(Apr 6, 2017 - SOMERSET, Ky.)
Pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 7 ounces, Thursday to grab the early lead at the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine. Martin will begin day two with a slim 10-ounce edge over Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas, in the four-day event that features 164 of the world’s best bass anglers competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I’m basically working through a 15-mile stretch of bank,” said Martin, a 15-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier who has earned more than $2.5 million in FLW competition. “The smallmouth like the main-river stuff and the largemouth like to be in the backs of creeks, so you have to mix it up a little bit. I bounced back and forth and fished a lot of new water. Half of the fish I caught today were in water I’ve never been in. It just looked good.”
Martin said bass were found in a variety of locations including small points and straight stretches of bank.
“A new pattern developed today in terms of where these fish were congregating, and that helped me,” said Martin. “Everything has changed a little bit due to the weather and temperature. I targeted smallmouth and caught a couple in the morning, but wasn’t sure if I could get a limit. The 18-inch minimum is a big deal.”
Martin’s limit ended up consisting of four smallmouth and one largemouth bass.
“I didn’t catch many short fish today, but I also didn’t get a lot of bites,” said Martin. “When I did, they were pretty good ones. You just had to fish the conditions.”
On day two, the Florida veteran said he plans on navigating even more new water.
“You just have to fish a little loose,” said Martin. “If I’m lucky, I could get another big limit of smallmouth, but I’m not expecting to catch them where I fished today. There’s largemouth and spotted bass in the area as well, but not necessarily in the same spot. I’m just going to have to keep bouncing back and forth.”
The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Cumberland are:
1st: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 19-7
2nd: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, five bass, 18-13
3rd: Casey Scanlon, Lenexa, Kan., five bass, 18-8
4th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, five bass, 18-7
5th: Yamamoto Baits pro Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., five bass, 18-5
6th: Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, five bass, 17-15
7th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 17-13
8th: Chris McCall, Palmer, Texas, five bass, 17-10
9th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 17-8
10th: Costa del Mar pro Dylan Hays, Sheridan, Ark., five bass, 17-7
Scanlon earned the day's $500 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 6-ounce fish.
Overall there were 678 bass weighing 1,747 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 161 pros Thursday. The catch included 101 five-bass limits.
Frank Divis Sr. of Farmington, Arkansas, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces, followed by Brian Wilson of Somerset, Kentucky, in second place with four bass totaling 13 pounds, 4 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers after day one on Lake Cumberland are:
1st: Frank Divis Sr., Farmington, Ark., five bass, 15-6
2nd: Brian Wilson, Somerset, Ky., four bass, 13-4
3rd: Brandon Johnson, Owingsville, Ky., five bass, 12-8
4th: Chuck Kavros, Grass Valley, Calif., five bass, 12-5
5th: Brad Myers, Winchester, Ky., five bass, 12-4
6th: Kevin Simpson, Monticello, Ky., five bass, 12-1
7th: Josh Lockard, Somerset, Ky., five bass, 11-6
8th: Jeff Clark, Fort Smith, Ark., five bass, 10-15
9th: Ryan Fisk, Independence, Ky., five bass, 10-11
10th: Kevin King, Blountville, Tenn., three bass, 10-7
Jerry Hayden of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, earned $250 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division with a 5-pound, 2-ounce fish.
Overall there were 267 bass weighing 582 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 123 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 10 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour 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 full field competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division. The event is hosted by the Somerset Tourist and Convention Commission.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EDT each day from General Burnside Island State Park, located at 8801 S. Highway 27, in Burnside, Kentucky. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at General Burnside Island State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, April 8-9, will also be held at General Burnside Island State Park, but will begin at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, fans are encouraged to experience the free Family Fishing Expo at General Burnside Island State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is a unique opportunity for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Youth are also invited to participate in the free FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby at the Ruckel’s Restaurant Pay Lake, located at 192 KY-70 in Eubank, Kentucky, on Saturday, April 8, from 9-11 a.m. The event, hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, is free and open to area youth 18 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for the first 50 participants to use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) May 24 from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.