Hollowell Leads FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake
A mere 3-ounces seperates first from third but no 20-pound limits on day one of fishing
The Walmart FLW Tour Major on Kentucky Lake presented by OFF! began on Thursday as a field of the best bass-fishing professionals from all across the United States, Canada, Spain and Japan launched underneath the beautiful, sunny skies of Kentucky. Anglers employed a variety of techniques and strategies as they began the competition for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
As has become the norm for the FLW Tour, the top of the leaderboard is extremely tight, as only 1 pound, 7 ounces separates first place from 10th. Two pounds, 11 ounces separates first place from 20th place, so this tournament is still very much up for grabs. At the end of the day, pro Todd Hollowell of Fishers, Ind., holds the day one tournament lead with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces. Hollowell holds a slim 2-ounce lead over OFF! pro Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky., and Fatheadz pro Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, Ind., who both caught five bass weighing 19-3.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect coming into this tournament,” said Hollowell, who has a previous win on Kentucky Lake in a 2005 BFL event. “My practice time was not the most productive that I have ever had. I’ve been down with either a spider bite or a tick bite, and five days ago I couldn’t feel my hands. I’ve gotten past it though, and I’ve got a lot of experience on this lake. I actually attended college at Murray State, and my father lives here, so I spend a lot of time here and know a lot of places. My goal coming into this tournament was to make the top 20, so actually being in the lead after day one is great.
“I wasn’t sure where I could catch the best weight, so my plan was just to let the day unfold and see what happened,” Hollowell continued. “I fished shallow and deep, and I ran through a lot of areas. I ran clear to the south end of the lake and back, and I caught them steadily all day long. It’s about a 70-mile run, and I ended up burning 2½ tanks of gas today. I stayed on the Kentucky Lake side for the entire day, as that’s where I’m most comfortable, and I went through around 20 keepers today.”
Hollowell was not at all shy about talking about his techniques and strategy for tomorrow.
“I caught most of my fish on a 12-inch River Rat Tackle worm,” he said. “I also caught a lot of fish on a Red DiRT Baits spinnerbait, throwing it in the grass. Most of my weight today came from just throwing those. My biggest fish that I caught came deep today, but I’m confident that I could catch a solid bag in the grass. I’m just going to swing for the fence, and I feel real good about my chances at fishing on Saturday and Sunday.
“The gameplan for tomorrow is going to be pretty much the same as it was today,” Hollowell went on to say. “I’m just going to let the day dictate what I’m going to do. I’ll probably start out fishing deep and see what happens. If I need to make the long run south to fish shallow and catch more weight, I’ll do that. I spent probably an hour or two today just looking for fish for tomorrow. I’m going to be running all over the place. The plan is to just pull up to a spot and fish for five to 10 minutes, and they’re either there or they’re not. It can happen, and I like my chances.”
OFF! pro Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky. tied with Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, Ind. with five bass each that weighed 19 pounds, 3 ounces. We caught up with Bolton after the weigh-in.
Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one on Kentucky Lake are:
"I caught a lot of fish today," Bolton said with a smile, "And I had a chance to have a lot bigger bag. I lost one right at my trolling motor that looked to be 5 or 6 pounds. But I did some things today that I ordinarily don't like to do and I fished some places I've honestly never fished until this week in practice. I even threw back a real great looking 3 1/4-pound smallmouth, my first one this week, because it didn't help me. I had some company around me but I had enough room to move around and fish like I wanted to so I'm happy with how today went."
Bolton is always picked to do well on Kentucky Lake, but he hasn't lived in Kentucky for three years and just moved back in the last month or two and started re learning the lake.
"This year it seems like you can take all my old waypoints and just throw them away," he said. "I spent a whole day running all my old best stuff and never got the first bite so I had to start re-learning where these bass live now that things have changed so much. I hope I can do it again tomorrow but we'll just have to see."
4th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., five bass, 18-15
5th: M&M’s pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., five bass, 18-11
6th: Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., five bass, 18-10
7th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., five bass, 18-7
8th: Tim Griggs, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 18-4
9th: Kevin Hawk, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 17-14
9th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 17-14
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Jason Cordiale caught Thursday’s big bass weighing 6 pounds, 1 ounce on the pro side to win $500.
Overall there were 650 bass weighing 1,790 pounds even caught by pros Thursday. The catch included 121 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 22-12 followed by Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, in second place with five bass weighing 18-15.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Kurt Chelminiak, Delafield, Wis., five bass, 18-0
4th: Jeff Sprague, Forney, Texas, five bass, 17-4
5th: Bob Ebel, Concord, Calif., five bass, 17-3
6th: Matt Krekovich, Granite City, Ill., five bass, 17-2
6th: Brad Roberts, Faubush, Ky., five bass, 17-2
8th: Rob Hicks, Lula, Ga., five bass, 16-7
8th: Chad McClendon, North Richland Hills, Texas, five bass, 16-7
10th: Patrick Bone, Cleveland, Ga., five bass, 16-2
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Krekovich caught Thursday’s big bass weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces in the co-angler division to win $250.
Overall there were 516 bass weighing 1,273 pounds, 12 ounces caught by co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 77 five-bass limits.