Day one of the Central Division of the Everstart Series started with cooler than average temperatures lately but the day turned out to be beautiful come weigh-in time. However the high pressure and colder temperatures seemed to make the bass a little less cooperative than anglers had been seeing in practice.
The general consensus is the fish are on the move, migrating to the famed offshore ledges that Kentucky Lake has become known for. There are some fish on ledges, some fish shallow and many fish in between. The in between fish stumped much of the field on day one. There is one complication to the fish moving and being where they're "supposed" to be right now -- the lakes are 4 feet below summer pool.
Generally this time of year sees great shallow water fishing on both Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, however with the lake being closer to winter pool than summer pool, a lot of the likely shallow places are high and dry. This has sent some fish moving and looking for places to gang up offshore. But it hasn't sent them all off the banks as it was a shallow-water angler that lead the field of 150 boaters when the dust settled.
Lance Ricketts of Madisonville, Ky., led all with a five bass limit of 21 pounds, 7 ounces. He went against the grain that said the water on Barkley was too low for it to be a shallow player and made the run over to Barkley Lake to catch what he caught.
"I really didn't know what I was on in practice because I didn't stick many fish," Ricketts said. "I caught 20 keepers today, but this was the first day I really stuck them so I wasn't sure what I was on in a lot of different areas. I'm making a big run and fishing a lot of places. I really don't know if it will hold up or not because I didn't have much to go on until today."
Zach King of Clarksville, Ark. sat in second place after one day of fishing with his five bass that went 20 pounds, 11 ounces. With the surprising notion of having one of the only two 20-pound limits, King was thrilled with how the day went.
"This was one of my best fishing days ever," King said. "The good Lord blessed me today. I was so surprised because I only had 8 hours to practice here because I had have surgery on my mouth and some teeth pulled. It was unbelievable out there today. I caught 30 keepers today and I quit fishing at 10 a.m. After that I went looking at some new stuff, trying to find some other stuff. I only have four schools found so I was hoping to find a little more today. I only hit two of my four areas today so I'm really excited to get back out there."
Rounding out the top 5 anglers were Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tenn. with 19-7, Matt Robertson of Central City, Ky. with 18-7 and John McGinnis of Clarkson, Ky. with 17-9.
On the Co-angler side, Bill Bell of Smithville, Tenn. leads with 16 pounds, 3-ounces. Bell fished with Ricketts on day one of the Everstart Series. Rounding out the top five anglers were David Carroll of Manitou, Ky. 15-11, Calvin Hemphill of Rison, Ark. 15-10, Alan Woodford of Winslow, Ind. and Leslie Coleman of Columbus, Ind.
Jeremy Ethridge of Nashville, Tenn. caught the biggest bass of the tournament, a 7-pound, 4-ounce beauty on day one. That fish vaulted him into 6th place in the standings after one day of fishing.
Launch for Friday is 6 a.m. CST at Moor's Resort. Weigh-in will begin at 2 p.m.