 bass weighing 695 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 115 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 10 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a top award of $25,000 as well as a shot at the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7 each morning from Lakepoint Resort State Park located at 104 Lakepoint Drive in Eufaula. Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 1252 S. Eufaula Ave. in Eufaula, beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The total purse for the Lake Eufaula tournament is nearly $900,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Coverage of the Lake Eufaula tournament, hosted by the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated "FLW Outdoors," will air May 10 from 11 a.m. to noon ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
Total awards are based on a full field of 150 boats in every tournament.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player's Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Source: flwoutdoors.com (2009-04-03)